Listen in as Richard Nevins shares the value of listening, keeping it simple and personable to grow your business in the 403(b) marketplace. Richard Nevins is a successful advisor with 14+ years of experience out of DeSoto Texas.
Ed Dressel 0:09
Welcome to another podcast. We're growing RetireReady clients. It's a privilege to have Richard Nevins here today out of DeSoto, Texas in the suburbs of Dallas. Welcome, Richard, great to have you.
Richard Nevins 0:22
I'm honored Ed.
Ed Dressel 0:23
Thank you. It's an honor to have you. So before we get started too far into it, tell everybody a little bit about yourself and your business.
Richard Nevins 0:31
Well, I am a financial advisor. I've been around for more than 14 years. We have two parts of the business: one that caters towards the Medicare side and the other one that helps people understand the path towards retirement income. I was established in 2008. And I've enjoyed every portion of this.
Ed Dressel 0:53
Well, that's pretty cool. If you've enjoyed every portion, and there's been a few. And joining in 2008 wasn't a simple year to join financial services.
Richard Nevins 1:01
No, it was not. It was a rough year.
Ed Dressel 1:04
It was rough on all of us in the market. So and then you've made it through a few bumps over the years. Tell me a little bit about what market you focus on inside of the financial services?
Richard Nevins 1:16
Well, we're focusing right now with the teachers market, the TRS and when participating of that market. Also people moving into retirement that don't know what to expect. They think that it looks like the same when they were accumulating, when they were making that money, when they were producing. They think it looks the same way when they're retired. And they're taking on their distribution. So we help them transition. And also the younger generation, give them a snapshot of their decisions--what it would look like in the future, how would it affect them?
Ed Dressel 1:50
So before we get too far into it, I don't want to leave that thought there. Because you're bringing up an interesting point, how are you communicating to somebody that's close to retirement, that it's different on the distribution side than it was on the accumulation side? What are a couple of key points you bring to that conversation?
Richard Nevins 2:03
Well, one of the first things I do is ask questions. When do you want to retire? And based on those years, 5-10, next year, I start asking these questions, because there's a lot of rules and regulations that are triggered by a person's age, by a person's income status. And many people don't know this. They don't know that social security can be taxed at a certain rate. They don't know that you can't take distributions until a certain age. So when we start talking about these things, many things come out. Things that they didn't think about because their mind is still in that accumulation phase and just making that money. And they don't understand that they need to plan for retirement and distribution. So I ask a lot of questions. What does your retirement look like? What do you want it to look like? What do you want to do? Many people are just transitioning not into your regular retirement where they don't do anything. They're much more active. They want to travel. They want to open small businesses. So all this comes into play when we start having this conversation.
Ed Dressel 3:08
So going back to kind of the original line of question, why did you choose financial advising?
Richard Nevins 3:14
You know, 2008 was a really tough time, and many people were not prepared. They really weren't. And I approached this not from the perspective of money, but from the perspective of the human experience. What are they going through? What are the things that's going to affect them? And being part of that journey to me was really important, and just listening to them. And that's what attracted me to it. Sometimes this can be a path of a lot of friction, because there's so many regulation, there's so much taxation, you just don't know where to put things. There's so many financial mechanisms and to be part of the solution. It's just an honor to be invited into people's lives, and honored to be part of that transition. I just wanted to help them fill in the pieces of that puzzle. That's their life. That's why it's so important to understand them at a human level. Where do you want to go? What's hurting? What do you want to do?
Ed Dressel 4:12
What obstacles you find in engaging individuals and in your business in the world that you work in?
Richard Nevins 4:19
Well, number one, unfortunately, the powers that be--it doesn't make it easy for the layman. For John sixpack to understand how this works, how to leverage that dollar, right? And the obstacle is to take complex situations and just simplifying it in such a way that people understand it. And I asked him the question, where are you? Where you want to go? Here's a key. Put it in the car. Turn it on. Let's go. I don't need to break down the mechanics, the internal combustion part of the engine. Just help simplifying the process. I want to simplify the process. As for my clients, that's the challenge--simplifying it, finding the tools to simplify it. If anybody's read the code, the tax code--I mean, it's a great piece for falling asleep. People won't understand it. They'll start reading it, and they're going to doze off. That's my job. My job is to understand the complexities, see where you want to go. And just make it easy. Make it as frictionless as possible.
Ed Dressel 5:25
A lot of advisors like to get into the weeds. They like to make mini advisors. What would you tell them? Your approach is different?What would you what would you tell them if you were talking with them about why not to do that?
Richard Nevins 5:38
Because your client is already in the weeds! Why would you take them deeper? That's why they're asking the questions because they don't understand. Your function is to transition them from not knowing to knowing. It's not about us, it's about them. We take a backseat to them. And we want to understand them, and have our situation apply to them. When you go to a doctor's office, the doctor doesn't tell you everything he learned. He doesn't dump on you his years of practice. He asks you where does it hurt? What are the symptoms? And then he prescribes. He doesn't break down the chemistry of the medication. He just prescribes. That's our function.
Ed Dressel 6:27
I like your analogy. That's--that's pretty good. So you're working in a 403(b) marketplace. Are there some specific issues that are difficult for clients in that world?
Richard Nevins 6:37
Yes. They have no control over their 403(b). So they they dumped their finances in there, they can't control the contributions. They're limited in many areas. And it limits them on many things that they can do. And most of the times, as you said before, they're in the weeds. They're going there, because everybody's going there. They're in this line--everybody's in that line. Let me go there because they don't know any better. That's--it's the educational process. It's so funny that the educators lack the education in that field, in that process.
Ed Dressel 7:16
When you think of a 403(b) client, a lot of them are in the public sector world. Or in in the state of Texas, a lot of Texas TRS. How many of those teachers understand the benefits of their state pension plan?
Richard Nevins 7:30
Very few, very few. For example, I had a conversation with a teacher, and she had worked previously somewhere else contributing towards social security. She didn't know that her pension was going to affect her Social Security and that her Social Security was going to be reduced. It's called the Windfall Elimination Provision. She didn't know about that. She didn't know that she was limited in certain things within the 403(b). So for the most part, you have highly intelligent people that know very little about their financial future.
Ed Dressel 8:05
The whole purpose for creating a defined benefit plan was to simplify the life of the retiree for the person planning for retirement. And all of a sudden, it's become a lot more complex, because, like you mentioned, one aspect is a Windfall Elimination Provision. So it's a lot more complex and people gloss over and they don't know the details that can substantially hurt them. And we've got this world of teachers who are doing a great job for our kids, but they don't even understand what what their retirement looks like.
Richard Nevins 8:34
Absolutely. And they don't even know the gaps that they're going to have, how it doesn't keep up with inflation. I mean, this year--and what does inflation look like? I went to fill up my truck. I have an F150. I used to fill it before with 55 bucks. Ninety-eight dollars, thank you very much. That's inflation.
Ed Dressel 8:56
So work in the 403(b) world. Tell me a success story that you have in keeping it simple and focusing on their need. What success story do you have, that you really kind of modeled your methods?
Richard Nevins 9:07
I had a teacher that was contributing X amount of dollars in it. And when we used the software and the growth, she saw that that X amount of dollars was not going to get her where she needed to be. Once we used that graph and we showed her what was going to happen, she immediately--her eyes were open because it's not the same thing to think you know, than to see it visually and make it tangible so they can understand it. And we immediately started reallocating, and five years later, she saw the shift because we've been seeing shifts in the market and where we allocated it and where we put it. Number one there was a huge bonus for that person. And that person did not lose a dime where we put it so it created safety and balanced out their portfolio. To me that was a huge success. And she was thankful because everyone around her was was being affected by certain things. And she wasn't. She was at peace. And that's what this is about. Peace.
Ed Dressel 10:09
You talked about the retirement years grid that you use to show them and showing them their potential shortfall.
Richard Nevins 10:16
Ed Dressel 10:17
When you sell that to various clients, what's the general impact? Is it too simple that they want more detail? Or is that an engaging point? What's the response?
Richard Nevins 10:27
It really blows their mind. Because in their minds, they see it one way, and we present it in other. And when they see it on the screen, and they start asking those questions, it makes it real. It really does. And they enjoy and appreciate making it simple. They don't need complicated. They're already in complicated. For them simple is refreshing.
Ed Dressel 10:51
That's a great quote: simple ais refreshing. Our focus, our goal is to help engage individuals, and I really appreciate the value you're bringing here. Your clients helping them understand. How do you define success with your clients?
Richard Nevins 11:07
Again, I take it to the human experience, because success to me can mean one thing, success to them can mean another. So to them, one of the main points is having a stable economy, something they know that they can count on. That's one of the major components--something they know that they can see it coming in continually in regards to their income that provides stability. That's the first thing. And they can use that to be able to finance what successful retirement looks like to them.
Ed Dressel 11:41
What are some of the keys in growing your business?
Richard Nevins 11:44
We referred a lot to different, to different people. But one of the keys to growing is that when you sit down with a client, do not come in with a preconceived idea of what they need. Go in there with with a spirit of listening. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Take a minute, walk a mile in their shoes. Don't go in thinking that you know everything. Just come in with a clean slate and say, "What can I do for you? What are your main concerns?" And just educating them.
Ed Dressel 12:16
You talked about getting referrals. Do you have a key way that you believe, I earn referrals for my clients because--? How would you finish that statement?
Richard Nevins 12:28
I asked them, "Do you believe that this information has brought value to you?" And if they answer yes, whom do you think would benefit from this? And they just open up. So if you serve them, they're going to want to share it with someone else. And that's when the referrals start flowing. You know what I have this person. Give them a buzz. I'm going to tell them who you are what you've done for me. So they'll be expecting your call. So it's a warm transfer. And that grows the business because you serve them and they want to share that experience with someone else.
Ed Dressel 13:07
In a very competitive world, how do you differentiate yourself with other advisors that are knocking on teachers doors?
Richard Nevins 13:15
I noticed that many advisors lead with product. Many advisors, they'll lead with sales. I don't lead with that. I want to know who you are as a person. Not only what you do, but what's important to you as a person. And once we can figure that out, everything else falls into place. So again, I take the approach of a physician. I want to know about you, what's going on. What triggered this, what brought you in, and once you can see what's creating that worry in their minds, we take it from there.
Ed Dressel 13:52
Richard it has been a delight to talk to you. Your focus on helping your clients where they're at is impressive, amazing, and consistent through everything you've said. Asking them questions, walking in their shoes, listening. And I really appreciate what you're doing for your clients and the value you bring to the table and the success that you're having. I wish you the very best. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. And for all those advisors listening today, I hope you gained something from what Richard is doing. I appreciate it. We wish you the best in today's marketplace. Thank you very much.
Richard Nevins 14:25
Thank you, Ed.