Grow Retire Ready Clients

Alberto Gaglianese | Lincoln Investment

June 08, 2021 RetireReady Solutions
Grow Retire Ready Clients
Alberto Gaglianese | Lincoln Investment
Chapters
Grow Retire Ready Clients
Alberto Gaglianese | Lincoln Investment
Jun 08, 2021
RetireReady Solutions

Alberto Gaglianese is a financial planner for Lincoln Investment, based out of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. He has had a successful practice in the 403(b) and the 457 marketplace since 1986.  Listen in as Alberto shares his experience on helping clients reach their retirement goals and growing a thriving practice. 

Show Notes Transcript

Alberto Gaglianese is a financial planner for Lincoln Investment, based out of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. He has had a successful practice in the 403(b) and the 457 marketplace since 1986.  Listen in as Alberto shares his experience on helping clients reach their retirement goals and growing a thriving practice. 

Ed Dressel:

This is Edward Dressel of RetireReady Solutions. I'm excited to have another podcast. Today we're joined by Alberto Gaglianese. Welcome, Alberto. Glad you're here.

Alberto Gaglianese:

Hi, how are you doing? Glad to be here.

Ed Dressel:

Tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Alberto Gaglianese:

I'm a financial advisor for Lincoln Investment, which is based out of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. I started in the business back in 1986, and have had tremendous practice running in the 403(b) and the 457 marketplace.

Ed Dressel:

What's your role in your company?

Alberto Gaglianese:

I'm a financial advisor, and I'm a financial planner. I've merged from being just a financial advisor to being a planner. And I enjoy that aspect much better than just being an advisor.

Ed Dressel:

And how would you define the two differences?

Alberto Gaglianese:

As financial advisor, I think I was out there just getting clients and running around and doing my thing, but I really wasn't doing planning and sitting down with what was good for the client. Not that it wasn't good for the client. But as I got through having a number of clients, they kind of pointed me in the direction of planning and now I do more planning, and I don't really do selling. I think the plans do the selling for you. So I really enjoy it. I try to do what's right for the client every day of every week, I work.

Ed Dressel:

So when you say the plans sell for you, how's that working for you?

Alberto Gaglianese:

Basically, I use the TRAK program, and I try to get an end result from a client and back end like how much they want for retirement. Your program has pensions for municipal employees and educators alike. And, you know, if they need 80% of their income I back into it and it tells them they need to do $200 a pay for their career. If they can't start there, we start with what we can and then we--every time we meet--we update their plan and try to get to that goal. So I really believe that I try to help people every day and getting to that goal is a way of doing it.

Ed Dressel:

How does doing planning help grow your business?

Alberto Gaglianese:

I mean, I think clients--think clients know. I'm in the industry. And at least in the area that I'm in, my competition just sells a sell as many as they can. They don't go back and talk to the client, they don't review. I don't see a lot of that. And my clients end up leaving them and come to me because I'm doing planning. I give them a plan, they get a report that is updated every year. Some people like it emailed, and some people like it in paper, so I have the option to do either one. And I think that's what really sells them because I always ask them, you know, "is somebody next to you in this classroom, next year, we're in the hall across from you that would benefit from this?" And nine times out of 10 the answers "Yes, I know nobody's doing that for that person." So, again, I've been doing it 35 years. And it's growing my business tremendously.

Ed Dressel:

So when I think planning, I think of 250-300 pages of paperwork, where clients sitting down and looking at a pretty detailed plan. That's my concept of planning. If you're doing that every year with a client, obviously, you're not providing two to 300 pieces of paper. Tell me a little bit about the process you're providing.

Alberto Gaglianese:

So, I do have financial planning software. it's very cumbersome to go through and enter every detail. When I through go through the TRAK program, it's very concise. It gets to their goal, and they're really getting a 15 page printout. And that shows what they need to catch up as well. I think that's one of the things that really gets people in the nonprofit field because they know they have a pension and they know they may get social security. And what's the difference and this tells them what that difference is. And it's done quickly and easily. It doesn't take me three hours to enter the information and go through that information with a fine tooth comb. I'm really doing that goal and they love it.

Ed Dressel:

So when you say you go through that quickly, what does that mean in time? How long will you be sit with a client?

Alberto Gaglianese:

I mean I sit with the client for an hour gathering the information and entering the information and getting it out. I'm done in an hour.

Ed Dressel:

And they're not overwhelmed by the technology and the sophistication of the tools?

Alberto Gaglianese:

No, not at all. No, no. Even even when I do the life insurance analysis that you have in the social security analysis. It's a couple of steps in each of those. And you know, yes, I'm entering the appropriate information by asking the questions from the client, but it certainly comes out and they get even smaller report for those little detailed ones. But no, it's not a long process at all. It's very simple.

Ed Dressel:

Excellent. Tell me what obstacles--you know, we live in an interesting time with COVID. And hopefully we're unwinding from that. Tell me a little bit about the obstacles you're facing and how you've overcome them in this last year.

Alberto Gaglianese:

Well, to tell you the truth, we switched our financial planning software, our three hour entry software and it took--if it wasn't for COVID I'm not sure I would have relearned another program because it was just forever. Whereas--which I find very cumbersome. And it really slows down me getting clients and helping clients. So I like to work with a client, and then move on. We have a follow up process so we stay connected to that client. And then it's not as cumbersome using the TRAK program, and then using some of the other programs that I use out there for financial planning. So it's again, it's simple, and I find it really cumbersome, almost the reason I didn't want to do it. But if it wasn't for COVID and being locked in my basement, I don't think I would ever done it. But yours is easy, concise, quick. Clients understand the graphs and all the details that you see. And it works out for them as well as it does for me,

Ed Dressel:

How do you engage your clients towards retirement readiness?

Alberto Gaglianese:

Well there's more than one aspect of the retirement process. I think, most of the clients when they tell me their goal is to retire at 55 or 60, whatever that goal is, or somewhere in between, because the numbers work out, we work towards the financial solution. And I just had a conversation with a client last night. And she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. So by using your program, I was able to show her pension or social security and what her investments would provide her. And it came out that she was working for $1.18 an hour. And she was astounded by that. And she said I am retiring June of this year. So I was really able to use those numbers and tell her what that number was, and her making $1.18 an hour for all the aggravation she had to go through at work was not exciting to her at all. So she was--she checked out. She said "I'm putting in my papers now." And it's a conversation I had just last night. So that's how I engage them. I mean, financially, hers was a trigger, but other people they're not psychologically ready. They don't know. I've had a lot of clients tell me or tell my other clients, they told me I would know, when the old teacher told me, I would just know when I was ready to retire. And that's what ends up happening. They just know it's time for me to leave. And some of it I mean, the majority of its financial but the other part is psychological. So I'm not a therapist, so I help them with just the financial numbers.

Ed Dressel:

Yes, that can be a shock when you tell them you're ready to retire now financially, but emotionally, are you ready? But there's a difference between having to go to work and wanting to go to work.

Alberto Gaglianese:

Yes, Yep. Yep. And a lot of teachers tell me that they don't want to go through the motions. I don't want to go through--I don't want to be there and go through the motions if I don't have to. So I said, "Well, that's an indicator to me that it's time. If you're just going through the motion. If you're financially set, then that's to me, it will be a trigger, but I'm not them.

Ed Dressel:

Sure. How do you define success for the client?

Alberto Gaglianese:

I think defining success is really having clients--me helping them get to their goals. One of my goals I have for my clients--and they may not have it for themselves until I pointed it out--is not to have any debt in retirement--credit card debt and all those types of debt. I even have some who retire and have student loan debt still, after 25 years, because they went back out for grad, got their master's and went to graduate school things, of that nature. So they budget along and they want to pay it off even through retirement. I think one of the things I tell them to do is you'll have a better retirement and you'll be able to do a lot more things if you don't owe anybody anything. So I try to have them with no more than a five year mortgage when they're done left and then all their other bills just taken care of by their pension and social security and they're savings. So I mean, getting them to get to their goals. I'm pointing things out that they may not see, is what I would define as success.

Ed Dressel:

What's the best way to help a client?

Alberto Gaglianese:

Help them accumulate assets to their goals, keeping them on track, holding their hand when the market is crazy going down 40% like last March. I had a bunch of clients call me wanting to get out and thank God they didn't. And I'll always tell the story back in '08 that I had three clients pull out. One of them and went back in and the other two will never make up for losses in their lifetime. And they're still sitting in the money market today. That bothers me. I remember that story sometimes more than the people who get to their goals, because it's just--it's a very frustrating thing for me. And I try my best to get them to get to their goals. But in that case, they're still sitting in cash because they were overwhelmingly fearful of the market.

Ed Dressel:

You work with a group of advisors, right and oversee a team.

Alberto Gaglianese:

I do. I work with a team. I have a partner, Rian. She--I actually mentored her for five years when she first started in the business. Now we're partners. She's my succession plan. On top of that, I have two, what we call junior agents. And they help us go in and do presentations at schools when, after COVID we can, and they help grow the business. And then I have one more coming on board, which is actually my son. He's got to his last test, I think is in June, and then he'll be on board. And that'll be three junior agents. And we actually are looking for one more. So we are--we do plan on growing. And I do plan on retiring probably within the next 10 years and have them take over everything while I go to the B phase and send them postcards.

Ed Dressel:

Yes. When you bring on junior agents, and there's always a risk when you bring them on, rather than just selling product, selling a need. In an analyst, how much does TRAK help you in that context?

Alberto Gaglianese:

One of the things that the junior agents need is a process. And I think you make it easy enough in your TRAK program for them to follow the process. The client answers the questions and of course, we do some training, but at the end, they see the result, they see what their, what their goals going to be. And it really keeps them on track. And when you save that, you come back the next year, or the next six months when you go back to review with the client, and there it is again. And you're talking about increasing another $100 per pay and what that'll do, and it keeps them on track. And it keeps my staff on track. It keeps the juniors on track. And, you know, when they asked me questions, I go back to TRAK. TRAK answers that question. Let's go back and look at where it answered that question so that they can learn how to do and explain to the client. But it really does. It's a real good sales format for getting the client to their goal and how to get there. I think we've kept more clients since I've got TRAK than I had before. It's just --it's a great tool. I mean, it really does do its--and really does do its job as far as I'm concerned.

Ed Dressel:

And I'm listening to you and I are you using TRAK in front of the client interactively?

Alberto Gaglianese:

Yes. Yep. I will ask the questions. And I'll turn my computer around my, I have a laptop and I go through the whole process. And then I turn to them and I say, "Here, see the red? We got to erase the red in that bar graph." And go to another page, and it tells them how much you need to put away per pay to do that. And then they hand me a paycheck stub and I can do paycheck analysis for them and how much you're going to lose in taxes and how much it doesn't cost them--it won't cost them the whole $100 out of their paycheck. And we go through that process too. So some people are a little easier. Okay, I'll do that. Because I can afford to do that. Some people are on a tight budget. So it takes a little bit more using the programs and the tools you have. Using the Paycheck Analysis does that. And it tells them that if they wait two years or three years or five years how much more they're gonna have to put away. And that's a real telltale also, because it lets a client know that that number is not going to grow. It's going to grow because every year you got to make up for what you didn't put in. So that's another part of the program that we utilize.

Ed Dressel:

So you're talking about showing the client the red in the chart, and then getting a graph. They need to do something. A lot of people are trying to get clients off their heels and activity and helping them engage. Do you find that engaging for clients? And if it is, why does that engage your client versus handing them a static report?

Alberto Gaglianese:

Well, I think it's it's interactive, because I can actually say, "Listen, if I change it, if you started at $300 a pay, you would have this much at the end of retirement." Or to do $300 dollars of pay, you don't have to retire at 60. You could retire at 57. So what--which which way appeals to you. Though, some clients when they're 25 years old, 28 years old, are coming in, they don't--they're not thinking about retirement. The reason they start the 403(b) and 457 plan is because somebody around them is saying get this started early because it'll make a big difference later. I call them the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders are telling them do it. They have no idea why. And then I answer the why question. This is why you're doing this. And to get to your goal, you're going to need to do X Y Z. Now, a lot of my clients don't really get serious until they get married or have a family or decide they're not going to get married and not have a family. Then I think they get real serious because now they're not in it alone. Or if they are in it alone, they have to step up--step it up because they got to take care of themselves. So, I mean, it works for either married or not married individuals, and it really does hit home and it does show them that process. And I have--I use the "what if's" by changing it quickly, and they can see this is what it will be if you did this. And they get it. It's a real number to them. And it--I think it encourages them. I have a secretary at one of my schools and I said, "Listen, just increase three or four dollars every time, every year you get a raise." She says, "I don't make that much money." I said "No, you did the minimum 25. Like increase it two or three or four dollars every year just a little bit." I know--I mean, she's up to about $80 pay, and she's got a nice little pot of money and she never knew--and I told her--you'll never know how you got to $80 a pay or how, you know, how you increased it. But she's $5 here $3 there. She's been doing it for 20 years. She's got a nice little tiny sum that she thought she'd never had by just increasing it a couple dollars. So you don't have to go from $25 to $300, but in her case, she was just trying to accumulate money so she could enjoy retirement to some degree. And she wasn't, she doesn't make a lot of money today. She didn't make a lot of money then but she found a way to make a couple bucks every time she got a raise in September.

Ed Dressel:

And those are the retirement success stories I hear from advisors like you that I really enjoy hearing. Helping the people put a little bit of money away and increase it over time. And in retirement they have a smile on their face. And everybody goes, "How did you do that?" And they had a great advisor helping them day by day. Persistent, consistent. Well, Alberto, I really appreciate you taking the time to share a little bit about your business today. I wish you the best as you move forward and your son the best as he comes on board. And in 10 years as you move forward towards retirement. I wish you all the luck.

Alberto Gaglianese:

Well, I appreciate it. Thanks Ed

Ed Dressel:

Thanks for taking the time.