Retirement Planners of America Review - MagnifyMoney
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Retirement Planners of America Review

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Retirement Planners of America is a mid-sized financial advisory firm that specializes in retirement planning. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the firm has more than 30 advisors across over 15 offices, which are located primarily in the Southwest. It currently holds about $4.5 billion in assets under management (AUM), and takes a relatively conservative approach to asset management, with a focus on protecting retirees and near-retirees against downside risk.

The bottom line: Retirement Planners of America is an asset management firm focused on serving clients who are transitioning into retirement.

  • Portfolios use a “stop-loss” approach to minimizing risk in declining markets
  • Leadership team holds high-end certifications, including CFP, CRPC and CPA
  • No tiered fee schedule, so those with larger portfolios pay above-average rates

All information included in this profile is accurate as of October 29, 2021. For more information, please consult Retirement Planners of America’s website.

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Overview of Retirement Planners of America

The namesake host of the radio show “Money Matters with Ken Moraif” founded Retirement Planners of America in 2011. Moraif remains a principal owner of the firm, along with fellow senior advisors Charles Dyer, Jr., Elias Dragon, and Douglas Bartol.

The firm has 100 employees, and over 30 of them perform investment advisory functions. All of its senior advisors are certified financial planners (CFP) and about a third of its other advisors also hold that designation. In addition, a large majority of the firm’s advisors are chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPC).

Retirement Planners of America’s pros

  • No minimum balance requirement: While the firm may decline to work with potential customers whose assets are too small to efficiently manage, it states that, in general, it doesn’t have a minimum balance for its clientele.
  • Industry recognition: The firm has received several third-party accolades, including top 100 inclusion in Financial Advisor magazine’s RIA ranking in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In addition, founder Ken Moraif has appeared on Forbes’ list of Best-in-State Advisors in 2020 and 2021.
  • Clean disciplinary record: The firm hasn’t reported any disciplinary events over the past decade.

Retirement Planners of America’s cons

  • Retirement focus only: As the firm’s name suggests, it focuses primarily on planning for retirement. If you’re interested in other areas of financial planning, such as paying off debt or education planning, you may want to work with a firm that takes a more holistic approach.
  • Relatively high fees: The firm charges a flat fee of 1.25% of assets under management for all account sizes. While that’s within the average industry fee for portfolios of up to $250,000, the average rate also typically goes down as the account balance goes up, according to a 2021 Kitces report.
  • Potential conflict of interest: The firm shares common ownership with the insurance agency Moraif Insurance Group, and everyone who provides investment advice is also a licensed insurance agent. As such, they could get a commission for selling insurance products to you, which presents a potential conflict of interest.
  • Limited geographic footprint: While the firm has over 15 offices, they’re primarily located in Texas, California and Arizona. This may not make it a good fit if you live in another part of the U.S. and want in-person access to an advisor.

What types of clients does Retirement Planners of America serve?

The firm serves both individuals and high net worth individuals, though it serves significantly more who aren’t high net worth than are. For reference, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a high net worth individual as someone with at least $750,000 under an advisor’s management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. The firm has a focus on retirees and those getting ready to transition into retirement, particularly those age 50 and older. It also serves some pension and profit-sharing plans.

A minimum balance for investment isn’t required, but the firm states that it won’t work with clients who don’t have sufficient assets for efficient retirement planning.

Services offered by Retirement Planners of America

The firm offers a range of services focused on serving the needs of retirees and near-retirees. For those preparing to transition into retirement, the firm provides retirement planning along with retirement income tax planning, estate planning and financial planning for newly single people.

For clients who have already ended their careers, the firm helps them budget to live on their retirement income, maximize their Social Security benefits, manage taxes in retirement and handle Medicare planning and estate planning.

In addition, the firm offers a range of free seminars aimed at those transitioning into retirement. Topics include Retirement Planning for Market Uncertainty, Cybersecurity for Retirees and Medicare Basics.

To recap, here is a full list of services that the firm can offer:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
    • Social Security planning
    • Tax planning
    • Loss/divorce planning
    • Retirement income budgeting
    • Medicare planning
    • Estate planning
    • Wills and trusts
  • Personal finance seminars

How Retirement Planners of America invests your money

Since Retirement Planners of America focuses primarily on retirees, it places an emphasis on protecting assets when the market is in decline. The firm uses a stop-loss strategy that it calls “Invest and Protect,” which uses a preset target to determine when to sell investments.

The firm tailors its investment strategies to each client’s financial situation, but the stop-loss strategy means it’ll typically move all clients in or out of the market at the same time, based on trend analysis. All client assets are managed on a discretionary basis, meaning the advisor has the authority to make day-to-day investment decisions on behalf of a client.

In general, the firm builds portfolios that include mutual funds, variable annuities and fixed annuities. In some circumstances, it will also invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Fees Retirement Planners of America charges for its services

The firm charges clients a flat fee of 1.25% of assets under management. For all investments other than variable annuities, the firm offers services via a wrap fee program, so that fee will cover all transaction costs incurred on behalf of the client.

Clients may also have to pay separate fees to mutual fund or ETF managers.

Retirement Planners of America disciplinary disclosures

The doesn’t report any disclosures in the past 10 years. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisory firms must disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal actions that occured in the last 10 years that might impact a client’s evaluation of the business or management on their Form ADV filing.

For more information, visit Retirement Planners of America’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.

Retirement Planners of America onboarding process

  • Meet with an advisor: Get in touch with a Retirement Planners of America advisor to find out how they could meet your retirement planning objectives. You can do so by filling out a form on the website to schedule a meeting, or you can call the firm at 800-994-0302. If you choose to open an account, they’ll help you start the process.
  • Open an account: In order to do so, you’ll need to provide documents, such as proof of identification, and transfer the assets that you want managed by the firm. You’ll also need to authorize the firm’s discretionary authority.
  • Keep in touch: You’ll receive regular reports — at least annually — on the performance of your account, though the firm may conduct more frequent reviews if you request one. These reviews may also occur if circumstances call for it, such as year-end tax planning or market movement.

Where Retirement Planners of America is located

Retirement Planners of America has locations in five states. Specifically, its offices are in the following cities:

  • Plano, Texas (headquarters)
  • Houston
  • The Woodlands, Texas
  • Irvine, Calif.
  • St. George, Utah
  • Peoria, Ariz.
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Oklahoma City
  • Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Pasadena, Calif.
  • Austin, Texas
  • El Segundo, Calif.
  • Chandler, Ariz.
  • Coppell, Texas
  • Sherman Oaks, Calif.
  • Westlake Village, Calif.

Is Retirement Planners of America right for you?

Retirement Planners of America could be a good choice for you if you live near one of its offices and are at or nearing retirement. However, if you live on the East Coast, or want additional financial planning services or a more aggressive approach to portfolio construction, you might find a different firm to be a better fit.

Before choosing an advisor, it’s important to conduct your own research and interview potential advisors you think might be a good fit. To start your search or consider some further options, try MagnifyMoney’s financial advisor search tool.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.