Meet LuAnn Craft Jarnagin, Director of Retirement Plans for WMG Financial, a boutique wealth management firm. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, LuAnn works with clients offering 401(k) and 403(b) plans, typically with assets of up to $25 million. LuAnn discovered TRAK after she made a career shift from human resources to retirement planning. Today, LuAnn serves about 30 retirement plans across multiple states.
“I work with both the plan sponsors and the participants. TRAK is a valuable tool in one-on-one meetings with participants. TRAK shows, in real time, the difference between saving 5% versus 10% over 25 years,” says LuAnn. To encourage savings, LuAnn suggests that participants increase their deferral each year on their birthday. She then uses TRAK to demonstrate how the annual increase alters the participant’s nest egg—and that typically leads to covering the gaps in their desired retirement income.
“I tell participants, ‘Don’t think of retirement as the day you sign up for Social Security. How you’ve saved through your working years will give you options and freedom.’ If participants get passionate about how saving more will impact their retirement years, then they are going to change their current saving habits,” explains LuAnn.
Instead of just running reports, LuAnn works interactively with her clients within the TRAK software. “I love using this tool interactively, because telling participants to save more does nothing. But if they can see how a 1% or 2% increase will change their balance over time, that changes things,” explains LuAnn.
For LuAnn, TRAK’s Quick Gap kick-starts the discussion about how participants will use their retirement savings. She uses TRAK’s Quick Gap to illustrate a year of retirement for her participants. “I show them the account values they could anticipate if everything continues status quo. It’s usually a big number, but the reality is that most people will have 20-35 years in retirement and they have to be strategic in the distribution phase. Often there’s a red bar, which means they won’t have enough desired income,” explains LuAnn. This illustration often drives a discussion about consolidating other assets, such as money left behind in old 401(k) plans or IRAs.
“I like that TRAK is an objective way to demonstrate a participant’s retirement outlook. And TRAK offers great value. It’s easy to justify the cost, because many times discussions will lead to other business opportunities outside the 401(k), such as rollovers from other plans,” says LuAnn.