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Retirement Planners of America Review

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Retirement Planners of America

Retirement Planners of America

Retirement Planners of America was co-founded in 2011 by Ken Moraif, who hosts radio show "Money Matters with Ken Moraif" and is known for calling the 2008 stock market crash. Today, the  fee-based firm, which was originally called Money Matters with Ken Moraif, manages more than $4.4 billion in assets. With headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, Retirement Planners of America is on SmartAsset's top financial advisor lists for Plano and Texas

In 2019, the firm was named one of Barron's "Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors" for the eighth time in a row. More recently, Moraif, who focuses on helping retirees and soon-to-be retirees, made news when he wrote in Kiplinger that he sold all of his client positions in equities the day before WHO declared the coronavirus pandemic. He says that his decision was prompted by the same sell signal that his mathematical formula gave in November 2007 and led to his staying out of the stock market from November 2007 to mid-2009. 

Retirement Planners of America Background

Retirement Planners of America switched to its current name in 2019. The firm is employee-owned, with founder Ken Moraif and senior advisors Elias Dragon, Douglas Bartol and Charles Dyer, Jr. acting as principal owners.

The firm employs 30 advisors who hold designations including for certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and more. General investment management and financial planning are the hallmark offerings of the firm. In addition to Plano, Retirement Planners of America has five other offices in Texas, four in California, two in Arizona and one in Oklahoma City.

Retirement Planners of America Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Retirement Planners of America works almost exclusively with individual clients, the vast majority of whom fall below the high net worth mark. The firm also manages the assets of pension and profit-sharing plans.

Retirement Planners of America does not have a minimum account size for any of their accounts. That being said, the firm's advisors may turn you away if your account balance is deemed to be too small to manage effectively.

Services Offered by Retirement Planners of America

Retirement Planners of America offers portfolio management as well as several financial planning services, including retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning and long-term care planning. If clients so choose, it does offer discretionary investment services via a wrap-fee program. The firm also runs financial planning seminars.

Retirement Planners of America Investment Philosophy

Retirement Planners of America looks to develop relationships with all its clients in order to help them meet their individual investment goals. The firm manages portfolios on a discretionary basis, but clients have significant input and can, to a certain extent, direct portfolio allocation as they see fit.

Advisors look to cut down risk and volatility by rebalancing portfolios at least once a quarter. A range of asset classes are recommended, but the firm tends to focus on mutual funds, variable annuities and other asset classes that are geared towards retirement. These mutual funds often invest in various stocks and bonds, but the firm may choose those that invest in other securities as well.

Fees Under Retirement Planners of America

Retirement Planners of America has a simple fee schedule, charging an annual fee of generally 1.25% of clients' assets under management. This fee may be higher under certain circumstances or negotiated lower at the firm's discretion. Annual fees are payable on a quarterly basis, in arrears. The firm does not charge performance-based fees.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, mutual fund or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Retirement Planners of America*
Your Assets Retirement Planners of America Annual Fee Amount
$250K $3,125
$500K $6,250
$1MM $12,500
$5 MM $62,500

At 1.25%, Retirement Planners' investment management fee is higher than the industry average of 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here

Retirement Planners of America Awards and Recognition

As mentioned earlier, the firm has been one of Barron's "Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors" for eight years running, from 2012 to 2019. 

Additionally, the Better Business Bureau has rated it an A+.

In 2019, Financial Times named Retirement Planners of America a "Top 300 Advisor."

Also that year, the firm was on Inc.'s "5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies" list.

Additionally in 2019, the practice placed #68 on Financial Advisor magazine's "Top 100 Registered Investment Advisors" list.

What to Watch Out For

Retirement Planners of America does not have any disclosures of legal or disciplinary action on its most recent Form ADV.

One thing to note: Almost all advisors at Retirement Planners of America are licensed insurance agents. As a result, they collect commissions on the sale of insurance products, which can potentially pose a conflict of interest. That said, the firm is bound by its fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With Retirement Planners of America

For Retirement Planners of America to contact you, go to its website and submit your email and phone number. Alternately, you can call the office closest to you. 

  • Chandler, AZ: (480) 462-0600
  • Scottsdale, AZ: (480) 400-7700
  • Orange County, CA: (949) 396-0100
  • Pasadena, CA:(323) 703-5750
  • South Bay/West Los Angeles, CA: (424) 290-8870
  • Woodland Hills, CA: (818) 918-6270
  • Oklahoma City, OK: (405) 395-4310
  • Austin, TX: (512) 593-7400
  • Coppell, TX: (972) 393-0376
  • Fort Worth, TX: (817) 717-8200
  • Houston, TX: (713) 255-1007
  • North Dallas, TX: (469) 246-3600
  • The Woodlands, TX: (832) 791-2300

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Financial Planning

  • It's been said that a goal without a plan is just a dream. If you need help devising your plan so you can achieve your financial goals, consider hiring a financial advisor. To find the right one for you, try SmartAsset’s free matching tool. It connects you with up to three financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. 

  • When putting together a retirement income plan, don't forget to take into account your Social Security checks. While they probably won't be enough to cover all of your expenses, they can supplement your savings. Figure out how much you have coming your way using our Social Security calculator.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research