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Retirement Wealth Advisors Review

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Retirement Wealth Advisors

Retirement Wealth Advisors, Inc.

Retirement Wealth Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only financial advisor firm that ranks on SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisor firms in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With just over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 223 financial advisors on staff, this is a bona fide large advisory firm. Despite what its name might suggest, Retirement Wealth Advisors offers much more than just retirement planning. It also provides a number of investment and financial planning services to its clients, who are primarily individual investors.

Retirement Wealth Advisors Background

Jason Wenk founded Retirement Wealth Advisors in 2005 and served as its CEO and president until 2018. However, despite his exodus from the firm, Wenk still principally owns it and serves as an advisor to the board. Wenk is also the founder of FormulaFolio Investments, another firm that ranks on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Grand Rapids.

The team of advisors at this firm boasts certifications like certified estate and trust specialist (CES), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered life underwriter (CLU), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and retirement income certified professional (RICP).

Retirement Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Retirement Wealth Advisors has over 19,000 clients, almost all of whom are individuals with and without a high net worth. However, its client base extends beyond individual investors, as it also works with trusts, estates, businesses, charitable organizations, pension plans, profit-sharing plans and investment advisors.

You must have at least $25,000 in investable assets to work with Retirement Wealth Advisors. In some cases, though, the firm may waive this requirement.

Services Offered by Retirement Wealth Advisors

Although retirement planning and account review are Retirement Wealth Advisors’ main focuses, it offers services beyond those. This includes:

  • Investment and asset management
    • Discretionary and non-discretionary continuous portfolio management
    • In-depth evaluation of clients’ personal financial plans
    • Regular rebalances and ongoing account supervision
    • Asset allocation recommendations
    • Constant assessments of the market 
  • Financial planning
    • Net worth statements
    • Cash flow analysis
    • Investment account review
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • 401(k) optimization
    • Annuity stress tests
    • Strategic tax planning and minimization
    • Insurance policy review and recommendations
    • Education fund planning
    • Mutual fund analysis
    • Hold/sell recommendations for individual securities
  • Variable annuity asset allocation
    • Multi-strategy allocation planning

Retirement Wealth Advisors Investment Philosophy

Retirement Wealth Advisors creates fully customized investment portfolios for each of its clients. This involves tailoring investment choices to each client’s personal risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs. To refine each of these details, the advisor will have an in-depth discussion with the client about his or her current financial situation and future goals.

Even with this level of personalization, the firm does have a number of investments that it tends to use in client portfolios. These can include some combination of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), equities, warrants, annuities, corporate debt securities, CDs, commercial paper, municipal securities, investment company securities, U.S. government securities, options contracts, futures contracts and interests in partnerships.

Fees Under Retirement Wealth Advisors

Retirement Wealth Advisors doesn’t utilize a uniform fee schedule, but rather it decides fee rates on a case-by-case basis. For reference, RIA in a Box completed a study in 2018 that showed the average investment advisory fee is 0.95% of a client's AUM.

For financial planning, the firm’s most commonly used service, clients are charged based on how much money they’re investing and the complexity of their needs. The firm’s financial planning fees will never exceed $5,000, though. You may need to pay a 50% retainer at the time you sign an agreement with the firm.

Retirement Wealth Advisors does not make its fee schedule for its investment management services publicly available. However, it does indicate that rates are determined individually based on the nature of each client’s advisory needs. The firm divides its annual fee into 12 monthly charges that are based on the average daily balance of a client’s account over the prior month. If a client’s portfolio is worth $100,000 or less, the firm may also charge a $50 administrative fee.

What to Watch Out For

The Form ADV that Retirement Wealth Advisors has filed with the SEC shows that the firm has a clean legal and regulatory record.

Opening an Account With Retirement Wealth Advisors

Retirement Wealth Advisors has a very strong web presence, so its website is a great place to start if you’re looking to become a client. Since its advisors are scattered across the country, the firm has built an online advisor directory that will allow you to easily find advisors in your area.

Although this firm is headquartered in Michigan, it also employs advisors in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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

Tips for Managing Your Retirement Income

  • If you want to maximize your retirement savings, it might be worth consulting with a professional. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. Get started now.
  • Instead of searching for ways to accrue more assets for your retirement, perhaps consider moving to a more affordable locale. This can be a great way to save some money, especially for those who are nearing retirement and don’t have the time or means to increase their income. SmartAsset has taken the time to figure out which states are the most cost-friendly for retirees.

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