Whether they’re discussing taxes, Social Security claiming strategies, or controlling the distribution of retirement assets, the nine members of Transamerica’s Advanced Markets Group have the knowledge and experience to help financial professionals deliver the best service to their clients.
Between them, they hold 13 CFP®, CLU®, and ChFC® certifications, two law degrees, one M.D., an MBA, and a master’s in law in taxation. But we want you to get to know the people behind the credentials.
When speaking with financial professionals about longevity, Chris McGovern can simply point to his family tree.
He had a great-great-grandmother who lived to 106 and a great-grandmother who reached 101. Connecting the dots between extended cousins and his fraternal great-great grandma, six generations could have gathered to pose for a selfie (if selfies were a thing in the 1980s).
“People underestimate their longevity,” McGovern said. “They always do.”
As a director with Transamerica’s Advanced Markets Group, McGovern understands the impact longevity can have when people are creating a financial strategy.
If you take a married couple age 65 today, there’s a 50% chance one of the spouses will live to be at least 92, according to the Society of Actuaries.
“We have people on their own trying to plan for a 25-, 35-year retirement,” McGovern said. “That’s a lot different than it was a few generations ago. If you want to retire at 65, what if you live to 95? What if you live to 100? It has to start sinking in that people are living longer.”
McGovern, now in his fifth year with Advanced Markets, stresses that when speaking with financial professionals. He also emphasizes the importance of estate planning, commonly misconstrued as an exercise limited to the ultra-wealthy.
“People look at estate planning and think, ‘That’s what rich people do.’ The reality is, if you have any assets — a home, retirement accounts, etc. — you should consider an estate plan,” he said. “Who do you want to get your assets when you’re not here? How do you want them to receive those assets? And do you have a plan in place if you were to become incapacitated or get sick? Maybe it takes an hour to put together. Maybe it takes a couple of years.”
A former financial advisor and annuity wholesaler, McGovern recently earned his Accredited Estate Planner® designation. It was the latest achievement in a career that began a few years before the Great Recession hit in 2008-09.
Nine years into the bull market, McGovern urges financial professionals to be prudent when working with clients, particularly those nearing retirement.
“People get in the mindset that things are going to be good forever,” he said. “If you showed a History of the Markets chart to a 5-year-old and said, ‘Which way do you think this line goes next?’ it’s pretty obvious which way most people would say it’s eventually going to go. What if you’re 62 when the recession happens? What do you do now? Do you have less-risky assets to ride out a downturn in the market?”
Raised on a 2,500-acre sugar beet, wheat, and soy bean farm in Hallock, Minnesota, less than 20 miles from the U.S.-Canada border, McGovern was driving a tractor by the time he was 6. Instead of becoming a third-generation farmer, he took an interest in business and finance.
After graduating from Minnesota State-Moorhead, he spent two years working as a financial advisor in Chicago before moving to Colorado in 2007. The move west allowed him to pursue his passion for hiking, kayaking, and skiing. Last summer, McGovern tackled seven of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks and plans on adding eight more in 2018.
In the meantime, he urges financial professionals to work toward their career pinnacle by continuing to learn about all aspects of their industry. Millennials, in particular, are going to need help as they start turning 40 in the next few years, McGovern believes.
“They need education and guidance, but many young people don’t want to ask for help,” he said. “They think they can just go online and get investment advice, but that’s only a piece of it. That doesn’t help with IRA rules, rollover rules, Social Security, Medicare, incapacity planning — all this other stuff that comes into play. It’s this false sense of everybody thinking they’re going to be fine. They may have nothing to back that because they’ve never talked to anybody about it.”
“Rules surrounding retirement can be very tricky,” he said “Financial professionals really need to be educated in order to help guide others.”
The Advanced Markets Group has dozens of great resources that are often featured on New Age of Advice. Check back for more profiles on members of the team in the coming weeks.
Director of Advanced Markets
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