DAPHNE, Ala., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "We call ourselves the 'Gray-hair Group,'" Jim Byrd says jokingly, describing the team of professionals he has assembled to create truly comprehensive retirement plans for his company, Safe Harbor Financial Services, LLC. His "gray haired" group is a gathering of experienced legal, tax, and financial advisors who come together to cover everything from income during retirement to estate planning, with an eye to ensuring maximum tax efficiency.
Byrd himself has 30 years of experience in the financial industry to add to the mix. Before he founded Safe Harbor Financial Services in 2005, he worked in the insurance industry with MetLife – acquiring Leader's Conference status in his first year and quickly becoming the number-one agent for the Alabama and Mississippi regions – then became a field training consultant, and later lead his own MetLife branch in Mobile, Alabama to a Top Ten Position within the United States. In the late '90s he joined Principal Financial Group where he again became the number-one sales manager in the company. Although success found Jim Byrd early in his career, he says he wouldn't trade it for where he is today: "I'm at the pinnacle of my career now. We've got a beautiful office and a great staff. And, I'm no longer a captive agent."
A "captive agent" is an insurance agent who only works for one insurance company and cannot recommend products outside of those that company sells – whether or not other products would be better suited for a particular client. Byrd says "I'm either fee-based or commission based or both. That's the way I like it because that makes me unbiased. I don't represent any one company – I represent my clients now."
Byrd has spent hours researching the best products for his clients: "I like that. Having been a captive agent for many years, you have to sell that company's products and they may not be the most competitive. Now I'm free to find the best possible products." It's his dedication to his clients that has boosted Safe Harbor to becoming one of the premier agencies in South Alabama, voted small business of the year in 2012 by the local chamber of commerce. "The biggest issue is trust. If the trust is there and you have the right products, it's all academic," he says.
As an Investment Advisor Representative, holding insurance licenses in Alabama, Florida, Indiana and Mississippi, Byrd understands that a solid retirement plan, one which ensures lifetime income, requires more than even his considerable expertise. So he began the process of setting up a team of trusted advisors who are experts in their fields.
His team is a truly impressive group of professionals, including a CPA, an estate planning attorney with over 30 years' experience who was a gubernatorial candidate, and an estate planning attorney who is also a judge. They're all part of Byrd's holistic approach, which he says is the only responsible approach to have: "If you're not doing tax planning with your clients and making sure their wills and trusts are right, you're not doing your clients justice." His in-house and referred services cover retirement planning, wealth accumulation, asset protection, tax planning, long term care, estate planning, IRA legacy planning, trusts, life insurance, and RIA and 401(k) rollovers, among others.
Byrd says that in this economy, "You've got to think outside the box and look outside of traditional investments to accomplish these needs," adding "I'm not afraid to offer alternatives." One of Byrd's favorite alternatives is the fixed index annuity, which he believes is a key tool to help retirees weather the coming storms. Byrd explains, "Annuities, right now, are one of the few viable income sources left – fixed and hybrid annuities are the best I've found. When people come in and get a fair appraisal, they love the product." Byrd says his clients are more than willing to give up some liquidity for the growth and safety annuities can provide. As he likes to tell his clients and seminar participants, "Safety, growth, and liquidity – You pick two. You can't get all three."
Read more at: http://www.safeharfin.com/about2.html
SOURCE Jim Byrd