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Podcast Special Feature

064 Christine Benz: Avoiding Blind Spots in Your Retirement Portfolio Planning

Fun With Annuities Podcast Celebrity Series

July 6, 2021

About Fun With Annuities Episode #64

Each week I bring you the best in their field, and this week is no different. This week's celebrity co-host is Christine Benz, Morningstar's Director of Personal Finance and someone I have been a massive fan of for years because she makes complex investment topics clear and accessible to the average reader.

No surprise that Christine was named to Barron's inaugural 100 Most Influential Women in Finance list in 2020 and then again in 2021. I got to know Christine when we were both speaking at national consumer financial shows. Her rooms were always packed, and she would cover certain annuity types during her presentation. That led to people coming by my booth and asking me if what she said was "on the money." The answer was yes. She tells it like it is. I enjoyed this podcast with Christine because we talked about real issues, real situations, real problems, and real people. Christine shares, "If you're looking for something that will zig when your stocks zag, you probably want to ensure that your portfolio includes that cash and treasury bonds."

Brief Bio on Co-host Christine Benz:

As a senior columnist for, she focuses on retirement and portfolio planning for individual investors every day. Christine also co-hosts a podcast for Morningstar, The Long View, which features in-depth interviews with thought leaders in investing and personal finance. She is a frequent public speaker and is widely quoted in the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, CNBC, and PBS.

You may have also read one of her highly respected books, including 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. You can follow Christine on Twitter @christine_benz, and you can read some of her most recent articles on Morningstar.

She is a frequent public speaker and is widely quoted in the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, CNBC, and PBS.

Benz holds a bachelor's degree in political science and Russian/East European studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a board member of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy. Benz is also a member of The Alpha Group, a group of thought leaders from the wealth management industry from across the country. In her free time, she works with underprivileged women to improve their understanding of personal finance concepts.

The bottom line, Christine Benz is a rock star when it comes to all things related to personal finance. You are going to love this podcast with Christine.

In this episode, The Annuity Man and Christine Benz discuss:

  • Why Christine is so passionate about financial education and retirement portfolio planning.
  • Why decumulation is not bad (and when it is a good thing).
  • Retirement blind spots to be aware of.
  • Staying mindful of additional, variable costs in your spending plan.
  • Bucket approach investing and portfolios.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your portfolio doesn't know whether your withdrawals are coming from income or from selling appreciated securities, what matters is that you are not taking out too much.
  • People tend to overestimate our ability and desire to continue working and, often, retire earlier than they originally expected to.
  • There is power in diversification in your income portfolios.
  • The products under the annuity umbrella are incredibly varied. The type of annuity that is best for you depends on what your needs are.  

Fun With Annuities Podcast is hosted by America’s Annuity Agent®, Stan Haithcock, The Annuity Man®. Hear brutal annuity facts with no sales pitches from the top independent agent in the country, licensed in all 50 states. Author of 7 books, Stan dives deep on all annuity types and strategies. It’s fun, learning the contractual truths on how annuities actually work and if they’ll fit your personal retirement lifestyle.

Listen in on how you can be livin’ the reality, not the dream. Listen and subscribe on Libsyn, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Spotify.