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070 John Olsen: Annuity Royalty Shares Wisdom

Stan Haithcock
August 17, 2021
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About Fun With Annuities Episode #70

John Olsen is one of the handful, over the long history of annuities that I can honestly refer to as "Annuity Royalty." For anyone who knows John or has read his work, it's indisputable.

John's books are industry classics, and I would encourage you to read all of them. Snag the links to his books and more about his industry credentials below in his bio.

In this podcast, John really dug in on the suitability of annuities and why that is so important to understand from a consumer's standpoint. But a fascinating part of our discussion was when I asked John what he would do if he were appointed "Annuity Czar" over the entire annuity industry. He would run the show in a perfect annuity world, and the Consumer would be the ultimate winner because of his leadership. He explains, "These are investments to a degree, but most annuities are risk management tools. There are a few things you can do with risks: assume it, remove it, reduce it, or transfer it. Transfer the risk; that's what annuities do. Fixed annuities are all about guarantees."

John's other topic is the new "Buffered Annuity" strategy that many banks and brokerages are pushing on their client base. His succinct and to-the-point answer is classic John Olsen.

To have John Olsen on my podcast was an honor and a treat. I think you will find it enjoyable and educational as well.

Brief Bio on Co-host John Olsen:

John Olsen is an insurance agent, retired estate planner, award-winning author, educator, and one of the most knowledgeable people on this planet about annuities. He has been in the industry for decades and has seen it all. He holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (1983) and the Chartered Financial Consultant (1985) designations from the American College. He has worked for several insurance companies over the years in various roles, but in 1987 he started Olsen Financial Group, where he remains President. In 2015, he closed Olsen & Marrion, LLC (as Jack Marrion, his partner, retired) and opened Olsen Annuity Education, a firm specializing in fee-only consultation and training on annuity and life insurance subjects.

John has written and taught courses in insurance; financial, retirement and estate planning; and conducted seminars for agents, planners, and lay audiences. In addition to serving his clients, John provides case consulting services to attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, and financial advisors and provides expert witness services in litigation involving annuities and investment products. John is a sought-after speaker, having given presentations to chapters of the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the Society of Financial Services Professionals to several Estate Planning Councils and other professional groups.

If you want some great information about annuities, John has something for everyone. John is co-author, with Michael E. Kitces, of The Advisor's Guide to Annuities (5th.ed., National Underwriter Co., 2017), with Jack Marrion, of Index Annuities: A Suitable Approach (Olsen & Marrion, LLC, 2011), and is the author of Taxation and Suitability of Annuities for the Professional Advisor (2014), READ THIS BEFORE Buying ANY Annuity (2019), The Advisor as Defendant: How to Keep from Being Sued Successfully, 2019, and John Olsen's Guide to Annuities for the Consumer (2015). All are available at

In this episode, The Annuity Man and John Olsen discuss:

  •        The suitability approach and consumer trust          
  •        How the annuity industry can be better          
  •        Approaching people who hate annuities          
  •        Risk management and risk transfer          

Key Takeaways:

  •        There is a considerable certainty that companies out there are determined to give the right product to their clients.          
  •        If you’re looking for a solution for your client, the agent should be able to show 3-10 companies that could get the client what they want and need.          
  •        Improving your knowledge of annuities as an agent is simple: read the contract. Don’t rely on the marketing material, read the hard words.          
  •        Here’s what you can do with risks: you either assume it, remove it, reduce it, or transfer it. Annuity allows you to transfer risks.          

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.

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