Table of Contents

090 Michael Finke: Keys to Goal Based Retirement Planning

Stan Haithcock
January 4, 2022
090 Michael Finke: Keys to Goal Based Retirement Planning

About Fun With Annuities Episode #90

C'mon man! This week's co-host is wearing a QLAC hat. YOU KNOW we're going to love what he's got to say. Welcome, Michael Finke, to the Fun With Annuities podcast for episode 90. He is a Ph.D. and professor of wealth management at The American College of Financial Services. He received a doctorate in consumer economics from Ohio State University in 1998 and a doctorate in finance from the University of Missouri in 2011. He led the Retirement Planning & Living Consortium at Texas Tech University before moving to the American College. Michael is a nationally known researcher in retirement income planning, retirement spending, life satisfaction, and cognitive aging.

We dove right into Michael's research, and I was fascinated with his work on "life satisfaction" and "cognitive aging." He factually pounded away at the importance of using a goals-based process to define a person's goals for spending, legacy, and liquidity.

Michael's focus is showing consumers how to consider the value of various products (annuities & non-annuities) to meet each specific financial goal. It's all about having a specific goals-based retirement plan, and Michael goes through a step-by-step process of customizing it to fit your needs contractually.

"The best way to approach it is, what are you gonna use the money for? Because money is just green paper. Why not begin with how you wanna live in retirement and what sort of legacy you want to lead…" —  Michael Finke

I enjoyed Michael's sense of humor and insight. His passion for helping the consumer/retiree was fresh and transparent. He truly cares, and you can't hide that. You can hear it in his voice. Michael brought the goods to this episode. I know that you will enjoy this one. I certainly did.

Brief Bio on Co-host Michael Finke:

Michael Finke, PhD, is Professor of Wealth Management, Director for the Granum Center for Financial Security, and the Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security at The American College of Financial Services. He joined The College in June 2016, having served since 2006 as a professor and PhD coordinator in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. From 1999 through 2006, he served as the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri.

Finke is a nationally renowned researcher with a focus on the value of financial advice, financial planning regulation, investments, and individual investor behavior. He was named to the 2012 Investment Advisor IA 25 list and the 2013 and 2014 Investment News Power 20. His research conducted with fellow professor Wade Pfau questioning the 4% rule of retirement planning was published in the Journal of Financial Planning and won the 2014 Montgomery-Warschauer award for most influential article. He previously won the award with Thomas Langdon in 2013. He was also selected to present his research on financial literacy and aging at the 2015 MIT Center for Finance and Policy Conference.

Finke has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and is widely quoted in many of the nation’s leading consumer publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, and Money Magazine. He also has worked on white paper research projects for companies that include MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, OneAmerica, the Society of Actuaries, and TIAA.

Finke received a doctorate in consumer economics from The Ohio State University in 1998 and in finance from the University of Missouri in 2011, and his CFP® in 2006. Source:

In this episode, The Annuity Man and Michael Finke discuss:

  • Two choices in retirement
  • The worst case scenario in retirement
  • Thrift is good until it isn’t
  • Difference between annuities and investments

Key Takeaways:

  • There’s only two things you can do with your money in retirement - spend the money and live better or pass it on. Focus on what a product will do, more than what it might do. You need a steady income guarantee at the minimum in order to enjoy your retirement.
  • The scenario you want to avoid is, for example, you live until 85 or 90 and you won’t have any money to spend to continue living. Without an annuity, you’ll be forced to cut your savings and investments into small little pieces for it to last.
  • People don’t feel comfortable spending money, so the tendency is that they don’t live as well as they should have while they could. We’ve been conditioned to believe thrift is good and it is, but accumulating without enjoying it would be a waste of life.
  • Annuities and investments are two very different things and serve two very different purposes. Never get them confused. The goal with investment is growth, while annuities provide a steady income stream and risk-transfer.

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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