Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 10:56 pm | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Business

Free Online Retirement Service Offers New Business Model

Santa Barbara investment expert Frank Troise recently showcased his new venture, My Free Retirement Report, on CNBC

Prior to going on the air, CNBC journalist Sharon Epperson analyzed her finances using an online service called My Free Retirement Report.

CNBC aired a segment last week about Santa Barbara investment expert Frank Troise’s service for baby boomers looking to retire. When Epperson tried out My Free Retirement Report, she found out she couldn’t retire until she was 90.

“She never had an advisor run the report,” Troise said. “Think about how many people know something is wrong with their finances, but are they going to fork over $3,000 to find out they are screwed? With My Free Retirement Report, they can run the report an infinite number and can choose if they want to talk to a local advisor.”

Troise came up with the idea for My New Financial Advisor, a platform that offers financial resources. Now, people looking to retire can find out their financial needs for free rather than paying thousands of dollars.

“You finally have a lifeline, and can see the hard numbers and where you stand,” Troise said. “It also immediately creates a dialogue with the end user.”

Boomers can access their FINRA-compliant report on any device through the MNFA platform, which provides a nationwide team of financial professionals to support the program. Cloud-based provider of financial planning technology eMoney Advisor manages the technology behind the MNFA platform.

Once participants fill out the questionnaire, a financial professional verifies income, expenses and investments before the report is sent back. Then, the user has the option to follow up with a local adviser, such as AmeriFlex financial consultant Thomas Goodson, that the Santa Barbara-based company RingRevenue routes them to.

“It has the makings of revolutionizing new client engagement in the financial planning industry,” Goodson said.  “It allows me to be more efficient by spending more time with my existing clients. In terms of building new relationships, it helps me to get to the issue more quickly.”

It eliminates client acquisition cost, Troise said. Firms can become members for a monthly fee and pay for each lead My Free Retirement Report provides. But not all advisors were as enthusiastic as Goodson, Troise said.

“One planner called me up (when we were testing) and was furious with me,” he said. “He said, ‘You cannot give away the report, I charge $3,500 and it’s eating away my business.’ I told him that the demand for the report is huge and they do want to talk to an adviser, but they won’t pay for the report.”

That planner joined My Free Retirement Report 12 months later, Troise added.

More than 10,000 boomers will retire each day over the next 18 years, and will change investment returns, he said.

Troise said that 97 percent of those looking to retire haven’t saved enough for their retirement, 58 percent have not analyzed their finances and 33 percent of those who have rely heavily on Social Security.

The demand is there, but the service wouldn’t have been possible without Santa Barbara’s closely-tied network, Troise said.

“When you think about it, there’s a critical mass of affiliate marketing and money in Santa Barbara, and no one figured out a worthy application,” RingRevenue co-founder and COO Rob Duva said. “Now Frank has.”

When a user from anywhere in the nation calls the number on the My Free Retirement Report site, RingRevenue routes the call to a nearby advisor. RingRevenue can give each advisor specific data about where the referrals come from, co-founder and CEO Jason Spievak said. 

“Business models change all the time, and this is one example where technology is being used to profoundly better how baby boomers and advisors come together,” he said.

While Troise recently launched My Free Retirement Report, he will debut similar services for college planning and health care this fall.

In terms of My Free Retirement Report’s impact, Spievak put it quite simply.

“Others will copy him,” he said.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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