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Retirement Planning: Understanding Your Options

June 04, 2021

Retirement Planning: Understanding Your Options

The right financial planner can make all the difference when it comes to retirement investing. We asked a panel of financial professionals from MMBB for their insight on this topic. MMBB Financial Planning Director Colin Nass,  Service Center Director Keith Davenport, and Financial Planning Specialists Alina Parizianu and Alex Kim share what you need to know.

Let’s talk a bit about MMBB — what services are available for clergy members?

Colin Nass: MMBB has one purpose: improving our members’ financial wellness. As part of this mission, we offer benefit plans for churches and faith-based organizations. Members in our plans have several investment options available to them, as well as access to comprehensive financial planning. In addition to investing for retirement, our Comprehensive Plan also provides life and disability insurance.

Alina Parizianu: MMBB helps members set financial goals, prioritize them, and work towards pursuing and achieving them. We build a plan together, whether it’s a retirement goal, debt management goal, or a college savings goal. As a team, we understand the challenges pastors face and work with them to alleviate financial stress, from immediate, pressing goals — like eliminating credit card debt or preparing to pay IRS back taxes — to saving for a home, post-parsonage, while also having enough saved for retirement.

Alex Kim: MMBB provides retirement solutions to our clergy members, including a 403(b) retirement savings plan, group disability insurance, group life insurance depending on the retirement plan chosen, and one-on-one financial guidance through our financial planning specialists. MMBB has built a strong reputation of partnering with our members for more than 100 years. During that time, we’ve been pioneers in clergy employee benefits, focusing on our members and aligning ourselves with their financial goals.

Keith R. Davenport: MMBB provides insights and guidance to our members through a team of senior benefits specialists in our Service Center. They provide information on MMBB plan enrollment to new pastors, lay persons and churches and assist with settling clergy member accounts at retirement. The Service Center works with beneficiaries after the death of a member and answers questions about investment options available. The Service Center also regularly updates member personal contact information with MMBB. MMBB’s unique history and connection with the American Baptist Church makes us well-positioned to assist clergy. Ministry is at the foundation of our service mission to clergy. We are servant financial professionals.

I see that you all carry the CFP® designation. What should people be aware of when dealing with a CFP® professional?

Nass: Anyone can use the titles “financial planner” or “financial adviser.” Only those who’ve fulfilled the CFP® Board’s rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional. This includes a comprehensive CFP® certification exam and ongoing continuing education classes. Moreover, MMBB CFP® professionals act as fiduciaries; therefore, we act in a member’s best interests.

Parizianu: Right. As part of their certification, CFP® professionals commit to the CFP® Board that they will act as a fiduciary. This means we act in MMBB’s members’ best interests, at all times when providing financial guidance.

Davenport: As a CFP® professional, the quality of holistic guidance provided to members is aligned with their financial goals. The CFP® designation should give our members confidence that they’re working with servant professionals who are held to high standards.

Kim: That’s true. Our planners provide something few financial advisers offer — unbiased guidance. We’re not incentivized to sell specific products or services; our loyalty lies with the client, first and foremost. So, when working with any financial adviser, be sure to ask if they’re acting as a fiduciary. Also, there are no additional fees for working with MMBB’s financial planners. Access to financial planning is a benefit of membership!

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