Ian O’Brien on Financial Education in Institutions

Ian O’Brien on Financial Education in Institutions


On this episode of The Big Plan on Campus, Thomas talks with Ian O’Brien who is the Education Specialist here at BerganKDV in our retirement plan solution.

Ian kicks off the conversation by sharing his career journey. He started in financial planning services and worked in retirement plan services while going to school and getting his masters to be an English teacher at night. He then began a career as a middle school English teacher. After seven years of doing that, he wanted more time with his kids and moved into his current role of an Education Specialist for retirement plan services. He works with clients on an annual and recurring basis to helping them with their 401(k) plan.

After discussing Ian’s professional and educational background, he and Thomas talk about what a client can expect when they partner with Ian and the multiple educational services we  provide. They then  discuss how Ian advises and educates on the allocation of a client’s investments. Everyone has an investment profile which is specific to them. He evaluates this specific investment profile and then guides the employee to match their risk and investment profile. Diversification is also a big topic of conversation and Ian talks about the Enron scandal that happened 20 years ago and how we can learn from something like that and what diversifying means for a retirement fund.

Thomas and Ian transition into talking about life events and how they correlate with a retirement plan. Ian discusses the importance of checking beneficiaries and what life events can affect who your beneficiaries are. Ian mentions how savings rates are another aspect of account management and the amount you need to save to replace 70-85% of your income in retirement. Other common questions Ian gets during his meetings with employees are on budgeting, withdrawals, social security, Medicare, and lately crypto currency. Why can’t I put bitcoin in my 401(k) plan? Ian explains why.

To wrap up their discussion, Ian emphasizes his passion for his role and being an educator. He loves that he is able to equip his clients with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their financial and retirement planning decisions for their employees.

On this week’s episode for the financial planning educational opportunity Thomas talks about double checking your beneficiaries! For more details, listen until the end of the episode!

Interested in learning more about financial planning in the field of education? Subscribe to Thomas’s podcast to be first in the know when a new episode launches or schedule an introduction call with Thomas!