Podcast | Season 1 | Episode 55

The Description

Do you know how your Financial Advisor can provide more value to you during open enrollment? Listen now to find out how. 

Jamie Cochran, CFP® | Financial Advisor 

Jamie joined Summit Wealth group recently after working as a financial advisor at a regional firm over the last decade. His career in the logistics field prior to joining the financial world opened up the opportunity for him to teach and train others. After graduate school, Jamie took this skill and applied it to guiding his clients through their own personal financial plans. Jamie and his team can clarify your options and help you make sound decisions, whether you’re retiring, running a business, or just getting started. Jamie also works with many medical professionals and regularly lectures at the Southern College of Optometry and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Stephanie Brinkman | Marketing Administrator 

Stephanie Brinkman joined Summit Wealth Group as the Marketing Administrator in February of 2021. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Graphic Design from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. 
(719) 633-4033 | 13710 Struthers Road, Suite 115, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network.

Thanks for listening! Make sure to follow us on all the socials at @summitwealthgroup, so you don't miss an episode!

The Transcript 


"Anytime that I'm meeting with a client, we're doing any type of planning. One of the things on the checklist that I want to look at is the benefits package that you have through your, your job. Welcome to the Reach You Summit podcast, where we help you navigate the path to a better, more secure future."


"I'm your host today, Stephanie Brinkman and Jamie Cochran out of our Memphis, Tennessee branch is joining me again. Hey, Jamie. Hey, Stephanie. You know what time of year it is? Open enrollment? Well, yeah, you know, I was going to say Thanksgiving. Um, and World Cup. I just had my lunch break, uh, went next door to have some very subpar soup."


"And a subpar sandwich, but an excellent 1st half from the United States national team to go up 1 mil on, uh, whales. So it was pretty exciting and to celebrate with everybody cheering on the team, but had to rush away during halftime because I knew that the world is clamoring. For information from us via the podcast.

So I needed to jump on this podcast with Stephanie. But yes, you did say open everybody's favorite time of year. If you're listening to this, and you don't know what open enrollment is, open enrollment is when a company will offer. The group benefits package, in particular, health insurance being one of the main things that people want to focus on, but it's when you are able to enroll in your health benefits and other work benefits through through your employer, which can be a daunting task, not only for.

You as somebody who might be enrolling yourself, but also for the employer to try and figure out what's going to be a fair, equitable, but also something that's not going to break the bank to provide great benefits for your, for your employees. Jamie, many people don't realize that open enrollment season presents a huge opportunity for financial advisors to add extra value in their clients lives.

What are some ways that you're able to do that? Any time that. I'm meeting with a client. We're doing any type of planning. One of the things on the checklist that I want to look at is the benefits package that you have through your, your job. For instance, people, I think, get too hung up on the 2 main things, which is, hey, what's your 401k options, and then what's your medical insurance.

And while those are 2 of the big ones are very important that we want to participate in, um, Uh, there's other, uh, benefits that you can participate in through your employer. You could have the opportunity to have employer paid long term disability insurance, employer paid life insurance. Um, the ability to participate in a health savings account, uh, also the ability to put extra money towards, uh, those different insurances as well as some other, uh, ways to participate in, uh, extra retirement benefits besides the 401k.

Depending on your employer, there might be an option for a 457 plan. So anytime I'm working with a client, I want to read through their benefits package, see what everything, um, is, some options we want to, uh, Take advantage of some of them, you know, might not be a fit for that person. But we at least want to be able to review that.

I've read thousands of benefits packages over the years, so I'm used to being able to skim through those, pick out the things that are relevant to that individual. So, um, don't think, oh, my advisor doesn't want to see that. No, we definitely want to see, uh, what are all the benefits that you have the opportunity to participate in, especially for our clients who work at, you know, large fortune 500 companies, as well as universities, any education systems, state, uh, government, lots of rich benefits that we want to make sure we're taking advantage of the opportunities that we have.

That plays a big factor when it comes into planning for financial goals and someone's future. So that's awesome that you're willing to work with clients and take a look at their benefits package with them. Yeah, for instance, some, some of our clients have pre existing health issues, which prevents them from being able to get, uh, say life insurance on their own.

So a lot of times we may have to fall back on the employer paid insurance, but also through those group plans, they can get a reasonably priced extra life insurance or extra long term disability without having to go through as strict. Um, of underwriting guidelines as you would through going and getting your own.

So that's 1, 1 thing that always want to examine and make sure that. All right. In case somebody has that pre existing condition, we still want to make sure that they have some adequate coverage, or at least as much as they can get through going through their group employer. And it's really important also just note, um, understand when you leave that employer, there are some benefits you can take with you, some benefits you cannot take with you.

For instance, like life insurance can't take that with you. Jamie. So one of the big things when it comes to open enrollment is medical insurance. Tell me how you can help a client with that. Yeah, once again, just like everything else, uh, we want to read through the available plans that our clients have.

Does it make sense for them and their family? Um, also, sometimes you might have spouses who can rely on the, uh, Other person's employer's medical insurance. So sometimes we want to do a comparison, which one is going to be a better fit, which one is going to give the family the better coverage, but also going to fit within their budget.

So we want to make sure that makes sense also for our clients who are approaching age 65. And at that point, obviously, you can get on Medicare, but sometimes people are still employed and we want to make sure we rate way those pros and cons and say, okay. How do we want to, uh, do we want to stick with the employer?

Do we want to go ahead and get on Medicare? How is that going to affect their overall cash flow? And make sure that we make, make the right decision because Medicare can be fantastic. We just want to make sure that, uh, we don't miss out on anything and, uh, make a decision that could cost you some more money.

Or leave you exposed for any type of lack of coverage. Yeah, that's a great point. You want to make sure that you're properly covered. You want to be over covered, but then also under covered. Yeah, and you know, we don't, it's Summit Wealth Group. We don't sell health insurance or anything like that. And there's a lot of ins and outs of it that, you know, quite frankly, I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm not qualified to, to get into a lot of those details.

However, I can give an overall. A 30, 000 foot view. And then if there's any time that my client needs me to coordinate, uh, questions or, uh, get the answers from, um, from another source, we have other colleagues that we can lean on to help get some clarification with, for answers, whether it's, uh, health insurance or Medicare issues and things like that.

So there's other brokers that that I can reach out on and lean to, and I'll sit down with in a client's meeting. We'll go to their office together. Um, for a specialist who does that and make sure, Hey, does this plan fit for my overall financial plan? I love that. I think that's one thing that makes Summit Wealth Group unique is going that extra step and meeting with the client and their agent and just making sure everyone's on the same page.


"That's definitely one way that summit adds value to our clients lives. Yeah, good point. Yeah, and it's definitely not the most fun thing to go over, but, you know, if anybody's ever had to go to the hospital or had a major illness, you know, just how important it is to make sure, hey, does this make sense? Do we have something that's going to keep my family protected?

And you know, whether it's sitting down with. a client's attorney, a client's accountant, a client's insurance broker. We're always happy to facilitate that and participate in it and make sure that everybody's on the same page and giving advice that's always at the end of the day going to be in the client's best interest."


"Awesome. Thank you, Jamie, for quickly covering open enrollment. Thank you for your time today. Go USA in the World Cup!




"Thanks for listening to the Reach Your Summit podcast brought to you by Summit Wealth Group. If you've enjoyed this episode and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others and subscribe so you don't miss an episode. If you have any questions or topics that you'd like us to cover, Please email info at summitwealthgroup. com. Thanks again."