RetireOne® and Aria Retirement Solutions, Inc. were formed for the express purpose of challenging the status quo within the insurance/annuity world by leveraging proprietary technology to broadly expand the distribution of guaranteed retirement income solutions to the many consumers approaching or in retirement who would never consider a traditional annuity.
The leadership team at RetireOne comprises a tremendous depth of RIA-channel experience with veterans from Charles Schwab, TransAmerica, and Jefferson National/Nationwide—Companies on the leading edge of RIA-focused insurance products and technologies over the last 2 decades. Founded in 2010 by former Schwab chief legal counsel for insurance, David Stone, RetireOne was conceived of as the distribution arm and technology hub for a new breed of stand-alone living benefit called a ‘contingent deferred annuity,’ or ‘CDA.’
This CDA was created to address an underserved market: clients of RIAs in need of retirement income guarantees. Initially, David researched CDAs for Schwab, and when Executives there passed on the idea, he decided to pursue it on his own. In his time as chief legal counsel at Schwab, he saw an opportunity in the tremendous growth of fee-only advisors who were also fiduciary wealth managers.
Knowing that RIAs hated insurance products in general, and annuities specifically, his vision was to deconstruct the annuity—Decouple the insurance component from the investments to offer improved flexibility and control, in a fee-based structure.
This CDA would then function as a wrapper that RIAs could leverage in client 401(k)s, IRAs, and brokerage accounts to provide a guaranteed income stream. He also knew that as a growing percentage of the 10,000 boomers who retire every day (Source: Pew Research Center) are on the hook to fund a greater portion of retirement on their own, the need for ‘personal pensions’ will only grow. To reach the $1-2 trillion in custodial assets insurance companies had failed to penetrate with income solutions, he would need to employ innovative technologies to connect the dots. Scott Strait, a Ph.D. and former Schwab CTO joined as co-founder. Prior to teaming up with David, Scott was in charge of building out the Schwab institutional platform.
Together, they had access to some of the best thinkers in the annuity industry. They applied their experience and insight to building technology that, for the first time, linked leading insurance carriers with top fund managers to offer a unique and flexible insurance policy for investors looking to protect retirement income.
With their team, they’ve grown the RetireOne platform into an array of fee-based insurance solutions. The platform was built to serve RIAs and fee-based advisors with a help-desk of insurance experts, a fiduciary marketplace of solutions, and the technology to connect insurance companies to advisor technologies. As more fee-based insurance solutions enter the market, RetireOne is consulting with providers to tailor them to the unique needs of investors.
Where RIAs in the past may have been forced to outsource the insurance portion of their planning practice, and cede visibility and control, they now have a platform of solutions, and a consultancy they can tap for insurance expertise. These solutions provide reassurance that investors won’t outlive their retirement savings and give them the confidence to stay the course to meet retirement investing goals.