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The Retirement Authorities

The Retirement Authorities

By ABG Rocky Mountain

Join us as we interview leaders in the retirement space who thrive on the front lines of industry trends & regulations. From plan design, fee disclosure, technology, & service standards - we are your Retirement Authorities.
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What does it mean to sponsor a 401(k) plan?

The Retirement AuthoritiesDec 07, 2020

What does it mean to sponsor a 401(k) plan?

What does it mean to sponsor a 401(k) plan?

Joining us on the podcast this week, Brad Boyle and Chelsea Walker of ABG Rocky Mountain discuss what it means to start a 401(k) plan and what having a solid TPA/Recordkeeping in your back pocket can do for your business. 

#recordkeeper #plandocumentation #regulations #retirement #financialplanning #investmentmanagement #3(38) #financialadvisors #3(16) #fiduciary #responsibility #employeebenefits #bottomline #retention 

Dec 07, 202021:54
Student Debt - The Growing Problem

Student Debt - The Growing Problem

In this podcast, Amanda Hahnel the Director of Emerging Product at Fidelity talks about Student Debt. Join us as we unpack who this is affecting, why this is a growing problem in America, and what we are doing about it. 

Discover more about Fidelity - Here

Disclosure: Views expressed are as of the date indicated, based on the information available at that time, and may change based on market or other conditions. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the speaker or author and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments or its affiliates. Fidelity does not assume any duty to update any of the information.

#studentdebt #investing #retirement #finance #Financialplanning #generational #debt #inflaton #cost #CARESact #recruitment #retention #companies #responsibility #moneymanagement

Nov 30, 202019:02
How Managed Accounts Helps Participants w/ Morningstar

How Managed Accounts Helps Participants w/ Morningstar

In this short but oh-so-sweet episode, we are speaking with Julie Varga, Vice President, Investment and Product Specialist at Morningstar Investment Management. We will be discussing who Morningstar Investment Management is, what advisor Managed Accounts are, and how Managed Accounts can help participants. 

Podcast Disclosures for a third party podcast: Introduction: Julie Varga is Vice President, Investment and Product Specialist for Morningstar Investment Management LLC, a registered investment adviser and a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.

Ending Disclosure: Morningstar Investment Management’s commentary is for information purposes only and should not be considered an investment adviser. Opinions expressed are as of the date this podcast was recorded and are subject to change. Morningstar Investment Management shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from or related to the content presented and make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information presented. All investments are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Investors should seriously consider if an investment is suitable for them by referencing their own financial position, investment objectives, and risk profile before making any investment decisions. Morningstar Investment Management is not affiliated with Erica Bonser and The Retirement Authorities Podcast.  

Oct 19, 202006:26
Applying 2,300+ year old knowledge to make an impact w/ Robert J. Cruz

Applying 2,300+ year old knowledge to make an impact w/ Robert J. Cruz

Join us as we interview Robert J. Cruz, CIMA®, C(k)P®, CRPS®, AIFA®, where we travel back in time 2,300+ years to learn tactics & gain insights into a different way of being that can help all of us when it comes to our overall financial health. We discuss stoicism, the art of negative visualization, the hedonic treadmill, & the importance of Amor Fati. 

How can we set ourselves up now to make a positive impact later? How can we be more accepting of a challenge? How can we be more grateful for what we have now?  Learn the answers to these and more OR reach out to Robert and ask him yourself. 

LinkedIn -

Email -

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800.273.8255

#retirement #financialplanning #wealthmanagement #plansponsor #planparticipant #employers #employees #employeebenefits #investing #gratitude #mentalhealth #suicideprevention #future #futuremindset #goals #fate #financialadvisors

Sep 08, 202036:39
Financial Finesse & Changing Financial Lives w/ Greg Ward
Aug 26, 202027:10
Money Vehicle w/ Jedidiah Collins - The Fullback of Finance
Aug 21, 202024:48
A different approach to interacting with your clients w/ Sean Kelly

A different approach to interacting with your clients w/ Sean Kelly

Join me this week as I interview Sean Kelly, Vice President & Financial Advisor @ Heffernan Retirement Services in California. 

We discuss Sean's unique approach to interacting with clients - especially in a time of COVID-19. 

How does Sean use chickens & eggs to educate his clients? Listen now to find out. 

Connect with Sean via the links below.

Sean LinkedIn -

Heffernan Retirement Services LinkedIn -

Heffernan Retirement Services Web Page -

So at Heffernan, you know, we're so I mentioned, I joined the Air Force group, and we're, our have Heffernan financial services. We're a division of the Heffernan group. So we also have a large Insurance Brokerage arm. So there's been a lot of different experiences, you know, with COVID. We have 450 employees nationwide. And just, you know, too many clients to count. So, you know, we're trying to support and serve them, you know, in this kind of unprecedented time and being a full service financial advisory firm. You know, we have team members in Orange County, Northern California, Seattle, Oregon, Arizona, Missouri in New York. And so, you know, our type of client is is just different, right? We have manufacturing, we have nonprofits, we have retail, we have restaurants, just because we're, we're kind of, you know, we have a pretty big footprint now, but being in the retirement plan industry for, you know, 30 years, when you look at all the advisors in our group, we have, you know, a much larger combined number of years experience but at the Heffernan Financial Services Division specifically, we've been in this business for over 30 years so so we've seen a lot is the reason I bring that up, you know, we haven't seen COVID we haven't seen a health crisis pandemic like this, but we have seen ups and downs and, you know, I have talked to so many participants over the years that we, you know, kind of created a process at the beginning of this to deal with it. And we also leveraged global retirement partners. You know, that's our registered investment advisor. And it's only retirement plan advisors. So we get to leverage that brain trust of all these other men and women across the country who are dealing with the same thing. So, you know, what we've done really is become behavioral psychologists, more than financial advisors. And, you know, what I mean by that is, you know, we the calls we're getting, which is a lot from employees of our clients, you know, is really just how to handle this market volatility, not only in their 401k or their 403 B, or their nonqualified deferred comp plan or whatever we're helping them with but just in their lives in general, you know, maybe their hours were cut. Maybe they're not able to make a mortgage payment. Maybe their credit card just keeps going up and they can't get a handle on it. And all of those types of aspects of a person's financial life really tend to sort of bubbled to the surface in a crisis, like we're experiencing in a market decline, like, as we've seen. 

#retirement #finance #401k #employeebenefits #wealthmanagement #fianancialadvisor 

Jul 10, 202022:26
Employee Culture & The Future of HR w/ Jared Olsen

Employee Culture & The Future of HR w/ Jared Olsen

This week on The Retirement Authorities Podcast, we had the pleasure of chatting with Jared Olsen from Motivosity.   

We discuss everything from the future of human resources, #recruiting, employee #culture, #communication, and love languages.   If you are looking for a way to create rich employee #acknowledgment and community building system, take a look at Motivosity.

Jared Olsen LinkedIn -

Motivosity LinkedIn -

Motivosity Website -

Jul 06, 202037:21
Franklin Templeton, RISE Survey, & Innovation w/ Jessica Wilson

Franklin Templeton, RISE Survey, & Innovation w/ Jessica Wilson

This week on the cast we have the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Wilson, VP Senior Retirement Strategist & DCIO at Franklin Templeton. 

We discuss FinTek, the RISE Survey that FT conducted this year, and how Franklin Templeton is working hard to innovate in the financial/retirement space. 

Learn more about Franklin Templeton Here.

So I think a great place to start just with any conversation is, um, tell me a little bit about yourself and Franklin Templeton and how you came to be there.

Sure. Thanks. Um, and first of all, thank you so much for having me on I'm really excited about the opportunity. Um, so I actually am a relatively new employee of Franklin Templeton. I, I joined the firm in, um, February of this year, so about that four months in, um, but. I am a DCIO for the Rocky Mountain area based in Denver.

And I'm covering the Rocky Mountain States, working with retirement plan advisors on, um, on their practice, how to work better with plan sponsors and their participants, um, and Franklin Templeton. I am sure a lot of people are familiar with the name. Very large global, um, an asset manager. We were actually in the middle of acquisition of Legg Mason, um, which will put us in the, uh, top six, I believe in terms of the size of asset managers globally.

So, um, so pretty exciting. And, uh, we're doing some really innovative. Stuff. We had a new CEO, Jenny Johnson was appointed earlier this year. She's super innovative. Um, so yeah, there's a lot of, uh, exciting change on the horizon, but I'm super excited to be part of the DCIO team at Franklin. Um, I most recently worked in FinTech for the last few years, which is how I ended up getting, uh, acquainted with the DCIO team at Franklin Templeton was working on some, uh, FinTech initiatives for, um, retirement in terms of retirement, wellness and income strategies.

And. Uh, rollover strategies. So, uh, through that, that introduced to the team and had a team spot open, uh, earlier this year. And it just kinda all sound together. So super excited to be on board. Yeah, definitely. And real quick for all those who are unaware, what FinTech is. Can you tell us a little bit more?

Yeah, I always, I always just throw that term out there, just assuming I ever speak the same language. Uh, but no, uh, so FinTech is short for financial technology and it's actually an extremely broad term, um, that can really span anything that impacts a person's financial life. Um, so I, I started working for a.

Robo advisor. Um, that's actually a hybrid platform for financial advisors called robust wealth. Um, and then since HAC initiatives that we're doing, uh, with the DC team at Franklin Templeton is more geared around, um, 401ks, and in plan participants. But I mean, gosh, it really spans the whole gamut of different parts of your financial life.

*listen for the full episode*

#mutualfunds #finance #retirement #advisors #DCIO #FranklinTempleton #strategy #priorities #fintek #technology #future #budgeting #financialplanning #advice #401k #benefitsproviders #innovation #people #employees #plansponsors #planadvisors 

Jun 11, 202019:45
Putting People First w/ Erica Bonser

Putting People First w/ Erica Bonser

The tables have turned for this week's conversation where Erica Bonser, our podcast host, is put in the hot seat to discuss the importance of putting your people first & how that translates into employee benefits. Before Erica came to work with ABG as the Director of Marketing, she worked as a community & people developer at #lululemon & moved on to starting her own business where she expanded this work within small businesses in Colorado.

We talk branding, culture, feedback conversations, and mindset shifts. Don't miss out.

As mentioned in the discussion, the list of the recommended reading below.

1. Brene Brown - all her books, podcast, and TedX talks

2. Simon Sinek - Start with Why, Leaders Eat Last, Find Your Why

3. Marty Neumier - Zag, Brand Gap, designful thinking, Brand Flip

4. Donald Miller - Storybrand

5. Gino Wickman - Traction

#leadership #people #humanity #growth #growthmindset #finance #employeebenefits #brenebrown #lululemon #consulting #smallbusiness #401k #wealthmanagement #brand #simonsinek #startwithwhy #communication #feedback #story #hiring #retention #buildingblocks #designthinking #journey

Jun 05, 202025:18
MyFirestorm, the journey, & the impact of networking w/ Philip Pelto

MyFirestorm, the journey, & the impact of networking w/ Philip Pelto

Join us as we interview Philip Pelto, the owner of Firestorm, a professional networking organization that focuses on serving the business to business (B2B) market. We dive into how Philip got started, what makes Firestorm so successful, and the importance that finance plays when starting a business. 

"MyFirestorm, founded in 2005, is a business to business networking organization. We organize weekly meetings and events that are designed to help high-quality professionals meet, build relationships, and share referrals.  MyFirestorm groups and socials are typically composed of high-quality B2B salespeople, entrepreneurs, business owners, and others whose business can be influenced by networking, strategic connections, and referrals.  Guests are always welcome at meetings and socials. The goal of MyFirestorm Business Networking is to increase business for its members!  Join us for an event, have some fun, and see how we can help each other grow!"

#Businessnetworking #Strategicpartnerships #Referralgroups #Eventmanagement #BusinesstoBusiness #RelationshipBuilding #RelationshipSelling #Networking #finance #retirement #b2b #wealthmanagement #story #growth #strategy

Jun 01, 202030:14
The Key To Successful Outcomes w/ Scott Johnson
May 26, 202016:22
Marketing & Communication in the Retirement Industry w/ Jake Rushton

Marketing & Communication in the Retirement Industry w/ Jake Rushton

Join me as I interview Jake Rushton, founder of 401 JA(k)E & Vice President of TrueNorth Retirement Services in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

We challenge the traditional method of marketing #grassroots in the financial & retirement industry and encourage our audience to pivot their strategies. The one thing that COVID-19 has shown us is that if your business solely relied on gaining business by chatting over a cup of coffee, then you aren't going to make it. 

From digital marketing, brand identity, industry personality, and platforms - if you work in a service industry, this episode is for you. 

Stay connected with Jake:


May 11, 202025:19
How to COVID Proof Your Retirement Plan w/ Jeff Zobell
Apr 27, 202012:23
COVID-19 & the effects it has on those we work with w/ Shawn Oram

COVID-19 & the effects it has on those we work with w/ Shawn Oram

Join us as we discuss COVID-19 and the effects it has on the people we work with. 

Connect with Shawn via LinkedIn here to see what he is getting up to. 

Do you have questions about today's discussion? Are there any other topics you'd like us to discuss? Email the host at

Apr 17, 202015:32
COVID-19 | Feedback From The Frontline w/ Jeff Zobell
Apr 13, 202012:03
The Paycheck Protection Program - The Life Raft Small Business Need Right Now
Apr 01, 202015:03
COVID-19. How ABGRM can help & why we are starting this podcast.

COVID-19. How ABGRM can help & why we are starting this podcast.

Join me as I interview Shawn Orem, President of ABG Rocky Mountain, on COVID-19 and how ABGRM can help through this uncertain time. 

We will be discussing how advisors can support their clients while getting pushback, disproving myths, and talking all things support. 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this discussion coming soon!

Mar 30, 202013:59