Business Close Up: Schmitz offers insurance, annuities
It’s no secret Americans have seen changes in retirement plans over their working years. For example, companies that at one time contributed to pensions for employees may now put money into 401K accounts and other investment options that the employee must manage. Retirees may feel they need to become investment experts in order to afford to quit working. David Schmitz is an insurance agent for Northland Insurance Agency. He sells auto, home, life, health insurance but also works with annuities, matching the soon-to-be retirees with the best plan for them.
“Ten thousand people are turning 65 every day,” Schmitz said. “They should have a plan in place on how to spend down their 401K earnings, and transition to Social Security benefits.” Schmitz has a computer program that allows him to enter several factors to determine how individuals can maximize their Social Security and other benefits. “You can start taking Social Security at age 62, but with a reduction,” he said. “A number of factors go into planning such as, how long you are expected to live? How much of a reduction can you or should you take on your Social Security earnings? These are questions that need to be answered.”
Schmitz has been working in the insurance business for more than 30 years, most of those with Northland Insurance Agency Inc. “I encourage people to begin planning, or looking into options ten years before they want to retire,” Schmitz continued. “To reach more of those people, I’ve been offering class sessions through Rhinelander Community Education.”
In comparison, finding insurance coverage for a home or car may sound like a breeze. But Schmitz says there are definite advantages to working with an independent agent. “Agents are someone to bounce ideas off of, to help submit claims, give professional advice.” Some of the advice Dave says he can provide has to do with knowing about many of the companies. “There may be companies out there that are not doing well financially,” he said, “or maybe aren’t very good about paying claims. As a local agent, I am able to make clients aware of those things.”
Plus, the types of coverage insurance holders may think they need is not necessarily what they need; a dangerous scenario that may not be recognized until a claim is filed.
As a state licensed agent, Schmitz is required to complete 24 hours of continuing education annually, but said he usually takes about 100 hours a year.
Schmitz can be reached at 715-365-1746, or [email protected].