Interview with Heather Dzielak; Head of Lincoln Financial’s RISV Group Cites Need to Reduce Product Complexity; Describes Planning Focus As Key to Compliant Sales

dzielak-oct-2005Heather Dzielak is Senior Vice President of the Retirement Income Security Ventures (RISV) group at Lincoln Financial. She is heading a unit whose stated mission is to position Lincoln as the nation’s “preeminent provider of retirement security.”

Dzielak is an executive who’s clearly on top of her game. In this wide-ranging interview, she addresses a host of issues including product complexity, distribution challenges, communications, non-traditional competitors and income-generation strategies. She also describes Lincoln Financial’s strengths in terms of balance sheet and distribution, and she provides insight into how new distribution models may evolve to meet the future needs of various market segments.

Macchia – First of all thank you for agreeing to let me interview you.

Heather Dzielak is Senior Vice President of the Retirement Income Security Ventures (RISV) group at Lincoln Financial. She is heading a unit whose stated mission is to position Lincoln as the nation’s “preeminent provider of retirement security.”

In this wide-ranging interview, Dzielak addresses a host of issues including product complexity, distribution challenges, communications, emerging competitors and income-generation strategies. She also describes Lincoln Financial’s strengths and provides insight into how new distribution strategies may evolve to meet the future needs of various market segments.

Dzielak – You’re very welcome.

Macchia – To begin, Heather, would you describe your title and role at Lincoln.

Dzielak – Absolutely. The official title that I carry right now is Senior Vice President of the Retirement Income Security Ventures Group. And it’s a new group that was formed in October of last year. The group was really the outgrowth of the more strategic work that Lincoln has undertaken over the last three years.

Former CEO Jon Boscia had a vision that the baby boomers moving into retirement are going to create some unique opportunities for the financial services industry– most particularly for insurance companies, given our ability to underwrite both mortality and morbidity risk. It’s a capability that we believe is going to be critical to helping secure retirement income for our boomer clients.

With that said, Jon asked a group of us over the last couple of years to really think about what all of this means to Lincoln Financial Group. What does it mean in a way that wraps the entire company around it? Our current strategic intent is to be the leader in retirement income security.

We did some strategic work about two years ago. And in 2007, we really began to focus more on execution – the top initiatives that we as a company need to undertake to position ourselves for the future. And out of that work came some execution items, but more importantly came the realization that this opportunity is big enough; that it warrants a group of folks who could think about it and begin to understand and watch this phenomenon on a 24/7 basis. That really was the formation of the Retirement Income Security Ventures (RISV) Group.

It was a commitment by the company, recognizing the magnitude of this opportunity and the need to have a group that sits horizontally across our company to help each of our businesses make sure we continue to position ourselves as a leader in this space. So, that’s the group that I head, and it’s going to be a very lean, agile group. If I were to describe it to someone in our industry such as yourself, it’s like an internal consulting group. We really partner with the businesses to make sure we’ve got the focus and discipline to drive the strategic intent.

Then secondarily, there will be a subset of our group that’s really going to be focusing on the future. What do we think the world will look like 2 to 3 to 5 years out? Much more in an R&D capacity. Really observing the behavior of the boomers and making sure we stay ahead of the trends that emerge as they move into their retirement years.

Macchia – Right. So what you’re describing is a group that sits cross-silo.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – I imagine that given the strategic importance of what you’re attempting to do, having a view across silos was inherently important. Is that right?

Dzielak – Yes. It was very important. It’s important to have the cross-silos seat, but also to sit on the same management team as the business leaders so that this group partners with them. When you think about driving initiatives and accountability, leadership from the highest levels and throughout the business units agreed that it’s about partnership. All of the business leaders, including myself, report to Dennis Glass.

Macchia – When you articulated the stated mission to become the preeminent provider of retirement income solutions

Dzielak – Security

Macchia – Security… Sorry, Security.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – I said to myself that’s a mighty big apple to pick.

Dzielak – Yes, it is.

Macchia – What is it about Lincoln particularly in terms of its inherent strengths or willingness to innovate – what are the qualities that you understand that you think make that possible?

Dzielak – I guess I think about a couple of things. First and foremost when you think of retirement and retirement security, I want to be clear that our mission here isn’t about just creating retirement income streams. It’s more about understanding clients’ risks in retirement and a recognition that the products that we bring to market today are uniquely positioned to help clients manage many of the risks that are of top concern to them.

I can articulate the five risks that we’re focused on. If you think about what’s unique about Lincoln, at the highest level it’s the products that we bring to market to address market risk, inflation risk, longevity risk, healthcare risk – in some capacities there are some opportunities for innovation there – and the last one we call “sources of income” risk– that’s the recognition that clients are no longer going to be able to fully retire on pensions or Social Security and that there are other forms of income that they are going to have to build into their plan.

So, I guess that one level is about our products. That is, as we tend to phrase it, our “franchise rights”. There are some innovations that Lincoln brought to market within our product categories, such as Money Guard®, which is a hybrid product to help deal with long term care risk. We have an innovation around income called i4Life®. Both of those products have been recognized in the market as innovative products that are attracting and meeting retirement income needs.

The second distinguishing feature of Lincoln that gives us the belief and comfort that we can be the leader is our distribution. We have an incredibly powerful wholesale distribution group – Lincoln Financial Distributors. And what’s unique about LFD is that they’re a distribution group with all of the product lines under common management.

When we think about retirement income security, it’s not just about an annuity play, it’s not just about a mutual fund play, it’s not just about a life insurance play– it’s about how we bring our product capabilities together to effectively meet consumers needs. We have the competitive advantage in our distribution because they all fall under common management. We’re not dealing with three or four silos of product-oriented wholesalers. They come together under common management, which gives us the unique platform to launch what we believe is important in a retirement income security plan. We also have an incredibly powerful retail distribution outlet which gives us an opportunity to actually pilot some ideas we’re already talking about in a very controlled, disciplined environment. So it’s the combination of the wholesale and the retail distribution that we believe positions us well.

The next area that we view as a competitive advantage is our employer market business. If you think about the future of retirement income security and the future of retirement for many of our clients, they’re all likely going to be coming out of some employer sponsored plan. We have a very large employer based business – 403(b) and 401(k) – which we believe are going to lead to future growth. That business today is teaching us a lot about how clients want to think about their retirement. The bulk of that business actually sits right in the sweet spot – the baby boomers . So as much as our retail distribution gives us an opportunity to study how advisors are going to meet this need, this employer market business is giving us the window directly to consumers as they hit that tipping point and realize retirement is down the road. We’ve got an interesting opportunity to study them, and we believe that they are also giving us insights that will lead to industry leadership. It’s the bench strength that’s going to be the engine that will drive retirement income security.

Macchia – What else?

Dzielak – The last thing I’d say, and this is a little bit from the conversation we had two weeks ago, one of the areas where we have a lot of improvement to do…there is a belief here at Lincoln that the winners in this game aren’t going to be about just product. They aren’t going to be just about distribution. They are going to be thinking about creating that experience for the customer. And we’ve got a new model that emerged with the integration of Lincoln and Jefferson Pilot – we consolidated all of our customer service capabilities under common leadership – we call it a Shared Services organization.

But, there is a belief and an interest in that organization to really think about how we can service our customers in a very consistent way regardless of where they are in their life stage. Whether they came to us as a participant in an employer plan or came to us as an annuity contract owner through LFD, but service them in a way that’s consistent. Again, no matter where they entered Lincoln in their life stages, or no matter if they have a life insurance policy, an annuity policy or a defined contribution plan, Lincoln has created an environment where they understand why they own our products and they understand why those products are so critical for their retirement income security. I believe we’ve got the combination of products and distribution, but also somewhat of a structure that enables us to execute more effectively than we could have years ago.

Macchia – Right. Inherent in those advantages is the reality that Lincoln is a large multi-faceted company.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – Do you think there’s an inherent competitive advantage going forward in boomer retirement on the basis of the size and breath of a company?

Dzielak – Yes, I do. I think size and scale is going to be critical. It’s much more difficult to move a bigger organization, but size and scale is so critical in the way we’re thinking about playing in this environment. If you hear what I’m saying about retirement income security, it’s about having the capital and the wherewithal to really honor those guarantees and points of security that we’re going to be promising to our consumers.

So, from a size and scale play I think distribution is going to be crucial. There are several ways to look at it – there’s breadth of distribution, but there’s also having the capital capacity to be the provider that customers truly believe can pay off on those guarantees. So size and scale do matter from a couple of perspectives.

Granted, it will challenge our nimbleness and our ability to execute. And that’s why, when I think about Lincoln, to have this unified strategic intent that drives every line of business is so critical because of our size. We need all of our 8,000 to 10,000 employees thinking the same way, so we’re not corralling stray cats. It’s really, David… it’s been kind of a refresher for a lot of folks that are on the ground here to have a single common strategy to drive to. I think it’s very unique for Lincoln, and it’s created a level of simplicity in how we think about our business which helps when you’re as big as we are.

Macchia – Heather, you mentioned advisors.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – And I know that Lincoln has a large and highly skilled advisor distribution network.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – That collides demographically into a consumer base of tens of millions of people who will be needing distribution guidance in the future. Moss Adams in a recently released LIMRA study indicated, among other things, that 70% of the industry rather, is made up of solo practitioners who don’t want to grow, and that in absolute terms there’s too few advisors for the amount of available prospects who will be needing assistance. I wonder what you think about when you hear me say that, and what you think the implications are for advisors and for other forms of distribution?

Dzielak – I completely agree with you. It’s one thing we think about a lot as we’re embarking on this work.

One thing that we believe in wholeheartedly at Lincoln is advice. I didn’t say advisor, I said advice. We’ve built a very profitable, successful business based on a face-to-face advisor relationships, which I believe will continue to be absolutely critical in the markets we operate in today. But, the reality, as you just stated … I mean there’s the whole other side of the population that either has chosen not to engage with an advisor, for whatever reasons – and we’re going to be studying that – but also the population that may never choose to engage with an advisor.

I don’t believe it’s completely about wealth and wherewithal. I think people like to do business the way they like to do business. And what we are recognizing and discussing right now is a notion we call ‘stages of advice,’ … especially with the size of our employer-based business, we need to think about bringing advice to these customers in a variety of ways. Whether that’s online, through a call center, the OnStar kind of capabilities, or whether that be face-to-face– which could be similar to our high-end fee-based channels.

Or, there’s another face-to-face model that’s much more economic and also appealing to consumers who aren’t interested in the traditional advice channel. So, we also want to create an environment as I referred a moment ago as stages of advice. You may enter at one place and go as far as you can on the phone or on the web, but you may want to be referred out. So, it’s not about building separate self-contained advice channels, but advice channels that can give clients market entry into Lincoln in ways that are comfortable for them— but provide flexibility as they understand how complex their needs may be or may not be. That type of thinking is very much in infancy, but I think, in general across the company, there’s a recognition that the way we’ve been so successful today will continue to help us be successful in the future— and we also need to think of alternative ways to expand our reach to keep customers that we believe would benefit from our products and services.

Macchia – In my judgment, that’s a very well conceived formulation and the future is probably going to hold all of those pieces working simultaneously.

I’d like to ask you about something else and that is: What constitutes a “solution” to generate income? I say this understanding that there’s a more holistic view in terms of the other issues that need to be addressed. But, there’s a couple schools of thought about retirement income generation solutions. One is that it’s by definition going to require new types of products that have not yet been introduced in the retail world, and there’s another school of thought that says we have everything we need right now. We have ETFs and mutual funds and variable annuities and insurance products, long term care, fixed and variable annuities, etc., etc., etc., and that putting these products in strategic combinations is really the answer. I wonder if you have a view of which of those may be correct?

Dzielak – As of right now, I do believe that the products that are offered in the market today are ahead of the consumers. We have the right tools today to begin to meet the needs of retirement – whether it be with annuities, ETFs, mutual funds. The issue I believe we have as an industry is that we haven’t positioned them, talked about them or sold them to meet the income needs. They’ve still been positioned as accumulation products – even if you get into the withdrawal benefits on the annuities.

Bottom line, I do think on the whole we have the products that can carry us for the next 12, 18, 24 months. I think new product categories will likely emerge, probably more in the area of turning non-liquid assets into liquid assets. If you think about how much equity these boomers have in their homes, how do we convert that to income? So there’s probably new categories that will emerge – are reverse mortgages are the right thing? But, David, honestly I think we have the products right now. What we don’t have is the process to help the advisors better position those product options to meet the consumers’ needs.

Macchia – I agree.

Dzielak –I believe in my heart that we have made our products much more complex than customers can swallow- and advisors for that matter. I think we’ve out innovated ourselves. We need to move back to the basics and really simplify the products that we have.

Macchia – I also agree with that. Let me ask you about another aspect of this, and that is something that I see developing out there in the retail world. You have advisors who are increasingly interested in income distribution; they clearly need training and insight. But you have some that are tending to coalesce around what I would describe as analogous to the religions we have in the real world.

You have the religion of VA GMWB, you have the religion of target date retirement funds, or the religion of target date funds that are linked to a lifetime annuity, or you have other people who say that lifetime annuitization is the answer, others who say the religion of systematic withdrawals, and others who believe in time-weighted , segmented strategies. I wonder if you see this phenomenon, and if so, what you think the end game here is in term of choosing a religion.

Dzielak – We see it everyday– we are a very product lead industry. You’ll see certain advisors, brokers who migrate to their religion of choice. We believe that will continue to exist. We need to make sure in a product lead channel that we have the right solutions.

There is an emerging belief- not only at Lincoln, but I think in the market – not in your traditional wire house broker channels – that planning is really what’s going to bring advisor capability to the top, and what planning is about to me is understanding first the needs of the client and then matching the right product solution to meet those needs. And that’s the approach we’re taking here at Lincoln. I think we’ll have the most success as we move into this new era with those advisors and those advisor firms who really value the notion of needs-based selling and planning and aren’t as transaction and product lead. I don’t think you’re going to get away from it. I mean, it is very rooted in a lot of the advisors that we work with today. They specialize in one product line or one product for that matter, and have been extremely successful with it. There are solutions that enable them to provide some level of retirement income to those clients, but the real magic and the real successors will be those who take a much more planning lead approach.

Macchia – And, related to that, what about compliance and potentially future financial liability risk? If, for example, an advisor recommends to a consumer with $700,000, in retirement assets that putting it in a VA and using the GMWB as the retirement “solution” is the answer. Does that perhaps denote a problem in the future?

Dzielak – Absolutely. It’s interesting because that’s why we believe so much in this planning process that we’re working so hard on. It’s going to have some substance as to why you recommended that portion of the portfolio being an annuity or that portion of the portfolio being in this basket of mutual funds. It’s definitely a fine line, and we’ve engaged our compliance area in the work that we’re doing on the planning process.

We believe with the proper planning approach that it is going to be a much more compliant sale. Today, I don’t know, to be candid with you, what the thought process is in a lot of our advisors heads on why they recommend a certain portion of the portfolio in annuity. There’s not a lot of rigor around matching the annuity sale up with the income need. The tools and capabilities we hope to bring to market will give a lot more credence to the product recommendations to justify why a portion of the client’s portfolio does belong in an annuity and why a portion may belong in this insurance policy and mutual fund.

But it is a very interesting area, and it’s going to be. I do think we’re going to have to challenge the norm on some of the compliance. There is some game-changing stuff here that this industry really needs to step up and challenge traditional norms- around the annuity sale in particular, but also enable advisors to provide more advice than they do today.

Macchia – Your comments remind me of something that Wealth2 has recently done, driven by one of our large independent broker-dealer clients which is to develop what may be the first risk assessment process covering retirement income.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – It’s obvious that this is conventional wisdom in accumulation, but the exercise here is to try to determine – based upon 17 questions – a client’s volatility factor and guarantee factor. In other words, what is the tolerance for variable versus guaranteed income? How much of the overall income should be provided, say, by a GMWB benefit? And what target rate of return assumptions should be used to develop, over time, the variable income stream? Does this resonate with you as something that’s important?

Dzielak – Absolutely. Yes. As I hear you talk and think about the work we’re doing, it’s very similar. When we think about accumulation, a lot of what went into driving the accumulation success in individual markets is: Are you saving in the right products? Is your asset allocation appropriate? Are you getting yourself enough upside and protecting the downside?

As we move into retirement and think about what clients are going to face, it’s much more about product allocation than it is about asset allocation. Product allocation helps you more effectively address the risk side of this equation. But I think what Wealth2k is undertaking is very similar to the types of questions that will lead to the product solutions that we believe are critical to securing income in retirement for these clients. And it’s the questions that we’ve gone out and talked to advisors about; they are not questions that are being asked en masse today.

Macchia – Clearly.

Dzielak – They’re not driving the recommendations that advisors are providing the customers.

Macchia – I think that, while I’m happy to hear you say it, and I agree with you completely. I want to ask you about something else and this is a question that I ask in every interview because it goes to the core of my beliefs of what’s at stake in terms of boomer retirement.

I have many times stated and have sometimes found absolute perfect agreement in my assertion, and other times I have been challenged, sometimes vigorously challenged, over my belief that in this high stakes contest over boomer retirement assets, the ultimate winners will not be those companies that have the “best products,” but rather will be those companies that are best able, most effectively able, to communicate their value to large and fluid segments of a marketplace. I wonder what … I wonder if you buy into that?

Dzielak – I completely agree with you. I do not believe this game will be won by product leadership or product innovation solely. I think that will be table stakes. When I think about retirement income security–it’s probably articulated in this interview in a way that makes you and potentially the readers of this interview think that it’s about products that bring security. To me, I think the more important aspects of security are a relationship with a company and an advisor that make them comfortable that retirement is going to be okay.

So when I think of what we could do at Lincoln and what we’re thinking about at Lincoln is creating that experience— but extend it well beyond our product set and give the advisor and the ultimate consumer, or consumer directly, comfort that Lincoln understands their needs. They’ve developed products, their capability, how ever they think about us, that addresses those needs and gives them comfort that they don’t have to worry about their finances in retirement. The winners are going to be a very customer-experience lead company.

Macchia – I agree again. Is it true? Do you have a formal experienced officer; someone who’s been identified…

Dzielak – No, we don’t. But in the group we spoke of when we first started this interview, I do have an area of our team that is focused on the product/service experience. So we are incubating that notion here within the group that’s been formed. The work they’re doing bridges across how we’re creating the experience and the products we’re building, the services we’ll be providing– how we’re creating that experience at every customer touch point. I think it will grow and emerge to something like an experience officer, but it’s very new territory for us, so we haven’t justified that role yet.

Macchia – I understand. I want to ask you about something else which relates to the communications question and the high stakes nature of this contest. But while insurers slowly and, in some cases, glacier-ly ready themselves to prepare for this opportunity, other types of organizations have set their sights on the same customer base. In terms of large asset management firms which for years have successfully developed, marketed and sold structured products in the institutional markets, there’s a great deal of focus currently on building products with guarantees and qualities that mimic, say, variable annuities or other insurance-related products, and selling those into the large consumer market right in the middle of the insurers’ ball field. And some of these companies are very large, very sophisticated and move quickly and have a high degree of marketing savvy. I wonder if you think about that. I wonder if you think about that in a year or two or three … that Lincoln or other insurers could be facing a whole new level of competition, and if so, what you think the implications of that might be?

Dzielak – Yes. We think about it every day. In this role that I have here at Lincoln, if you ask me who my peer group is, it extends well beyond – and it may not even include a lot of the top insurance companies that we face off with – it does include the asset management companies. It does include brokerage. It does include banking.

The world’s watching and very aware and concerned because they are the companies who have the customers today. If you look at asset management and defined contribution – a Fidelity, or an American Funds – they have huge client bases that, if they out execute us, they have a high likelihood of success. The one area that we still own is the guarantees. Yes, there are synthetic guarantees being built, as you know. Is that of equal value to customers? Is that level of guarantee going to be acceptable to the customers? It’s something that concerns us.

This is our game to lose and execution is going to be the key. We’ve got something special in the insurance industry. As you mentioned in your question, traditionally we’ve operated at glacial speed. The formation of this group here at Lincoln was based on a recognition and a challenge to pickup the pace, to out execute and to think less about operating at a traditional insurance company pace, but keeping up with asset management and brokerage firms.

The other thing I’d say to you, as much I get anxious about the activity going on out in the other competitors … is it all about one company owning this opportunity or is it about creating relationships with some of these forward thinking asset management companies? Is there a way to bring our franchise rights in combination with some of them so it comes together? We own this space. Who’s going to win this game? I don’t believe it’s the company that’s going to build all of the necessary capabilities, but companies that create those appropriate relationships with other folks in this industry who want to be leaders and bring our complementary skills together. So as I think about it, it’s not as much our strategic intent as it is that we want to be the retirement income security company; we may get there through joint ventures, through partnerships or building our own capabilities. That’s still to be determined.

Macchia – I actually see the potential of that in a similar fashion. I think there are important strategic opportunities, but I also think that a minority of insurers will be able to execute on those strategic opportunities.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – But, for those that do…

Dzielak – it will be big.

Macchia – It could be really big and highly rewarding.

Dzielak– Before I forget, when I think about partnerships and joint ventures, the other thing that the insurance industry has been woefully behind on is technology. So, when you think about creating this experience for customers– is there a way for us to leap frog some of these other industries or competitors that we just talked about and think about joint ventures more on the technology and service side, too? It’s not just about the assets and asset management and insurance, but also looking towards technology as being an enabler. How do you create some distinct competitive advantage there, too?

Macchia – Well, in my commercial life I’ve certainly staked a large financial bet on the truth in what you just said.

Dzielak – Yes.

Macchia – We’ll see. Heather, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Is there any area that I have failed to address that we should talk about?

Dzielak – The only other comment I would make is that we’re just at the beginning. There are a lot of folks out there that don’t believe that the wave has hit yet, and question why everyone is focusing on retirement income. One of the things we talk a lot about here as a real challenge as we embark on the next one to three to five years is that we recognize that it’s an evolving era we’re entering.

A lot of the work that we’re doing today is creating capabilities that will allow us to watch and study consumer behavior, so that we’re ahead of the trends. One thing I worry about and that we’ve tried to be careful about here at Lincoln is to build capabilities and infrastructure that enable us to evolve. I can guarantee that what we understand today is going to be very different than how we understand it two years from now. We need to create environments in financial services that allow us to observe customers at a much more direct level. Most of what’s driven our business today is a lens through our advisor channel. The financial services industry needs to take some learnings from the consumer products industry and other industries – the credit card industry – that have become much more in-tune with buyer behavior. I think we’re going to learn a lot from our customers in the next decade and we better be setting ourselves up to be willing and able to learn and capture those learnings and transition them into products and solutions.

Macchia – On that very large thought, I like to transition into a couple personal questions, if I could.

Dzielak – Sure.

Macchia – The first one, Heather, is this. If I could somehow convey to you a magic wand and by waving this magic wand you could affect any two changes that you wish to make in the world of financial services, what would those changes be?

Dzielak – Oh, my goodness. That’s a big question.

Macchia – It’s my specialty.

Dzielak – If I could change anything, the one thing that I see holding companies back from progress is – how do I say it – silo or segment mentality. I believe that the way that companies – and I’m not just speaking to Lincoln, I’m speaking in general – the way that we’re structured, the way we’re “incented” drives the behavior today that’s not aligned with how customers interface and buy our products and have relationships with our companies. So, if there was a way to break down the silos and get more enterprise customer-facing thinking, I think progress would move at a much more rapid pace. Does that make sense?

Macchia – Well, to me it makes perfect sense. That’s why I helped to put RIIA together. That’s the reason. Let me ask you the next question. Which is: If you were not heading up the strategically important group at Lincoln, but instead you could have any position, any occupation in any other industry, anything in the world, what would you choose to do?

Dzielak – I’d actually be an entrepreneur. And I would be an entrepreneur that would be focused on proving financial advice to consumers. It’s interesting, I feel so passionate about the power of this opportunity, and I believe Lincoln’s the company that can be a leader. If Lincoln can’t or we can’t pull it off here because of the corporate culture or the size, there’s a tremendous amount of gratification I could get from personally figuring out ways to bring financial security to boomers.

I don’t know that I would engage in another corporate job. I think I’d like to be in an environment where I can actually affect execution on something I believe in. Whether that’s consulting or whether that’s building out my own advice capabilities. I don’t know what form it would take, but I would take the work I’m doing here and bring it into an environment where I can actually effect change and execution.

Macchia – Well, your passion for that is palpable. Last question. I’d like you to imagine your own retirement, but in its most conceivably perfect form. Where would you be and what would you be doing?

Dzielak – Where would I be and what would I be doing? My kids would be grown up and successful. I would still be very active. I don’t believe I would be– I know I wouldn’t be active in financial services. I’d be active in doing good for my community, doing good for the less fortunate and doing it in an environment where I never had to think about my finances. I want to get to a point in my life where I can really create a legacy for folks that are less fortunate. I worked with someone in the past who talked to me about income as freedom, and it rings so true to me. I want to get to a point where I feel very comfortable– and that’s not traveling around the world to me. It’s about knowing I can wake up in the morning and actually do good for people that haven’t been able to do good for themselves. For me, retirement is not about the glamour. It’s about the time in my life where I’ve taken care of my family, protected myself, and now have the financial wherewithal to make a difference in some else’s life.

Macchia – Pretty beautiful vision.

Dzielak – It will come true; I know it will. I think about it a lot and feel so lucky to have the life I’ve had, and I just can’t wait for the day when I can share it with someone who just hasn’t had that fortune.

Macchia – I wouldn’t bet against you. Let’s put it that way. Thanks so much.

Dzielak- I’ve enjoyed it.

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©Copyright 2007 David A. Macchia. All rights reserved.