<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=319290&amp;fmt=gif">

May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

34 min read

A Hero of Zero: Modern Retirement Strategies

By NAIFA on 4/18/24 8:34 AM

Topics: Podcast
David McKnight

David McKnight is a renowned financial advisor and expert in zero-tax retirement planning, having assisted thousands of Americans in achieving the zero percent tax bracket. He has frequently appeared in numerous national publications, including Forbes, USA Today, the New York Times, Fox Business, CBS Radio, and Bloomberg Radio. With four #1 Amazon best-selling books to his credit, including The Power of Zero, Look Before You LIRP, The Volatility Shield, and Tax-Free Income for Life, David has established himself as a leading authority in retirement planning. In his acclaimed book, The Power of Zero, he presents a comprehensive guide on how to achieve a 0% tax bracket in retirement through a carefully crafted, step-by-step approach.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • David McKnight talks about the Heroes of Zero conference
  • The originality of The Power of Zero book 
  • The four-step process for reaching the 0% tax bracket in retirement
  • Who is the ideal attendee of the Heroes of Zero conference?
  • Why early-career financial advisors should attend the Heroes of Zero conference
  • How David got into financial planning and the mistakes he overcame

In this episode…

Many individuals in the United States invest a significant portion of their retirement savings in tax-deferred accounts such as 401Ks and IRAs, leaving them vulnerable to a potential decrease in their savings if tax rates rise in the future. What’s more, many early-career financial advisors aren’t aware of alternative retirement savings methods and continue to advise their clients on traditional approaches. Where can financial advisors receive updated and forecasted retirement planning information to serve clients effectively? 

The escalating US debt has caused significant polarization, and it may disrupt traditional retirement options with an impending freight train of onerous taxes and stringent austerity measures. So, building a strategy that maximizes retirement savings and minimizes tax obligations is crucial. For emerging financial advisors, retirement expert David McKnight recommends attending industry conferences like Heroes of Zero to learn about the current and future tax environment as well as repositioning assets into cash-value life insurance policies. From there, these professionals can provide their clients with guidance and resources to make informed decisions.

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with a renowned financial advisor and expert in zero-tax retirement planning, David McKnight. They discuss the Heroes of Zero conference, The Power of Zero book, the four-step process for attaining the 0% tax bracket in retirement, and the benefits of attending the Heroes of Zero conference.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Everyone, this is Chris Gandy, one of your co-hosts of Advisors Today's podcast, we're bringing you a very special podcast today. And we're super excited. I'm here with my co-host, Suzanne Carawan. Suzanne, how are you?

Suzanne Carawan 0:34 

I'm doing great, Chris.

Chris Gandy 0:36 

It's good to see you. And we're super excited about today's podcast. But before we get into it with our special guests, would you please tell us who is our sponsor for today's podcast?

Suzanne Carawan 0:47 

Yeah, so today's episode is sponsored by Heroes of Zero. It's an upcoming event that's going to be held May 16 and 17th in Nashville. And we're excited today because we've got one of the guest speakers, one of the main keynotes with us and longtime NAIFA member, David McKnight. So we're excited to have him here. If you want to learn more about the event, I'm sure we're going to cover that. But you can also go to heroesofzero.live to get more information on that event. And we'll be happy to see you in just a few weeks. So no further ado, David, welcome to the program.

David McKnight 1:19 

Suzanne, Thanks, Chris. Honored to be here. Appreciate you having me.

Chris Gandy 1:24 

So David, I'm going to actually kind of interview you a little bit. And this is just kind of like we're sitting in your living room having this conversation, but nothing in your living room, obviously sitting in your office there. And I see a football up there, I see some books behind yeah, see all the magical stuff. But let's talk a little bit about the Heroes of Zero. People may know of you, they may not know you personally. So we want to get to know you personally and a little bit about your story. And also this program that's coming up, but is named Heroes of Zero. So share with us how that name came about. That's a pretty interesting name.

David McKnight 1:58 

Yeah, so the first iteration of the Heroes of Zero last year. And it was an event that I put on with Ed Slott. So as Ed Slott and I are two full days, and Ed Slott is sort of a hero in a mentor of mine. And he wrote the foreword for several of my books, particularly Power of Zero. And we just sort of have our two peas in a pod in terms of how we think about retirement, how we think about the future of tax rates in our country, the fiscal outlook for our nation. So we basically spent two days talking about we were sort of brainstorming, what's a great way to sort of tee this up would be a good name for the conference. And this is sort of brainstorming Heroes of Zero and the subtitle was Two Experts One Goal Zero Tax. So we just felt like it really captured the essence of what we were trying to do. And what is the zero have to do with it? We're trying to get people to the 0% tax bracket in retirement. Why? Because of tax rates double like a lot of experts are predicting two times zero is still zero and this year, we've reprise that name. We've just added two more people Tom Hegna, that and Van Mueller, both of which really subscribe to everything that Ed and I believe so it's Heroes of zero too.

Suzanne Carawan 3:14 

And by the way, Ed Slott, Tom Hegna, Van Mueller and David McKnight, all NAIFA members just four, for those out there listening. So thanks, all you guys, been NAIFA members. 

Chris Gandy 3:25 

I'm going to just go with one deeper with you Suzanne and David, so David, it's fair to say that you guys have, people have heard Hegna, they've heard you they've heard, I was joking with Suzanne, before this podcast actually earlier this morning. And I said, this is like, the Mount Rushmore of they talked about the Mount Rushmore of sports. This is kind of the Mount Rushmore of, of insurance and finance here in our space, because the Power of Zero is everywhere. Everybody have you say a particular oh, my gosh, and I remember that book I read, it's everywhere. So with that success that you had from that book, share with us kind of what's happened since the book launch and what prompted you to actually launch that book because it actually has changed the industry a lot there. And there's training and development around it. There's a lot of pieces now that have come from that but had to come from somewhere you sit around with to answer that kind of idea.

David McKnight 4:34 

It's an interesting story. And you know, I got into this industry right out of BYU in 1997. I've never done anything but financial advising. And but the interesting thing is when I first got into the industry in about 1999, Bill Clinton stood before the nation. He said, look, I got great news. Our fiscal outlook is amazing, right? We've got fiscal surpluses for the next 23 years, right so he's saying by 2022 We're only going to have about $5 trillion of debt that the debt should not grow. And by 2010, that it all changed. David Walker, former Comptroller General federal government was making a he made a movie and Oscar-nominated movie almost won the Oscar called IO USA in which he sort of described the perilous fiscal outlook for our nation. And I got turned on to Dave Walker and what he was talking about, and I really started, he's another hero of mine, I really started to understand the unfunded obligations that our country is facing for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the national debt, all of those things are huge financial albatross around the neck of our nation. And David Walker was warning this is when we only had about $10 trillion in debt, he was warning about how things were gonna get really, really apocalyptic. And guess what, here we are in 2024, we got $34 trillion in debt, we piled another $24 trillion of debt onto that 10 trillion. And we haven't even begun to shore up the holes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. So in other words, all the things that David Walker was warning about running around the country hair on fire, talking about social green, Medicare, Medicaid, and how they're huge unfunded obligations. We the chickens really haven't even come home to roost for those programs. And we're already $24 trillion. And so back in, all that is sort of a framework back in 2013, I wrote a book called The Power of Zero, which was really just the book version of a presentation I developed over the prior 10 years. And I took it was a whiteboard presentation started off as five minutes long had three buckets taxable tax, deferred tax free, I would say Mr. Mrs. Jones, you have all your money in a taxable tax deferred bucket, you got to get into tax free. And that was a presentation. And over the years, I added little things here and there and field tested things. And by the time I got to about 2013, it was about an hour long presentation, I decided to just commit that entire presentation to book format. So it took me about three days to write the book. I threw it out on Amazon, I cross my fingers and lo and behold, to my utter disbelief, people started to buy the book. And back in 2018, Penguin Random House bought it. And here we are, it's much to my like I said amazement, that sold almost over 400,000 copies and spawned several follow up books. I've got another book coming out called The Guru Gap in which I take on financial gurus like Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman. Anyway, so that's sort of the story. And I think that as the national debt just grows and burgeons over time, this message is starting to resonate more and more and more, because people see that the things that I was warning about and David Walker's weren't about back in 2013, are all coming to pass, but only much worse than they could have ever imagined. And so, these are some of the strategies that help shield you from this, these eventualities are what we're going to be talking about in that Heroes of Zero conference in May.

Chris Gandy 8:01 

So that conference is for advisors to participate, not for potential clients who participate current.

David McKnight 8:08 

It's not for the general public, it's for advisors, you're gonna get the most cutting-edge strategy on how to shield your clients and prospects from the impact of higher taxes.

Chris Gandy 8:17 

Awesome, so Suzanne, I get a chance to become better by becoming good. And understand facts. And so that is an amazing opportunity. So David, let's dig in a little a little bit. So the Power of Zero. So I've read the book, I have a copy of it, we've snippets of it. What I've heard is that the concept is great. The execution of it is difficult, right? So I just go off to some of the let's say the gurus, right. So the gurus will say, Suze Orman take Suze Orman, right and so Suze Orman will say everybody should be in a Roth IRA, everybody should do this, everybody should do this, everybody should do this. But the thing is, she doesn't have a securities license doesn't have an investment license or insurance license. But that's how it was always great. They were given advice just on a general public base basis. But we're not talking about that. Why are they not held to the same standards that we are for fiduciary standpoint and accountability, what it is what it is, but nonetheless, we'll look over that. Okay. And so looking over that, there's no such thing as one size fits all right. And so, the execution so can you talk a little bit about the discipline necessary to execute to get to that, because what I've seen and trying to have this conversation with a client, right, and I'm speaking on behalf of NAIFA members, is that we're trained one way, right? And then this concept comes into play and you're like, is logically it makes sense. However, how do I get my brain to stop doing this and convince my client to understand the end nomics of why zero. So the execution, so are there any tips or hacks sort of speak of how to get people other individuals onto the same mindset plane, so then the execution becomes easy.

David McKnight 10:16 

Yeah, there's a 30,000-foot view to that whole process. And it's really a four-step process. And number one, you got to convince people that tax rates in the future are likely to be dramatically higher than they are today. Steps two through four don't really matter if they're not convinced at the outset, the tax rates are going up. And there's a number of resources you can bring to bear to help convince people that taxes are going up, I've made a movie called The Power of Zero, the tax rate is coming show him that you can show him really anything David Walker's written first chapter, my book, The Power of Zero talks about all the reasons why we believe tax rates are going up. So once they're convinced that tax rates are going up, then the next step is pretty key. And that's demonstrating that in a rising tax rate environment, there is a mathematically perfect amount of money to have in your taxable and tax-deferred buckets, right? Taxable bucket, you want about six months where the basic living expenses tax-deferred, you want to have a balance low enough in your tax-deferred bucket that when the IRS forces you to take RMDs and 73 or higher, that the amount they force you to take out is equal to or less than your standard deduction, but also low enough that it doesn't cause social security taxation. And then step three is that anything above and beyond those ideal amounts should be systematically repositioned to tax-free, you don't do it all at once you do a little bit at a time, you want to stretch that tax obligation out over a number of years, you want to shift your money to tax-free slowly enough that you don't rise into a tax bracket that gives you heartburn, but quickly enough that you don't rise into quickly enough that you get all the heavy lifting done before tax rates go up for good, we think that's going to happen in about 2030. And then the final part is once you've convinced them that they should reposition money from taxable and tax-deferred to tax-free. If we're talking about life insurance, as part of a that's just one part of a comprehensive, balanced approach to tax retirement, peel off a portion of that shift, stuff it into a cash-value life insurance policy. And that's going to give you some benefits that you aren't going to get any other way. No other tax-free vehicle, be it a Roth IRA Roth 401 K Roth conversion, can do the right types of things that cash value life insurance can do. So instead of saying, Hey, Mr. Mrs. Jones, how much do you think you can set aside for this idea of a cash value life insurance policy, be it IUL whole life, what have you, what we're doing is we're saying, let's systematically reposition your assets that are above and beyond that ideal amount of tax-free. And then let's just peel off a portion of that, and put that into a cash-value life insurance policy over time. And now you've got four or five different streams of tax-free income.

Suzanne Carawan 12:57 

So what I heard there is 2030, like financial advisors need to talk to their clients about the year 2030. That's a real take-home point that's not very far away. And that NAIFA has a lot of work to do to make sure that cash-value life insurance stays right tax-free. So that's the two very important points there. Yeah.

Chris Gandy 13:15 

So Suzanne, that sounded like a million-dollar idea that he just kind of laid out there. Thank you, David, for that mental diagram of four steps. Right. And so, but the one thing you did say is until unless they believe step one, then all the other ones are irrelevant. And so people will focused on the zero, that the first step, right, so they you know, people want the end result but not willing to put in the hard work, right? So they want to zero but not willing to do that. So great steps there that make perfect sense. So, this conference that you're putting on, a, how many people are invited? Is it a small group? Is it an elite group of advisers? Do you have to be doing a certain amount of commissions or making a certain amount of money to come? Or if I'm a brand new advisor, and I'm like, I got invited to this amazing opportunity. Can I go share with us a little bit about the details of the event itself?

David McKnight 14:20 

Yeah, so it's probably anybody's invited you there, there is a cost of it to admission, it's never been less expensive than it has is right now. If you go to heroesofzero.live, there's still a flash sale where you can get in. So I think that everybody who's in our industry can benefit from it. But there is a limited number of seats. So we can accommodate about 250 people, those seats are running out. I would say, I mean what would you have to do from a production standpoint for it to be worthwhile for you to have attended this conference? Right? So you're getting the most cutting-edge strategies from Ed Slott who USA today calls in the America's retirement expert Wall Street Journal says he's the IRA expert in the nation, you got Tom Hegna, who's basically the leading expert in the nation on guaranteed lifetime income. You've got Van Mueller, who is the Michael Jordan of life insurance, he's top of the table like something on the order of 30 straight years. So these people are going to be sharing the most cutting-edge strategy. So if you can't parlay all of that information into one sale.

Chris Gandy 15:34 

So Suzanne, it sounds like everybody needs to be there.

Suzanne Carawan 15:38 

Yeah. In particular, just a quick shout-out to our multi-line people out there. Because we've been hearing so much about our PNC people are multi-line. And that the wave is to go towards doing a lot more life insurance and getting a lot more into more holistic planning through that. So it sounds like they would be really behoove them David to show up to this national as well, which they might not have been before kind of in their crosshairs or looking at conferences. But what you're saying now, this absolutely sounds like this is something that they should target.

David McKnight 16:19 

You're getting MDRT quality presentations, you're getting a presentation that I gave at two different MDRT meetings, you're gonna be getting that there. I'm doing some of the very best I believe, cash value life insurance training that I think you can get in the industry. So it's really just two straight days chock full of, I think, the best experts in the nation who are most best equipped to be able to give you the tools that you need to really double or triple your income, I think in the next 12 months.

Suzanne Carawan 16:55 

And certainly storytellers, all of you.

Chris Gandy 17:00 

Power of Zero, and Heroes of Zero coming at you pretty quickly. David, when is the date, time and place so people can be there?

David McKnight 17:10 

Yeah, so it's May 16, and 17th. It's in Nashville, and a C, so plan does maybe stay a few extra days, bring a loved one or a plus one. And have a good time while you're there. But buckle your seat belt because it's going to be a pretty amazing ride for those first two days, Tom Hegna is going to be presenting some presentations that he's never presented before it's off. People say hey, look, I've heard Tom Hegna, I've heard the, don't worry, retire, happy. This is all new material from Tom Hegna. Van Mueller is actually going to be discussing how he implements the things he's learned from Ed Tom and me. He's gonna talk about how he implements those things in his practice. So when people walk away from this event, they're going to get personal instructions, personal advice from Van Mueller himself on how he plans on implementing this stuff, or how he's been implementing these things in the past, and how the attendees can start implementing those things in their own practices.

Chris Gandy 18:11 

So David, what if I'm an advisor, and I'm like, my handles carries me and they've been doing it for so long. So if you look at the lineup, you got banned, and it's been around been doing the deal 30 plus years? So yeah, they've been around 20 some odd years, you got Ed, it's been around, I mean, you've got people that, so how do we connect the dots to people that don't have the experience yet? That says but I want to learn, I'm open to learning, I want to learn this. So I can now implement it into what I'm doing. So how do I do that without the experience that comes with the years of experience that you guys are displaying?

David McKnight 18:53 

It's a great question, one of the things that I would tell you is that just because I've been around for 25 years, has been around for 40 years, doesn't mean we haven't made mistakes along the way. So here's what I would do is I would say, let us bend the learning curve in your favor. Let us show you all of the pitfalls that we encountered along the way so that you don't have to endure an encounter those same pitfalls, let us show you some sales strategies. I mean, I've spent the better portion of the last 20 years of my life developing some of these sales presentations and some of this trading. So what we're prepared to do is give you that training give you those sales strategies that took us between 20 and 40 years to develop it and put them in your hands so that you have the ability to use those things starting right now. I mean, I could be parachuted into any city in the country and start my practice anywhere and be successful overnight. But all I'm doing is saying the right words in the right order at the right time. Let us teach you how to say the right words in the right order at the right time and figure out how to find the clients that are willing to embrace the message that we're prepared to give. And so, let's not reinvent the wheel, let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be. It's all about the right words. And so instead of you having to try to figure out what those right words are on your own journey, and maybe following up, you have a few pitfalls along the way, or even drop out of the industry, let us give you those words so that you can in turn, use those words to increase the likelihood that your clients and prospects will embrace your message. So I guess I think that's how I would respond to that.

Chris Gandy 20:37 

So David, let's go back a little bit. You mentioned, BYU, it's in a whack. So, you're attending out? There you go. So you attended BYU. But did you attend BYU with the understanding that I want to be in the financial service business, or what did you say you wanted to do something else? Like, how did you land in this business? I think people would be very interested in learning how that happened.

David McKnight 21:05 

Yeah, so that's a really I don't think anybody any sort of sets out in life saying, I want to be a financial planner. But there's a couple that say, hey, look, that's what I want to do. Nobody says, hey, look, I want to grow up and sell life insurance. I want to grow up and sell annuities. I think more and more of that starting to become the case. But back in 1997, when I graduated from BYU, nobody was really doing that. And so I graduated from BYU. And I wanted to go to International Business School and International Business School said, hey, you, I spoke Italian and Spanish. And so I want to do things overseas. And so they said, You can't come to international business school until you have two years of experience. So I said, oh, great. Now I got to go out in the real world and find a find a job. And Salt Lake City MetLife financial services, was willing to roll the dice on me, I guess. And the first couple years are challenging, because most people just don't make it right. And there's a lot of a lot of times where you want to quit, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. And I started develop some scripts and some methodologies and some philosophies and I started to do presentations, I'm very, very good, I think at finding good things from other people, incorporating those into my own and putting my own spin on it. And trying to make complicated things simple. So people can easily digest that. And so over the years, I just hone and refine these different presentations. And nothing happens overnight. It's a slow evolution over time. But you figure out what works, you figure out if what hits people's hot buttons and how they respond. And just the right way to say, I'm going to take that phrase that just happened to fall out of my mouth and just the right way that they responded positively to. And I'm going to sort of integrate that into my presentation. And after you do that for about 15 years, you have a presentation, that's really firing on all cylinders, and you can take, you can give it to a roomful of people and get very, very predictable results. I tell people all the time, human beings are all very predictable. When put in front of the same stimuli, they tend to respond in exactly the same way. So you find something that's successful, and then you do it over and over and over again, and you never deviate. And I think that's what I've been good. I'm like the opposite of ADHD. I'm like, single-minded focus, I find something that works. And I do it over and over and over again. And I hone and refine and refine. And that's the type of stuff we're gonna be sharing with you at this conference.

Suzanne Carawan 23:24 

Yeah, that sounds like that's most of the success dog with about right, you need to have that consistency, ruthless consistency in this business.

Chris Gandy 23:32 

David, you said something that I think everybody in the nation that worked with people need to hear. You said something very powerful there. You said that single-minded focus. And David, I grew up in the sports world. I won't bore you with those details. But we did meet BYU at least twice while I was playing sports, right? I'm not on football field, but basketball. But single-minded focus, we spend so much time trying to do everything. And we spent very little time trying to master the one thing. And so I think part of that is that you said it right? Is that your ability to take a concept and drill down 30 levels deep and have some depth there, versus being able to spread yourself out. You're able to create capacity, because of it. And because of that, that's very powerful. Just thinking of the single-minded focus versus trying to do all things, hey, I'm doing 401 K's Yes, I'm doing a sub-two and life insurance. Yes, I'm doing investments. Yes, I'm doing this. I'm doing this. I'm doing this and I just go back to my sports world. Can you imagine if the quarterback says he wants to be the wide receiver and the wide receiver says hey, yeah, I want to be the safety and the safety says oh yeah, by the way, I'm also a good kicker. Now, that doesn't happen very much. Because you're forced to have to focus on that single-mindedness and focus on what you do and be the best at what you do. And let others be the best at what they do and support that along the way. There's a piece of humility that comes because you Mr. David McKnight says, I'm going to bring others who were as intelligent as me, or as successful, or me or in your eyes, you may say, they may even be more successful than me, I'm going to bring them, promote them and actually become part of this incubator to grow and develop other people. So that's very powerful, and join that. So David, it sounds like you've had amazing success. But you know, everybody has to make mistakes to have success. So would you share with us at least one mistake that you've made over time that either obviously you learn from it, but it obviously launched you into a different direction? Can you share with us the mistake, at least one mistake that you made that kind of really was pivotal in your career?

David McKnight 26:12 

Sure. You bet. That's a great question. And I've had 25 years to think about this. And I would say, early on in my career when I was at MetLife. And even after I went independent, I sort of had the habit of positioning life insurance, as the end-all-be-all financial solution. It's the one-size-fits-all, silver bullet, panacea can do everything that you need it to do. And I think that as long as I embrace that sort of philosophy, I felt like I was putting a cap on my career, and particularly on the types of people that are willing to talk because frankly, the sophisticated investor, who's been told his entire life, that cash value life insurance is not the way to go now. So I come along and say, no, it is the way to go. Not only is it the way to go, you should put all of your life savings into it, right. So this is it really put a cap on my career. And so it wasn't until I started positioning life insurance as just one part of the plan is best used in concert with lots of other tax-free streams of income, we're talking Roth IRAs, Roth 401K's, Roth conversions, taking money out of your IRA up to standard deduction, so that those the taxes are offset. And then if you can keep your provisional income low enough, and your Social Security is tax-free as well, it wasn't until I started positioning life insurance as part of a comprehensive, balanced plan, that I think that my career really started to take off. And if I had to go back in time, I would have really sort of taken that whole message to heart that life insurance can do some things that no other financial tools can do. But it's not a silver bullet. It's best used in concert with, for example, stock market investing not as a replacement for stock market investing. So right so that was one big mistake, I'm owning it early on in my career, I positioned like cash value life insurance, as the end-all be-all financial tool. And right now, I have a better understanding what life insurance limitations are, but also the things that make it unique, the things that it can do that no other financial tool can do. And when you use the right financial tool in the right place, it all comes together in a cohesive plan. And that's when everything really starts to come to life.

Chris Gandy 28:31 

Wonderful. All right, so the event is coming up. Let's promote the event. Suzanne, let's talk about it and make sure we have So Nathan nation. Let's go support our fellow member, David McKnight, the Heroes of Zero Nashville. You can do some, there'll be a lot of country music going on during that area too. I've been in Nashville. But the big thing is that you'll get be able to have turnkey systems from the great ones out there and learn some of the secrets. Suzanne, when I started in the business, I always thought there was a there was secrets, right? What were the secrets?

Suzanne Carawan 29:13 

Crack the code all the time.

Chris Gandy 29:14 

David has some of the Book of Secrets, right? And we're fortunate enough to learn from him during these years where he's still sharing that knowledge. Right and so we appreciate you and look forward to seeing you at your event. And hopefully, it's sold out so it forces you to have to do another one in Chicago. Chicago.

David McKnight 29:36 

I love Chicago Chicago is the home office of Power of Zero so I'm in Chicago all the time. We love Chicago we do a lot of events in Chicago, so I don't have any problem cashing in on that.

Chris Gandy 29:50 

Awesome. Awesome so Suzanne, anything else before we go to the lightning round?

Suzanne Carawan 29:56 

No, probably will follow up with this. There is a special discount for NAIFA members. So thank you Heroes of Zeros for that thing supportive of your professional association and we're happy to support them. We're looking forward to it.

Chris Gandy 30:07 

So NAIFA nation, you heard that there's for us for members only. I think that was a jacket. For the members only jacket. I believe that there is a discount. Suzanne, how do they hear about this discount? How do they get it? Do they email? Do they call you? What do they do?

Suzanne Carawan 30:29 

We'll put it inside the members portal, we'll send out an email and all are invited. We think it's gonna be great. That sounds like a fabulous ROI. The registration fee is nothing compared to getting the wisdom of this sage Mount Rushmore crew that you just talked about. Yes. So.

Chris Gandy 30:44 

So David, we have a lightning round. And it's not the Budweiser Hot Seat. But it's just you know, we get to know you a little bit. So simple stuff. Nothing that you really got to stress out about just sit back and just kind of be yourself. Right. And so the first question is, you've been to Chicago. And so New York style pizza, or Chicago deep dish pizza. Be careful.

David McKnight 31:12 

Oh, man, they're both so good. I just had the New York style last week, which is amazing. But if I had to choose, I'm going to have to show the way.

Chris Gandy 31:20 

The dish all the way. Okay, see how easy that question was? All right, so we'll go from there. So, David, at BYU, what did you study?

David McKnight 31:29 

I actually majored in Italian.

Chris Gandy 31:34 

Oh, wow. Who knew that someone may come up to you and speak Italian? Like how did you know that? So that's when you start off, what was the largest case you sold in your first year in the business?

David McKnight 31:49 

Oh, man, it was tiny. They tell you to do business with all the people you know, which were other college recent college graduates. So I was doing like $50 a month premiums on average. And I think my biggest one that first year may have been $200 a month, which of course, so I had this, this philosophy, you shoot rabbits, you go out every day, you shoot rabbits occasionally and elephant walks across your scope. You shoot that too, but you wake up every day, and I'm a rabbit.

Chris Gandy 32:19 

Awesome. Those that are out there, you've been a part of the Association for a long time. Right? Why should people be affiliated with the association to continue their learning and their knowledge?

David McKnight 32:32 

I think most people don't realize how many times NAIFA has bailed us out over the years. With the whole Simpson Bowles thing that was probably as close a call. I mean, they basically came back and said, do you guys have any idea how much revenue the federal government is giving up by allowing this inside, you know, tax rebuild up within inside life insurance, and NAIFA is the one that bailed us out. NAIFA is the one that made this all happen. So NAIFA has bailed us out time and time again, if you don't support NAIFA, you're sort of biting the hand that feeds you NAIFA's the one that lobbies on our behalf year over year, over a year, they've got their hand on the pulse of the situation. And so really NAIFA is what makes our jobs possible. NAIFA is what preserves the tax incentives, not the tax incentives, a tax-free nature of the cash value life insurance that we utilize with our clients. And so if we're not supporting NAIFA, we're ultimately jeopardizing our own careers over time. And so, just from a logical perspective, I can understand why anybody would not want to give a full-throated endorsement for NAIFA.

Chris Gandy 33:47 

Question for you. You mentioned that you're now you're in Puerto Rico. So what's your favorite thing to do in Puerto Rico? Obviously, you spent more time there and whoever what's their favorite thing to do? If I'm going to Puerto Rico, what is the one thing I need to do while I'm there?

David McKnight 34:00 

Well, I have to tell you that I lived in Wisconsin for 15 years, there was one day where it was negative 50. In Wisconsin, it was 80 degrees here. So there's a 130-degree delta. So I just have to tell you, Chris, after having lived in Wisconsin for 15 years, my favorite thing is just to be outside and to be warm. And to be warm year round. There's never any cold days in Puerto Rico. It's 100% warm 100% of the time.

Chris Gandy 34:28 

David, your favorite food?

David McKnight 34:31 

Oh, man, that's great. My favorite food. I lived in Italy for two years. That's why I speak Italian. So it's probably going to be some sort of I love making pizza. So probably my own homemade pizza is probably one of my very favorite things.

Chris Gandy 34:42 

So Suzanna, did you hear that David was gonna make a pizza and share with us when he comes to Chicago, that's what we were gonna do. So David, last to question your proudest moment in the industry so far.

David McKnight 34:57

I had a really proud moment that was very unexpected and completely caught me off guard. At one of our meetings. Allianz came up and presented me with the bills Immerman, Educator of the Year for a lot of the work I've been doing on YouTube to defend our industry to defend cash value life insurance and to promote positioning cash value life insurance in the right way. And so I was, in fact, it's, that's the award right there, if you can see it, I was very honored and surprised. And just completely not clean out of my chair when they presented it to me because they kept it a pretty good secret. And they came up on stage. And they presented to me and everybody kept the secret. And nobody told me and I was totally floored when I got it. So very, very honored to have received it.

Chris Gandy 35:46 

That's awesome. Last question for you. You can go back in time and have dinner with anyone in the world. It could be a family member, it could be a monumental figure, or it should whether they're living today or not. Who would it be? And why?

David McKnight 36:05 

Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of the ones that we say I'm, obviously with my faith, I'd love to go back and talk to Jesus and break bread with him. I would love to spend time with my own grandfather. My grandfather is actually he was a congressman in Washington, DC for 22 years, he was very instrumental in passing a lot of very important legislation. He died before I never really got to know him. And a lot of people say that I look like him and have a lot of the mannerisms that remind them of him. So I would love to get to know my grandpa, I got to know my other grandparents fairly well. But I didn't get to know my grandfather very well. And I would love to go back in time and break bread with him for sure.

Chris Gandy 36:51 

Awesome. Mr. David McKnight, you're officially etched into the Mount Rushmore of insurance. And we appreciate you and all the work you're doing to educate, empower, uplift our culture in our organization, uplift others, to learn what you've learned. Because the book of secrets is not a secret. It's just borrowed and repurpose. So if we can learn as much as we possibly can from you, we appreciate you continuously sharing and sharing your knowledge. Do you have anything else for NAIFA Nation and or the Heroes? The heroes of zero who may not be in attendance? But should be there any message for NAIFA Nation?

David McKnight 37:32 

No, I think one of my messages has always been the tax rates are going up. And every year that goes by where our clients and prospects fail to take advantage of historically low tax rates, as opposed to that potentially a year beyond 2030, where you could be forced to pay the highest tax rates you're likely to see in your lifetime. So, the message that we're going to be talking about at this conference is one that has urgency, and it's a time-sensitive message. And every year that goes by where our clients fail to take advantage of that message of the window of opportunity closes, and it gets that much more narrow. And so I would say that, if ever there were a golden opportunity to be in our business, if ever there were perfect timing to be embracing the type of message that we're going to be talking about this conference. It's right now we're still at historically low tax rates, but we know they're about to go up. So there's a narrow window of opportunity, let's all take advantage of it to help shield our clients from future tax rates.

Chris Gandy 38:24 

Love it, Suzanne. Yes. Anything else before we close?

Suzanne Carawan 38:31 

I would say, David, thank you so much for being part of this. There is an urgency to join NAIFA as well, we too, are facing a lot of historic new battles coming our way. So if you're not a NAIFA member, and you're out there listening, join the likes of David McKnight. You can go to belong.naifa.org/join and come on into the family and you have Van Meuller, Tom Hegna, Ed Slott, David McKnight as your new NAIFA Brothers. So I'd say join today.

Chris Gandy 38:59 

David, I look forward to seeing you soon. Because I look forward to telling you the war wounds about how we actually beat BYU, and my heyday. So we appreciate you. We'll have some fun with that. So and also when you come to Chicago look forward to having some deep-dish pizza with you. So thanks, everyone and NAIFA Nation for tuning into Advisor Today podcast where we uplift and promote the betterment of us all. And we'll see you next week. Same time, same place. We are so fortunate to be able to learn from others, including our esteemed member, Mr. David McKnight. So on the other side we'll see thanks for tuning into Advisor Today's podcast.

Outro 39:42 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know



AT Podcast Ad
LECP Blog Ad





NAIFA-FSP-LH with tagline - AT blog email ad (300 x 250 px)
2024 Congressional Conference (728 x 89 px)