by Bill Harris

Twice a year I gather with colleagues from around the country to study with Ed Slott. Ed established the IRA Leadership Program and Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group to share his group’s knowledge and expertise with advisors. This time it was Dallas.

For two straight days, we studied the tax code, retirement plans, case law, new laws and private letter rulings with some of the best advisors in the country. It’s a great group to of financial services leaders. Sharing ideas with other advisors is great but riding a mechanical bull is priceless.

We arrived at Gilley’s.  Now, I can’t exactly say that bull riding was on my bucket list but maybe it was all that IRS tax code that was the inspiration. I strapped myself in, tipped my cowboy hat and in a split second was off like a rocket, hanging on for dear life! The mechanical bull helicopters round and round, bucking frantically trying to get you to fall off.  While I can’t be sure, I get the feeling the operator of the mechanical bull had a special mission of knocking this “yankee” off. I just told myself, there’s no way in hell I am letting go.  After what seemed like an eternity, I crawled off the back of that ornery mechanical animal. Success! However, this ride might have contributed to my new hobble.

Almost no one survives a bull ride without a twist here or a pull there. (For me it was black and blue inner thighs.) Bad financial decisions can have similar effects only to your overall financial health.

When you are dealing with big decisions involving your retirement, simple mistakes can be costly.  Disqualifying a retirement plan will hurt a lot more than being tossed from a bull. Does your advisor has a plan to stay educated, informed and on top of their game?

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