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John H. Robinson

Personal Finance, Retirement, Small Business
“J.R. is the owner of Financial Planning Hawaii and a co-founder of Nest Egg Guru”

Financial Planning Hawaii

Job Title:




At Financial Planning Hawaii, J.R. provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management guidance to individual investors, including small business owners, working professionals, and retirees.  His approach places equal emphasis on the important investment and non-investment aspects of financial planning. 

His value proposition involves helping people manage their finances more efficiently and catching/correcting potentially costly planning mistakes.  To facilitate this, J.R. provides each client with a platform that enables them to centralize, organize, monitor and maintain all aspects of their financial lives.

Compensation structure includes flat fee planning, asset-based management fees, and/or traditional transaction-based charges. Frequent communication, up front disclosure, objectivity, and transparency are the hallmarks of his practice.

See Also – Financial Planning Hawaii YouTube Channel


J.R. is also a co-founder of Nest Egg Guru, a web-based application for helping financial advisors evaluate their clients' college and retirement planning preparedness.  The application is 100% client-facing and has a user-friendly design that makes it easy to test how changing factors that are within one’s control may impact the planning outcomes.

Nest Egg Guru features a powerful simulation engine, critical functionality that is not offered in competing applications, and a low annual subscription price for a private labeled advisor portal.  The application was recently featured in Financial Planning Magazine and AdvisoryQuest.

See Also:  Nest Egg Guru YouTube Channel



J.R. has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed academic journals including Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Wealth Management, Financial Services Review, and Retirement Management Journal.  Papers he co-authored on retirement income sustainability won the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards® and International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE) best paper awards. 

Articles he has written on a wide range of financial planning topics have been published by Investopedia, MSN, The Christian Science Monitor, Nasdaq.com, Advisor Perspectives, Thought Catalog, etc.  His commentary has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Financial Planning Magazine, and many other publications.

J.R. is recognized as one of the top financial professionals in Hawaii. He has been a financial advisor since 1989.  He holds a B.A. in economics from Williams College.


BA, Economics, Williams College

Assets Under Management:

$185 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


Insurance License:



Financial planning services are provided through Financial Planning Hawaii, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisory firm. Investment brokerage services and wrap fee investment advisory platforms are provided through J.W. Cole Financial Inc. and J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc., a dual-registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. National Financial Services, LLC [NFS], a Fidelity Investments© company, serves as custodian for client assets and provides clearing and trade execution for client accounts. Financial Planning Hawaii is a separate company from J.W. Cole and NFS. Financial Planning Hawaii does not take custody of client assets nor do its advisers accept discretionary authority over client accounts.

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June 2017
    Investing, ETFs, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Asset Allocation
March 2016
    Asset Allocation, Retirement, Retirement Savings
October 2016

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    Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Annuities
Is there anything I should consider before exercising my option to receive lifetime income benefits from an equitable variable annuity?

The short answer to your question is “YES, there are many important considerations you should make before you make an irrevocable decision to annuitize your AXA Equitable variable annuity’s lifetime income benefit rider.”

Before you make such an election, you should make sure that you clearly understand the terms of the lifetime income rider and your options for systematic withdrawal under the contract.  For instance, some AXA Equitable VA contracts allow the contract holder to spend down the contract through systematic withdrawal while still preserving the right to annuitize the contract later at a higher payout amount.  This has the advantage of allowing the contract owner to retain control of the contract and to leave the remaining balance to beneficiaries.  It may also maximize the benefit the contract holder may receive over his/her lifetime.

If you do not need the income and/or still have significant earned income, you may also wish to consider allowing the benefit base in the contract to continue to accrue and to elect a higher lifetime income amount later.

If and when you do decide to annuitize you should also consider which annuitization option is best for you (e.g., straight life, joint live with spouse, life with period certain, etc.). 

Because of the complexity of VA contracts and riders and the potential tax implications of your decisions, you may do well to consult with a CPA or financial planner in your area for guidance.

As an aside, it is worth mentioning that, for all of the (justifiable) scorn and vitriol that is directed toward variable annuities, many issuers of VA contracts in the 2000s got caught up in a marketing war that lead them to make guarantees on VA contracts that were overly robust.  These actions caused many insurance companies to take huge charges against their earnings and even to exit the VA business entirely.  AXA is one of the companies that made overly generous guarantees on many of its VA contracts, though I do not know if yours was one of them.  For many years, AXA has been trying to buy back some of the contracts that are causing the company to lose money.  This saga is chronicled in the following articles:

AXA reverses course on variable annuity buyout (Investment News 2018)

Be Wary of Insurers Offering Annuity Buybacks (Kiplinger’s 2018)

AXA Equitable’s Accumulator “Buyout Offer,” Should You Accept or Not? (Annuity 123  2016)

Offered a Buyout on Your Lifetime Annuity? Just say no. (Jane Bryant Quinn 2013)

Variable Annuities Look To Bail On Guarantees   (Forbes 2012)

April 2018
    Financial Planning, Small Business
As a small business owner, if I set up a simplified employee pension (SEP), do I have to invite all eligible employees to participate or can I use it just for myself?
0% of people found this answer helpful
April 2018
    Social Security
What is the maximum I can receive from my Social Security retirement benefit?
50% of people found this answer helpful
April 2018
    401(k), IRAs, Retirement Plans
Is a backdoor Roth IRA better than a Roth 401(k)?
50% of people found this answer helpful
December 2017
    IRAs, Small Business
As a newly eligible employee at a small business, can I setup my SEP IRAs at a different bank or institution?
0% of people found this answer helpful
December 2017