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Larry Frank

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“As an MBA and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner, I help people make sensible plans for a successful retirement. My objective with people is to get them first to, and then through, retirement.”

Better Financial Education

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Larry was born in Duluth MN, and grew up in Cloquet MN. He has a B.S. cum laude in Physics from the University of Minnesota and a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of South Dakota with a concentration in corporate finance and investments. 

Larry retired in 1994 from the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer after a career as a Command Pilot where he flew helicopters, high performance acrobatic jets, and internationally to 47 countries on five continents with large multiengine aircraft. He was also a contingency and war planner during his career as a field grade officer. In addition to flying, Larry served on the Joint Staff at US Southern Command in Panama forming contingency plans for ousting Noriega, is a veteran of the First Gulf War 1991, and served as a Contingency Mobility planner at Scott AFB IL during Haiti, relief operations in Somalia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Larry has years of financial planning research and real-life experiences showing people personal finance choices that are focused on how to make smart decisions to work towards growing and protecting their wealth, not income. Rather than make things complicated, his work has been focused around simplifying the complexities of prioritizing simultaneous financial planning issues, and their related calculations, so the person's living is sustainable.

A Registered Investment Advisor and a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, Larry is also the author of Wealth Odyssey, a book designed to help people make sensible plans for a successful retirement and pursuing their other goals by understanding how financial planning issues are related to each other through wealth. He has research published in the Journal of Financial Planning related to retirement planning. 

Larry has served on the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association of Northern California, and has appeared in nationally syndicated articles and on nationally syndicated radio. He currently has syndicated columns that appear online at Forbes, Morningstar, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, the Online Investor, and many more.

Larry is a member of the Academy of Financial Services. Larry is also a member of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), a national association of Fee-only advisors.

His hobbies include reading and travel, especially to El Salvador where he met his wife, Rosa Maria Cáceres. They live in Rocklin, CA and have four children and seven grandchildren.

They speak spanish in their home. Ellos hablan español en su hogar. Larry's blog can be found here.


BS, Physics, University of Minnesota
MBA, Corporate Finance and Investments, University of South Dakota

Assets Under Management:

$30 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:



Disclaimer can be found here.

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June 2017
    Personal Finance
August 2017

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    Financial Planning, Retirement, 401(k), Choosing an Advisor, IRAs
Which type of financial advisor should I consult to determine the optimal drawdown strategy to minimize taxes in retirement?
67% of people found this answer helpful

Congratulations on your pending retirements!


Most people think about taxation in retirement rather and think about drawdowns as secondary. It actually is the reverse. Taxation is already baked into the cake based on where you focused your savings while working. TSP, 401k and 403b's all are deferred while working - and then taxed once you begin withdrawals from them. Roth conversions may play a part is spreading taxation over a number of years, however work best prior to reaching age 70 1/2 (each of you have separate Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from each different type of retirement account).


Taxation is a function of your standard of living. If you need to withdraw dollars to support your living expenses, then those withdrawn dollars, added to your pension(s) and Social Security (are you CSRS or FERS? Social Security WEP and GPO are factors for CSRS retirees) move you through both Federal and State income tax brackets accordingly. Most retirees I work with come with retirement taxes similar to what they had working because their standard of living expenses are similar, with small differences based on their spending choices after retiring. Thus, the strategy isn't so much tax minimization, but looking at where you are in your tax brackets to strategize between how much you spend overall (to put you in each bracket) and possibly Roth conversions to the top of your current bracket (which reduces the balances post age 70 ½ which reduces the RMDs).


All this said about taxation, structuring your portfolio allocation overall to optimize the withdrawals for drawdown is actually more important. Asset efficiency, where the money works as hard as it can (not the same as getting the highest returns; but, an efficient return and volatility combination based on withdrawals maximization together) is important so that you don’t have to spend more dollars because assets aren’t deployed efficiently relative to your ages in retirement (allocation changes slowly as you age so this should be reviewed annually).


Now to your question about advisers. First, I suggest you search for a Fee- ONLY adviser near you (that also meets the below specifications) via https://www.napfa.org/ (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors – NAPFA). They are fiduciaries without bias by sales agendas). Second, search for an adviser who has 1) the better part of their practices constituting Federal retirees, and/or 2) have had Federal service themselves (example: I’m retired military which a lot of experience working with Federal civilians during that time – and currently work with Federal and State retirees). Finally, looking at who you’re considering closely online helps narrow your search. Here’s an example of many things to look for while evaluating your adviser choices you come across https://blog.betterfinancialeducation.com/business-structure/credentials-and-process/ (not a solicitation, but what I’ve put together in one place that answers what kind of adviser I am AS AN EXAMPLE for you).


Finally, yes there are advisers who specialize in drawdown. In fact that is my specialty based on working with retirees, but more importantly contributing to the body of knowledge on this relatively new topic via academic peer-reviewed published research https://www.betterfinancialeducation.com/larrys-contributions-retirement-research-body-knowledge (again as an example for you to guide what kind of questions you ask of those your considering hiring to work for you as your adviser).


As a closing thought, pension choice is very important for retirement planning because of the ramifications of lost income for the survivor (either of you). Social Security has an automatic pay cut for either survivor (lowest benefit automatically goes away regardless of who goes first; with potential implications if WEP and GPO apply). Retirement consists of three(3) phases: Phase 1, you’re both here (the phase most people ONLY thing about); Phase 2, either of you are here (survivor planning is critical during Phase 1 to avoid surprises here); Phase 3, neither of you are here (where Estate Planning is important. Drawdown strategies typically have unspent resources because the goal is to now outlive your money (assets) so keeping this phase current is important all along the way too).


I hope this helped focus your thoughts as you transition into retirements. Congrats again!

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