Martin Johnson

Personal Finance, Retirement, Insurance
“Martin will help secure your lifestyle through smart financial planning & retirement income management.”

361 Financial Planning, Inc.

Job Title:

President and Senior Planner


First off, Martin Johnson loves basketball, especially Golden State Warriors basketball. He loves great wine, music, and good conversations. Helping people with their finances is something Martin has enjoyed for over 20 years because of the impact it has on them and their legacies. His mission is to help those who value good advice and want to spend their time on what’s important to them other than money. Money management and financial planning can be outsourced, spending time with your family and doing the things you enjoy cannot. 

Martin has over 30 years in business and 20 years’ experience in financial services advisory. Being a graduate of the University of The Pacific, in Stockton, CA and California State University East Bay, Martin has deep roots in the Bay Area and Central Valley. Earning a law degree and being a tax practitioner has allowed him a unique perspective that most financial planners don’t have. That perspective has influenced his approach to financial planning to be more than comprehensive, hence the 361 in Martin's company name. 361 implies “greater than three hundred sixty degrees” or “something extra.”

Martin's previous experience includes the position of Financial Planner for Prudential Insurance; Regional Vice President for USAllianz Investor Services, LLC; Agency Owner, Allstate Insurance Co; and Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

In addition to volunteering for various community and civic organizations over the years, Martin has served on School Site Councils and on a city Planning Commission. In September 2015, he began a three-year term on the East Bay Leadership Council of the American Red Cross. Currently, he is a member of the Professional Advisor Leadership Council of the East Bay Community Foundation.

With a wife of 20 years and two children, God has been good to Martin. His daughter attends Carleton College in Minnesota, and his son attends The Athenian School in Danville, CA.


JD, JFK University College of Law
MBA, California State University East Bay
BA, Communications, University of The Pacific

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


Insurance License:



361 Financial Planning, Inc. (“361”) is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), located in the state of California. 361 provides financial planning and investment advisory services primarily to residents of California and Texas.  361 will file and maintain all applicable licenses as required by the state securities boards.

This website is intended to provide general information about 361.  It is not intended to offer investment advice.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact us by telephone at (925) 289-9929 or by email at

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    Retirement, Retirement Savings, Investing, 401(k), IRAs
If I am behind on my retirement savings and I am maximizing contributions to my 401(k) and Roth IRA accounts but still need to save more, what other retirement investments can I utilize?

Based on what you have mentioned there are a couple of options for you.  I suggest using either a Variable Universal Life or an Equity-Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy.  Becuase life insurance has favorable tax treatment, funds can be withdrawn tax-free with limited restrictions.  The withdrawals are treated first as a return of basis (what you put it) and if you deplete the basis and start withdrawing your gains, the gains you withdraw are considered tax-free loans. 

I generally only recommend this strategy for people in your exact situation; those who have maxed out every possible retirement plan through their employer and IRAs.  It is often recommended to self-employed individuals as well, particularly if they also need life insurance.   The concept is called Overfunding of a life policy.  It works this way.  First determine how much more you want to save annually, then have a life quote produced to solve for the minimum amount of coverage that you can buy using the annual amount you determined you want to save.  For example, you want to save an additional $10,000. Then have a quote produced to determine the minimum coverage that must be bought so that the policy does not become a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC).  A Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) is a special type of cash value life insurance policy that requires extra attention because of the tax laws associated with it. The federal tax law definition of “life insurance” limits your ability to pay certain high levels of premiums into a policy and that's why you must buy a minimum amount of coverage in order to avoid the policy becoming a MEC. 

Once the policy is in place, the "overfunding" occurs because what you are paying in as premiums exceeds the cost of insurance and fees (the excess decreases each year of the policy due to the cost of insurance increases as you age).   This excess is then invested in the polciy by way of separate funds or an equity index, both of which you chose based on your degree of risk tolerance or risk capacity.

At retirement, you simply start making withdrawals from the cash value of the policy.  No taxes will be due as long as you have not violated any rules of the MEC and the as long as the current treatment of life insurance stays the same. 

Another option for you, but I do not think it is the best, is to invest through an annuity.  Annuities do offer tax-deferred growth but the fees can be expensive compared to mutual funds and stocks.  Also, many companies will not sell an annuity to someone your age and many compliance officers at brokerage firms will not approve the sale of annuities to someone your age even if the annuity carrier will. 

Finally, consider saving the additional dollars in a taxable account at Etrade or Schwab or some other broker.  Saving more even if it is taxable is better than not saving at all.  I hope this gives you some ideas. 

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    Debt, IRAs
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December 2017
    Retirement, 401(k), Mutual Funds, Stocks
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December 2017