Expert Advice

We recently convened a roundtable of retirement experts consisting of economists and retirement experts. Moderated by Emmy Award-winning journalist Don Shelby (a recent retiree himself), the panel examined the challenges of providing for retirement in these uncertain times.

In this unrehearsed conversation, the panelists engage in a spirited discussion of the most important aspects of retirement planning. The result is an unblinking, unbiased look at the smarter retirement strategies that are available today.

As with any unscripted conversation, their descriptions may contain discrepancies or misstatements. This discussion is provided as part of the comprehensive information on this website and should be viewed in that context, recognizing that the panelists are expressing their opinions. Please recognize that this discussion was hosted for the purpose of encouraging you to learn more about the insurance products we offer as insurance producers. Click the videos below to continue watching more of this great video discussion.


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Why the Global Economy Affects Your Retirement [07:11]
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The Risks to Your Retirement [05:48]
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Options to Mitigate Market Losses [03:49]
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Too Good to Be True? [06:59]
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Reasons for Optimism [07:58]

Meet Your Roundtable Panelists:

Don ShelbyDon Shelby has been a reporter and television anchor for 45 years. Before retiring from daily journalism in November of 2010, he worked for 32 years as anchor, investigative reporter and environmental correspondent for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

He is considered the most honored and decorated local television journalist in the country. He has won three national Emmys, the Columbia-duPont, the Scripps-Howard, the National Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and has twice won the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting: The George Foster Peabody. He was honored in 1983 with the top award for investigative reporting by the International Radio and Television News Directors Association. He has been awarded more than two-dozen regional top honors from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Associated Press and United Press International.

Don was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008, and television’s Silver Circle. He was named the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian of the Year, and was presented with the Great American Traditions Award from B’nai B’rith. In 2010, Don was named Distinguished Minnesotan, an honor he shares with such luminaries as Sigurd Olson and polar explorer Will Steger.

Since his retirement, Don continues his work in environmental journalism, reporting for MinnPost, the on-line daily, and is a member of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team roundtable. He currently serves on the board of Minnesota GreenStar, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and is the Capital Campaign Chair for the Washburn Center for Children.

Dr. David BabbelDr. David Babbel is senior advisor to Charles River Associates (CRA) and practice leader of insurance economics. Prior to joining CRA, he was a senior financial economist in the Financial Sector Development Department of the World Bank and a vice president in the Pension and Insurance Department and senior advisor to Goldman Sachs.

With more than 100 articles and publications to his credit, along with a number of books and monographs, Dr. Babbel is an expert in the fields of finance, investments, risk management, insurance, pensions, and international business. His specialties within these fields are life insurance, annuities, asset/liability management, fixed income securities, and valuation. In addition, Dr. Babbel is Professor Emeritus at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, having previously served on the finance, insurance and international finance faculty at the Haas School of the University of California at Berkeley. During his more than 25-year career as an educator, Dr. Babbel has taught courses in finance, investments, fixed income, insurance, and risk management at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and executive level. He has also been invited to speak before many conferences, conventions, and seminars, both in the United States and abroad.

Professor Laurence KotlikoffDr. Laurence J. Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software, a columnist for Bloomberg, a columnist for Forbes, and a blogger for The Economist. Professor Kotlikoff received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1977.

From 1977 through 1983 he served on the faculties of economics of the University of California, Los Angeles and Yale University. In 1981-82, Professor Kotlikoff was a Senior Economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Professor Kotlikoff is author or co-author of 14 books and hundreds of professional journal articles. His most recent books are Jimmy Stewart Is Dead (John Wiley and Sons), Spend ‘Til the End (co-authored with Scott Burns, Simon & Schuster), The Healthcare Fix (MIT Press), and The Coming Generational Storm (co-authored with Scott Burns, MIT Press).

Professor Kotlikoff publishes extensively in newspapers and magazines on issues of financial reform, personal finance, taxes, Social Security, healthcare, deficits, generational accounting, pensions, saving, and insurance.

Professor Kotlikoff has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Harvard Institute for International Development, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Swedish Ministry of Finance, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Italy, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, the Government of Russia, the Government of Ukraine, the Government of Bolivia, the Government of Bulgaria, the Treasury of New Zealand, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Joint Committee on Taxation, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The American Council of Life Insurance, Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments, AT&T, AON Corp., and other major U.S. corporations.

He has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions to committees of Congress including the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.

Karlan TuckerAt age 22, Karlan Tucker began his personal practice as a one-man show as a licensed insurance producer. Today, his practice has grown; and he is the CEO of one of America’s most successful Retirement Planning Organizations – Tucker Advisory Group, Inc.

Karlan has personally protected more than $100 million in Life, LTC and Indexed Annuities. He has spent more than 10,000 hours in consulting with Baby Boomers throughout his 30-year career.

Karlan Tucker is a prolific author, writing some of the most sought-after industry articles by chronicling his experiences with more than 5,000 client appointments. Soon, Karlan will release his book “Retirement in Crisis,” re-educating the general public about the power and protection found in a vehicle that offers increasing income on a decreasing asset.

Karlan was recognized as American Equity’s number two advisor in 2008 and he has been a member of the Million Dollar Round Table and the Top of the Table for the past seven years. Additionally, Karlan was recognized by Denver’s 5280 Magazine as a FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager™ for 2009.

Karlan and his wife have helped fund and build orphanages in Myanmar and Cambodia, as well as churches in the Netherlands, India, Mongolia and beyond.

Van MuellerVan Mueller is a Registered Representative with the Wisconsin Agency of New England Financial Services. Van has been an insurance agent for more than 40 years. Van was named the 2010 Advisor of the Year by Senior Market Advisor Magazine and was awarded the Milwaukee NAIFA Distinguished Service Award for 2003.

He has also qualified for the National Sales Achievement Award, the National Quality Award, the Health Insurance Quality Award, and has qualified many times for the National Association of Health Underwriters Leading Producers Round Table.

Van supports many industry organizations. In addition to membership in the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors and the Million Dollar Round Table, he is a member of the Association of Health Insurance Agents and the National Association of Health Underwriters. He is also a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, an Emissary Contributor to IFAPAC and a Diamond Knight of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation.

Van has spoken to groups all over the country and now all over the world, including being a main-platform speaker at MDRT in 1998 in Chicago and the Main Platform Speaker at the 2001 Top of the Table Meeting in Maui, HI. Van was a Main Platform Speaker at the 2003 NAIFA meeting in Kansas City. He has also written many articles for various publications.