Frequently Asked Questions

Aviation FAQs

  • With our expertise in investment management and knowledge of your airline benefits, our active-management approach is anchored in discipline, biased toward risk-mitigating strategies that preserve wealth and generate income.
  • Each airline provides its pilots and crew with several vehicles to save for retirement, and we want you to understand the details of each plan to maximize your benefits. Our team of financial advisors provide guidance to navigate their retirement issues and to set realistic goals to have a comfortable retirement.

We recommend the maximum amount for matching contributions, but every pilot’s financial situation is unique. Our financial plan called the Retirement Plan Analysis takes into account all factors to put you in the best financial position.

  • The IRS allows withdrawals from retirement accounts starting at age 59 ½, penalty-free. They also require withdrawals starting at age 72. This is called a Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). We will assist you in determining the amount that must be withdrawn to avoid penalty. If you turned age 70 ½ prior to January 1, 2020, your RMDs are based on age 70 ½, not age 72.
  • If you take withdrawals prior to age 59 ½, you are subject to federal income tax, a 10% penalty on the amount withdrawn, and any applicable state income tax.

The mandatory retirement age of airline pilots is age 65. When you retire at age 65, your contributions, and those made by your airline, stop. We do a thorough financial analysis that examines your expected income in retirement and projects as best we can what retirement funds you will have in retirement.

Once you reach the age of 59 ½, you can transfer a portion of your retirement plan assets into a self-directed IRA, known as an in-service rollover (ISR). Here are some advantages:

  • Better control and flexibility of your retirement assets
  • Expanded range of investment choices
  • Reduced costs: you can select investment choices that typically have lower internal costs and fees than those provided in your employer’s retirement plan
  • If you are converting a traditional 401(k) to a Roth IRA, the amount rolled over is subject to taxes at ordinary income rates. Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax dollars.
  • It is recommended to consult a tax advisor before making this decision.

You may be struggling to determine if retiring early is the right decision for you and your family. With our long history of working with airline pilots and crew members, we understand that every situation is unique and that you may want or need professional guidance with this life-changing decision. We will provide you with a detailed, personal financial plan to see how retiring early could impact your financial future by comparing a normal retirement at age 65 with a retirement pursuant to early-out protocols.

General FAQs

Smith Anglin was founded in 1967 as a traditional tax and accounting firm. In 1989 investment services began to be offered by individual advisors through an independent relationship with H.D. Vest Investment ServicesSM. In 2007, Smith Anglin became an independent Registered Investor Advisory firm using Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (Fidelity) as their custodian. In 2012 Smith Anglin added Schwab Advisor Services as an additional custodian for client accounts.

We have several hundred financial and tax clients. However, the focus over the last few years has been on growing our financial services business. Approximately 95% of investment assets are from high net worth clients using managed portfolios. We will be happy to provide references.

Our conservative investment philosophy and specific investment advice and implementation are based on the disciplines of Asset Allocation and Modern Portfolio Theory, as described in our marketing material, which is available upon request. Because we assemble a customized plan for each client, we can utilize various investment products to address the needs of our clients. We monitor on an on-going basis the performance, risk and other relevant characteristics of the securities we utilize and that we are considering implementing into our strategies.

Both Fidelity and Schwab are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and brokerage accounts maintained with Fidelity and Schwab are protected by SIPC coverage. SIPC protects brokerage accounts of each customer up to $500,000 in securities (including a limit of $250,000 for cash only). Money market funds held in a brokerage account are considered securities. Both Fidelity and Schwab provide additional unlimited protection (often referred to as excess SIPC) to supplement its SIPC coverage for cash and securities. This coverage is limited to securities held in brokerage positions, including mutual funds if held in your brokerage account and securities held in book entry form. Neither SIPC nor the additional coverage protects against loss of market value of the securities.

The customized Personal Analysis that we prepare for every high net worth individual that completes our Client Profile Worksheet includes a section in which comprehensive Retirement Capital Estimates show the effect of IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). This analysis is updated as often as is warranted, especially when there are changes to the Internal Revenue Code.

Yes. The customized Personal Analysis includes a section which analyzes the basic estate planning needs of the prospective client. In addition to this analysis, we can arrange to have an estate planning law firm in Dallas provide a complimentary review of the documents of any prospective client. For clients and prospective clients that want to meet with an attorney from this law firm to discuss what their needs may be, we are happy to facilitate a complimentary estate planning consultation for them.

Yes. Our firm has been in existence for more than 40 years. Through handling the investment, tax, estate planning, and insurance needs of our clients, we have years of experience assisting surviving spouses, children and other relatives in dealing with the financial issues that arise when a loved one passes away. This assistance includes helping with the organization of financial records, the filing of pertinent documents with financial and insurance institutions, and even assistance in the filing of necessary tax documents with Federal and state entities.

Complimentary tax preparation and tax filing services are provided to clients with more than $2 million in total assets under management. For those clients with less than $2 million under management, tax services are offered at a reduced rate. Clients enjoy unlimited access to our Client Service Department to discuss any financial, tax, estate planning, or insurance planning issue. Distributions may be taken from accounts via check or electronic funds transfer (EFT) at no cost. A more detailed description of the comprehensive list of services offered to our clients is set forth in our marketing material.

Clients receive monthly statements and quarterly performance reports. Our clients can access their monthly statements, current values of security positions, daily activity, current asset allocation and other account information via the Internet. Two different Web sites provide thoroughly detailed information. The Web sites are secure, encrypted, and password-protected.

Smith Anglin is a full service financial services firm. Individually licensed advisors offer life insurance products and annuities to our clients when suitable. During the meeting and analysis preparation process, we evaluate the life insurance situation of each client and give recommendations accordingly. If needed, we provide insurance quotes in the Personal Analysis. More often than not, the high net worth individuals that we meet are adequately insured. Annuity products are often not suitable for our clients, but may be appropriate in certain instances.

In most cases accounts are managed using a fee based program. The fee is a flat percentage of a client’s investment account. Typically, our annual (maximum) fee is 1% for accounts under $1 million, and the annual fee goes down (in percentage terms) as the account reaches certain breakpoints. For example, the fee drops to 0.60% for amounts between $1 million and $5 million and drops again to 0.50% for amounts over $5 million. Clients in our managed account (fee-based) program pay no transaction charges.

The breakdown of our Model Portfolios, including each holding and corresponding percentage weighting, is available upon request. An investment client may have assets in any one, or more than one, or none of our model portfolios. Our recommendation for each client is based on several factors including the individual client’s goals, risk tolerances, expenses, income, and assets.

Investment business is audited by industry regulators and their periodic examinations. Internal compliance supervision is provided by an outside firm specializing in independent Registered Investment Advisory firms.

Yes! When you hire Smith Anglin, your advisor acts as your fiduciary on your behalf. This means your advisor is beholden to no one other than you, and their advice is always aligned with your best interests. This is part of our elevated standard of care.

A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person or persons, putting their clients’ interests ahead of their own, with a duty to preserve good faith and trust. Being a fiduciary thus requires being bound both legally and ethically to act in the other’s best interests.

Schedule a Personal Consultation

At our first meeting, we’ll answer any questions you may have about our firm. We’ll discuss your financial goals and any concerns you may have regarding your airline plan and benefits. We’ll talk about our expectations for a productive relationship and determine if there is a good mutual fit.