Written by The Business Journal Staff
Anderson Bear & Associates LLC.
Education: Associate of arts and associate of science degrees in forestry. I received all of my training and certifications in finance through the Career Path Training Programs at MetLife, Inc. and the industry’s Life Underwriting Training Council. I am a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow and a graduate of a Life Underwriters Training Council Agency Management Training Course. I received my Life & Health, Fire & Casualty, Series 6 and 63 Securities Licenses during these years.
Family: Married to Roxanne Anderson for 22 years, parents of Philip, 28, and Katelyn 21
WHAT WE DO: Anderson Bear & Associates was started in August 2016 by me and partner Deryl Bear, the founder of Hungry Bear Cookies in Fig Garden Village. We currently employ 13 associates in two offices, one in the Atrium Office Plaza in Fresno and one in Pasadena. Our primary marketing focus is on baby boomers getting ready to retire or those already retired. The four areas we deal with are Medicare, repositioning assets, including as 401Ks, and ways to fund long-term care and home health care issues.
We do not charge for our services – if the client chooses to do business with us, the individual companies that we place the business with compensate us. Our advice and time are always free to the clients.
How did you get into your business?
My entry into the financial services business 36 years ago was not the traditional path, but more of a detour. After graduating from college, it was tough to find a full-time job, as it was 1978, and the economy wasn’t that great.
Having been raised in a musical family, I had been a singer and musician most of my life, so my brother and I travelled the country for four years in a recording group. In 1982, I married, and in those days financial services companies went to courthouses to get the names of young, newly married couples to write them letters attempting to recruit them into the business. I responded to one such recruitment letter from MetLife, went to the interview and never looked back.
I am one of those individuals that truly learned this business on the job, I still have a casual approach to the business, and yes, I still play my guitar and sing whenever I get the chance.
What was the best business advice you ever received?
I started in the insurance business in 1982. My manager at the time is still someone I seek advice today. He told me that in this business I should under promise and over deliver, as well as always be up front, honest and to the point.
What is the biggest problem among baby boomers when it comes to planning their retirements?
The biggest issue Baby-boomers (born 1946 — 1964) have today is lack of planning for retirement. The vast majority don’t start saving until they are in their 50s, so they’re finding themselves working into their 70s and having to take part-time jobs after retirement.
The question of “Where to put the money” is asked most frequently by baby boomers. The market is doing well, but the recession in 2008 demonstrated that we cannot just depend on the market. They need to diversify to protect against major market downturns.
What’s new with Medicare plans?
Medigap plans are private insurance coverage people can buy to cover the gap in medical costs not covered by Medicare. In 2020 one of the most popular Medigap plans will go away as an option for new Medicare beneficiaries. When we meet with clients we give them current information on Medicare and any upcoming changes so they can make proper choices for their health care.
What are the future plans for your company?
The future of our agency looks very bright. With the aging of our population and the type of services we provide, we look forward to being here and servicing the Valley for a long time.
What are your roots in the Central Valley?
I was born and raised in Fremont, but left the Bay Area in 1984 to work for MetLife in Modesto. I relocated to Fresno due to a job change in 1998 and have lived here ever since. My daughter graduated from Clovis West High School and my wife enjoys a career with Kaiser Permanente in Fresno.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?
My first job was dismantling Volkswagen engines. I knew nothing about engines, but I needed a job. I told the owner that I drove a Volkswagen but didn’t know how to dismantle one. What I learned from this experience is to be confident and stretch your abilities, and by doing so you will always come out learning something.
What was your favorite job?
One of my favorite jobs was the summer job I took on a helicopter crew fighting forest fires for the U.S. Forest Service. Fighting fires and flying through the Sierra Nevada Mountains was a lot of fun for a young man out of college. The team culture and depending on each other has helped me be a better leader today.