Endeavor Retirement with Bonnie Treichel, Episode #164

Bonnie Treichel is a nationally recognized retirement plan expert, speaker, and the Founder and Chief Solutions Officer of Endeavor Retirement, a consulting firm dedicated to solving problems for plan sponsors, advisors, and service providers in the retirement plan industry.

Bonnie wanted a scalable way for advisors to work with small business owners who want to offer retirement plans for their employees. It’s expensive to get access to an ERISA attorney. So Bonnie created a model so advisors could have affordable access through a consulting firm: Endeavor Retirement.

Bonnie works to make retirement legislation easy to understand. She keeps advisors up-to-date on the rules and regulations through webinars, presentations, and consultations. The result? Advisors and consultants help more people access retirement savings.

Listen in for some great takeaways about creating a retirement plan for you and your employees that will be compliant—and help them work toward their goals.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Learn more about Bonnie Treichel [3:09]
  • Why Bonnie decided to start her own business [4:51]
  • Bonnie is passionate about helping people save for retirement [7:21]
  • Why it’s important to understand what a fiduciary is [10:45]
  • Steps to take to get on the best path for retirement [15:12]
  • Check out our book “Financial Planning Made Personal” [19:16]
  • How to manage your retirement accounts once retired [20:01]
  • Understand The SECURE Act and The SECURE Act 2.0 [23:29]
  • Bonnie’s advice for small business owners and state retirement plans [29:06]
  • The challenges business owners might face running retirement plans [32:55]
  • What Bonnie did today that put her in the right mindset for success [35:29]

Why Bonnie is passionate about helping people save for retirement

Most people are too busy to think about retirement. They’re barraged with daily tasks like taking care of their kids, managing a household, going to work, and more. They aren’t thinking about saving.

And if you don’t have easy access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan—with automatic enrollment—you don’t think about it. It gets put on the back burner because it feels like it’s something that can be worried about in the future. Bonnie strives to help people gain access to a workplace plan where they can save for retirement and be taken care of.

Unfortunately, Bonnie points out that people are living longer and longer without access to benefits that they can live on throughout retirement. That’s why we have to train people to recognize they need to save for their future—and help everyone get access to those savings options.

Steps to take to get on the best path for retirement

The average plan participant gets sent a large packet full of jargon and notices. Most people don’t read those notices because they don’t understand them. But Bonnie emphasizes there are a few things you should be aware of:

  1. What’s available in your current plan? Most plans offer opportunities to meet with someone—like a financial advisor—and ask questions. It’s meant to be educational in nature. Take advantage of what you’re already paying for.
  2. Understand your basic plan provisions (and don’t leave money on the table). How does your match work? What are the contribution limits? What is the vesting provision?
  3. Make sure you stay apprised of notices that you’re sent. If you don’t understand, ask questions.
  4. Make sure that when you have a meeting with the record keeper or financial advisor (the person on your statement letterhead) ask if they’re a fiduciary. You need to know if your interests are placed first.

Bonnie’s advice for small business owners

Many states now mandate that small businesses offer their employees retirement plans. Who’s required to offer retirement plans or 401ks varies by state.

Bonnie recommends that any entrepreneur contemplating a state-run plan should evaluate the trajectory of their business. A state-run IRA may be a good fit for you long-term. But if you expect your business to grow, take the next step and work with the right providers to start a 401k plan for your employees.

Choosing the investments isn’t the hardest part—it’s the administrative component of running it. You need to find the right service provider to manage all of those things. That’s why having the right financial advisor as your partner is imperative.

What do you need to keep in mind about The SECURE Act and SECURE Act 2.0? How should you manage your retirement accounts once you retire? Learn more in this highly educational episode.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Bonnie Treichel


Bonnie Treichel is the Founder and Chief Solutions Officer of Endeavor Retirement, a consulting firm dedicated to solving problems for plan sponsors, advisors and service providers in the retirement plan industry. Her unique experience as an ERISA attorney and advisor helps her bring governance solutions for day-to-day issues that are an inevitable part of running a successful retirement plan. Bonnie is also a Partner at Endeavor Law, a firm dedicated to supporting the ecosystem of financial services with their retirement plan-related decisions, documentation, compliance, regulation and litigation.

As a thought leader on retirement plan governance issues, Bonnie has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, InvestmentNews, 401(k) Specialist, Ignites, PlanAdviser, NAPA Net Daily, and Journal of Pension Benefits. She is an active member of the American Retirement Association and has served in various leadership roles as well as the American Bar Association’s Tax Division where she is on the Lifetime Income Committee. She was awarded InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 in 2023, the ABA’s On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award in 2022. She is also a member of the Women in Pensions Network, the State Bar of California, and is a current advisory board member of RISA, LLC.

When she isn’t working on retirement plan issues, Bonnie enjoys traveling, spending time with her golden retriever Sunny, running, riding her bike and volunteering for Make a Wish.

Connect With Mitlin Financial

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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