DAPHNE, Ala., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "We call ourselves the 'Gray-hair Group,'" Jim Byrd says jokingly, describing the team of professionals he has assembled to create truly comprehensive retirement plans for his company, Safe Harbor Financial Services, LLC. His "gray haired" group is a gathering of experienced legal, tax, and financial advisors who come together to cover everything from income during retirement to estate planning, with an eye to ensuring maximum tax efficiency.
Byrd himself has 30 years of experience in the financial industry to add to the mix. Before he founded Safe Harbor Financial Services in 2005, he worked in the insurance industry with MetLife – acquiring Leader's Conference status in his first year and quickly becoming the number-one agent for the Alabama and Mississippi regions – then became a field training consultant, and later lead his own MetLife branch in Mobile, Alabama to a Top Ten Position within the United States. In the late '90s he joined Principal Financial Group where he again became the number-one sales manager in the company. Although success found Jim Byrd early in his career, he says he wouldn't trade it for where he is today: "I'm at the pinnacle of my career now. We've got a beautiful office and a great staff. And, I'm no longer a captive agent."
A "captive agent" is an insurance agent who only works for one insurance company and cannot recommend products outside of those that company sells – whether or not other products would be better suited for a particular client. Byrd says "I'm either fee-based or commission based or both. That's the way I like it because that makes me unbiased. I don't represent any one company – I represent my clients now."