Women's Retirement Radio

Andres Mazabel of TrustandWill.com – Estate Planning Made Easy (and affordable) – Episode 20

June 28, 2021 Russ Thornton Season 2 Episode 4
Women's Retirement Radio
Andres Mazabel of TrustandWill.com – Estate Planning Made Easy (and affordable) – Episode 20
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I'm joined by Andres Mazabel of Trust&Will.com, a secure online platform making estate planning more accessible and simple for anyone in the United States.

In our conversation, we discuss Andres' background and why he's so passionate about the important work he and TrustandWill.com deliver to individuals and families across the country. 

For more on Andres and TrustandWill.com, please check out these resources:

And if you'd like to use Trust & Will, please click this link which will save you  10% off their published prices.

Get in touch and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

And thank you for listening.

Visit my website to learn more.

Disclosures

Russ Thornton:
Hey, everyone. Russ Thornton. Welcome to another episode of Women's Retirement Radio. Today, I'm excited to introduce Andres Mazabel. He is with Trust & Will, and we've got a lot of cool things to discuss, but before we jump into that, Andres, welcome. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Andres Mazabel:
Thanks so much, Russ. Appreciate you having me on. As you mentioned, my name is Andres Mazabel. We live out here in San Diego, California. Actually born and raised in Colombia down in South America, so ever since we integrated here to the U.S. about 22 years ago it's been, San Diego's been home, so super grateful to live here, and looking forward to the conversation today.

Russ Thornton:
Wow, do you ever get back to Colombia?

Andres Mazabel:
I do. I'm super fortunate, so we still have a ton of family back there. My grandparents and extended family, so at least once a year. It was super interesting with the timing of the pandemic last year. We're in Colombia for my mom's birthday, her 60th birthday, and literally when we got back within a couple of weeks, they'd closed the borders and everything, so we got lucky to be able to come back. So, yes, once a year at least. I love going back home.

Russ Thornton:
That's wonderful. Do your family down in Colombia get up here to visit you very often, or have they in the past, or do they pretty much stick close to home, or a little bit of both?

Andres Mazabel:
You know, they typically, we're the ones that go down there. Gosh, I think my grandparents the last 20 years have come up here two or three times. It's just a lot harder for them to make the trip up here, so it's easier for us to go down there. It's a great excuse for me to go and take some time off and hang out with the fam.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, yeah. I've never been to Colombia, but I know people that have, and they said it's just a wonderful place to visit, beautiful, and a lot of culture, and a lot of neat things to do and see.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Russ Thornton:
So, tell us something about yourself, Andres, that maybe most people wouldn't know, even maybe some of your closest friends.

Andres Mazabel:
Ooh, closest friends. That's a good one. Gosh, I would say something that most people don't know about me ... I was going to say that I'm a huge salsa dancer, but my closest friends know that, but gosh, I always wanted to be a firefighter growing up.

Russ Thornton:
Really?

Andres Mazabel:
Up until I was, like, I don't know, early teenage years, I really wanted to be a firefighter. I have no idea why, because I'm not a huge fan of heights, and just, I'm very risk-averse, so I don't know where that interest came from, but anyways. We'll talk a little bit about my career, I ended up in a totally different industry than what I thought I wanted to do my whole life.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, that's interesting. Thanks for sharing. Arguably, arguably, you could argue that you're fighting a different kind of fire these days, but clearly, not quite the same thing.

Andres Mazabel:
That's a good way to look at it. That's right.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, so speaking of your career, why don't you start by describing what it is you and Trust & Will do, but do it in simple terms, like you were explaining it to a five-year-old.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Trust & Will, we started roughly about three and a half years ago. In essence, in very simple matters, we are making estate planning accessible for people in the United States. 60% of people, I would argue honestly that's probably higher, don't have any estate planning in place, so what we've done is created a Turbo Tax-like model, if you will, but for estate planning, in which we're allowing families to say, "Hey, estate planning isn't as complicated or expensive as I thought, and I understand the importance of it," so we're essentially just helping clients have an option that's easier, better to understand, and most importantly, more affordable for people to actually create very, very important documents.

Russ Thornton:
Got it. While you and I know what you mean by estate planning, for our listeners, could you just explain that a little further, like, what's involved in a typical estate plan?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah. That's a great question. Typically, when we talk about what is estate planning, it essentially outlines what's going to happen to your assets when you pass. Outside of passing, it also has and creates some very important documents if you were to be incapacitated, so for example, your power of attorneys, your living will, so it essentially creates the legal documents that essentially gives instructions on who gets access to your assets, how do you for example distribute your assets to your children. And then, more importantly, this is a big, big triggering point for most people, it's when you have kids, so all the way up until they're 18 years of age, if something's to happen to you, and husband, wife are together, or single parent, whatever the case might be, having documents in place that you have a legal guardian for your children.

Andres Mazabel:
The way I always look at it is think of it as we work so hard, and we have people in our life that we care so much about. Essentially, it's kind of like your plan on, "Hey, what am I going to leave behind to make sure that they're taken care of?"

Russ Thornton:
I'd like to reiterate what you said earlier, and I tend to agree with you. I think you said the statistic's around 60%? I think it's probably higher than that as well.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah.

Russ Thornton:
Let's call it at least 60% of American adults don't have an estate plan in place, meaning they don't have a will, they don't have powers of attorney, they don't have a living will or advanced healthcare directive. In the case of having minor children in the household, they haven't appointed guardians. Clearly these are important documents, and it's really actually kind of scary to think about the risk and exposure that the average American has without having these documents, or in simple terms, these instructions in place.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely. Before Trust & Will, I spent roughly, gosh, 13, 14 years in private banking. That's where, when I came across the opportunity at Trust & Will, I jumped on it, because I saw the impact of what happens when you pass and you don't have these instructions in place. Give you example here in California, if you pass, probate is extremely complex, expensive, and it takes a while, so if you're to pass without having an actual trust in place here in California, probate's going to take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

Andres Mazabel:
Give you an example. If you own a property here in California and California's just very expensive, give you an example, million-dollar home, and it's your total value of the home. If that home is to go through probate, that's going to cost about $50,000, and literally, with the pandemic, last time we heard from Patrick who's our head of legal, that full process could take about 24 months to go through. In banking, I used to have to set up estate accounts in which you're essentially putting the assets in an account that's kind of frozen, if you will.

Andres Mazabel:
You don't really have access to it. You can't make distributions to beneficiaries, so it's a huge, huge, outside of obviously the emotional pain that people are dealing with with the loss of a loved one, you're now dealing with a very complicated process that takes a while, so the importance of having these documents, Russ, it's crucial. It really just provides such peace of mind for families. Many people say this, it's one of the best gifts you can leave behind is to have a plan that's been thought and executed, and it's been updated, because it really makes life so much easier for your loved ones.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I guess to dig in to that a little bit more, I think most folks, Andres, are familiar with at least the concept of a will, and I think most people think, "All right, well, in order to get a will, I need to call an attorney and maybe spend several 100 or maybe several 1000 dollars to go through this process," which frankly probably isn't, depending on the attorney, probably isn't always user-friendly, for lack of a better term. How does Trust & Will, how do they address or solve estate planning for people out there listening, and do it in a way that's both typically more affordable and typically easier for the people that want to put these important documents into place?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah, that's a good question. Well, I'll give you an example. The average American, specifically for example your audience for us, so women that are going into retirement, most women and I guess just people in general just don't have very complicated estate planning needs. What I mean by complicated is maybe above the estate threshold, so over 11 million for single, 22 for a married couple. The way we are helping really make it, as you said, more affordable and simple, is really one, creating estate-specific documents. As you mentioned, Russ, how does someone create a legal document? Well, one, it's all about the content that goes in it, so you have to be sure that whoever's writing the estate plans is a licensed attorney, knows the estate planning laws really well. Then two, when they change, which isn't very common but when they do, it's essentially making sure that they're updated.

Andres Mazabel:
Then what we've found is that people that have 10, 15 million dollars, they have they estate plan in place because they understand how important it is for tax purposes, inheritance, all that, but for the average American, they are just typically not proactive to go out and say, "Let's go spend two, three, five thousand dollars for a trust." That's typically the average here in southern California for a trust. What we're essentially offering is clients the ability, and families the actual, to say, "Hey, I understand the importance of an estate plan. My situation is very simple and straight-forward. How could I do about doing that?"

Andres Mazabel:
What we've done, and kind of talked about this in the beginning, but the online platform, and the way we've actually done it, Russ, is we have the ability that it's online, but we've actually complimented with live customer support. See, we strongly believe that one of the biggest barriers of estate planning is the lack of education. Lack of education is such a big pain point, so how can we one, better educate a clients in terms of what is estate planning, what's the impact of it, and then two, provide options. Every estate is a little different. Every family's a little different in terms of where their assets are held. Is it a taxable account, a retirement account, whatever the case might be.

Andres Mazabel:
But essentially being able to provide the options to say, "Hey, this is a trust, and this is how a trust works. This is a will. This is how a will works," and then, really depending on that specific family, being able to say, "Great, this is a good starting point for you," or, "This is the... " For example, maybe someone that's going into retirement that they've saved most of their life, they don't have an estate plan. A trust is a very, very popular product for someone going into retirement because they've already accumulated all that wealth.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, I would echo what you said. You guys, in my opinion, have done a great job creating educational resources, so it's not just a, "Here's a solution or a product. Take it or leave it." I think you guys actually go to great lengths to help people understand their choices and help them make more informed decisions about what's right for their situation, which I really appreciate, and I think a lot of our listeners would certainly appreciate that as well.

Russ Thornton:
Thinking of Trust & Will in the overall estate planning landscape, we've already talked about people can clearly go to an attorney to get this work done. They can also approach you guys, Trust & Will, through your online platform. I've had some clients go through this process, and they found it to be very easy and very self-explanatory, and were very happy with the outcome. Could you tell us a little bit more about, and you've kind of touched on this already, but could you speak a little bit more about who Trust & Will might be a really great fit for for estate planning. Then, after we touch on that, I'd like to maybe identify people who it might not be the best fit for.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. That's a great question. Who is Trust & Will a good fit for? Typically, what we've seen is clients under the five million dollars in assets is a really, really good fit, because any time we're going above that, there might be more advanced planning that needs to be taken into consideration. We have all these statistics, but I believe almost 80% of the members of Trust & Will, and since we've started the company we've helped a little bit over 200,000 families, over 80% of them are parents. So obviously, they value the importance of having a plan in place for their kids.

Andres Mazabel:
Two is a lot of homeowners. A primary residence is typically one of the largest assets that a family owns, so that is a big one as well. Then from there, Russ, we kind of have the two buckets, if you will. We've had the buckets of the, most of our members are 33 to 55 years old, and then the second bucket, which is also a big part of all of our members, have actually been the ones that are going into retirement and have been putting this off for years and years. Being able to really look at, "great, I've saved my whole life for this retirement age, and all of my goals and aspirations of what this next chapter of my life looks like," but making sure that they have that plan in place.

Russ Thornton:
Based on those numbers and figures, people that have a net worth of five million dollars or less, 33 to 55, with another significant group in the 55+ range, homeowners, parents. Clearly, you're addressing a pretty large market, and I would venture to say most adults out there would certainly fall within those numbers. Would you agree?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Russ Thornton:
But clearly, as you've already stated, there are going to be some cases where maybe Trust & Will is not the best fit, so could you maybe give us a couple of examples on where a client or a family actually going and working with an attorney one-on-one might be a better solution?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, absolutely. I think any time you're looking at advanced estate planning, so give an example, common trust, that we get questions on, are around special needs trust, irrevocable trust. Those two are pretty common that we get questions on. Right off the bat, those are trusts that we certainly don't offer. I would say, just to give you a little bit more specifics, I think one, when you're looking at maybe a family that is above the five million dollars in net worth and there's maybe two, in some cases three marriages that they've had, that is definitely something that we always recommend that they actually talk to an attorney because the customization needed within the estate plan is definitely not ... Trust & Will may not be the right fit for them.

Andres Mazabel:
And then we always look at just being able to get legal advice. We have estates that we do offer attorney support in, meaning that we can actually have a licensed attorney in that estate provide legal advice. What we do in all 50 states is able to provide live customer support, so as you talked about, the education of the what is of estate planning, but in some states we don't have attorney support, and it's something we're scaling very, very quickly. But if we had a client for example, I don't know, let's look at Florida, we don't have Florida attorney support but it's coming later this year, and someone needed actual legal advice, that's where we have a limitation today, so that's where they could maybe benefit from actually working with an attorney, depending on their situation.

Andres Mazabel:
And then for example business owners. We have a ton of business owners that are using Trust & Will, but if it's a more complex business structure, if you have for example various different business partners and the business is structured in a certain way, they could definitely benefit from talking to an actual attorney, getting legal advice, and being able to draft a more I wouldn't say comprehensive, because our plans are very comprehensive for the right type of family, but a more just advanced, specific plan depending on the needs behind that.

Russ Thornton:
Got it. That's helpful, and I think that makes sense. It sounds like blended families, business owners, more complex situations, or people that maybe need some more customization or some more handholding from a legal advice perspective. Is that fair?

Andres Mazabel:
That is spot on. That is correct. Yep.

Russ Thornton:
Perfect. Got it. Yeah, thanks for outlining that for us.

Andres Mazabel:
Of course.

Russ Thornton:
I think you mentioned earlier, how many clients or members have gone through the Trust & Will system so far?

Andres Mazabel:
200,000. We just crossed that mark, I believe, two months ago, so it's probably at 215-ish, so super proud of the work that we're doing to provide that peace of mind for families.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Among 200+ thousand clients, is there a particular client success story or a case that you're familiar with that kind of sticks out to you as being exemplary of the value and the benefit of using Trust & Will?

Andres Mazabel:
That's a great one. You know, last year, during the pandemic, obviously very, very challenging times for everyone, we as a company wanted to really give back to healthcare workers because, Cody Barber, who's a CEO and co-founder, his wife is a nurse, and we all have tons of nurses in our lives, and we just kept seeing and hearing the stories of what they were dealing with to be able to care for people. So what we did, Russ, and something that just stands out that we just know the impact that we did, but we offered complementary wills to healthcare workers. When we launched it, I mean, we're still a young company, so we're like, "Okay, this is going to be a couple 100, a couple 1000." We ended up actually, the word ended up spreading so much in the healthcare community that we ended up providing I think around 12,000 complementary wills to healthcare workers.

Andres Mazabel:
The feedback that we would get from them of creating the documents was, it meant so much to them. It's something that they've obviously always thought about getting, but when they actually saw, and no one was expecting the pandemic to happen, but especially for them to be thrown into the situation that they were, there was fear, and they had fear for their own personal health, for their family. That's the one that really comes to mind is hearing the stories from nurses and frontline healthcare workers on what that meant to them to be able to have that in place.

Russ Thornton:
What a great story and effort and focus from the company. Thanks for sharing that. I think that's wonderful and timely. Helping out the helpers, so to speak, I think that's a pretty cool story and certainly a success, so thanks for sharing that.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, we felt like it was the least we could do with everything going on.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. In the time you've been with Trust & Will, what's been most surprising about the work you do in the company, and then the work that the company does as a whole? What have you found most surprising?

Andres Mazabel:
How much we fear the conversation around death.

Russ Thornton:
And when you say we, you're talking about just people in general?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah, I think just people in general. It's one of those things that if we shift our mindset around being able to have the conversation, and accepting it, I think that's just, it's so powerful. It's so powerful to be able to just acknowledge that. I guess I'm surprised, but now that I'm in, working, and this is what I do every single day, I understand it now why there's so much fear. Then in terms of the actual company, Russ, man, I ... Previously J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo for 13 years, huge, huge companies, obviously. I value working here so much because of how much they, the importance that they have on family first.

Andres Mazabel:
I wasn't expecting that from a small startup, because I was like, "Okay. Well, great. It's going to be work, work, work, work, work," but I've just learned so much around giving back to your employees, empowering your employees, so that's definitely the most surprising thing for me since I came over to the company.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, that's pretty cool. I agree. I would think that the typical startup culture would be live and breathe, work, spend 15, 18 hours a day at the office, and basically kind of live at your desk or in front of your computer, or work from home, I guess, in pandemic times, but still. That's nice and refreshing to hear. Talk to me, Andres, a little bit more about the actual Trust & Will process. Let's say that I've heard about you guys, or someone introduced me to you, and you've told me about the benefits and why I'd be kind of silly not to go through the process and put these legal instructions in place for myself and my family. Let's say that I wanted to start the process. How does it work?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Essentially, how it works, it's one, think of it as like a Turbo Tax. First things first, it's going to say, "Great." You're going to come in, create an account, and then most ... We kind of have two buckets in terms of we have people that come to us and say, "I know exactly what I'm looking for. I know that I need the revocable living trust," or we have the other type, the other bucket, which is, "I have no idea. I am not sure what I need," so first step is really answering a set of questions, Russ, that's going to help educate the prospect at that point in terms of what might be the best starting point in terms of doing a trust, or starting with the will in hopes of eventually graduate into a trust as assets grow or whatever the case might be.

Andres Mazabel:
Then from there, right off the bat, we actually have live customer support now seven days a week, so right off the bat, if someone's like, "Hey, I want to just talk to someone right off the bat, get some questions answered around estate planning," we have that available. Someone's able to either chat in, they can schedule a phone call and just talk to us. Just say, "Hey, this is my first time setting up an estate plan. What are my options? How does this work?" Or, we have the option where a client's like, "Hey, I'm ready to go. I have all my questions answered, and I am ready to set up my trust or the will." We have a very, very talented team on both the engineering team but especially on the design. What we've essentially done is estate planning in some cases can be very complicated, most people think it's very complicated, so what we've really done is broken out the whole system and process into four sections.

Andres Mazabel:
You're going to start with your basics, so obviously your name, date of birth, all that good stuff is going in there. Then, we're going to talk about your assets. That's where you're plugging in all your assets. Then, you're going to be looking at distributions, so distributions to your children, how you want those distributions to happen, if you want for example gifts and then charities, you can also include that in the estate plan. Then, we'll talk about final arrangements as well as part of that. But really think of it as a one question per screen, so we never want to make someone feel that it's an intimidating process. We've really simplified it. As you're answering the question, you can save, continue, you can log out, you can log back in.

Andres Mazabel:
Then, Russ, what we've actually done, which is very unique, we get this question often as to why, but we don't charge upfront. We want to make sure one, people are very comfortable with the product and the process. We allow someone to go through the full process, start to finish, all the way until you can actually review documents before you actually submit the payment. Then, once you review documents, you're like, "Hey, this looks great. This is exactly what I was looking for," that's when you actually submit the payment. We're still physically mailing out the estate plan. They have the option to actually download the PDF right off the bat if they want to, but it's actually a very professional-looking folder that we sent out. We get great feedback on it.

Andres Mazabel:
Then, from there, it's getting it notarized. That is definitely the most important part of the whole process, or one of the most important parts of the process is making sure you're notarizing the documents. We've made that very easy, so we provide instructions on what needs to get notarized, and then instructions on funding the trust. That's super important if a client got a trust is being able to transfer whatever assets should be transferred over, so we provide that as well. Then, anyone can talk to us once they receive documents. If they have questions around, "Hey, how do I do this, or how do I that," whatever the case might be, we always lead with customer support, so making sure that people understand the process.

Andres Mazabel:
From there, in my experience in banking, gosh, anytime I was setting up a trust account, I would get feedback all the time on, like, "Andres, I need to talk to my attorney. It's been seven years. My trust is outdated," and it doesn't do you any good. It's great that you have a trust, but if it's outdated, it's not going to do you any good, so what we've done to help alleviate that problem is essentially giving a customer the ability to make changes online to their estate plan, so if you moved states, if you had a kid, bought a home, sold a home, whatever the case might be. Think of it as like a financial plan that you have for your clients rights. It's a living document that changes all the time. That's what we've done with estate planning is you can log in, you can make changes. We don't charge anything for changes the first year, and then after that, we have a subscription model that a client can opt into to make sure that their estate plan is always up to date.

Russ Thornton:
Got it, so it sounds fairly straight-forward. To reiterate something important that you said is you can actually sign up, go through the entire process, see essentially your final documents online before you even have to pay a dime. If you do elect to go ahead and finalize the documents so they can be sent to you to be executed and become legal, then that's when you charge the payment and then the documents are sent. Is that correct?

Andres Mazabel:
Yep. Yep. That is spot on. Correct.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, and so, talk to us about the cost. Let's say somebody wants to go through and put a will in place, or wants to set up a trust. What do you guys look like in terms of costs for those services?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, so, very transparent with pricing. The two products that we offer is a trust, and it's $499 for a married couple, $399 for one person. Then the will-based estate plan is $159 or $89 for one person. These are all very comprehensive, meaning they include your healthcare docs, your power of attorney, HIP authorization are included in both the trust and the will. Then if it's an estate that we have attorney support in, and a client says, "I really need legal advice," then it's an additional $200 to be able to talk to an attorney, so for a trust you're looking at $699 all-in with an attorney.

Andres Mazabel:
What's been really unique with our attorney launch is we actually did it in a way that a client gets access to the attorney for a full 12 months, so you have the consultation, go through the process, review the documents with the attorney, make sure you are understanding it, but a lot of the times, people have a ton of questions around after you complete the estate plan, so they get full access to the attorney for a full 12 months as a peace of mind.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, and you mentioned earlier, after the initial 12 months, they have the option to opt in to an ongoing service that gives them the ability to make changes and things like that. What does that look like?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, so for a trust, it's $39 a year, and then for a will-based plan, it's $19 a year. Outside of just being able to make amendments and changes to the estate plan, we actually just launched this, we're super proud of this, launched about seven, ten business days ago, and it's what we call shared access. This is really helping families in being able to share. For example, I complete my estate plan, and I can now share my documents securely, electronically, with my executor, with a beneficiary. We even just launched this with our financial advisors so that if an advisor is using Trust & Will, they can actually get access to the documents directly online.

Andres Mazabel:
Most people, the create a trust or a will, most common, people think, "What's best is I'm going to go to my safety deposit box at the bank and store it in there." It's actually, it creates more barriers for people to access it, so what we're doing is making sure that one, they get access to the documents, and then two, that they actually understand the role that they play. In banking I would have people come in and say, and I remember the frantic looks, "Someone passed. I am a successor trustee. I wasn't aware of it, or maybe I was, but I don't understand what this actually means," so we're helping just educate on people named within the estate plan to just make the full process from creating documents to distributing assets once a trust is being settled just a much better and easier process.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned the sharing functionality, because I saw that was launched recently, and I thought that was pretty cool. That's clearly a great step in the right direction as far as helping people share their intentions and their wishes as far as their estate plan, and what roles people play, and things like that, so I think that's pretty fantastic.

Andres Mazabel:
Absolutely.

Russ Thornton:
This podcast is Women's Retirement Radio. It's about retirement for women and their families, and when you think about the word retirement, Andres, what comes to mind for you personally?

Andres Mazabel:
That's a great question. I think of one, having a place back in Colombia with a farm and horses. Two, I think of me just spending so much time with my loves ones and friends. I'm not married yet, but that's something that I, definitely, that's a goal of mine is to build an amazing partnership with someone, and for us to have kids. Then retirement is just spending time with grandkids. I think that sounds really, really fulfilling. Then three is something I try and practice even today, not thinking about retirement, but especially in retirement, is giving back. I think we have so much to be grateful for in our lives every single day, and for us to say, "I was able to work X amount of years," and for me to be able to give back. I'm very passionate about immigrant rights, and being able to be part of a nonprofit and be very involved in that is something that definitely catches my attention.

Andres Mazabel:
And then traveling. Traveling sounds amazing. I'm a big hiker, so being able to go and see different places, but at the end of the day, what really comes to mind is just spending quality time with people that I love.

Russ Thornton:
What I took from earlier in our conversation, it sounds like you're already doing a lot of that. Would you say that's fair?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah.

Russ Thornton:
Not just your trips back to your Colombia, but your friends and family. Sounds like you've kind of got a family vibe there at Trust & Will, so it sounds like you're already fulfilling at least some of those things.

Andres Mazabel:
Definitely. Definitely. Yes, for sure.

Russ Thornton:
That's awesome. Yeah, something I think's important is for people to realize they don't have to wait till retirement to do a lot of things that are important to them. Congrats to you, because it sounds like you're already doing that as far as your volunteering with an immigrant rights nonprofit, and doing some travel, hopefully more travel once we get more back to post-pandemic normalcy.

Andres Mazabel:
For sure.

Russ Thornton:
And spending time with family, and marriage and kids, and maybe grandkids and things like that, are down the road, but good for you. It sounds like you're already doing a lot of the things that really are rewarding and fulfilling for you, so I think that's fantastic.

Andres Mazabel:
Thank you. That's why I'm so grateful of my career in banking, because I saw a lot of my clients when they went into retirement, and a lot of people can struggle with it. You're essentially losing your identity, depending on if your identity was tied completely to work, so it's like, "Well, who am I as a person outside of what I did for 30 years at the company?" So I think it's really, really important for us to truly understand our values, what's really important for us, what do we truly care about, what is worth our time, and being able to have that and put some thoughts and action behind what truly fulfills you as a human being.

Russ Thornton:
It's interesting you brought that up, because I was recording another podcast episode with another guest recently, she's in the healthcare field, and she actually made some similar comments about how often people, it seems to generally be more men than women, but it can certainly be both, so much of their identity's tied into their work, and so once they retire, if they don't retire to something, whether that's part-time work or volunteering, or spending time with family or pursuing a hobby, or something like that, they have all this time on their hand. What I like to think is they go from full-time work to full-time living. They're not really prepared for the full-time living, and it can actually have severe health consequences.

Russ Thornton:
It can actually put them at more risk for health complications and things like this because they lose a lot of their routine and purpose, and social interaction and mental stimulation. It can be really challenging, so I think you raise an interesting point there, that retirement is not simply when do you stop work, have you saved enough, and now you can really enjoy yourself, although clearly, that's important. I think it's also about thinking about it and planning for a smooth transition into the next chapter of your life, and finding things that you enjoy doing or want to learn about, to keep your life interesting and to keep your mind sharp, and to still have social interaction. I think that's not talked about enough, but I think it's very important.

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, hundred percent, and finding that community, finding what you're passionate about, and also too I think in retirement, it's not just this, what we should focus on so much. It's like, "Okay, and like, "Am I ready for retirement?" It's like, live your life today. That's something I try and practice as much as I can. It's not this one destination that's going to provide me this happiness and everything that I'm looking for because a lot of times, when you get to that destination, we're like, "This is it?" and we don't truly find that happiness, so something I just try and practice as much as I can. It's a work in progress, but you'll be able to understand today, the present moment, is really what it's all about. But obviously, having a plan in place so that you can whatever retirement looks like for you is something that you can definitely plan towards.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, well said. I couldn't agree more. I think it's worthwhile to pursue and strike a healthy balance between being well-prepared for tomorrow, but making the most of your life today and each day along your life's journey. Clearly, estate planning plays an important part of the planning for tomorrow, so when you think about your work and what Trust & Will does, what kind of impact do you think that has on women and their families as they're planning for their own transition into retirement?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, it really comes down to I think a couple of things that I've brought up, but I think it really comes down to everything you've worked for, and you're going into retirement. Where do you want those assets to go, how do you want them to be distributed? What is something that you're really passionate about in terms of a nonprofit or education for, when you look at legacy planning, what does that look like, right?

Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Andres Mazabel:
Grandkids, kids, what type of impact do you want to leave behind when it comes to that? Yeah, I think that's really what it comes down to. It's that, and then two, which I can't believe I haven't brought this up, but really just making sure that your loved ones don't have to go through the headaches of probates and all that, so the peace of mind that you're really leaving behind is instrumental.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, I think peace of mind is key. I'm glad you highlighted that, but yeah, ultimately, it's about making sure that you have a plan in place not for just the rest of your days while you're living, but also thinking about your family, your loved ones, the organizations that are important to you that you want to be able to support, or continue to have an impact in their lives when you're not around anymore. I think all those are great points. You kind of already touched on a couple of these things, and I know you're not working 18 hours a day, although I know you are busy and you do work a lot because you love what you do, but when you've got an hour or two to yourself, how do you most enjoy spending your time when you do have a little alone time?

Andres Mazabel:
Absolutely. Man, every single day, always 20, 30-minute walk with the dogs. That's like, my go-to. I love to just be, there's a little canyon right by my house, so being outdoors. Then if I'm not with family, gosh, it's usually I'm hiking a lot. I love to run. Mountain biking. I was really big into it. I've been a slacker the last year, year and a half, need to get back into that. So, anything that's outdoors-related, especially now, working from home. I try and be very intentional around, "Hey, I'm done with work. I need to be outside," because I just need that sun, I need that energy, so that's what comes to mind. That's what makes me feel alive and super grateful to have that in my life.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, and you mentioned dogs, so you have more than one dog?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, I got two. Two little ones. My coworkers. They're part of all my Zoom meetings, and I don't know what they would do if we actually go back to the office, because they're loving me being at home all the time.

Russ Thornton:
What kind of dogs are they?

Andres Mazabel:
A little maltipoo.

Russ Thornton:
Oh, nice.

Andres Mazabel:
His name's Marley. And then Leila. She's about eight. She's a golden cocker-spaniel mix.

Russ Thornton:
Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, we've got one dog, and she actually got up and left. She was snoring. You might have heard her in the background earlier. She likes to camp out next to my desk and make noises while she's sleeping. But I think that's awesome. That's great that you've got a couple of pups. We're dog people, so I know what it's like to have a four-legged child in the house.

Andres Mazabel:
For sure. For sure.

Russ Thornton:
That's great. Andres, as we start to wrap up, and this has been a great conversation, by the way, so thank you so much for joining us and investing the time to share a little bit about yourself and Trust & Will, but ...

Andres Mazabel:
My pleasure.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, as we start to wrap up, if there's one thing that our listeners could take away from our conversation today, what would you want that one thing to be?

Andres Mazabel:
Don't put it off. Don't put off not creating an estate plan. There's a ton of people that think, "I'll get to it later. I'll get to it later. I'll get to later," and then you never get to it, and something happens, so take the action today. It is truly one of the best decisions you will make for your family.

Russ Thornton:
I think that's a great closing advice. With that in mind, for those listening, if you think Trust & Will might be an estate planning solution you would want to investigate or learn more about, certainly feel welcome to reach out to me, but if they want to reach out directly to the company to learn more, what's the best way for them to get in touch and learn more about Trust & Will or to maybe take the next steps if they're interested in doing so?

Andres Mazabel:
Yeah, absolutely. Website is trustandwill.com, so that's where you'll be able to go get started. You can chat, you can schedule a phone call, and we would be grateful for the opportunity, get you some education, and then if you do decide to move forward, walk you through the full process and get that very important documents in place.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, and a couple of things I'll add to that. If you go to their website, you'll see on there they've got Trustpilot ratings. Their customer service is, like, top notch and very, very highly rated, so Andres isn't just giving lip service to their focus on customer service. The other thing I'll add too is that through my affiliation with Trust & Will, if you want to use Trust & Will, get in touch with me, and I can give you a link that'll actually get you 10% off of their pricing. I don't get paid anything, it's just because Trust & Will has chosen to spread the word through financial advisors in addition to other channels, so if anyone's interested in learning more about Trust & Will, feel welcome to reach out directly to the company, but if you'd like to reach out to me, get it touch, and I can give you a link to their website that'll save you 10% on their pricing.

Russ Thornton:
Andres, this has been a fun conversation. I've enjoyed talking about Trust & Will, the importance of estate planning, the opportunities that people have to put these legal instructions in place for themselves and their families and their heirs. Before we wrap it up, anything else you want to add, or anything else you want to contribute to the conversation before we close it up today?

Andres Mazabel:
No, Russ, just thanks again for having me and then too as a financial planner, I think it's so great that this is a conversation that you're bringing up to clients. Awareness and education is such a crucial part of this, so we love working with you, and we just think it's so important for an advisor to have these conversations, so thanks so much for having me again.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, thanks again, Andres. This has been great. I've enjoyed working with you. I know the small handful of folks I've pointed your way have had a really great experience, so I look forward to continuing our relationship and maybe having you back on the podcast at some point down the road to continue the dialog.

Andres Mazabel:
Absolutely. That'd be fun, Russ.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, and everyone, thanks for listening. Again, this is Russ Thornton. This has been Women's Retirement Radio, and I will look forward to catching up with you on our next episode.