Author: Benjamin Brandt

Tax Reform and 2018 State of the Podcast

Tax Reform! Can you imagine anything more exciting? Ok, maybe not the most titillating subject in the world, but it could impact your retirement, so we need to talk about it! We’re covering how Tax Reform will: Reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize from roughly 30% to fewer than 10%. Double the Standard Deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples Cap deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) Eliminate most miscellaneous itemized deductions (Including financial advisory fees!) Change the deductability of medical expenses Elimination of Roth IRA recharacterizations Change 529 College Savings Plans Change the deductability...

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Men Die Married, Women Die Single…

Men Die Married, Women Die Single… Our guest today is Kate Stalter.  Kate is the founder and President of Better Financial Decisions. Her firm helps clients navigate retirement concerns, such as claiming Social Security benefits, making assets last for three or four decades, managing tax consequences of withdrawals and understanding estate-planning challenges. Better Financial Decisions.  Kate also writes for Forbes and US News.     Listen in as we discuss: Acknowledging that most women will outlive their spouses, how can women get more involved with their family’s retirement plan? Can working with a financial advisor help facilitate communication between spouses? How...

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2018 Social Security and Medicare Changes

Sign up for the Webinar!  2018 Changes for Social Security and Medicare Social Security Changes include: Social Security recipients will receive a 2% increase in 2018, which amounts to approximately $27 per Social Security recipient.  We won’t know until later this year, but this increase could be offset by rising Medicare Premiums. This increase may or may not effect Medicare Part B premiums In 2018,  beneficiaries under full retirement age that are both working and collecting Social Security for the entire year would lose $1 in benefits for every $2 earned over $17,040 in 2018 compared to $16,920 in...

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Asked & Answered: Episode #1

Ask Ben a question Register for upcoming webinar Introducing our newest segment: Asked & Answered Listen in to our very first Asked & Answered episode as we answer the following retirement questions: Fritz’s question: Annual costs for higher income individual for pre-65 retiree health care costs? Inflation rate for these costs? Fritz is looking at $24,000 year. Check out Fritz’s retirement journey here. <- Must read!! Do Social Security estimates account for future inflation? If I receive an estimate this year from Social Security that I will receive $20,000 annually when I am 65 years old and I am...

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Reverse Mortgages – An Interview with Dirk Cotton

Click here to register for our upcoming webinar! Reverse Mortgages: The Forgotten Retirement Planning Asset – An Interview with Dirk Cotton Dirk Cotton is a retired executive of a Fortune 500 technology company. Since retiring in 2005, he has researched and published papers on retirement finance, spoken at retirement industry conferences and events, and regularly posted on retirement finance issues at his blog, The Retirement Cafe. Listen in as we discuss: What is a reverse mortgage and why do we hear so much about them? Americans have 77% of their total wealth tied up in home equity. Can reverse mortgages...

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Tax Planning for the Middle Class – An Interview with Dana Anspach

Many pre-retirees fail to realize the myriad of tax planning opportunities that present themselves in the lead-up to retirement.  The final years of work and the first few years of retirement tend to have increased variability of either income, deductions, or both.  These changes can afford retirees with once in a lifetime tax planning opportunities. Our guest on the podcast, Dana Anspach is an expert in these planning opportunities. Dana Anspach CFP®, RMA®, is the Founder and CEO of Sensible Money and author of Control Your Retirement Destiny and Social Security Sense. Listen in as Dana and I discuss: When in...

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Interview with Securities Attorney David Liebrader

It is easy to fall into a false sense of security living in sleepy communities in the Midwest.  That is,  until I received an email from the local Securities Commissioner informing me of a local ponzi scheme… Our guest this episode is Securities Attorney David Liebrader.  David and I discuss how he helped his clients recover over $40 million dollars from bad brokers.  We also talk about what recourse an investor might have if they find themselves the victim of securities fraud. You can learn more about David by visiting www.SecuritiesFraudLawyerBlog.net or www.InvestmentLoss.com   Press release regarding North Dakota ponzi...

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The Importance of End of Life Planning with Jon Braddock

“Planning for my own end of life doesn’t benefit me, it benefits others…  It is an outward expression of love to your loved ones to plan and prepare. It is the greatest final gift to give to your family” – Jon Braddock Jon Braddock is the founder of My Life and Wishes, a company that assists clients with their end of life planning needs.  Jon is also the author of Click Here When I Die: Making Things Easier for Those You Love.  Listen in as Jon and I discuss the importance of end of life planning and the real...

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What’s Your Retirement Withdrawal Strategy?

Fritz Gilbert (a friend of the show) reached out to me with an interesting question a few weeks ago. Basically, he asked if I would be interested in participating in an ongoing conversation amongst retirement bloggers about their personal retirement withdrawal strategy. Of course, I was more than happy to toss my hat in the ring. There’s just one small problem. I’m 35-years-old and see myself working for at least 35 more years! Needless to say, I don’t yet have a personal retirement withdrawal strategy. In fact, I’m not entirely certain I will ever ‘retire’, as my chosen career...

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