Retirement Starts Today Radio http://retirementstartstodayradio.com Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Do you enjoy Dave Ramsey and Freakonomics? Check out Retirement Starts Today Podcast. Ask Benjamin a question here: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/ Sun, 16 Dec 2018 12:08:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. This retirement podcast covers topics like: taxes, social security, healthcare, sustainable retirement withdrawal rates and much more. Check out Retirement Starts Today Podcast. Ask Benjamin a question here: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/ Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean episodic Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® benjamin@retirementstartstoday.com benjamin@retirementstartstoday.com (Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP®) Retirement Starts Today Radio Retirement Starts Today Radio Retirement Starts Today Radio http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/podcast-cover.png http://retirementstartstodayradio.com benjamin@retirementstartstoday.com Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. This show covers topics like: taxes, social security, healthcare, sustainable retirement withdrawal rates and much more. Do you enjoy Dave Ramsey, Planet Money, Stacking Benjamins, and Freakonomics? Check out Retirement Starts Today Podcast. Ask Benjamin a question here: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/ Bismarck, North Dakota 2x Monthly Podcast Goals For 2019 – And An Exciting Personal Update, Ep #68 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/podcast-goals-for-2019-and-an-exciting-personal-update-ep-68/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 09:00:35 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5094 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/podcast-goals-for-2019-and-an-exciting-personal-update-ep-68/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/podcast-goals-for-2019-and-an-exciting-personal-update-ep-68/feed/ 0 <p>The calendar is almost done for 2018 – and I’ve been thinking about podcast goals for 2019. Great things have happened with the show in the past year and the future looks very bright. I’ve enjoyed the interaction I’ve been able to have with you – the loyal listeners of the show – and look […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/podcast-goals-for-2019-and-an-exciting-personal-update-ep-68/">Podcast Goals For 2019 – And An Exciting Personal Update, Ep #68</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> The calendar is almost done for 2018 – and I’ve been thinking about podcast goals for 2019. Great things have happened with the show in the past year and the future looks very bright. I’ve enjoyed the interaction I’ve been able to have with you – the l... The calendar is almost done for 2018 – and I’ve been thinking about podcast goals for 2019. Great things have happened with the show in the past year and the future looks very bright. I’ve enjoyed the interaction I’ve been able to have with you – the loyal listeners of the show – and look forward to more in the new year.
On this episode, I share the specifics of what happened in 2018 and what I’m planning for 2019. There are exciting things in the works that I trust you’re going to enjoy. I also tell you a piece of personal news that has my entire household excited. I can’t wait to share it with you, so I hope you take the time to listen to this episode of Retirement Starts Today.
Outline of This Episode

* [0:38] It’s my favorite time of the year. All bets are off!
* [1:39] 50% increase in listenership in 2018
* [4:05] Changes for 2019: Moving to weekly episodes!
* [6:54] Why I want to produce more shows each month
* [8:20] More engagement opportunities in 2019
* [9:00] The annual client survey is coming… watch for it!
* [12:20] My personal life: Foster care and the path forward into adoption

Among last year’s podcast goals: Audience growth. Turns out we did that!
Naturally, publishing a podcast is not something I do just to hear the sound of my own voice. My hope is to offer listeners something of value each episode – and your feedback has encouraged me that it’s happening. Thank you for letting me know. Over the last year one of my goals for the podcast was to see listenership increase, and it did!
In 2018 Retirement Starts Today listenership increased by 50%! Wow, double the listeners at the end of the year than what we started with at the beginning of 2018. I’m touched, honored, and thankful. It is very satisfying to know that the topics and information I share is helping people plan for their retirement and improve the quality of their lives. Thank you for being one of my valued listeners.
Twice a month simply isn’t enough. At least that’s what you’ve said!
One of the changes I implemented at the beginning of 2018 was a bi-monthly publication schedule for the podcast. The 1st and the 15th – just like payday – you received an episode of the podcast in your podcast player or web browser. By the way, you DO get the show delivered directly to your smart device each time an episode comes out, don’t you? If not, you can discover a variety of ways to do that near the bottom of this page.
Publishing twice a month was a great improvement to what I was doing previously, but many who responded to my annual listener survey said they’d enjoy even more content. So for 2019, I’m working to make that happen. I’ve got my audio production guy – Steve – lined up to produce an episode every week, beginning in the new year.
The underlying goal for this podcast: Helping you start your retirement today
The reason I want to publish weekly episodes in the coming year is that there is a lot that goes into a successful and happy retirement. That means there’s a lot of content to cover. Weekly episodes should help me equip you faster, more effectively, and in ways that enable us to build a relationship with each other.
Yes, I DO want to know who you are and come to understand how I can be of help as you set your own retirement goals. Few things give me greater pleasure than knowing that I’m making a positive contribution to your future. When I hear from you – either through the newsletter or via a direct email interaction – I’m able to better know how I can do that. Please, feel free to reach out to me anytime with ideas, suggestions, questions, or anything else. I love to help!
Our Foster Care journey continues in a very encouraging direction
Toward the end of this episode,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean
Simple Tax Strategies For Retirees In 2018 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/simple-tax-strategies-for-retirees-in-2018/ Sat, 01 Dec 2018 09:00:29 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5086 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/simple-tax-strategies-for-retirees-in-2018/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/simple-tax-strategies-for-retirees-in-2018/feed/ 0 <p>As you might imagine, tax strategies for retirees are not the same as those for non-retired investors. Not only do typical considerations like income brackets make a significant difference there are also changes in the tax laws that impact retirees differently than others. In this episode, I dive into specific situations and opportunities retirees need […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/simple-tax-strategies-for-retirees-in-2018/">Simple Tax Strategies For Retirees In 2018</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> As you might imagine, tax strategies for retirees are not the same as those for non-retired investors. Not only do typical considerations like income brackets make a significant difference there are also changes in the tax laws that impact retirees dif... As you might imagine, tax strategies for retirees are not the same as those for non-retired investors. Not only do typical considerations like income brackets make a significant difference there are also changes in the tax laws that impact retirees differently than others. In this episode, I dive into specific situations and opportunities retirees need to think through regarding tax decisions. Keep in mind, I don’t know you or your particular situation, so my tips are only generalities. You need to consult your personal tax advisor to get help when it comes to applying these – or any other tips – to your situation. I hope you find this episode useful and would appreciate you sharing it with others.
Outline of This Episode

* [0:41] What should you do if you are living off your retirement savings in a stock downturn
* [4:12] Year-end tax tips aimed at helping retirees
* [5:01] The tax cuts and jobs act – larger standard deduction and new limits on itemized deductions
* [6:10] Roth IRA conversions: Now they need to happen at the end of the year
* [14:37] How required minimum distributions figure into the mix
* [20:03] 3rd party distributions: giving your RMD to a charity
* [20:56] Donor Advised Funds: The story of Dave and Janet
* [23:38] Upcoming changes to the show for 2019

New limits on itemized tax deductions: Something retirees should consider
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has increased the standard deduction for most families. It also places new limits on itemized deductions – a $10,000 cap. Who will continue to itemize in this scenario? Experts are saying fewer than 10% of people. This means everyone – including retirees – needs to understand that deductions previously allowed are no longer going to be possible for most people. Listen to learn what to expect when it comes to this significant change to our tax laws.
Roth IRA Conversions are going to be a big, big deal for 2018 taxes
Making Roth IRA conversions early in the year used to enable us to adjust the placement of investment funds so as to take advantage of a growing market and mitigate possible losses. But the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has done away with that advantageous opportunity. That makes it seem that Roth IRA Conversions are more beneficial to happen at the end of the year now, simply because we’ll need to wait until then to know our true income status before making decisions. Listen to learn how this might impact your situation.
You may be able to save an immediate 3% on every tax dollar you owe
Tax brackets have changed with the advent of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That makes Roth IRA Conversions a great tool to enable you to save on the tax money you owe. That is a very simple tax strategy that every retiree needs to be aware of – because 3% savings is significant for most people. This is important to pay attention to because the tax cuts are not permanent. They are set to expire in 2024 and are unlikely to be extended. The great thing is that the conversion is relatively simple to do. Listen to hear the details and to learn how you can take advantage of this potential limited-time opportunity to save on your taxes.

Roth IRA Conversions are tricky for retirees. Here’s why
Given the advantages of converting IRA funds into Roth IRAs, you might think you should convert everything you can in order to maximize your advantages. But be careful. If you create a spike in your retirement income due to the conversion, there are a couple of ways you could create an increased tax liability for yourself. The first has to do with the Affordable Care Act. If you purchased healthcare through the ACA before you turned 65 and did so through the exchanges, you may be getting a tax credit as a subsidy to help you purchase your insurance. A spike to your income will require you to repay that subsidy.]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 24:44
Become Wealthy by Doing What The Wealthy Do, with Sarah Stanley Fallaw, Ep #66 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/become-wealthy-by-doing-what-the-wealthy-do-with-sarah-stanley-fallaw-ep-66/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 09:00:53 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5074 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/become-wealthy-by-doing-what-the-wealthy-do-with-sarah-stanley-fallaw-ep-66/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/become-wealthy-by-doing-what-the-wealthy-do-with-sarah-stanley-fallaw-ep-66/feed/ 0 <p>One of the first books that got me thinking differently about finances and helped me believe that becoming wealthy was within reach was “The Millionaire Next Door.” The impact of the book on my life is hard to describe and is one of the many reasons I invited Sarah Fallaw to be my guest on […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/become-wealthy-by-doing-what-the-wealthy-do-with-sarah-stanley-fallaw-ep-66/">Become Wealthy by Doing What The Wealthy Do, with Sarah Stanley Fallaw, Ep #66</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> One of the first books that got me thinking differently about finances and helped me believe that becoming wealthy was within reach was “The Millionaire Next Door.” The impact of the book on my life is hard to describe and is one of the many reasons I ... Sarah and I had a fun conversation that covers a variety of topics. Among them: Why should we study wealthy people? What are key behaviors that transcend time and lead to building wealth? What is the real truth behind common myths people believe about wealthy people? And if you take the time to listen to the very end you may be able to join Sarah by participating in her research. Sarah is a delightful guest, so I hope you take the time to listen.
Outline of This Episode

* [0:38] What was the first book that financially changed your life?
* [2:53] Why would the average person care about the habits of wealthy people?
* [7:39] Interesting stat #1: Most Millionaires do NOT inherit their wealth
* [10:11] Interesting stat #2: Most Millionaires do NOT drive status motor vehicles
* [11:55] 75% of Millionaires pay no attention to elections. So why do we?
* [14:03] Do you know the best predictor of consumption (vs saving)?
* [16:36] How does Sarah do her research? Could you be included?

Identify the path wealthy people took and you can take the same path
The most dramatic changes that come to the lives of everyday people happen because of changes to their financial status – both positive and negative. That means that just as a financial crisis can devastate a life, so also can a financial windfall or success enrich it.
Contrary to what many will tell you, it’s not greedy or bad to want to become wealthy. In fact, the stability and opportunity that comes from wealth are unmatched. In our conversation, Sarah shares that much of why she studies the behaviors and habits of the wealthy is to discover how everyday people like you and me can apply the principles they follow. Listen to this episode to get a taste of what sets the wealthy apart, enabling them to BE wealthy in the first place.
Key behaviors of wealthy people that transcend time
The original book that impacted me so much, “The Millionaire Next Door” was written in 1996. Given the amount of time that has passed between its creation and my conversation with Sarah for this episode, I suspected that many things within the original book are no longer true. So what I wanted to know was this: What was true then that is still true now? For those of us who want to become wealthy, that’s an important question because it reveals principles of behavior and thinking that are enduring.
Sarah shared two characteristics wealthy people exhibit that are very different than the average person. First, they practice what Sarah calls, “social indifference.” This simply means that wealthy people don’t worry about what others are doing or what others think about what they are doing. They are secure making their own decisions and standing alone if need be. A second characteristic they possess holds a lesson for us: Those who want to become wealthy need to become aware of their own financial health. Those who are wealthy are so intentionally, carefully keeping track of their financial status and working to see that it thrives. Listen to learn more.
If you want to become wealthy, ignore the myths
Many people believe that the majority of wealthy people inherited their wealth – you know,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 20:40
Chris Hogan: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/chris-hogan/ Thu, 01 Nov 2018 06:00:12 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5059 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/chris-hogan/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/chris-hogan/feed/ 0 <p>Preorder Chris Hogan’s new book: Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth―and How You Can Too I’ve been a fan of Dave Ramsey and the entire Dave Ramsey team for many years.  My wife and I have coordinated several Financial Peace University classes at local churches and I was even one of Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/chris-hogan/">Chris Hogan: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Preorder Chris Hogan’s new book: Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth―and How You Can Too I’ve been a fan of Dave Ramsey and the entire Dave Ramsey team for many years.  My wife and I have coordinated several Financial ... Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth―and How You Can Too
I’ve been a fan of Dave Ramsey and the entire Dave Ramsey team for many years.  My wife and I have coordinated several Financial Peace University classes at local churches and I was even one of Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers for investment advice for many years.
When the opportunity to interview Chris Hogan fell into my lap in Orlando at FinCon (Financial Blogger’s Conference), I couldn’t say yes fast enough!!
I first met Chris Hogan when he was one of the main speakers at an EnterLeadership conference I attended in Nashville in 2012, and I’ve followed his work ever since.
Listen in as Chris and I chat about the following:
How is Chris using lessons learned from playing football to teach people about wealth building?
How can “one hour of stupid” mess up ten years of diligent financial planning?
Why is storytelling so important to financial planning?
What is “sheep-mode thinking”?
How can we be sure to live our best retirement and not someone else’s?
How can social media influence the way we compare ourselves to others & how might social media influence our retirement?

 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 20:59
Whats the Worst Investment You’ve Ever Seen? 4 Advisors Weigh in http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/whats-the-worst-investment-youve-ever-seen-4-advisors-weigh-in/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 06:00:07 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5040 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/whats-the-worst-investment-youve-ever-seen-4-advisors-weigh-in/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/whats-the-worst-investment-youve-ever-seen-4-advisors-weigh-in/feed/ 0 <p>Recorded LIVE at FinCon 2018 (Financial Blogger’s Conference) in Orlando Florida. Advisors share their worst investments and the most shocking investments they’ve ever seen.  Later on, the advisors discuss why investors are so drawn to speculative investments. Your hosts: Me – You know me 🙂 Roger Whitney – Host of The Retirement Answer Man Chad […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/whats-the-worst-investment-youve-ever-seen-4-advisors-weigh-in/">Whats the Worst Investment You’ve Ever Seen? 4 Advisors Weigh in</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Recorded LIVE at FinCon 2018 (Financial Blogger’s Conference) in Orlando Florida. Advisors share their worst investments and the most shocking investments they’ve ever seen.  Later on, the advisors discuss why investors are so drawn to speculative inve... Advisors share their worst investments and the most shocking investments they’ve ever seen.  Later on, the advisors discuss why investors are so drawn to speculative investments.
Your hosts:
Me – You know me 🙂
Roger Whitney – Host of The Retirement Answer Man
Chad Smith – Host of Financial Symmetry
Peter Lazeroff – Co-Chief Investment Officer at Plancorp and author of Making Money Simple – Available for pre-order now!

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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 29:49
Rewire Your Retirement – An Interview with Jamie Hopkins http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/rewire-your-retirement-an-interview-with-jamie-hopkins/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 06:00:11 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5028 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/rewire-your-retirement-an-interview-with-jamie-hopkins/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/rewire-your-retirement-an-interview-with-jamie-hopkins/feed/ 0 <p>Our guest today is Jamie Hopkins. Jamie and I have a unique connection, as Jamie was one of the professors for my RICP designation (Retirement Income Certified Professional). Listen in as Professor Hopkins and I discuss: Why he choose retirement planning and educating financial planners over other disciplines. What is an easy way to boost […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/rewire-your-retirement-an-interview-with-jamie-hopkins/">Rewire Your Retirement – An Interview with Jamie Hopkins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Our guest today is Jamie Hopkins. Jamie and I have a unique connection, as Jamie was one of the professors for my RICP designation (Retirement Income Certified Professional). Listen in as Professor Hopkins and I discuss: Why he choose retirement planni... Listen in as Professor Hopkins and I discuss:

* Why he choose retirement planning and educating financial planners over other disciplines.
* What is an easy way to boost our retirement income by 38%?
* Will technology be inflationary or deflationary in retirement?
* What he learned about literacy rates during the research of this book and if he was encouraged by these findings.
* Warren Buffet once said, “Investing is simple, but not easy” – What did he mean by that?
* Will confirmation bias ruin my retirement?

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., CFP, RICP, is a professor at The American College and Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income. Hopkins is a well-recognized writer, speaker and thought leader in the area of retirement income planning. His most recent book, “Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement,” details the behavioral finance issues that hold people back from a more financially secure retirement. Professor Hopkins’ impact on retirement planning has been well recognized as he has been named as both a top 40 financial services professional under the age of 40 by InvestmentNews and a top 40 young attorney under the age of 40 by The American Bar Association.

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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:15
Retiring After 70 Part 2 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-2/ Sat, 15 Sep 2018 06:00:19 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5019 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-2/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-2/feed/ 0 <p>In today’s episode, we tackle part two of our two part series – Working beyond age 70. Check out part one – Health Insurance and Social Security: Retirement Headlines!! We fired up the Retirement Starts Today way-back machine to the year 2016 – when companies were tripping over each other to get out ahead of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-2/">Retiring After 70 Part 2</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> In today’s episode, we tackle part two of our two part series – Working beyond age 70. Check out part one – Health Insurance and Social Security: Retirement Headlines!! We fired up the Retirement Starts Today way-back machine to the year 2016 – when co... Check out part one – Health Insurance and Social Security:
Retirement Headlines!!
We fired up the Retirement Starts Today way-back machine to the year 2016 – when companies were tripping over each other to get out ahead of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule.  When the Fiduciary Rule died a tragic death in 2017, it was anybody’s guess whether or not these companies would stick to their promises…
Merrill Lynch reverses policy on banning IRA commissions following death of DOL fiduciary rule
Tax Reform 2.0 – changes coming to Required Minimum Distributions?
Advisers back Trump’s directive to ease distribution rules for retirement accounts
Retirement, 529 accounts would be expanded under new GOP tax plan
What happens if I work beyond age 70?
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 18:29
Retiring After 70 Part 1 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-1/ Sat, 01 Sep 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=5006 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-1/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-1/feed/ 0 <p>In today’s episode we share the results of our first annual listener survey, we check out breaking news in our “retirement headlines’ segment, and we tackle part one of our two part series: ‘Working beyond age 70’.  — Thank you to those of you that participated in the survey – It is my hope that […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retiring-after-70-part-1/">Retiring After 70 Part 1</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> In today’s episode we share the results of our first annual listener survey, we check out breaking news in our “retirement headlines’ segment, and we tackle part one of our two part series: ‘Working beyond age 70’.
Thank you to those of you that participated in the survey – It is my hope that as we finish our 3rd year as podcasters, we improve this show each and every year. Having an annual survey will go a long way toward making those improvements.
Listener survey results

* Over 90% of our audience is over age 50! In my mind, I’m talking to folks primarily age 50 and up, but I was surprised it was over 90%.  
* One-topic long form monologue-type episodes are your favorite, out ranking both interviews and answering listener questions.  
* Half our audience likes our current publishing schedule of twice per month, the 1st and 15th of the month (just like payday). 15% would prefer once per month and about 37% would like us to publish weekly.
* What would you like to see more of? Multi-episode deep dives, webinars, and case studies were the most popular.
* How often should we offer webinars? – a whopping 65% of you would like a webinar at least quarterly
* What is your biggest retirement planning concerns? 62% said understanding more about sustainable withdrawal rates from our retirement accounts, followed by healthcare and confidently choosing an accurate retirement date.
* What excites you most about retirement? Travelling and more time for hobbies were a close #1 & #2 answer.
* Do you currently use a financial advisor? Results were split 50% yes, 50% no.

Thanks again to all who participated.  
Click below to join our email list and receive alerts for upcoming webinars.

Click here to sign up
Retirement Headlines!!
Investment News Article – All time market highs
Gambler’s fallacy Wikipedia:  Perhaps the most famous example of the gambler’s fallacy occurred in a game of roulette at the Monte Carlo Casino on August 18, 1913, when the ball fell in black 26 times in a row. This was an extremely uncommon occurrence, with a probability of around 1 in 136.8 million. Gamblers lost millions of francs betting against black, reasoning incorrectly that the streak was causing an imbalance in the randomness of the wheel, and that it had to be followed by a long streak of red.
My thoughts on the article:
The market has no memory – In fact, the market doesn’t even know if it is up or down. Invest for your own needs and unique situation and don’t think about all-time highs.  This bull market could continue for another decade, there’s really no way to tell when the good times will end – only that they eventually WILL END. “The end” doesn’t always mean something dramatic like a market crash, it just means a return to average return, or said in fancy financial advisor speak – reversion to the mean.  Above average returns now simply mean lower expected returns later. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated or dramatic than that.
What happens if I work beyond age 70?
Inspired by what we learned from the listener survey – we’ve split this deep-dive into  multiple episodes.
Part #1 covers Healthcare & Social Security – Part #2 covers Retirement Accounts & Retirement Income.
Health care
What happens if I’m on my employer’s plan beyond age 65? Do I have to grab part A? Part B? Do i get a special open enrollment for Medicare if I retire after 65? After 70? Do I need a prescription drug plan if I’m covered by my employer’s plan...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 25:40
How to Buy a Timeshare: A Beginner’s Guide http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/how-to-buy-a-timeshare-a-beginners-guide/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 06:00:30 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4990 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/how-to-buy-a-timeshare-a-beginners-guide/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/how-to-buy-a-timeshare-a-beginners-guide/feed/ 0 <p>In our 2018 listener survey, we learned that over 50% of our listeners listed “traveling” as the #1 activity that excites them about retirement. When talking about traveling in retirement, the topic of timeshares often isn’t far off. Anecdotally, our clients are happy with their timeshare purchases, but that doesn’t mean horror stories aren’t out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/how-to-buy-a-timeshare-a-beginners-guide/">How to Buy a Timeshare: A Beginner’s Guide</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> In our 2018 listener survey, we learned that over 50% of our listeners listed “traveling” as the #1 activity that excites them about retirement. When talking about traveling in retirement, the topic of timeshares often isn’t far off. Anecdotally, How to Buy a Timeshare
Like any large purchase, buying a timeshare has tips and tricks to save you stress and money, while avoiding the pitfalls of a bad decision.
Our guest this week is Lisa Ann Schreier. Lisa is a former timeshare salesperson and current blogger at TheTimeshareCrusader.blogspot.com 
As a former salesperson of timeshares, Lisa is all too aware of the hard-sell tactics of many timeshare sales companies. Many timeshare sales pitches happen while you are on vacation.  Is that really the best time to buy a timeshare? Lisa is an expert in the buying and selling of timeshares and will guide us in the decision making process.
Listen in as Lisa and I answer the following questions:

* How do timeshares work?
* How do I finance a timeshare? Down payment? Seller financing?
* Are timeshares investments? Could I reasonably expect to sell my timeshare at a later date for a profit?
* There is an old adage: Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry.  Would this apply to buying timeshares? Is there a best or worst time to buy a timeshare?
* When a retiree wishes to buy a second home in retirement, we often recommend renting for six months before fully committing to a purchase. Is it possible to rent a timeshare before buying?
* Should I buy a timeshare on the secondary market (a used timeshare), or should I buy directly from the developer?


Resources mentioned in the episode:
Lisa’s blog
Financing options for timeshares
How much is a timeshare really worth? (The Zillow for timeshares)
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 29:09
Immediate Annuities, Friend or Foe? http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/immediate-annuities/ Wed, 01 Aug 2018 06:00:33 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4978 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/immediate-annuities/#respond http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/immediate-annuities/feed/ 0 <p>Click here to take our 2018 listener survey Immediate Annuities: Friend or Foe? A few weeks ago, a reader named Richard emailed me with this exact query: “Is having a non-inflation indexed payment stream desirable? Are there other better options?” It didn’t surprise me at all that Richard wrote in with this question. If you […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/immediate-annuities/">Immediate Annuities, Friend or Foe?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Click here to take our 2018 listener survey Immediate Annuities: Friend or Foe? A few weeks ago, a reader named Richard emailed me with this exact query: “Is having a non-inflation indexed payment stream desirable? Are there other better options? Click here to take our 2018 listener survey
Immediate Annuities: Friend or Foe?
A few weeks ago, a reader named Richard emailed me with this exact query:
“Is having a non-inflation indexed payment stream desirable? Are there other better options?”
It didn’t surprise me at all that Richard wrote in with this question. If you ask Google whether you should buy an immediate annuity or not, you will find an astonishing 500,000+ search results. This is excellent evidence that annuities — and especially immediate annuities — are a hotly debated topic.
The first thing we need to do to answer that question is to get everyone on the same page with the definition of an immediate annuity. Fortunately, I think Richard answered that question within his query; an immediate annuity is a non-inflation indexed payment stream. In other words, an immediate annuity is a long-term contract you purchase to receive immediate regular payments in exchange for a lump sum investment. Underlying investments can be fixed or variable, and income options can last for life or for a specific length of time.
It’s also important to note that immediate annuities are not the same thing as variable annuities. A variable annuity is another type of product that offers returns that can vary depending on the underlying stocks, bonds, or money market funds you choose to invest in. With a variable annuity, you get tax-deferred treatment of earnings, a death benefit, and annuity payout options that can last for life.
For this piece today, we’re talking about an immediate annuity with lifetime payments funded from a portfolio withdrawal. You could choose to have an immediate annuity payout for a specific time period – say ten years – then the payments would stop. However, you could also choose to receive payments for life. In the case of a specific payout period, payments are based on market interest rates, in the case of lifetime payments, payments are based on life expectancy.

When listeners write in asking about immediate annuities, they often have several reasons why they are curious about this particular product. Lifetime income is obviously a concern, but the real question dives deeper into topics like fear of extreme longevity and anxiety of outliving one’s investment portfolio. Upon further conversation, listeners are worried about running out of income in old age and don’t want to subsist on ramen noodles and cat food. Can’t say I blame them!
So, let’s see how much an average retiree with $100,000 could expect to receive if you did buy an immediate annuity at age 60. If you plug those numbers into an annuity calculator, you’ll find that you could invest $100,000 now and expect to receive around $500 per month for as long as you live.
That doesn’t sound bad at all. After all, $500 per month works out to $6,000 per year. If he starts with $100,000, that’s a six percent withdrawal rate. That’s better than the 4 percent most financial advisors suggest you stick to when taking cash out of your portfolio.
Keep in mind that you can also buy an annuity that covers both you and your spouse. In that case, and with the same amount of money upfront, you could expect to receive around $400 per month.
This sounds like a pretty good deal, but should we all rush out and buy an immediate annuity the day after we retire?
The Immediate Annuity You Already Own
It’s possible an immediate annuity could make a ton of sense for your financial situation and life expectancy. But, what if I said you already owned the best annuity in the world?
This annuity offers payments you can’t outlive and a 100 percent survivor benefit for the largest benefit between two spouses. The best part is, the benefit grows by 8 percent per year every year you defer!
In case you haven’t caught on yet,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 17:33
The Road to Hell is Paved With Yield http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-yield/ Sun, 15 Jul 2018 06:00:31 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4964 <p>With around 10,000 baby boomers retiring in the US every day, the investment industry is always trotting out the latest and greatest investment offerings to help retirees solve the following riddle: How do I turn my accumulated savings into consistent retirement income? Strategy Shares Nasdaq 7HANDL Index ETF (HNDL) is the latest offering attempting to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-yield/">The Road to Hell is Paved With Yield</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> With around 10,000 baby boomers retiring in the US every day, the investment industry is always trotting out the latest and greatest investment offerings to help retirees solve the following riddle: How do I turn my accumulated savings into consistent ... Strategy Shares Nasdaq 7HANDL Index ETF (HNDL) is the latest offering attempting to solve this riddle.
The fund aims to generate a consistent 7% annual distribution to its shareholders. 7%! A figure that dwarfs the current yields of most fixed interest or dividend focused investment vehicles. 7% also exceeds most academic “safe withdrawal rates” by a wide margin.
“What’s unique is the 7% target distribution,” said David Miller, HNDL’s portfolio manager. “As opposed to just owning a diversified portfolio, investors wouldn’t have to go to the effort to sell part of their holdings to generate what they would get from the distributions.”
As soon as I saw this new offering come across my desk, I knew I had to talk about it because I figured our listeners would be emailing me for my opinion sooner rather than later!
Under the hood:
The Nasdaq 7 HANDL is split 50/50 into an income component and a core component.

The income generating portion invests across 12 indexes, featuring MLPs, preferred stocks, utilities, covered calls, REITs, etc.

The core portfolio provides exposure to the US equity and fixed income universe with a 70% bonds and 30% stocks allocation.
That’s about 85% of the fund generating income for distributions.
85% of the portfolio is tasked with generating our monthly income, with the stated goal of hitting 7% annually.
Let’s look at the yield of some of the individual components to see how difficult this task might be:

Vanguard’s Real Estate ETF, VNQ, has a 12 month yield of 3.48% according to Morningstar.

Vanguard’s Utility ETF, VPU, has a 12 month yield of 3.17% according to Morningstar.
Both of those investments offer decent yield, both offer higher yield than treasuries in order to compensate us for accepting additional risk and volatility, but neither investment is even close to the funds 7% target.
So what gives?
Two things: leverage and return of principle.
The funds attempts to boost return by using leverage. Not a lot of leverage – To be exact, this fund uses 23% leverage in an attempt to boost its returns.
David Cohen is the co-founder of this fund, and he has this to say about leverage: “We don’t like to talk about the leverage part, because it upsets people,” said Cohen, “But leverage can be your friend. Take a low-risk portfolio and leverage it up to a level of risk you’re interested in taking, and you have a better overall investment experience.”
That quote provides the main take-away I’d like to pass on to retirees or anyone else thinking about investing in this fund. The only way to increase returns in a low interest rate environment is to increase the risk (and thus possibility of loss) in your portfolio. There are no free lunches in investing, higher return equals higher risk.
I think investors are going to be drawn to the 7% income promise and that is probably by design. How many retirees will ignore the additional risk of using leverage to attempt that high withdrawal rate? That remains to be seen.
I can’t tell you how many investors I’ve visited with in my career that thought they had low risk real estate investment, only to find out the hard way how much risk they were actually taking. In June 2018, the yield on the US 10 year Treasury is just under 3%. Any investment yielding more that that is taking more risk than the risk
So Leverage is #1, #2 is return of capital,

From the Q1 2018 fact sheet: Shareholders should not assume that the source of a distribution from the Fund is net...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 14:28
Dealing With Skyrocketing Long Term Care Insurance Premiums http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/increasing-long-term-care-premiums/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 06:00:30 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4947 <p>How to Deal with Increasing Long Term Care Insurance Premiums Question from listener: “My Long Term Care insurance premiums just went up by 70%! What should I do?” Long Term Care (LTC) presents a sticky dilemma. It seems to be a responsible choice that will provide some peace of mind about your future, but it’s […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/increasing-long-term-care-premiums/">Dealing With Skyrocketing Long Term Care Insurance Premiums</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> How to Deal with Increasing Long Term Care Insurance Premiums Question from listener: “My Long Term Care insurance premiums just went up by 70%! What should I do?” Long Term Care (LTC) presents a sticky dilemma. Question from listener: “My Long Term Care insurance premiums just went up by 70%! What should I do?”
Long Term Care (LTC) presents a sticky dilemma. It seems to be a responsible choice that will provide some peace of mind about your future, but it’s very expensive and comes with a learning curve.
In considering how to respond to a premium increase, step #1 is to remember why you purchased the insurance in the first place. Rather than making a knee-jerk decision in horror at the increase, go back and revisit the thought process you went through back then. Keep your LTC goals in mind as you consider your options.
What is behind long term care rate increases? Why are premium increases so large?
Insurance is regulated at the state level, and all premium increases must be approved by the state’s insurance commissioner. These commissioners may not approve premium increases on existing policies until the increases are absolutely necessary for the insurance company to remain viable and maintain their ability to pay claims. Infrequently-approved increases and undercharging due to inaccurate underwriting lead to large increases.
If you’re worried about future long tern care cost increases, visit Genworth, for a data-based state-specific prediction about what you can expect to spend.
Where can I cut long term care benefits to reduce my premium?
Here are four actions you can consider to retain LTC insurance but slow some of the acceleration of premiums.
Daily/monthly benefits. If your policy pays $5,000 a month, consider reducing it to $4,000. If your policy has been in force for several years and your original benefit has grown due to benefit-compounding riders, this could be a good first place to reduce coverage.
Benefit period. Typically, LTC policies pay for three to five years of benefits. (Lifetime benefits are practically unavailable for purchase today.)  Reducing the benefit period reduces the risk of a large claim for the insurance company, which reduces your premium.
Reduce the rate of policy growth (or inflation rider). You want your benefits to increase over time to keep up with rising costs. Policy growth rates can be compounding (5% and 3% are common rates) or tied to inflation. Reducing the growth rate of your benefits reduces the growth of your premium. Be sure to double check your state’s partnership rules before making changes to inflation riders, as an inflation growth rate is mandatory for participation in some state partnership plans.  (I explain what “Partnership” is at the end of the article)
Stop paying premiums and rely on your policy’s non-forfeiture options. Some modern policies allow you to preserve the benefits you’ve already paid for, and this non-forfeiture option can be triggered by a rate increase. Say you’ve had your policy for five years and paid $5,000 each year in premiums. Your insurance company notifies you of a premium increase at your policy’s next contract anniversary. If this triggers your state’s non-forfeiture rules, you can stop paying your premiums and keep the policy in force. In our example, your benefit would be preserved at $25,000 (5 years at $5,000 each year = $25,000 benefit). Check your original policy, as well as the notification of your rate increase, to see if non-forfeiture benefits are available to you.
Many options exist to trim your benefits to reduce your premiums. Which one is right for you? Visit with a financial planner familiar with your unique situation to give you guidance.
*     *    *     *     *
Postscript: What is long term care state partnership?
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:15
Medicare is Going Broke!! (And Other Exaggerations) http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/medicare-is-going-broke-and-other-exaggerations/ Fri, 15 Jun 2018 06:00:43 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4936 <p>Medicare is going broke!! Time to panic! Everybody pack your bags and move to Canada because the the entire country is going broke…. Or is it?…. We’re going to break it all down and help you make sense of the headlines. A Washington Post article made waves this week, stating that a crucial Medicare trust […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/medicare-is-going-broke-and-other-exaggerations/">Medicare is Going Broke!! (And Other Exaggerations)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Medicare is going broke!! Time to panic! Everybody pack your bags and move to Canada because the the entire country is going broke…. Or is it?…. We’re going to break it all down and help you make sense of the headlines. Time to panic!
Everybody pack your bags and move to Canada because the the entire country is going broke…. Or is it?….
We’re going to break it all down and help you make sense of the headlines.
A Washington Post article made waves this week, stating that a crucial Medicare trust fund will run out sooner than expected. This fund is forecasted to run out in 2026 – three years sooner than the same report projected last year.
Blame for the quicker-than-expected depletion of the trust fund has been placed on recently passed tax cuts.
So what’s a near-retiree to do?
The 1st step to understanding what to do is to understand the impact of the funding shortfall. If we fast-forward to 2026, the report projects that the dedicated revenues will fall to 91% of “HI” costs (HI is Medicare Part A). The dedicated revenues the report is referring to are our payroll taxes.  These taxes aren’t voluntary and are magically subtracted from your paycheck before you even see them, making them pretty dang dependable!
The report goes on to say that 91% funding level will get slowly worse until it hits 78% in 2039, then gets better for a bit, raising to 85% in 2092, before falling beyond that.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many plans beyond 2092.
For the other parts of Medicare, B & D, the report States that they are fine, “Trustees project that both Part B and Part D will remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law provides financing from general revenues and beneficiary premiums each year to meet the next year’s expected costs.”
Medicare Part A needs help, Parts B & D are fine.  While that statement is accurate, it doesn’t make for a very good headline…
Read the full report here: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/
While the situation doesn’t sound dire, the program is massively important to retirees (Health care is often cited by our retired clients as a main concern) and deserves to remain funded at 100% levels.
What can our lawmakers do to fix Medicare and how can retirees prepare in the event lawmakers don’t fix it?
Raise the percentage of our salaries that fund Medicare.
1.45% is paid by the employer and the employee for a total of 2.9%.
For high income households with annual incomes over $250,000 – an additional Medicare tax of 0.90% is added to the employee’s tax liability while the employer’s bill remains at 1.45%.
Can’t raise the cap because there is no cap on income for Medicare, there is a cap of around $128,000 for Social Security (easy to confuse these two).
Higher premiums for Part B based on income. Married couples with incomes over $94,000 could be expected to pay more. Currently, only married households with incomes over $170,000 pay more than everyone else for their Part B premiums.
Raise the Medicare eligibility age to coincide with your Social Security Full Retirement age.
What can a retiree do to prepare?
Learn as much as possible about your available healthcare options before and after age 65. If you aren’t already, join our email list to be notified of our next “Healthcare in Retirement” webinar.
There are many health care options, each with different risk compromises between the insured and the insurance company. The better educated you are, the better decision you be able to make to suit your unique situation.
Consider max funding a Roth IRA or planning for...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 15:55
Top 6 Easily Avoidable Retirement Mistakes http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/top-6-easily-avoidable-retirement-mistakes/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 06:00:40 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4927 <p>The Top 6 Easily Avoidable Retirement Mistakes We all work hard to plan for retirement. In any such endeavor, it’s good to learn from other people’s triumphs and mistakes, so I’d like to share six retirement mistakes I see all too frequently. The best part is, they’re easily avoidable! #6: Not getting the most out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/top-6-easily-avoidable-retirement-mistakes/">Top 6 Easily Avoidable Retirement Mistakes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> The Top 6 Easily Avoidable Retirement Mistakes We all work hard to plan for retirement. In any such endeavor, it’s good to learn from other people’s triumphs and mistakes, so I’d like to share six retirement mistakes I see all too frequently. We all work hard to plan for retirement. In any such endeavor, it’s good to learn from other people’s triumphs and mistakes, so I’d like to share six retirement mistakes I see all too frequently. The best part is, they’re easily avoidable!
#6: Not getting the most out of Social Security.
I’ve seen different statistics reported, but the fact is that way too many Americans don’t max out their Social Security. I’ve seen it reported as 2% or 4%; just to be safe, let’s say only 10% of Americans actually receive their maximum Social Security benefits. That means 90% of us are leaving money on the table when it comes to Social Security. I know not everybody can wait until age 70 to get their maximum Social Security check, but it really shouldn’t be 90%, right? Every year we don’t collect Social Security, we get an 8% increase in delayed retirement credits—8% per year!
If you Google “top fears of retirees,” #1 on every list is “fear of running out of money.” What’s the best way to guarantee we won’t ever run out of money? Max out your Social Security income. But people think, “You know, I’m 62, I’m retired. I can start collecting now.” It’s human nature to collect money as soon as it becomes available, but I think it’s a big mistake. And collecting early because you’re afraid Social Security will collapse? No. Because Social Security is funded through a dedicated payroll tax, as long as people are out there earning money, Social Security can never run out of money.
There’s a second part to this mistake: many married people forget about survivorship benefits. Let’s say I collect $1500 and my wife gets $2000 a month. Regardless of which of us passes away first, the bigger check stays. If my wife dies first, the $1500 check goes away and the $2000 check becomes the one check, regardless of who that amount is attached to; that’s the survivorship benefit.
Plan ahead to max out your Social Security. Delay as long as humanly possible.
#5: Overestimating our ability to be objective about own investments.
I think the bull market has spoiled us a little bit as investors, and some of us are getting overly confident about our ability to be objective about our portfolio. It’s easy to think, “Oh, I know the market’s going to go down eventually, but when it goes down, I’ll harness my intestinal fortitude and I’ll be able to ride it out. I just know it.”
Or we may lack the objectivity to notice our own greed. “Hey, you know, Netflix is up 70% over the last however long, I think it’s going to keep running. I’m not going to rebalance. Lets let those ponies run.” We get overly confident about our investing aptitude, and it affects our diversification. I’m biased, but one way to avoid this mistake is to hire a financial advisor who knows a thing or two about portfolio management. Personally, I’d go with my company, but there are 300,000 financial advisors who can do that for you. However, I know most of our audience belongs to the do-it-yourself crowd, so I’ll give you some pointers about how to stay objective about your investments.
Use a model to set up your portfolio and let the model be objective on your behalf. Let’s use real estate as our example. Don’t take this as any sort of a specific investment recommendation; it’s just an example. Now, real estate has not had a very good year, but it has done well in the past. Let’s say real estate is a broad investment option in your 401K or your IRA, and you set that investment percentage as 5%. So, real estate has an iffy quarter; let’s say it goes down something like 20%. Now you’re have a 4% real estate allocation. You look at that 4% and say, “That’s down 20%—it’s not worth putting more money into.” But you had decided on 5% real estate alloc...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:24
Are You Ready to ROCK Retirement? http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/roger-whitney-retirement-answer-man-rock-retirement/ Tue, 15 May 2018 06:00:42 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4911 <p>Our guest today, Roger Whitney, is the host of the popular retirement planning podcast The Retirement Answer Man and author of the new book Rock Retirement. Roger has over 27 years experience walking life with clients into and through retirement. Listen in as Roger and I discuss: Why do we tend to draw ‘inside the lines’ […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/roger-whitney-retirement-answer-man-rock-retirement/">Are You Ready to ROCK Retirement?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Our guest today, Roger Whitney, is the host of the popular retirement planning podcast The Retirement Answer Man and author of the new book Rock Retirement. Roger has over 27 years experience walking life with clients into and through retirement. The Retirement Answer Man and author of the new book Rock Retirement.
Roger has over 27 years experience walking life with clients into and through retirement.
Listen in as Roger and I discuss:

* Why do we tend to draw ‘inside the lines’ when planning for retirement and how can that negatively effect our planning?
* What can spaghetti teach us about building our ideal retirement? Pasta (the base), sauce (the flavor), & seasoning (the spice).
* What the heck is an anti-budget budget and is it the secret weapon for retirees that hate to budget?
* Why Roger wants to avoid having BIG conversations by having many little conversations

 

Roger is giving away TEN copies of his amazing book Rock Retirement. 
Click the link for a chance to win!! RogerWhitney.com/Ben
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 27:22
Getting a Mortgage in Retirement http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/getting-mortgage-retirement/ Tue, 01 May 2018 06:00:04 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4881 <p>When looking for that perfect house to retire to, many retirees discover that getting a mortgage in retirement is different than getting a mortgage while working.</p> <p>Once we retire, our wages (the primary mortgage underwriting qualifier) stop and the source of our income radically changes. Many recent retirees complain that once their paychecks stop, their banker starts to look at them differently!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/getting-mortgage-retirement/">Getting a Mortgage in Retirement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> When looking for that perfect house to retire to, many retirees discover that getting a mortgage in retirement is different than getting a mortgage while working. - Once we retire, our wages (the primary mortgage underwriting qualifier) stop and the s... When looking for that perfect house to retire to, many retirees discover that getting a mortgage in retirement is different than getting a mortgage while working.
Once we retire, our wages (the primary mortgage underwriting qualifier) stop and the source of our income radically changes.  Many recent retirees complain that once their paychecks stop, their banker starts to look at them differently!
Our guest, Casey Fleming of LoanGuide.com, is a 39 year mortgage industry expert and ready to answer our questions about the trials and tribulations of getting a mortgage in retirement.
Buying a second home in retirement can be an expensive proposition: Real estate broker’s commissions, state transfer taxes, interest, and closing costs can add up quickly and negotiating the best possible deal when getting a mortgage in retirement could mean the difference between your retirement dream home and settling for something much less.
Like any other retirement planning topic, proper planning in advance can save us time, tears, and treasure.
Listen in as Casey and I answer the following questions:

* Will my Social Security help me qualify for a mortgage?
* How will my IRA withdrawals effect my mortgage application?
* How do I qualify for a mortgage once I’m retired?
* Once my wages are gone, what income will my lender consider when making an underwriting decision?
* How can a near-retiree plan ahead for the best possible mortgage? Should I use my local bank or an independent broker?
* What avoidable mistakes do retirees make when getting a mortgage in retirement?

Find additional tips and tricks in our related post: 5 Tips for Buying a Second Home in Retirement
Additional resources:
Follow Casey on Twitter
Casey’s Book: The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage
Casey’s blog: TheLoanGuide.com
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:00
The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Life Insurance http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/selling-your-life-insurance/ Sun, 15 Apr 2018 08:00:46 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4873 <p>Is Selling Your Life Insurance a Good Idea? Recently, I was sitting in our office waiting anxiously for our Keurig machine to do its job when I saw a commercial that piqued my interest. The commercial was about life insurance, but it wasn’t your typical sales pitch. It was a service touting the benefits of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/selling-your-life-insurance/">The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Life Insurance</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Is Selling Your Life Insurance a Good Idea? Recently, I was sitting in our office waiting anxiously for our Keurig machine to do its job when I saw a commercial that piqued my interest. The commercial was about life insurance, Recently, I was sitting in our office waiting anxiously for our Keurig machine to do its job when I saw a commercial that piqued my interest. The commercial was about life insurance, but it wasn’t your typical sales pitch. It was a service touting the benefits of selling your life insurance for a profit.

Once I first heard of this possibility, I started seeing it everywhere – on TV, in magazines, and on blogs. From there, I started wondering: “Could it really be worth it to sell your life insurance policy to someone else? And, why on Earth would you want to do that anyway?”
It sounds crazy, and it is, but it could be a good option under the right circumstances. 
Why Should You Sell Your Life Insurance?
But, why would you want to sell your life insurance? And, why would someone want to buy it? Let me explain.
As we approach retirement, our views on life insurance tend to change. Kids are grown and gone or at least close to leaving the nest, your retirement account balances are likely as high as they’ve ever been, and your debt levels are as low as they’ve ever been. Obviously, this is a stark contrast from when you purchased life insurance in your 20’s or 30’s.  If you are like most retirees, you may not even need life insurance anymore.
So, what’s a retiree to do? Should you stop paying your premiums? Take any cash value you have and run?
While many do either of those, certain populations may actually be better off selling their policies to a group of investors. But, how does this work?
Here’s how it goes: If you choose to sell your policy, an investment group will take ownership of your life insurance policy, keep up the premium payments, and collect a benefit upon your death. In exchange for your policy and this agreement, you will receive a cash lump sum. 
Obviously, the investment group will want to look at your medical records in order to make an appropriate underwriting decision. Not to sound too morbid, but they will hope you’re dying soon so they can cash in. After the sale, the investment group will likely check in with you once per year to see if you are still alive. Hopefully they won’t sound too disappointed if you’re still kicking, but hey, you should prepare for that possibility.
The best part about this scheme is that the process is pretty seamless on your end. You’ll let them look at your medical records and answer any questions the investors have. From there, you’ll call your life insurance company and change your beneficiary to the company that purchased your policy. There’s usually only a few pages of paperwork to complete the process, and you may even be able to change your beneficiary online.  
How Much Can You Earn Selling Your Life Insurance?
Easy is good because nobody wants to go through a major inconvenience to sell their life insurance — especially when it’s easy as pie to just quit paying the premiums or take your cash value and run. Still, how much you could earn by selling your policy should definitely influence your decision.
Fortunately, there are a few generic formulas online you can use to figure this out. From what I gather, it appears you could expect between 13% and 25% of the face value of your policy when you sell. That’s up to $25,000 for a $100,000 policy, which isn’t chump change. If you have a large amount of cash value in the policy, that could also increase the sale price of the unwanted life insurance.
Now, $25,000 is likely not enough to change the scope of your retirement plans. However, if your health is deteriorating and you want to check a few items off the bucket list before the good Lord calls you home, then this exchange could be worth exploring further. Maybe you’re just so flush with cash that you are tired of paying your policy and know you won’t need it. That’s always a good thing, right? So, why not sell?
First,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 16:45
5 Easy Steps to be a 401k Millionaire http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/5-easy-steps-to-be-a-401k-millionaire/ Sun, 01 Apr 2018 08:00:28 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4858 <p>5 Easy Steps to Becoming a 401k Millionaire While becoming a 401k millionaire may seem like a crazy, out-of-reach goal, it’s not that hard to become a 401(k) millionaire if you have the self-discipline to stick with a long-term plan. Fidelity recently shared this idea in a blog post on the top habits of 401(k) […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/5-easy-steps-to-be-a-401k-millionaire/">5 Easy Steps to be a 401k Millionaire</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 5 Easy Steps to Becoming a 401k Millionaire While becoming a 401k millionaire may seem like a crazy, out-of-reach goal, it’s not that hard to become a 401(k) millionaire if you have the self-discipline to stick with a long-term plan. While becoming a 401k millionaire may seem like a crazy, out-of-reach goal, it’s not that hard to become a 401(k) millionaire if you have the self-discipline to stick with a long-term plan.
Fidelity recently shared this idea in a blog post on the top habits of 401(k) millionaires. According to Fidelity, anyone who follows the tips outlined in their post should eventually become a millionaire — and perhaps do it faster than they think — depending on how much they can afford to invest each month.
When I started researching this topic, I also found that many other financial publications have tackled this idea from one angle or another. For the purpose of this piece, I read through all of the articles I could find and leaned on my own experience as a financial advisor to come up with ultimate list of steps to become a 401(k) millionaire.
With that in mind, here are the top tips to become a 401(k) millionaire and perhaps even retire early:
Step 1: Start saving as easy as possible.
The most important component of becoming a 401(k) millionaire is to start saving as early as you possibly can – as in, now if you’re not saving already. By starting the process early, you get the chance to let compound interest do the heavy lifting. Why is this important? Because the more money you have invested early on, the more time it will have to compound on itself over and over again.
I once heard a wise man say that you’ll never retire on the money you save for retirement – and that you actually retire on the money your retirement money earns. This money is compound interest, and it’s crucial if you want to become a 401(k) millionaire.
Step 2: Contribute at least 10 – 15 percent of your salary to your 401(k).
Almost every author who has written a piece on this topic says you should save at least 10 – 15 percent of your gross salary for retirement, although some suggest saving a higher percentage than that.
I absolutely see this with my clients that are 401(k) millionaires in their 50’s. Those who have achieved 401(k) millionaire status do everything they can to max out their retirement accounts and live on what is left of their paycheck. It helps that 401(k)s are funded automatically out of your paycheck, but you should make sure you make saving a priority if you’re self-employed and have a SEP IRA or Solo 401(k) instead.
You want to be sure to pay yourself first and save the funds directly out of your paycheck before it hits your checking account. Automate every part of the savings process, and you’ll never regret it. By automating your saving and investments, you’ll be able to avoid lifestyle creep caused by having extra money in your account each month.
In case you’re unaware, lifestyle creep is the unavoidable phenomenon that says humans will naturally spend everything in front of us. Got a raise? Spend it! Received a holiday bonus? Better spend it fast! It is an unfortunate part of human nature that we are inclined to spend money that isn’t already accounted for. Automating your saving process will remove this temptation.
Step 3: Always invest enough to receive your employer match.
According to Fidelity’s figures, 97% of employer-sponsored plans offer a match. If you don’t think your plan offers a match, it might be worth it to double check! After all, who doesn’t want free money?
I’ll even take this a step further. If you aren’t taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match, you are voluntarily working for less. Your employer is offering you more money, but you are saying “no thanks” and taking less money instead. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
Here’s my favorite way to look at the employer match: The employer match is an immediate, guaranteed, 100% return on your investment. You put money into retirement and that money doubl...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 20:00
Asked & Answered: Episode #2 – Navigating Market Volatility http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/asked-answered-episode-2-navigating-market-volatility/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 08:00:09 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4841 <p>Let’s press rewind on our March 6th Market Volatility webinar and listen in on the Q&A session. We answer the following retirement questions: Jean asks: When the markets drops, should I reduce the amount of money I use from my accounts proportionally? Doug asks: Where can I invest my money to keep a steady flow […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/asked-answered-episode-2-navigating-market-volatility/">Asked & Answered: Episode #2 – Navigating Market Volatility</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Let’s press rewind on our March 6th Market Volatility webinar and listen in on the Q&A session. We answer the following retirement questions: Jean asks: When the markets drops, should I reduce the amount of money I use from my accounts proportionally? We answer the following retirement questions:
Jean asks:

When the markets drops, should I reduce the amount of money I use from my accounts proportionally?
Doug asks:

Where can I invest my money to keep a steady flow of income, considering the volatility of the markets presently and future economic downturns?
Rob asks:

I just retired at age 60 last September 2017. I have a long way to go in retirement (God willing) but I am worried about sequence of return risk, especially now that the market is taking a tumble. What can new retirees like me do to be successful in long term planning for retirement income when I am a textbook example of sequence of return risk?
Lemuel asks:

How will the currently retired, retiring and planning to retire folks hasten the negative impact of turbulent market to their nest eggs?
Richard asks:

If ‘volatile markets are the new normal’ , will this new reality drive prospective retirees to take the monthly benefit, rather than a lump-sum distribution? (sacrificing potential growth for peace of mind/stability)

How can a fiduciary provide a reliable retirement projection, when the markets are so volatile? Do you overlay ‘confidence intervals’ or ‘prediction error’ bars on the analyses you provide for clients?
Patrick asks:

Is it time to move a good portion of portfolio into annuities which minimize some of the risk (but may sacrifice some gain)?
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 15:10
Navigating Turbulent Markets: An Interview with Taylor Schulte http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/navigating-turbulent-markets-with-taylor-schulte/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4816 <p>Register for our March 6th Market Volatility Webinar. Market volatility is on the minds of many investors in 2018. After years of seemingly endless portfolio gains, retirement savers received a punch in the nose from volatility and left many wondering where we go from here. Taylor Schulte is a Certified Financial Planner and President of Define […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/navigating-turbulent-markets-with-taylor-schulte/">Navigating Turbulent Markets: An Interview with Taylor Schulte</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Register for our March 6th Market Volatility Webinar. Market volatility is on the minds of many investors in 2018. After years of seemingly endless portfolio gains, retirement savers received a punch in the nose from volatility and left many wondering ... Register for our March 6th Market Volatility Webinar.
Market volatility is on the minds of many investors in 2018. After years of seemingly endless portfolio gains, retirement savers received a punch in the nose from volatility and left many wondering where we go from here. Taylor Schulte is a Certified Financial Planner and President of Define Financial, a San Diego fee-only financial advisor. In this episode, Taylor and I discuss:

* How to prepare for the next market misbehavior.
* Is now the right time to reevaluate your risk tolerance in light of recent market condition?
* Where should retirement investors take risks? U.S. Treasuries vs corporate bonds?
* Risk tolerance vs retirement goals, which comes first if those goals conflict?


Join our email list to be alerted of upcoming webinars
Click here to subscribe
Resources mentioned in this episode:

* Vanguard total return investing
* Taylor’s ‘Stacking Benjamins’ episode
* The worst ten year return for a 50/50 stock/bond portfolio

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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 26:26
Warren Buffett is Never Going to Retire. Should You? http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/warren-buffett-never-going-retire/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:00:24 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4792 <p>Warren Buffett is a legendary investor, a business tycoon, and a hero for many who work in the financial services industry like I do. He’s a man with principles – a man of wisdom. He’s also one of the richest men in the world. But despite his riches, Buffett still lives in the same modest […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/warren-buffett-never-going-retire/">Warren Buffett is Never Going to Retire. Should You?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Warren Buffett is a legendary investor, a business tycoon, and a hero for many who work in the financial services industry like I do. He’s a man with principles – a man of wisdom. He’s also one of the richest men in the world. But despite his riches, But despite his riches, Buffett still lives in the same modest home he has occupied for decades. He still lives fairly frugally, never insisting on having the biggest or the best of every contraption known to man.
And like many Americans, Buffet also has no plans to retire.

According to CNBC, not planning to retire is a common narrative for Americans, but for different reasons than Buffett. A recent Gallup poll referenced by CNBC stated that 63 percent of working adults plan to work part-time beyond age 65, while 11 percent plan to continue working full-time. Many of these workers just won’t have the funds to retire, unfortunately. And a lot of these baby boomers will likely die before they get a chance to retire – or, they’ll be forced into a retirement by some sort of medical crisis that hinders their ability to work.
And, the rest? It’s pretty safe to say that millions of our oldest citizens will continue working in perpetuity, or until they just can’t anymore. Why? Because they like what they do, and they aren’t sure they want to stop.
Planning for Retirement: Should You Bother?
I can relate, and I’m guessing many of you do.
I really like my job, I love my clients, and I like creating content for my blog and podcast. I also love life-long learning and the fact that my job isn’t that hard. Let’s face it; being a CFP isn’t exactly digging ditches, so I could easily do this job well into my 80’s or even longer.
If you’re like me or Warren Buffett and enjoy your work, you may be wondering if you should bother saving for retirement. Should you bother saving millions if you plan to work forever?
Obviously, Mr. Buffett doesn’t need a retirement in the same way you or I would; at last count, Warren’s net worth is somewhere around $73 billion. I’m not sure what the safe withdrawal rate would be for an 87 year-old with $73 Billion bucks, but I’m guessing he can survive without a written financial plan.
But what about the rest of us?
Factors to Consider Before You Decide to Work Forever
While the concept of working forever can seem appealing now matter how rich you are, there are certain situations you need to think through ahead of time. Here are a few tips that can clear up any issues around your quest to work in perpetuity:
#1: Living a balanced life might allow you to work longer.
Ironic as it may seem, being a workaholic will make it less likely that you will be able to work beyond a normal retirement age. Be sure to balance work with family time and exercise in order to increase your chances of maintaining your health into your 60’s and 70’s.
#2: Make sure your desire to work isn’t masking other issues.
Are you hiding from something by working longer? Marriage difficulties? The inability to save? Hiding from our problems at the office will only cause these problems to compound over time.  Be sure your desire to work is genuine and not the symptom of a larger problem.
#3: Take your spouse into consideration.
No matter your views on retirement, it’s important to keep your spouse’s ideas in mind. You may envision yourself clocking in at the office until you’re 80 or older, but what if your spouse sees the two of you traveling the world slowly or spending your golden years enjoying each other at home? Either way, it’s important to gauge your partner’s thoughts on the issue before you commit either way.
#4: Think about how work would handle your departure.
Also, what about your team?]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 17:17
Your ‘Retirement Revolution’ – An Interview With Matt Jackson http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retirement-revolution/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 09:00:41 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4786 <p>Are you going to have a ‘Revolutionary Retirement’? If you aren’t sure, today’s guest will help you figure that out. Matt Jackson is a Colorado-based financial advisor with a decade of experience guiding clients on their retirement journey. In today’s episode, we discuss Matt’s new book: ‘Revolutionary Retirement’ Listen in as Matt and I discuss: […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/retirement-revolution/">Your ‘Retirement Revolution’ – An Interview With Matt Jackson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Are you going to have a ‘Revolutionary Retirement’? If you aren’t sure, today’s guest will help you figure that out. Matt Jackson is a Colorado-based financial advisor with a decade of experience guiding clients on their retirement journey. If you aren’t sure, today’s guest will help you figure that out.
Matt Jackson is a Colorado-based financial advisor with a decade of experience guiding clients on their retirement journey. In today’s episode, we discuss Matt’s new book: ‘Revolutionary Retirement’
Listen in as Matt and I discuss:

* What motivated Matt to dedicate over 61,000 words to the topic of retirement?
* What is the number one end of life regret for retirees?
* Why do nearly 40% of retirees face clinical depression?
* Why has the divorce rate doubled for Baby Boomers?

Be sure to listen to the end where Matt and I discuss what a recent trip to Thailand taught him about living in the moment to improve his relationships.
Grab Matt’s book ‘Retirement Dreammaker’.
Join our email list to get all our retirement content delivered to your email inbox
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 15:51
Starting a Business after Age 50 – An Interview With Jeff Williams of BizStarters.com http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/starting-business-after-age-50/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:00:59 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4763 <p>Jeff Williams joins me to talk about starting your own business or becoming a part-time consultant after the age of 50.</p> <p> How would I know if my industry is right for consulting?<br /> How do I know I have what it takes to be a business owner?<br /> How do I know my worth as a consultant?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/starting-business-after-age-50/">Starting a Business after Age 50 – An Interview With Jeff Williams of BizStarters.com</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Jeff Williams joins me to talk about starting your own business or becoming a part-time consultant after the age of 50. How would I know if my industry is right for consulting? How do I know I have what it takes to be a business owner? I’ve got a question for you, are you a stone’s throw from retirement and getting sick of the corporate grind? Do you  still have the desire to further your chosen profession, but no longer feel it’s necessary to work forty hours per week?
If so, this interview is EXACTLY for you.
Listen in as Jeff Williams and I discuss starting a business or consulting agency AFTER age fifty.
Jeff has over twenty-six years experience coaching aspiring Baby Boomer business owners. Jeff has learned unique lessons coaching over 1,600 clients on all aspects of launching and running a business and he will share a few of those lessons in this interview.
Lessons including:

* How would I know if my industry is right for consulting?
* How do I know I have what it takes to be a business owner?
* How do I know my worth as a consultant?

 
“If you’re over 50 and you get laid off, you’re retired – you just don’t know it yet”… Jeff Williams bizstarters.com
If you are interested in Jeff’s coaching resources or starting your own business, visit  http://bizstarters.com/
Jeff has developed a coaching program specific to becoming a consultant, find out more at: https://www.bizstarters.com/consulting-startup/
Join our email list to get all our retirement content delivered to your email inbox
Click here to subscribe
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:36
Tax Reform and 2018 State of the Podcast http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/tax-reform-2018-state-of-podcast/ Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:06:10 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4727 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/tax-reform-2018-state-of-podcast/">Tax Reform and 2018 State of the Podcast</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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 itemiz... 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 of charitable contributions
* Double the Estate Tax guidelines
* Eliminate the Individual Mandate from Obamacare

Stay tuned in 2018, where we plan on bringing laser-focused retirement content including:

* Live webinars
* Multi-part episode deep dives on Health Sharing Ministries and Becoming a Consultant in Retirement
* YouTube!

Join our email list to get all our retirement content delivered to your email inbox
Click here to subscribe

Sources:
Individual Tax Planning Under The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Of 2017
Tax Reform Accomplished: How Does the Legislation Affect Investors and Businesses?
What You Need to Know About The Tax Act 2018
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 27:00
Men Die Married, Women Die Single… http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/men-die-married-women-die-single/ Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:13:58 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4705 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/men-die-married-women-die-single/">Men Die Married, Women Die Single…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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, 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 to get involved – even you don’t understand investing
* Why is it so difficult to remain logical with our investments?
* Why are we so tempted to listen to “Financial Gurus” in the media?
* Why does a $10 investment loss feel different than a $10 gain?

Follow Kate on Twitter at @katestalter or on Facebook.

You can contact Kate at BetterFinancialDecisions.com
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 29:19
2018 Social Security and Medicare Changes http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/2018-social-security-medicare-changes/ Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:30:27 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4694 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/2018-social-security-medicare-changes/">2018 Social Security and Medicare Changes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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. 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 2017.
* Some workers will pay higher payroll taxes next year as the maximum taxable wage base increases to $128,700 in 2018, up from this year’s maximum taxable wages of $127,200 in 2017.

Medicare Changes include:

* New Medicare cards that will improve beneficiaries identity protection by removing their Social Security numbers
* The recent announcement that the popular Medicare Supplement – Plan F – will close to new applicants in 2020.

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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 19:01
Asked & Answered: Episode #1 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/asked-answered-episode-1/ Sun, 08 Oct 2017 21:07:47 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4682 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/asked-answered-episode-1/">Asked & Answered: Episode #1</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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 ind... 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 currently 55 years old, will the $20,000 be adjusted by inflation?
* When I sell stock that is in an IRA account, am I taxed when the stock is sold or when I receive the proceeds?
* Do you think no-loads are a good option?

I will turn 69 years old later this year and I have an IRA annuity with a $20,000 penalty fee for withdrawals. I also have $400,000 between another annuity and a 401(k). At this time I do not need the funds, but I was considering taking the withdrawal and investing the funds in a no-load mutual fund. At my current take rate, I will automatically be in a higher tax bracket when I start taking RMD’s and both my Medicare and Social Security will be impacted. I was thinking that by reducing the amount a little now, I could spread the taxes more equally and still maintain some market exposure. I estimate I will be in the 25% tax bracket. Do you think no-loads are a good option? Also, should I invest my future RMD’s in the same way?
* Should I collect Social Security at the age of 62 or 66?

I can withdraw $1,000 a month of Social Security at the age of 62, or wait until the age of 66 and withdraw $1,400. If I wait the four years, I’ll already be $48,000 behind as opposed to withdrawing now. If I withdrew this $1,000 now and invested it into stocks, something like large cap stocks which are not too risky, would I be more likely to come out ahead in the long run as opposed to waiting and collecting the $1,400?
* Can I make a full year lump sum contribution to a Roth IRA at the beginning of the year, even though I will retire early in that same year and no longer have employment income?

I will make a lump sum Roth IRA contribution for a complete year ($6,500) in January. That same year I will retire in May.
* I am 60 years old. My husband and I have property for sale, but need to move due to neighbor disputes. I want to take roughly half of my 401(k) to purchase a house. When the current property sells, that money will be put in an IRA. Is this doable? Is this a good idea?

Have a question you’d like answered on the podcast? I’d love to hear from you! 
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:57
Reverse Mortgages – An Interview with Dirk Cotton http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/reverse-mortgage-dirk-cotton/ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:50:32 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4652 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/reverse-mortgage-dirk-cotton/">Reverse Mortgages – An Interview with Dirk Cotton</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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, 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 help us access our equity for retirement planning purposes?
* How much of my equity can I borrow and what’s the best way to use the proceeds to fund my retirement?
* Why did our guest decide to purchase a HECM?
* What is a HECM for purchase and how can it help us downsize our home?

Dirk’s recommended reading:
What’s the Deal with Reverse Mortgages? – by Shelley Giordano
How to use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement – by Wade D Pfau
Check out Dirk’s blog and be sure to join his mailing list:
TheRetirementCafe.com
As a special thank you to our listeners for our two year anniversary, we’re hosting a LIVE and FREE retirement planning webinar!
CLICK HERE to join us on October 18th at 7pm CST
Your Best Retirement Now: 7 Surefire Retire-Ready Tips That You Can Start Today! (even if you haven’t saved a nickel)

* The New Retirement Reality: Why Your Retirement Will Look Nothing Like Your Parents
* Your Unused Vacation Pay Is A Goldmine! Tapping Into 1 Of The MOST Overlooked Retirement Resources
* 5 Surprising Reasons To Work Just One More Year for Peace Of Mind And A Fatter Wallet
* 50% Of People Are Setting Their Spouse Up for The Poor House. Find Out What You Need To Do To Reverse The Trend.
* The Truth About Healthcare: Why The Most Popular Plan Has A Murky Future
* Take Advantage of Irregular Income to Optimize Your Taxes. Discover The Best Ways To Plan For Unique Retirement Events.
* Pursuing The ‘Pro-Leisure Circuit’ Will Leave You Bored And Broke! (Hint: Golfing gets boring after a year!)

I can’t wait to see you there!
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 28:34
Tax Planning for the Middle Class – An Interview with Dana Anspach http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/dana-anspach/ Sat, 09 Sep 2017 12:20:21 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4640 <p>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. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/dana-anspach/">Tax Planning for the Middle Class – An Interview with Dana Anspach</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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, 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 retirement we might have zero net income and the tax planning opportunities that could arise.
* The big mistake pre-retirees can make in the lead up to retirement
* Why you might want to discuss your taxes with a qualified financial planner even if you’ve worked with a CPA for years.

Resources mentioned in the podcast:
Register for Dana’s upcoming webinar 21 September 2017
Record a question for Benjamin
Dinkytown financial calculators
How is my Social Security taxed? 
 
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:46
Interview with Securities Attorney David Liebrader http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/interview-securities-attorney-david-liebrader/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:02:28 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4516 <p>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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/interview-securities-attorney-david-liebrader/">Interview with Securities Attorney David Liebrader</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> 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 Attorn... 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 scheme
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 19:59
The Importance of End of Life Planning with Jon Braddock http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/end-of-life-planning/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:09:07 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=4499 <p>“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 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/end-of-life-planning/">The Importance of End of Life Planning with Jon Braddock</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> “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... “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 reasons people avoid making end-of-life planning decisions.  Be sure to listen to the very end where Jon and I vent our shared frustrations with planning for long term care needs.
Be sure to check out Jon’s end of life planning resources on his website: https://www.mylifeandwishes.com/podcast/
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:30
Finding Your Retirement ‘Why’ http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/find-retirement-why/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:49:35 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=1090 <p>As humans, we are creatures of habit – especially when it comes to our careers. Most of us spend twenty, thirty, or forty years lacing up our work boots and heading to the coal mine. But, what happens next – what happens after retirement – can throw us for a loop. What are we going […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/find-retirement-why/">Finding Your Retirement ‘Why’</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> As humans, we are creatures of habit – especially when it comes to our careers. Most of us spend twenty, thirty, or forty years lacing up our work boots and heading to the coal mine. But, what happens next – what happens after retirement – can throw us... But, what happens next – what happens after retirement – can throw us for a loop. What are we going to do once our working days are over and we have an extra 8-10 hours to burn each day?
Can You Add by Subtracting?
For many people, this nagging question never goes away. Fortunately, I do have some insight to share. One of the benefits of working exclusively with one particular demographic group (in my case, future retirees) is that I have the ability to see patterns and repeated behaviors in my pre-retired clients.
And, believe it or not, one of the scarier behaviors I see is when a client doesn’t have a carefully-crafted plan that goes beyond the numbers. Many times, the clients I meet with are dissatisfied with their careers, and I get that. Unfortunately, they tend to think that, by subtracting an unpleasant element (work) from their lives, they will somehow find happiness overnight.
They plan on adding by subtracting. Unfortunately, life rarely works that way.
How to Create a Post-Retirement Lifestyle that Works
While it’s crucial to make sure your finances are solid before you retire, there’s another component to consider. In my opinion, we desperately need to start emotionally planning for retirement well in advance of pulling the plug on our traditional careers.
Pre-retirees need to dedicate substantial time to developing habits, hobbies, and relationships now to ensure happiness and contentment in retirement.
When it comes to forming good habits, you should…
Examine your morning routine. What does your morning routine look like during your working years? Write down exactly what the first few hours of your day look like.
Which morning habits do you use to set yourself up for a productive day at work? And once you quit working, which habits will you pick up to ensure a productive day in retirement? Which habits will you drop?
Ask yourself, once you’re retired, how you’ll formulate your days so you remain happy, productive, and content. If you’re unsure, spend some time thinking through possible scenarios.
When it comes to hobbies, you should….
Ask yourself which hobbies and adventures you enjoy the most.  We all have activities in our lives that make hours pass like minutes, whether those hobbies include reading, woodworking, golfing, or working out.
Focusing on hobbies you truly love can be a giant step toward discovering your calling and creating a smart transition from your career to your calling.
Maybe you want to travel in retirement, write a book, or volunteer. Whatever excites you, start focusing on it now.
When it comes to relationships, you should…
Ask yourself which relationships you value most in this world. What is it about these relationships that makes them different than other relationships?
If you can discover what others value in you, you might discover an area others might also value. For example, finding out others look to you for leadership skills could lead to a post-retirement career in coaching, consulting, teaching, or mentoring.
Could analyzing current relationships help you identify your calling?
You may not know unless you try.
Finding Your Post-Retirement Purpose
If you don’t have a purpose beyond your career, you won’t magically find one once you quit working. Unfortunately, not having a purpose in retirement can leave you stressed, unhappy, and downright bored.
My happiest retired clients are the ones who are so busy with part-time work, volunteer work, hobbies, and grandparenting that they can barely find a few minutes to come into the office for a visit.
If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times; a retired person with no life purpose quickly becomes b...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:38
Interview with The Social Security Teacher, Joe Carbone CFP® http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/interview-social-security-teacher-joe-carbone-cfp/ Sat, 27 May 2017 18:52:42 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=1085 <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/interview-social-security-teacher-joe-carbone-cfp/">Interview with The Social Security Teacher, Joe Carbone CFP®</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:33 How to Vet Your Financial Advisor: Extreme Transparency Edition http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/vet-your-financial-advisor/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:41:15 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=1007 <p>Have you ever wondered who your financial advisor really is? Have you ever stared across their desk and thought, “What do they wear outside of this stuffy office? Where does this stranger live? And, what does he or she do for fun?” Chances are, you’ve wondered about your financial advisor’s motives at the very least. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/vet-your-financial-advisor/">How to Vet Your Financial Advisor: Extreme Transparency Edition</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Have you ever wondered who your financial advisor really is? Have you ever stared across their desk and thought, “What do they wear outside of this stuffy office? Where does this stranger live? And, what does he or she do for fun?” Chances are, Chances are, you’ve wondered about your financial advisor’s motives at the very least. Are they truly working in your best interests – or, simply lining their own pockets at your expense? Is your advisor a fiduciary – someone who is legally obligated to give you solid advice? Or, are they a whole life insurance salesman in disguise (yuck)?
If you’ve wondered any of these things about me, I have great news! For the sake of full transparency, I plan to share every excruciating detail about my career, my credentials, and myself.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, “What is the most extreme way for a prospective client to vet their financial advisor, and how could I exceed that expectation?”
When the answer hit me, I knew what I had to do. I hired a real-life private investigator to perform a full background check on me, and what they found was shocking:
If you hid in my bushes long enough, you’d discover I grow a beard, wear jeans to the office (Good enough for our Governor, good enough for me!), and have a  criminal background that consists of a few left-over habits from my high school pizza delivery days (Remember 30 minutes or it’s free?!). I also love being a foster Dad and work as a real-life Certified Financial Planner (CFP). (Gasp!)

How to Achieve Extreme Transparency from Your Financial Advisor
Running a background check on your financial advisor is probably a little extreme. However, figuring out who they really are is not crazy by any means.
Trusting someone with your money is a huge deal, and your choice of advisors is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you put any trust into a financial advisor, you should know who they are, how sincere they are, and how they work.
Their favorite type of sweater may not matter, but how they view your portfolio and its potential does. Other important details you should know include their investing philosophy, whether they are a fiduciary 100 percent of the time, and how they are paid.
If your goal is extreme transparency, you don’t have to stalk them, ask them awkward personal questions, or hire a private investigator. Here are five steps to take instead:
#1: Check their website for important information about their business.
If you want to get to know your financial advisor, check their website. Most advisors go to great lengths to share their story and their vision for clients where people can find it.
Does your advisor have a specific skill set or focus? Do they usually work with clients your age? And, what do they seem more interested in – helping you accomplish your goals, or the sales process?
Tip: If an advisor’s website refers to them as a “Top Producer”, or sings the praises of “Million Dollar Round Table” qualifier, this advisor is a salesperson and measures the success of their financial advisory practice by total insurance premium collected.  This is a HUGE RED FLAG!
If your advisor’s website is nothing more than a glorified sales brochure, you should take that as a sign they’re more about selling than helping.
#2: Browse their profile on Brokercheck.
While you don’t need to run a background check on your financial advisor, you should check them out on Brokercheck.com. While Brokercheck is a few rungs short of a full background check, it does check your advisor’s work history,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 23:33
The Truth About Naked Investing http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/naked-investing/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:14:28 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=974 <p>Not long ago, I visited with an older couple who had most of their retirement accounts saved in the banking equivalent of their bedroom mattress. The duo had been keeping the bulk of their money in cash since 2008, fearing market fluctuations would cause them to lose principal. Believe it not, they thought the 2008 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/naked-investing/">The Truth About Naked Investing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Not long ago, I visited with an older couple who had most of their retirement accounts saved in the banking equivalent of their bedroom mattress. The duo had been keeping the bulk of their money in cash since 2008, Believe it not, they thought the 2008 stock market was as high as it could ever go. They knew their cash investments were earning next-to-nothing, and they even understood that inflation was slowly eating them alive. Still, they were paralyzed by the idea they might lose some money at first.
Unfortunately, they were also stuck – stuck because they weren’t sure what to do next. They were suffering the effects of naked investing without even realizing it.
What is naked investing?
At this point, you’re probably wondering what naked investing is. Basically, it’s investing without the protection of a financial plan.
Just like we wear clothes to protect our bodies from the elements (and for modesty), we need a financial plan to protect our investments from fear, greed, and ourselves.
And, doesn’t our money deserve a plan? We work hard at our jobs every day to earn it, yet we hardly want to put forth the effort to maximize our investments and returns. A lot of times, that leads us to pursue a generic strategy with our money – one that leads to less-than-optimal results.
Here are a few examples that illustrate what I mean:
Example of naked investing: My retirement money is in the stock market because I’ve heard that’s what I should be doing.
Non-naked investing: I own a diversified portfolio with 60% equities because I will retire in four years and need an inflation-adjusted $5000/month from this portfolio.  I will rebalance back to my predetermined model each time the portfolio moves more than 2% from the model. I need to stay invested because, according to my financial plan, I need to earn 5.5% after all fees and expenses to keep my desired $5000/month income growing to keep up with the pace of inflation. I also plan to live for 30 years in retirement.
See the difference?
While it’s true both strategies have you investing in the stock market (which is a good thing), naked investing leaves you vulnerable to taking erratic action. For example, it’s easy to be scared out of the market and sell all your investments when you have no idea where you were there in the first place. On the flip side, investing with the end in mind will keep you in the market because you already know why you’re there – and why staying put will help you achieve your goals.
Occasionally, a prospective client will offer to invest money with me to “see how I do.” While I’m happy they put so much trust in me, I always decline the offer as politely as I can.
You see, I don’t do naked investing – not today, and not ever. I only help people invest with purpose, not just for the sake of investing.
Written financial plans prevent naked investing
A comprehensive financial plan built around a specific set of goals will not only tell you if you should be in the stock market, but it will tell you why, when, and how much!
Not only that, but understanding how your retirement plan works will go a long way in helping you stick with the plan. While you may want to put all your trust in your financial planner, that is usually a bad idea as well. Understanding your retirement plan will be the only thing keeping you on track with your plan during a -40% year, no matter how much you trust your financial planner.
At the end of the day, you need a financial plan for your money just as you need clothes to protect your body, shelter to protect your family, and heat to keep you warm. Without a plan, your money – and your future – is flying blind.]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 17:42
The Battle for Your Retirement http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/the-battle-for-your-retirement/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:31:15 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=948 <p>  My guest today is Micah Hauptman with the Consumer Federation of America. Micah is an advocate for the Fiduciary Rule, a rule that requires financial advisors to act in their client’s best interest when making recommendations on retirement savings. Check out my guest Op-Ed column in the Fargo Forum In this episode, Micah and I […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/the-battle-for-your-retirement/">The Battle for Your Retirement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p>   My guest today is Micah Hauptman with the Consumer Federation of America. Micah is an advocate for the Fiduciary Rule, a rule that requires financial advisors to act in their client’s best interest when making recommendations on retirement savings. My guest today is Micah Hauptman with the Consumer Federation of America. Micah is an advocate for the Fiduciary Rule, a rule that requires financial advisors to act in their client’s best interest when making recommendations on retirement savings.
Check out my guest Op-Ed column in the Fargo Forum
In this episode, Micah and I answer the questions:
What is a fiduciary and why should I care?
Why isn’t this common sense solution already in force?
Who is standing on the way of this rule?
How can North Dakota residents take action?
Action items
Residents of North Dakota can take action by contacting their elected representatives.
Email Senator Heidi Heitkamp
Or, call her office at (202) 224-2043
Email Senator John Hoeven
Or, call his Bismarck office at (701) 250-4618
Resources
Follow Micah on Twitter
Learn more about the Consumer Federation of America
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:04
Helpful Tips for Avoiding Career Burnout http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/avoiding-career-burnout/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 18:40:08 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=866 <p>If you’re feeling worn down, tired, or exhausted due to work-related stress, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a term to describe how you’re feeling – career burnout.   The Mayo Clinic defines burnout as a special type of job-related stress – a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competency at work. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/avoiding-career-burnout/">Helpful Tips for Avoiding Career Burnout</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> If you’re feeling worn down, tired, or exhausted due to work-related stress, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a term to describe how you’re feeling – career burnout.   The Mayo Clinic defines burnout as a special type of job-related stress – a state ...  
The Mayo Clinic defines burnout as a special type of job-related stress – a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competency at work.
 
While burnout can materialize in different ways, the symptoms tend to be similar no matter what you’re going through.
 
Do you have career burnout? Ask yourself how often you’ve experienced the following feelings regarding your work:

Work-related cynicism or pessimism
Lack of energy for new tasks
Irritability with co-workers, feelings of isolation
Decreased sense of accomplishment
Insomnia

While it’s natural to have any of these feelings occasionally, burnout tends to last longer and have a greater impact on your mental health. In other words, burnout is more than a bad day; it’s a negative state of being that could last for weeks, months, or even years.
Not only is burnout bad for your psyche and possibly your health, but it can hurt your career as well. If you’re burnt out long enough, your boss and co-workers might notice and distance themselves. If your burnout is bad enough, it could even cause you to lose your job. After all, no one wants to work with someone who is constantly negative and irritable.
Escaping or Avoiding Career Burnout
If you don’t take steps to curb your burnout, you might be tempted to retire early, or “throw in the towel.” That’s great if early retirement was your intention along, but not so great if you quit because you’ve lost passion for your career. Obviously, retiring early without the funds to do so can be an absolute disaster, too. In short, you shouldn’t consider retirement until you are feeling fulfilled and financially prepared enough to do so.
 
On a personal note, I want you to enter retirement feeling confident that you set out to accomplish each of your career goals – and that you left your profession better than you found it.
 
So, how can you avoid career burnout?
 
Whether you’re currently in the throes of burnout or susceptible to enduring burnout-like feelings, the best thing you can do is identify the cause of your discontent. Once you find out the exact reason burnout has become a problem, you can work toward a solution.
 
Click here for my Retire-Ready Toolkit
 
If you’re working far too many hours at work, for example, visit with your employer about changing shifts or negotiating a better work schedule.
 
Are you bothered by time away from your new grandkids? If so, new technologies like Skype and Slack can help you communicate with them more often, even seeing their faces over video or the internet.
 
Maybe you’re just tired of working for someone else. You’re tired of not having freedom, and you want more flexibility and control over your work and your life. In that case, you could consider becoming a consultant in your chosen career field.
 
Or maybe you just need a sabbatical to recharge. By taking an extended vacation, you can refocus and take a much-needed break from work-related responsibilities. Believe it or not, some companies including General Mills,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:00
4 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Selling Their Business http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/mistakes-selling-business/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:51:23 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=856 <p>Our discussion today is with Peter Huminski, Peter is a financial advisor from Kernersville,  North Carolina with 17 years experience.  Peter has a unique financial advice background, as he has assisted over 50 business owners with the sale of their business.   4 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Selling Their Business In this episode we […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/mistakes-selling-business/">4 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Selling Their Business</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Our discussion today is with Peter Huminski, Peter is a financial advisor from Kernersville,  North Carolina with 17 years experience.  Peter has a unique financial advice background, as he has assisted over 50 business owners with the sale of their bu... Our discussion today is with Peter Huminski, Peter is a financial advisor from Kernersville,  North Carolina with 17 years experience.  Peter has a unique financial advice background, as he has assisted over 50 business owners with the sale of their business.
 
4 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Selling Their Business
In this episode we discuss the following mistakes business owners make when selling their businesses:

Insufficient pre-sale preparation
Overconfidence
Unwillingness to leverage professionals
Misrepresentation

My favorite blog posts from Peter include:
What Can The Death Star Teach You About Your Personal Finances
Who is your Game of Thrones Money Personality?

Be sure to subscribe to Retirement Starts Today Radio on iTunes and Android.
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 26:11
Does the 4% Rule Still Hold Water? http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/4-percent-rule/ Thu, 19 Jan 2017 02:58:57 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=768 <p>An interview with Grant Bledsoe from AbovetheCanopy.us Grant is the founder of the Portland Fee-Only Financial Planning firm, Three Oaks Capital Management.  He is also the personality behind the popular personal finance blog AbovetheCanopy.us.   Today, Grant and I discuss the questions: What is the 4% rule? Why is this rule so popular? This rule […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/4-percent-rule/">Does the 4% Rule Still Hold Water?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> An interview with Grant Bledsoe from AbovetheCanopy.us Grant is the founder of the Portland Fee-Only Financial Planning firm, Three Oaks Capital Management.  He is also the personality behind the popular personal finance blog AbovetheCanopy.us.


Grant is the founder of the Portland Fee-Only Financial Planning firm, Three Oaks Capital Management.  He is also the personality behind the popular personal finance blog AbovetheCanopy.us.
  window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
Today, Grant and I discuss the questions:

* What is the 4% rule?
* Why is this rule so popular?
* This rule is often the subject of criticism, why?
* Does this rule still hold water for the modern retiree?

 
At the end of our chat, Grant mentioned his upcoming FREE Social Security Webinar.
Click here to reserve your spot!



Links cited or mentioned in the broadcast:
Wade Pfau’s criticism of the 4% rule
Michael Kitces’s article, including more modern data for 4% rule.
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 22:43
Tips for Retiring Abroad with Sarah Li Cain http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/tips-for-retiring-abroad-with-sarah-li-cain/ Wed, 11 Jan 2017 21:38:24 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=741 <p>Today’s episode is an interview with Sarah Li Cain from www.HighFivingDollars.com. Sarah is a financial blogger and travel expert, making her the perfect guest to discuss retiring abroad.   Listen along as Sarah and I discuss: Why are so many people choosing to retire overseas? How much can a retiree save living overseas? What foreign […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/tips-for-retiring-abroad-with-sarah-li-cain/">Tips for Retiring Abroad with Sarah Li Cain</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Today’s episode is an interview with Sarah Li Cain from www.HighFivingDollars.com. Sarah is a financial blogger and travel expert, making her the perfect guest to discuss retiring abroad.   Listen along as Sarah and I discuss: Why are so many people ch... www.HighFivingDollars.com.
Sarah is a financial blogger and travel expert, making her the perfect guest to discuss retiring abroad.

  window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
Listen along as Sarah and I discuss:

Why are so many people choosing to retire overseas?
How much can a retiree save living overseas?
What foreign countries are viable for retirees that only speak English?
How will a retiree receive healthcare in a foreign country?
Is it possible to work overseas?

Sarah and I conclude the episode with various travel tips including: “Look out for ‘The Hamburger Indicator’.”  You’ll have to listen to find out what the heck that is. 
 

 
Sarah offers a free course: Money Relationship Rescue

Check it out here. 
 

 
Don’t forget to check out our corporate Facebook page for live streaming retirement tips, every


Thursday afternoon. Capital City Wealth Management
 


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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 24:00
The Myth of the ‘Pro-Leisure Circuit’ with Todd Tresidder http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/myth-pro-leisure-circuit-todd-tresidder/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 18:04:06 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=715 <p>Will the pursuit of leisure in retirement leave us fulfilled, or searching for something more?   Our guest is Todd Tresidder from The Financial Mentor.    Todd has a diverse background that gives him a unique view on retirement topics.  Before retiring at age 35, Todd was a hedge fund manager.  Todd is also a […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/myth-pro-leisure-circuit-todd-tresidder/">The Myth of the ‘Pro-Leisure Circuit’ with Todd Tresidder</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Will the pursuit of leisure in retirement leave us fulfilled, or searching for something more?   Our guest is Todd Tresidder from The Financial Mentor.    Todd has a diverse background that gives him a unique view on retirement topics. Will the pursuit of leisure in retirement leave us fulfilled, or searching for something more?

 
Our guest is Todd Tresidder from The Financial Mentor. 
 
Todd has a diverse background that gives him a unique view on retirement topics.  Before retiring at age 35, Todd was a hedge fund manager.  Todd is also a hyper-accumulator of wealth, starting from a negative net worth in his 20s, he was able to build a nest-egg and sustain himself from it for over 20 years.
 
 
My favorite articles from Todd include:
The 10 Commandments of Wealth Building
The Great Bond Bubble is Now!… What’s Next
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Be sure to check out our corporate Facebook page for Capital City Wealth Management, we will be live-streaming retirement tips every week!
 

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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 24:44
Social Security Reform http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/social-security-reform/ Fri, 16 Dec 2016 20:20:00 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=688 <p>In this episode of Retirement Starts Today Radio, we read between the lines of new Social Security reform proposals to better help you understand what might lie ahead for the popular social insurance platform.     Here is the exact wording without any additional commentary: From Sam Johnson’s website: The Social Security Reform Act of […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/social-security-reform/">Social Security Reform</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> In this episode of Retirement Starts Today Radio, we read between the lines of new Social Security reform proposals to better help you understand what might lie ahead for the popular social insurance platform.   window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
 
Here is the exact wording without any additional commentary:
From Sam Johnson’s website:

The Social Security Reform Act of 2016 ensures Social Security will be there when Americans need it by:

* Modernizing how benefits are calculated to increase benefits for lower income workers while slowing the growth of benefits for higher income workers.
* Gradually updating the full retirement age at which workers can claim benefits. The new retirement age better reflects Americans’ longer life expectancy while maintaining the age for early retirement.
* Ensures benefits keep up with changes in the economy by using a more accurate measure of inflation for the annual Cost-of-Living-Adjustment.
* Protecting the most vulnerable Americans by increasing benefits for lower-income earners and raising the minimum benefit for those who earned less over the course of long careers.
* Promoting flexibility and choice for workers by eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test for everyone. This allows workers to receive benefits—without a penalty—while they are working, or fully delay retirement and wait to receive benefits. For those who delay claiming benefits, they can receive increases in a partial lump sum or add it all to their monthly check.
* Encouraging saving for retirement by phasing out Social Security’s tax on benefits for workers who continue to receive income after they retire or stop working due to a disability.
* Targeting benefits for those most in need by limiting the size of benefits for spouses and children of high-income earners.
* Treating all workers fairly when their Social Security benefits are calculated by using the same, proportional formula that looks at all of an individual’s earnings over the course of his or her career.

 

 
Sources:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-social-security-funding-plan-cuts-benefits/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbiggs/2016/12/08/at-last-a-new-social-security-reform-plan/#34b3ff7928d1
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/key-gop-lawmaker-introduces-social-security-reform-plan/article/2609233
http://samjohnson.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398516
http://samjohnson.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sj_ss_reform_packet_december_2016.pdf
http://samjohnson.house.gov/uploadedfiles/social_security_reform_act_bill_text.pdf
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 28:59
ProActive Budget with Ryan Clark http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/proactive-budget/ Fri, 11 Nov 2016 14:54:06 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=657 <p>Budgeting is the cornerstone to any retirement plan.  Our advice is to focus your energy on things you can control and the budget should be near the top of that list.   Cash envelopes are the budgeting tool that had the biggest impact on my debt-free journey.  Ryan Clark founded a software solution to bring […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/proactive-budget/">ProActive Budget with Ryan Clark</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Budgeting is the cornerstone to any retirement plan.  Our advice is to focus your energy on things you can control and the budget should be near the top of that list.   Cash envelopes are the budgeting tool that had the biggest impact on my debt-free j...   window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
Cash envelopes are the budgeting tool that had the biggest impact on my debt-free journey.  Ryan Clark founded a software solution to bring cash envelopes into the current century.
 
Check out our interview with Ryan Clark, the founder of ProActive Budget:
ProActive Website
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 31:24
Contentment with TheRetirementManifesto.com http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/contentment/ Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:09:42 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=648 <p>Today we discuss the concept of ‘contentment’ with The Retirement Manifesto’s Fritz Gilbert. Be sure to check out our guest, Fritz Gilbert’s blog: www.TheRetirementManifesto.com  Check out Limbeck on iTunes.  </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/contentment/">Contentment with TheRetirementManifesto.com</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Today we discuss the concept of ‘contentment’ with The Retirement Manifesto’s Fritz Gilbert. Be sure to check out our guest, Fritz Gilbert’s blog: www.TheRetirementManifesto.com  Check out Limbeck on iTunes.   Be sure to check out our guest, Fritz Gilbert’s blog: www.TheRetirementManifesto.com 
Check out Limbeck on iTunes.
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 21:55
The Best Way to Buy a Car in Retirement http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/best-way-buy-car-retirement/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:57:51 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=625 <p>Cars! For some, cars are a status symbol, for others cars are an A to B transportation system.  For all of us, cars are an integral part of living in a modern society.  Many of us make a car purchasing decision every few years.   During our working years, we either save up our income […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/best-way-buy-car-retirement/">The Best Way to Buy a Car in Retirement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Cars! For some, cars are a status symbol, for others cars are an A to B transportation system.  For all of us, cars are an integral part of living in a modern society.  Many of us make a car purchasing decision every few years. window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
During our working years, we either save up our income and pay cash for a car, or we borrow money and use our income to pay off the loan.  
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Once retired, and living off savings, that buying decision changes.  
What is the best way to buy a car in retirement?
Don’t buy one!
One option would be to simply not purchase another car. I hear this suggestion from clients occasionally, and I’m not sure how feasible it is.  Cars don’t last forever and not having a plan is planning to fail.  If you aren’t planning ahead of time to replace your car, and the wheels literally fall off, you will be forced into a buying decision you aren’t prepared for.   Any quick decision on an expensive item is a recipe for disaster.
Finance it!
During your working years, financing your purchase is the easiest and most popular option. However; taking out a loan is not without its drawbacks.  Borrowing money for a large purchase usually means you will end up spending more, as rebates are often available for buyers that decline financing.
Financing can be a challenge once you quit your job and are retired!  While working, if you can produce a few pay stubs and a decent credit score, you won’t have any trouble financing a car. While rare,  I have seen retirees have difficulty gaining financing for large purchases due to their unpredictable income, which happened to be liquidating investments for monthly cash flow.
Take a Lump Sum From Your IRA
Taking a lump sum from your retirement is a common way to purchase a car in retirement. Taxes should be a consideration anytime large sums are withdrawn from a tax-deferred account (401Ks, IRAs).  The total withdrawal amount will be totaled with other income sources and normal income taxes will be owed.
**Tip!**If you’re planning a large IRA withdrawal, consider withdrawing half in December and half in January.  This trick will allow you to spread the tax burden over two tax years.  Just one more benefit of planning ahead.
Market timing is another consideration for withdrawing a lump sum from an IRA.  Waiting for your IRA to recover after a market downturn could cause you to wait too long between purchases.  Like mentioned above, waiting too long could force a spontaneous purchase when your car’s wheels suddenly fall off.  A situation that should be avoided.
Taking a lump sum from your retirement accounts to buy a car is better than financing, but still not the best way.
Best Option, Plan Ahead.  
The absolute best way to purchase a car in retirement is to plan ahead and build the cost into your monthly retirement income plan.  
This process is commonly known as a ‘sinking fund’.
Sinking Fund
Noun

a fund formed by periodically setting aside money for the gradual repayment of a debt or replacement of a wasting asset.

Step one:  Decide how often you will be replacing your vehicle
Step two: What will you likely spend to replace your vehicle?
Step three: Once it’s time to purchase your next car, what will be your current car’s ‘trade in’ value? (Use a depreciation calculator) 
Once we do a bit of math, we will know (approximately) how much money we will need and when we will need it.  From there we can build that goal into our retirement budget.]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 15:23
Do I Need Two Financial Advisors? http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/two-financial-advisors/ Mon, 08 Aug 2016 19:27:36 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=595 <p>Question: Everyone has heard the old saying about investment diversification; “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”.  “Does having more than one financial advisor help me stay diversified?”  I will concede that having more than one financial advisor could offer benefits of diversification if you are worried about your advisor’s competence.  It would be impossible […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/two-financial-advisors/">Do I Need Two Financial Advisors?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Question: Everyone has heard the old saying about investment diversification; “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”.  “Does having more than one financial advisor help me stay diversified?”  I will concede that having more than one financial advisor... I will concede that having more than one financial advisor could offer benefits of diversification if you are worried about your advisor’s competence.  It would be impossible for your advisor to invest 100% of your retirement funds in Pets.com stock if he/she only has ½ of your retirement funds.
However, assuming that your advisor knows what they are doing, having more than one advisor could be harming your financial plan, in fact, it could be the kiss of death to your investment portfolio. 
Focusing too much on the investing component of financial planning could be of detriment to your overall retirement plan.  Behavior management and expectation setting are crucially important areas of financial planning. Traditionally, our efforts as financial advisors are focused 90% on our investments and 10% on our behavior, these numbers should be reversed.  
As advisors (and as investors) we have no ability to control the stock market, so why do we pay it so much attention?  On the other hand, we can control our behavior.  Having more than one financial advisor makes it more likely your exclusive focus will be on your investments rather than your financial plan.
That’s bad.  
Another reason why you shouldn’t have more than one financial advisor: One advisor’s advice could counteract the other advisor.  Example: Advisor #1 says small cap stocks are overvalued and recommends rebalancing your portfolio.  Advisor #2 thinks small caps are undervalued and wants to buy more.  The two recommendations cancel each other out. You are paying for two advisors and potentially not getting results from either of them.  
Having more than one financial advisor will likely cause your advisors to take too much risk in an attempt to wow you with returns. This example is extremely common and I’ve personally been approached with this challenge by prospective clients.  I politely refuse. I’ll paint you a hypothetical example. You are a recent retiree with a $600,000 nest egg. You have a moderate risk tolerance and after including your household’s Social Security, you desire a gross annual income of $40,000.
This task could be accomplished by a competent financial advisor with relative ease.  You are having difficulty choosing between two financial advisor acquaintances and rather than disappoint one of your friends, you take the democratic approach and split your nest egg and instruct your advisors, “We’ll see how you do”.  Without realizing it, you’ve just instigated a financial advisor arm-wrestling match, with each advisor using your retirement accounts to take unnecessary risks in an attempt to outperform the other advisor.
Where one advisor could have used an investment mix suitable for your risk tolerance and desired income, competing advisors, motivated by the incentive of the other half of your nest egg, take big risks in an attempt to earn big returns. Focusing on short-term investment performance – which is the only way to compare advisors in the short-term – removes focus from behavioral management, the exact thing that is the most important for your portfolio’s longevity.  It isn’t difficult to imagine scenarios where this could be disastrous for the client’s retirement portfolio.
A financial advisor’s job is to look at the complete picture of your financial life, analyze your goals, and assist you in making positive financial decisions. A competent financial advisor will assist you in creating goals and helping you track your progress.  Taylor Schulte, a San Diego Financial Planner and founder of Define Financial adds,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 11:30
5 Reasons to Work One More Year http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/work-one-more-year/ Tue, 02 Aug 2016 12:03:21 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=587 <p>So much attention is paid to the ‘retirement’ part of retirement planning that it is easy to overlook the benefits of continuing to work. In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do for our retirement is to keep working! Reason Number One to keep working involves your investments. With a little cooperation from the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/work-one-more-year/">5 Reasons to Work One More Year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> So much attention is paid to the ‘retirement’ part of retirement planning that it is easy to overlook the benefits of continuing to work. In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do for our retirement is to keep working! So much attention is paid to the ‘retirement’ part of retirement planning that it is easy to overlook the benefits of continuing to work.
In fact,

sometimes the best thing we can do for our retirement is to keep working!
Reason Number One to keep working involves your investments. With a little cooperation from the stock market, one more year of compound interest would be a welcome addition to your retirement nest egg.
I know what you’re thinking, “How much difference could twelve more months make? Shouldn’t I keep a long-term view for investing?” This is true, but on any given year, the stock market is up 71% of the time. Was last year a rough time for stocks?  Maybe working one more year will allow your investments to rebound and help build back some retirement confidence.
Reason Number Two – Health insurance. With average annual premiums for married couples over $15,000 per year, health insurance becomes a significant barrier to retiring early.  At my firm, health insurance is the single largest hurdle for clients who want to retire before age sixty-five. Collecting one more year’s assistance with health insurance from your employer is very helpful.
The Third Reason to delay retirement for one more year is to give yourself a chance to clean up that pesky debt. Stubborn credit card debt and car payments can really make a dent in your future retirement income.  Working one more year could give you a chance to pay off some debts and better prepare you for retirement. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then a monthly payment saved is a retirement paycheck earned!
The Fourth Reason is all about the 401(k) match. Collecting the employer’s match on your 401(k) contributions could be enough reason to consider working one more year.  I’ve always looked at the employer’s contribution as a guaranteed return on my 401(k) contribution, guaranteed returns are rare.
The Fifth Reason to keep working, at least one more year, is the boost you’ll get in your Social Security check.  Social Security represents 39% of total retirement income for the average retiree – that’s a big deal!
When I teach my Social Security adult enrichment class at our local college, most people have no idea how much their Social Security will grow simply by deferring their retirement date.
Did you know that deferring your Social Security by one year will cause it to grow by 8%?  A guaranteed 8% return in 12 months isn’t something available in traditional investments, but you have ready access in your Social Security income.
Bonus!

Delaying retirement can benefit your retirement budget by increasing the amount you can spend! Working one more year turns a thirty year retirement into a twenty-nine year retirement.  All things held equal, you could increase your spending by 3.33% for those remaining 29 years without changing your investments or taking any additional risks.
This might not sound like a lot, but a 3.33% increase on a $50,000 net annual income is an additional $138.75 per month for the rest of your life!
Hopefully these five reasons will better help you decide your optimal retirement date.
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 12:18
Why You Shouldn’t Hire Me As Your Financial Advisor http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/niche-financial-planning/ Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:51:11 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=471 <p>As I approach the ten year milestone of my financial planning career, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of my industry. I’m a firm believer that the winds of change will continue to blow through the financial planning industry. For financial advisors, that means keeping up with the times or calling it a career…. When I […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/niche-financial-planning/">Why You Shouldn’t Hire Me As Your Financial Advisor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> As I approach the ten year milestone of my financial planning career, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of my industry. I’m a firm believer that the winds of change will continue to blow through the financial planning industry. window.addEventListener('LPLeadboxesReady',function(){LPLeadboxes.setExitIntent('14275ef73f72a2:145f1c929746dc',{dontShowFor:'0d'});});
For financial advisors, that means keeping up with the times or calling it a career….
When I started my financial planning career in 2006 as an intern for a large insurance company, the financial services industry functioned differently than it does today.  Google was already a household name, but had just started to put phone books out of business by becoming the primary way people found answers to their questions. Google bought a startup named YouTube that year, and streaming video slowly started to become a part of our everyday lives.
In 2006, the financial services industry had little to no virtual-advice presence. I remember about two years into my career, we refitted our corporate office with video conferencing.  To us it was cutting edge technology allowing our managers to have virtual meetings, thus, cutting down travel time and saving money. None of us even considered the video conferencing setup as a viable way to interact with our clients.  In fact, after the novelty of the new equipment wore off, management stopped using it and went back to the old way of driving/flying to meetings or using teleconferences.
The way financial advisors found new clients was equally archaic in 2006. Meeting new clients was a combination of networking and word of mouth. Financial advisors playing golf is a cliché for a reason! Joining a country club and having meetings on the golf course was the way things were done for as long as financial planning has been a career.
– I think I’m the only financial advisor on the planet that doesn’t play golf.  Mainly because I’m terrible at it, but also because a game of golf is a huge time suck. Unless it is your passion, allocating three or four hours to golf on a Saturday is a pretty big commitment.  I’d rather take my kids fishing, but that might be my inner redneck talking (I am from North Dakota after all).
The necessity of in-person client meetings limited the average financial advisor and forced them to be a financial generalist, a financial jack-of-all-trades; selling everything from college savings plans, to retirement products, to long term care insurance.  Because advisors were geographically limited, they had to have a broad base to give advice. Basically, they would accept anyone as a client. In my opinion, because advisors had to be so broad, the advice also had to be broad (think: ten miles wide, one mile deep). This meant product-based solutions were often recommended as opposed to advice-based solutions. I saw this first-hand at the insurance company I worked for the first decade of my career.  If I’m meeting with a 23 year old at 9:00 in the morning, a married couple in their 30s at 11:00, and ending the day with a 65 year old at 3:00, how deep and focused will my advice be?  Not very, and “scraping the surface” flavor of advice is why so many clients have one-size fits all products (life insurance, variable annuities), as opposed to individualized retirement plans based on advice.
Advice isn’t a product; advice is a plan.
The limitations of face-to-face meetings went far beyond questionably suitable financial products. What happens if the closest financial advisor isn’t competent? Before technology breakthroughs, clients were limited to the best financial advisor in their neighborhood, for better or for worse. Forget about finding a specialist.
Change is coming….
Thanks to the giant leaps in technology of the last ten years, clients have choices that extend far beyond their friendly neighborhood financial advisor.
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Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 17:49
The Fiduciary Standard – Explained by John Oliver http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/fiduciary-standard-explained-john-oliver/ Thu, 23 Jun 2016 02:18:58 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=451 <p>I’ve wanted to talk about the “fiduciary standard” and the new Department of Labor rules for months, but haven’t been able to articulate my feelings in an entertaining way. The legal-eeze of the new rules aren’t easily digestible for the average investor. In fact, most investors don’t even know how their advisor is compensated, or […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/fiduciary-standard-explained-john-oliver/">The Fiduciary Standard – Explained by John Oliver</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> I’ve wanted to talk about the “fiduciary standard” and the new Department of Labor rules for months, but haven’t been able to articulate my feelings in an entertaining way. The legal-eeze of the new rules aren’t easily digestible for the average invest...  
That’s why when I heard the newest episode on Last Week Tonight on YouTube, I dropped everything…..
 

 
……I pushed back new content and made this my new topic for podcast episode 20. John Oliver was able to say everything I have been wanting to say on the podcast since the beginning, and he did the impossible,
 
– He made explaining the conflicted nature of financial planning funny and interesting –
 
If you follow financial personalities on twitter, you already know about the episode and that it went viral. I wanted to piggyback on John’s work, and share it with our audience to reinforce the importance of John’s message.
 
This is super-important stuff for anyone that plans on retiring in the next several years, so let’s dive right in… Take it away John…
 
“There is something you should know about financial advisors, even their name means less than you might think. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority warns customers to “be aware” that Financial Analyst, Financial Adviser, Financial Consultant, Financial Planner, Investment Consultant, or Wealth Manager are generic terms or job titles and may be used by investment professionals who may not hold any specific credential. So, “Financial Analyst” is just a fancy term that doesn’t actually mean anything.”
 
This is all embarrassingly true. Financial advice is one of the most highly regulated businesses in the world, but somehow the titles we can use are wildly unregulated.  A day one financial planner can use Financial Analyst, Financial Adviser, Financial Consultant, Financial Planner, Investment Consultant without any fear of repercussions from regulatory authorities. These titles are especially tricky because the titles are versions of actual professional designations. These titles are basically knockoffs.
 
Think of them as the “designer handbag” you found on Amazon for $39.99, they are supposed to look real, but aren’t.
 
The real designations they are trying to imitate are titles like CFP® or CFA, very real titles that actually mean something.
 
They actually mean something because they are incredibly difficult to get!
 
CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) is a designation that I have. The prerequisites are a four-year college degree, three years of client work, passing six financial planning-specific courses, and passing a ten-hour comprehensive exam. The CFP® designation takes three years of studying for most financial planners, no small task.  The pass rate for the comprehensive exam was about 60% in 2013, compared to the Multi-State Bar Exam, at around an 80% pass rate.
 
*humble brag, passing the CFP® exam took me less than one year! *
 
The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is another legitimate designation that is incredibly difficult to attain, which makes it a top candidate for being knocked-off.
 
Becoming a CFA has a three-level exam process, which takes -on average- four years to complete. Applicants must have four years of qualified work experience in investment decision making.
 
 
John then goes on to talk about how the production company that pr...]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 20:13
Five Tips for Buying a Second Home in Retirement http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/buying-a-second-home-in-retirement/ Tue, 31 May 2016 17:50:03 +0000 http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/?p=415 <p>Buying a second home is the dream of many pre-retirees, even more so for folks living in areas of the country unaffected by the housing crisis of 2008. This real estate confidence, along with still recovering housing prices in the warmer parts of the country, and the lowest interest rates seen in generations, have sparked […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/buying-a-second-home-in-retirement/">Five Tips for Buying a Second Home in Retirement</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://retirementstartstodayradio.com">Retirement Starts Today Radio</a>.</p> Buying a second home is the dream of many pre-retirees, even more so for folks living in areas of the country unaffected by the housing crisis of 2008. This real estate confidence, along with still recovering housing prices in the warmer parts of the c... This real estate confidence, along with still recovering housing prices in the warmer parts of the country, and the lowest interest rates seen in generations, have sparked the curiosity of many retirees buying a second home in retirement. 
Here are our top five tips for buying a second home in retirement:
Talk to your children
Nothing can change your plans quicker than children or grandchildren!
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In our office, Rita had always imagined herself lying on a sunny Florida beach, leaving the brutal winters of North Dakota behind.  Everything was going as planned until her first grandchild arrived! Her grandson is the apple of her eye and she is happily delaying Florida indefinitely.
Visit with your children and ask where their lives/passions/careers might take them.  Will you want to follow them?
Rent for a FULL YEAR
Renting for a full year is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Even if you are relatively sure of where you want to live.
Yes, renting for a year will feel like throwing 12 months of rent in the garbage, but buying to soon and paying your realtor a 6% commission when you change your mind hurts even more.

Believe me, I’ve seen it!
Various reasons why you might regret a hasty home purchase:

Friends from back home move to a neighboring city and you want to be closer to them.
The realization you hate your new town or become home sick. (It happens!)
You retire the earliest of your group of friends and no one follows you to your new city!

You want to be able to test-drive everything from the individual seasons in your new town, to the seasonal rotations of the other retirees.
While renting, visit with your neighbors about the area. What direction is the community headed? Is it growing and vibrant, or does it feel stagnant?  Ask around, are there other nearby communities that might be a better fit, more affordable, or better amenities?
Does the area offer enough to keep you busy and entertained year-round?  Keep in mind…. Boredom is the enemy of your retirement budget! 
Find a LOCAL realtor
Every town has a “wrong side of the tracks”. Only a trusted professional from the town you are interested will be able to guide you into the friendly areas of town in a way not yet available from browsing real estate listings on the internet.
A local realtor can find comparable properties (comps) and help you gauge if your new home is listed at a good price.
Hiring a local realtor shouldn’t add anything to the cost of purchasing your retirement home, and is well worth the effort.
Plus-size your emergency fund
The purpose of an emergency fund is to help us cope with unexpected expenses that need to be dealt with and we need to do this in a way that doesn’t mess up our pre-determined retirement cash flow.
Now that you own two homes, your original emergency fund won’t be large enough to cover twice as many home-related emergencies.
Think about it, you now own two of everything, lawnmowers, water heaters, and driveways!
Everything will break or need to be replaced eventually.  Having funds in your investment accounts isn’t enough (That’s cheating).  These funds are allocated for later, and have the sole purpose of earning you compound interest.  Emergency funds need to be liquid, outside your retirement accounts, and accessible on weekends and bank holidays.
“Think of your emergency fund as an insurance policy”
Make a list (Check it twice!)
Walk around your house with a legal pad and start to think about everything you want in your new home,]]>
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® clean 20:14