Ep 37: Things That Don’t Matter Till They Do

On This Episode

Fire extinguishers, airbags in your car, and smoke alarms in your house are all examples of things in life that don’t really seem to matter until they’re the only thing that matters. On that rare occasion when you need one of those items, you’ll either be very glad that you have one, or really regretting the fact that you don’t. Let’s talk about some of the things in the financial world that don’t matter until they do.

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PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


Mark: Hey everybody, welcome in to another edition of the podcast. This is Retirement Planning – Redefined, with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. And we’re going to chat today about some things that don’t matter, well, until they do. And I’ve got some pretty good examples of that, so we’re going to get into that in just a second. But I don’t know, Nick, I feel like I should pick on you a little bit. Things that don’t matter until they do, is that the Buffalo Bills again this year or what?


Nick: Those are fighting words. It’s a good thing we’re in a different state. Now, what’s your football team?


Mark: I just had to pick on you because of the whole Tom Brady thing. I was going to talk to you about it, so you just couldn’t get away from this guy, right? He was kicking your butt in New England, then he comes down in your backyard and still knocks your team out. I actually felt for you this past playoff, so.


Nick: Yeah, it’s all good. We’ve got a real quarterback now so I’m okay with it.


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: I’m not a complete…


Mark: My team is total garbage, so you can pick on me all day long, so it’s no worries. My team is the laughingstock of the NFL pretty much on a regular basis.


John: Are you a Panthers fan?


Mark: That’s close. You think I would be because, same thing with you guys, I’m next to the Panthers so you think I would be. But no, I’m a Cowboys fan. Yeah. It’s the worst.


Nick: Nah. Trust me. It’s not the worst.


Mark: We get a lot of flack for Cowboys fans. That’s for sure.


Nick: Yeah, but it’s not the worst.


Mark: Gotcha. John, what about you? Do you pull for anybody?


John: The Patriots.


Mark: Oh my God. Wait, what? Oh my gosh, you two must have really gone back and forth.


John: Yeah, I grew up in right outside of the Boston.


Mark: That’s right, I remember that now yeah. So you guys have had some fun times over the last few years, haven’t you?


Nick: John used to ask me to watch games-


John: He refuses.


Nick: I couldn’t be around. I couldn’t be around people in public watching the game, but now that they’re a little bit better-


Mark: They had a great year last year, they really did, so.


Nick: They made the playoffs three out of the last four years.


Mark: Yeah, they did. They’re definitely on the run. So I just had to give you a little bit of a hard time, but it’s all good. It’s all good.


Mark: So listen, things that don’t matter until they do. So here’s some real examples, like a fire extinguisher, right? Who thinks about a fire extinguisher until you need one? Or the airbags in your car or smoke alarms in your house, all these things we just don’t pay any attention to until we actually really need one. And then we’re awfully glad that they’re there.


Mark: So I’ve got a couple of these financially speaking fellas. So talk to us about the importance of why these things can be kind of out of sight, out of mind. But man, we really need to have those ducks in a row. And let’s just start with an easy one, legal documents, right? Won’t matter until they do, but when you need it, man you’re going to be glad you’ve got it in place, and right.


John: Yeah, this is a great example of that. And where when you’re living and this happens is you have some type of health event and I just had a family member who just got an accident and healthcare surrogate had to step up and make some decisions and help them out during that process. So that’s something that you really need to consider doing some of these things. Meeting with an attorney that’s qualified to do this stuff, to make sure that your ducks are in a row.


John: And the unfortunate one where it’s too late is if you pass away and then now your beneficiaries are dealing with whatever estate, whether it’s trust, wills, documents that you did or didn’t do. I’ll tell you from Nick and I have helped a lot of clients kind of navigate that, if it’s not done correctly it can be a nightmare for your beneficiaries just to figure out where everything is and who is responsible.


Mark: Yeah. And it’s one of those things that’s easily avoidable, right Nick? I mean, this is not that hard to fix. This is, of the low hanging fruit that can be out there, you can do this stuff pretty easy. Especially things like beneficiary designation, updating those, so on and so forth. Wills and trusts, sure, they can be a little more complicated, but even that it’s not that complex. You’ve just got to get with an advisor and an attorney.


Nick: Yeah. What we’ve seen is that often times people don’t personally know an attorney or somebody in this space that can help them. Or, if they do, they’re private and they don’t necessarily want them to know everything about them. Or we’ll see people that just… It makes them extremely uncomfortable to talk about death, dying and, or being sick.


Nick: And so it’s a classic avoidance behavior. And like we had talked about previously, time flies and all of a sudden it’s five or 10 years later, and your mom and dad that you’ve had listed as the beneficiaries are no longer alive and kids are grown up or you had another child that’s not listed anywhere. Or maybe you got divorced or remarried.


Nick: All these things happen and if the documents aren’t in place or they’re lagging and inaccurate, it can turn into quite a quagmire if something happens. And I’ll say this too, is oftentimes when people think of the legal documents, they think of death and not necessarily what John referred to as far as healthcare proxy and a power of attorney, those sorts of things where there’s a health event and you’re still alive, but you need help making decisions and that can really get pretty squirrely.


Mark: No, I agree with you. And I think the other one we hear sometimes too as well, is, that’s for rich people, right? A trust is for rich people or so on and so forth. And it’s like, okay, that’s not really the case. And it’s really not as expensive to get some of this stuff taken care of as we often think it is. I think we build it up in our mind or whatever. We just kind of have this, oh, that’s for rich folks or it costs too much money so I’m just going to avoid it. Pretty easy to handle this stuff.


Nick: Yeah, I would say that’s accurate, as well as, and we’ve talked about the run-up in the markets over the last five or 10 years. There’s a lot of people that, seven, eight years ago they maybe had a third of the money that they have now. And so they still kind of are in the same train of thought or the same thought process. And they don’t realize maybe what they perceive… They still think of themselves in that same way as they did eight to 10 years or even 15 years ago. And there’s a little bit of disbelief. And so it kind of leads into kind of procrastinating and you almost have to kind of take stock and realize, okay, hey, this is something I really need to get done.


Mark: Yeah, exactly.


Mark: Well, that’s hopefully what we try to provide here on the podcast is there’s a little useful nuggets of information that might spark that conversation. And speaking of which, John, life insurance, not something that you’re really popping up at the dinner table saying, “Hey, let’s have a rousing conversation about life insurance.” Right? It doesn’t kind of go that way. But, again it’s one of those things that don’t seem to matter until you need it. And it can be quite important and quite useful tool.


John: Yeah, a hundred percent. I’ll say this is probably one of the most disliked conversations for people, is talking about life insurance and what happens after if they were to pass away or a spouse or whoever.


Mark: Right.


John: Especially with children, because when you have kids, and I have two daughters, one of the big things you look at is, I’ll use myself as a scenario, I’m gone. So there’s my income gone for the next 20, 30 years. So you really want to look at it from that standpoint when you’re talking about needs planning for life insurance is… I’m no longer here. My income’s no longer providing for my family. How do I replace that? And really life insurance is a great vehicle to go ahead and replace someone’s income for a 20, 30 year period. And there’s ways to back into what amounts are correct, but definitely something you need to look at when you’re doing a plan.


John: And going into retirement can be the same way depending, and Nick mentioned it on the last session where everyone’s situation is different. Well we’ve had scenarios where, there may be still is a need for life insurance in retirement because maybe one person has a heavy pension. And if that person passes away, that pension now is gone. And maybe that’s a big requirement for the plan to work.


John: So everyone’s situation is different. It’s definitely something that needs to be considered. You just want to take a look at it and see what would happen if someone did pass away and there wasn’t any life insurance. I’ll say a lot of these things that we’re going to go over too, I think it’s easy to address, there’s definitely people that can help you out. And it’s just a matter of getting it done. And once it’s done it just kind of provides a nice peace of mind that it’s kind of like a bandaid, just do it, rip it off.


Mark: There you go. Exactly. I think life insurance too, I will be honest. It’s a very important tool even for retirees, there’s a lot of ways it can be used. It’s not our daddy’s Oldsmobile like those old commercials. There’s just so many different nuances now to life insurance, where it could be a useful tool for various times of life, but I can’t help but thinking of Ned Ryerson and the Groundhog Day movie, when he comes up on Bill Murray, that insurance guy. I think that’s what a lot of times people think of when they think life insurance or life insurance agent, and it’s just changed so much. But it is a great movie.


Mark: Lifetime income streams. We kind of talk about this fairly often, but I mean, look, it’s one of those things maybe you don’t think about. You think, well, I’ve got these accounts, right? I got all this stuff, but how do I turn it into money because I do need money all through my retirement? I need a paycheck coming in.


Nick: Yeah. So, one of the things that we’ll say is that in retirement, income is king. Assets are great and assets are the thing that people love to talk about and kind of chat about, but income is king. And I’ll say too that everybody knows about social security. They realize in theory it’s important, that sort of thing, but many people, and this is something that we’ll kind of review with people often, is that they don’t quite realize like, well, hey, if your household is getting $60,000 a year in income from social security, which these days, a lot of people are. That is really equivalent to between one and $2 million of nest egg assets from the standpoint of generating a saving [column 00:09:37] , having it last your lifetime and getting inflationary raises.


Nick: So, building a portfolio or an overall strategy where, we’ve got quite a few clients that they have rental properties, that rental income, they purchased a property a little bit when they’re younger. They get the house or the property paid off, and the rental income supplements their income in retirement.


Nick: John referred to pensions, that can be a big deal. Annuities can provide a guaranteed income as well. So, trying to balance forms of guaranteed income with assets can be really important. And just a little caveat to throw in there, although income is king, it is important to have assets. So the reason I say that is we have had some clients come to us that have been, whether it’s between social security and pension, they’ve been income rich and asset poor, and that can also lead to other issues as well. So a good balance is really just like so many other things is really the most important part.


Mark: Well, balance is key, definitely balance is key to anything. And we all know we got to have these different forms of, or we have to have some income coming in, in retirement. But having the multiple streams and turning things on at different times, and whether you want to call it bucket strategies or laddering or whatever the case is, but just having these different various forms to be able to pull from at different times is going to make obviously all the difference in keeping up with our retirement. Because nobody wants to go backwards in their lifestyle in retirement. They want to kind of continue on the way they have been, or maybe even more so in retirement. So that’s some things that- go ahead.


Nick: And let me jump in on that too, that point that you made about not going backwards or maintaining is important. Because there are times, and I’ve had this happen a couple of times, when it comes to retirement and income in retirement and when it comes to life insurance, two of the topics that we talked about, in people’s minds they have an enormous amount of confidence that all of a sudden they no longer need any of the things that they’ve wanted and bought for the last 25 or 30 years. It’s like all of a sudden they flip the switch and it’s going to be the cheaper food, the cheaper restaurants, the cheaper car-


Mark: I’ve got plenty of clothes. I don’t need to buy any new clothes.


Nick: Yes. And in reality, people don’t live like that. And so that’s an important-


John: In reality, it’s typically the reverse. They have more time on their hands to go buy things.


Mark: Right, yeah. My dad always said every day was a Saturday when he got to retirement and he spends the most money on a Saturday, so, that always stuck with me.


Nick: Yeah most people live in a state of want versus need and it’s often, that’s a pretty common thing, so anyhow.


Mark: That always stuck with me. That’s a great point. Well, I’ll tell you what, that’s some things that don’t matter until they do so, again, whether it’s legal documents, pretty easy fix, life insurance, certainly a worthwhile conversation to have no matter what stage of life you’re in. And making sure definitely that you’ve got those income streams set up for life. Some key topics there that we talked about this weekend.


Mark: We’re going to take some email questions and wrap up because we want to get back to a couple of these here. We haven’t done these lately. And of course, anytime you submit a question, you’re going to get your question answered, but to just talk about someone here on the show, we kind of do those from time to time. If you’d like to drop a line, go to pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com or call (813) 286-7776 if you’ve got some questions for your own situation that you need to get answered, and the guys will certainly tackle those for you.


Mark: But for right now, let’s see what we got from Linda who had sent an email question. And guys, she says, “Fellas, my daughter just turned 18 and I’d like to help her get off onto the right foot with some retirement savings. What’s a good idea for something to get her started with?”


John: Yeah, I’ll take this one. So, we’ve had this come up quite a bit with some of our clients and their kids, when they turn 18, they want to just get them used to investing or just understanding it which we think is very important. Some of the things we’ve done, it just depends. If the child is working, we might do a Roth IRA where we’ll go ahead and just open up a Roth retirement account. It’s a great vehicle for kids because they can tax free money in retirement. They could use it for a first time home purchase, et cetera, et cetera. So we’ve done that. We’ve just got to make sure that they’re working because you need earned income to contribute to a Roth.


John: If they are not working, there’s definitely some kind of joint accounts you can set up, but it’s definitely a good thing to do. Because I’ll tell you, we’ve done that for some clients and we’ve had those kids become clients early, right when they graduate college. And they’re pretty aggressive in saving. I have one where, as soon as he graduated he got in touch with me and then just started aggressively saving in his early twenties, which is very uncommon. And now he’s early thirties and he has a pretty sizable nest egg. And now he’s got kids and all this stuff and he can’t save as much because he does not have as much discretionary income. But it really set that foundation for him to really start saving for retirement, understanding how important that is.


Mark: No, I think that’s awesome that you’re having some people do that, especially at a younger age. And so kudos to her for getting her daughter start off on the right foot. And for people that just in general kind of have that interest. I had a young kid that I knew for a couple of years ago that used to work for me. Same thing. Early on he was very into saving money for his future self, which is fantastic. I think because his parents hadn’t done a very good job and so sometimes we see that mental shift, right? Where you see your parents do something and you want to do the opposite and so on and so forth. And in this case, that was a good thing.


Mark: So very cool question. Thanks so much for submitting that. Hopefully that helps you out a little bit and keep listening to the podcast. We certainly appreciate it. And let’s do one more guys before we wrap up here, [just 00:15:13] go around, and we’ve got one from Patty. You guys got to put on your counselor hats here. Patty says, “My husband and I argue almost every day about money because we haven’t done a very good job planning for our retirement and it stresses us both out. Is this a normal thing between spouses or do we need some serious help?”


Nick: So I’ll jump in on this one. So, there’s a couple of things here. So the first thing is that this points out specifically the importance of a plan. And what we mean by that is that when there’s not a clear picture of what people actually have, what their life actually looks at, when there’s a high amount of uncertainty on the future, that’s when there’s often anxiety and bickering, arguing those sorts of things when it comes to money.


Nick: And so, step number one is take an inventory, build a plan. So once that’s done, if it is truly terrible, then you can fight, but at least let’s figure out what’s there. But all joking aside, so then the next step is to kind of come to grips with the fact that, hey, we are where we are today. There’s nothing that we can do about it. If we can focus on the future and start making decisions that are positive and maybe make some changes that’ll be helpful, then that’s great.


Nick: From our perspective as advisors, one of our kind of golden rules, and we oftentimes tell clients this is that, we can’t care more about your money and your situation than you do. So ultimately it has to start at home and then they have to be willing to take guidance and advice and make changes. And then really what we found is that in 12 to 24 months, the momentum can be significant in a positive way. And things can really swing strongly. And once that happens, it becomes kind of addicting. It’s kind of like when you’re in your early twenties, for most people maybe they’re just starting out at the first job and the first time you started to hit a few thousand dollars in your account that stays in your account, maybe 5,000 is your threshold and you’re like, “wow, this is great.” I’ve never had this amount of money in here before.


Nick: And then maybe down the road you hit 10 and as you get older that number changes. And what’s interesting is that it also becomes more stressful and you kind of get this hoarding mentality where once you hit these certain thresholds, 50,000, a 100 thousand in your savings account. Once get there and you realize the comfort and the peace of mind that it provides, you never want to go back. And so we like people to kind of get that, to taste that so that they can understand that. And then usually it’s full speed ahead.


Mark: Yeah, no, that’s a great way of looking at it. My daughter, she’s still pretty young but is definitely, she kind of got that. She was constantly just spending her check and spending all her money when she wasn’t making too much. And then once she got started getting a decent check in from the Navy and she got a couple of bonuses and she put it in there and she watched her account grow, she was like, “wow, this is-” and so now she’s gotten bitten by this bug to kind of see what she can get the number to. She’ll message me every so often, “The number is this now. And the number’s that now.” And so I’m like, “Hey, cool. You’re 24 years old. You got a long time for that to grow and compound.” So yeah, it definitely can be addicting.


Mark: And of course, if you’re closer to retirement and obviously that sounds like that’s the case for this question. I think that’s a great piece of advice. Find out what you got, get an assessment, get a plan put together, look at it. And then see, you guys might be fighting over nothing too, so think about that. You guys could possibly be in much better shape than you even realize. And therefore you’re fighting for [not. 00:18:55]


Mark: So reach out and have a conversation with the guys. Just give him a jingle and call them at (813) 286-7776, or stop by the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. And that’s going to do it this week for the podcast. Again, don’t forget to subscribe to us on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Stitcher, or whatever platform you like to use. You can find it all at the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. For John and Nick, I’m Mark, we’ll see you next time here on Retirement Planning – Redefined.


Nick: Go Bills.

Ep 31: Where Crisis & Opportunity Meet

On This Episode

To write the Chinese word for “crisis,” you combine elements of two different Chinese characters. One character means “danger” while the other one means “opportunity.” Translated into English, it means “opportunity riding on a dangerous wind.” Let’s discuss how some of these crises might actually be opportunities, depending on your situation and perspective.

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More Episodes

Check out all the episodes by clicking here.



PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


Marc: Time for another edition of the podcast. Thanks for hanging out with us as we talk investing finance and retirement here on Retirement Planning – Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth, and we’re going to talk about when crisis meets opportunity here on this episode of the podcast. But first I’ll say hi to the guys, and then we’ll dive into what that means. What’s going on, Nick? How are you?


Nick: Oh, doing well, doing well. It’s been a really busy start to the year. People are anxious to kind of check in and go over things and all that kind of stuff, so we’re enjoying catching up with everybody and just kind of walking them through where we are and how things are going.


Marc: Good. Yeah. As the first quarter winds down, I imagine that’s the case. John, what’s going on with you, my friend?


John: Oh, not too much. As Nick mentioned, just a very busy start to the year, so yeah, get in touch with everyone has been good. And I think the last time we said the weather’s starting to warm up around here, so we have two or three months of some really nice weather, then it’s going to get scorching hot. So just try and enjoy the nice 70s to 80s for the time being.


Marc: There you go. Exactly. Well, so what we’re talking about this week here on the podcast is some people view certain things that are going to happen to us in retirement, or that happen to us in general, when it comes to our financial lives as a crisis, and other look at it as an opportunity, right? So I’m going to give you guys a couple here. I’ll let you guys expound on those based on what you see or what you do, and we’ll just discuss some of these ways that these crises, if you will, might actually be an opportunity, a good way for you to look at it, maybe change your perspective just a bit.


Marc: Now, John, I know we’re in totally different spaces when it comes to this, you and I, but I am an empty nester. I’ve been one now for, well, actually about two and a half years going on three years. But for some parents the idea of empty nest is a very joyous one. My wife and I were pretty surprised at ourselves. We were like, “Sweet. We love her, but bye, do your thing, have a good time.” And for others, obviously, there’s a very sad attachment and sometimes they have trouble with it. But from a financial standpoint, what’s some things to think about here?


John: Some of the things you can think about is definitely your cash flow. I would assume for the most part is now you have a little extra cash flow. So from a financial standpoint, I think, in the last session we talked about in the 50s having a little bit extra money to save.


Marc: Right.


John: We see that quite a bit when kids are out of college. You’re no longer paying for college bills. Your electricity, water bills, maybe gone down a little bit.


Marc: Cell phone.


John: And the big one is groceries.


Marc: Groceries.


John: That really shot down for certain people here, and it really gives you an opportunity to either save some more for retirement or go on some more vacations and travel, you know?


Marc: That’s a good point. Nick, I wasn’t trying to leave you out there, but I know that you don’t have any little ones yet, so I just was getting John’s take on that. What do you see though, from a planning aspect?


Nick: Yeah, it’s interesting because we almost see this happen in kind of like two phases. So, for a lot of our clients, the first phase is when the kids go away to school. It’s kind of like … Or even from the standpoint of when the last kid goes away to school, so there’s that period of time where they’re away at school, but they’ll come home on breaks, and maybe during the summer they stay at home, and so there’s a little bit of adjustment. But while they may not be at home, they may still be on the payroll per se?


Marc: Right.


Nick: And then there’s that kind of full shift into, all right, they’re gone, they’re off the payroll and what now sort of thing. And for some, depending upon the age that they are, that’s where grandkids may come into play. And so there’s a little bit of a transition where maybe you’re watching the grandkids a couple of days a week, and people tend to kind of like having some sort of interim between they’re being a crazy household versus an empty household.


Nick: But really that recapture of money that was being spent, saving it, putting it away, so that’s one of the most effective tools I would say that we have to kind of help people with this process is if we’re able to show people. Maybe they’re somewhere from five to eight years out from retirement and it’s like, “All right, our expenses have dropped by a thousand dollars a month with the kids kind of shifting out of the house. We had originally planned to retire at 65, but if we save this thousand dollars a month, is there a chance that we could retire at 62, 63, 64?”


Nick: And so, kind of going through a planning process and showing them like, “Hey, yeah, in some cases, if we can recapture those dollars, if we can put that money away, we can get you into that next phase of life a little bit quicker.” There’s a huge relief for many people that comes with that where there’s less … Even if they are going to continue to work, knowing that they may not necessarily have to work, there’s a huge kind of mental relief that we see in people. And so I’ve seen that really alleviate some of that mindset change quite a bit.


Marc: Gotcha. Yeah. And so whether you view the empty-nest syndrome as a crisis because you’re like, “What are we going to do? We’re all by ourselves.” And maybe it’s a standpoint of you got to spend more time with your spouse. It’s just the two of you. Who knows what your viewpoint is? But at the same time, you could look at it as an opportunity to maybe put away more for retirement, whether it’s they’re half off the payroll, completely off the payroll, to both of the guys’ points here. So try to find the opportunity in that versus necessarily the crisis.


Marc: All right, so let’s move to the next one, guys, and that is market downturns or market crashes. You know, obviously they’re going to be stressful no matter what happens. I mean, just what we saw a year ago now last March with the downturn due to the pandemic. And so I get where the crisis can come into play, so what some things to think about in the event that we want to try to turn that mindset into more of an opportunity?


John: Yeah, so when we have downturns in the market, a good opportunity is really buying into it. It’s like you have a store that’s going out of business and they have their going out of business sale and you kind of jump in there and see what they have that you can get at a very discounted price. Same thing with stocks.


John: I mean, just to give an example of one, and I kind of use this in the class, because I feel like I’m always there, is Disney. Their stock dropped quite a bit last March when we started to shut down, and that was a great buying opportunity if you had some cash on the sideline to take advantage of it, because it’s really skyrocketed since then. And I’m just using Disney as an example. There’s a lot of other ones as well that we can discuss, but you know, if you’re … position yourself to really take advantage of a market crash, you can really put yourself ahead and when the things rebound. So, there’s definitely some opportunity in market crashes.


Marc: I think people sometimes immediately latch on to the paranoia side of it. But if you had a good plan in place, it might not feel as much of a crisis, I guess.


Nick: You know, one of the conversations that we’ll have with clients as they do shift into retirement, for those that may be a little bit skittish about the market in general, or if we have concerns that some market volatility will kind of derail them from their plan, just maybe overall that the market stresses them out a little bit, what we’ll do is kind of figure out. Like, “Hey, how many months of expenses will make … If we hold X amount of months in cash to cover expenses, will that put you in a place where you’ll feel comfortable?” Because with a crash there’s two parts. Number one is to not bail and to cash out at a loss. Number two is if you have cash handy to put that cash, like John said, and enter it into the market and take advantage of the upside. It can be significant.


Nick: So for clients that are fully retired, being able to have some of that cash set aside to be able to take advantage of opportunities, and also prevent them from acting in a way that is not good for them longterm can be important. And for those clients that are actually still working and still actively saving into accounts, saving on a monthly basis or on a consistent bi-weekly basis helps, whether it be [inaudible 00:08:23] cost averaging is what a lot of people know it as, helps you buy in at times when the market’s low or at a discount, once it bounces back, you can really bounce back in a significant way, and make a difference.


John: Yeah, So another opportunity you can do in a market crash is really do some Roth conversions on IRA assets.


Marc: Good point.


John: So what you would do is … And I think we’ve discussed this in kind of one of our last sessions. But now that this has come back up, it’s probably a good time to bring it up again, is if your IRA balance drops, that could be a good opportunity to convert it and pay less taxes on a lower balance at that point in time.


Marc: Okay. All right. Certainly some good points to think of, and again, we’re trying to show some areas, silver linings, if you will, where something might feel like a crisis or seem like a crisis, but maybe there’s an opportunity there to be had. And of course, a lot of that comes down to, as I mentioned, just having a good plan in place that’ll help you alleviate some of those feelings because you’ll know what to expect as you’re walking into some of these scenarios.


Marc: Number three, guys, maybe a little bit tougher, obviously, to plan for, but still something that has to happen. And this is one that I think just gets avoided mostly because people are afraid to talk about it, but it’s long-term care, and maybe that’s the crisis is the continual rate hikes or something like that.


Nick: Yeah. With clients that have long-term care policies, we try to make sure that we explain, and when we do our classes, we walk through this section. We try to make sure that we explain so that they fully understand that premiums for traditional long-term care policies can go up, and anybody that’s really purchased a policy in the last decade is really starting to see that now. And so, those policies do have what are called non-forfeiture options, so they have the ability to either keep their premium the same and reduce benefits, or pay more and keep their benefits the same. And we really try to take it on a case-by-case basis, but it’s important to take it into consideration and understand because it is absolutely a factor that can impact the overall planning, and is just really another reason that when you’re planning for expenses for clients, building in buffers on expenses and making sure that the plan works well, this is an important space to make sure that you cover.


Marc: Yeah, certainly some good points. And sometimes maybe it’s just a good reminder, a kick in the tush that we sometimes need, to just look at some of the things we’re a little bit afraid of addressing. And nobody likes thinking about it, but it is part of life, so it’s certainly worth having a conversation.


Marc: One more here guys, and that is the crisis, and we saw this obviously a lot in the last 18 months or so of downturns, getting laid off, in this case, whole industries really suffering due to the pandemic. It’s certainly going to be tougher to look for opportunities there, but from a retirement standpoint, and we’re not necessarily talking about people that are in their 20s or 30s or 40s, but from a retirement standpoint, any things we can try to find here to turn that into an opportunity? Maybe getting laid off early, the first thing that would pop into my mind is that if you had a good plan in place, you’d be able to know if that’s necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It might just be saying, “Okay, well, it’s time for me to go ahead and retire and I know I’m going to be okay.”


John: We’ve seen that situation’s come up recently where we’ve had clients laid off and it’s like, “Hey, Nick, John, let’s get together to do a meeting.” And in the meeting, it’s, “All right, let’s look at how the plan looks without you working currently,” and we find out it doesn’t look as bad as they thought, and it kind of makes them feel a bit better about their current situation.


John: We’ve also had some other scenarios where maybe it doesn’t look great, but it’s, “Hey, you don’t need to go work full time anywhere. You can go find something that you enjoy to do and maybe work part time and the plan still looks solid.” So, that’s something to just keep an eye on is if you are laid off, you don’t necessarily need to get back to the income that you were making before. Maybe you can now go do something else that maybe you enjoy more or a second career, and maybe at part time, your plan still works. And that’s where it’s important to plan ahead and make sure that you have the ability to make decisions and be able to monitor those.


Nick: Yeah, I would add, in reality for somebody that’s within a couple of years of retirement, the money that they are going to save in those years, if they’ve done pretty well up until that point … So, let’s say for example, somebody is planning on retiring at 65 and they get laid off at 63. Well, the money that they were going to save between 63 and 65 wasn’t going to have a huge, huge impact on their overall plan and make it rapidly improve. However, not having to dip into the money that they’ve saved in those couple of years will be important. So kind of along the lines of what John said, it’s like, “Hey, if we can …” We’ll go through the plan and say, “Maybe you’re used to making a hundred grand a year, but if you can find something making 40 or 50 that can help you avoid having to dip into your accounts, let your accounts to continue to grow, and even if you can’t save for these next couple of years, it lets you hold the line, that can be really a win-win and make an impact.”


Nick: So between that and kind of sticking with the fundamentals of trying to make sure that you have six plus months of expenses in cash and really kind of the tried-and-true things from a planning standpoint, can help people get through that. And we’ve also seen people kind of have a sense of relief where they were getting burned out at work. They weren’t really happy there anymore. They didn’t realize how much it was taking out of them and just literally a month or two to regroup kind of refreshes them, and they end up in an opportunity that’s a lot better than the one that they were in anyways.


Marc: Yeah. Some great points for sure. I mean, try to find that opportunity in it. Maybe if you’re lucky enough to have a position where a pension was involved, maybe they’ve offered you a lump sum buyout, whatever the case is, or the monthly. So, it’s worth having those conversations to find out where you stand, because it may not be that crisis that you initially thought it was.


Marc: But it’s the gut punch when you first find that out, sure. But if you’ve got a plan in place or you go and you find out and you have those numbers run, you may certainly find, to the guys’s point, that you could be in better shape than you realized. And it’s interesting that the way you guys phrase that, because my brother’s actually right there now. He’s 63 and he’s going to be … They’re going to be closing up the business here that he works for in the next couple of months. And so he’s at that cusp as well, and he’s like, “Well, I’m going to take a look at my numbers again.” And so he sat down and talked with his advisor, and he’s like, “I think I can just go to part time,” to John’s point, “and just do some things that I want to do now.” There’s a couple of little hobby ideas he’s been thinking about doing.


Marc: So you never know, right? You got to look for the opportunity where you can. And it’s hard to sometimes not focus on the crisis, but with a good strong plan in place, that’ll certainly help you do that. And that’s kind of the whole point. That’s one of the reasons we do the podcast is to shine some light on some areas to think about that.


Marc: And you’ve been listening to Retirement Planning – Redefined. Stop by the website at PFGprivatewealth.com. Check out the guys there. A lot of good tools, tips, and resources. You can contact them to come in for a consultation or review or talk about your situation. You can find the podcast there, subscribe to it that way, or drop us an email here as well on the program. And we’ve got one this week we’re going to wrap up with. Jane has a question for you guys. She says, “It’s about 401k funds. If I don’t use the target date retirement fund, is there a certain number of funds that I should allocate within my 401k? I don’t want to under or over diversify. Is there a right number of funds or does it really just depend?”


John: Our answer to almost everything is, “It always just depends.” It sounds like Jane, she’s not doing the prebuilt kind of option, which is the target date, and is looking just to really build her own portfolio, which is fine. But it’s really more important as far as how many funds you have to get into the right asset classes. So, 401ks do a really good job of making sure that you have a lot of different asset classes to choose from. And when I say asset classes, large cap, small cap, bond funds, international, that’s the way you want to diversify within a portfolio.


John: It really comes down to your risk tolerance, which again, with the 401k platforms, they typically have a questionnaire for you when you sign up or on the website. And then once you determine that, I’m just throwing it out there, if you’re moderate, then you’re going to want a certain mix of those asset classes to make sure you have a good portfolio for you. Easier said than done, so it’s really important to work with a financial professional to make sure that you have the right number of funds and you’re diversified in the right asset classes for your situation.


Marc: All right, there you go. Thank you so much for the question. We certainly appreciate it. And you know, every situation’s a bit different. There’s universal truths to apply to all of us, and that’s one of the reasons, again, we do the podcast to share some of those things, but every situation can be uniquely different when it comes to retirement planning. So, reach out to the team and give them a call if you have some questions at (813) 286-7776.


Marc: Don’t forget to subscribe to us at Retirement Planning – Redefined on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Stitcher, so on and so forth. You can find all the information at PFGprivatewealth.com. Guys, thanks for your time this week. I appreciate it as always. John, have yourself a great week. Nick, you as well, my friend.


Nick: Thanks, Marc. Thanks.


John: Have a good one. Thanks.


Marc: We’ll talk to you a little bit later here on the program. This is Retirement Planning – Redefined.