Ep 33: Fact Or Fiction

On This Episode

Sometimes the easiest way to learn about something is make it really simple. Like some of the first true/false tests you might have taken in school, let’s play a round of fact or fiction to test your financial planning acuity.

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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:


Marc: Hey everybody. Welcome into this edition of the podcast. Thanks for hanging out with us here on retirement planning, redefined with John and Nick, financial advisors at PFG Private Wealth. Find them online at pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Fun podcast this week, we’re going to have a little fun with some financial fact or fiction and test our financial planning acuity with the guys in just a minute, but let’s say, hey and see what’s going on. John, how are you my friend?

John: I’m doing good. How are you?

Marc: Doing pretty good hanging out and doing well hope you guys are doing the same down there. Nick, what’s going on with you? Any new action on that attorney you guys were telling us about?

Nick: No, we’re still plugging away on the golf tournament. We’re looking forward to doing that. This the first time that John and I have been involved in putting together a golf tournament. We’re not big golfers, it’s definitely an interesting process, but we’re looking forward to… I think our two charities are going to be locally Pepin Academies and Southeastern Guide Dogs. We’re looking forward to raising some money for charity. And then, we also actually recently sponsored a run through the Herald Center, which is a part of the USF Tampa campus and through the college of public health, that’s done to support in studies, family violence, which is a huge issue really in any community. They have a run coming up and we’re sponsoring that. Anybody that’s involved locally with that, we’ll see the name of the podcast and those sorts of things. We always stay involved in the community, enjoy doing those things.

Marc: That’s great.

John: But we are definitely not running.

Marc: You’re not running. Are you going to golf?

John: We’re probably not golfing either.

Nick: [crosstalk 00:01:47].

Marc: I imagine planning a tourney, a golf tournament, is a bit more challenging than you might expect. You first dive into it. You think, oh, this is… And then you’re like, wow, this is a lot more work than I thought.

John: There are a lot of moving parts, but we have a really strong team. We have some members that have planned golf tournaments before and they’re heading up the logistics. Nick and I are very organized and detail oriented, we’re making sure all the tasks are checked off and everyone’s doing their work, but we’re really excited about that one.

Marc: Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.

Nick: The local steakhouse that we’re teaming up with is really well known. Having them involved, this is the first time that we had paired up with them. It’s a pretty cool experience as well.

Marc: Very cool. Well, I’ll keep asking about it and we’ll keep updating things as we get closer, but for now let’s play a little financial fact or fiction. I know it’s a little tougher sometimes in your guys’ industry, because often I’ve heard that saying that the answer to most financial questions are, it depends, but we’ll try to do as best we can here. Like when we were in school, we do true or false of simple ways to learn things. I’ve got some basic statements here guys, just have a little fun with it. Fact or fiction, give us the best answer you can, based on the way the question is worded and we’ll go from there. Fact or fiction, whoever wants to take this first one, your social security can be taxable.

John: I’m going to say fact, although sometimes it’s not, but it’s based off of your income in retirement. They called it, your modified adjusted gross income in this situation, where basically it’s half of your social security, your adjusted gross income, plus any non taxable interest like municipal bonds. They add all that up and depending on where that falls will determine how much of your social security is taxable. Example if you’re making married filing jointly over 44 000 of that [inaudible 00:03:46] income, up to 85% of your social security is going to be taxable. That’s the maximum amount of your social security that’s going to be taxable is up to 85%.

Marc: Okay. It can be taxable. It doesn’t mean it always will be, but it can be.

John: Correct. I’ll say more often than not, it is going to be taxable because the limits where it’s not taxable, it’s married filing jointly between zero and 32 000, 0% is taxable at that point. But you’ll find the majority of people, they’re above that when you’re talking two incomes.

Marc: Got you. Okay. All right. We’ll go with fact on that one, it can be taxable. Quick and easy fact or fiction. Nick, how about you, you want to take this one? Your taxes will likely be lower in retirement.

Nick: There is a decent chance that may be the case, the tricky part about that, and we usually have a better idea of that within the last couple of years of retirement, when we can measure your expenses and measure what is being deployed into savings and those sorts of things. I would say that a solid percentage of people do have lower taxes, at least initially in retirement. But one of the things that we’ve started to see is, especially those that have done a good job of maybe managing expenses, because the market has taken such a big jump over the last, five to 10 years, there’s a lot of people that have found themselves with a lot more money in retirement accounts than they expected. And they’re creeping into their RMD age, which is now 72, they’re going to have income that’s going to be coming in via their required minimum distribution that may be much higher than their spending that could really flatten out that difference. going back to what we’ve said in previous podcasts, there is a decent chance that your taxes will be lower in retirement. However, it’s important for us to plan for scenarios that they aren’t and give you options in retirement.

Marc: Yeah. And to be fair with continuing taxes possibly going to be on the rise with all the spending we’re doing, it’s one of those statements where again, it’s in the wording, likely to be lower. Okay. But there’s a good chance of anything happening in that arena. You always want to make sure you’re checking them as relates to your specific scenario and plan efficiently. Try to plan to be as efficient as possible so that you can be tax efficient, hopefully in the future, just in case they do go up, because they do raise up the tax brackets. All right. How about fact or fiction guys? Term life insurance is better than whole life insurance.

John: I’m going to have to say it’s a, it depends on this one. I can’t go fact or fiction on this one because it depends on your situation. Term-life is great for covering an immediate need. Example, having two kids, I’ve enough life insurance, death benefit to cover my income for the next 20 years, if something were to happen to me. Whole life is nice to have basically a permanent policy. Going into retirement, I have something that’s going to last, in essence, depending on the policy and disclosures, whatever and disclaimers it’s going to last forever. This one is, it can’t be fact or fiction, it really depends on the person’s situation.

One of the things I would just throw in there on this is that, life insurance can be a topic that people feel strongly about. Typically though, it breaks down to a cashflow issue where if you have the cashflow to be able to have the right type of permanent whole life insurance, oftentimes it can be a better plan and strategy than otherwise, but it’s definitely an in-depth and a topic that’s important to go through in detail.

Marc: Well, we’re having a little fun with these, but like any financial vehicle or product there’s pros and cons to everything and what’s going to be right for your scenario may be different for someone else. It’s all about that complete holistic strategy, if you will. And that’s why working with an advisor is a good idea to do so when it comes to your scenario. And of course, if you’ve got questions or you need some help or whatever the case might be as always check out John and Nick, and have a conversation with them if you need some help, or if you have something that sparks your interest a little bit, go to pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com, and you can drop them a line there while you’re on the website. Lot of good tools, tips, and resources. Here’s another one guys. Medicare will cover most of your medical needs in retirement, fact or fiction?

John: I’ll say fact that the right type of Medicare policy will cover most of your medical needs in retirement. Again, disclosure, everyone’s situation is different and Medicare only covers certain things. But I’ll say from your basic health needs, going to the doctor, prescriptions, if you have the right type of Medicare policy, it will cover quite a bit of that. As far as any disabilities, that’s where Medicare does not really kick in for that. A lot of people get confused.

Marc: Hospital stays, basic doctor visits, things like that. But it doesn’t do dental. I can be interesting. My mom had, with her Medicare, she had some cataract stuff done and it covered portions of it. There’s definitely some outliers there, which is why they’ve got the 47 million supplement programs that go in there. A lot of stuff to talk about for sure and it doesn’t do anything with long-term care.

John: Correct. It’s important just to understand what it covers. Both Nick and I, we know a good amount about it, but we’ve both gone to some seminars and presentations and make sure we’re up to date on the latest. But we typically, when it comes to that point in the planning, we refer this out to a couple of people that specialize in it because there’s so many different policies of so many different nuances. And again, it’s all about finding the right professional and what fits your needs. Fact, some of the time, fiction some of the time as well.

Marc: Yeah, exactly. Well, I guess with these, it’s really just a fun way to do it, but ideally when it comes to financial stuff, there’s always a depends caveat, if you will. One more here, we’ll have this last one, then we’ll take an email question to wrap up this week. As you get older, you should gradually shift from stocks to bonds. That’s been a thinking for a very long time fact or fiction, or maybe has that changed?

Nick: I would say that it obviously depends upon where you’re starting from. If you’ve been a typical investor that has been comfortable with market risk throughout your life and you are starting from a place of maybe having a 70/30 stock to bond or a 60/40 stock bond portfolio that shifting to decrease your risk does make some sense. We’ve seen plenty of people that haven’t really taken enough risk from the perspective of market risk. Not taking enough market risk, can create things like longevity risk and your money lasting for you, those sorts of things. If you’re going to make shifts, it’s important to be shifting in the right way. Making sure that you’re looking at stocks that are on the lower risk side of things is important. But I would say in general, the key is to tie your investments to your overall financial plan. But in general, it will make some sense for many people to reduce some of their stock holding risk as things go forward. With the caveat that when you’re getting your access to the fixed side of things, the bond world, you need to do it much more carefully than maybe you had to 10 or 15 years ago. It’s a much more convoluted space than it was. And so that’s something where there are many people that under-appreciate the risk that you can have in the bond space.

Marc: All right. Well, that’s going to do it for fact or fiction, and we’re going to wrap up this podcast with an email question again, if you’d like to submit your own, stop by the website at pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Greg’s got a question for you. Greg says, “Guys, I’m being offered an early retirement package from the company I worked at. It also includes a severance package and pension buyout. It seems wise to consider this anything to think?” Anything that he should be thinking about, questions to maybe ask?

Nick: Yeah. Good question, Greg. Nick and I are seeing quite a bit of this coming up where clients are near retirement, few years away, and all of a sudden it’s, hey, I got the severance package and this pension buyout, what should I do? And the first thing we do is really to say, “Hey, let’s run the numbers and the plan and see if you can retire with that severance package and what the pension buyout is.” And we’ll evaluate it and give our recommendations based on, again, the plan. I’ll say it’s definitely worth comparing your options in that situation. One thing you want to consider is the financial health of the pension itself. Is it fully funded or is it underfunded? Because we have seen some pensions that aren’t fully funded and there’s some financial risks of that pension. In that scenario, I would say you might want to go ahead and take the money.

Nick: And then, reverting back to the plan, what are their current income needs versus liquidity? Just to give you an example of a plan we’re doing, client had a couple of pensions and didn’t really have much liquidity. When a situation like this came up, we evaluated it based on the income that it was spinning off and what a lump sum could do. But, we looked at it and said, “Hey, this, this could be a nice option to give you some of the liquidity, which you currently don’t have”, because he had two pensions and social security, but didn’t have a lot of liquid assets he could draw on if needed. Another thing to consider is beneficiaries. We’ve seen a lot of clients where they say, “Something happens to me with this pension, basically the money goes away. I don’t feel comfortable with that. I’d prefer the lump sum buyout. At least if something happens to me within the next 10 years or 15 years, someone’s going to get something versus in the pension option that I’m given, they’re not going to get anything.” And again, there’s different pension options and we review it all. And then, we’ve seen some scenarios where the pension guaranteed income was so excellent, we didn’t even consider a lump sum withdrawal or any other type of contracts that provide guaranteed income because it was so strong.

Marc: Some good questions to ponder there, Greg. Thanks for submitting that in. There’s obviously a lot of information that you didn’t share with us. If you’d like to have a more in-depth conversation about exactly what they’re offering, you definitely reach out to John and Nick. You can call them at 813-286-7776, but that gives you four or five things there to think about. Again, 813-286-7776. You can give them a call and have a conversation with them. Of course, with the podcast, subscribe to the show folks, if you have done so already. That way you can catch up new episodes when they come out, you can also check out past episodes and all that good jazz. You can find it all at pfgprivatewealth.com. It’s really the easiest way to get in touch with the guys, If you’d like.

Marc: You can drop an email question, you can book some time with them. You can subscribe to the podcast, just a lot of good tools, tips, and resources there at pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com and that’s going to do it for us this week on the podcast. John, Nick, guys thanks for hanging out with me and good luck with the upcoming events.

Nick: All right, thanks Marc.

John: Thanks, have a good one.

Marc: We appreciate it. We’ll see you next time here on retirement planning, redefined with the guys from PFG Private Wealth, serving you here in the Tampa Bay area. We’ll talk to you next time on the podcast folks.