Ep 49: What To Do As You Count Down The Days To Retirement

On This Episode

We’ve assembled a list of priorities to keep in mind as you count down the days to retirement.

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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 to the podcast. It’s retirement planning, redefined with John and Nick and myself talking about the countdown to retirement. What to do on those days, as we’re getting closer, working our way towards it. We’ve assembled a list of priorities to keep in mind, as you are counting down those days to retirement. And we were getting ready to get this podcast started and we were kind of laughing at some of the things that we seem to run out of in this whole supply chain issue, had ourselves a good giggle along the way. So hopefully we’ll have a good podcast for you to tune into as we talk about these things, because there’s some good stuff on here. And guys at the time we’re dropping this, I think we’re going to drop this right after Memorial Day if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, it’s right around it.


Mark: And Memorial Day is kind of the unofficial kickoff to summer. It’s not technically summer yet, right? I think it’s what June 20th or something like that. But when we get to 50 and a lot of times, if you want to think about this countdown 50 plus, it’s kind of the unofficial kickoff to retirement. We’re not actually retired yet, but we start thinking about it, paying more attention to it. So on and so forth. So John, the first one on my list is getting healthy and staying healthy. Many of us develop chronic issues in our 50s. So it’s a good time to put some thought onto this so that you can actually enjoy those golden years.


John: Yeah, 100%. I would even because I’m sure, I don’t know in the previous podcast I talk about my health issues, but I think it’s important for everyone at any age, especially though I will say 50.


Mark: True.


John: Focusing on health and getting to the gym and just do whatever makes you feel good. But when you have an health issue and you can’t do the things you were doing, I’ll tell you it’s quite a, it’s a challenge. It’s quite upsetting. And I’ll say from the clients that we work with, we see a big difference in those that actively in retirement are working out, maybe seeing a trainer a couple of days a week to those that are not. And as you age, I think it’s more, it’s very important just to stay active because you’re not recovering like you were in your 20s.


Mark: No, I think that’s a great point. I like that too. Yeah, we should start sooner. Right. But if you kind of want to put a, some sort of a time table or something to it when we get, and it kind of works with our conversation for retirement, just get there, start making some of these changes. So you can really enjoy what we call the go go years. Right. So when we first get to that early days of retirement. And then this is a really big one, we could kind of merge two and three together, but we’ll do them a little bit separately, but two Nick, is the free time. Now there’s a lot of it. And maybe silver lining in the pandemic has been the fact that many couples got to realize life together, 24/7 working from home, being at home.


Mark: Because that’s what retirement is. That’s a big shift that we don’t often talk about. We put a lot of focus on saying, yeah, we want a big travel and we want to go out and play a ton of golf or whatever. But like there’s a lot of free time and you’re spending it with that significant other that maybe you guys didn’t see each other for eight, 10, 12 hours a day. Now you’re together all the time. I don’t know how many advisors I talk to where they’re like, they have funny stories about one spouse or the other saying get them out of my house. They’re driving me nuts.


Nick: Yeah. The time challenge can be significant. I can tell you two things that I would recommend against. And those things would be watching a lot more news and,


Mark: Right.


Nick: Deciding that social media is going to be your new hobby.


Mark: It’s not your friend. Right.


Nick: If anything, there’s a pretty good documentary on Netflix. I forget what it’s called, but it’s about social media and really kind of the big data side of things and how the algorithms work and really kind of feed into things. And in general, there’s been a lot to handle for people over the last few years with the pandemic and everything else going on. So can not underestimate the importance of having constructive hobbies, doing things that kind of keep you sharp or engaged. And even from the standpoint of being social, things that you can do both alone and with others. The relief that people get from a psychological standpoint of being engaged with others and doing different things, kind of being out and about is really, really important and it’s going to help keep you fresh. It’s going to help you be able to focus on the things that are important versus the things that aren’t, and that you don’t have control over. And so, making sure that you’re developing hobbies, and we would say that that’s even separate from things like travel and that type of thing where,


Mark: Right, right.


Nick: Being inquisitive, doing things that have your brain still working are really important.


Mark: That’s a great point. And John, I mentioned blending two and three together. So two was determining what you want to do with your free time. Three, we put post retirement career, maybe career is too heavy of a term, but a post retirement something. Right. Retire away, like if you hate your job, let’s just say you despise it and you can’t wait to retire and you’re leaving with nothing else to go to. Like, I get that frustration, but I think people tend to be happier if they’re retiring to something. And maybe that’s not necessarily another career, but something like, even if you took a year off and literally did nothing, I’m sure you guys have story upon story of retirees who first enjoy doing nothing. But as humans, I think we crave some sort of structure, something to help us kind of fill the time and fill the days.


John: That’s 100%. It’s important to really start thinking about that. And I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in meetings and it’s when do you want to retire? And the response is, well, I don’t know if I’m ever going to retire, but I want to leave this job at this age.


Mark: Right. Right.


John: So it turns into what am I going to do next? And I think kind of what you said there. My mother watches my kids and that’s kind of a level of importance to her and she watches them two or three days a week, and there’s actually a study where grandparents that kind of are helping out their children, watch their grandchildren actually live a little bit longer. And I think it’s all about that level, feeling important.


Mark: Yeah.


John: So whether that’s watching grandkids, my clients had started to be a realtor and they actually end up making more money than they were at their previous job. So whatever it is, it’s just making some type of level of importance. Whether it’s making money, helping out family, volunteering is just feeling like you got to get up and do something in the morning.


Nick: And a good way to kind of sum that up as purpose.


Mark: Purpose. There you go.


Nick: Purpose. When people feel like they have a purpose for both themselves and those around them, they tend to do a lot better.


Mark: Yeah. No I’m with you there. And we used to retire at let’s say 65 and you probably were passing away at 67, right? So sitting on the porch for a year or two and doing nothing felt great because we were tired. We were worn out. The concept of retirement is a little less than a 100 years old. So a lot of stuff is actually changed quite a bit. So a post retirement, something or another post retirement purpose instead of career. I like that. Thanks, Nick. We’ll use that. And going forward is a great way to think about that on this countdown days to retirement list. Let’s go to number four, Nick. So why don’t you throw us some things to think about in the opportunity to save more. Again, I mentioned 50, right? So at 50 plus, some stuff starts to change and there’s actually some good time to catch up a little bit or just cycle a bit more away if you need to.


Nick: Yeah. Oftentimes whether it’s in their 50s or early 60s, people have, maybe they have children coming off the payroll and they don’t necessarily plan to figure out how are they going to be able to recapture some of those dollars that they’re used to spending on the kids and kind of help them really build up their retirement and maybe catch up from all those years of taking care of the kids. That can be something that’s a big deal. One thing that’s come up multiple times in the last, I’d say three to four weeks with what’s been going on in the market is, we have clients emailing or calling us asking, Hey, the market’s down, should we stop saving? And, the way that we try to kind of explain to people is that markets are cyclical.


Nick: We have had this period of time, 10, 12 years, where the markets have generally gone up and people’s conception of what, or I should say, perception of what, typically happens in normal cycles, one to three to four year cycles is a little bit thrown off, but an easy way to think about this is that this is why we have a plan in place. You want to continue to save. And if anything the thought process is that you’re buying at a discount from what things were previously. So in a lot of ways, the market’s on sale. And so continuing to average in and chipping away and taking advantage of the benefits of being able to save money pre-tax, or those sorts of things is an important thing.


Mark: Yeah. It can make a huge dent, right? We’re hopefully making the most money we’ve ever made and all that good kind of stuff. So 50 plus there’s should be some good opportunities to sock a bit more away. And that might help John with number five, which is reducing down the debt. So even if you’re not necessarily putting more away into a retirement account, because you’ve done a good job or whatever, maybe the focus is take some of that extra money with the kids being off the payroll and get rid of some of that, especially bad debt.


John: Yeah. 100%. I mean, with rates being as low as they have been, we have seen a lot of people go into retirement with mortgages, but you’re at 2.6%, that’s nothing crazy, but let’s take mortgage out of it. Other debt definitely recommend trying to get that down and off completely, but get it off your books because when you go to retire, it’s a big cash flow, where’s your income coming from? Social security, pension, investments. The last thing you want at that point where there’s no longer a paycheck coming in is debt. What that’s doing at that point, it’s really eating into kind of things you want to do, which we talked about for hobbies or enjoyment. And then on top of it, it actually adds some stress level to Hey, I need more income coming in to pay out all these bills and all this debt. So definitely before you hit retirement, it’s good to be debt free. It’s easier to pay off the debt in your working years than when you’re not working.


Mark: Yeah. And on the concept of the house, right, there’s always the arguments back and forth there, the different things. So certainly, that can also still be on the get debt free list if you’d like. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to necessarily get rid of it, but just make sure that you’re doing that smartly and not being house rich cash poor as the saying goes or whatever the case is. So just kind of bear that in mind.


Mark: But yeah eliminating, if bought an RV or the big plans where the RV in retirement, maybe getting that paid down, if you bought it a little early or whatever, or boat, or I don’t know, muscle car, whatever it might be. Right. Just get rid of the stuff that you’ve got some debt on. And then Nick, the final one here, number six on the list on just counting down stuff is the risk conversation. So if we’re reducing our debt, maybe we ought to also think about reducing our risk. Now last year, people would’ve said, I’m not reducing my risk, the market’s on fire, but right now they’re like, okay, well let’s maybe reduce the risk. Point being at 58 should we be investing like we’re 38?


Nick: Yeah. So risk is an interesting word. And we wanted to take a little bit of time to kind of chat about this because there are different types of risk, and depending upon who you talk to, how they rank the different types of risk via priority is different. So for example, inflationary risk, which is something that we’re dealing with right now, that’s a risk. So in other words, losing the spending power of our money via inflation is something that we need to keep and take into consideration. However, we’re in this kind of perfect storm where taking too much risk, if you’re shifting money out of cash per se and moving substantial amounts of money into the market, you’re dealing with a significant amount of market risk. And then we have interest rate risk from the perspective of, as they’ve increased interest rates, that’s really pushed down the prices of bonds and bond funds.


Nick: And one conversation that we’ve been having with people is them not necessarily realizing that the bond market and even if you look at the most general bond index is down almost 10% year to date. And so we’ve been trying to take a lot of time in one-on-one meetings with people to try to explain how this has an impact and really this is a, with what we’re dealing with right now is probably the best case in the last 15 years or so to show people why it’s important to be diversified and understand that trying to fully time the market, whether it’s from the stock side to the bond side, to the cash side, real estate, et cetera, it can be really tricky. And when things are going great, it’s hard to remember that, but right now it’s showing us that it’s really important to make sure that when we think about our risk, that we’re taking into consideration poor times, not just great times and understanding that just because maybe throughout the majority of your investing career, taking less risk has meant, Hey, let’s reduce our stock exposure and increase our bond exposure.


Nick: It doesn’t mean that that’s always going to stay flat or go up, there’s risks along with that too. So, diversification, understanding that sometimes we do run across periods of time where we just kind of have to take our medicine where all markets have been up for the most part over the last 12 years. There’s going to be times where we run into corrections, which is kind of what we’re dealing with now. And we have to be patient and try not to go overboard with overreacting to the short period of time. Sometimes looking at the lens through the last, even one year, two year, three year period of time and realizing that in the scheme of things we need to just kind of stay steady.


Nick: But yeah, in general, I would say that making sure that you kind of do an update on what you feel comfortable with from a risk parameter. Now is a good time to reevaluate that. Because what we have seen is that people have been comfortable with a certain amount of risk over the last 10 years, because things have just been going up. And so now that things aren’t just going up, what they thought of risk and how they feel comfortable managing it is substantially different than it has been.


Mark: Yeah. Oh definitely. Our risk tolerance level’s been like, yeah, I’m fine. I’m fine with the risk. I’m fine. Whoa, wait a minute. I’m not so fine now, right?


Nick: Yeah. The risk over the last 10 years has been okay. I’m okay getting 8% instead of 15%,


Mark: Right.


Nick: Not oh, I’m okay being down negative 11 versus negative 20.


Mark: Yeah. Yeah.


Nick: Everything’s been more on the positive side of things and even with COVID, we had the fastest bear market in history where it boomeranged right back up. And so even though that only happened a couple years ago, people have already forgotten about that.


Mark: Oh yeah. Yeah.


Nick: So, yeah. And I can’t emphasize enough the importance that this sheds on having a plan and thinking longer term.


Mark: Well, there you go. So that’s some countdown items to think about for the days towards retirement, sixth list, list of six things there, excuse me, that you can think about and address towards your retirement strategy. And those are the things that you’ll go through when you have a plan put in place when you’re working with a team like the team at PFG Private Wealth. So if you’re not, then reach out to them and have a conversation, set up some time to get that started, pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s got all the tools, tips, and resources there. You can schedule some time. You can reach out to John and Nick and the team and get started that way. Of course, you can also find the podcast, subscribe to us on whatever platform you like to use there. So you can catch future episodes as well as check out past episodes. Again, pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s going to do it this week for the podcast for John and Nick. I’m your host Mark. We’ll see you next time on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth.

Ep 48: Secret To Retirement Success: Get Out Of Your Own Way

On This Episode

There are plenty of external factors that often negatively influence our chances of having a successful retirement. But often, failure comes from within. On this episode, we’ll talk about some of the common ways people get in their own way when it comes to financial planning.

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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:


Mark: Hey, everybody. Welcome into another edition of the podcast. It’s Retirement Planning Redefined with John, and Nick, and myself. And we’re going to talk about the secret to retirement success. Here, it is. Get out of your own way. Typically, we are the success or the reason for failure, one of the two, because we tend to muck up the works ourselves by often injecting our emotions and thoughts into these things. And rightfully so, because that’s part of it, which I think, again, we’re going to talk about the value of working with a team and some professionals like John and Nick, because we tend to get in our own way. And I think we all realize that we do that in many aspects of life, and certainly money is one of those. What’s going on, guys? How you doing this week, Nick? What’s up buddy?


Nick: Everything’s great. Perfect.


Mark: Yeah. Rock and rolling?


Nick: Yep.


Mark: Feeling good?


Nick: Yep. It’s great.


Mark: That’s fantastic. John, how you feeling my friend?


John: Doing all right. A little upset over the weekend. The Celtics lost game three to the Miami Heat, but there’s another game tonight. So-


Mark: Another chance.


John: Hoping that they could tie up the series.


Mark: There you go. Fantastic. Well…


Nick: Yeah. I’ll throw in a good gold [inaudible 00:01:01] lightning, our own fire.


Mark: Okay.


Nick: Free nothing as we record this.


Mark: Nice. Very nice. So what do you think about my statement there, getting out of our own way? There’s lots of external factors obviously, that negatively influenced stuff in our retirement world. Right? We can’t control the markets, but we can control how we react to them. Do you feel like that’s a fairly accurate assessment of finding some keys to success sometimes is, getting out of your own head?


John: Yeah. Yeah. I would 100% agree with that. And we’re seeing that right now where the market is, it’s down year to date. There’s a lot of negative news out there and, there’s always negative news out there. But there’s a lot of things happening in the world and it’s creating a lot of fear. And what that does is it really eats into people’s perceptions of what’s going on with their portfolios. So naturally what’s happening is, hey, when is the bleeding going to stop? Do I need to pull out of the market? Do I need to get more conservative? What should I do? So this is really a period of time where, important to get out of your own way and just stay the course.


Mark: Yeah.


John: And we harp on it quite a bit in all of our podcasts, but this is where the plan is essential, because we’ve had some reviews and people are nervous and rightfully so. But when they see the plan, it’s like, how does this 10% pull back, whatever it is at the time, affect your overall plan? And they look at it and they say, oh, it doesn’t really affect that much, just yet.


Mark: Right.


John: And when they see that, it’s like, oh, okay, that makes you feel a little bit better. See where I’m at. So yeah, 100%, stay the course and definitely get out of your own way so you make good decisions.


Mark: And I think if we’re talking with the market being the first one on the list, fear and greed, that’s the normal stuff, jumping in and jumping out. And we tend to feel like it’s the only thing we can do are these two things anyway. A lot of people, we’re going to touch on that in a minute as well, but often it’s well, all I can do is the market are cash and the market’s scaring, the pa jeepers out of me so let me just jump out, and that’s typically when we’re making the wrong decision, especially if you don’t have a plan. So having a strategy in there, because yes, it stinks when we’re losing, we talked a little bit about on the last episode. Everybody’s fine with risk when the markets have been on fire for 12 and a half years or whatever, but when they get real shaky for a few months, that’s when people tend to get in their own way and allow that fear or greed to jump in there.


Mark: So since we covered that one on your initial part there, John, I’m going to jump to number two. No, go ahead. If you’ve got something else.


John: Yeah, yeah. One, actually you mentioned greed there and actually, it plays into the fear thing as well-


Mark: Okay.


John: Because, we’ve talked about the markets running up and when that’s happening it’s, I only got X percent this year. If I was more aggressive, I would’ve got a little bit more. So we have had those conversations where it’s like, hey, should I get more aggressive? And the answer is no. Go to the plan, look at your risk tolerance, stay the course because when you try to get greedy and then all of a sudden, let’s say you do go to a more aggressive portfolio.


Mark: Right.


John: And we have a big pullback in the S&P and in equities and all of a sudden, you’re more nervous than you should be because you’re taking more risk. And now you start to jump out and you get to that fear stage and you just make bad decisions.


Mark: Yeah. Great point. Great point. Well, Nick, talk to me a little bit about getting in our own way, when it comes to picking an investment or doing something solely because we think it’s a tax help, right. It’s not part of the plan, it doesn’t make sense in other arenas. The idea is, no I’m doing this simply for the tax advantage. Is that a bad move?


Nick: Yeah. A really good example of this would be towards the end of last year, early this year, we made a pretty big cycle in client’s portfolios from the growth side of the market to the value side of the market. And so that did cause some capital gains and probably a bigger capital gain shift than we typically have for clients that are in taxable portfolios. But again, the premise was that we felt strongly that moving forward, it was going to be something that benefited them from a performance standpoint, which is the number one priority. And that’s really turned out to be the case where really the value markets are down closer to 3% or 4%. The growth markets are down close to 30%. So that’s kind of a perfect real world, real life example of, yes, nobody likes taxes, but sometimes taking some gains and recycling the portfolio and shifting to where we think things are going to look better moving forward, is something that makes sense.


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: Taxes are again, something that people don’t like and when we want to, we avoid it, but it should rarely ever be the number one priority in any sort of financial decision making.


Mark: Yeah. Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog, as the saying goes, don’t do something solely for the tax advantage, especially if it doesn’t fit well into the overall strategy. And I’m glad that you brought up that point there where, looking at that and saying, hey, we do things, they all work together. There’s a lot of these puzzle pieces that ebb and flow and move in and out together. So sometimes you do one thing and it has a ripple effect to another. And that’s a great point. So I’m glad you brought that up.


Mark: John, another one on here is the cash conversation. I mentioned a minute ago, people tend to think there’s only two options, the market or cash. And when it gets choppy, we go heck with this, I’m getting out and going to cash. And then we can even, maybe even just right now, we might even find this need to justify it by going, well, the Fed’s ticking the rates up so I’ll get a little bit more in cash, right. Even though it’s nothing compared to inflation, but anyway, that can be a bad decision. You’re getting in your own way. And then you might wind up just sitting there too long. And I mean, what if you jumped out in April of 20, when the pandemic was happening, we’re down 30%, you jump out, you sell, you get your losses locked in and you stayed in cash the rest of 20. Well, you missed a heck of a second half.


John: Yeah. That that’s accurate. And that’s why it’s always important to stay the course, because timing to get back in is almost impossible. Because the rallies up happen really within, if look at historically, it’s always a couple of days or a week or two.


Mark: Right.


John: And if you miss it, you miss a majority of it. So important to stay the course. Be in the right risk tolerance so you don’t go to cash or something like that. And then we have seen this quite a bit as well with cash in the sideline. And it can happen in an upmarket where we’re hitting all time highs constantly, because it’s like, hey, I don’t want to put this money in because we keep hitting highs, it’s going to come down at some point. And then now where it’s the reverse, where we’re having a pull back and it’s like, well I don’t want to put the money in because it’s currently going down. So strategy against that would be dollar cost averaging into the market. Just piecemealing it and that typically will help some people get back into it with less risk.


Mark: Yeah.


John: And there are other strategies involved, but definitely you got to put your money to work [inaudible 00:08:15] pace inflation and especially nowadays.


Mark: That’s a great point for sure. All right. So Nick helped me out here, buddy. I don’t want to fall to fear. I don’t want to necessarily fall to greed. I don’t want to make bad choices from a tax standpoint. I don’t want to go to cash and do nothing. Well now I don’t know what to do, I’m just stuck. That’s number four on my list. We overthink it to the point where we just freeze and we do nothing. And as the song says from the great Canadian rock band Rush, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. So doing nothing is just as bad sometimes as doing something in the wrong way.


Nick: Yes. The overthinking side of things is definitely something I have empathy for people with. It takes me about a month to book a trip and probably sitting down five different times with 20 tabs open each time. So I get the process issue.


Mark: Well, humans procrastinate. Doesn’t make you bad, it just-


Nick: Yes. Yeah.


Mark: We all do it. Yeah.


Nick: For sure. But what this does and people hear this a lot from us because we talk about it a lot is, it’s the importance of the plan. So a lot of times what ends up happening is, the reason that people are frozen with indecision is because they’re worried about their process. They’re worried about the outcome and usually the fear of the unknown is more fragile and worse than actually knowing, having some certainty on what things look like, even if they’re not ideal. So when we have people that are overthinking things or are really fretting about a certain decision, usually what we try to do is go back to the plan. So hey, let’s re-review the plan. Let’s look and see what things look like. And one of the things that we emphasize with clients that work with us from a planning perspective, is trying to help them start to make decisions differently.




Nick: And so the way that we do planning, the way that we’re able to model out different situations and scenarios, we’ll joke with people, let us tell you no. Because a lot of times what happens is people are limiting themselves out of concern of the unknown. And so, let us be your guardrails a little bit, let us be the bumpers in the lane to use an analogy and we’ll help you work through these decisions, but instead of worrying about what the outcomes are. It’s almost impossible for people to figure out all the outcomes on their own.


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: And so let us help you figure out, let’s see the potential outcomes, let’s see what we can do to mitigate some of the risks associated with it. And we can really narrow down. And so having that open door policy with clients and having them work with us, to work through these sorts of decisions where, we’re a team member versus them trying to figure it out on their own is really important.


Mark: Nah, I like that. And I’m a heck of a bowler with the bumpers up. I’m just saying, so.


Nick: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. It definitely increases the average.


Mark: It did a little, just a little bit. So to check this out, John, let’s do one more here on this conversation about getting in our own way. So a friend of mine, super nice guy, we’re chatting the other day and this is what he says to me. Tell me what your reaction to this. So he says, Hey, my neighbor and I, we’re good buddies. We’re the same age. And our house costs the same amount of money, roughly that, where we live here. He’s going to cash. And he’s like, and I know you talk about stuff on podcast and stuff all the time. He’s going to cash and he’s advising me to do the same thing. I think it’s a good move. And I said, why? Because you’re the same age and your house costs roughly the same? Don’t you think there’s like about a million more things you could base this on?


Mark: So my point being is, is getting advice from people who really don’t need to give you advice. I’m sure his friend and his neighbor didn’t have any ill intention, but that just seemed like a goofy scenario to me. It’s water cooler talk, so many of us do that.


John: Yeah. Yeah. We see that quite a bit where people are, my friend’s doing this or like you said, my neighbor’s doing this, but we have to constantly remind [inaudible 00:12:20] everyone that every situation’s completely different. Something that might be good for someone else isn’t good for you. And that’s the importance of really getting the plan and making sure all your decisions are based on your plan.


Mark: Yeah.


John: And not your neighbor, not your cousin, not whoever-


Mark: Cousin Eddie. Yeah. Right.


John: Yeah. What we typically find with this is everyone always tells you about their good decisions. Like, oh yeah. I went for cash and this is what happened. They don’t tell you when they didn’t make a good decision.


Mark: Yeah.


John: It’s not exciting to talk about when you lost money or lost an opportunity. So definitely want to leave it to the professionals and not a neighbor, a buddy that really doesn’t have much experience in navigating these environments.


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: Yeah. It’s the whole wins in Vegas scenario.


Mark: Exactly. Exactly.


Nick: People always talk about the wins and I just want to jump in on this one-


Mark: Sure. Go for it.


Nick: Because one of the things that I’ve been trying to emphasize with clients as well, especially those that are new to maybe, having an advisor or a planning relationship is that the advice that we’re giving for them is the advice that we’re giving at that set place and time. And so meaning, people tend to feel more comfortable when there are like general rules of thumb or those sorts of things. And so maybe it’s a question like, a basic one that happens all the time is extra payments towards the mortgage or not. And so one of the things we’ve been trying to really get through people’s heads is that, hey, we may be telling you to not do that right now, but it’s because we have goals over the next one to three years that we’re trying to hit because of X, Y, Z factors. And that might be something that we target three years down the road, but right now, it’s more important for you to do these other things, to put yourselves in a better position to be able to do that.


Nick: And so what having that kind of conversation with people have seen the light click on quite a bit, because giving them the situation where, Hey, let’s take you and your friend, and let’s say that nine out of ten factors are the same, but that one factor can dramatically change-


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: The advice. And so even though you might feel like you have a twin in so many different ways, that one factor can be a huge differentiator on the sort of advice or the sort of strategy that you should have in place from a financial perspective. And really, you hear people talk about, each situation’s unique, but really being more specific in helping them realize that has been something that has been helpful for some people lately, especially with the choppy waters that we’ve been in the last four or five months.


Mark: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you listen to this podcast and there’s three guys on here having a conversation, but the three of us need different things for the time of life that we’re in and whatever’s going on. You two might be similar in age for example, but one’s got kids, one doesn’t.


Nick: Exactly.


Mark: I’m older than exactly you guys. So there’s a million variations could go into what you need individually. So again, I don’t think that the neighbors or coworkers or cousin Eddie or whatever it might be mean any ill will, but it’s just not the best advice. So again, getting in our own way sometimes is listening to those people who really we shouldn’t be listening to. So that’s going to wrap it up this week for the podcast. So the secret to retirement success is you and how willing you are to not get in your own way, to make sure that you realize the things that you know, and the things that you can do, and then turning to those people to help you in those shortcoming areas.


Mark: I don’t pretend to try to rebuild my car from the ground up, because I have no idea how to do that. Sure, I can change some spark plugs and change the oil, but that’s the limit of my knowledge. So I’m not going to tear the whole thing apart and start from the ground up. Same kind of idea. So that’s the conversation, make sure that you reach out to John and Nick. If you’ve got some questions, if you’re worried about sabotaging yourself, doing some things you shouldn’t be, especially in these choppy waters, as Nick mentioned, it’s easy to do. It’s easy to let that little fear monster jump up and nibble in our ear. So reach out, have a conversation with the team at PFG Private Wealth, before you take any action, especially if you feel like you need to make a change.


Mark: I think that’s a fundamental thing that we do as humans as well. Sometimes we feel like if we’re not doing something, we’re doing something wrong and often not doing anything could be a good move for your situation, but you need to find out through the process of getting a plan put together or just reexamining the plan that you may already have in place. So pfgprivatewealth.com is how you make it happen. That’s where you can find John and Nick and the team at PFG Private Wealth. Again, pfgprivatewealth.com. Pretty easy to remember and reach out to him if you got some questions or concerns, get on the calendar, hit the subscribe button for whatever platform you like to use. Athol, Google, Spotify, so on and so forth. For John and Nick. I’m your host Mark. We’ll see you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined.

Ep 46: The Most Important Birthdays In Retirement Planning

On This Episode

There are certain age milestones where you should really pay attention to your retirement planning progress. On this episode, we’ll look at the most important birthdays as you approach retirement and cover the exact things you should be checking off your to-do list at each age.

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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:


Mark: Hey, everybody. Welcome into another addition of the podcast. This is Retirement Planning Redefined, with John and Nick and myself, talking investing, finance, retirement, and birthdays.


Mark: We’re going to get into important birthdays in the retirement planning process. As we get older, I don’t think any of us really want birthdays, but these are some things we need to know. They’re pretty useful. Some of this is pretty basic. Some of this stuff’s got some interesting caveats in it as well. So you might learn something along the way. It can go a long way towards that retirement planning process.


Mark: We’re going to get into that and take an email question as well. If you’ve got some questions of your own, stop by the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com.


Mark: John, what’s going on, buddy? How you doing?


John: A little tired. Got woken up at 2:00 in the morning with two cranky kids.


Mark: Oh yeah.


John: So if I’m a little off today, I apologize.


Mark: There you go. No, no worries. You get the whole, they climb the bed, and then you’re on the tiniest sliver?


John: I got one climb into bed, I think kicked me in the face at one point.


Mark: Oh, nice.


John: Another one climbed into bed missing out on the other one, because they share a room. Then I had the sliver. I woke up almost falling off the bed.


Mark: There you go. And usually freezing because you have no blankets.


John: Yeah, yeah.


Mark: That’s usually the way it goes. Nick’s sitting there going, “I don’t know what you guys are talking about.”


Mark: What’s going on, buddy. How you doing?


Nick: Yep. No. Pretty low maintenance over here.


Mark: Well, that’s good. Hey, don’t you have a birthday coming up?


Nick: I got a couple months still.


Mark: Okay, a couple months.


Nick: Yeah, I just got back from a trip a few weeks ago. Some buddies that I grew up with, a group of us have been friends for a really long time, I guess, going back to middle school. We’re all turning 40 this year, so we rented a house in Charleston, and all survived.


Mark: Nice. There you go.


Nick: Yeah. It was good.


John: This is how you know Nick’s turning 40. He came back with neck pain.


Mark: Exactly.


Nick: Yeah.


Mark: Hey, when you start to get a certain age, you start going, “When did I hurt that?” It’s like, “I didn’t even do anything.” Yeah. You don’t have to do anything.


Mark: Well, you know what? That’s a good segue. Let’s jump into this.


Mark: We’re going to start with age 50. I turned 50 last year. First of all, the thing that sucks is you get the AARP card. I don’t know about all that. That’s annoying as a reminder that you’re 50.


Mark: But the government does say, “Hey, let me help you out a little bit here if you need to catch up on some of the retirement accounts, help building those up.” Talk to me about catch up contributions, guys.


Nick: Yeah. Essentially what happens is when you hit 50, there’s two types of accounts that allow you to start contributing a little bit more money. The most basic one is an IRA or a Roth IRA, where the typical maximum contribution for somebody under 50 is 6,000 a year. You can add an additional thousand to do a total of 7,000 a year. The bigger one is in a 401(k) or 403(b) account, where you’re able to contribute, I believe it’s an extra 6,500 per year.


Nick: This is also a good flag for people to think about where, hey, once that catch up contribution is available, it’s probably a good time, if you haven’t done any sort of planning before, to really start to dial in and understand your financial picture a little bit more. Because if you talk to anybody that’s 60, they’ll tell you that 50 didn’t seem too far back. So that’s a good reminder to dig into that a little bit.


Mark: Yeah. It adds up. It’s not necessarily chicken feed. You might hear it and think, “Well, a thousand dollars on this type of account over a year, or 6,500 on the other type of account, whoopedidoo.” But if you’re 50 and you’re going to 67, let say, for full retirement age, and we’ll get to that in a little bit, that’s 17 years of an extra seven grand. It’s not exactly chicken feed, right?


Nick: No. It’s going to be big money down the road.


Mark: Yeah, exactly. So that’s 50.


Mark: John, talk to me about 55. This one’s really similar to 59 and a half, which most of us are familiar with, but most people don’t understand the rule at 55. So can you break that down a little bit?


John: Yeah. We don’t see people utilize this too often, but an example would be let’s say you’re 50, 55, 56, and for whatever reason, you leave your current job. You have an opportunity, at that point…


John: Let’s give a bad scenario. You get laid off. If you didn’t have a nest egg saved up in savings, there’s an opportunity to actually access some money from your 401(k) plan without penalty. What you’ll do is, basically, you take the money directly from the plan, and you just have it go to your bank account, and the 10% penalty’s waived.


John: Now, some people need to be careful with this. Once you roll it out to an IRA, this 55 rule here, where the 10%’s waived, ceases to exist. It has to go from the employer plan to you directly in that situation. It’s a nice feature if someone finds themselves in a bad situation, or they need access to money, and the 10% penalty’s gone, but you still have to pay your income tax on that money [crosstalk 00:05:03]


Mark: Of course. Yeah. That caveat being, it’s only from the job that you’ve just left, right? It can’t be from two jobs ago kind of thing. It’s got to be that one that you’ve just walked away from, or been asked to leave, or whatever the case is. That’s that caveat.


John: Correct.


Mark: It’s basically the same rules, Nick, as the 59 and a half. It’s just is attached to that prior job. But 59 and a half is the more normal one. What’s the breakdown there?


Nick: Yeah. Essentially what happens is, at 59 and a half, you are able to take out money from your qualified accounts while avoiding that penalty without any sort of caveats. One thing to keep in mind is that usually you’re taking it out from accounts that…


Nick: For example, if you’re currently employed, the process of taking it out of the plan where you’re employed can be a little bit different, but it’s pretty smooth and easy if you have an IRA or something like that outside of the employer plan.


Nick: One other thing that happens in most plans, for people at 59 and a half, is, and we’ve seen it a bunch lately, where a lot of 401(k) plans have very restricted options in fixed income and those sorts of things, where most or many plans allow people to take inservice rollovers, where they’re able to still work at their employer, but roll their money out of the plan to open up some options for investments outside of the plan.


Nick: That’s not always the best thing for people. Sometimes the plans are great. Fees are really low. Options are great. So it may not make sense, but oftentimes people do like having the option to be able to shift the money out without any sort of issue.


Mark: Okay. All right. So that’s the norm there. You got to love that half thing. You always wonder what the senators or whoever was thinking when [crosstalk 00:06:56]


John: Finally, they got rid of the 70 and a half [crosstalk 00:06:58]


Mark: Yeah. They get rid of that one. Yeah. We’ll get to that in just a minute as well.


Mark: John, 62, nothing too groundbreaking here, but we are eligible finally for Social Security. So that becomes… I guess the biggest thing here is people just go, “Let me turn it on ASAP versus is it the right move?”


John: Yeah. So 62, you’re now eligible. Like you said, a lot of people are excited to finally get access to that extra income. You can start taking on Social Security.


John: Couple of things to just be aware of is, any time you take Social Security before your full retirement age, you will get a reduction of benefit. At 62, it’s anywhere, depending on your full retirement age, roughly 25 to 30% reduction of what you would’ve gotten had you waited till 66 or 67.


Mark: They penalize you, basically.


John: Yeah.


Nick: Yeah. Actually, if you do the math, it ends up breaking down to almost a half a percent per month reduced.


Mark: Oh wow.


Nick: Yeah. It really starts to add up when you think about it that way.


John: Yeah. We always harp on planning, so important if you are thinking about taking it early, once you make that decision, and after a year of doing that, you’re locked into that decision. So it’s important to really understand is that best for your situation.


John: Other things to consider at this age, if you do take early, Social Security does have what they call a earnings penalty slash recapture. If you’re still working and taking at 62, a portion of your Social Security could be subject to go back to them in lieu of, for a better term, [crosstalk 00:08:27]


Mark: It’s 19,000 and some change, I think, this year, if you make more than that.


John: Yeah.


Mark: Yeah.


John: Yeah. Anything above 19,000 that you’re earning, 50% goes back to Social Security. [crosstalk 00:08:36]


Mark: Yeah. For every two bucks you make-


John: 5,000 goes back to Social Security. So that’s really important.


John: Something that I just want to make, last point on this, is that earnings threshold is based on someone’s earned income, and it’s based on their own earned income, not household. That comes up quite a bit, while people say, “Well, I want to retire and take at 62, but my husband’s still working. Am I going to have a penalty if I take it?” The answer is no. It’s based on your own earnings record.


Mark: That’s where the strategy comes into play too. Because if you are married, then looking at who’s making more, do we leave one person’s to grow, as we’re going to get into those in just a second, to grow towards that more full number.


Mark: Again, that’s all the strategy. It may make sense for one person to turn it on early, and the other person to delay it. That’s, again, part of the strategy of sitting down and talking with a professional, and looking at all the other assets that you have, and figuring out a good move there.


Mark: Nick, let’s go to Medicare. 65 magic age.


Nick: Yeah. Actually, my dad turns 65 this year. So we’ve been planning this out for him. He is a retired fireman, so he has some benefits that tie in with his pension.


Nick: One of the things that came up, and just something that people should think about or remember, even if they are continuing to work past 65, is it oftentimes makes sense to at least enroll in Medicare Part A. You can usually enroll as early as three months before your birthday. The Medicare website has gotten a lot easier to work with over the last year or two.


Nick: Part A, the tricky thing is that you want to check with your employer, because usually what happens for the areas that Part A covers, which is usually hospital care, if you were to have to be admitted or certain procedures, it’s figuring out who’s the primary payer, who pays first, who pays second. So making sure that you coordinate your benefits. Check in with HR, if you’re going to continue to work.


Nick: If you are retired and are coming up on that Medicare age, make sure that you get your ducks in a row so that you do enroll. Most likely you’re going to start saving some money on some healthcare premiums.


Mark: Technically, this starts about, what, three months early? It’s a little actually before 65. I think it’s three months when you got to start this process, and three months before and after.


Nick: Yep. Yeah. You can typically enroll three months before your birthday, and then through three months afterwards. There can be some issues if you don’t enroll and you don’t have other healthcare, at least for Part A. There can be penalties and that sort of thing.


Nick: Frankly, with Medicare and healthcare in retirement, this is a space that we typically delegate out. We’ve got some good resources for clients that we refer them to, because there are a lot of moving parts, and it can be overwhelming, especially when you start to move into the supplements and Advantage plans, and all these different things.


Mark: Oh yeah. And it’s crucial. You want to make sure you get it right. A lot of advisors will definitely work with some specialists, if you will, in that kind of arena. So definitely checking that out when we turn 65.


Mark: Again, some of these, pretty high level stuff, some of this stuff we definitely know. But we wanted to go over some of those more interesting caveats.


Mark: Let’s keep moving along here, guys. Full retirement age, 66 or 67. John, just what? It’s your birthday, right?


John: It is your birthday. That’s the time that you can actually take your full Social Security benefit without any reduction, which is a great thing to do. Then also that earnings penalty we discussed earlier at age 62, that no longer exists. Once you hit your full retirement age, 66 or 67, you can earn as much as you want and collect your Social Security. There’s no penalty slash recapture.


John: When that happens, people have some decisions to make. If they’re still working, they can decide to take their Social Security. I’ve had some clients that take it, and they use that as vacation money. I’ve had some other ones take it, and they take advantage of maxing out their 401(k) with the extra income. Or you can delay it. You don’t have to take it. You get 8% simple interest on your benefit up until age 70.


John: So full retirement age, you got a lot of big decisions to make, depending on your situation. But you want to make sure you’re making the best for what you want.


Mark: Definitely.


Nick: Just as a reminder to people that that 8%, and you had mentioned it, but it does cap out at age 70. So there’s no point in waiting past 70, because it doesn’t increase any more.


Mark: Right. Thanks for doing that. It wasn’t on my list, but I was going to bring it up real fast. So yeah. People will sometimes email and they’ll say, “Hey, I want to keep working past 70. How’s that affect Social Security.” It’s like, “Well, you’re maxed out, so you got to just go ahead and get it done.” You can still work if you’re feeling like it. Your earnings potential is unlimited, but it’s just a matter of you’re not going to add any more to it. So I’m glad you brought that up.


Mark: John, you mentioned earlier, they got rid of the other half. Thank God. The 70 and a half thing, just because it was confusing as all get out. They moved it to 72.


Nick: Yeah. Required minimum distributions, as a reminder for people, are for accounts that are pre-tax, where you were able to defer taxation. 401(k), traditional IRA, that sort of thing. At 72, you have to start taking out minimum distributions. It starts at around 3.6, 3.7% of the balance. It’s based on the prior year’s ending balance. It has to be taken out by the end of the year.


Nick: An important thing for people to understand is that, many times, people are taking those withdrawals out to live on anyways. So for a lot of people, it’s not an issue at all. However, there are a good amount of people that it’s going to be excess income.


Nick: Earlier mentioned, hey, at age 50, really time to check in and start making sure that you’re planning. One of the benefits of planning and looking forward is to project out and see, hey, are these withdrawal going to cause you to have excess income at 72, where maybe we’re entering into a time that tax rates could be higher, tax rates could be going up, which is fairly likely in the next five to 10 years. So if we know and we can project that, then we can make some adjustments to how we save, should you be putting more money into a Roth versus a traditional, and how we make adjustments on the overall planning.


Nick: So making sure that you understand how those work, and then the impact that it has on other decisions to take into account for that situation, is a huge part of planning.


Mark: Definitely. Those are some important birthdays along the way. You got to make sure you get this stuff done. 72, there’s the hefty penalties involved if you don’t do that. Plus you still got to pay the taxes. All this stuff has some crucial moments in that retirement planning process, so definitely make sure that you are not only celebrating your birthday, but you’re also doing the right things from that financial and that retirement planning standpoint along the way.


Mark: Again, if you got questions, stop by the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com. You can drop us an email question as well, if you’d like. That’s what we’re going to do to wrap up the show right now.


Mark: We got a question that’s sent in from Jack. He says, “Hey, guys. I’ve thought about meeting with a financial advisor to plan my retirement, but I’ve never used a budget or anything like that before. So I’m wondering, should I budget myself for a couple of months before I meet with a professional?”


Nick: Based upon experience, putting expense numbers down on paper is one of the biggest hurdles for people to get into planning. But with how this question is phrased, I would be concerned, because it’s kind of like the situation of starting a diet. You start a diet. You’re going to eat really good for two to three weeks. You’re trying to hold yourself accountable. You’re functioning in a way that isn’t necessarily your normal life.


Nick: One of the things, as advisors, that we want to make sure that we understand are what are you really spending. It’s great to use a budget, but if you’re budgeting to try to look good in the meeting, which we’ve seen happen, you’re painting a false picture, and you’re not letting us know what the finances actually look like.


Nick: So I would actually say to put down the real expense numbers in place, let’s see what it really looks like, and then if we need to create a budget after we’ve created a plan, then that’s something that we can dig into.


Mark: Yeah. John, let me ask you, as we wrap this up, sometimes people associate seeing a professional financial advisor with a budget. Also, people have a cringe to the B word. They think, “Well, I don’t want to live on a fixed budget,” or something like that.


Mark: That’s not necessarily what we’re talking about, right? That’s not probably what Jack is referring to. He’s just trying to figure out, I guess, more income versus expenses, right?


John: Yeah, yeah. The first step is to analyze your expenses. That could be what he’s referring to as far as, “Hey, should I take a look? Should I get my expenses down before I meet with someone?”


John: I’d agree with Nick, even if that’s what you’re looking at, versus the budgeting, I would say no. I think the first step is sit down with an advisor, because they can assist in categorizing the expenses correctly based on today’s expenses, versus what expenses are going to be at retirement.


John: I think it’s important just to get going rather than trying to prep. Because we’ve seen a lot of people that have taken … They’ve been prepping for years to meet. That’s years where they haven’t done anything, and they’ve, unfortunately, lost out on some good opportunities, otherwise, if they just said, “Hey, I’m going to sit down first, see what’s going on.”


Mark: Yeah. It gives you that built-in excuse.


John: [crosstalk 00:18:26]


Mark: It gives you that built in, “Well, I’m not quite ready.” Well, you might never be ready if you play that game. Especially a lot of times when it’s complimentary to sit down with professionals, have a conversation. Most advisors will talk to you, no cost or obligations. So why not right? Find out. Just get the ball rolling. That’s the first step. It’s usually the hardest part too.


Nick: Yeah. One thing that we typically tell people is that we are not the money police. We are not here to tell you that you can’t use your money the way that you want to use it.


Nick: The way that we view ourselves, and what our role is as an advisor, is to help you understand the impact of decisions. Whether those decisions have to do with spending money, saving money, whatever, it’s to make sure that you understand the impact of your decisions so that you make better decisions. That’s it.


Mark: There you go. Yeah. It’s your money, at the end of the day, your call, but certainly having some good, well, coaches in your corner, if you will, advisors to help advise, that’s the whole point. But I like that. Not the money police.


Mark: All right. That’s going to do it this week, guys. Thanks for hanging out. As always, we appreciate your time here on Retirement Planning Redefined. Don’t forget. Stop by the website.


Mark: If you need help before you take any action, we always talk in generalities, and try to share some good nuggets of information, but you always want to see how those things are going to affect your specific situation.


Mark: If you’re already working with John and Nick and the team at PFG Private Wealth, fantastic. Then you already have a lot of this stuff in place. But if you have questions, or you’re not working with them, or you’ve come across this podcast in whatever way, or maybe a friend shared it with you, definitely reach out and have a chat. pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Don’t forget to subscribe on whatever podcasting platform app you like to use.


Mark: We’ll see you next time here on the show. For John and Nick, I’m your host, Mark. We’ll catch you later here on Retirement Planning Redefined.

Ep 43 : Don’t Fumble Your Retirement In The Financial Red Zone

On This Episode

In football, teams are extra careful not to make a mistake when they get within about 20 yards of scoring points (known as the Red Zone). They’ve typically worked hard to get to that point and don’t want to cost themselves by throwing an interception or fumbling the ball and giving it to the other team. On this episode, we’ll explore the financial equivalent of the Red Zone and discuss how you can really mess things up if you’re not careful during this phase of your life. If you’re approaching retirement, this is a fundamental conversation you won’t want to miss.

Subscribe On Your Favorite App

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 Killian: Hey everybody. Welcome back into the podcast. It’s time to talk football a little bit here on retirement planning, redefined with John and Nick. We always talk finance, investing finance and retirement, and we’re still going to, but we’re going to talk about not fumbling your retirement in the financial red zone. We are in the playoffs at the time we are dropping this. Now we are recording just before they’re starting. They’re starting this weekend. And so this will come out while the playoffs are rocking and rolling, but that’s all right. We’re still going to talk about this analogy, because it works really well for this time of year. And we’ll get into that in just a second. But first let me say, Hey to the guys.


Marc Killian: Nick, what’s going on, buddy? How you’re doing?


Nick McDevitt: Good.


Nick McDevitt: This was a good reminder to ask John on when I’m going to get paid for my second place finish in the Fantasy Football League.


Marc Killian: Nice.


John Teixeira: I don’t know what Nick’s referencing here. We do not gamble here, so I’m going to give Nick a nice handshake and pat in the back for drafting the second best team in the league.


Marc Killian: There you go. Okay. Well what’s going on with you, John. You’re doing all right?


John Teixeira: Doing good. Trying to get some recapping from our last session of their great resignation, and actually trying to get some contractors to send me an estimate based after they came to my house has been a challenge.


Marc Killian: Right? I know.


Marc Killian: I was talking with some contractors not too long ago and they’re like, right now, all I got to do is show up and I get like 50% of the jobs, you know?


John Teixeira: Yeah.


Marc Killian: And, they’re not wrong, you know? So there’s a lot going on. Well, I know you guys are both football fans and guys both come in from the same division, actually. We got a Patriots fan and a Bills fan. So living in Florida, which is interesting, and especially considering that you got radio right around the corner now, but either way, we’re going to talk about this financial red zone and football and a little analogy to go back and forth. And as I said, the games are starting for the playoffs and you guys are going to be actually competing against each other. Your teams will be anyway. So we’ll have some fun with this. So do me a favor real fast. John, I’ll let you start. Tell me what’s the financial red zone? Go ahead and talk about the football red zone if you want as well. I think most people know it, but just real quick and then tell us what the financial equivalent is.


John Teixeira: Yeah. Football red zones, when you get 20 yards of scoring. So, right before the end zone, really important place to be efficient, making sure that everything’s tightened up. The defenses plays a little bit harder here because the shorter field. So just really important to make sure the offense is doing their best and making sure everything’s done right, which leads into what we call the financial red zone, where we would consider that last 10 years before retiring and can range for five to 10 years after retiring, but the analogy goes well where. This is probably the most important part of your retirement is making sure that, Hey, you got 10 years left or you’re five, 10 years into it. You cannot make a mistake.


Marc Killian: Yeah.


John Teixeira: And it’s important to make sure everything’s lined up and you’re being as efficient and careful as possible to make sure you hit all your goals and maintain the lifestyle that you want going into retirement.


Marc Killian: Yeah, for sure. So it has been pretty easy. Right? So just think of it like that, same scoring red zone. Now maybe you’re not trying to score necessarily in the financial red zone as you’re talking about retirement, but there are some things to pay attention to because turnovers, as you mentioned with the football analogy are more critical. So Nick give us some reasons why people need to pay attention to that?


Nick McDevitt: Yeah. There’re a few things here and obviously it’ll all depends on the plan, but in many ways, from an accumulation standpoint, time is no longer on your side. The goal is obviously to save as much money as you can. And once you get into that 10 year window, hopefully you’re in your higher earning years and you’re able to save more money. Maybe there’re less kids on the payroll, et cetera. And it’s also important from the standpoint of the money that you’ve saved up to that point, making sure that it’s invested properly, it’s a lot easier to have a half a million dollars double in the last two years than it is to have a hundred thousand dollars catch up to $500,000 or things like that.


Nick McDevitt: So, that’s some money that you’ve been able to build up once you’ve entered into that red zone and then how that money’s going to accumulate, leading up through retirement is an important time. So, really making sure that your decisions are coordinated together and you’re not really just, Hey, I just saved this amount of money and I put it into this, and I don’t pay attention to it. Usually isn’t the best sure strategy.


Marc Killian: Yeah.


Nick McDevitt: It’s just much more difficult to recover from mistakes that are in this period.


Marc Killian: Yeah. So, If you’re in a good place, right, this is when a lot of times teams will start looking at taking the knee, right? If you’re in a good spot from a financial standpoint, you want to start taking that victory formation because you’re trying to protect the ball. And John, I’ll go to this next one, but I’ll make you happy by bringing something up here when you’re talking about, some of the mistakes that you see people make getting a little too risky. Think back to that Seahawks Patriots game, Super Bowl, a few years back, I think it was 2015. Right? And the whole world knew the Seahawks were going to punch that in with Marshawn Lynch, running on the one yard line, but they took a risk. They threw it and they got intercepted and it cost them the Super Bowl.


John Teixeira: Yeah. That was a big risk.


Marc Killian: Right. It sticks in my mind seven years later, right?


John Teixeira: Yeah. It’s funny. I watched some of the man of the arena with Brady, it’s been background noise at this point just when I’m doing stuff around the house and they replayed that. And it was interesting to hear the people talk about it, but yeah, that was a big risk. And that’s a big mistake that we see for clients when they’re nearing retirement is they are taking too much risk and that can happen quite a bit in your 401k, because you’ve just picked a fund when you first started at that company.


Marc Killian: Right.


John Teixeira: And typically everyone unfortunately chases returns in their 401k. They just look at a fund and say, this did, will they pick it? But as you’re getting that red zone, it’s important you evaluate what you’re in because if you’re taking too much risk and we have a 2009 type recession, it takes a little bit to fully recover from there never mind that you got the mindset of, Hey, I just lost 30% of my portfolio.


John Teixeira: I don’t want to lose any more. Should I get more conservative? Which will seep into people as you get closer to retirement. So if you make that shift and get conservative, market bounces back within a two year period, you miss a majority of that recovery. So important to make sure that how much risk you’re taking your portfolio is the right amount of risk for you and your plan. We go back to, again, the planning, having the right distribution strategy, as you’re in the red zone, very vital to your retirement success and scoring.


Marc Killian: Yeah. Well, Nick, before I go to the next point here, I’m going to give you a chance on this as well, because if you think about, what he was just talking about, making sure that your portfolio’s not taking too much risk. This market is on a 12 year run. It makes it really enticing and really hard for us to not go. I can eek out a little more. Right? I can squeak out just a little bit more, but that’s when you start putting more at risk on the table.


John Teixeira: Yeah. And you know, because ultimately what ends up happening is what we’re trying to do is, is manage decision making and what ends up happening. And the reason that we try to de-risk a little bit in the situation is so that there’s not an overreaction. So, the easiest way to prevent an overreaction for an individual is to have a plan. So you can remind yourself of, Hey, this is why I’m doing what I’m doing. And you have something to go back to show you, Hey look at, this plan tells me that if I do X, Y, and Z, that I’ve got a pretty solid chance to have a comfortable and successful retirement. And, if you’ve got ice water in your veins and you can handle, a 40% dip in a year and something in a year that where things happen chaotic and it doesn’t even blip your iWatch then that’s one thing, but most people can’t.


John Teixeira: And when that feeling of anxiety starts to creep in, as you start to log in your account more because we’re going through a pullback happens and it pushes you to make a poor decision. That’s when the snowball starts rolling down the hill and that’s where we can really get into trouble.


Marc Killian: So, well, even if you’ve got ice water in your veins, there’s a good chance, your significant other doesn’t, right?


John Teixeira: Yeah.


Marc Killian: Oftentimes there’s that split in the investing philosophy many times where one is a go getter and one is a bit more conservative. So you want to make sure you’re just not taking too many chances in the red zone. If you got a good plan, you got a good strategy. Your team is so “winning the game,” then again, consider taking that knee, take that victory formation, at least start hedging your bet, that way you’re not going to have too much at risk because you got to still outpace inflation. That’s a given, but you also don’t have to necessarily continue to throw the ball, 40 yards down the field.


Marc Killian: So for those that are paying attention, John, that are being proactive, why is retirement planning easier for those folks once they do get to the financial red zone?


John Teixeira: Yeah, I’d say the biggest thing we see when someone goes through a planning process and they get to see it, it provides them a blueprint and a roadmap of what they can expect. And that roadmap of blueprint really gives people a little bit peace of mind so they can see the cash flow, they can see the money and it really comes down to, they can see their goals and what they want to do. So it makes it come to life. So that makes a little bit easier versus the unknown of, Hey, you try building the house without a blueprint, it makes a little bit harder. Right? So, the financial plan is that blueprint and just gives people peace of mind, which ultimately they make better decisions.


Marc Killian: Yeah.


John Teixeira: So you can look at things, income stream, social security, when is the best time to take it or my pension options. When you have the plan, you can test those. So you feel confident in, Hey, I already looked at this and I know what to expect. What’s the best option for me in my family and what we’re doing. So, the plan is key in making sure you make sound decisions and it provides people, again, sound like a broken record or a peace of mind that what they’re doing is right.


Marc Killian: Yeah. Definitely. Any couple of little bullet points Nick to toss in there.


Nick McDevitt: Yeah. I would just say that, the people that are doing well are the people that are able to zero in, in this financial red zone. Part of the reason is because everything starts to feel a little bit more real. Sometimes people have a really hard time thinking about 30 years down the line.


Marc Killian: Right.


Nick McDevitt: And the numbers seem out of whack and the variables seem super unpredictable, and things like that. So oftentimes once we’re in that zone, we have a good idea of what the numbers are going to look like from an income stream standpoint, whether it’s the social security or you have a pension or Hey, there’s lead at the end of the tunnel of having the mortgage paid down, or the kids are going to be off the payroll in two years and that’s going to free up X amount of income per month to be able to save. So, you feel there’s hope and momentum on the side and the people that do well with planning, they really lean into that and are really able to take that momentum and move themselves forward strongly.


Marc Killian: Yeah. So let’s not fumble the football in retirement, the financial football, if you will, if you got some questions, need some help, you should know what to do by now. Hopefully you’re already working with John and Nick. There’s a good chance of just catching this because you already are. And you’re checking out the podcast and you get the information. But if not, definitely stop by and reach out to them at pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s the team’s website, a lot of good tools, tips and resources at pfgprivatewealth.com. And you could drop us a line as well. We take email questions. Of course, they all get answered, but we also take some from time to time here and use them on the show. And that’s what we’re going to do to wrap things up.


Marc Killian: So, whoever wants to tackle this, no pun intended, go for it. My brother tells me that I have way too much money in the bank and he’s probably right. I got about $150,000 sitting in there now, but I just like knowing if there in case I have an emergency, this is Frank by the way. And so Frank says, is it really that bad to have that much in my savings account, take it away.


Nick McDevitt: So, this is an interesting question because oftentimes for most people, the answer might be yes. However, the thing to remember and what we try to harp on with people is that, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your brother, your sister, your mailman, your coworker, your dog walker, everybody’s willing to give their opinion or their advice on financial topics. And it’s important to take your situation, put in a perspective. If you’re somebody that makes $300,000 a year, then maybe that 150 is a good amount. If you’re somebody that makes $40,000 a year and you’ve got 150 in cash, then there’s a good chance that you’re not saving into things that have more upside and more growth for you. You probably have been a little bit wary of the market or didn’t know how or where to invest.


Nick McDevitt: And there’re things that you can do. Maybe you’ve never saved to a Roth before and we could start putting money into a Roth. Maybe you haven’t adjusted your 401k contribution in eight years. And that’s part of the reason that this money is saved up. So, there’re ways that we can take a portion of it and save it into vehicles and then maybe adjust. One of the things that we’ve seen is adjusting from here, moving forward. So in other words, it might make you very uncomfortable to take a hundred grand out of that 150 and put it to work, but maybe we can take 25 and put it to work, but also we’re going to aggressively save moving forward with the income that you have and and figure out where that pain point might be to put money away.


Marc Killian: Yeah.


Nick McDevitt: So it really is a function of what your expenses are. Things like, do you have dual income in the house? Is the house paid off? Dual income, you could probably have a little bit less in there. If the house is paid off, definitely put more money to work. So, it could be, but just like everything else that we talk about, it depends. And the easiest way to really truly answer that is to look at it through the lens of the plan and go from there.


Marc Killian: Well, I guess I would say John, probably what’s your definition of liquid, right? In getting to it, obviously a lot of people see, they want to see a certain number. I’d ask myself if I was Frank, what kind of emergency constitute 150 grand and/or what do you consider liquid, right? If it’s something you need to get to within three to five days, often there’re many types of accounts you can do that. It doesn’t have to just be money in the bank.


John Teixeira: Yes. So, liquid would. A lot of different people view it differently. So one would be, Hey, I can get access to this without any penalty. And that would be number one of being liquid. Another version would be, Hey, I can get this without any penalty or taxes, you know? So that could be another version of someone considering it liquid, but yeah, there’re different buckets to choose from when you need access money. And it’s important you work with an advisor to figure out what are the penalties and very important what are the tax consequences for accessing this cash?


Marc Killian: Yeah. Okay. Well, Frank, thanks so much for listening. Hopefully that helps you. I know you how you don’t want to admit your brother’s right. So technically you don’t have to. So if you’re like me, I never want to tell my brother he is right. You can just certainly say it depends. Right? So everybody’s situation is different. That’s going to do it this go round for the podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us again at pfgprivatewealth. That’s where you can find all the things from the team at pfgprivatewealth, which is John and Nick’s company there. So find it online at pfgprivatewealth.com.


Marc Killian: We’re going to wrap it up, but guys, I’m going to give you a chance to say what you think is going to happen for the Super Bowl since we’re dropping this beforehand, who’s winning the Super Bowl this year? John go.


John Teixeira: Good question. I’m going to have to say, I think the 49ers might win.


Marc Killian: Okay. All right. He’s calling the 49ers. Nick, who you’re going with, buddy?


Nick McDevitt: I’ll go with the Packers.


Marc Killian: Wow. Neither one of you guys took the team.


John Teixeira: I was going to go with the Packers, but Adam Rogers always chokes him.


Marc Killian: He does play.


John Teixeira: He is like notorious for NFC championship game. Let me play awful. Last year I think Brady threw three picks in the second half or third quarter or something.


Marc Killian: Yeah.


John Teixeira: And he couldn’t capitalize on it or fourth quarter, whatever it was. I don’t know.


Marc Killian: There you go. Well, folks, let us know what you think. And we’ll be back with more on the podcast in February. So probably after the Super Bowl. So, we’ll see if the guys are right and we’ll talk to you next time here on retirement planning, redefined with John and Nick.

Ep 38: Financial Mistakes Couples Make

On This Episode

Getting husbands and wives on the same page with their retirement plan can often be a challenge. Let’s talk about some of the things that couples often mess up.

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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: Everybody welcome to the podcast. Thanks for tuning into the show. As we talk about investing, finance and retirement here on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick. And we’re going to talk about couples this go around and some financial mistakes couples often get into. Because John, I don’t know about you, buddy, but my wife and I are on the same page about everything all the time.

John: Yeah. Sounds like you go by the motto happy wife, happy life.

Mark: Yeah. Not so much. No. She would disagree with that. Something fear. She’s like, “If I could ever get you to agree with me on anything for happy wife, that’d be good.” But no, this is a joke people make all the time. Couples that definitely do not see eye to eye on a lot of things, and finances is certainly one of those.

John: Finances and kitchen remodels, definitely. So…

Mark: Kitchen remodels, Nick, what’s going on with you, buddy. How you doing? We don’t want to leave you out.

Nick: Pretty good, just staying busy, happy that football seasons here, NFL season is here. I’m looking forward to fall weather in Florida.

Mark: Yeah. Well it’s on its way, hopefully. So we’re into September when we’re taping this. So let’s get into it and talk about some stuff. I imagine you guys see a lot of different things when couples come in, and you see a lot of different people on, whether they’re on the same page or different pages or whatever the case might be. And many times as much as couples might think they’ve talked about this stuff, I imagine you guys probably see that they didn’t talk about it as much as they should have, or maybe as a depth or they just really glossed over the subject.

Mark: So let’s dive into a few things and see if we can highlight stuff for folks. So when they do come in and sit down, maybe they’re a little further along in this conversation, and you guys don’t have to wear your marriage counselor hats along with your financial advisor hat. So number one, making the wrong choice on how to handle the spousal benefit option, if you’re lucky enough to have a pension, I talked to a bunch of guys advisors and stuff, fellows over the years that have said, “It’s amazing how many times somebody will take that without even talking to their spouse about it, just because they see that higher number.”

Nick: Yeah, it’s interesting that a lot of places have put some restrictions from the perspective of the paperwork where they’ll have to be a notary sign off or things like that, but we’ve seen them without, and there’s definitely a misconception or misunderstanding on how these pension payouts will work. And so this could be a mistake that it’s typically a one-time decision. So for anybody that has substantial income, that will be coming in from a pension, this could ultimately be the most important decision that they make, and it’s something not to overlook. And just to be a little bit more direct, oftentimes they will see the single life option, which you would referred to as the highest payout, and not realize that if something happens to them, then nobody gets any remaining benefit.

Nick: One of the ways that we’ll try to phrase that to people is, no matter what, I’ve never met anybody that wants to have worked for a company for a long time, and even if there’s a divorce situation or something where if something happens to them that nobody gets any of the benefits that they would have been due for the rest of their life. So on making sure that those options are understood and making sure that they’re correlated and tied into the rest of the decisions that they’ve made for their planning it’s super important.

John: Yeah. And a big thing to that, Nick mentioned single life, is understand the different joint survivor lives. You can have a joint survivor where one passes away, they still get a 100% of the benefit. And then there’s a couple of different options where you get 75 and 50%, and it’s always good to reference the plan to make sure if one person passes away that the plan basically is still intact and that surviving spouse can still hit all their goals.

Mark: Absolutely. On those conversations, if it does happen, I can’t imagine that the other person’s too happy about, “Hey, wait a minute, why did you take the wrong one and leave me out?” So, you want to make sure that you’re doing those for sure. Number two is the coordination on the social security strategy, social security is that horse that we’re going to beat constantly, because it’s a big component of people’s retirement plans, and the money that’s out there. But we can’t get into this rush to just go turn it on without really thinking about a strategy, especially if you’re married, because there’s a lot of strategy involved.

John: Yeah, there is. You hit it perfectly when you said it’s a big decision. I believe social security equate for like 30 to 40% of someone’s household income in retirement. So you want to coordinate it right, and the biggest mistake we typically see is once one person retires maybe early at like 62, 63 64, they’re just going to go ahead and turn it on, while the other spouse is working, but there’s definitely a lot of different strategies that you can implement. Nick and I focus heavily on planning, and it really all does come back to the planning cause everyone’s situation is different, but you really want to look at what’s best for your situation. Does it make sense to defer the higher amount for survivor plan down the road? We just talked about pensions. Is there a current pension in place? Which will make the social security decision even more important to really coordinate that with any pension or any other guaranteed income stream.

Mark: Strategy is key, and so many things for retirement planning, but certainly in social security. And again, that’s why the podcast this week is really about mistakes for couples. Because again, we can kind of talk through this stuff in generalities and sometimes we just kind of barely touch on it, but there’s a lot of minutia to dive into, and that’s where an advisor really comes into play. And here’s a simple one guys, and I don’t know how often you guys encounter this, but I talked to many advisors who say, “It’s pretty surprising. People will come in for the first time. And they really haven’t truly talked about what they want to do with their actual time in retirement, what they want to actually do with retirement. And yeah, they say the general things, well, we want to travel, well, he wants to play golf or whatever, but it’s like, well, what does that actually look like? How much golf, how much travel? Where to? So on and so forth.” So that stuff really is important in what you guys do to help them design a plan for that.

Nick: Yeah. This is something that I’ve been really trying to focus on with people, with clients. And one of the things that I’ve found is that, for so many people that are retiring recently or very soon, looking back, one of the things that I’ve found is that many of them, even if we were to rewind five, six years ago, we’ve had this huge run-up in the market. So now you have people that have a lot more money in retirement than many of them thought that they would. And so some of the options that they have in some of the thought processes that they can have is less of a scarcity mindset and more of a thriving mindset and really trying to focus on things that they really want to do.

Nick: An example recently is a plan with clients that had retired within the last year. And so they’re plugging along and the plan looks really, really solid. And so, I really tried to start drilling down. It’s like “Now that you’ve been retired for a little while, now that you have a feeling of what it feels like, what are the things that you really want to do?” And then using planning to help them figure out if we can do it from a financial standpoint. So, one client wanted a larger property for their primary residence to be able to work on cars, that was the kind of hobby. And so it goes. We’ve kind of talked about the fact that the sharper they stay, the more engaged they stay, whether it’s hobbies, whether it’s volunteering, no matter what it is, as long as you’re staying engaged and sharp, their life is going to be probably longer realistically. And the brain’s not going to really rot away.

Nick: And so helping people dial into those things that they want to do, I think is probably one of the most enjoyable things on our side of the business, but it takes a while and quite a bit of repetition to really get them to visualize it and see it.

Mark: Yeah, indeed, because again, you might talk about some basic things you want to do, but you really start to have to dive in and dissect more because you got all this free time now. And of course you hear all of the funny stories, maybe the Mrs. Will say, “Find something else for him to do get him out of my house.”

John: One thing we’ve noticed is that when we do the planning, we’ll ask that question and one spouse will say something and the other one just gives a look like “What? I didn’t know that.”

Mark: First I’ve heard about it. And that’s the point of really even though they think maybe they’ve communicated this. And again, I think that’s really where great value comes into play from what you guys do, because you get to be this… Maybe that’s not always the most fun thing to be in the middle, but you get to be this mediator a little bit, or this sounding board where to that point, John, when somebody is like, “Wait a minute, this is the first time we’re talking about it.” Now they’re going to hash it out and you guys can help them walk through it. So hopefully it’s good in the end because they’re getting through to the details they really got to get to. So these are, again, are mistakes that couples can get themselves into when planning for retirement. Number four, not coordinating other accounts. So how important is it guys to include or incorporate coordination amongst his 401k and her IRA and so on and so forth?

John: So this is a really important one. And again, we sound like broken records, but this is important to the plan itself, as far as once both people are retired, and you’re looking at how much income is needed from the nest eggs, where is that money coming from? Whose accounts? And once that’s determined, that will dictate how that money should be invested. So this is really important and often overlooked if someone has not gone through a comprehensive plan, whether they’ve done it themselves or working with an advisor, but this could be a really big mistake if you haven’t coordinated this correctly.

Mark: And coordination is the key, getting on the same page is the key. I started off this podcast by joking about my wife and I are always in agreement because that’s how spouses are. Yeah. Right. So, at the end of the day, we tend to see differently in a couple of ways, opposites attract kind of thing. Right. So how often, and how much do you guys deal with managing the opposites in their personalities with risk? For example, that’s a big one, obviously. Because many, many times I think we’re going to see people where one person is like, “Hey, let’s take some risks, let’s take some chances.” And the other, one’s not so comfortable with that. And maybe they haven’t even been as honest as they might be in front of you guys saying, “You know what, now that we’re sitting here, I don’t want to take that much risk.” So you guys have to figure out a way to get them in a neutral, workable ground.

Nick: I think one of the ways to do that, that we found to be the most effective, is to try to double down on embracing the differences and letting them know that. And even if we go back through the plan and say, “Hey, look at these two decisions that you made, really help the plan in this way.” And then, these two decisions that the other spouse made really helped the plan in this way. So they compliment each other.

Nick: So, let’s focus on moving forward. What are the things that we do to earn the next step? And what I mean by that is, so there’s a couple of things, we try to continuously emphasize the fact that we don’t really care what their brother, sister, neighbor, dog walker/former coworker does. And then we’ll rattle off four or five things that are immediately different about their life then all of those people. And so they start to get that. And then as we further drill down and we’ll say, “Okay,” we’ll look it, “Hey, I know that you’re feeling a little bit concerned about the market, but remember that we’ve got two years of cash in the bank. So that’s your pass to be able to do X, Y, and Z.” And so almost just walking them through and helping them understand, like, “Hey, we’ve done this, and so we graduate to this level. We’ve done this, we graduate to this level.” And so we keep moving up the ladder and that all of these decisions are tied together and correlated.

Nick: And we try to emphasize the fact that, when we make these recommendations, it’s not like we make these recommendations for every single person that we work with, these recommendations are specific to them. And so I think that helping them understand that, to embrace those differences and to make sure that we’ve done things, we’ve put things in place. So maybe the spouse sets a little bit more aggressive, we point out, “Well, Hey, look it, we’ve got 15 to 20% of your assets in this Roth IRA. And this is where we’re taking the majority of the risk in your portfolio, because the upside is tax-free.” And then maybe the other spouse is more conservative and we say, “Hey, remember that you have your social security, you got a small pension. And we put this annuity in place with guaranteed income to satisfy that risk that we perceived.” And so all of these things are working together to try to balance it out. And usually it’s just kind of rehashing that over time. And then people start to get it.

Mark: Yes. The multiple pieces of the pie. So you’re going to have these different things in there that are going to hopefully help address multiple concerns. That’s why there’s a lot of financial products and vehicles out there to be used. And it’s not any one thing is the right fit, any one thing is the wrong fit. It’s a matter of finding the right vehicles for the right situation and then plugging and playing those in for the different person and their scenario. So that’s some places financial mistakes couples can get into. Of course you want to make sure you don’t get into those by working with a good advisor or a qualified team, like John and Nick and their team at PFG Private Wealth. So if you’d like to drop by the website and send us an email as well, pfgprivatewealth.com.

Mark: If you’ve got a question, we take those from time to time pfgprivatewealth.com is where you can go. All questions get answered, not all get asked on the podcast, but we do have one this week. So let’s see what we got for you guys, Christopher, he sent this one and he says, “Hey, John,” but I’m sure he means either one of you, but he says, “Hey, John, I’ll be turning 70 at the beginning of next year. And I’m getting annoyed about having to think about taking money out of my IRA, because I’m not going to need it. I’m sure you have some tips for circumventing this rule. What are they?”

John: Christopher, good question. So just to update you, the new RMD Required Minimum Distribution age is now 72 versus 70. So that was just seven and a half, that was just changed a couple of years back. But now that this comes up often, one of the things that we currently do for our clients is we’ll actually set up a individual taxable account where we’ll basically just, if there’s a 15, $20,000 RMD, that’s unneeded, we’ll just transfer that right into it. And go ahead and invest in exactly what they’re invested in before, because it really just needs to come out of the IRA, it can go right back into the market. Another strategy we’ve done is if a client is doing some charitable contributions, you can actually make charitable contributions from your IRA to your selected charity. And that will avoid taxation of that. And again, we always have our disclaimer, talk to your tax advisor if you look for tax advice, we’re not tax professionals, but that’s a really good strategy to use when you’re trying to avoid the RMD taxation.

Mark: Got you. Well. So the good news, Christopher, is you got a little bit more time. It’s 72 now. I love when people say, “There’s got to be ways around this,” there really isn’t, either don’t have an IRA or there’s not really a way around it. You’re going to have to give the government their share, which is why people have been doing things like conversions. There’ve been converting money out and doing so on and so forth so they can reduce the amount in there to avoid having to pay that by not having the account. But that’s really about the only way, correct?

Nick: Yeah. The conversions can be helpful to reduce the amount that’s going to have to be required to come out. But at the same time when the window is short and they realize that, “Hey, I’m just going to have to pay. I’m going to have to pay taxes on that money now when I convert versus, a portion of the amount that I would take out down the road.” Or that, it’s like, “Hey, well, you are going to pay tax on it, but still our plan’s recognizing the taxation and you could see here in the planning software, this is what your total tax obligation is going to be. And we can reinvest some of that money. So it may have less of an impact on, on you that you think.”

Nick: I think one of the things that we’ve seen is that obviously taxes are a hot button and nobody likes paying them. But I would say that probably 90% of the people that we interact with overestimate, or assume that they pay a lot more in taxes than they actually do. So that’s always a good exercise for us to remind people that in the scheme of things, many of them are paying a lot less than they realize anyway. So it’s one of those things where in theory sometimes the move can be good, but oftentimes in their mind it’s better than in actuality. And of course, just like anything else, we try to test that out through the planning.

Mark: Well, Christopher, so there’s some good news in there, like I said, there’s some more information for you. Obviously they showed a couple of ideas, but hang onto your hat. Because as of right now, stuff’s going through that we’re tying at the time we’re taping this. There’s more things to possibly be passed. So there could be some changes again, coming as well. So we’ll do an updated podcast on that once they go through or as we have more information, but for now, that’s going to wrap it up this week here on the podcast, Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick. Guys, thanks for hanging out as always. Appreciate your time. And folks, if you need some help, reach out to them at pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart, Stitcher, any of those platforms. You can certainly find it that way. You can find all that information at the website and subscribe from there, again, pfgprivatewealth.com, for John and Nick. I’m Mark. We’ll see you next time here on the podcast.