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

On This Episode

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

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

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


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


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


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


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


Mark: Yeah.


Nick: I’m not a complete…


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


John: Are you a Panthers fan?


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


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


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


Nick: Yeah, but it’s not the worst.


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


John: The Patriots.


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


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


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


Nick: John used to ask me to watch games-


John: He refuses.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Mark: Yeah, exactly.


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


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


Mark: Right.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Nick: Go Bills.

Ep 36: 5 Things About Decumulation

On This Episode

So much focus in the financial world revolves around accumulating money. There’s all sorts of advice, how- to guides and guardrails in place when it comes to saving and investing, but a lot less resources out there to help retirees navigate the period of time after retirement. This is known as decumulation, the spending down and managing of the assets you’ve accumulated through your life.

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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:


Speaker 1: Hey, everybody. Welcome into the podcast. Thanks for hanging out with us here on Retirement Planning – Redefined with John and Nick and myself once again chatting about investing, finance and retirement. We’re going to talk about decumulation, five things you must know about decumulation to retire successfully. We’re going to get into that in just a second.


Speaker 1: Of course, if you’ve got some questions, need some help, reach out to John and Nick at PFG Private Wealth. That’s PFGprivatewealth.com. That’s the website you can stop by at, and gents, what’s going on? John, how are you buddy?


John: I’m good, I’m good. I know it’s been awhile since I think we’ve done one of these sessions here.


Speaker 1: Enjoying the summer, I guess, right?


John: Yeah. It’s been a busy summer for myself, and Nick can speak to what he’s been up to, but yeah, it’s definitely been busy. But my little one started kindergarten, so I’m adapting to that life of drop-off car line and pickup, which is fun.


Speaker 1: Yeah. I don’t know if you remember this movie or not, but do you remember this Michael Keaton movie, Mr. Mom? If you haven’t seen it, you should go watch it because you could probably relate to it. The whole car line drop-off thing is hysterical and that was from like the ’80s.


John: I’ll definitely go check it out.


Speaker 1: Yeah.


John: Yeah. Right now my wife’s, she’s studying for her boards, so I’ve been helping out with all that stuff and yeah, it’s been interesting.


Speaker 1: It’s a great movie. It’s a great old ’80s movie, but yeah, you could probably really relate to some of this stuff right this minute. Especially when you mentioned that car line thing, it made me think of that because he just, he has the hardest time understanding and getting his mind wrapped around the whole car line thing. It’s pretty hilarious. Yeah, definitely check it out.


Speaker 1: Nick, what’s going on with you, buddy? I know you’ve been traveling and running around.


Nick: Yeah. I was a recently up north hometown in Rochester, New York. I’ve got a lot of friends, family and clients up there, so did my yearly pilgrimage. Just kind of catching back up from being back and readjusting to the heat, so all good.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Got you. All right. Well, good. Well, I’m glad you guys are doing well and yeah, let’s get into the five things we need to know about decumulation.


Speaker 1: First of all, it’s a big fancy sounding word, but really it just is the spending of your assets, right? I mean, we’ve accumulated the money, now we’re going to decumulate it. It’s just kind of a fancy way of spending down what we have saved.


Speaker 1: On this episode, let’s point out a few items that people might want to think about to retire successfully. Let’s start with the first one. Nick, I’ll give this to you. Just a lack of support. I think if you go in, obviously if you type in any kind of a financial something or another, you’re going to get 18 billion hits on Google, and a lot of it is about how to accumulate money versus not too much necessarily about the decumulation side.


Speaker 1: But I think if you think if you’re working with a good financial professional or an advisor like you guys, obviously that’s where some of that support is going to come from, a lot of that support is going to come from. But there is a real lack of that it seems like if you’re just trying to do it yourself.


Nick: Yeah, it’s interesting. The perspective that people tend to have for this phase of their life, as far as whether you refer to it as decumulation or the distribution phase of life, is oftentimes kind of ingrained in them from their parents a little bit.


Nick: What we’ve seen a lot with people that are really entering or soon to enter into retirement, and I had this conversation recently with a client is, hey, we know what our expenses are. We have an idea what’s going to be coming in from social security, and we just want to protect our principal and go ahead and just take interest in dividends from our accounts, because that’s what we know from our parents, and that’s kind of… That just makes sense to us.


Nick: The conversation that we get into and we take them really have to force them to go and review the plan that we’ve put together because the plan will really lay out how this is going to be structured and the underlying components can be a little bit confusing.


Nick: As an example, when I explain to somebody that brings that up that that’s what they want to do and help them understand that, hey, on average your dividends on the stock side of your portfolio might be around 2%, if you want solid stocks. Then from an interest rate standpoint, maybe you’re looking at 2 or 3% as well. If we’re looking at a million bucks, we’re talking a total of 20 to $30,000 a year and that will often send them right into a panic attack.


Nick: Understanding how these things tie together, understanding that with the advent and the prevalence of things like exchange traded funds and mutual funds where we can do fractional shares and we can break accounts into a short-term, mid-term, long-term bucket to help us try to preserve some principle over time via growth, but also have a safe withdrawal rate and strategy is really important. It’s hands down the most misunderstood, but important thing when it comes to retirement planning.


John: Yeah. I think what we’ve seen a lot of advisors and client, or a lot of advisors individuals focus on just accumulation, so it’s really just kind of building, building it up and they never, as Nick mentioned here, there’s never a strategy for as far as how do you actually start taking that money out?


John: It all comes back to you don’t want to start planning for that once you retire, that really needs to be as soon as you can, but in reality when you hit that red zone of 5 to 10 years from retirement, I would say more towards 10, you should really start considering, “Hey, what is my distribution strategy?”


Speaker 1: Got you. Okay. Yeah, and I think a lot of times we do kind of get wrapped up in the accumulation thing and we tend to forget about these other stages and it leads me really into the second topic guys on this, which is it’s funny, maybe not funny, but it is interesting how the fear of spending is really real.


Speaker 1: At first, when I first started, I’ve been doing this now for a number of years, talking with advisors all across the country and you think, hey, you get to retirement. You’re looking forward to finally spending your and having a good time and so on and so forth and enjoying your golden years. But many, many, many people are truly afraid of actually spending what they’ve saved.


Speaker 1: I think a lot of it probably comes down to just confidence, but it’s a real thing getting over that hump and getting comfortable saying, “Okay, it’s okay to spend this money we’ve saved for the last 40 years now.” What do you guys see?


John: Yeah, no, we see the same thing. It really is, again, back to the accumulation phase or savings phase in this scenario. They’re just so used to getting a paycheck, saving it, and then they live off of their paycheck. Well, now your nest egg is now retirement that providing that paycheck for you, and the biggest fear for retirees is not running out of money. With that comes, can I spend this much? What will my assets, or what does my plan look like if I continue this spending or if I go buy this?


John: It’s important, and we’ve had scenarios where the plan really does give clients confidence of when they look at it and say, “Okay, if I continue my current spending rate, I have X amount at the end of the plan.” The cool thing about some of the stuff that we do when we get to see our clients see it is we’ll show, “Hey, what if you spend an extra 10 to 15 grand over the next 10 years for a vacation?” And we’ll model it out and they get to see how does that affect their overall plan, and is there still money left at the end? Is there enough money left where you feel comfortable?


John: We find that when people see that and there’s two versions of it. One’s a very detailed kind of actuarial cashflow number, which is kind of boring to look at. But then we also have a chart form, which just makes it easy to understand and it’s, “Okay. You know what? I can go spend that money,” and it just provides a nice peace of mind.


John: We’ve had scenarios where people see that and then they go do some of their goal, whether it’s buy an RV, do this vacation, spend time with family. It’s the fear is definitely real, and it’s important to have a plan to give you some peace of mind, to see if you… That you’re not going to outlive your money.


Speaker 1: Yeah, and I think definitely it’s that confidence factor, right? Because oftentimes people that are in good shape, they just don’t really feel comfortable that they can go through that transition period. I think that’s a lot of the value that you guys bring to the table by saying, “Okay, now we’ve built a plan. I’ve showed you this is going to work, and then you’re there as that kind of coaching sounding board to say, “No, it’s okay. We can get over this hump together. You’re going to be able to enjoy this because that’s what you’ve built up and worked towards.”


Speaker 1: Now we know obviously we’re living longer and there’s more things to be… There’s more risky stuff out there, and not even talking about the crazy kooky world we find ourselves in right now, but just risks in general. If we’re talking about the de cumulation phase, which is when we’re into retirement, the risks in general become more numerous, especially financially speaking.


Nick: Yeah, so one of the things that can impact a retirement plan or this phase of somebody’s life, this decumulation phase, is what’s called the sequence of returns. Essentially, what that means is that on a typical case, people think in terms of average rates of return, and that’s understandable because that’s how most people are taught.


Nick: But there can be an average over a 10 year period, a 15 year period of, you can call it 6, 7, 8%. But if the… Even though it averages that number, if the losses are incurred early on and they’re significant, that has a much greater impact on how long the money will last than if those losses come further on down the road.


Nick: That’s why it’s important to really have a strategy, to understand that the plan should be consistently updated. And what ends up happening, especially in one of the things that we’re starting to see a little bit is, the markets have been up for the last 6, 7, 8, 9 years, so there’s a little bit of, I don’t know if you euphoria is the right term, but a little bit of a sense of invincibility for some people. Where it’s like, “Hey, I keep taking money out and it keeps going up and that’s great,” and that is good, but it doesn’t always happen like that.


Nick: When we have these risks of AC goes out, child loses their job and you help them financially, you get grandkids, there’s a change of social security, you have a health issue, all these different things. We’re trying to prepare for all uncertainties, and so making sure that your investment strategy is really lining up with your overall plan is important even in good times, which is what we’ve had for quite a while.


Speaker 1: Yeah, no, I definitely would agree with that statement for sure. You know, and John, listen, hey, they’ve passed another trillion dollars just a few weeks ago at the time we’re taping this podcast, now they’re talking about another $3 trillion. So focusing on tax consequences has probably never been more important than what it’s going to be over the next couple of years. Whether they sunset, they do nothing and leave them alone, and they sunset back to the old means here in a couple of years, or they make some changes, you got to have some focus on taxes.


John: Yeah. Taxes are definitely an eroding factor on your money, especially going into retirement. Because that for the majority of people, that’s their… The IRA pre-tax money is typically their biggest part of their nest egg and they’re pulling it out. Every time you pull out a hundred grand, you’re getting whacked with taxes on that. It’s important, again kind of that red zone area, even before that you want to start planning for what you think your tax situation is going to be. But also you want to start planning to have the flexibility to adapt to any type of tax environment so you can basically limit how much taxes you’re actually paying.


John: So example, Nick mentioned some risks where let’s say you have a health event, you need to pull out 30, 40 grand. It might be nice to have some tax free money, AKA kind of some Roth money that you can pull from so you don’t really jump into a higher tax bracket and just start paying enormous amount of taxes that you could ultimately have avoided.


Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, again, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. It’s all those kinds of things we know, we hear about it, but if you’re not talking about taxes as you’re preparing for retirement, I mean, I’ll go out on a limb and just say you’re doing it wrong. Right? You’ve got to make sure that you’re factoring that in there and having those conversations, and if you’re not, well, then that needs to be a red flag as well.


Speaker 1: So that at the end of the day, we’ve got these five things I mentioned. Here’s the fifth one, guys, just leveraging the lifetime income. We got to replace a paycheck, whether it’s for 1 year, 5 years, 15 years, 25 years, 40 years. It’d be easy if we knew exactly how long we’re going to live, but we don’t, so you’ve got to have that thing ready and you’ve got to leverage that income for life.


Nick: Yeah. It’s one of the things that we try to emphasize with people and one of the keys to planning is that everybody’s situation is different. When you talk to your brother, your sister, your friend, your neighbor, whatever, and when I was just up north, I’m reminded about, I was reminded about how much people love to talk about just everything. Being down in Florida, people tend to be a little bit more private from what I’ve seen. People are, “Oh yeah, I did this, I did that. I did this.”


Nick: One of the things that I try to emphasize to people on a consistent basis is that sure, your sister may be doing X, Y, and Z, but maybe your sister has a pension. Maybe your sister’s mortgage is paid off. Maybe your sister didn’t have kids, and so her situation and all of the decisions that line up with that are very different from yours. Because you don’t have a pension, your house isn’t paid off, you did have children that cost you more money, and let alone the risk tolerance from the standpoint of the market, that’s a whole different ball game.


Nick: When we evaluate things, one of the things that when we go through a plan, one of the things that we typically go through with people is just looking at options from the standpoint of a guaranteed income. In reality, the only way to get guaranteed income is through annuities, and a lot of people have a certain perception of annuities or they don’t like them. We always try to remind people that, hey, our job is to make sure you understand what options are out there and available for you. Make sure how you know that they work or would work for you in your situation. Then if it’s something that you don’t like, then we just don’t do it, and we move on.


Nick: But when we factor in social security, whether or not somebody has a pension and/or whether or not they want to have some form of guaranteed income in the future, it can really make a significant difference. Not only from just a pure planning standpoint, but also from a peace of mind standpoint.


Nick: One of the things that is probably underestimated are how people emotionally respond to different things that happen in the market, and how that can impact their decision-making. No matter how many times somebody, says, “Hey, I know I need to invest longterm. I know I need not to be reactionary,” when it hits the fan, it’s really hard not to be.


John: Nick, I’m going to stop you for a second. A perfect example of that was actually when Coronavirus hit. I think we had a true indication of how much risk some people were willing to take.


Nick: A hundred percent, and so this is that whole… I referred to it a little bit earlier, this level of euphoria over the last year is that, “Hey, everything’s going well.” Or we’ve had conversations with clients where maybe they’ve used some sort of annuity or some sort of guaranteed income product. It’s like, “Well, hey, if I would’ve kept it in the market, it would have done this, this and that.” It’s like, “Yes, but what we did was we separated that money and we gave it a certain job, and as long as that does its job, then we have a lot less pressure on everything else, including your brain and your emotions, and that cannot be underestimated.”


Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. Well, those are five things, folks, that happen or can happen during the decumulation phase, which again is a fancy word for the spending of the assets that you’ve accumulated through the years to get to retirement. Hopefully, that helped you a little bit, gave you a couple of useful things to think about.


Speaker 1: As always, if you’ve got some questions, we talk in generalities here on the podcast, make sure you’re checking with your advisor or reach out to qualified professionals like John and Nick before you take any action. You can find them online at PFGprivatewealth.com, that’s PFGprivatewealth.com.


Speaker 1: Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast while you’re there on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever platform you like to use. We put these out quite often here, so you’ve got definitely a lot of content. You can go back and listen to some past episodes and, of course, get notified when new episodes come out as well.


Speaker 1: So guys, thanks for hanging out with me. I appreciate it. Glad to have you back in and chatting with me and I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks. We’ll be getting ready for football season.


Nick: Yes, sir.


John: Right.


Speaker 1: We’ll catch you next time here on Retirement Planning – Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth.

Ep 35: Not Your Father’s Retirement

On This Episode

If you’re of the age that your mom and dad retired 20 or 30 years ago, the world was a much different place when they walked away from their paychecks. Let’s talk about how things are different now.

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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:


Speaker 1: Hey everybody. Welcome into the podcast. It’s Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. Hanging out with me to talk about this being not our father’s retirement now. That’s our podcast topic this week, not your father’s not our fathers, whatever you want to say, we’re going to go into this conversation about how things are so much different even just 20 years ago when it comes to retirement. And some things to think about before we walk away from that paycheck. And there’s a lot that’s obviously changed and obviously we’re seeing a lot of turmoil coming off of COVID and things of that nature. So there’s a lot of good topical stuff in here for us to discuss, but let’s jump in and say hi to the guys first, Nick, what’s going on, buddy? How are you doing?


Nick: Pretty well, staying busy.


Speaker 1: Staying busy. Well, that’s always good. John, how are you, my friend? Last time we talked you were having some troubles with the kids. Everybody not sleeping and things like that. Doing better?


John: Yeah, for the most part, actually, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it. We got them to share a room which has helped their sleeping habits a bit. So we’ve been sleeping through the night. So it’s been a few years, my friend, of consistent nights of sleeping.


Speaker 1: There you go.


John: Starting to feel pretty good again.


Speaker 1: Yeah, I like that. Well, very good. So you never know what’s going to make the trigger there. So I’m glad to hear that. Do you guys remember these commercials? I’m a little bit older than you, but I know a lot of our listeners might remember these as well, if you guys don’t. But back, maybe late ’70s, early ’80s, Oldsmobile was trying to rebrand and make the Oldsmobile a little bit cooler. And so they had these commercials and it would always say things like, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.” You guys remember those at all?


Nick: I do actually.


Speaker 1: Yeah. And so they would try to rebrand it that way. So that’s kind of the idea I had for today’s conversation. It’s not our father’s retirement. My dad retired in ’93. He passed away in ’96. So he didn’t have a very long retirement, but even just the principles and some of the things are completely different here 30 years later.


Speaker 1: So let’s talk about a couple of these things and how the world’s changed and how really planning has also changed and what you guys do and what folks need to consider when they get closer to retirement. First of all, the concept of retirement is not actually that old, a hundred years ago you didn’t retire. You worked until you dropped. Right? So really retirement’s only been around since, the idea of it really since the late ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, so on and so forth. And it was this thing where you got to 65, you retired, you were done. Maybe you sat on the front porch and did little, but nowadays more and more people work beyond 65. They want to, not just have to, they want to, and that’s okay. Right? There’s nothing wrong with that.


John: Yeah. I would definitely, we see that in our office here, Bob Perry’s 76, 77, he’s still working. We joke that his wife won’t let him retire, but he really enjoys coming in and the environment here and just being with everyone, it gives him stuff to do and he provides a lot of insight for us as well. So it’s great to have him around so I could see where in his situation or other people’s, if they’re somewhere they enjoy, what’s the point of retiring if you enjoy it?


Speaker 1: Right. Exactly. And not only that, Nick, but a lot of times people, again, they just want to do some other things and maybe you don’t need the full job income, like you used to have, the big career, but maybe you do need a little extra money to help with the plan or something, but it’s just a way to kind of have some fun and maybe make a little extra scratch on the side.


Nick: Yeah. I think ultimately what happens is that almost one analogy to think about, you see things like football players, baseball players, et cetera. Here you have people that retire early, they maybe have a career 5 to 10, maybe 15 years. And obviously their situation is a little bit different from a perspective of the money that they’re retiring with and the bandwidth they have to route the time between retirement and their life expectancy. However, there’s probably a little bit more similarities than people realize where ultimately when you see interviews with people like that, the things that you hear them talk about are missing the structure, missing the comradery, coworkers slash teammates, those sorts of things.


Nick: So, there’s actually a lot of similarities and it’s almost keeping that sort of structure and help keep my mind sharp, keep people engaged. We definitely see patterns from the perspective of, there are some people that they do a great job of having hobbies and they know that when they retire, they’ve got a list of things that they want to do, whether it’s travel, whether it’s hobbies, whether it’s a small sort of business. And then you have people that really struggle. And I was having this conversation actually with my parents this weekend. My dad is a retired fireman, but he’s been working, he had his own small business for the last maybe 15 years. So he retired as a fireman really early.


Nick: My mom’s a nurse. She works a couple days a week now, but she’s looking to slow down. And my dad was talking about a friend of his, maybe like 10 years older, that still does some work because he can’t just sit around, he’s got to stay busy. And my dad was like, “Well, he needs hobbies.” And I said, “No, you need some hobbies. You don’t have any hobbies.” And he looked at me like, “I had never really thought about that before.” And we’ve had different conversations, but the point that I’m trying to make is a lot of times, we look at other people, we look at other situations and we perceive ourselves in a different way. And sometimes just taking that self inventory and asking ourselves these sorts of questions, it really is important because there’s many more similarities that we realize. So…


Speaker 1: Yeah.


Nick: So we’ve tasked my nieces who are younger to help, start coming up with some hobbies for my father, their grandfather, to keep him sharp and engaged. So…


Speaker 1: Well, I think we went through this cycle. Like I mentioned earlier, a hundred years ago you just worked until you dropped. And then we said, “Oh, we can do this thing called retirement.” And then people started retiring and sitting around and doing nothing. And then you wither away that way too. So I think we’ve now started to learn over this past a hundred years that, okay, it’s got to be a bit of both. You, you work really hard, you get to retirement, you hit retirement, but you still need to be active. You still need to do things and have things that interest you, if you want to just sit on the front porch and make wicker baskets, then that’s great, do that, if that’s what you want, but more and more people are-


John: Real quick, Nick loves making wicker baskets.


Speaker 1: Does he really? I got to get one now, I need a custom wicker basket.


Nick: No wicker baskets.


Speaker 1: Oh man, just crushed my dreams right there. But anyway, I think that’s a really great point is having something to retire to. Now, the next point on this guys, is being retired, it can be more expensive nowadays than working. So, we used to see that 20% less is what you need in retirement. Well, that might not be the case now. And we’ve just been having conversations as well about inflation and stuff. So it can be quite expensive to retire if you’re not careful.


Nick: It absolutely can. Especially depending on where you live from the perspective of the things that you may be looking to get into or do. I live in a downtown area in St. Pete and I absolutely see how, anybody that lives in this space, all you have to do is walk down the street to grab a coffee, to grab a lunch and depending upon your lifestyle, you’ve just got more time on your hands to do the things that you want to do. So, so why wouldn’t it be more expensive if we’re just doing these things more often, more frequently, so it can definitely be the case. And that’s even from a discretionary standpoint, let alone the health care costs and all the things that people do to stay healthier, stay more engaged, live longer, all those sorts of things.


Nick: And ultimately, one of the things that we’ll have conversations with people, sometimes people come in with an open mind thinking like, “Hey, this might be happening. I may spend more money.” Other times we have people that they’re absolutely convinced, ” No I’m going to spend 50%, 60% of what I spent before.” And that’s sometimes the question to them is, “Why would you? Is that what you want to do? Or is this just something that you read?” Because I would guess ultimately you want to enjoy what you’ve saved up for and worked hard for. So, at what point in life or maybe even in the last 30 years, one of the questions, at one point in the last 30 years, have you lived only for needs and realistically here in the U.S That’s for most people that’s not too common, ultimately we live in the things that we bought. We enjoy the times that we want to spend with others, all those sorts of things. So, that’s an important conversation to have.


Speaker 1: No, I definitely agree with you there. John, retirees are facing more problems than ever too. Well society, we’re all facing more problems than ever before, social media, so on and so forth. Just the inundation of information, but longevity, I think maybe longevity guys might be a key to this whole conversation today because it magnifies all of these things. And that’s certainly going to be the case when juggling more problems because we’re living longer, so much longer, the body’s able, we’re figuring out lots of great ways to keep the body going, but sometimes we’re having some difficulties when it comes to the mental side, dementia is on the rise, things of that nature. And that gets pretty costly.


John: Yeah. Yeah. Previously we talked about retirement changing, people had pensions which lasted for their life. And the shift has been away from pensions to putting the responsibility on the individual where now they have just basically savings, whether it’s cash or investments or whatever, but now you need to be very cautious, we have to be very careful that that’s going to last you 30 plus years. And that’s why it’s important to have the plan to make sure that your money is going to last throughout retirement, which is really the biggest concern for retirees. Some other things we’ve seen popping up more recently and we’ve just dealt with this with a client where their they’re aging parents, they were providing financial assistance for their parents in assisted living facilities and things like that, or having helpers.


John: So I have one client where they’re were assisting their parents with that. So they weren’t really going on vacation and enjoying their time. And then the parent passed away and then with everything that’s happened recently, their son lost a job and then they were not helping out their son with expenses. So it was a double whammy for them is that they can’t truly enjoy retirement because they’re helping family members out, which again, no one plans for this, you just happen in this situation, but it’s something that you always want to keep track of.


Nick: Yeah. That’s kind of that sandwich generation that they talk about a little bit and it really started coming to the forefront back during the recession, ’08, ’09, ’10, where there was a lot of kids coming out of college, couldn’t get jobs, parents aging, all these sorts of things. So I would say baby boomers definitely have their hands full with all the different things that they have to juggle. And so having peace of mind of having that plan in place and understanding how their money is going to work in retirement is more important than ever.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, and like I said, longevity is probably the key to this whole conversation. So we have to sell fun. Right? We don’t have pensions now. Well, not many do. Right? So I think something like 15% or less of the population has pensions. It’s an interesting statistic, but we’re talking 30, 40 years. I was just chatting with somebody yesterday, guys who they’re 72 and their mom and dad both are still alive. They’re in their 90s and they’re also dealing with helping their 40 year old children. So there’s a lot in this to unpack.


Nick: Yeah. Yeah. We see it all the time. We see it all the time and it can be pretty stressful. And a lot of times what we’ll try to do and go through with people and this even ties into some other previous podcasts, that we’ll have from the perspective of, “Hey, my kids are looking to buy a house. I want to give them money for a down payment.” And we’ll talk about things like, “All right, well, where does that money have to come from? How does it impact your overall plan?”


Nick: So we try to walk it through and we try, we joke where we try not to be the money police and tell people what they can and can’t do, but we just help them understand the impact of their decisions and trying to make sure that they do it from a perspective of viewing their retirement first and making sure that they’re okay because they also don’t want to be a burden down the line for their kids. So it can be a really slippery slope and making sure that the decisions that are made along the way position them to be able to help, but it can be difficult, especially like you said, planning for that 30, 40 year retirement.


Speaker 1: Yeah, definitely. And it’s a situation where we’re just going to continue to see more of it. So having a good strategy, having a good plan is going to be paramount to getting through all these hurdles and things that we’ve got going on. Because I imagine at the end of the day, nobody comes in and says, “Hey, I’d like to have less of a lifestyle than I have now in retirement.” No one wants to go backwards. So you want to make sure that you are having those conversations to move yourself forward or at least maintain into retirement. So that’s our topic this week. So we all know things are different than they were 20 or 30 years ago. But when you really start dissecting it, especially from a financial standpoint, there’s just a lot to unpack.


Speaker 1: So sit down and have a conversation. If you’re not already with a team that can help you like the team at PFG Private Wealth, John and Nick, and the whole team there to get on the counter, reach out to them. (813) 286-7776. If you’ve got some questions or concerns, reach out on the website if you’d like to as well pfgprivatewealth.com, that’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show. Retirement Planning Redefined on your smartphone there. If you’ve got an Apple phone, for example, Apple Podcasts is already on your phone. You can just open up that app and type in Retirement, Planning Redefined, and subscribe that way or Google or whatever platform you use. Most of that stuff’s already pre-installed on your phones anyway, but you can find it all at pfgprivatewealth.com. Guys, thanks for hanging out with me this week. I appreciate it. John. I’m bummed that he’s not going to make me a wicker basket.


John: I’ve been trying to get one, he won’t do it.


Nick: I’m not the creative type.


Speaker 1: Not the creative type. All right, guys. Well, thanks for hanging out again. I appreciate it. I’ll see you next time. John, take care, buddy.


John: Have a good one.


Speaker 1: We’ll see you later. Nick, take care. Have yourself a good week.


Nick: All right. You too. Take care.


Speaker 1: We’ll talk to you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth.

Ep 34: Learning Through Uncommon Sense

On This Episode

At first glance, each of these statements seem like basic common sense that everyone agrees with. But when we look at the way people actually behave with their money, it seems that common sense is actually a bit uncommon.

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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:


Speaker 1: Hey everybody. Welcome in to the podcast. This is Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick. Hanging out with me talking investing, finance, and retirement. Uncommon Sense is going to be our theme on this podcast. I’ve got some statements here that I think all of us agree are basic common sense. But yet when we go to do these things, we tend to do the opposite. We act a bit uncommon. So that’s going to be good. We’re going to have a fun conversation with this and stick around. We’re going to jump into that. But first let’s welcome the guys in and see what’s going on. John, how are you, buddy?


John: Good. How are you doing?


Speaker 1: Hanging in there pretty good. We were just chatting before we rolled the tape here on the podcast. A little sleepy. The kids did not want to cooperate last night. But other than that, things are going good for you?


John: Yeah, yeah. Things are going well.


Speaker 1: Very good. Very good. And Nick, how are you, my friend?


Nick: Doing pretty well. We’re staying busy. The heat is starting to settle in, in Florida here. So although I’d say we had a pretty awesome spring weather wise.


Speaker 1: Yeah.


Nick: The humidity is starting to kick in. So kind of a realization that John and I were talking about the other day, that we can’t believe it’s already between COVID, chaos of everything going on, that it’s already almost halfway through the year, so.


Speaker 1: Well, 2020 was like the longest decade ever, even though it was only a year.


Nick: Yeah.


Speaker 1: And then this year seems to be hauling pretty fast. So it’s going pretty quickly. Hey, speaking of the weather, actually, how did the event go? Last time, we did the podcast, the prior one, we chatted a little bit about the golf tourney you guys were working on. How’d that go?


John: It went really well. We ended up having about 108 golfers total, which we were told for a first event would be excellent.


Speaker 1: That’s awesome.


John: We hit that goal. And we’re just finalizing the numbers. But it looks like we’re going to be doing some pretty, a good size donations to Pepin Academies and then Southeastern Guide Dogs. So we’re excited about that. And we actually, the winning team’s going to get a nice invitational jacket, so we’re getting them sized up. So they’re excited about that. That was kind of a surprise to them. So at the end we had a tailor there, and getting their sizes and showed them the jacket and they were pretty excited about it.


Speaker 1: Very cool. So are you guys hustling and bustling all through that? Did you enjoy the process of putting an event together like that? And would you definitely do it again?


John: Nick, do you want to take that one?


Nick: Yeah. It was an interesting sort of a learning process. It’s always, just like anything else, there’s a lot of collaboration. And so, a lot of people, a lot of bodies required. And it’s a first-time event, having to get everybody on the same page and organized. It was a little chaotic. But ultimately we chatted about this in our meeting afterwards. Ultimately, I think the experience for the people that participated was smooth. And if you ask them, they wouldn’t have even noticed the things that we did as putting it on.


Speaker 1: Right.


Nick: The feedback that we received was good. A lot of money went to charity. So all’s well that ends well.


Speaker 1: The hallmark of a good event then if the participants think it’s great and it runs smoothly, they don’t need not know about the chaos. Right. That’s the way you know you’ve done a good job. So very cool. Well, kudos guys. Glad to hear that. I’ll be looking forward to some final numbers later.


John: Yeah, yeah. We had a very good team all around. So it was a truly team effort to get it done, so.


Speaker 1: That’s great.


John: It was good to work with everybody.


Speaker 1: That’s awesome. That’s great. I’m glad to hear that. And definitely look forward to hearing more about that in the future. But for now, let’s go ahead and jump into our topic this week. Again, like I said, guys, I’ve got some statements here, some basic axioms that we all hold to be accurate. I think we all would say that that’s common sense. We all agree with it. But yet what you guys see and what advisors see all across the country, a lot of times with these is people tend to do the opposite.


Speaker 1: So talk through that a little bit, what you see and maybe some ways to counteract that. And we’ll start with a classic, which is the buy low and sell high. You’re not going to find a single person that disagrees with that theory. We do that. I don’t know, gas shopping, right? Gas has been going up. So you’re like, oh, hey, I heard it’s 5 cents cheaper over at this station, and you’ll go over there. But when it comes to investing, it’s almost always the opposite: If you are undisciplined or don’t have a plan type investor where you panic and you do the wrong thing.


John: Yeah. And I think the reason why is really emotion. Investing becomes very emotional because it’s your money, it’s your nest egg. You’re going to see it there. So when that dives into it just, it’s very hard to make easy decisions. And a perfect example is the pandemic in 2020 when it started in March. Stocks dropped very fast. I think over like a two or three week period, there was an almost 30 to 40% drop of the S&P, and which is a great opportunity to buy stocks cheap. But what we’re hearing from some people it’s, hey, should I sell? And then really it should have been, should I be buying more into it? But against the uncertainty, the emotions of not knowing what’s going to happen. A similar thing happened in 2008. With the bank and liquidity concerns, same thing here. Stocks were dropping. Good time to buy. But the thought process and emotion made people do the reverse.


Nick: Yeah. And it’s tricky because intuitively sometimes you look at what’s happening and oftentimes by the time that most people in general, kind of in the general public, notice what’s happening, a lot of the volatility’s already happened. So in other words, once they notice it’s really going down, it’s already gone down a bunch and once they notice it’s going up, it’s already gone up a bunch. And so tend to be late on both sides, which is not good.


Nick: And John and I will kind of joke with each other where I’m definitely the more emotional one out of both of us and he’s less so. And so, we absolutely understand the emotions of things, and even being in day-to-day, it’s important to understand how it is. It really just kind of goes back to having a plan. And that’s what we try to do even back in, when everything went down with the pandemic is bring everybody back to the plan. Make them realize that, hey, we’ve got a plan for these sorts of things. These are unfortunate times. But we have these things baked in for happening, and so we’re just going to hold the line.


Speaker 1: Well, I think with emotion being the culprit there, that’s why working with an advisor in a good team is helpful. I’m not going to say you guys are disinterested. You obviously clearly care about your clients and what you do for them because it’s very important work. But at the same time, you can’t approach it with a little bit less passion, I suppose, or panic than the person might. Because to your point, John, it’s their money, right? And you guys are going to do the very best that you can for it. But it helps you make, it helps you look at things a little bit more objectively, I guess that’s where I’m trying to go with that. So.


John: Yeah.


Speaker 1: That’s a good way to do it. So, that’s one. Let’s go with a second one here. Not paying any more in taxes than we have to. Well, that’s like a duh, right? Nobody volunteers to sign up to … I don’t think anybody’s standing out on the street corner with a sign saying, Let me pay more taxes, please. Yet, when you guys start to look at things and you work with an advisor and a CPA and they start digging into people’s financial and retirement situations, often we are paying more than we need to be. We’re not being as efficient as we could be, I suppose.


Nick: Yeah. And some of the areas that we’ll see these sorts of things are, and again, this will tie into the emotional decisions, which we definitely understand money’s emotional. But as an example, somebody’s retiring or getting close to retiring, maybe they’ve got 80 to $100,000 left on their mortgage and they want to cash out a bunch of money from retirement accounts, and just pay it off quicker in one fell swoop. And they may not realize from a timing standpoint, number one, the impact that a large distribution like that could have on their taxes. And then the snowball effect that it might have on costs of Medicare or different things like that. So, having a strategy and always going back to the idea of planning long-term and having different types of accounts that have different types of taxation in retirement, it’s really important.


Speaker 1: Yeah. I would agree with you on that because taxes, there’s all those little things like, it’s not what we make, it’s what we keep, so on and so forth. But there is a lot more ways to be efficient when it comes to, especially for retirees and pre-retirees, when it comes to taxes. And of course, everything we’re seeing right now with increased spending and inflation and so on and so forth, taxes is going to continue to be a really integral part of our retirement plan. So it’s important to make sure that you’re working with somebody who is taking that into account.


Speaker 1: And another important part of this is keeping costs low, guys. Like I said earlier about the gas situation or bargain shopping, pretty much everybody’s looking at buy one, get one free, or 50% off things. We look for these kinds of things in all aspects of life. But then again, when it comes to investing, sometimes we’re not thinking about that. You’ll have the person say, I want to keep costs low. And my guy or gal only charges me 1%, and they’re really not taking into account everything else, as well, right?


John: Yeah. That’s absolutely correct. Again, it can be taking into consideration from a common sense standpoint. But sometimes there are better times to buckle down on certain things than others. And ultimately you’re just trying to make solid decisions with the information that you have available to you. So, it’s anybody. You mentioned inflation. It’s always interesting with things like that because anybody that has gone to the grocery store in the last two years, they know that things cost more. And so it doesn’t when it’s not talked about in the media as much or whatever. They might talk about it with their friends or complain about it with their spouse or something like that.


John: But then when it starts being talked about in the media, it catches up. So ultimately, I think people know that these sorts of things have been happening. But now that it’s being talked about more, in general, and there are other assets that are tracked more from a consumer price index and those sorts of things, to actually show inflation is a legitimate thing. Especially with all of the money that’s been being printed for the last decade, really. Now it’s a good time to reassess and make some smart decisions to keep costs down.


Speaker 1: Yeah. No, definitely. There’s hidden fees in all those little things, and that’s actually going to lead into my next one here. For example, I’m going to pull a grandma-ism, guys. Another one of these axioms we hear is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. And I’m going to take this from the standpoint of people who have a lot of the same thing, they’ll say, John or Nick, I’ve got 10 mutual funds that I got from 10 different companies, right. So I’m “clearly diversified” and I’m not getting charged very much. And they’re completely wrong in both of those counts.


John: Yeah. We see that a lot in the 401k space because a lot of that is the people are picking their own funds and they’ll do stuff like that where they’ll pick six, seven mutual funds or whatever. And they say, hey, “I’m diversified.” But in reality, they’re all similar type funds. So for example, they all could be large cap funds. So what that means is when the market goes up, they’re all going to do relatively the same thing. Give or take some percentage points on which one’s performing a little bit better. When the market goes down, they’re going to do the same thing.


John: The whole point of diversifying is so that the portfolio has some zig and zag. So kind of sounds weird to say this, but in reality, when something’s going up, you want something else going down or not doing what the other investment are doing. And that actually comes down to proper asset allocation where you have maybe some large cap funds, and then you also have some fixed income funds and some real estate. So everything’s not the same type of asset class. And that’s really what you want to focus on. On really diversifying is not just having multiple funds, but having the right mix of multiple funds.


Nick: And even in addition to that, diversify from the perspective of taxes. You don’t necessarily, we feel, end up in retirement with only having pre-tax money that’s going to be fully taxed at whatever bracket that you’re in, in retirement.


Speaker 1: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Nick: These good examples currently, there’s a decent chance and we’ve been talking about it for years, but there’s a decent chance that taxes will go up. There’s a price for printing money for a long time. Whether it’s cutting taxes and more spending, et cetera, eventually there is going to be a price for that. So having options from the perspective of pre-tax money, broth money, a taxable brokerage account, what that utilizes capital gains, all these sorts of things end up really paying off down the road.


Speaker 1: A lot of times that whole diversification conversation comes back into play with people. And often what you guys find, John, to your point, you were talking about that a little bit is that somebody who’s got a lot of the same thing. There’s just a ton of overlap. And typically, it’s almost always large cap or something. And if you think about this year, right, small cap was outperforming large cap in the first quarter. And maybe you don’t have enough here and there. And that’s that point of that having a little bit. That’s when something’s going up, something is going down. Most people just don’t truly realize that. They think, oh, I’ve got a target date fund; I’m groovy. Or whatever that looks like. And then what ends up happening for the last one is that you have people then turn around and say, ooh, I want to jump in on dogecoin, or whatever, because Elon Musk made a tweet. And then the next week he makes another tweet and the thing tanks. And so market timing is virtually impossible.


John: Yeah, correct. Ultimately, you can’t do it. It comes back to what we talked about earlier. When people are trying to time the market, it’s really emotional of saying, hey, when’s a good time to get in or get out. And this was something that we saw a little bit about, not necessarily so much with the pandemic, a lot of people stayed the course and maybe because it happened so fast. But with the election at the end of last year, either way we saw people that were trying to pull out and time it depending on who won the election on when to get back in.


John: And unfortunately it didn’t work out. And it doesn’t work … Either way it doesn’t work out because it’s always so hard to say, hey, now is the right time because as we saw, the market went up. And then it’s like, well, do I go in now or do I wait until it goes down? And you can find over the last five or six, seven years, if you’ve been waiting, you’ve been waiting a long time to get back in. So it’s always best to have a plan and stick to your plan and make sure that you’re invested correctly so you can just stay the course of what you’re trying to do.


Nick: And even further with that, ultimately, if you decide that you’re going to exit and try to time it, the time that you have to then get back in, is usually the most basically, disgusting time to have to do it.


Speaker 1: When it hurts.


Nick: It’s the most painful time. It’s the time of the most chaos because that’s usually where the bottom is. And so it’s really difficult to try to time that.


Speaker 1: Yeah.


Nick: In fact, we’ve had conversations with clients before where we say, hey, our objective is to hold the line. If you want to exit, we’ll exit for you, but you got to tell us when to get back in. We’re not going to exit at your request and then move in at our determination.


Nick: If we’re going to exit, then you also have to let us know when to enter back in. And so sometimes we’ve found that, putting it in that, in those terms, ultimately ends up helping people just decide to hold the line. Once they realize like, oh, well, I’ve got to tell you when to get back in? Then that helps them realize, oh, okay, I get it. Like, I’m probably not going to be able to do that. Or by the time that I feel comfortable enough to tell you, it’s too late.


Speaker 1: Yeah. You’re right back at that emotional sticking point, right? To your point of it’s typically it’s painful or it’s the worst time, or it’s just really uncomfortable to do it. And of course, you’re trying to be right twice in something that is super, super fickle. So again, these are all some basic common sense things we can all agree on. And yet we tend to do the opposite. And that’s where it comes into play to really work with a team who does this day in and day out to help us through those things so that we don’t trip ourselves up. As the saying goes, “We’re often our own worst enemy.” So do yourself a favor if you haven’t done so. Have a conversation about your retirement journey and some of the things that we’ve covered today on the podcast.


Speaker 1: Reach out to John and Nick. As always, you should check with a qualified professional before you take any action on anything you hear anyway on our show or any others financially-related. So reach out to John and Nick at (813) 286-7776. That’s (813) 286-7776. Or stop by the website, pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, Retirement Planning Redefined. You can find all the information right there at the website. Again to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever platform you like. I’m going to sign off this week for John and Nick and myself. So thanks for hanging out with us here on the show, and we’ll catch you next time on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick.

Ep 33: Fact Or Fiction

On This Episode

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

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

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


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

John: I’m doing good. How are you?

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

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

Marc: That’s great.

John: But we are definitely not running.

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

John: We’re probably not golfing either.

Nick: [crosstalk 00:01:47].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick: All right, thanks Marc.

John: Thanks, have a good one.

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