On This Episode
On this episode, we will continue our conversation on what expenses may change when you enter into retirement.
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PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.
Here is a transcript of today’s episode:
Mark: Back here for another episode of the podcast with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. On Retirement Planning Redefined, we’re going to get back into our conversation from the prior episode about cashflow. We went through some categories, housing, work stuff, healthcare, taxes, so on and so forth, on how those expenses will change either to the plus or the minus, depending on our setup. Well, this is the time to talk about the setup. So as we are assessing our retirement expenses, we’ll break these down into a couple of categories. So we’re going to talk about those with the guys. John, welcome in buddy. How you doing this week?
John: Hey, I’m doing all right. How are you?
Mark: Hanging in there. Doing pretty well. How about you, Nick?
Nick: Pretty good. Staying busy.
Mark: Staying busy and enjoying. So we’re taping this before the fourth, but we’re dropping this after the fourth, so hopefully you guys had a good fourth? Nick, you probably went up and saw family, yeah?
Nick: Heading up north to just, yeah, extended family and friends. That fourth week makes it an easier week to get away because everyone’s doing stuff anyways.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. It’s always funny when we have the holidays and we’re kind of taping the podcast ahead of time because then drop it because we’re not around, so sometimes I get confused on my dates. So yeah, again, we’re talking about this before the fourth about what we’ll probably will be doing on the fourth. So John, are you on grill duty? Because I know I am. I’m stuck on it.
John: No, no. My brother’s forcing me to have a cookout at my house, so I told him if I’m providing the house, he’s the one on grill duty.
Mark: Okay, that’ll work.
John: He’s visiting from Boston, so he’s excited because my other brother’s down here and my sister, cousin, and actually the best man in his wedding is married to my sister, so he decided to come down.
Mark: So Marketing 101. So the second you said Boston, all I hear is these Sam Adams commercials right now, “Your cousin from Boston.” Every freaking time I hear Boston, that’s the first thing I think of. Or Sam Adams beer, I go right there. All through the hockey playoffs and NBA playoffs, I kept seeing those commercials so it’s embedded in my brain. But hey, that’s the point of marketing, right, is to be those little earworms, so you go out and buy whatever it is that you go out and buy. And speaking of that, that’s my transition into the must haves versus the nice to haves. So if we’re talking about those accounts, those different categories that we went through on the prior episode, guys, how do those things now play into for our cashflow? Again, cashflow is the conversation wraparound, it’s the wrapper of this whole endeavor. We need to break this down. And do you guys do this with clients? Is it something you encourage them to do, because everybody’s individual needs and wants are going to be a little bit differently, but do you break things up in the must-haves versus the nice to haves?
Nick: I would say to a certain extent, we do. We kind of list basic expenses and discretionary expenses.
Mark: So give us some musts. What’s the musts?
Nick: So obviously housing, healthcare, food and groceries, some form of transportation, whether it’s one vehicle, two vehicles. Getting rid of debt. Those are all things that are obviously needs. [inaudible 00:03:02]
Mark: Life essentials, right?
Nick: Yeah, for sure, for sure. Depending upon the people, some things are discretionary. I would say most of the people that we work for can’t afford to have some sort of traveling in retirement.
Mark: Yeah, so is two trips a year or is it five trips a year? That’s kinds how it starts to change?
Nick: Yeah, exactly. Or even a big trip every X amount of years. So like a baseline travel budget of X, and then let’s add one of the things that we commonly do is, let’s say the travel budget is $6,000 a year from a baseline standpoint, and then every three years they want to do an additional trip of another 6,000, that’s one trip. And so we can scatter that in throughout the plan and show them what it looks like and toggle that on and off. And with how we do planning, we can show them the impact of doing something like that and what it does to their plan. So for the higher tier, nice to have. For discretionary expenses, we will use our planning software and kind of show them, Hey, here’s the impact on your plan if you want to do that. Because we always preface everything, it’s telling people that it’s your money, we’re not telling you how to spend your money or what to do with your money, our job is to show you the impact of the decisions that you make.
Mark: That makes sense, yeah.
Nick: So let’s arm you with that information so that you understand if you do these things, then let’s make an adjustment accordingly. And for sometimes it helps them put into perspective where not everything is a yes or a no. And what I mean by that is, well, let’s just say that there’s two lifetime trips that they wanted to really do, and so they like to have a bigger travel budget, but really when you boil it down, it’s like, okay, I want to make sure I go to these two places. So we make sure that we can accomplish those and make adjustments elsewhere. [inaudible 00:04:58]
Mark: Yeah, because the must … I’m sorry to cut you off, but I was thinking about this as you were saying it. The must-haves, like the housing, the health, food, you’re not going to have any kind of discretionary wiggle room. Well, you don’t want to. Now you could say, okay, we’ll eat less food, or something like that, but that’s not the goal in retirement, you don’t want to go backwards. So the place typically we do make some adjustments in the cuts are in the nice to have categories.
Nick: Yeah, and usually it’s almost more of a toggle where even to a certain extent of, we’ve had conversations where, hey, if things are going really well in the markets and we’re able to take advantage and take a little extra money out in years where things have gone well, that’s kind of the impetus to do this sort of thing.
Mark: Kind of pad the numbers a little bit.
Mark: John, let me get you on here for, besides the expenses we covered, some of the things we went through, what are some contributing factors that will affect cashflow problems that you guys see in retirement? So all these different things, whether it’s healthcare, housing, whether it’s whatever, give me some bullet points here for folks to think about on things that can, not in a category per se, but like outside effectors, outside influencers, that can really cause us cashflow problems in retirement.
John: The number one I’d say, concern for most people going through retirement is longevity. How long does my money need to last?
Mark: And that’s the great multiplier, right? Because if you live longer, it makes everything else go up.
John: Correct. Yeah. So that’s one thing we look at, and we do plans. We’re planning for age 100, and we’ll always get people like, well, I’m not living that long. But the thing is, that’s always …
Mark: What if you do?
John: Exactly. So it’s like, Hey, listen, if you live to 100, guess what?
Mark: You’re covered.
John: Your plan looks good. You could live to 90 and the plan looks good. So we always plan for, we again, overestimate the expenses, overestimate the life expectancy,
Mark: And then you don’t have to live with your cousin in Boston, right?
John: Exactly. That’s right.
Mark: All right. What else besides longevity?
John: Another big one we’re seeing right now is inflation. Because with retirement, you’re not getting a paycheck anymore, so your ability to earn is now gone. So your nest egg is providing that income for you and social security. And keeping up with inflation, especially the last few years has been a challenge for quite a few people. And mostly I would say for me, I’ve noticed my food bill has gone up drastically in the last couple of years, more than anything else is really. Because we talked about musts and nice to have, if trips go up, you could say, all right, I’m going to go on a little bit lesser trip, or not go as much, but you know, you got to eat and you got to have healthcare. So those things there are big ones to really consider going into retirement and to be aware of, is the plan [inaudible 00:07:42]
Mark: Yeah, a friend of mine, for Memorial Day, we were talking about cookouts earlier, so we got July 4th, you’re probably hearing this after July 4th, but how much did it cost you to buy this stuff? So a friend of mine posted a picture around Memorial Day that he bought three steaks, and he lived in the New York area, Nick, actually. And the tag on the thing was like 60 bucks for three steaks. It was like, holy moly. And I know different parts of the country are more expensive than others, but it was just where I’m at, it was like, wow. And they weren’t like that impressive of a steak. So to your point, you got to eat.
Nick: To be honest with you, I think there’s a little bit of …
Mark: Price gouging.
Nick: … ridiculousness and price gouging going on right now from the perspective of a lot of different areas. I just got my six months notice on my car insurance, I’ve been complaining to everybody about it. One vehicle, no accidents [inaudible 00:08:34]
John: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Nick, this isn’t a therapy session, right?
Mark: Well remembered, well remembered, John, from the prior episode. Very good.
Nick: Yes. I drive probably 7,000 miles a year at the most and paying almost $2,500 a year for car insurance. But the crazy part is that, so okay, if it’s always been high, that’s one thing, but two years ago when I had switched companies, it was about 1,700. So again, we take …
Nick: Do the math on that. I’m sorry, but 50% is not inflation, there’s some 50% in two years and it’s kind of wild. And then even just going, the area that we’re in has been massive growth in this area, but even what the restaurants are charging, and it’s just inflation impacts different areas differently.
Mark: It’s an excuse. I mean, just like anything, we’ve turned it into excuse, just like the supply chain problem issue. A friend of mine was trying to get his RV worked on and they were like, well, we’re still having supply chain issues for a valve. And it’s like, really, a valve on an RV, it’s been three years. I don’t know if supply chain issue really holds in that argument, but if companies are dragging their feet or employers, somebody’s just taking long, that’s just an excuse. And I think that’s the same thing with the inflation. Is it real? Yes. But to your point, are some of these numbers really truly justified? But they can use that, well, inflation’s bad. That’s the excuse they use in order to hit you with a 50% increase.
Nick: Yeah, and I’d say from a planning perspective, because people get concerned about that from a planning perspective, and saying, well, hey, we had much higher inflation last year than we did in our plan moving forward, and [inaudible 00:10:27]
Mark: Are we going to be okay to survive it, yeah.
Nick: Yeah, and the easiest way that we mitigate that from a planning perspective is we reprice current expenses. So in other words, repricing the current expenses allows us to take that into consideration, the increases that we’ve had, and then use more normal rates moving forward, which is how you more accurately display that from a planning side of things.
Mark: Gotcha. All right, John, so you hit us with longevity and inflation as a couple of areas that can contribute to cashflow problems. Give me a couple more before we wrap up this week.
John: Investment returns is another spot, depending on what type of plan you do or type of planning, if some people will really have their income depend on what their portfolio is returning for them.
Mark: So we’re talking about sequence of return risk, kind of thing?
John: Yeah. So if you having a down year and there’s not as much income coming in from your portfolio, well that could ultimately affect your cashflow. Or if it’s a down year, and we go back to longevity of, Hey, how long is my portfolio going to last, just have a 20% dip in the market, you’re going to be a little concerned about pulling out in that period of time, because once you pull out, you know, you realize those losses, and there’s no more recovering [inaudible 00:11:41]
Mark: Yeah, it’s a double way, it’s the market’s down and you’re pulling money out. So the truth that makes the longevity factor interesting. Okay.
John: So one more thing on this. This is really important, and especially what we’re seeing in the last couple of years where you have some type of plan where if you are dependent on that, you have almost like a different bucket to pull from in a time like this. So you really want to position yourself to be able to adapt to downturns in the market which could affect your income.
Nick: One of the things, and I’ve been having this conversation quite a bit lately, is that previous to last year, for the dozen years leading up to that, rates in return on fixed or cash and cash equivalence was so low, you couldn’t get any return on that money, that really people shifted predominantly, or at least in a large way, to take more risks, meaning more upside, so more heavily on the [inaudible 00:12:39]
Mark: Well, because the market was going up too. We get addicted to that, so it’s very easy to go, well, it does nothing but climb, it’s done it for 12 years in a row, so let’s keep going, right?
Nick: Yeah. And a little bit of that’s a circle where it’s part of the reason it kept climbing, is because people were saying, well, and not just, but it’s just a contributing factor where it’s like, well, hey, I’m literally getting zero return here. So inflation’s eating away at my money anyways, I might as well take a little bit more risk. And so earlier this year in the majority of our client portfolios, we took some money off the table because now we can get four to 5% in something that has no risk, and that lets us kind of at least take a deep breath, see what’s going on, get some sort of return, where most of our plans, we use five to 6% in retirement anyways.
Mark: Yeah, that’s a good point. You just got to be careful, right? Because we don’t know how long those rates will last either, so you don’t want to lock yourself into anything too hefty either, without making sure it’s the correct move for you. Especially, I’m thinking more like CDs for example.
Nick: Yeah. We still target things that are short term, that sort of thing. But for a retiree, even from the perspective of, let’s just use the million dollar number, there’s a huge difference between five years ago, where if you wanted to do a one year CD and you could get 0.8%, that’s $8,000 on a million bucks versus 5%, even just for a year, now it’s 50,000 of income. I mean, one is you can’t pay your bills, another one is going to be much more comfortable. So for a retiree, one of the sunny side or glass half full part of what we’ve been dealing with from an inflation perspective, is that at least there’s a little bit more return on safer money as we try to re-plan and readjust.
Mark: Yeah. No, that makes sense. So one more category here that I want to hit for just cashflow problems in retirement, John, you did longevity inflation and investment returns. I’m going to assume the fourth one’s probably just the emergencies, the things that life throws at you in retirement years?
John: Yeah, a hundred percent. Emergency funds, it’s [inaudible 00:14:44]
Mark: Got to have one.
John: … for that, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.
Mark: Murphy’s Law’s going to happen, right?
John: Murphy’s Law’s been happening for the last three years. So basically a big one is healthcare expenses, which we touched on as a must have. So big health event could really dip into your emergency funds. Or again, especially here in Florida with the roofs, have talked to some clients and friends who basically were having homeowners insurance issues here, and then carriers are basically saying, Hey, for you to get renewed, you need a new roof. And all of a sudden it’s like, what? I just go, my roof’s fine. It’s like, well, it’s outdated, you know, you need a new one, or else [inaudible 00:15:24]
Mark: And so they’re not covering maybe the full cost or some of the cost, I guess, but they won’t insure you.
John: I had some friends actually get notices saying, your roof’s too old. If you don’t replace it, we’re dropping coverage.
Mark: Oh geez. Okay, yeah.
John: So that’s an emergency expense.
John: Roofs aren’t necessarily cheap, so important to have an emergency fund because like you said, Murphy’s Law, you have no idea what’s going to come up and you want to be prepared for that.
Mark: Yeah. No, that’s a good point.
Nick: The roof thing is pretty wild here too, because a lot of people have tile roofs down here. And depending upon the size of the house, a tile roof is going to cost you, what John? Between 50 and a hundred thousand dollars?
John: Yeah, 50 to a hundred grand.
Mark: Really? Holy moly.
Nick: And so, yeah, and then if you’re in a neighborhood that has association rules and all these other things, it can get a little squirrely. So just understanding even little basic things like that, where especially people that came maybe from up north where it’s just shingle roofs and 10, 12 grand, 15 maybe, and then [inaudible 00:16:25]
Mark: Yeah, I was going to say, my metal roof was like 20, and that was like eight years ago.
Nick: Yeah. So there’s just things like that where we always very much emphasize having an emergency fund.
Mark: Yeah, definitely. All right, good stuff. Talking just cashflow issues, things to consider here on the podcast the last couple of weeks. So if you’re worried about the cashflow or you’re just worried about making sure your plan is accurate for the time of life you’re in, especially if you’re one of these folks that maybe got a plan, you’re like, ah, I got a plan put together like a decade ago, or whatever. Well, it’s not a set it and forget it, it shouldn’t be a set it and forget it, anyway. Even insurance policies, sometimes it’s very easy to get one and throw it in the drawer for 20 years and forget about it, but all those things can be looked at and reviewed and see if there’s a better way to put a strategy together. So if you need a first opinion or second opinion, reach out to John and Nick and the team at PFG Private Wealth. Find them online at pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever the case might be. Whichever podcasting platform app you like, just type in retirement planning redefine in the search box. Or again, find it all online, pfgprivatewealth.com. For John, Nick, I’m your host, Mark. We’ll catch you next time here on the podcast. This has been Retirement Planning Redefined.