The Ultimate 10-Point Retirement Planning Checklist

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You’ve worked hard and saved for retirement, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to retire! Get the ultimate 10-point retirement planning checklist, by listening to Karen, David, Bret and Joe on this weeks Live With Thrive.  To schedule your complimentary consultation, call us at (215) 987-2430

Joe Krause:
As we come to you on this Saturday, a very special weekend Memorial Day weekend here on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. Welcome in everyone to Roadmap to Retirement to Radio Show, I want to begin by saying this. We\’ve all worked so hard in our lives. We\’ve all made sacrifices. And if you\’re like me and you\’re 56 years old, you get to a point where you start to wonder, is it enough for retirement? What\’s my plan to reduce taxes with my IRAs and my 401(K)? What\’s my plan to file for Social Security to avoid losing out on thousands of thousands of dollars of benefits which we\’ve learned about on this program? What\’s my plan to generate income from different sources? So ,I don\’t run out of money in retirement and David now with COVID-19, what\’s my plan if I need to go back to work if I have to look for new employment because my current employer is now out of business. And on that note, I welcome everybody into Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show, and I turn it over to you, sir.

David Bezar:
Good morning, Joe. Welcome all of our audience and happy Memorial Day. I hope everybody enjoys the weekend. We\’ve got a great show lined up for everybody today. The thing that we see Joe when we do our Thrive Retirement Roadmap consults with folks is we see a lot of mistakes being made. And quite frankly, it\’s heartbreaking because it\’s often too late to do things about it. It\’s things that we can\’t kind of back out of the equation.

David Bezar:
So how do you insure yourself that you\’ve got all your bases covered in retirement? So what we\’ve got for you today is the ultimate 10 point retirement checklist from literally decades of financial planning experience. And what we\’re going to talk about is some defensive tax planning strategies that could save you a fortune. We\’re going to talk about your options to turn your savings into income workhorse in retirement, plus the best defense against skyrocketing cost of health care and long-term care, something a lot of folks don\’t think about. I\’m going to kick it over to Karen to get started on this 10 point plan.

Karen Bezar:
Thank you, David. Hello, everybody. How is everybody doing in quarantine? I just want to say happy quarantining to everybody. I don\’t know what week this is, but I\’m looking forward to life getting back to normal. But even though through all these crazy times, there has to be some sense of normalcy. One thing that you can\’t get derailed right now is your retirement plan. So if you\’re nearing retirement or in retirement, this is some great information we have for you guys today. I\’m kind of talking about my first part here is how to reduce your taxes and retirement.

Karen Bezar:
When we meet with people, one of the most asked questions and what they want the answer to is do I have enough saved for retirement? But what they don\’t realize that one of the biggest expenses that they might face in retirement is likely to be taxes. If you\’re not careful with taxes, it could take a huge chunk out of your savings. I\’m talking about taxes on your IRAs, your 401(K)s, anything you haven\’t paid income tax on, but that also affects your Social Security benefits.

Karen Bezar:
Because people don\’t realize that your Social Security check actually gets federally tax and depending on your income from all your other sources, up to 85% of your Social Security check is also affected by federal taxes. And remember, we always say that Uncle Sam is your silent partner in retirement and you can\’t forget about it. And if you\’re not focused on retirement and how taxation can affect it, it can definitely have great consequences when you\’re retired, because you\’re most likely on a fixed income at that point. So that\’s something you definitely need to plan for.

Karen Bezar:
I will say what we do when we do a full retirement plan for somebody is we focus on tax planning. Again, it\’s preparing for the future of taxation. And kind of what we look at is we take an analysis of your finances from a tax perspective with the purpose of ensuring maximum tax efficiency. That\’s something that again, that people don\’t always think about in retirement. We look at as we take a look at your financial plan when we start with how much do you need to live off of on a monthly basis.

Karen Bezar:
One of the other reports that we work on is called a tax clarity report software we use to project what your taxation could look like, with all income streams turned on at age 72. And our financial plan includes taxation. How much of a bite will taxation take out of your retirement savings? And now more than ever with everything going on, I would say unanimously, everybody we speak to, everybody you listen to on the financial news networks, everything you\’re looking at on the internet, taxation is definitely going to go up. And it\’s something that you should be concerned about. And if you plan for it, it might not be so devastating. So that\’s one of the things we look at is taxes in retirement, how can it affect you?

Karen Bezar:
And not only do we look how can it affect you but we say well, what can we do now? What kind of strategies can we do now to prevent that from happening? Something that we talked about before on the show is Roth conversions. When you meet with us we do also an analysis, doesn\’t make sense to do a Roth conversion. We kind of do a before and after picture. And that can dramatically reduce taxation in your retirement.

Karen Bezar:
The other thing we also look at is market volatility. It may present right now, as we\’ve said, opportunities if your income is down right now, and if your savings are down right now, you can definitely take advantage of that. Also, don\’t forget, you have to have a plan to withdraw money from your IRAs and 401(K)s. You don\’t want to trigger taxes to actually go up.

Karen Bezar:
And there\’s things that we talked about, could be those lovely Medicare surcharges and these are things that people are not always aware of prior to coming to us. And don\’t forget, you need to navigate your RMDs. You don\’t want to forget, if you don\’t take out enough money, there\’s a 50% tax, or I should say 50% penalty on the amount of money you forgot to take out. That\’s really, really important. So I just say you work hard all your life, you don\’t want to let taxes and future taxation derail your retirement. So certainly, it\’s something to think about. Hey, Joe, what would you do with an extra $460,791 in retirement?

Joe Krause:
Well, based on where we are today, I think that would certainly help. And going back to that initial question about retirement, no doubt.

Karen Bezar:
So that\’s how much someone could actually save in taxes on their IRAs and 401(K)s. That\’s an actual number of one of our clients who had about $1.1 million saved in their retirement accounts. And we did a strategy. We did a Roth conversion strategy that will save them over the course of their retirement lifetime $460,791. That\’s a huge chunk of money.

Karen Bezar:
So if you\’re out there and you have an IRA or 401(K), learn exactly how much money you could save with our free retirement tax analysis. This free analysis can be done over the phone or video conference and it takes no time at all. You\’ll discover defensive tax planning strategies. You could save 10s of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in your IRA or 401(K) accounts, lump-sum pensions, anything like that. And you might expect to pay hundreds of dollars for customized analysis. But we\’re going to underwrite 100% of the cost for the first 10 qualified listeners today.

Karen Bezar:
If you\’ve saved more than $250,000, call to schedule your free analysis now. Our number\’s (215)987-2430. Again, learn exactly how much money you could save in taxes and retirement by calling (215)987-2430. If we don\’t pick up just please leave a voicemail. We will certainly get back to you. Again, (215)987-2430.

Joe Krause:
All right, well done. Nice job Karen. As we get ready to go into our opening break here on Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show. It\’s a triple shot of Roadmap to Retirement here on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, including in the four o\’clock hour today. David Bazar, Karen Bazar, and Bret Elam joined Dom Giordano on the Dom Giordano Show that\’s today at 4:00 p.m. or in the four o\’clock hour. Tune in for that. As we go to the commercial break will the stock market come roaring back, or will there be more carnage? We\’ll deal with all of that when we come back on the other side back in a moment.

Joe Krause:
Back here on Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show, taxes, Social Security, RMDs, IRAs, 401(K)s risk income so many moving parts very easy to underestimate or overlook a critical issue that could cost you a fortune. Welcome back to Roadmap to Retirement. I\’m Joe Krause along with David Bazar, Karen Bazar, and Bret Elam coming up on this segment, the strategies that could help you reduce the risk. Bret and never before, well, you could have been able to say it\’s an uncertain market, but it certainly is right now.

Bret Elam:
Yeah, uncertainty to say the least Krause. I thought Karen did a phenomenal job just talking about taxes and requirement and just have that plan that withdrawal strategy plan.

Joe Krause:
We\’re in Karen zone right now because this is all about a list. Karen loves-

Bret Elam:
List.

Joe Krause:
… list, and we\’re doing that today.

Bret Elam:
And we got to 10. We\’re going to make it to 10 today actually. So number four, we want to talk about a plan to reduce your risk. So important, again, the one thing that could help you protect investments with this volatile times and again, a sinking stock market not just long ago. Two things, diversification, asset allocation. And here\’s to me, that\’s just as important is discipline. Again, holding true to that plan.

Bret Elam:
Again, a lot of people think when we talk about having that plan, it\’s all about, hey, I got a lot of years to retirement, don\’t worry about it or what\’s my age? Again, we got to be disciplined with an approach. And we talked about different buckets Krause. The true benefits of diversification, number one is the objective is to get the most out of our returns as possible. That\’s number one. And that\’s what everyone always concentrates on. The top-line number.

Bret Elam:
But here\’s number two and number two to me Krause is just as important, if not more important, is protecting against downside risks. We\’ll call the true benefits of diversification. We just came out of the draft day is talking about protecting the blindside, Krause. And that\’s what number two is the benefit of diversification is managing risk to protect the portfolio from what investors cannot see. That\’s the appropriate amount of diversification. Again, to protect the downside. That\’s it right there.

Bret Elam:
So many times Krause, we\’ve seen over the last couple months here, again since COVID had started. And that\’s where we\’ve seen people panicking. Because it\’s all or nothing. We see people 100% of their assets in cash. We see people 100% of their assets in annuities. We see 100% of their assets in preferred stocks. We see 100% of their assets in stocks. Too much of any one thing is not a good thing, diversification.

Bret Elam:
And here\’s the most important thing that we see with David, Karen and I, and the rest of our team here at Thrive. We see the opportunity of people all the time coming in, and we ask for specific documents. But when we start talking about their plan for risk, do you know where that plan exists Krause? And here\’s the problem in their head. And when you have a plan that it\’s in your head to me and what we define that here at Thrive, that\’s a goal.

Bret Elam:
When we talk about a plan, a plan needs to be written down because sometimes we can\’t remember what just happened yesterday, what\’s in our mind. But if we have something that\’s written down, and all of a sudden that anxiety kicks in, oh my gosh, what\’s my plan? What am I going to do? I have a piece of paper that was well orchestrated, put some time into it. It allows people to sleep well at night that with all the uncertainties of the ups and downs, ups, and downs, you know what? I have a plan. I have an approach. I know what the plan that I\’ve created. And that\’s what we\’re passionate in is sitting down with people to develop that plan, to most importantly, stay discipline.

Bret Elam:
Because we need to be rational with all the volatility that we\’ve seen here over the last couple months. And especially with what we\’re going to see out here with future taxation increases. It\’s all about discipline, all about diversification, not just with related to risk, but everything that we chatted about today. And here\’s what to me that moves that\’s directly correlated with talking about risk. And one thing that we see ignored all the time and it\’s really over the past 18 months, we had the stock market correction that was in the fourth quarter of 2018. And then just given obviously the present with the volatility with COVID, is we don\’t see people rebalance their portfolios enough.

Bret Elam:
So now we come up with a great laid out strategy have this much in stocks, this much in cash, this much in annuities, this much in bonds, etc. And then all of a sudden, we see this dramatic volatility. Diversification just recently is not a one time task. It\’s something that needs to be reviewed often enough. I say enough because it\’s not… And there\’s no one answer for all people. It\’s all about having that plan.

Bret Elam:
What rebalancing is let\’s say, I decide today, \”Hey, I\’m going to put 60% of my portfolio in stocks and 40% of it in bonds,\” again, completely hypothetical. Well, you had from the end of February to the end of March. Well, that stock market part of the portfolio all of a sudden 60% lost to third down to 40%. So now all of a sudden we had a portfolio that was 50/50, stocks, and bonds. A lot of times a time to go look at. And again, maybe some people think it\’s too short, some people might think, hey, it\’s now time to rebalance. Again, everyone\’s situation is a little bit unique.

Bret Elam:
So what it means in that situation is we would look to maybe sell off a little bit of the bonds to go back into the stocks. So we get back to that true 60/40 ratio that we agreed made sense. Again, being disciplined. And if we have in our mind what we want to do, but we can\’t remember with everything else that\’s going on. It\’s why it needs to be written down, diversification, and being disciplined. Number four, we got to have a plan to be ready to fight off all this volatility that we not only have faced or facing. I can promise you will continue to face.

Bret Elam:
So, number five, one of my favorite topics to talk about is have a plan to maximize your Social Security benefits. David\’s done a spectacular job over recent weeks talking about Social Security as well. I\’m just going to continue to reiterate some of it but go deeper. Social Security is the foundation of anyone\’s financial plan on average makes up over 60% of retirement income. I\’m just going to quote this, David chatted about last week, Social Security benefits function as a $1.5 million annuity and is the foundation of your overall retirement plan.

Bret Elam:
And hey, you get the conventional wisdom out there. I need to go take it at 62, no delay it to age 70. Or maybe I need to wait till full retirement age. Here\’s the problem is that\’s confusing. There are 567 different combinations and, you\’re ready for this one Krause over, 2700 rules in the Social Security handbook. No wonder it\’s confusing. Who in their right mind can figure out the pros and the cons? Here\’s the most important thing Krause, you go down to the Social Security Office, they are not supposed to be able to help you either. In their handbook, it says, \”Please give people enough information to make a decision, do not give advice.\” The government does not want to give us advice.

Bret Elam:
And so we need to have a place to go to. Here\’s the scariest thing that I see all the time is 96% of hard-working Americans lose on average, are you ready for this one, $111,000 in Social Security benefits, and it\’s due to critical timing mistakes. Again, conventional wisdom says delay your Social Security out to age 70. Well, we believe that too, but guess what? We\’re all about individualizing, personalizing that plan. Maybe I\’m not healthy. Maybe I should say go take it at 62. Oh my gosh, my parents both make it to 105. Again, everyone situation\’s a little bit unique. Maybe we start one earlier and one later.

Bret Elam:
Here it is, there\’s no general theme as to what anyone person should do. Five great tips that I see for people of how do we increase, how do we maximize the most amount of benefits at a social security? Here\’s the five tips, your Social Security work at least 35 years, why? We take our highest 35 years of income adjusted for inflation, that\’s where our benefit comes from. Max out your earnings through full retirement age. Again, listening audience, your full retirement age is going to be somewhere between 66 and 67. We want to try to get those high 35 years.

Bret Elam:
We said it a little bit ago obviously to increase your benefits, you want to delay benefits. Here\’s one of the most important ones, Krause, how do we maximize, understand that there\’s a lot going on with social security? Things like survivorship benefits, widow benefits, spousal benefits? Maybe I have a special needs child, how does that help me? How do I get my maximum out of the household as it pertains to social security?

Bret Elam:
The most important thing I think about that, and I shared a little bit earlier, have you made an average or an above-average income throughout your career? If so, these traditional rules for filing Social Security do not apply to you. You may think that delaying your benefits as long as possible, you\’ll do more income, but I could show you over 100 examples while following this strategy may end up costing you money. Why? Because you\’re not considering the significant impact filing for Social Security could have on your taxes, Medicare required minimum distributions and other benefits.

Bret Elam:
Learn how you could get more from your Social Security with our free customized social security analysis. The free analysis will help to show the exact timing of what you can do to get more income out of Social Security. How you can avoid triggering those higher taxes and Medicare premiums? And how all these decisions especially affect these required minimum distributions plus other benefits? The strategies we used, Krause, they\’re best suited for people who have saved over a quarter-million dollars, $250,000.

Bret Elam:
So if you and or your spouse have not yet filed for Social Security, be one of our first 10 callers and get your free analysis now by calling us at (215)987-2430. Again, that\’s (215)987-2430 what you could learn with this free analysis could help you avoid the biggest mistakes that cost 96% of Americans on average $111,000 by choosing the wrong decision. To get your free analysis again (215)987-2430. Again, that\’s (215)987-2430.

Joe Krause:
Well done. Well said, Bret. On behalf of everyone listening and everyone in the Delaware Valley and all workers, thank you for being the one individual who understands all 2700 of those rules that are in the code. Simply amazing. David Bezar now on deck as we go to a commercial break on Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show. Because you\’re going to live longer, you could spend around $500,000 on health care costs. Incredible how much money that is. David will deal with all of that on the other side of the break.

Speaker 2:
So are you a member of the Thrive army? If not, it\’s okay. You can still get a sample RMD tax report at no charge. All you have to do is go to thrivefinancialservices.tyl16lnm-liquidwebsites.com

Joe Krause:
And back here on this Memorial Day weekend, we pause for just a second to remember all of those who have fallen and we thank everybody for tuning in to Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show. Great segment by Bret. Now, as we roll into a segment three of the Big Show financial surprise is something that is running around in my head that jumps out listening to the conversation, certainly, something that we cannot have happen and that was those potential medical bills David can be huge the older we get. That\’s a big concern.

David Bezar:
Yeah, no doubt. So, we\’re on number six of our 10 point retirement checklist. So number six is to have a plan for health care and long-term care and is the key part that goes beyond Medicare. We find a lot of people to come in and visit with us have a basic understanding of how Medicare works. They may have touched on long-term care, don\’t really understand it completely. A lot of people avoid it because of the cost today. I can tell you here at Thrive, we\’re not the biggest of advocates on traditional long-term care. We think there\’s a little bit of a kind of chink in the armor, so to say.

David Bezar:
We haven\’t talked a lot about this particular topic on our show before. So I want to first kind of give some of the statistical stuff that\’s going on out there. And this is from third party. So this is not what we\’ve come up with this. This is what\’s out there from a data standpoint. One thing that pops up are the unexpected medical bills. These can be a very major concern for retirees.

David Bezar:
Let\’s go back for a second. Let\’s go to medical bills. Prescription drug are a major issue, especially for people unfortunately get chronically ill. Older people usually have a greater healthcare need and may require frequent treatment for a number of different health-related issues. So these are things that while we\’re healthy, we don\’t tend to really think are going to happen to us. And that word unexpected is a big issue.

David Bezar:
Now, next, this is the big part, healthcare costs alone are skyrocketing. The average person that\’s in their 40s today is expected to spend roughly $335,000 on health care expenses throughout retirement. Crazy, right? And we ask a lot of times in our seminars and our webinars, did you ever think that you were going to have to budget north of a quarter of a million dollars, that\’s got to fit somewhere in your retirement plan? Because okay, sometimes out of sight out of mind, Medicare costs come basically out of your Social Security check, then you go get your supplement. But if you read what Medicare covers and what your supplement covers, these are these costs well above, so-

Joe Krause:
And all of a sudden when you\’re sitting with a million-dollar retirement, and $335,000 of that is going to go for unexpected medical expenses. Oh my god.

David Bezar:
And then think about what we\’re experiencing. Think about if you\’re a retiree right now, who maybe is in their early 70s, who is experiencing some of these unfortunate situations. At the same time, the stock market in March took a 35% hit to it. So you had this idea of this net worth that you had, but you may be missed calculating that 335,000, so now we\’re down right from that million-dollar mark. And let\’s say the market came down, another goes back down another 10%, 15% or 20%, whatever it is, that really does change the landscape of what you\’re… And again, I\’m not here to try to scare people. But these are the things that you got to really be thinking about.

David Bezar:
Think about this, the average worker who lives until age 90, and we know statistically if you\’ve got a married couple that reaches the age of 65, together, there is a 50% chance that at least one of those parties is going to reach the age north of 90. So if you are going to live into your 90s or beyond that 335 number can exceed a half a million dollars. So we see a lot of people who come in and go \”Yeah, I\’m not really worried about running out of money in retirement,\” but you got to look at all the chess pieces on the board.

David Bezar:
And you may just be looking at it kind of on the surface and you don\’t kind of drill-down because this is what we get. This is the response. We go, \”Oh geez. I never really thought of that. I never had to think about that before.\” So then what happens is physics kicks in. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. Well, a mind that has been thinking something for a very long period of time, chances of it changing are pretty limited. So what we do in this conversation is we try to instigate that thought and go, \”Did you ever think about this?\”

David Bezar:
We have sent out an actual checklist and we can do that? I think we did that on the show a couple weeks back that if you called in, we were going to send out this checklist. Maybe, we\’ll do that again. And 34 different things that you got to be thinking about related to retirement. Retirees also face an astronomical long-term care costs. Seven and 10 retirees will need long-term care at some point according to the most recent data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. The average cost of a nursing care now this is a national number, Joe-

Joe Krause:
Wow.

David Bezar:
… here in Southeast Pennsylvania. We\’re more close to eight to $10,000 a month but the national number is $6800 a month. So at that rate, the typical stay for using a nursing care facility is three years. There\’s another quarter-million dollars.

Joe Krause:
David, I think that numbers going up because of COVID-19.

David Bezar:
Oh, it\’s got to, right?

Joe Krause:
Yeah.

David Bezar:
It\’s got to. I mean, that\’s a major pill to swallow. And the kicker is that Medicare won\’t help with those long-term care bills. So now, if people didn\’t do that type of planning, there\’s an issue because that\’s now expenses that are coming out of that nest egg for retirement. You culminate that with taxes, like Karen talked about making the wrong Social Security decision that Bret talked about, not diversifying your portfolio so that maybe you have losses in retirement.

David Bezar:
Again, we\’re not trying to scare anybody, but if you think about the losses, like \”Oh, yeah, we\’ve recovered,\” but we\’ve recovered purely on hysteria. And the news, gosh, there might be a vaccine, or there might be more stimulus. What does that mean once the stimulus is over? You\’re still out of a job and companies are going out of business that are never going to come back and earnings are going up for target. Earnings are going up for Walmart.

Karen Bezar:
Lowe\’s.

David Bezar:
Earnings are going up for Lowe\’s because people are bored out of their gourd right now. And they\’re spending money and the stimulus money sometimes is what they\’re spending. That was the goal. But how long does that last? I mean, like holy smokes. So long-term care is an issue.

David Bezar:
Number seven, is you got to have a diversified income plan. So what we do here at Thrive, I\’m going to pull back the curtain a little bit. For our clientele, we use a four bucket, investment portfolio strategy, a four bucket. So those buckets are equities, stocks, bonds, cash, and then non-correlated assets. Non-correlated assets are things that are not necessarily impacted by interest rates or what the stock or bond market does. So we built out model portfolios to make sure that that four bucket strategy has a number of purpose.

David Bezar:
One is tax efficiency. Number two is overall risk mitigation of an investment portfolio. And then lastly, is a distribution or income strategy. And these are things again, that people don\’t necessarily consider into their overall planning. So we got to think about the taxation of our investments as we start to pull them out. We got to think about can I protect them because maybe I have enough money? Do I really need to be at risk? And then lastly, how do I distribute which bucket? Do I pull money out at the right time strategically? We talked about distribution strategies before but it\’s an art and you got to really think it through with all of those other types of elements. So those are the things that-

Joe Krause:
Can I say something David?

David Bezar:
Yeah, sure.

Joe Krause:
This is overwhelming.

Karen Bezar:
I\’m thinking the same things. For listeners, yes.

Joe Krause:
I mean, we don\’t think about all of that stuff. We\’re supposed to. I get it. That\’s what… Listen, I learn every week on the show. This is overwhelming for a lot of people.

Karen Bezar:
The good news is we think about it.

Joe Krause:
That is good news.

Karen Bezar:
That is why we\’re here.

David Bezar:
We almost even geek out about it. And that\’s the thing. This is the stuff that gets the juices flowing for us. Because, look, I\’ve been doing this 31 years, and I spent a portion of my career, Joe, doing investment management. At the end of the day, no disrespect to anybody but-

Karen Bezar:
There\’s a lot more.

David Bezar:
… it all looks the same. One advisor to another really doesn\’t come up too different. But when you take in the element of \”Okay, I did my investment management, I got to the peak of the mountain. I retired. Well, how do I navigate down successfully?\” And that\’s these all these other elements that we talked about. And I get it. I mean, gosh, our listening audience, I totally get it. Bret talked a little bit a minute ago about a social security report that will offer to the first 10 callers. Karen talked about tax analysis.

David Bezar:
Let me tell you what I would like to offer Joe. What I would like to offer to our audience is just a nice conversation. No joke, like if you want to call us now, you can call today. Leave us a message or talk to one of our teammates that answers the phone and just say, \”I\’d like to schedule a 15-minute phone call.\” No Obligation, no cost. And I just want to ask some questions. I heard some stuff on the show today. Joe said it was a little overwhelming. The crew agreed. Just give us a call, casual conversation. So, that number is (215)987-2430. Once again (215)987-2430.

Joe Krause:
Well done. Great segment. Great job. Thank you so much, David. This is Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show as we go into our final commercial break on this Memorial Day weekend. The silent killer of your retirement and what you can do by listening to this show, to protect yourself. More in a moment.

Joe Krause:
And back here on Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show, thank you so much for tuning in listening and learning with David Bazar, Karen Bazar, and Bret Elam. David, Karen, and Bret, thank you so much for delivering some incredible information. I\’m enjoying the list. I\’m learning from the list, and I\’m sure members of the Delaware Valley are as well.

Joe Krause:
By the way, congrats to the entire Thrive financial team. I always I\’m so proud to say that Thrive is live and local or their local right here in the Delaware Valley. It was great to see you on 6-ABC a week ago. I think it was just terrific to see you providing some information and some context to what it means to be on the doorstep of retirement. Well done. Great job. 6-ABCs a big platform. Well done.

David Bezar:
Thanks, Joe. We really appreciate it. Again, it\’s just alignment with providing that education and advocacy and we just want to help the community as much as we can.

Karen Bezar:
And as a wife, I was so proud of him. I have to say I think he did a great job. I\’m slightly prejudiced I think

Joe Krause:
The color was open a little bit, but the office look good on his Zoom shot. It was good.

Bret Elam:
He\’s always conscious about the radio face. So, it\’s good to see-

Karen Bezar:
That\’s what he always says. He\’s like-

Bret Elam:
And as a partner, I [crosstalk 00:35:57]

David Bezar:
I even shaved.

Joe Krause:
No, it\’s good.

Karen Bezar:
He says I have a face for radio. But yeah, I picked out a shirt. I picked out the pink shirt. So real men do wear pink. So I must say it was pink right? Yes.

David Bezar:
It was.

Karen Bezar:
Yes.

David Bezar:
It was.

Karen Bezar:
That was my part in that. So all right, guess what? I have number eight, have a plan to fight inflation. Good news again, Joe, is we take this into account when we are planning for somebody\’s retirement. It\’s very important to remember, it will impact your retirement because retirement can last for 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. If they\’ve done the right thing we\’ve had people retiring in their late 50s. So you could be in retirement for 40 years.

Karen Bezar:
You know how inflation affects the cost of a gallon of milk or the cost of a gallon of gas. So you definitely have to take this into account. One of the reports we do is we do an overall financial plan using software, and we start with how much money do you think you\’re going to need in retirement? That\’s just the starting point. And then we kind of throw in what David talked about if you don\’t have long-term health care, how can that affect your retirement investments? How can taxation affect you?

Karen Bezar:
And we put all these numbers in, and then we say, \”How can inflation affect you\” and we include that inflation number in the report. And remember, retirement isn\’t static, it\’s constantly moving. So this is something that we do every year with our clients to make sure you\’re on track. We can\’t prevent inflation, but we can definitely prepare for it. And when you\’re on a fixed income, and you\’re on retirement, you don\’t want to get your assets and everything crushed by inflation. So again, just something to keep in mind and something that we always prepare for.

Bret Elam:
Krause, we just heard people overwhelmed today. Hey, you just shared that out there, hey, taxation is going to be coming out of my paycheck. Oh my gosh, David just talked about health care. How much I\’m going to allocate it there? What happens if I make the wrong Social Security choice? Karen just talked about inflation. There\’s a lot of obstacles that we have to face. It\’s all about a plan, don\’t get a goal in your head, get that plan written down. And that\’s what we\’re talking about, the 10 step check. Have a plan, write it down. And I\’m not going to make anyone happy with my topic. You got to have a plan for lowering your fees and expenses, someone else with their hand in your pocket.

Bret Elam:
And you know when fees are the worst Krause, when there\’s no value. Fees are always an issue when there\’s no value. People are always worried about the gross but we always need to be concerned about the net. Some of the scariest places that we see fees is where people have the most amount of their net worth, which is in 401(K)s, their retirement plans.

Bret Elam:
I remember a great segment that I saw 60 Minutes on CBS and Bloomberg a couple years ago, where they talked about all the hidden fees in 401(K) plans over three-plus percent. Here\’s one for you Krause, an average United States worker with a fee of 1% of their assets pays over 138,000 in just the fees alone. We\’re just going to increase it may be a little bit from one to 1.3. It doesn\’t sound like a big deal, but you\’re ready for this? Jumps up almost another $30,000 to $166,000. These unnecessary fees, they take a huge chunk out of your retirement savings, healthcare, fees, inflation, all of these things right there.

Bret Elam:
We need transparency. And that\’s the problem with our industry out there Krause is you got to be transparent. You got to know what fees you\’re paying. David, Karen, and I and the rest of the team here at Thrive, we get passionate about it. You got to have a plan for those fees. And you got to write things down. You got to be conscious not only when markets are going up, but even just as important as the markets are going down. You got to have a plan because it\’s one way that you can grow your bottom line is have a plan to reduce those fees. And step number 10. I want to hand it over to David.

David Bezar:
Joe, step number 10 is to have an estate plan. As we plan for our future, most of us, depending on the day of the week, we want to include our children, right?

Karen Bezar:
Exactly.

David Bezar:
We want to make sure everything\’s good for them.

Joe Krause:
Grandchildren.

David Bezar:
Yeah, grandchildren, maybe is the equation. For a lot of folks, it\’s not a big deal. There\’s a $23 million exemption out there. Here\’s where the challenge\’s, the Trump Tax Cuts, the Trump plan kind of comes to an expiration potentially in 2025. And none of us have a crystal ball but at that particular point in time being kind of I don\’t say insiders, but we kind of understand what\’s happening with taxes. And with this COVID-19 crisis, we all know taxes are going up in the future.

David Bezar:
So what we\’ll probably see after 2025 is a lowering of that family deduction significantly, and then an increasing of the federal estate tax rates. Right now they topped out a little over 40%. But back during like the Clinton era, and so on and so forth, it was higher at 55%. That\’s really scary because if you have worked hard and you have saved a bunch of money and you are living comfortably, but not going to spend all of your nest egg, this money is going to pass on to some legacy situation. So you got to have some type of a plan in place for that. So those are our 10 checkpoints.

David Bezar:
To help a little bit further, I call it a retirement readiness checklist. I\’m just going to just read these off real quick that people hopefully if they have a pen and a pad, they can write these down. But these are the things that you should be thinking about health care, housing, spending estimates, retirement savings, income sources, continued work, drawdown strategy, maintaining health, activities to keep busy, travel plans, estate plan, loss of a spouse, long-term care, and legacy.

David Bezar:
So again, I think what we experience as people come in and visit us for that Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, a lot of those aren\’t actually checked off. The conversations usually start \”Well, here\’s my investment strategies.\” And we say, \”You can put those away for a couple of minutes. Let\’s go and talk about the things that are going to be critically important like your monthly budget, like your health care plan, like a loss of a spouse,\” and so on and so forth.

David Bezar:
So today, we talked about a lot have things Joe. 10 great points that I think folks hopefully can take some value out of. What we\’d like to, I\’d like everybody on listening to us to understand is here\’s some of the things we do in this Retirement Roadmap Review. We will do a tax analysis report, Karen talked about that, right? What we find out is we can reduce if you got, just an example, a million-dollar portfolio. Karen said $400,000 in savings. Bret talked about $100,000 increase, picking the right Social Security. You get a risk analysis done on your portfolio, we see that we could save people somewhere around 300,000 to a million dollars of loss. That is all done complimentary. And if you only want to have a 15-minute telephone conversation, or get any one of those reports, call us today. Don\’t procrastinate. Call us today (215)987-2430

Joe Krause:
Well done. Great job by all today. If I had a sound effects machine sitting here at the Thrive studios, I would play a roaring round of applause because we completed the entire list-

David Bezar:
We did. First try.

Joe Krause:
… in the show. That\’s the first time. That\’s going to do it for this week\’s edition of roadmap to retirement. The radio show. We thank you so much for tuning in from 6-ABC News to the Dom Giordano Show to you. As David mentioned, don\’t be overwhelmed. Call for a conversation to (215)987-2430.

David Bezar:
And happy Memorial Day to everybody.

Karen Bezar:
Yes.

Joe Krause:
Well done. Great way to end the show. And we\’re going to end this show actually in a way that you\’re not supposed to do it on radio. For all of those that have fallen, we end with a short moment of silence. See you next week, everybody.

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