What can you learn from previous stock market crashes that could protect and grow your wealth? Get those answers from Bret, David, Karen and Joe as they discuss in our latest episode of Live With Thrive! To schedule your complimentary consultation, call us at (215) 987-2430

Joe Krause:
A good morning, everyone. We begin Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show with this observation. Every financial pundit is screaming from the rooftops, “The current market downturn will be this big, this bad, this long. The recovery with be U-shaped, V-shaped, and pear-shaped, and here’s what you should do about it.” My friends, the noise can be deafening, and it’s easy to get distracted or confused, but remember, there’s only one true teacher outside of Thrive Financial Services, and that’s history. I say good morning, or a good Saturday to you. I’m Joe Krause, along with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. We welcome you in to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. David?

David Bezar:
Joe, just another crazy week.

Joe Krause:
Oh, very crazy.

David Bezar:
Up and down, up and down, and then a little bit of the whole groundhog movie. Things are still the same, although it seems people are kind of, I don’t want to say revolting or getting frustrated, but the traffic on the streets is certainly a lot more. The construction sites are packed, and it’s just interesting times.

Joe Krause:
Before you begin here in the opening segment, I want to thank all of the listeners on Talk Radio 1210 who reacted to the show last week, picked up the phone, and called in with questions and all of that, a really, really great response from last week’s show.

David Bezar:
No doubt, Joe, and we’ve been on for a while now, and I got to tell you, that was the biggest response, and I know those shows are archived. They’re on our podcast. Today we hope to deliver another wonderful show for everybody. With everything that’s going on, if you want clarity in this chaotic market, there’s really three questions as a consumer, as an investor, that really matter. So, number one, what are the facts about previous market corrections and how they’ve recovered? How do I avoid the mistakes other investors have made in the past and currently making, and what are the potential opportunities to profit in today’s crisis?

David Bezar:
Again, this is not the beginning. This is not the middle. It’s certainly not the end. Right? None of us sitting here today have a crystal ball, but at the same time, history does repeat itself, and we have studied extensively what has happened in the great crisis of 1929. We’ve seen obviously much more recent, ’87, 2000, and then a lot of what happened in 2008, 2009 is absolutely reoccurring. I read an article this morning on the way over here from The Wall Street Journal that was talking about the mortgage crisis that’s about to happen again. Now, it may not be in residential. They’re now believing it’s going to happen in commercial, and the Wall Streets are still selling these pooled… Long story short, Joe, there’s kind of a repeat, what’s happening.

David Bezar:
So, if you’ve got answers to these questions, you’re not only ahead in 99% of the investors out there, you could be exponentially growing your nest egg in the coming years if you do those things properly. So, Bret, Karen, myself, coming up in today’s show, four lessons learned from previous stock market crashes, the overlooked opportunities that could have a significant impact on your wealth, including common mistake that could destroy your retirement, an opportunity with this downturn that could really help you save a fortune in taxes, and the strategies that could help reduce your risk in a volatile market. Before I bring Karen on, two quick shout outs. Right?

Karen Bezar:
Yes.

David Bezar:
We have two quick shout outs. So, number one, to our daughter Hailey. She got a 4.0 average in her first year of college, so we’re really-

Joe Krause:
Wow. That’s great stuff.

David Bezar:
… happy for her, and to hear all the moaning and complaining throughout the semester, you thought she was flunking.

Karen Bezar:
Yeah. David said, “I’m not listening to you anymore.”

David Bezar:
Yeah. I said, “I’m done. I’m not-”

Karen Bezar:
I’m done.

Bret Elam:
That sounds like good ROI on tuition, right?

Joe Krause:
Yeah, absolutely.

David Bezar:
I’m done listening.

Bret Elam:
Well money spent.

Joe Krause:
Nice stuff.

David Bezar:
Totally done listening. Then Karen, we are just very, very proud of our eldest niece, who graduated magna cum laude from University of Rhode Island with a biology degree.

Karen Bezar:
Which if anybody out there has taken chemistry, organic chem-

Bret Elam:
God bless.

Karen Bezar:
Oh, my gosh. I’m so proud of her.

David Bezar:
Yeah. So, Abigail Bezar, magna cum laude, graduated, on her way to doing some wonderful things, so we’re really, really proud of her.

Karen Bezar:
She’s going to go on and become a physician’s assistant. That’s her goal.

Joe Krause:
That’s fantastic.

Karen Bezar:
So, we’re very proud of her and impressed. Her dad said, “I don’t know where she came from because that’s…”

David Bezar:
Her mom said, “I know where she came from.”

Joe Krause:
Fantastic. Well done. Great stuff. Good story. Great way to start the show.

Karen Bezar:
Yeah, and it’s nice. Amidst all this craziness, life goes on.

Joe Krause:
Yeah.

Karen Bezar:
So, it’s just the new normal for now. So, here’s one of the things that can derail your retirement. How about if you don’t have a financial game plan? You need to have a financial game plan. So, how many people out there plan trips, they plan weddings? What makes you think that you can just kind of wing retirement? People plan more times spending, spend more time, sorry, planning a trip to Florida for Disney World or something like that. So, if you don’t have a comprehensive financial game plan that covers all your bases, and I mean all your bases, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Karen Bezar:
Saving for retirement is a great start, but again, it’s only half of your journey. It’s the beginning. When you’re younger, you start your job, full-time job, and you know, my parents said save for my IRA, so that’s what I’m doing, but what you do with that money once you’re in the retirement stage of your life really matters. So, if you have a financial game plan, you’re definitely being proactive. If you don’t have a plan, you are being reactive, and that’s how you’re getting yourself in trouble. So, right now, in the face of all this craziness, this stock market panic, your emotions can tend to take over.

Karen Bezar:
So, those who planned ahead of time are cool, not freaking out, but they have a plan for this type of scenario, and we have talked to some people who weren’t our clients but have come listen… We’ve done virtual meetings with them, and a couple things we ask them is, first of all, “What is your current portfolio?” and some people say, “I’m so scared, I didn’t even look at my numbers.” That’s not a way to go through retirement. Another one I hear sometimes is, “Oh. Well, we didn’t plan on this corona situation happening,” but guess what? Retirement isn’t static. If it’s not corona, it’s going to be something else.

Karen Bezar:
I remember when September 11th happened. Everybody thought it was the end of the world the way we knew it. Nothing was going to be the same. I think Wall Street was shut down for a couple days. But things go back to normal, and you’re always going to have… If it’s not the corona situation, it’s always going to be something else coming around. So, you need to plan for these situations. It’s really important to keep your plan up-to-date. Again, retirement isn’t static. How many times do you need something… How many times does your air conditioning break in your house or something like that?

Karen Bezar:
So, you always need to have… You should have an advisor. If you do have an advisor, somebody who sits with you and plans out retirement, and then continues to work on your retirement annually, at least annually. So, look. Right now, we don’t see one opportunity for you with this downturn of the stock market. We see many opportunities. We see opportunities that could save a fortune in taxes when you retire. We see opportunities to update and rebalance your investments that could improve your returns and minimize your risk. We see opportunities that could reduce or eliminate your investment fees and expenses, and a lot more.

Karen Bezar:
Learn how you could protect and grow your IRA or 401(k) with our free IRA and 401(k) analysis. You might expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a customized analysis, but if you’re one of the first 10 qualified callers, we’ll underwrite 100% of the cost. This can be done over the phone or a video conference. So, if you’ve saved more than $250,000, be one of the first 10 callers to schedule your free analysis now at 215-987-2430. So, don’t waste the opportunities with this market downturn that you could exponentially grow your IRA and 401(k). So, again, to schedule your free analysis, give us a call at 215-987-2430. If we don’t pick up the phone, just leave us a message. We’ve been getting a lot of calls lately. Again, the number is 215-987-2430.

Joe Krause:
All right, good stuff. Great way to start this Saturday, and again, a big congrats to the Bezar family. Great news and a great way to start Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. Right now, as we go into the break, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity with this downturn in the stock market. We’ll tell you what it is when we come back.

Joe Krause:
Thanks for listening. Welcome back to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. According to Forbes, there’s a financial planning opportunity in this current selloff in the stock market. Instead of fretting about the damage done to your portfolio, consider the ways you can use this downturn to increase the after-tax wealth of you and your family. We bring everybody back into the show here on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, along with Karen Bezar, David Bezar, and Bret Elam. I’m Joe Krause. We’re talking about four lessons from previous market crashes that could protect and grow your nest egg. Coming up on this segment, why the downturn in the stock market is a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your wealth. To do that and deliver that message, Bret Elam is with us. Bret?

Bret Elam:
Krausey, I love continuing this theme with that word opportunity-

Joe Krause:
I love it too.

Bret Elam:
… from last week, and I love what Karen just talked about, all the opportunities that we have. Again, opportunity, be at the right place at the right time, and take advantage of it. I love the topic of today’s show, talking about four lessons learned from previous market crashes. It doesn’t say the losses. Wisdom is we learn things. We win and learn. We never win and lose. We win and learn. So, what today’s segment is all about, what today’s show is all about, gang, we got to take advantage. It’s time to be proactive. Let’s talk about some of these. Again, what are the opportunities?

Bret Elam:
So, the first one is there’s a great opportunity right now to increase, and we’re going to go deep into this, our after-tax wealth. Again, there’s no reason to be a pessimist. We have to be an optimist with everything that’s going on. We’re big believers here at Thrive of four asset classes. We talk about them all the time, cash, stocks, short-term bonds, and then some alternative non-correlated asset classes. But when things go on sale, for reasons like stock market corrections, if you don’t have any cash sitting on the sideline, Krausey, we call that keep your powder dry.

Bret Elam:
Again, it’s time build up some cash reserves, where a lot of people, you get people like Warren Buffett, people that have been hoarding cash for a long period of time, of waiting for things to come, because this concept that we want to introduce, and Krausey, is this opportunity, is what we call dollar cost averaging. Now, while many of us are working, we’re doing every single week, and every paycheck, we’re dollar cost averaging. If you are putting money into a 401(k), whether the market’s going up or the market’s going down, typically you’re putting the same amount of money in week over week, paycheck over paycheck.

Bret Elam:
So long as that constant dollar stays the same, it’s a way for you, typically, instead of you trying to market time, again, it’s having a strategy where you can bring your average per-share price down, but here’s the problem, is that you have all that exuberance of thinking the market just continues to go up and go up, go up, again, if you don’t have any cash sitting on the sideline, some of that powder dry, you can’t take advantage of these downward markets, because what we always share with people, and it’s the silver lining, Krausey, what goes down must come back up.

Bret Elam:
Again, we’ve seen all these stock market corrections in the past, and again, what it creates is a lot of emotion, emotion, emotion, emotion, and our job, David, Karen, myself, the team here at Thrive, is to make sure people are making rational decisions. I just spoke about him just a moment ago, Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett, one of his famous quotes, and I love it, be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. We almost have a mantra in our office here. We talk about swim upstream. What everybody else is doing, conventional wisdom, go in the other direction, and you typically win. Again, get off the herd mentality.

Bret Elam:
The market did go down 35% and roared back up since March 23rd. Well, just because everyone’s getting back in, does that mean you’re supposed to as well? You listen to Mr. Buffett, who’s done pretty good over his lifetime. What he’s telling you, be fearful, be fearful, be fearful, but we also need to be conscious of what? That doesn’t mean we got to jump off a window. We just can’t ignore everything that’s happening. It’s understanding you got to have a plan. Again, and then Karen talked about the financial game plan. We talk about all the plans that you got to have together, because when you start isolating your money you have in the market, you start making rash, emotional decisions, but when you understand it’s only a part of your overall puzzle piece, it allows for you to hold true if you have that plan. So, sometimes it’s trying to find that opportunity to get back in.

Bret Elam:
Here’s another great one. You make most of your money in a bear market, because especially when you see the corrections, when we see big ups of the stock market, it’s typically after a big down, but yet many people are sitting on that fear gauge and doing nothing, and just saying, “You know what? Maybe at a better time when things are more stable, maybe I’ll get in then.” No, no, no, no, no. We’ve talked about on this show how much dislocation there is between what’s reality today and what the stock market’s at today.

Bret Elam:
I hear about teachers, they’re stable as can be. I talked to a friend just this week. “Bret, I’m a music teacher up in Montgomery County. I’m getting ready to lose my job.” You know why? Because all the districts are starting to lose funding for the fine arts. You’re starting to see the Domino effect starting to play out. Again, we got to be ready. We have to be prepared. Again, stocks are becoming a bargain, but they move up and down, but the buying opportunity will come. We just need to be prepared for it. Again, things always come back up. We got to have a plan to get back in.

Bret Elam:
Then what’s the next opportunity? I think I talk about this weekly because we’re so passionate about it, Krausey, is this whole Roth IRA concept. We meet so many people that plan on leaving their money to children, grandchildren. Maybe they’re having to take required minimum distributions. Remember, no required minimum distributions here in 2020. But we get a lot of people. You know what concerned me, Krausey? We reached out to a prospect of ours and said, “Hey, we want to get back together,” and the response we got from them was, “We’re not in a position to make any changes at this time. We’ll wait and see what happens. We’re not comfortable at this time. We don’t have to make a distribution from our IRAs this year, so we’re in good tax position. We’ll contact you next year when we’re ready to make changes.”

Bret Elam:
You missed the opportunity. You didn’t have to take a required minimum distribution this year. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for us to do that much more from a Roth conversion standpoint. So, we’ve been talking about Roth quite a bit on this show, and let’s go a little bit deeper as to what Roth is. Roth is a way to have outright tax avoidance, and if you are a regular listener of this show, and we’re big believers, and I know a lot of the Thrive Army listening here as well believes a tax Armageddon is coming. It’s going to go up.

Bret Elam:
So, what does a Roth IRA do? A Roth IRA is you’re putting money in with after-tax money, or you’re moving money from an IRA or 401(k) that you would have to pay taxes on to a Roth. Now, all of a sudden, your monies now grow tax-free, which it does also in an IRA, but here’s the big change. When you pull the money out of a Roth IRA, now that word, outright tax avoidance, legally, versus in an IRA, you’re paying taxes, it’s a profit-sharing plan. Who knows what taxes will be when I have to pull that money out?

David Bezar:
Bret, if you don’t mind-

Bret Elam:
Fire away, David.

David Bezar:
Just want to give you a quick example, because sometimes we hear all these words, and we don’t know how it translates into real life. In Bret’s illustration, it’s somebody said, “I don’t have to take an RMD this year.” Literally, that’s missing the boat. Right? Again, we don’t get offensive and say, “Hey, you missed the boat,” but we try to stress you got to understand. So, this week, sat down with a client, a prospective client who ultimately became our client. Joe, with no exaggeration whatsoever, the tax savings from age 72 to age 90, which was kind of the life expectancy for this couple because they have longevity in their family, was $1.3 million-

Joe Krause:
Wow.

David Bezar:
… of tax savings. So, not tens of thousands, not hundreds of… One million plus was the tax savings.

Karen Bezar:
And that’s based on current tax laws.

Bret Elam:
Current tax laws.

David Bezar:
That’s exactly right, current tax laws. We estimated it, and not projecting any future taxes, over a million dollars of savings.

Joe Krause:
Simple terms, really quick. That means if they did nothing, an additional million dollars plus-

Bret Elam:
That’s right.

Joe Krause:
… they would’ve paid in taxes.

Bret Elam:
A tax procrastinator, that’s it.

David Bezar:
Yeah, it would be in Uncle Sam’s pocket instead of their family’s pocket.

Joe Krause:
Wow.

Bret Elam:
Last week, we talked about the importance of taxes and Social Security, and we’ve told people how you can get a free car and $45,000. With what David just shared, that sounds like a house. I mean, my gosh.

Joe Krause:
Sounds like a couple houses.

Bret Elam:
Do you want Uncle Sam to get that money-

David Bezar:
That’s a heck of a house.

Bret Elam:
… or do you want the… You can go anywhere on that budget right there. Again, that’s what it’s all about, and that’s what’s scary with what the people that emailed David just spoke about. What’s an opportunity? Everybody’s at the right price at the right time, but if you don’t take advantage of it, you miss it. One of the last opportunities we chat about is this concept called tax harvesting. It’s how a lot of these investors, they’re saving money. It’s a conscious word that we all have to be conscious of from a tax planning perspective. Here’s the bottom line, gang. There’s a lot of opportunity that we all have.

Bret Elam:
You heard David talk about one-point-something million, but how about this number, $173,417? What would you do with an extra $173,417? That’s how much a local couple could save in taxes with their IRAs, 401(k)s, using our defensive tax planning strategies. An extra $173,000 I know could go a long way in anyone’s retirement. Do you have an IRA, 401(k)? Learn how much money you could save with our free retirement tax analysis. This free analysis can be done over the phone, video conference, and it literally takes almost no time at all.

Bret Elam:
You’ll discover the defensive tax planning strategies that can help you save tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, and in David’s situation, over a million dollars with those IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, all of our accounts. You might expect to spend a couple hundred dollars for that customized analysis, but you know what? On today’s show, Krausey, we’re going to underwrite 100% of those costs to the first 10 qualified listeners. So, if you’ve saved more than a quarter-million dollars, call us now for that free analysis, 215-987-2430. Learn exactly how much money you could save in taxes and retirement, again, by calling 215-987-2430. Again, you can call us and leave us a message. We’ll get right back to you. 215-987-2430.

Joe Krause:
Well done. Great segment. David, great example, and Bret, well done with some incredible stuff. We win, we learn. As we go into the commercial break, chances are we’re not out of the woods with this stock market yet. More volatility could be just around the corner. When we come back on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, what you can do right now to minimize your risk. Back in a moment.

Speaker 1:
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.com.

Joe Krause:
Welcome back, everyone, to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. No matter what the financial pundits are saying, this stock market crash is not unprecedented. We’ve had 37 stock market corrections where the market has dropped by more than 10% since 1950. There’s so much more that we can learn from these previous corrections, and also their recoveries. Welcome back, everyone, to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show, along with Karen Bezar, David Bezar, and Bret Elam. I’m Joe Krause. As we come to you today and move into lessons from previous market crashes that could protect and grow your nest egg on this segment, David Bezar is going to jump over some portfolio management strategies that can boost your returns and minimize your risk. David?

David Bezar:
Yeah. So, Joe, it’s very interesting, and I’ve been doing this now almost 31 years, and I’ve been through obviously not all of the 37 market crashes because I wasn’t around in the ’50s. I was around in the early ’60s. But when I got to my career age, I saw ’87. I saw a little bit happening in the ’90s, saw 2000, the dotcom bust. I saw the ’08, ’09 credit financial crisis, and now the pandemic crisis. So, again, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re destined to repeat them in the future.

David Bezar:
The thing that kind of blows me away, and what I’m going to talk a little bit about today, Joe, is that a lot of people, as we have these complimentary consultations through the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, their initial commentary when we talk about the portfolios is like, “How have you done?” Karen said it earlier. We get two kind of responses. We get, “Well, to be quite honest with you, I’m so nervous, I haven’t even looked at my statement since this has all happened.” Then we also get the comment is, “I think we did okay, but I don’t think I did as bad as the markets did.”

David Bezar:
I said, “Okay.” So, I said, “Would you care to know definitively if you did okay, or do you just want to kind of go blindly into the night and say, ‘Hey, we’ll see how it goes’?” Because again, like Bret’s been talking the whole… There’s a lot of opportunity. Right? Money’s made in bear markets. Money’s made in real estate in bear market-type situations. So, we utilize this process called Riskalyze, and what Riskalyze does… So, before I ever tell you that, let me give you a quick analogy.

David Bezar:
I have said in the past on this show that this is one of the industries, this is one of the things that the consumer, the investor out there, doesn’t mind doctoring themselves and diagnosing themselves and prescribing themselves, and this is done a lot without the proper tools. It’s more on winging it, feeling, than it is actual data. So, Riskalyze has become the platinum standard within the industry to help people assess what’s my risk, what’s my proper diversification, and this is a really, really, really critical one, are the expenses of my portfolio high enough that they are deteriorating the performance of my portfolio?

David Bezar:
So, when we, as part of the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, do the portfolio risk analysis, we encompass all of that. We take every single account that somebody has, IRAs, Roth IRAs, traditional brokerage accounts, CDs, money markets, we load that all into this software. We also at the same time send out a cyber-protected link. Now, there really is no personal information anyway, but we try to abundance of caution, so we send a secure link that has a behavioral questionnaire to get a sense of what’s the real risk tolerance level of that individual or that couple.

David Bezar:
By answering the behavioral economic questionnaire, we end up with a numeric value between one and 100. One, the money’s buried in the backyard in a cookie jar. That’s how safe and conservative they are, and 100 is they’re down at Park Casino three nights a week. So, as people start to enter retirement, they do get a sense that they should be reducing their risk. So, when we see that, we see typically most people that come in for the complimentary consultation, some are between 30 and 50. Now, there’s certainly outliers, but that’s kind of the majority of people, between 30 and 50 on their tolerance level.

David Bezar:
So, the second step is we take all the registrations, all the accounts, and all the individual holdings inside of those accounts, and we do an analysis. We do an analysis on the risk, the volatility, the performance, and the expense. Then when that is all done, it aggregates a numeric value for the overall portfolio. So, now we have a picture. We know what the prospective client’s risk tolerance is, and now we know what the portfolio risk associated with it is. Here’s the challenge. Nine times out of 10, the tolerance level is in the 30s and the 40s. The actual risk of the portfolio is in the 60s and the 70s. So, there’s such a discrepancy between the two that that really does become an aha moment.

David Bezar:
The second stage is we start to identify expenses. Now, where that comes from is if you own individual stocks or individual bonds, there really is no expense associated with that. Right? But if you own mutual funds or you own exchange-traded funds, there are expenses associated. That means the company, Vanguard, Fidelity, BlackRock, Invesco, State Street, whoever you’re using, T. Rowe Price. American Funds, Van Kampen, the money manager, not your advisor, but the money manager is charging an expense fee to manage that account.

David Bezar:
Now, in mutual funds, that tends to be a half a percent to three quarters of a percent. That’s typical. Now, we’ve seen them somewhat lower sometimes in mutual funds, and we’ve seen it significantly higher. I saw a portfolio this week of a client. I won’t name the companies they’re invested in, name brands where the average expense management fee was 1.33%. So, think about that. Right? If you’re making 5% return, and then they take 1.33 off of it, it can really be detrimental to the performance. So, that’s in the mutual funds.

David Bezar:
When we start to look at ETFs, we find the opportunity to basically give the same exact type of an investment, but one that we think is better diversified, more focused on where it’s putting its money, has liquidity during the market days, and then a significantly lower expense management fee. So, here at Thrive, when we build a portfolio for folks using either stocks, bonds, or ETFs, our average expense management fee is .07 to .10. So, right there you can actually increase your performance by lowering your expense fee. So, it’s not only diversification of the investment, it’s diversification of the expense management fee. Does that make sense, Joe?

Joe Krause:
Yeah, that makes sense.

David Bezar:
Yeah. It’s easy to follow, right?

Joe Krause:
Yeah.

David Bezar:
But not many, many people are taking a look at that to make sure that they’re… No, I think I’m doing okay. The other big surprise for people when we do the stress analysis as part of that Riskalyze report is we now show them not only the percentage of loss that they have experienced, but we equate it into dollars. So, as an example, if somebody’s got a million-dollar portfolio, and they go, “Well, I think I could tolerate a 10% loss,” my response back is, “Okay, I understand that. So, that means you’re okay losing $100,000 of your principal balance?” Guess what the response is when I say it in dollars? They go, “No, no, no. I didn’t…”

Joe Krause:
No.

David Bezar:
Yeah, and people don’t equate percentages and dollars quickly enough. Right? As it gets smaller, as it gets bigger, it’s got dramatic impact. So, this report that we do, this Riskalyze report, this portfolio risk analysis report brings so much value, it’s ridiculous, and it really pulls back the curtain for people to take a look at it and go, “Gee, I have never done that deep of an X-ray, that deep of an analysis on my portfolio before.” So, what I would say, you combine what Bret talked about, like Roth, you talk about, Karen, building a plan, I talked about this last week, Social Security, and I said to our team, I said, “We have to bring that up again.”

David Bezar:
So, what I’ve said is if you’ve made an average or above-average income throughout your working life, the traditional rules for claiming Social Security may not actually apply to you. You may think that delaying your benefits as long as possible will yield you more income. Some might even say it’s absolutely a no-brainer. But if you follow this strategy, it could wind up costing you a fortune if you consider the impact of taxes and Medicare, and the things that we talked about.

David Bezar:
Here’s the bottom line, Joe. Social Security is part of the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review. So, if you’ve saved more than $250,000 for retirement and have not yet filed for your Social Security benefits, be one of our first 10 callers to get your free analysis. Call us at 215-987-2430. That’s 215-987-2430. You’re going to learn in this analysis how it could help you avoid the common mistakes that 96% of Americans are making, and it could improve the benefits by over $100,000. So, just give us a call, 215-987-2430.

Joe Krause:
I would say, as you end that segment, don’t be afraid of the aha moment-

David Bezar:
Good point.

Joe Krause:
… that you’re going to get. Great stuff by David Bezar. We’ll get to a commercial break. When we come back, the smartest thing you could do right now that could pay dividends for the rest of your life. Back in a moment.

Joe Krause:
Thanks for listening on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. If you want clarity with this chaotic market, three questions matter. One, what are the facts about previous market corrections and their recoveries? Two, how do I avoid the mistakes other investors have made, and three, what are the potential investing opportunities to profit in this sellout? Welcome back, everyone, to Roadmap to Retirement. I’m Joe Krause, along with Karen Bezar, David Bezar, and Bret Elam. Today we’re talking about lessons from previous market crashes, and in this final segment of the show this weekend, the critical pillars of the bulletproof financial game plan. I love the word bulletproof. I think you mentioned that three years ago, David, when we first started talking about Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show, and it is true today. I love the term.

David Bezar:
No doubt.

Karen Bezar:
It’s definitely important, and to have… I talked about earlier a comprehensive retirement game plan or a financial game plan for retirement. So, guess what I have, Joe? I have a list. So, here are some things that you need to have in order to have a retirement plan that’s bulletproof. You need to be able to know how you’re going to generate your income. You want to focus on reducing your future taxes, maximize your Social Security benefits for retirement. We met with somebody the other day, and we showed them something, and they said, “Oh, I thought that went away.” It’s a way you can do Social Security if you’re married to somebody, and we said, “No, it didn’t go away, but maybe your advisor should’ve known that as well and already discussed that with you.”

Karen Bezar:
You should have a strategy to withdraw money from your IRA, your 401(k), or whatever retirement accounts that you have. You want to avoid the impacts of required minimum distributions. Remember, Uncle Sam wants to be your partner once you’re retired, your financial partner. How to stay one step ahead of inflation, very important. If you know what you think you need to live off on a monthly basis when you plan to retire, it’s not going to be the same amount of money 10 years in. You need to have an estate plan. You don’t want your beneficiaries to have to wait for probate while all of your hard-earned money that you worked for sits in an account that nobody can reach.

Karen Bezar:
You want to reduce your fees and expenses. David just touched on that. I had a virtual meeting the other day, and the look on this person’s face when they saw that some of their internal expenses were over 1% on their current accounts, and they said, “Well, what does that mean?” I said, “Well, what it means is this is your return,” showed them what their return was, “and take off 1.02%. That’s really where the…” They said, “Oh, no wonder it’s not growing the way I thought it should.” Then you want to have a plan for skyrocketing costs of healthcare and long-term care, and again, if you schedule a virtual appointment with us, these are all things that we address currently with our clients and will show with you on an appointment.

Bret Elam:
I love that, Krausey. Karen’s talked about that financial game plan in both segments, and David and I, we’re going to talk about these two critical pieces of that retirement game plan, again, four lessons learned from that last stock market downturn. People don’t plan to fail. They fail to plan. Here’s the opportunity. Get that plan, whether it’s that financial game plan, or we’re passionate about that income plan. Here’s the concerns that are out there. Six out of 10 people out there today are afraid of running out of money before they die, and this study was taken before COVID. These numbers just get more and more and more scarier. Again, have the plan.

Bret Elam:
This is it. Successful retirements, they’re not built on assets. That’s part of it, or it’s not about the money you’ve saved. They’re all about your ability to generate income. Last week, I talked about the article from the Harvard Business Review. It’s all about income. Your net worth means nothing. How much income can you generate? Again, as we’re nearing retirement, we’re working, that’s called the accumulation phase of our life. We have our income plan. We go to work every day, and we’re getting a paycheck. Well, guess what? As we quote-unquote graduate to retirement, you have to have that same income plan again. The problem is your sources are different, and you now need to reassess because that distribution phase looks different.

Bret Elam:
We cannot procrastinate, and what you need in an income plan, just like we’ve been talking about here today as well, Krausey, diversification, diversification of taxes, diversification of risk. What I’m going to talk about, diversification of your income, and why that becomes important, because you get people out there on the radio, on TV, put all your money over here or over there. No, diversification, because it’s too risky to have everything in one source. Diversifying your sources during your retirement funding will take pressure off your nest egg, Krausey, insulate you from that market volatility, ups and downs, and provide you with those nonfinancial benefits.

David Bezar:
So, Joe, so far the show’s been spot on. I would really encourage our listening audience to go get our podcast, which actually has a transcription to it, and if you start following the things that we… you’ll be able to pull out of here and put that comprehensive financial plan together. What I’m going to talk about real quickly is Social Security benefits. According to Forbes, Social Security benefits will provide a safe haven in these types of times, and Social Security benefits function as a $1.5 million annuity for most families. But claiming your Social Security benefits is a much more complicated and confusing situation than ever.

David Bezar:
I mentioned in last week’s show, 2,728 different rules in the Social Security handbook, and there’s literally hundreds of thousands of rules about those rules. I mean, it’s just crazy. It’s so difficult for people to figure it out. How and when you claim your benefit impacts a lot more than the amount of your benefit check. It could trigger unknowingly an avalanche of taxes. It could double your Medicare premium. It could cause you to forfeit thousands of dollars in spousal benefits.

David Bezar:
As a matter of fact, most Americans take their Social Security benefits now at face value, and they end up leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table. For some families it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table. So, Bloomberg actually did some research and said 98% of hardworking Americans lose an average of $111,000 in Social Security benefits, and it’s all due to not understanding the critical timing mistakes. It’s not something to just wing it on. So, Joe, I love doing this show. I know Bret and Karen love doing this show. We love our audience. We love the feedback that we constantly get. It empowers us to be as passionate as we are, and I just keep watching what’s happening over the past couple of weeks with this pandemic, and I just feel so much for the retail investor out there.

David Bezar:
One of the things that I see is that people are living longer, Joe. Right? 85, 90, even 100 years old. People are starting to think, man, if I do live that long, I could potentially run out of money in retirement. You could be spending 25, 30, even 35 years without a paycheck. Right? Social Security, maybe a pension if you’re lucky, and your retirement assets. But it’s just so critical to have a plan like we’ve been talking about all day. The good news is there is some surprisingly attractive options to generate retirement income today.

David Bezar:
We will show you with our free Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review how you can navigate all of this. It could be done, literally, a simple phone call, a video conference. We can quickly assess the situation. We can share some real viable options. Folks, I’ve told you this. We live it. We’re authentic with it. There’s absolutely no cost. For those of you who have done it, you know that. Please go share that with other people and let them know, no cost, no commitment. So, there’s nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, if you have saved more than $250,000 in retirement, give us a call right now, 215-987-2430. Some of these attractive opportunities could expire in the next few weeks with everything that’s going on, so I’d really, really encourage you not to wait. Call us now at 215-987-2430.

Joe Krause:
Well done, and a great show today. Bret, quickly in 10 seconds, what’s your slogan, fail to plan or…

Bret Elam:
Yeah. Nobody plans to fail. They fail to plan.

Joe Krause:
Well done and well said. Again, as we end this show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, one more time, the phone number, 215-987-2430 to get connected with Thrive Financial Services. We leave you this weekend with a special congrats to the Bezar family.

David Bezar:
Thanks, Joe.

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