How Do You Make Decisions

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Our mission at Thrive is to take the time to learn your personal financial situation and history so that we can help you develop a personalized retirement strategy. Whether you’re just getting started or are ready to retire, our team is here for you every step of the way!



The market conditions, whether it\’s the Dow or the Nasdaq or it\’s the SMP making a new highs pretty much each week and little retracement then back high again, can confuse people. The old adage of buy low and sell high is the theory behind successful investing. Unfortunately and statistically, most retail investors end up buying high and selling low and it\’s more the rule than the exception. Wall Street has to sell to somebody and Wall Street is the place that has all the information. Sometimes, wouldn\’t you think that Wall Street may be making things sound better so that the retail consumer will keep moving and chugging along at buying things that Wall Street may actually think is overpriced? But they got to sell to somebody. Before you make decisions, try to take a step back, remove the emotion from the equation, and watch what the successful people are doing because that\’s how you can base a decision.

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How Do You Make Decisions

I\’m excited along with David Bezar and Bret Elam. Karen is going to take the day off after sitting in the hot seat. She did a great job in your absence, David. It was nice to have her. We had two good shows. We had a special show specific to women. Bret and Karen got into a real good discussion dealing with the death of a spouse and all of the details that follow that potential scenario. I\’m starting to get lots of questions from family, from friends and from people who know that I\’m doing this show, that I\’m part of doing this radio program. I was thrilled in our pre-show prep, David, to learn that our conversation or your focus and Bret\’s focus is trying to deal with some of the questions that are out there.

Tons of questions about what\’s going on. How do I do certain things? What the heck\’s happening with this market? Is it going up? Is it going down? We\’re going to spend a good amount of time talking about signs of what\’s happening out there, giving people some information that they can go on and do their planning, make some educated decisions about and prepare themselves for retirement.

Don\’t be afraid to call David, Bret or Karen at, 1-800-516-5861. There will be upcoming workshops and the complimentary workshops Bret filled with information for individuals.

They’re filling up. Our passion is education in advocacy. We show some stories, take some content that we’re throwing out there, which sometimes we describe as drinking out of a fire hydrant. We make it relatable to what’s real out there with some of our clients that have gone through some of those experiences.

David, where do you want to begin?

I wanted to thank you, Bret and Karen for filling in, great job. I’ve heard phenomenal feedback, which is always good to see. We get tons of questions both at our workshop. One quick comment that I want to make sure our audience knows about is that we are in the final stages of the redevelopment of our website. We went to work on our website because we’ve heard a lot of feedback from folks that it\’s sometimes easier to connect online than picking up the phone. I\’d say we should have the new website launch at

We redesigned it so it\’s easy to navigate. It\’s full of tremendous information. For the folks who do want to get in touch with us, we\’ve made it much easier. You can request our book. We\’ve got videos on there. They\’re going to be excerpts from our workshops as well as educational videos on top of that. Our schedule of all the different workshops that we do are there and we\’ve included some outside of the area. One of the things we keep saying on our Facebook site is questions coming in and commentary that, “This was the best thing that we\’ve seen from a retirement planning seminar standpoint.” If you want to like us on Facebook or you want to push that out to somebody else that you know, even if it\’s outside the region, we can make sure one of our advisors gets in touch with folks.

[bctt tweet=\”It\’s your job to simply make sure you don\’t lose. \” username=\”\”]

What I want to spend the rest of this first segment on is what\’s happening in the market. Being a veteran of 29 years in this business, it\’s always a common question when we get to these points. The markets, whether it\’s the Dow the Nasdaq or it\’s the SMP, are making new highs each week in little retracement then back high again. People are getting confused. The main comment that I want to make for folks is the old adage of buy low and sell high, which is the theory behind successful investing. Most retail investors end up buying high and selling low. It\’s more of the rule than the exception. What I try to communicate to the folks that we get the opportunity to sit down with, is try to take a step back, remove the emotion from the equation, watch what the successful people are doing and that\’s how you can base a decision.

Wall Street has to sell to somebody and Wall Street is the place that has all the information. I don\’t want to call it fake news. I don\’t want to call it noise or anything else but from a logical standpoint, sometimes wouldn\’t you think that Wall Street may be making things sound better so that the retail consumer will keep moving and chugging along at buying things that Wall Street may think is overpriced, but they’ve got to sell to somebody. On every single transaction, you’ve got a buyer and a seller. The buyer\’s idea is to sell it because they think it\’s at a high and won\’t go any higher, so I want to get my price for it and a seller\’s buying it because they think it\’s going to go higher. It is no disrespect to our audience whatsoever, but when it comes to having the information at hand, I would put my bet on Wall Street versus the retail consumer.



A couple of examples about that is out of Bloomberg News, a big article on Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha. Warren Buffett is making a very rare move and it\’s a sign, it may be time to take some money off the table. Warren Buffett is selling a 31% stake in a drywall manufacturer, the biggest one out there called USG. He bought the stake during the financial crisis. He was able to buy this phenomenal company at an incredibly cheap price during the financial crisis by low. According to Warren Buffett, the sear of all investing, he\’s ready to sell because he thinks that, at least this particular company is at its high point.

The people who were buying it, which is a German-based company, doesn\’t necessarily think that. When you look at the financials of the company, it doesn\’t look that way. It looks like they’ve got plenty of upside. Sometimes it\’s not always the fundamentals that people make their business decisions on. Sometimes it\’s the emotion of the markets. The one thing that I want to make sure people understand is that Warren Buffett is a buy and hold investor, he very rarely sells his holdings.

I want to tell people a little bit from this article why he\’s doing it. It says, “Maybe Buffett just didn\’t like the company or management.” Who knows? By itself, the USG sale might not be a big deal, but let\’s go back to what we’ve discussed. As I wrote, Buffett\’s company reported a record cash balance in its annual report, a massive stockpile of $116 billion in cash at the end of 2007 and most of it in short term treasury bills. Moreover, Buffett reported that he hardly bought anything in 2017. In our research for new standalone businesses, the key qualities we seek are durable, competitive strengths, able and high-grade management, good returns on the net tangible assets required to operate the business, opportunities for internal growth at attractive returns, and finally a sensible purchase price.

The last requirement proved to be a barrier to virtually every deal we reviewed in 2017 as prices for decent but far from speculative businesses have hit all-time highs. Buffett’s $116 billion mountain of cash was enough to literally buy any of the 450 largest companies in America, but he didn\’t buy a single one. Why? Because they\’re all too expensive. Asset prices are far too high. Here is the most successful investor in modern history who didn\’t buy anything in 2017, is stockpiling cash, is now selling an asset that he would typically hold forever.

It\’s true that no one rings a bell at the top or at the bottom of a market but it seems very clear from Buffett\’s actions that it might be a good time to take some money off the table and wait patiently for some compelling opportunities yet to come. We talk about this at every single workshop. Not only do we talk about it, we tell people what to do about it.

When you do a review and sit down with a couple or an individual in a follow-up from a workshop and go through that complimentary process, you can start to see from the information they\’re providing, a formula that falls into this.

Not only that but we help them get beyond the point of a body at rest, tends to stay at rest. While I\’ve had these investments, I\’m emotionally tied. They don\’t say that but that\’s what it is and we help them through that process.

Bret, I\’ll give you a chance to weigh in here.

I\’m going to segue in, just kicking off with what David said about sometimes it\’s realizing that we are at the top, do we need to take that risk and if I\’m retired, I\’m not backfilling when that market\’s gone down, like 2001, 2002, 2007or 2008. We\’re going to talk about five mistakes to avoid when retiring early. We talked about what happens being prepared when the first spouse passes away.

[bctt tweet=\”Public speaking is not the easiest thing in the world.\” username=\”\”]

One thing we are passionate about, David, Karen, myself or other advisors here at Thrive, is sitting down with people and sometimes showing them the way how I can get out a little bit earlier than what I thought about because who knows the uncertainty. I\’ve shared my story over the past couple of weeks. My mother-in-law passed away at 72 and my mother battling cancer at the age of 70. Sometimes we have in our mind getting out of 65, 66, 67 and making these plans in our 70s, 80s, 90s and we may never get there.

It\’s sharing to people the way to sometimes get out early. The five mistakes to avoid when retiring early. One, not considering a phased retirement. Two, failing to establish multiple income streams. Three, waiting too long to start collecting social security. I know there was a lot of press out there about some changes needed to be made against. Four, failing to visit a health insurance specialist. With specialists we mean Medicare, that\’s a big deal. We get one chance to make the right decision there. Five, this is the big one and we see it a lot of times with our clients, failing to factor in the cost of supporting grown children.

I don\’t want the readers to be offended when we point out these deficiencies or you point out these deficiencies. Take it all in and process it. It\’s okay to be self-aware. That\’s one of the cool things about this show, is helping us, helping me, helping the readers to be self-aware so you can get on the right road to retirement.

The most common age that we hear of people wanting to retire is at the age of 65 and reason number one, it\’s when people are eligible for Medicare. A survey found that 15% of adults in the US expect to retire before the age of 60. Another 29% expect to retire between the ages of 60 and 65. The very first thing is we’re talking about healthcare and that being the number one reason that people are waiting all the way out to age 65. We meet a lot of people that do work for big companies who may offer a severance package, or they may offer good retiree benefits, health benefits, so that it\’s not overwhelming. If you don\’t have them at your disposal for a couple, it could run you anywhere from $3,000 plus a month all the way down, depending upon our income that shows up on the tax return.

You could be subject to receive a big subsidy to make it a lot more affordable. It\’s a lot of the planning that when people come in and take advantage of that Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, we take them by the hand, go through it together and show them the way, the light through the forest, to start putting those pieces together. If we are going to be able to get out before the age of 65, what are those hurdles that we need to overcome? Sometimes it\’s not healthcare, sometimes it\’s making sure my children are up on their feet. It\’s a balance between those. The very first topic I wanted to chat on is about a client that we met. He’s very relatable and then given what David had just spoken about as well, just given where we\’re at in the market and Warren Buffett.



When they came into us, they had just retired and both started social security. They already had an annuity product that was out there that was going to provide them a little bit of guaranteed income on top of their social security checks. On top of that they were going to have to pull out an additional $55,000 a year off of approximately $1.1 million. If you do that math, it\’s about 5% each and every year. The previous advisor that he had been sitting down with, had ran all the assumptions out over the next 25 years, with the assumption that they are going to receive 8% growth in the market for the rest of their life. For us, that\’s financial malpractice.

He said, “Without a correction.” I said, “I need to see that.” I can make any picture look good, that things are going to be rosy and you can go to Antarctica every other month on the Nat Geo cruise, but it wasn\’t reality. A lot of times when we\’re sitting down with people and taking them through the stress analysis, we show them one correction in retirement and it can derail things pretty quickly. They felt life was good because that\’s all they had heard previously.

I shared that one picture with them and I saw two different reactions. She felt like the sword of Damocles was swinging over her. He\’s like, “Can you please tell her we\’re okay but we need to make some changes.” Which exactly what the situation was because they were very aggressive in everything that they had done. We share a lot of times with people, the risk is for people who don\’t have what you have. It\’s your job to simply make sure you don\’t lose.

The point in the story too is one little change. David started the program with good bullet points in a lot of conversation from that article on Bloomberg News, one unforeseeable change and the picture that you thought you created all of a sudden is not the picture of reality whenever that occurred.

They even made the comment in 2007, 2008, I didn\’t change anything. In fact, I was putting more money in when the market was down so it came back even faster and he\’s like, “I get it. I\’m not backfilling anymore.” What was good about them is that they were younger and retired. He was retired and work part-time and that was a big deal because in their mind, when we had met, they had just transitioned. He was traveling all over the world. He\’s like, “It\’s time to take a step back and enjoy the kids and the grandkids.” They didn\’t have any adult children that they were necessarily worrying about. What they were all about is spoiling the grandkids, traveling and seeing them more. What happened was that when they started taking their social security, they were losing about half their income.

[bctt tweet=\”It\’s a very skeptical and cynical world that we live in, with fake news and all the geopolitical shuffling that\’s going on out there.\” username=\”\”]

He was at about $110,000 a year gross and he was going to be getting a little $1,000 a week, so $52,000 a year working part-time. He said, “I love it because they\’re giving me the ability to work from home.” As long as I have an internet connection, I can be anywhere and everywhere. That\’s where we talked about not considering a phased retirement, we should be thinking about a phased retirement. A lot of people are always thinking about what they\’re retiring from, not what they\’re retiring to. That’s like, “This is what life is cracked up to be.” It\’s like, “What changes can I make?” Where we find a lot of people to go back and consult. They\’ll go back and umpire at the baseball field, referee at the basketball courts, if you will. It\’s figuring it out. It\’s so important to think about what we\’re retiring from but spend a little bit of time and talking about what we’re retiring to

Set phased retirement and bringing a little bit of part-time income helps. What we had figured out, you’ve got to do that for four years instead of the two years initially. They had some taxable income that was going to show up on the tax return and that allowed us to be a little bit strategic, not have to stress their assets and reposition them to make a little bit more conservative. It’s the importance of talking about those first two items, not considering that phased retirement, along with having those multiple income streams. Think about that, we have a couple aged, 65, 50% chance one of them makes it to the age of 95, we\’re talking about retirement before the age of 65.

We\’re talking about 30, 35, 40 years that me and my spouse may be going for that period of time. There’s a lot of press out there we\’ve seen in the past couple of weeks. People talk about, “Start taking your social security early. They\’re going to have to cut benefits by 21% by the year 2034.” For younger people, not some of those strategies exist that they did before, but we do meet plenty of people during our workshops that still have the ability to take advantage of those loopholes that are out there. That\’s part of that Retirement Roadmap Review. Coming in and figuring out the balance between assets and social security of when to do and what to do. If I\’m retiring early and heading to that Medicare, we always see AARP. Let\’s take their options. It’s vetted out. Work with a healthcare specialist in figuring out what all the options are that’s available for you.

It doesn\’t matter if you\’re healthy or you\’re sick, you\’re a free agent. The first time you got to sign up for Medicare, they don\’t care how healthy or unhealthy you are. We\’re all the same but if we got to change thereafter, things change a little bit. Please work with somebody that\’s in that healthcare industry. The last thing is please think about if I have adult children. We see a lot of people in the planning. It\’s like, “I\’m ready to retire soon as I can get my kids back on their feet. Even if I can get them out of the house, it may be more affordable for me to give them a little bit of money to keep them independent.” It\’s working with them, getting them back to school, whatever that case may be. Last time we were talking about what happens when people die, this time we\’re trying to show people, “There\’s a way so let\’s get out a little bit early.”

The one variable that I kept thinking about while Bret was going through those five mistakes and his example of a client who had come in for a complimentary visit, was that variable of never knowing how long you\’re going to be. The news is telling us we\’re going to live a lot longer. It\’s telling me that every time I read an article that I\’m going to live longer now. With that requires a lot more preparation or requires a different, a better plan than we currently have.

One of the common remarks that we get at the end of our workshop is that you guys have made me realize that this is a conversation that I\’ve never really had. If I\’m self-managed, I certainly haven\’t had it with myself. I didn\’t know what I didn\’t know. I didn\’t know that there were these many moving elements to what retirement income planning is all about. We\’ve got many folks who attend our workshop that do have financial advisors that have been working with them, whether it\’s short, mid-term or long-term. They say, “My financial advisor primarily talks to me about what investment choices to make. What I\’ve realized by attending your workshop, looking at your website, is that retirement has a different set of rules to it and there isn\’t a very good playbook out there.”

That\’s what\’s rewarding for us. When we get started at a workshop, five of seven, ten of seven as the room starts to fill in, I\’m very humbled about how many people show up. I feel such a degree of obligation to deliver. Public speaking is not the easiest thing in the world. We don\’t serve a sizzling steak and a lava cake at the end and all that type of stuff. We\’re there to roll up our sleeves, go to work and get people to understand that there is a playbook. You may not have it in your possession, but you better get a hold of it or you may not navigate retirement successfully. The worst thing that could ever happen is your money running out before you do.

[bctt tweet=\”If the market goes down, it\’ll get rid of your tax problem.\” username=\”\”]

It\’s an important thing for our team. It\’s something we\’re very passionate about. I tell people there is a difference between complimentary and free. Free is when you get what you pay for. You come in where you\’re not willing to unfold your arms. You remain skeptical, maybe even cynical about the appointment and we don\’t collaborate with each other to get you the information that you need. Complimentary is when you let your guard down. I\’m here for a second opinion, I\’m here to find out some more information and you\’re willing to share. We\’re not asking you to become our client, we\’re not asking you to do business and I know that\’s hard for people to believe in our audience, but we could give you hundreds of testimonials of people that we never asked them to become our client.

They asked us if we would hire them as our clients and we\’re happy to do so. If you\’re serious about learning, understanding and taking hold of that retirement plan so it\’s a success for you, then we want to meet you. If we\’re the right team for you, we\’re happy to work for you at 150%. Some of the things that we talk about in the complimentary Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review are these four topics. We\’re going to go through social security/Medicare. We\’re going to go through tax efficiency in retirement. We\’re going to go through how do you do a successful, well thought out, fully implemented stress test to make sure we look at every single angle possible to make sure that you get two thumbs up for your retirement.



Most importantly related to the time that we\’re in, are you properly invested for two things: market conditions and your risk tolerance level? Those are the four big topics that we go through in a workshop. In one of these complimentary second opinion consultations job. It might sound a little bit overwhelming, but we get the opportunity to do it twenty, 30 times a week. It\’s very routine for us. That doesn\’t make us calm or that it\’s so routine that we don\’t pay very close attention.

Everybody\’s scenario has different variables. There are different contributing facts that are going to change the puzzle every time. Twenty or 30 times a week, that’s twenty or 30 different puzzles.

It\’s not routine for us by any stretch and then secondly, the luxury of sitting with twenty or 30 new families lets us see every possibility. We\’ve been doing this for this market of retirement income planning. We\’ve sat with thousands of people at this point and there\’s nothing we\’ve seen that we can\’t give very good guidance on. We had a client come in at a very complicated situation. He came in for two reasons. One was he caught our radio show as he was leaving a grocery store and sat in the parking lot of the grocery store for over an hour to listen to our show in complete.

He said, “I have visited with at least what I thought were very high caliber financial advisors. I\’ve spoken, I\’ve read, but you guys just on the radio, it was the first time that I heard someone that I could relate to, who sounded like they knew what I was talking about.” When he came in, we did. It\’s something that we\’ve dealt with in the past. For him, it\’s the first time, first go around. For us, we\’ve done it many times. When I said it\’s going to be simple for us, he was a little taken aback and then I proved to him that it\’s going to be pretty simple for us to help him navigate that. I encourage our audience to go spend some time on our new website when we launch it.

If you see one of our ads on Facebook where you hear on the radio that we\’ve got a workshop that\’s close to your area, come on out and visit. If you want to come three or four different times, you are more than welcome to show up. At some point you\’ll get a comfort level that you\’ll take us up on this offer. We\’ll go through it and explain to you that there are 567 different combinations of how you could possibly take social security and what this Medicare is. People are so not informed on these Medicare surcharge levels. Sometimes it looks good. Both you and your wife or both you and your husband are alive because you don\’t meet the surcharge level. When you start filing that tax return as a single filer and that Medicare surcharge level comes to $85,000, and you\’re getting a big social security check. Two pension checks and your required minimum distributions, you\’re going to pay two or three times more than you thought.

If you understood how to make sure that your cashflow was exactly where you needed it to be for you to meet your monthly expenses and everything else, but structure your income that shows up on the tax form to be the least amount possible. You don\’t get hit with their surcharges, that there are many strategies to be able to do that in a legal way. These are topics, these are conversations that we are very fluent in and we find the vast majority of people in our space, in our industry are more focused on getting people to make the so-called right investment decision.

I cannot say it enough that a radio is the theater of the mind. I can\’t ask or stress more to absorb and listen to David, Bret and Karen and take you up on coming to a complimentary workshop. Take you up on coming to a roadmap retirement review. As comprehensive as it is, it remains complimentary in that initial stage, for you to be able to just get information. David, it\’s amazing, I commend you and I commend Bret.

It\’s a very skeptical and cynical world that we live in, with fake news and all the geopolitical shuffling that\’s going on out there. When people will meet Bret, myself and Karen, they’ll get a sense that we’re incredibly authentic about what we do. I tell people at our workshops, “If you\’d like to come in, we\’re happy to meet with you, but if you\’re not interested, don\’t feel compelled.” We\’re as busy as busy can be. It\’s an obligation to get out to the community, help them understand and be a force of change.



You get a sense when somebody walks through the door. We\’re finding other financial advisors showing up at our workshops and I welcome them. Imitation is the biggest flattery. There are so many people in the Delaware valley who are intruding on our space. We don\’t care if you want to learn what we\’re doing and help your clientele. I sat down with somebody, I won\’t mention the company she worked for. She said, “In all the trainings that I\’ve been in and all the team meetings we do, we\’ve never talked about this stuff. This is critically important.” I said, “If you even want to come to our training classes on how we do it for our advisors, feel free.” Anybody who can spread this word are doing people a great valuable service.

I guarantee that you will leave that workshop more educated than when you arrived at the door.

I want to piggy back off of what David had said. Talk about the difference between free and complimentary. We\’re in a fortunate position that we have a lot of people through the workshops that see the value of coming out. We want to take you up on that Retirement Roadmap Review and on that complimentary session. If you\’re going to fight us on some of the information we need to put it all together, it\’s okay and we made the comment. People come in all the time. You don\’t have to become our client. We\’re in a fortunate position that things are well here at Thrive. We\’re seeing twenty, 30 people on a weekly basis that we feel it\’s our duty to give back to the community and educate them.

If you\’re okay with coffee and cookies and water, not lava cakes and steak, we think the information is going to be that much better than going out to one of those events that are out there. We met a client that was up in the Hankin Library up in Chester Springs. He was 91 years old and his wife was 70, a couple of unique items that we don\’t necessarily see every day. For those of you who may have a difference in age gap of ten years plus with a spouse, the IRA allows you to use what they call is a joint table. That means that you have the ability to follow how much money you have to pull out on a monthly basis or an annual basis out of your IRAs.

At the age of 70, it\’s typically 3.65%, at the age of 85 about 7.5% and then those of you that are near age 100, it\’s about 15%. It\’s a lot of money. What happens is that if you are married to a spouse and there is a greater than ten-year age gap, they allow you to use what they call a joint table. What that allowed this couple to do, it was going to bring their device that the IRS gives them. It was going to put it down in the range of about seventeen. What that translates into was actually they\’re having to pull out less than what an 85-year old would have to take out. He was sharp as a tack. He was slow but was phenomenal at the information that he had. He wanted to convert his $1.2 million IRA to a Roth IRA. We did the analysis in front of them. They had done a lot of self-manage and some pretty good estate planning about twenty years previous.

When we sat there and said for every dollar that you were going to cash in, you were going to lose $0.33. He said, “Maybe we don\’t want to do that.” They had the flexibility. He was 91 years old and when he passed, it was going to go to his spouse. That was part of the estate planning that they had done where she was then going to be able to treat that as her IRA. When we looked at their portfolio, they had scored a 65, but yet their risk tolerance, what they could stomach, we call their odds are to level was a fifteen.

[bctt tweet=\”It\’s a little bit more difficult to know what questions to ask.\” username=\”\”]

That\’s a big divergence between the numbers and the number one reason that they said they had not switched their portfolio around because they had a good balance between IRA money and non-IRA money, was taxes. They had almost $800,000 in long-term capital gains that was coming from their taxable money, but they are fearful of going to pay those dollars to go ahead and reduce the risk on that side of the portfolio. What we had done was through that tax exercise, the assets that were in his name, we\’re going to, since it was a second marriage, his children. I go, “We don\’t want to touch those and here\’s the reason.” His health was okay but when he passes away, his children was going to be able to inherit those after-tax dollars on a stepped-up cost basis, meaning those long-term capital gains were not going to come into play.

That was a big deal. I was like, “We can\’t touch those assets.” I go as a fiduciary, they\’re risky out there, but we can balance the rest of the portfolio around that made up about a quarter of their overall portfolio. We left those risky, but we had shared as she had some taxable money too, to the tune of about $420,000 of long-term capital gains. It was worth about $750,000 of which $420,000 was taxable. When we redeemed those assets, we did a side by side comparison, she was going to pay about $88,000 in taxes. I go, “There\’s one way to get rid of that tax bill,” and they looked at me and said, “What?” If the market goes down, it will get rid of your tax problem.

If it\’s worth $750,000 and I have $420,000 in gains and the market goes down by half, you won\’t have a $420,000 tax bill anymore if you cash all it in because you just lost half the money at the end of the day. Tax always needs to be a consideration when we talk about overall asset allocation, but it needs to be number four or five, not necessarily number one. We\’re at a nine year climb off of the market, it was going sky high from there. We\’ve talked about 51% growth in the market over the past couple of years from beginning of 2016 through the beginning of 2018. Before that, rocky road hit again in February is starting to put all those pieces together and trying to find balance portfolios of trying to do some estate planning.

Another big deal that brought them into the workshop was Medicare surcharges because every year they get a little bit older. They have to start pulling out more and more required minimum distributions and she just turned 70, it\’s 70 and a half. She\’s got to start taking her IRA assets out. For us to sit here and tell you that every conversation\’s the same, they\’re never the same. Some people have tax problems, some people have Medicare surcharge problem, some people are trying to figure out social security, some people are looking for peace of mind. What\’s that rate of return I need to earn to give me that peace of mind in retirement, where I don\’t need to go out there and take a lot of risk?

We’re doing these workshops six, seven times a month all over the Tri-State area to give back to the community to say, “We need to educate ourselves a little bit more on income planning, social security planning, on tax efficiency retirement, putting all those puzzle pieces together.” Many times, that dialogue is about your investments.

Is it easy for a couple to know or to see what to expect ten or fifteen years down the road?

It depends. There\’s that law in physics, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest.” If somebody was less proactive during their working years in trying to put a plan in place long-term, maybe abdicated some of that responsibility to a financial advisor or an accountant. I would say for that person, it\’s a little bit more difficult. It\’s a little bit more difficult to know what questions to ask. That\’s why there\’s such a surprise and there’s such an engagement at our workshops.


When we first started doing them, we didn\’t know what the reaction was going to be. Now people come up to us, I don\’t mean this in a mean-spirited way by any stretch and I know our audience probably recognizes that, but sometimes I was wishing they would leave a little earlier. We’re there, the workshop ends at 8:15 and 9:15, we\’re still answering questions and going through scenarios and say, “Come on in, spend one hour with us.” We\’ll answer all those questions. We\’ve got patience of a saint; no question is stupid. We want you comfortable, that\’s why we wrote that book for financial peace of mind, Roadmap to Retirement: Navigating Your Way to Peace of Mind. We wrote that for a specific reason. We want people to enjoy that. I\’m planning on enjoying it, why not others?

On behalf of David Bezar, Karen Bezar and Bret Elam, we thank our readers for being a part of the big show. Until next time. I\’m Joe Krause. Good day.

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