I\’m Retiring And Overwhelmed

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Vacationing to far-off places can seem like a dream. When we think of all the planning that has to be made, we come to realize that maybe that goal by the end is too far off. Much like when we plan for our retirement, the need to plan is very important for everything to go smoothly. The entire process can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, there is always the upside of grabbing yourself a good planner to help you with the preparation. The Thrive specialists provide you the information you need about retirement. They give you the rundown of what to expect to prepare for your financial future. Touching topics on taxes and investments plus an overview on what to expect when getting a financial advisor, you will definitely find your trip to retirement a breeze.

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I\’m Retiring And Overwhelmed

A good show is lined up for you as David Bezar, Bret Elam and Karen Bezar join me. Bret, I know you\’re going to be along with that topic of conversation. We\’re going to deal with taxes and try and get some reality behind what\’s real and what\’s perception. What\’s the difference?

We were talking about a lot of those talking points of what we thought was going to be in the bill. The good thing is some of what we spoke about did not hold. Things are continually being leaked out with how thick all those changes are in the bill. We\’re going to go through some of those talking points that we talked through previously, but some new ones as well.

We’ll do that with Bret Elam. Where do you want to begin, David? Let me start with you.

Joe, it\’s this time of year when people start thinking about those summer vacations. We talk a lot at Thrive about booking a trip to retirement. It\’s a big conversation. We always say that retirement is a 30-year vacation. The route to that 30-year vacation can be a bumpy one. Most people get stressed out. I’ll exclude my partner sitting across the room from me. When we travel, Bret\’s the guy who gets the whole family there at 4:00 AM for an 8:00 AM flight, not that he\’s stressed out at all.

We understand that trips and vacations put people under stress. For a moment, I want our audience to imagine for a second that they\’re about to set off on a vacation, to travel to a spot of their dreams. Before they get there, there\’s a layover that they have to go through for a few days. It\’s in a far-off country. It\’s somewhere you probably have never been before. You don\’t have a clue about the local culture, it could be in Portugal, Spain and Egypt. You\’re not tied in. You don\’t know what to expect.

Once people have that place in mind, I want you to think about all the challenges that you could potentially face once you get there. You might not speak a word of the language or know how to get from place to place. Perhaps you\’re worried about the local food upsetting your stomach. You aren\’t sure where to go change out your currency, all the things that could potentially happen. Most of all, you\’re probably running down a checklist of what you need to do. Get to the hotel and figure out what your next flight is and so on. As exciting as it is to go on vacation, the process of getting there can be a real hassle if you don\’t have a plan or if you don\’t know how to adapt when the plan has to change on the fly.

In that way, the stresses of a long layover are a bit like the stresses of retirement planning. It\’s the way to get where you want to go, but it comes with its own complications. That\’s where there\’s a whole new language that you need to get used to, things like bonds, derivatives and ETF funds. There are customs to learn and decisions to make, like how to balance your investments and adjust your portfolio. It can seem easy to stumble and fall when you don\’t know the road well.

[bctt tweet=\”Retirement is a 30-year vacation.\” username=\”\”]

It can be overwhelming.

What we want to help people understand is that you can enjoy the layover in retirement planning before taking off for the retirement of your dreams. There is a way of making the experience much easier. You need a good travel planner, someone who knows their way around and has helped other travelers have fun in retirement planning before having a blast in retirement. You need experience. You need the kind that we offer here at Thrive. We\’ve been helping people to plan a route through retirement and get there safely so they can get that dream vacation that they\’ve always been considering and that it lasts a lifetime. If people think that resonated with them, that made sense, they could feel the stress, they can give us a call at 800-516-5861 or go to our website at ThriveFinancialServices.com. Book a complimentary consultation with us and see if we can help become that good travel planner.

When we started this program, the mission of Thrive Financial Services is to educate and advocate for your clients, our audience. That\’s what it\’s all about.

We love doing it. We love the process. It\’s one of those things. If you have passion about what you do, it gets you up in the morning early, excited and a smile on your face. You go to bed at night tired, but still with that smile on the face, knowing that you\’ve had some impact on people\’s lives, helping them navigate, get peace of mind and reach that roadmap to retirement.

David, let me ask you to put people at ease when they hear that word overwhelming. That term sometimes will hold somebody back from making the call.

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We try to make that as easy as possible for people. Our bestselling book, Roadmap To Retirement: Navigating Your Way To Peace Of Mind, is a great first step because it\’s not overwhelming. You pick up the book and you read it. There are great topics there. It\’ll give you some empowerment, some education. If that creates some comfort, then give us another phone call to come in and sit down with us. We\’ll show you how we can make it apply to your life.

In that book, you\’ll find a lot of conversation about retirement planning. Karen Bezar is joining us. Teaching your kids about retirement planning is such a bull’s eye conversation. I\’ve got five children across the spectrum in terms of different ages. Somewhere in there is the truth on when you start and how you teach them.

Fortunately for us, we do have two daughters that are still living at home. This is what we do for a living, so we\’ve already started talking and teaching our children about it. As they say, the work of a parent is never over. For many of our readers, their children might have moved out years ago. They might even be married with kids. There\’s a good chance that they still occasionally call you for help. Even though our daughter’s in college, she still needs help from us every once in a while. It\’s funny how in their twenties you know when they call and they say, “Mommy or daddy,” what they\’re calling for. “What do you want?” You can always tell by the phone call.

Teach them how to write a check, how to start paying bills. You might\’ve given them advice over the years on how to pick a career or get ahead in their career. If you haven\’t talked to kids about getting started on the retirement planning, it might be time to do so. It can be tough for your kids because if they\’re younger, they\’re just married or in the early part of their family life, it\’s hard to start thinking about retirement. You think it\’s so far off. For our audience and for many of our clients that we meet with, it\’s amazing how quickly time flies. Before you know it, you\’re focused on retirement because you\’re paying the bills, you\’re paying for the mortgage, and you\’re paying for college. You think, “At this point, how could I even start saving for retirement?”

It\’s a good time to start talking to your kids about that, about in their 30s. They need to start working on their nest egg if they haven\’t started to. Here are a few tips for talking to your children about how to get started in retirement savings. Number one, I would say give them a savings goal. At least if you have something to work for, a dollar number amount to start putting away for when they\’re retired, that’s great. The most important part of saving up for retirement is the actual saving up. Many young people, when I say young it’s 30s, 40s, don\’t set a specific saving goal for themselves each year. They only sock away whatever money they happen to have left. If you have a goal, it makes you feel better when you look at that account and you start saying, “I\’m getting closer to that goal.” That could start building up their large nest egg.

The first thing you should impress on your kids is that they ought to have a clear savings goal that they\’re working towards, namely socking away. We suggest 10% of their income. It might seem like a lot of money and a daunting goal to them, especially if they\’re not even used to saving a lot of money. 10% is the goal that most financial advisors and that we also recommend for young people when we were in that part of our career. They can start working their way up to 13% or 15%. They look at you like you\’re crazy when you say start saving 10%. Impress on your kids that they should have some goal. If it\’s not 10%, let\’s start with 5% or let\’s start with 8%.

We started with my youngest daughter who\’d had her first job at the Jersey Shore this past summer. We said, “50% of everything you make is put away. The other 50% is at your discretion.” That\’s unrealistic as she gets older and gets later in life. At least, to your point, trying to plant the seed and then where they fall on the curve is going to change depending on who they are.

I wish I could still save 50% of my income. We have one more to put through college. I’m looking forward to it. I’m having the countdown. We have one graduating soon. I\’m literally counting down the college tuition payments and the rent payments. I keep saying, “We have two more rent checks to pay and we\’re done.” I\’m looking forward to it, but we\’re proud of our daughter. Congratulations, Samantha, for graduating. She did it in four years.

Another thing is when they\’re starting to save money, tell them to keep their investments simple. You see many commercials for many different types of investment vehicles. A lot of people don\’t start paying any attention to Wall Street until they start preparing for retirement. It\’s possible that your kids could be intimidated. They think that they might need to be financial wizards to start saving. That\’s not true. Investing is a lot simpler than what most people think.

[bctt tweet=\”It can seem easy to stumble and fall when you don’t know the road well.\” username=\”\”]

There are plenty of options for newer investors to start out there. Start saving somewhere. Start putting the money away somewhere. Tell your kids that they shouldn\’t start throwing their money at every new fund or ETF that they read about in the financial section. Anything can be made to sound good. You need to have a little bit of education. They need to also remember they\’re in it for the long haul. Spreading out investments with an eye on the long-term, steady growth is what you want.

I know the first thing that comes to mind when you make that statement, Karen. We\’ve talked about it on this show. Bitcoin is something that\’s out there. You read a lot about it. All of a sudden, everybody wants to invest Millennial-wise, “Should I buy bitcoin?”

We wouldn\’t even go into that when you\’re starting at a young age as a novice. You want to make sure that your kids have a certain advantage. They probably have a higher risk tolerance. They can play the stock market, so to speak. They can take a little bit more risk. They also want to make sure they stay flexible. It\’s a long and winding road to retirement. Make sure to impress on your kids that they need to be willing to change their strategy if their situation changes. Things happen, unemployment, recession, health issues, all that can impact your savings. It\’s easier than ever for people to start assessing their retirement strategies. Your kids can use the internet, all kinds of stuff like that.

Remember, your kids have relied on you to help them throughout their lives. Retirement planning is no exception. You can rely on us, the trained experts at Thrive Financial Services, to offer you advice and guidance to both you and your children. Call us today and we\’ll develop a plan that incorporates your personal goals and your financial situation. Life is about more than money. It\’s about being there for your loved ones, especially your children. We want your retirement to be filled with spending time with the people you love, doing what you love. Your finances are a major part of that equation. Call us to schedule a complimentary financial review and we\’ll discuss the goals that you have for retirement and create a concrete plan to help you achieve them.

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Don\’t forget about Roadmap to Retirement. Special thanks to Karen Bezar. Remember to call Karen directly at Thrive Financial Services. You can book an appointment with Karen. She\’s easy and comfortable to sit down with. You\’re starting to hear Karen with a lot of her commercials. In those spots is an open invitation to set up an appointment with Karen. Bret Elam, you\’re going to live with that term, dental pain. The importance of that or the meaning of that certainly applies to taxes. We, meaning me, meaning the audience, we don\’t understand all the changes.

A lot of times, when you talk about dental pain, it’s overwhelming, how you make things a little bit easier. We talk about all the changes that happened with the taxes in 2007. We got a Taxes in Retirement workshop in the Upper Dublin Township Building. There are a couple of steps where you can be introduced to us, whether you want to come into the office, whether you want to come out to a workshop or simply read our book.

The workshops are complimentary.

100% complementary, just an open mind. We talk about dental pain or drinking out of a fire hydrant. We take our time in going through all these different steps. Krause, we go back to the end of 2017. The last few months we\’ve heard everything from up, down, all around from what\’s in this new tax code. That final version’s finally been passed, and we\’ve been talking about it over the past weeks and months. Let\’s talk about some of the things first that did not make it into the bill. This is a big one.

First one is there is no first in, first out rule when selling stocks. Our fear was that was going to go away where you had the ability to pick and choose what series of stocks you wanted to indeed sell. You still do have the ability to do that. That is a big deal. Another big deal of what did not make it through was that there were no cuts to the maximum contribution that you could make to a 401(k). For those of you that are continually increasing that amount or are at the cap, the good news is they are going to continue.

For a lot of people, that was a concern when they first heard that language come out that it was a possibility.

We\’re talking about what was thrown out there, what stuck, and what hasn\’t. Let\’s talk about some of the things that have changed, and these are a big deal. We’ve spoken about standard deductions, where 94% of people are going to be filing what they call the standard deduction. Here\’s another reason as to why is that at the bottom of the first page of items that you are itemizing. We get to line items like tax preparation fees and safety deposit box fees.

This is a big one, investment management fees. All those fees that I spoke about are no longer deductible, meaning making it harder to achieve. Am I going to itemize or not? That\’s why many more people are going to be filing what they call is that standard deduction. What that may mean is take a look at how everything is set up, what we\’ve done is for those investment management fees is again realize that it’s not advantageous anymore from a tax reporting standpoint.

[bctt tweet=\”Life is about more than money. It’s about being there for your loved ones.\” username=\”\”]

A lot of members of the audience perhaps use their own accountant and use an accountant when they do tax preparation. You work in cohesion with the accountant. Should that be a part of the equation?

Yes, absolutely. David, Karen, and I have developed relationships with a couple of dozen accountants around the surrounding area. For the simple fact, we meet people that are looking for that continued education advocacy. It\’s like, “Can we have this conversation with my accountant? I want to validate everything that we\’re talking about.” We\’re like, “Absolutely.” A lot of times, we\’re being introduced to a lot of the area accountants to go through that. It’s a collaboration. All these people are working on your behalf. Let\’s make sure that you\’re the one in the middle that\’s deriving the benefits from it if you will.

That\’s a lot of that Tax Clarity report we\’ve been talking about. Through our workshop, it\’s one of those complimentary reports that we utilize, and it has a lot of strength behind it. It’s not reporting what happened, but what\’s going to happen in the future. If that\’s something on your mind, understanding how the new 2018 tax code and how that\’s going to affect you, that\’s something that you can reach out here to the office. We’ll be more than happy to set up that complimentary session where we can talk about these 2018 tax changes and how they apply to you.

I want to reiterate the workshop is going to deal with taxes.

We\’re going to do a real live demonstration going through that Tax Clarity solution, that software that we utilize where people can see how it works on a general basis. If there\’s intrigue, we\’re more than happy to illustrate how it applies. Somebody’s additional change is Roth conversions. Before, we used to be able to do a Roth conversion and possibly re-characterize it back to a traditional IRA up until tax filing deadlines. Whether it\’s April 15th, we file an extension out to October 15th. Now, the rule is if I do a Roth conversion, it’s done. It’s final. There are no re-characterizations. Those are done. It\’s a big deal when going through that thought process. You could always tip your toe in. If you didn\’t want to do it, you can always pull it back. Now, once it\’s done, it\’s done. That\’s something that you definitely need to think twice about before you do.

Another one is the 529 plans. We think about higher education, college expenses for 529 plans. Some of the changes, they\’ve made it more flexible. Some people have what they call as a Coverdell savings account, which had lower contribution limits to be used for education before college. They\’ve loosened the guidelines on 529s where we can use up to $10,000 towards those plans. We talked about capital gains. They\’re now a little bit different, similar to what they looked like in 2017 with the income numbers, but because of the drastic changes in the tax brackets, we need to understand how that fits into the equation, in addition to as well. 401(k) loans are easier to pay back. If I have a 401(k) loan, I lost my job. All of a sudden, you had 60 days to pay that money back. Now you have until the tax filing deadline to pay a loan back. It\’s a big deal before it gets considered as an income.

It’s certainly easier to repay the 401(k).

That’s exactly right. It gives you more time. You\’re not stressing, freaking out, “How am I going to pay this back?” and then putting those puzzle pieces together, a deep breath and figuring it all out. At the end of the day, we\’ve all figured out that Trump Air is well under the way, whether we agree with it or not. While we can\’t be 100% sure of what\’s to come, one thing that holds true is the need for a plan. Call us to schedule that free review. We\’ll assess what you have, where you\’d like to be now and in retirement, and help you with those savings and investment strategies to help you get there.

All good stuff from Bret Elam on the taxes, which now have some reality behind him. If you want to go to the workshop, the workshop location is where?

The Upper Dublin Township Building, it\’s a Taxes in Retirement Workshop.

David, you asked all of us to use our theater of the mind and start to visualize, start to think, or put us in a place where we were planning a trip. We worked our way through some 401(k) conversation and meandered our way into taxes. We talked about some of the workshops. What does that mean? Help me and the audience understand what it\’s like to prepare for a conversation with Thrive. That\’s the next step. It\’s one thing to grasp the information. It\’s another to come to a workshop, then it\’s time to come and say hello. What\’s that like?

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We\’d love to share with folks what it\’s like to get ready to meet any financial advisor, not just those of us here at Thrive. Retirement, you get one shot to do it. You don\’t get a do-over. You\’ve got to make sure that you\’re connected with the right type of a person that\’s going to understand you, help you, and give that proper guidance to make sure retirement’s successful. There are a couple of things that people should understand about the preparation and then the process of coming in to see a financial advisor. The first thing for folks to do is do some research on the firm. Do some research on the advisor that you may be talking Find out credentials. Find out the background and years in the business because you want somebody that\’s credible, who\’s experienced and who\’s been through some.

There are a lot of younger financial advisors today that have never experienced a bear market situation. All they\’ve ever seen is the rise in the markets and don\’t know or have not at least experienced how to react when things do change. Research is a big deal. Meeting with a fiduciary is paramount. A fiduciary has the legal obligation of making sure that they\’re acting in the best interest of the people that they\’re going to serve. The second thing that I\’d recommend is that people interview multiple advisors.

The thing about interviewing multiple advisors is trying to connect and trying to see, “Do I feel comfortable with this person? Do I feel I can trust this person? Do I like this person?” It could be a 30-year vacation like we talked about it in the first segment. That relationship has got to be long-lasting. There\’s got to be interaction. It\’s an important relationship. Interview a couple to see what jumps out at you.

I know from previous shows and as our relationship has developed, you are a large or huge believer in getting that second opinion.

Our audience has heard that a couple of times. If anybody was ever diagnosed with a critical illness, most people are smart enough not to jump at the first recommendation. You\’re out there looking for second opinions, maybe thirds and fourths. Even if you\’ve had a financial advisor for twenty or 25 years, this is a different stage. A lot of times when we\’ve talked in the past, a financial advisor may need more of an investment manager than a financial planner. You got to take a look at all the moving puzzle pieces to make sure that they fit accurately. We\’ve seen many situations where the planning that was done prior to retirement wasn\’t necessarily appropriate. It didn\’t take consideration of taxation, longevity, estate planning, elder care issues, all of those types of things. That\’s why you need experience. That\’s why you need a fiduciary.

The other thing that people need to do to prep to meet with any financial advisor is to know their own situation. Understand their situation. There are three things that financial advisors are basically going to ask about in a first meeting. One is your money, two is your budget, and number three is your goals. Advisors need to know how much money you\’ve saved and where it\’s saved. There are times people say, “I don\’t know you. I don\’t feel comfortable.” It\’s garbage in, garbage out, Joe. When we do our analysis, if you give us bad information, we can\’t do a comprehensive analysis of what\’s going to happen. If you don\’t trust us yet, that\’s okay. You can take your brokerage statements and redact out. Take a black magic marker and get rid of all the policy numbers, all the statement account numbers, and your social security. You don\’t need to provide that in the beginning stages of a relationship. If that makes you feel more comfortable, do it.

I wouldn\’t avoid bringing in information because there\’s got to be an evaluation. If you had a health crisis, you\’d want a CAT scan, an MRI. You would want X-rays, blood tests. You\’re not just looking for a diagnosis when people walk through the door. Doctors got to see what\’s going on. The other thing is that budget\’s important. When we sit with folks, we\’re building towards how we ensure that we reach that budget number, that quality of life, that standard of living for the rest of that family\’s existence. If it\’s a husband and wife, that income has got to last for two lifetimes. If it\’s a single, a widow, a widower, separated, divorced, whatever it may be, then we plan for the individual.

[bctt tweet=\”If anybody was ever diagnosed with a critical illness, most people are smart enough not to jump at the first recommendation.\” username=\”\”]

We’ve got to know what that number is, so we can factor in social security. If there is a pension, what are your other sources of guaranteed income? How much money do you potentially need to utilize from your retirement assets? What if those retirement assets go through some turmoil? We want a stress test. We have to understand that number. The goals, what\’s the objective? Is it sitting back in the easy chair, not doing much or some of those dream vacations? We drive people on that.

We want to find out, “Are you gifting? Do you have grandkids that you want to take the Disney World? Do you want to take an around the world trip? What are the things that get you pumped up and you want to get accomplished over the next twenty or 30 years?” We have to build those into the plans. Those are the things that are important to be prepared. Lastly, it\’s about asking lots of questions, that conversation. What\’s the conversation? Back and forth. A good advisor\’s going to dig in and ask good questions and wants to get to understand who you are, what you want, all of that. You should be doing the same exact thing so that you can evaluate, “Is this the type of person I can see being involved with for the next ten, fifteen or twenty years?”

A good synopsis from David Bezar. Don\’t forget the name of the book is Roadmap to Retirement. I would encourage you to ask yourself this question, “How much money do I need for retirement?” If you don\’t know the answer or if you\’re confused on the answer, if there are elements that go into that answer that you may or may not feel comfortable with, meet with Thrive Financial Services. Bret, let me get a quick update on the workshop. It should be a packed house. It\’s a great, big topic.

We\’re continuing the education regarding the 2018 tax changes and more importantly how taxes work in retirement. Upper Dublin Township Building. There will be great information to pick up.

David, that book Roadmap to Retirement, when it busted out on the Amazon list, it was a big story. I was super excited to hear how that all played out.

Two things. We had a free download day digitally on Amazon. For the day, we ended up number two. We thought we were going to be number one, but we ended up number two bestseller for the day in our category of retirement planning. It’s a big win, we loved it. It shows that a lot of people are excited. We got some fantastic reviews. The book was written with heart. There’s a lot of mind in it, but a lot of heart too. We wanted people to get an understanding, an experience.

We interviewed a lot of different financial professionals for that book and shared the dialogue so people could get an idea of mistakes, wins and process with all of these different types of financial professionals, accountants, attorneys and reverse mortgage people. It was a big win for us. We\’re excited the book’s getting popular and it\’s out there. If you missed it, it\’s still on Amazon for $17.95 for a paperback copy of the book. As we told you when we wrote the book, all proceeds are being donated to a charity called BeatCancer.org.

1-800-516-5861 is the number. On behalf of David Bezar, Karen Bezar and Bret Elam. I\’m Joe Krause. See you next time.

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