Oh No! Did I Make a Mistake?

 

 

An article titled “The Three Mistakes That Can Cost You a Fortune” is discussed as well real life stories that exemplify the importance of getting a professional’s opinion on Social Security. The Thrive experts bring real information, real understanding, and real solutions as they address the subject of taxes in retirement which is one of the things that have an erosive impact on retirement and bankruptcy.

 


 

Listen to the podcast here: 

It’s a special week because we begin on everybody else’s calendar around Delaware Valley with Labor Day now behind us. We welcome Karen Bezar, David Bezar and Bret Elam today. This becomes a very defined, very focused 12 weeks before we get into the holiday time and the time of the year when everybody starts to breathe again.So, I welcome everybody in. All members of the Thrive army! The army is growing. We have doubled-up our listening audience on Saturday mornings. It’s because it’s the information you’re providing that is allowing the army to grow.

We love to hear that, that’s awesome. We know that’s a good barometer for the message that we’re getting out there and that people are receiving, and probably, people become more familiar with it. People are sharing about it, and I think that’s why the attendance is going up. So, that’s exciting, and we’re seeing the same thing with our workshops. The word is spreading, and more and more people are bringing guests with them to hear the message. The message is resonating very strongly with people, so that’s exciting.

Very exciting, and I know, I can’t remember exactly how you phrased it last week, but you were talking about the number of clients and potential clients that come through the doors or come to the workshops that everybody talks to on a weekly basis. You want more, you’re asking for more, and I think that that’s part of what I would like to do over this next 12-week period in the fall of 2018. I want to encourage everyone to take the plunge. You’re absorbing information, you’re learning, you’re getting educated. Let’s get everyone now, take the plunge, jump on board, you’re going to learn so much.

You're absorbing the information. You're learning it and you're getting educated. Click To Tweet

I think we’re resonating in the sense that it’s education, it’s advocacy. Most traditional shows on radio that are financial service or wealth management-oriented, are really talking with a very specific agenda. They’ve got a slant to what they want to get across the people, and there’s a lost of pitch for product and solution. We’ve shied away from that because we know, literally through the people who come through our door, we know what questions they have. We know why they either do or don’t engage other financial firms. And, something to remember, the people who come see us, I would tell you, probably 67-70% of those people already work with a financial advisor.

We ask the question, “Well, what are you coming to see us for? Why’d you attend our workshop?”  The most prominent answer is, “Well, we haven’t been able to ascertain or get the answers to questions that we have.” You know, related to social security, a lot on taxes, “Can you give me an assessment of whether or not my retirement is going to be good one? Is it going to last my lifetime as well as my spouse’s lifetime?”

So, I think we’ve become that central repository of information, that trusted resource that people can connect with, understand what we say. We’re not talking down to people, we’re talking with people. We create a conversation versus a sales pitch. So, I think that’s why our ratings are doubling, I think that’s why our organization sees more and more people on a weekly basis. As a matter of fact Joe, this week at our main office which is in Fort Washington, we took two offices, knocked down the wall and made a big conference room. That’s now our third conference room just to be able to support the amount of people that are coming just alone to the Fort Washington office.

So, the need for us is expanding, and I will tell you, Labor Day weekend was a good one for me because it gave us a chance to take a breath. We’re working nonstop, just literally nonstop. It was very easy to do in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, but now that I’m in my mid 50s and a true baby boomer, I will admit to you for the first time that I’m actually starting to feel it a little bit. But, I think I got another 60 months, the fuel tank is absolutely full, the engine is on, and our mission is to go out there and help as many people as possible.

Well, we’re going to take advantage of that 60-month run for sure. We’ll start with that. Bret Elam, what do you have lined up for today, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks on the program with what I like to characterize as nuts and bolts, real details. 

We’re going to discuss three social security mistakes that could cost you a fortune. I’m going to be talking about a client that we met this past week whose husband had passed away, and just some of the experience that she had gone through. And, just how it relates to a lot of people that we meet on a day-to-day basis, and again, it speaks to us just trying to be an advocate for the community.

Karen Bezar is with us as well. What direction are you taking us today?

We’re going to talk about some mistakes that we have seen that people have already made, or mistakes that we have prevented from happening during retirement.

Alright, so we’ve got a good lineup planned.

Yeah, sure Joe, so I’m going to cover the remainder of this segment and the next segment. I think what I wanted to talk about today is to explain to people what that experience is like when they come in and see us for the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review. I really want to start helping people soften other concerns, or their hesitation, or whatever their perception may be of what it might be like to experience this process because it’s got so much value to it. So, this Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review which people could schedule with us, either coming out to one of our workshops, seeing what it looks like on the front-end, and then scheduling there, or they can call us at our office at 800 516 5861. I know you’ll share the text message that they can do if they feel more comfortable that way.

But, what the end result is that we have a deliverable. This deliverable is a few pages of an action plan. It’s delivered where we share the positives of what you’re doing currently, the possible challenges of what you’re doing currently, and then the action items that you can take walking out of here. So, people come in for a first appointment with us, and that appointment typically lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. That time is spent getting to know what the objectives are, what questions you want to get answered, things oriented to social security, taxes, portfolio risk and fees, and then kind of a stress test of the overall retirement.

We spend that time, we get questions answered via each other, and then we collect up some data.

Now, we don’t need people’s social security numbers, we don’t need their brokerage statement account numbers, their policy account … people can redact all that information out. But, we do need all of that data, and everybody knows the old adage of garbage in, garbage out. The more quality information that you provide to us to do our analysis, the better the output will be. The more clear, the more precise that it would be. Then our team goes to work. Usually, it takes about two to three weeks based on two things – the thoroughness of the job that we want to do, and the sheer activity that we’re involved with. Again, we’re seeing somewhere between 20 and 25 new prospects on a weekly basis who come through our workshop system.

If you are working with an advisor, make sure that they’re a fiduciary, that they’re required by law to act in your best interest.

It’s usually a two to three week time for us to turn around and get back to them. During that time, our team works on retirement income planning. So, we’re doing income and expense analysis, we’re doing social security maximization, trying to figure out what’s the optimum time out of those 567 election choices, when to take it. We also calculate healthcare costs, insurance planning, all into that retirement income planning strategy. That’s stage one of what we do from a report perspective. The second thing is investment and risk management, so we have a goals discussion, we analyze people’s risk through a tool called Riskalyze, and Riskalyze has part one and part two. Part one is tolerance level, part two is portfolio analysis, and see how that all adds up and whether we’ve got work to do there or we’re fine with it.

Stage three is tax planning, so we look at IRA 401K asset planning, we talk about forward tax planning, use our tax clarity software, giving information to make decisions in the year versus the reporting year where there could be impact.

When you have to make an important decision in life, you want all the facts, not just some of the facts. We also talk about planning for survivor benefits in stage three. Lastly, we do that overall retirement plan analysis, the stress test using money tree, any estate planning or wealth protection that would be needed.

When people ultimately decide that they either need us or don’t need us, and if they decide that they do need us to help them navigate and have us be a steward through that process, we take all of that work and we drill down into a very detailed, accurate report. So, first appointment an hour, second appointment an hour and 15 minutes, and then people will really either walk away with tremendous value, or they’ll engage us to really shepherd their retirement for them.

As you mentioned, 20-25 new potential clients are coming from the workshops. With the workshops filling up much faster and much quicker, I encourage people to take advantage of the opportunity. Really good information coming out of the workshop.

Oh absolutely. I had a financial advisor who lives in Minneapolis, we’re part of an organization called SOFA, the Society of Financial Awareness. I did a podcast and got numerous phone calls from financial advisors who listened to the podcast, to the point where people have asked to fly in on their own dime and attend our workshops.

One of these gentlemen from Minneapolis attended one of our workshops and we met with him the morning after for breakfast. He was asking for some pointers and insight on why we do what we do. One of the things that he said … He’s a person who does workshops as well. Said, “My workshop is just utterly, completely different than what you guys do. It’s just, when you get up there you can just feel the passion about delivering education and advocacy. I get up there and I really talk about products.”

“I talk about what you should do here or what you should do there.” We don’t do any of that at our workshop, Joe. You mentioned 20 to 25 new clients. I will tell you that’s a nice byproduct of what we do. Our philosophy when we started Thrive is if you do good by people, people will ultimately do good by you. We never walk in, in a pressure way. We don’t push, we don’t pry people to come in. They come in of their own free will and they don’t feel the pressure of us trying to sell them or to engage them as a client. We tell people that ball is actually in your court at the end of the second appointment.

You’ll never hear from us, “Hey. What do you think? You want to become our clients?” We say, “That’s what we had to share, if you’re interested in talking any further, that ball’s in your court. You let us know. Take our information, mull it over, and if you want to get back to us we’ll be available.”

I think that approach is what really has helped our success come on so quickly in the short period of time that we’ve been doing these educational workshops for people. Nice byproduct of our approach, I would say.

Yeah. That’s why I want to …I don’t want to say push the audience to do it, but I want to strongly encourage the readers. I’m a member of the audience, I don’t work for Thrive Financial Services. I absorb all of the information as presented and I just want to encourage people to do it. To take that next step.

This is like, “Hey. How does that resonate with me?” Or, “I didn’t know that.” The big encouragement is for people to come out, get engaged in a conversation that they may never had, had before.  That’s one of the predominant things that we hear is, “I haven’t had this conversation with my existing financial advisor.” They’re an investment manager, they’re not really planners. A lot of people mask themselves as planners. You really have to know all your stuff to get that done.

As an example, I want to finish up on this deliverable that we would give. The Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, the actual manual that you walk out with. One of the pages is an overview page where we’re going to total up your estate value, total up your available assets, what your current income is, the tax status of your dollars, your current asset allocation, the current fees and expenses that you’re paying for advice, if any, and then what your retirement income goal is.

And then, we go to the income plan page where we’re going to talk about what’s already in good order, what needs to be addressed, and what the action items are for you to think about and take action on immediately following these types of presentations.

We’ll also identify that income goal, what your current monthly incomes are from social security, pension, investment income, any other income. Things like real estate, so on and so forth. What your total monthly income number actually is, whether you have a short fall or a surplus, and any additional notes.

Then, we’ll do a detailed asset allocation of what’s in equities? What’s in fixed income?  What do you have in annuities? And then, we call “lazy money.” Which, we explain in our appointment. And then, what’s the tax status of those assets?

What is IRA? What’s Roth? What are CD’s and cash? What’s non qualified? Then, the next page of the plan, Joe is the tax plan. In the tax plan, what’s in good order? Objectives that need to be addressed? What’s the next steps of action?

 

The Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review is completely complementary and will provide great insight into your financial health.

This is a very important page and this is why a lot of people end up coming to our workshops and ultimately becoming our clients, because they see the advanced knowledge and expertise that we have in this forward tax planning and it’s all addressed. They walk out with that in the manual that we give when they finish that complementary session with us. That is the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review.

I’ll give you a perfect example of this very quickly, Joe. Yesterday I had a gentleman come in, he’s a chemist with Exelon. Wife owned a hair salon. He wants to retire, in his words, “Yesterday. ASAP.”

62 years old. He’s got about two and a half million dollars in assets and he said, “I probably can’t retire, because I’m 62 and I got to wait until medicare age.”

This is something we’ve addressed in the past where my response was, “If I can show you a way where we could have your healthcare costs covered in a very efficient way prior to age 65 and we could give you the green light to retire, because healthcare cost won’t be an obstacle is that something that you would want we to prepare for you?

What do you think his answer was?

100%

100%. That’s exactly right. Again, another area of expertise is understanding how to do that. A lot of times people from an advisory standpoint are telling their clients, “You can retire,” because they don’t know the rules to the game. We know those rules, Joe. We deliver that in the page called The Healthcare Plan.

In eight or nine pages, a deliverable that a prospect, a person who visits with us on a complimentary basis ends up walking out the door with something that took us probably eight to 10 hours and as fee based financial planners we typically charge $250.00 an hour. That includes face time and work behind the scenes so you can kind of get an idea of the value of this that we do complementary.

It’s unbelievable. It’s just incredible to wrap your arms around the amount of personalized information that is in there. Bret talks all the time about buckets. We hear always about buckets. I love buckets, but you need to be able to manage what’s in those buckets. That’s the key.

That’s what I said too – They just don’t know where, and when, and how. To us, it’s like driving a car. It’s so second to nature to us and I just encourage people to not worry, come in, no pressure and schedule an appointment by calling 800-516-5861. Come spend two and a half hours with us, it’ll give you an amazing background on what your future looks like.

It’s all there for the asking. The amount of details that are in the complementary report, as a consumer is mind boggling to me how much I don’t know and how much you need to know to do it right.

The problem is when you retire, they don't give you an instruction manual. You're out there to figure it out all yourself.. Click To Tweet

The problem is when you retire they don’t give you an instruction manual. You’re out there to go figure it all out yourself, which is hard. They don’t make it easy. It’s why we’ve made the decision to do the educational workshops. We’re not one of these glamorous restaurants feeding you filet mignon, it’s people that are really saying, “You know what? They don’t make this process easy and I need to seek out more help at the end of the day.”

My discussion the past couple of weeks have been related to the whole pension and pension crisis that’s out there, which is absolutely a major piece of talking about income planning. We talked about it’s part of the deliverable that we have with people is putting the puzzle pieces together related to income.

Another piece, staying on that topic is related to social security benefits. We touch on it here and there, but it was a great article that I had actually read last week. Again, called Three Social Security Mistakes That Could Cost You A Fortune.

When I read that and I had an appointment last week too, Joe.. Here’s the situation … I think I’m going to start the story with the young lady that I had met with, and then read this article, and then kind of put all the pieces together.

I met with a young lady. She’s 73 years old, her husband passed away five years ago. She was nice, but the big thing she came in with was she felt stupid and she felt embarrassed about not understanding all the finances, if you will.

You could see the way things were left from her investment standpoint, she just didn’t know where to go and we started asking her about that. She was working with one of the big companies. It’s a good company, a local company called Vanguard.

There’s nothing wrong with them, but her problem was she couldn’t sit face to face with somebody and she’s felt very intimidated through that process. In fact, she had an account there that still had her deceased husband’s name on it. Again, five years previous.

We asked her about that and she said she tried to remove him and got the paperwork sent to her, but she was so overwhelmed through the process that she experienced what we call, paralysis by analysis. You just do nothing at the end of the day.

What was a big deal with it is she was still collecting her social security benefit that she had started from years previous, where she was actually entitled to receive her deceased husband’s widow benefit. Which, would have meant that much more money coming into the household for her.

Meaning, she would’ve been spending that much less in assets. Let that be the framework, I’m going to kind of use that a little bit in going back and forth. Three social security mistakes that could cost you a fortune-

Pretty important piece of framework there, isn’t it?

Oh my gosh. Let me dig into the article and we’ll talk about it. Three Mistakes That Could Cost you a Fortune. The first one here is claiming benefits before you understand how they work.

Again, according to a recent survey nationwide, 91% of older adults have no idea what factors impact social security benefits they’ll receive after retirement. Let’s go through some of them that are out there.

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In particular, you should know how your age affects your retirement benefits. Again, we do a workshop just related to social security. We always think of age 62, age 66, age 70. But, again it’s putting all the puzzle pieces together, number one as it relates to if I’m going to continue to work or not. We talk about widow benefits, which is going to get me into another topic here.

Again, just understanding the framework of, “Okay. When can I do what? My friend that’s three years older than me is telling me this, but does that really apply to me?”

These are things that we dive deep into and it’s one of the very first reports that we review is going through that social security analysis of figuring out what benefits do apply to me and/or again, if life circumstances did happen. Whether it be divorce, whether it be a widow. Whatever that case may be, is what benefits am I actually entitled to?

You can always delay your social security all the way up until age 70. That’s a big deal when we understand the favorable tax ability.

Another couple that I met last week age 60 and 57. Not even eligible to start taking social security, but they hung up the cleats and the game plan for them is let’s try and get both of your social securities out to age 70 as much as possible. Which means, we got to be living on their other buckets of money during that timeframe-

That ties in  with all these deliverables, because if all of the deliverables are organized, and outlined, and understood they cohesively work together. If this bucket’s working, then that bucket is going to work. But, if there is a miscue it’s going to create a different challenge.

It’s putting the puzzle pieces together and we always talk about our most effective relationships have to do with one word, simply communication at the end of the day. It’s all about just keeping us in the loop. We come up with a great plan, but we got to follow that plan at the end of the day. This is a big one. In particular, you should know how your work history affects your benefits.

Again, it’s your highest 35 years worth of earnings is what drives what inevitably your social security benefit is. Here’s a perfect example. Someone starts working at the age of 25, for example. Maybe went to grad school? Whatever that case may be and they ended up retiring at 55.

They did really well through their career and they end up bringing us a statement saying how much you’re going to receive from social security, but on page two of that social security report it’s assuming that you’re earning that same amount all the way through those respective ages.

For example, say you work 30 years with good income. On that statement it’s assuming that you are earning that same income through those certain ages, because  if I continue to work and I earn more money it’s actually replacing some of those years that I earned less. That being number one.

Number two, if I end up having the ability to retire, let’s say after 30 years of work. Well, those are going to be five years of zero. It’s actually going to start affecting that social security benefit at the same time.

Again, it’s important putting those pieces together, because people coming up with a statement are like, “Oh. Here’s my benefit.” It’s like, “Yeah. But, you just said you’re not working anymore.” “Well, that’s right.” Well, you’re going to get some zeros on those.

Your benefit’s are going to drop a little bit. They don’t make things easy, and again, that’s what this conversation’s all about, is putting the puzzle pieces together. Here’s a big deal, and I touched on it a moment ago, how your marital status affects your benefits. Again, whether you’re married, divorced, and the big one being widowed.

Typically when we have people come in through that Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review process is you typically have one spouse versus another dominate the financial conversation and one just always turning their head.

“What do you think? No, what do you think?”

And that what happens if it’s that person that passes away? That’s a big deal because now just given the story that I just shared with the young lady I met last week is going to turn me to the very next thing that you need to realize. Are you ready for this?

This is number two, relying on the Social Security Administration to help you decide when to claim your benefits. Those three critical mistakes. Here’s number two. You ready for this? Unfortunately, you can’t rely on their advice of when deciding these claiming strategies. In fact, a report from the Inspector General found that thousands of widows and widowers were given bad advice from the Social Security Administration, and missed out on more than $141 million from social security.

Again, they’re not supposed to be giving recommendations, but they do anyway. The Inspector General Report also revealed that the Social Security Administration had no controls or protocols to alert employees if an applicant would be better served by delaying benefits. We see is all the time where bad advice is being given, and again, that’s a very important piece of that Retirement Roadmap Review, and it starts off with social security, social security, social security at the end of the day. And here it is-

I almost feel like you can’t make a decision.

You can’t. It’s hard. You have to seek it out.

That’s what I mean. As a matter of fact, don’t make a decision. If you’re not talking to Thrive Financial Services, talk to somebody in the know because if not, you’re going to make the wrong decision.

Right. Not Social Security.

Yeah, you’re going to make a wrong decision.

People think of, in our world, it’s just your investments, your investments, your investments. Yeah, it’s an important piece, but again, all the puzzle pieces need to fit. The employees at the Social Security Administration office who provide application assistance aren’t trained financial advisors, and they don’t know your situation, they aren’t qualified to give you legal or financial advice, and don’t assume they’re going to be able to give you the right information.

And the last critical decision is, we do meet a lot of people that are disabled, is not realizing that they have the ability to apply for social security disability benefits as well. Not going to spend too much time on that, but we do meet some people that it does apply to as well, whether it’s workman’s comp, whatever that case may be. A lot of people are like, “I can’t get social security until age 62.” And when it comes to social security disability in can happen at any age. Again, once you become a disabled. Again, just being conscious of all that. But again, they don’t give you that instruction manual at the end of the day. And again, you said it, Krause, whether it’s us, or it’s somebody else, you need to sit down with somebody that can help you put those puzzle pieces together.

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I felt so bad for this young lady that I met this past week, because she’s just completely overwhelmed. And her comment to us was this. While she’s concerned with her money lasting, she said she just simply would like to have her way of life unaffected if at all possible. And that’s what the confusion that’s out there. We see people take the ostrich approach and just hope it works out, and it has.

Why? We see one heck of a market run over the last decade here. But what’s going to happen? And I shared with her, the way she was sitting today …because she has left it untouched since her husband passed away from five years ago is, “Hey, if we get to see a correction, life will change for you in the future at the end of the day.” Because the social security check, the wrong one that she was receiving, again, pulling more money out from her buckets, is that we don’t want to go through that.

So again, whatever your case may be, whether you meet us through a workshop, or you read our blogs, feel free to call us at 800-516-5861.

Special thanks to David, special thanks to Karen, and special thanks to Bret for continuing their mission of getting consumers and getting people around the Delaware Valley educated. And Karen, I feel so bad for the woman that he referenced that is an example, just so much money left on the table, just because she didn’t know. It’s unbelievable.

I know. And I just wanted to touch on that a little bit, because I was talking to Bret earlier. I said, “Is there any way she can collect any of the back money that she was due?” She CAN collect a small portion of it, but not five years worth. And then, just real quickly, it was $900 a month she could’ve been adding to her income. And that’s for what? About 60 months. So that’s a lot of money that she lost out on. It’s nauseating.

 

The thing that confuses people the most or have the least understanding of is what the tax rules are and how they’ll be applicable during retirement.

It’s $55,000.

Which is one year of her budget which she lost over the last five years. So, I mean, you feel good when you’re able to provide that information to people.

It’s unbelievable. Listen, one of the reasons why I started this show by saying I want to intensify the focus, I want to encourage our audience to react for that example alone. Just one piece of information is a $55,000 decision, it’s crazy.

Just think how much better her month would’ve been if she had $900 more coming in.

And it makes you sick to your stomach to hear a story like that, but if you never came to a workshop, or if she never met Bret, she wouldn’t be able to fix the situation that she’s in.

So we feel good about doing something like that. And that’s why we started Thrive Financial Services. When we first started out, we were all about growing that nest egg for you, and growing your money, and then as we got older, as Dave says, we’re baby boomers ourselves, and as our clients got older, we started just learning a little bit more about this and that, and social security, that’s the cornerstone, or that’s the main income for people that they have coming in to their families. If you don’t have the right advice, you’re going to make mistakes like we just heard.

Yeah, and I don’t say it with any disrespect at all. I encourage people to be me, be smart enough to know what I don’t know. You get one chance. You get one shot. If you mess up at this particular point or at that particular point in your life, you may not get the opportunity. This isn’t to scare anybody, this is to get-

It’s reality.

It’s reality. Embrace reality and learn. It’s an absolute must. $55,000 left on the table. That’s a lot of money.

It’s a lot of money.

$900 a month. That’s a lot of money.

And she didn’t have $8 million. I mean it’s $800 or $1,000 that needs to last her lifetime, and she was pulling out somewhere in that four-ish range a month, just to be made whole. I mean it’s real.

We’re a good sized company, and we have a lot of back office people working for us. And I just feel bad that she called Vanguard, a big company, and they sent her the paperwork. Guess what happens if you’re our client and your husband passes away? You come into the office and we’ll sit down and help you do everything and lead you by the hand. We’re not going to send you the paperwork and forget about you. Because obviously they did. They didn’t see that somebody who’s passed away five years ago is still on an account? I mean, come on, that’s crazy.

Can I give you a statement of admission on behalf of my mother-in-law who passed away?

Sure, Joe.

Until the day that she left us two years ago, her and her husband, everything was still in both names. For 20 years.

Right.

For 20 years.

So, as advisors, we would never let something like that happen to you. And there’s other implications along with that. So along the same lines of what we were just talking about, mistakes that people make, I’m going to just mention a few mistakes that we have seen, and if anybody’s out there listening, maybe we can help you correct that mistake.

Along the lines of the social security, I met with a gentleman who, he’s retiring soon as well, I think he was about 60. Yeah, almost full retirement age for him. 66. His wife passed away 10 years ago, and he was so overwhelmed by what happened to his wife, and he said, “I’ve been so busy,” he’s just been working, working, working, but he came to our workshop and he said, “I really just want to come in and see what you can do for me.” And he also could’ve been collecting his social security. She worked, she had a great income, and he could have been collecting her social security benefits starting at age 60. Is that right Bret?

Yeah, widow benefits eligible as early as age 60.

Age 60. So he said, “Oh.” He’s 67. He said, “I could’ve been collecting her … ” you know his widow benefit on her social security. That would’ve been nice … something he could’ve been paying for his children’s or his grandchildren’s education, you know.

He didn’t turn it away on purpose. He just didn’t know. He goes, “I kind of thought about it, but … ” again, mistakes can be made, there’s nothing you can really do about it now, but social security has so many intricacies in it, so I encourage somebody to just come in, and we’ll be glad to guide you through that.

By the way, it’s something, you got to have an expert. You’re not going to pick up a manual or find it out there on your own.

There actually is a manual and you can go online. Have you ever googled anything for social security?

Pick up a manual and you won’t understand it. You’re definitely not going to understand a manual.

Yeah. We actually have social security experts that we can turn to. Whenever we have a question, they’re out there. If we don’t know the answer, we will find the answer. And there have been some weird things out there that we have found the answers to. So, it helps us with our knowledge base.

But some other big mistakes that we have seen is when people are looking at retirement, one of the things that Bret mentioned is they think, “Oh, I’m going to retire, I got to start collecting my social security.”

Not preserving liquidity. People think, “Okay, I’m retiring. I have about $100,000 left on my mortgage.” And I have seen and I’ve heard people come in, before they met with us, they’ve either said, “I’m going to take $100,000 out of something,” out of their savings? And they’re going to pay off their mortgage. It might not be the best thing to do at that time. You need to preserve your liquidity. They think that they just don’t want to be left with that mortgage payment, but it might not be so bad in retirement.

And I’ve had other people say, “You know what?” … You know, one of the questions we ask people when we’re giving you your Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review is, it’s an important question, is Where do you plan on living once you retire? Are you staying in your current home? Are you going to move out of your home? What are you going to do? And some people say, “Oh, we’re going to sell the house, and we’re going to move to a 55 and over community.” That’s great, but guess what? You better look into that, because you might end up not doing a lateral move. It might actually cost you more money.

Or another one is, so they say they want to rent. That’s great. Rent. You don’t have to worry about anything, but rent goes up. And if you’re in retirement for 30 years, you have to take that all into consideration, right?

A big one is people will take money out of their retirement accounts before 59 and a half.

Oh, that’s a big one.

Yeah, that’s a big one. So what happens when you’re working and then you took money out of your retirement account? You have to pay that 10% penalty, and then you have to pay taxes on top of the money that you just took out.

These are just things, before you do something like that you definitely need to think about what you’re doing.

Another big one is I’ve seen people who have great savings, 401(k)s, and I’m not lying, 50% of it might be in their stock. I mean, what happens if you retire and the company goes bust, right?

Diversify, diversify, diversify.

Exactly, so please, feel free to give us a call at 800-516-5861. Please don’t be afraid, don’t be embarrassed, we’re here to help you.

The Thrive army is there for the asking, and I would encourage our audience to take advantage of David Bezar, of Karen Bezar, and of Bret Elam. The information provided is priceless. It’s that good. And we’ll never know.We hope that we have fulfilled our promise to our audience to educate and provide good information. See you next time!

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