#195 – Lifelong Learning in Retirement

#195 – Lifelong Learning in Retirement. Listen and read along as hosts David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam talk with Joe Krause.

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Announcer  00:00

This program is paid for by Jacob media partners. All opinions or statements expressed on this program are solely those of Jacob media or its guests and do not reflect the views of WPHT or Audacy. Today’s program is pre-recorded. Welcome to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam from Thrive Financial Services who have been featured on Fox, ABC, NBC, the Wall Street Journal and more. Saving for retirement is a great start – but it’s what you do with this money that really matters. What’s your strategy to reduce taxes, generate income in retirement, reduce your risk and get even more from Social Security? This is where you can count on straightforward and objective advice about how you can make your money go a lot further in retirement. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. Now here are your hosts, David, Karen and Bret along with Joe Krause.


Joe Krause  00:52

Back here with another week of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show – following the unofficial start to summer a week ago, it feels as though the year has now reached that stage where things are going to accelerate. And we’ll be talking about the fall. And I only say that and begin the show that way, David, because you know sometimes when we procrastinate, and you’ve heard Bret say this many, many times, time goes by don’t procrastinate. As it says in the workshop spots that we aired during the show. Get educated, get registered. But now that I’m off my soapbox. Good morning, welcome in.


David Bezar  01:31

Thanks, Joe. We never mind that soapbox. It’s foul, because you know, you have a different perspective. I mean, you’re you know, you’re not a, I mean, we love you. But you’re not a staff member of Thrive or anything like that. You’ve kind of got the consumers point of view perspective, you tell us quite frequently, you know, after the shows, geez, I didn’t know that. And this was really good information that helped me out and you’ve applied some of the things to your personal, you know, financial situations. And so I think that’s always good, because that keeps us in check to get that perspective to understand what is it that the retirement community or that pre retirement community? What do they want you to know, what content? Do they really want? What questions are out there? And that’s why we encourage people, you know, whether it’s just given us a call 215-798-9088 or send us an email at [email protected], with your questions, we’re happy to answer because that’s, you know, and I share that a lot of times with people, you know, we’re, we love what we do. We are a for profit, excuse me, a for profit business, but at the same time, we give a lot of free information away as well, right? You know, we think our industry isn’t necessarily set up correctly, they’re not really, it’s not really designed to help people retire successfully. Most financial advisors really only talk about the elements that they get paid for, which is primarily Investment Management. And I think what people have come to conclude is when you get to retirement, there’s so many other questions that need answers. So you have to seek out that information. And then when you finally make that decision to go seek out information, there’s so much out there.


Joe Krause  03:13

You know, I’ve always been blown away by the one, you know, the one mark of the gold standard that Thrive has, and that’s the client must ask to or the individual must ask to become a client. I think that is amazing.


David Bezar  03:34

Well, you know, what’s interesting, Joe, it’s actually a hard hurdle for a lot of people because I always say to people, “Look, if you’re a cynic, there’s nothing I can do.” Right? There’s nothing I’m going to say there’s nothing I can do to prove that what I just said to you about if you want to do business with me, you have to ask me to do business. And that’s not a cocky proposition. It’s just that we’re in a very blessed, very fortunate situation that we are, we want to work with people who want to work with us. We don’t want to convince anybody. We spend, you know, we spend no time, we actually just had a survey come back from our, from our staff talking about training. And, you know, we don’t provide any training on sales techniques. We provide training on financial planning strategies and product information. And you know, how to analyze a portfolio and how to figure out Social Security benefits and Medicare costs. And that’s what we try and write we don’t we think that the information we share with people should be obvious enough, that if you haven’t had this information in your life previously, maybe you need to hire somebody who knows what the heck they’re doing, you know, I mean, I just wanted to comment one last thing before we jump over to Karen and Bret. This is a quote that I use frequently in my presentations, because it addresses What you just said, The quote is becoming informed is not enough. Once informed, you need to take action, informed people who don’t act lose just as much as uninformed people who can’t act. And that’s a quote from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. So, you know, it’s that whole stupidity ignorance type thing, like, once we give you this information, if you don’t act on it, you know, the consequences can be dire. I mean, it costs hundreds of 1000s of dollars in retirement. So, yeah, we love that people tune into the show, we love that people come out and visit us at our workshops, and we’re gonna continue doing it. And if you folks that are listening today can give us feedback on, you know, more things that if we’re not covering them, you want them covered, we’re happy to bring those to the table. So to get the show started, Karen, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’re going to be covering in your segment?


Karen Bezar  05:56

I’m going to be discussing Social Security. Maybe a little Social Security checklist. But again, I kind of talked about scams and things that we were talking about last week, I actually got a phone call. Someone tried to scam me yesterday! So I’m gonna chat a little bit more about that. Because, again, financially, what we do here for our clients is more than just advising them, we people can call like, we tell them, “This is what’s going to happen, do not give this information, you’re never going to get a call from Social Security.” And if they have a question, they just pick up the phone and ask us that’s it.


Joe Krause  06:35

And one of the most confusing topics is Social Security, followed by Medicare. One, two, that’s the one two punch that we need you for. So


Bret Elam 06:49

Everybody has to deal with it. Absolutely.


David Bezar  06:51

Bret, tell us a little bit about what you’re going to be covered on the show?


Bret Elam  06:54

Yeah, so I’m going to be calling out all my pathological savers that are regular listeners of the show. So my topic is going to be called when spending too little is the biggest Retirement Risk. Everybody knows going broke. And retirement is obviously a bad outcome. But actually, so is chronic underspending. So that was actually a line that we got from Mr. Ed Slott talking about pathological savers, we meet quite a bit of them. So we’re going to talk a little bit about the psychological side of retirement. So excited to share that. 


Joe Krause  07:22

Wow interesting. First time we’ve covered it, look forward to good stuff.


David Bezar  07:26

So let’s, let’s just talk real quickly, because I’m sure a lot of people had questions or concerns that were popping around all of that. But we got announced this week that both the House and the Senate passed the debt ceiling bill. In the Senate the other day, it was a 63 to 36 vote, the bill now goes up to President binding to get signed into law. So as we said on the show a couple of weeks ago, the chances that, you know, a bill was not going to get passed and signed into law was practically nil. It’s just kind of a political game that continues to go on. I think in history, it’s now the 100th time that the debt ceiling has been increased. It’s still just completely out of control spending. It’s a major point. Is it just a further confirmation that when we talk about and I know we’ve had some people call, or more email in on the show, hey, stop telling everybody that taxes are going to go up. We, you know, I kind of made an emphatic conversation last week, that taxes are going to go up part of the bill, there were some things in there about increasing some taxation. And that’s the other thing, right? I mean, these bills that get passed are like watching sausage get made, right? Everything just kind of gets thrown into it. And you’re not really sure what comes out in the end if it’s good for you or not. So we’ll wait and see until it’s actually you know, kind of comes out we can analyze it. But I think we’ll talk a little bit more today about taxes potentially going up and you got to prepare for it.


Joe Krause  09:02

By the way the individuals voting on those bills. They don’t know what’s in there either.


David Bezar  09:06

Yeah, they’re getting most of their information from their clerks.


Joe Krause  09:09

I’m not, I’m just saying I don’t know either stroke. It’s absolutely too complicated, too hard. Let’s just vote anyway, Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. We thank everybody. As always for tuning in. We’ll get into our first commercial break. Listen up for some details about an upcoming workshop in June, get registered, go to thrivefinancialservices.com. Back in a moment. And back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show – another reminder, if you miss any of today’s show, or you’d like to listen to one of our previous broadcasts on thrivefinancialservices.com You’ll find every show that we’ve done over the previous four and a half years or five years. Great listening for a stroll in Ocean City on a Saturday morning. Bret, over to you.


Bret Elam 09:58

So I’m gonna Actually, this information is actually coming out from an accountant and a lot of CPAs, I think are known as matter of fact, but really talking about some of the psychological side of things. So actually a report, actually, that came from Morningstar is where a lot of this was being referenced. And again, we’re talking to our pathological savers out there. And again, spending too little is the biggest retirement risk. And when I read the article, it actually reminded me of two clients that are in its tail, two cities, one client that had $400,000 of total assets. And literally the same day talking to another client of ours, I had over $4 million in retirement. So literally just conversations that we had this week, and let me dig into it a little bit, is talking about a little bit of paranoia. Again, we always talk about running out of money is always about outcome, but also the psychological side of chronic underspending. And again, those are our pathological savers, and I get it. You grew up in a household where maybe mom and dad went through the Depression, you remember what living was like and rationing during the 70s, and so forth, like, you understand the value of the dollar, it’s like, I just am not going to spend it. So I’m going to kind of dig into that a little bit. And again, so the conversation gentleman named Mike Piper, a CPA, he talks about the people working in the space need to consider whether clients may be crossing the line from prudence to paranoia when it comes to retirement spending. So during this discussion, these accountants, they dug into the planning efforts to look to look different for clients who have clearly enough wealth to navigate the retirement journey. And I said clearly enough wealth? Because that’s relative, $400,000, or $4 million. Okay, and we’ll talk a little bit about that. So we talked about advisors, meaning people like us need to be helping clients out there with their own personal consumption with their goals. And especially when we start talking because we hear all the time, I want to give money to charity, or I want to have money left over to family members, kids, grandkids. So sometimes people like to tighten the belt a little bit, where they’re not spending as much to ensure that the next generation has enough. So we’re going to talk a little bit, go a little bit deeper into that. So striking the right balance. Striking that right balance between it all will allow people to enjoy that hard earned wealth, while also ensuring that some of those goals towards legacy and charity are able to happen at the same time. We talked about it all day long. The difference between investment management and financial planning, if all you’re doing is talking with somebody, even if it’s with yourself, and all you’re talking about is what stock, bond, mutual fund, annuity, man, what stock, bond, mutual fund, annuity that you’re in. That’s just one aspect of financial planning, it needs to be pulled together with income spent down tax efficiency, health care, and legacy. And that’s what this article talks about. Again, what we share a lot during the workshops, as well as what we do as a company here at Thrive is very proactive retirement income and tax planning, that just scratches the surface, that’s what we do. But who we are, is giving people the peace of mind and security that they deserve. And that’s what this article really refers to and talking about is that, in the end, people need to feel comfortable and confident about their spending. And giving is an important part of the inevitable holistic plan. So one person may hear again, someone fortunate enough to be in the situation where they can put their money and worries away, and now have that carefree lifestyle in retirement. But many people know it’s far from the truth. And again, big why? We’re emotional beings. So when we talk about robo advisors, it’s not it. I think David, just a couple of weeks ago, talked about the importance of working with an advisor. And I think studies from Vanguard, Fidelity, they said the importance of working with an advisor, especially on the psychological side of things, increases almost 3% per year, again, the studies have been found with all the different things, tax planning, the psychological side of things, etc, of just working with that person to get beyond those emotional barriers that are out there. So here you go. There can be some powerful psychological barriers that people face with respect to feeling uncomfortable about spending money on themselves during retirement or even giving money away to charities and the next generation. There are a few reasons that people may feel that way to start. It’s just a natural personality of somebody, the same character trait that leads people to accumulate a large sum of money relative again, it might mean they are also an anxious person who is typically nervous about the future. And to this point in their life, all they’ve done is what they save, save, save, save, save, and now all of a sudden say hey, you’ve gotten to your spot, congratulations, you’re there. That’s psychological berets, like me not having to spend my money. They have no problem spending Social Security. They have no problem spending the pension when it comes in. It’s like me, you have to actually take some of what I’ve saved. That’s us. psychological barrier you’ve been working for 30-40 years going up, up, up, up, up, and then maybe to maintain that lifestyle, you now need to spend some of that money. But it’s that psychological barrier that people have a hard time getting through. It’s that nervousness, it’s that anxiousness. So of course, a person’s –


Joe Krause  15:17

Sorry to interrupt, it sounds like my daughter, Isabel, who’s 21. Every penny she earns, she saves, and spends nothing, that she earns her money.


Bret Elam 15:31

She’s still on your payroll, that’s smart. That’s a smart kid. That’s a very smart kid. Hopefully, she’ll pay that forward to her kids as well. So of course, a person’s lifestyle, retirement, and their use of their own wealth is obviously their own prerogative. But it says it’s important that people should not assume that someone that’s living way below their means is somehow making a mistake. That said, it’s important for advisors when talking to people, if they suspect, if it’s sheer nervousness or discomfort that’s presenting, preventing people from having a reasonable amount of enjoying more of their wealth. It’s time that you got to have a frank discussion with them. It’s what we talk about, we challenge people, but we support you. Like when you’re telling me you want the last check the bounce, like I could care less about legacy I’d look at you now and say you’re doing a horrendous job of spending that money down, like go fly first class, go spend some experiences with the family members, or whatever the case may be. But starting to chip away at it a little bit at a time, a couple of weeks ago, we talked about some of the psychological barriers and why some people may not want to do significant Roth conversions, because of the tax bill and things like that. So it’s slowing down to inevitably start gaining some of that change of what that exposure might be, because then it allows you to get to that comfort, because change is unnatural. we’re creatures of habit. So change is unnatural. So starting to change, what we’ve been naturally accustomed to, we get a little bit of angst related to it. So again, you can take all the research based approach when talking about this, but there’s a considerable amount of research on topics of what types of spending are more likely to increase in happiness. And because the point here isn’t just to spend more money just to spend more money. The point is, if you’re going to increase their spending, let’s figure out how to do it right, and doing it in a more what’s prudent way, how’s it going to improve your quality of life, because I’m not going to talk about some of the psychological barriers were here when people come in and visit with us as well, again, two conclusions that are found. The first is that this research is clear that spending money on experiences rather than stuff tends to give people greater happiness. That’s that. But conclusion number two is also this as well, is that spending money in some way that can strengthen existing social connections, or helps you develop new social connections, also tends to result in a significant increase in happiness. So unfortunately, we see this a lot. When people retire, they tend to lose a lot of social connections they’ve had with co-workers and colleagues over the years. So we actually see an increase in depression and anxiety, coinciding with the early stages of retirement. I remember last year, we had a gentleman named Joe Casey, a retired psychologist or Dr. Maggie Baker, just people how they think of money differently when they get to retirement. But I mean, I get a lot of people that are introverts, they’re engineers, they’re accountants, and they retired, they’re like, I don’t talk to anybody anymore. Your type B personality, so they talk about some of this, maybe somebody’s spending some of that money to stay connected and so forth, is going to be a big deal. Because when you’re getting eaten from the inside out anxiety and depression, it absolutely plays a factor into it. So again, Piper emphasizes that the goal of deepening social connections doesn’t necessarily mean going out and meeting new people, in fact, investing time and quality and doesn’t have to just be those, those colleagues and coworkers, but also with friends and family members as well. So spending money that make that may foster better experiences with loved ones, like I said, kids, grandkids, go on a vacation, go on a fishing trip, getting involved in an archaeology club, whatever the case may be, it’s getting out and doing something getting purpose in retirement because people struggle in those first couple years. And I’m going to conclude in going down this path is that is you start with a little bit, because there’s so many times that people have so much money that’s gonna be leftover, and it’s so blatantly obvious and you start trying to convince people say, maybe you should start giving money to children, or grandchildren or to legacy. And again, it’s taking that first step of starting to create that new normal because when you don’t do anything, you just pass on massive amounts of wealth to the next generations. Again, where do you want to leave your money when you’re no longer with us loved ones, charity or government? The answer is always the government. But when you take the step helps to actually map it all out and say, Can I afford to give a little bit more to charities? Or people? Can I afford to spend a little bit more? Like I sat with a client yesterday? $400,000 of net worth, they brought in their budget of $3,100. I’m like, What have you baked in here? It doesn’t seem like you have a lot going on. And it was like, it was like, I need you to understand without spending any of your money, you’re gonna be at $6,500 a month. After taxes, That’s double what you need. Well, I want to leave money to the next generation. Okay, well, you’re not gonna spend it, you’re just gonna save it. But that money’s coming month in a month out, or I heard, I want to take a train trip around the country, or I want to go buy an RV travel trailer – Go do it? Well, how am I gonna do it? Timeout, take a step back. I know where you’re at today. It’s hard to believe. But between your two Social Security checks, and your pension, you had $6,500 the next conversation that same day, $4 million dollars, I want to pay off my grandkids college. That’s what this article talks about, as well. I want to go buy a lake house. Why? So that the family will get together and you have an excuse for all the kids and grandkids to come together. Life is more than about the stock, bond, mutual fund, annuities, it’s the psychological side of things. It’s having a plan. It’s that last phase of life of you wanting to get everything out of it that you desire. And if you’re not having that conversation with somebody, or even yourself, I encourage you to give us a call. We love pulling and putting plans together. But what we love to do even more is watching those plans come to reality. And that’s what this is all about. Give us a call today at 215-798-9088. And if you’re not having that full fledged plan, that holistic approach, we’re more than happy to have that conversation with you. Because you don’t get a do over and the one thing you can’t buy, and I don’t care how much money you have is time. So what are we going to do with that time and spend it in the most effective way?


Joe Krause  21:48

Yeah, no good stuff. I was thinking about how you were delivering that message to my mother in law when she was alive, used to take, send the entire family, all four of her children and their families and all the kids on a ski trip once a year that she attended as an example of what you were talking about! Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show back in a moment. this


Announcer  22:10

 This program is paid for by Jacob media partners.


Joe Krause  22:14

Thanks, everyone for tuning in. And being a part of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. Again, if you heard messaging in one of our commercial breaks today, and you do want to get registered for one of the upcoming workshops, go to thrive financial services.com, or pick up the phone and call to 215-798-9088. Get registered, get educated. Karen, over to you with a great topic today. One that most of us will never be able to fully understand.


Karen Bezar  22:47

And before I get into that, I’m sure people heard the commercials, the workshop, which places we’re going to be and I encourage people to come to the workshops, definitely you schedule. You know, again, you need to get on our calendar, you need to be on the list. But there’s people coming in, you have a financial advisor, doing the seminar, and then we wait around a little bit and we will answer your questions. And David gets a lot of questions. And sometimes when you come to these, it opens your eyes to things that you never thought about. So I encourage you to give us a call at 215-798-9088. It’s a lot of information, a lot of great information.


Joe Krause  23:28

It’s also a great setting. A very comfortable setting. We were just at, you know, William Penn Inn. it’s a very easy thing to do. And I think some of those fears or those roadblocks that sometimes people may put up may just be misconceived. So good stuff.


Karen Bezar  23:45

And come meet us. We’d love to meet you. Yeah. So can you believe I got one of those phone calls yesterday. So first, I was like, should I be insulted that they think that I am on your Social Security age? Wait, maybe I am your Social Security. So but you know, I’m joking about it. But I could tell that I got a voicemail and it was they were just trying something wrong with my Social Security number, so I gave them a call. And it would only cost $299 to get the situation taken care of like I knew it was a scam. But as you get older, this is something that…Social Security is one of the is like the corner like the main part of people’s retirement. So of course, like they know I’m going to feed on their fear. And I’m gonna tell them, this is what the story is. And I actually Googled the number and as soon as I did it was obvious a Social Security scam, like Social Security, like so many different websites. But if you ever get a call and you’re never sure you know what it is. You can actually call a fraud hotline for Social Security. It’s 800-269-0271. But again, I have a little list here and after spending a lot of time with my in-laws for the last few weeks, I have a list, I printed it out, I’m going to put it near the phones. So I’m going to say this is what my list says. And that this is just good information for our listeners today is, if a caller states they are with there is a search there, I’m sorry, let me restart again, if a caller stays there is a problem with their Social Security number, or account. Hang up, I cannot tell you, we had this discussion, my mother in law picks up the phone almost every time. Number two, do not provide the caller with money, cash, gift cards, don’t give them your debit card, don’t give them any personal information. And then again, I wrote down that you can report any fraud to the security fraud hotline. I have to put it there because my mother, they’re preying on your fears. And she says they’re calling me again, they’re calling me again. I’m like, just don’t answer the phone, right. And Social Security, I said, listen, they’re never gonna, they’re never gonna call you or threaten you, you’re not gonna get threatened by Social Security. They’re never going to tell you that your Social Security number has been or might be suspended, they call you. They also try by email, right? Social Security is never going to call to demand a payment, they’re never going to ask for personal information over the phone. Sometimes you might get a letter from them that there is a problem. And they’re going to mail you a letter, but you’re not going to have a lot of detailed information, you’re still going to have to call them.


Joe Krause  26:32

That’s the only way that the Social Security office communicates with you is via a letter. Right? Well, unless you engage them or?


Karen Bezar  26:44

Sometimes you’ll get an email, just saying, hey, it’s just a quick email saying we noticed that change to your account was that you but they’re never there’s never information that they’re asking you for they tell you to call them. Rather than if this is a problem, give us a call.


Joe Krause  26:59

Because I know that I forgot my password on My Social Security account. So the only thing that I was able to do was request a new way to reset it. And the only way that I was able to request to do that was to wait for the code in the mail.


Karen Bezar  27:15

Yes, yes. So, you know, just, again, Social Security is such an important part of retirement. And what we do here at Thrive is we help with income planning, right. And just as a quick little checklist of Social Security checklist, because we were at William Penn Inn last week, and we were meeting people and talking to people that wanted to come in, meet with us in person. And again, I understand retirement and understanding Social Security is important. But if you’re a female, a woman, and you look, the cards are not, I wouldn’t say stacked against you, but look, we’re gonna live longer. There’s definitely that pay gap. And if you live longer, you’re going to need medical benefits, you’re gonna have to understand all these things. And I was there talking to a couple, and the wife was like, Do I really have to come and in my head, I was like, like, I don’t understand that thinking that you’re not going to come and understand how your retirement is gonna work. But again, if you’re not informed, like David said, or you get informed, you still don’t do anything about it, then then that’s on you. But Social Security is such an important part of retirement. And if you go on their website, I mean, it’s so confusing. But I’m just gonna do a couple of quick things that people have thought or misunderstood about Social Security when we meet with them. I think a big one is, before you start Social Security, you do need to know what your benefit is. If you’re gonna go on, you want to set up an account, you want to go on ssa.gov, make sure it’s ssa.gov. Make sure that’s what it says in the bar, make sure there’s that little lock in there. Because if you’re going to google it, there’s a lot of scammers out there. Again, you’re gonna plug it. 


Joe Krause  29:06

It may not when you Google it, it may not be the first one on the list.


Karen Bezar  29:10

Correct. And when you go on that website, they’re going to ask you a lot of information, they’re going to ask you where you lived 10, where you got your mortgage 20 years ago, all of that information. So that’s a way to know that you’re really on the right page there. Before you start Social Security, you need to know what your full retirement age is. And people again, don’t understand that if you take your Social Security benefit early, you can start it at 62. If you start your benefit early, your benefit is reduced permanently, your benefit is reduced about one half of 1% for each month, you start your Social Security before your full retirement age. So that’s what the website says right? So are you gonna sit there and try to calculate Okay, one half of 1% for each month now, but if you come in and meet with us and you’re thinking about taking Social Security, we’re going to do a whole analysis and we’re going to tell you, if you start at this age, this is what it’s going to be if you’re going to start at this age, this is what it’s going to be. And we’re going to show you what’s the best. If you’re a part of a married couple, what’s the best strategy? Another thing that people don’t understand is, I think the Survivor Benefit is a big one. And there’s a strategy to that, right, you can’t get your survivor benefit at 60. But what’s going to happen with your taxes? Do you start at 60? And then maybe you can switch over to yours at a later age, we will do the full analysis along with everything else that we do here at Thrive. So I would say, if you’re thinking about retiring, or you’re in retirement, either way, give us a call 215-798-9080 and set up the consultation again, it’s free. We’re not going to give you any pressure or come to one of our seminars, and you get to meet us in person.


Joe Krause  30:51

I think I know the answer to this. And I think I learned the answer from this show. But if I trigger Social Security, and it turns out to be the wrong time, I have 12 months from that decision to change that decision. Or I live with that. For the rest of my time on this earth. Is that right? 


Karen Bezar  31:16

Yes, It is. And you just remember everything you said your security gave you you’re gonna have to give it back if you’re going to start at a later date.


Joe Krause  31:23

Okay, good stuff. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show back in a moment. Here’s an opportunity to get registered for an upcoming workshop being held on June 6 at the Medford Village Country Club. That’s June 6, go right now to thrivefinancialservices.com and get registered. It’s the Medford Village Country Club and the starting time is 6 PM. And the date is June 6th, get registered, get educated and go to thrivefinancialservices.com. That’s thrivefinancialservices.com. Back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. Thanks, everyone, again, for tuning in. And for continuing to be a loyal listener to this radio program. You can download the podcast just go to thrivefinancialservices.com. And we certainly hope to see you at one of the upcoming workshops. David, over to you, sir.


David Bezar  32:19

So good information so far. Yeah. It was really good. And Social Security, like Karen was saying, you know, it’s something that it’s inevitable, right, and we’re gonna deal with it, a lot of people don’t walk into it knowing much about it. Tons of rules. I know, Karen didn’t mention it. But I say during our seminar, there’s 567 different possible combinations, that if you pick the right timing election combination, it could be an extra $100,000 of additional benefit paid out over your lifetime. An extra 100k is a decent amount of money, right? So you really want to evaluate. And it’s hard unless you know, unless you’re a lot of people who do spreadsheets to kind of figure out the breakeven analysis. But there’s elements in those rules that they don’t take into consideration, which if not considered, could end up not optimizing Social Security the best way. So as Karen mentioned, one of just one of the many reports that we provide, during our Roadmap to Thrive analysis is a Social Security Maximization report a lot of companies charge for that we include that free of charge within that analysis that we do. So big encouragement to get that done. So let me cover a couple quick things. I was gonna talk a little bit more about taxes. Before I jump into taxes. I wanted to continue with the debt ceiling conversation. So I want to share a couple things that I did some research over the past week on it, knowing that, you know, the conclusion was probably going to come up before the deadline, like it always does. So I went back in history and I looked, and in 1960 the US National Debt in 1960 was $286 billion. The US National Debt forecasted for the end of 2023 will be $31.4 trillion. So let me give you a little perspective on that real quick. Let’s just use the concept of time, right? The difference between a billion and a trillion and a million I don’t even know the trillion calculation. Becha probably don’t.


Bret Elam 34:42

But 1000 billions, right. 1000 billions, right. Why? Listen to this more million millions.


David Bezar  34:51

This will give you some reference. 1 million seconds is 10 days. 1 billion seconds is 32 years. Right? Does that give you some? Like, that’s crazy. So now we’re talking, we went from 286 billion of federal debt back in 1960 to $31.4 trillion by the end of 2023. But here’s the question. Are our roads or highway systems any better than they were? Are our streets and neighborhoods safer than they used to be? What about our health care? Has healthcare gotten better? Is it easier for a family to raise their kids today? Did we actually improve our school systems? You know, when you start thinking about where this debt has come from, and that there should be some signs that it was invested properly, you have to ask like, what the heck happened to this money. And they took this, you know, the spending bill now is that they got two years, with no debt ceiling cap, just go free for all. So I would, you know, my conclusion of all that is, we as consumers, if we’re educated and aware, we can do a better job of spending the money than they can. And I’m a patriot, right, and I pay my taxes, and I do and I pay, I pay a lot in taxes. It’s unfortunate that you’re not doing the right things with it. But that’s why I’m so focused on using tax strategies to minimize what I end up paying Uncle Sam, just like we do for our own clients. So I want to talk a little bit. Does that make sense? What I just shared?


Joe Krause  36:52

Yeah, it does. I mean, as you’re saying that I’m sitting there, and I’m thinking about that number and the magnitude. And I’m just wondering, if you don’t Tara saying to myself, you know, if you don’t take it into your own hands, meaning, if you don’t get help, and do something, you’re gonna get swallowed up.


David Bezar  37:08

That’s it. I mean, it’s that it’s really that simple. It’s like, you know, we try people hear the word advocate, you know, and so they become your own advocate. But people just don’t take action, because they don’t know where, you know, where do I go? What should I do? What are all the conditions that I have to think about? And look, there’s a lot to life, I mean, they’re just really there, but again, another case is not to go out and doctor yourself, if you have a health condition, go to the doctor, go to a good doctor. That’s right. That’s the important part, not one that spends 5 or 10 minutes with you prescribe something, the prescription that you get may end up having more side effects, and whatever condition you walk through the door with, you know, but find a good doctor, somebody who spends time who understands all the elements, that’s kind of what we do, like, I don’t want to call us doctors, but, you know, we spend the time we do the analysis, we only prescribe what is necessary to fix the condition. So here’s like an example of that, right? Because, you know, we’re going to start to see, we already see inflation happening, we know taxes are probably going to go up, they have to with deficits increasing and, you know, somewhere down the road, that’s all I gotta get paid off, the only way you can do that, the only way you can do it, is to increase revenue, and the only revenue, they got the opportunity to increase his taxes. So taxes are probably going to go up. Because of all the conditions that are happening macro economically, we’re going to see continued market volatility, and ultimately, some declines. Before someday it’ll go back up. So you have to look at opportunities. I don’t want to give a perfect example. Joe, as a consumer, you know, if you’ve got money invested in the stock markets today, and the market takes, you know, a correction, whether it’s 10% 15% 20%, whatever it may be, what do you think the standard protocol that most financial advisors will tell their clients? What action should they take? If they have, you know, the market corrects? 20% or so what do you think? I call up my advisor? Oh, my God, the markets are crashing. Now, what do I do? What do you think you typically hear from a financial advisor?


Joe Krause  39:21

One or two things right by ourselves? Right.


David Bezar  39:25

So traditionally, writers, as well, you would think and I think you probably get that more from here than there.


Joe Krause  39:32

But was that the wrong answer? Yeah, it was. 


David Bezar  39:35

Yeah, I mean, typically, because I, you know, I do this every week, when we do our seminars, people say they, and these are the words I use, the advisor will say, Everything’s gonna be okay. Oh, stay the course. Because the markets will come back. And you know what, the financial advisor is right. The markets will come back. But the problem is, you just missed a wonderful tax planning opportunity. That’s the key, right? If you just stay idle, all you’re going to end up doing is recovering the losses, they’re just going to come back to where they were, because of the inaction and not being proactive. You just missed out on some wonderful things. So let me give you an illustration of that. Right. So let me go back to November of 2019. November of 2019. I purchased $100,000 of this particular stock or paid $60 a share. And this was inside of my IRA account. Now, that was November of 2019. In March, the beginning of March of 20, of 2020. That stock grew to $115 a share from that original price of $60 a share. So my $100,000 grew to $183,000. That’s at the beginning of March. Well, in the middle of March 16, to be exact. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 2997 points, the S&P was down 324 points. The NASDAQ was down 970 points. That’s the day that the pandemic started, right, the Coronavirus came in and killed the stock market. And that stock was at $115 a share at the beginning of March by March 16. On that day, it actually dropped down to $85 a share. So the original investment in my IRA was $100,000, it grew to $183,000, we now had a big market decline. Traditional financial adviser would say, Hey, stay the course, don’t do anything, the stock is going to come back. So now my 183,000 dropped down to 135. So what I decided to do, because I’m aware of the situation, got the education, I took control of the situation, and I sold that stock inside my IRA and realized the gain. I pulled it out because I did a Roth conversion. So the $135,000 came out of the IRA account to go into the Roth, I had to pay tax on that money. And I pay the tax from another account because I want to optimize the money that’s coming out of the IRA and have dollar for dollar go into the Roth. I paid $32,474 in taxes. One year later, the $135,000 that I put into the Roth account, on April 10 of 2021. The stock price on that was $152.85. So that money the original 100 grew to 183 fell back down to 135. I then converted to a Roth account at that particular point. And one year later, after the Roth conversion. That account was worth $234,000. So number one, good investment. Number two, a great tax move, paid $32,000 in taxes and gained all that money back now completely 100% tax free. And if I never touch that money, which I don’t anticipate I’ll need that money that will pass on to my girls, completely tax free and hopefully long into the future. $234,000 today or one year two years ago, is probably going to be worth a couple million bucks. 20 years from now, they will get tax free. That’s why education and awareness is important. These are the types of things that we can do for you to thrive. So give us a call at 215-798-9088 We’ll be happy to set up a free consultation tell you how to do those types of Roth conversions.


Joe Krause  44:00

Man, real life example right there. Do yourself a favor if you don’t listen to this whole show. Listen to the last three and a half minutes of David’s conversation. And we thank everybody for tuning in to Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. We somehow made it to the end of this broadcast. And we’re glad everybody is still with us on behalf of David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. I’m Joe Krause. See you next time everybody.


Announcer  44:31

Thanks for listening to Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show from Thrive financial services. If you’re like most Americans, you have more questions than you do answer about what to do with your retirement savings. If you have a question about your IRA or your 401k pension or other tax-deferred accounts, if you have a question about reducing taxes, generating income or filing for Social Security, whatever it is, David, Karen, and Bret are here to help and often your questions can be answered in a simple phone call. Just call 215-798-9088 to 215-798-9088 and so you know no statements made during the roadmap to retirement the radio show shall constitute tax legal or accounting advice you should consult your own legal or tax professional on any such matters information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investment or investment strategies investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here David Bezar, Bret Elam, and Karen Bezar from Thrive Financial Services and Thrive Capital Management are licensed to offer investment advisory services through Thrive Capital Management LLC and SEC-registered investment advisory firm office headquarters located in Fort Washington and offices of convenience used exclusively for client meetings in Exton, Yardley, and Cherry Hill. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show was a paid commercial announcement from Jacob media partners. If you’d like to learn more about the power of the Radio Hour contact Joe Krause at 267-261-3428. Today’s program has been pre-recorded.

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