Episode #191 – Create Retirement Success with Awareness and Education

Listen and read along as hosts David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam talk with Joe Krause.

Announcer: This program is paid for by Jacob’s 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: Welcome everyone to another edition of Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show along with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. I’m Joe Krause, glad to be here. And we welcome all of our listeners into this week’s edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. Remember, as we go into our commercial breaks, you’ll get updates on upcoming workshops, and how you can register to attend. And David, I guess I’ll begin today’s show with a question that I think is rattling around the minds of a lot of listeners out there on the radio. How do I get a handle on my retirement with all this chaos that’s going on? I think it’s a fair question. I think it’s a real question. I think the answer is to start with a workshop or listen to the show. But that’s a real scenario that’s happening right now based on all the craziness.


David Bezar: You know, I mean, it is a great question. It’s common, right? That’s the thing that the people out there who are definitely interested in navigating a successful retirement and we have to always remember, there are no do-overs in retirement, right, we only got one shot to get it right. The mistakes can cost 10s of 1000s if not hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So the people that you know we really enjoy spending time with are the people that come in with that type of questions like what do I do? You know, I’ve done all of this planning for the past 25-30-40 years, and I want to make sure I do it right. So you know, number one, I want to thank our audience, right, I really, every week, we get some type of a reminder that we’re actually bringing value to the community out there, right, somebody will come in, somebody will call somebody will send an email or a text, and they say, “Hey, you know, I really, really appreciate what you guys covered this week or last week” or, “Hey, I took that advice that you talked about, it’s really implemented” or, “Hey, I took you up on your offer and came to one of the workshops and then came in for that complimentary consultation.” So I really want to thank our audience for, you know, spreading the word, taking the time and energy to listen, you know, it really gives us a sense of duty every single week that we show up here to really deliver. And I think, you know, we’ve become and that’s, you know, that’s the reason we continue to do this show. I lose track of time a lot of times. I’ll say things to Karen and say, Man, that seems like you know, it was, you know, two years ago, and it’ll be 14 years ago, you know, things like that. But I think I asked Bret this past week, who’s doing this right now, five and a half years, you know, on the radio, I’ll tell you, you know, kind of a wink of an eye, click of a finger. That’s how quickly it seems it’s gone. And I don’t know how many, I guess probably over 250 episodes that we’ve done.


Joe Krause: I think that’s definitely fair. Yeah, for sure. 


David Bezar: I know, I think we’ve got 200 up on the website for the podcast, kind of repeat of it. But the reason, the reason I bring that up is I think we now have become known that this is not an infomercial, right? This is about creating awareness, providing education, and trying to be a leader in our industry because we kind of think the industry isn’t set up perfectly for helping people get through retirement successfully. So I really do want to thank our loyal listeners. And if they continue spreading the word and we keep growing, it does give us that sense of duty. We’re excited about it. There is a ton of chaos going on out there. And before you know Karen and Bret share what they’re going to cover in the show today. You know, a lot of information came out. The Fed ended up raising interest rates by a quarter basis points. They kind of indicated that they may be on pause. And I want to make sure people know the difference between a pause and a stop. Right big difference pauses just temporary stop is not necessarily permanent, but it’s definitely Hey, we ain’t doing it anymore. So interest rates have been, you know, rising. I actually heard a statistic today and I hope I don’t take anybody’s thunder. But the average interest rate on credit cards today is 24 and a half percent. 


Joe Krause: Wow. 


David Bezar: Right? You’ve, you know, some people probably remember the old rule of 72, you take the interest rate that you’re earning and lend something divided in the 72. It’ll tell you how long it takes that money for that money to double. Well, that works for compound interest on savings, but it also works on compound interest for debt. So if you’ve got $10,000 of debt, that is, you know, you’re being charged 24% on it every three years, that debt doubles, just from an interest rate perspective. That’s staggering. 


Joe Krause: Yeah, it sure is.


David Bezar: And here’s the other really, especially for retirees and it came out on Friday morning, that consumer debt is at an all-time high, the stimulus effect of the pandemic has worn off, but people the consumer has not stopped spending, like luxury travel. Not consumer durables, not typical type things, but people actually said on TV that it was kind of an addiction to the pandemic spending that has not stopped. And what they’re seeing is it’s being accumulated on consumer debt, which is really scary, because it’s sacrificing savings for retirement. The other news that came out this week is and you know, the headline Sell as you know, don’t sell the steak sale, sell the sizzle, talked about unemployment being at an all-time low of 3.4%. But what they forgot to tell people is that – well actually they just, you know, purposely avoided it, is that there’s only a 62% participation rate of the workforce right now. Right, so a lot fewer people are working. So it’s easy to get unemployment to drop, and a lot fewer people fall out of the workforce. And the other thing that happened, and this is the thing that bothers me about our industry, the statistics that came out for January, February, and March, they revised the jobs report, and they revised it down to 150,000 jobs. So what they originally reported of “job growth” has been revised down by 150,000. People. I don’t know how, like, who has that job? You could be wrong by 150,000…


Joe Krause: I was just gonna say how do you miss them? How do you miss the number by that? I missed the number all the time. I don’t miss it that much.


Bret Elam: It’s probably a weatherman.


David Bezar: Right? But right. So one cool side of the coin they’re trying to sell is that the economy is growing and booming and you know, consumers, everything’s working out. But when you dig into the numbers and get granular on things, you start to find out that’s why this show in my opinion is so important to the consumer to be you know, get present, get real, understand what the reality is, and then find out how do I navigate that situation? So we got a lot to cover today. Karen, what are you gonna be covering the show today?


Karen Bezar: This fits into what you’re talking about Kiplinger had an article I read that is retirement in 2023. Still possible? 


Joe Krause: Good question. Yeah, well, I think I’ll say I think a lot of people are wondering.


David Bezar: A lot to unpack there, right?


Bret Elam: I’m going to be talking about how a client came in who’s been listening to a national pundit and got some horrendous advice. So I want to talk a little bit about that, and the topics really going to be while we’re big-time Roth advocates, it’s reasons to actually avoid a Roth conversion. So we’re gonna go through that here today. There are not many, but some, so I’m looking forward to sharing that with the audience.


Joe Krause: And David, what’s on your agenda when you finish this up later on?


David Bezar: I’m just going to kind of go through the process that people should be taking themselves through to get that security, that peace of mind that everything’s gonna be okay on retirement. A lot of people try to avoid it. Sometimes it’s that mentality of hey, I don’t want to go to the doctor because I don’t want to find out what’s wrong. But this is like I said earlier in the segment, you only got one shot to do it right. Why not just you know, kind of bite the bullet and go through the process? 


Joe Krause: I was thinking as you were mentioning the rising interest rates on credit cards, I was thinking about the implications on lines of credit that people genuinely will use HELOC loans and everything else. Those rates are staggering right now and they make it almost very difficult to maneuver through certain situations. Good show plan for you today: Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show as we drop into our first commercial break. Listen to a couple of upcoming workshops this week and you can get registered by going to thrive financial services.com. Back in the moment. Here are three opportunities for the upcoming week to get registered and get educated on May 9 at the Henrietta Hankin Library, which is in Chester Springs on May 10. at Brandywine Prime which is located in Chadds Ford. And then on May 11, at the Radnor Valley Country Club starting time for all three locations at 6 PM, go to thrivefinancialservices.com and get registered!


Joe Krause: And welcome back everyone to this edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show again, as David said, We want to thank all of our listeners who continue to not only tune in to the radio show but are engaged in the conversation of the radio program, they use the program to provide Convo and perhaps a referral to somebody that they end up in a conversation with. And that’s all good, Bret, because that feeds into your desire to educate the public over to you, sir.


Bret Elam: And exactly what you just said there, Joe, to the importance of having customization with everything that you’re doing as well. So I’m gonna end by talking about a quick story from one of our clients, but want to talk about the reasons that we are talking about avoiding a Roth conversion. So month in and month out, you probably catch at least one or two episodes in which we talk about Roth convert Roth convert, talking about the state of the economy, and reasons why we want to be conscious of being proactive on tax planning, but I want to dig into the segment here. And this actually came from Ed Slot. We actually had him here locally in the King of Prussia area back in October. And he came out here recently talking about reasons again, sometimes reasons to avoid conversions are purely financial talking about some of those. But other times, sometimes the behavioral considerations that change the calculus are called the Roth calculus overall. So again, Ed Slot says, nothing’s black and white, some things are gray. And we talk about the importance of customization because so many times we listen to, read articles, listen to the news, some of those national pundits that I was speaking about, and they make it very black and white. That’s not reality, reality is gray. So we talked about the importance of getting a plan completely built for you. So let’s dig into these.


Joe Krause: I do think real quick, Bret, one thing that I will say is I do think sometimes those national headlines or those national pundits make a statement and they imply that it applies to everybody that it does not


Bret Elam: 300 million people. Yeah, driving drives me nuts. And then what it creates is paralysis by analysis, because I’m thinking going in this direction, and you hear something the polar opposite, but.


Joe Krause: I didn’t mean to cut you off. 


Bret Elam: That’s okay. Let’s jump into the list. So number one, if some of these are emotional, we’ll talk about the upfront tax burden that can be too much to bear. So it’s easy to go through the conversation and share with somebody, Hey, here’s the math, here’s the proof of why it makes sense. But we meet people that sometimes can’t stomach that upfront tax bill. And to be honest with you, it’s okay. Because as much as one on one always equals two – I’ve been doing this now for almost 25 years and I understand the psychological side of finances differs between people. At the end of the day, again, the freedom for future taxes, has the price of admission is what Ed Slot says, and I think he says that perfectly. There’s no question that a Roth IRA is the best retirement account to own, the only question is, how much are you willing to pay for it? So that becomes an emotional one. So sometimes it’s sitting down with somebody and just saying, Okay, does this make sense to me, I hear all this noise that’s out there. And that customization, so even when the math does make sense, sometimes emotionally, you’re not going to be prepared for it. But that’s why it’s important to work with somebody that can ensure that you’re making decisions rationally, not emotionally. 


Bret Elam: Number two. Conversions can interfere with charitable giving strategies. So we talked about this concept called accuse a QCD called a qualified charitable distribution, where once you turn the age of 70 and a half, not 72, or 73, like the old rolls, were for IRAs, but let’s roll it still at 70 and a half, is you have the ability to donate up to $100,000 per person per year to a charity of your choice, and the income never shows up on the tax return. So what I mean by that is if you’ve converted everything from your IRA, and you still wanted to do some kind of giving, or gifting, you’re not gonna get any kind of tax benefit associated with it. So it’s understanding what’s on your heart, what’s in your mind, and the charities part of it. It may change the plan a little bit but inevitably what makes sense in terms of, do I convert, how much do I convert? How much should I leave outstanding so that I can accomplish my charitable giving that’s out there and still derive some tax benefits associated with it? That’s a good one, as well. I think David talked about a couple of the past couple of months. Here’s the next one: some people may prefer waiting for clarity on tax policy. So we know the Trump tax cuts from 2017. They’re over in 2025. Now, the government has the ability to make the change on September 30, 2023. But given how everyone’s getting along in Congress right now, it’s a good joke, it gave me not agree anywhere near on this whole debt ceiling, the thing about being sick of hearing about the debt ceiling right now is the chances that I’m changing the tax code on September 30, of 2023, to me is slim to none. The fact that they never did it back in 2021, where they probably should have been in the middle of the pandemic tells me they’re not going to do it here, there’s still a chance, but the possibilities are slim. But we do know, at the end of 2025 – they’re gonna go up automatically, they have to do something at some point in time. So for many, the situation makes conversions look very appealing today because they would permanently make the payment at today’s lower rates. However, there’s no guarantee. And so people are trying to wait for that, quote, unquote, rational decision, because they want to see with absolute clarity exactly what the new tax rates are going to be. Here’s the problem, you’re not going to know for a couple more years. But what I do know is that we’re in the lowest tax climate in over 40 years, and just given the state of the economy, I can’t see how things are going to improve for most of the people that we’re talking to day in and day out. 


Bret Elam: So again, that’s an emotional mind, we’re talking about rational ones, I’m talking about emotional ones, there could be more of a rational one. With very low incomes in the next generation, you may have done a phenomenal job at building net worth for yourself and your IRAs and 401Ks. But let’s just say for example, when you and your partner are no longer with us, and maybe you’re giving money to your three children, let’s say your kids aren’t earning a whole heck of a lot of money. That could be a reason that you’re looking to leave it in an IRA. Because remember, when they inherit the IRA, they now only have 10 years, they must pull it all out. But in the situation I just described right there, if you have three children, over 10 years, they’re now able to pull money out of the IRA over essentially 30 tax years because three children 10 years is they can divide it out that way, they won’t be able to convert it to a Roth, which for us is the mothership we love Roth IRA, but they might be able to pull that money out possibly a little bit more of a tax break. But that is what we call cause and effect because we can’t forget the main purpose. And a lot of times looking at a Roth IRA is for each person in the couple, you’re doing it for one another, and your kids ended up winning by you taking care of one another but still ensuring you don’t get slammed when you do or when you’re in retirement and having these big RMDs. 


Bret Elam: Moving on to the next one – here’s another rational one: large anticipated medical bills may also alter your conversion calculation. Where does that come from? So let’s just say we see on the horizon that I’m getting ready for Alzheimer’s kicking in, I see I can foresee that something’s going to happen in the future, is if you pull money out of an IRA, and it’s used for let’s say like hospital bills, long term care expenses, maybe some home renovations because of a chronic medical condition that you have, there’s a lot of times you have the ability to now itemize and I know a lot of people forgot how organizations work. But you can itemize the health care expenses. Typically it’s either seven and a half or 10% of your adjusted gross income. But again, if you’ve already converted everything to Roth, you’re not going to derive that tax benefit for pulling that money out. So what am I getting to? Planning, planning, and planning. Not just for today, but trying to anticipate what’s gonna be happening in the future. We talked about children, we’ve talked about charity, we’ve talked about medical bills. There are other ones that are out there, as well. Here’s the big one. Our self-employed high-income earners may not make sense doing a Roth conversion. Why? Because for the last six years, and we still have two more years, next two, but in six years, including this one, is this thing called QBI qualified business income, which allows you to get an automatic essentially 20% deduction on the income on your taxes. That’s a big stinking deal. And all is a big deal, right completely. So again, these national pundits that are sending messages out to 300 million people at the same time, proceed with caution. Proceed with caution. Make sure that the plan makes sense for you. That’s why we talked about customization. 


Bret Elam: The last thing I want to go through here is some distrust. And David went through this a couple of weeks ago that Roth accounts will always remain tax-free. You get those people who say I don’t trust the government. I’m now going to pay the taxes on my Roth conversion, and then all of a sudden, they’re gonna change the rules three, four, or five years down the road, and they’re gonna make me start paying more taxes on the Roth distributions. Again, we’ve talked about how the government is addicted to being called the golden goose. Meaning, if people stopped doing Roth conversions, the government loses one heck of a lot of revenue that’s out there at the end of the day. So the likelihood of those happening is slim to none. But I want to wrap up here with a quick story. We get people like Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, Vanguard, all those of the sorts and they’re talking to national broadcasts, they’re not talking to individual people. And I was having a session with one of our clients recently, and one of the things people like Dave Ramsey do is help people get back on track with budgets and all that kind of stuff. And when the topic came up, they said, “We’re getting ready to go do our Roth contributions.” I go, “What are you talking about?” It’d be like, “Yeah, we’ve been following Dave Ramsey’s course. And it makes sense for us to do a Roth, a Roth contribution”. And I said, “No, it doesn’t”, they went like, “What do you mean?” I said, we’ve chatted about this a couple of years ago that in retirement, the two of you are going to have Social Security checks. And again, they don’t have $5, $6, $10 million in retirement, they’re probably going to retire with somewhere around $350,000 in their IRA and 401k.


Bret Elam: And I pulled up the tax or some tax software, and I said, Let’s go plug in what we when you retire, what your social security checks are gonna be. And then on top of that, I showed them pulling $25,000 out of their IRA. And when I did that, between two social security checks, and $25,000 of pull money out of their IRA, and they could convert it to a Roth to zero taxes, or do I go, why would you not want to put money away into an IRA and get a 24% tax deduction, so that you can pull that money out in retirement, and pay no taxes? Oh, because the 300 million-person message didn’t apply to you. The importance of getting customization, which is, and if you’re hearing the story, saying, there’s so much noise, it’s out there’s confusion, there’s chaos, my encouragement is to give us a call 215-798-9088 again, 215-798-9088. And take that first step, to simply just having a conversation with somebody and understanding the importance of customization. Because you’re not like 300 million people, you’re unique, your situation is unique, and the way we think is unique. And we need to have that unique plan set for you.


Joe Krause: By the way, that conversation is priceless. Back in a moment. This program is paid for by Jacob’s media partners.


Joe Krause: And back here on Road to Retirement, the Radio Show again, if you heard in our last commercial break one of those upcoming workshops and you would like to attend, go to thrive financial services.com. And you can get registered, you’ll also see some other upcoming workshops. That will be the following week. So if next week doesn’t work for you to attend, you’ll get all that information from thrivefinancialservices.com. Good segment from Bret today. Karen, over to you.


Karen Bezar: Thank you very much. So again, the article is titled “Is retirement in 2023 still possible?”, this is a this, this came out on May 3 of this year. So short answer, the certified financial planner that wrote this said, Yes, it is. If you have a customized plan specific to your retirement, just like Bret was saying, just like we started the conversation with David, if you do, you’re in the minority. So here are some ways to develop that plan. So the article continues to say look when you’re approaching the end of a career and we see this a lot. There are many questions but a few stand out, right? So many, soon-to-be retirees want answers before they feel completely comfortable leaving a paycheck behind which is a scary thing to do. And then make one of your life’s biggest transitions by retiring. So again, when can I actually retire? Will I have enough money to retire? Will my wealth last? And lastly, will my spouse or significant other be okay when I’m gone? And I’d say those are really the questions that we get often when we meet with people for the first time. So you know, given the volatility I’m like Bret today. Sorry, Bret. Given the volatility today, what you’ve seen in the financial markets is 2021. Many who plan to retire in 2023 feel less confident about the answer to each of these questions. So from 2012 to 2021. The article continues to say that the average stock market return was 14.8% annually for the S&P 500 index. So what it did is it created a level of comfort and a false sense of security for investors with a formal plan to move on to their next phase of life. So unfortunately, for many, the recent state of the markets has caused their confidence to wane. And feelings of uncertainty take hold. So it is, you know, we meet with people for the first time, and it was, you know, years ago, before COVID. And they felt like they were doing good, but they kind of have short-term memory loss, we say, because you forget what happened in 2008 or 2009 when the markets really took a tumble when we had the financial crisis, they forget these things. So, unfortunately, we’re kind of back in that situation, again, with uncertainty. And again, if you don’t have a plan customized to your retirement, then you’re gonna have problems. 


Karen Bezar: More people take more time to plan a vacation than they do about retirement. This is a really important thing to do. And you also again, can’t wait six months prior to retiring. This is something that takes planning, sometimes we do Roth conversions, like Brett said, sometimes you don’t need them. But it’s all steps that you need to take so that you have a retirement that you look forward to retiring to and you don’t have to worry about are going to have enough money or if your spouse is going to be taken care of. So what he has here is, you know, things that you should do some thoughts or some ideas that you should do going into retirement, or I would say, come to one of our seminars, one of our workshops, and check our website out thrivefinancialservices.com, you’ll see where we’re at, if you’re not sure, if you want to meet with us come to one of our workshops first, if you want to set up a time to come meet with somebody at the office to 215-798-9088 is our phone number. But so this is what the article says. But I will also say this is what we do. So it’s almost confirmation that even though we’re here telling you what we do, this is what other offices and other certified financial planners are saying to do. So he says, do this, you want to coordinate your wealth, right? So you want to begin to separate your money by its specific purposes. And you want to avoid your portfolio being just a basket of random investment accounts that you’ve accumulated over the years and we’ve seen this right? You start a job when you’re 24, you have this IRA or this 401k. And by the time you’re 60, how many times have you changed jobs? We’ve met with people that sometimes forget or don’t even know how many different IRA accounts they have out there, or they left their money in their 401k for the past 10 years, which that’s a whole nother show of why you should or should not leave your money in a 401k. But you want to separate your money by purpose. It’s about knowing those things that you want, and you need your money to do for you. And then you want to determine the right types of financial tools to use to make those things realities. For example, you may need to purpose your money for the following. We’ve said this before about monthly income, are you going to have a large purchase in retirement, you need home maintenance, are you going to travel, Health and Long Term Care is one of the things that we have seen people not planned for in retirement at least correctly. Do you have legacy wishes and continued growth that you need to outpace inflation, right? So you can throw all your money into a money market checking account and say I’m good for the next 30 or 40 years, which again, sometimes people forget, that’s how long retirement could possibly be? You want to know your income security score?, he says Do you know your income security score? Well, basically what he’s saying is income is the foundation for most retirements and should be planned for such. So going from earning a paycheck over the past 50 or so years to now creating your paycheck for the rest of your life with your resources and wealth you have to take you to have to take a different approach when you’re focusing on your wealth accumulation.


Karen Bezar: Now you have to start by knowing how much of my monthly expenses are going to be covered by predictable sources of income such as Social Security, do you have a pension? Do you have an annuity? So I always say here, if you want to know your income security score, the first thing you have to start with, and this is one of the first questions we ask people before they even come in to meet with us, is do you know how much money you need to live comfortably on a monthly basis? Do you know what your income needs to be in retirement? So right there is good exercise if you’re heading into retirement or thinking about retirement. Just start with that you really need to know that number. It doesn’t matter how much you saved if you don’t know what you need to spend on a monthly basis. And then what we look at here at Thrive is and if you’re part of a couple, if one person passes away again, that one social security check goes away. So is there an income gap? So what can you do to prevent that? So again, this is all that we tailor to your customized plan for retirement. And lastly, you want to diversify your retirement. And I’m not talking about diversification, like your investments and what holdings they’re in and all that information. But it’s a good concept to understand how I diversify retirement, meaning – how much I keep in the market because again, you do have to outpace inflation. And in the article here, he says, you want to maybe think about insurance and annuities, you want to understand how to incorporate the right insurance tools into your retirement plan to mitigate overall retirement risk. And also annuities, can they take a role in your retirement, there are so many different kinds of annuities out there. And David talked about that in a couple of shows ago. So there’s a lot of information out there, and you should have a customized plan. And give us a call, you really will not have any pressure you’ll get a lot of information. 215-798-9088 or check us out on our website, thrivefinancialservices.com.


Joe Krause: All right, good stuff, Karen. Again, Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show broadcasting to you today with a shout-out to all of our listeners, tuning in, as Karen mentioned, go to thrivefinancialservices.com. One more time as we go into what will be our final break on the show. You’ll hear messaging on upcoming workshops for the upcoming week. Get registered, get educated back in a moment. 


Joe Krause: And welcome back everyone to this edition of Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show flying through the show today, David covering a lot of ground a lot of conversations a couple of acronyms hard sometimes to take it all in, you can certainly read listen to the broadcast by going to thrivefinancialservices.com, as you mentioned, all the episodes are, are posted right on the website.


David Bezar: Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up, Joe, because it is a good practice, right? It’s not just about being entertained, you know, for the 45 to 50 minutes that we’re on the air. It’s really about education. And you might hear it, and you might be drinking a cup of coffee and doing some other things. The podcast, which is a review, also has a transcript attached to it. So if you really want to make sure that you’re securing that retirement, that would be a really good practice, you know, for people to do is go to the website, thrivefinancialservices.com, download the podcast, listen at your leisure, if you want a little bit of fun, click the Settings button to one and a half times. So it will sound like durables or you know, squirrels, whatever you want to call it. But you get through it in a lot quicker period of time for those of you who are time sensitive, and the transcript is there. And you know, when you do that, sometimes things will sink in a little bit deeper and may actually prompt some questions. And so you know, kind of that self-analysis, “Hey, am I doing that right? Should I reach out to thrive? Should I reach out to my own financial advisor if you’re working with somebody other than Thrive?” And make sure that I get that question answered. The other thing I want to come to Joe, you had said as we were coming out of the break, you know, we put up in our commercials, kind of all the seminars that we’re doing in the community. And you know, we’re all over Bucks County, we’re all over Montgomery County, we’re all over Chester County, we’re in southern New Jersey. You know, the team here has been talking about expansion. And we’re looking, you know, to start reaching out because we’re, you know, through our podcasts, through our webinars, we’re hearing people all over the country that are connecting with us and actually doing virtual appointments and things of that sort. So we are looking to expand. But I did want to comment that we made a conscious decision in the upcoming months, primarily over the summer months. So June, July, August, and maybe even into September. We’ve been doing seminars for a long time, Joe, you know, and we typically do about 100 of those every single year for I don’t know what now the past seven years or so?


Bret Elam: June 2015. Yeah, right.


David Bezar: So, that’s a lot of seminars. And it’s not that we’re tired. You know, I will be 60 in July. And for those who want to send cash contributions, I’ll give you my email address or Venmo. I don’t even have Venmo. Am I right? 


Karen Bezar: I do. 


David Bezar: You do? That’s, to me. That’s how it works in our family.


Joe Krause: I get it. 


David Bezar: Yeah, certainly understand. I do the financial planning and Karen does the financial everything else. But we are going to throttle back a little bit. We typically visit five different venues on a monthly basis. So whether it’s a country club or a hotel or a restaurant, we typically do five and we always do two nights at every venue. So that’s a total of 10. You know, every time that we do it, we’re going to throttle back and do half of that for those particular months. So I would really tell people that if you are interested and those are, you know, we’re packed out as it is if we kind of consolidate down to less, we’re not going to stop our marketing people are still going to know about and people are still going to show up, they will get to capacity, they will lock out, they will become a waiting list. We know I will tell people in advance, we never call people on the waiting list, I apologize for that. It’s just that we never have the room to fill up extra people because people don’t cancel and they show up too. And so, you know, you can call us at 215-798-9088. For any reason, you can call us for anything, you can call for questions, register for a workshop, you know, or to schedule an appointment to come out.


David Bezar: Or you go to our website, thrivefinancialservices.com, and register for one of these upcoming seminars. And I’ll tell you, you know what, I want to give you a little insight that may deviate a little bit from my topic. But let me give you a little insight because I was talking about the process, maybe that first step in the process, like Karen said, is to come visit with us, right? In that workshop environment, there is, you know, throughout the entire process with thrive, there’s no pressure, but there specifically you’re amongst, you know, kind of your peer group. People are enjoying a great dinner, whatever venue we’re at. It’s really interesting for me to watch that also. Because, you know, people meet each other for the first time. And then they actually, you know, they start, hey, why don’t we go out to dinner again, it was a really nice meeting, you were very friendly, you’re a nice person, it’s really kind of an interesting thing. We’ve seen that at our client events as well, like, we run these big client events, and people who didn’t know each other, they get to meet each other at these events. Next thing we hear about, hey, you know, we’re the Smiths, and we went out, we went to dinner with the Jones as a matter of fact, we’re scheduling a cruise with them, there was so much fun we got and they became lifelong friends. It’s really a great experience. So that’s kind of the first, you know, the experience that you can have when you come out you’re amongst your peer group, you hear a presenter, there’s nobody talking to you specifically, you know, asking you financial questions or anything like that. But you spend about an hour where you get an education. And the reason to potentially come out to one of those are the following things, right? Like why should I consider going out to one of thrives seminars? Well, number one is if you’re not sure how taxes are going to work in retirement, that’d be a good reason, right? Taxes are going to be the largest potential expense that you’re going to have during your retirement years. Typically, people’s houses are paid off, their cars are paid off, and they’re out of debt, taxes, taxes, and health care are probably going to be the two competing things to take up your monthly budget. So you got into how taxes are working. You may be concerned that taxes are going to go up in retirement and you’re going to want to find out. Is that a possibility? Right. So the answer for that definitely gets spoken about at the workshop. You were not sure how all the other puzzle pieces of retirement fit together, like required minimum distributions. When do they start? How do they get taxed? Do I have to take them? There’s a thing called IRMAA. IRMAA is a surcharge that gets assessed against your Medicare Part B, and D premiums. If you hit a certain threshold of income, a lot of times it’s a big aha moment, Joe for a lot of people, because they don’t, we get so many people, we do a cash flow analysis, right, what we do is we accelerate people’s age to 73. And we show them what their income is going to be in 73. It’s very easy for us to predict what it’s going to be. They’re going to have two Social Security checks, they may have to have two pension checks, and then they’re going to get a required minimum distribution check. And when we add up that income for them, they in their wildest dreams go, I never expected I was going to make that kind of money in retirement. 


David Bezar: Sometimes it’s a lot more than they were making while they were working. And now because of that they may end up getting hit with what’s called an IRMAA surcharge. So we want to prepare them for that because that’s a healthcare charge. And that could be significant. We teach them how to distribute retirement assets in retirement assets, and how to do it efficiently from a tax perspective. We talked about Roth conversions, should you do a Roth conversion? These are things that we cover, just in that seminar. So much more gets covered, when people take us up on that offer of a free complimentary consultation where we do a very comprehensive review, to give you some guidance, give you some insight into what’s my chance of success and retirement, what if I live to 92? What if I live to 97?? Am I going to be okay? Don’t you think that’s one of those important questions you should probably find out? So those are the reasons why you might want to come out. What you might find out is that you might find out everything’s good. You might find out hey, you got some carburetor adjustments that you need to make. You may find out that hey, things ain’t looking good, but I still got time.


Joe Krause: That’s the key. That’s the key to finishing those sentences. “Do you still have time?”


David Bezar: That’s it. Right. So that kind of goes back to my first analogy related to some people not going to doctors because they don’t want to find out. I was watching something this week. And I don’t. I’m not really good with TV, like, I don’t know, names and all that type of stuff. But there was somebody I don’t know if she’s, she’s on the morning show. I think her name is like something new when new way vase or the long and short of it, Joe is she found out and she seems like a very national prominent anchor type person on the morning shows that she had pancreatic cancer. And that’s a cancer that the survival rate is not very good. And it’s usually cancer that isn’t. And the reason that the survival rate isn’t really good is that people don’t have any symptoms until the latest stages of it. So it goes undiagnosed until it’s too late. So for whatever reason, she was her own health advocate. And this is a big departure from what I was talking about. But she was our own health advocate and just knew her body and said, Hey, this isn’t something’s not right. Long story short, she, you know, got some diagnostic testing done, found out that she did have it, was able to treat it, and is now in remission and healthy and everything else. And you know, she was commenting on it about how she seems to be a young woman, who now will have the opportunity to see her, you know, very young children grow up. And, you know, it was so important. And the reason I bring that out and health is such an important thing for me, is what if she didn’t? What if she didn’t confront the way she was feeling that angst? Something’s not right. What if you’re sitting there today, and you’re listening to the show? And you’re saying to yourself, you know what, something doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure if I’ve saved enough, right? Like Karen was talking, I read an article this week, that people are typically off by 30% to 40%, and how much retirement assets they need to live the lifestyle that they currently have adjusted for inflation. That was a lot of words. But when you think about it, the type of lifestyle that I have today, adjusted for inflation, and just like the pundits are telling you inflation is coming down. I don’t know. We go out to dinner pretty darn frequently. It still cost a heck of a lot more. We’re looking for airline tickets. We’re traveling a lot this summer, we’re going to the Bahamas, we’re going to two places in the Caribbean, and we’re spending a month in Europe, and it’s ungodly, what the cost of these flights are today. But that’s why people are spending it on credit cards. Long story short, Joe is to confront the fear, F.E.A.R – “False Emotions Appearing Real”. Come out to one of our workshops, give us a call at 215-798-9088, confront that, come in, and find out if everything is gonna be alright in retirement.


Joe Krause: Great stuff today on Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show we thank everybody for tuning in to the broadcast again, thrivefinancialservices.com. Download one of the podcasts from the website and listen to it while you walk in the evening. You will learn that you’re gonna do it for this edition of Roadmap to Retirement the Radio Show on behalf of David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. I’m Joe Krause. See you next time everybody.


Announcer: Thanks for listening to the 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 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 again 215-798-9088 and so you know no statements made during the Roadmap to Retirement on 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. First consult with a qualified financial adviser and or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here David Bezar, Bret Elam, and Karen Bezar of 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 and excellent Exton, Yardley and Cherry Hill. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show was a paid commercial announcement from Jacob’s media partners. If you’d like to learn more about the power of the radio contact Joe Krause at 267-261-3428. Today’s program has been pre-recorded. 

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