Episode #193 – Navigating Retirement Challenges & Choices

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

Or listen on any of our other podcast websites such as Spotify, Soundcloud, or Apple Music.

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

Welcome everyone to another edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show with David Bazar, Karen Bazar and Brett Elam. We begin with the hottest ticket in town, not Taylor Swift, not the Eagles opener in September. It’s the roadmap to retirement workshops on location. The registration is full or continues to fill quickly. And I don’t say that to deter anyone, David? Words getting around.


David Bezar  01:26

Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. We had a bunch of workshops this week. I told you no, I think we were on this show last week, we mentioned that we’re slowing down for a couple of months. So I think that actually kind of built up. And that was not purposeful to do it that way. We just really needed to kind of slow down from an operational standpoint for a couple of months. But I think that builds up the anticipation. And we already have a backlog of people looking at some of the future ones, like you mentioned. So yeah, a lot going on. And I also think, too, it’s, you know, people are looking for information.


Joe Krause  02:01

Yes, they are.


David Bezar  02:01

There’s just so much going on right now. You know, the biggest headline is the debt ceiling. And then what ‘s happening with the markets. And then what happens if maybe this is one of the first times where we actually don’t approve a debt ceiling increase. And we go into a default situation, what’s the ramifications of that? You know, they can’t pay Social Security, they can pay interest on bonds. And then they talk about the constitutional amendment of issuing a $1 trillion coin that will cover all which has never been even considered. It’s unbelievable what’s going on just in that, right. And then we’ve got geopolitical stuff. And then we’ve got, hey, look, if you’re close to retirement, these rights we always say here on the show, we’re about creating awareness, providing education so that people can make good quality decisions to make sure that they have peace of mind, when they go to retire. Or if they’re already in retirement, continue it knowing that everything’s gonna be okay. And that if they need the leadership, you know, to kind of give the guidance and hold them by the hand through that process. We’re always here for that. And you know, we always tell you, you can just give us a call. Our phone number here is 215-798-9088. We’re always available. We got a great team of people in our four local offices, Fort Washington, Yardley, PA, Exton, PA, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, those are offices of convenience, it’s easy to pop in have a cup of coffee, a conversation about the future, we’ll fill you in on that awareness and education. Great process. So I think we got a great show lined up with a lot of good stuff that we’re going to discuss today. So why don’t we jump right over to Karen, see what she’s going to be talking about on the show?


Karen Bezar  03:46

I’m going to be chatting about annuities, specifically fixed indexed annuities, just some recent experiences meeting new people have brought this to the forefront of my mind.


David Bezar  03:58

Yeah, and we, I guess, a couple of weeks ago, we had a show where we did talk about it, we actually posted up on our website, a lot of information related people can get a download. I don’t know if we still have that up on the website, but we’ll check and kind of put that announcement out there. You know, we don’t love annuities here at Thrive Financial Services, but in today’s marketplace, they absolutely 100%. For the right situation, present a solution. The challenge is you got to know the ins and outs, you got to know what the pitfalls and mistakes can be. And you got to make sure you’re buying one from a fiduciary who still has your best interests at heart, not just somebody who’s a commissioned salesperson that’s going to sell whatever’s in their best interest versus what’s in your best interest. So that’ll be a good topic Karen will cover. Bret let’s jump over to you here what you’re going to be talking about today.


Bret Elam  04:49

A recent study just came out it’s called the it’s called the resilient choices, trade offs, adjustment and course corrections to thrive no pun intended but literally to thrive in retirement, so excited to share, and it’s things that we’ve been echoing on the show for quite a while, but this study was just completed of 7000, retirees and pre retirees so excited to kind of share the information that came out of this report.


Joe Krause  05:13

Sounds good. Don’t take this with arrogance. David, Bret, or Karen, I think the Lucky is some of the luckiest people in the Delaware Valley right now that are on the doorstep of retirement or that are in retirement, are your clients because you open the show with a laundry list of uncertainty and things that are happening and things that cause us as consumers to be nervous or scared or ignorant to what we’re supposed to do? And all of your clients are, are good, they’re educated, they’re taken care of, and they’re in good hands. I think it’s really important to point that out, you know, as we talk to the listening audience today, and perhaps there’s new listeners tuning in, I think it’s really important for people to know that.


David Bezar  06:00

Well, first of all, Joe, we appreciate that. And, you know, I mean, that’s been the mission that we’ve been on since we started and Dr. It was, you know, our careers, we had previous careers to starting this business. And, you know, we had the fortunate, you know, I call it rear view, rear view, mirror management, we had the opportunity to work for a number of years for Karen and I was 18 years, and then another eight years, so it’s out at 26 years. Yeah, I’m pretty good with that, you know, a total of 26 years before we started Thrive. And I got the opportunity to kind of see what was good and what was bad about our industry. And, you know, look, being an insider and just telling you from a transparent not a whistleblower situation, but just being transparent, is that the industry isn’t set up properly, right, it’s really not set up to the ACT always in the best interest of the client. I mean, you know, a lot of money motivated people are in this business. And we just looked at that, that was one aspect. The other aspect is, people growing up in this industry tend to get into kind of one vertical, like if they’re in if they’re a financial advisor, then they typically specialize in I don’t know, I want to use the word specialized, but they stay in their lane, talking about investment management. People who sell insurance, right, they sell insurance, people who are in the banking space, know how to do banking and lending. People who are accountants, CPA, right, they know how to do the taxes. So what that leaves people with some of the most important decisions in their life, right? I mean, you know, buying a house, securing your financial future, sending your kids to college, all those different types of things. At the end of the day, it’s up to you, as the consumer, to kind of go out and find all those different, I mean, think about that, right? Like, you have to find them, you have to interview them, you got to somehow trust them, like you gotta go through this long process. And then you may have people throwing ideas coming from different perspectives. So you know, you may get a recommendation from an investment advisor, but they didn’t counsel with your accountant, they didn’t counsel with your attorney, they didn’t counsel with your mortgage person, like they don’t know what the other professionals are doing. And if you do something on the left hand, it may affect the right hand in a bad way. Does that make sense?


Joe Krause  08:24

Yeah, it definitely makes sense. And, and it’s real.


David Bezar  08:28

All the time, right. And that’s how the industry is set up. So when we had the opportunity to set up thrive, it was all about us becoming that financial quarterback for you, right, being the coach, we do all of the work, and then present the entire package, we show you how it all intersects, how it all connects, how you know how it works, or how all those puzzle pieces fit together. And I think that’s why, you know, look, 95% of our clientele today, had a previous financial advisor. Right, that advisor did a great job at what they could do. But they’re like a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball, right, they got that family to maybe the sixth or seventh inning. But then they need a specialist, somebody’s got the right type of pitch to finish the game with a win. That’s why people ultimately conclude we’re a better fit for them. And it’s a great experience to go through even if you don’t become our client, just the process is worth it. So if you’re ever interested, you know and check our website. In the commercial spots, you’re gonna hear our workshop schedules and all that type of stuff. And you could just simply give us a call at 215-798-9088.


Joe Krause  09:40

And the other thing you can do is we go to our first commercial break and Bret Elam will join us on the other side. You can go to the website and download the latest edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. A very, very popular podcast back in a moment. Back here again on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show, ThriveFinancialServices.com or the phone number 215-798-9088. Your lifeline to Thrive Financial Services.


Bret Elam  10:15

You know, we’re at the time of year where we’ve seen graduations pop up, we were just talking about it in the break. And it’s unbelievable. My first son is getting ready to graduate high school. So we actually sat down this past week, and I’m excited that my son wants to follow in the same career that dad’s in. Well, so part of the conversation started to become what colleges can I go to where as soon as I graduate? How can I get maybe my CFP degree certified financial planner, and then there was like the Certified Financial Analysts where you’re more specialized in investments and so forth. And so we actually just cuz I’ve been chatting with probably since the day my son’s been born about kind of all the things that happen in our industry. And he’s, we kind of went deeper about, like, what each one of those designations mean. And after I kind of explained them all, like one’s kind of really focused on the holistic plan, and the other one’s really just focused on how do I be a stock jockey of which investments are better than the next and they both have their places? My son looked at me and said, Why would I want to just deal with one thing versus Why wouldn’t I want to be a global solution? And I’m like, That’s my boy. That’s my boy. Yes, sir. So that’s going to lead me into my segue here into this story, and I’m just going to dig right into it says today’s clients don’t want yesterday’s retirements mean mom and dad’s retirement so retirees are redefining what they consider to be successful and retirement, meaning people like David Karen, I advisors need to adjust your strategies on how to how to better prepare their clients. According to this new survey published by age wave, which was the survey company for one of the big brokerage houses out there. And this is what they dig into his retirement savings that need to last longer. If they are to sustain retirees for a longer lifespan, remember, we got a couple aged 65 at a 50% chance at least one person makes it to the age of 92. A long time. Of course, again, according to the surveys, authors, many retirees and pre-retirees are ready for these unforeseen changes both good and bad. And advisors must help them develop a flexibility to both to cope with those changes. So again, the study was called resilient choices, trade offs, adjustments and course corrections to thrive in retirement, who questioned over a little over 7000 retirees and pre retirees and found that success for participants was different than it may have been defined in the past meaning, the way they express meeting new people, their hopes and dreams is different from their moms and dads is what they had shared. It said retirement is not seen as what their parents may have thought as a time of leisure. Retirement is really seen as a new chapter and new choices and opportunities. And also some new challenges. Let me dig into this. So there were a variety of things retirees and retirees want to do and are doing in retirement ready for this. 26% of retirees said they are working in retirement. While 50% of pre-retirees say they plan to work in some capacity in retirement. That’s not normal. Normally, people say I’m done, I’m done. So people are like, I want to have purpose. I love what I do, but I don’t like doing it full time. Meanwhile, 19% of retirees said that they are volunteering while another 39% said they plan on volunteering. Again, not a time of leisure I want to get out and do some things Things have changed the the presentation participants discuss dealing with major major life events and course correcting to accommodate those changes, which could mean everything from losing a spouse to unexpected health expenses to positive windfalls like starting a new job or reducing maybe some expenses maybe I finally retire debt mortgage or the cars paid off. I got out of that etc. So the retirement journey ready for this is not a straight line. That’s exactly right. I mean, I think we talked about that for the last five and a half years on the show. It’s not the plan it once was where everything just simply falls into place. It makes us very ready for the word dynamic journey. So there are curveballs meaning major challenges, cannonballs, major challenges that come away and may end positive windfalls that come our way. Many have endured these curveballs and cannonballs 69% of men and 81% of women in the study said they suffered an unexpected event. The participants rated the most disruptive event. losing a spouse, obviously, was at the highest of 77% while divorce was second at 58%. And then finding a significant financial setback was number three. So it wasn’t the investments and some of those psychological barriers and life changes of a partner. What happens if they die? What happens if you unexpectedly get divorced again to painful things that happen, those curveballs, absolutely alter retirees income streams and have a major impact on lifestyle going forward. Other curveballs could impact when a person decides to retire, as that decision may not be entirely up to them. 30% of those surveyed ready for this said they were forced into retirement due to their own health, or having to take care of another family member. I think those numbers look very similar to our clientele here as well, it’s life, life happens, I like fans absolutely needs to be dynamic. So going into retirement, pre-retirees need to work with their advisors to have a plan, a plan encompasses more than what stock bond mutual fund or annuity that I’m in, and to be ready to do what modify the plan, when certain situations come along. It’s not a bad idea. If you have an advisor to start talking about scenario planning. And here’s what drives me up a wall in this article. Why do you need to have the conversation with your advisor to start talking about this scenario planning versus the person you’re paying money to? Should I be proactively talking to you about that? I need that to sink in for a little while. Why should you, the person paying somebody has to be the proactive one. But David just shared it with the listening audience who isn’t on the pull all this together? Who’s it on to be your own advocate? Who is it on that has to look out for themselves? You are listening audience, it’s on you to pull these things together, again, the importance of why you need to work with somebody who’s working on your behalf, again, a fiduciary what’s a fiduciary, someone who puts your interest ahead of their own at the end of the day?


Joe Krause  16:51

Well, that was my point in raising a statement that I wanted to make sure people realize it wasn’t arrogant. I just wanted to raise that statement. But I said that that is what we are. That’s who you are. Thanks.


Bret Elam  17:05

That’s it. So again, it’s not a bad idea to really have that scenario planned. So you may want to work longer, but just in case you want to retire early. What adjustments can you make? We talk about it all the time with people. What do you want to retire one year? What do you want to retire in three years? What if we retire we got to worry about health care? All those different scenarios? What’s it do it gives people peace of mind, it gets rid of that audit and the anxiety of what if I get a severance package tomorrow, because we’re getting people laid off all over the place in the middle of this quote unquote, recession that is, quote unquote, impending and so forth, is preparing for that. You got one of the biggest insurance companies in the world, USAA, a great company, the first loss in over 100 years they just experienced this year. Don’t tell me everything’s normal, it’s going on out there. And you’re starting to see some of those numbers that are coming through that are pretty staggering, like that. A big company like USAA reported their first loss in 100 years. That’s unbelievable. So we’re continuing on with the survey, retirees and pre retirees you poor, they are better off working with an advisor than without one. And of those surveyed 27% of retirees and 30% of pre retirees are working with an advisor to a small number, believe it or not a little shocking. But working with an advisor inspired confidence as 94% of retirees and pre retirees who are working with an advisor said they’re more likely to say they could handle unexpected financial challenges, as opposed to only 78% of those not working with an advisor, where we become that rational sounding board. Remember, we’re human beings, what’s that mean? We’re emotional beings. At the end of the day, sometimes it’s working with that third party to just talk you off the edge, give you that peace of mind that you’re all looking for at the end of the day. That’s the purpose of working with somebody not a robot, not somebody telling you which mutual fund veteran index mutual fund, but somebody that can truly pull it all together. And finally, an advisor can help retirees understand the value of comprehensive financial planning and advice as 63% of retirees and 70% of pre-retirees are looking for a more holistic approach from their advisors. I hope we’ve been echoing that story on this show for the last five and a half years the importance of pulling it all together. You know, I had the opportunity to speak with two of our regular radio listeners. And one I’m going to meet down in our Cherry Hill office next week becoming a member of the Thrive army. So just another one coming in and I said I’d love to always get feedback. And he’s like I’ve been a regular listener to the show for quite a while but listen to David, yourself and Karen. He said the contents great. But you guys need new jokes. We laughed a little bit about that. But the jokes are fun and they’re good till we saw them and so forth. But you know what he shared? He goes, he goes every show because I’m an am radio listener. He goes in a lot of your competitions on the radio, he goes, You know what I appreciate, genuinely appreciate about your show you guys, maybe five times a year, you guys might maybe it’s five times a year you guys are actually talking about products. He goes the other 90% of the year, you’re talking about things that really matter. And when you hear a statistics like this from what people really are looking for, they don’t want to just know what’s the next stock bond mutual fund annuity. It’s important. It’s a part of financial planning. But everyone ignores all the other pieces. And it’s what David just shared with us a little bit ago, the importance of awareness, what are conversations that need to be had that you didn’t know that needed to be had? I asked him a series of questions that you didn’t even know that needed to be asked at the end of the day. That’s the purpose of what we try to do. Week in and week out. Another couple I sat down with this past week, echoed similar sentiment that they’ve been listening to the show since we began, he’s like, my gosh, have you guys grown, the content that you guys now talk about versus what you first spoke about? It’s awesome. Just hearing about it, I don’t have to keep up with it anymore. Because it’s hard, because we realize it’s on us to fall these pieces together. And as David talked about having the unify team as I hope you’re able to translate what’s happening from your advisor to go talk to your accountant who can then you’re going to then go share it with the attorney. That’s not the way it has to be. Again, what we do is very proactive retirement income and tax planning. At a holistic level. That’s what we do. But who we are, is giving people a peace of mind and security, that they’re looking for two different things. What we do is very proactive retirement income and tax planning, looking at it on a holistic level, that’s what we do. But what are people looking for? That’s where we are, is giving people that peace of mind, inevitably the security they deserve? So if you heard us on that story, and it’s like, Man, I really need to start taking that holistic approach. My hope is, and my ask is, please give us a call tomorrow. 215-798-9088. I just want to edit that to actually give us a call today, at 215-798-9088. With everything that’s going on that David just spoke about a new opening segment, there’s no better time than to start having that conversation to start planning for what if? What if, what if let’s get that peace of mind that everyone’s looking for.


Joe Krause  22:16

360 degrees of your retirement. That’s Thrive Financial Services. Back in a moment.


Announcer  22:25

This program is paid for by Jason Media Partners.


Joe Krause  22:28

I’m back here on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. We thank everybody for tuning in, Bret mentioned that he’s going to meet someone over in Cherry Hill, here’s a sneak opportunity to get registered for a June workshop at Medford Village Country Club June 6th or June 15th. But you must go to thrivefinancialservices.com to get pre-registered for an upcoming event at Medford Village. Karen, over to you.


Karen Bezar  22:56

Yes, again, I definitely urge you to take a look at our website for upcoming workshops, we’d love to meet you, our numbers 215-798-9088. And our website is Thrivefinancialservices.com. A lot of good information on there. So after the show today, if you think you missed something, you can re-listen to the radio show. And you can see what we were talking about sometimes on the radio, and you can see who we are, who our team is, we have everybody up there. So recently, I’m going to bring up annuities. It’s not something that we love to talk about. And it’s not something that we love here at Thrive financial services, but recent experiences that I have had or we have had have brought this to the forefront of my mind. Right, so meeting with people I’ve noticed, you know, some people have annuities, but they might have the wrong type of annuities and also have met with people. And every day I’ve had people come in and they’ve had everything in annuities, which is to me alarming, because you can’t, as they say, put all your eggs in one basket. So we’re going to chat a little bit about annuities, but specifically what are fixed indexed annuities and how do they work? So, fixed indexed annuities are basically protection from downside risk, and the closer you get to retirement, the more you want protection if the markets have another bad year. So again, look, David said it. I’m saying again, we don’t love annuities, but sometimes they’re necessary and we again, approach retirement or we approach our clients, everybody is different. So it’s not a one size fits all plan for everybody. And annuities don’t always fit into your plan. But if they do, and or if you have an annuity and as I’m talking about this, you think Hey, maybe I have the wrong type of annuity, or you’ve been thinking about getting One for your retirement planning, give us a call to 215-798-9088. And maybe, you know, just start with a phone call, please come in and we’ll do an exam of what you have and see if it’s we’ll give you our honest opinion. So I’m going to kind of backtrack a little bit here. Annuities, definition of annuities is, you know, something that you can put your money into either in a lump sum or on a monthly basis, and then you have protection from downside risk. And I want to say also, I’ve seen commercials again, there’s all this information out there. There’s these I’ve seen commercials for financial advisors or advisory firms, and they say, annuities are bad, we don’t sell annuities. So I don’t like these absolute statements, they sometimes have a place in your plan. I’m going to discuss the different types of annuities, right? So again, annuities sometimes scare people, and when we bring them up, it’s kind of scary, because sometimes they think they’re very complex, but there’s different types of annuities, right. So we have one side of the spectrum, we have high fee, high risk, high potential gain variable annuities, and we don’t use those generally, because we like to use annuities for safe money and word variables in there. So that means your money is going to go up and down. I have seen variable annuity products with high fees as much as 4%, which is crazy, because if you’re trying to make money that’s eating away at your gains. And then again, it’s gotten your money in and variable annuities going to go up and just going to go down. And then on the other side of the spectrum, you have a steady fixed annuity. So it’s kind of like you put your money in and you’re going to get the same return every year. So that’s where the different types of annuities are. What I’m talking about is a fixed indexed annuity, a fixed indexed annuity is a contract. It’s basically between you and the insurance company where you give a certain amount of money, perhaps a lump sum, where you can sometimes put money in each year, and you give them the money for a period of time, your return is based on the performance of chosen stock market index or indexes. Your financial I mean, your fixed index annuity, your principal is guaranteed meaning that even if you’ve chosen the index the way you’re going to have money, make its investment money each year. With a fixed indexed annuity, when you put your money in, you cannot lose money. So how is that possible? Right? When we start discussing annuities, people go, Well, what’s the catch? If I can’t lose money when the markets are down? Then what’s the catch here? Right? So one answer is the insurance company. The reason that you don’t lose the money is like the insurance companies keeping your money for an extended period of time, and you can reinvest it each year. Another answer is that fixed indexed annuities can limit your total returns by using caps and participation rates. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty. If you’re listening and think I want to learn more about this, or I want to learn more about my annuity, again, give us a call 215798 98. So I just talked about a cap. So basically, a cap is a ceiling. So for example, let’s say the insurance company is going to set a rate or participation rate. So they’re saying if the s&p 500 grows by 10%, that year, you’re gonna receive a 5% return on your investment. Long story short, there’s so many ins and outs, even in fixed indexed annuities, let alone annuities in general, I urge you to really take your time and learn about what you’re doing and come on in and give us a you know, let us help you out with this. What are the benefits of a fixed indexed annuity? Right? So the main advantage and the reason we use this sometimes is we see that there’s a retirement there’s an income gap. You need to have some money it was we call it safe money. So the main advantage of a fixed index annuity is their protection from downside risk, right. So you’re approaching retirement, you’re no longer accumulating assets. And you don’t want to put 100% of your portfolio in the stock market in case there’s a bad year. Another advantage of index annuities is there’s an annual lock or reset feature. So when the annuities index has a positive return, the growth is locked in and it resets to become the next year’s beginning balance. So what I mean by that is, let’s say you put $100,000 into your fixed index annuity, you got a 5% return. So the next year you would begin your year with $105,000. In that account, then the value of your fixed indexed annuity can only go up or sideways, never backwards and again in retirement. That is a big deal. And when we do Looking at annuities, it’s not, again, putting your eggs all in one basket, it’s only part of the plan. Another reason we sometimes use fixed indexed annuities is it can actually provide an income stream. You have social security, but maybe you don’t have a pension. Or maybe you do have social security and a pension, but you still need a little bit of guaranteed income. So again, that’s another reason that we use it. So as I’m speaking to you, and I’m saying, hey, look, what it’s this sounds great. And you’re listening and saying, What’s this sounds great. What are the drawbacks? Yeah, there are drawbacks to this, right. Sometimes there are what they call surrender charges. Sometimes there’s other ins and outs that you don’t understand you need access to your money. So they’re complicated. We know what we’re doing, and they can still be confusing, we really take the time and we look at each one. So we know what we’re talking about. And we vet out different annuities, products, but also annuity companies, you want to deal with the right companies. So you also as David said, You want to make sure you’re getting advice from somebody who can also help you manage your money. If someone can only sell insurance products, I would say run away. You don’t want that person giving you advice if all they’re gonna do is take all of your money and put it into these annuities. You want to make sure you’re dealing with the fiduciary and dealing with somebody specifically who’s helping you with retirement planning. So give us a call to come to one of our workshops at 215-798-9088.


Joe Krause  31:34

I think that’s one of these if we get ready to go on a break. Nice job Karen. I think that’s one of the topics that actually has the most confusion for sure around it. Most clouds it’s very very hard to understand it and there’s a lot of solicitation for good stuff. Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show we’ll get to a commercial break on the other side David Bezar back in a moment. Here are two opportunities to get registered and get educated and meet the team from Thrive Financial Services on May 23. At the William Penn Inn and then on May 24 at the River Winds. Go to thrivefinancialservices.com to get registered, that’s Thrive financial services.com May 23 at the William Penn Inn and on May 24 at Riverwinds. Joined by the team from Thrive Financial Services, get registered and get educated. One segment to go on this edition of Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show with David Bezar, Karen Bezar, and Bret Elam. David right over to you, sir, for our final segment of the day. 


David Bezar  32:39

Yeah, Joe so I you know, as always listen to Karen and Bret today, you know, it’s easy to understand, even though we’re trying to provide clarity, and give good quality information. It’s still a lot. 


Joe Krause  32:52

Yeah it is, I tell you that.


David Bezar  32:54

it’s hard to digest, you know, you’d listen for 12 minutes or so on a segment. And it’s just bombarding stuff coming out. It’s really tough. You know what I would, but I would tell our listening audience if you’d listen to a segment and you ever have a question, you already know our phone number, right? I mean, it’s easy to get in touch with us 215-798-9088. But if it’s easier for you, you can just send us an email at [email protected] Ask us a question like if you want something covered on the radio show, right? Like if you’ve got a question about your 401k, if you got a question about Roth conversions, if you’ve got a question about how your pension works, and what survivorship benefit you should be considering and why if you want to know limitations on what contributions you can make the different retirement type plans, if you have questions about beneficiary designations and what would best as you can probably tell, Joe, I could keep going on a litany of items that people actually need to have information related for it’s because he’s wanting to..


Joe Krause  34:00

You wanna know one topic that I get asked a lot. Is “I own my house. I don’t have any mortgage. Am I okay for retirement?”


David Bezar 34:08

Yeah. And, you know, that’s a good starting question. That’s right. Now we got to do away..


Joe Krause  34:13

By the way – I don’t answer it. I tell him to tune in or call Thrive Financial Services. But in all seriousness, that is that where retirees are in their space, one of their best assets is the property that they live in. 


David Bezar  34:25

Yeah 100%. And but there’s, you know, question one, A, B, C, and D. And then you need to know all and that actually is a perfect lead into what I wanted to talk about today. But again, I don’t want people to miss out that give us do that you can send us something that you want covered on the radio show. You can do that at [email protected]. Our team will get that over to us. And we’ll make sure that we cover it on the radio show and get you that answer. And you could do it or not, I guess won’t come through anonymously. But yeah, we won’t mention your name or anything like that. So you know you can just do it that way. So, you know, my ADD is kicking in a little bit. So like I’m all over the place as I listen, you know, I kind of absorb. And I try to put something together at the end of the show that people can really leave the show going. Okay, that was worth it. And I now have some action items and things of that sort. I think one of the big questions, Joe, that’s happening out there, that is kind of evading an answer is, are we going into a recession. And we haven’t hit it yet. Right now, it’s not, the economy is definitely starting to slow, but we’re not in that where we’re seeing, you know, continuous quarterly reduction in productivity and things like that. And the primary reason for that right now, is that the labor market is still very strong, we haven’t, you know, we unemployment is extremely low, kind of on the technical number, but they’re not including the people that have never gone back to work after they either been laid off or, you know, you know, temporarily resigned or things of that sort. So that number is a little fuzzy. But here’s the other thing that’s happening is because there are so many job openings, people who get laid off, and there’s a lot of layoffs happening, they are getting jobs pretty darn quickly. So the claim people on claim has reduced because of that people are finding jobs. And people are finding jobs, because companies can’t fill these jobs. And productivity is actually going down. And I think a lot of people kind of know that you experience you know, if you’re traveling, if you go out to dinner, if you go retail shopping, you’d notice that, you know, it’s kind of bare from an employee standpoint, the service levels aren’t what they used to be people don’t care like they used to care. These are what I say are leading indicators of whether or not will ultimately go into a recession. The one thing that’s kind of holding us back from going into the recession is the jobs market. So the thing about that, though, is that the wage market is not keeping up with inflation. So I want to go through this really quickly. Here’s a breakdown. This is March numbers, this is the most recent that I could get a hold of said the consumer price index did ease down to 5%, in March of 2023, on an annual basis, down from 6% in February, and down from like an 11 and a half percent if we go back maybe six months ago. So inflation has been ticking down energy and food prices declined in March, housing prices have proven stubborn, that has changed is a march number. Last month was the first month that we saw a significant eight and a half percent decline in housing prices. So that’s right, everybody thinks that the housing market, you know, because there’s little inventory, and all that is still gonna sustain. There’s some major, and I would just call them cracks in that business. You know, Bret and I come from a banking background and are very familiar with the mortgage space mortgage companies, which, you know, it used to be an industry that was in the trillions like four and a half $5 trillion a year. I’m seeing reports now that they’re telling companies because companies are losing money, placing mortgages, the cost of putting a mortgage out, has gone up so dramatically, that these companies, mortgage banks, banks and mortgage brokers cannot make a profit. So they’re telling, like the consultants are telling these companies to downsize dramatically for a much smaller market. So with interest rates rising the way they have and going to continue to rise, the mortgage industry is going to be very challenging, people are not going to be able to buy new houses, right. So economics kick in and prices start to come down to an affordable rate. And there’s not enough there’s just a lot like leading indicators, just a lot going on. So when we see that kind of stubbornness of the marketplace start where housing prices really start to decline. That’ll be a contributor. Let me go through some of these. Just give people kind of an idea. This was the breakdown for March. This is year over year inflationary rises. So egg’s did I say that right by the way, that my Philly accent kicked in or and I was good. Eggz? Yeah, just don’t say headache.


Bret Elam  39:41

I want to hear him go Wuder, water.


David Bezar  39:43

So eggs, you say eggs. Eggs were up 36%, Margarine, 34.4%, frozen vegetables, 20.1%, Airfare 17 and a half percent more motor vehicle repairs 17 and a half percent white bread 16 and a half percent food from vending machines. 16.2% increase motor vehicle insurance 15%, Electricity up 10%, fresh whole chickens up 8%, dining out 8%, rent of a primary residence up 8% Like you start to think about that, right? One year later wage increases are not keeping pace with the cost of eggs, sorry. It’s northeast, right? So right 36% When you’re when your wage may be going up 2%. That’s a challenge. And those aren’t going backwards, either. What you just went dank, right? Like we go out to you know, look, we’re busy and life is crazy, and all that type of stuff. And we go out to dinner all the time. It just blows me away. You know, the, the casual place that you used to spend 35 bucks is now $47


Joe Krause  40:59

Well, everything you said in that list is like, like necessary. Yeah. Life.


David Bezar  41:04

And these are the big ones right? These are the big points. Yeah. Right. So we have that this is the cost of living. Now we hear with this debt ceiling issue happening, we’re probably gonna have to increase taxes. Right? Because we’re gonna have debt, right? If we’re going to issue new debt, we’re going to keep going higher, like the, you know, General Accounting Office is estimating by the year 2026, we’re almost at $38 trillion of federal debt. Well, if you’re going to increase spending, that’s going to go up, right? And then if you’re not bringing in the revenue to cover all that the country’s got a problem. So kind of, you know, we talked about this in our seminars, like there’s a major case where the taxes are going up. Lincoln Financial Group, which is, you know, a company right down the street, did a report that basically said that retirees don’t recognize that taxes will be one of the largest expenses in their annual budget in retirement. Now, here, it didn’t cover a lot, it covered insurance costs going up by a percent, but didn’t talk about health care costs. You know, we’re gonna have some folks from the healthcare industry on the show in the next coming months, when you start to hear that story about long term care, you know, if you’re a married couple, and one of the spouses gets sick, and needs assisted living at home, you know, nursing care, maybe has to go into it. It’s astronomical. And you actually ask the question, Joe, am I going to be okay If my house is paid off? People forget to take that in consideration, because most people don’t have long term health care to cover those types of costs. And a lot of those costs are not covered by Medicare, and you have to spend down your assets to $2,000. That’s all you can have left to get on to Medicaid. So people go, I’ll use my house. So now that assets are gone, right, because the average cost for a nursing care confinement type situation is about $12,500 a month, and the typical stay is about three years. Wow. Okay, so these are all leading indicators. This is going to hit and what’s keeping the economy going now, Karen, and I go and do a lot of traveling, you know, kind of for the rest of the year. We got a bunch of trips, it’d be 60 years old in a time to not throttle back. It’s just time to, you know, what’s the old saying smell the roses or?


Karen Bezar  43:36

Take the time to smell the roses?


David Bezar  43:37

Yeah, it takes time to smell the roses, right? So we’re spending money, right? But that is what’s keeping the economy good, not not caring. And David Bezar, but people in general are traveling, going out to buy dinner. A lot of it’s going on credit cards, and credit card defaults are going up dramatically. As soon as the consumer can’t do that anymore – because either they’ve been laid off, they’ve hit the limits on their credit cards, or inflation has hit so much in the pocketbook, that they can’t do it anymore. That’s when we’ll hit the recession. And that’s when massive layoffs will happen. That’s when the markets will come down. Look, I don’t want to, you know, I’m ending the show on a sour note. But that’s why it’s so important to get your stuff together. Right? Figure it out. How do you get yourself bullet proof that no matter which way the economy goes, you’re going to be okay in retirement. The easiest way to do that is to come out to one of our workshops, where just give us a call, schedule an appointment, and a one hour complimentary consultation. You come in and sit down, ask all your questions, bring your stuff with you. We’ll review it with you, we’ll run an analysis, we’ll get back together and we’ll either give you a green light, a yellow light or a red light, but we’ll always provide the solution if it’s a red or yellow light on how to make it green.


Joe Krause  45:01

Great way to end the show today on Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show on behalf of David Bezar, Karen Bezar and Bret Elam. Of course, all of our loyal listeners who continue to tune in to Roadmap to Retirement, the Radio Show. I’m Joe Krause. See you next time everybody.


Announcer  45:20

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 is 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, which is call 215-798-9088 to 215-798-9088 and so you know no statements made during 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 or not guaranteed Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here David Bezar, Karen Bezar and Bret Elam 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 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 our contact Joe Krause at 267-261-3428. Today’s program has been pre-recorded.

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