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The Reality of the 4% Rule

David, I say good morning to you. We’ve reached that point in the year, Memorial Day, where it’s almost, to me, a checkpoint. You get to Memorial Day, and then you can start to focus on the summer and start to look ahead for at least the three months that are in front of us.

Yeah, absolutely, Joe, and yeah, I want to welcome our listening audience, and again, I hope everybody has a healthy Memorial Day, and I think it’s a great point to take a second and remember all the veterans and all that good stuff, that people have served in the military for us in the past, but yeah, it’s that Memorial Day that you got to break through, gets you into summer, although it certainly has been feeling like summer weather-wise for a couple days now here.

We have a good lineup for you today. We have an interesting show planned for our listening audience and for members of the Thrive Army. We’re going to bring a member of the Thrive team into the radio show today, and we’ll introduce you to Maryann Lim a little bit later on in the program. It will be interesting, starting to put faces to the voices and allow the members of the listening audience to start to meet more people working at Thrive.

Yeah. I thought it was a great idea to have Maryann on the show today. She’s been with the team, I guess, four months now.

Yep.

Right around four months, and she’s got an interesting background, and I thought her perspective, sitting in with folks that come visit with us for the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review. Compared to what she used to do, I think it’ll give the audience a really wonderful idea of what this process is, the impact that we can make for people, and again, as somebody who’s part of the team, not necessarily one of the radio folks, so to say, but somebody who’s working every single day with our team, our clients, and then certainly trying to serve people that come through our workshops. I thought it’d be a great addition to our show, and I hope our audience enjoys it today.

Yeah, good stuff, and a good suggestion, and a good thought on your part. Maryann, welcome in to Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. We’re glad that you are here. We’ll spend some time and get to know you shortly. Bret, you’re coming up after our first commercial break. You had a great topic of conversation back-to-back the last couple of weeks. I’ve gone back to the podcast on thrivefinancialservices.com just to re-listen to some of the bullet points. David had me captivated last week with this conversation about moving to Florida, and the pros and the benefits of the state of Florida. What’s on the agenda today?

Yeah. We’re just going to be talking about be careful what you read.

Yeah, good point.

Again, during our workshop, David talks about two big misconceptions about how one of the two, CNN Money Magazine, sends out some articles sometimes contradicting themselves, and I’m going to share one with you as recent as this past week. It’s like, who do we believe in what we’re reading out there?

Well, there is an incredible amount of information out there, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m a consumer of that information. It’s very, very difficult to know what’s right and what’s not.

t is. It’s really difficult. That’s one reason we talk about making sure that you work with a fiduciary that’s current, somebody who’s up to speed, somebody’s who into understanding what the reality is and kind of navigating through all the noise that’s out there, and it’s tough. I mean, it’s really tough for the consumers, the people listening to this show today. I mean, whether you pick up your iPhone or your Samsung or whatever it is, or you turn on the TV, it’s just, you’re completely bombarded with data. Right?

If I wasn’t in the financial service industry for the past 30 years, I really wonder what I would do with all that data. How would I decipher it, and then how would I make it applicable for my financial situation? Then on top of it is you get such contradictory information. You could read one story that tells you must do it this way, and then you scroll to the next story, and it tells you the exact opposite story. So, we’ve talked about that a number of times on this show, that it’s important to understand that when you put a financial plan, and especially the financial plan on how to distribute your retirement assets, we talk in our workshop about… I don’t want to offend anybody, but it’s not that hard to get to retirement. Right?

We get a job. Hopefully, our expenses are less than what we’re making. We contribute to the company 401(k) plan or IRAs or whatever it may be, and we let that money sit there for 25, 30, 35, maybe 40 years, and then we have this nest egg. Again, you have to pick your mutual fund, your ETF, your stock, your bond, whatever it is, and even if you made some mistakes along the way, you probably still have a relatively substantial nest egg. But then I ask the big question, is show me your written operational plan to distribute that money tax-efficiently, and to make sure that it lasts your lifetime, and no hands go up.

Nobody tells me that they have that written out operational manual on how to do that. Some people actually have commented they think it’s probably easier to distribute my money than it is to accumulate my money, and then when you start to go through the pieces of what it takes to figure that out. We actually had a woman at our workshop last week, said she’s been to 15 workshops. She came up to us afterwards, and the comments out of her mouth, very educated engineer-type person, said, “This is the first time that I’ve walked out of a workshop where I finally felt like I didn’t know more than the people who were presenting. The previous 14 workshops, I could’ve told them that they were talking about things incorrectly.” I thought that was really a sad commentary for the industry, but we took it as obviously a huge compliment. I mean, here at Thrive, we absolutely pride ourselves on making sure that we can help people navigate that retirement piece successful.

You absolutely do, and I said to a gentleman the other day, and I was referencing Bret in the conversation, there is not another individual who knows everything about taxes more than Bret Elam at Thrive Financial Services, and I believe it to be true. So, when I hear you say that, kudos to you. Kudos to the work that goes in. Kudos to staying diligent with all of that stuff. David, I did want to take a moment on behalf of everyone to just send a wish and a prayer out to Karen and your family, Karen’s father passing away last week. We spend so much time with so many people on the airwaves and off the air at the workshops, so I wanted to say that

Well, we appreciate that, Joe.

Back to the discussion, Bret what were you going to talk about today?

I just want to first start off with an actuarial set. It’s one that we share during the workshop, but just want this to sink in a little bit, is that today, and again, this is probably dated a year or two, Krausey. What we learn is people are starting to live longer, and longer, and longer. We have a couple, age 65 years old, that there is now a 50% chance that one of us, not sure which one of us, but a 50% chance that one of us is going to make it to the age of 95 years old.

Just hearing that from the Thrive Army, those of you here on the radio, a 65-year-old couple, that’s a 30-year retirement for one of us, and the biggest thing of why we stress that point so many times, again, so many times David, Karen and I sit down with people, and we say, “Things look great until the first one of us passes away.” We start talking about making the most rational choices, not emotional choices, and we’ve been chatting about that over the past couple weeks here, about just finding out the information, and part of the problem is, what information do we believe?

Every penny counts when saving for your retirement

Again, we talk about during the workshop, and David does a great job of what we call is the 4% rule, and you go back to January and February of 2018, and we haven’t looked since, but it’s probably out there. They talk about the 4% rule, and then one month later about being the best thing in the world, and the next month, they say it’s the worst thing in the world, where it’s now only the 2.8% rule. So, again, it’s contradicting themselves. It reminds me of walking in on this past Monday, I get a little alert from Bloomberg News, and amongst others, and it was a little tab that I swiped down on my phone, and it said, “Three great reasons to take Social Security benefits at age 62.”

So, if you’re a regular listening of the show, that sounds like the complete opposite of what we talk about every day while we’re on this show, every Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. David talks about long-term care over the last couple weeks. Karen talks about the reason why we need to make sure we’re making important decisions related to Social Security. So, I came upstairs after I saw it on my phone, because I actually wanted to see the whole article, and I Googled, because Dr. Google knows everything, just Yahoo!, because that’s where it was at, and I said, “Yahoo! Finance, Social Security.”

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So, I Googled it, and up popped that article, and it said, “Three great reasons to take your Social Security benefits at age 62,” but here was the issue. On the same exact Google search, it said three hours ago, “Social Security, 2020, will rise this much, new report predicts,” and then five hours ago, so even more recent than the article that I was trying to read, it says, “25% of Americans are making this huge Social Security mistake.” This is all within a 24-hour period of time.

Right.

I have to read all these articles that are in here.

So, you read the last one who says, “25% of Americans are making this mistake,” and the meat of it is talking about, hey, so many of us rely on, hey, we don’t need to put anything away, and David just talked about you got to put money away into the 401(k) retirement plan, et cetera, but so many of us put everything away, and they think Social Security is the savior of everything, where again, today it’s really designed, remember, three-legged stool, pension, so many of us don’t have a pension anymore, our savings, which means don’t stop savings, and Social Security.

So, Social Security is really only designed to make up about a third to 45%-ish of our overall income, but yet this article goes through that, about the mistake of realizing that’s only going to be so much, but literally, literally, 18 hours before, “Three great reasons to take Social Security benefits at the age of 62,” completely contradict that. It’s like watching two different news programs, and they’re telling me it’s going to be sunny tomorrow, and then the next news channels tell me it’s going to be raining. Who do you believe?

What’s scary is when David, Karen, myself, Maryann, the rest of the team here at Thrive, we sit down with people, there’s so many times we sit down with them, and people are self-managed. Maybe they have all their money in a 401(k) plan because they’re still working, and they think that, yeah, I actually am working with someone from that 401(k) provider. How much help are you actually getting? Or we meet plenty of people that have already retirement or may be working with themselves, just because they’ve not gotten any value out of any other advisor previously, and you start listening to them about where they’re getting all their information, and some of them, they’re great students.

We talked to them about possibly becoming part of our Thrive Army here, becoming an employee on a part-time basis because of how much knowledge they have, but so many of them, you’re out there like, where are you getting this knowledge?

So, the bottom line becomes we need to be careful because so many of us are making decisions in our early 60’s to mid 60’s into our early 70’s on things that are going to matter for one of us, our spouse or I, 30 years down the road. Here’s a great story of someone that became a client of ours here in the last six months.

She was getting ready to retire, just because she was stressed with the job and shared it, and it’s great. It’s great when people come in as part of that Thrive Retirement Roadmap, and we give them the two thumbs up. In fact, we say to them, “Why are you still working?” They’re like, “What are you talking about?” I was like, “If we can show with you that you can retire with confidence, would you,” and they’re like, “Heck yeah.” So, this was a client who had come in, that we went through every which way, again, part of that Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review. I said, “Hey, you’re good to go. You can go retire at the end of this year.” It was like, yes, because there’s no other feeling of if you like a job, and you want to work. That’s a big deal, but if you have to work, you’re still under their thumb, if that makes sense.

Sure, it does.

So, a lot of times, people come in here, and you say, “Hey, you’re there.” So, if you get to that point where you’re stressed out, you’ve had enough of that job, you can go hang up the cleats. So, this was a client who was stressed and went back and shared that with her boss, working for a pretty big company in the area, and what had happened was what she shared and what she expressed had changed. All the working environments that she was working under were changing because they didn’t want to lose a valuable employee. So, we get the email, “David, Bret, hey. You know, my original date that I was looking at retiring, I’m now pushing out into the future because some things are changing. I now have gas back in the tank.”

The story was, “Hey, at the same time, I’m thinking about paying off some stuff, and maybe I can start putting some money away elsewhere. Does it make sense for me to do that?” This was a client. This is only six months into it. So, the honeymoon was still here, and we’re continuing it, and I said, “Hey, let us know, are you guys both working?” “Yeah.” “Are you still going to get any kind of bonuses, or are salaries still the same?” “Nope, they’re approximately about the same,” and we start talking about the difference between a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k), and what we had shared with them, just because we had transitioned some of the relationship today, was that we said, “Stay in that traditional 401(k) today. Why? We want to keep your income low,” because we had just done some things, because we reconfigured their portfolio this year, that we wanted those long-term capital gains that were going to show up on the tax return to be at 0% tax.

We share so many stories, and taxation being a part of it, and what we had shared with them, next year, as they’re going to now continue to work, is we’re going to make that transition over into that Roth 401(k). So, again, everyone comes through, and again, the scary thing is when people aren’t working with anybody is where they’re getting their information, that being A, B being knowing that one of us has a very good chance of living a long time, we need to be careful with these decisions, making rational and not emotional decisions that we have out there.

Lastly, when it relates to Social Security, great article that we just saw over the last two weeks that said that if somebody’s working with a financial advisor versus not working with a financial advisor, the amount of Social Security that at average person is getting is almost 10% to 15% higher than not working with an advisor, and when we start talking about putting all those puzzle pieces together, again, stresses the importance, and David chatted about it, of working with a fiduciary, of putting all those puzzle pieces together, having that written income plan, again, just needing to do everything with purpose.

No doubt about that, and I didn’t mean to let you run on so long there, but I was consuming exactly what you were saying, and it is so true, beginning with the opening statement of the amount of time that we’re going to live. We’re going to live longer, and I’m thinking in my mind as you’re speaking, all of the ramifications and implications, my life insurance is up at 75 or 78 years old.

That’s it.

What do I do? Do I need life insurance? All of those different things, and you know what it does prove, Bret? It proves to me what we have talked about and what we have been speaking to on this radio program about even when you have the plan, you must be prepared with the right plan, because you never know what’s going to pop up tomorrow.

Yeah, they call this life.

Things happen all the time, so it’s great somebody comes in and gets the Retirement Roadmap Review, and you got to act on it, but then you also need to be flexible, and that plan needs to be adjustable, because when life happens, we all need to be able to adapt to that.

Go to thrivefinancialservices.com if you want to get registered for one of the upcoming workshops. Do that because the workshops are filling up. The workshops are full, and as you said, David, in your example, I was thinking of your example and I lost my train of thought. Here’s a woman that has made the workshop tour, and on her 15th visit to a workshop, she found the truth

A good way, David, for the listening audience, or another way for the listening audience to be able to perhaps text a question, a good way to communicate with Thrive.

Yeah. So far, we’ve found it to be a great tool for our listening audience, because we’ve gotten tons of texts, and we try to get back to the question while on the show. Sometimes we can’t, but we’ve got them in our archive, and the week after, we make sure that we get those responses out.

Yeah, so good stuff. So, keep that number handy, stored in your phone, if you will, 267-870-8210 is the text number. Text a question 24 hours a day. Let’s get to our next segment, David, and I’m going to give you just a minute of this segment to introduce Maryann Lim, and then we’ll have an open dialogue or an open conversation with Maryann so the listening audience can get to know her a little bit.

Yeah. I mean, one of our goals is to introduce our listening audience to more and more members of the Thrive team here, and we had Sherri Eigen on the show who ran our Cherry Hill office, as well as the workshops. We’ve gotten a great response, and Sherri’s a blast. Maryann, like I said, has been working with us for about four months now, and finally I found somebody that can put up with me on a daily basis, so this has been a really good situation because I’m very erosive. When I’m done, there isn’t much left. You know what I mean? Not our clients, just our team, because we want perfection, and we want efficiency, and all that other good stuff. So, Maryann has already passed the Litmus test, and we’re very excited to have her with our organization.

Our planning team keeps an eye on developing market trends to ensure your financial stability

Maryann, we welcome you into Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. That was a great introduction by David for you.

Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Nice to have you here. Tell the audience a little bit about who is Maryann Lim. Tell us about yourself.

All right. Well, I originally come from the great state of Ohio, and I-

Boo.

All you Penn State fans out there, sorry. So, I studied finance. I went to Cedarville University, if anybody’s familiar with that, moved here after college to find a job working in finance. I wanted to work with people, and Appalachian Ohio isn’t known for having people.

So, you’re working here behind the scenes. You’re working hand-in-hand with David. You’re getting an opportunity to work on individual roadmaps to retirement for individual clients. What’s that like? What do you see there that we don’t see, or that we don’t talk about here on the radio?

Yeah. So, I get to really dig into the weeds here, so I see all the details that clients have, situations that may not be apparent right away. Maybe there’s a tweak they can do, a credit they can take for their taxes that I might be able to pull out that, looking at the big picture, you might not notice right away.

David, just to that point, and it’s one thing that we’ve talked about, each individual is very different. It’s a completely different plan. It’s an individual roadmap.

Yeah. What’s interesting about that is it is individual. It’s completely customized, but in the global look of everything, most retirees have the same issues. Right? Most retirees want to make sure their money lasts their lifetime. Most retirees are starting to consider scaling back their risk levels. Most people want to leave money to their heirs and. So, as much as people are different, they’re all kind of the same in the ultimate goals, but the details are what’s different

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We want to make sure, number one, that they are completely consumer-focused, advocate-oriented, know about the education, and Maryann’s background is she is a certified financial planner, which to a lot of people, that’s a big darn deal. It takes a lot of schooling to do that, so on and so forth. The other thing that I think Maryann can give our audience a good perspective on is, prior to working with us here at Thrive, Maryann worked for a wealth management firm attached to a very large regional bank, and her average clientele that she dealt with was about 200 million dollars per family. So, I’d love for Maryann to maybe tell a little bit about that experience, and what was a typical day, and what were you kind of helping people, as compared to what you’re doing today, working with that more mass affluent type client?

Yeah. So, before I was working with incredibly wealthy people, as David mentioned, trying to help them manage their investments, as well as make sure their money lasted for generations and generations, whereas today, I’m much more involved in helping your more average Joe, middle class American family, see if they can retire and find different strategies for that. So, it’s a bigger picture that I’m working with here with retirees, whereas before, I was focused much more individually, much more specifically on a certain family, and they didn’t need as much help. So, I’d much rather help someone really understand what they’re getting into and get the education piece as well.

In the four months that we’ve been working together, I think it would be great for our audience to maybe understand that a little bit more. Right? When we see a couple or a family, as we’re finishing up a review with them, and they’re walking in, what responses do you hear from them, and what was that experience like, and then also, what does it feel for you? How do you feel about what you’re doing?

Yeah. So, I really enjoy what I’m doing now. I feel like I’m actually helping people get a better understanding. I feel like I’m educating retirees. I love when people have a bunch of questions for me. They want to understand what they’re doing, how this retirement plan works, how much money they can take out this year versus next year, when to take Social Security and those kinds of things. So, that just wasn’t part of the questions people have when you have when you have 200 million dollars.

Sure.

You don’t care that Social Security is an option when you have 200 million dollars. That’s a drop in the bucket, Social Security. So, it’s really been cool to make a difference in people’s lives who look like me or my parents.

Yeah, that’s right.

Maryann, can you in words describe the impact of the people that are being served by Thrive, of the members of the Thrive Army who are leaving, following the process? Can you describe that impact for us?

Yeah. I think it helps them. Something David mentioned in one of his meetings is his SWAN theory, his sleep well at night theory. So, I think that really encapsulates what we do for our clients here, is we let them be able to sleep well at night and feel comfortable in their retirement knowing that they can retire this year, or that they’ve already retired, and that they are set financially. They don’t have to worry so much about their money.

We’re introducing you and talking with Maryann Lim, a member of the Thrive team. She’s only been here for a little bit over four months, but she already has the feel and the flavor of being a seasoned veteran, David. Would you say that?

Yeah, absolutely. Again, we try to bring to our team the people that we have confidence in. Right? People who come in for that Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review don’t really know us. Right now, they may have been listening to us on the radio for some time. We’re starting to see many, many people who we ask them, “How did you find about us?” “Oh, well, we heard you on Big Talk or 1210 AM. That’s awesome. The show was phenomenal. After listening to the show four, five, six, seven times, I realized it wasn’t one of these typical infomercials. It was really an educational one hour. So, I started learning a lot. I decided to come in.”

So, the team members that we want to put out in front of these folks, we want them to be comfortable. Right? We want people to. Our people exude trustworthiness, empathy, a high degree of education, all the things that for a new relationship make people feel comfortable. We totally believe that, and again, we can. We have the luxury of believing that because we don’t have to… Our business is doing so extraordinarily well, we never have to put an ounce of sales pressure on anybody that sits across the conference room table from us. We can just enjoy each other’s time. We can exude that education to them, and if they decide they like it, they’ll let us know. If it worked out for them, and they just want to be on their way, we’re going to shake hands, part ways, and be friends.

Maryann, I’ll give you one last thought before we close the segment, but there’s nothing for sale, David, at the workshops.

That’s it.

There is nothing for sale. Closing remarks from you, Maryann, as you finish up your time with us, the first time here on Roadmap to Retirement, the radio show. Any parting thoughts from you? It was nice to meet you today, great to connect with you. We hope the audience will meet you when they come into Thrive.

Retirement is tricky like a game of chess, but we will take care of it for you!

 

Congrats to you for being able to work hand-in-hand with David Bezar.

The erosive one.

Yes, exactly.

Thank you Maryann Lim for joining us today. You really did a nice job in the previous segment on the radio show, always nice for people to get to know about members of the team here at Thrive.

Yeah, that was awesome, and we appreciate her time on the show. So, I just want to take a quick minute and kind of piggyback on a little bit about Bret’s conversation related to be careful where you find your information, and like he said, one of the things we talked about at the workshop is this concept called the 4% rule, and the 4% rule ideally was a formula built to let retirees know what was a safe percentage withdrawal rate from retirement assets so the money would last at least 30 years. It got created back in 1994 by an MIT grad.

You hear about the 4% rule quite frequently. Most financial advisors are utilizing that as kind of the steadfast formula to help retirees know what the withdrawal rate is. What we disclose is that that’s a challenge because that rule was modified significantly back in 2013, and continues to be looked at. As a matter of fact, US News and World Report just said, “The 4% rule is a flawed concept based on questionable research and overly optimistic bond returns. The rule not only fails to account for market fluctuation, but also as individuals’ personal goals. According to recent research, a safe retirement portfolio withdrawal rate is closer to 2% or 3%, although even those numbers aren’t a hard and fast rule. At the end of the day, there is no identifiable specific percent rule for any given retirement time horizon, but rather, a range of choices.

Then they go on to say why the rule no longer makes sense is that, “The sustainability of the 4% initial withdraw strategy is directly tied to portfolio returns during retirement. Lower interest rates have hammered fixed income rates. Bond returns have been near zero since 2008’s financial crisis.” So, again, just a little example of heightening people’s awareness to make sure that the rules that they’re applying, the strategies that they’re applying for this process of retirement income planning are going to work for them, and that’s what we try to do with the Thrive Retirement Roadmap Review, is during that first hour that we meet with people complimentary, it’s we go through all the data.

They bring all their questions. They bring all their information, their IRA accounts, their brokerage statements, the tax returns, any debt, their big important part, their expenses. Maybe for the first time in a long time, we’re getting people to understand that they don’t have a paycheck coming in from employment, so never maybe thought about a budget, and may never continue to think about it, but for one point in time, we are going to think about it because we have to develop a retirement income plan, a written plan that makes sure between if they have a pension, good, Social Security, and their retirement assets, we can cover that expense every month for the rest of their lives.

So, it’s a pretty granular type situation, and we really want to make people understand in that first appointment this is what we need, this is what we’re going to get accomplished, we want to identify. That second appointment where we deliver those four reports, if Social Security, if they have not yet started, we deliver a Social Security maximization report, and I would tell you, for 60%, 70% of the people who visit with us, we find an additional $100,000-plus of added benefit being paid out by the Social Security Administration, which obviously helps. Would you agree, Joe?

Absolutely.

And found out, meaning it was there, it just wasn’t being utilized.

Yeah. I mean, 567 different election combinations that you have access to.

Yeah, it’s unbelievable.

It’s kind of like finding the needle in the haystack, right?

Yup

You may not even be looking for it. You just go, “Hey, the milestone ages for Social Security are 62, 66, and 70, so if I can wait, I’ll wait. If I need it, I’ll take it.” That’s emotion. That’s not logic, and we kind of bring logic through that report. Then we take a look at the portfolio, and the portfolio analysis is really to identify are you too late or too early to the game to start reducing your risk and taking in the considering that if we do go through another market correction, which we typically do every 10 to 12 years, are you going to be able to weather that storm?

One homework assignment that I would love to give our listening audience is to Google the concept of sequence of returns, sequence of returns, and I think as our listening audience starts to study and understand that, it’s going to become much more apparent to them that de-risking, restructuring asset models in their portfolios is going to be critically important for the success of their retirement planning. Then lastly is that overall stress analysis, which is kind of applicable to that 4% rule. We look to deliver a degree of certainty, because we’ve looked at the global of picture of people’s retirement, and we’ve put into their stress points and filters that could derail it.

So, what we build is the worst of worst case scenarios, and if you navigate the worst of the worst, when the good times are there, you got nothing to worry about whatsoever. So, that we feel, number one, is a tremendous amount of value, so whether you call us at 800-516-5861 to schedule an appointment, whether you go to thrivefinancialservices.com and get registered for our workshop, or you want to come directly in for an appointment, you text us. Whatever means possible, come visit us for that two-and-a-half hours, completely complimentary. Like you always say, Joe, no sales pressure.

You can’t. Now, if you decide at some particular point you want to engage us, that conversation is in your court.

You bring that up to us, and we could talk about a relationship, but our promise is not to put any pressure on whatsoever, and I wish, I really wish we could parade across the airwaves all the people, and 2,500-plus people have visited with us over the past couple of years, and let them tell you that. For those of you who are skeptical… Now, if you’re cynical, there’s nothing we can do.

Yeah.

Right? There’s no hope. But if you’re skeptical, that just means you need more information to find out what’s true, what’s not true, whether we’re telling it or we’re not, but there’s no risk. Right? Come in, keep your wallet, keep your purse, leave it at home. Just come on in and visit with us, and you’ll see that you have this opportunity to walk out with a high degree of certainty.

I think that’s so important, and that emphasizes what it means to be educated, and why this program exists. You want to educate the listening audience.

We do, Joe, and again, it’s like beating an old drum at this particular point, but we know every-

But it never gets old.

Yeah. Well, we appreciate that, and we love you being here, because you’ve been such a… It’s so awesome to have a financial radio show where we literally have a consumer sitting as our host. I mean, think about that for a second, right?

Yeah.

I mean, go look at any other radio station. Go look at any other financial show, whether it’s on this station or another. All you do is have a host who might be the financial principal of the company talking about how great they are, talking about why their system’s so much better than the other. We never hear Thrive ever bring up anything like that, and what we’re doing is we’re throwing concepts where you have the ability… Sometimes it’s the first time you’ve even heard it, and go, “Okay. Let me digest this, and then let me act as the advocate for the consuming listening audience out there. Let me ask this question,” and there’s. We don’t have a script here. Right?

Right, right.

There’s no script. Our pre-show is talking about what we did all week, has nothing to do with the show, so it’s really spontaneous, which again, I hope, I really hope for our listening audience we’re doing a wonderful job getting them educated up on how they can navigate retirement successfully.

Well, I think if the attendance at the workshops is any indication, if the amount of people that have registered unofficially to become part of the Thrive Army is a representation of the job that you do, I certainly say cheers to you, because you’ve reached that point, and you continue to do that on a weekly basis, even with our discussions, for sure.

Yeah. Good, good. Give us feedback. If you want to hear different stuff, let us know. If you want us to expand on a topic that we’ve already covered, let us know. We’re happy to do that. So, with that, Joe, I wanted to go over some political topics that could really have some impact on your retirement wellbeing. I’m going to hit the headlines on them. If we have a little bit of time, I’ll dive into it, or we’ll cover it next week. So, one big one is Social Security. Right? Social Security makes up 24% of the Federal Government’s spending, and currently 9% more than the defense budget.

So, a lot of future retirees, a lot of present retirees are very concerned about what’s happening. One thing I’d really like to bring to people’s attention, and all of the diatribe that goes on out there, Trump has not talked about messing with Social Security. Right? So, a lot of people are making emotional decision on Social Security. We’re going to ask them to take a slow step, get better educated before they make that decision.

Good point.

Right? Another one is Medicare. Social Security and Medicare is making up a huge part of the federal budget, 25%. Now, necessarily Trump or the administration, because remember, Trump can only do certain things, and Congress has to approve it, ultimately, but there are some messing arounds going on with Medicare, especially in the surcharge level. This is a big topic of conversation at the workshops, a big topic when people come in for the consultations. Might not understand this, but immigration is a big issue. Immigration is a real big issue for retirees because it relates to healthcare. A lot of immigrants are doctors, and we are having a huge shortage of doctors in the future and healthcare workers in the future, so as this population ages, Joe, and we have less and less. I know it’s a hot topic, but we must look at it and see how we can get it to benefit us as a country. So, there’s others, fiduciary rule, unfunded pensions, new federal budgets.

I did not mean to get through that so quickly. We just ran out of time in a jam-packed discussion of unique material today. We will pick up right where we left off last week. Special thanks to David, Bret, and first timer Maryann Lim for the great insight today!

 

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