Bob Simpson, District Manager of the Traverse City Social Security Administrative office, wants to be clear: “There are NO secrets when it comes to Social Security despite what the headlines say.” After 35 years on the job, one would think he’d would know a thing or two about that. On today’s show, Bob will join Heidi and Shea to talk about how to schedule an appointment with one his office’s 17 representatives who are working remotely. He will also give you the ins and outs of some more complex issues related to collecting Social Security and how to avoid scams.
Remember, the Social Security office is there to provide you with options, not give you advice. After you’ve collected the facts, consider meeting with your financial advisor and CPA to decide on your income strategies in retirement.
Doug Godbe worked for himself as an estate planning attorney in California. He began the retirement planning process at the age of 30, always running the numbers and calculating the outcome. It wasn’t until his late 50’s that the deadline became more important. He witnessed his friend (another attorney) decide mid-litigation to put in his two weeks’ notice because he wanted to collect his pension. But for Doug it wasn’t an easy task … he had a business to transfer to his son as well as his wife’s retirement to consider.
I sat down with Doug and he shared his retirement success, fails and surprises. We talked about everything from careers, empty nesting, marriage, health, remodeling houses and taking on professional projects after the fact. Lastly, over the years as he observed and handled the estate plans of his clients, he saw firsthand what made them successful in retirement.
I recently interviewed Doug Godbe for an upcoming show that will air on September 24. Doug is a retired estate planning attorney who started to plan for his own retirement when he was 30. Between spreadsheets and careful calculations, he is still surprised by a few things in retirement and would even admit that he is “failing” in several areas. If the extreme planners are reexamining their plans, what about the rest of us? According to a 2015 study, only one-third of retirees retired when they had intended. This means that 60% of retirees age 55 to 65 left their careers unexpectedly. That’s a lot.
Are you on track? How do you know?
Tune in today as Dennis and Heidi share some of the benchmarks for a healthy review of your plan.
Did you know … if you’re a business owner and offer your employees a 401(k) plan, you also have a fiduciary responsibility to those employees. Add that to your growing list of responsibilities in a year of disruption, not including the rules and regulations to 401(k) plans stipulated in the SECURE Act, CARES Act and DOL Fiduciary Rulings. Are you up-to-date? If not, we are here to help!
Prout Financial Design has served as the 401(k) fiduciary for many businesses over the years, and we are seeing an urgent need for business owners with this burden. This is why we have partnered with our long-time friend and business associate, Christian Whitehead, from Wealth Advisory Group.
Join us on the show today as we talk to Christian about all of these changes and how our 401(k) audit can help your business get back on track.
Guess what? The market is not the economy. Maybe you’ve read this before as investors are trying to help us make sense of the contrast we’re seeing. So many people have lost their jobs, another shutdown is being threatened and, meanwhile, the stock market has completely rallied since March. Visually, it’s like seeing a dilapidated house with a newly remodeled front porch. It just doesn’t make sense.
Join us today as we discuss why it is important to pay attention to both the market and the economy while keeping our balance down the middle. To put it simply, the economy is what happened yesterday, and the stock market is what is in the future. What are we supposed to do with that?
Now that the dust has (mostly) settled from the almost weekly legislative changes these past few months, today’s guest, CPA Jon Sluis, says, “It’s time to start paying attention and start dealing with the change that happened.” He’s referring to the disconnect between what many are hearing in the media and what they are seeing in their own financial positions.
As a result of the flood of stimulus money injected into the economy, limited businesses went down; the same for individuals. In fact, many businesses and individuals pivoted as a result of all the changes thrown at them. Whether from increased support from clients, creative marketing or quick cost-cutting initiatives, many businesses and individuals are feeling more cash flush than before. While some saw declines in top-line revenue or investment returns, many are actually seeing an increase in bottom-line taxable income – which means there may be a tax liability coming. And when you are cash flush, it’s usually a good indication that you may need to start tax planning now and shift to those discussions.
This show will discuss the repercussions of what happened and how to deal with it now. Tune in and take control! There’s never enough time when we have Jon on the air.
The saying goes, “You have a trust when you don’t trust.” By creating a trust, you are attempting to control assets after your passing to provide legal protection. In some cases, it can protect the assets as they are inherited or to save estate taxes. However …
There have been a lot of changes with the SECURE Act of 2019. Trusts went from being one of the best places to leave your IRA to one of the most questionable. For those with disabled or chronically ill family members, trusts are invaluable. Generally speaking, however, they are not a cure-all when it comes to estate planning … especially with IRAs.
Tune in and find out more about one of the most popular estate planning tools. Ed Slott is direct with this piece of advice, “Stop naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary!”
The news can be negative and seem bias at times no matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on. Its best to listen and collaborate with trusted advisors as you consider the facts and make decisions.
Have you ever wondered if your retirement assets are protected from bankruptcy and lawsuits? Perhaps you’ve never had to consider such a thing. But the way 2020 is going, at this point it feels like anything could happen! In the words of Ed Slott, “In the current environment with so many small businesses on the brink of closing and struggling employees in limbo, increased bankruptcy filings could be around the corner. It is imperative to understand which accounts hold what protections, and how retirement assets are shielded from those anxious to get a piece of the nest egg.”
We’re going LIVE today to talk about it! Also, Heidi has some deadline updates, and we’ll celebrate Social Security’s 85th birthday!
We’ve noticed something over the years … you like Shea Stats! YAY! Honestly, who doesn’t love a good stat once in a while? Which is why we’ve decided to devote this week’s show entirely to Shea Stats and Chats! Dennis will give his immediate feedback on the most pressing information and what it means for you.
Ugh … sorry. This is a depressing headline. I can hear Ron Jolly playing his Debbie Downer sounder right now. The truth is, regardless of how promising the stock market has looked lately, there are some realities that we still must face because of COVID-19. For example, the indestructible Baby Boomers are in one of the highest at-risk age groups for contracting the virus. They are also the ones taking care of aging parents while trying to support adult children and grandchildren. And the workplace is changing at a rapid pace to adhere to social distancing requirements.
So while the country waits with bated breath for the economic recovery, Boomers may not have that luxury. The time to plan is now. Thankfully, Forbes wrote a great article, “8 Ways Coronavirus Will Drastically Alter Boomer Retirements,” to help guide us.
“It’s not about the cars, it’s about the people,” said Bill Marsh Jr., co-owner of Bill Marsh Automotive Group in Traverse City. This deep-rooted value came from their father, Bill Marsh Sr., who bought a poor-performing Buick dealership in 1982 and made it a top-performing dealership within the year. He brought his sons Jamie, Bill Jr. and Mike into the business and eventually sold it to them. What does it take to transition a business within the family? It takes a lot of heart and consideration. The Marsh Brothers will be in the studio today to share their experience.
Because, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baby Boomers own 2.34 million small businesses in the United States, employing more than 25 million people. That’s a lot at stake for those who fail to plan. We want to help you start the conversation now.
Tune in and find out how the wisdom of Bill Marsh Sr. set his three sons up for success.
When I was in college and falling “in love,” my grandfather told me, “Shea, it’s not when you get married, it’s WHO you marry.” Suddenly it occurred to me that I was more concerned about the time line of life goals than I was about the person. My grandfather had acquired something called “wisdom.” I wonder what advice he would give now, 20 years later. My guess is that it would be the same.
What about you? Are you considering tying the knot in your later years? In some ways the decision gets easier because you know yourself, but on the other hand it gets more complicated because of the dynamics of life. When considering a later marriage, you also have to take into account things like Social Security benefits, insurance, multiple mortgages and beneficiaries (to name a few).
Join us today as we discuss both the financial and emotional considerations of tying the knot … or not!
This week we celebrate 244 years of independence from Great Britain. Though we are a young country, our history is full of amazing courage and tragedy. We are learning. This year has taken a few sharp corners with little to no signs of slowing down. It’s difficult to imagine that we can keep our focus on financial independence when the expansion is long gone, and we are in the very beginning stages of recovery … maybe. Despite all this, Prout Financial Design hopes to be a source of education and encouragement in such disorienting times.
Today, we’re going to look at some fascinating stats alongside financial facts to help you stay on track. While we may not have a lot of control over what is happening around us, the truth is, we can still make choices to help us decide today. That’s the beauty of living in a free country.
How many of you took time during quarantine to reexamine your values?
Did being at home make you realize how much you love family and want to be with them more? Or as an essential worker on the front lines, are you ready to call it quits? Perhaps the new normal isn’t how you want to operate as you finish out your career.
Because of COVID-19, career shifts and early retirement are no longer something that’s five years down the road – they’re now! If there is any silver lining, this might be it. Instead of waiting until this all plays out, maybe it’s time to write the ending now.
Our guest, CPA Jon Sluis, will help you understand what the tax implications are now vs. later. You’ll need to bunch some decisions and spread some out. If you’re ready to stop doing what you’ve always done, together we can help you pivot to make the change happen on your terms.
Like the game, “telephone” the SECURE Act of 2019 and the CARES Act of 2020, is all hearsay between the connections! How do we know this? Because the final message is received at our office when clients sit down and say, “I heard that I don’t have to (fill in the blank).”
We just smile and say, “Not exactly.” The rules are changing around familiar terminology and the truth is getting lost. We hear you! Which is why we are taking time today to clear up some common misconceptions about things like when you have to take your RMDs, deadlines for contributing to IRAs and Roth IRAs, retirement relief and so much more!
Tune in today and let us help take the confusion out of the permanent changes of the SECURE Act and the temporary relief from the CARES Act. There are big differences between the two, and we know how to help you.
The numbers are starting to come in. The Federal Reserve Bank is in the process of spending an amount of money equal to nearly 40% of GDP to offset COVID-19’s effect on the U.S. economy. The U.S. Congress will spend an amount that is about 35% of GDP for the same purpose (RSP Inc.). Meanwhile, the stock market has rebounded with such gusto that even the experts are in shock. We are hearing clients ask, “Did I miss it? Did I miss my chance to take advantage of market lows? Where are we heading now? Should I keep investing?”
While we anticipated an eventual recession, we could have never predicted a pandemic and the entire economic shutdown. The behaviors of the market mirror the emotions of people, and it has been erratic. We wholeheartedly believe that you must know yourself first to know how to participate in market volatility. Tune in today and hear the facts so that you can decide when, in fact, you should jump in. Whether or not you missed it? You’ll have to decide.
In December of 2019, the SECURE Act passed leaving many retirees scratching their heads asking, “How, exactly, does this impact me in the end?” Then, by mid-March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, creating a national emergency that we are still experiencing today. In other words, COVID-19 is NOT over. This triggered Congress to pass the CARES Act, which provides temporary relief, special distributions, rollovers and provisional loan rules for retirement accounts. What does this mean for you, exactly? It depends.
Today, we are going to cover the common COVID-19 questions from Ed Slott. Shea also has some interesting stats about the cost of healthcare in retirement (yup, it went up), and Heidi wants to tell you what NOT to keep in your safety deposit box at the bank.
Do you know that half of Americans retire earlier than expected? Most of the time the circumstances surrounding retirement are out of their control, yet many non-retirees still believe they will retire on their own terms. Thanks to an Allianz Life study, we have these stats … and they are shocking, right? So, what do you need to know before you go into the unknown? Has the economic shutdown for the last couple of months altered your plan? Is it time to leave, or do you need to extend your stay at the office?
Today, we’ll go through the financial plan checklist to help you decide whether or not you’re ready.
We all know that women tend to live longer than men. According to the CDC, the average American male will live to age 76 and the average American female to age 81. The World Health Organization’s HALE index says that a woman’s extra years tend to be healthy ones. What is even more fascinating is that this is a global truth! Regardless of who goes first (I’m sorry, there’s no better way to say it), you’ll need to know how to properly arrange a spousal beneficiary rollover.
If you don’t take the time to plan now, the court or custodian will do it for you. Do you really want to leave the decisions of your life savings to a stranger? Danger!
Our least favorite topic to discuss is divorce. It’s fairly safe to say that no one gets married thinking that one day it will end. Even if it’s warranted, it hurts to see relationships go their separate ways because it wasn’t the plan. Once a year we discuss this topic so that you (or your family members) can be informed on how to approach the financial complexity of divorce with more confidence. It’s not just about who gets the house. Rather, it’s more about the retirement accounts and future Social Security benefits. Like any other plan, think about the long game and try your best not to react to the short-term.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Have you heard this quote before? There aren’t truer words in the world of advising. Day after day, week after week, month after month and decade after decade, we’ve had the privilege of hearing our clients tell their personal stories. We’ve also had the privilege of helping them NOT become an “example” for others of “what not to do.” Luckily, Ed Slott has compiled a list of PRL (private letter rulings) of big mistakes made by others.
Join us today for an hour of storytelling to learn by example. If you can, always choose to learn ahead of time.
Last week, Ed Slott gave us some incredible perspective as we look at the impact COVID-19 has had on retirement planning. The federal government has always been able to change the rules in the ninth inning, as we witnessed with the SECURE Act in 2019, but we’ve never experienced anything quite like this! Today, we are going to have the same conversation with you that we are having with our clients – how to play offense when you feel so defensive.
As the federal government looks to fund the stimulus package, there are rumors of higher tax rates, inflation and long-term impacts on Social Security. Retirement is your responsibility and, honestly, why would you have it any other way, especially as we enter into a COVID culture?
“Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should!” said our special guest, Ed Slott, CPA and America’s IRA expert! On today’s show, he explains why there is an incredible opportunity for retirees and pre-retirees today. The tax brackets are still low and if you don’t use them, you lose them! So, what does that mean for you? If RMDs are canceled for the year, should you still take yours? What about Roth conversions? Is now a good time?
He answers all of these questions plus more because, “Nothing is for everybody,” which is why you need educated advisors in the financial Olympics.
Times of crisis are extremely stressful. They can either shut us down or spring us into action. If you’re struggling with springing into action, we have a show full of action steps. We hope that it gets you fired up about your financial health even as our reality changes weekly.
Here’s your financial inventory checklist:
o Compare your portfolio to the stock market. Did you do the same, better or worse? Now would be a good time to evaluate your risk tolerance for the future
o Have you reevaluated your will or trust with an attorney?
o Double check your beneficiaries on all your financial/investment accounts
o Reassess your emergency funds. If you need more than what you’ve saved, what other accounts can you draw from?
o Consider pushing back your retirement date – those who pivot plans easily tend to do better in the long run