In the age of DIY, should you manage your own portfolio? That’s a great question! And we’d like to weigh in. According to the financial experts at The Balance, one of the world’s largest investment companies, Vanguard, has been examining this question for 15 years. Based on research, analysis and testing, Vanguard has concluded that there is, in fact, a quantifiable increase in return from working with a financial advisor. Vanguard calls this advantage the “Advisor’s Alpha.” When certain best practices are followed, the result can be an Alpha in the 3 percent per year range. Read more about this topic HERE.
Beyond the math, there are plenty more reasons to get an advisor on your team. On today’s show, Dennis and Heidi will give you a few good ones when considering an advisor in 2021.
Not sure about you, but we’re getting a little excited thinking about 2020 coming to an end. When we joked about 20/20 vision and getting more clarity – we never imagined a pandemic as the impetus to get us there. For a lot of you, the disruption has caused you to reevaluate your careers, goals and travel plans. We no longer take for granted our health, seeing family on a regular basis or even having enough toilet paper.
Join us today for the checklist to end all checklists! We will cover the changes in 2020, milestone ages, life events and, of course, how to talk to your beneficiaries about your plans.
Bring your list. Check it twice. This year was naughty. Not nice.
My hope is that the real retirement stories we’ve been featuring this fall have inspired you to consider what retirement could look like for you. It’s one thing to imagine a life after work and it’s another to realize that dream. Speaking of which, have you taken the time to dream? Most pre-retirees who meet with us have only a vague vision of what they will do ... not because they lack imagination but, simply, because life itself has been so demanding. We get it.
Perhaps you can take time today and start by joining Heidi and Dennis as they share some of the realities (both good and bad) of retirement, including doubling your budget for things like … BOOKS!
There are two kinds of people in this world: dreamers and doers. Then, there are those who do BOTH! Meet our guest, Sally Manke. During her career as a teacher, she managed to raise two children while also running a seasonal hotel in Manistee with her husband. It wasn’t until retirement that she found her dream job as a fiber artist.
As an artist, Sally’s work has been featured at juried quilt shows throughout the U.S., including the American Quilter’s Society events and International Quilt Festival. Her innumerable awards include a blue ribbon at QuiltWeek in Paducah, Kentucky – ostensibly the Red Carpet of quilt guild shows – and a Red Hot Best nod as Northern Michigan’s Best Visual Artist in 2016. She enjoys sharing her expertise through trunk shows, classes, and workshops at quilt shops and guilds.
President-elect Joe Biden has proposed a tax plan that will increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy with no increase for individuals earning less than $400K annually. This is just one of several key takeaways that you can read about here, or you can join our special guest, CPA Jon Sluis, LIVE today to learn more. He’s also going to help dispel some of the rumors swirling around in the media and give prudent tax guidance as we head into 2021. And with only six weeks until the end of the year, there are still things you can do for own tax planning.
There’s never a dull moment when we have Jon on the air! Tune in and get the details. In fact, you might want to take some notes.
Ed Slott might have summarized it best when he said, “Look, there will be a president for the next four years and another one after that. Everything changes. You must focus on your own plan.” We couldn’t agree more! But we all know it’s easier said than done. What happens on a large scale affects us. And it’s not realistic to ignore the bigger picture even if we don’t have control over it. However, it is easier to execute on our own plans.
Today, Dennis and Heidi will give you practical tips on how to take advantage of the good things. There will always be a reason to be negative. Stay positive by managing your own plan.
I (Shea) have a very vivid memory as a child riding around in my grandfather’s vintage truck and snacking on prunes. He said they were “dessert.” My grandfather did push-ups every morning, took his supplements and didn’t eat much sugar. He also saved his pennies. I wonder what he would think about today’s health care stat:
According to Fidelity research, the cost for health care post-age 65 is $295,000 per couple, excluding long-term care.
Health care is one of the largest expenses that people face in retirement. But don’t despair because there are ways to strategize and fill in the gaps.
Today we have guest expert, Laverna Witkop, from Ford Insurance. She specializes in working with retirees who are navigating the complex world of health insurance. Join us!
If 2020 were a candy bar, it would be a baker’s chocolate-covered sour patch with an endless sucker for the center (that’s our opinion anyways). Is it a trick or is it a treat? Well, maybe both! Our guest and America’s IRA expert, Ed Slott, has a few things to say about the tricks and treats of 2020. He’ll discuss the potential disadvantages and possibilities of the SECURE Act and CARES Act. And we’ll also get his take on the best strategic moves for the remainder of the year, how to plan for taxes and whether or not you should convert to a Roth IRA.
Today’s show will be a mixed bag.
There is one thing we can all agree on: 2020 isn’t the year we hoped it would be. We also realize that this year’s pandemic has forced many of you to revisit your estate planning, which might not have been at the top of your New Year’s Resolution list. A hot topic regarding estate planning and retirement saving is life insurance vs. Roth IRAs.
Both life insurance and Roth IRAs have something in common: they are wealth transfer tools that help facilitate an efficient transfer of assets from one generation to the next and can provide a tax-free legacy. And yet, they are very different because they play by different rules.
Today, Dennis and Heidi will give you three important differences between the two along with tips on how to investigate both!
A lot can change in a year (insert sarcastic laugh). Maybe the job you thought would never end has been eliminated. Or perhaps you’re retiring earlier than expected. Or maybe this year has brought a lot of clarity and you’ve decided to change directions.
If you have a 401(k) company plan, you have options for the distribution of it. In fact, you have SIX options! How exciting is that? Today, Dennis and Heidi will go through the six options with you along with tips on how to invest if you’re over 70 and working.
It’s hard to believe it’s already October! This time of year is not only breathtakingly beautiful up here in northern Michigan, it’s also a good time to slow down and review important financial details. On a national level, considering that both the Democrats and Republicans have spent a lot of money to stimulate the economy, it’s important to understand why the U.S. deficit matters as well as how this spending will eventually affect you.
We’ll also discuss the multiple investment deadlines you need to be aware of, cover the Coronavirus-related distributions from the federal government, and review how the CARES Act has affected your investing strategies (like waiving required minimum distributions deadlines).
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.