Financial Choices Matter

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Are Complicated Portfolios Necessary?

How complex should a financial plan be? On one hand, a single page plan sounds nice and easy to understand. But is that comprehensive enough if it can fit on one page?

Show Notes: 

2:07 - Headline: The Market Rebounding

5:44 - Main Topic: Are Complicated Portfolios Necessary?

6:19 - What Do You Typically See When It Comes To The Length Of The Financial Plan?

7:11 - Misconception Between Portfolio And The Plan

8:49 - The Rule Of 11

10:22 - Not Every Advisor Is The Right Fit

13:44 - Mailbag: Nancy Asks If She Should Invest In Her Employer’s Stock

Are You Making These Classic Pre-Retiree Mistakes?

There are some financial planning blunders that are interesting to talk about but are quite rare in reality. On the other hand, there are some financial planning mistakes that happen far too often. Let’s talk about the mistakes so many people have made in the past it has made them “classic”.

Show Notes: 

1:13 - Headline: 72% Of American Say They Will Prioritize Financial Planning Once Pandemic Is Over

3:15 - Classic Pre-Retiree Mistakes

4:03 - Mistake #1: Investing Like You’re In Your 20’s

5:09 - Mistake #2: Taking Social Security As Soon As Possible

6:49 - Mistake #3: Focusing On Tax Preparation Rather Than Tax Planning

8:10 - Mistake #4: Assuming The Majority Of Healthcare Expenses Will Be Covered By Medicare

9:15 - Mistake #5: Taking On Additional Risk To Make Up For Lost Time

11:20 - Mailbag: Rork Asks If His Is Getting All The Information He Needs From His Financial Advisor

Cracking Open The Financial Dictionary

Step into the classroom and let’s take a look at some financial terms, define them, and find out if they’re important for the typical investor and saver to know about them.

Show Notes: 

3:06 - Main Topic: Financial Dictionary 

3:35 - Accelerated Death Benefit 

4:21 - AGI 

5:28 - Fundamental Analysis

6:09 - Margin Account 

7:11 - High Yield/Junk Bonds 

9:31 - Sammantha Asks, “Should I Let The Kids Know About Our Plans To Leave An Inheritance?” 

11:25 - What”s Buggin’ Charles? 

 

Traditional IRA Vs. Roth IRA

It seems that most people don’t have a clear picture of whether they should contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth. Let’s discuss how to determine what’s best for you.

Show Notes: 

1:23 - Headline: More Than 25% Of Americans Are Raiding Their Retirement Accounts Because Of COVID-19

4:16 - Traditional IRA Vs. Roth IRA - The Basic Definitions

5:10 - Why Are So Many In The Traditional Account?

6:11 - Is The Current Tax Environment We’re In A Catalyst For More People Wanting To Do Roth Conversions?

8:04 - Who Should Be Contributing To A Roth?

8:23 - Who Should Not Be Contributing To A Roth?

10:14 - Marshall Wonders If Paying The Penalty To Take Out His Variable Annuity Is Worth Avoiding The High Fees

12:37 - What’s Buggin’ Charles?

How To Avoid Critical Retirement Planning Mistakes

Let’s talk about some of the common mistakes that we see being made time and time again by retirees and pre-retirees.

Show Notes: 

2:24 - Bonds Are A Safe Investment

5:19 - Avoiding The Idea of Long Term Care Needs

8:43 - Guarding Against Market Declines

10:49 - Categorizing Different Investment Vehicles As Always Good, Or Always Bad

14:03 - Not Having A Plan In Place

16:06 - Beverly Asks If She Has Enough Diversification Between Her 33 Mutual Funds

Are You Paying Attention To Your Biggest Assets?

If you really took inventory of your financial situation, you might find that you’ve been taking for granted some assets that make up a huge piece of your puzzle. Is it possible you should be putting a little more thought into some of these assets?

Show Notes:

1:56 - Are you paying attention to your biggest assets?

2:32 - Should we be putting more thought into these assets?

3:32 - Asset #1: 401(k)

5:45 - Asset #2: House

8:54 - Asset #3: Social Security

11:15 - Asset #4: Smaller Accounts

13:38 - Mailbag: I have a lot of money in savings earning very little interest.

16:53 - Getting To Know Charles: What item would you want to be buried with?

 

Life Events That Spark Major Changes

Sometimes events happen in life that make it really important for you to carefully assess your financial situation. Let’s explain why each of these events is usually a good reason for a financial review.

Show Notes:

2:32 - Will Rogers Quote

4:00 - Life Events Can Spark Major Changes

9:50 - Unplanned Events Of Jobs

7:31 - Serious Medical Issue

11:09 - Estate Planning

17:56 - Mailbag Rick Worries About Running Out Of Money With Recent Downturn In The Market

Coronavirus Update

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a dramatic impact on our daily lives and many people are taking a huge financial hit from lost wages, a volatile stock market, and general economic uncertainty. Charles will talk about his thoughts on this situation and we will briefly mention a couple elements of the new CARES Act.

Show Notes:

1:18 - How Business Has Been For Charles

3:27 - Being Able To Help A Client With The New CARES Act

6:03 - RMDs Are Not Required For 2020

8:51 - Taxes Will Have To Go Up, Which Is Why A Roth Conversion Might Be A Good Idea Right

12:00 - Great TP Shortage

13:49 - April Fools Story

15:53 - Mailbag Lucile Wonders What The Best Way To Save For Retirement Since She Cannot Contribute To A Roth

Financial Truths

There are many "it depends" situations in financial and retirement planning. On today's show we look at some truths we can state with confidence.

Show Notes:

2:07 - Financial Truths

3:17 - TV Can Be A Big Enemy

5:49 - The Market Moves In Cycles

8:10 - There’s No Magic Bullet

9:30 - Why Diversification Is Important

13:04 Mailbag Tim asks “My advisor is retiring and passing on the business. Should I Find A New Advisor?"

What’s Bugging Charles?

On today's episode Charles explains why people who give investment advice without a securities license are bugging him. We also talk about how past epidemics have affected the stock market and we answer a couple email questions that have come in.

Show Notes:

1:46 - What's Bugging Charles?

6:25 - How Past Epidemics Have Affected The Stock Market

7:46 - You Need A Plan To Help During These Pullbacks

9:35 - Mailbag Question from Conner: "How To Pay For College In Retirement?'

13:07 - Mailbag Question from Denver: "How Much Long Term Care Is Recommended?"

Who Really Pays Income Taxes?

With the national elections in November, the parties have VERY different opinions regarding who should be paying their fair share of income taxes. But do we really know who pays what? You certainly can’t rely on either political party to give you the straight information. We also dive into a discussion on how to reasonably incorporate emotions into your financial plan.

Show Notes:

1:32 - Who Pays Income Tax?

2:20 - Income Tax Statistics From 2016

5:12 - Top Wage Earners

7:01 - Emotions In Financial Planning

7:29 - Fear And Greed

9:59 - Invest For The Long Term

10:55 - Using Emotions For A Good Cause

12:23 - Taking Clients' Emotions Into Consideration

16:49 - Mailbag Question from Frank: "My 401 (k) got rolled over into American Funds, is this a good thing?"

The SECURE Act Passed - Now What?

After it simmered in Congress for a year, the SECURE Act is now law. If you have a retirement account of any kind, or will one day inherit a retirement account, this will affect you. Matt will hit the main points of this new bill and how it will change retirement planning.

Show Notes:

0:58 - The SECURE Act

1:23 - Death Of The Stretch IRA

2:14 - Small Businesses And Retirement Plans

2:48 - Required Minimum Distribution Change

3:38 - 10 Year Window Eliminated

5:36 - Multiple Beneficiaries

6:41 - Trusts Cannot Be A Contingent Beneficiary For An IRA

8:49 - Life Insurance As An Alternative Solution

14:17 - Mailbag Question from Emily: "Did 401 (k) Contributions Go Up?"

Retirement Constants That Affect Everyone

While there are some factors that are different for everyone in retirement planning (variables), there are also constants that affect everyone, no matter the specifics of your situation. How do we plan around these constants?

Show Notes:

2:13 - Retirement Constants That Affect Everyone

2:34 - Retirement Constant #1: Inflation

4:45 - Retirement Constant #2: Rising Taxes

6:37 - Retirement Constant #3: Market Volatility

9:15 - Retirement Constant #4: Healthcare

11:54 - Mailbag Question from Sally: "Are fees and commissions the same thing?"

13:48 - Mailbag Question from Lucy: "How often should I meet with my advisor?"

15:59 - Getting To Know Charles: What is your favorite movie genre?

What Flying Teaches Us About Retirement

There are some important lessons that flying can teach us about retirement planning. So check your luggage, strap into your seat and let's take a trip with Charles.

Show Notes:

0:56 - What Flying Teaches Us About Retirement

2:11 - Lesson #1: Flight Plan

4:26 - Lesson #2: Turbulence

7:31 - Lesson #3: Air Traffic Control

11:13 - Mailbag Question from Tom: Term vs. Whole Life Insurance

13:41 - Getting To Know Charles: What job would you be terrible at?

Even Responsible Savers Make Mistakes

Even for people who have been very responsible with their money over the years, entering retirement can
still be a challenge because it’s such a different stage of life. Let’s talk about some of the missteps that
even responsible savers can make…

Show Notes:

1:16 - In The News: Wedding Loans

3:53 - Even Responsible Savers Make Mistakes

4:24 - Mistake #1: Don't Get Too Enamored With Cash

5:57 - Mistake #2: Don't Take Too Much Risk

7:27 - Mistake #3: Don't Forget About The Tax Time Bomb

9:09 - Mistake #4: Live A Little

11:06 - Mailbag Question from Raymond: "I haven't paid much into Social Security..."

 

 

 

Why Are You Making Excuses For Sticking With The Wrong Advisor?

Very often, we find that people wil stick with a broker or financial advisor who's doing a less than stellar job, and there's usually a handful of reasons why. Charles will poke some holes in those excuses, and give you a healthier picture of what your financial advisor should be doing for you if he or she is truly a good fit. We'll also take a look at some recent news items related to the student loan debt crisis.

Show Notes:

1:45 - In The News: Proposed solutions to student loan debt crisis

5:41 - Why Are You Making Excuses For Sticking With The Wrong Advisor? 

7:42 - Common Excuses: "I get confused when there's a meeting."

11:16 - Mailbag Question from Alex: Should I take risk off the table with my 401(k)?

Why Should You Plan For Retirement With A Sense Of Urgency?

Some people (in fact, probably most people) find it easy to procrastinate when it comes to financial planning issues. But let’s talk about some scenarios that might cause people to have a bit more sense of urgency.

Show Notes:

1:43 - Mailbag Question from Blair: Why am I not in a lower tax bracket in retirement?

5:45 - Sense of Urgency: Scenario 1 - Loss of a job

7:09 - Sense of Urgency: Scenario 2 - Receiving a retirement buyout offer

8:39 - Sense of Urgency: Scenario 3 - Procrastination in planning for retirement

11:20 - Sense of Urgency: Scenario 4 - Death of a spouse

13:07 - Sense of Urgency: Scenario 5 - Market takes a dip

15:07 - Charles makes an important announcement about financial education

17:25 - Getting to know Charles - What area is Charles an expert in outside the financial world?

 

Exposing 401(k) Weaknesses

Your 401k can be your most powerful retirement savings tool. But it’s not perfect. Let’s talk about some of the weaknesses that you should be aware of in your 401k (or 403b, or TSP, or 457 plan).

Show Notes:

1:24 - News headline about the SECURE Act

4:33 - Exposing 401(k) weaknesses

7:43 - Charles shares a tip on moving 401(k) plans outside your company

10:36 - Mailbag Question from Angie: Are all long-term care policies this expensive?

 

 

 

Are Tax Advantages Overrated?

Of course, saving money on taxes is important. But when tax advantages are being pitched as the primary benefit of an investment, should we be concerned? Charles will help us tackle the pros and cons on this week's episode. We'll also answer a question from Roberta about investing a large amount of her 401k in company stock.

Show Notes:

2:00 - Mailbag question from Roberta: Is it okay to have a majority of my 401k in company stock since I know the company well?

7:14 - Are tax advantages in investments overrated?

13:06 - Getting to know Charles: Did you ever get into any trouble when you were younger?

“Fake News” Impacting Your Finances

The term “fake news” has become synonymous with the political climate of the past few years. But the phenomenon has spread to other parts of our culture as well. What about fake news in the financial space? We’ll look at some recent news headlines to see if they qualify to be labeled as “fake news”.

Show Notes:

0:28 - Say "Hi" to new co-host, Marc.

2:05 - Quote of the Week from Pablo Picasso.

4:50 - Financial Fake News #1: Social Security is going broke.

8:18 - Financial Fake News #2: The crash of the dollar is imminent, so buy gold now.

10:52 - Mailbag Question from Jim: Is it OK to start Social Security while still working?

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