Financial Choices Matter

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The Ins And Outs Of Mutual Funds

Mutual funds have long been the most popular way for people to invest, but is that landscape changing?

Show Notes:

1:45 - Financial Dictionary: Tax Loss Harvesting

5:06 - Ins And Outs Of Mutual Funds

5:19 - Point #1: What Percentage Of Clients Have Mutual Funds When They First Come To See You?

6:24 - Point #2: Expense Ratios

7:58 - Point #3: Front Load, Back Load, No Load

9:20 - Point #4: Tax Issues Mutual Funds Can Create

11:07 - Point #5: Should Mutual Funds Be Eliminated?

12:59 - Mailbag Question from Confused: "How to consolidate multiple investment accounts?"

Your Financial Advisor Must Have These Traits

Trustworthy. Likeable. Problem-solving. Good listener. We should be describing your financial advisor or a potential advisor if you’re in the process of finding one. On today’s show, we’ll talk about why it’s so important for your advisor to embrace these kinds of characteristics. That’s the easy part. But we’ll also tackle the harder part and discuss some tangible ways how you can determine if an advisor has these characteristics or not.

Show Notes:

1:38 - Headline: Rand Paul Bill

6:45 - Traits A Financial Advisor Must Have

7:12 - Trait #1: Trust

8:56 - Trait #2: Likeability

10:03 - Trait #3: Area Of Expertise

11:17 - Trait #4: Listening Ability

13:00 - Trait #5: Problem Solver

14:58 - Mailbag Question from Norm: "How much risk to take now that I'm in retirement?"

Top 5 Social Security Misunderstandings

Myths, rumors, and misunderstandings are pervasive in the world of Social Security. On this show, we’ll look to clear up the top 5 misunderstandings about Social Security.

Show Notes:

1:33 - Mailbag Question from Randall: "Places to start investing in for retirement."

5:21 - Top 5 Social Security Misunderstandings

5:42 - Misunderstanding #1: Social Security Is Going Broke

6:43 - Misunderstanding #2: You Should Start Social Security As Early As Possible

7:31 - Misunderstanding #3: You Should Start Social Security As Late As Possible

9:25 - Misunderstanding #4: The SSA Can Help You Choose The Best Strategy When You Go And See Them

11:37 - Misunderstanding #5: You Don't Pay Taxes On Social Security Benefits

14:48 - Do You See People Often Overestimating Their Risk Tolerance?

Avoiding Critical Estate Planning Mistakes

There are some people who don’t care at all about leaving a financial legacy, but for those who do, it’s important to eliminate some of the common estate planning mistakes.

Show Notes:

0:56 - In The News: How the stock market might react to the result of the upcoming election

5:27 - Avoiding Critical Estate Planning Mistakes

5:43 - Mistake #1: Not Planning Your Expenses In Retirement

7:17 - Mistake #2: Beneficiary Designations

10:01 - Mistake #3: Not Considering The Tax Implications Of Your Estate

13:25 - Mailbag Question from Helen: "Are there really no tax implications to rolling over the 401 (k)?"

It’s Good To Have Awkward Conversations

Sometimes being a good financial advisor means having uncomfortable conversations. We’ll take a look at how advisors should help clients navigate various tricky situations.

Show Notes:

0:48 - Story Time: Tax Planning

3:48 - It's Good To Have Awkward Conversations

4:30 - Conversation #1: Death Of A Spouse

6:11 - Conversation #2: Nursing Home Care

8:50 - Conversation #3: Working Longer Than Expected

12:01 - Conversation #4: Legacy Planning

15:21 - Mailbag Question from Kevin: "My employer plans to stop matching 401k contributions..."

18:02 - Mailbag Question from Annie: "Most of my 401k is invested in company stock..."

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..."

 

 

 

Busting The Biggest Financial Myths

Today’s episode is simple. We’ll look at some of the most widely believed financial myths and try to bust them wide open. The scary thing is that a lot of people base their financial plans on some of these myths.

Show Notes:

2:17 Helping clients understand how their financial jigsaw puzzle fits together

5:58 Myth 1: Shifting from stocks to bonds removes the volatility from your portfolio

7:32 Myth 2: Once you've retired, life insurance is no longer necessary

9:12 Myth 3: You will need less income when you retire than you do when you're working

10: 26 Myth 4: You will probably be in a lower tax bracket when you retire

11:43 Myth 5: Financial planning is much easier to do without professional help because of all of the technology that is now available

13:40 Email Question: Investing in oil wells

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?

Don’t Utter These Famous Last Words

Hopefully your famous last words in life won’t be “Hey y’all, watch this!” And in the financial world, there’s quite a few phrases that you don’t want to be your famous last words either…

5 Simple Retirement Questions (That Are Hard To Answer)

Some of retirement planning’s most important questions seem so simple at first. They can be asked in just 4-5 words and give the impression the answers are a simple “yes” or “no”. But it’s tricky because many of these questions can become overwhelming to answer. Let’s cover some of the important retirement questions that are harder to answer than you might think.

What’s Bugging Charles

Charles tackles the impending debt crisis facing college students and their parents.

50 Shades Of Gray Area

Not everything in financial planning is black and white. In fact, most things aren’t black and white — there’s usually a lot of gray area. Let’s identify some of the issues that usually require a nuanced discussion…

Top Distractions Throwing You Off Your Financial Game

It’s easy to get distracted by “shiny objects” of the financial world. Let’s cover some of the distractions for which we should be on the lookout.

Risk Tolerance

Any advisor worth his or her salt is going to have a conversation with you about risk. But what in the world is “risk tolerance”? It’s a buzzword that gets used a lot in meetings with financial advisors, but we’ve found that a lot of people don’t have a great understanding of how their risk tolerance truly impacts their financial and retirement plans. Let’s fix that and give you the 411 on risk tolerance.