Episode 205 – Ten Tips for Building a Secure Retirement Plan

This week on On The Money with Secure Money, Brian Quaranta shares ten valuable tips for people hoping to secure their retirement in uncertain times.

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*A Roth conversion may not be suitable for your situation. The primary goal in converting retirement assets into a Roth IRA is to reduce the future tax liability on the distributions you take in retirement, or on the distributions of your beneficiaries. The information provided is to help you determine whether or not a Roth IRA conversion may be appropriate for your particular circumstances. Please review your retirement savings, tax, and legacy planning strategies with your legal/tax advisor to be sure a Roth IRA conversion fits into your planning strategies. All rights reserved.


Radio Show Transcript

Announcer 00:00

Investment advisory services are offered through Foundation Investment Advisors, LLC. an SEC registered investment advisor. Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not individually targeted, personalized advice, they’re not liable for the usage of information discussed. Exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment, advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of these financial vehicles. This information should also not be considered tax or legal advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, investments will fluctuate and when were deemed to be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They did not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.


Announcer 00:41

Are you fighting for financial knowledge? Don’t let that advice be a punch in the gut to your retirement. Take advantage of a complimentary no cost, no obligation consultation with a local trusted financial coach called Brian Quaranta and his team at Secure Money Advisors 800-656-8616 800-656-8616.


Announcer 01:12

And now, On the Money,


Brian Quaranta 01:15

Any good retirement plans start with the foundation,


Announcer 01:19

Asset protection, tax reduction, holistic planning.


Brian Quaranta 01:22

These are the things that start to move you towards having a retirement plan.


Announcer 01:26

Retirement doesn’t have to be complicated. You think that’s the difficult part. That’s just getting started. And now On the Money with Secure Money.


Steve 01:40

And welcome back. This is On the Money with Secure Money. Brian Quaranta here I’m consumer advocate Steve and hi, Brian, it’s been a while.


Brian Quaranta 01:47

It has been a while it’s good to see again, Steve.


Steve 01:52

Well, I like what we’re going to talk about here today because it does sort of lend itself to a lot about what’s going on a 2023 Mercer CFA Institute’s global pension index. That’s a mouthful. But the bottom line is they graded them on a on us as possible 100 points and the overall ranking 22 out of 47, that comes out to a C+ holy cow. Are we really in that bad of shape Brian?


Brian Quaranta 02:17

Does it really surprise you? I mean, look, I’m going on almost 25 years of financial planning. And the biggest change that we’ve seen over the last 25 years is you got 90% of the people retire without pensions, and you have a massive, massive amount of people that have not saved enough money. And yet, they’re getting to the point to where they’re ready to retire. And Social Security is not going to be enough income for them. So where are they going to get the additional income, they’re going to have to get it from retirement savings. And a lot of people don’t have enough in retirement savings, to draw the amount of money that they need to draw. Or if the markets don’t cooperate, they wind up spending that money down faster, and they wind up running out of money before they die. And these are the things that we absolutely want to try to avoid. But it doesn’t surprise me that we’re see plus in this country, I mean, I’m seeing it, you know, every single day here at secure money advisors where you know, people are in a position to where they can’t retire yet because they haven’t saved enough money. So, it’s just it’s, it’s the world we live in. And this is why you gotta follow the basic fundamentals of making sure that you start investing as immediately as you can. As you get closer to retirement, you got to think about protecting your money. Because if you have taken another big loss in the market, you’re probably not going to have the time to recover. Remember, when people tell you not to worry about things to hang in there. You’re in it for the long haul. Just remember, folks, when you retire that long haul is right now you need your money right now. So, a market correction and just waiting is not going to be a plan. I mean, that’s a hope and pray strategy. And I can tell you right now, out of the 1000 households that we currently work with, nobody wants a hope and pray strategy.


Steve 03:55

Not at all. 800-656-8616 is the number you can call if you’d like to get started. So how do we prevent that, Brian? And let me just preemptively say, I think I know a way. Mike starts with using your book, Right Track Your Retirement a Simple Planning Strategy to Help You Reduce Risk, Build Income and Provide Peace of Mind. Those are the things we want Brian and that book outlines that in great detail.


Brian Quaranta 04:19

Well, I did this I wrote the book in response to what I was seeing, I’m seeing a lot of people, their retirements are underfunded. They need a certain amount of income from those accounts. And quite frankly, they’re not going to be able to get it with the yield and the volatility of the stock market. There’s a lot of things are going to have to go right for a long time in order for them to get what they need. In the book I write about a very simple approach, utilizing the guaranteed income annuity. Look, I had some folks in the other day that said they were going to need about $30,000 a year in income to live off of they have roughly about, you know, $400,000 saved. So, $30,000, even at a 5% interest rate that 400,000 is earning $20,000 a year in interest. So how in the world are they going to get $20,000 or I’m sorry, $30,000 a year off, let’s say the accounts are in 5% $20,000 a year, they’re dipping in $10,000 a year, the principal? Well, we know if that money is in the stock market, which it was when they came here, that doesn’t mean that they’re gonna get a 5%, every single year, they could get 5%, one year, minus 10, the next year, plus 20, the next year, and when you’re withdrawing money, from an account that you have no idea what the rate of return is going to be. And you’re withdrawing money from an account that has gone down in value, you’re actually going to lock in the losses when you withdraw that money. And you’re going to compound the rate in which that account runs out of money, when you start to pull money out. And this is why the biggest risks that any retiree runs today is running out of money. Matter of fact, AARP did a study and they said what do you fear most running out of money or dying. And you know, the people they said they fear running out of money when they fear dying, but this is where the income annuity comes in. I could take that 400,000, Steve, and I could take that 40,000. And rather than take risks with it, I can buy a guaranteed income annuity and that income annuity will generate over $40,000 a year in income for the rest of their lives. it’ll generate income for his life, if he dies for her life. If she dies, any balance will be paid out to the kids. That’s creating a private pension with your own money. And that’s what I write about in the book, Right Track Your Retirement, get a copy of it, folks, because it truly will help give you a lot of clarity, certainty and peace of mind around retirement.


Steve 06:38

Right then. And again, folks, if you want to get a head start, if that appeals to you, 800-656-8616. If you want to get Brian’s book, he’s still giving away not a problem, all you have to do is visit, righttrackyourretirement.com.


Brian Quaranta 06:53

Yeah, that’s right. And by the way, folks, for the next 10 callers who call him come in and take advantage of our right track retirement review, we’ll go over five key areas with you, we’ll go over your income, we’ll go over your tax strategy, we’ll go over your investment strategy, your long-term care strategy or your health strategy, and also your estate planning strategy. Those five key areas, I promise you, if you take care of those five key areas, you are going to have a great retirement. Retirement is not about investing money in the stock market. And that’s it. It’s not about just talking to your advisor about performance. There’s so much more to go into it when it takes off security. Right? If you don’t have a pension, how do you create one? How do you mitigate the, you know, taxes, because what we’re really talking about taxes is loss of purchasing power. Because when you take money out of your account, when you have to pay taxes, we got less money, that’s called purchasing power, you got to learn how to protect that. These are the things that will teach you when you come in. So again, for the next 10 callers take advantage of our Right Track Retirement Review. Come in, sit down with us and we’ll give you some clarity around what you’re doing.


Steve 07:56

That sounds fantastic. Brian, folks do take advantage of this opportunity to call us 800-656-8616. Come on in, sit down and let them build a financial roadmap for you to help get you to where you need to be. It’s your chance for you to get a true practical financial review. So, if you’re listening, simply give us a call 800-656-8616, 10 callers right now, we’ll get that comprehensive financial review that Brian just described. You’ll see where you are today. But more importantly, it does become that roadmap that can help get you to where you need to be in retirement. So, you’ve got nothing to lose call right now. 800-656-8616 That’s 800-656-8616 we are gonna take a quick break but we’re coming right back a whole lot more to talk about here On the Money with Secure Money and Brian Quaranta.


Brian Quaranta 08:46

Why settle for a C+ when you can earn an A+ we’re offering 10 keys that will help you build an A+ retirement from scratch, stick around. We come right back we’re going to dive into these tips.


Announcer 09:05

We believe in better a better way to invest a better way to serve you and a better result. We can help you determine how much risk you’re taking red flags that could be potential problems for you how much you’re paying in fees or commissions, potential tax liability or even how to address social security call Brian Quaranta and his team at secure money advisors at 800-656-8616 or text keyword Brian Q to 800-656-8616. We’ve made it easy folks. All you have to do is call or text the keyword Brian Q to 800-656-8616. And now On the Money with Secure Money.


Steve 09:54

And we are back On the Money with Secure Money Brian Quaranta here Brian, of course is president of Secure Money Advisors, he is a specialist in all things retirement. And he is the author of a great little book called Right Track Your Retirement, a Simple Planning Strategy to Help You Reduce Risk, Build Income, and Provide Peace of Mind. And that was a, that was sort of a, sort of a work of passion for you, you got very excited about writing it. And sometimes people don’t get excited about actual writing of the book, but you did.


Brian Quaranta 10:22

Well, look, you know, I wanted to give people a roadmap and that word roadmap is thrown around so loosely, you hear so many financial advisors talk about roadmap blueprint, you know, GPS guide, I mean, this is truly a step-by-step guide on, on, on how to retire and how to do it right, and how to eliminate your risk and what you should consider buying and not buying as far as investments go. Look, my way isn’t the only way. You know, there’s lots of different opinions on there out there on, on how to approach retirement planning. I believe in safety over risk, I just do. I think it’s a terrible idea when you retire to take risk with your money, so I’m okay with taking some risk. And we have to, and that certainly can help keep pace with inflation. But it’s got to be a long-term account. And when I say long-term account, I’m talking about an account that is going to be you know, 15 to 20 years long, if not longer. So, what are you going to do during that? 15-to-20-year period? How are you gonna retire? How are you going to get your income, I talked about all of that in Right Track Your Retirement, which again, you can go to righttrackyourretirement.com, get a copy of the book, but let’s get to these 10 tips. Okay, sure. These are some basic things, Steve, these are some basic things in some overlooked things. And I know it’s gonna sound fundamental to some of you listening, but we got to go through these. So, number one, most importantly, is you’ve got to budget wisely, you got to create a spending plan, it’s crucial to develop a retirement spending plan. And what we call here at secure money advisors is your income plan your actual withdrawal strategy, because you’re gonna have different sources of income, you know, if you’re married, you going to have a social security check, your wife is gonna have a social security check. Maybe one of you have a pension, maybe you don’t have any pensions at all. But there’s going to be a certain amount of money that you want to shoot towards achieving. So, we got to look at how we’re going to build that gross amount, we have to factor in taxes, and then we have to factor in expenses to figure out okay, well, after taxes and expenses are paid, what’s left over? Okay, once we figure that out. Now, we have to figure out what withdrawals do we need to take from the retirement accounts? And what rate of return are we going to need your accounts to do in order for you to not run out of money? See, I write about three interest rates in the book, I write about your spend down rate, your preservation rate and your legacy rate. Your spend down rate is very simple. What rate of return if you wanted to take out $30,000 A year from your retirement account? What is the minimum rate of return that you would need to maybe spend that account down? By the time you were age 95. So, there would be zero money left? The next rate of return is your preservation rate. Very simple. This is where we invest our principal, we live off the interest, we never touched a principal, what is that rate of return look like for your portfolio and your withdrawal rate, everyone is different. And then you have the legacy rate. The legacy rate is if you want to withdraw $30,000 a year, but you still want to grow your money. What does that interest rate look like? Now you’ve got a minimum, and you’ve got a high-end interest rate. This is important because now you can define what rate of return is the portfolio actually need to do to be successful? See, most people are just shooting for diversification. Asset allocation with no understanding of what they really what rate of return, they really need a portfolio to do. See, most people go in, they sit down with their adviser, the adviser says, hey, we got a 10% rate of return this year. And the client says oh, well, that’s great. I’m happy and next year, they say, hey, we got a 5% return. Okay, we’re happy Well, aren’t we on the right track? Are we not on the right track? What happens if the next year you lose 15%? Now what happens? Are you on the right track? Are you not on the right track, you have to know what rate of return the portfolio needs to do in order for you to be successful and not run out of money. And that’s exactly what the Right Track Retirement System will show you how to do. Number three is going to be managing debts, you got to manage debts properly, because the thing that will keep you from retiring is having too much debt, we should try to pay things off as rapidly as you can. You need to have a system to be able to do that. If you don’t contact us at security advisors, we can show you how to do it and do it very, very quickly. Fourth, is going to be diversification of assets. So, you should not be taking risk with 100% of our money rule of thumb is this Steve? You should be taking 100 minus your age. It’s called the rule of 100. So, if, if, if, if you’re 60 years old, basically what we’re saying is 60% of your money should be protected 40% of your money can have some risk to it. So, what are you going to do with the 60% of money that you need protected? That’s what I talked about in the Right Track Retirement book of how to take that 60% and maximize the returns and the income that you can get with it so that the 40% that you have still have in the market truly can be invested very aggressively, and it can be invested in good high-quality ETFs with very low fees. And it’s a long-term account, once you get this mix, right, really special things start to happen. Number one, you get a lot of clarity. Number two, you build in a lot of certainty, right. And number three, you position yourself to not run out of money. So, these are the main things that you really have to do. And the last one is you got to have an emergency fund, right? What happens if all of a sudden, you know, the roof blows off the water heater goes, you want to take a big vacation, somebody in your family gets in trouble and they need to borrow money, you got to have some cash reserves to be able to do that we typically recommend six to 12 months. There’s a lot more we got to talk about when we come back. But I want to invite you right now the next 10 callers who call in right now, I want to give you the opportunity to take advantage of our Right Track Retirement Review, where we will help you build out a plan just like I’m talking about will help you build out an income and cash flow worksheet. The withdrawal worksheet will figure out the rate of return your portfolio needs to do, we can take a look at what you’re currently doing to determine how much risk you’re taking how much you’re paying in fees, and how much you can actually reduce risk. So again, for the next 10 callers calling right now take advantage of our right track retirement review. My promise to you is this if you come to my office, nobody from my team is ever going to try to sell you anything. As a fiduciary firm. We’re here to help and help you solve problems and put you in a better position. And if you are on the right track, if you are doing the right things. We’re going to let you know that too.


Steve 16:27

That sounds great. Brian 800-656-8616. It’s really well, we give you the opportunity to review your individual circumstances and no cost no obligation. What you’ll find out is how much risk you’re taking. Are there any red flags that might be a problem for you down the line? But do you really know how much you’re paying in fees or commissions? Let Brian and the team take a deep dive and find out for you. How about potential tax liabilities with gotta talk about a tax strategy and of course, a lifetime retirement income plan. That includes maximizing that very important social security benefit. If you want to take advantage of this complimentary review. It takes a phone call right now. 800-656-8616. Again, that’s 800-656-8616 we are going to take a quick break. But hang on. We’ve got a lot more to talk about here On the Money with Secure Money and Brian Quaranta.


Brian Quaranta 17:17

When we come back, we’re going to share the final pieces you need to build an A+ retirement and you don’t want to miss number eight. All that and more coming up right after this with On the Money with Secure Money.


Announcer 17:35

You’ve worked all your life you’ve saved you followed all the rules. Now it’s time to retire. Here’s the question, who do you want relaxing and taking it easy, your nest egg or you will of course you want to relax and travel and enjoy an nest egg. You’ve got more work to do for retirement that maximizes your portfolio your Social Security avoids unnecessary risk protects you from pitfalls and frankly, lets you retire and keeps the mistake working. You need a retirement partner. You need someone looking out for your best interests and building a plan for you based on your situation. Call Brian Quaranta at 800-656-8616 or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616. That’s 800-656-8616 or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616.


Announcer 18:35

And now On the Money with Secure Money.


Steve 18:42

We are back On the Money with Secure Money and Brian Quaranta consumer advocate Steve’s at all happen a good show to date goes by so quick, Brian, I mean, we have covered some ground we’ve got through you know these things that the 10 things that we’re talking about to help build that retirement to help secure that retirement. And you said early on that we don’t want to miss number eight. So, what’s number eight? What do we have to do?


Brian Quaranta 19:04

Yes, and this is developing a plan to combat taxes, right? So, taxes are subjected to change. Look, taxes, folks, here’s what you gotta realize, the IRS changes. They changed the rules in the middle of the game, you know, one minute you think you’re gonna be at this tax rate, then you’re going to this tax rate and so they can change the rules on taxes anytime they want, look, what they’ve done with IRAs, right used to be able to inherit an IRA not pay any taxes, stretch it out over your lifetime. Now, you gotta take it, you know, spend it down over 10 years pay the taxes on it, I mean, they change the rules and what we want to do is make sure that we get the IRS out of our life as soon as possible things that we can do our Roth conversions, we can look at tax loss harvesting strategies, we can look at producing income from dividends and versus you know, getting income from from ordinary income we can look at, you know, capital gains as a source of income, we can look up step up and cost basis when we’re leaving money to our family members. So, there’s all kinds of different tax strategies that we can use. If you’re in retirement, have you ever thought about starting a business and being able to write certain things off? All you have to do is have a business, maybe it’s part time, maybe you’re gonna do a little handyman work? Maybe you’re gonna do some, some some type of hobby, it could be what if you like flying airplanes? Could you set that up to where you give some lessons and you’re able to write off your hobby, these are all strategies that folks don’t think about that can be done when they’re done correctly. So, getting and developing your tax plan is critical. This is what we can do for you at secure money advisors, again, go to right track your retirement.com, get a copy of my book, while you’re there, schedule the appointment to come in, don’t hesitate. You don’t want to procrastinate on this, this is not the time to kick the can down the road. This is not the time to bury your head in the sand. The markets are volatile tax rates are due to expire again in 2025. We don’t know what tax rates are gonna go to if there’s any time to start to get together a plan it is right now. So, take advantage of it. Take advantage of our right track retirement review, where we go over five key areas with you your income, your taxes, your investments, your health care, your legacy plan, we do this all at no cost. Why don’t we do it? Oh, no cost. Because we know the majority of people that come in once they see what we do that a lot of folks want to move forward. Now not everybody’s gonna be a great fit for us. And some of you might be on the right track. And if you are, we’ll give you a confirmation that you are on the right track. So take advantage of it, folks. And we look forward to seeing at the office. Steve, we got some questions from listeners here too, that we got to get to right.


Steve 21:32

But yes, we do. But I want to ask one more question. This is like a bonus tip. All right. So, one of the things that you’ve said many, many times over the years that we’ve been doing these shows is you talk about being flexible in my in our retirement plan. How important is that right now?


Brian Quaranta 21:47

It’s critical. And the reason is, I’ll give you a perfect example. Right now, we’re going to a lot of guaranteed accounts. Right? So, what does that mean for our clients? Some of our clients that we were taking risk with were no longer taking risks with short term, we might be in treasuries for three months, we might be in fixed accounts for one year, two year, three years, all depending on the client’s situation. Why? Because we don’t trust the market over the next few years. So, I would rather be safe than sorry, I’d rather miss out on a little bit of gain and know that I’ve got a certain amount of money coming in, look at what the banks are paying us now look at what savings accounts, CDs, all that kind of stuff is paying for us. Why do we need to be flexible, because you should be considering coming out of the market right now, on some of your money, maybe not all of it, but some of it to get a guarantee, you can always go back in the market later. These are the things you got to think about as you go into retirement, and you build out your plan. But most importantly, you got to make sure you have certainty built in for at least 10 to 15 years. Because the markets will not perform in the short term, they will only perform in the long term.


Steve 22:46

True and great. I’m glad we asked that. All right. So, questions from listeners, Susan has a question she has written and said, I’ve been panicking about the forecasted recession. Now I haven’t pushed my retirement date because of the uncertainty in the air. Is there anything I can do to maximize the window of say, five to six years standing between myself and my retirement? Or any insight you might have that might ease my mind? She’s right on track with what we’re talking about today.


Brian Quaranta 23:13

Yeah, well, I would tell Susan, the last thing you want to be doing is pushing your retirement date, you should be looking for ways to build in certainty during uncertain times. That’s the uniqueness of what we’re doing at Secure Money Advisors. We’re trying to be as perfect as we can in a very unperfect environment. And so, you know, five to six years, you know, pushing your retirement. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of bad things that can happen in that period of time. Remember, folks, when people lost money in 1999 2001 2002, a lot of these people took seven, eight, some even 16 years to get back to even so the question is, how long do you have for your accounts to recover? Before you want to retire? A lot of our clients that are five years out from retirement, four years out from retirement three years from retirement, they want to know that in that period of time, they’re going to be able retire, if you’re planning on retiring next year, you better have a plan in place. That doesn’t include the market because if the market doesn’t cooperate, and you go to retire and you’ve lost enough money, you’re going to be working another five, six years. And as all of you know, if you’re in your late 50s, early 60s, mid 60s, things in life can change fast, you can get a diagnosis, you can have a health issue, things change fast, and you’ve got to retire when you’re ready to retire. And that’s the type of planning that we want to build for you. So, you have some certainty of when you can go all right.


Steve 24:30

Well, again, I know we’re running out of time here, but I’ve just loved the expression, a super Roth super off. So that’s right, I see the shirts already.


Brian Quaranta 24:37

Yeah, super Roth. That’s it, man. Go get your super Roth IRA folks that, you know, most people don’t realize that life insurance can be a super Roth. Why? Because you can put money in you can grow it at a rapid, you know, at a rapid pace by, by having, you know, uncapped contribution amounts that you’re about to put in and then when you withdraw the money, as long as it’s alone, it’s all tax free, so it can be a very efficient strategy. A lot of people don’t stick to the plan over Long Term and so they screw it up and it doesn’t actually work out for them. But those that get it right can benefit tremendously from it. So, I write about a little bit of this in Right Track Your Retirement, you go to righttrackyourretirement.com, you get a copy of my book, I send it to you absolutely free, there’s no cost for you to order the book. And while you’re at it, schedule an appointment to come in, take advantage of our Right Track Retirement Review, where we can help you decide everything from how to build income, how to pay, how to make a more tax efficient strategy, how to reduce your risk in the market, how to give yourself a private pension, when is going to be the proper time for you to collect social security. These are all things that we can help you determine and help you optimize your personal situation by building a customized plan for you. So again, go to righttrackyourretirement.com get a copy of the book, and you can schedule a time or just call the number people give you.


Steve 25:44

800-656-8616 That’s the number to call. Really that’s the goal of the show is to help you make the best decision for you. So, if you’ve got questions about what we’ve been talking about here today, how many to apply in your own situation? Call us right now. 800-656-8616 800-656-8616 Brian all was a pleasure to talk with you. This goes by so quickly, but I love the information.


Brian Quaranta 26:05

Steve, great seeing you again. And folks, we’ll see you again next week right here with On the Money with Secure Money.


Announcer 26:17

Investment Advisory services offered through foundations investment advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor the content provided is intended for informational and educational purposes only the views statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual speakers and not necessarily those foundations and its affiliates. The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell any securities or represent an express or implied opinion or endorsement of any specific opportunity offering or issuer. Any discussion of performance or returns is not indicative of future results. Each individual investor situation is different and any ideas provided may not be appropriate for your particular circumstances. Foundations only transact business in states where it is properly registered or excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Registration as an investment advisor is not an endorsement of the firm by securities regulators and does not mean the adviser has achieved a specific level of skill or ability. No legal or tax advice is provided. Always consult with a tax professional. All rights reserved.

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