Episode 148 – Retirement Advice to Cope with Today’s Inflation

On this week’s episode of On the Money with Secure Money, Neil Mager discusses cash flow generation strategies to help combat inflation and achieve your retirement goals.

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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 and are 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. As performance is not a guarantee of future results, investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may 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 do 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.

Steve 00:39

I think folks are feeling a little bit anxious. So, what we’re going to do in this first part of the show is tackle that anxiety, call it something like financial Xanax, I like that. So, we’re gonna dig in with Neil, just a moment, folks, if you want to get a head start, it’s 800-656-8616. And we’ve got lots more to come with On the Money with Secure Money. We’ll be right back.

Announcer 01:05

And now On the Money.

Brian Quaranta 01:07

Any good retirement plans starts with the foundation,

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asset protection, tax reduction, holistic planning.

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

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Announcer 01:27

And now On the Money with Secure Money.

Steve 01:32

Hey, welcome, everybody. This is On the Money with Secure Money. I’m consumer advocate Steve. And Brian Quaranta, not here because Neil Mager is here. And Neil, of course, Senior Advisor at Secure Money Advisors. Brian is not here, Neil, because he and his wife just had a baby.

Neil Mager 01:49

Yes, they did. They just had their second baby boy. Very exciting for the current the family. But yeah, congratulations to them all are doing well. busy household from my understanding, you know, I have soon to be three-year-old and a newborn. You know, that makes for some trying times for sure.

Steve 02:08

That’s, that’s a handful, more than a handful. There you go.

Neil Mager 02:12

So yeah, you know, nothing like having young kids especially, you know, at Brian’s age, you know, he’s, he’s in his mid-40s, early 40s. And, you know, Secure Money Advisors was his baby for the longest time, and now he’s having actual baby.

Steve 02:28

Good for them, good for them. Exactly. gratulations, I look forward to talking to him when he comes back. So, Neil, let’s dig into this. You know, we talk about things influencing the portfolio. And by that, I mean, just, I mean, a crazy market. There’s so many things that can impact it. And what I want to ask you, what should we do? When we’re feeling anxious when we’re, you know, we need some of that financial Xanax to calm down? What do you think we ought to do?

Neil Mager 02:53

Yeah, I mean, you’re right, Steve, I mean, there’s so many impacts to our retirement right now, so much impact and, you know, between inflation, you know, being a real concern, and almost everybody experiencing that firsthand day to day, you know, we can’t put all of our money under a mattress, right, right. Because we need, we need returns. The markets are volatile, we got the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine and, and how that’s impacting the markets, kind of, you know, constantly being volatile. You know, it’s a real challenge right now. And, you know, it’s Secure Money Advisors, our philosophy is very, very simple. You build out a plan, first and foremost, and you stick to the plan. And you got to understand that when you build out a plan, different monies are going to be allocated to do different things for you. In that plan, Steve, and what you have to understand is, you’re no longer in an investment plan. When you’re in retirement, you’re in a retirement plan. And retirement planning, always, in our opinion, starts with Cash Flow Planning. That’s it’s got to be priority number one. Because first and foremost, when you retire, or when you’re thinking about retirement, well, what are you used to when you trade your time will money and you’re used to receiving a paycheck, either every two weeks or every month or every week, however you get paid. And what you want to be able to do is replace that paycheck when you go into retirement. And so, our philosophy is always going to start how do we replace that paycheck? It’s very, very important to replace that paycheck because when you retire every day is Saturday, there’s going to be more opportunity to do things that you want to do fun things, those fun things are going to cost money. So, we got to look at how do we get you money to pay your bills, but how do we also get you money to do things that are fun to do?

Steve 04:46

Well, what do you know so at this point in time, but like you said, there’s so much volatility out there so much uncertainty. How do you keep folks calm? How do you keep them on an even keel?

Neil Mager 04:57

Well, really how we keep our clients on an even keel is just understanding what our money is supposed to do for us. So, our approach is very simple. It’s secure money advisors, we basically, for simplicity’s sake, for our clients, we build out buckets of money, the buckets of money are really designed to do different things for you. Okay, so bucket number one is going to be your bank money, everyone’s going to have a threshold of bank, what they want to keep their liquid accessible, safe, we could also call it losing money safely, because if inflation’s around 8%, you know, we’re losing money safely. bucket number two is going to be what we call our personal pension, or how we’re going to generate our cash flow. Now on that bucket, what we want to do is take a portion of the portfolio that we can use to generate our income, really over a 15-to-18-year time period, roughly, generate our cash flow, get reasonable rates of return, protect our principle, and that money is going to last for a long, long time. Our third and final bucket is going to be our at-risk bucket, that at risk bucket is going to go through market volatility. But what we do is we know that over time, historically, that bucket will give us the best rate of return. But we have to do something very, very important for that bucket, we have to give a time in bucket two is the bucket that’s designed to buy us time on that third bucket. So, you asked me how do people stay calm? Well, when you build it out like that, and people know that that personal pension bucket is their short-term money, they’re not getting overly excited about the volatility of the market. And bucket number three, because they know that their retirement is safe and protected.

Steve 06:39

Well, that makes perfect sense. And again, so if someone that isn’t quite isn’t a client, and maybe is having bad anxiety, that’s motivation right there to give you a call, come on in, sit down and just talk through this whole thing.

Neil Mager 06:49

Yeah. And that’s what we see. So often, Steve is, you know, sometimes people don’t want to work with a financial advisor. And so, they’re kind of doing their own investing. And you know, they’ve stuck to their plan that they’ve done all along, and they’re in an accumulation model. And fortunately for them, the markets gone straight up since basically 2008. So, they probably have experienced a lot of success relatively. And unfortunately, now all of a sudden, they’re probably saying, hmm, do I have the right plan in place? Or do I need to work with, you know, somebody like secure money advisors, who, you know, doesn’t only focused on the income and the investments, but really, you know, the five key areas that Brian so often talks about on the show, not only the income, the investments, but also the taxes, the health care and the legacy aspect?

Steve 07:38

Yeah, there’s a lot to do. And I think the closer we get to retirement, to me anyway, it seems the best thing to do is to sit down with a fiduciary investor or a fiduciary advisor, like you, you’re independent, you’ve got a lot of experience. I mean, you know, Secure Money Advisors certainly is well established. That to me, gives me the confidence I need to get into retirement. And I think that’s one of the things you share with people. Yeah, that’s

Neil Mager 08:02

our goal, we’re our goal is to provide you clarity. That’s why we call it the Right Track Financial Review, we want to give you clarity, we want to eliminate some of the hypotheticals, you know, too often people are getting their information from friends, family, neighbors, the news, and you know, oftentimes that might be appropriate information for those folks. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right information for you and your personal plan. And you know, your next-door neighbor, he could he or she could be in a totally different type of model that you need to be in based on where you guys are at what your financial needs are, what kind of savings you have. So, it’s a real challenge. And that’s why it’s got to be unique to your situation.

Steve 08:47

Well, folks, if you want to, if that’s if we piqued your interest on this, if you have any interest at all, give us a call 800-656-8616 It’s an opportunity to put a financial roadmap together, there’s no cost, there’s no obligation, it’s just an excellent chance for you to get a true practical financial review. You will get that you will get that financial review and you will see where you are today. But more importantly, you’ll walk out the door with a roadmap that will help get you to where you need to be 800-656-8616 800-656-8616

Neil Mager 09:19

When we come back, we’ve got some inflation survival strategies to help you avoid derailing your retirement plan.

Announcer 09:32

Do you ever feel like you’re fighting for financial knowledge? Don’t let bad advice be a punch in the gut your retirement and take advantage of a complimentary no cost no obligation consultation with a local trusted financial coach. Call Brian Quaranta host of retirement your radio 800-656-8616 or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616 we’ve made it easy for you to take advantage of this fantastic offer. All you have to do Is caller tax Brian Q two 800-656-8616.

Steve 10:09

We are back On the Money with Secure Money. I’m consumer advocate Steve, sitting in for Brian Quaranta today is Neil Mager. He’s no stranger to the show. You and I have worked together many times over the past. Neil is a senior advisor at Secure Money Advisor, and he’s a fiduciary, and so much more. And you know, you said it. I mean, inflation is on everybody’s mind today, isn’t it?

Neil Mager 10:28

Well, it has to be Yeah, it really has to be I mean, I knock on the door is, especially people that are on fixed income, which often comes for retirees. Sure, right, and a little bit more fixed. And you know, even myself, you know, I’m 41 years old, I’m feeling the pain of inflation. You know, when I’m at my when I’m at the gas pump, when, more importantly, when I’m at the grocery store, is where we’re really feeling as I mean, the cost of goods across the board is going up. And it’s impactful to our day to day lives.

Steve 10:57

Well, and again, you bring up a good point, and I think if you are on a fixed income, I think a lot of retirees are asking the question, is my money going to last with everything that’s going on, and we checked with CNBC Senior Personal Finance correspondent, her name is Sharon Epperson. She’s got quite a pedigree, by the way. And she has the results of a new survey on inflation, that shed some light on that, for us, a new CNBC and acorns survey finds nearly half of Americans say they think about rising prices all the time, and more than three quarters say they’re worried higher prices will force them to rethink their financial choices. If higher prices persist, more than half say they’ll cut back on Dining Out 42% will cut back on driving and 40% say they’ll cancel a trip or vacation from coast to coast. Many consumers have already cut back. Well, I think that’s certainly true. And again, she does shed some light on that. But we’re focusing on folks that are about to retire or have already retired. And how do you help those folks? Neil?

Neil Mager 12:00

Yeah, there’s certainly a lot of things that you want to consider. And you should be working with your financial planner, you know, as you get closer and closer to retirement, really every few months to make sure that, you know you’re on the right track that you are making the right decisions. You know, for some people, there’s a few ways to look at this one, you might say is now really the right time to retire. You know, if it’s if your financial situation is already a tad bit tight. Do you make Do you maybe consider pushing out retirement another six months, 12 months, something like that. There’s also the option, you know, the good news, bad news is because of inflation. And because of the pandemic, you know, there’s so many available options out there for part time work. And not only part time work, but part time work that’s paying really well. Well, yeah, people are desperate at this point. Right? They’re desperate. Yeah. So, I’ll give you an example I had a client come in last week, who wants to retire now his situation is pretty unique. He doesn’t feel appreciated by his company. And he’s really hoping to exit, he also wants to move to his second home, which is a little bit further in the woods and not as close to the office. So, you know, in order to be able to do that he’s going to need to retire. So, he’s not entirely comfortable with inflation retiring right now. But what he’s going to do is he’s just going to pick up some part time work two or three days a week until things settle down. But there’s a lot of different things. I mean, you might want to look at delaying your Social Security. You know what, whether that means you work some part time jobs to defer your Social Security, or you or you delay retirement. Obviously, deferring Social Security is going to get us a larger paycheck. So that’s a good thing. Right? So, but really, what’s the main focus really needs to be how detailed is your plan, how comfortable you are with your plan to be able to retire as things change so quickly, especially with inflation.

Steve 14:04

Sure. And you know, you raised some great points there. And we talked about needs and wants a lot in terms of retirement. And I think this is a time that maybe we have to unfortunately, reassess that need want to comparison and maybe we, we only need to certain things that we have to give up on a couple of wants.

Neil Mager 14:23

Yeah, I mean, I have so many clients that want to purchase a second home or a new home. Maybe the home that they’re living in is an ideal for retirement living, maybe they want to go into a 55 and older community. Or maybe if you’re smart living in Pittsburgh, we know how the weather is here. So, a lot of my clients want to go south. And why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t they? And you know, just being having the personal experience on this because my wife and I are looking at new homes. You know, right now, the costs of homes have skyrocket, and you know, it doesn’t really make sense to be purchasing a new home Right now, especially if it’s an added increased cost. So one of the things that you might decide to do, and I always think this is smart, too, if you’re moving to a new area, let’s say that you live in Pittsburgh all your life and you want to move down to Florida, well, why not take a year or two in rent to see if that’s the area you actually want to live in? And maybe at that point in time, you know, prices have come down a little bit? And that makes it more ideal to get the perfect home that you’re looking for? Sure.

Steve 15:27

Well, that makes sense. Because I mean, you know, if you like you say, for Florida, some people just it just doesn’t agree with everybody, even though in their mind, they think it will. So yeah,

Neil Mager 15:35

exactly. Or maybe the area is not for them, and maybe they want to be in a different area. You know, another thing that we have to factor in is, you know, the importance of, of helping your family and your children. And I know, that’s often a hot topic. But you know, between debt of your child’s education, how’s that gonna impact your retirement? Have you mapped out a game plan for that, you know, so many people come in, they’re still helping their adult children, you know, day to day, bills and stuff like that. And that can impact your retirement and can really change the success of your retirement. So, you know, our goal here at secure money advisors is really, let’s map out your monthly expenses. Now, oftentimes, Steve, what people will come in and say is, hey, Neil, I need $2,500 a month. That’s what my bills are. And they’ve got listed out the gas bill, the taxes, the electric, the water, and all that. And then I’ll say to them, how much net income do you take home currently? And they’ll say, well, I take home $8,000 A month net income? And I’ll say, Okay, do you save any of it to the bank account? Or do you save it any investment accounts, brokerage accounts? No, I don’t. Okay, well, then in my eyes, that means you need $1,000 A month. So, we have to build out your game plan around getting you $8,000 A month net income. Does that make sense? It

Steve 16:56

It makes perfect sense. And again, but those are the kinds of conversations that I think are really eye opening for folks.

Neil Mager 17:02

Yeah, we don’t want to retire and give you $2,500 a month, when you’ve been living off of eight. That’s that’s a game changer. And now you’re in retirement every day is Saturday, you can do a lot of fun things, right?

Steve 17:13

Give us a call. Neil is there for you; he can help take a lot of those complex financial world and turn it into something that really makes sense. It’s a practical financial review, and there’s no cost, there’s no obligation, and it starts with a call 800-656-8616 You’re going to get that comprehensive financial review, you will see where you are today, of course, but more importantly, it does become that roadmap. And you know, that roadmap can change over time. But that’s what the folks that secure money advisors do for you, they will help you get to where you need to be when it comes to retirement 800-656-8616 800-656-8616

Neil Mager 17:53

There’s a lot of confusion about annuities. When we come back, we’ll tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about this important tool in the retirement toolbox.

Announcer 18:08

He’s letting the clock run out on his social security at age 70 For maximum benefits. And here comes the Roth conversion. He’s got some outstanding coaching with that lifetime income plan. He’s created his own pension as well. And it looks like he’s going to go all the way. Play your best retirement game call Brian Q 800-656-8616. Or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616. Call or text Brian Q two 800-656-8616.

Steve 18:43

We’re back on the money with secure money on consumer advocate Steve’s, Neil Mager is here today. And Neil is a fiduciary he is well, he’s a senior advisor at secure money advisors. By the way, the website secure money advisors.com, I would say check out that website, you can find out not only a lot about, you know who is who makes up the team at Secure Money Advisors. But you guys do a remarkable job of keeping that up to date. There’s current information, there’s blogs, I mean, it’s all full of great information.

Neil Mager 19:14

Yeah, we do a really good job of keeping that information up to date. Not only that, you can go, and we have archived all of our radio shows that we do with you, Steve, we also do television shows. Those are all archived on our website. So, if you have some leisure time and kind of want to watch or listen on your own time, you can go right there. It’s secure money. advisors.com. Check it out. You can also find out when we’re going to be in your neighborhood had mentioned previously that we do a lot of educational events, community centers, libraries, universities, even the occasional restaurant. So, you might be able to catch us at one of those two, which is which can be really helpful for somebody who’s nearing retirement

Steve 20:00

Sure. 800-656-8616 That’s the number to call, again, secure money advisors.com Find out about those events that the Neil was just talking about. All right, let’s jump into some of these questions. While we’ve got time. Melvin is wondering, he says, I heard you mentioned the stretch IRA, and how it’s no longer an option. What happened? And is there an alternative? Like that?

Neil Mager 20:21

Yeah, Melvin. So probably what you might have heard of is something called the secure Act, the secure Act was signed into law in 2019. Two major changes in that secure act really became impactful as you start to legacy plan. One change was it moved the required minimum distribution age, from 70 and a half, up to 70. And to up to 72. Not a huge change, but a minor change. But more importantly, what it did was impacted how your beneficiaries are able to inherit IRAs. So, what it used to be is if I inherited a family member’s, IRA, at my current age, the IRS would have a table that I would have to identify how much money each and every year, I’d have to pull out of that IRA, pay the taxes on it, and do whatever I wish with the money. Well, oh, the IRS changed that law. And what they said is no longer do you have a lifetime, to pull the money out, you only have 10 years to get the money out. So, if mom or dad pass away, and they leave an IRA to you, you no longer have that lifetime to pull out a little bit and stretch it out. Over time, you have to pull out the money over a 10-year time period. So here’s an example, Steve, let’s say that, that your mom passes away, she leaves you a million dollars in an IRA, okay, you’re an only child, while you’re gonna have to pull out at least $100,000 out of that account, each and every year, you’re gonna have to add that to your income, add that to your spouse’s income. And you might be taxed at a much higher bracket, because of the shortened time period that you have to pull the money out. Now, some of the things that we’ve been doing to compensate for that tax law change is one, we’ve been much more aggressive with our clients in doing Roth conversion. And Roth conversion, you know, what we do is we, we probably should feel that we are in the lowest tax bracket that probably will ever be in. And what we want to do is deal with a known tax rate. And so, if we start converting with some of our clients that have a lot of pretax money, it can really, really make an impact on their legacy. Because keep in mind, folks, I mean, you’ve worked and sacrificed for this money for a long, long time. And it might not be your major goal to leave a significant amount of money to your children. But everybody that walks into my office wants to be efficient, and how they leave it to their children. So that’s why it’s so important to make sure that, you know, once again, Steve, you’re following the five key areas, those key areas income, taxes, investments, health care, and legacy. And without doing one, you know, sometimes when we say little mistakes can end up causing big headaches.

Steve 23:26

Sure, absolutely. 800-656-8616. That’s the number you can call Melvin and get more clarification. And that goes for anybody. Just give us a call. Come on in sit down with us. Let’s see. We got time for another one here. Let’s go to Jane. Jane’s wondering, she said she must have been listening to the last segment that Jane says should I consider investing in an annuity or stick with my long-term stocks if I don’t like the unreliability of the market?

Neil Mager 23:53

Yeah, Jane, you just you must have just caught the last episode, like Steve said, but yeah, I mean, an annuity can be a great part of a retirement plan. Like I said, it’s not perfect. It’s not fair to your entire portfolio. But right now, it’s the best available option on the marketplace to get really safe, reasonable rates of return with your money. And that enables you to better build cash flow, you eliminate something called sequence risk. A lot of people don’t understand what specifically sequence of returns risk is. But very simply, it’s as you get into retirement. And you need income from your investments, how the market reacts, the sequence of returns is going to impact how your retirement plays out. So give Secure Money Advisors a call, and we can walk you through what that looks like.

Steve 24:42

All right, fair enough. I like that 800-656-8616 And on that note, we’re about out of time here. Neil. Let’s go ahead and invite folks to call one last time.

Neil Mager 24:51

Yesterday for the next 10 callers we’re offering a complimentary Right Track Financial Review. So many of you is so close to retirement or even in retirement yet so many unknowns are Right Track Financial Review will help eliminate the guesswork. The focus in this meeting will be on the five key areas of retirement planning each as important as the other income taxes, investments, health care and legacy planning. The Right Track Financial Review will be so valuable in helping determine when you can retire with clarity, or what you need to do in order to be able to retire in the near future. Let’s get started today. No more procrastination. But you got to do your part. Pick up the phone be one of the next 10 callers.

Steve 25:31

Sounds fantastic, Neil 800-656-8616. That’s the number 10 callers get that comprehensive financial review. You’re gonna see Yep, this is where you are today. But more importantly, you’re going to find you now have a roadmap that can help get you to where you need to be. Make that call while you’re thinking of it. 800-656-8616, 800-656-8616 Neil, as always, it’s a pleasure to have these conversations, the information is really important.

Neil Mager 25:58

Yeah, my pleasure, Steve, it was great talking to you today. And I hope everyone got a lot out of that.

Steve 26:02

And we want to thank everybody for listening. We do appreciate it and we’re gonna come back next week with new topics and questions all that and more right here on the money what’s secure money.

Announcer 26:17

Investment Advisory services are offered through foundation investment advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor. Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not indivSEC-registereded, personalized advice, and are not liable for the use of drip information. Discuss exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment advice or recommendations, 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 redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income stream for only two fixed insurance products 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.

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