Neil Mager shares 7 important questions to ask yourself to ensure you’re ready to retire.

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Radio Show Transcript

Speaker 2 00:00

When should I take my Social Security? How much risk can I tolerate? I’m afraid I’m overpaying my taxes. Did I save enough? I can’t keep up with all these rules. There are a lot of components to your retirement planning, and it can seem overwhelming. It’s time to establish a partnership with a professional who can provide you with a written plan, the proper strategies, and then be there with you along the way. Call BrianQ 800-656-8616 or text BrianQ to 800-656-8616. Call or text BrianQ to 800-656-8616

Announcer 00:31

Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment tax or legal advice information has been obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, but their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Neither Brian Quaranta nor his guests are liable for the usage of information discussed always consult with a qualified investment legal or tax professional before taking any action.

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Neil Major 01:09

How do you know if you’re ready to retire on today’s show? We got seven questions to ask yourself to see if you’re truly ready to ride off into the sunset.

Steve 01:23

Welcome, everybody, this is Retirement You Radio with increasing your financial IQ with BrianQ. But BrianQ is taking a much-deserved day off today. And in his stead is Neil Major, Neil is the Senior Advisor at Secure Money Advisors. He too is a fiduciary and so much more. Hey, Neil, what’s going on?

Neil Major 01:41

Hey, Steve, not too much. How are you today?

Steve 01:43

Very, very well. I like this segment, you know, questions to ask yourself to make sure you really are ready. And I think, you know, a lot of times it doesn’t have to do with money. And I know that that you have those sort of wide-ranging conversations. And so, to me, the first question is, so how much? How much more do I have left in the tank? How long do I have to keep doing this? How long do I have? How long do I want to keep doing this? I guess?

Neil Major 02:08

That’s exactly it. Steve, it seems to me from the people that I see coming into the office, you know, retiring at 62, retiring at 65. It may be thing of popular culture. But it’s far from a hard and fast rule. I mean, with today’s longevity, my grandfather, he retired at 55. He’s 95. So, he’s been in retirement for 40 plus years, you know, with longevity and everything else, you know, there’s not a set number that makes us ready to retire. And you know, if you love your job, you don’t mind what you do you like still getting up the stimulation of the brain. Why retire? Just because the calendar says you’re at a retirement age does not mean that’s the right path for you. Right? On the other hand, if you can’t stand the thought of working even one more day, maybe the solution isn’t necessarily retirement, but maybe you need to change your work situation.

Steve 03:07

Well, and again, that’s certainly an option. And I think, you know, I work with advisors, pretty much all over the country. And I don’t think there’s one single advisor I’ve ever talked to that has any plans to retire. I work with one guy who is in his mid-70s. And he’s just going because he likes what he’s doing. I mean, if it’s not, if it’s not stressful if it’s not, you know, physical labor? No, I mean, a lot of folks want to hang out.

Neil Major 03:31

Yeah, absolutely. You know, as advisors typically don’t retire, so you’re spot on there. You know, but so many times people come into the office, and they want to retire. And you ask them why? It’s because well, my brother is retired because he’s 64. Right? And, you know, the brother might have had an entirely different situation. You know, he might have had a job that was physically demanding. Yep. He might have been mentally ready. And you know, you come in and these people come in, and they’re making more money than they’ve ever made before. They enjoy what they do they enjoy their coworkers. And, you know, you ask them what they’re going to do. And they’re not exactly sure they know; they want to travel and there’s some things but they’re not going to travel 12 months out of the year. Brian, exactly. The hard part is what we always see is, is those people, they end up at times retiring, and we see them three months later. And guess what happens? They’re bored.

Steve 04:29

That’s just it, isn’t it? But it’s like, well, now what am I gonna do?

Neil Major 04:33

Now? What am I gonna do? And then three months later, guess what they’re working for, for peanuts compared to what they’re used to be doing? Because they want some stimulation, they want to get out of the house and do something.

Steve 04:44

Sure. I understand. It’s kind of a, you know, it’s a matter of preference. But again, that is part of the overall conversation that you have, isn’t it?

Neil Major 04:55

Yeah, I mean, when you’re ready is a big, big factor. I mean, you got to be mentally ready. And you know, when you still enjoy your job, and you’re still making good money, you know, oftentimes you probably want to continue on. Obviously, there’s a lot more to factor in. But when you enjoy what you do, I mean, think about it, if you retire at 65, and you live till 95, that’s 30 years in retirement. Yeah, that’s a long time to do all that stuff that you want to do.

Steve 05:26

That’s a long time to be unemployed is what that is.

Neil Major 05:30

Exactly. I mean, I mean, think about your, you know, the cash flow that you’re going to have to generate for 30 years, obviously, you know, people have guarantees built in, but the guarantee beyond the guarantees, you got to make sure that you have enough money set aside to be able to generate the income in order to do the things that you want to do.

Steve 05:51

Absolutely. And that’s one of the things that you guys do it to Secure Money Advisors, folks, if you want to get a head start, it’s 800-656-8616. It’s 800-656-8616. And then another question that’s not necessarily money-related. It’s what are you going to do? How are you going to occupy your time? And that’s an important question to answer as well.

Neil Major 06:10

Yeah, I mean, for many people, their identity is wrapped up in what they do for a living, of course, no, they like the structure. I mean, personally, I like the structure of a workday, you know, even myself on the weekend, sometimes I’m bored. Because I just don’t have the structure that I have at the office, you know, I’m trying to catch up on family time. And, you know, like I said, I really enjoy the structure. So, it’s, it’s not uncommon to feel a certain way in retirement, because you no longer have that structure that structure. So, your retirement will be a lot more gratifying. If you’re retiring to do something rather than retiring from something

Steve 06:48

that’s well said. That’s really true, isn’t it? Absolutely. And I think you might get No, I was just gonna say, I think a lot of people, you know, maybe want to mentor somebody or share what their skill set, you know, with somebody that can be a very important and gratifying thing to do.

Neil Major 07:06

Absolutely gratifying is the key word there. Because that certainly can be, you know, a situation that you get a lot out of it personally, is helping the next generation. Absolutely. You know, in there, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things to occupy your time in retirement, you just have to find that new passion, whether it’s volunteer work, taking care of grandkids, you know, whatever it might be for you, you have to find the passion.

Steve 07:34

Well, then we have to come to the money question, do you have enough? And how do we know if we have enough Neill? I mean, that’s obviously what you guys do, and can help ensure that we do have enough for the money that we do have will last?

Neil Major 07:48

Yeah, it’s always the number one thing that we hear, you always hear people focus on certain numbers. You know, my uncle, my dad, my brother, my sister, my aunt told me I need a million dollars saved for retirement, I need $500,000 saved for retirement, whatever it might be. There’s all people always have a number in their head. Of course, yes, obviously. So, you really have to look at Have you have you saved enough. Your advisor can help you see the big picture. That’s our goals, make sure that you’re on what we call the Retirement Right Track, see the big picture help ensure that the money will last all the way through retirement, the thing that we always stress is the things that you’ve done up until this point, are not going to work for you in retirement. So, you have to make sure that you develop a strategy for retirement, it’s much different than the investment plan that you’re used to during your working years.

Steve 08:46

Well, and that’s again, one of the things that you shine doing is getting people from that acquisition mode into that distribution. And, you know, saving, I mean, not saving, but the distribution mode in terms of retirement. That’s a big mind shift.

Neil Major 09:01

Absolutely, Stephen, you know, everything that we do at Secure Money Advisors starts with building a plan. So, people are able to see things that they’ve never seen before, where they can identify exactly how their money is going to work for them. We always want to have math be a big factor and eliminate some of the hypotheticals in retirement. But this the key the strategy is, how do we generate cash flow, in order for you to be able to do all the things that you want to do? Because the people that we’re seeing in our office today, Steve, about 85% of them, are not entitled to a pension. So, they’re left with this lump sum of money in a 401K, 403B, whatever it might be. And they have to figure out how to generate the cash flow on their own how to get that monthly income. Because read any retirement book, it will tell you, the people that have the most guaranteed income in retirement are the happiest.

Steve 10:00

Absolutely. And, you know, one of the things that we’re getting up against the clock here, but one of the things that it’s kind of the elephant in the room, and that is healthcare, and it’s particularly if you’re retiring early before Medicare, I mean, you’ve got to fill that gap. I mean, it’s a, that’s a big, big area to cover.

Neil Major 10:18

Yeah, that’s often forgotten about. So that’s, that’s it is a key area because of the cost of health care, especially if you’re retiring before the age of 65, when you’re eligible for Medicare, but even you have to plan, you know, once you do hit 65, how you’re going to pay for your Medicare Supplements. And you know, a lot of times people will come in, and their budgets will say $5,000, and we they haven’t looked at or focused in on, you know, how much healthcare is going to actually cost them. That’s why it’s Secure Money Advisors, one of the people that we’ve partnered with, is a healthcare expert, and he is a vital resource to our clients. And not only helping them but helping us understand to make sure that we’re budgeting the right amount for health care costs.

Steve 11:03

And that’s one of the things that I really like about Secure Money Advisors is that you’re essentially a one stop shop. I mean, from health care Medicare, and you know, all of the overall planning and income strategies, you do it all.

Neil Major 11:17

Yeah, that’s the goal. When Brian built, Secure Money Advisors, the goal was to make it a one-stop shop. So, you know, we do all that and more, we’ve partnered with attorneys, so folks can get their legal documents taken care of. And really, we just have everything in one place to make sure that you’re going to have a successful retirement.

Steve 11:40

And Neil, on that note, why don’t we invite folks to call get on your calendar, have that conversation? That’s really all it is, it starts with a conversation.

Neil Major 11:48

Yeah, folks, for the next 10 callers, what we’re offering is our Retirement Right Track System that we’re going to give away for absolutely no cost. We’ve seen others charge up to $1,000 for similar offers and features. But we’re going to give away this no cost, no obligation, it’s going to take the mystery out of financial planning, it’s going to map out exactly where you are now. And where you need to go. And If changes need to be done. This is really, really going to help you. Again, that’s for the next 10 callers. The Retirement Right Track System at Secure Money Advisors call in right now.

Steve 12:31

That sounds like a great idea, folks. Here it is. Don’t let it slip by great opportunity to sit down with the team at Secure Money Advisors and begin to put together that financial roadmap, maybe you’re looking for a second opinion, now’s the time to make the call. You know the team with Neil and Brian and really everybody at Secure Money Advisors can take that complex financial world, turn it into something that really just makes sense. It’s an excellent chance to get a true practical Financial Review. Give us a call (800) 656-8616 You heard Neil the next 10 callers are going to get that comprehensive financial review showing you where you are today of course, but most importantly, you end up with that roadmap, that guide that can help get you to where you need to be when it comes to retirement. 800-656-8616 again 800-656-8616

Neil Major 13:22

According to a 2020 survey from Northwestern Mutual some 71% say their financial planning skills could use some improvement when we come back some ideas to help get your retirement finances on track.

Speaker 1 13:38

How’s the market doing?

Speaker 2 13:40

It’s fine.

Speaker 1 13:41

How’s the market doing now?

Speaker 2 13:43

The same as it was five seconds ago!

Announcer 13:45

Stop worrying about market volatility. A good retirement plan will keep you from panicking when and if there’s ever a panic; even during a correction or a mild recession, get that solid retirement plan with lifetime income and protection from pitfalls. Get in touch with Retirement You Radio’s BrianQ, 800-656-8616, 800-656-8616

Steve 14:12

Hey, we are back on Retirement You Radio increasing your financial IQ with BrianQ normally it’s Brian Quaranta, but in filling in for him today is well he’s no stranger to the show. We’ve talked with him several times. Neil Major is here. He is a senior advisor with Secure Money Advisors. And, and so Neil, you know you I mean, the group at Secure Money Advisors is really a good team of folks. I mean, I’ve met several of them, you know, you and Brian and an email with the, you know, with some of the Maggie, all those folks really good bunch of people.

Neil Major 14:45

Yeah, it really is. And typically, you know, after folks have been working with us a period of time, I would say that’s the number one compliment that we get. You know, they’re so appreciative of the team. And you know, Brian has always preached you know, building a really great team around him. And we’ve certainly done that. Because you know, at the end of the day, these are people’s finances. And so, you know, it’s very important to them, it’s very important to us, and we take it very seriously. You know, when people hand over their life savings, and are looking for guidance at the most critical time in their life, retirement, you know, it’s very, very important for us as a team to work well together. And you know, if myself or one of the other advisors is in meetings all day, and somebody calls in and has some questions or some concerns, you know, it’s great, because the team is able to address their question or concern, and they’re able to get the answer that they’re seeking, and not get a call back. One or two days later. Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the things that we always hear how much people appreciate working with the entire team.

Steve 15:52

Well, and one of the things that when folks come to see you, obviously, they’ve, you know, getting close to retirement, they’re in that financial red zone, maybe 10, or 5 years before retirement. And once you turn, I think, for a lot of folks, when they turn 50, the realization that retirement really is going to happen, is there and people get motivated to maybe take advantage of that employer match if you haven’t already. In the 401k. And I know in the last year, a lot of companies backed off on that, but I’m reading that there are some coming back now.

Neil Major 16:23

Yeah, it’s definitely a huge factor. And I mean, you know, consider it part of, you know, your pay your salary. So, if you’re fortunate enough to have a 401k that offers employer-matching contributions, you really have to take full advantage of it. And I wouldn’t suggest waiting till 50. I mean, as soon as you’re employed, if you’re able to get matching contributions that can potentially double your savings with really little or no effort on your part. You know, you’re missing out on free money. So, so take advantage. You know, my sister called me this week and her husband just got a new job. They’re in their early 30s. And she said, you know, “how much should we save?” And I said, Well, what’s the employer match? And I said, at a minimum, that’s what you have to do exactly.

Steve 17:15

That I used to work with a guy too. And they had introduced the 401 K match. And I glommed on to it immediately, and this guy was in his early 40s. He goes, “oh, I can’t afford to do that.” So how can you afford not to do that?

Neil Major 17:30

You know, one of the best quotes from Warren Buffett is he always says, “Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.” You know, that’s, that’s a great way to live. Because in 401, k’s are typically the easiest way to save. Because, Steve, the money’s coming right out of our paycheck. And what we typically do is adjust and live off of whatever comes home in our paycheck. Exactly. So, it’s a great way to save. And if you’re, you’re fortunate enough to have that matching, it’s a great way to get a full head of steam

Steve 18:06

800-656-8616 That’s the number that can get you started. Alright, let’s talk about catch-up contributions. I guess that’s what I was alluding to, when I said 50, there’s a way to really, you know, with if you’re over 50, and you can really take advantage of the catch-up. I mean, that’s $26,000 a year, potentially, that you could save,

Neil Major 18:26

you know, Steve, I have so many people that come into the office, and they say, you know, we feel like we’re behind. And I say “Why do you say that?” And you know, they might have a significant amount saved, you know, I’ve seen people with over a million dollars, million-plus say, You know what we didn’t save, we didn’t really start saving till after the age of 50. Because, you know, what had happened is we were focused on building a family and the expenses that came along with that. But once we hit 50, we realized we were in the red zone. And we put that, that saving into turbo drive. And the unique thing is, there are ways that you can catch up. So, if you’re investing in a 401 K or an IRA, with a 401 K, you’re entitled to $19,500 per year in savings in with the IRA $6,000 per year. Now, when you hit that age of 50, you can save an additional $6,500 in a 401k and an extra $1,000 a year in an IRA.

Steve 19:28

Well, and it doesn’t take too many years of doing that. And I know that seems like an awful lot of money. But I think as you pointed out, once folks get you know, once the kids are grown, the kids are gone, the weddings are over college is done, you know, you can find yourself being able to save more and I think that’s what a lot of folks, you know, come to grips with.

Neil Major 19:46

Yeah, I mean, I have, you know, twin seven year olds and I think about, you know all the things that we put out on a monthly basis, just at that age and I know as time goes on, you know things get more and more expensive and you know, as a parent today, especially, you know, it seems like the athletics that kids are in and the extracurricular activities, you know, someone’s hitting your wallet constantly. So as the kids age, and the expenses start to go down, you know, catch up time is definitely, you know, 50 and above, really time to focus in and zone in, to make sure you’re on the Right Track for Retirement.

Steve 20:26

But even if you don’t have a 401 K, you can still, you know, certainly open an IRA. And if you, you know, you can, if you automate the savings, it’s like you said before, you don’t miss it. I mean, if it’s 200 bucks a paycheck, or whatever, it will take long before you don’t even miss that, that it’s out there. And what I have found is when you take an amount of money like that, and you save it for a while, and you look at this balance start to grow. Well, I’m inclined to put more in because I want to see it grow more.

Neil Major 20:55

Isn’t that the truth? You know, we know how compounding works. And, you know, you do you really start to build momentum when you start saving and saving aggressively, because you like to see that number continue to go up. So, it makes you want to do more and more and figure out ways to get more money in there. And you know, I can’t help but repeating that Warren Buffett quote, one more time, Steve, because I just think it’s so powerful.

Steve 21:21

It is.

Neil Major 21:22

Don’t save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.

Steve 21:28

Absolutely. And again, I think one of the things, you know, we talked about automating your savings, and we have to make sure that we are investing aggressively enough. We can’t be too conservative. But you know, there’s I mean, there are extremes in both directions. But the way that you set up a plan, Neil is, you know, the money if we let’s say someone was going to be retiring, you know, later this year? Well, the money that they need for the first, say, five years, well, that’s already that’s already taken care of right, that’s in safe place in a safe place. You’re talking about investing exactly for 10 years down the road?

Neil Major 22:01

Exactly, yes, Steve, what we focus on is building two to three buckets for folks. And really the first bucket one, what we want to do there is just get a reasonable rate of return without losing. And so, if we can do that, and take care of really what we say, Steve is one to 15 years’ worth of money, if we can really have that amount that’s going to generate our income over that period of time, that enables us to buy one important thing time, as long as we have time, we can still utilize equity positions. And so, when we cover the first 15 years, we have to look at longevity, inflation, things like that, and build that second bucket to be focused on long term growth.

Steve 22:50

And that really becomes your overall plan and putting plans together for folks. That’s what you do. I like this to where, you know, I know, there’s the rule of 100 and some saves the rule of 110. Tell me what that is and why that can be important to know.

Neil Major 23:05

Yeah, so basically, the Certified Financial Planning Board has a rule of we go by 100. Yeah, all right, and basically 100 minus your age. So, if you’re 60 years old, basically what that roll is telling you 60% of your money at this point in your life, should be safe and protected, where you can focus on just getting reasonable rates of return. The other 40% is what you want to take risk with. Now, a lot of people have that backwards. You know, we see it all the time where people say I had a couple come in last night, that became new clients. And, you know, they had said that they had down the risk on their portfolio of about four years ago, where it was more age appropriate. And when we ran it through our software, you know, they were very, very concerned about how much risk they were still taking? Sure.

Steve 23:57

I think we don’t know, oftentimes, I mean, that’s not our job. That’s your job, clearly. But I mean, with our 401k, there can be more risk in there than you realize,

Neil Major 24:07

yes, Steve, what people don’t realize oftentimes is, you know, within a 401 K, you may only have 10, or 20 options. So, what you’re able to do at the magical age of 59 and a half, is actually roll over your 401 K to an IRA. And this enables you to shop the entire marketplace for what may be the best options for you. So, you know, oftentimes throughout the course of a week, what we’re doing is help building retirement plans for folks who have hit the age of 59 and a half, who don’t like the options within their 401 K. So, we’re able to roll it to an IRA and make better financial decisions within that IRA.

Steve 24:49

Oh, that sounds fantastic. And folks, if that’s something that is of interest to you now would be a great time to give Neil a call and get on the calendar and have that conversation.

Neil Major 24:58

Yeah, absolutely. Steve for the next 10 callers what we’re offering is our Retirement Right Track system that we’re going to give away at absolutely no cost. We’ve seen others charge up to $1,000 for offers or features similar to this. But we’re going to give this away at absolutely no cost and absolutely no obligation. It’s going to take the mystery out of financial planning. It’s going to map out where you are now and where you need to go. Again. That’s for the next 10 callers. Our Retirement Right Track system. Call in right now. Pick up the phone. We look forward to hearing from you.

Steve 25:34

Hey, that sounds fantastic, folks. Yeah, take advantage of the offer today. It’s a good one. I’ll get that financial roadmap put together, Neil and the team at Secure Money Advisors can take a lot of complex financial world, turn it into something that really just makes sense. It’s an excellent chance for you to get a true practical Financial Review. Second Opinion, yes. Now’s the time to make that call: 800-656-8616. The next 10 callers right now get that comprehensive financial review. You see where you are today. Yes. But of course, you also then have that roadmap, that guide that’s going to help get you to where you need to be when it comes to retirement. You’ve got nothing to lose, give us a call. It’s 800-656-8616. Again, 800-656-8616. Neil, as always, a pleasure and the information today, really important for folks to know.

Neil Major 26:23

I’m glad we got a chance to do it. Steve, thanks so much for having me.

Steve 26:26

And again, we want to thank everybody for listening. We do appreciate that. And we’re going to be back again next week with new topics new questions and a whole lot more right here on Retirement You Radio.

Announcer 26:39

Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment tax or legal advice. Information has been obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, but their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Neither Brian Quaranta nor his guests are liable for the usage of information discussed. Always consult with a qualified investment legal or tax professional before taking any action.

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