Cynthia De Fazio – 00:23
Hello, my name is Cynthia de Fazio and I’m sitting with Brian Quaranta CEO and founder of secure money advisors otherwise known as Brian Q. We’re really trying to pronounce Brian’s last name for everyone. Brian Quaranta.
Brian Quaranta – 00:37
I know you almost got closer like every week to the viewing audience we are. Yeah, yes, close. But you know, you were really, really close. You know, it’s easier if you roll the arc. Right. It’s a you know, the Italian language but you know, even on the radio show, you know, I mean, every every, you know, weekend we do retirement, you radio. Now we do retirement You TV, which is great, because, you know, we want to continue to get the message out, but retirement, you radio airs every Saturday on 94.53 3ws, on Saturday mornings, from eight to nine, and then on Sundays from seven to 7:30. But we always do Brian Q on the radio, because nobody can pronounce my last name. So when the callers call in, you know, it’s just like, just, you know, let’s do Brian Q.
Cynthia De Fazio – 01:19
I know, right. And I’m so tempted to throw out questions and answers with Brian Q, right. Sounds good. So we’ve been talking throughout the weeks about retirement and how one size does not fit all. It’s a very personalized thing with people that are getting ready to approach that retirement. And it can be a little scary at times. Yeah. But there are also some common things that I think people kind of think that they want to do when they retire. So I’d like to kind of open our show today with some of the conversation that we’ve had in the past. Yeah, I think one of the things that are so common for people would be, hey, we’re going to retire, let’s pay off the mortgage. Brian, what’s your take on that?
Brian Quaranta – 01:57
I love that, right? Because paying off the mortgage can pick up, you pick you up a lot of additional cash flow on a monthly basis. So let’s say you’re three, five years out from retirement, you know, a lot of times we’ll look at putting together a strategy that might actually include reducing 401k contributions and actually using that extra money to pay down the mortgage. Because rather than putting that money in that in a 401k, where it could very easily go down. I mean, look at how long the markets been up and how long we’ve been in a bull run. Yeah, if you’re three, four or five years away from retirement, a better strategy would be let’s redirect that money and pay down the mortgage. Because let’s say your mortgage is $1,000 a month or $1500 a month, that’s $1500 extra in cash flow that you pick up a month, that would take a lot of money, right? A lot of money saved to actually generate $15 a month in cash flow when if we pay that mortgage down, we get it immediately. So that’s very, very good strategy. Plus, it gives people a peace of mind going to retirement that the mortgage is paid off.
Cynthia De Fazio – 02:54
Definitely, definitely great advice. So a lot of people think they need a certain amount of number, a certain amount of money each year to retire. Yeah, right. to retire. It’s really it is no worse. Yeah. Yep. So do you see that often change throughout the course of a year for someone? If you sit with someone and you have a plan in place, can that sometimes change and go in different directions? Do you see that happens? Right?
Brian Quaranta – 03:17
Yeah, I mean, there’s two numbers that people look at, right? How much income Am I going to need because, you know, basic financial planning, you know, which I call old technology plan and always said, maybe you’re only going to need 70 to 80% of your your income. Okay, now, my clients, we don’t want them living off of 70 80% of our income, we want them to have 100 or 120% of what they’ve been living off of, because we know that people want to go do things they want to travel, right. I mean, the biggest one everybody wants to do is go on the Alaskan cruise, people want to go see the national parks, or they just want to go spend more time with kids and your families are splintered and splatter all over the country. I mean, mine included, I’ve got my sister in California, my mom and dad in New Jersey. I’m in Pittsburgh, so I know what that’s like. And that’s all my parents want to do. Right? all they want to do is come down, you know, because they’ve got a new grandson down here in Pittsburgh, they want to spend more time here, they want to go to California spend more time with my sister. But you know, the other the other number, right? Or money is how much money do I need to retire? There was a commercial from big Insurance Company A long time ago, and the commercial started said, What’s your number? And all these people are walking around with a number over their head? And I think it really gave the public anxiety of Do I have enough save for retirement? Yeah, you know, and that’s probably one of the things that I love the most about what we do is people are really surprised when they come in that we can actually get them retired right now. And they’re going wow, I thought I would have needed a lot more money, but I can’t believe this works right now. And you know, one of the things that we do really well at secure money advisors is really mapping out the math. Sure, and showing them the black and white math really gives people that peace of mind of knowing you don’t want I can go into work tomorrow and tell him I’m done. So the two numbers are always you know, how much income do I need? But then, based on what I’ve got saved, could I generate enough income. And so our favorite thing to do is just get people retired right now. And we do it a lot. Because with the with the technology that exists in the marketplace today, and when I say technology, what I’m referring to is the change and the designs of financial products and the ability for the average consumer to get access to tactical strategies and more private money management that they’ve never had access to before. And that really gives them an advantage and allows us to do a lot more things than we’ve ever been able to do with traditional type of retail investments, like traditional retail mutual funds and things along those lines. Sure. But yeah, it’s a great question, because it’s probably the question we get the most out of all,
Cynthia De Fazio – 05:47
and Brian, I can only imagine what a life changing moment that is, when you’re sitting with someone and you can tell them, you guys are fine, you can retire. Yeah, that happened recently.
Brian Quaranta – 05:56
Yeah, we you know, we have it happen a lot. Because we’re very, very busy office, we see anywhere from 30 to 50 people a week, okay, at our office, and, you know, we’re retiring people every single month. And we’ve retired hundreds of people, if not 1000s of people, you know, I’ve retired 1000 of people over my career, secure money advisors, I mean, we’re retiring hundreds of people every single year, and we do it successfully. And I think people, there’s two reactions, you will you will have the couple that gets very emotional, right. And, and, and, and, you know, so we keep lots of tissues in the conference room. And then there’s other ones that are in complete shock. They don’t believe it. Yeah, they’re like, something’s got to be wrong with that math. Well, there’s nothing wrong with the math. It’s just the first time somebody’s showing them, what they’ve actually accomplished, that they’ve won the game. And when you’ve won the game, you don’t have to continue to roll the dice and take risk. Yeah. And so it’s really a really neat thing to watch. And it’s very rewarding for us, because that’s what we strive to do. And, you know, it’s a very special thing, when we get to do that at the office, the actual date of retirement is probably the real special thing that we enjoy the most seeing people actually come in, and they’ve been retired for a couple of days. Yeah. So I’d be crying every day. Constantly crying.
Cynthia De Fazio – 07:15
So I’d be crying every day. Constantly crying. So I wanted to ask you another question about how this is such a common thing. When people come in to sit with you? How often do you hear you know what, Brian, we don’t need this large house anymore. We’re gonna downsize. Do you hear that? Quite a bit?
Brian Quaranta – 07:25
Yeah, you hear both. I mean, I’ve had people that want to build a big home, you know, when they retire. And, you know, sometimes we’re gonna wait. Now, you know, this may not be a good idea. But yeah, I think downsizing is just kind of the natural progression to because you know, a lot more more and more people, they just don’t want to take care of the yard, they don’t want the maintenance of the home, you know, a lot of people want to go to these town homes, or these 55 older communities, which we really encourage, because it really is, you know, it’s you know, most people want to travel, so they don’t want the be dealt with the maintenance sharing of a home. But downsizing is what we’ll see. And every once in a while, we’ll see somebody that wants to go bigger, for whatever reason, for whatever reason, it is, but you know, maybe it’s been in their mind their entire life, that I’ve got to build my dream home, and now they’re gonna do it. And, you know, we help them work through those numbers. And, and we give them a solid plan to make that happen. And, and for the first time, they’re able to go out there with absolute confidence, and pull the trigger on that and actually do it. Because they’re getting validation and confirmation from the math that it’s going to work.
Cynthia De Fazio – 08:32
Absolutely. And what’s amazing, when people come in to sit with you, Brian, one on one, they really get that personal attention from you, you’re able to help them really design a plan that fits for their life. Because as we mentioned, when we started the show, it’s not one size fits all.
Brian Quaranta – 08:44
No, it’s not a cookie cutter strategy for anybody. And really what we’ve tried to do we’ve been very successful at doing it is really make the retirement planning process very simple and easy to understand. If you’re walking out of your advisors office, when we’re confused, it might be time to get a second opinion, because retirement planning, trust me when I tell you it is a very, very simple thing. There’s basic fundamentals that need to be followed. So for the next 10 callers, we’re actually going to give a complimentary view. It’s $1,000 value again, it’s no cost to you for the next 10 callers you call 18883821298. Again, that’s 1-888-382-1298.
Cynthia De Fazio – 09:25
Brian, it’s time for us to take our first break already viewers, please stay tuned. We’re going to have some great questions for Brian when we return if you’re trying to get through that number again is 1-888-382-1298. We know the phone lines are busy. Please keep trying Don’t go away. We’ll be right back after this quick break.
Commercial Break – 9:43:00 AM
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Cynthia De Fazio – 11:18
Welcome back. My name is Cynthia de Fazio I’m sitting with Brian Quaranta CEO and founder of secure money advisors what to do with your name,
Brian Quaranta – 11:28
you went the other direction I was going to grade you I would have given you a C on that one.
Cynthia De Fazio – 11:36
For the viewing audience. But anyway, welcome back. So we’re talking about during your working years, you’re saving, saving, saving, right, you’re getting ready to, you know, just that whole feeling of security that you need when you retire. And then you’re deciding, okay, now that I’m retiring, what can I spend? So I got a few things I wanted to ask you, Brian, your opinion on specifically, how should an investment portfolio be allocated in retirement? That’s a great question.
Brian Quaranta – 12:03
It is a great question. And and, you know, unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer to that one, because, again, we’re customizing plans to each and every person specific needs. But on, let’s just talk basic fundamentals for a moment. So, you know, I’ve talked about this many times on on the TV show I talked about a lot on the radio, is the fact that the grand experiment in the country, and nobody knows how it’s gonna work out is that companies have replaced guaranteed pensions with 401 K’s. And that’s caused a major problem, because when people retire, the only guaranteed source of income that they’re going to have is going to be social security. So a lot of people are going to need to generate income above and beyond Social Security. So how do we do that? Well, there’s there specific fundamentals that need to be followed. And I like to talk about buckets, right. So I like to talk about different buckets of money. And if you understand this basic concept of buckets of money, you’re really going to start to simplify the planning process for yourself. And you’re really going to start to get and understand how you build a retirement strategy, that if the markets fall apart on you, you’re not going to have to come out of retirement and go back to work. So let’s talk about those buckets for a moment. Because I know you like the buckets.
Cynthia De Fazio – 13:13
I do. Like the amazing because you think about it, you have to have the different revenue streams. So tell me a little bit about those different buckets, Brian, for the viewing audience that are just tuning in for the first time.
Brian Quaranta – 13:24
Sure. So So bucket number one is what we always call bank money. Okay? Now, this is what we call emergency cash reserves. This is very liquid money, that in case of an emergency or anything that you have quick access to that money. Now, traditional financial planning says anywhere from six to 12 months of expenses in liquid cash, right now, that’s just a rule of thumb. So really, what we want to do is just try to have as much liquid cash as we possibly can set aside. But again, if you had $5,000 a month in expenses, and you’re taking that over a 12 month period, you should have roughly about $60,000 of cash sitting in the bank. Now, don’t panic if you don’t have that type of liquidity, because it’s okay. And it works if you have less, but that’s a rule of thumb, okay, so we always need that bank money. This, the second bucket of money we need is pension money. So if you’re one of those individuals that do not have a pension, like 85 90% of the people that we meet, that we’d have to create a pension. Now, you know, I talk about this a lot that you know, technology has changed in the marketplace, and especially in financial planning, that you can actually go out there and get yourself a private pension today where we can actually set money aside, you never lose control of it, right. I mean, I think people think when you when you, you know, are invested in some type of program like that, that you’re gonna lose control of your money, but you don’t so but what it does is it gives you peace of mind knowing that if you set this money aside and this pension type product, that you can generate this income for the rest of your life, if you ever wanted to change strategy of for any reason, you have the ability to take that money out and do that. But we need that guaranteed money to be able to generate that income stream that people are going to need above and beyond what they’re getting in Social Security. Now. Once you Got that established, then we have what we call the risk bucket. Now this is money that we can actually take risk with, okay. But if we’re going to take risk, we at least want to be smart in the way we take risk, because we’re going to mitigate that risk, especially at secure money advisors, we just don’t believe in rolling the dice, right? So even on the risk money, we’re going to mitigate how we handle that risk. And we do that by setting downside limitations, meaning there’s only a certain amount if we, when we designed a portfolio that individual can lose. Okay, how good of a peace of mind is that? I mean, so if you think about traditional retail investing, especially traditional retail mutual funds, the biggest anxiety for anybody when they’re taking risk is if the markets go down, how much are you going to lose? Are you gonna lose 20% 30% 50% 60%. And what happens is, when the market starts to go down, if you don’t know where your downside parameters are, or how far your portfolio can go down, what happens when the market goes down? 10%, you sit down with your advisor, you say, look, you know, what, what should we do? Should we get out? Should we stay? And should we get out? Should we stay in? Well, they don’t know, right? Because none of us have a crystal ball. We’re just following basic fundamentals. But when you have downside parameters, and now the markets down, you know where that downside is, and so what happens is you, you’ve already have expectations that I’m willing to accept this amount of downside, so you stay invested. And when we know, we know, and, and, and, and, and studies show that if we stay invested, we win, right? It’s people that sell out that they lose, but the way we’re designing the portfolios is because we have that pension bucket of money. We know that that risk money is truly long term money. Now it’s 25 to 30 year money. So we have bought back time on that money, we effectively have created time for that money to grow, because the first phase of retirement is being handled by that pension money, which gives people a lot of peace of mind.
Cynthia De Fazio – 16:49
Sure, it definitely does. And I can’t stress enough that that’s really what you provide people when they come into the office is what you just said those words right there peace of mind. Because so often, a lot of people that I’ve spoken to in the past have said, well, I’ve got a statement in the mail. And this is what I know is my retirement This is it. But it’s not a plan. Brian, is it? It’s not at all.
Brian Quaranta – 17:10
We always say you know, people come in with their POS. Yeah. Right. And and that’s a pile of stuff. Right. And usually, it’s just a stack of statements. Yeah. And it’s, you know, investment products that have been purchased over the years. It’s splintered and splattered everywhere. And there’s no plan around it. Yeah. And that’s how that creates a lot of anxiety for people because people will be working with major firms here in Pittsburgh. And they still have no idea what the plan is. They say, well, we own this, but I don’t really understand how this translates into what I need. See, we flip that we say, okay, financial products are designed to do something they’re designed to solve a problem. What problem do we need to solve? You know, so for example, I’ll give you a very simple example, my brother, he’s 35 years old, he’s got three beautiful children. He’s saved some money, and he calls me says, I’m ready to invest. And I said, Okay, I said, What do you think you want to invest in? I don’t know, give me something that’s gonna make a lot of money. I said, Well, look, before we do that, let me ask you this. If you were to die today, how much money is available for work for Danielle? Cole, McKinley and Peyton, right? And he says, What do you mean? I said, Well, you know how much is there? And he says, I don’t know, maybe $100,000. So if my brother, we have to take care of fundamentals first, his first step is really making sure that his family is insured and protected. Because if he dies, if he dies, they have nothing to live off of. So taking $25,000 that he saved and putting in the market is not a good idea. Yeah, taking that $25,000 and buying a $5 million term policy, probably a better idea for my brother in the short term. Now, once we establish that, then we can now as you get older, you might not need life insurance, I was just using that as an example, what you’re going to need income, so and there’s products designed around generating income. So people come in with a pile of stuff, but they don’t know how to use it. And what we do is we show them how to take those products and actually start to utilize it. It’s like, Okay, I’ve got all the ingredients, I will show you how to piece it together so that you can actually bake the cake. And we’ll have a cake when you’re done, right? Absolutely. We’re here’s all the pieces. And it’s all these pieces of a motorcycle in a box will actually show you how to take all those pieces. And actually, we’ll put together the motorcycle right. So and that for people really provides a lot of certainty. And that’s that’s the differentiator between us and a lot of firms is we’re going to give you a plan and attract to run on,
Cynthia De Fazio – 19:34
which is fantastic. And it’s so needed. And Brian, when people come in to sit with you, what can they expect for the viewing audience that’s calling in today trying to schedule time with you? What does that look like typically in the office? Yeah,
Brian Quaranta – 19:45
that’s a great question. And you know, we know that coming in and seeing a financial adviser can be a very intimidating process, and it’s not with us and the way it looks with us is very simple. Number one, we send you out a very, we send out an intake form that takes you about five minutes to fill out so that we get the most out of the meeting. When you come in, you’re going to we’re going to ask a lot of questions. We’re not there to make any decisions. You’re not there to be pressured to purchase anything, we don’t need to do that we’re a busy office, we’re truly there to help solve a problem. If we can’t solve a problem, there’s no reason to engage with us. So we’re going to actually for the next 10 callers offer a no cost complimentary view, it’s $1,000 value that you’re going to get at no cost to come in, sit down with a licensed fiduciary. And go through your current plan and look and see if we can actually make that plan better. So if you call 18883821298, again, that’s 1-888-382-1298 for the next 10 cars, no cost complimentary view.
Cynthia De Fazio – 20:45
Friday, it’s time for us to take a break again, to the viewers at home. Please stay tuned, we’ll be right back with some more questions. That number if you’re trying to call us 88838 to 1298, we know the phone lines are busy, please be patient. We’ll be right back after this break.
Brian Quaranta – 21:05
Retirement Planning is just all about getting to know somebody. I mean, retirement planning is really about just building trust with people. I have a responsibility that when I wake up in the morning to be the very best that I can be because people are relying on me to take care of a lifetime’s worth of work that they’ve worked 3040 years for, I don’t take that lightly. That’s what drives me. That’s what I’m passionate about. You know, our clients really are our family of clients. We know their grandkids, we know their kids, we see them often throughout the community, we see them at the coffee shop, we see them at lunch, we really enjoy it, you know, we take pride in the quality of the relationships that we build with our clients. Choosing the right advisors starts with choosing someone that shares the same beliefs about money that you have. And secure money advisors. Our focus here is about building plans around principal protection, low risk investments are a great way to approach retirement. You know, when people have low risk investments, they’re not worried. They don’t have anxieties. They don’t have fears, they don’t have to worry about what’s going on in the stock market. There are other options available, other than risk options that people need to know about when it comes to retirement. And that’s what we do at secure money advisors. There’s a lot of responsibility and helping somebody plan for their retirement. And that’s why we take the time to listen, we take the time to understand their concerns, their worries, their needs, so that we can put together a customized plan. You know, we believe in what we do. Everybody that works for secure money advisors is on a mission to be the very best that they can be and to serve our clients in the best way that they can possibly serve them. You know, we just are a simple company. And it’s the simplicity in what we do that makes everything so powerful. You know, you don’t need to make this thing complicated. Retirement should not be complicated. It should be simple, easy, predictable, and we pride ourselves on providing that to people.
Cynthia De Fazio – 23:26
Welcome back. My name is Cynthia de Fazio. I’m sitting with Brian Q founder and CEO of secure money advisors. Brian, welcome back here. We are good to be back. Yes. And this is the best time of the show. Because we get to be my favorite part. We never know what’s coming. It’s like the lottery, whatever ball falls in. So here we go. Yeah, let’s hope I can answer it. I know you can. Yeah, there’s nothing that you can’t. Okay. My mother wants to give me her IRA. She’s in an assisted living community. And she asked me just to watch it for her. I’ve been keeping up on her rmds required minimum distributions for those at home. And she told me last week, she wants me to just have it, but I’m not sure how that works.
Brian Quaranta – 24:09
Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, unfortunately, you just can’t have an IRA. Okay, why mom’s still living, it has sustained mom’s name, there’s no way to transfer that to the daughter. Now, obviously, if she’s the primary beneficiary, when mom passes, she’ll be able to take that IRA on has her own. But this brings up a big topic conversation because of the secure act, right? I mean, we used to be able to transfer that money to a beneficiary, and the beneficiary wouldn’t have to pay any taxes or they could stretch it out over lifetime. And now the secure Act says no, you can’t do that anymore. You can you can transfer that to the beneficiary, but you got to drain that account down in 10 years, which creates a huge taxable event for the family. Yeah, and you know, we’re we have strategies right now that we’re working on with our clients because we were having our clients stretch, their kids stretch all of that now they’ve taken it all away. So we had to go to work immediately. Look for strategies, so When people come in, we’ll actually teach you what those strategies are.
Cynthia De Fazio – 25:02
That’s fantastic. Great answer. Next question, Brian, my mom is 79 and doesn’t have any tolerance for risk with her nest egg. She has more income than she’ll ever need, because of my dad’s military pension that she’s now getting. I’m considering an annuity for her, not because she’ll need the income, but as a way to protect the principal. Is this a good idea or not?
Brian Quaranta – 25:24
It could be I mean, it could be depending on what type of annuity it is. There’s lots of different types of annuities. There’s fixed, there’s variable, there’s index, you know, in that case, a simple fixed annuity might work. Well, it’s like a bank CD. You know, I would just, I would encourage them to probably do a very short term where they’ve got access to the money, they’ve got withdrawals available to them. So it potentially could be, you know, bank CD could also be a very good option. But, you know, the nice thing about annuities is it’s tax deferred, they don’t pay any taxes on it, you know, so there’s some advantages there. But again, everybody’s situation is different. You got to look at the whole picture before you can say, Can I just buy an annuity? Right?
Cynthia De Fazio – 26:00
Yeah, absolutely. That’s fantastic. And final, the final question that we have Brian is I’ve just started a brand new job, and I’ve been given a 401 K, my first one ever, how do I know which items on here to pick and what not?
Brian Quaranta – 26:15
Yeah, this is, uh, this is confusing for a lot of people. But this is why if you look at most 401 K’s today, they’ve kind of made it easy with these target date funds. You know, and a lot of people that are listening this show probably, you know, realize that if you look at your 401k, to say, you know, target date 2030. And really, that was designed to make it more user friendly, where people have the ability to just choose a 2030 fund. So it would say, Okay, well, I plan on retiring in 2030. So I’m gonna pick the 2030 fund, and then that fund is going to actively manage that money along the way. So as you get closer and closer to retirement, it makes it more and more conservative. Now, you still have all the individual options, which can be a little bit overwhelming. But again, we help our clients really allocate those 401 K’s and that’s the nice thing about working with a fiduciary is that we do that at no cost for you. Because we’re putting together a comprehensive plan. And that includes helping manage that 401k.
Cynthia De Fazio – 27:07
And so Brian, really with your firm, you can help anyone at any age, it doesn’t have to be someone that’s 10 years away from retirement, you can be starting your first job.
Brian Quaranta – 27:15
Yeah, I mean, really, our main our bread and butter is working with that community of 55 and older and we help our clients, kids and grandkids all we want but you know, somebody listened to the show, and they’re just getting started. We know we are more than welcome them to come to the office. So but again, this is why we offer the competent reviews. Don’t be intimidated by the process. You know, it’s a very, we’re a very welcoming, firm and we make the process very simple and easy to understand for the next 10 callers that call and you’re gonna get a complimentary view. It’s $1,000 value. Call 18883821298.
Cynthia De Fazio – 27:48
Brian, I can’t believe it’s time for us to close to the viewers at home. We will see you next week. Stay tuned. We’ll see you next week with Brian Q. Thank you