On the Money with Secure Money: Episode 119

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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.

Video Transcript

Rebecca Powers 00:24

Hello, Pittsburgh to all of our wonderful viewers. We love you, we thank you for joining us again. I’m Rebecca powers. And this show is called On the Money with Secure Money with Brian Quaranta. Of course, you created Secure Money Advisors, Brian used to be with the big bucks. He went independent, and it’s the best decision you ever made.


Brian Quaranta 00:41

Best decision ever. Yes, yes. Because we actually get to do what we want to do for our clients.


Rebecca Powers 00:47



Brian Quaranta 00:48

Nobody’s telling us what to do.


Rebecca Powers 00:50

Yeah, and there’s absolutely no inherent conflict. You don’t have to push certain products by like big name retailer. And you don’t have to say oh, just hang in there, lady. Your money is going to come back up.


Brian Quaranta 01:02



Rebecca Powers 01:03

Tell us that quick story about when you first started Oh, yeah.


Brian Quaranta 01:06

Oh, yeah. Yeah. So well, first off, you remember Montgomery Ward’s?


Rebecca Powers 01:09



Brian Quaranta 01:10

Okay. So-


Rebecca Powers 01:11

Department store?


Brian Quaranta 01:11

Department store, right. So, my dad had a Montgomery Ward’s catalog store. Okay. And there was a very popular doll being sold back in the 80s. It was called the cabbage patch doll.


Rebecca Powers 01:20



Brian Quaranta 01:21

Some of you folks watching right now probably remember the cabbage patch doll. Well, my dad’s store was in New Jersey. And you know, I can remember at the time that the cabbage patch doll was being sold, there’d be a line out the door of people waiting to come in and get the cabbage patch doll. And so, my dad’s store was doing really well. And but all of a sudden, mobile gas bought Montgomery Ward’s and this is back in the early 80s. And this is when you had like corporate raiders, they would come in and they would get companies. And that’s exactly what they did. And so, Montgomery Ward’s got rid of all their catalog stores. And my parents lost that store. So, we went from having this really great source of income from the store to my dad now working two, three jobs. And so, as a kid, I can remember lots of conversations about not having money, there being a lot of uncertainty financially. And I saw what that did to my parents. And that’s really where the love of finances started to come. Because I saw what it did to my family by not having that certainty when there’s uncertainty financially. It creates a very challenging times, and even when you’re trying to enjoy life, right, it’s always in the back of your mind. So, you know, think about retirement, that’s supposed to be the time that we’re enjoying our life. And if you have uncertainty or financial stress, which can very easily be caused by stock market volatility, even though you’re retired, and you’re supposed to be doing all the things you want to do and enjoying your time. And finally, being at peace and being relaxed, you’re not, there’s a constant worry, everybody knows what that’s like you’re trying to play with your kids or your grandkids, and you’ve got this worry going on in the back of your mind. The reason I started Secure Money Advisors is I didn’t want people to go through that. But when I started the big box firm, I realized that if I continued with the strategies that they were teaching, the people that I was going to be helping, we’re going to continue to have these uncertainties. And so, my first day on the job at this big box firm, I passed my financial exam, I was so excited that I passed my financial exam. And just because you pass your financial exam does not mean you’re ready to be a great financial advisor. It takes years and years of mentorship to do it. But I was working with guys and mentoring under people that have been in the business for 25-30 years, I got to sit in meeting after meeting and listen to the things that they would tell people. And my first week on the job, they said, Hey, kid, you’re going to be answering the phones this week. Well, this was right at the end of 1999 when the stock bubble burst, and they’re putting me on the telephones, well, I can tell you that people calling in to the firm, were not happy because they were losing money. And I took a phone call from a guy by the name of Sam. And he was really, really upset. And he says, I need to get out of the stock market today. I have to exit. Can you please tell my advisor to sell everything out? Well, I don’t know what to tell the guy. So, I go back to the advisor, and he says, well tell the guy that he has nothing to worry about that. It’s just a paper loss. And everything is going to be okay. Well, that’s exactly what I did. I went back to the phone, and I got on the phone. I said, Sam, I talked to your advisor, I want to let you know that he told me that everything’s gonna be fine. Don’t worry about anything. It’s just a paper loss. And he wants me to remind you to hang in there. You’re in it for the long haul. And what he said to me next Rebecca changed my life. He said, Brian, I’m 75 years old. How much darn long haul does this guy think I have left? Yeah. And so, if someone’s telling you don’t worry about it, hang in there. You’re in for the long haul. Think about that. That’s not advice. That’s somebody trying to manage your emotions. Now. I do believe that the stock market is the long haul Sure, but not with 100% of your money, right?


Rebecca Powers 05:02

And not at 75


Brian Quaranta 05:03

And not 75 either, correct.


Rebecca Powers 05:04

Yeah. All right, we’re going to talk, and I want to mention your book again, Right Track Your Retirement, if you call the number, or go to onthemoneyoffer.com, Brian will literally mail this book to your, his team. No shipping, no handling, it’s so important for you to kind of just understand the basics, the right track your retirement, you can also make an appointment to meet with his team. We’re going to start today with the importance of maintaining your purchasing power, especially today, we see inflation and so much uncertainty. So, let’s talk about that.


Brian Quaranta 05:31

Well, first off, if you’re going to be relying on the money that you’ve accumulated over your working years, as a source of income in retirement, you have to protect your purchasing power. What do I mean by protecting your purchasing power? I mean that when you withdraw money from a retirement account, you have to pay taxes on that money when you withdraw that money. So, when you withdraw that money, if you’re in let’s say, a 20% tax bracket, and you withdraw $1,000, you’re not going to net $1,000, you’re only going to net $800. Right, so that $800 is going to be impacted by also inflation. But let’s say tax rates go up, which is very possible.


Rebecca Powers 06:08

Especially because they’re sunsetting at the end of next year.


Brian Quaranta 06:12

That’s right. So, if tax rates go up to 30%, that same $1,000 withdrawal is only going to net you. Well, the first one was if you had a 20% tax rate $1,000. And you had to take out 20% You have $800. Okay, if tax rates go to 30%. Now, you’re only going to have $700. Right? So just through taxation alone, you’re losing purchasing power. Sorry, I lost my train of thought there’s flies flying around. He’s on my nose. He’s on my ear. It’s just It’s madness. It reminds me the stock market. There’s a lot of uncertainty as I’m trying to speak here today.


Rebecca Powers 06:47

I just want to say how impressed I am. I was a professional broadcaster for 25 years. And I’ve been on the network news. I’ve been in every level, and I am so impressed with you right now. B.Q. I’m so it’s landed on your head. Like I was giggling. But it’s true. The uncertainty of the stock market.


Brian Quaranta 07:04



Rebecca Powers 07:05

So, you have inflation on top of that. And then we mentioned about the they called some called the tax. The Trump tax cuts, I guess it sunsets at the end of 2025.


Brian Quaranta 07:14

That’s correct.


Rebecca Powers 07:15

So, there’s a huge question mark, don’t you think most people agree that taxes probably aren’t going down? So, it’s extremely important to protect? And what do you wiggle? What do you do to make sure their taxes? They’re paying less to Uncle Sam?


Brian Quaranta 07:29

Yeah, well, this is where tax planning comes in. Right. And these are things that you can do like Roth conversion strategies, backdoor Roth, IRAs, things like that can help prepare you for a better tax situation retirement. But the key word here is tax planning, right? That’s much different than what you do with your accountant at the end of the year.


Rebecca Powers 07:47

That’s a history lesson from last year.


Brian Quaranta 07:48

You’re right. So, and I talk about tax planning in the Right Track Your Retirement book. And folks, I want you to get a copy of this book, call 1-888-382-1298, get a copy of this book, request a copy, we will actually send it to you, we’re not going to charge you for shipping and handling. We take care of all of that for you. But I also want you to schedule a time with a team to come in and take advantage of a right track review. The Right Track review will go over five key areas with you, it’ll go over your income, it’ll go over your investment strategy, your tax strategy, your healthcare strategy, and your estate planning strategy, if you’re like most people that we talked to, and you’re not sure when to take your Social Security, or you’re retiring without a pension, and you want to learn how to create your own private pension for yourself, or you can’t afford to take another big market loss, or you want to know how to pay less or avoid taxes altogether, creating a tax free strategy. These are things that we can help you identify and come up with solutions to help you have a better plan. So again, go to onthemoneyoffer.com. You can get a copy of the book there and also scheduled the appointment but called 1-888-382-1298. My team standing by us schedule that appointment today.


Rebecca Powers 09:00

And as Brian always says the promise is you will never be pressured; you will never be sold anything. Looking at your right track retirement review could be a total game changer. There’s the number there’s also the QR code on the screen. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.


Brian Quaranta 09:14

So, everybody can tell you how to invest your money. There’s not a lot of people out there and a lot of firms that can teach you how to use your money. Most people also tell you that they’re scared. And the reason they’re scared is because they’re afraid of running out of money.


Neil Major 09:29

The last thing you want to do is have a really good job and you’re in your 60s retire, be looking for work again in your late 70s.


Brian Quaranta 09:36

The average person might say Well, a good portfolio would be a good mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. A good portfolio is all designed around the five key areas income, taxes, and investments, healthcare and legacy planning.


Neil Major 09:51

Because we’re not just product pickers here. What we do best here as we build retirement plans, nine


Brian Quaranta 09:56

Nine out of 10 people when they walk through the door would ask us, we just Want to know if you’re on the right track. And I always say, if you’re not on the right track, when would be a good time to know it? Probably now,


Neil Major 10:06

People, you know, can actually see a vision once we start to really build out their plan.


Brian Quaranta 10:12

This is about you, if you’re not getting what you need, and you feel that when you walk out of the advisor’s office, it’s time to get a second opinion. And you can’t get a second opinion from the person that gave you the first the difference at Secure Money Advisors, as a fiduciary firm, we help you manage the risk, build the income and give you the retirement withdrawal.


Rebecca Powers 10:42

Welcome back to On the Money with Secure Money. I’m Rebecca powers here with Brian, Brian Quaranta. And I just want to give you major kudos during our commercial break.


Brian Quaranta 10:51

I did


Rebecca Powers 10:52

You killed it.


Brian Quaranta 10:54

I killed a fly.


Rebecca Powers 10:55

We tried 10 guys in the studio tried and you did I got him.


Brian Quaranta 10:58

I got just like because he was in my ear. He was on my neck. He screwed up my math problem.


Rebecca Powers 11:05

Your forehead? I was really impressed. You just kept going. Okay, what did you say we ran talking about our Oh, annuities?


Brian Quaranta 11:12

Yes. Let’s talk about annuities because people need to understand how beneficial an annuity can be in the retirement planning now, am I telling everybody to run out and buy an annuity? Absolutely not. But I want you to understand the benefits of why you would purchase one. Okay. So, we talked about this two-bucket approach in the Right Track Your Retirement book. And we talk about the importance that if you’re going to keep money in the stock market, it has to be long term money, meaning it’s got to be 15 to 20 of your money. If you look at a chart of the stock market, over any time period, you’ll notice that over 15 to 20 years, the line always will trend upwards still always be ups and downs. But overall, the line trends upwards over a 15-to-20-year period. So, the annuity is a very important part of the equation because it allows us to create time with that stock market money. And now this is where the confusion comes in. Okay, because there’s lots of different types of annuities.


Rebecca Powers 12:11

Right. They’re not created equally at all correct.


Brian Quaranta 12:13

It’s like saying sports car. Well, what kind of sports car are we talking about?


Rebecca Powers 12:18



Brian Quaranta 12:19

There’s lots of different sports cars out there, you know, or it’s like saying running shoes, well, what running shoes, what make what manufacture, right. And so, there’s three basic types of annuities, there’s fixed annuities, there are indexed annuities. And then there are variable annuities. And then there’s a fourth one, called an income annuity. And the income annuity is essentially an annuity that allows you to create your own private pension. So let me give you an example. I sat down with a husband and wife, and we’re reviewing their finances. And we are looking at the amount of money they’ve accumulated over their lifetime, which is about, about 1.4 million is what they accumulated. And they were telling us that they needed about $40,000 a year in additional income, that that would allow them to have more than enough money to not only do all the things they wanted to do, but also it would create enough of a cushion, right? Even if the cost of living went up, there would already be the extra money built into the plan. So, their original strategy was to invest that $1.4 million and take out about a 3% withdrawal rate a year and take money out of that account.


Rebecca Powers 13:36



Brian Quaranta 13:37

And so, they were going to use 100% of their money to generate 100% of their income, complete gambling, complete gambling, because again, if they’re pulling money out, and the stock market is going up, there’s nothing to worry about. But what happens when it’s going down, they’re pulling the money out, they’re not going to stop because they need that money to live off of right? So, I said, what if we could carve out for $500,000 and create 100% of the income that we need with 30% of your money. So rather than using 100% of your money to create 100% of your income, let’s use 30% of your money to create 100% of your income. So, with the income annuity, we were able to take $450,000 Put it into this income annuity and when they get ready to retire, which is going to be five years that income annuity is going to produce over $47,000 a year in guaranteed income for his life. If he dies for her life, and if she dies, any balance in the account is paid out to the family.


Rebecca Powers 14:45

And it is literally a stroke of the pen there is no probate there is no fighting with among your family. That’s another beautiful part about the fixed index and they are the income several of the annuities I guess they all stay out of probate right.


Brian Quaranta 14:55

Yeah. So, so well, in this case, it was IRA money for them, which is IRA money is really great. For annuities because IRA money, you’re forced to take withdrawals out from anyway called, it’s called a required minimum distribution. And this is another thing, and I don’t want to get off on a tangent, but knowing what monies to take from first is very important. Okay. So, what did this do for them? Well, that allowed them to still have over a million dollars or money in the stock market. But we never had to worry about that money in the short term, because the annuity was taking care of those payments for the rest of their life. Now what, let’s say they did need extra money. And let’s say one year, the stock market’s up 10%. And their accounts aren’t $100,000 of interest. Well, if they want, they could take the $100,000 as extra income, they could take 50,000 out as extra income, but we built the base with the income annuity. See, Rebecca, it’s really simple to me. You insure your house, yes, you insure your car, you insure your, your health. But the one thing that Wall Street has not taught us to do is ensure our income. And that’s the difference of where we’re at today. The old planning strategy said, just keep investing in the Wall Street model. I’m telling you keep investing in the Wall Street model but ensure your income first with whatever money that’s going to take to ensure that income. So, this is how you create a retirement, that gives you peace of mind and certainty. So that when the stock market is down 20 or 30%, you’re not worried, because the money that you do have in the market is 1520 30-year money in these folks’ case, assuming they never needed any more than $47,000 of additional income. Yeah, that’s when that money can keep growing. So, I’m teaching what we’re teaching people is how to use less of their money to create all of the income that they need. And this is this is how you get leverage on your money so that you can maximize what you’re getting from it in retirement,


Rebecca Powers 17:13

I read a question from Sarah and Moon Township, and she said, I bought a variable annuity 20 years ago, I’m hearing that it wasn’t the right thing to do. Can you switch it for me?


Brian Quaranta 17:20

Possibly. So, we created something at our office called the variable annuity escape. And the reason we created this was because a lot of times when you look at variable annuities, all they are, are annuities that invest your money back into the stock market. So, what’s the point of buying an annuity? If it’s just going to be at risk, because the design of the annuity the purpose of the annuity is to protect money is to protect principle is to protect income. So, we created the variable annuity escape, which has about 15 different data points. And we will call the insurance companies with you not the person that sold it to you, but the insurance companies that you bought it from. And we’ll ask them these questions. And that will determine whether or not it would make sense, it would be beneficial for you to exit. See, the one great thing about my team is we do our due diligence. Yes, we take the time to evaluate where the client currently is at. Because if we move money to something different, there’s a reason there’s a purpose, which means we’re putting the client in a better situation. We’re not moving money just to move money. That’s not going to help. There are times that I’ve done those variable annuity escape calls, and I’ve looked the client right in the eye, and I said, you need to keep this annuity. It’s really good. You got a great benefit on it. And sometimes that happens, yeah. And you know what, if it does great, but at least you got reinforced that it is the right thing.


Rebecca Powers 18:49

And there’s also another great thing about annuities. They the company pays you not the client and cases.


Brian Quaranta 18:57

Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, think about your car insurance, or your homeowner’s insurance, or your life insurance. You don’t pay the agent that is buying that for you. You don’t pay them a fee fee, right. And they don’t even charge you whatever the insurance is, is what you’re going to get because the insurance companies already build in the cost to acquire that business. And they need the advisor. They need the agent so that they can acquire that business so they’re willing to pay the agent or the adviser. A sum of money for acquiring that business is essentially a finder’s fee is what it is. Now. We’re not loyal to any specific company, right? Our job if somebody is looking for income, especially is every company is different based on your age, whether you’re male or female, single, widowed divorced man married, there’s a lot of variables. And so, we have a rate Watch program where we can plug in the client’s information. And it will kick back a report to us that says, Here are the top five annuities that are getting the most income. Now a lot of people will ask to what happens if the insurance company becomes insolvent or goes out of business. And I want to talk about that next when we come back is because this is very important for people to know that there are protections built in to protect you. But before we talk about that, I want you to go to onthemoneyoffer.com. Get a copy of the book we pay for the shipping and handling, we’re going to send it directly to you take some time and read it but why you’re there, getting the copier book scheduled time to come into the office, schedule a time to meet with my team, and go through the right track review, learn about our system, learn about our process and understand how it can give you clarity and peace of mind and make things a lot more simple on you. You can also call 1-888-382-1298. My team is standing by right now to take your call and get you scheduled to come in. This is not the time to procrastinate. This is not the time to kick the can down the road. Take advantage of this and get clarity around your retirement.


Rebecca Powers 21:13

That’s what it’s all about stress free retirement let’s Right Track Your Retirement stay with us we’ll be right back.


Announcer 21:25

The work never seems to end until the day it finally does. After nearly a lifetime on the job. You should be rewarded for all the time you spent working. Whether that’s crossing off items on your bucket list, learning a new passion or rekindling the love of an old one. After all, life isn’t over when you stop working. It’s the start of an all-new chapter, the one where you’re the writer and you get to choose how your story will go. A way to achieve that is by having a clear financial plan to sustain your golden years. The biggest fear most retirees have is if they’ll have enough money to maintain the lifestyle they always enjoyed. Having a plan to help protect you against the curveballs life often throws will help to maintain your lifestyle. Call today to get your free written financial planning. See me live every day to the fullest and enjoy the retirement of your dreams.


Rebecca Powers 22:16

Thanks for staying with us. We’re talking about your retirement. And of course, the foundation of your retirement is income. How do you create your personal pension and annuities, certain types of annuities, Brian are really the way that you’d like to go. Last year after 2022 dip in the market when we all lost a lot of money the insurance companies had a record-breaking annuity sales year $300 billion. The strength you never hear about insurance companies, the major ones closing but what if they do become insolvent?


Brian Quaranta 22:48

Yeah, what happens if an insurance company comes insolvent and they have to close their doors? Well, typically the first thing, the great thing about the insurance industry is it’s highly regulated by all the state insurance departments. So, there’s an oversight of the insurance companies. And insurance companies don’t have free rein to just go invest their money however they want. If you’re offering somebody a contractual guarantee, there are certain parameters that the insurance company needs to follow. Okay. And when we were young, our parents always told us don’t sign anything, don’t sign a contract, right? Folks, I’m telling you, one of the best things that you can sign is a contract, especially when it comes to financial products. And let me explain what I mean by that. If you buy a mortgage, and you get a 30-year mortgage, and the company is going to give you a 3% interest rate for the next 30 years, and you sign that mortgage, that’s a contract that you’re signing between you and the bank. If 10 Years go by or 15 years go by, they can never come back to you and say we’re going to raise your interest rate to 5% or 6%. Because you signed a contract. That’s exactly what you do when you buy car insurance. It’s exactly what you do when you buy life insurance. It’s exactly what you do when you buy an income annuity. However, if an insurance company does become insolvent, every state has what we call the state guarantee fund, the state guarantee fund will insure you up to a certain amount in your state $250,000 in the state of Pennsylvania. So, if somebody is putting more money into an annuity than the 250,001 strategy you can use is to use a couple of different companies to spread your risk. But the most important thing is that you’ve got to understand that it’s the financial claims pain strength of the insurance company yourself and that comes back to the rating agencies where we want to use a rated big, strong safe companies.


Rebecca Powers 24:46

Absolutely. And we said it before not all annuities are created equally so do not go run out and buy an annuity after watching our show, please fixed, indexed annuities.


Brian Quaranta 24:56

And that’s a good what’s a good point by the way, yeah, because you know Even though we’re talking about them, we’re talking about the benefits. And we’re talking about, you know, what happens if they become insolvent and how they can be a benefit. Not everybody should run out and buy one, right? Because it’s not going to be suitable for some people, it’s just not the right thing for them to do. And this is why you want to consult with a fiduciary firm that can help you make an informed decision of whether or not that would even be a strategy that would be suitable for your situation. And that would be in your best interest.


Rebecca Powers 25:29

He made such a great point, we insure our home, our cars, even our jewelry, and we don’t insure income, because Wall Street never taught us how to do that.


Brian Quaranta 25:36

That’s right.


Rebecca Powers 25:37

I can say this, my husband and I moved most of my 401 k into a fixed indexed annuity, I want a growing lifetime guaranteed income, because all the reports I was reading is that Americans biggest fear is running out of money before they die.


Brian Quaranta 25:54

That’s right.


Rebecca Powers 25:55

Number one across the board. AARP has done many, many reports about it. That is exactly what you work every day to prevent.


Brian Quaranta 26:00

Yeah, and all the studies are showing from some of the biggest retirement research universities, that the income annuity is a great piece to put into the whole puzzle of retirement planning, you know, just like you would have life insurance, or you have, you know, your health insurance, nobody’s going to go through retirement without health insurance.


Rebecca Powers 26:22



Brian Quaranta 26:23

Right. I mean, even if you’re on your employer’s plan, and you retire before the age of 65, you’re going to do something to fill the gap before Medicare. Right. And so, we have to look at the income no different it has there’s a portion of it that absolutely, in most cases, should be insured for most people.


Rebecca Powers 26:39

So, I think that is the number one question to ask yourself, Do I have insurance on my income? Do I have a written plan? And that is what it’s a relationship? Right? Let’s talk we only have a minute left in this shows. Let’s talk about that first appointment, that relationship and where it’s gonna go?


Brian Quaranta 26:52

Yeah, well, there’s a process that we follow it Secure Money Advisors, and we give you a roadmap. But the first step of the process is to really just come in and go through the Right Track Review with us where you share with us your biggest concerns. You know, for most people that might be not knowing when to take Social Security, or they don’t have a pension, they want to learn how to create one and see what that is going to look like. They’re at a point in their life where they can’t take another big market loss. They want to learn how to create a more tax efficient retirement strategy, so they pay less taxes in retirement. And once we start identifying those, we can start to solve problems and look for ways to move your money into different places to get the very best from it and all of those areas. So go to onthemoneyoffer.com Get a copy of the book, schedule up an appointment right while you’re there, or my team is standing by you can call 1-888-382-1298 scheduled today we’ll see at the office.


Rebecca Powers 27:45

And there’s really no risk. There’s really no obligation and no cost and never any pressure. There’s the book, we want to send it to you call us and we’ll see you again next time. Thanks for joining us.