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Retirement Starts Today

Do you want to spend more money in retirement, while paying less taxes? Great news, you're in the right place! I'll also teach you the benefits of retiring TO something, while most retirees only solve half the equation by retiring FROM something. Tune in every Monday morning - hosted by Benjamin Brandt CFP, RICP. Join my "Every Day is Saturday" weekly newsletter for show notes, free book giveaways and other great retirement content: www.retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 26, 2024

You’ve heard of the 4% rule, and if you’ve listened to this podcast before, you’ve heard of Guyton’s guardrails strategy. But have you ever heard of using them together? Today’s retirement headline explores this idea. 

Overall, the article highlights the importance of considering sequence-of-returns risk in retirement planning and adopting flexible strategies, such as guardrails, to ensure financial security throughout retirement.

Listen in to learn more about this combination of strategies as well as my opinion on the matter. Then stick around for the listener question segment where Bret and I answer the question: Do I need a will if I want to split my assets evenly between my two children?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Sequence of returns risk is the greatest risk to your retirement
  • [6:48] How you can take the best of both strategies
  • [14:20] Should I have a will to split my assets evenly between my kids?

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Feb 19, 2024

Is it possible to suddenly step away from a high-powered job and into a life of leisure? This may not be the best idea for your retirement if you work at the executive level. 

In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore an article from Harvard Business Review that outlines several pitfalls that could come with retiring from a high-powered job and insights on how to navigate them. 

Stick around for the listener question segment to hear the best ways to give money to your adult children while you are still living rather than waiting until you pass away to leave an inheritance. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Advice for a CEO about to retire
  • [3:36] Areas to think about when making the retirement transition
  • [12:54] Advice on giving money to adult children while you’re still living

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Feb 12, 2024

There are two ways to mess up retirement: run out of money or die with regret. Oftentimes, people in the retirement space only focus on the running out of money part. 

In an effort to help you live an even better retirement, today’s retirement headline discusses the regret part. Join me to learn five expenses that retirees wish they had spent more money on so that you can learn from their mistakes.

Stick around to hear the answer to our listener question: Is there one person who can help develop a comprehensive retirement plan? Or do you need to have an investment advisor, a financial advisor, a tax advisor, and an estate planning attorney? Find out the answer by pressing play.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] The 2 ways to mess up retirement
  • [8:12] Investing in your home
  • [10:00] Helping your children
  • [14:38] Is there one person that can do all my retirement planning?

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Feb 5, 2024

If you want to spend more money in retirement you’ll want to understand how to maximize your Social Security benefits. Many people think that there is no going back once you’ve decided to collect your Social Security benefits. However, today’s retirement headline discusses two options in case you’d like a do-over. 

In our listener question segment, one listener asks the best way to pass on their assets to their children. Listen in to hear the answer and scroll to the bottom of the show notes to discover more estate planning resources.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:02] What happens if you change your mind about collecting Social Security?
  • [7:01] When exactly should you start Social Security?
  • [10:50] The best way to pass assets onto your kids

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Jan 29, 2024

Tax season is here so when I found this article from Morning Star to share some tax tips for you. Your tax bill will be the largest bill you pay in retirement. If you want to reduce it, make sure to press play. 

Helping clients save money on taxes and avoid common investment mistakes is an important task for financial planners. If you don’t have a financial planner, that means you are your own financial planner, so you’ll want to take good notes. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Maximizing tax savings
  • [3:30] How to utilize deductions
  • [7:45] How to utilize investment strategies
  • [11:11] How to utilize Roth conversions
  • [13:32] How to know how much to safely spend and how to know if I’m spending too much?

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Jan 22, 2024

Some tax breaks aren’t worth the hassle of pursuing them, however, today’s example is definitely worth the hassle!

If you are charitably minded you’ll want to listen to learn about the advantages of making qualified charitable distributions. Discover how to increase your standard deduction while enjoying charitable tax benefits. 

Stick around for the listener question to hear a great way to start practicing spending your money when you have been over-flexing your savings muscle. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:22] The power of qualified charitable distributions
  • [5:56] How IRMAA thresholds work
  • [7:27] Three key takeaways
  • [12:41] How to convince your spouse that you have enough money to retire

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Jan 15, 2024

Planning retirement spending is tough to do since there are so many unknowns. Many people tend to take a fear-based approach and rely on the 4% rule. Some even take a step further and spend less of their nest egg.

Today’s Retirement Headline urges you to take a different approach. Listen in to hear what the article advises and my thoughts on the matter. Then stick around for the listener question to learn how our national macroeconomic situation affects financial planning.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Rethink underspending in retirement
  • [5:01] My thoughts on the article
  • [10:12] How does our national macroeconomic situation affect financial planning?

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Jan 8, 2024

I don’t know about you, but I want to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. That’s why when I saw this Forbes article I knew I wanted to share it with you. 

If you want to learn how to age gracefully and maintain your vitality, you won’t miss this episode. Then, stick around to hear my answer to the question: why do some people have a hard time with retirement?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:24] How to age gracefully and maintain vitality
  • [4:20] Embrace interdependence
  • [9:55] Why do some people have a hard time with retirement?

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Jan 1, 2024

As you probably know by now, Bret and I are here to help you spend more money and spend less in taxes so that you can live an even better life in retirement. 

This week we’re helping you do that by sharing some lessons that we learned from our clients’ fall tax meetings. If you enjoyed our Lessons in Estate Planning episodes last spring, you’ll love hearing what we learned from our clients this fall. Press play to hear what you can learn from our experience with our clients.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Why we love Roth conversions
  • [10:40] Don’t forget to plan for taxes as a widow/er

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Dec 25, 2023

Would a 0% tax rate help you live an even better retirement? In this week’s Retirement Headline, we’ll explore a WSJ article titled How You Can Grab a 0% Tax Rate. If that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will!

Listen in to hear how you can learn to plan so that you can take advantage of a 0% tax rate on capital gains income.

This episode originally aired in August 2023.

Dec 18, 2023

If you have diligently saved throughout your career, you may be ready to retire, yet still feel uncertain about spending your savings.

To truly live your best life in retirement you need to learn how to shift from a saving mindset to a spending mindset. In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll help you do just that.

This episode was first broadcast in July 2023.

Dec 11, 2023

One of the greatest financial assumptions is that it’s always better to own than to rent. However, in retirement, this may not be true. Once you are financially independent it is important to realize that not every dollar you spend needs to yield a return.

Join me for this episode of Retirement Starts Today to question traditional thinking and to see how you can improve your life, spend more money, and have more fun in retirement.

This episode was first broadcast in June 2023.

Dec 4, 2023

Do you have an HSA? If so, do you simply use it to pay for your medical expenses? Or do you use it as a way to build your wealth? Today we’ll look at an article from Financial Advisor Magazine that will help us identify opportunities for wealth creation.

Listen in to learn how to maximize the triple benefit of the humble HSA.

This episode was first broadcast in March 2023.

Nov 27, 2023

We are spending some extra time off from the podcast over this holiday season to spend time with family. I hope you're using this opportunity to spend some time with family as well.

I've gone through my favorite episodes of 2023 to bring you some fantastic rebroadcasts. So here's one and I hope you enjoy it!

The Puzzling Gap Between How Old You Are and How Old You Think You Are, first broadcast in May 2023.

Do you ever get together with your friends from high school and wonder why they all look so old? Are you surprised by the image that you see in the mirror each morning? If so, you’re not alone.

In today’s retirement headline segment, we’ll explore an article from Jennifer Senior at MSN.com that examines the abstract concept of feeling a different age in your head than you physically are in years.

Related to the retirement headline, today’s listener question is about how to understand when you are mentally ready to retire. Learn how important purpose is in your decision to retire.

Nov 20, 2023

Most people are worried about spending too much and running out of money in retirement. However, few people worry about spending too little. 

In this week’s episode of Retirement Starts Today, you’ll learn why you should spend your principal in retirement. Our retirement headline comes from Dr. Jim Dahle at the Whitecoat Investor and shows us why many people don’t spend enough of their money and how you can take a practical approach to spending more.

If you are like most people, one of your main worries about retirement is that you’ll end up running out of money. While this is a well-founded fear for many underfunded Americans, chances are, if you are listening to this show, you aren’t an underfunded retiree. 

While the current state of retirement savings is quite shocking, if you have a healthy retirement portfolio, you don’t have to lump yourself in with the majority of Americans. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:52] Many people have a fear of running out of money in retirement
  • [3:40] The state of retirement savings
  • [7:02] Why some people don’t spend their principal
  • [13:19] What should you do with excess RMD dollars?

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Nov 13, 2023

Would you like to have more confidence in your retirement plan? In the retirement headlines segment, you’ll learn one simple way to increase your certainty about what you can accomplish in retirement. 

In the listener questions segment, Bret helps answer what the essential aspects of an estate plan include. 

If you are ready to get serious about retirement planning press play to get started. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:26] A written retirement retirement plan boosts your confidence
  • [4:11] 4 areas to consider in your plan
  • [11:15] What do you need to create an estate plan?

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Nov 6, 2023

Do you wish you had more optionality when it comes to designing your retirement? In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore an article from Forbes that poses five alternatives to the 4% rule that you may want to explore for your retirement withdrawal strategy.

In our retirement headlines segment Bret and I team up to answer a question that both Google and ChatGPT got wrong. Find out what it is by listening until the end!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:22] The types of spending strategies that can be used in retirement
  • [13:30] Is creating a donor-advised fund a good way to avoid IRMAA?

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Oct 30, 2023

What happens if you get to retirement age and realize that you saved too much? Believe it or not, this does happen and has its own set of problems. In this episode, we’ll explore those problems along with some potential solutions. 

Stick around until the end of the episode to hear our listener question about deciding whether to do Roth conversions or take ACA health insurance premium tax credits. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:32] Too much retirement savings does have its downsides
  • [4:54] What you can do to combat
  • [8:21] My thoughts on what you can do if you saved too much
  • [11:27] Choosing between Roth conversions and ACA

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Oct 23, 2023

Would you like to make $170,000? On this episode, you’ll learn what you can do to save yourself 17% in lower returns over a decade. On a million-dollar portfolio that comes to $170,000!

In the Retirement Headline segment, we’ll dive into an article from Financial Advisor Magazine which explores Morningstar’s annual Mind the Gap study analyzing the performance of mutual and ETFs and comparing them to the returns achieved by individual investors. Press play to hear what you can do to improve your investor performance.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:12] Bad timing cost investors 17% in gains
  • [14:45] When does a person need a financial advisor?

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Oct 16, 2023

Have you thought about using your home’s equity to help you fund a portion of your retirement? 

In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore a Morningstar article that examines ways to use this supersized emergency fund. If you are ready to start thinking about retirement outside the box, listen to this episode to hear how you can supplement your retirement by using your home equity. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Home equity is seen as a someday asset
  • [9:28] Reverse mortgages could be a valuable lifeline
  • [14:10] Clarifying the rules surrounding spousal Social Security

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Oct 9, 2023

Do you remember when you were a kid and were fascinated by the thought of living to be 100? It seemed like such a far-fetched idea, but now with advances in technology, nutrition, and medicine, this far-flung notion increasingly seems like a real possibility.

As you may have guessed, today’s retirement headline discusses planning to live until age 100. We’ll explore what that prospect means for your retirement income, goals, and health. Share this episode with a friend so you can discuss it together!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:42] What if you live to 100?
  • [12:40] How to get beyond the accumulation mindset

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Oct 2, 2023

Medicare’s open enrollment is starting soon, so I’ve invited Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits to join me today. 

In this episode, we’re discussing what’s new with Medicare in 2024, the important dates to remember for open enrollment, when to reevaluate your health insurance options, and how to ensure you have health coverage when traveling abroad in retirement.

Press play to hear what’s new in Medicare.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:26] What’s new with Medicare this year?
  • [8:44] How often do people reconsider advantage vs. supplement and drug plans?
  • [15:42] Bearing risk
  • [22:00] What can you expect from your Medicare when traveling abroad?

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Sep 25, 2023

As retirement super savers, you all know that slow and steady wins the race. According to this Wall Street Journal article, that race is paying off again for many Americans. In the retirement headlines segment, we’ll take a look at this article. Then in the Listener Questions segment, Bret and I will discuss the merits of having one firm handle investments, taxes, and retirement planning. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Stock market rally
  • [12:27] When might having one firm handling all aspects of your financial matters might not be the best case

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Sep 18, 2023

Even if you aren’t familiar with Monte Carlo analyses, you’ve probably used it. Monte Carlo drives math behind the retirement planning software that you use. Monte Carlo software is truly amazing, however, the way people look at it is wrong. 

In this episode, you’ll hear the pros and cons of Monte Carlo analysis and how you can use a Monte Carlo calculator to maximize your full retirement potential. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:52] When Monte Carlo simulations work and when they don’t
  • [7:10] How to use Monte Carlo simulations effectively
  • [15:13] Should you annuitize to provide a safety net?

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Sep 11, 2023

Aretha Franklin can teach you more than a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 

On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, you’ll learn from her estate plan (or lack thereof). After hearing about this estate plan gone haywire Bret and I will team up to answer a listener’s question on how you can transition from a saving to a spending mindset. 

Listen in to ensure that your estate isn’t tied up for years while your heirs battle out the details in court. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:22] Why are the notes found in Aretha Franklin’s couch a valid will?
  • [5:35] My takeaways
  • [13:23] How to switch from a saving to a spending mindset in retirement

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