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Retirement Starts Today Radio

Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/
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Now displaying: September, 2020
Sep 28, 2020

Have you seen the news about Tesla and Apple lately? Their stock prices are surging to new highs after the announcement of a stock split. Is this what is supposed to happen with a stock split? Learn more about stock splits and what they mean for you by listening to this episode of Retirement Starts Today. 

After we the Retirement Headlines I answer several listener questions. Have you been wondering about you and your spouse’s Social Security timeline? Should you roll over funds if you are happy with your 401K? Which is better--to dollar cost average or to max fund your retirement as quickly as possible? You’ll hear my take on the answers to these questions by pressing play now. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Are stock splits good for stocks?
  • [5:32] Should you run out and buy a stock upon the announcement of a split?
  • [7:01] What factors should be considered when setting up a Social Security timeline?
  • [9:23] Should you roll over your 401K if it is flexible and you are happy with it?
  • [14:44] Should you dollar cost average over a year or max fund your retirement as quickly as possible?

What is a stock split?

Before I share my thoughts about the recent announcement of the Apple and Tesla split, I want to clarify what a stock split is. A stock split is simply dividing the price of a stock. When a stock split happens shareholders double the number of their shares but, essentially, they should hold the same monetary value. So if I own 1 share of Ben Brandt Industries at $10 per share before the split then afterward I’ll own 2 $5 shares that also equal $10. The whole point of a stock split is to bring down the price so that it becomes more affordable for everyday investors. 

Should you buy a stock upon the announcement of a split?

Recently Apple and Tesla both announced an upcoming stock split at about the same time. When they did so their share prices soared. This isn’t a typical market response of a stock split and is actually a surprising outcome. Listen in to discover why you should stay well away from announcements like these and you’ll even learn why stock splits should be obsolete in today’s world.

What factors should be considered when setting up a Social Security timeline?

Are you wondering what the best timeline is for setting up your Social Security benefits? If you have listened to my show at all, you know by now that I am a fan of maximizing the largest of the Social Security checks by delaying those benefits for as long as possible. Grow the larger Social Security check for as long as possible to help you build the foundation of your retirement plan.

But what about the second Social Security check? 

If you are married then you likely have 2 Social Security checks to look forward to. Should you delay taking that benefit until age 70 as well? 

I recommend waiting until full retirement age to file for this benefit, but keep it in your back pocket as a contingency plan. So, in case of a market downturn, you can be ready to turn on this benefit rather than dip into your savings before the market bounces back.

If you enjoy staying up to date on the latest retirement news, make sure to sign up for the Every Day Is Saturday newsletter. 

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Sep 21, 2020

 Have you been wanting to know a bit more about Biden’s tax plan without all the political spin? Me too! That’s why I dug deep to find the best information that I could share with you all. I promise, no politics here; just relevant information to help you best prepare for an amazing retirement. 

In addition to learning how Biden’s tax plan could affect your retirement, I’ll answer a couple of listener questions. You’ll hear questions about TSP’s and Roth IRA conversions. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:15] Biden’s first proposal is to repeal the tax cuts
  • [6:41] Biden’s proposal has some tax incentives as well
  • [8:47] Takeaways from these proposals
  • [11:02] The TSP in retirement
  • [14:11] How to structure your Roth IRA conversions

What’s the buzz about Biden’s tax proposal?

There has been a lot of buzz about Biden’s tax plans in the news, but it can be challenging to find what those plans are without all of the political mumbo jumbo thrown in. I had to do some research, but I used the least politicized source I could find, TaxFoundation.org. Joe Biden has planned to raise taxes in several areas for certain groups of people, however, he has proposed a variety of tax incentives as well. Listen in to find out what Joe Biden’s tax proposal entails and how it could affect you.

How could Biden’s tax plan affect your retirement?

At the end of the day, all you want to know is how the proposed tax changes could affect you and your retirement. What I want you all to understand is how important it is to build a flexible retirement strategy. You don’t ever want to jump all in or all out of the stock market. The middle ground will save your retirement in times of uncertainty.

Your retirement is more important than what is going on in Washington. If you have a portfolio consisting of half stocks and half bonds then you can even live off your bonds for an entire presidential term. 

Remember, the stock market doesn’t care who is president. The top companies in the world will continue to succeed regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. 

Taxes will always increase over time 

Another key takeaway that I want you all to remember is to pay the devil you know. Both portfolio values and taxes will likely increase over time. So, if you are newly retired with some tax flexibility it makes sense to pay more taxes now to prevent yourself from paying a lot more later. Remember, pay taxes like a pessimist and invest like an optimist.

What will you learn from our listener questions?

Our listener questions today involve are about Thrift Savings Plans (TSP) and how to structure Roth IRA conversions. I’m not an expert in TSP’s, but if you are a government employee you’ll want to listen in to discover an excellent resource to help you plan your federal retirement. Stick around till the end of the episode to learn how to thread the needle and avoid a hefty tax burden with your RMD’s.

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Sep 14, 2020

Have you ever hear of a bank bail-in? You read that right, bail-in, not a bail-out. I hadn’t heard of this concept until recently and wanted to share it with you so that you understand how it works. Listen in to understand how this buzzword could be used to trick you into worrying about your savings. You’ll also hear the latest about the Fed’s plans for interest rates in the coming years. Stay informed of the latest in retirement headlines on this episode of Retirement Starts Today. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Is bail-in a new buzzword? 
  • [6:04] What does FDIC insurance cover?
  • [9:42] What protections are offered for investment accounts?
  • [12:27] The Fed is planning to hold rates at zero for 5 years or more
  • [15:11] What is a bond barbell?

What is a bank bail-in?

We’re all familiar with bank bailouts. These government-funded cash injections designed to prevent the collapse of a failing bank. Bank bailouts are unpopular across the board, from democrats to republicans to everyone in between. 

A bail-in is also a way to prevent the collapse of a failing bank. But rather than being funded by taxpayers, bail-in money comes from deposit holders and creditors. The bank is allowed to convert its debt into equity to increase its capital requirements. How does this affect your money? Listen in to hear why a bank bail-in isn’t as worrisome as you may think.

What does the FDIC insurance cover?

The FDIC insures each bank account up to $250,000 per person per bank. This insurance covers checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CD’s, etc. However, the FDIC doesn’t cover stocks, bonds, annuities, and life insurance. Generally speaking, the FDIC doesn’t insure anything that is considered to be an investment. 

What is SIPC?

Now you know that investments aren’t covered under FDIC, but are investments covered by any type of insurance? Similar to the FDIC for bank accounts there exists the SIPC for brokerage accounts. SIPC is the acronym for Securities Investor Protection Corporation. SIPC covers up to $500,000 in the event that your brokerage financially fails. It is important to remember that this insurance is not protection against poor investments. Did you know about SIPC?

What do zero interest rates mean for your portfolio?

The Fed announced recently that it was planning on keeping interest rates near zero for five years. So, what does this mean for you? Well, unfortunately, that means that bonds won’t pay much interest in the near future. 

Do you need to drastically change your investment outlook? Obviously I’m not here to give you investment advice, but if you have a Swiss Army Knife portfolio that is adaptable then you should be just fine. Learn why you may want to start using a dynamic withdrawal strategy and how that can help you weather any storm in retirement by listening to this episode of Retirement Starts Today. 

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Sep 7, 2020

You may be wondering why I have invited Shark Tank star, Kevin Harrington on the show today. I often talk about how becoming a mentor in retirement is an amazing way to continue to get fulfillment while still enjoying the benefits of retirement. When I discovered that Kevin has a new book out called Mentor to Millions, I knew that my listeners could learn a lot from this interview. Kevin has mentored many business owners and can help you learn what it takes to become a powerful mentor. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:02] A mentor changed Kevin Harrington’s business
  • [5:52] How can you become an amazing mentor
  • [11:10] How to decide on compensation?
  • [13:20] What kind of calculations does he use to make deals on Shark Tank?
  • [19:08] Is there any mentee he is particularly proud of?

A retired mentor changed Kevin’s business

Kevin was already a successful business owner, but he couldn’t figure out how to get banks to loan his business any money. He was struggling to stay on top of inventory since the profits he was making had to go directly back into the business to buy more inventory. He went to every bank he could think of to try to get a business loan, but none would loan him the money he needed for his business. 

That is when he decided to seek the help of a mentor. A retired finance expert took him under his wing and showed him how to make bank presentations. This help changed the course of his business. 

How can you become an amazing mentor?

The mentor-mentee relationship is a symbiotic one. As a mentor, you need to ensure that you find a mentee that fits. Make sure that your skill set matches what the student is looking for. 

It’s also important to clearly understand and define expectations. Ask yourself and your student these questions. What are the terms of this relationship? How often will you communicate? What are the terms of service? What are the deliverables? 

What will you get out of becoming a mentor?

There are many ways of being a mentor. You could provide your services pro bono, you could charge a fee, or even use some combination of the two. If you do decide to charge for your services make sure that the terms of the service are crystal clear. 

There are more than just financial benefits of becoming a mentor. In addition to the fulfillment that you get from helping someone out and passing on your expertise, you could create additional contacts and build key relationships. You never know where the role of mentor could take you.

Check out Kevin’s new book

Kevin’s new book is called Mentor to Millions and is coming out soon and it is now available for preorder. If you order his book through his website KevinMentor.com you can receive 30 days of free mentoring! His book will teach you how to develop a strong mentor-mentee relationship and you’ll even learn about Kevin’s role as a mentor. 

Connect with Kevin Harrington

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