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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: November, 2020
Nov 30, 2020

Welcome to Retirement Rewind! Each year I take the holiday season off from podcasting to spend more time with my family. The good news is that I prepare my favorite episodes from the past for you to enjoy. 

This episode is an interview with Fritz Gilbert over at the Retirement Manifesto blog. In this interview, Fritz and I discuss his new book, Keys to a Successful Retirement as well as his firsthand experience now that he has recently retired. If you’ve already listened to this episode before you might be surprised to hear the tidbits that you forgot about and if you missed it the first time around, you won’t want to miss the interview this time.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:37] Why your first cup of coffee in retirement is the best cup of your life
  • [5:22] Retirement advice for a 38-year-old
  • [9:53] If you only had $500 to spend on retirement education what would you do?
  • [13:28] Are we in the golden era of Roth Conversions?
  • [16:27] A question about chapter 4 of Fritz’s book
  • [20:21] How to create the ideal retirement

You have to experience retirement to really understand it

Fritz spent years leading up to retirement trying to understand what retirement would be like. However, after finally retiring, he realized that it isn’t something that you can explain to others. You have to actually experience it yourself to understand. I like his analogy of having a locked door in front of you your whole life and on the day of your retirement, you are finally given the key. What do you think? Do you think the feeling of retirement can be conveyed to others?

More than half of all people retire before they think they will

Save, save, save! Even if you are one of those people that think they will continue working forever, it is still important to save for retirement. 60% of all people are forced into retirement before they have planned. What if you were forced into retirement tomorrow? Would you be ready? What are you doing now to help yourself prepare for the inevitable time when you won’t be able to work anymore?

What is the biggest bang for your buck for learning about retirement?

I asked Fritz how he would spend his money if he only had $500 to spend on learning about retirement. It’s not a lot of money to spend on such an important topic, but fortunately, there is so much free content available; you can learn just about anything without too much money. YouTube, podcasts, and blogs provide a lot of information for free. 

Fritz would spend his $500 in one of two ways. He loves books and feels like they provide a wealth of information. He also values the money he spent on hiring a CFP for a once over on his accounts. As a DIY investor, the peace of mind of having a professional give him the green light was invaluable. If you only had $500 to spend learning about retirement how would you spend it?

Create your ideal retirement by embracing your passion

Retirement is a fantastic time to devote yourself to the passions that you’ve had to put on the backburner during your working years. Do you have a passion? How will you pursue it in retirement? If you don’t have a passion yet a curious mind can take you a long way to discovering one. Fritz found a passion that he never knew he had. Find out what it is by listening to this interview. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Fritz Gilbert

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

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Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podbean, Player FM, iHeart, or Spotify

Nov 23, 2020

Are you worried about what the election means for your retirement portfolio? Many people are tempted to make big changes to their retirement savings to reflect their election concerns. On this episode of Retirement Starts Today Radio, you’ll learn what you can do to your portfolio if you are nervous about the transition. You’ll also hear what the new RMD tables mean and how the Biden proposals could change the entire retirement landscape.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:12] What do the new RMD tables mean for you?
  • [4:40] How much is the next Medicare Part B premium increase?
  • [7:40] Should you make big changes to your retirement plan because of the election?
  • [11:50] Which Biden proposals could affect you and your retirement?

What do the new RMD tables mean for you?

Since people are living longer than ever before, the IRS has finally decided to acknowledge these longer lifespans by updating their Required Minimum Distribution tables. According to the longer retirement timeline, retirees can take out smaller mandatory distributions and spread them out over a longer period of time. 

What does this mean for you? You can expect to see smaller tax bills and larger IRA balances compounding over time. Listen in to hear the details and learn why this new tax table may seem familiar.

Should you make big changes to your retirement plan because of the election?

Thankfully, we’re not here to discuss politics. You can go just about anywhere else on the internet for that. However, I do want to touch on the changes that may arise due to the election. 

An election year often brings about strong feelings one way or the other and many people feel that they need to make changes to their portfolio based on what they hear on the news. Just because there is an election doesn’t mean that you should make big changes to your retirement portfolio. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that there may be between 4 and 8 presidents in office over the course of your retirement.

Major global policy shifts don’t equal major portfolio shifts

Even if there are major shifts in global policy you only want to make tiny shifts in your portfolio. If you listen in I will give you specific examples of what you can do to prepare for the future transition without changing the essence of your portfolio. 

I do want to clarify that you should never take advice from me or anyone that you find on the internet. Regardless of who is running the country, I want you to have an amazing retirement.

Which Biden proposals could affect you and your retirement?

One of Biden’s proposals could completely change the retirement landscape. How would your retirement plans change if the Medicare age was lowered from age 65 to 60? At this point, it is just a proposal. Stay tuned in to Retirement Starts Today Radio over the coming months to hear the latest on this Biden proposal as well as his plans for Social Security.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on

Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, orSpotify

 

Nov 16, 2020

After you finally get Medicare all figured out and everything in place, the last thing you want to do is ever think about it again. But unfortunately, you need to review your Medicare coverage annually. 

Danielle Roberts is back, yet again, to help us understand what we need to do annually to review our Medicare plans. In this episode, you’ll learn what to do if you have a prescription drug change, if your Medicare Advantage plan gets discontinued, and how to change from supplemental plans to advantage plans and vice versa. There’s loads of information in this episode so make sure to pay attention so that you don’t miss any details. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] What do we need to think about each year when it comes to Medicare?
  • [5:05] What to look for when you receive your annual notice of change
  • [10:01] How to change from a Medicare supplement to an advantage plan?
  • [14:43] Is switching between Medigap plans easy to do?
  • [17:35] What is in store for Plan F?

What is the annual election period?

The Medicare annual election period runs from October 15 - December 7. This is the time when you can enroll in, change, or disenroll from a part d drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. 

What to look for when you receive your annual notice of change

When Medicare sends your annual notice of change it will lay out all of the benefit changes for the next year. This is one Medicare notification that you do not want to toss in the garbage. Take some time to go over this document to look for premium changes as well as changes in drug tiers for all of your medications. Even if you are happy with your current plans, it is still a good idea to check your coverage. Listen in to learn what you can learn from the MyMedicare.gov website. 

What if I want to change my Medicare supplement to an advantage plan or vice versa?

If you are looking to change plans you can do so during the open enrollment period which also takes place from October 15 - December 7. It’s quite easy to switch from a supplement to an advantage plan. Simply enroll during the open enrollment period and then cancel your supplement. There are no health questions to answer. However, if you would like to switch from an advantage plan to a Medigap plan, it is more complicated. Discover the order of events that must take place by hearing it straight from Danielle Roberts.

Is switching between Medigap plans easy to do?

Switching between Medigap plans generally requires a health screening and underwriting which is why it is important to wait until you have been approved for a new plan before canceling your old plan. 

Using a broker can help you understand the nuances of Medicare and ensure that you don’t make costly mistakes. Learn more about Boomer Benefits at BoomerBenefits.com

If you haven’t listened to all 4 of the Medicare episodes with Danielle Roberts, I encourage you to head on over to episode 163 to get started. I know I have learned a ton from Danielle’s expertise and you will too. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Danielle Roberts

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on

Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, orSpotify

Nov 9, 2020

Do you know the difference between a Medicare supplement and a Medicare advantage plan? You’ll need to understand their differences to make an educated decision about which to choose when it is time to sign up for Medicare. Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits joins me again to help us wade through the various Medicare supplement choices. Learn how best to fill the gaps that Medicare leaves by listening to this episode of Retirement Starts Today. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:12] What is covered by Medicare supplement plans?
  • [8:00] Medicare advantage plans operate through a network of providers
  • [15:02] Switching between plans may not be as easy as you think
  • [20:24] Dental and vision insurance

What is a Medicare supplement or Medigap plan?

One benefit of choosing the original Medicare route is that the federal government will be processing your claims. While this is a positive aspect of choosing traditional Medicare, it also means that there will be deductibles and a 20% out of pocket cost on your claims. For this reason, it is important to consider purchasing a Medicare supplement plan. There are 10 different standardized plans to choose from, although most people choose one of 3 plans. 

  • Plan F is the Cadillac of plans, it was so popular and easy to use that it is actually being discontinued.
  • Plan G is the next most popular plan. However, it doesn’t cover the $198 outpatient deductible.
  • Plan N is a consumer-driven plan. It has a lower premium, but you pay a deductible and some copays for doctors and ER visits.

Find out why Medicare supplements are ideal for customers with some discretionary spending and frequent medical spending. 

Medicare Advantage plans are becoming popular

Medicare Advantage plans are gaining in popularity. The premiums are lower, but there is less choice for the consumer. You must use only the plan’s network of providers and their approved medications. There will also be extra spending on your part in the years that you have more medical spending. 

If you want to switch from a Medigap to an Advantage plan there is no required medical questionnaire to fill out. However, if you would like to switch from an Advantage plan to a Medigap plan there is a possibility that you could be denied based on your health. 

Listen in to hear what questions you need to ask before you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. 

What about dental and vision insurance?

Many people are surprised to discover that dental, vision, and hearing are not covered by Medicare. This is because in the 60s when Medicare was created, it wasn’t typical for insurance companies to cover these ancillary medical concerns.

There are a couple of options that seniors have when it comes to dental, vision, and hearing. You could purchase a standalone plan which covers these areas. Or you could choose a Medicare Advantage plan that also covers dental, vision, and hearing. 

There is an important consideration you need to be aware of if choosing the Medicare Advantage route. Find out what it is by listening to this episode of Retirement Starts Today. 

Do you have a rainy day fund?

One last consideration that you need to think of is having a rainy day fund for out of pocket medical costs. If you choose a high deductible plan and then you end up needing cancer treatment that year, you could be hit with a $6500 bill. An HSA is a great way to cover this cost. 

Have you listened to all of Danielle’s episodes? If not, head over to episode 163 to get started from the beginning!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Danielle Roberts

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on

Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, or Spotify

Nov 2, 2020

Deciding to retire before age 65 can be a tough decision to make. For most people, this decision will result in an extra $1000 or more a month in health insurance expenses. Retiring after age 65 has its pitfalls as well. On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, Danielle Roberts joins me again to discuss the potential landmines that you need to look out for whether you are planning to retire before or after age 65. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:22] What about retiring early?
  • [6:29] Which is better, shopping on the exchange or going directly to the insurance company?
  • [9:18] How to manage the risk?
  • [13:25] What are some mistakes people make when they retire after age 65?
  • [20:34] Why you don’t want to miss part D drug coverage. 

Should you work longer just for health insurance?

If you are considering working longer just for the insurance Danielle and I both recommend that you don’t. Instead, compare the cost of insurance through COBRA to the cost through the ACA. If you want to retire there are many plans to choose from through the ACA. One way to lessen the costs of insurance is to sign up for a high deductible plan that includes an HSA. That way you are building a healthcare nest egg at the same time. Discover a creative healthcare solution if you or your spouse is significantly younger by listening to Danielle’s advice. 

Which is better, shopping on the exchange or going directly to the insurance company?

It seems that it would be easy to shop insurance companies on your own these days by browsing through the companies websites. But Danielle recommends using the healthcare exchange at Healthcare.gov instead. She finds this to be a better way to compare carriers and their prices. The options are easier to find and the site will display all the plans that are offered in your area. Have you ever used the healthcare exchange? 

How to manage the risk?

Insurance is all about the transfer of risk. When trying to choose between a high deductible plan vs. a lower deductible plan you’ll want to compare your health concerns with your budget concerns. Consider how you use doctors. Do you have monthly visits with different specialists? Or do you visit the doctor once a year for your yearly check-up? If you only go to the doctor a couple of times a year then you don’t need to have a plan with a copay. 

What are some mistakes people make when they retire after age 65?

Many people delay their coverage of Medicare part B when they are still employed after age 65. This is fine while they are still employed, however, it is important to sign up for Medicare part B and D as soon as possible after leaving their employer-sponsored plan so as not to get stuck with a hefty penalty. Listen in to find out what you need to do to avoid penalties or a lengthy battle with Medicare. 

Make sure you are signed up for the Every Day is Saturday newsletter so that you can respond to it and have a chance to receive a free copy of Danielle’s book, 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Danielle Roberts

Connect with Benjamin Brandt

Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on

Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, orSpotify

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