When you read the headlines each day do you feel like you are less and less in control of your finances and what will happen to your money in the long term? You are not alone. The fear of the unknown can lead to stress and anxiety. In a recent survey, more people reported fearing retirement as opposed to DEATH! Joe Anderson, CFP®, and Big Al Clopine, CPA are going lower your stress level and help you take control of your retirement plan today!
- 0:00 – Intro
- 1:45 – Control What You Can Control
- 2:52 – Take Control of Your Retirement Plan
- 4:16 – Some Control: Lifespan Expectancy
- 5:09 – Some Control: Retirement Age
- 6:09 – Some Control: Career Choice
- 6:51 – Some Control: Social Security Benefits
- 7:45 – Download: DIY Retirement Guide
- 8:34 – True/False: When estimating how much money I’ll have in retirement, I should use the historical average for market returns.
- 9:10 – S&P 500 Historical Annual Returns
- 10:49 – Out of Control: World Events and S&P Performance
- 12:02 – Out of Control: Inflation
- 13:30 – Out of Control: Health Care Costs
- 14:23 – Download: DIY Retirement Guide
- 15:03 – True/False: If you invest in your work 401(k) plan then you don’t need to deal with the asset allocation or location of your investments.
- 17:10 – Total Control: Asset Location and Allocation
- 19:20 – Total Control: Savings Goal
- 20:38 – Ask the Experts: I had to borrow money from my retirement fund this year. Is it a good idea to sell off stocks that are not performing well to help lower the tax consequences of taking the money out of my account?
- 20:42 – Ask the Experts: How do I decide what type of investments are right for an HSA account? Do you do the same type of risk assessment as your other investment accounts?
- 22:99 – Pure Takeaway
- 22:36 – Download: DIY Retirement Guide
Make sure to subscribe to our channel for more helpful tips and the latest episodes of “Your Money, Your Wealth.”
Joe: You know, in life, there’s things that you can’t control and there’s things that you cannot control. Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that they can control the uncontrollable. Are you one of those people? Welcome to the show, everyone. The show is called Your Money, Your Wealth®. Joe Anderson here. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, President of Pure Financial Advisors. That’s Big Al.
Al: How you doing, buddy?
Joe: Hello, Big Al. How are you today?
Joe: You know, why do people believe that they can control the uncontrollable? It’s fear. It’s fear of the unknown, especially retirement, right? Check this out. More and more people have a fear of retirement over death, right? If you think about that, that is insane. Here’s the order. I think it’s public speaking, then it’s death, then it’s retirement, right? And why is that? It’s because we don’t have a strategy, we don’t have a plan, and we are fearful of the unknown. Let’s clean that up. That’s today’s Financial Focus. Let’s start here. What are the most frightening things that people are worried about? 87%, feeling that they won’t have the income that they’re used to in retirement. And then, of course, here’s a big one, too–healthcare. Do they have enough cash to afford any type of medical issues that happens later in life? Another. Do they have a right savings plan? Almost 80% have no clue how much they should be saving. This is when we start making mistakes or thinking that we can control things that we cannot. Let’s control the things that you can. Let’s bring in Big Al.
Al: All right. Controlling what you can control in retirement. So, there’s 3 categories we’ll go over. There’s things that you have some control over, right? At least a little bit. Things that you absolutely do not have control, and there’s things that you do have control. And, Joe, it’s–I think people do get confused. It’s like they think they can control, like, the stock market or things like that. There’s certain things you just can’t control. You can adapt to, right? You can have strategies to mitigate things you can’t control, but you can’t necessarily control things like the stock market.
Joe: Well, you can’t control everything, right? We want you to have total control over your overall retirement. And I said “overall,” “overall” twice because it’s that important to take total control. Let’s start. Look at this beautiful graph. Lot of stuff going on here. Total control. What is that all about, right? How much money that you’re saving. We can control that to some degree, right? You want to buy a new car or save into your 401(k) plan. Asset allocation. How are you allocated in regards to stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash? Here’s some things that you can control, or somewhat. Maybe your earnings, right? Are you getting better at your overall job? Are you getting raises? Your lifespan. Are you like Big Al? Right? Vegan. Don’t touch any bad stuff. He’s gonna live to 200 years old. But the things you cannot control that are totally out of our control– stock market, right? We’re seeing a crazy volatile stock market. Inflation through the roof and it’s like, “Oh, can I control this?” We want to, but it’s just impossible. It’s totally out of our control. And then also policies in regards to taxation. If they increase taxes, lower taxes, whatever, we have very little control over that. So, let’s start taking total control of our overall retirement and let’s get out of the red here.
Al: Well, I think that’s well said, and so, let’s start with things that we have some control over. So, lifespan. We’ll start with that. Now, of course, we don’t have total control over that, but there’s things we can do to improve our odds for living longer, right? And if you look at the statistics right now, I think this was from 2019, you look at a 65-year-old individual. Men live on average to age 85. 62% will make it 85. Women, 71%. Interestingly enough, when you think of a couple, joint life expectancy, that one of them will still be alive at 85, that’s 89%, and you can see the statistics at 90 as well. But how can we improve that? I think everyone already knows that, right? Exercise, diet, manage your stress, sleep better, relationships. Make sure you got good relationships, right? Have a purpose. Have activity. These are all things we already know, but it’s–gets very important in retirement to keep yourself younger and healthier.
Joe: I’m gonna break the odds, Al.
Al: You are.
Joe: I like cigars and Scotch.
Al: Ha ha! All right. Well, I’ll go on the other side of you.
Joe: Yeah, you’re green juice and marathons. So, all right. Another thing that you can control is your retirement age, right? So, this is interesting. Most people that are surveyed, they say, “Hey, I would like to retire at 68 years of age or maybe even older than that,” but in actuality, people retire a lot earlier. So, the average age of people retiring is 61, even though that most people want to retire a little bit later. So, can you control this? In some degrees you can’t, but in a lot of cases, you can.
Al: Well, I think that’s right, and really, so, about half the people, they have no control over it. They get laid off or they have healthcare issues, or they have to caregive for a spouse, right? For a parent. Something like that. So, you don’t have complete control over that, but to the extent the other half of you, you get to decide when you retire, so, you do have some control over there, but just realize that at least statistics would say that people are retiring earlier than they want to. At least half of the people. And so, you gotta have a plan for that.
Joe: Yeah, also looking at career path. Go to a trade school and have a very good income. Let’s say as a plumber, or a carpenter, or, let’s say if you want to stay in academia, you could be a professor. These are really good incomes but you want to make sure that you understand, OK, what career path should I be taking? Am I making enough money or should I make a switch there?
Al: Yeah, and I think, Joe, also on that is regardless of what career path that you take, there’s things that you can do to make yourself more valuable, right, by adult education, by self-study, reading, studying up, just being a better employee. Those are ways to increase income, which ultimately can increase what you save and affect the quality of your retirement.
Joe: Social Security benefits. You could claim early, you would get a haircut there, right? Or if you can delay your Social Security, right, you’re going to receive a lot higher premium on your overall benefit. Well, some people can’t, right? They need the cash flow, so, they have to take it early to get that haircut. But if there’s some planning that you can do around your Social Security benefits, right, that can increase the overall income. Increase your income to get a more comfortable retirement.
Al: Yeah, and, Joe, I think some people have little trouble with percentages. Here’s some real dollars. Like, let’s say if your benefit at full retirement age is a couple thousand dollars, if you take it early, at 62 it’ll be more like $1,400. If you wait till age 70, it could be about $2,500, right? There’s an 80% swing from 1,400 to 2,500. That can make a huge difference in your retirement. And you’re right, Joe. Not everyone can do that ’cause they need the cash flow. But if you can, it can be a great thing.
Joe: Go to our website. It’s our DIY retirement guide, our bestseller. yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Click on that special offer. It’s a DIY retirement guide. Do-it-yourself retirement. Download it right there on your computer. That’s our gift to you this week. We gotta take a break.
Joe: Hey, welcome back to the program. The show is called Your Money, Your Wealth®. Big Al over there. I’m Joe Anderson. We’re talking about things that you can control, things you can’t control, and some things are in between. We want you to take total control over your retirement, so, go to our website. yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Click on that special offer. It’s our DIY retirement guide. You know what that means? It’s do-it-yourself retirement, right? Get all the answers that you need to make sure that you have a successful retirement. That’s our special guide. yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Let’s see how you did on the true-false.
Al: When estimating how much money I’ll have in retirement, I should use the historical average for market returns. Well, I would say that’s probably false for a few reasons. One is when you think about the market, maybe S&P 500 or Dow Jones or NASDAQ, but let’s talk about S&P 500, Joe, because it’s–it goes up, it goes down. If you retire at the wrong time, sequence of events, issues?
Joe: Right. I think it’s an OK start, right? At least you have some knowledge behind this. 1957 to 2001, the average annual return was 11.8, right? In–never since 1957 or 220–or 2021 did the stock market do 11.8% in any given year. It’s an average. So, that might be a little rich, right, especially for your overall retirement strategy, so, you might want to use something a little bit lower. Maybe something more conservative. 6%, 7%. Just so you can secure a better retirement, because if you’re gonna bet on these high returns, and also, look at the gyrations of the overall market. You know, if you retire here, right, when the market’s down 10%, 20%, 30%, right? You had a million dollars. Now it’s worth 700,000, right? So, is that gonna be a really good time to retire? I don’t know. Do you have a strategy in place? A lot of people don’t, so, using an average annual rate of return, I think it’s a good start because they did some research, but it might be a little rich.
Al: Well, yeah. And I think the other thing, Joe, is that when you look at a market and in particular, especially in retirement, you’re going to need more safe assets. So, that’s 100% in the stock market, which you wouldn’t likely do in retirement. You probably want something like 50% stocks or 60% stocks, 40%. So, make sure if you’re using a market, you’re blending markets, and I think for many people, 5% or 6% is probably a conservative way to go, at least so you don’t kind of inflate what you think you can spend.
Joe: You know, if you look at the market itself, right, it did this 11% or so, but there’s a lot of things that happened, right, over the last– since 1985, we had, right, the dot-com bust. Remember that? And then you had the global financial crisis. You had Brexit and then you had the COVID. So, there’s been a lot of things that were like, oh, my gosh, the world’s coming to an end, but if you look at the market itself, has always kind of trended up, right? So, when people try to time the markets to get in and out of the overall markets, then that’s when we make mistakes, but we think we can control it. Hey, some really bad things are happening, so, let’s get out. The problem is, is that you gotta have two really good guesses. Know when to get out but, more importantly, when do you get back in?
Al: Yeah, Joe. How many people have we talked to that got out maybe before the Great Recession? 2008, let’s just say, and they were so proud of it and it’s like, great, but those same people, you talk to them today, they’re still not in the market. They missed the longest bull run in the history of our stock market, because they didn’t know when to get back in. And so, a better approach, we believe, is to have the right investments, the right balance, globally diversified portfolio, low cost, but stay in the market. Rebalance tax-loss harvest as appropriate.
Joe: Here’s some things that are out of our control and we’re all feeling the effects of this right now is inflation. Right? If I go back to 1997, Al, some really expensive milk.
Al: Yeah, that was pretty– that was top-notch.
Joe: Top-notch milk, 1997, was about 5 bucks. You look today, you want some really good milk? It’s gonna cost you about 9, right? We–you can get some cheaper milk, right? But if you want the good stuff, right? So, $5.00. So, that’s a 73% increase from 1997 to 2022. We see a huge spike in that overall inflation. I mean, you gotta have good milk on the table, right?
Al: You gotta have the best milk possible. Actually, the real numbers are about $2.50 from 1997 to a little over $4.00 right now. But the point is the same, right? Inflation’s real. It’s gone up over 70%, right, in this period of time, and so, you gotta plan for that in retirement. A lot of us are living in retirement 25, 30, 35 years. Whatever. We’re living longer, medical advances, we’re taking better care of ourselves. So, just make sure you consider inflation. You can’t control it but you need to have a– in your forecast, you need to include it in the future.
Joe: Right. I mean, we just talked about the overall markets and what target rate of return that you need for your overall portfolio. This is why we need to invest to some degree, right? You have to outpace inflation. So, if we just sit in cash, OK, well, then we’re just losing money safely, if you will, right? So, you have to make sure that you have that strategy to combat this. And then finally, healthcare costs, right? So, you’re spending about on average, age 65, about $500 a month. At 95, it’s about $1,500. So, make sure you prepare for this, Big Al.
Al: I better, ’cause I’m gonna make it to 95.
Joe: But you know, this $500 a month, it seems, you know, a little–it’s like, “OK, I can handle that,” versus the scare tactics that you might hear is that, you know, you need $350,000 just to pay for medical expenses. And then most people are like, “I don’t even have $300,000, so, all my money’s gonna go to medical.” Well, no, if you break it down monthly, it’s still expensive.
Al: Still expensive but it’s a better way to think about it, and you’re right. Fidelity every year comes up with what are your total healthcare costs? 65-year-old couple for the rest of your life. And the latest number was $315,000, as you said, Joe, but that’s not a good way to think about it. Break it down into monthly, make sure that that fits into your budget, to your income, that you can afford it.
Joe: You know what? If you want to do this, do it right now. Go to our website. yourmoneyyourwealth.com. It’s our do-it-yourself retirement guide. Click on it, download it, read it, and take total control over your retirement. We gotta take another break. We’ll be back in just a second. Show’s called “Your Money, Your Wealth.”
Joe: Hey, welcome back to the show. Show’s called “Your Money, Your Wealth.” Joe Anderson here. I’m a certified financial planner. Big Al Clopine is a CPA. We’re talking about taking total control over your overall retirement. Sometimes we think we can control the uncontrollable. Stop doing that and understanding the things that you can control can help you along in your overall strategy. If you need help, go to our website– yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Click on the special offer. Guess what? It’s a do-it-yourself retirement guide. DIY retirement guide. It’s got a nice ring to it and everything. Special offer. Click on the guide, download it, and start taking total control over your retirement. Now let’s see how you did on the true-false question.
Al: If you invest in your work 401(k) plan, then you don’t need to deal with the asset allocation or location of your investments. True or false? Well, that’s kind of half and half, right? So, asset allocation means how much stocks you have versus bonds, what kind of stocks, large company, small company, growth value, international, emerging markets, different kinds of bonds. You absolutely do need to consider that. But asset location means how much of each asset class do I put in, like, a non-retirement account or a Roth or a work plan? That doesn’t necessarily apply in a 401(k).
Joe: Yeah, and that falls over here, that you can take total control over that. So, you have a 401(k) plan. You could pick your overall asset allocation. What you can’t control is the overall market returns. So, some people think that they can control it, or control their overall investment decisions based on market movement. So, they’re timing the markets. They’re hearing some forecasts and they’re like, “Ooh, that sounds terrible.” So, they’re getting out. And guess what? The forecast never comes true and then they miss out on a huge run. And then they buy back in. Now they’re buying high. And then the terrible thing happens and then they’re like, “Oh, dude,” and then they sell, right, and then it’s totally out of their control and they lost out on their overall retirement. We talked about savings and spendings. Earnings. Lifespan. Right? Start thinking about things on this side of the spectrum and stop thinking about these.
Al: So, asset allocation, very simply, is how much you have of each asset category. Might be stocks and bonds, cash, real estate, whatever it may be. Commodities.
Joe: Location is if you have money in a tax-free account, like a Roth IRA or a brokerage account, just anything outside of a retirement account, and, of course, your tax-deferred or your retirement accounts, right? So, Al just talked about your overall types of assets in regards to asset allocation or diversification, but in some cases, you can up the ante a little bit, right, and juice your overall returns if you understand the taxation of how your income is gonna come out in overall retirement. So, tax-free dollars, you probably want to hold more stock-type investments, because they have a higher expected rate of return, and guess what? You’re not gonna be taxed on it. If I have a tax-deferred or a retirement account, those are gonna be taxed at ordinary income, so, almost the highest of rates. So, if I have my stocks here, right, and I get a nice return, just know I’m gonna lose more of it because I have to pay taxes when I take those distributions, right? In your taxable accounts, these are taxed at a capital gains, so, you can tax-loss harvest, you can tax-gain harvest. There’s all sorts of different strategies that you gotta be thinking about in regards to your overall retirement. So, these are things you can absolutely control. The taxation on your distributions in retirement. That’s the most control you ever have almost in your life in regards to taxes, and most people fail to have that right strategy.
Al: Well, that’s right, and very few people think about this, right? And so, some of you, you’re watching this and you say– you’re thinking, “I don’t have any tax-free.” Well, you can get it, right? You have money in your 401(k), your IRA, you can do what’s called a Roth conversion. You just take some money out of the IRA and you convert it to a Roth, right? You have to pay tax on what you convert but think about this. All future growth income and principal is tax-free. Tax-free for you as you pull money out. If you pass before your spouse, tax-free for your spouse. You both pass, tax-free to your kids. Once you–it’s kind of like ripping the Band-Aid off, right? You go ahead and pay the tax one time, then that all future growth income principal is tax-free.
Joe: So, we’ve talked about, all right, asset allocation, asset location, tax diversification, and everything else, but, how much money do you need to make sure that you can provide yourself with the lifestyle? But let’s say you’re 50 years old, all right? How much money should I have in my piggy bank? Well, it’s 6 times your annual salary. So, what does that mean, right? If you’re making $100,000 a year at age 50, look at your checking account, bank account, IRAs, 401(k)s, Roth accounts, brokerage accounts, whatever. You should have about 6 times that $100,000, so, $600,000. Right? If you’re 40, it’s 3 times. So, if it’s that same number, it’s 300,000. If you’re 67, it’s 10 times. Right? So, 100,000 times 10, that’s that million-dollar mark. OK? So, of course, there’s a lot of different variations here, but at least you know if you’re kind of on the right track or not.
Al: Yeah, I think that’s right. Fidelity does this and it’s a good rule of thumb. It’s not perfect, right? If you got a big pension, those numbers don’t necessarily apply. So, just think about that. Now, a lot of people, when they look at that chart, they real– they figure “I’m way behind,” and if that’s you, then take action now. The sooner you take action, the better your retirement’s gonna be.
Joe: All right, let’s switch gears, folks. Let’s go to Ask the Experts.
Al: So, this is from Joan. “I had to borrow money from my retirement fund this year. Is it a good idea to sell off stocks that are not performing well to help lower the tax consequences of taking the money out of my account?” There’s a bit there, Joe. You take that one.
Joe: Yeah, I wasn’t even listening.
Al: I know you weren’t.
Joe: It was so long that I can’t–I think– she took a loan out of her 401(k) plan. She wants to sell some stocks to–but if you take a loan, there is no tax, because it’s a loan. You can pay back the loan. There’s no tax, right? So, if you take a loan of a 401(k) plan, right, you have a payment plan to put it back, you’re paying yourself back, so that’s all good. You usually don’t want to do that, but let’s say you roll the 401(k) out and you didn’t pay off the loan. That’s where the taxable event comes into play. Or maybe she’s thinking, “I have an IRA. I took some cash out of the IRA and I didn’t withhold any taxes.” So, it wasn’t a loan, it was a distribution. Regardless, right, 401(k) loan, no taxes. IRA distribution, fully taxable. So, if you have stocks that are at a loss, it could save you a couple of bucks, but–
Joe: Itt sounds like you need a whole strategy here, because you’re taking loans or you’re taking distributions, and then you’re selling your losers to–it probably, you know, I don’t know. There’s a lot of things.
Al: And I agree with you. So, taking a loan out of a 401(k) is not a taxable event, so, don’t worry about that, but if you took money out of an IRA, it is taxable. If you have stocks that have gone down in value, yeah, it’s a good idea to sell ’em. Tax-loss harvest. But make sure you buy something similar so you’re still in the market, because no one knows when the market’s gonna recover and you don’t want to miss out on that.
Joe: So, what did we learn today? We want you to take total control over your retirement, not some control. Don’t get out of control. Take total control. All right, folks, go to our website. yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Click on that special offer. Get our do-it-yourself retirement guide. Go to yourmoneyyourwealth.com. Click on that special offer this week. It’s our gift to you. You can download it right there on your computer and start taking total control. That’s it for us today. Hopefully, you enjoyed the show. For Big Al, I’m Joe. We’ll see you next time.
• Investment Advisory and Financial Planning Services are offered through Pure Financial Advisors, LLC. A Registered Investment Advisor.
• Pure Financial Advisors, LLC. does not offer tax or legal advice. Consult with a tax advisor or attorney regarding specific situations.
• Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
• Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.
• All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
• Intended for educational purposes only and are not intended as individualized advice or a guarantee that you will achieve a desired result. Before implementing any strategies discussed you should consult your tax and financial advisors.
CFP® – The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification is by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. To attain the right to use the CFP® designation, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill education, experience, and ethics requirements as well as pass a comprehensive exam. Thirty hours of continuing education is required every two years to maintain the designation.
AIF® – Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation is administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies fi360. To receive the AIF Designation, an individual must meet prerequisite criteria, complete a training program, and pass a comprehensive examination. Six hours of continuing education is required annually to maintain the designation.
CPA – Certified Public Accountant is a license set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam is determined by individual State Boards of Accountancy. Typically, the requirement is a U.S. bachelor’s degree which includes a minimum number of qualifying credit hours in accounting and business administration with an additional one-year study. All CPA candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination to qualify for a CPA certificate and license (i.e., permit to practice) to practice public accounting. CPAs are required to take continuing education courses to renew their license, and most states require CPAs to complete an ethics course during every renewal period.