What should you consider when timing your retirement?
David Scranton: What’s true in music is true in life and that is that timing is absolutely everything. Is now the right time to get married, have children, to buy a house? Those are big questions with a lot of factors to consider, so is this one. Am I ready to retire? Ultimately, only you can answer that question, but you’ll probably stand a much better chance of answering it correctly with the help of qualified expert guidance. You are going to get some of that guidance on today’s show plus a whole lot more. It’s time to tune out the hype and focus on the facts. Facts that matter to you, The Income Generation.
Let’s get started. Get ready to separate the reality.
Hello everyone, welcome to The Income Generation. I’m David Scranton your host. So when is the right time to retire? That’s a huge question and it isn’t strictly a financial question. In fact, have enough money and the right financial strategy is crucial of course, but it’s only part of the equation. Your health, psychological readiness and especially your retirement goals factor in heavily, choosing the right time to retire means knowing what you want from your future and preparing for many possible contingencies. The question is…How do you do it? Here to help shed light on that question today is Mary Sterk, author of the brand new book Ready to Pull the Retirement Trigger, your strategic guide to retire with confidence. Mary is another example of this shows a commitment to welcoming fellow experts who share our desire to help everyday Americans protect and manage their money. If we feel that any colleague can bring us unique insights that help us educate our viewers we are happy to have them here. As always, we’ll also talk with other financial advisors in our field that are financial advisors round table and hear from an everyday investor just like you. But, first, let’s talk a bit more about timing as it relates to retirement.[Advertisement]
So which of those children are right? The answer is, they all are. You see culturally we adults are programmed to think of age 65 as the normal retirement age, but in reality, many people retire much earlier than that and many much later. It all depends on you and your individual situation. And, again it isn’t strictly a financial decision. It starts with you and your relationship with your job and your career. Some people like myself, just love their work and can’t imagine being fulfilled by doing anything else. If you are still feeling that way at 65 or even 70 you are probably not ready to retire yet regardless of your financial situation. On the other hand, if your job has become a grind but you are only looking through retirement just to get away from that job you may also not be ready to retire quite yet. You see sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. I have seen many people retire way too early and end up wasting time sitting in front of the television and they are a lot worse off mentally, emotionally than when they are at the job that they kind of sort of hated. Psychologically they really weren’t ready to retire, that’s one reason that I teach the process of preparing for retirement which includes deciding when to retire starts with identifying your retirement goal. You see if your goal is to buy a yacht and cruise around the world for example. There might be one or two of you who have that as a goal, then you now have something specific to help you gauge your readiness. You know you need to have enough savings to make the purchase and to fund the cruise. You know you have to be physically capable and mentally ready. If your goals are to spend your days playing golf, fishing, traveling or spending time with your grandchildren those goals also give you a readiness. Once you feel certain those things are really going to fill the void of no longer working emotionally and psychologically then you’ve made a huge step for being able to answer the question when should I retire. The main thing left after that is to determine whether or not you are financially prepared to meet your goals. In other words, it’s time to explore the question…Will I have enough or more than enough income to go and achieve my goals without depleting my savings? Trying to make that determination without the help of a qualified professional can be risky for many people. There are just way too many complex variables to consider; taxes, social security benefits, pension benefits, required distribution, inflation and the list goes on and on. Even if you don’t retire until the so-called normal retirement age of 65 or so then you still have to plan for up to 30 years or maybe even more of income based upon the front longevity rates. So if you are like most people social security alone probably won’t provide nearly enough income to reach your goal, even if you get the maxim benefits. Its need to be supplemented with income generated from other sources such as; investments. That’s why I believe it’s so incredibly important to make sure those investments are secure, protected as much as possible against another major market crash, and after generating income. But, what exactly does all that look like? Well, here’s an easy example following what I call the 4% flow rule. This is a rule that just a general guideline which basically says that if your assets are perfectly allocated for income then you should be able to take about 4% per year annual income providing you can do it through interest and dividends. Without too many worries of running out of money. If you have an even million dollars let’s say, for example, nice round number in invested assets you can count on it generating $40,000 a year of income. Again if you are perfectly allocated which means allocated primarily towards investments that generate income and dividends. Also, that means, when I say perfectly allocated is that you probably have no more than 30/35% or so in your portfolio in the stock market. Even that ideally is geared more for dividend-paying stocks. Where is the rest? The rest would be in more alternate strategies specifically designed for protection in income. Of course, if you have less than million dollars naturally will generate less, if you have more it will generate more. Whatever that 4% cash flow amounts to the trick then is to combine it with your social security benefits income, any pension benefits you might have and take the total and measure it against your specific retirement goal, against your living expenses. To some degree, the expected length of your retirement although nobody really knows how long you will live. You do all that and then you will be much closer to being able to answer the question is now the right time to retire? Closer but not quite there. Why? Because making that determination can be tricky and there are a lot of factors to consider. I’ll talk more about that a bit later in the show. Right now let’s hear from someone who literally wrote the book on Timing your Retirement, Mary Sterk. Mary Sterk is the owner of Sterk Financial Services based in South Dakota, and author of the new book Ready to Pull the Retirement Trigger: a strategic guide to retiring with confidence. She is also a classic American success story having overcome many obstacles to build a thriving business and a career. Mary was once, a teenage mom living in a low-income housing and raising two small children without child support. Today, on the other hand, she is a highly successful and highly respected wealth management specialist, author, coach, and radio personality and also dear to my own part, my own self an airplane pilot. A great thing that we have in common. Mary welcome to the show.
Mary Sterk: Thank you very much. I am very, honored to be here.
David Scranton: Let’s talk a bit about your story before we dive into today’s topic because it really is inspiring to anybody who is watching the show. You are quoted as saying “if I can achieve this, then anyone can”. Do you totally believe that?
Mary Sterk: You know I do. I think that everybody has the resources within them to achieve the goals that they have. My story can be replicated by anybody who has the drive and motivation to create a brighter future for themselves.
David Scranton: That’s good to hear. That gives hope to some people that are watching our show today that maybe feel a little down and depressed and I agree with you completely. Tell me what attracted you towards this career in the financial industry and helping other people with their money.
Mary Sterk: Well, I came into the industry mostly because I needed to figure out how money worked for myself. By the time I was 19 years old I was already a divorced single mother with 2 kids under 2 years old and I needed to learn how many worked d in order to be able to create a better life for us. I went back to school, I got an education, I got my certified financial planning designation and used that information to help build my own life back up but also then to share that experience and wisdom with people to help them move forward with their own financial journey.
David Scranton: In the 13 seconds or so we have left in this one segment, can you tell me… What is the most important thing you learned that you would like to tell our viewers when it comes to managing their money? That one thing.
Mary Sterk: The one thing is that money buys you choices. That’s what money does and aligning the money that you have with the choices you want to make during your retirement is the [unclear 12:17] with a good retirement plan is all about.
David Scranton: So money doesn’t bring you happiness, but it brings you choices and flexibility which then can bring you happiness so there’s one step in the middle.
Mary Sterk: Absolutely.
David Scranton: Great, I love it, Mary thank you please stick around we have a lot more to talk about right after the break and you are watching the Income Generation.[Break]
David Scranton: Welcome back to the Income Generation. I am David Scranton your host. When you should retire isn’t strictly a financial question. It does come down to numbers once you have identified your goals and you know whether or not you are psychologically prepared. As we discussed earlier it’s a matter of determining whether you can maintain the lifestyle you want and meet your retirement goals once you have added up your social security benefits, other sources like pension income requires minimum distribution as well as your income based upon that 4% cash flow rule that I mentioned just a moment ago. How do you really know that’s enough? Some people do what I call a bottom of the post where they tend to budget and add up all their expenses. I think that’s tedious and sometimes it really cost huge errors and omissions. I am a fan of what I call top-down analysis. In other words, instead of starting by adding up the expenses that you have in retirement, you take the income you have today and you subtract from it the expenses from it that you won’t have during retirement. That’s a top-down analysis. For example, if you are contributing to your 41k and of course you are not going to do that when you retire then that’s an example of expense that you are going to subtract from your current income. If you are making $100,000 today and you are putting 10% in your 41k well now you know that as retiree you can live off $90,000 and have the same lifestyle. How about taxes. You know taxes are 7.65% when you toss in Medicare and that’s money that you won’t be spending because that’s only tax on earned income when you retire you won’t have to pay that. So now you are down around $82,000 of income living the same lifestyle as $100,000 a day. How about your mortgage? Are you going to pay off your mortgage before you retire? If so when your principal and interest paying a thousand a month then you subtract that maybe now you are down to $70,000. In other words, by the time you subtract all the expenses, you won’t have close to retirement in its hypothetical example you may find that $100,000 you make today is equivalent $70,000 of free tax income as a retiree with no negative impact. Will that be enough for sure to maintain your lifestyle and achieve your goals? Well, there are additional variables for you and your advisor to consider but at least you are starting with a hard number identify and specific goals to measure against because now you can add back to that whatever other goals that you have and how much those might cost. So you are much, much closer to being able to identify confidentially whether or not you have enough to retire now. Let’s welcome back Mary Sterk. Mary you know it’s funny because we talked about retirement before and in the book you have the story about a 50-year-old flight instructor and this flight instructor didn’t think that he or she could retire for a long time and you were able to convince this person that really they were only 2 years away from retiring.
Mary Sterk: Right.
David Scranton: Can you talk about that for a minute because that’s a pretty neat story.
Mary Sterk: Yeah that was a great story and we were able to take the top down analysis like you just talked about and figure out what that number was that they needed and then add back in the things that were going to be important to them post-retirement. Like being able to do some traveling and in that person situation they wanted to actually go back to get some additional education in the aviation industry. And so we put a plan together that pinpointed the exact point that given this side saying you would be able to do that. The beauty of this is that it bought them about 8-10 years of their life back instead of having to stay at the job that they were at like they originally thought they’d have to do.
David Scranton: That’s great. So I know with your obvious youthful appearance it’s clear to me you are not going to retire for a long time but maybe that’s a great goal for you to come out and become a certified flight instructor as retirement job many years down the road of course. Have you ever thought about that?
Mary Sterk: I think that would be a lot of fun. I love flying and although I might have a youthful experience I am already a grandmother so I want to fly around the country and watch my grandkids grow.
David Scranton: Well it must be something with that good living in South Dakota to give you a lot of credit. God bless you. You’ve also talked in your book, we talk earlier in the show if you’ve heard about the fact that retirement isn’t just a financial decision and you highlight in the book 2 other major factors to consider and I’d like you to identify those focus areas for viewers, please.
Mary Sterk: I think that retirement really comes down to be like a 3 legged stool and so the first thing is the financial factors that we just talked about but the other 2 legs really are health-related factors as well as, emotional readiness. Emotional readiness can take a lot of different forms but that is a huge component of a solid retirement plan. Health-related matters can be health insurance, healthcare, long-term care type of issues. That’s a second huge issue in retirement and focusing on one of the links of this too without making sure all [unclear 18:44] can really create a problem if you don’t have all of the legs.
David Scranton: Can you think of a story within your client base, maybe somebody that let you after they retired that retire without having all 3 legs in place and maybe they regret it.
Mary Sterk: Yeah so I had several people that have not focused on the healthcare side of things before they retired and I have seen this happen with clients especially with the parents as they had gone through retirement a long-term care of chronic illness and all this tens of thousands of dollars a year after going to the nursing home and leaving the spouse in a bench because they don’t have the same amount of income coming into life on. That’s why it’s so important to take all of those factors into consideration before you pull that retirement trigger to make sure that you have things set up well.
David Scranton: So you have turned this into what you called a 5 step process. It starts with understanding your own money philosophy. I’d like you to talk about the process and also tell us do most people come to understanding their money philosophy or is that a discovery process you have to take them through.
Mary Sterk: The money philosophy is not something that people really even know that they consciously have. Some of these money philosophy really comes from their attitudes about money and those attitudes start from the time that they are very young. I always delve into with people what are their earliest money memories and how is money for them when they grew up because I think that will inform what their money philosophy actually is. I think it starts with understanding how they think and feel about money and then we move into what their goals and objectives are and figure out what they want the next phase of life to look at and then we are able to marry those things together to make sure that the money that they have is aligned well with the lives that they want to live going forward.
David Scranton: You sound like a psychologist now, everything goes back to your childhood right?
Mary Sterk: I think that can sometimes be true. I see a lot of times that people who grew up where money lends easy aren’t as worried about taking risk with it. People who grew up where money was scarce often times have a very deep fear that even though there’s a lot of money in their portfolio there still could be a place where a reason that they run out. So there’s certain fears that are embedded into us depending on how we grew up around money.
David Scranton: Sure, limiting bliss echo right from childhood. I have seen that myself. What are the five steps that you take people through that you mentioned in the book?
Mary Sterk: When you are ready to go through your planning, the first thing you want to do is understand where you are now because all progress really starts at telling the truth about here is where you are today. Then you want to understand where you want to go that’s bringing in the goals and objectives. Then we have to figure out the bridge of how to get there. How do you take all of that information and translate it into something that is going to ensure a comfortable retirement that you never run out of money? So those steps get us to the point where you understand whether or not work is optional for you. I call that the retirement beta. That’s the point where work is optional, doesn’t mean you have to quit but it means you could if you wanted to. That’s really delicious level of freedom for people. Once you know what that point is, then you can align the rest of your life behind that and go ahead and pull that retirement trigger.
David Scranton: You know it’s amazing how much more fun work can be when you don’t have to go to work every day. That’s a very good point. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, time flies when you are having fun. It’s been great today spending time with you Mary, thank you so much for joining us.
Mary Sterk: Thanks for having me on this show David.
David Scranton: Now coming up in just a bit, I’m going to talk more about knowing the right time to retire with my fellow financial advisor at my financial advisors roundtable. Before that Miranda is going to break down into today’s most important financial headlines. Stay tuned, you are watching the Income Generation.[Break]
Miranda Khan: Welcome back to the Income Generation, I’m Miranda Khan. Now let’s take a look at some of the big finance stories that moved the markets this week. The White House kicked off infrastructure week Monday. It’s a subject, the head of J.P Morgan chasing company telling CNBC the US needs to focus on.
Jamie Dimon: We haven’t built a bridge in New York City and we are building one now, the first one like 50 years. I just came from Hong Kong, it’s embarrassing. America the can do nation should get back to building and constructing.
Miranda Khan: Jamie Dimon also says that his things wise policy decisions that corporate tax and regulatory reform will help the economy grow. Business insider reports at Sears and Kmart will close 72 additional stores this year, most of them by September. Earlier this year, the company said that it would close more than 180 locations. The retail chain has loss nearly 1000 stores in just the past 5 years. Amazon is making it easier for people on welfare and food stamps to now get a Prime subscription. The company says that it’s cutting the price of it by nearly a half. The company CEO says he wants to help struggling families. For much more on these stories please visit newsmax.com/finance. I’m Miranda Khan, now back to Income Generation with David Scranton.
David Scranton: Thanks, Miranda. Now that you are all up to date let’s hear from some fellow financial advisors on our financial advisor round table and get their insights on today’s topic. First, today we have repeat guest on another version of our bald is beautiful financial advisor week back with us today is Sam McElroy a partner with At Financial at, At Financial Investments in Chicago, Illinois. Sam specializes in creating customized client focused strategies with solutions for individuals and businesses. Sam, welcome back.
Sam McElroy: Thanks for having me, Dave.
David Scranton: And also back from the great state of Connecticut is my good friend and business partner at Scranton Financial Group Jay Carrier. Jay has been in the business now for over 15 years and he specializes in personalize retirement planning and comprehensive portfolio management. Jay welcome back also.
Jay Carrier: How you doing Dave? Thanks for having me.
David Scranton: You are very welcome. Sam I’m going to go to you first because I want to talk about the psychology. You come from a background in psychology and I like you to talk a little bit about the psychology of being ready for retirement. You probably have some stories in your own client base where somebody retired before they’re ready and it wasn’t the happy event, they thought it was going to be or in some who were being forced to wait long beyond that time and they also weren’t happy. Tell us some stories Sam, read me a bedtime story. Come on.
Sam McElroy: Alright, it’s almost like where do you get started. I feel like there are just so many stories especially when you are primarily focused on retirement planning of success as well as things that haven’t gone well. I think about a particular couple as far as the situation that maybe didn’t work out the way they wanted to. The thing that always surprises me is that is not just about how much you save and things like that. You can have a really good income and a lot of assets but if you haven’t really taken care of the [unclear 27:00] with respect to budgeting taxes, healthcare inflation and just talk through everything, then there is a lot of pitfalls as far as things can go wrong. The couple is both in their early 70s that can go a couple years, they are both attorneys. They actually work firms and have done a lot of work with Universities here in Chicago and literally they have been trying to retire for about the last 5 years now. They have at the home here locally but they also own a home down in Arizona that they have been trying to get to. This was a case where it was really two things. It was being too heavy in the market and getting caught in bad market timing. Number two, really just having too much debt and it becomes this cyclical process for chasing returns and they are also trying to take some of this income and pay down debt. In a sense they are stuck. They have been trying to retire but literally, they just can’t figure out the neighbors to make it work. I think that’s a real clear example of just a situation where not taking care of the basics really led to a problem.
David Scranton: And you know it’s amazing. I have had people that I know quite well who I thought would be wonderful that they would be great retirees when they retire they are miserable 6 months later then went back to work. A lot of people are complete workaholics and I get a cold call one day they are retiring and they are living the best life, unbelievable. In those two cases, it was easy because of the mass worker. Jay tell us what happened when you get somebody that walks into our office in Westbrook Connecticut and they want to retire now but you look at the numbers and they can’t do it, they just can’t make it work. Maybe instead of 4% cash flow rule, they need 5, 6 or even 7%. How do you coach that person? What do you tell them to try to make them happy but yet make sure they don’t get themselves into trouble?
Jay Carrier: It is a tough conversation to have and I think for most people, and you may have talked about this, the difference between they spend their whole life basing their investable assets on performance. They are looking for a set amount of money to retire or they are looking to grow their assets to a particular point. And really the conversation having this goes back to the psychology is trying to convince them or trying to shift or pivot to have more purpose with their money is no one needs to be there for a long period of time now you need to draw from it. I think that’s part of that conversation there’s a lot of things that go into it but making that shift again from performance to having a purpose with your assets seems to be more than psychology behind it.
David Scranton: Which is great. What you are talking about is somebody who is more growth-oriented, they might have enough money to retire, and they just need to make a shift in their asset allocation to more income base strategies because of their goal, their purposes retirement income. That’s the easy part because that’s what all of us do every day of our lives. We go to work Monday through Friday but how about those tough discussions Jay when somebody just doesn’t have enough money and can’t get there. How do you try to explain to them, how much more, how much longer they might have to work and what they might have to do so that they can retire at some point in the future?
Jay Carrier: Well again, you talked about it early is that top-down approach its if you have a set finite number of assets that create that includes maybe a pension, social security and then you have your investible pool of assets that you can draw of it just turns into a mathematical sort of equation. This is what you have, this is what I can produce and now that does that fit into your budget, will you be able to survive or live off this? Surely if the answer is no you just have to start on the plan to do we wait to collect social security later, thus getting a higher amount, do we wait and grow your assets to a different point. Every year that they are not collecting off their assets they are growing them that’s the next 3 year that they can use to sort of budget to include that into their investable network.
David Scranton: If you differ social security pass standard retirement age that grows by an extra 8 percent years, that’s pretty good. Sam, you are from the mid-west of course and you are the quite essential nice guy. Sam, I wish I could say the same for my partner Jay but you know he is easier with those tough love conversation and he knows he is in the best interest of clients but Sam you are a nice guy. How do you master the courage to have these conversations with somebody who is begging you to let them retire? You just let them retire and say well hopefully they die before they run out of money or how do master the toughness to have that difficult conversation with them?
Sam McElroy: Dave first of all this is Chicago so getting rid of people when they are getting ready to run out of money is hard here. Truthfully to me, it’s about being nice. It’s about putting the client first and it’s so much a question of me having to be hard to let them know that they can’t do it but it’s about me being able to coach them through the choices that they are going to have to make. At the end of the day, there are a couple different levers they can pull on here. They could try to cut things out of the budget, they could work a little bit longer, they could do a hybrid approach they could sell some cones. It’s about helping them understand the ripple effects of what these various decisions make and what they want to do but I think the really important part of all this is letting them know that they didn’t fail. I think very often what happens is people look at it and if they don’t have this perfect scenario where the numbers just match up and they are able to make it work they feel an essence like they failed and they have a tendency to go back and think about I wish I started sooner or I wish I did this or that. I think that it’s important for us to be able to help encourage them and let them know it’s not a matter of you failing. It’s really just a matter of things happen in our lives and we adjust from it.
David Scranton: That’s your psychology background. For any of you our Income Generation viewers who have ever been to a shrink, you know that you can say anything. I just went on a mass murdering spree and I killed 16 people in cold blood and the psychologist just looks at you and goes…now how do you feel when he did that. I guess that’s what enables Sam to overcome the nice guy syndrome. Sam, Jay stay with us we have to take a commercial break and for Income Generation viewers, stay with us we have a lot more from both Jay and Sam, we’ll be right back.
David Scranton: Welcome back to the Income Generation, I’m David Scranton and now we have our advisors rejoining us. We have Sam McElroy a partner with At Financial and At Financial Investments in Chicago, Illinois and Jay Carrier, Scranton Financial Group in Westbrook, Connecticut. Thanks for sticking around gentleman.
Jay Carrier: Thank you.
David Scranton: Did I quite pronounce that Illinois and Connecticut, by the way, enunciating the words well. Jay tell me you have had this before, I’ve had this before, Jay what do you do when you get the left brain engineer who comes in there and he is really analytical and he says well I’m 62 and I am retiring early because nobody in my family lived a long life. I have calculated and I can spend my money down over the next 20 years between 62 and 82, spending it down to 0 and I’ll be fine. I am not worried about it simply because nobody in my family has every lived pass these ages. Longevity longer and longer I mean there are no guarantees. How do you handle that person?
Jay Carrier: Well certainly going to start by speaking their language. You know as well as I do engineers love their spreadsheet so you can find an engineer with your own spreadsheet and just use math against him. Certainly, there may be some truth to that but the bottom line is you always have to hope for the best and plan for the worse. I hate to say this but planning for the worse means living longer. Certainly running out of assets is certainly not going to help.
David Scranton: But what do you do. He says look it’s my money, don’t worry about it I’ll sign a waiver just put this plan together for me I want to do this, I want to retire tomorrow. What do you do Jay? Do you take them as a client? You walk away because the liability I mean you want to help the guy that’s why I run this business, what do you do?
Jay Carrier: Certainly it varies across the board. I would probably walk away. I certainly if we did take it out as a client yes we would have them sign waivers, keep very detailed notes but it’s the same thing with a doctor. Someone walked into a doctor and the doctor said you have to stop your lifestyle or you are going to die and the patient said well I’m not going to do that. The doctor is certainly going to continue to do their diligence or probably should be the same thing.
David Scranton: Fair enough. Sam, hope for the best, plan for the worse. How do you in your practice follow that mantra?
Sam McElroy: I think it’s all about having expectations, setting expectations, managing the expectations. I think it’s about doing contingencies planning as well because of a lot of people with retirement which is that they have a tendency to plan up to the date of retirement not realizing things haven’t flow and changed throughout retirement. So making sure you have thought through health care, inflation taxes, survivorship scenarios. Things like that. I think it just kind of the first base. I think the second part of it is just being able to think through once you have a plan that sounds good, looks good, feel good, what could go wrong and instead of trying to poke holes in it that you might be able to find ways to strengthen that and make it incrementally better. I think that’s got to be the idea is that you are going to plan for the best or hope for the best but you got to plan for the worse. So while it’s great to use kind of plan the ideas as far as long-term returns and stuff like that you have got to pull back the basics and say okay what are the known entities established a baseline and what we are looking for this.
David Scranton: Sounds like you are saying a big part of it is educating. Taking time to educate the client. Now, Sam, I hate to break it to you but I don’t know whether it’s because your city is bankrupt or what the story is, but your Skype connection seems to be cutting in and out here so as soon as we get done Sam why don’t you go ahead and call the President he is going to work on the infrastructure there without the Chicago area to get your Skype working better. Is that fair?
Sam McElroy: Sounds good I’m going to lobby in right away.
David Scranton: Right at it, that’s right. So Jay how do you educate clients? How do you educate them before they become a client? How do you educate them after they become a client?
Jay Carrier: Well certainly there’s a lot of places but let me just use one example, let’s take social security which is for most people going to be when you take it the most important decision you make. One thing when it comes to social security is most people they do their break-even points. If I take it now how long do I have to live in order to get
more out of the system? That’s a fair exercise. What we have learned is that in regards to social security, taking it later for almost the vast majority of people I have come across its more beneficial. I’ll give one story, I know you asked for some stories earlier. Just yesterday, the first time in a very long time that I advised a client, it’s one of the spouses at age 62 to take social security take it early. From my experiences, those that should take social security early are either those people that absolutely have to take it or those people that don’t need it. Taking it early means they are simply just getting a little extra income on top of what they already have.
David Scranton: And the break-even point for social security Jay for most people is only maybe late 70s. Statistically, you could very well outlive that. What you talk about is a little bit more when we come back, we need to take a break but for our Income Generation viewers don’t go anywhere we have an exciting new segment right after this commercial break that I promise you are going to love. Stay with us we’ll be right back.[Break]
David Scranton: Welcome back to the Income Generation. I’m David Scranton and I am excited. I am downright fired up to introduce a new feature on our show this week. It’s our first ever Income Generation profile, one talk with a viewer just like you. I find there often times hearing another person story is a great way to address some specific challenges and concerns that you might share. Joining us today is Cindy H right here from the great state of Florida. Cindy welcome to the show.
Cindy H: Thanks for having me and I am excited as well.
David Scranton: That’s great. I am glad you are. It’s funny because you told me before that you recently switch financial advisors and that’s a big decision for anyone. What motivated that change?
Cindy H: It was a major transition in my life at the time when I saw my business and I got divorced and I inherited the substantial amount of money from my parents.
David Scranton: Gentlemen if you live in Florida and you are single, you hear that she’s inherited a substantial sum of money.
Cindy H: I wanted to protect it and so when I was talking to my financial advisors I started asking questions about the different type of income generating avenues and I realize that the product line that he had was purely stock-based. I didn’t have a good feeling about just putting all my money on the stocks because it’s so volatile. That’s why I needed a further education, what other options that they are out there.
David Scranton: He could have educated you. He is a qualified financial advisor. How much did he help educate you about the alternative?
Cindy H: I must admit, I don’t know if he was a qualified financial advisor. I think he was a stockbroker so I found out even above plans. It was a big difference even learning the term fiduciary is important for anybody to know when their beards are picking up.
David Scranton: Sounds like there are two things here. First of all, you kind of outgrew your financial advisor just like you might outgrow pediatrician when you get into adulthood and you have to get an adult primary care physician. Would that be an accurate assessment of what you just described because your needs change but this model was not changing with it?
Cindy H: Correct. So as my lifestyle.
David Scranton: Also education seems to be really important, so tell us in the next 30 seconds or so we have left. Why is education such a big deal? Why is the fact that he really wasn’t able to take the time to educate you about alternatives? Why was that a big push away if you will into the arms of another financial advisor?
Cindy H: I felt that he felt that I didn’t respect him and is now into my ask questions. He goes I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I go please do not take this as an insult to you, I just need to know this being a single woman in 50s and I need to know other alternatives to protect myself. I felt that to honor my dad’s legacy I had to protect.
David Scranton: I love it. Sometimes financial advisors just feel as though they don’t dare question me. I am the financial advisor, just like the doctor, don’t dare question me and that’s unfortunate because, at the end of the day, nobody cares about your money than you do. You have a right to ask any question whatsoever to your financial advisor. Please remember I said that. Cindy thanks so much for joining us on the show today.
Cindy H: Thank you for having me.
David Scranton: Stick around we’ll be right back after a break with the final part of our financial advisor roundtable. We’ll be right back.[Break]
David Scranton: Welcome back to Income Generation I’m David Scranton. With me once again we have Sam McElroy from Chicago Illinois and Jay Carrier of Connecticut. Gentleman thanks for sticking around. Jay, I’m sorry I cut you off right before that last segment when Cindy H was here. Finish telling your story if you can about how you educate clients.
Jay Carrier: First off Dave we’ve known each other for a really long time and educating clients, educating prospects, educating really anybody is really everything in what we do. We will spend point at with a client we’ll spend appointment after appointment making sure that the client completely fully understands and educated on the financial instruments they are about to do. So I would say it’s the focal point of our business.
David Scranton: If you think about it, for the client is a good client and most people want to make the right decisions to make the right decision without any salesmen ship as long as they have the facts. Sam in the last 30 seconds or so we have told us how you in your firm take a more educational approach because I know that you do.
Sam McElroy: Yeah I think that educating clients is quite essential. Our entire process for helping a client become prepared for a client is all around educating them. If you educate a client then you and they should arrive at the same decision and it’s really self-empowering for them as well
David Scranton: Because clients shouldn’t need to be sold on a concept, it’s a parallel path both you working together to help them reach their goals. So Sam McElroy, Jay Carrier, gentlemen thanks once again for being part of the show.
Jay Carrier: Thank you, Dave.
Sam McElroy: Thanks.
David Scranton: And while I’m in the mood of gratitude I’d like to thank all my guest for joining us for another episode of the Income Generation. I’d also like to thank you for our new and returning viewers. Timing can be a tricky thing. When it comes to major decisions in our lives though it maybe these single important thing and most of us understand that we don’t make those decisions easier. We consult people with whom we have trust, friends, family and yes professionals to help us make the best decisions possible and to get the timing right. That’s definitely a tradition worth following when it comes to deciding the right time to retire. It’s not strictly a financial question, but when it comes to the financial aspects it’s extremely complicated. The right professional guidance strategic and personalize can greatly improve your odds of making a good decision and getting the timing right. If you are close to retirement or have retired in the last 10 years and you really want to know how to protect and maximize your money it’s absolutely essential that you stay informed and up to date and right here is where you can do it on the Income Generation. I am David Scranton, thanks again and we’ll see you next week.