My Smart Retirement

Nancy Fleming

Whether you are planning to retire someday, or find yourself already there, you know there’s lots of advice swirling around - some dangerous, some making outrageous claims. Where do you go? Who can you trust? How do you avoid the danger zone? Nancy Fleming with Fleming Financial Services features a weekly show that offers sound, practical solutions to these concerns and more. New episodes offered every Saturday.
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Ep 330: Traditions and Thanksgiving
Ep 330: Traditions and Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving! As we enter the holiday season, we start to think of traditions more and more often. Maybe you always made cookies with your grandmother or perhaps she told you stories about the Mayflower on Thanksgiving. On today's episode, we are going to talk about the first pilgrims and their voyage. How did they face the unknown with such bravery? What can we learn from these stories today? There are probably many reasons the first pilgrims decided to come to America. Maybe it was economic or spiritual, or a mix of both. It seemed like a pretty risky move to brave the unknowns. But they were led with a purpose and by passionate men such as Pastor John Robinson, Samuel Fuller, Peter Brown, and John Goodman. Each of these people had their own story. Many of them left their wives and children at home and sought out to find new land. Later, their families joined them. The pilgrims faced many dangers including the cold and illness. Fuller taught himself to be a physician and spent his life taking care of others. Last year was the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. We can learn many things from these stories and apply them to our own finances and our own life. We hope you have a great holiday!   Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:24 – The pilgrims 2:54 – Pastor John Robinson 5:20 – How did it come about? 7:02 – Let’s look at the people 10:38 – Samuel Fuller 12:19 – Peter Brown and John Goodman   For more, visit us online at https://www.flemingfinancialservices.com/
6d ago
16 mins
Ep 329: Planning for Inflation with Old Time Principles
We have reached the highest inflation rate in 30 years. What can old-time principles teach us about protecting our retirement plan against inflation? How can we protect ourselves? While inflation may seem like a problem for the country's economy, it is also a problem for us personally. On today's episode, we will discuss the inflation rate, wage growth, and how retirement accounts are changing to account for current economic times. As of October, the annualized inflation rate is 6.2%. However, wage and income percentages are not keeping up. The wage rate growth is only 4.9%. This is a problem for those still working and for retirees. Employees aren't seeing their income keep up with inflation and retirees aren't seeing their savings keep up either. In many ways, inflation is a hidden tax. Inflation affects us differently. Whether you are a couple in your 40s with children or a retiree enjoying their retirement in a new home, what you are spending money on looks different. Some things we have to purchase though. Always remember the consumer index report may not be an appropriate benchmark for your situation. If you are in the retirement red zone, the 5 years before retirement and the 5 years after retirement, inflation and market changes will impact you more dramatically. It's always a good idea to look at your unique plan with an advisor. What is the government doing to help? New policies are coming out that are allowing higher contribution limits to certain retirement accounts. Unfortunately, not all retirement accounts are treated equally when it comes to these policies. Currently, those with a 401(K) can contribute $19,500 a year into that account. In 2022, this limit will be raised to $20,500. In contrast, IRAs are still limited to $6,000 a year or $7,000 a year if you are older than 50. As you can see an IRA has significantly more limitations and these accounts are often utilized by self-employed workers and small companies. If you are making your own Roth contributions as a single person your income limit will be $144,000 a year. The marriage penalty limits married couples to an income limit of $214,00 a year. Inflation is affecting many of our lives. From the gas, we buy to get to work to our retirement accounts. Make sure you have a strategy against inflation in your retirement plan.   Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:34 – Buying things with inflation 3:30 – Inflation’s impact on us 5:36 – Inflation going above wage rate 9:46 – When will this problem be solved? 14:34 – Retirement account contributions in 2022 18:51 – Marriage penalty re-instated 19:44 – Write off IRA contribution     For more, visit us online at https://www.flemingfinancialservices.com/
Nov 18 2021
22 mins
Ep 328: Yes...But... - Answering Your Questions
Last week we discussed Social Security earning limits. Whether you want to work a few hours a week or continue with your current career it's important to understand how this impacts your Social Security. You've been paying into this program. You want to make sure you have a strategic Social Security plan. After our discussion last week, we had some listener questions come in. So we are going to answer some of these "Yes...but..." questions and clear some things up about the nuances of Social Security.  "What if I work in the year I reach full retirement age?"  The full retirement age is 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born. If you are younger than your full retirement age the earnings limit is $18,960 a year. If you are at full retirement age your earnings limit is $50,520. Now, if you are working leading up to your 66th or 67th birthday the lower earnings limit only applies to the months before your birthday.  "What if my spouse retires and I continue working?"  A lot of people decide to do this. This can be a great decision for couples and it's important to understand your spousal benefit options. If one spouse retires and one continues to work, the earnings of the working spouse don't count towards the retired spouse's earnings limit. It's going to be person to person.  "Why does the government take 20% of my 401(k) withdrawals?"  It's the law, it's the way it is. Sometimes there isn't a why to our questions, it's just a rule we have to follow. Now there are ways to mitigate this or prepare for this in your plan. You can roll your 401(k) over to an IRA. Your money stays tax-deferred. Then you won't have that 20% tax deduction when you pull out. However, you need to keep in mind that this is still a tax-deferred account and when you reach the age of 72 you will have to start taking required minimum distributions and you'll pay taxes on these distributions. Whether you decide to roll over your 401(k) or not will be specific to your situation. Maybe you are still working and your company is matching what you put in. Or maybe you are fully retired. Whatever your situation is, it's best to meet with a financial advisor that can customize your strategy and plan.    Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:19 – New phone story 3:03 – Quick review on Social Security 5:09 – Working in the year you reach full retirement age 6:21 – What if my spouse retires and I continue working? 9:08 – Should I wait to start Social Security or start sooner? 11:28 – Doing things differently than someone else 12:56 – Why does the government take 20% of my 401(k) withdrawals? 14:23 – Can I get out of paying the 20% in tax? 15:25 – Should I move my 401(k) to an IRA?   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Nov 11 2021
19 mins
Ep 327: Social Security Earning Limits
We have paid into Social Security our whole working lives. However, maximizing your Social Security strategy can be confusing to navigate. We want to make sure you are strategically planning your retirement income. On today's show, we will be answering some questions about Social Security. Since retirees are one of the largest groups of small business owners and entrepreneurs earning limits are important to be aware of. We will be discussing earning limits, pension impacts on those earning limits, and how divorce impacts Social Security eligibility. What is the earning limit for those eligible to take Social Security? Well, it depends on a few factors like your age and when you file. The full retirement age is 66 to 67 depending on when you were born. If you are attempting to take Social Security before full retirement age your earning limit is $1,580 a month or $18,960 a year. If your earnings are more than this the Social Security office takes $1 from your benefits for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. Now, if you are full retirement age your annual limit is $50,520. They will take $1 for every $3 you earn above this limit. These limits are also adjusted for inflation and may change by the time you are in retirement. Does a pension and investment payout count as earnings by the Social Security office? They consider these streams of income very differently. Pensions and investments go on your tax return. Combined with 50% of your Social Security income, these forms of income will determine your tax bracket and therefore your Social Security payments. Some divorcees worry about Social Security benefits after their separation. If you were a stay-at-home parent you are still eligible for some benefits after your divorce. You can qualify for 50% of your ex-spouses Social Security with no effect on them if you are still single at the time you apply. If they pass away before you do, you can apply for 100% of their benefits. This can be confusing to navigate so don't hesitate to give us a call and we can help you develop a maximized plan!   Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:11 – Halloween story 3:21 – Am I earning too much to start Social Security? 7:00 – What does substantial self-employment services mean? 9:15 – What happens if I am above the earning limit? 10:52 – What about a pension and investments? 16:20 – How does a divorce impact Social Security?   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Nov 4 2021
19 mins
Ep 326: A Rose By Another Name
A rose by another name is just as sweet... You've probably heard this saying or a variation of it before. The names we assign things can make our perception of them different, we hold different values towards them. On today's show, we will be discussing the importance of names and values, inflation, and how we can rebrand our retirement plans. Inflation is everywhere in the news these days. The S&P is continuing to hit all-time highs. The cost of living continues to rise. Our perception of these things is often influenced by what we hear from others but they have real impacts on our retirement plans. We keep hearing that this round of inflation is "transitory" but that isn't really true. There has been a 34% increase in money pumped into the economy over the last 18 months. What about inflation rates? It's hard to know when the Federal Reserve will raise them. It may be in July of next year or they may wait until after the midterm elections. Whenever they decide to raise them it's likely to only be a quarter of a percent. So, what are names? What values do we hold in them? We think of rising gas prices when we think of inflation. One example of name importance is the ValuJet crash. In 1996 their jet sadly crashed in the everglades with 110 passengers on board. Afterward, the company had a hard time selling tickets. They combined and rebranded their company with AirTran. After the rebranding they became a successful airline, eventually selling to Southwest. We see this in today's world as well. Did you know Google's real name is Alphabet? Or that Facebook is planning to change its name? These are examples of the power of names. So, when we think of our retirement plan it may be best to rebrand our approach. Instead of setting a budget let's create a spending plan. Rethinking parts of your plan can give you a fresh vision and help your plan grow.   Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:01- Halloween Story 2:16 – Last quarter of the year 3:27 – S&P all-time high and inflation 5:42 – Increased money supply 8:00 – Inflation rates 10:00 – If you can dream it 15:54 – Names and rebranding   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Oct 28 2021
22 mins
Ep 325: The First 3 Stages of Change
There are many phases of change we go through in life. Retirement is one of them. Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program by John C. Norcross details the 6 stages of change. On today's show, we will be discussing the first 3 stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation. These are the mental and emotional hurdles we must go through when we make a change. Learning about the way we transition is an important tool in navigating retirement. The pre-contemplation phase could also be called the denial stage. At this point, you probably don't even recognize there is an issue that needs to be addressed. We see this with couples a lot, one spouse wants to lock down on their retirement planning while the other doesn't see the financial problems that need to be focused on. Usually, spouses are on different phases of change and they must work as a team to make things happen.  After getting past pre-contemplation, we move on to contemplation. Here you understand there is a problem that needs to be looked into. Maybe you are spending too much on takeout or perhaps you are still supporting your adult children. In many cases, this can cause issues in your own retirement. You may not be ready to make adjustments, but you are thinking about the problem and that is leading you down the path of change. You are contemplating how these financial issues are affecting your future and your goals.  The last mental phase is the preparation phase. Now you fully understand that something needs to change. Do you want to retire early? At this stage, you are making a plan to accomplish this goal. You start saving more and structuring your plan to support early retirement. This can be an emotional part of the change, making small easy attainable goals can help keep you on track.  So how do you know where you are? Have you acknowledged a problem that needs to be addressed? Do you realize what needs to take place? It's important to ask yourself these questions and do some self-reflection. You'll want to be emotionally prepared to make the financial decisions you need to. If we want to see changes in our life, we must make changes within ourselves.    Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:16 – A new tree 2:40 – First 3 stages of change 6:22 – Precontemplation 8:30 – Contemplation 10:06 – Preparation 11:46 – What can we ask ourselves? 16:12 – Can you do this? 17:50 – Will you do this? 21:33 – Where these stories go   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Oct 21 2021
24 mins
Ep 324: Unexpected Retirement Income
Sometimes we need to think outside the box when we are working on our retirement plan. There are many ways to fill your income stream, some more traditional than others. Today, we discuss a few unexpected ways you could be making income in retirement. Once you retire you have a lot more time on your hands. You’ll be able to invest more into hobbies you’ve had before or learn new ones. One client of ours had been an avid gardener for years. After retirement, she was able to perfect her growing skills. She found herself making some extra spending money by selling her produce. Investing in a Healthcare Savings Account is sometimes overlooked by people. However, saving in this type of account can come in handy once you are in retirement. HSAs are pretty liberal with what they allow you to spend the money on, but your taxes will be affected depending on where you use the money. If you use it for healthcare, it is tax-free. If it's for another expense you can expect to pay some taxes on the distribution. Having this extra account can be really helpful if there is an unexpected health crisis and it can protect the rest of your retirement savings. Have you thought about renting property or getting a part-time job? In the past few years, people have been building small cottages or studios on their property to rent out. With the market rough for renters, this can be a great way to earn some extra cash. A lot of people also go back to work part-time. You’ve spent your whole working life developing certain skills that can be used in a wide variety of jobs that are low stress. This is also a great way to be social and have a routine during retirement! Speak with your advisor to learn other ways you can find unexpected income streams.   Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  1:03 – Things unexpected 2:58 – Making money from hobbies 6:22 – Health savings account 11:26 – Renting property 12:35 – Part-time job 14:44 – Retirement navigator   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Oct 14 2021
16 mins
Ep 323: Not Ready to Retire?
We talk a lot about preparing for retirement. But what about those of us that don't want to retire, at least not yet? Today, we are going to discuss why people wait to retire and what impacts their decision. Some people really love their careers and they've worked hard to get to their current positions. But do you have a plan if things were to change? Could you retire quickly if you needed to? Companies, health, and circumstances can all change. We want to make sure if things do shift, you have a contingency plan. The fear of boredom, once we retire, is something many of us go through. What will we do with all that free time? Instead of working full time for the foreseeable future think about transitioning to shorter hours. Look into part-time work as a way to spend a few hours a week being social and making some extra cash. You'll want to assess your quality of life at your current job and see if it can be any better. Are you scared you don't have enough money to retire? A lot of us have an idea of how much money we need to retire, a magic number. Many of us are scared we will never get there and will continue to work to reach that goal. However, you need to re-evaluate your plan and see what your money can do for you. How can you utilize what you currently have to retire sooner? Once people meet with an advisor and get a good retirement plan assessment, they are often surprised to be in a better position than they thought. We don't want you to continue working simply out of worry. Listen to the full episode for more details or skip around to certain topics.  0:34 – The people not ready to retire 3:26 – When things change 5:40 – I will be bored if I retire 9:30 – I don’t have enough money 11:51 – Not confident in your plan?   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Oct 7 2021
13 mins
Ep 322: Things You Can’t Trust When It Comes to Finances
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things out there that we shouldn't trust: some people's advice, scams, gas station sushi. The list goes on. So today, we are going to be discussing a few financial items that you may want to look out for and whether you can trust them.  Don't always trust what is on paper.  This can be a difficult thing to change. It can be exciting when an advisor shows us a document with our account goals and predictions on it. But in a situation like this, you should really be focusing on your overall plan with your advisor. At the end of the day, the plan will be how you will reach those exciting numbers.  Don't trust that you are done with fees.   Perhaps you have the idea that you paid fees when you first invested. Or maybe someone told you that you won't have to pay additional fees on an investment. Everything in investing has some type of fee. But don't think of them as burdensome. By investing, you are contributing to the overall growth of your portfolio.  Don't trust money scams. This one might seem obvious, but they can sometimes be tricky to spot. You will want to stay wise to the internet to safeguard yourself against evolving scams. If something feels suspicious, it probably is.  Don't always trust the stock market.  The stock market changes every day and it is nearly impossible to predict and time. Just because the market was down today does not mean that it will be down tomorrow. No one can really know before it happens. Your best strategy is to make sure all of your eggs are not in one basket. The market always has a lot of potential for growth.  Listen to the full episode for more details on financial things you shouldn't trust. 0:20 – Story about trust 2:03 – What are some things we can’t trust? 2:52 – Timing the market 5:09 – Being told there are no fees 6:02 – Money scams 7:55 – Can we trust the stock market For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Sep 30 2021
10 mins
Ep 321: Retirement Lifestyle Planning
Last week, on September 17th, we celebrated Constitution Day. As we reflected upon the constitution and its foundational importance to the success of our country, we began to think of the foundational importance of planning for our retirement lifestyle. On today's episode, we will be discussing our retirement lifestyle choices. After we are done working we will have a lot more free time on our hands. With more time comes more freedom to make changes that we have always dreamt about. We will discuss some ideas we have heard from clients over the years and hope that some may inspire you on your foundational planning journey. Perhaps you are looking for a bit of adventure after retirement like a couple of our clients who have been avid marlin fishers. As they reached retirement this is something they wanted to do more often. Similarly, the RV lifestyle has become very popular within the past few years. Some people even continue this into their 80s! Other ideas include the 'two-house solution' and the 'front porch' lifestyle. Both are about enjoying what you have. The two-house solution is one where people take advantage of two homes in different locations of the country. The front porch lifestyle is about relaxation! Enjoy your free time and have a glass of lemonade on a warm summer evening. Lastly, we wanted to highlight the importance of following your passion after you retire. Maybe there is something you have always felt called to do. Do you want to learn a new hobby? Donate your time to a non-profit? This is a perfect time to do it. It is always wonderful when our clients volunteer and get involved with projects they really enjoy. Whether you know exactly what you want to do when you retire or you are just starting to formulate ideas, having this foundational knowledge will better prepare you for the future. You will be able to set up your financial and retirement plans in accordance with your lifestyle goals. Listen to the full episode for more inspiration!   What we discuss:  0:55 – Constitution celebration 3:13 – Constitution principles 7:51 – Founding our lifestyle 8:15 – Marlin fishing and a second home 10:14 – The RV lifestyle 11:11 – Two house solution 13:09 – If you can dream it segment 19:27 – Front porch idea 20:29 – Following a passion     For more visit us at: https://www.flemingfinancialservices.com/
Sep 23 2021
24 mins
Ep 320: Reaching the Crossroads of Retirement
Retirement is a crossroads in life and we must choose a path to take. With this decision comes many questions. As the famous poem by Robert Frost details, a crossroads is a time to reflect and think over our decisions. Today, we are going to discuss three big questions that may come up when it comes to retirement and which path you should be taking. Our first question is about taking in income while also withdrawing from Social Security.  A common reason that this happens is when someone decides to retire from the corporate world and start their own business. In this situation, you will want to make sure you are setting yourself up successfully when it comes to the taxes you will have to pay. Another question a lot of our clients ask is whether there is a way around minimum distributions on our IRAs. 70 used to be the minimum distribution age, but it has now gone up to 72. Unfortunately, there are not many ways you can avoid meeting the minimum distribution without being penalized. Although if there is a market crash like in 2008 or after the coronavirus pandemic, sometimes minimum distribution requirements will be delayed. You can also decide to donate your minimum distribution to a charity in which case you will not be taxed. Lastly, we want to discuss IRAs that are part of an employer's 401(k). Contributing to an IRA in a 401(k) has a few perks. While individually set up IRAs have an annual contribution limit, employer IRAs don't.  Sometimes employers also match up to a certain percentage. Make sure you research your IRA and 401(k) to see how you can benefit. Whether you are at the crossroads of retirement or developing your retirement plan these questions will provide you with valuable information on making the best decisions for yourself and your future.   What we discuss on today's episode:  1:33 – The questions people face 3:15 – Social security and owning a business 5:44 – Paying into Social Security 8:15 – Required minimum distributions 13:01 – If you can dream it segment 15:46 – 401k with a roth option   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Sep 16 2021
21 mins
Ep 319: Mind the Gap in Retirement Planning
It’s easy to become overly confident with your retirement plan. You've been working on it for many years! But there are gaps in nearly every financial plan that can blindside us if we’re not careful. On today's episode, Nancy goes in-depth on some of the common gaps she sees in planning for retirement and how we can address them now. We know that gaps are going to happen, but if we mind them now and plan accordingly, we will be able to have a better financial future. After we retire, we will have a lot more responsibility when it comes to our income and insurance. We need to know how we are going to compensate for the paycheck we are no longer receiving. This can mean having savings we dip into until we are ready to pull from Social Security or simply starting Social Security payments right away. In addition, we have to account for adjustments we may see between our employer's healthcare and Medicare. Insurance is one of the biggest factors in deciding a retirement age. By calculating these differences, we can adjust our plans to create a financial safety net for retirement. Another factor we need to talk about is inflation. Inflation has been at the forefront of many financial conversations over the past few months and it is something you will need to mind as you plan for retirement. Your plan has to outpace inflation or you will see your buying power diminish. What you pay as a consumer today will be very different in ten or twenty years. It will cost you more money to live the same lifestyle and you will need to prepare whether that is by saving more money now or adjusting how you live after retirement. These are just some of the financial gaps you may face once you are retired. Without acknowledging gaps, you can find yourself in a situation that is cumbersome to the health of your retirement plan. If you are not saving early on for a big financial event when that financial decision has to be made, it becomes a lot more difficult. A good financial plan anticipates and incorporates these gaps in life.   What we discuss on this episode:  1:25 – Plans change 3:42 – The paycheck gap 5:35 – Insurance gap 7: 27 – Inflation gap 12:47 – ‘If You Can Dream It’ segment 15:19 – The long term care gap   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Sep 9 2021
22 mins
Ep 318: Challenges In Today's Economy With Michael Sorrentino, CFA
Every year we face new challenges to our financial plan, but it seems the past year brought us more than we’re used to. The pandemic changed a lot around our country, and it’s definitely impacted the economy. On this episode of My Smart Retirement, we want to identify some of the key challenges that are facing investors right now so that you know what to be focusing on within your retirement plan. To help us do this, we asked Michael Sorrentino, CFA, to join the show to give us his insight on the economy. Sorrentino serves as the Chief Investment Officer for Darwin Asset Management and often appears as a guest on financial shows so he can really speak to what’s happening right now. To understand how we’ve gotten to this point, we’ll begin by discussing the Fed’s decision to increase the supply of money due to the fear of liquidity drying up. That money was sent out to people in the form of stimulus checks but most people didn’t have the ability to spend it because of the pandemic. Now we’re seeing this significant increase in money supply in the economy, which we’ll explain why that’s so significant. If you’ve watched or listened to anyone in the financial world over the past few months, you’ve also probably heard the topic of inflation come up. It’s a big concern for people, especially retirees who are worried about how long their money will last. We’ve already started to see prices tick up due to this rise in inflation, but how much longer can we expect it to last. That’s what we’ll try and learn from Sorrentino on the show. Each of these things affects what you do with your money. From an investment standpoint, it makes the bond market incredibly more difficult to navigate. On the other side, it makes the equity market much more attractive. So we’ve seen this shift from investors as they try to outpace inflation. Just look at interest rates. They’ve been at historically low levels for a long time, but many people expect them to begin going up again. Rising interest rates will likely come, but Sorrentino doesn’t believe it will happen in the near term. And once the increases begin, they will be very slow-moving. These interest rates impact many areas of financial planning, especially cash and savings. Anyone that wants to keep their money in cash and play it safe is losing out to inflation over time. That means you have to find other places to put your money, which is what your advisor can help you with. Just think about this nugget that Sorrentino shared on the show. The last time interest rates were almost non-existent for savings accounts was during the Great Depression, and it took 34 years for cash investments to yield 3.4%. That’s a staggering fact and one that leads many to believe that there could be a similar recovery now before we reach the interest rate levels of the early 2000s. We’ll take you through all of these challenges on the show today and talk about how you can adjust to keep your retirement on track. The good news is that there is still plenty of opportunity out there for people that are willing to reassess their investments and make adjustments to account for what’s happening in our world today. If you have any more questions about our conversation today or want to have us take a look at your financial plan, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to sit down and start that conversation. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:42 – Inflation 3:15 – Money Supply issue 5:59 – When will inflation go away? 7:40 – Interest rates and cash investments 10:06 – How this impacts your budget  12:12 – Client story 14:12 – Banks not incentivized to increase interest 18:46 – Interest rates will go up 22:31 – Investing differently than 20 years ago   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Sep 2 2021
25 mins
Ep 317: Financial Fortune Cookies
We were recently out spending time with some friends over a meal when the fortune cookies came out. As we all cracked them open to see what piece of wisdom awaited us, it got us thinking about financial fortunes. Who’s to say that you can’t take that message of inspiration and apply it to your financial plan, right? So that’s what we decided to do on this episode of the podcast. We’re going to run through a few of the quotes from inside that crunchy cookie and apply them to real-life scenarios that we encounter with clients. Accept something you cannot change and you will feel better. The first thing that immediately comes to mind are taxes. It’s a frustrating topic when you start thinking about how much money you are paying and will have to pay in taxes over your lifetime, but there’s nothing you can do about the laws. What you can do, however, is start taking action to limit your tax obligations in retirement. We do this through a variety of tax planning strategies and it can save you significant amounts throughout your life.   Don’t let statistics do a number on you. We really on numbers and statistics quite a bit in this business, but they shouldn’t always drive your decisions. Just take health and longevity as an example. If you look to your parents and grandparents to try and determine how long you will live, it could directly impact the decisions you make within your retirement plan. If you think your chances of a long retirement are low, then you could put yourself in a position to run out of money in your 80s and 90s. A foolish man listens to his heart. When it comes to financial decisions, you want to act with your head and not with emotions. We had a perfect example of this recently when we received a question from a client that was considering selling his home to downsize in retirement but was worried about all of the emotional connections he might lose. The worry was that he was being foolish to hang onto the house when they could save so much more by selling it. We can work through the numbers for both scenarios to determine if the tradeoff will be worth it for you. No matter what fortune you’re dealt, it’s important to think it through and have a plan for what you want to accomplish. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:32 – Why this topic?   3:58 – ‘Accept something you cannot change and you will feel better.’ 9:02 – ‘Don’t let statistics do a number on you.’ 14:07 – If You Can Dream It segment   17:11 – ‘A foolish man listens to his heart.’   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Aug 26 2021
22 mins
Ep 316: Things That Don’t Matter Until They Do
As we move through life every day, we devote our attention to things that seem important in that moment. In doing so, we overlook many of the things that protect us in the event of an emergency. Hopefully if the time ever comes when you need your smoke alarm to work or your airbags to deploy, everything is working properly. The same is true when it comes to financial planning. Much of the work we do is making sure you are taken care of when life throws us those unexpected events. That’s what we want to talk about on this episode of the podcast. By bringing attention to these things that don’t matter until they do, we hope that it pushes you to action. You’ll want to go through each of these items with your advisor to make sure everything is updated and accurate. The list we’ll run through includes: Legal documentsLong-term careLife insuranceLifetime income streams If any of those haven’t been accounted for and you’re approaching or in retirement, make it a priority to get with your advisor. We’ll explain why each is important and what you need to know during the show. The other topic we want to cover on this episode is possible updates to the SECURE Act. This important retirement legislation took effect at the beginning of 2020 but lawmakers are already discussing additional proposals that could be adopted in the very near future. We’ll tell you all about them and why they could impact your planning. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:32 – Nancy shares an unusual experience on a recent trip 5:24 – Legal documents 7:57 – Long-term care 9:50 – Life insurance 10:56 – Lifetime income streams 12:34 – ‘If You Can Dream It’ segment 17:48 – Update on the SECURE Act 18:30 – RMD age increasing 19:17 – Automatically enrolling in 401k 20:29 – Catch up contributions 21:07 – Student loan payments 21:47 – National 401k database   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Aug 19 2021
24 mins
Ep 315: How to Spend Your Money
Spending habits determine much of the success you have during your working career and then into retirement. That’s why budgeting is always one of the first steps towards retirement. But being a responsible spender is much easier said than done. Otherwise retirement planning and managing finances would be a breeze. So how should you spend your money? Of course there’s never going to be a cookie-cutter approach that works for everyone because you will always know what’s best for yourself and your family but following the guidance we provide our clients will help you financially over time. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll share eight different principles to bolster your life satisfactions from spending the money you’ve earned in manner that will make you feel as happy and content as possible. You might know about most or all of these things we discuss but it’s will still serve as a good reminder of what’s important.   Spending often determines how successful your retirement ends up being. That’s why we develop income plans to cover the expenses you expect to have each month. If you aren’t sure what   Think about a typical day in your life and what that might look like in retirement. That will really help you get a better estimate on what expenses might look like and where you might be spending your money. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:34 – Why we’re talking about this today 4:00 – Smaller purchases  6:31 – Spending is a science 9:26 – Making sure experiences are broken up 9:50 – Exchange material goods for experiences 12:15 – Use your money to benefit others 14:22 – Overpriced protections  15:37 – ‘If You Can Dream It’ segment 21:11 – Delay gratification   24:08 – Consider how purchases my affect your daily life   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Aug 12 2021
29 mins
Ep 314: The Missing Ingredient in Retirement
Building a retirement plan requires a mix of ingredients that a financial advisor can help you create, but it’s not all about assets and accounts. There’s much more to life than wealth and that becomes more and more clear in retirement. That’s why we wanted to share a few circumstances with people we know who were both entering retirement or already in retirement and had questions for us. The circumstances are a little different but they have that common missing ingredient that many people don’t factor in, and that’s the feeling of accomplishment. Getting that sense of an unexpected letdown is real when you stop working. All of a sudden your days have different meaning and often lack purpose. That’s why you want to have a plan for this second life and how you’ll spend your time. The friendship and fellowship is important, but that sense of accomplishment really helps us find happiness. Until we feel like we’re achieving something, then people won’t be completely happy. It’s a feeling we have as humans that we need to keep striving to learn and improve so when that stops, it can have an impact emotionally. That’s why you’ll hear the stories on this episode about people we know that retired but quickly started looking for work again because they no longer had that stability and purpose that their job provided them. Going back to the office isn’t a solution for everyone, which is why you want to work through all of these things with your financial advisor. Make sure the conversations go beyond expenses and income and to what you want your retirement to look like. We’re more than happy to have these discussions with you and help you build a plan that ensures your retirement is spent how you want it. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 0:57 – Story about Nancy’s granddaughter 4:06 – Missing work in retirement 6:03 – The need for achievement   8:01 – Unexpected letdown when you reach retirement   9:51 – Is constant seeking a good thing?   12:00 – ‘If You Can Dream It’ 16:45 – New opportunities that require you to dip into your savings   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Aug 5 2021
22 mins
Ep 313: The Other Inflation
We’ve enjoyed very low inflation in recent years but there’s a lot of concern about how much that could change in the immediate future. There’s no question that it’s a legitimate concern and one that you need to be addressing within your retirement plan. As inflation rises, your money loses its buying power which means you likely need to build a bigger nest egg. On this episode of the podcast, we’re going to talk about the other factors that will be impacting your bottomline. It’s not just the increase in the cost of goods that will limit the amount of money you’re able to keep in your own pocket. There’s also the other inflation that hits us squarely in the wallet and that’s taxes. Let’s think about taxes on top of inflation. Not only do you get the rise in costs but then you have added tax to pay because of the increase in price. Over the course of a year, all these things add up to the point where it’s important to be paying more attention to this. If you live in Arizona, you’re probably aware of some recent tax proposals but Nancy is going to update you on what’s been happening and share a few stories about local decisions. We often get caught up in national politics but what’s happening closer to home makes a much bigger difference in most cases. So as we move forward, we want to make sure we’re not only paying attention to our bottomline but also pay attention to other increases that are happening. Are they useful? When you’re working towards a retirement budget, these added costs and fees can have a major impact. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:13 – Lessons learned from childhood 3:30 – Taxes 4:40 – Nancy shares a story about local taxes 9:07 – Inflation 12:04 – ‘If you can dream it’ story 14:01 – Staying on track for your goals 15:21 – Arizona sales tax 16:45 – Nancy shares opinion on tax bill 19:41 – Planning   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Jul 29 2021
21 mins
Ep 312: Putting Together a Proper Retirement Plan
The last thing anyone wants to do in retirement is worry. This time in your life should be stress-free and spent however you’d like, but that can be disrupted if your financial plan hasn’t been thoroughly constructed. So how do you do that? Well, it starts with a good advisor who can help you take the steps to build a comprehensive plan, and that’s what we’re going to talk about on this episode of My Smart Retirement. The goal today will be to help you identify some key areas of planning and develop a better understand of how we assist clients meet their goals. Before you can do anything, think about what your retirement will look like. How do you want to spend your time? What do you want to do? Having a good idea of what you want that next chapter to be will allow you to make decisions that will align with that vision. Once that’s done, that’s when we find the best way to help you get there. So many people focus exclusively on saving and growing that nest egg but that’s not enough. The market investment piece of your plan is vital to driving accumulation and getting you to the point of retirement, but then it takes a proper plan to take you through that next stage of life. One of those key considerations is Social Security. Most people will rely heavily on this benefit for their income plan, and there’s plenty of strategy that goes into deciding when to start claiming that benefit. Plus, with possible adjustments coming in the future to keep Social Security in place and funded, it’s even more important to work with an advisor to prepare for what this could mean to your future. There’s plenty to talk about, which we’ll do on this episode, but know that the proper plan is out there for you. Find an advisor that can work with you to build that and give you the confidence you deserve. And don’t forget, the longer you wait to do this, the harder it becomes. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 1:31 – Think about what you want to do in retirement 2:32 – Find the best way to get there 5:09 – The evaluation we do for people 8:52 – Social Security   10:51 – Changes that could come to Social Security   For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Jul 22 2021
13 mins
Ep 311: Retirement Demographics and Planning
To understand how retirement planning has changed in recent years, you have to look no further than the demographics of today’s retirees. It’s a topic that you’ve probably read about or discussed in some form, but how much have you noticed it impacting your retirement plan? On this episode of the podcast, we want to share some statistics with you to provide a clearer picture of what this means for planning. Let’s start with the idea that overpopulation in this country is a problem. When you look at the birth rate, it’s not too different than what it’s been for previous generations? So why are we noticing it so much now? Well, that answer lies in the longevity we’re enjoying now. The population of people over 65 is expected to climb to 20% in the near future, which is about a 50% increase from where it is now. It’s not that people are being born at a faster rate, it’s that they’re living longer. That’s great, right? Well, yes and no. We love that our clients can enjoy more of their life and spend more years in retirement doing what they love, but it also means that more people are underprepared for potentially living into their 90s. What used to be a 10-15 year retirement could now be 25-30 years so making your money last becomes much more important. That’s why you build an income plan that identifies your expenses and ensures that you have money coming in throughout retirement to cover those things. It’s the baseline for any plan and it’s essential for success in retirement. So we’ll dive into how we build that plan and what income sources most people rely on during this show. If there’s something you’d like to learn more about, please reach out and let’s talk. Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment. 0:20 – Overpopulation 1:11 – Population over 65 is growing 2:31 – Planning into your 90s   5:01 – Where does income come from?   7:41 – Income is the baseline for any plan     For more, visit us online at http://flemingfinancialservices.com
Jul 15 2021
10 mins