TRANSCRIPT FOR THE FEBRUARY 27, 2016 “ON THE MONEY” SHOW

Hosts: Denise Kovach, CFP®, AIF® and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

Yes, yes indeed it is an ask the experts Saturday morning on News 96.5 WDBO.  And this is On The Money, brought to you by Central Florida’s oldest and largest independent firm of certified financial planning professionals, that being the Certified Financial Group in Altamont Springs.  And for over 25 years now, Joe Bert and his crew from the Certified Financial Group have been coming in to give you some good, sound, pocketbook financial advice.  And with us today, no exception; The Oracle of Orlando is in the studio along with Denise Kovach.  Good morning, Denise.

Good morning, Kirk.  How are you this beautiful morning?

It is nice to see you.  I’m doing great.  And Joe, how are you sir?

Good morning.  Better, thank you.

You sound a whole lot better, too.  Joe, in case anybody’s new to this program, what do you take calls about?

Well once again, Denise and I are here this morning to answer any questions that might be on your mind regarding your personal finances.  As we see time and time again with the wonderful folks that have come to see us over the years, that most people aren’t really prepared for retirement.  They go through life trying some of this, trying some of that, and hoping it all comes together, only to wake up one day and find out what they really have a is a collection of financial accidents with no direction.  And realize that then the paycheck stops, they’ll be looking to Social Security, plus whatever they’ve been able to accumulate over their working lifetime.  So that’s what we do day in and day out at Certified Financial Group.  We charge a fee for it.  On Saturday morning, we do it for free.  So if you have any questions regarding your personal finances, things that you might be making decisions about stocks and bonds and mutual funds and real estate and long-term healthcare and IRAs, annuities, life insurance, all that and more, we are here to take your calls.  And you don’t even have to use your real name.  But the good news is for you is if you have any questions right now, the lines are absolutely wide open.  So pick up the phone and call us at:

844-220-0965. 844-220-0965.  That’s the telephone number here in the studio.  If you’d like to text us, send us a short text from your mobile device.  That number is 21232.  21232.  Again, the phone number 844-220-0965.  And you know what, if you want your voice to become part of the program, you can use the open mic feature that you’ll find on the News 96.5 app.  Denise, it’s really nice to see you in the studio today.

You as well.  Unfortunately, you’re hidden behind that monitor.

I know.  I was going to say —

Can you see me waving?

Yeah, you are.

Hi.

But you know what, folks?  It is really good to have Denise in the studio.  Denise and your colleague, Nancy Heck, you put on that Social Security workshop that is so, so popular.

You know, it really is, and our next one is coming up on March 17th.  It’s in our offices in Altamont Springs, 11:30 to 1:00.  There’s going to be a light lunch that’s going to be served.  So if you have an interest in learning a little bit more about Social Security benefits and claiming strategies, and especially the claiming strategies that I’ll talk about in a little bit that are getting ready to expire for married couples, come on out.  Because there’s a lot of information to know.

And I don’t have to tell you that you might want to consider signing up for one of those Social Security workshops quickly before they sell out.

<Inaudible> sell out.

Well, they’re absolutely free.

They’re free.

Yeah, we hold them at our classroom in Altamont Springs here.  We can accommodate about 25, 30 people comfortably, provide you some light refreshments, and give you some information regarding what you need to do now for Social Security, because those rules have changed.  And the good news is that Nancy and Denise will give you up to the minute information.  So once again, when is that coming up, Denise?

It’s coming up on March 17th.  So if you have an interest, you can get online at Financialgroup.com —

St. Patrick’s Day.

Yup.  Yup yup yup.

<Inaudible>

Or you can give us a call at 407-869-980 —

Go to our website, financialgroup.com.  That’s financialgroup.com.  Just click on workshops.  It’ll take you right there and tell you all about the other workshops we’ve got cooking.

Yeah.  I know that’s a lot to throw at you, but we’ll repeat that during the course of the program today.  Meanwhile, if you’d like to talk about Social Security right now, let me give you the number again for in the studio.  And you can call and ask your question of Denise, who I can’t think of a better expert, because you really have to stay on top of this Social Security stuff.  Here’s the number again: 844-220-0965. 844-220-0965.  Or if you want to talk, like Joe said, about your 401k or IRAs, rollovers, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, long-term healthcare, you name it.  Any pocketbook type issue.  844-220-0965.  Denise, you mentioned something about Social Security, and something about married couples, and something about expiring.

Expiring.  Yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  And I’ve been talking about this, but I think it’s important, because there’s a couple of strategies that are expiring very, very soon that are now available for married couples.  And one of which is the file and suspend strategy.  And basically, you must be age 66 by May 1st of this year in order to qualify for that strategy.  However, you also must need to file and suspend no later than April 29th.  And I stressed April 29th, because it was, up until recently, April 30th.  So that’s been changed by one day, it’s moved up.  So just keep in mind, if you’re age 66 by May 1st of this year and you file and suspend, and there’s a lot of benefits of doing so, so come out to our workshop.  If you file and suspend by April 29th, then you’re eligible to do so.  The other strategy, quickly, is simply filing a restricted application.  It’s a little easier.  If you are at least age 62 by January 1st of this year, you can still file a restricted application at your full retirement age.

What does a restricted application mean?

Basically, filing for benefits on your spouse, so you don’t file for your own benefit.

You don’t get your own benefit —

Correct.

So you can claim half your spouse.

Correct.  And what that does, Joe, is allow your own Social Security benefit to grow and earn what we call deferred retirement credits, which are 8% per year from your full retirement age up until age 70.

And you know some people think when you’re going to claim half your spouse’s, you’re going to take it away from your spouse —

No.

But that’s not the reality.  You get whatever your spouse would be getting on top of whatever your spouse is getting.

Absolutely.  So I stress the importance, if you have any questions not only about these strategies but Social Security in general, come out and visit with Nancy and I on the 17th.

Thank goodness for you two.

Works over here.

Alright, let’s talk to Paul.  Hi, good morning, Paul.

Hello, Paul.

Good morning.

Good morning.  Thank you for taking my call.

Sure, how can we help you?

Well, I had two questions.  One is for my mother-in-law, and one is for me.  I’m going to ask hers first.  She was reaching out to me because she considered moving to <Inaudible> I have no knowledge of what she’s talking about.  She has been — the son is talking to her about an indexed annuity fund, where she can get

Paul, I bet you she went to one of these free lunch or dinner seminars with her friends, right?

She may have.  She lives in the Villages.

Oh, that’s a haven for that stuff.

Oh yeah.

So they’re guaranteeing her a 5% return through Voya, and I went onto their website, and I really couldn’t find much information about it.  And I haven’t heard much about it <Inaudible> my life other than some things, mostly negative, in my life that I’ve heard about it.  But I don’t know specifically what’s so negative about it.

Annuities come in a lot of different flavors.  There’s good ones, there’s bad ones, depending on what your objectives are.  Unfortunately, none of these equity indexed annuities have been sold as a panacea for you to participate in what’s going on in the stock market, get all the upside without any of the downside.

That’s what she’s saying.

Exactly.  Well, that’s the way they’re pitched.  And the reality is, that’s not the case.

How is that possible to — I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but —

It’s okay.

How is that possible to just say okay, we’re going to make money when the stock market goes up, but when it goes down, everything stays the same.

Well, because they limit what’s called your participation rate, or they put a cap on your returns.  And the insurance company can adjust that every year.  Okay.  Depending on what their return is on their money.  The USA Today did a — I think a very fair and balanced treatment of equity indexed annuities, and we put this on our website.  Go on our website, financialgroup.com, okay.

Okay.

Click on it.  Click on the tab up at the top, Info to Know, and then click on the rest of the story.

Okay.

And I think you’ll see a very balanced presentation of equity indexed annuities, the pros and the cons.  And unfortunately, at these luncheon seminars, I believe they’re oversold.  They’re made to be the panacea, the end all be all.  You can invest in the market, never lose any money, it’s a wonderful thing, why doesn’t everybody do this?  And the realities are, you think you’re buying a filet.  You’re really going to end up with hamburger.  Hamburger won’t kill you, but you’re not going to get the filet that you think is on the — you’re going to be served.  That’s about a —

Alright, fine, well I’ll definitely read that.  I want to learn more about this.

Sure.  And the other <Inaudible> already given, yes.

Yeah.  I’m turning 51 in a couple of weeks, and I’m one of these guys that over the last 20 years has just heavily filed as much money as I can in my 401k.

Good for you.

So much so where over the last seven or eight years I would say would have maxed out at 18,000, and actually last year was the first year I was able to take advantage of the catch-up contributions.  I was able to put 24 in last year.

Good for you.

Absolutely.

And I got a good company match.  But obviously, what’s been going on lately gets me a little worried.  My timeline is only about another 10 to 12 years with being involved with this for the most part, even though there will still be money in when I start withdrawing, and it’ll grow, hopefully, over the next so many years.  But I am getting nervous, because now when the market moves, it’s sometimes tens of thousands of dollars backwards or forward.  And it’s much different when you have maybe 150,000 or 200,000 in there and it moves maybe like $1,500 or $2,000.  Now, on a down day, it goes $13,000, $14,000, and it’s big stakes for a minute, and I’m just concerned what percentage should I go maybe to stable equity fund versus bonds versus stocks.  I know I have to change that mix.

What’s your current allocation?

Current allocation is about 65% stocks and 35% basically stable equity, almost like a 1% savings account.  I’m just too scared to have all of it going in stocks like I was when I was younger.

Yeah, 65 in equities is not a bad game, okay, at your age.  And something I want to say with regard to the volatility in the market.  It’s going to happen.  One day, still, whatever.  But there’s something that I want to say real quick, is what Warren Buffett wouldn’t do, maybe you shouldn’t either.  And I find this to be interesting.  Don’t be too fixated on daily moves in the stock market.  And I like what he has to say about this: “Games are won by players who focus on the playing field, not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.”  If you can enjoy Saturdays and Sundays without looking at stock prices, give it a try on weekdays, too.  So this is a long-term endeavor.  You’re saying maybe you’re going to retire in about 10 years or so.  But what’s your life expectancy?  In 10 years you’ll be 61.  What if you live to be 81 or 91?  This is not short-term.  It’s still long-term.  We’re going to have good markets, which is most of the time historically.  And we’re going to have some volatile markets.  So hang in there, don’t look at things every day.  Make sure that you’re always allocated to your risk tolerance, that you can handle that and sleep at night, and continue plugging — this is the most important — continue plugging in your money and your contributions, because you’re dollar cost averaging.  So in down markets, you’re buying things on sale, and that’s a great thing.

Paul, without question, you are on the right track, and I see what you’re susceptible to.  And I heard you loud and clear.  When you see it moving $10,000 or $15,000 in a day.  What you want to remember is don’t focus on the dollar amount, focus on the percentages.

Yes.

That’s — that’s — I think that’s where people get wrapped around the axle and they start making irrational decisions.  They look at the dollars.  It’s the percentages that you want to worry about.  And the good news is, as your account builds, that 1% move up or down is a lot of dollars.

Yeah.

But the point is, it’s still percentages, and that’s what the world is driven on, is percentages, not the absolute dollars.  Now, you’re getting back to what Denise said.  Your allocation is perfect at your age, and the benefit that you have is that you — when the market goes down, believe it or not, through the rest of your working lifetime, it’s really good news for you because you’re buying more and more shares.

Right.

And the name of the game over your working lifetime is to get shares.  And you’re on the perfect track.  I would encourage you not to look at your 401k for the next 10 years.  That’s the honest to God truth.  Because what are you going to do?  You’re going to jump out of the airplane, make an irrational decision, decide to sit on the side.  And you have the rest of your life in front of you.  The portfolio that you have is what we would call a balanced portfolio.  I have many, many, many of my retired clients in a balanced portfolio because when they retire, I’ve got to worry about 25 years yet.

Yeah.

And so, you’re in great shape.  I commend you for maxing out your 401k, I commend you for your allocation, and I’d just stick with it.  And you look back 10 years from now, you’ll remember this phone call, and you’ll have a multi-million dollar account, and you’ll be glad you called.

I would like to make a suggestion, though.

Yeah.

You don’t look at your portfolio for 10 years, but allow somebody like Joe or I to take a look at it for you, to make sure you’re still allocated at where you need to be, and that you’re in some very viable investments.  So, hand that off to somebody who does this for a living.  You don’t need to be doing it, because you’re doing what you do for a living.

As a matter of fact, I — excuse me —

I’m trying to let it — not let it control my mood swings.

That’s a good thing.

Good.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thank you, Paul.

Alright.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that you actually manage 401ks, don’t you.

Yeah, we do that.  In years past, when clients would come in to see Denise and me, we do a financial plan for them, and they’d want us to manage their money, which we do, of course.  And then they would say well, can you also take a look at my 401k plan.  And we would be glad to do that.  We looked at what their investments were, we made recommendations to them, and based on what they had, the choices they had.  And the problem is, back in the old day, we’d make a recommendation in January.  By the following January, the fund had changed or something had changed, and the recommendations we made 12, 18 months ago were no longer good recommendations and we didn’t look so good.  Because there was no way for us to monitor all the things that go on in a 401k, when the change funds and so on and so forth.  But today, the good news is Denise is right, we can do it.  How do we do that?

Well, basically, we’re able to take your information from your 401k and we massage that, just like we do the assets that we manage on our Fidelity or TD America platforms.  And it allows us to keep up with what you’re invested in, how you’re invested, and make sure those investments are viable.  And we do so more often, obviously, than 12 to 18 months, because you need to keep on top of this.

And we don’t take possession of the 401k.  It stays where it is.  It’s still with your employer.  What we do is we do a deep dive analysis into every investment of your 401k and the restructure of your portfolio to be sure it’s on track to accomplish what your objectives are.  So if you want some more information, go to our website, financialgroup.com.

Alright, we’re way over time, got to get to Dave in the newsroom.  When we come back, we’ll talk to Brian and Amanda and Tom.

Oh my.  That’s an oldie but goodie.  9:28 on News 96.5, WDBO.  We were kind of over on time in the last segment, so we’ll get back to the newsroom in just a couple of minutes from now.  So let’s get right back to the telephones.  Joe Burse and Denise Kovach.  And we’ll talk to — let’s see, Brian, I believe is next.  And then we’ll talk to Amanda.  Hello, Brian.

Good morning, Brian.

Hey, Brian.

Good morning.  How are you?

Thanks for calling.  How can we help you?

I’m actually — I’m 36 years old.  I’m sitting on about $130,000 from a recent home sale.  I’m looking to downgrade to a condo for about $75,000, and I have — so I’m going to end up with a little more than 50 left over.  My goal is to retire at 55.  I have about $60,000 in my 401k right now, and I was looking to make that $50,000 bridge the gap from 55 to 62 for Social Security.  My plan was to take this money and then every year, put the max into a Roth IRA until it’s completely spread.  I was wondering if you guys thought this was a good plan maybe, if it was feasible to have this money bridge the gap from 55 to 62.

Possibly.  Let’s go back to your 401k.  How much money are you putting in your 401k now, Brian?

I put about 20% of my pay back in there, and —

What’s that in dollars?

In dollars, it’s — I make $50,000 a year, so it’s roughly about $10,000 a year.

$10,000.  Okay.  Brian, I want you to shoot for the maxing that out to $18,000 a year.  That is the maximum you can put in.

Okay.

Okay, you’re with me so far.

I’m with you so far.

You’re going to get a tax reduction.  The money will grow for you without being taxed.  The next thing I want to know is, so your income is $50,000.  Are you married.

No, I’m single.

Okay.  So you’ve got $50,000.  So you’re in a low enough tax bracket.  Let me take a quick look here, get my glasses —

You need some help there?

You’re in about the 15% tax bracket.  I would not be opposed, in that low tax bracket, to do a Roth IRA, because you’re not giving up a lot.  If you were in a higher tax bracket, I definitely wouldn’t do the Roth, but I would consider doing the Roth in addition to maxing out your 401k.  Now, the thing about — between 55 and 62, what you’re thinking of before you can start getting Social Security.  I’m not sure you want to start taking Social Security at 62.

Exactly.  Because you’re going to have a reduced benefit if you do that.  So you’re going to cut your benefit by 25%, and that’s huge.  And especially Brian if you have a long life expectancy, and you know your DNA better than we do.  So what I would suggest, you’ve got a lot of variables that you threw out to us.  One of the things that we do at Certified Financial Group, is we run retirement analyses for clients who want to know these types of things.  Well, based on what I’ve been doing and what I’m going to do, and what — can I, at age 55, successfully retire and supplement my income with this money that I’ve been saving, and how long can I do that until age — my full retirement age, where I can get my Social Security when it’s At its maximum, and then live until 92 without outliving my money.  I would do that in black and white and not just make projections and just do this.  Get it in black and white.

Brian, the real challenge you’re going to have at retiring at 55 is you’ve got at least 30, if not 35 years of living in front of you.  You’re going to be more retired than you were working, and you’ve got to have one heck of a lot of money set aside.  I’m not sure it’ll work, but you need to have a plan done.

Absolutely.

It’s an Ask the Experts Saturday morning on News 96.5 WDBO.  And the reason we’re playing the Maestro himself is for a very special reason.

Very special reason.  Once again this year Certified Financial Group is proud to be the lead sponsor for the annual Springs concert held at the Springs Community in Longwood.  This year, May the 7th, it’s going to be a tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John.  And it’s going to be a wonderful night under the stars.  Bring your blanket, bring your adult beverages around the Springs, and listen to the wonderful sounds of the Philharmonic as they back up a wonderful tribute band that will be playing the music of Billy Joel and Elton John.  Once again, that’s May 7th, Saturday night.  For more information.  The good news is, tickets are on sale right now, and there’s a deal if you get to the Orlandophil.org website.  You can get the regular tickets that are regularly — let me see what the regular price is, $40, you can get a four-pack for $33 apiece.  So, go to orlandophil.org and get your tickets right now.  This sells out fast, and we hope to see you there.  Once again, a tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John at the Springs Community in Longwood.

I’ll tell you what, I actually saw those two in concert and dueling pianos.

Pretty show.

Oh my goodness.  Very good.

Nobody beats Elton John.

Woo hoo.

Oh man, what a star.

It’s going to be a great night.

Long-time fan of Elton.  Alright.  Let’s go to Amanda, who’s —

Amanda.

Who’s been the most patient person in the world.  So let’s give her the entire floor.  And actually, she can have the entire show.

Hello Amanda, thanks for calling.

Good morning.

Yes.  Hi, good morning.  I am calling because — on behalf of my mom.  She resides in New York, and she’s still working at 75.  She — her sister left her a house, so she has two annuities for $100,000 each, and it’s been losing a lot of money.  So she owes about $25,000 on the house, and the guy at the bank advised her to take money from the annuities to pay off the house.  And I was thinking maybe she should take her savings and pay off the house and not money from the annuities.  What do you guys think?

It depends.  Is she taking — I mean, without knowing the specifics of the annuities, if she takes money out of the annuities, chances are that that might be $25,000 that will be taxable to her.  So she’ll be taxed another 25,000.

It’s non-taxable.  The annuities are not taxable.

Why aren’t they taxable?

A reason that I had asked him that question, he said no.  Because it’s the interest that’s taxable and not the base amount.

That’s correct.  So when did —

Yes, but —

Now, did she buy these annuities?  Or did you say she inherited them?

She inherited one, and she had one, and it hasn’t been growing.  It’s been like — she had the base of $100,000.  It went up to 109, 113, and it went down back to 100.  So it’s been fluctuating.

So there’s really no gains.  So if she has no gains, she has no taxes.

Right.

Okay.  That’s the situation there.  What’s the interest rate that she’s paying on the house?

Well, it’s about 2%.

Whoa.

That’s awesome.

That’s nuts.  I think what you may want to take a look at is readjusting what her allocation is within those annuities to get that money to grow for her.  And if paying 2% on the house is — is she able to take a tax deduction for the interest?

No, because there’s only like $25,000 left on it.  It’s very minimal.

Okay.  So on that point, too, you’re only really just paying back principal, you’re not paying back much interest.  There isn’t much to be gained anyway.  What I would do is I would continue paying down the mortgage and get the allocation in the annuities readjusted.

Absolutely.  And let those annuities grow over time, yeah.  What Joe was saying, you’re probably just paying on principal right now on that mortgage.  And I would definitely let the others grow.

Yeah, there’s really nothing to be gained financially.  Now psychologically, that’s another thing.  But financially, there’s nothing to be gained by taking money out of the annuity and paying down the mortgage when you’re paying best — basically principal.

Because the account that she has, that $25,000, she wants to use to pay off the mortgage and gain like less than 1% interest.  But if you’re paying 2% on a mortgage, gaining 1% —

There’s no question about that.  That’s why the investments within the annuities need to be readjusted to get you a better return.

Right.  So if you’re talking to Amanda about taking the money from like a money market that’s not earning anything, as long as it’s not going to deflate her emergency fund and it’s not going to put her in a non-liquid situation, it might make sense.  If that’s where she is mentally and she wants to pay that off, and she’s got the funds to do so, then it might make sense.

Yeah, yeah.  Okay, great.  Thank you guys so much.

Okay Amanda, thanks for the call.

Thanks.  Have a great one.

Okay, you too.

And you can join us as well.  Here’s the number: 844-220-0965.  Again, 844-220-0965, or send us a short text at 21232.  From the text monitor, here’s one: Are annuities a good investment for rolling over a 401k from a previous employer?

Maybe.

Exactly.  I was going to say, that depends.

I am more interested in an IRA.

Well, you can roll a 401k into an IRA, and the IRA would hold the annuity, but it really depends on what kind of annuity you have.  Annuities in and of themselves are not bad.  There’s all kinds of shapes and forms, and they do all kinds of things.  Some good, some not so good.

And it makes it — you have to ask yourself, why do I want an annuity?  Because if I’m rolling over to an annuity, well, an annuity is already tax deferred.  So was your 401k, turn it into an IRA.  Are there certain benefits that come with an annuity that are not expensive that make sense for you?  You need to examine a lot of things, because there’s variables involved.

Yup.  So it might be a good idea, might not be a good idea.

Alright, here’s another quick text here.  I heard that it may be possible to get Social Security benefits from an ex-spouse.  Is that true?

It is true, but it depends.  It depends on were you married for at least 10 years, are you age 62.  And now, with this new law coming into place, until they correct it, your ex will have had to file for his or her benefits before you can file for a spousal benefit.  So that’s kind of where that’s going.  But be happy — feel free to shoot us an e-mail at ask@financialgroup.com with some information.  We’ll get back with you, hopefully with more specifics.  And if you give us specifics.  Or give us a call at 407-869-9800.

But it doesn’t affect your ex-spouse’s benefit at all.

Or your ex-spouse’s new wife or family or anything.

Right.

But yeah.  That’s definitely a possibility.

9:45.  Coming up in five minutes, we’ll back to the news center.  Dave Wahl is manning the news center today.  One of our top stories is a middle school teacher was — had her soda pop spiked by some students.

Oh yeah, I heard about that.

What’s going on today?  What’s wrong with society?

Jason, go ahead.  You’re with Joe Burse and Denise Kovach —

Hi Jason.

From the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning.

Thanks for calling.

Good morning, guys.  Love the show.

Thank you, what’s up?

I’m just turning 24 years old on Monday.

Congratulations.

<Inaudible> a little older — thank you, thank you.  I make a little —

You’ve got a February 29th birthday, yeah.

That’s right.  I’ll be turning 6 as well as 24.  So, it’s a special year.  But part of that, with this, I want to be able to start making sure I’m saving correctly.  I do not have a 401k through my job, unfortunately; they don’t offer it.  But I know I want to start some type of retirement account, something to set up.  I do have a family and kids down the road.  I just want to make sure I’m using my money to its fullest capacity.  However, I’m not sure exactly where to start.

Jason, you say you have a family at this point, or is it down the road.

No, he’s planning.

Down the road, down the road.  I want to make sure that I have something that’s for my kids when they start school.  For my retirement, I just don’t want to work through 80 years old.  So I want to make sure that I’m doing something correctly that I could start now, to start building a retirement fund.

Well, right —

Let me back up a little bit.  Jason, you’re 24 years old.

Yes, sir.

I want to tell you you are the exception out there in the community of people 24 years old, thinking about what you’re thinking about.  So I want to ask  you something here: How did you get focused on this, and what made you start thinking about this at age 24?  Most guys your age are hanging around the bars and blowing all their paychecks on beer on a Saturday night.  Tell me about your situation.  What prompted you to be serious about this?

Well, when I came to college, I don’t think my parents planned accordingly.  I have three older sisters, and I had to work two jobs through school to make sure I could stay in school and pay rent.  So I didn’t want to put my kids through that.  And both of my parents made decent money, but I don’t think they planned correctly.  And unfortunately, I witnessed some things with their financial struggles that I didn’t want to go through myself.  So, while I have the opportunity, and I think I make a fair amount at my age to just do it the right way from the beginning.

Jason, my hat’s off to you, buddy.  I mean, I —

I appreciate it.

I wish the rest of the people your age, because we’d have less of a dependent society, because they realize that the only way you’re going to get what you got is what you take care of yourself.  So, my hat’s off to you.

Right.

So let’s talk about what’s best for you.  Where does he start, Denise?

Well, right now, as long as you have an emergency fund in place Jason: Do you have one?

Yes, I set some money aside in like a savings, but it’s not building up anything, really.

Well, and unfortunately with the interest rate environment the way it is today —

Right

That’s exactly what it is.  But you need those funds.  So let’s talk about what you can do for retirement.  Unfortunately, your company that you work for doesn’t have a 401k.  However, that doesn’t limit you, because you can open a traditional IRA.  And that’s what, $5,500 this year based on your age this year.  So that is going to be a tax deduction for you.  What is — if you don’t mind me asking, Jason, what is your income?

I make $50,000 base.  I can make up to about 55 in commissions and sales throughout the year.

Sweet.

Okay.  So right there, what is that, some 15%, 20% marginal tax bracket.

Yup, yup.

So basically putting it this way: If you put in $100 through a deductible IRA, you just saved yourself $20 to $25.  If it’s $1,000, you just saved yourself $200 to $250, because you’re not paying taxes on that.  So that might be a good place to start.  And then when you do start to build your family, give us a call back, because we’ve got some other things that we can let you know too.

But here’s what you — here’s the <Inaudible> — here’s the way — I’m sorry, Jason.  Go to vanguard.com, okay.

Okay.

You start it, go very basic, do the S&P 500 Fund.  Set it up on a monthly bank draft where it automatically comes out of your checking account.  Focus on putting $5,500 a year into that IRA, and do that until you get to a position where you’ve got a company that perhaps has a 401k.  And then you’re going to want to max that out.  Now, when you get —

Okay.

When you get married here, Jason.  Now things change.  I’ve got to tell you, my friend, things change.

Yeah.

You’ve got to have the emergency fund in place, and then you’ve got to look at life insurance, particularly when you dependents.  Because what you don’t want to do is get hit by that proverbial bus out there, and now you’ve got a bunch of little ones who said: You know, daddy was a great guy, but he didn’t do so good for us, because he didn’t leave us anything.  And that’s the purpose of life insurance.  So get yourself some cheap, inexpensive, 30-year term insurance.  You get a whole bunch of insurance for pennies on the dollar, okay.

Okay.

And that’s what you’ll need to do in that regard.  But Jason, you’re on the right track.  You’ve got the right idea.  Keep your nose to the grindstone, and in the long run, my friend, you’re going to be fine.

I appreciate it.  I’m still listening to the show.  Appreciate all the information from you guys.

Okay, thanks for calling.  Good luck.

Have a good morning.

Thank you.  You guys have a great day.

My kind of guy.

Mine too.

24 years old.

Impressive.

9:57 on News 96.5, WDBO.  You <Inaudible> to this song.

I think it’s very possible.

Maybe people are just trying to think <?> onto what we’re talking about.

May the 7th.  Springs May the 7th, we are the proud sponsors of The Springs concert held annually at The Springs Community in Longwood.  This year, the Orlando Philharmonic will be doing a tribute to the music of Billy Joel and Elton John.  They’re bringing a terrific tribute band, so it’s the Philharmonic plus a tribute band rocking in the evening around The Springs.  Bring your blanket, bring your adult beverage, and enjoy the evening with us May 7th.  Tickets are on sale right now.  Go to orlandophil.org.  And that’s orlandophil.org.  And there’s a deal going on right now.  Regular ticket price is $40.  You can get a four-pack for $33 apiece.  So we’d love to see you there.  That’s May the 7th at The Springs Community in Longwood.

And we just have a couple of minutes left here.  We have — I don’t know if we have time to squeeze in Gary from Enterprise, but we’ll give it a shot.  If we can’t finish you Gary, you’ll get a private consult.  Go ahead, sir.

Yeah, just got a quick question.  I started Social Security this year.  All I want to know is, the back of the Social Security form has a formula for figuring out how much of your income you need to use to figure out how much Social Security you’ve got to pay tax on.  The only question I’ve got is, do I have to count my military retirement as part of my income to see how much of my Social Security I have to pay taxes on?

Yes, your pension is going to be taxable as ordinary income to you.

Alright, well that — that answers the question then, sir.

That’s the good news.  You’ve got a pension coming, and you’ve got Social Security.  Thanks for your service, but it’s not free.

Absolutely.  Quick e-mail: I got an e-mail about some big changes to Social Security and how it’s going to have big implications in the amount of money retirees can receive.

Yes, save your money.  That is a newsletter service.  They’re trying to sell you newsletter.  You go on, you click on it, you watch this video for — runs about 45 minutes.  And at the end of it, they want to sell you a newsletter for about $49.  Come to Denise’s workshop.  When is that, Denise?

On the 17th of March, 11:30.

She’ll cover all the Social Security changes for you, and how you could take advantage of the loophole that is closing effective April 29th.

It is.

Hey, where can we find out more information about all of the workshops and how we get a private consult, and about managing 401ks, and even about the concert series.  Where do we go?

Financialgroup.com.

That was easy.

Financialgroup.com.  That’s it.

Okay.

Schedule A Virtual Meeting From Anywhere In The World