TRANSCRIPT FOR THE APRIL 16, 2016 “ON THE MONEY” SHOW

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

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 Altamonte Springs.  And today is a very special day on On the Money.  That’s because we’re live on remote at the office of the Certified Financial Group in Altamonte on Douglas Avenue for the annual shredding event.  Let’s see, let’s talk to Denise Kovach.

Good morning.

Hi, how are you today.

I’m doing really great.  We’re out here having a great time, seeing a lot of people, shredding a lot of paper.  Missing you and your beautiful face this morning.

Why, thank you very much, that’s awful sweet of you.  And the oracle of Orlando is also with us, Joe Bert.

Good morning, good morning.

I don’t know what you’re doing.  What, are you in the background there?

<Inaudible>

Wait a minute.  Joe, we can’t hear you.  You’re not hooked up.  No, you’re not hooked up properly.

Uh oh.

Yeah, okay.  So while somebody hooks you up properly out there, gets you a microphone and all that nice stuff, Denise, let’s tell everybody what we’re all about here actually.  For the next two hours, because the folks at Florida Homes and Gardens were nice enough to give us their hour as well, so we’re going to do a two-hour call-in.  What do people call in and ask you questions about.

Mainly we talk about retirement planning, being able to retire and not outlive my money.  Subjects are IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, annuities.  Long-term care insurance is another thing that’s become very confronting for people.

Stocks, bonds, real estate, reverse mortgages, all that <Inaudible>.  Can you hear me now?

Oh yeah, yeah, fine.

The reason we do this stuff is because over the years we have found that unfortunately most people get to at or near their retirement years and realize they should have done something.  And the reason that happens is because we go through life.  Life happens.  We raise the kids, get them married <?>, get them through school, and then one day we wake up and find we’re 55 years old and 10 years out from retirement and then, bam, what are we going to live on.  So our job is to really provide you information that you can use so you don’t look back 5 or 10 years from now — as we say in our ad, we say gee, I wish I would have known, or gee, I’m sorry I did <?>.  And as I like to say on Monday through Fridays, Denise and I and the other 10 certified financial planning professionals do this for a fee but on Saturday morning we do it absolutely free.  So if you have any questions that’s on your mind regarding your personal finances, and believe me there isn’t anything we haven’t heard.  If we can’t get you the answer, we can put you in touch with a professional.  And you don’t even have to use your real name.  And the good news for you — I don’t know if there’s anybody in line.  All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  You call that number.  We’re manning the studio.  Denise and Joe are at the office of the Certified Financial Group and they’ll answer all of your questions, all of your pocketbook issues.  Again, 844-220-0965.  You can also text us a short question via your mobile device.  Our texting number is 21232.  Again, 21232.  Or if you’re so bold and you want your voice to become part of the program, you can also use the open mic, and you’ll find that on the News 96.5 app.  And where do you get the app?  You just go to the App Store, or you go to News965.com and we’ll show you a free link on how to get it.  Well, it’s nice to have you out there.  It sounds a little windy out there.  What are people bringing in to shred, Joe?

Virtually everything.  People realize as you go through the year you’ve got all this stuff that comes in and has your personal information on it, your Social Security number and birth date and all that stuff, and if it gets in the wrong hands it could be a disaster.  So as our regular listeners know, this is an annual event that we hold at our office in Altamont Springs.  All of our listeners are welcome to bring by a maximum of two banker’s boxes with all your stuff, and bring it by and you can see it shredded right before your eyes with one of those industrial shredders.  They have a video cam right in the truck and you can see the little guy in there with a pair of scissors cutting it up.  Actually it is an industrial grade — we pay for the service.  But come on by.  We’re at 1111 Douglas Avenue, that’s 1111 Douglas Avenue, just south of 434 and just one block west of I-4.  You go to our website, FinancialGroup.com, or go up on your mobile browser there and you can find it.  We’re going to be here until about 11:30, 12:00.  Don’t come after 12:00 because the truck will be gone.  But get here early and we’ll be glad to accommodate you.  And by the way we’re also giving away what, Denise?

Two tickets to the upcoming springs concert.  What is it, May 7?

May 7 <Inaudible> I believe.

Oh wow, already?  So what is that, Billy Joel and Elton John back to back?

The music of.

I did see them in concert together once.

Well it’s going to be the same show.  And the nice thing about this performance is number one it’s at the Springs Community in Longwood.  This is the fifth year that we’ve had the privilege of participating with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.  They bring the entire orchestra and then they play background for a tribute band that does the <Inaudible> of the Billy Joel and Elton John music and it is terrific.  It is absolutely terrific.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, it’s sold out this year <Inaudible> but if you come by and you register you may be the winner of two tickets for the show.  So come on by, 1111 Douglas Avenue, Altamont Springs, and you may be the lucky winner.

Wouldn’t that be nice?  Again, let me give out the phone number.  It’s 844-220-0965.  So give us a call.  It’s so nice to have you with us today on this kind of overcast day, isn’t it?  <Inaudible> a little windy.

It is a little windy out here, but it feels good.

Well good, it would mess up my hair, so I’m glad I’m here in the studio.  Hey, you had a Social Security boot camp this past week, with your colleague Nancy <?>.  How did that go?

Well, our Social Security boot camps always go very well.  They <Inaudible> people are interested in knowing what’s going on because we’ve had a couple of tragedies occur <?> that as you know are going away at the end of this month.  So a lot of people are saying do I still qualify for that <Inaudible> I need to get a move on it.  I need to sign up for this thing.  So there’s a lot of people that’s interested in what’s going on.

Let me confirm this with both of my Social Security experts here, Denise and Aaron, who’s listening in on the other set of headphones.  So if one spouse is at least 62 by January 1 and one spouse is at least 66 by May 1, you have until April 29 to take advantage of this once in a lifetime going away opportunity to perhaps maximize your benefits on Social Security.  Is that correct?

For the 66-year-old, that benefit is file and suspend.  If you don’t do it by, as Joe said, April 29, it’s lost — well, its benefits are lost forever.  You can always file and suspend, but you’re not going to get what we call your spouse filing for your benefits where you’re not taking them.  Now, the restricted application — basically if you were 62 by 1st of January, you still at your full retirement age will have the benefit to file on your spouse’s.

I think you get the maximum benefit if one is at least 62 by January 1 and the other spouse is going to be 66 my May 1, then you can combine the two and ultimately get <Inaudible>.

Oh absolutely.

I just want to be sure because I’m sitting with the expert on Social Security.

You’re an expert yourself.

I just wanted to confirm —

That runs out April 29, so if you haven’t met with your financial advisor, you need to do that ASAP because once that window is closed it ain’t coming back.

File and suspend is going away?

As is restricted application.

Who made that call?  Was it Congress?

Yes, it was <Inaudible> November.

So if they can do that show, they can change Roth IRAs.

Well, yes, anytime your Congress <Inaudible> your money is in jeopardy.  As we say, you’ve got to stay on top of this stuff and that’s why we’ve always been somewhat suspect of the Roth IRA and using the tax deduction which is guaranteed <Inaudible> promise in the future that you’ll get your money out tax-free, that could change as well.

I think the <Inaudible>

<Inaudible> part of it in years to come.

9:15.  It’s 9:15 on News 96.5 WDBO.  Of course Dave Wall is in the news center.  I’m Brett, he’s manning it today.  A lot is going on, including sad news from down south in West Palm.  A tiger attacked a handler who was trying to lure it back into <Inaudible> and she is no longer with us.  Did you hear about that?  All right, Denise <Inaudible> Joe Burt, speaking of Roth IRAs, using your Roth IRA as an emergency fund.  What?

Well, I was talking with a client this past week <Inaudible> and she was telling me she was listening to one of the famous financial gurus, and I won’t name her name, but she was talking about using a Roth IRA as an emergency fund and in general.  And it is possible, but I want to let you know that first of all you’ve got to be very careful because if you do do that the earnings are not available until you’re age 59 and a half and that Roth — you’ve had it open for five years, okay?  There are certain exceptions for maybe a home purchase or death or disability before 59 and a half, but that 10% penalty is still going to be triggered if that five-year period is broken.  You just can’t say I’m going to have this open, this Roth IRA, use it for my emergency fund, and then a year later say well, whatever the case might be, for earnings, okay?

You can always take out your contributions, it’s just the earnings that are subject to —

Well absolutely, but we have these IRAs that were formulated for a reason, right?  To save for our retirement, to get us that tax-free hopefully, but hopefully the tax deferral definitely.  What might be a good idea, Joe, and let me run this by you, is you’re a younger person and you need to fund an emergency fund and you’d like to start funding some type of retirement but you really can’t afford to do both, it might make sense if you do a little bit of both and then your — it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Particularly if you’re young, and generally young people are in a lower tax bracket, so you’re not giving up the tax deduction <Inaudible> so concerned about.  But certainly if you’re in the 10% bracket, maybe the 15% bracket, it’s not a bad place to set up an emergency fund.  Hopefully you won’t need it, and if you don’t need it, it can continue to grow without taxation.  I agree with you 100% there <Inaudible>.

So using it as a blanket everybody should do this I think is not correct, but as we said, for the younger population absolutely it might be a good idea.

Okay, let’s talk to Pauline.  Good morning, Pauline.

Good morning, Pauline.

Hello.

Good morning.

Good morning.  My question regarding is there is a look-back on the Social Security situation.  Husband passed away age 71, I was 64 at that time.  I was not in the seat of his Social.  Is there any look-back for me?  Six months, anything like that.  I’d only started to draw on his Social upon his death.

<Inaudible> what you’re entitled to is 100% of whatever he was receiving, which is what you’re getting I presume.

Yes, but the question is I was not drawing any Social as a spouse prior to his death at age 71.  Is there any look-back for me?

Is there a reason that you weren’t drawing?

No <?>.

How old are you right now Pauline?  You say your husband passed at 71 and you were 64 at the time he passed.  How old are you today?

<Inaudible> 66 and I did not start drawing any Social except upon his death.  Then I started to draw his full Social.  So my question is how does not drawing anything <Inaudible> and so just <Inaudible> was overwhelmed dealing with cancer and so many other issues and never really thought about me drawing on him at age 62 or age 64.

Well Pauline there’s not really a look-back, but here’s a possible benefit for you.  I don’t know what your late husband’s Social Security amount is, but if you are eligible, do you have benefits yourself based on your own earnings record?

Yes.

Oh okay, so you just answered my question because I was think if you were taking your husband’s survivor benefit, you did have Social Security benefits and you could let them grow until your age 70 at 8% per year and then flip over if that would be advantageous for you.

If you don’t have earnings on your own.

Yeah, if she doesn’t have earnings, no.

Unfortunately Pauline, you missed the boat.  You missed the opportunity to collect <Inaudible> 62 on a portion of your husband’s Social Security and then at his death you would have taken over his full Social Security.  I’m sorry you missed that opportunity, but unfortunately there is no way to re-capture what you were entitled to.

That’s one of the things I teach in my Social Security workshop is that the Social Security office is not going to come banging on your door.

They don’t.  They don’t tell you what you’re entitled to.

So, when’s your next workshop.

Coming up in July.  It’s going to be the 28th, which is a Thursday.  This time it’s going to be in the evening from 6:00 until 7:30.  So come on out.  Nancy <Inaudible> and I will be hosting this.  There will be light refreshments for your enjoyment and hopefully we’ll be able to provide you with some good information on Social Security, which is something that most Social Security offices do not do.

How do we get more information about this?

Well, go to our website at FinancialGroup.com and simply register there.  It’s right there or you can feel free to e-mail us.  That’s always available too.

All right, we’ll give you the e-mail address and a whole bunch more.  We’ve got to break now for Dave Wall in the news center.  When we come back we’ll take more of your phone calls.  Here’s the telephone number.  It’s 844-220-0965.  We’ll read some of your texts as well at 21232.  You know why?  Because <Inaudible>.  Coming up on 9:28 on News 96.5 WDBO, with the music of Elton John, brought to you by the Certified Financial Group in what, two weeks from now?

May 7.

May 7.  All right.  Let’s get a quick call in from George here before we have to get to the news room.  Good morning, George, how can we help you?

Good morning.  I have two annuities.  One is doing real good.  The other one is pretty lousy.  But <Inaudible> the surrender charge is horrible.  Is there any way to get around that?

Generally not, because when you bought that annuity the insurance salesman received a commission and they paid him the commission and so if you cash it out before the surrender period is over, they’re going to recover what they paid the insurance salesman from you.

Denise has a statement here.

Well, George, there’s two annuities.  You say one is doing pretty good and the other one is not doing pretty good.  I don’t know if they’re variable annuities, if they’re indexed annuities.

What kind of annuities are they, George?

Well I want to convert <Inaudible> with an IRA and then <Inaudible> put more money into it.

I understand that.  So the one that’s not doing very well, is it variable?  Are you invested in the market and maybe what we call sub-account/mutual fund.

I really can’t answer that, I don’t know.

That’s what I would do.  I would take your policies to whomever would have sold them to you or get a second opinion with one of the planners here because if it’s not doing well then you can probably change the investments if it’s a variable annuity to perhaps <Inaudible> for you.

<Inaudible> but I’m not going to make any input <?>.  It’s from a credit union.

That doesn’t make it bad.

This one — every time I get a statement I’m a little off <?>.

How long have you had it, George?

A couple, two, three years.

Well you probably have a few more years of surrender penalty to get out of it.

What you need to do is reallocate the investments there.  I’d go back to the insurance salesman and tell him what could we do to change this.

Well you’ve got to remember when you’re investing the investments don’t always go straight up.  You’re going to have <Inaudible> go like this and then it goes down, and you don’t want to bail out at the wrong time, so I don’t want to tell you <Inaudible> cash it out, but you should go back to the person who sold it to you and try to get some clarification and <Inaudible>.

<Inaudible> thank you very much.

Thanks for the call.

We have an open phone line for you as well.  The number is 844-220-0965, or text us at 21232.  This is the Certified Financial Group annual Shred-a-thon.  What’s the address, Joe?

1111 Douglas Avenue, Altamont Springs, just south of 434, just west of I-4.  You can go to our website, FinancialGroup.com, we’ll get you a map.  You’re entitled or welcome to bring two banker’s boxes maximum and you will see the stuff shredded right before your eyes.  We have a steady stream of cars coming through.  We’ve got some coffee and donuts, and you’ll get the opportunity to win the last two remaining tickets for the springs concert, a tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John at the Springs Community in Longwood on May 7.  So come on by, say hello, and we’ll be here until about 11:30, 12:00.

It’s an ask the expert Saturday morning on News 96.5 WDBO.  This is On the Money, brought to you by the Certified Financial Group.  Playing the music of Billy Joel.  Joe, can you imagine this backed up by a philharmonic orchestra?

I’m really looking forward to a great evening and we hope to see a lot of our listeners there, May 7.  Unfortunately it is sold out.  However, you have an opportunity It’s sold out, however you have an opportunity to come by and win the last two remaining tickets in Orlando for the concert.  Just come on by our office, 1111 <Inaudible> Avenue between 9:00 <Inaudible> 11:30 and enter the drawing and you may be the lucky winner.  Bring your shredding stuff, because we are having a shred event going on right now.

Yeah.

You can bring a maximum of two <Inaudible> boxes of stuff and you’ll see it shredded right before your eyes.

Alright.

We say stuff.  What would people — what would you consider, stuff.

Well, you know your old tax forms.  Anything with your Social Security number.  You’ve got account numbers, you’ve got dates of birth.  I mean, with this private information, you don’t want to lightly place it in the garbage can.  You want that stuff chewed up because Joe, as you know, there’s a lot of hoodlums out there and they like to take advantage of people and we don’t want them to do that.  So, come on by, bring your boxes.  You can have two banker’s boxes.  Form up and let that stuff get chewed up.

And you can go to our website, financialgroup.com, get more information on that, but <Inaudible>

Yeah, I love that commercial on here that goes getting to know you.

Denise Kalbach and Joe Burt are both certified financial planning professionals with the Certified Financial Group in Altamonte Springs and as they say, they’re out on remote.  They’re doing an Annual Shred-a-Thon.  We’ll be — is there a line of cars by the way, or can people just —

No, it’s a nice steady stream.  So, you can get in and get out in two minutes.

Okay.

We have a <Inaudible>

Unless they want to stay and have a cup of coffee and have a donut.

Yeah.

And if you’d like to talk to Joe and Denise on the phone right now, Joe, what can they talk to you about right now?

Once again, Denise and I are here to answer any questions that might be on your mind regarding your personal planning.  What do I do with my IRA, my 401k, stocks, bonds, real estate, my life insurance, I have an annuity, reverse mortgages, tax questions, Social Security questions, anything that’s on your mind that you’re trying make a decision on and you’ve heard this, you’ve heard that in one of these seminars.  We’re here to kind of clear up the fog.  So, good news for you.  We’ve got some open lines and all you’ve got to do is pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Boy, I wish you guys had one of those microphone wind flags out there that could block the wind going through your microphone.

Is it that bad, huh?

Oh yeah.  Oh yeah.

It’s pretty doggone windy.

Oh yeah.

I’m with you out there.  I mean, how do you have your hair, Denise?

My hair?

Yeah, is it tied back?

It’s up.  Oh yeah.  Definitely.

This is not the kind of day for an outdoor event, is it?

Or is it?

Oh, it is, perfect.  It’s windy and there’s no big sunshine, so we’re in good shape out here.

Here’s a question; But I am retired.  Why do I still need to invest my money?

Well, you know what I could say about that, life expectancy in the US, and I think quite frankly that throughout the world, are on the rise.  Since the mid 1960s, people have — well, actually, life expectancies have risen from 70 years to an average of 79.  So, that means the average retiree at 62 today could easily spend more than two decades, if you will, being retired.  So, even more if you’re, perhaps, a millennial, or generation Z.  So, inflation, and Joe knows this, it’s a bad boy.  We — it’s averaged about 3% <Inaudible>, so you know, you need to invest some of — or most of your money in order to outpace inflation so you don’t outlive your money.  Just a couple other things, you know, the uncertainty of the future Social Security benefits.  What are they going to do?  Joe and I were talking about <Inaudible> Roth IRA <Inaudible> at the end of the day? Who’s going to have our Social Security benefits for those of us who aren’t taking it yet? That could be a problem, so you need to grow your money and then, may I say any less than cost associated with medical care, prescriptions, that’s going to be a huge expense.  I think in retirement, the average person spends, what, $250,000 on health expenses, Joe?

Exactly.  The average person.

Something like that, so you know, investing during your golden years is really important.  Don’t take — just don’t want to take unnecessary risks as you invest your money.

What you want to do is invest your money as conservatively as possible and still have a high probability of not running out of your money when you’re 90.

That’s what we do.  That’s what financial planning is all about.  It’s not just investing.  Before we invest client money, we take a deep dive into reading what it is they need, what their lifestyle is.  We don’t want to put you on a budget, but what we want to do is make sure that you have enough income coming in so you can do the things that you hope to do so you don’t wake up somewhere in your late 70s and say gee, I wish I’d have known 10 years ago that I could have or should have not done this.  That’s what it’s all about.

It’s very interesting, sorry, we have some time I guess.

No, you don’t.

No, you don’t.

We don’t have time?

No, I think we’ve got to answer some of these callers.

We’ve got some callers? Oh, I didn’t know.  I can’t see your board.  So, tell me what you’ve got going on.

The Oracle of Orlando cannot see my board.  Come on.

Alright, let’s talk to Linda in Orlando.  Hi, Linda.

Hi, how are you?

Good, Linda.  How can we help you?

I have a question regarding Social Security.  How long do you have to be working or paying into the system in order to collect benefits at retirement age?

Well, the bottom line is you’ve got to pay in for 10 years and you qualify by your highest earnings.  So, there’s 35 years of your earnings that they’re going — your highest earnings that is, Linda, that you’re going to — they’ll take a look at and they’ll go calculate what your Social Security will be based on that.

Yeah, you have to —

Okay.

<Lost Signal> 40 quarters, which is equivalent to 10 years, and what they do is they take your high 35, your highest 35 years, and that’s what your benefit is based on adjusted for inflation.

Okay.

<Inaudible>

In order to get a benefit, you have to do that and some people, getting their Social Security statement, is you know they’re just sure it’s another year or maybe just a couple of quarters, and you know if you work, get back into paying the system, you’re eligible now for a benefit.  It may not be a great benefit, but at least it’s something.

It’s still something.

Paying in for eight or nine years, you’re only going to grab that <Inaudible>

Sure.

Off to Mark in Orange.  Good morning, Mark.

Hi, good morning.

Good morning.

This is about stocks.  Can you hear me?

Yeah.

Mm-hmm.

Go ahead.

Yeah, sometimes I’ll be watching the graph like the <Inaudible> economics graph and I’ll bring a particular stock that I have.  The big question that I have is —

If we watch that little —

Little ball thing move up and down <Inaudible> people buy shares or they sell shares.  Sometimes, there will only be like 1,000 that <Inaudible> and the ball will go up and show 10% or something.  A huge increase.

Okay.

Why is that?

<Inaudible> is thinly traded, which means there’s not a lot of activity.  A thinly traded stock will move like that.  There’s not a lot of activity.  So, if there’s not a lot of buyers and not a lot of sellers, it moves up as <Inaudible> or, or, I should <Inaudible> active because it’s in demand.  So, it’s the value that’s going to affect the spread.  That’s what’s going on.

Yeah.  Well, definitely what I wanted to know.

Well, okay.

Let’s talk to Ron in Melbourne.

Hello, Ron.

Hey, Ron.

Hey, good morning everybody.

Good morning.

I’ve got a question on file and suspend.  I’m 64, <Inaudible>, my wife is 66 right now and she started collecting Social Security benefits, a small amount, at 62.  Like I said she’s 66 now.  What is the procedure for file and suspend if I want to get her the full benefit — or, do we qualify?

Well, your wife qualifies for file and suspend, but because she’s already filed, she can suspend, which would mean that you’d be eligible to collect half of her benefit unless you were at full retirement age <?>.  You are really not eligible to file and suspend anymore, but you can <Inaudible> so your wife, number one, can either suspend her benefits and let them grow and increase every year until she’s age 70, and then flip them back on.  Or, she can just continue <Inaudible> her benefits.  Either way, <Inaudible> 66 has the opportunity to file on her record.  Does that answer your question, Ron.

Not really, because my wife doesn’t — she’s <Inaudible> the past three years <Inaudible> denied.  <Inaudible> I didn’t want it <Inaudible> it was a tough job <Inaudible>.

Right, well you could file and suspend, but if you’re suspending, nobody can file on your record now.  So, your benefit for suspending is simply going to be to maximize your overall benefit.  You don’t want to take your benefit, you want it to grow until age 70.  So, that’s where you’re at right now.

I see, so I think just <Inaudible>

Actually, you gave him a solution that could help him, I believe, right?

But he says <Inaudible>

She’s collecting benefits on her own record?

<Lost Signal> connection <Inaudible>

The wind is really picking up again out there, Joe.

Sorry, guys.

I’ll tell you what.  This is — it’s kind of getting out of hand out there.  So, while we straighten that out, we’re going to go to the News Center with Dave Wall, how’s that sound? Then we’re going to come back and we’re going to take some more of your telephone calls because I just can’t stand that wind out there.  The number to call if you’d like to join us is 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  You can text us a question as well.  The texting number is 21232.  21232.  We do have the ability to put your voice on here if you want to use the open mic.  You can find the open mic on the News 96.5 app.  We’re going to come back.  We’ll talk to Mike in Apopka and we’ll take your phone call as well.  Because we’re planning tomorrow today with the Certified Financial Group.

Ah man, this guy.  Elton John.

Elton.

I don’t care what you think of the guy’s politics or anything like that, this is a one in a million — I don’t think we’ll ever meet another Elton John.

One of those unique voices.  You don’t even need to know who it is.  Whatever song he’s singing, you know it’s Elton.

And the music of Elton John is coming to Orlando and you have a chance to win the last two tickets to see it, right Joe?

That’s right.  Just come on by our office this morning and participate if you’d like in our Shred Event, the Annual Shred Event, where we give you the option to bring two banker’s boxes of your stuff and watch us shred it right before your eyes.  There’s coffee, and donuts, and register to win two free — the only two remaining tickets in Orlando for the Elton John, Billy Joel Tribute that we’ve done with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.  We’ll proudly participate for the 5th year at the Springs Community in Longwood.  So, if you want more information, go to our website.  That’s financialgroup.com.  That’s financialgroup.com.

Alright, let’s get some calls in.  This is Mike in Apopka.  Good morning, Mike.

Good morning, Mike.

Hi, Mike.

Good morning.  How is everybody doing?

Great.  How can we help you?

I’m 68 and still working full-time.  If I understand what you’re saying, I need to file and suspend before April 29th as opposed to waiting until I’m 70 to file, otherwise I will lose the money.

Well, Mike, are you married?

Yes, I am.

Okay, how old is your wife?

She’s 61.

Okay, 51.

61.  61 or 51?

61.

61, okay.

Yeah, five-one.

Okay.

Five-one? Five-one.

I heard five-one too.  Okay, so.

Five-one.

Alrighty.  Well, one of the <Inaudible> you’ve got a young one there, but it’s not a good thing when it comes to Social Security planning.  The bottom line is if you wanted your spouse to be able to file on your record, Mike, without you taking your benefit, you would want to file and suspend.  I probably still would do it and the reason I say that is because if you file and suspend for you, you’re not going to have the benefit of your young wife to be able to file on your record at this time.  But, let’s say two years down the road or whatever, if you have a big expense and needed some cash for whatever reason, if you file and suspend it today, you get that two year period in a lump sum.  You can go back to day one and get that benefit.  Your Social Security amount will go back as well in amount, but you have that option.  If you don’t file and suspend before the end of the month, you’re not going to have that option.

So, the bottom line here, Mike, is that if you file and suspend — so, you’re filing, but you’re suspending, is having Social Security filing and going on record that by retirement age of 70 <?> if everything is saved the way it is, I’ll take my benefit, which will be 16% higher than what it is today, but you’re not going to get — but you’re suspend — so you’re suspending benefit.  But, as Denise says, if something happens and you need to get your hands on a lump sum of money, you can claim those benefits in a lump sum and then your benefit would start at the reduced amount that it would be at 56, right? Or 66 or 68?

68.

The amount that he would get going forward would be his reduced benefit at age 68, not 66, if you filed at 68.  Is that correct? I’m not going to be <Inaudible>.

<Inaudible> right now.

It would be the reduced benefit, absolutely.  It would go back to whatever —

68.

That’s exactly right.  Now, I want people to be very careful now because if you have a spouse that’s eligible for a restricted application, and you both might be eligible for a restricted application and maybe even file and suspend, if you file and suspend you can’t file a restricted application, okay.  So, you need to be very careful as far as which strategy is going to make sense for you, and I know Joe and I — and the other planners here in the office, we have a system here where we help our clients determine how they can maximize their overall benefits so they don’t make mistakes like that.  One of the things, you know, people — I’ve been hearing nightmares about Social Security offices for a long time.

<Inaudible> very ill informed.

People are very ill informed there, so you need to figure out how to maximize your Social Security benefits before you go apply for benefits because people there are simply an order taker.  You just need to talk to somebody who can deliver some solid advice there.  But yeah, Mike, does that make sense? The file and suspend strategy might be good for you.

Just a heads-up —

It makes a lot of sense.

So, go on and do it.  It doesn’t cost you anything, and it will give you some flexibility.

We’re —

Or just a heads-up that <Inaudible> for our clients, we’re able to file for your benefits right here in our office to keep you out of standing in lines and answer the question <?>.  So, if you’re a client of ours, we encourage you to give us a call and we’d be glad to do that for you.  Just make an appointment and reach out.

You know, you’d think if the Social Security office is run like a business, things would run a lot smoother.

Well, let’s not go there.

Exactly.

Alright, that said we’ve got a whole nother hour.

Hour 2:

Well once again, Denise and I are here as you said doing our program live from our lobby because it got too windy outside, and we’re hosting our annual shredding event where we bring in a large commercial industrial shredding truck, and you can bring your stuff right to our office and have it shredded right before your eyes.  There’s a two box maximum that you can bring to us, and you’re also welcome to come by and register for the last two remaining tickets to the Billy Joel Elton John tribute with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra at the Springs Community in Longwood on Saturday evening, May the 7th.  Bring your blankets and your adult beverages and kick back under the stars and listen to some great music.  The philharmonic backs up a tremendous tribute band that will replicate the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, you’ll think they’re right there on stage.  So if you want to come by and register to get those tickets, just go to our website, financialgroup.com, that’s financialgroup.com.  While you’re there you can get information on how to find our office.  We’re in Altamonte Springs one block west of I-4 and one block south of 434.

They can also find a list of things that they need to shred and things they need to keep.  So if there’s any questions about that, we’ve got that information for you as well.

That’s a lovely voice sitting next to you Joe, that sounds like Denise Kovach.

The one and only.

Yes it is.

Denise Kovach, who is also a certified financial planning professional with the Certified Financial Group, and a Harley rider.

I am and I was going to ride my bike in this morning, but 40% chance of rain, why do it.

Oh well.

No fun riding in the rain.

Do you have clients who are Harley riders as well.

I do, I do.

Isn’t that cool.

It is.

So if you’d like to talk to Joe or Denise about what Joe, what do we take calls about.

Once again, Denise and I are here to answer any questions that might be on your mind regarding your personal finances.  As we say, we go through life trying to make decisions about how we’re going to live once the paycheck stops because you’ll have Social Security, some folks have pension, but generally that’s not enough.  So what we do is go through life trying some of this, trying some of that, and hope it all comes together, only to wake up when you’re 55 years old and say gee, I’ve a collection of financial accidents.  We’re here to kind of clear away the fog to answer questions that you might have regarding Social Security, and stocks, and mutual funds, and IRAs, 401ks, reverse mortgages, life insurance, all that and more.  Denise and I are here right now to take your questions, and you can call anonymously, you don’t have to leave your real name.  There isn’t any question that we have not heard, and if we don’t have the answer right away, what do we do, Denise.

I was thinking of something.  You just blew my mind and I went over <Inaudible> you keep referencing this age 55, and I just went into deep thought why, it’s because guess how old I’m going to be in a few months.  I’m like I’m going to be that wild age, and I’m like you keep referencing that and I’m not liking it at all.

<Inaudible> 35.

My focus just went off on you.  I’m so sorry.

That’s alright.  So if you don’t know the answers, we know the people that do have the answer.

Absolutely.

<Inaudible>

There’s no question that we haven’t heard, and we don’t want you to make the mistake that we see a lot of people walking <Inaudible> offices for the first time showing us the mistakes they have made.  Give us a call.  The good news for you, there’s probably a couple of lines open, and the number is:

844-220-0965.  I also have six texts that we’re going to get to as well.  Let’s start <Inaudible>.  James in Ormond Beach has been one patient soul, so let’s get to James right away.  Good morning, James.

Good morning, guys.  Love the show, thanks.

Thank you.  How can we help you.

I’m 63.  My ex-wife with divorce is 62.  Is she eligible to file and suspend under my Social Security.

Well, she’s not eligible.  Neither of you, James, are eligible to file and suspend.  That opportunity is lost for you.  You’re both eligible to file but it’s called restricted applications.  Were you married at least 10 years.

Yes.

Have you been divorced at least two.

Yes.

Alrighty.  What happens is you can file for benefits on your ex because of those parameters, and you don’t even have to tell your ex that you’re doing it because you’ve been divorced two years.  If you haven’t been divorced two years that’s different.  Your ex will have been — you have to take benefits before you can do so.  But you’ve been divorced two years so you can do that.  But you’re 63 years old and if you do, you’re going to get a reduced benefit.

The other thing is are you still working.

No, I just retired in January.

There you go, because that’s another topic in its own.

Let’s summarize here.  Because he’s been married for 10 years, divorced for two, his wife is 62, he is 63, he can go in and file on his wife’s record.

He can do that and he’s going to need to take a divorce decree and the marriage certificate.

Then when he reaches full retirement age <Inaudible> options.

Well, here’s the thing.  When he’s full retirement age, okay, he’s already taking a reduced benefit, so that’s not going to change.

He’s claiming on his wife’s <Inaudible>

It’s a spousal benefit, but the thing is if you’re not of full retirement age, you don’t have a choice.

Got it, that’s why <Inaudible>

<Inaudible>

Permanently reduced, but you can do it.

Okay, no, I really don’t — the next question I had, because I wanted to come to the office, but I have a 401k that I’m thinking about should I start withdrawing on that, because I don’t want to —

Do you need to supplement your income?

No, not at this time, no.

Then I wouldn’t draw on it, I’d let it continue to defer.  You have to take it out at age 70 and a half, and you can take it out prior to that at your age because you’re older than 59 and a half.  But if you don’t need it, why take it out and pay taxes.

But the option for you is if you want some guidance on that, you can roll it into an IRA.  Denise and I and the 10 other CFPs here at Certified Financial Group do this all the time with our clients.  They’re leaving their job and they say I’ve got this 401k, this is a big pile of money.  I want to be sure that it’s going to be managed correctly, otherwise it’s just going to drift.  So you can do a tax-free transfer, roll into an IRA and have it professionally managed.  We do that for a fee, James.  The minimum account size is $100,000.  We’re not brokers, we don’t receive commission or compensation by trading in your account, what we do is provide advice.  So <Inaudible> information come to our website, that’s financialgroup.com, financialgroup.com.  I appreciate the call, thank you.

Thank you too.

Thank you James.  Let’s move on because we’ve got a stack of callers wanting to talk to you folks.  Rick in Deland is up.  Hi, Rick.

Hey, how you doing.

Alright.  What’s up.

I’m 64 years old and planning on retiring at the end of 2018, only because of the calendar year and how it fits with my work.  After that I plan on working part-time.  The question I have is I’ve been told from numerous folks and I haven’t really looked into it, and you’ve piqued my interest: after 66 is there a limit to how much I can make and still collect my full Social Security.

No.  You’re full retirement age, you can make as much as you want.  The downside is your benefits may be taxable, that’s a calculation that you can work out.  But as far as your benefits being reduced because of you working and making too much money, that’s not the case.

Oh, well that’s <Inaudible>

<Inaudible> answer your question.

Yes it did.

Now the benefit to you of deferring that if you don’t need the income because you’re working part-time and you don’t need the Social Security income, what happens if he waits until age 70.

Oh, well you’re getting 8% per year of growth on that money, so it might behoove you just to hang on tight and let that grow for you, because you’re going to maximize your benefit for the long run.

Real quick question: if somebody’s making only $1,500 a month, do they need to file a tax return.

I’m sorry Kirk, I was reading something.

What’s the minimum amount of money a person needs to make before they have to file a —

When you have to file, I can tell you in a nanosecond.  Why don’t we go to the next question.

The next question was how much house can I afford on $100,000 a year.

With interest rates being what they are, take a 30-year mortgage at a 4% interest rate, you can probably — somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 is what you’re eligible for.

Let’s talk to Glen in Orange County.  Good morning, Glen.

Good morning.  I’m trying to understand better the file and suspend.  It sounds like it could benefit my wife and I, but just give me an elementary definition of what it actually does and what it provides for me.  I am 57, <Inaudible> is 56.  I know we’re a bit early to file and suspend, but it’s not too early to start thinking about it, and if it would even be available to us.

Well, it’s not Glen, you’re too young.  Good thing is that you’re too young, the bad thing is you’re too young for this type of benefit.  Again, as we’ve told our listeners earlier, the file and suspend, to be eligible to do that and still reap the current benefits of allowing your spouse to file on your record, you have to be age 66 prior to May 1 of this year.  You’ve got to file the application prior to April 29th I believe it is, whatever that Friday is before.  So you at 57, you’re not eligible, and then your wife at age 56 is not eligible.  And the restricted app, you have to be age 62 at least by January 1st of this year.  That’s not the case either.  Does that answer your question.

Yes it does.  Thank you very much.

Okay.  There’s still ways you can maximize your overall benefit.  We’ve talked before, waiting to take it and so forth.  Again, if anybody wants to learn about their own personal situation and what they need to do to maximize their benefits, we do this a lot for clients.

And you’ve got the workshop coming up, when is it.

It’s coming up on July the 28th.  It’s our bootcamp, alrighty.  So Glen, if you have an interest in learning a little bit more about strategies that might be more in line with you and your wife, come on out.  It’s from 6:00 until 7:30.  Nancy Hect, my colleague and I will be hosting that.  There’ll be some light refreshments and so forth.  It’ll be here in our office, again that’s Thursday evening, July 28th, from 6:00 to 7:30.  Simply go online, financialgroup.com.  Pull up our seminars and you can just plug in your information and RSVP from there.

We’ve got Bertha, Jack, and Mark standing by.  Hang on, we’ll give you your due course coming up right after Dave Wall in the news center.  Quickly from the texting board, is buying into one annuity that guarantees you an income for life better than diversifying your funds.

Is that all — it depends on the situation.  Diversification as we preach is a necessary thing for your portfolio, but do you want to take all of your portfolio and put it into an annuity to provide the income.  Do you need the income, do you need the security that it provides, and do you understand that by doing so, if you were to pass away the next day, there could be a probability that that money is gone and belongs to the life insurance company.  It really depends on the person and their needs, and it could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing.

This is where planning comes in because people oftentimes buy a product, it’s the end all, be all, <Inaudible> takes all my situations without knowing and analyzing what the possible solutions could be.  This is why you need to do some planning before you go out and start buying investments.

Maybe even a reverse mortgage would be better off for this person versus putting all of the money into an annuity.

Exactamundo.

And lots of things.

Let’s get to Dave Wall in the news center, then we’ll come back for some more calls and some more texts.  The number if you’d like to join us, 844-220-0965.  The texting number is 21232.  We’re planning tomorrow —

Today.

It’s just my job five days a week.  A rocket man, oh a rocket man.  I think it’s going to be a long, long time ’til touchdown brings me ’round again to find —

It’s an Ask the Experts Saturday morning on News 96.5, WDBO.  This is On the Money brought to you by the Certified Financial Group.  We’re featuring the music of Billy Joel and Elton John — Sir Elton John this morning, because the Certified Financial Group is bringing you the next concert at the spring, which is going to be the Orlando Philharmonic and some — it’s a stage band, right.  It’s a band along with singers and everything, right.

Yeah, it’s the whole deal.  You would think it’s Elton John and Billy Joel right there before your ears and backed up by the full complement of the Orlando Philharmonic.  It’s always been a wonderful evening.  We’re proud to be the sponsors again for the fifth year in a row.  Last year we had the Eagles tribute, this year Elton John and Billy Joel.  If you want to register for the last two remaining tickets in Orlando you can do that this morning up until about 11:30, 11:45.  Come on by and if you’d like to bring some shredding stuff that you’ve been accumulating all year long with your personal financial information on it, you can do that too, a maximum of two bankers boxes.  You’ll see it shredded right before your eyes.  If you want more information, simply go to our website.  You can go on the mobile app or mobile device and find it.  That’s financialgroup.com, that’s financialgroup.com.

Let’s talk to Jack in Deltona, good morning Jack.

Hi, how can we help you.

Two questions for you.  First one, I was recently divorced less than a year ago, and my question is am I eligible for any spousal Social Security.  We’re both in our 70s.

Are you collecting Social Security now on your own record.

I am, I’m collecting as a single person.  I’m 71.

Okay, now I’m just going to think outside the box here, Jack —

You’ve been married 10 years but you haven’t been divorced two, so that’s out the window anyway, right.

Right.

<Inaudible> about a year, and she just recently died.

<Inaudible>

Am I eligible for spousal Social Security as a little extra add-on to my little tiny Social Security.

Well not in addition to yours, okay, but if she recently passed you may be eligible for the spousal benefit —

The survivor benefit.

I’m sorry, yes, they both begin with S.

But it may be less than what you’re getting.

<Inaudible> spousal benefit would I be eligible, possibly eligible for.

Well, if the benefit is greater than your own benefit, Jack, then it would be the survivor benefit.  That’s what you may be eligible for, it’s called survivor benefit.

I understand.  My Social Security gross is about 948, her Social Security — her disability Social Security total is about 600.

You’re not going to want that because yours was greater, so the answer is no.

Okay, the other question is this.  Previous to this many years ago I was married for a long period of time, I was active duty Navy, US Navy.  My question is is that ex-wife of many years ago eligible for — understand that she is eligible for a piece of my — some Social Security benefits.

Were you married 10 years, Jack, to her.

Yes.

Okay, she is.  Absolutely she is.  That’s not going to take away from your benefit, you understand.

<Inaudible>

I’m sorry, say that —

All SSI needs is proof of marriage.

And divorce.

Right.

It makes it easy if she still has your Social Security number.  The bottom line is it’s not going to affect your benefits at all, or if you remarried it won’t affect your new spouse’s benefits.  It won’t affect your children’s benefits if they’re eligible.

Alright.

I’m in a New York state of mind.

How apropos, come this week I think we’re all going to be in a New York state of mind, right Joe.  Yeah, Tuesday is the New York primary.

Oh yeah, that’s right.

One of my favorite things to do in life is to come in real early in the morning and work with Joe Kelly on Orlando’s morning news, and he’ll be all over this New York primary this week.  The 2016 election headquarters folks, it is News 96.5, WDBO.  We’re playing the music of Billy Joel for a good reason because the Certified Financial Group is bringing you the music of Billy Joel and Elton John coming up — when is this concert.

May the 7th.  If you want more information simply go to our website, that’s financialgroup.com, but you have an opportunity to register for the last two remaining tickets in Orlando.  Come by our office this morning, bring your shredding material, two bankers box maximum, and you can register between now and about 11:30, 11:45.  Go to our website, financialgroup.com, and it’ll give you some information and a map, and hope to see you.

That’s Joe Bert.  Joe Bert is along with his colleague Denise Kovach are live at the office of the Certified Financial Group.

We are.

You can talk to them right now.  Here’s the number: 844-220-0965 or text 21232, and I promise we’re going to get to -1232, and I promise we’re going to get to these texts.  Let’s get to Mark in Seminole County.  Good morning, Mark.

Good morning.

How can we help you.

I’ve got a question about Social Security file and suspend.  I’m 67 and I’m currently collecting, and my wife is 65 and she’s also collecting.  Would it be beneficial for her to file and suspend.

She’s 65, when is she going to be 66.

This August.

Okay, she’s not eligible for the file and suspend.  You however are, but she is not.  She’s too young.

Okay.  Alright.  I don’t think it’d be beneficial for me to do that at this point.

Everybody’s scenario is very different.  If your wife was going to be 66 before the end of this month then there could be some strategies for her, but based on her age there’s not a file and suspend strategy.

If you don’t need the income you can file and suspend and you can defer your benefit up to age 70.  Your benefit will continue to grow at 8% per year, and that’s going to be the benefit that your wife will get when you pass on.  It’s kind of a longevity insurance.  We look at that too when couples are married, she’s going to get the higher of your benefit which is growing until age 70, will probably be higher than what her benefit is.  You want to —

Right —

— in relation to.  If you don’t need the income, it might not be a bad idea.

I’ve done the math and it would take about 12 years to break even if I didn’t collect now until I was 70.  It doesn’t really make sense for me to do that.  But I appreciate this information.

Alrighty, thanks for calling in.

Thank you very much.  You can join us as well, the number is 844-220-0965, or text us at 21232.  This is Bertha, good morning.

Good morning and thanks for the call.

Hi Bertha.

How you doing.

Anybody who’s listened to WDBO for any length of time knows this voice.  This is a regular caller to Sean Hannity’s program.

I love Sean Hannity.  He’s a trip but I like him.  The question that I want to — yesterday I heard this lady talk about she had a court appointed guardian and they wouldn’t let her vote, and she said she’s going to court because she wanted to vote in November, and she sounds like she’s in her right mind.  I’d like to know how did the election department know that she had a court appointed guardian, and who would have given her that.

Well, that’s beyond the scope of what we do as financial advisors.

They said they <Inaudible> oversee her finances.  I mean, can this affect a lot of seniors in Florida if you have a court appointed guardian over your finances, you can’t vote.

I can’t tell you — that’s a legal question, probably one that Tom Olsen can answer, Bertha.  I don’t know how that would work.

That was a shock to me.

Well, the guardian is there to really protect you from yourself.  I don’t know if you give up your voting rights or not.  That’s a question for —

Well they evidently did and she sounds like she got all her marbles to me.

Well, <Inaudible> didn’t.

Thank you.

Alright, thanks for the call Bertha.

Have a great day.

Sean loves Bertha.

I can see why.

She is a trip.  Let’s talk to Russell in Lake County.  Good morning, Russell.

Good morning.

Hey, what’s your question.

I have a question about an old 401k.  I left this job about 25 years ago and I believe they were in a — I had a 401k program with them.  I have not received annual statements from them, but how would I go about finding out if there is a 401k out there under my name or Social Security.

Well first of all you have to contact the third party administrator or the record keeper.  Do you have a statement at all.

I do not, and I was —

You don’t have an old one —

I would not know who the third party administrator would be.

Alright, let’s back up here.  So you don’t have any statement at all.

I do not.

Not an old one.

The only indication I had was when I filed for Medicare, went to the Social Security office, they mentioned this employer that I had 25 years ago, and they said they saw a record there.  I should have followed up at that time but I didn’t.

Okay, is the employer still employing, are they still in business.

It’s possible but the name probably has changed.  It’s gone through so many iterations, it may not even be the same name.

You’re going to need to do a corporate search.  I would start with Google.  I would put in the old company name and try to do a corporate search there.  You can go to the state in which it was incorporated, or at least to maybe start with states in which they were operating, and go to the records there and the business records.  You’re going to have to do some homework, have to do some digging.  How long did you work with the company.

I was with the company for about seven years and then we were bought out by this company.  We were a private company and we were bought out by this other company that was a private company.

Alright, there you go.  That’s where I would start.  If it’s a public company that you were bought out, I would contact the HR department and tell them your situation, and they can probably put you on the right track.  Unless the plan was terminated, they perhaps took over that plan, and if you have more than $5,000 in the plan they can’t throw you out of the plan.  If they lost record of you, you’re one of those orphans out there that they’re trying to find, frankly.  They’d like to get you off the rolls because it’s costing them money to have you in the plan as well.  I’d start with the public company and see what information they can give you.  You’re going to have to do some work, probably some letters, phone calls.  But if they <Inaudible> you, you may have several thousand dollars in there.

It’s not likely, I usually don’t have that kind of luck.  It may be something —

Did you contribute to the plan.  Did money come out of your paycheck.

No I did not, that was the ironic part.

Unless there was some sort of —

I think we were just enrolled.  I think that’s what happened when the other company bought us out.

Well then you may not have much of anything in there.  If you didn’t put anything in there, there’s nothing in there unless there was some sort of profit-sharing piece that the company would have been required to put in in your behalf.  That’s the only way there’d be some money in the account.  I would at a minimum call the HR department, tell them your situation.  You have to be persistent, but it might be worth an afternoon’s time on the telephone.

Okay.  Alright, I like your idea about going to Google.  That sounds good.

Good luck.

Google is good.

Thanks for the call.  We have an open line for you at 844-220-0965.  Let’s get some of these texts here.  I have a large IRA account balance which I’m currently drawing from.  Where can I find an RMD table, that would be where could I find a required minimum distribution table, that would start at age 66.

Isn’t that the IRS publication 590.

Yeah, but why would you start — there’s no RMD at age 66.

Oh, I didn’t get that part.

Yeah, there is no — RMDs start at age 70 and a half.

Correct.  But still, she can go online and pull up the publication, and it’s going to have all the tables including her own in there.  I want to hear about that minimum tax.

Wait, wait, wait, I’ve got that too.  What’s the minimum tax before we have to file — or the minimum salary.

Well, there’s 11 different thresholds here, but let’s say you’re at tax filing earnings for 2015.  If you’re single and younger than 65, it’s 10,300.  If you’re over 65, it’s 11,800.  Married filing jointly, both spouses under 65, is 20,600.  If one spouse is under 65, it’s 21,850.  If both spouses are over 65, it’s 23,100.  <Inaudible> married filing separately or household there’s different numbers, but I don’t want to complicate it.

Okay, so that person that called doesn’t have to worry about that.

<Inaudible> Bill.

Alright, here’s a question.  I have collected widow’s benefits and am going to be 66 in July.  Do I continue these benefits or change.  I called Social Security and they never called back.

Well, that depends because if you’re on — typically I would like to say depending on the situation, stick with the widow’s benefit because your own is going to continue to grow at 8% per year until age 70, at which time you can flip over.

If <Inaudible> if it makes sense.

Yeah, absolutely.  So it really depends on how much the widow’s benefit is and how much that the other benefit will be based on that person’s earnings.

Here’s another text.  What happens to a 401a — I’ve never heard of a 401a.

Yes, it’s a form of a retirement plan.

What happens to a 401a that is strictly contributions from employer when you leave that employment.

Okay, it depends on if you’re vested.  There’s a vesting schedule that depends on how much of that contribution that the employer has put in on your behalf of how much you can keep.  Generally you’re 100% vested after six years and you have the ability to roll that into an IRA and manage it yourself.  If you have more than $5,000 in the plan they can’t kick you out.  If you have less than 1,000 they will send you a check and say sayonara, and that’s it.

Here’s another question.  I’m 47, is it too late to start planning for retirement, and what is the best way to do that.

It’s never too late to start planning for retirement, and the best way to do that is get in front of a professional like myself or Joe Bert, or one of the other 10 planners here at Certified Financial Group.  But you’ve got to start somewhere and let us wrap our arms around the situation.  Do you have an emergency fund, are you married, do you need life insurance, do you have a 401k at your work, if so are you contributing, are you maxing it out, can you.  There’s all kinds of variables involved.

The most important thing that everybody that’s working needs to know is how much do they need to save and invest every year so when they stop working they’ll have enough capital to draw on to maintain their lifestyle in addition to their Social Security and pension.  Unfortunately most people don’t have a clue.  You try some of this and you try some of that, and hopefully when you get to be 65, 66 years old, that you’ve stuffed the cookie jar full enough to draw from <Inaudible> for the next 25 years.  Unless you’re really focused on this, unless you discipline yourself, you’re just operating in the dark.  Then as we say in our ads, you wake up one day and find out you have a collection of financial accidents.  That’s why frankly you want to deal with somebody that does this for a fee, not trying to sell you an annuity or an insurance policy or something.  That’s important stuff, but it isn’t really what’s going to make — determine your financial success.  You really need to have some direction, you need to know where you’re going.  I’m sure Denise will concur with this, the best thing about what we do is when this is all done, you can just see the relief coming across people’s faces.  For the first time in their lives, they know where they are and what they need to do.  There’s nothing more than the unknown and the fear, you put your head on the pillow at night and you kind of hope it all comes together one day.  It’s like seeing the doctor or the dentist for the first time and it’s not as painful.  Believe me, there’s nothing that we have not seen.  It’s kind of like a confessional.

<Inaudible> put it that way.

People bring stuff in and sometimes in a shopping bag, but heck, you need to see a professional.  You need to see someone frankly that’s going to do this for a fee for you, because that’s the only way to get — in our estimation to get fair treatment because they’re not trying to sell you something to pay for their time.

Okay.

<Inaudible> I’m preaching, I am because I’ve been there and I know what it’s all about.

You’ve been on this soap box for 25 plus years here on WDBO.

It’s been our privilege and our honor.

We play this disclaimer that says it’s your opinion, and I think everybody should be of that same opinion, Joe.

I like to see them <?>.

Alright, well hang on.

Benny and the Jets.  Oh, so weird and wonderful, oh baby <?> she’s a really <?> queen.  She’s got electric boots, a mohair suit, you know I read it in a magazine <?> —

It’s an Ask the Experts Saturday morning on News 96.5 WDBO.  Not a whole lot of time left.  At the annual shred-athon at the offices of the Certified Financial Group, how much time that people have to get their boxes of stuff down there to.

About another 40 minutes.  Go to our website, financialgroup.com, get all the information, what you keep, what you shred.  Register for the last two remaining tickets for the concert.

Steady flow of cars out there.

Let’s do some quick questions from the texting board.  I am divorced but married for 18 years.  When I retire, can I collect my ex’s.  I’m presently not retirement age, presently 59.

Absolutely.  She was married 18 years, I presume she’s going to be divorced at least two years by the time she’s retired.

If she is married 10, divorced two.

Alright.  How long do you need to be working or paying into Social Security in order to qualify to collect if you’re retirement age.

Need 40 credits, 10 years.  So you earn a credit four times a year, so 10 years.

I am 64 years old, I took widow’s benefit on my husband.  I’m still working, I’m not sure if I did the right thing.  I plan to work until 70.

Possibly.  She might be sending some of that back depending on how much she’s making, but taking a widow’s benefit allows her to grow her own benefit until she’s age 70, and then she can flip over.  That could be a good thing.

I’m 69, retiring in a year.  My unemployed wife is 4.5 years younger.  The Social Security calculator says my wife can collect on my account at 66 without filing for hers, correct.

I’d say yes, absolutely, she can take a spousal benefit.  She’ll file a restricted application, but he’ll be taking his at 70, so there’s not going to be an issue in that regard.  Yeah, good.

My wife and I are 62, she cannot work due to medical issues and according to her statement does not qualify for Social Security Disability.  What’s the way to go.

There is none.

That’s why you want to pay into the system, my friends.

I’m 52 and contribute $6,200 to Roth IRA.  My employer has deferred comp and now allows Roth deferred option.  Would my limit be 6,500 total or 6,500 times two.

It depends on what your income is and whether or not you can use a Roth.  It depends on what your income is for the limitations.

Real quick, is there any way I can increase my benefit file and suspend.  Will my benefit increase when he dies.  Thank you.

Again, another that depends.  File and suspend, who’s doing that and who’s on first here.  The widow benefit may very well be more than the spousal benefit.

We got a lot of Social Security questions.  Go to our website, go to workshops, go to Denise and Nancy’s workshop coming up.  They’re going to cover all these issues and more.

One more.  I know this is something you would like not to discuss on air, but roughly what are the fees you charge for planning and for consultation.

It’s really a function — first of all, the initial consultation is absolutely complimentary.  It’s like calling the painter and asking him what he’d charge me to paint your house, we have no idea how straightforward or complex your situation is.  You get to meet us, we get to meet you, and we’ll tell you exactly what the fee is, no obligation, to be fair to you and be fair to us.  As we request, go to our website, financialgroup.com

 

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