TRANSCRIPT FOR THE APRIL 23, 2016 “ON THE MONEY” SHOW

Hosts: Judi Sanborn, CFP®, AIF® and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

It is an Ask the Expert weekend on New 96.5 WDBO and it’s good to have you along with us.  This is On The Money, brought to you by Central Florida’s oldest and largest independent —

Independent.

Independent firm —

Wake up.

Of certified financial planning professionals, the Certified Financial Group.  With us this morning, two of the 12 certified financial planning professionals —

Independent.

That would be, the Oracle of Orlando, Joe Burton, in the studio.

Morning.

Good morning, Joe.

Morning, good to be here.

Glad to say hi to Judi Sanborn, who’s back with us again.  Hi, Judi.

Good morning.

It’s nice to see your smiling face as well.

Thank you.

Joe, in case anybody is new to this program — independent —

Independent program.

Judi and I are here to talk about anything that is on your mind regarding your personal finances.  As we say in our little commercials that we run here on 96.5, unfortunately, our educational has probably done a miserable job for generation upon generation of us teaching us how to save and invest for our financial future.  What happens is we approach retirement age, wake up one morning, and realize man, what are we going to do because those paychecks are going to stop somewhere down the road and we’ve got Social Security, but what else?  We want to do all that stuff that we’re doing now and more, and how do we do that?  Well, that’s what we do as financial planners day in and day out at the Certified Financial Group.  As I like to say on Saturday morning, we do it for free and during the week we charge a fee.  So, here we are, Judi and I are here for free this morning to answer any questions that’s on your mind regarding your personal finances.  Oftentimes, it revolves around decisions that you’re thinking about, heard about, learned about, and you want information.  That’s stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, 401(k)s, IRAs, reverse mortgages, annuities, life insurance, all that and more.  Judi and I are here to take your calls and the good news for you it’s your lucky day, if you have any questions, the lines are absolutely wide open.

All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Or, you can text us, send us a short question on your mobile device at 21232.  21232.  We’ll answer that.  Or your voice can become part of the program as well.  Use the News 96.5 open mic tool on the app, on the News 96.5 app.  Well, Judi, it’s so good to have you back in the studio with us.  We’re going to talk about how to retire in a bear market today.  But, the first thing; it’s confusing — I’ve been doing this with you guys for years, and years, and years, but could you once again please tell us the difference — what is the difference between a bear and bull market?

Well, a bear market, by technical definition, is a 20% decline in, typically we use the Dow.  So, if the Dow corrects 20% down, that is typically defined as a bear market.  A bull market, of course, is the end of that 20% decline, and it keeps going up until it makes that 20% decline again.  The bottom of the last bear market was March 9, 2009.  That’s my birthday, not to 2009 obviously.

Really?  And speaking of birthdays —

Yes, and speaking of birthdays —

When’s your birthday, Judi? Tell us.

Today is my mom’s 99th birthday.

<Inaudible> lucky number thank you, March 9th for you, 99 for your mom, bear markets.

Exactly, exactly, so happy birthday, mom.  And she’s doing great, and it’s pretty amazing.  We’re hoping we celebrate her 100th birthday.

Wouldn’t that be great?

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Joe has an easy way to remember the differences between bears and bulls.

Well, aside from the numbers that Judi gave you, which are in fact how they’re determined, people say why is it a bear? Why is it a bull? Well, let’s think about it.  When a bull charges, the bull charges and throws its head up, you know, gets his horns into your abdomen and head up.  Whereas a bear when its attacking you is beating you down, standing on its hind legs and beating you down with its front paws.  So, a bear down, and a bull is up.

I never knew that.

Well, now you know.

Tune in, Judi.

That’s great.

That’s where it comes from.  So, if you look at sculptures of bears and bulls, you can see the bear beating the bull down and the bull trying to gouge the bear.  That’s the way it works.

That’s the way I remember it.  Thank you, Joe.

You’re welcome.  That’s the way you tune in.

That’s an easier way, good.

But, how do we retire in a bear market? You know, I’m getting a lot of e-mails from places that want you to retire in places like Panama and Costa Rica now.

Well, that’s certainly one option, yes, but I would say the majority of people don’t look at that particular option.  But, I think one other statistic that is important to recognize, there’s only been two other bull markets since 1950 that lasted as long as this one because on March 9th this year, that was the 7th anniversary of this particular —

Without a 20% correction.

Without a 20% correction.  I mean, obviously we’ve had a lot of volatility.  So, the S&P closed yesterday at 2,091 and that is from a high of 2,130 that it reached on May 21st of 2015.  So, it would have to drop and close at 1,704 for us to have technically a bear market.  So, the possibility and the probability that we will have a bear market in the next couple of years is very great.  The average frequency of bear markets since 1929 is only 3.4 years.  The average frequency.  So, typically every three to four years we have a bear market, and we’re in the second —

And how many people in the last six or seven years saw a 5% or 10% decline <Inaudible> at the edges because, oh, it’s the — the end of the world is coming, only to be surprised in <Inaudible> going up.

Right.

That’s why you can’t time the market.

Well, what do you do? How do you avoid retiring into a bear market?

Well, there’s a couple of things and you know the easiest thing to do, which none of us really want to hear, work longer.  So, the longer you work, obviously, the more you can save, the more opportunity you have to contribute to your company’s retirement plan, or your own personal retirement plan.  So, that is probably the easiest thing to do.  Theoretically the easiest thing.  I think psychologically for many of us, it’s not the easiest thing to do.  So, what if you choose not to do that? Then what do you do? Well, one option is to make sure that you’re saving outside of your retirement plan, to have maybe two to three years of expenses covered so that you would not have to sell into a bear market, into a declining market so you can cover your expenses.  That’s one option.  You can downsize.  Many people still have 3,000 to 4,000 square foot homes, their children are gone, they have swimming pools, they live on large acreage.  They really don’t need —

You’re talking to me.

I’m probably talking to a lot of people out there and —

You need your freedom, Joe.

Yeah.

So, that is one option.  Another option, we’ve talked about this a lot on our show, is reverse mortgages.  So, if you have equity in your home, and many people have paid off their homes so they have a lot of equity, they can look at the possibility of using a reverse mortgage to create some of that income stream to cover their expenses.  Cut costs, that’s the other thing that we need to look at when we go into retirement around more of a fixed income, is can we reduce our expenses? One strategy is to reduce your expenses during the declining market so you don’t have to sell, and when the market is up and you have more appreciation in your account, that’s an opportunity perhaps to take more income from those accounts.  You could consider locking in your income, and by that I mean if the market is going down and you want to perhaps take some of your money out of the market to protect it, you can look at the possibility of fixed annuities.  I think we talked about that oftentimes on our program, immediate annuities that will provide you with a stream of income.

Now, when we say annuities though, some people they run for the exits because of all the horror stories that are out there.  There are good annuities, and there are bad annuities, and some fit you well, and some you should have never bought.

How do you tell the difference, Joe?

That’s where planning comes in.  Unfortunately, people go to these luncheon and dinner seminars without having really a detailed analysis.  Of all the things Judi talked about; your cash flow, what do I need today, what am I going to need 5, 10, 15 years from now, what’s the impact of inflation, what’s the impact of taxes, where’s the money going to come from, where’s the guaranteed money, where — how often do I buy cars, will I take vacations with my grandchildren? All that stuff, that’s where planning comes in and unfortunately many people make investments, buy annuities or whatever it might be without — it’s like loading up your medicine cabinet without seeing the doctor, right?

Right.

And we’re the doctors.

Exactly, exactly.  So yes, I think unfortunately annuities in the broad definition of annuities get a bad reputation, but there are good annuities and they are good if they’re used appropriately.  So, yes, I think you definitely need to seek some objective advice if you’re going to use that particular strategy.

9:16, it’s 16 minutes after.  Let me give you the telephone number if you’d like to call and talk to Joe Burt and Judi Sanborn from the Certified Financial Group.  844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  You know, one of the things we’re going to talk about today are investing questions you’re too embarrassed to ask.  So, everything is on the table, right guys?

Right.

Everything is on the table.

Dave Wall’s in the News Center and he’s going to join us in about three minutes from now.  Of course, big news today, tragic news out of Ohio where eight people in a family were murdered.  We’ll have more on that coming up and details at the bottom of the hour.  Again, 844-220-0965.  Do you guys cover this in your workshops when these bear and bull markets and retiring? I know you have a workshop coming up.  Doesn’t Gary Abley have a workshop coming up pretty soon?

Yes, he does.  Actually, it is on May 14th, which is a Saturday, from 11:00am to 1:00pm and it’s Financial Basics for Life, Strategies for Success.  We have three others as well.  Gary has two others, of course, June 25th, which is a Saturday from 11:00 to 1:00; When Can You Retire: Know Your Number.  Countdown to Retirement, Saturday, July 23rd from 11:00 to 1:00.  Then we have our Social Security Boot Camp, which is Nancy Hectin and Denise Kabach on July 28th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.  That’s a Thursday.

For more information, all you have to do is go to our website, that’s financialgroup.com, click on workshops, you make a reservation right there, and we hope to see you.

Yeah.  Let me give you the number again.  It’s awfully slow today.

Yes, it is.

If you’d like to call in —

Beautiful Saturday morning.

I know.

People are out to find flowers to get their garden ready for the summertime.

They must be listening to Vince Simms on the Garden Revel.  The number again, 844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  You mentioned reverse mortgages a few minutes ago.  We’re going to get to that a little bit later, okay?

Okay.

Because I have a couple of questions that need to be asked about reserve mortgages.  Of course, we’ve got to break for Dave Wall in the News Center and then we’re going to come back and take some of your telephone calls, okay? 844-220-0965 because we’re planning tomorrow today with the Certified Financial Group.

This hour was paid for by the host and does not reflect the opinion of New 96.5.

Oh, can you wait, Joe?

Hard to believe, huh?

Yeah.  Oof.  The Certified Financial Group is sponsoring the Orlando Philharmonic in, what, a week or two?

Two weeks from today, May the 7th, and the Springs Community in Longwood.  The Orlando Philharmonic will be backing up a tribute band that does the music of Billy Joel and Elton John.  You would think they are right there on stage, folks.  It’s a wonderful evening around the springs, bring your blanket, bring your adult beverages, kick back, and relax.  Enjoy some great music.  It’s casual.  So, I doubt <?> there’s any ties or tuxedos or anything.  It’s real casual, and the good news is there are still a handful of tickets available, so, if you’d like to attend, or, better yet, if you’d like to register to win two free tickets, go to our website.  That’s financialgroup.com, financialgroup.com, and we’d hope to see you there.

And wait until you hear the tribute singer.

Yeah.

Elton John tribute singer.

That will knock your socks off.

Phenomenal.

Oh.

It’s going to be so much fun.

Sometimes the tribute singers are better than the original.

Truthfully, yeah.  Because they’re younger.

They’re younger.

And their voices haven’t been abused by so many concerts, you know?

Right.

Alright, let’s get right to the phones.  First off, if you’re just joining us, Joe Burt is the Oracle of Orlando, and he’s in the studio again with Judi Sanborn from the Certified Financial Group.  You can join us as well.  The number is 844-220-0965.  Talking about your retirement questions.  Thomas is on the line here from Orlando.  Good morning, Thomas.

Morning.

Good morning, Thomas, thanks for the call.  How can we help you?

Well, I’ve had a couple questions.  I’m trying to — actually, I’m just getting ready to turn 50.

That’s the new 30 you know.

Yeah.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

I had a house.  I sold it, made quite a bit of money on it, but I was younger and didn’t realize about the tax on that, so it never got paid.  So, I’ve got a tax lien of 68 — I think 68,000.  That’s going in on my bureau <?> and for the last eight years hadn’t been able to put money anywhere because I’m scared they’re just going to take it.  I have my retirement from the military, which I’m assuming they can’t touch, but I need to put my money somewhere until I can get the problem here solved.

Now, let me know be sure of your tax situation.  Is this an income tax situation?

It was — I made about 180 on the sale of the house.

Was this your personal residence?

Yes.

How long did you live in the house?

About four years.

Well, typically, you don’t owe taxes.  There is an amount that is —

$250,000 if you’re single.

250,000 if you’re single that is not taxable if you sell your primary residence.

250,000 in profit, now.

Right.

So, if it’s your primary residence and <Inaudible> the last five years before you sold the house, you as an individual are entitled to $250,000 of profit, as a married couple, $500,000 of profit.  You had less than 250 it sounds like.

Correct.

So, how did you — where did this — you got a notice from the IRS that you owe $68,000?

No, I mean it just appeared on my bureau about five years ago.

What do you mean? On your credit report?

Correct, as a tax lien.  And that’s —

A tax lien? Well, this was business from the — this is from the county.  You didn’t pay your property taxes.  Not the IRS.

Well, it says federal.

Federal?

I mean, to be honest with you, I’ve kind of ignored it until — now that I’m getting older, I’m trying to —

Yeah, I mean, I think we would recommend that you seek either legal advice or a CPA.  I think a CPA probably would be able to help identify where this is coming from.

Yeah.

Certainly if it’s federal you shouldn’t owe any taxes, and it may be just an error.

Yup.

Mm-hmm.

Could very well be, and you’re worrying about absolutely nothing.  Alright?  I’m — CPA.

Again, hey, we’re coming up against clock here to go back to Dave Wall in the News Center and he’s got a plate full of news today, and a lot of it not too good.  Very sad news today.  We’re going to talk to Tom in Orlando about some universal life <Inaudible>.  Betty in Deltona wants to talk about an immediate annuity and Michelle, or is it Mary? It’s Mary in Belusha County wants to talk about Social Security spousal benefits.  Can you help them?

We can.

Yes, absolutely.

What else can people call and talk to you about, Joe?

Once again, we’re here to answer any questions that might be on your minds including all of the above that Kirk just mentioned, or anything that relates to your personal finances on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, reverse mortgages.  We’re going to cover that in detail and annuities, and 401(k)s, and IRAs, and all that and more.  We’re here and the good news for you is there’s still two lines open.  Pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  Tom, Betty, and Mary are next and then it’s your call because you know what? Hey, we’re planning tomorrow today with the Certified Financial Group.

Oh, did we mention that the other big musical act is the music of Billy Joel?

Bill Joel.

We forgot to mention that.

Along with the music of Elton John coupled with the Orlando Philharmonic, a full complement of the orchestra backing up a tremendous tribute band that will bring you that music May the 7th at the Springs community in Longwood.  There’s some tickets available.  You can register to win some tickets.  Go to our website, that’s financialgroup.com, financialgroup.com.

Isn’t this a cool song? I hope they do this one.

Oh, they will.

Alright, this is — oh, if you’re just joining us, that was Joe Burt and we have Judi Sanborn from the Certified Financial Group.  This is On The Money, it’s Central Florida’s oldest and largest —

Independent.

— firm of certified financial planning professionals who are bringing you this program for now, what, 25 plus years?

Yeah, we were just talking.  Yeah, I think it’s at least that.

You guys don’t — you haven’t aged a bit.

Yeah, you’re right.

Not a bit.

Either that, or my eyes are getting really bad.  So, if you’d like to ask a question, Joe, what kind of questions could people ask?

Judi and I are here to take questions about anything that’s on your mind regarding your personal finances.  You know, We go through life trying some of this, trying some of that, hearing this reading that, and then we’re confused.  So we’re here to un-confuse you, to clear the fog, and answer questions about your retirement plan, your 401(k), your IRA, reverse mortgages, annuities, life insurance.  We’re all here to answer that question.

All right, let’s get back to the phones at 844-220-0965, Tom, and then we’ll talk to Betty.  Good morning Tom.

Hey good morning.  I like your opinion on the pros and cons of using a flexible premium indexed universal life product.  If you take something like an S&P 30-year average for annual point to point, that’s performing at about 8.3%, you could have a cap of 14 and a half, you could have a guarantee at 3%, and if you could be offered preferred or preferred plus underwriting, that would be appealing.  And a bonus is there’s a free critical illness rider that would pay 24% of the face so if you lost two activities of daily living you could receive a 24% of the face payout to use for disability or long-term care.  There’s always pros and cons.  I’d just like your thoughts on that.

It sounds like you have the brochure there right in your hand.  We’re believers of not mixing apples and oranges, because oftentimes you end up with the worst of both worlds when you combine investing and insurance.  Insurance should be bought separately of any investing because of the loans <?> and the transaction fees and the internal costs that you don’t see when you combine investing and insurance.  And insurance companies do wonderful jobs of convincing us that this is the best way to build your retirement because it grows without being taxed, and they can show you all kinds of wonderful projections, but if you actually run the numbers you’re better off buying term insurance for 25, 30 years, and investing the money on the outside by forcing yourself to maximize your contribution to your retirement plan, you get an immediate tax deduction, and the money will grow for you without being taxed until you withdraw it.  There has been several white papers and articles written about these kinds of things.  One of them is Bank on Yourself.  It’s been around a long time.  Go to our website, FinancialGroup.com, click on Info to Know tab up at the top, Info to Know, and click on the rest of the story.  And you will find out information, what you need to know, that’s been written by independent people about combining life insurance with savings and investing.  In the long term we don’t believe it’s a good choice, but I know some people like to sell it as a package deal, right Judi?

Right.

One investment does it all.  All you have to do is put your money in here and you’ll be happy — live happy ever after.

Again, the number, 844-220-0965.  Let’s talk to Mary, or no it’s not Mary.  It’s Betty.  It’s Betty in Deltona who’s been one patient lass.

Hi Betty.

Hi.

Good morning, how can we help you?

I’m interested in getting information about an immediate annuity.

And what kind — tell us a little bit about what interests you about an immediate annuity.

I heard on your program that it pays better interest and less fees and it was the first time I had heard anything about it, so I know very little about an immediate annuity.  I would just like for you to elaborate on it, please.

Okay, well an immediate annuity is when you give the insurance company an amount of money and they guarantee you a stream of income for the rest of your life or some variation on that depending on what you might choose.  And you give up your principal, if you will.  Immediate annuities are typically more appealing in a higher interest rate environment because the insurance company is going to use the current interest rate environment in their projection for interest rate to determine exactly what that stream of income would look like for you based on your life expectancy.  So that is how an immediate annuity works.  I think it’s important to take your whole financial situation into consideration before you actually choose an annuity and what type of annuity might be beneficial for you, because there are types of variable annuities that would provide you with a stream of income, but you wouldn’t have to give up your principal, meaning if you wanted some of that money back at some point you would have access to that, whereas with an immediate annuity you no longer have any access to the principal.

Betty, what you’re basically doing is you’re buying a pension.  You’re buying, as Judi said, a guaranteed stream of income for your lifetime and/or your lifetime or some other designated beneficiary, in which case the amount that you would get would be less than if you took it solely over your lifetime.  And when you get that check every month, most of it coming back to you is your own money.  It’s your own principal coming back and a little bit of earnings, but you give them $100,000, if you live 25, 30, 40 years, that money is going to continue to come in for your lifetime.  If you get hit by the proverbial bus  next week, the insurance company keeps the money and that’s the end of the story.  So basically what you’re doing is you’re buying a guaranteed stream of income much like Social Security.  As Judi said, it’s — I used it in the past, I have clients that have used it.  In the right circumstances for a portion of your money it’s a way to lock down some guaranteed income but you certainly don’t want to put all of your funds in that kind of basket.

Thank you, Joe.  That was very informative <Inaudible>.  The number to call:  844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  Judi, if somebody wanted to reach out to you during the week, how would they do that?  They can call our office, 407-869-9800.  They can go to our website, FinancialGroup.com, and click on request a complimentary consultation and send an e-mail and request that.  They can e-mail me and any of us by typing in our name.  Mine’s Judith@FinancialGroup.com.  And you can go on our website and see a biography of each one of us.

And pictures.

And pictures.  If there’s somebody that appeals to you more, you can contact us directly.

Joe Burt’s the handsome one there in the picture.

Yeah, right.  Photoshop is a wonderful thing.

Oh, no.  We’re coming up on 9:45 on News 96.5, and Dave Wall is in the news center, keeping an eye on all developments going on today in the news.  Tragic news out of Ohio, hell tell us about it.  Also, North Korea, <Inaudible> again.  Who would have thought that they had submarines?  Not me.  He’ll have all of that for you coming up in five minutes from the news center.  Let’s talk to Robert in Orange County.  Good morning, Robert.

Hey, good morning.  How’s it going?

Good, how are you?

I’m good, I can’t complain.  Reason for the phone call, last year in May, May 2015, I opened up an LLC.  I just got into the business of buying real estate, fixing them, and then selling them forward.  But at the same time I also opened up a few credit cards under my name, just because it’s so difficult to get any business loans out there, especially in your first year.  Is there any repercussions to this?  Is there any alternative that you would recommend?  Should I continue doing the same thing?

Well, what you’re after is obviously cash and you found a <Inaudible> way to get cash, but there are downsides to it, right Judi?

Well, credit card debt, I would say, is a downside, so if you’re carrying that and paying the interest, that’s connected to it.  I think you would have to be careful that that doesn’t get out of control.

Robert, what you’re after is what most — basically you’re running a small business.  You’re buying homes, fixing them up, and selling them, and you have the challenge that every small business has, and that’s getting capital.  The option is to invite some family and friends into your LLC and sell them a piece of your business and <Background Noise> you got a phone call coming in?

It sounded like a train.

Yeah, as Judi said, the things you have to be careful of is you don’t blow up your credit by not being able to make those credit card payments, so be careful.  If you’re making the payments on a regular basis you’re building up your credit, which is good, which is what a bank is going to look at when it comes time for you to walk in and say listen, I’ve got a track record, I’ve got this, this, this, and this.  Here’s my deposits and here’s what I’ve been able to do, and you’re — I don’t want to say a respectable businessman, but you have some credibility.  But frankly, you’re doing what a lot of small businesses do.  Unfortunately, most small businesses fail because they get in over their head and they’re thinking about taxes.  Don’t let the tax man sneak up on you because you’re going to have to pay taxes on these gains, don’t forget.  Be sure you’re getting with your CPA, your accountant, to be sure that you know where you are so come April 15 you don’t find that you’ve got to put your tax bill on the credit card and that’s really a downward spiral.  So Robert, wish you well.  Congratulations on branching out there.  But debt and credit cards is a two-edged sword.

I saw, on the way in today, a new business, and I thought it was — what a great concept.  A washroom business.  We will come and clean your restrooms.

Was it a commercial?

No, it was a truck, it was called Royal Washrooms.  We will come and clean your bathrooms.  What a great idea.

We have people that clean our office that clean our restrooms every night.

Well, I mean, you know, like gas stations and stuff like that.

So it’s more commercial.

I couldn’t think of an application, but you’re 100% right.

Royal Washrooms.  <Inaudible>.  That’s a free plug if I ever heard one.

Only in America, right?

We’re going to go to Dave Wall in the news center here, and when we come back we’re going to talk about — I want to ask about this reverse mortgage.  Also, we have a list of questions.  I was thinking of converting my traditional IRA to a Roth as a way to leave my three children a tax-free legacy.  We’re going to talk to Judith about that as well.  But before we go to Dave, I want to mention something I read on your website this morning on the Info to Know page.  Who would have ever thunk, four reasons why renting a home is a wise decision.

Yes, and I know the standard is you should always own a home, and I think that has gone away in the last 10 years or so.  Probably through the 2008 crash, a lot of people found that they were in over their head with their homes and they had to give them up.  So there are a lot of reasons why it’s better, perhaps, to rent, than to own a home.

I always thought that home ownership was the American way, was the ultimate American success.

Well I think it was traditionally, but not necessarily going forward.

You’ve got to go to the website and check this out.  What’s the web address there?

Www.FinancialGroup.com.

Read this article, folks.  It’s really a stunner.  Four Reasons Why Renting a Home is a Wise Decision, at the Certified Financial Group website, FinancialGroup.com.

Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.

Burning out his fuse up here alone.

Oh, we’re live on a radio show.

Only on a Saturday morning do you get that kind of quality insight into all those things that are important <Inaudible>.

Oh, hi, this is Certified Financial Group bringing you the —

Only heard here.

<Inaudible> today as well.

We’re only playing Elton John and Billy Joel music because we’re getting ourselves psyched up for the big concert in the park that’s coming up in two weeks now.

Saturday night at the Springs Community in Longwood.  If you want more information, go to our website, that’s FinancialGroup.com.  Click on there, it should take us to the concert and you may have an opportunity to register to win some tickets.  I was thinking of converting my traditional IRA to a Roth as a way to leave my three children a tax-free legacy.  A friend told me that I would be better off foregoing a conversion and buying life insurance.  My kids would convert the IRA and use the insurance death benefit to pay the taxes.  Can I do this?

Well a short answer is no, and I will preface the rest of my explanation to when I read this and saw this, the person who was recommending this to this particular person was an insurance agent.  So obviously the person either didn’t exactly know what they were talking about or they were just trying to sell insurance, but you cannot convert an inherited IRA to a Roth IRA.

You can only do it while you’re the owner.

You can only do it while you’re the owner and that’s very, very important.  So if this person wants to leave their children a tax-free legacy, perhaps they could take part of their IRA over multiple years and convert it to a Roth in their own name and then name their children beneficiary.  That would lighten the tax burden, because as maybe all of you know, if you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, then you owe taxes on the amount that you convert.  So that’s an important part of a decision if you’re going to decide whether to convert traditional IRA to a Roth.

And if you have any questions on a Roth or should you make a conversion, just Google Roth, a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and that’s an article that I wrote for Kiplinger, and that’s Roth, a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and that will tell you why you may not want to convert your IRA or 401(k) to a Roth.

Every so often on my Facebook I get your articles Joe.  How can folks sign up for those?

Go to our website.  You can subscribed to our e-newsletter.  We send it out periodically, keep you up to speed on what’s going on in the financial world, and our website is chock full of good information.  We just had a re-design on it and you could sign up for one of our upcoming workshops.  The next one coming up is Gary Abley is doing his countdown to retirement, is that right?

No, he’s doing financial basics for life, strategies for success, and that’s on May 14, which is a Saturday, from 11:00 to 1:00pm.  And he has two others, June 25 from 11:00 to 1:00, when you can you retire, know your number, and a countdown to retirement on Saturday, July 23 from 11:00 to 1:00.  And then there’s a Social Security boot camp with Nancy Hecht and Denise Covach on Thursday, July 28 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

Okay, well thanks for coming in everybody.

Our pleasure.  Good to be here.

Telephone number for the Certified Financial Group: 407-869-9800, or 1-800-EXECUTE.  Was going to ask you a question about reverse mortgages, but stick around and I’ll ask you off the air.  All right, thanks for joining us.  Stay tuned for Dave Wall next.

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