Hosts: Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF® and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

Good morning.  It is an Ask the Expert Saturday morning, and it wouldn’t be complete without On the Money, brought to you by Orlando’s oldest and largest independent firm of certified financial planning professionals, the Certified Financial Group in Altamonte Springs.  With us this morning, we have 2 of the 12 certified financial planning pros with the CFG.  Say good morning to the lovely Nancy Hecht.  How are you, Nancy?  Hi.
I’m doing great this morning.  How about you guys?

Couldn’t be better.  If I was, I’d be twins.  And the equally as lovely Oracle of Orlando, Joe Bert is in the studio.

Good morning.

How are you, Joe?

Doing great.  Good to be here.

Nice to see you both.

<Inaudible> morning.

Joe, in case anybody may be new to this program, what are you here to take calls about?

Well, we’re here to clear up the mind fog that people might have regarding their personal finances.  Many of our people have to see us on the first time today or in their 50s and are staring at retirement in 10 to 15 years and realize that they need to get their act together because the paycheck’s going to stop.  They’ll have Social Security plus whatever they’ve been able to save and accumulate over their working lifetime.  Unfortunately, our educational system has failed most of us when it comes to how to teach and save and invest for our financial future.  We’re here to clear those questions up.  If you have any questions regarding your personal finances, about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, long-term healthcare, IRAs, annuities, life insurance, reverse mortgages, all that and more.  The good news for you is the lines are wide open.  If you have any questions about those matters, all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial these magic numbers.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  You can send us a short text from your mobile device, as well.  The texting number is 21232.  Easy to remember.  21232.  You can also use the open mic feature that you’ll find on the News 96.5 app, and your voice can be part of the program, as well.  Again, 844-220-0965.  When I found out, Nancy, we were going to be talking about my 2016 tax bill, my ears perked up here.  You’ve got some ways that we can still cut out 2016 tax bill.

Yes, I do.  Everybody’s getting or will be getting soon their W-2 and their 1099s and all that other stuff.  While many people have payroll deducted retirement plans at work, it doesn’t necessarily prevent you from making a deductible IRA contribution.  You can make a 2016 IRA contribution up until the time that you file your tax return or by April 18th of this year for 2016.  If you’re married and you filed a joint return and your adjusted gross income is between 98,000 and 118,000, you can make a partial or completely deductible IRA contribution.  If you’re a single tax filer, the phase-out is between 61,000 and 71,000.  If you’re self-employed, then the limits are even broader.  If you have a SEP-IRA, which is a self-employed pension-IRA, for 2016, you can contribute 25% of your adjusted gross income up to $53,000.  Again, the tax filing deadline or contribution deadline for deductible IRA accounts, traditional, is April 18th.  However, if you’re self-employed, it’s up until you file.  That includes extensions, which go through October 18th of 2017.

Sweet.  There’s still some time.

If you have not fully funded for your retirement, you will get two benefits: tax deferral of money that you can use when you’re retired and a reduction in your tax bill for 2016.

As you said time and time again, putting money in a retirement plan, whether it’s your 401(k), 457, 403(b), 401(a) or whatever it might be, in addition to an IRA or SEP-IRA, as Nancy mentioned, is by far and away the first way to achieve long-term financial security for retirement.  We’ve got a call here from Marty in Satellite Beach.  Good morning, Marty.

Marty, you’re right on topic.

Good morning.

How can we help you?

Yes, sir.  I have a SIMPLE IRA right now.  We’re getting ready to change over to a 401(k).


With my IRA, I was wondering if I should maybe put that into an aggressive model <?> or <Inaudible>.

Well, it all depends on your personal situation.  Tell us something about yourself, how old you are and what other savings and investments you might have and so forth.

I’ll be 55 this year.  I’m planning on retiring when I’m about 70, hopefully, if I make it that long.


I got at least another 10, 15 years I’d like to keep that going.

All right.  Your question is, is should you be more aggressive at this point in your life.

Yeah, yeah. What —

Well, he’s asking if he should be aggressive with the IRA.



Are you talking about balancing off the SIMPLE with the new contributions into your 401(k)?

Well, see, it’s going to be a totally different one.


My SIMPLE IRA, we’re just shutting that down and just leaving it alone.  We’re just going to leave it alone.  I’m putting everything into my 401(k).


Now, the IRA that I have now, that’s just going to be sitting there dormant for the next 10 years.

What’s it invested in, Marty?

About seven <Inaudible>.

No, what investment vehicles do you have it in?  Do you have it in a specific mutual fund or exchange-traded funds or something?  How is it —

It’s stocks and bonds.

Okay.  What’s the ratio of stocks to bonds?

I’m not sitting in front of my computer right now.  I’m not really sure.

Okay.  Well, really, let’s get to the broader question.  The broader question that you have is should you be more aggressive at your particular age.

Yes, sir.

You have 15 years before you plan, at least, on withdrawing this stuff.  We have, when our clients come to see us, we run them through a detailed, what we call, investment questionnaire that looks at time horizon in addition to your own personal risk tolerances.  Now, one of the driving factors when they answer those questions is your own — what’s your gut going to do when the market drops 20% or 30%, can you hang in there?

Yeah, I should be able to.

You should.  When everybody tells you the world is coming to an end, you turn on the TV and say, this is the worst recession we’ve ever had and it’s the worst time to be in the stock market, can you hang in there?

Well, probably not.


Most people cannot because we let our emotions take charge.  That’s why you don’t want to be super aggressive.  Now, if you were 25 years old, and had another 40 years or 50 years, I’d say go for it.  Turn off the TV and ignore it.  But at your particular age, particularly as you get closer and closer to those retirement years, that emotion starts to set in and you’re fearful you’re never going to get caught up.  Emotionally, I would say probably you need a more of a balanced portfolio, wouldn’t you say, Nancy?

Yes, and I was thinking maybe 60/40, 60 equity, 40 income or 50/50 might be decent.  But another —

Well, let’s talk what you mean by that, 60 — I think we went over that too fast.

If, Marty, you had 60% of your total portfolio invested in the equity type of items, or you said stocks, and then 40% into income, that’s slightly more aggressive than a balanced, which would be half and half.


But another thing to think about is you retire at 70.  You’re going to have, potentially —


25 years or so in retirement that that money is still going to have to work for you.  You’re always going to want to have some type of equity component in your retirement plan.  But as Joe said, we have a very extensive risk survey that we do.  It’s actually required by the federal government.  Along with that, we look at how you’re living your life and we add some inflation on there and the things that you want to do in retirement to help determine what might be a good mix for you now, and then going into the future.

Okay, great.  <Inaudible>.

I wouldn’t bet the farm and go fully aggressive at this point because emotionally, probably, you can’t stick with it.  The key is to be able to stick with it.  Now, remember, too, that when you’re adding out of your paycheck every month or every paycheck, you’re doing what’s called dollar cost averaging.  When the market goes down, basically, that’s good news for you because you’re buying more and more shares at a cheaper price, so you’ll do very well when the market returns.  In fact, a better thing for you right now is the market’s just drifting lower gradually for the next 5 to 10 years.  Every paycheck, you’re putting more and more — you’re buying more and more shares with that fixed amount of money that’s coming out of your paycheck.  When the market turns around, you’ve done a lot better than if the market never went up between now and the next 15 years.  You’ve got to remember that when you’re doing your 401(k) and the money’s coming out of your paycheck.  It’s called dollar cost averaging.

All right.  It’s 9:15, quarter past 9:00 on WDBO.  Dave Wahl is in the News Center, keeping an eye on the top stories of the day.  He’s also keeping an eye on a line of storms that are heading this way and a big change in the weather.  Also, day one is about to come to an end for Donald Trump’s presidency.  Started yesterday at, what, 12:00?


Yep.  All right.  You can call and join Nancy Hecht and Joe Bert right now.  The number’s 844-220-0965.  Here’s a text question for you, Joe.  I have a one-year-old and I would like to start saving for his future.  We don’t have a lot of extra cash, but he gets cash presents at Christmas and birth.

And birth?


Birthdays, yeah.


The text cut off.  All right.

I love the 529 college savings plan and there’s a lot of different choices out there for 529 college savings plans.  The reason I like it is that the money will accumulate tax-free.  If it’s used for higher education, then it comes out tax-free.  What I recommend that my clients do is have a grandparent be the primary owner and then the parents be the successor owner.  I do that because if your child potentially could get grants or scholarships and this is not owned by you or your child, it’s not reportable on the applications.  That’s something to keep in mind.  A lot of people have been doing Florida Prepaid for maybe the first two or three years, potentially, of college and then using the 529 college savings plan for the higher education.  That’s not a bad combination either.

I like to start with the foundation of using the Florida Prepaid Plan because you could lock down the cost today; however, we’re talking about sporadic contributions, gifts and so forth that you want to put in on an as-available basis.  But I want to back up to a bigger question.  It sounds like you’re just starting a family.  The first thing that we would look at is how is your family protected if something happens to you.  I know it’s boring and it’s not exciting and so on and so forth.  My gosh, you need to look at life insurance because if you’re not around, whatever you’re planning for that child is not going to happen.  The best way to cover that is get yourself a 20, 30-year term policy.  Not knowing your age, but I can imagine it’s not going to cost you a lot of money.  You want to be sure you have that foundation laid and pray to God that the policy never has been paid off.  If something happens to you, you know that all those dreams and wishes that you have for that baby are going to come true.

Here’s the phone number again, 844-220-0965.  Got a call here from Denise in Winter Park.  Good morning, Denise.  How can we help you?

Hi, good morning.

Good morning.

Yes, hi there.  I have an investment property that I bought 20 years ago with my father, and he’s getting older.  I’m looking to take him off the title.  Also, everybody’s advising me, you should sell that house.  Really, that’s my nest egg.  The equity in it is easily 120,000.  I owe about 100,000 still on it.  What are your thoughts?  I’m an educator.  I don’t make a lot of money.  I don’t really have a nest egg.  This has been it.

You own this property joint with your father?



It’s kind of like a two-part question.  I really need to look at the title.  I don’t know if you all advise people on that kind of thing.

We’re not attorneys, but generally, let me tell you what I see here.  You own this property with your father in joint names.


Do you plan on selling this property or you’re just going to hang onto it for a while?  You said that it’s your nest egg that, ultimately, you’ll use for retirement, I presume.


How old’s dad?

He’ll be 82 this year.

How is his health?

Not really good.

Okay, all right.  I understand.


That’s why I ask.  When your dad passes away, depending on how the property is set up, you’re going to — and this is where you need to see an attorney.  You’re going to get what’s called a step-up in basis on his half of the property.  You won’t need to take taxes on half the gain of that property.  You don’t want to take it over now because you may have some gift tax situations, and you’re going to lose out on some income tax benefits.  What you want to is get together with an attorney to look at how this property’s titled and then determine that it also avoids probate when you pass on.


That’s what I would do.  I wouldn’t necessarily take him name off the title right away.  What do you think, Nancy?

I totally agree.  I totally agree.  The step-up is important.  If you need a referral to an estate planning attorney, Denise, we — Jody Murphy of Murphy and Bergland works with our clients a lot.


You can find her on our website.

Super.  Thank you.

All right, Denise.  Thanks for the call.

Hey, what’s the website address, by the way?  While you’re there, we want to let our listeners know that we’ve got a workshop coming up on March 4th, Saturday morning.  Financial Basics for Life Strategies for Success, everything you need to know to be prepared for those retirement years.  It’s going to be hosted by Gary Abley, CFP, CPA.  It is absolutely free.  Go to our website.  That’s  You can make your reservations right there and come to our office in Altamont Springs.  We hold it in our classroom right there on Douglas Avenue.

Here’s the phone number in the studio, if you’d like to speak with Joe and Denise — sorry, Nancy.

She did mention Denise.

Denise was last caller.

Yeah.  The telephone number’s 844-220-0965.  Or text us at 21232.  What do you do when you have 401(k)s from past jobs?

I don’t know.  Let’s find out from Larry.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.


We’re going to come back after Dave Wahl.

Okay, I’m just peculiar <?>.


See, I’ll learn.

We’ll talk to Dave Wahl here first.

It’s 9:27.  This is On the Money brought to you by the Certified Financial Group in the studio with Joe Bert and Nancy Hecht, both certified financial planning professionals.  If you’d like to ask a question, the number’s 844-220-0965.  Let’s head way on over past the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, past Zephyr Hills, and speak to Larry in Palm Harbor.  Hi, Larry.

Hello, good morning.  Thank you for taking my call.

Good morning, Larry.

Hi, Larry.  How you doing?

Thanks for calling.

Doing great, thank you.  I just have a question.  I have two previous employers that I have 401(k)s with.  I’m with a company now that I’m going to see myself being with for my future.  I was wondering what I should do with those 401(k)s.  I’m more of an aggressive way with them.  As I look back at them, they keep going up and up.  I don’t know if I should just keep them there or if I should roll them over.  What would your advice be on that?

Well, they’re not going to go up forever, Larry.  I can tell you that.  You’re enjoying a good market that we’ve had in recent times, so don’t be swayed by that.  The first thing we would look at is your new employer, the quality of the plan that they offer.  What you want to look at is compare that to where your old money is.  Do you have more than $5,000 in those old plans?

Yes, sir.

Okay, so they can’t throw you out of the plan so you have the option to stay there.  The other thing is let’s look at the quality of your new plan and determine whether or not it makes sense to roll that money into there.  Or, as an alternative, consolidate them and roll them into an individual retirement account.

I am not a fan of leaving money where you are no longer.  I would suggest that you combine those two and roll them over into a rollover IRA.


When Joe’s talking about the quality of your new employers, once you determine what your risk tolerance is and what your investment mix should be, you look at the investments that are available through the new employer.  Then you coordinate with the outside, with your rollover IRA —


So you’ll have a nice portfolio.  You’ll have more latitude and choice with a rollover IRA versus the finite choice that you have in the new 401(k).

Where does Larry go to start this process?

Well, he needs to go to HR and look at the quality of the plan that — with his new employer.  Larry, one of the red flags is if your new plan is offered by an insurance company, there may be a lot of buried fees in those kinds of plans.  You want to be careful.  Not all plans that are offered by insurance companies are subject to that, but many, many of the old — particularly plans that are offered by small and medium-sized businesses, their legacy plans have been offered by insure companies over the years.  This is where the fees are buried.  People think that the 401(k) is free.  Here’s the clue.  If you look at your plan offerings, what’s offered in the new plan, and they have familiar names that you might know like Janus and T. Rowe Price and Vanguard and so on and so forth.  Then, you go online and you see a share price as to what it’s being offered for.  That share price has no relationship to what you’d find that share price if you went to and looked at that share price.  If you see a difference in those two share prices by a substantial amount, that means that you have an insurance company plan in which there’s a lot of fees wrapped up into those mutual fund shares that they’re offering.  You want to be careful there.  That’s a red flag that you’re looking at.

Larry, I have a little bit more advice for you, but we have to break for the news, so if you’ll please listen.  You don’t necessarily have to hang on, but on the other side of the news, I have just a couple more points for you to take.

Good Saturday morning.  It’s an Ask the Expert weekend on WDBO.  This is On the Money, brought to you by the Certified Financial Group.  In the studio today with Nancy Hecht, author of “The Hecht Effect” and “A Man is not a Plan.”  Nancy’s with us in the studio Along with the Oracle of Orlando, Joe Burt.  We’re taking phone calls about what, Joe?

Again, Nancy and I are going to take any calls that you might have regarding your personal finances, kind of clean up the mind fog about the decisions you have to make about stocks and bonds and your retirement and 401(k) and IRAs and reverse mortgages and annuities and life insurance and all that.  We go through life trying some of this and trying some of that and wake up one day to find we have a collection of financial accidents we’ve got to turn into income because when you stop working, all you have is Social Security.  If you’re fortunate to have a pension, you’ll have that, as well, but most people no longer have pensions.  It’s your Social Security plus whatever you’ve been able to save and accumulate over your working lifetime to get you through those golden years, as they say.  We’re here to take those kinds of questions.  There’s no question that you probably haven’t heard one, well, I should take that back.  Every now and then, we get a question that’s just off the wall.  If you have any questions about anything, the good news for you is the lines are absolutely wide open.  All you have to do is dial these magic numbers.  These magic numbers are —

844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  We have some texts today, as well.  We’ll get to them shortly.  The text number is 21232.  Before we went to Dave Wahl in the News Center, we were talking to Larry way down in Palm Harbor.


I wonder if he was really down that far.  That’s Clearwater.


Maybe he’s listening online.

Could be.

But Nancy, we were talking to Larry about his past 401(k)s and rollovers.

Right, right.

You had a little bit more to say about that.

Right.  Larry mentioned that he has two 401(k)s from former employers.  I suggested that he look at combining them into a rollover IRA.  Larry, one thing you’re going to have to do is contact your old 401(k)s and get their paperwork to be able to roll over.  You can use — if you have a certified financial planner in your area that you’ve met with or you’ve heard about, I’m going to recommend that you meet with somebody and have them help you do a little bit of planning.  But they can also facilitate the paperwork or the establishing the traditional rollover IRA — excuse me, not traditional.  A rollover IRA and then getting the two old 401(k) dollars transferred in.

What you want to —

You want to do a transfer.  You do not want to have a check come to you.

Exactly.  Yep.

If the check comes to you, there’s going to be an automatic 20% withholding, so you want a transfer.

Well, you could have the check come to you, just not made payable to you.

Well, that’s true.  That’s true.  Many former employers will make it payable to you ABC Fiduciary for the benefit of Larry and send it to your home address.

That is the magic key and we’ve got to hold on here.  What are we doing, Kurt?  Do we got a call?   <Inaudible> the show.

I was going to ask you before we go there, you mentioned earlier, and I just took a call from somebody who wanted you to repeat something, about a workshop coming up.



On March the 4, 2017, at 11:00 to 1:00pm in our office in Altamont Springs.  Mr. Gary Abley, CFP, CPA is going to be talking about everything you need to know to be ready for retirement.  It’s absolutely free.  They offer some light refreshments, give you some great information that you can use as to how to figure out what you’re going to need to do and how much you need to accumulate to —


If you want more information on that, simply go to our website.  It’s  Click on workshops and you’re can make a reservation for that as well as some other ones coming up.  You’ve got another Social Security bootcamp?

Right.  We just had a Social Security bootcamp on Thursday of this week.  Our next one is, I think, is March.  I should know, but I don’t.

But it’s on the website?

Yes.  It’s on the website.  Another thing you’ll see on the website is our outstanding First Responder information.  We just went through on a First Responders Week, and what we, as a group, have decided to do is offer four tickets to the spring’s concert to first responders.  What you need to do is go to our website or go to our Facebook page and nominate a first responder.  Then we’re going to have a random draw.  We’re going to have four tickets to <Inaudible> spring’s concert this coming May.

May the 6th.  They’re going to be doing the music of Abba, or Abba.  What do you like, Abba or Abba?

I like them both.  I cannot wait.  It was one of my dad’s favorite groups.  I love their music.


<Inaudible> bubble.

<Inaudible> Philharmonic.  No, it’s good.

But it is great to dance.

Yeah, it’s great music.

Loving me loving you.

And <Inaudible>.

No, it’s not great when you sing it.

I know, I know.  It sounds like geese farts when I do.

Well, okay, that’s good to know.  Alright, let’s talk to Christine in Leesburg.  Christine, good morning.  How can we help you?

Hi, Christine.

Good morning.  Can you hear me okay?


We can hear you.  Where you driving? I hear you in your car.  Where are you going?

Yes.  Yeah, I’m just driving along.  I’m in Orlando, Florida.


Reverse mortgages, what are they?  My house has a mortgage of 78 — it’s worth — it has a payoff of 78,000 to 79,000.  Zillow says it’s worth 82, but a Realtor told me I could also sell it and get about 40,000 or 50,000 because the market hasn’t come back in my area, which means my house may or may not be upside down.  I don’t think you can do a reverse mortgage if your house is upside down.  My house may or may not be upside down.  Could I do a reverse mortgage?  What are they?

A reverse mortgage is a way for you to pull equity out of your home.  At this point, it sounds like you have no equity, so it doesn’t work for you.  To answer the question for our listeners who may want to know what a reverse mortgage is in a little bit more detail, it’s a way for you to turn equity in your home into either a lump sum payment or a check a month for your lifetime or a line of credit that you can draw on as you need.  You never pay it back until you leave the home, so if you die in your home, the home will be sold and your heirs will get whatever’s left after the reverse mortgage is paid off.  It’s not free money.  You’re basically taking the equity from your home.  It’s a very, very good planning tool.  There’s been a lot of articles written about it in the financial planning journals as a great way to provide some safety and stability when you get into your retirement years.  It only works if you plan on staying in your home for a long period of time.  You can go to our website for more information.  We’ve got some articles on reverse mortgages.  That’s  They’ve really streamlined it a lot in the coming years, reduced the costs on it.  Believe me, I think more and more people ought to be looking at that as an asset <?>.  What you don’t want to do is the mistake in where these horror stories have come up where people have just taken all the equity out and taken vacations and given the money away and blown it all.

Not paid taxes.


Well —

No, you do have to pay your property taxes and your homeowner’s insurance annually.

Right <Inaudible> don’t pay income taxes on the money that you get out because really it’s your own equity.


But yeah, you can blow the whole thing up, like Nancy said —


If you don’t pay your property taxes and insurance.  Then, you’ve got troubles.

I think it’s a great tool for the right person.  It’s a great tool.

I saw a heartwarming story online about a fellow who has had a terminal illness and that what’s he did to get through it.  It really helped the family out.

Why not?  Oftentimes, you think the house will go to the kids.  You know what?  The kids are just going to sell the house as soon as you’re gone.


Because they really don’t want it.

They couldn’t care less.


I mean, unless it has been a long-term ancestral home, which is generally not the case here.


Here’s the phone number if you’d like to talk to this show.  It’s 844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  What’s that phone number, once again, for the Certified Financial Group if somebody wanted to give you a call?

407-869-9800.  407-869-9800, or 1-800-EXECUTE.

Okay.  Here’s a text for you.  Other than a bank trust department or close personal friend or relative, are there other options for trustees for a trust?

Many different investment companies, and we use Fidelity on the institutional side and TD Ameritrade, they do have trustee agreements.  If you don’t have an actual person that you can have, you can hire a trustee.

We also use a local private trust company that will do that for you, as well.  Some of our clients want us to continue to manage the funds when they pass on because they’ve used this for years and they trust our judgment.  But they want to have it in a trust where a trustee takes care of the things that a trustee needs to do when you pass on.  We manage the assets and then dole it out to the beneficiaries on an as-needed basis.  Yes, there are options.  If you want more information, simply call our office, 407-869-9800.

9:45, it’s a quarter until 10:00 on WBDO.  Dave Wahl is in the News Center.  He’s going to join us in about five minutes with the three big things we need to know about.  One of them, I’m sure, is this weather front that’s fixing to come through.


That’s going to be fun.


Joe, we have another text for you.  What is a health balance between paying off debt and saving for the future?

Well, it depends on what the debt is.  If the debt is deductible, like your home mortgage, and you’re not using the standard deduction, it may not make sense to rush and pay that off.  If the debt is high interest rate credit cards, then it probably makes more sense to pay that off than start saving for the future.  Every situation is unique.  Everybody’s <Inaudible>.

However, the one asset that many people fail to have is an emergency fund.  If you have a good emergency fund, then consumer debt does not become an issue.


Here’s another text for you.

Oh, you don’t want to be carrying high interest rate credit cards, though.

No, you don’t.  You don’t, but oftentimes, people get into trouble with the high interest rate credit cards because —

Because they don’t have an emergency fund.


Oh, I got you.  Is taking out a 401(k) loan better than getting a regular loan from a bank?  What are the pros and cons?

Well —

Well — go ahead.

First of all, I think tapping into your retirement account should be the last resort.  If it is the only place you have to go, then you do it.  You’re borrowing the money from yourself.  You’re paying it back to yourself with interest.  I think if we’re looking purely on an interest versus interest standpoint right now, a traditional loan from a bank may be the same interest that you have to pay yourself back with a 401(k).  Many of them charge, in the 401(k), 3%-ish.

Yeah, you’re going to paying generally 1% over prime, so this could be a bit more than that.  But in any case, I like the idea of — well, depending on what the options are, a 401(k) loan isn’t bad.  But the con is, is that if you leave that job before that loan is paid off, you’re going to have to recognize that as taxable income, as well as perhaps a penalty.  That’s the downside to it.  But as Nancy said, when you borrow from yourself in your 401(k), you’re really acting as your own bank.  That’s far better than putting it on a high interest rate credit card or, heaven forbid, one of those payday loans.  Stay away from that kind of thing.




Eddie in Osceola County.  Good morning, Eddie.  How can we help you?

Yes, sir.  I have a father who’s 82.  He has a lot of equity in his home.  My mother passed away last year.  I’m getting a regular retirement in five years.  I’m looking towards the future.  I want him to live with us, but we’re going to need a bigger home.  Should I ask him to sell the house and — I’m just trying to avoid a gift tax.  Should he sell the house and give me what we need to buy a bigger house or how should we attack that issue?

Alright.  Here’s the deal, as I understand it.  Your dad has a house.  He’s got a lot of — how much equity, just out of curiosity?

He has 320,000 equity in it.


Is that the only asset your dad has, Eddie?

My older brother died in 2012.  The house was left to my parents.  Again, my mother died.  He sold the house, so he has some cash assets.

Your thinking is sell the house and buy a bigger house so dad can live with you?

Well, we were looking to retire overseas, possibly, so purchase a property over there where the cost of living is cheaper.

This gets more complicated every second here.

Okay, the big question is, if dad’s house gets sold, if he going to have to pay capital gains on a gain of $300,000 or more.  Under current tax law —

No, I don’t think he has a gain of 300,000.  I think he has equity of 300,000.

Oh, it’s equity.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh, okay.  Alright, so, yeah.  Chances are good that your dad’s not going to have to pay any taxes on the sale of the home.

But then he’s concerned about gift tax if he’s going to give him the money to buy a bigger house.  That’s the other thing.

Well, but if you’re in another country, you may potentially fall under the rules of that country.  Depending on where you’re moving.

I think if you’re going to maintain your US citizenship, I presume?


Yeah, okay.  Here’s the good news.  Stay tuned because we’re going to have some major changes in tax laws.

Very true.

The whole estate and gift tax may be gone out the window.


I wouldn’t do anything rash.  I’d wait until <Inaudible>.

Well, they’re looking five years.  That’s fine.  Yeah.

Stay tuned and all that gift tax and estate tax may go away.

It’s 9:50, 10 minutes until.  Time to check in with Dave Wahl in the News Center.

News 96.5, WDBO invites you to the 42nd annual Mount Dora Art Festival, presented by Subaru on February 4th and 5th from 9:00 to 5:00pm each day.  Discover terrific entertainment, food, superb shopping and, of course, the premier arts festival in Central Florida, thanks to Lake County.  Real Florida, real close.  Sentry Lake and Mount Dora Center for the Arts.  For more info, click on the events tab at

Back with you.  On the Money with the Certified Financial Group with Nancy Hecht and Joe Bert, both certified financial planning professionals to answer your questions as every Saturday, 9:00am for over 30 years now, huh?

Seems like it.

You haven’t aged a day, either of you.

Yeah, right.

Well, just looking for payback.  Alright, here’s a text question.  Is it advantageous to pay off your mortgage before retirement?

It depends.  It depends on if you’re able to take the deduction for it.  Depends what the interest rate is.  There’s two ways to look at it.  One is financial.  One is psychological.  Every situation is unique, so we can’t tell you a blanket answer.  I know some people advocate that.  Striving to pay off your mortgage is not a bad idea.  It’s forcing you to save.  But sometimes, financially, it makes more sense to keep the mortgage and continue to put money in your 401(k).

Yeah and I don’t think it’s a given that you have to pay off your mortgage into retirement.  It really depends on personal situations.


Here’s a text for you guys.  Hi, I’m trying to save some money.  I have about 1,500 in a 401(k).  Is money market a good place to invest it?  I’m 38.

For part of it, maybe.


But, yeah, I mean —

They’re 38.

Well, true, but —


No, look for a good quality — go on and look at the different stock portfolios that are available to you through your 401(k) and pick something that’s a four or five-star with a good long-term track record.

Or the other option is, if you have a target-date fund, look at a target-date fund that’s tied to 2045.  That will get you there.  Set it and forget it and don’t look at it for 30 years.

Finally, with potential tariffs for President Trump, how will this impact the stock market and economy?

Like as a potential tariff?

What taxes is he talking about?

He’s talking about taxing things that come over from Mexico and China and —

Oh, or taxing <Inaudible>.

Yeah, I think it’s too early to tell.  I think there’s going to be some winners and losers if that happens.  This is where, frankly, that trying to pick individual stocks is a crap shoot.  This is why you need to have a mutual fund manager who understands this stuff, but runs the <Inaudible>, the pros and cons of these decisions.  Trying to read the TVs is tough.


Something that is actively managed as opposed to passive is my personal preference.


Well, folks, we’re just about plum out of time.  We’ve got to break for the news and then it’s Florida Homes and Gardens with Bill Burke from S&W Kitchens.  But before we go, I wanted to ask you, how’s your blog?

It’s fun.  I just did blog number 337 last week.


My next blog is going to be titled, We Are More Than Just Numbers.  It’s going to be a little bit longer than average.  It just explains the mindset of what we have towards financial planning.

Where can I find that blog?

You can go to  Or go to our website and if you —

There we go.

Click on me, it will take you to my blog.

How about you, Joe?  You have a blog, don’t you?

You got it.

That’s simple and that’s sweet.  Alright.  Give everybody the website address once again.

Go to  Go there, click on <Lost Signal> stuff that we’re doing, also.  Go to and make a nomination.

Information presented on this program is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed.  Discussions and answers to questions do not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice, but is limited to the <Inaudible>

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