Hosts: Aaron Bert, CFP®, AIF® and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

Hello everybody and welcome to another issue of On the Money, the Certified Financial Group here on News 96.5, WDBO.  Joe Bert and Aaron Bert are here in the studio taking your questions at 844-220-0965.  That’s 844-220-0965.  Also, the text machine is up and running as well, 21232.  Let’s get the show started.  How are you gentlemen today?


Good morning.

Jon, what’s going on this week? A lot of headlines in the news and of course I’ve got some people in the back of their mind going oh, how’s this going to affect my 401k?

Oh yeah, we’ll we’re here.  And in fact, we had a client in the office yesterday.


End of the day.

Oh no.

And she says she’s really concerned about her money, particularly her cash, because she thinks the dollar is going to be worthless.  And then when we pointed out to her that since the election, the dollar is —


Is strengthened and got more valuable.  It kind of turned her around a little bit.

I can’t see the dollar just being worthless so many times.

Well, there’s a lot of stuff out there on the Internet.


Fake news.

Fake news.  The world’s coming to an end and you’ve got to buy gold and dehydrated food and you’ve got —


Well, there’s no question on this panel there’ll be fake news today here on the show.  But, just for the new audience that may be joining us for the first time, what can they call you about?

Well, Aaron and I are here this morning to clear up your financial mind fog.  Things that might be on your mind, things you’ve heard about, decisions you have to make.  As we say, we go through life trying some of this, trying some of that and wake up one day, find out we’re staring retirement right in the face and we haven’t gotten ready for it because you have to turn your assets into income when that time comes.  And that’s what we do as certified financial planners day in and day out and Monday through Friday we do it for a fee.  But, on Saturday morning, Aaron and I are here absolutely free to take your calls about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, long-term healthcare, annuities, life insurance, reverse mortgages, all that and more.  We are here to take your calls and the good news for you is the lines are absolutely wide open.  All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial these numbers: 844-220-0965.  That’s 844-220-0965.

And we do have the text machine up on the big monitor today.  21232 is the number to do that.  Please keep it to about 160 characters because that’s all we can see on the screen.  So, if you’ve got something quick and easy like what’s a percentage for an IRA or a 401k, that’s a quick, easy question.  That’s a text question.  21232.  But, if you want to have some follow-up, follow-up questions, maybe a little more of a conversation, the old fashioned phone line sometimes the best way to go.  Again, 844-220-0965.  Now gentlemen, I know we have taxes are on a lot of people’s minds, tax season is coming up.  What are some of the most common things you guys get at this time of year between 401k, 403b, what should I be doing.

Well, people are always looking for ways right now to get tax deductions and unfortunately after the year is over, the most attractive tax deduction is contributions to a retirement plan at work if you have one.  That’s the way that you can put away the most money.  If you’re over the age of 50, you can actually put away $24,000 a year and just subtract that right off of your taxable income, which is a great tax deduction.  But after the new year, really your options go down.  So right now, the only way you can really be saving money on last year’s taxes is to be looking at IRA contributions for yourself or your spouse.  So, a lot of that depends on how much income you have or how much earnings you made, and then whether or not you had a retirement plan at work.  So, if you had a retirement plan at work, you’re limited into doing a deductible IRA.  But you know the option is always there for your spouse depending on whether they work and whether or not they had a retirement plan at their employment.  So, that’s something that’s always good to look at right now and that’s really the only thing that you can do to save on last year’s taxes.

And you always have the SEP option.  Your SEP — fund the SEP until you file your taxes as well.


For those people that are self-employed.  So, you’ve got some options there, but they are very limited to you and far between, and one thing we want to let our listeners know is that this year your taxes are not due on April 15th.  How about that? Try April 18th.

Because the 15th is Saturday?

You’ve got an extra weekend.


The 15th is a Saturday and then the 17th is a federal holiday, so they’re due on the 18th.  So, you’ve got a weekend there to grind them out.

Procrastinators rejoice, man.  That’s some big, great news.  But you know, and that brings up a good point.  People talk now about what they could do to save money from last year.  Well, now you get to think about what you can do to save money for this year.  This is where planning comes into plan and something that we do day in and day out to figure out not just the best investment strategy for you, but the way to save the most money by using tax deferred options.

And as Aaron said, using your 401k, your employer’s plan, whether it’s a 401k, 403b, 457, 401a, whatever it might be, putting that money in on a pre-tax basis.  And even if you don’t get a match, you need to be saving money for the future and getting a tax deduction today, allowing that money to accumulate without being taxed through your working lifetime will make a world of difference.  An absolute world of difference.  So, we’re here to take questions on anything that might be on your mind regarding your personal finances, as I said, and the good news for you is the lines are still wide open, so why don’t you be the first caller.  Pick up the phone and dial.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Got a lot of questions last week, a lot of people saying if they were in their late 40s, early 50s, what’s the percentage they should put between an IRA and a 401k if they’re looking to retire at some point in the next few years.  And that seems to be a common question we’ve been getting the past few weeks, so I’m going to put it out there for anybody that may have missed it.

Well, for people that are just starting out, like we have already mentioned this, some basic financial planning 101 things that you always want to have covered.  So, if you’re newly — if you’re a young professional in your 40s or even in your 30s, if you’re married you’ve got to be looking at things like life insurance to make sure that you have that covered for you and your family in case something were to happen to you.  You need to be looking to make sure that you have a savings account so, heaven forbid that you get laid off from work that you have three to six months of savings in the bank.  And then you’ve got to make sure you can pay your bills obviously, that you have those things covered.  And then the next thing we always stress to people is to be fully funding your retirement plan.  So, if you can fully fund your retirement plan, you have a savings plan in place, you have your insurances taken care of, then you can talk about saving and investing above and beyond a retirement plan.  But until those boxes are checked really, there’s not — those are really the boxes that need to be checked before you do anything above and beyond that.

And when it comes time to save for your retirement, you have to pay yourself first and unfortunately people try to save what’s left at the end of the month and that includes all the things we do during the month like dining out and buying the Starbucks coffee and doing this and doing that.  And we wake up at the end of the month and find out we have more month left than we had money.  So, unless you pay yourself first, take that money out of your paycheck and don’t see it, chances are you’re not going to accumulate anything.

We’ve got a text right here.  The question is are POD, pay on death, and TOD, transfer on death, accounts taxable to the beneficiary when transferred after the owner dies?


As ordinary income if taxable, are they not —

Or less deferred.

No.  No, they’re not taxable at all actually.  So, when you inherit — so that would be an inheritance issue.  When you inherit money.  Now, the money may have to — be part of the estate and go through — well, it wouldn’t go through probate, but depending on the overall size of the estate, it may be subject to estate taxes.  Which the estate tax limit right now is over $10M, so that would be a very big estate.  So, but if you are the beneficiary on the POD or TOD account, there is no taxes due when you inherit that money.  Now, if it’s invested when you get it, but if it’s invested and it has significant gains from when the person passed away to when you actually cash it out, then you would owe taxes on the gains from that period because you get what’s called a step-up in basis at death.  And then from that point until you actually take possession of the funds, you would have to pay taxes on that gain if you were to liquidate it.

So, the day you get the money, if you turn around and sell the investment, you pay actually no taxes.  And as Aaron said if you hold on to it and it makes more money, then you have to pay taxes on the money that you made since you inherited it.

Right.  From date of death until you actually take possession.

But POD, pay on death, and transfer on death is a great way to avoid probate.  Instead of putting your children’s names on the accounts, which you don’t want to do — because if your children’s names are on the account and they have a wreck, or get sued, or get divorced —

Yeah, you’re liability.

<Inaudible> those accounts can be subject to claims of creditors.  Plus, you lose the step-up in basis, which is once again why you don’t want to put your kids’ names on your house.  Which everybody thinks I’m going to do this because I’m going to avoid probate.  And you’ve just created yourself — or perhaps lost some tax opportunities.

Alright, well —

Take guidance and don’t be do-it-yourself.

Well, thank you for writing in.  Thank you so much.  Again, it’s just that simple.  21232.  And you get the text question on the screen, we see it, but we’ve got our first caller for the day.  Again, 844-220-0965 is the phone number to join us.  844-220-0965.  Elliott in Port Orange is up first.  Elliott, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning, Elliott.  Thank you for calling.

Hey.  How are you? Hey, thank you very much for having me.  Just a quick question for you.  I’m 37 <Lost Signal> kids and —

Elliott, we’re losing you.  You’re 37, married with kids and that’s all we heard.  Are you in a bad cell or something?

Elliott, can you hear us?

Can you hear us, Elliott?

Elliott, are you there?

We already lost Elliott.  Well.

Going once, going twice, that’s it.

Well, I think he was going down the road of he was self-employed with some rental properties and an IRA.  But Elliott, call back.

I don’t want you to do it, but that’s — to me, that’s the road he was going down.

Again, 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  And hopefully you won’t have the cell phone problems that Elliott had.

Hey, that happens.

One other thing I wanted to bring up about things that people should be saving for.  We talked about putting — maximizing your retirement plan at work.  The other big item that we’ve been seeing lately is the healthcare insurance options that are out there.  A lot of people are going to high deductible plans and one thing you want to think about is maximizing your contributions to your health savings account because health savings accounts are really turning out to be an extremely attractive option for people to start building up money for the future, especially if there’s options available to invest those funds.  So, people like to set that money aside, obviously for healthcare costs.  When you put money into the plan though, you do get a tax deduction like an IRA.  And then when you pull the money out, it comes out tax free if used for medical expenses.  So, it’s like the best of both worlds, really.  It’s like traditional IRA because you get the deduction and it’s like a Roth IRA on the pull out because you get the — because it’s tax free.  So, if you can use those dollars — if you can accumulate those dollars and not actually spend them for healthcare, but actually pay with your healthcare out of pocket and allow that to accumulate for future and start to compound, you can end up with a really attractive — I like to call it — healthcare IRA for the future.  So, when you’re older and your healthcare expenses you know are going to be extremely high — or higher, that you have those dollars available tax free to be able to pull from to fund those expenses.

Yeah, and the nice thing about HSAs is that as you said, Aaron, you don’t have to use it today.  You can let it accumulate.  You want to be sure it’s invested though.  You don’t want to sit on —

No, you don’t want it to sit in cash.  That’s a big caveat.  If you can put it into some sort of investment plan and allow that to accumulate and compound, that’s really where you’re going to make your money.  But if it’s just going to sit in cash, then maybe the best thing is to use it for medical expenses.

And unlike an IRA, there’s no income limit.  So you can have a very high income and still get the tax deduction for the HSA.

For me, that’s — it’s the best thing going if you can get it invested.  And even if your current provider doesn’t allow you to invest it, there are other HSA providers that you can roll your money, pull it out, roll it over into an HSA provider that allows you to invest it because you can allow that to accumulate.

And what you do is you put it in the one that doesn’t allow you then roll it to one that does allow you.

Every year.  Yeah.

On an annual basis.  Alright.  Got a couple of calls here.  Kyle, what’s cooking.

Alright, well let’s get back to the phone lines here.  Again 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Let’s go to Harry in Longwood.  Harry, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning, Harry.

Good morning.

Thank you for calling.  How can we help you?

Well, an IRA related question.  I think I did something stupid and I’m wondering if I can undo it.  I did a Roth IRA the last year — for last year — and I was wondering if I can change that to a regular IRA because I found out the income — whatever it is — the limits went up over the last several years and now I could still do it.  Can I undo or change a Roth to a standard IRA so I can deduct it from my income?

So, you contributed to a Roth thinking that you wouldn’t be able to get the tax deduction for a traditional IRA, and now you want to convert it to a traditional IRA.

Yeah.  I did two, two Roths.  We usually do that, but my wife — she — I can put one under her name.  I could before, but then my income got too high and now I —

And you haven’t filed your taxes yet?


Yeah, I think you can do that.


Yeah.  Contact your custodian and tell them you want that Roth contribution to be a traditional and then on your tax return you take a tax deduction for it.

Oh man, that’s the best news I’ve had in a month.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing.  You have to have your — see, the thing is you haven’t told the government anything about this IRA.  So, it’s very easy to untangle if your custodian will allow you to do that.  Tell them you made a mistake, that should have been a traditional IRA.  You’re going to take it as a traditional IRA and you want it to be listed as a traditional IRA.  And then on your tax return you take the deduction.

Oh, well you guys are great.  Well, thank you.  I’ll give it a shot.

Alright, harry.  Thanks for the call.


Well, I was thinking alternatively you could always pull out your basis in the Roth without a penalty.

Oh, that’s true too.

So you could just take the withdrawal of whatever you contributed, not take out the earnings, and then contribute that to a traditional IRA.

That’s a good point.  So Harry, just to track back on that, you can cash out the Roth, take the money out because you’re always allowed to take out your basis.  And then you have until you file your taxes to get a tax deduction for last year by putting the money in a traditional IRA.  So, if your custodian doesn’t cooperate with a recharacterization from the Roth to the traditional, Aaron has a better idea.

Right, but you can only take out what you contributed.  You can’t take out the earnings.

<Inaudible> a little earnings on that, but nevertheless, it’s a fallback position.

Well, I’m driving through Longwood today and I see a man with a giant smile on his face, I know it’s Harry in Longwood.

Thanks, harry.

Thank you so much for the call, harry.  We really do appreciate it.  I don’t want to leave anybody out.  They are Joe Bert and Aaron Bert sitting in the studio today, answering your questions at 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  The text machine is up and running, just got some great tax questions so far this morning.  21232.  Keep it to about 160 characters and we’ll continue on with Mary in Avido after we get the three big things you need to know.

Now, the three big things you need to know.

Three, a judge has denied bond for two suspects in connection with the murder of a 92 year old woman whose body was found in a shallow grave.  Two, what might the president do now that his immigration ban is held up in the courts?  He’s talking options in the news at 9:30.  One, not seeing any rain <?> on News 96.5 WDBO.  <Inaudible> the radar is sunny, 61 in Orlando.

And welcome back to On the Money here on News 96.5 WDBO’s Ask the Expert weekend.  This is the show where we answer everything that has to do with saving for your retirement so you can be a millionaire like I am when I’ll be 65.  If you believe that.

I do, Kyle.  <Inaudible>

I know, I know.  844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We are three minutes away from the latest news, weather, and traffic from Dave Wall in the News 96.5 news room so let’s get right back to your questions.  Mary in Avido.  Mary, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning.

Good morning, Mary.  How can we help you? Thanks for calling.

I just have a quick question.  I’m going to be turning 58 on Monday and —

Happy birthday.

Thank you.  I plan on collecting widow’s Social Security at the age of 60.


Now, right now I do not need it as a supplementary to my income and I’d like to know what you would suggest I do with this money every month.

I would not take it.  I would not take it.  If you’re still working, you’re going to have an offset and you give back $1 for every $2 that you earn over the threshold which is close to $17,000.  So, you’re going to be giving some of that money back if you’re still earning money.

As a little side note, I do private duty caregiving.  And I am, so to speak, off the books.

Oh, I didn’t want to hear that.


Okay, well then you’ve got your own issues to deal with here.  I can’t advise you what to do.


But I can tell you that if you don’t need the money then you ought to just defer it.  Right?

Yeah, it’ll go up.  How — I’m sorry, ma’am, how old —

She’s 58.

You’re 58.  Yeah.


So, continue to defer as long as possible and the benefit will just grow for you.  Do you have your own benefit as well?

No.  Well, I will, yes.  I will when I get to retirement age, yes.

Is it bigger than your widow’s benefit?

I don’t know yet.

Well, you need to find that out.

I mean that’s the planning that needs to occur to find out what the comparison of the widow benefit is versus your own benefit and maybe you allow the — you’ve got to figure out which one you want to get bigger so that you have the most money in retirement.

Okay, but I was on Social Security’s website and unless I was reading it wrong, if I was to collect the widow’s benefit at 60 and then I waited until let’s say 70, then I would get my full Social Security, which would be substantially higher.

Well, yeah, that was my question is what’s the — well, but if you would delay the widow’s benefit, is that going to get higher — be higher than what your age 70 benefit would be?


Okay.  Well then, I would want to see some planning and run some numbers for you before I give you any further advice.  But you can contact our office on Monday, give me what your projected widow’s benefit would be and then what your own projected benefit would be and I’ll run the numbers for you and come up with a solution for you.

The number one more time for the Certified Financial Group.

Yeah, 407-869-9800.  Or, you can e-mail us at  And reference the radio show, and Social Security, and I’ll get back to you on Monday morning.

I’ve got to tell Mary she’s got to step up and get in the system because it’s folks like her that’s penalized in the system.  Frankly <Inaudible> every year, you pay into it every year, and folks that don’t pay into it and want to suck it dry turn my stomach frankly.

Oh okay, well we’ll get to that when we come back on the other side of the news.  844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Or you can text your question to 21232.  Mark and Elliott, hang on the line, you guys are up next right after the latest news, weather, and traffic with Dave Wall in the News 96.5 News Room.  Welcome back, this is On the Money on News 96.5 WBDO with the Certified Financial Group.  Joe and Aaron Bert are here in the studio taking your phone calls at 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  The text machine is up and running as well, 21232.  Jon, we see your text question.  We’ll get to you in just a moment.  But, we want to get back to our busy phone lines and we’ll reintroduce you to the panel in just a moment.  But Elliott dropped off earlier and Elliott did call back, so I want to make sure he gets his question answered.  Joe Elliott, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group.

Elliott, good morning.  Thanks, Welcome back.

Hey guys.  Hey, thank you, sorry about that earlier.


So, I just had a quick question.  So, I’m 37.  My main source of income is real estate and rental properties, but I also have a general contracting business as well.  So, most of my investments up to this point have all been in real estate, which does good in cash flows.  But, I’m starting to have to take a hit on taxes.  So, I wanted to find out am I allowed for 2017 to have a health savings account and an IRA simultaneously?



There is no income limit for HSAs and if you’re — depending on what your income is whether or not you can get a deductible IRA — you need to look at that — but that’s a question for your tax preparer.  But, there’s no limitation.  There’s no restriction on having an HSA as well as a retirement account.  As we said earlier, that’s the beauty of the HSA.  Now the key with the HSA is you want to be sure that that money is invested because many of these HSA plans that are tied into the insurance companies that put it in some account that would give you 0.5% a year.  There are mutual fund companies that have HSAs that allow you to invest that money for growth in the future.  But that’s what you can do, Elliott.

What do you recommend?

I can’t tell you off the call.  Call our office and I’ll get that information.


Or you can reach me at  We’ll give you that information.

Let’s give him the phone number.


Alright, thank you so much for the call, Elliott.  Do appreciate it.  844-220-0965.  I’ve got my handset busy, so if you’re calling in right now I’ll get to you in just a moment.  But we want to get to Mark in Celebration who has dialed us up.  Mark, you’re on the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning Mark.

Thank you for calling.

Hi, good morning.  Yeah, I’m Mark from Celebration.  The HSA information you just gave out was very interesting and I wanted to know if I put into that and put into an investment account <Inaudible> to our son or whatever?

Well, are you married?

No, divorced.

Okay.  So, it will go to — you can name it — it will basically pass on to your beneficiaries, but it will lose its tax savings.  So, they’ll have to pay taxes on it for the year in which it is inherited.  But, what we always suggest to people that have health savings accounts is to keep receipts because you are always able to reimburse yourself for any medical expenses that may have occurred while you still had the health savings account.  So, even if you had expenses 10 years ago, as long as you still have the receipt for it you can pull money out of your HSA tax free to reimburse yourself for that expense 10 years ago.

So, what our listeners — what you ought to do is you ought to have an envelope somewhere that you maintain and keep all of your health expenses.  And that’s stuff — stuff like prescriptions.

Or have a shoe box.

Yeah, a shoe box.

Have a shoe box.

Dental expenses, eyeglasses, all that stuff that’s medical related.  Keep it in an envelope somewhere and if you’re not taking the money out currently out of your HSA, somewhere down the road as Aaron said, you can withdraw from the HSA totally tax free and you just have to demonstrate to the IRS that you pay these expenses.  So, that’s under current law.  It’s all liable to change this year, but that’s what the scoop is and we appreciate the call.  And we’ve got <Inaudible>

Thanks guys.

You’re welcome.

We’ve got a text here.  Can you read that, Aaron?

Which one?

Any one.

My name is Jon.  If I retire at 55 will the Social Security payment level lock in at current income levels if I begin drawing at 62? What happens? So, Jon probably gets his statement from Social Security and it says at his full retirement age he’s going to get X amount at that age.  So, for Jon it would probably be 66.  So, the answer is no.  Well, actually the answer is it depends because Social Security is based off of your high 35 years of working.  And if you have — if you were a really high earner and hit the maximum Social Security levels in your early ages, then you can lock in that level.  But changes are most people probably didn’t because I would assume you started working at age 20 and were a high earner at age 20.  You might have been.  If you want to retire at 55, I don’t know.  But, usually there’s a deduction — or a reduction I should say.  So, what I suggest is that you go to the Social Security website,, and you can put in your information and then you can put in what your anticipated future earnings are going to be, which he would put in zero if he wanted to retire at 55.  And it will spit back what they think your benefit would be assuming you put zeroes in instead of earnings.

Yeah, something for our listeners to be aware of.  You get those Social Security projections and Social Security assumes that you’re going to continue earning at your current level all the way to full retirement age.  So, if you drop off earlier than your full retirement age, you’re not going to get that projected benefit.  So, as Aaron said, go to and put in zeroes for your future years and you’ll see the impact that has on your Social Security.

Alright that was Jon the texter?


Jon, appreciate your text.  Well, let’s get back to the phone lines here before we get back to the text machine.  Judy in Orlando.  Judy, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group.

Hi.  Thank you.  Thanks for taking my call.


Listen, I just turned 70.  Can I still add to my 401k this year to take the tax benefits for 2016?

If you’re not a 5% or more shareholder in the company, of course you can.  That’s the beauty of it.

And you’re still employed.




In fact, here’s a little secret for you, for our listeners as well.  If you’re still working and you’re 70 years old and you have an IRA that you have to start taking money out because you’ve reached that magic 70 and a half, you can roll that IRA into your 401k and continue the tax deferral and not take the RMD.

Oh, okay.

How about that?


<Inaudible>.  Pays to listen to WBDO at 9:00 on Saturday mornings.

Okay, great.


Remind me of the limit that I can put in.

$24,000 a year is the maximum that you can put in as an employee.

Okay, great.  Alright.  Thank you so much.

You’re welcome.

Thanks for the call Judy.

From Judy in Orlando to Judy in Port Orange.  Judy, you’re on with Certified Financial Group.

Yes, good morning.  Thanks for all the great information.

You’re welcome, thanks for calling.

I inherited some <Inaudible> from my mother that were titled TOD.  I had cashed some of them in last year.  Can I take that step-up interest that you were talking about previously?

No, what you’re thinking of is a step-up in basis —


Right, on certain types of investments like real estate, or mutual funds, or stocks.  No, you’re going to have to recognize it as ordinary income.

Oh, boo hiss.

Sorry I don’t have better news for you, but that’s the way that that’s done.

That’s okay.  Thanks for answering my question.  I appreciate it.

You’re welcome.

Thanks so much for the call.  If you want Judy’s <Inaudible> it’s 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  The text machine is up and running as well.  21232.  Just keep it about 160 characters.  We’ve got a text question here guys.  Again, we’ve got Joe and Aaron Bert from the Certified Financial Group answering questions.  Single, 34 year old, no debt or kids, 100K a year salary, 100K in savings, no pension, but contribute 22,000 a year to the 401k.  Too much cash.  How can I contribute?

He’s 34.  He can’t be contributing 22,000 a year to his 401k.

Unless he’s getting a match from work, which is possible.

Well, actually he can contribute pre-tax at 18, but what — too much cash.  How can he — well, let’s see.  Did he say he’s married?

No, he single.

What’s the limitations on the <Inaudible> in my head on IRA contributions.

Oh —


Keep talking he said.  What we’re going to do is focus on can you now stuff the money in an IRA.  I know you can do a Roth.  We’re looking at the single limitations toward getting a tax deduction.  I think they’re 98,000 off the top of my head.  But, what you want to do is start stuffing money into either a tax deductible account, which would be an IRA in your case.  Or if you can’t do a deductible IRA do a Roth and let that money accumulate for you on a tax —

Yeah, you can do a Roth.  The most you can earn before you are unable to do a Roth is around 116,000 and it starts phasing out.  But you can still do a Roth if you’re earning 100,000.

How about deductible?

He’s over the limit for tax <?> purposes.


So, you can’t do a traditional IRA, but you can do a Roth IRA which would be the next step that I would go to and you could be putting away the $5,500 a year.

And we want to circle back to Harry.  We had a call from one of our colleagues that’s here at Certified Financial planners in central Florida.  Appreciate the call and he — we were talking about Harry, you may recall.  He was the gentleman that did a Roth last year and said gee, I was under the threshold for income and I can take it as a tax deductible IRA.  Can I recharacterize that and we talked about taking the money out of the Roth because you can always withdraw your basis.  But our colleague called and said you know, fellas, that may be a problem because he hasn’t really —

Recognized that he put money into the Roth.

Into the Roth, right.

So, if you have gain in that Roth that would be an issue.  If you don’t have any gain, I don’t think that that would be an issue.  So, if you have a loss in the account you could probably pull out all of your basis without a problem, but if you had a gain, the question would be what do you do with that gain in there since you never realized it on the Roth.


Just got a message.  So, the other thing to do is see if the custodian will recharacterize it to a deductible IRA and then tax it out of your tax return for 2016.

Right, right.

And he can call you guys at the office <Inaudible>

Call us at the office.

And the number to do that? 407-869-9800 or better yet, go to our website  And while we’re on the website, we want to talk about a workshop we have coming up on March 4th.  Gary Abley CPA CFP will be doing a — what is it?

Financial Basics: Life Strategies for Success.


It’s Saturday, March 4th at our office, 11:00 to 1:00.  11:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon and I believe he serves light refreshments.  And it’s our office in Altamonte Springs right at the corner there of Douglas and 434 right off of I4.

Yeah, we hold these in our classroom.  They’re totally, absolutely free.  Gary’s got a guarantee you’re going to have some information you can walk away with and he’s — Gary is a great teacher.  Gary loves teaching and he loves being in the classroom and we have a facility to accommodate about 30 people comfortably.  So, we don’t squeeze you into some little tight conference room there.  So come on by.  That’s scheduled for 11:00 on March 4th at our office.  He’ll give you some light refreshments and give you some great information.  And people say well why do you do this kind of stuff, Joe? We do it for basically two reasons.  Number one to educate you so you don’t become part of the mass disaster that we see coming down the pipe of folks that are not prepared for retirement.  And number two, to introduce you to our firm, what we do as financial planners, estimate whether you need financial planning now or sometime in the future.  It will give us an opportunity to earn your business.  So, go to our website.  That’s, and click on workshops and you’ll learn everything you need to know.

And we’ve got the shredding event coming up on <Inaudible>

Shredding event April 22nd at our office.  And the annual shredding event that we open to all of our listeners.  You’re welcome to bring by two <Inaudible> boxes of your stuff that you just completed <Inaudible> filing your taxes the week before on April 18th which is the due date.  You can bring all your stuff by, two <Inaudible> boxes, and we have a commercial shredder.  You will see it shredded right before your eyes in this huge truck that we bring in absolutely no cost.  We’re also going to offer you a couple of tickets to the upcoming springs concert that’s May 6th at the Springs Community.  This year featuring the music of Abba, Dancing Queen.

Oh boy.

It’s going to be incredible.  So, more details to follow on that, but circle April 22nd as our annual shred event held at our offices in Altamonte Springs right there just south of 434 and <Inaudible> Avenue.

Alright, we are two minutes away from the three big things you need to know, so let’s get right back to our busy phone lines at 844-220-0965.  Dave in Orlando.  Dave, you’re on the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning, Dave.  How can we help you?

Good morning.  Thanks for taking my call.


My questions is is I have an IRA and I’m with Raymond James right now.  And I had been talking to the guy that I do business with and he won’t give me a firm answer on how much my fees are.  So, I’m wondering what are the companies that are around that have fees that they publish and — so I can tell which are low and which are high?

He will not tell you what his fees are?

No, no.  He dances me around, he sends me the paperwork, and I can’t figure out.

He’s probably being paid to — he’s probably working on a commission basis.  Which means whenever he buys or sells anything in your account, he’s getting compensated is what I’m guessing.  Which means that you’re in a broker relationship.  And on our website we have a great video about the difference between a broker which is what you’re working with probably in that current situation, and a fiduciary which is what a financial advisor should be for you.  And then that’s the position that we take.  So, that’s on our website, a broker versus fiduciary and kind of really explains the difference.  But that really sounds to me like that that’s the relationship that you’re in.

If you want some help on that regard, if you want to send us your statements, come by, we can look at your statements and we can decipher it for you.  We can dig down and see what the expense ratios are in the investments that you have and the mutual funds and then also decipher what fees if any he’s being charged.  But I’m very very skeptical if an advisor will not tell you what his fees are.  I would take my business elsewhere.

Does he even know what his fees are?

Pardon me?

Does he even know what his fees are?

<Inaudible> now, I will tell you — that was a joke — when you work with an advisor you sign an advisory agreement which outlines the fees that you’re going to pay.  So, that should be clearly spelled out in any sort of contract that you signed with the advisor.  Which again leads me to believe that you’re probably not working with an advisor.  Also, they have to file what’s called an ADV with the SEC, which regulates financial advisors, and that information is going to be in the firm’s ADV <Inaudible>

Here’s what you want to do.  Go to your advisor and ask him are you a fiduciary.  Ask him if he’s a fiduciary.  And then ask him if he will put it in writing.  And if he is, then you’re halfway home.  If he won’t, if he dances, I would pick up my accounts and move it somewhere else.


Dave, please give the Certified Financial Group a call during the week if you have any more questions on that.  Thank you so much for the call here to the show today.  844-220-0965 Randy in Altamonte Springs.  Randy, hang on the line.  We’re going to get to you.  I know you’re looking at the clock.  Oh, nine minutes to 10:00.  How many more questions could they answer? Well, if you give us a call and you don’t get on the air, Joe and Aaron will stay and give you a private consultation off the air.  The number to dial up, 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We are planning tomorrow —

Today —

On the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Welcome back to On the Money here on News 96.5 WDBO.  This is the Certified Financial Group’s hour.  We’ve only got three minutes left of it, so give us a call at 844-220-0965.  If you want to get your question answered.  So, let’s get back to our phones.  Randy in Altamonte Springs.  Randy, you are on with the Certified Financial Group.

Good morning, Randy.

Good morning, thanks for taking my call.  Question regarding the HSA.  What is required if we have a self-employed situation.  Is there a way to establish an HSA?

Yes, there is but you need a high-deductible medical plan.

Okay, so it has to be in conjunction with a high-deductible medical plan?

Yeah.  The minimum annual deductible for families is 2,600 and it’s 1,300 on an individual.

Okay.  And then we have — I had, well I don’t know, $15,000 worth of medical expenses last year and I’m on Social Security disability.  So, I’m trying to figure out if — when you said something about you can save your receipts.  I took a deduction, but I don’t have enough income to take the deduction again.  So, that’s why I’m trying to figure out if there’s any way we can do that.  Let me — I’ll just keep looking at that and seeing if there’s any way to do it.  Another question I had, I’m on Social Security disability.  I’m turning 62 this year.  Do they typically reduce the amount of Social Security disability to be commensurate with a 62 retirement disability amount?

Um, what’s going to happen is your disability is going to go away, and you’re just going to go on regular Social Security.  So, it should continue at the same amount though at whatever you’re currently getting.  Because your disability is based off of whatever your benefit was.

Alright, so that’s what I’m trying — they’re not going to reduce my rate to whatever I might have gotten at 62 because I haven’t had a substantial income in a number of years.

Yeah, I think it should still continue at the same amount.



Alright.  Thanks. <Inaudible>.

Randy, we appreciate the call.  I mean we are out of time guys.  I’m sorry.  If you are on the line, you will get a private consultation off the air.  Don’t worry.  Joe and Aaron are headed for the phones right now.  But we appreciate you listening today and again we are planning tomorrow —


The Certified Financial Group right here on WDBO.

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