MIKE:  Welcome everyone to Safer Retirement Radio where you get the transparency that you deserve.  This is your first time listening, I’m Mike Decker, I’m the host here from Decker retirement planning, home of a safer retirement.  Now to open up the show here, this show is about transparency.  But not only transparency, I’m going to be sharing with you stories of real people that went through a retirement planning process and were able to incorporate the three principles that govern proper retirement planning, and take them from a very risky plan and sometimes they don’t even know how much risk they were really taking.


MIKE:  But a risky retirement plan into a safer retirement plan.  So for all of you listening, these stories are meant for you to say you know, I’m in that situation.  Or, I didn’t know that.  Or, you know, I need to make some changes here.  Whether you work with us or not, this information is for you to enjoy, to learn, and to incorporate so you can have the retirement that you’ve spent your whole dang life working for.  Your whole dang life working and saving for that single purpose of retirement.  Spending time how you want to spend it.  As always, we’re going to be extending some offers here so stay tuned for those.


MIKE:  If you want a repeat of this show, or just listen over and over again or the transcriptions you can go to Decker retirement planning dot com to catch this show or previous shows.  You can also go to iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, wherever you get your podcasts and catch the show first Friday mornings as it’s released first Friday at 10 AM mountain standard time.  Folks, we’ve got such a great show here.  I’m going to be talking about not only just a good retirement plan, I’ve got a great story about taking care of a loved one with special needs.


MIKE:  And now and even when you would pass.  Now if you don’t have someone with special needs, you may have loved ones that have needs that are unique.  It’s an incredible story I’m going to be sharing here as well as I want to talk about here another story about a plan, a retirement plan and making sure it aligns properly with your estate plan.  Sometimes we think it’s the same thing, but they are very different, and unless you can coordinate the two, you could end up similar to Prince.


MIKE:  Which was a disaster from estate planning standpoint.  We want to make sure those two can tango.  And then the last story I’ve got a great story about here that I’ll be sharing with you, about pension versus lump sum, what’s better.  The answer it depends.  And in this situation, the pension was better.  Folks, I just want to point this out here.  We are fiduciaries.  Mathematically we ran the numbers, and we were telling a client it is better for you to take the pension even though we are managing less of your money.  That translates to we’re managing less so we’re going to make less.


MIKE:  But you and your family, it is better for you to do this and that’s what you should be doing.  That kind of transparency and integrity is right here at Decker retirement planning, and you’re going to hear it on Safer Retirement Radio.  Stay tuned and we’ve got some other fun stories here that we’ll be sharing along the way, but let’s get started here.  Taking care of loved ones.  This great couple, and again, I keep the names private, obviously for this.  But when we first met with them, they knew they needed to retire at some point.  We just kind of wear out.  We get older, we get a little bit more tired.  And it can be difficult to work 40, 50, 60 hour weeks.


MIKE:  And they were hoping when they walked into our door that for kind of a some sort of a pie chart approach or something that they can do because that’s what they were used to.  And I think it’s really interesting.  Familiar territory tends to be where we are most comfortable with because it’s familiar territory.  But that is prediction error.  Just because you’re familiar with it doesn’t mean it’s correct for you.  And familiar territory for most people is accumulation strategies, because it’s what you’ve done your whole dang life.  And so they came in thinking you know, gosh, what’s the pie chart version for a retiree?


MIKE:  That’s what we need.  But they didn’t have a set plan.  They just knew they were getting information and they had found us.  They had come to one of our events.  And it was such a great moment.  Not only were they blown away, but the lightbulb clicked on.  When you’re in accumulation, you’re diversifying your assets at risk.  You’re growing them, you’ve got a paycheck.  These folks, very intelligent people.  The lightbulb turned on when they realized when the flow of money changes, the rules of retirement change.  And you need to have a different strategy.


MIKE:  And it was so fun.  They came in for the purposes, they wanted to talk about long-term care analysis.  They wanted to talk about healthcare analysis.  Social security optimization and most important of all, a distribution plan.  Does that sound like you?  Are these questions you have?  You know, gosh, should I get long-term care?  Do I need it?  What’s the break-even of that?  How does that incorporate into my plan?  Are you asking questions about your healthcare analysis?  Medicare?  How does that effect it?  What’s your tax rate and how does that effect what healthcare plan you can sign up for?  And the myriad of questions just with that.  Or social security optimization.


MIKE:  I say it all the time on the show, but for my new listeners today, I’m going to say it again.  With social security there is no one size fits all answer.  Anyone that tells you that is selling you something.  Folks, it’s plain and simple.  If you file too early, your income is hurting.  If you file too late, you’re hurting your estate.  You can’t have it perfectly, so what is your top priority?  And then let’s quantify that.  We do it all the time here.  I’ll say it again.  If you file too early, your income is hurting.


MIKE:  As in if you file at 62, you’re probably going to get less out of your retirement.  But the follow up phrase, if you file too late, you’re hurting your estate.  As in if you want an even smooth income stream with the cost of living adjustment, and you have a gap of seven or 10 or 15 years before you file at 70 which is the latest you can file for social security.  You’re dwindling your estate.  See we got to factor in what’s more important to you, and when do you want to retire?  Let’s talk about time.


MIKE:  Do you want to wait until 70 to retire just because you’re opting into what the masses are saying as a very quick generic knee jerk kind of response that’s just easy for financial professionals to say and sound smart?  Or do you want to really dive into the details from a math based perspective and say here’s a list of my priorities in the order.  And then quantify that.  And see what’s unique to you.  That’s what we’re doing for these clients, and it was just so much fun.  And then their distribution plan.  Oh, what a great moment.  And here’s what was interesting.  They had a daughter with special needs.


MIKE:  And they wanted to make sure that during their retirement their daughter was taken care of.  As well as after the retirement they were setting up their accounts correctly  When I say setting up their accounts either creating new accounts or readdressing their currently existing accounts to make sure that the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.  So when they pass their daughter was still set up for success.  What a great couple.  I mean that’s truly remarkable.  They’re thinking about the ones near and dearest to them.  Now if you don’t have someone that’s in special needs, but maybe you have a son or a daughter out there.


MIKE:  Maybe you have a dear friend that just might need a little bit of help.  Do you want to set them up for success after you pass?  How do you want your legacy to be?  Have you even thought about these questions?  Some people, they don’t like to go here.  If that’s you, that’s okay.  It’s at your comfort level, but these are things that eventually do need to be addressed.  How do you want this to happen?  I’ll tell you a quick story, different client years ago had a plan.  All of their kids were fine and they didn’t need to rely on the parents.  So they said up their plan as normally.  The kids were all either in college or had good jobs, this that and the other, it was fine.


MIKE:  And then one of their sons that was in college got in a motorcycle accident and became paraplegic.  That’s a life changing situation.  The beauty of a safer distribution plan and what we’re doing here at Decker retirement planning is we took his existing plan, and made modifications to it to set up a trust and a side plan for that son to be taken care of for the rest of his life as well.  We should be talking in this manner year by year, month by month on the income that receive and the plan that’s happening as opposed to a pie chart diversification and trust me, I’m going to guide you through the whole process and kind of wing it.


MIKE:  That’s not how it’s supposed to be.  It’s supposed to be here is your plan.  Now there is flexibility in your plan should life happen.  But here is what to expect.  That’s the kind of transparency that you deserve.  That’s the kind of transparency we like to offer here at Decker retirement planning.  But let me continue here.  They had a special needs daughter in this situation and it was so great to go through the plan so that they could live comfortably.  And that their daughter’s trust was set up correctly so when they pass, things were set up correctly.  He was an engineer, and he loves investing and loved the math based approach.


MIKE:  But I tell you what, the coolest part about all this was how it was able to unify the family and really bring a sense of awareness to the next 40 years of their life.  How about that?  Planning 40 years of your life, the next 40 years.  That’s a feat.  You can’t do that in one or two meetings.  But you can do it here at Decker retirement planning.  What we did is the first plan, we had done, we just ran the numbers straight up and said here is what it looks like.


MIKE:  Now, the gentleman said he wanted to work for another six years.  Which was always in the plan, want to retire at 66.  Had the energy in him, and wanted to start his retirement then.  Just what he wanted.  Did they have to do that?  Up to them.  Up to them.  We listed the amount of savings they were doing each year, and we quantified it down to the dollar.  Net of tax every month.  What they were looking like in retirement.  And he was good, he had 655 or so thousand in change.  Or so.


MIKE:  And we got their plan so they were drawing income around nine thousand dollars or so.  Which was good.  And they said you know, gosh, we want to make sure we can take care of our daughter.  We also would like to receive a little bit more income.  What we’d like to get is just a little bit more out of here.  And so they said okay, if we save 18 thousand more each year, what would it look like?  We ran the numbers.  And they were ecstatic.  Gave them more of a buffer.  So they weren’t just enjoying retirement, they were enjoying retirement with a few extra trips.  And their daughter was able to receive a little bit more of just support.


MIKE:  Support now and support later.  And it was a wonderful situation.  But the best part of this all was then we took our safer tax… well it’s basically our tax optimization strategy.  A safer tax retirement, and we quantified it in such a way, we added another bucket with our bucket system here.  And I like to call it the tax punching bag.  But essentially helped them get to a near zero tax burden within 10 years of their retirement.


MIKE:  So from year 11 on in their plan, they’re paying next to no taxes.  They’re paying taxes on social security and the pension.  And that’s it.  How many advisors do you know could do that?  How many advisors do you know are that meticulous in the planning that they’re able to back into the taxes, assuming nothing drastic happens with our tax code and tax situation, that you can then live a near tax free retirement with your current setup of assets.  IRA, Roth, non-qualified assets, however it is.


MIKE:  That is remarkable in itself.  A safer tax plan.  A safer distribution plan or dare I say, a safer retirement.  These are life changing conversations that we’re having, and it’s all based on math and logic.  Is that something that you’ve been asking or wanting for and not getting enough from your current advisor?  Whether you want to work with us or not, if you want to see this information, I’m going to extend an offer here right now.  The offer is meant to help people see more clearly, more transparently what your retirement’s going to look like.


MIKE:  Down to the month net of tax.  I want to enable you to have the conversations that say gosh, here is my unique situation.  How do we address this?  In one visit, we can quantify that and address the three principles that govern proper retirement planning and show you exactly what your plan should look like.  Now it’s up to you after that visit if you would like to continue and plan with us.  Whether you keep your current advisor or not, heck, that’s up to you.  We are an aggregator and optimizer of income and distribution.  That’s our bread and butter.  That’s what we do.


MIKE:  We do investing.  We’re securities licensed.  We’re licensed in any way that you would need for investments here, and we can give you the gamut of investment options that you can choose.  The bottom line is that you can work with a pure bread fiduciary, someone’s that legally bound to do what’s in your best interest.  Someone that’s able to say mathematically, this is what is best for you given your priorities.  Let’s get rid of this suitability questionnaire that doesn’t get to know you or your unique situation that you’re asked to fill out, be filled out so you don’t get sued.


MIKE:  Let’s forget about that, and let’s do proper suitability that focuses on your unique situation.  Your unique needs.  Your hopes and wants and dreams.  And then we can quantify it mathematically.  If you are 55 years or older, and have at least 300 thousands of assets saved up for retirement, whether it’s in your 401K, a brokerage account, or any which way, I’m going to extend this offer to you at no cost to you right now.  Call now, phone lines are open for the next 10 minutes, and what they’re going to do, when you call them, they’re going to gather your information so on Monday our staff, the staff that’s closest out to you in one of our offices across the western United States will reach out and schedule a time for you to either visit.


MIKE:  A 30 minute phone call, or a 90 minute deep dive visit.  That’s up to you on whatever your comfort level is.  But I challenge you, 30 minutes at least.  If you want to do the 90 minute deep dive, that’s great.  But 30 minutes could save you the next 30 years of your life.  It could prevent you from having to go back into the workplace in your 80’s.  It could save you from having to downsize your house and move to the middle of nowhere where you now can afford a lifestyle that you never wanted to have.


MIKE:  30 minutes for a safer 30 plus years.  I challenge you to find a better way to spend 30 minutes this week.  Call me right now.  833-707-3030.  Phone lines are open for the next 10 minutes.  That’s 833-707-3030 at your comfort level.  30 minutes or a 90 minute in-person deep dive, whatever you’d prefer.  But this offer is for you to give you the transparency that you deserve and to answer these questions like long-term care.  Should you get it, should you not?  Mathematically how does that look in your plan with everything else that we’re considering?


MIKE:  Health care cost analysis.  Social security optimization.  A distribution plan that shows you down to the month net of tax how much you can spend for the rest of your life.  These are questions we can answer in this visit, so come on in, 833-707-3030.  Another nine minutes or so, phone lines are open here.  This is for you.  At no cost to you to get the transparency that you deserve and to see what a safer retirement looks like.  Gosh folks, I’ve got to say, I love doing this.


MIKE:  The reason why I love it so much is because yes this is cause oriented.  We’re saving families.  We’re bringing people closer together and we’re having the tough conversations in a very easy way because it is math based.  Because we’ve been doing this for years.  Because we’re taking the emotion out of it and saying this is objectively what is best for you.  And we love it.  We love it.  We love it because if you can retire now, or stay retired, we can show it mathematically.  And if you’re near retirement, and you want to retire now, and you don’t have enough saved up, and you need X.


MIKE:  We can show you how to get there.  That’s the beautiful thing.  Call us right now.  833-707-3030.  It’s for you at no cost to you.  Must be 55 years or older.  And have at least 300 thousands of assets saved up for retirement.  Whether you’ve got a unique situation with someone you need to take care of or not, this is for you.  833-707-3030.  I want to kind of dive into the next story here.  Little bit different.  But what I think is interesting is the awareness and the current knowledge that they had.  In this next family, true story, they didn’t really know what to do in retirement.


MIKE:  They didn’t really have a direction.  They knew how to accumulate assets and how to work.  They’ve been doing it for gosh, their entire life.  They didn’t really know how to retire though, and it prevented them from wanting to retire because they just didn’t know and didn’t know the questions to answer.  Does that sound like you?  If you’re nearing retirement, do you know all the questions to ask to prepare for it?  It’s okay to say no.  You don’t.  Most people don’t.  And that’s okay.  That’s why we are here.  To help show you the questions that should be asked, and then to help answer the difficult questions so we can prepare you for an easy and exciting transition into retirement.


MIKE:  As opposed to dreading the transition.  Now in this couple’s situation, there’s was a little bit unique in that, well everyone’s is unique.  But there’s was a little bit unique in that they had a pension social security that they had been basically counting on, and they could live off that just comfortably.  Their savings was the big part of here how do we distribute assets from our savings?  We don’t need it, but we like the icing on the cake, too.  And if you can have it, why not?  But on top of that, on top of icing on the cake so to speak.


MIKE:  How do you do it in such a way that it also lines up with the estate?  They had done a lot of estate planning, they didn’t do much on the retirement plan.  They had an asset base of 1.3 million dollars or so.  Now he was a business owner and wanted to work for another five years, and then he was going to sell the business.  Already had the exit strategy in place.  Nice and simple.  He wasn’t one that could just retire today.  Business owners typically have to have an exit strategy to make sure that their company is set up for success or they just sell it to another entity.  This person had an exit strategy that just made sense.


MIKE:  It was wonderful.  So, when it comes down to it, when they came in, and I’ll admit, they came in arms crossed, very hesitant.  Like most people.  Whenever you meet someone new, financial advisor or not, there’s a bit of anxiety there, and I get that.  We try our best to take away as much as possible, but there’s a bit of anxiety and skepticism, and that’s perfectly normally.  When they came in, they were skeptical and their bottom line was they were hoping to survive in retirement.  When I say survive in retirement, I’m talking about their savings, their estate.


MIKE:  How do they make sure that what they spent their entire life for doesn’t just dwindle away?  They could feel the market at a market top right now.  At a market high.  And they understand very intelligent investors.  They understood that the market could roll over.  And if the market rolls over, for example 40 percent according to morning star.  It takes about six years according to the average mutual fund performance to break even again.  This was their nest egg.  And they were incredibly protective of it.  Does that sound like you?


MIKE:  Probably does.  Most everyone is very protective of their nest egg.  So they wanted to come in and sure, do a social security optimization analysis, contingency analysis, and healthcare analysis.  But for them, the portfolio analysis, distribution plan, and Roth conversions were absolutely critical to how they defined a successful retirement.  So they wanted to hear most about all the aspects we were talking about in the original conversation.  But they wanted to relate to their current approach was a pie chart.


MIKE:  They understood it wasn’t working for them.  They didn’t know what else was out there.  Kind of makes me think of that famous quote, and I won’t get it exactly right from Steve Jobs.  When he was saying no, we’re going to do the iPod.  And the pushback was well, this doesn’t exist, people don’t really need it.  Like, you know, are you sure you want to invest this much into it?  And Steve Jobs says something to the effect of, how do they know if they want it or not if they don’t even know it exists?


MIKE:  Safer Retirement Radio listener right now, in the car, at home, on your device, walking around, or however you’re listening to this, this radio show right now.  I would ask you, how can you know if you want a distribution plan if you haven’t even seen it yet?  How can you know how important it is to see down to the month, net of tax, how much you can spend with a cost of living adjustment for every year in your retirement?  How can you know how much better that could be for you as opposed to a pie chart which leaves you guessing every year?


MIKE:  This couple, they got it, and they said you know we need to see these numbers.  We felt completely insecure about having all of our assets at risk.  Which is essentially what a pie chart does.  And they didn’t want to lose their nest egg, their life savings away to market risk.  Which they could just feel it in their bones.  You may be in the same situation.  So what do we do?  We quantify the numbers.  In a safer retirement plan.  And this was so much fun.  What we did, they had 1.3 million dollars, and we had quantified okay, five years is when he retires, here’s his retire date.  We optimize the social security and then we mapped out in a bucket system of the income that he would be receiving for the first two years of retirement.


MIKE:  Three years after that.  10 years after that.  Taken income from the lower earning interest bucket.  And we incorporate it all, so, some tax plans, not in the first visit, but eventually with this lump sum that would be coming in year five.  Just math folks.  And it was incredible.  The second year, or the second I should say visit, we did a deeper dive into social security, made sure that it was right for them based on their needs and suitability.  And for them they were focused on the estate.  They wanted to make sure the estate is accurate, so we optimized social security for that regard.


MIKE:  Made a few tweaks in the buckets.  They had some additions as well.  They said we want to save some more money.  We don’t need to spend all that we’re making in our income right now.  Let’s save some money, being very frugal.  Which was wonderful.  And then we implemented a safer tax plan.  Folks, just like the last one, these folks wanted to do it, too, and it was incredible to take 1.3 million dollars plus another large lump sum in the fifth year, and get them to a near zero tax bracket within 10 to 15 years.


MIKE:  Can you imagine not having to pay taxes within 10 to 15 years of your retire date?  The government, IRS thinks you’re living like a pauper but you’re not.  You’re taking 15 thousand dollars in every month.  With the cost of living adjustment.  How incredible is that?  Now, our tax punching bag that I call it, but a safer tax plan is proprietary in how we utilize this.  It’s incredible.  We’re not CPA’s.  But we’re highly effective in tax minimization strategies that are totally appropriate with the IRS.  There’s no weird workarounds.


MIKE:  I’ve been to some conferences, I’ve heard some really weird stuff going, gosh, if I ever got audited, I’d be really uncomfortable in that situation.  This is not one of those.  Thank goodness.  Don’t even go there with these weird workarounds of having a hobby that’s a tax write off business but you don’t try and earn money or blah, blah.  Why?  Why try and beat the IRS?  It’s just not worth it.  At least that’s in my opinion.  Being able to have this tax punching bag into this client’s plan was incredible.  Saving just that alone, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars.


MIKE:  And again, their estate.  The estate was the big part of this whole plan.  Creating their estate to be able to pass to their beneficiaries tax free.  How incredible.  If you could pass two million dollars or whatever your estate is, 500 thousand, two million dollars.  10 million dollars, whatever it is.  I get that’s an oversimplification with tax laws.  I get that, folks.  Every situation is unique.  But the tax minimizations that we’re talking about not only saves you hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout your retirement, but can save hundreds of thousands of dollars as well to your beneficiaries.


MIKE:  Why set them up for a disaster when you can set them up for success and make things as easy as possible for when you pass?  Your passing’s going to be sad.  It’s a part of life.  It stinks.  But it’s something you can at least lessen the burden by doing the due diligence now.  I hope that’s not too grim.  I guess sometimes being a math based logic based principle based firm, that tries to take the emotion out of it, I’ll apologize and say, sometimes I maybe am a little too objective and factual here.  But I’m a numbers guy.  And I hope you can accept that.  I hope you can accept that I’m not going to sit down and want to talk to you and just try and say oh you know, everything’s good.


MIKE:  Let’s retire on hope.  I’m going to say oh, everything’s looking good, this is great.  Mathematically this is what you’re looking at.  Isn’t that awesome?  That’s the kind of financial advisor if I didn’t work in the industry I’d be looking for.  And perhaps you’re in the same boat.  I’m going to extend another offer here in just a moment.  If you’re looking for a financial advisor like that that’s math based, that’s having these conversations about your estate, about your tax minimization.  About your income and taking it appropriately.


MIKE:  I hope you call me.  The offer will be here in just a moment, so stay tuned for that.  But I want to finish up this safer distribution plan kind of quest here.  We took their 1.3 million dollars and their large lump sum, and we quantified down to the month net of tax.  He retires and she retires at age 66 with the exit strategy of his business as according to what he had originally planned, and we got them not only more money, and more transparency, but we decreased his risk.  His taxes.  His fees, management fees.


MIKE:  And overall enabled them and their estate to more appropriately line up so they had control over their assets, their life savings, their nest egg.  And their legacy.  That is incredible folks.  If you want that kind of transparency, if you want to have these kinds of conversations, in detail, with a pure bread fiduciary.  Someone legally bound to do what’s in your best interest, I’m going to open the phone lines one more time for 10 minutes.  I hope you call me.  Must be 55 years or older, and have at least 300 thousand of assets saved up for retirement to qualify.


MIKE:  But it’s at no cost to you.  Call me right now.  833-707-3030.  When you call they’re going to just ask for your basic information.  We’ll have more questions for you.  We have to quantify something.  But you’re calling our hotline, just call them, gather the information on Monday we’re going to reach out and we’re going to say hey, we’re excited to have you either in our office for a 90 minute debrief, or a quick 30 minute phone call.  Whatever you’re comfortable with.  But we’re going to want to address the three things.  The three major principles that govern proper retirement planning.  And we want to incorporate that in your unique situation.  And have a great conversation about that.


MIKE:  We want to set realistic expectations about how the market is right now.  Talk about your portfolio, do a quick analysis.  Or in depth analysis depends on how much time you get us.  We want to do a conversation about long-term care.  Should you have it?  We want to have a conversation.  The list goes on.  Folks, it’s retirement planning.  We’re not choosing a day trip here.  It’s not a simple task.  And I get that.  And sometimes it may feel overwhelming.  But what happens to us is one thing.  What we choose to do with what we’re given, what we’ve saved up for is another.


MIKE:  This is the opportunity to take what you have and make it work for you in the best way possible.  I hope you call us.  So excited to have this conversation with you.  In one of our offices.  In Seattle, Washington, Renton, Washington, Kirkland, Washington.  If you’re in California, San Francisco, right downtown.  We’ve also got two offices in Utah, in Lehigh or Salt Lake City, and an office in Las Vegas.  Whatever office is closest to you, we’re here as pure bread fiduciaries that can show you mathematically what’s in your best interest.  Call us, 833-707-3030.  That’s 833-707-3030.


MIKE:  And looking forward to that conversation.  Because when it comes down to it, these are meant to be some of the best years of your life.  They say some of the most fulfilling years of your life happen in your 60’s.  Why not enjoy that?  Why delay some of the best years of your life?  If you could retire five years earlier and have more time with more energy to do what you’ve always wanted to, why not?  It just makes sense.  Folks, call us.  833-707-3030.  That’s 833-707-3030.  Like I said, when you call they’re gather your information.


MIKE:  So the closest office will reach out to you on Monday.  And have a conversation with you.  We’ll figure out what’s in your best interest here.  We’ll figure out your best timeframe.  Have your calendars ready, so we can schedule the 30 minute phone call or a 90 minute deep dive in person.  Either way, it’s at no cost to you.  Now, before I dive into the last story here about a pension analysis that’s quite remarkable.  When I say a pension analysis that’s quite remarkable, it’s remarkable because we’re a financial advising company that deals in retirement planning telling people when it mathematically makes sense to not take the lump sum.


MIKE:  Yes, we have assets in the market.  We have clients that invest in ETF’s and mutual funds and different investments in the market.  We’re series 65 for goodness sake.  Why in the world would we tell a client to not take the lump sum, which would allow us to manage more?  But instead we told them to take the pension?  It’s because we’re fiduciaries.  Pure bread fiduciaries that are licensed and able to give you the investments, the gamut of investments that are out there.  As opposed to just trying to push one philosophy and one product on you.  Which just doesn’t make sense.


MIKE:  But before we go there, I want to have the health awareness moment every week.  Health awareness, if you don’t have your health, you really don’t have much.  You need your health, you need your money.  Got to have both to enjoy life.  And I try to incorporate this into every show because if you can make these little changes, they’re lagging indicators that allow you to have a more fulfilling and a healthier retirement.  So let’s do it folks.  Now these are just a few tips from retire on purpose dot com, which are just phenomenal that help keep you active.


MIKE:  Help keep you focused.  Help keep you mentally aware.  I always think of my grandfather who was a professor of humanities.  Incredible man.  And I tell you what, he was on the ball mentally until his dying day.  He was witty.  He was fun.  He had a clear mind.  He had a clear memory.  Because he kept active, and he was doing these aspects.  So if your health is important to you, I hope you listen up, and I hope you can enjoy this.  The first one is do something small every day.


MIKE:  When I say something small, I mean do something of purpose.  I’m not saying cure cancer or some large task.  All I’m saying is, doing something every single day.  Health isn’t about trying to find the latest fad diet or working on this, that, or the other.  It’s the little choices that make a positive outcome.  Focusing on the small changes that you can make in your financial, physical or emotional health that can enable you to be better.  Oh, that’s incredible.  That’s just incredible.  But it’s that one percent.  There’s that book, The Slight Edge which is quite popular in the business development world that just says one percent better each day.


MIKE:  You can do that in retirement.  I believe in you.  The next is focus on education.  You’re never too old to keep learning.  Never, ever, ever.  A lot of our retirees, they actually do fun courses at local community colleges just because it’s fun.  We’ve got a number of clients that took up painting and other activities because why?  You’re learning, you’re growing.  You’re enabling the parts of your brain that allow you to continue to grow.  Continue to learn and to stay sharp.  Staying engaged in social environments, educationally or not, is emotionally and physically beneficial.


MIKE:  Three, do something fun.  I know I say why not, right?  But no, this is important.  It is important to do something that’s fun and something that’s healthy for you.  It’s okay to be a little bit selfish here and there, and do something for you and do something that you enjoy.  Whether it’s playing with your grandkids, walking the dog, doing something fun on the regular will keep you on a more positive emotional trajectory throughout your retirement.  If you’re staying happy, and you’re enjoying life, you’re going to live longer and healthier.  If you stop doing that, the opposite is happening.


MIKE:  It’s kind of like you’re on an escalator.  And you’re either moving forward or you’re moving backwards.  You can’t just stay in one spot.  Number four.  Get away from the television.  Now that might sound strange.  My grandmother’s favorite activity for the last seven years of her life were in front of the TV.  It’s because it’s really all that she can do at that moment.  And I get that.  So please understand and take this with understanding.  Everyone is in a different situation physically.  But if you can get up and get out, staying in front of the television for hours every day could be detrimental to your health.


MIKE:  I would also include with that social media.  I don’t have any social media on my phone or any of my apps.  If I want to use it, I have to put effort into it.  And it is liberating.  An hour or two of television each day is not really bad.  Checking your Facebook for half an hour each day or two hours… it’s not necessarily bad.  But it’s a loss of sense and purpose.  It’s turning off your brain, being checked out, and you’re just losing it.


MIKE:  But scientists have seen that increased depression and anxiety correlates with too much television and too much social media.  Not worth it.  If you don’t have your health or your money, you don’t really have anything.  So let’s keep it up.  Now, checking out isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I want to do a quick clarification on that.  Having a book.  Checking out into a world where you’re reading a book.  That is very beneficial.  So it’s not just being entertained.  It’s the type of entertainment and the medium for there.


MIKE:  Couple more here real quick, folks.  And I hope you’re enjoying this, because not only am I concerned about the transparency with your finances and how you’re doing the financial retirement planning, but like I said, if you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything either.  So let’s get them both.  Never ignore strength training.  That’s important. You don’t need to be lifting heavy weights necessarily, but keeping your muscles active for 15 to 20 minutes every single day.  I personally do yoga every single day, and I love it.  It is liberating.  Now if you would have met me on the street, you would not take me for someone that does yoga.


MIKE:  But you know what?  Stretching shows a decrease in anxiety and depression, and it allows you to stay nimble, stay healthy, and stay active without putting too much stress on your body.  Just one idea.  There’s a number of others out there.  I’ve talked about my Peloton bike before, I love that too.  But it’s all up to you, and your individual needs and what you enjoy.  But listen to your body.  You’re not 20 or 30 anymore.  When you’re in your 50s or 60s, 70s or 80s, or 90s, it’s a little bit different.  So learning techniques to be joint friendly in your exercises is also very, very important.


MIKE:  Let’s talk about the planning group activities.  Whether it’s bridge club, going to the movies, the parks, dog club.  Whatever it may be, just sensing socialness is going to be important as well.  Volunteering somewhere.  Reducing stress overall with these points I’ve been talking about is going to be absolutely critical as well.  And I got just a couple more here, folks.  But want to talk about reducing stress.  You’re in retirement.  Let’s reduce the stress.  Let’s get rid of this as much as possible.


MIKE:  Retirement happens when you’re financially free from the paycheck of an employer.  If you are still financially stressed, it means you have the wrong plan.  Not necessarily not enough assets, it means you have the wrong plan and it stresses you out.  At Decker retirement planning we pride ourselves in helping reduce that stress by the amount of transparency we lend with a safer distribution plan.  And I’ll talk more about that in the last story here, but let’s not give ourselves unnecessary stress, because stress leads to serious problems.  It is tough on the body, on the psyche.  On every aspect of your general well-being.  So let’s try and make sure that your purpose and your time is spent to not increase stress, but reduce stress.


MIKE:  Let’s get involved in your community as well.  I know I talked about volunteering somewhere, but having social groups, whether it’s church, or it’s community centers or whatever it may be, having that sense of community, pot lucks or whatever it may be.  Volunteering at the PTSA or something like that.  I love the people that do the crosswalks that help the kids on the elementary school every morning.  These are saints.  Giving back to our community and continuing to give their time. Wonderful people.  And they’re having more of a sense of purpose.


MIKE:  And actually it helps them significantly in their retirement.  The last two I’ll say setting goals and rewards.  Do something that’s tough.  You’re going to exercise five days in a row.  When you do it, you get a reward.  Things like that.  Put a carrot in front of you and run towards it.  I mean that metaphorically, but having that kind of sense of purpose and growth and finding that direction is so meaningful to your life.  And folks, I should say before I add the last one, too, the big reason why I’m hitting this hard over the radio is sure, I’m not a nutritionist.  Sure, I’m not a medical doctor.  And sure, I may not be your number choice in getting this advice.


MIKE:  But you know what?  When you have your health, you have your retirement.  I know I’ve said that before.  But when it comes down to it, when people enter retirement, and we see this over and over again.  It is a life changing identity changing transition that is incredibly rough for a lot of people, and I want to do everything I can to make sure that transition is smooth for you.  Whether you work with us or not, this radio show is going to try and get you the information you need to make that as smooth of a transition as possible, so you can enter enjoying your retirement as opposed to enter scared and stressed.


MIKE:  If you’re entering retirement scared and stressed, you might as well keep working.  If you can physically.  Let’s not go there.  Let’s enjoy our retirement.  Let’s enjoy what we’re doing here.  The last one is get cooking.  When I say get cooking, I’m talking about your nutrition here.  And like I said, I’m not a nutritionist.  But I’m very well read on nutrition, and if you call me and want to talk about nutrition I’ll talk to you all day long about it.  Love it.  You don’t need to be a health nut or go on a strict diet to have healthy cooking.  Folks, when it comes down to it, making the choices of eating better foods, making sure you’re balanced on proteins, fats, complex carbs, not simple carbs.


MIKE:  Wonder Bread may be tasty but is it in your best interest?  Probably not.  But your overall health effects your mood, effects your stress, effects your outlook.  Effects how you can enjoy retirement.  Food is fuel for your body.  Are you going to put in good fuel, or are you going to put in watered down fuel?  When I say watered down it’s kind of metaphoric to like a gas in your car.  Do you want watered down gas in your car, or do you want good quality fuel in your car?  Your body needs good clean fuel.  I’ve got nothing against McDonalds.  I’m not saying that.  What I’m saying is, be mindful and aware of what you put into your body.


MIKE:  And get the education that you need from accurate sources that allow you to live the life that you want to live.  Now folks let’s dive into the last segment here, the last story.  This is pension option beat the lump sum.  When I say the pension option beat the lump sum I’m saying I’m a financial advisor that offers… we at Decker retirement are financial advisors.  We’re pure bread fiduciaries over here.  And we are saying okay, if you plan with us, we can invest your money, or you can choose to your current advisor.  That’s up to you.


MIKE:  We’re going to talk about though income analysis.  Most people decide to have us invest their funds.  Which is great and we appreciate that.  So why in the world would we say hey, I know we could invest more of your assets if you take the lump sum, but you should get the pension.  It’s because it what was in their best interest.  These folks, they went to our website, Decker retirement planning dot com.  And they said look, we’re working, we knew we’re working.  We do not have a plan.  Our plan is we’re going to work until we have to stop.  And then hope for the best.


MIKE:  That simple.  Both did expect to have pensions and social security, so that was going to be there, which was a nice kind of baseline layer.  But they would have to pull off the top a little bit as needed to make ends meet.  These folks had about 300 thousand of assets.  When they came in, they were towards our minimum.  And when I say a minimum, it’s not like we’re high and mighty here folks.  But we can’t make money just grow on trees.  And if you don’t have enough assets to retire on, we can’t really do much for you.  You’ve got to be able to save your assets to be able to come in and for us to offer any sort of value to you.


MIKE:  Which is why we have that arbitrary 300 thousand of assets saved up for retirement so we can provide value to you.  But they had two incredible pensions.  They both had social security, and that was great.  And they said okay, look.  I’m going to retire at 62 years old.  And when it comes down to it, want to keep the estate as best as possible.  We don’t care, file at 62, 70, whatever it is.  We just need to have a good stream of income.  We ran the numbers.  And they liked the fact that when we’re approaching this, it was just logic and math behind the distribution plan that we presented to them.


MIKE:  They did not have a financial advisor at the time when they walked in, but they realized very quickly that they needed to make the change.  Their words, not mine.  And let the experts have it.  Why?  We have tools you might not have.  I’ve spent my entire career building a safer distribution plan that mathematically shows down to the month net of tax, how much you can spend for as long as you live, and optimizes your actual income.  Your assets.  How they’re balanced.  And gives each of your assets deliberate purpose for your plan.


MIKE:  Is that something you’ve spent years on?  Probably not.  You are more than welcome to do it yourself if you’d like.  These folks felt that they could accumulate assets.  They got that, but when it comes to distributing assets, when the flow of money changes from accumulating to distributing, it changed enough that they felt like they needed to find a professional and someone that was mathematically based.  And they came across us on the internet, and came on in.  We had a great conversation.


MIKE:  When it came down to it we said okay, you’re going to work for five more years, here’s your income, without any savings, here is the number.  Can you retire on that?  In this situation, what they said is nope.  We need a little bit more money, but not much to do what we want to do out of retirement, so what did we do?  Is we then backed in and said okay, can you save this much?  They said absolutely, we can do that.  And we said great.  If you can do that, you are on track to be able to retire on the current timeline that you have.


MIKE:  Had they not had this conversation, had they not come in, they would have entered retirement with not enough assets to be able to retire.  Folks, that’s a situation you don’t want to be in.  If these are questions you’re having, can I retire in five years?  I hope in a moment that you call us.  Heck, call us right now.  833-707-3030, submit your information so we can call you.  If you’re 55 years or older and have at least 300 thousand of assets saved up for retirement, over the phone or in person, whatever you’d prefer, we can answer these questions for you.


MIKE:  For this couple, we said this is how much you need to save over the next five years.  They said we can do that.  We said excellent.  You can retire and it was an incredible conversation.  From there we said great, so, you can retire here, but should you take your pension, should you not?  There’s two pensions here.  So we kind of had to do a lot of work here on this one.  And we were happy to do it.  Should he keep the pension or the lump sum?  Should she keep her pension or do the lump sum, or should they both keep their pension or should they both take the lump sum?


MIKE:  Every way we ran the numbers, they were supposed to take the pension.  The reason why, even though the pension didn’t have much of a cost of living adjustment, and even though the survivability was only 65 percent, it wasn’t 100 percent.  Mathematically speaking, if we plan to the age for them, they chose 100.  It was in their best interest, and we were ecstatic with that.  We’re in the business of making people happy.  We’re in the business of showing mathematically what’s supposed to happen with their retirement plan.


MIKE:  And we’re in the business of being very realistic with people and saying this is what you’re looking at, can you do that?  We’re problem solvers.  Solution makers, and we use math to do that, and they loved it.  What was so great about this is they had some other preoccupations in their mind aside from the financials.  And think about this.  If this is something that you’re preoccupied about, then gosh, I hope you give us a call in just a moment.  They had been looking at moving.  Because they didn’t know they could live in their current residence and still live he lifestyle that they wanted to.


MIKE:  And they were going to move into a couple cities away that just wasn’t what they were just excited about.  They weren’t as excited about that because it’s away from their friends, it’s just a little bit farther out.  Sure it’s cheaper living.  But they wanted to maintain a certain lifestyle, and they just didn’t have the knowledge to really know if they could do it or not.  Now they have the knowledge of what their retirement really looks like, and if they do decide to move or not, they don’t have to.  Thank goodness, because we backed into the numbers so they could keep and maintain their current lifestyle.  But if they want to, they can look at that decision with eyes wide open, and the information that they’d need to make that actual decision.


MIKE:  That is a powerful perspective when it comes to making these life changing and critical decisions for retirement planning.  Folks, I said at the beginning of the show and I’m going to say it again.  When it comes down to retirement planning, there are three principles that govern proper retirement planning.  The first one is never draw income from a fluctuating account.  It’s called sequence of return risk, and if you do it, you’re compromising the gains on the up years, and accentuating your losses in the down years.  Especially at a market top.  That pie chart could end up being pie on your face.


MIKE:  It could end up being devastating to your retirement.  This isn’t fear mongering, folks.  Because it hasn’t happened yet.  And so you have every reason to be able to come in, talk to us, and have the conversation of how do you not draw income from a fluctuating account, so regardless of what the market does, goes up, goes down, your income is safe.  That’s huge.  Second principle is always make sure to incorporate all three aspects of a retirement plan, or all three investment classes.  I’m talking about investments that are liquid and have growth.  That’s typically mutual funds, ETF’s, or you know, longer term investments like 10 to 15 years with the investment horizon at least, if not more.


MIKE:  but that’s appropriate.  But you can’t have all your assets in mutual funds and ETF’s.  That doesn’t make sense.  So you need to have some principle guaranteed assets as well for your income for the next 15 or 20 years.  If you don’t balance the two, then either you’re at too much risk, or maybe you don’t have enough growth opportunity.  And then you also have to have some money that’s liquid and principle guaranteed for when life should happen.  It sure will.  And when it does, having assets that are set aside for those emergencies is critical.  See folks, the difference is we’re not just a one stop shop here pushing one product and one philosophy.


MIKE:  We are an all-inclusive retirement planning company that’s able to incorporate all three classes of these investments into a plan that allows you to enjoy a safer retirement.  And the last one is to make sure to plan with a distribution plan.  Not a pie chart.  Pie charts keep you guessing.  Don’t play Russian roulette and just roll the dice.  Do a plan that shows you down to the month how much income you can receive for the rest of your life.  See it as it is, not as you hope it is.  Hope is not a retirement plan, but a distribution plan or dare I say with us a safer distribution plan that.


MIKE:  That’s what gives you the confidence that you want in retirement.  That’s what sets you up for success.  Phone lines are going to be open for the next 10 minutes here.  And I’ll just reiterate this again.  Folks, if you have at least 300 thousand of assets saved up for retirement, and you’re 55 years or older, currently retired or not, call me.  At no cost to you, we can run the numbers, incorporate the three principles that govern proper retirement planning.  Optimize your social security, do a portfolio analysis, and show you as your retirement really is.


MIKE:  Objectively.  833-707-3030.  That’s 833-707-3030.  When you call in, they’ll gather your information.  So on Monday or reach out to you and schedule either a 30 minute phone call, or a 90 minute in person debrief.  Whatever’s at your comfort level to be able to address the biggest questions that retirees face.  And to debunk any myths.  Set up proper expectations.  And most of all, show you what a safer retirement looks like.  Got nothing to lose.  But I challenge you to find a better way to spend 30 minutes this week.


MIKE:  Challenge you.  This is the Decker 30 challenge here.  30 minutes for a safer 30 plus years.  It’s worth it to you, especially with the hundreds of thousands of dollars you could increase your retirement.  And for a lot of folks, they’ve also been able to retire three to five years earlier than expected because they had the knowledge in front of them.  Because we ran the numbers.  Because we asked the questions that they didn’t know to ask, and we were able to answer the questions that were ambiguous.  Leading them to a safer retirement.


MIKE:  Oh, it’s so fun folks.  833-707-3030.  When you come into one of our offices, it’s a great time.  We have three offices in Washington, one in California, San Francisco, and then we’ve got one in Lehigh, Utah, one in Salt Lake City, Utah.  And one in Las Vegas.  But when it comes down to it, you may come in, and you may be a little bit nervous.  And that’s okay.  That’s normal.  You may have a few questions.  I hope you bring them all.  You may not want to share all of your financials, but want to learn more.  That’s okay.  Whatever it takes to help educate you on the three principles that govern proper retirement planning, we want to be able to have that conversation with you.


MIKE:  We want to be able to set proper expectations of the markets today as they are.  We’re not bearish, we’re not bullish.  We just are.  But when it comes down to it, we want to get you the information that you need, whether you work with us or not to enjoy a safer retirement.  That right there is what this show is about, and what I want to give to you.  Call us.  833-707-3030.  That’s 833-707-3030.  When you call in, they’ll gather your information so on Monday we’ll reach out to you.  And like I said folks, if you’re just catching the tail end of this and wishing you caught the whole show.


MIKE:  You can always go to Decker retirement planning dot com to catch this show audio or in transcription.  Or you can always listen to it; iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, whether you get your podcasts to be able to listen to it.  First on Fridays, or on repeat or any of the historicals.  I’m Mike Decker with Decker retirement planning, home of a safer retirement.  It’s been a pleasure folks, I can’t wait to talk to you next week with more stories, more information, and more facts that lead to a safer retirement.

Decker Retirement Planning Inc. is a registered investment advisor in the state of Washington. Our investment advisors may not transact business in states unless appropriately registered or excluded or exempted from such registration. We are registered as an investment advisor in WA, ID, UT, CA, NV and TX. We can provide investment advisory services in these states and other states where we are exempted from registration.