October 3, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for October 3, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Kathy White – The 3 Cs for Joint Renewal

Are you looking to improve your mobility in retirement?

Through commitment, courage, and care, you can practice simple yoga poses that promote healing and joint renewal. These yoga poses help calm the nervous system down and allow for body healing and joint restoration.

 

This Weeks Blog -How to Help Joint Pain

Moving well, living well and aging well should be part of your retirement planning. You’ve worked diligently to reach your financial freedom, but you do deserve to be able to move well while you’re in retirement, too. This week we provide tips on how to help joint pain, stability and aging comfortably.

How to Help Joint Pain

Moving well, living well and aging well should be part of your retirement planning. You’ve worked diligently to reach your financial freedom, but you do deserve to be able to move well while you’re in retirement, too.

This week we had the pleasure of talking to Kathy White, who provided us with tips on how to help joint pain, stability and aging comfortably.

Kathy’s mantra is move well, live well and age well with yoga. And she has tips on how to WD-40 your joints to remove pain and feel better. 

Kathy White Background

For over 20 years, Kathy has been teaching yoga and practicing for nearly 30 years. Around 50, she started going through menopause and experiencing achy points. She was embarrassed because she is a yoga teacher.

So, what did she do?

She brought together others in the industry to discuss the problem, and what she found was that stretching and holding yoga poses weren’t helping her joints. Research shows that joints need two things to be healthy:

  1. Movement
  2. Positive pressure

Through her research, she developed gentle yoga poses that apply this pressure, forcing blood out of the joint and then allowing it to rush back in when exiting the pose to flush toxins and promote a sense of renewal.

Additionally, people like in a heightened state of alertness where we’re very active and busy. Her teaching shows how to calm the nervous system down to help the body begin to heal and the joints to feel better than ever.

The 3 Cs

What’s amazing is Kathy’s dad began following her routine to help with joint pain at the age of 87, and it works well for him – and many others. However, there is something called the 3 Cs that you need to know about, too.

The three Cs include:

1. Commitment

You need to show up for yourself because no one else will. Many people fall to get on the mat because their nervous system is too active – they’re in busy mode or stressed. Commitment is required for you to start alleviating joint pain.

It’s crucial to get on the mat.

In fact, Kathy asks that you commit to laying horizontally on the floor or bed and putting your legs up the wall for just five minutes a day. This position will calm the nervous system and helps your:

  • Heart 
  • Central nervous system
  • Endocrine system

Five minutes a day is something everyone can handle, and it’s going to help you start experiencing life with less pain and mobility.

2. Courage

Next, you need to have courage. As we age, a lot of us become fearful of our bodies. We trust the body less as we age because of random joint pain, fear of disease and more. You need to have the courage to face the obstacles ahead of you and do something about:

  • Past injuries
  • Pain
  • Aches

You need to notice the tightness and tension. It’s easier to take a pill and remove the pain than to actually treat the problem. Courage is necessary for you to take full responsibility of the pain and discomfort and tackle it head-on.

3. Care

Finally, care is something that you want to be kind with. You need to be kind to your body and take care of it. Pushing yourself is good, but if you push yourself too much, it can lead to injuries and more pain.

If you’re not caring for yourself during a yoga session, you’re not going to want to get back on your mat.

What Happens If You’ve Tried Yoga and It Didn’t Work for You?

Sometimes, people try yoga and discard it because it doesn’t work for them. Kathy recommends that you try hard to find the right teacher because there are so many different styles of yoga. Restorative yoga is what you want to search for in healing.

Yoga has transitioned so much in recent years to be flowing and look good, and these fast-paced sessions are not ideal for helping joint pain.

Search for a different teacher that focuses on this type of restorative yoga.

Once you find a yoga teacher that you like and who meets your needs, it’s important to stay consistent with your practice. Consistency will provide you with longevity, allowing you to see results from your session and flush out the toxins in your joints.

Can You Pick Yoga Up After an Injury or Say, Hip Replacement?

Certainly. You can follow a system like Kathy’s, but you will need to be cautious with the more intense forms of yoga. Instead, following a restorative practice is going to be crucial to your success here.

Multiple forms of yoga are available that can help:

  • You realize the difference between joint movement and feeling
  • Flush out the joints
  • Help joints keep moving

It’s important to learn to engage in the body that you have and appreciate it, especially with joint replacement.

Kathy does offer classes on restorative yoga, and you can work with her in numerous ways. First, you can go to her website and download a free guide and join the free access area. Watch some of her videos, which show you how to perform these gentle, foundational forms of yoga to restore your body.

You can also book a class right on her site.

If you’re interested in joining her classes, there are Zoom options, so you can begin restoring your joints from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to listen to more of our podcasts.

September 26, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for September 26, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Will I Avoid IRMAA Surcharges on Medicare?

Are you going to be able to avoid IRMAA surcharges on Medicare parts B and D? IRMAA stands for Income-Related Monthly Adjusted Amount, and there are charges on both parts B and D based on where your income lands.

If you’re thinking about retiring any time soon, there are ways to manage your income to stay at a lower amount to avoid surcharges on your Medicare premiums.

 

This Weeks Blog -IRMAA Medicare Surcharges

Medicare Part B and D have something called the IRMAA Medicare surcharges. When retirement planning, it’s crucial to consider the impact that the additional costs will have when trying to secure your retirement.

IRMAA Medicare Surcharges

Medicare Part B and D have something called the IRMAA Medicare surcharges. When retirement planning, it’s crucial to consider the impact that the additional costs will have when trying to secure your retirement.

Medicare kicks in at 65, and there are premiums and surcharges that you need to know about.

What is IRMMA?

Income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) is an essential part of your Medicare because it’s a sliding scale percentage, which you’ll be required to pay based on your income. Depending on your income, you may or may not have this additional surcharge.

IRMAA is on top of the Medicare premiums that you pay, so it’s something to consider.

Note: We also have a flow chart, which will show you how much you’ll be required to pay for IRMAA based on your income. Call our office at (919) 787-8866 and ask Laura or Morgan for the chart.

IRMAA Medicare Surcharges FAQs

What is modified adjusted gross income?

Modified adjusted gross income is your income minus deductions and then added back items, such as your student loan interest or retirement account contributions. You’ll find this value on your tax form.

Did your modified adjusted gross income surpass $91,000 filing single or $182,000 filing jointly in the previous two years?

  • If you answer “no,” your premium for Part B will be $170.10 per month.
  • If you answer “yes,” your surcharges will be on a sliding scale, but there are a lot of additional questions to be asked.

You Answered, “Yes.” Now What?

If you answer “yes,” then the following questions will be asked:

  • Have you or a spouse experienced a life-changing event that significantly impacts your income? This includes marriage, divorce, widowing, retirement, loss of pension or income-producing property. If you answered “yes,” this will mean that you’ll submit a form to the IRS office to show that this income is no longer accurate. You’ll need to file form SSA 44, which shows your income has dramatically changed, putting you back to the previous premium.
  • No life-changing events but your modified adjusted gross income exceeds the figures above. Now, we’ll look at your tax return two years ago to find your modified adjusted gross income. Depending on this figure, you will pay:
    • $91,000 – $114,000 (single); $182,000 – $228,000 (married filing jointly): Additional surcharge is $68 per month for Medicare Part B and $12.40 per month for Part D.
    • $114,000 – $142,000 (single); $228,000 – $284,000 (married filing jointly): Additional surcharge is $170.10 per month for Medicare Part B and $32.10 per month for Part D.
    • $142,000 – $170,000 (single); $284,000 – $340,000 (married filing jointly): Additional surcharge is $272.20 per month for Medicare Part B and $51.70 per month for Part D.
    • $500,000+ (single); $750,000 (married filing jointly): Additional surcharge is $408.20 per month for Medicare Part B and $77.90 per month for Part D.

IRMAA is per person, so if you’re married and filing jointly, you’ll need to pay these additional surcharges for each person in the household on Medicare.

Strategizing for your Medicare is a smart decision because there are ways to reduce income to help save on these premiums.

Note: This will look back two years, so for 2023, your 2021 modified adjusted gross income will change.

If you liked this blog post, we highly recommend that you sign up for our podcast, where we share other great financial information with you.

Click here to listen to your Secure Your Retirement podcast.

September 19, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for September 19, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – The GPS Retirement System

When you think about the GPS in your car, you think about how it will direct you to the right destination. The most important part of your GPS is knowing where you are so it can help you get to your destination.

Our retirement program is similar to a GPS designed to help you get to your retirement destination without any worries.

 

This Weeks Blog -The GPS Retirement System

The concept of GPS – the same way you get from point A to point B on a road trip – is something we believe can be used to secure your retirement. In fact, we want to talk about what we call the GPS Retirement System.

The GPS Retirement System

The concept of GPS – the same way you get from point A to point B on a road trip – is something we believe can be used to secure your retirement. In fact, we want to talk about what we call the GPS Retirement System.

We really like the GPS analogy because you can use it to find your way to financial security and wealth in retirement.

However, before we begin, let’s start with a question that we ask when using this system.

What’s the Most Important Part of a GPS System?

If you said “the destination,” that’s true, but you also need to know where you’re at currently. When trying to find your way to a secure retirement, you must know where you are in this very moment.

During the journey, there may be accidents and detours along the way, and our GPS Retirement System will help you get back on track.

How We Identify Where You Are

Where we are today is very important, and we start working with every client by finding out exactly where they are financially so that we can figure out how to get them to their retirement goal.

A lot goes into this initial process to ensure that we help you get to the retirement you want.

We start by asking:

  • Are you currently working?
  • When do you plan to retire?

These two questions allow us to know when income will stop coming in from your job and when you’ll need to dip into your retirement. Of course, we will also want to know about other forms of non-employment income that you have, such as:

  • Pension (potential survivorship)
  • Social Security
  • Rental property
  • Business sale income
  • Part-time or consulting that you may consider

If you’re not taking Social Security, we’ll also run an analysis to determine when the optimal time for you to take Social Security is.

We will work to understand your full income potential so that we know how much money you’ll have coming in during retirement. Next up, we’ll also need to know about the assets that you have accumulated over time.

Asset Considerations

Assets can also help you get through detours and roadblocks on the way to retirement. Some assets include:

  • 401(k)
  • IRA
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Annuities
  • Insurance policies
  • Savings and checking accounts
  • Property 

Assets are so important because they help fill in the blanks for us. You may have properties that generate a positive net income every month and annuities that can help cover a large chunk of your expenditures each month.

There’s also the possibility that you may sell a home or downsize to help fund your accounts or save more money each month.

Once we consider all of your income and assets, it’s time to look at expenses.

Expense Analysis

Now we have all of the information in the GPS System to understand how you can get to your destination, but we have to consider roadblocks. One of the major roadblocks people experience during retirement planning is their expenses.

If there’s one area that can make or break a retirement plan, it’s going to be your spending.

We need to know:

  • Flat expenses: Mortgage, car payment and any account with an end date.
  • Needs: Pay the bills, go out to eat, entertainment, etc.
  • Wants: Travel, second home and other fun things.

We often create a “fun fund,” and this would be the fund to travel heavily when you first enter retirement and want to travel or whatever “fun” you want to have.

Knowing what you “must” spend is time-consuming. Often, people know they have enough income to pay their expenses, but when you hit retirement, you will be drawing from retirement accounts, so it’s crucial to know what you’re spending your money on.

Plugging These Figures into Our Retirement System

At this point, we have a lot of retirement information available that can help you get to your retirement goal. And through our system, we’ll plug all of these figures in to have a better idea of how to get to your retirement goals.

Unfortunately, there is always one variable that we can’t account for fully: retirement length.

We can always base the retirement length on life expectancy, but there are some people who will be retired for 40 years and some 1 year – we just don’t know.

Our goal is to make sure your account will last until you’re 90.

We’re extremely conservative with these estimates and will account for:

  • Inflation
  • Healthcare
  • Investment growth (very conservative rates used)

Now, looking at this information, we can determine if you can get to the retirement destination on your GPS.

We like to create scenarios and adjust them to find out the best way to reach your goals. For example, you may find that you need to cut back expenses by $500 a month, and instead, you would rather go into consulting a few hours a week instead.

Unfortunately, getting to your destination is never easy.

There are roadblocks, detours and other issues that pop up along the way. However, when we have all of these baselines in place, we can then run simulations every year to ensure that you’re doing everything right, year by year, to reach your goals.

If you have a long-term care scenario occur, your plan will obviously change a lot.

Running simulations allow us to predict what will happen in the future based on numerous variables, such as a spouse passing away, long-term care being needed, more money coming in or going out, or other scenarios.

The GPS Retirement System considers all of these variables, including the fun ones.

Once we have a baseline set, that’s when we can see all of the great things that come out of our hard work today. Perhaps you’ll have enough money to travel the world for a decade, and this is something we can simulate.

All throughout retirement, we can run simulations on things like:

  • Going into a continuous care community
  • Remodeling your kitchen
  • Buying or selling your home
  • Helping pay for your grandkids’ education
  • Moving overseas
  • Virtually anything

If you want to secure your retirement, the GPS System works very well and allows you to account for the unknown variables that inevitably pop up in the middle of retirement.

Did you like this post and want to learn more about retirement? 

Sign up for our free 4 Steps to Secure Your Retirement video course.

September 12, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for September 12, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Beneficiary Designations – What You Need to Know

Have you been wondering whether to do a beneficiary and how to do it? There are different accounts that require you to have beneficiaries, including your retirement accounts.

A beneficiary is a person you assign while you’re living to receive the benefits of your accounts after you pass.

 

This Weeks Blog -Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are so important. You’ve set up accounts for estate and retirement planning, paid your dues, and you want to be sure that the right person is left these accounts. Sometimes, you might not even know about designations for certain accounts, so this is an article that we think can help a lot of you that trust in our Secure Your Retirement podcast.

Beneficiary Designations – What You Need to Know

Beneficiary designations are so important. You’ve set up accounts for estate and retirement planning, paid your dues, and you want to be sure that the right person is left these accounts. Sometimes, you might not even know about designations for certain accounts, so this is an article that we think can help a lot of you that trust in our Secure Your Retirement podcast.

If you haven’t subscribed to our podcast already, we highly recommend you do here.

In this episode, we’re going to cover everything you need to think about, including:

  • Beneficiary designations
  • Taxes
  • More 

Beneficiary Designations 101

First, it’s important to know which accounts are almost required to have a beneficiary. These accounts include:

  • 401(k)
  • 403(B)
  • IRA
  • Life insurance
  • Etc.

These accounts will often require a beneficiary or a person to who you want the account to go to upon your demise. You’ll be able to choose a primary and contingent beneficiary, too.

Retirement accounts are the most common accounts that need beneficiaries.

Other accounts that you should add beneficiaries to include:

  • Brokerage accounts
  • Bank account
  • Savings account

You may find a name other than the beneficiary, such as “transfer on death,” and you should be filling these out.

What is a Primary and Contingent Beneficiary?

Primary and contingent beneficiaries were mentioned previously. What do these things mean?

  • A primary beneficiary is the main person who would gain control of these accounts upon your demise.
  • Contingent beneficiaries are the person(s) who will receive the account if the primary beneficiary isn’t alive.

You can even have multiple beneficiaries, all of which will receive a percentage of the account. For example, you can have four beneficiaries, all of which receive 25% of the assets in the account, or whatever percentage that you choose.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Beneficiary?

When no one is listed on your accounts as a beneficiary or the only person listed is no longer alive, the account will go to your estate. The problem with the account going to the estate is that a large chunk of the money will be lost to upfront taxes.

Instead, if a beneficiary receives the money, they can leverage tax strategies to save money.

Gaining Greater Control Over the Money

You can gain greater control of the funds and the way they’re transferred by using certain designations. Thankfully, there are only two that you really need to know about:

  • Per Capita: The default on beneficiaries. For example, if you have two primary beneficiaries with 50% of each asset divided equally among the two. If one beneficiary dies, all of the money will go to person number two as your primary beneficiary. The shares of a beneficiary that is no longer living is split equally among all primary beneficiaries listed, no matter how many there may be.
  • Per Stirpes: You can also choose per stirpes. A powerful and useful tool, this means that the assets will go down your lineage. So, if you have two people as beneficiaries and the first beneficiary dies, the funds they would receive will go to the next person in their lineage. So, the money would go to the person’s kids instead of the remaining beneficiary.

As you can see, designations when adding beneficiaries are very powerful tools that can help you gain greater control over who receives your assets.

Many clients of ours are concerned about the future and their assets. For example, many of our clients ask, “What happens if a grandchild is born?” Using per stirpes, the assets will include them in your lineage.

For example, let’s assume that you have a son, and they have a child. The child automatically becomes part of the per stirpes designation. 

Most people will list their spouses as a primary and their children as contingents on their accounts because it’s a way to ensure assets are passed on to the people you care about the most.

Power of Per Stripes Example

Let’s assume that you have passed away, and you have a substantial amount of money in an IRA or 401(k). You might also leave money to your son or daughter, who is a good income earner. Due to their high income, per stirpes can be very beneficial.

Why?

Your children can disclaim their inheritance to allow it to flow down to your grandchildren.

Why is this beneficial?

If the grandkids don’t have large incomes or maybe are even too young to work, they’ll be in a much lower income bracket than someone who is a high earner. In this scenario, more of the money will go to your family and less will go to the government for taxes.

But the per stirpes designation must be present for this to work.

Annual Beneficiary Review

Conducting an annual beneficiary review is something we recommend all of our clients do, and we highly recommend that you do a review, too. The main reason for a review is that it’s just too easy to forget about beneficiary changes.

You may have been divorced, a beneficiary died, or you may have been married.

Annual beneficiary reviews will ensure that the right people benefit from the assets you leave behind.

We have a story of someone who divorced, then remarried.  The beneficiary was never updated.  When they passed away, all of the funds in the account went to the ex-spouse and there was nothing that the current spouse could do to challenge the transfer of assets.  Due to the strength of the beneficiary form, there is no way to challenge the form or beneficiary listed.   

This is why we recommend annual beneficiary designation reviews.

You can also list charities as beneficiaries, which is something you may want to do if you’re passionate about certain charities.

It’s very easy to adjust beneficiaries, and you can even do the process online for some accounts. Offline changes require a simple form submission to change beneficiaries.

Tip to Help Beneficiaries

One thing we recommend is that you sit down and make a list of all accounts that you have. Your estate will have a difficult time trying to find all of the accounts you have if you don’t create a list for them.

Additionally, we’ve had some clients find out about accounts well after a person’s death because no one knew they existed.

If you don’t create a list of accounts, you’re putting any of the beneficiaries you use at a significant disadvantage. Also, this same list can be used by you to update and review accounts annually, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.If you have any questions about beneficiary designations, feel free to schedule a 15-minute complimentary phone call with us.

September 6, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for September 6, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Dr. Doug – Hormone Optimization Therapy

Have you given thought to the possibility of having the hormonal replacement therapy conversation?

As we age, hormones will inevitably decline and it’s something that everyone will have to deal with.

 

This Weeks Blog -Hormone Optimization Therapy

Hormones are something a lot of people see as being controversial, and it’s sad because men and women will both experience a drop in their hormones. Discussing your issues with a physician is necessary, even if it’s something that feels uncomfortable.

Hormone Optimization Therapy

Hormone optimization therapy is something we think everyone should know about and understand. This week, we had the pleasure of having Dr. Doug Lucas back on our podcast to discuss hormone optimization with you.

Note: You can listen to the full episode on our podcast here.

What is Hormone Optimization Therapy?

Hormones are something a lot of people see as being controversial, and it’s sad because men and women will both experience a drop in their hormones. Discussing your issues with a physician is necessary, even if it’s something that feels uncomfortable.

Today’s hormone therapy is not risky as was thought in the past.

Doctors are helping with hormone optimization therapy daily, and healthcare providers can perform optimization in a safe and healthy manner.

Hormone optimization therapy helps restore your hormones, and it’s something that may benefit all older adults.

  • Men lose testosterone as they age
  • Women lose estrogen and progesterone

For men, testosterone declines slowly over time, but women experience a much more rapid decline in these key hormones, causing some uncomfortable symptoms in the process.

Signs That You May Need Hormone Optimization Therapy

Men’s testosterone slowly begins to decline over time, but women have a major drop off in hormones when they hit menopause. Hormone optimization is often not something men realize they need right away because their hormones do decline gradually.

Women, however, will experience significant symptoms and side effects.

Men’s Symptoms

Men can experience symptoms as early in their 20s and 30s, and the symptoms include:

  • Brain fog
  • Loss of vitality
  • Fatigue

Many men feel like they don’t have the drive or steam they had to get through the end of the day. Of course, some men do lose their libido to some extent, too.

Dr. Doug is noticing that there is a decline in the average age that these symptoms occur. Men are experiencing issues much earlier, and this means a longer life expectancy with these symptoms.

Women’s Symptoms

Women go through menopause at different ages, but they should start thinking about therapy even earlier. Women have a harder time with hormones because there are many involved.

If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms yet still have regular cycles, this is a good time to begin discussing your options with a doctor.

Women will often have plenty of estrogen but low testosterone and progesterone. As a result, they will need to treat the estrogen deficiency to experience results. Low estrogen can cause a variety of symptoms:

  • No or irregular periods
  • Dry skin
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats

Treating Hormone-related Issues

Traditional physicians will sometimes be uncomfortable with treating people with hormone therapy. For men who are experiencing an earlier decline in testosterone, issues are even worse.

For example, if a 29-year-old male goes to the doctor with the classic symptoms listed in the previous section, the doctor is unlikely to check his testosterone.

And even if they do test their testosterone, they’ll either:

  • Determine that levels are adequate
  • Not understand men are experiencing a faster decline in testosterone

Due to the declining testosterone earlier, many doctors are seeing people with severely low testosterone as “normal.”

When treating men specifically, multiple avenues may be available, such as:

  • Supplements
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes

Often, a mixture of all three treatment options will provide the best results. Medication can help bring levels back up, and in hormone replacement therapy, it will be necessary to continue with hormone replacement indefinitely.

Self-Diagnosing and the Supplement Route

If you have an unlimited budget, self-diagnosing and trying the hundreds of supplements is possible. However, when you have very low testosterone, you need to be realistic with your results.

For example:

  • A 10% boost for someone with an 800-testosterone level is amazing
  • A 10% boost for someone with a 200-testosterone level isn’t good

However, we have seen people that have made significant lifestyle changes and use supplements find great results.

Doug’s Process of Working With Clients

Dr. Doug works with clients who need hormone replacement therapy all the time, and he has processes in place to help clients. The main thing he notes is that you need a base to go off of. If someone isn’t testing your hormone to learn your base, run the other way because you won’t know what’s working or how well it’s working.

Doug handles this in two ways:

  1. Hormone replacement only program. This starts out with an extensive lab panel to see things that can change if you have hormone replacement, such as cholesterol, etc. He continues to test throughout the program to ensure your risks are falling and that the hormones aren’t causing adverse side effects.
  2. Hormone optimization program. The optimization program is more intense and in-depth. Dr. Doug will focus on optimizing your life, including sleep, nutrition, movement, exercise and even stress management. 

During hormone replacement therapy, the average results will vary, but typical results are:

  • Men will notice that a change in vitality returns. They start recovering better, regain their competitive nature and just have their pep restored. Some men will also mention improved libido and function, too.
  • Women will notice changes in body composition, hot flashes and other symptoms that fall off. Progesterone will help with sleep and testosterone is amazing for muscle mass, skin quality and texture. Energy and vitality also return, but not to the same extent as a man.

Hormone replacement therapy is a process, and it takes time to see results. Dr. Doug told us that it takes time to make changes, and you may need to make lifelong changes, too. Men will experience changes in one to two weeks in most cases.

Women will also notice changes, but skin and body composition changes will take more time. However, hot flashes and other symptoms will begin to decline.

Dr. Doug will look at the “whole” person, so he will consider your overall health, bad habits and other areas to help restore your hormones.

Anyone that likes what Dr. Doug is doing and has osteoporosis will also want to read through our article on how to reverse osteoporosis, where we discuss all of these things with him. You can also visit his website and send his team a message. He will discuss multiple avenues to help you feel your best.

If you need help with retirement planning, please schedule a call with us today.

August 29, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for August 29, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Peace Of Mind Wealth Management Retirement Process

Are you considering taking that complimentary call and possibly working with us? Here at Peace of Mind, we have a well-curated system from the first meeting we have with a potential client to the actual job of managing their financial retirement plan. 

 

This Weeks Blog –Peace Of Mind Wealth Management Retirement Process-

If you decide that you want our help when you’re trying to secure your retirement, these are the very steps that we’ll go through to help you meet your retirement planning goals.

Peace of Mind Wealth Management Process

Our Peace of Mind retirement process can be a little overwhelming for some, so we decided to make the process a little less intimidating for you. We’re going to walk you through the Peace of Mind wealth management process step-by-step:

  1. Personalized Introduction Meeting
  2. Personalized Planning Meeting
  3. Personalized Options Review
  4. Personalized Monitoring

If you decide that you want our help when you’re trying to secure your retirement, these are the very steps that we’ll go through to help you meet your retirement planning goals.

Personalized Introduction Meeting

An introduction meeting is the first step to working with us. This meeting is very important, and in our process, it’s a no-obligation meeting. We sort of view this as your “second opinion” because you’re coming to us with an idea for your retirement plan that you want to be validated.

You’ll come into the meeting with what you’ve prepared prior or with documents so that we can create a financial snapshot for you.

The snapshot will help us understand where your financials are today.

We’ll use this meeting to determine:

  • Are we a good fit for you?
  • Are you a good fit for us?

If we’re a good fit for you and you’re a good fit for us, we can then move forward. 

The financial snapshot of today allows us to judge where you are today and how we can help you reach your goal of a peace-of-mind retirement. In total, the meeting is 30 – 45 minutes, and we’ll get to know each other, your goals and how you view things.

For us, there are two reasons that we may tell you that you’re not a good fit for us:

  1. You’re spending far too much money for any plan to be sustainable. We can determine this pretty quickly.
  2. You want us to buy risky investments for you that we don’t agree with, such as options or futures, which we believe hold too much risk to be viable.

If we both believe that we’re a good fit for each other, we’ll schedule a planned meeting. Even if we’re not a good fit, you’ll walk out of the meeting with some form of validation for your financial future.

Personalized Planning Meeting

After the first visit, we have your financial snapshot, which includes:

  • Assets
  • Spending
  • Income
  • Retirement goals
  • Inheritances
  • Estate plan
  • Etc.

Before the second visit, we’ll start working on your plan, plugging it into our software and coming up with a general plan for you. We’ll be able to calculate things such as Social Security and retirement income.

We’ll also go through a risk assessment, such as calculating where your investments are and what their potential may be in the future. Our team will score all of your investments so that we can determine the true risk of your financial plan.

We’re able to run what-if scenarios during this meeting, such as:

  • What happens if I retire today? 5 years from now? Etc.
  • What happens if a spouse dies?
  • What happens if you live to 80, 90 or 100?

Everything is visualized so that you can see what major events may impact your retirement.

Finally, we have a major risk conversation with you. We’ll run a simulation of your risks using your portfolio information so that we can address your risk properly. The personalized planning meeting is a truly eye-opening experience and one that often leads to many people realizing 15% to 20% of their retirement is high-risk, meaning it can disappear quickly.

At the end of the meeting, you’ll receive a full printout.

This meeting will last about an hour for most clients.

Personalized Options Review

If you’re on board and want to come back for a third meeting, The Options Review is the next step, and it’s a commitment. In the second visit, we provide a ton of value for free, and the option review is where you come in and are serious about working with us.

You’ll come in with questions, such as:

  • How would our relationship with you work?
  • How do I allow you to manage my 401(k)?
  • Etc.

We go through any questions that you have and discuss your options with you. Once all of this is done, we can then really work with you.

Personalized Monitoring

Personalized monitoring is us implementing the plan we laid out for you. We execute the plan that we discussed, and we monitor your accounts daily. We’ll make adjustments as necessary to help your money grow and push you closer to your retirement goal.

We’ll also need to monitor your finances and life changes.

And we do this monitoring through meetings. We will certainly have an annual meeting with you, but we also have many clients that we meet with more frequently. Meetings will depend on your needs, and we’re flexible here.

For example, you may want to meet more when you:

  • Are close to retiring
  • Lived in retirement for 5 years and want to sell your house and travel
  • Etc.

We also provide a market update to our clients every Monday, so you’re always in the loop and can be confident in your retirement plan. The process is very detailed, and we also offer tax planning, tax strategy, estate planning and other key elements to help you manage your money in the best way possible.

If you would like to schedule a personalized introduction meeting with us, click here.

August 22, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for August 22, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – I Bonds – How They Work

In this episode of the Secure Your Retirement podcast, we talk about I bonds, what they are, and how they can benefit you. Listen in to learn how to buy I bonds and make them the most efficient for you with their rate of return. 

 

This Weeks Blog -I Bonds – How They Work

We’ve been having a lot of people ask about something that is all over the news: I Bonds. With the traditional bond market doing so bad, I Bonds are certainly something to consider.

How Do “I Bonds” Work?

On our Secure Your Retirement podcast, we’ve been having a lot of people ask about something that is all over the news: I Bonds. With the traditional bond market doing so bad, I Bonds are certainly something to consider.

However, we do want to explain I Bonds to you further so that you can decide if they should be a part of your retirement planning or not.

What are I Bonds and How Do They Work?

An I Bond is a bond that is issued by the government, and “I” stands for inflationary. Due to the high inflation, these I Bond concepts have started to pick up steam. The reason I Bonds are so popular right now is that they’re paying 9.62% in interest.

With the stock market struggling and inflation creeping up, I Bonds offer an attractive option that is government-backed and guaranteed interest. However, the interest can move around a little bit, and this is something that we’ll explain shortly.

I Bonds are easy, too.

In fact, I Bonds are almost a “no-brainer,” and it’s very easy to start investing in these types of bonds.

How Do You Buy I Bonds?

An I Bond must be purchased by an individual, so it’s not something that an advisor can help you with. Instead, you can quickly and easily purchase them from TreasuryDirect.gov. The site is an official government website, and you can create an account and purchase the account directly through a bank draft.

Most people are going to buy these items directly, so you won’t receive a physical paper bond.

However, you can get a paper bond, too. How?

  • If you receive money back on your taxes, you’ll fill in a form for an I Bond
  • The government will send you a paper bond

For most people, it’s likely easier to purchase all of your I Bonds online because they’ll be kept digitally on the government’s website. Otherwise, if you lose the paper bond, you may lose all of your investment, too.

I Bond Limits

I Bonds do have limits, so you can’t just go out and put $100,000 into I Bonds today. The limit is $10,000 per person. You can:

  • Buy $10,000 for your child
  • Give $10,000 to someone else

However, your child or that person will not be able to buy their own I Bond because you’ve already purchased it on their behalf.

Speaking of limitations, the current interest rate is 9.62%, but the rate is only guaranteed for so long. A few things to know are:

  • I Bond rates adjust every six months
  • Rates can go up or down
  • Must be held for 1 year

The interest rate provides a fixed rate of 0% under the current rule, but with high inflation, the bond is at 9.62%.

If the government does bring inflation down in the near future, you’ll see the interest rate on I Bonds come down. For example, if the government can get inflation back to a normal level, you’ll likely see these bonds fall to a 2% – 4% interest rate.

Through our experience, the optimal time to hold the bond is five years.

You can cash out the I Bond after a year if an emergency pops up or something similar, but the government will take the last three months of interest as a penalty. If you hold on to the bond for five years, you won’t be penalized for cashing in your bond.

In fact, you can hold the I Bond for up to 30 years and still earn interest on it. After 30 years, the bond will stop accruing interest.

How to Sell I Bonds

When it comes time to cash in your bond, you can do it directly in the same portal where you purchased your bonds. It’s straightforward to purchase and offload these bonds.

How Are I Bonds Taxed?

When it comes to taxes, the bonds are issued by the federal government. What this means is that in most cases, you won’t have to pay state income taxes on the interest from the bonds. However, you will need to pay taxes to the federal government.

What type of tax will you have?

Let’s assume that you purchased $10,000 in I Bonds that have grown to $15,000. You’ll pay no taxes on the $10,000, so there’s no return on this because it’s capital. Instead, you’ll have to pay on $5,000, and it’s considered ordinary income and not a capital gains tax.

So, you need to consider all of this when buying I Bonds, but based on the current interest rate, they do make sense to invest in at 9.62%.

Plus, being backed by the government, I Bonds are one of the safest investments that you can make.

Do you want to learn more about I Bonds or need help with your retirement planning? 

Click here to schedule a call with us.

August 15, 2022 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for August 15, 2022 

This Weeks Podcast – Jen Smith – Frugal Is Not a Bad Word

How in control are you of your spending? Have you ever considered living a frugal lifestyle?

Frugality is about being conscious about your spending and being a good steward of your resources.

 

This Weeks Blog -Living Frugally in Retirement

We’re not talking about budgeting, but we will talk about being frugal and how to get what you want in life while still being frugal.