109 -Pulling it Together
Retire South Shore Radio Podcast

Episode 109: Pulling it Together

In today’s episode, Mark reviews the four steps to consider when “pulling the retirement plan” together. Upfront planning and organizing make the process a lot less stressful. The bottom line is always the same — you don’t want to have to worry about money in retirement. Taking these steps can help you enjoy a smoother transition to retirement!

Firm offers insurance services. Rowlette and Associates, LLC DBA: South Shore Retirement Services – an affiliated company – is an independent financial services firm offering both insurance and investment services. Investment advisory services are offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Rowlette and Associates, LLC DBA: South Shore Retirement Services are not affiliated companies. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety, or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying abilities of the issuing carrier.

This podcast is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation.

Rowlette and Associates, LLC DBA: South Shore Retirement Services is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified tax professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Rowlette and Associates, LLC DBA: South Shore Retirement Services. 01268350-4/22

Episode 109: Pulling it Together – Transcript

Intro:

This is Retire South Shore Radio, a weekly program designed to educate you on all your retirement options and introduce you to Mark Rowlette, founder of South Shore Retirement Services. For the latest on free seminars, to obtain a report or to set up a consultation, please visit retiresouthshore.com. Retirement services and real-world retirement solutions, looking at the whole picture to design a complete strategy, including retirement planning, Medicare decisions, and legal documents. Now here’s Mark Rowlette and your host, Jordan Rich.

Jordan Rich :

Hello, and welcome to another addition of Retire South Shore Radio. It’s a pleasure for me to be here with Mark Rowlette, the Founder and President of South Shore Retirement Services, which has its physical location, a beautiful office in Hingham with clients all over the area and handling these clients with aplomb. There’s a lot to do, but it’s got a great staff and we talk about the all hands analysis. Welcome Mark. Nice to see you.

Mark Rowlette:

Great to see you too, sir. How are you?

Jordan Rich :

Now, did you remember to spring your clocks forward so that we can have more daylight today and the rest of the season?

Mark Rowlette:

Well, there’s only one clock that we need to do in our house. It’s the microwave. Everything else just automatically changes. But then sometimes you’re like, did it change? I’m like, did I get an extra hour? Did I get less of an hour? It gets a little confusing.

Jordan Rich :

My wife’s is usually the one who handles the timing on everything. So she handles that as well. And I usually forget.

Mark Rowlette:

Our three dogs don’t know about the time change. So they act accordingly like the time didn’t change.

Jordan Rich :

Well, needless to say, we’re excited about spring and all the craziness that’s going on in the world. One thing’s for sure. It’s going to get warmer and more pleasant, but we’re here to talk about retirement, retirement planning and strategies and so forth. And one of the biggest concerns that a lot of people have is, oh my God, this is so darn confusing. There’s so many things to think about. We’re going to try to organize your thoughts a bit and give you clarity, which is really an important aspect of what you do.

Mark Rowlette:

Yeah. I said it to a guy last week and it made me think about what we should talk about this weekend. And I said to him, I’m like, he came in and he’s like, “I have some sort of a plan already in place. And I think I’m in good shape.” And I was like, “Do you ever feel like your retirement plan and your investments are literally all over the place?” And he said “Yes, to a certain degree, I do. I have an idea what I want to do, but everything’s in five different spots. And I don’t know if it’s doing what it should be doing. And I don’t know if one account is being counterproductive to another account.”

So I said to him, “Confidence really comes from knowing that you have a plan that’s in place that has each of your pieces, each of the pieces of your retirement puzzle working in harmony. So nothing is working against another one. One account isn’t so conservative that it’s not making money. And another one is so aggressive that it’s taking too much risk and you try to make sure that everything’s working in unison.”

Jordan Rich :

Consolidation is a beautiful thing when it comes to a lot of life. And I’m not suggesting that you’d throw everything into one big pot and stir it up.

Mark Rowlette:

No, no.

Jordan Rich :

But knowing where things are and how things work. So we’re going to be talking about, as you say, the four steps of pulling it all together and I’ll let you lead off and I’ll just pepper you with questions as we go.

Mark Rowlette:

Well, yeah, I mean, as everyone who listens and people who come into the office and say, I’ve been listening to you for years and we hear very similar things every single day, time and time again. And I understand that retirement is full of complicated decisions. Decisions like firstly, when am I going to do it? When am I going to claim social security benefits? How do I choose the best pension options? How do I keep my taxes as low as possible? How do I leave money to my family in the most efficient way possible? And most importantly, which should be the first one, because it’s the most important one. How do I make sure my money lasts? How do I make sure I don’t have to worry about running out of money in retirement? And it doesn’t matter whether your need is $4,000 a month or $40,000 a month. Nobody wants to run out of money. And that’s what having a plan and being prepared and being proactive can help a person get to the point that they feel confident and comfortable enough that they are able to pull that retirement trigger.

Jordan Rich :

With all of these things in play, one wants to believe that the people you are working with can not only handle your issues, but whatever number of clients they have. How important is that to you, your structure, your organization?

Mark Rowlette:

Well yeah, I mean, I say that to people all the time. I mean, it’s all well and good to have a super platform and your money’s doing exactly what you want it to do and you have a guy or a girl helping you with that. But are they able to stay on top of making sure that they’re addressing all of your needs on an ongoing basis, and all of their other clients at the same time, and run their business at the same time? I’ve been really fortunate to have gone through those pitfalls, those ups and downs when I started working in this industry, what? 25 years ago. So all those kinks have kind of been worked out and I have just this unbelievable, who you know, unbelievable staff in our office that are the backbone of everything that we need because there’s only so much time in a day.

And I say this to clients all the time. The infrastructure and the depth here in our office of the ability of all the ladies here and the other advisors to be able to address clients’ needs in a prompt way, because sometimes it’s a really simple question, but it’s stressing out of client. And if you had to wait till the end of the day, because you’re in and out of meetings and you don’t have time to call someone, that anxiety goes from a 2 to a 10 for some people. So we want to be able to get back and make sure that we can help them. And then be able to perform from the perspective of, hey, we’re going to do this for you over the course of the next 15 or 20 years, and consistently try to stay in contact and look at strategies and look at opportunities and look at things that should be changing on an ongoing basis. And we’re able to achieve that because of my fortune of having this amazing staff here at the office.

Jordan Rich :

Office. Well, it’s also important to note that in tricky times and we’re in those times now with the price of everything going up, and with people concerned about their financial future, there’s more, shall we say, pressure put on professionals in the field to answer questions about investments, about stocks going forward, about taxes. So we’re getting into that whole thing. While we’re talking about all this, there’s a very quick and easy way to get a nagging question that’s been on your mind answered, or at least to start getting an answer that will really mitigate your fears and that’s to call for a free 15 minute, no-obligation strategy session on the phone. You can do it from anywhere, including your den where you’re relaxing with a cup of tea. And just set it up by visiting retiresouthshore.com. And there’s a grid you can easily schedule it that way or call 781-836-4214. Just a way to get the information out there and settle the nerves. So do check it out, the 15 minute, no-obligation strategy call. So let’s run through some more of the key four steps to pull it all together.

Mark Rowlette:

Yeah. I mean, these are just four observations. And if I have time, because I always run long, a bonus one at the end, that we think that people should be thinking about as they’re getting ready to retire. I mean, like I said, lots of people come in and we talk to them and we always talk about second opinions. And most of the people have some formulation of a plan or a strategy in place already. And I say, well, we’ll give you a second opinion because the reality is you can’t get a second opinion from the person who gave you the first. So we look at their current situation and see if all of these issues are being addressed, and basically stress test their plan and see if it breaks. And if it doesn’t break, awesome, and you continue on your way and you’ve just reaffirmed that everything you’re doing is right. But there’s things that you should be thinking about. Stuff like, from a money perspective, because that’s what it is. Most of our clients’ goals are I don’t want to run out of money.

But then ultimately their goals are, I want to do all X, Y, and Z. I want to play golf, see my grandkids. I want to do all these things and they need money to do that. So when I say need, that’s the first thing is, from a money perspective, what do you need to have versus what would you like to have? And what I mean is the needs are the stuff that you absolutely have to have every single month from a money perspective to pay for mortgages, utility bills, insurance premiums, food, gas in your car, stuff that you absolutely need to have. And then stuff that you’d like to have. It’s stuff like I’d like to go to Florida for three months in the winter, or I’d like to buy myself that old sports car that I always loved when I was in college. And now’s the time that I want to have that.

Depending on how much wiggle room, if you will, you have when you stress test your plan, meaning how much flexibility you have in additional spending. Some of those likes to haves can shift over to the need to have side of things. And now they’re solid and every single winter, we go down to X, Y, and Z place in Florida or South Carolina, wherever it might be. And we budget for that. And we know that we have enough resources to do that for the next 5, 10 years, whatever it might be, because maybe you don’t want to go for the rest of your life down there. So I think separating the need to have, and the like to have, and then structuring your money in such a way that you know that there’s enough resources to do that.

Some of your money will be predictable, guaranteed anyways from social security, a pension plan. If you have an annuity and it’s kicking out income. But then you start looking at the pile of money that you’ve been able to save over your working. And how do you best position that to make sure that you’re able to take the additional money that you need to satisfy your lifestyle under any environment? And that’s what we talk about all the time. And the environment right now is very scary for a lot of people. Things that are going on in the other side of the world are terrifying people. It’s not just the gas pump that they’re concerned about. It’s interest rates going up. It’s all of these things that are going to impact the bottom line into someone’s pocket. So that would be the first thing that we would have people consider.

Jordan Rich :

It’s really the impact of talking to somebody who’s been there. You’ve had 25 years plus experience dealing with every possible scenario it seems so we need people prompt us with the right questions so that we can answer those questions. One of the toughest things for many of us is just gathering all this in our head, and even on paper, we need someone often to guide us through the process of doing that.

Mark Rowlette:

Absolutely. I mean, I realize the massive responsibility that I have and everyone in the office has when we’re helping people with their life savings. And I also realize that they’re sitting sometimes on the other side of the conference room table, and they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know the questions to ask, and that’s a very intimidating situation for them to be in. And I’m compassionate and I can appreciate where they’re coming from. So having some relationship with someone that’s not able to answer your questions, but is able to you with the stuff that you needed to know that you didn’t know you needed to know. So a proactive relationship, I think, is critically important to the success of anyone’s strategy plan, retirement plan and in anything really. You don’t want to wait until it’s, oh my gosh, something’s going wrong. And then I’ll call the person and they’ll fix it for me, but if it’s avoidable to have that thing go wrong in the first place, isn’t that a better way to be? Isn’t that a more relaxing way to be in retirement?

Jordan Rich :

Well before we break, I’m just thinking we are so structured in our work lives, most of us, whether we own our own business, we’re self-employed or work for somebody else. And then there’s that little sense of aimlessness, it’s freedom, it’s great to sleep in and all that, but then how do I approach this major change? Because it is a major sea change, not just financially, but culturally and socially and emotionally. So it’s going to be a big deal. So what we’ll do when we come back, you said there are four and I’m hoping …

Mark Rowlette:

I think there are four more. I’ve got a bonus one. I’ll try to get to it.

Jordan Rich :

Well, that’s what I was hoping for. Because you teased me with a bonus, so I want to make sure we have time for that. I do also want to remind people that there are so many ways to check in with the organization and get information. Of course, there’s this program live on the air on wonderful radio stations each week. Also, the podcast available. It’s retiresouthshore.com podcast. The newsletters and other issues that are on the website, including webinars that are regularly held, and we’ll be talking about where you can meet Mark and his crew at various venues, some beautiful restaurants and ask those questions there. So we’ll take a short break and return. You’re listening to Retire South Shore Radio.

Speaker 1:

I need $85,000 a year in retirement. So how much do I need to save?

Jordan Rich :

The All Hands analysis team at South Shore Retirement Services in Hingham gets this question quite often. The numbers are different, but the concern is the same. Will I have to worry about money in retirement? The answer is simple. It’s different for everyone. And the folks at South Shore Retirement Services know that and can help you. Their All Hands analysis team will break down everything you need to know so that you can enjoy a stress-free retirement with all of your needs taken care of under one roof. From retirement income planning, investments and wealth protection, tax planning, healthcare and long term care, legacy and estate planning and more. The All Hands analysis team at South Shore Retirement Services takes the worry off your shoulders. Making sure that you and your family have a solid retirement plan in place. Schedule your freeing 15 minute strategy call today. It’s so easy. Just visit retiresouthshore.com. That’s retiresouthshore.com.

Jordan Rich here reminding you that at South Shore Retirement Services, they hold informational seminars for the greater South Shore community. The goal with these events, to address common questions and concerns that come up while you are preparing for retirement. Through these presentations, they strive to keep you up to date on issues that matter to you, your family and your financial wellbeing. And after attending a seminar, South Shore Retirement Services invites you to schedule a one-on-one consultation to address your unique situation and retirement goals. You can register now at retiresouthshore.com. That’s retiresouthshore.com. Thank you.

You’re listening to Retire South Shore Radio, great to be with you, such an important issue for so many people, yours truly included, as we age and age into a more fit and healthy environment, hopefully. And one that’s healthy, both physically, emotionally and financially. Here with Mark Rowlette, the Founder and President of South Shore Retirement Services. So we’re talking about four basic steps to pull it all together. Now, what we hear about is the rule of 100 and I bow to you to explain that to the audience.

Mark Rowlette:

Yeah, there’s all these different rules and they’re all great guidelines. The 4% safe withdrawal rate, the rule of 72, all of these different things that equate into how you should be addressing your money. And the rule of 100 is another one that people talk about, which is essentially whatever age you are, you deduct your age from 100 and that’s how much money you should have at risk when you’re investing. While it’s a good guideline, you can’t give advice to the masses. You can’t just blanketly say that somebody who’s 65 should have 35% in there because what if somebody who’s 65 been retired for 10 years? Or what if somebody who’s 65 is going to work for the next 9 years? Or what if that same person has a really, really strong pension from their job, great social security, no debt, and has saved a pile of money and the money isn’t really needed for retirement?

So it really depends on your particular situation. And I think that’s what’s so important about having your own individually tailored strategy or plan put together, and not just blanketly saying, well, this is what everyone else at my age does because that might not be the right thing for you to do. So I think while it’s important to look at how your money’s positioned and as you get closer to retirement, look at it even closer. One general rule does not mean that that’s the rule for every single person. There’s certain rules that are. Drive on their correct side of the road and stop at a red light. But certain things like this don’t apply to every single person. And we make sure that we’re aware of that because while it’s important to obviously have the ability to use your money and not have to maybe use your money when the market is in the wrong direction, you’re selling something at a loss.

Maybe you don’t need to use that money initially, or maybe you don’t need to use that money at all and it just is something that you’re growing more of an investment than a retirement asset. And then that rule wouldn’t really apply specifically to you. And I think, through our All Hands analysis and putting these plans in place for clients, they’re able to see that number one, one size does not fit all. And number two, and most importantly, we don’t have any fixed agenda in here. It’s not one particular investment vehicle or one particular thing that works for every single person. Everyone’s different and I think that’s really important when you’re building your own plan.

Jordan Rich :

I think it’s important to note though that we’re talking about solid math. We’re not talking about ethereal guesswork. You’re looking at someone’s existing budget and future plans and needs as well as wants. And you’re able to come up with a figure that provides that security, that you’re not going to run out of money. That’s what it’s all boiling down to. So we’re talking here with Mark about, well, four basic steps to pull it all together and we’ll review what they are very quickly. But the third one is an obvious one, the big T, taxes.

Mark Rowlette:

Yeah, taxes, taxes, taxes.

Jordan Rich :

And it’s always on our minds because we’re in the midst of an economic odd time with inflation spiraling out of control and the need for more revenue, certainly in some parts of the country. So let’s talk about that. Why is that so critical?

Mark Rowlette:

Full disclosure, obviously our world is full of disclosures. I can’t give tax advice. So if you don’t reach out and you want to make any sort of changes from a tax perspective, I would suggest you reach out to a tax professional. We just help people build tax strategies, but that’s why we have Karen and her team who are the CPAs who can actually give the tax advice. But the vast majority of the people that we meet, the largest asset that they have maybe with the exception of their home is something that they have not paid taxes on yet. So taxes are coming. And also most people are just reporting their taxes rather than actually planning out their taxes, rather than looking proactively down the road and trying to reduce their lifetime tax liability, as opposed to just reducing that one year where they’re filing a return.

And I have those conversations with people all the time. They’re like, “Well, I’m going to put money into a Roth IRA because somebody told me it grows tax free.” And I said, “Well, you’re in a much higher tax bracket now than you will be in retirement. So maybe that doesn’t make sense for you, but let’s explore it and let’s look at it.” I think being proactive when you look at tax strategy with regards to how you distribute money out of IRAs and 401(k)s can literally save you thousands and thousands of dollars during your lifetime. And if you’re saving money, to me, that’s just the same as making money. So I think it’s critically important that people make money with their money when they go into retirement or before they get into retirement. But it’s equally as important to minimize your tax liability. Nobody wants to pay more taxes than they have to.

Jordan Rich :

We talk about this ad nauseum because it’s so important, but there’s also that sense that it’s time to switch the way you approach taxes. You just said, it’s most of us report taxes. We wait till the deadline and try to stave it off every year while we’re working. And one of the reasons we do that is because while we’re working. But when you’re in retirement or getting ready for it, you think about your life in a different plan and you have the option, well, the opportunity and time and the options now to sit back and take that moment to plan with a professional helping you. It’s just so different, so different.

Mark Rowlette:

And how could you possibly stay on top of all of these rule changes in every aspect of life. So us having partnerships and strategic alliances with CPAs, locally here and up in Boston. And when I talk to them, they’re like, “Did you know about this rule that just changed this year?” I’m like, “I did not know about that rule, but you told me about it so now we can see if somebody would be getting a benefit from it.” So having the right people in each of their fields is also so important. They can meet essentially everybody that they would need in order to comfortably transition from working to not working or to start taking distributions.

And each of these specialists are specialists, that’s their field. A CPA doesn’t necessarily know much about estate planning. They have enough to be dangerous knowledge, but each of these people are … They’re focused on their field and we bring it all together for a client or a couple in order to ensure that no stone is left unturned. So I think, from an overall standpoint, it just makes logical sense, but especially from a tax standpoint, and everyone’s looking at trying to maximize their money because you talked about inflation earlier on, and that’s a scary thing, and people are worried at not having enough purchasing power. So it’s not only, I don’t want to run out of money. It’s that I don’t want my money to run out of purchasing power as well. So it’s taxes and inflation. And if we can help mitigate some long term taxes by being proactive with their plans, that’s ultimately going to help mitigate some of the inflation issues that people will be worried about.

Jordan Rich :

In lieu of a more formal appointment in office, which is not formal, but it’s an opportunity to meet and …

Mark Rowlette:

You make it sound very scary.

Jordan Rich :

I did, I did, I should have suggested it, no tuxedos required. What I’m trying to say is in lieu of going to the office, if you have a question that needs to be answered, that you really want to get off your chest, there’s a great option. It’s free, no obligation whatsoever, and it’s the 15 minute, well, free, no obligation strategy call on any subject related. So I’d like to just pop that in there and remind you that it’s very easy to schedule it. You schedule it so it’s on your calendar and go to retiresouthshore.com where the grid, the scheduling grid makes it easy, two clicks. Or call the office and set that it up. So we have to finish before we get to the bonus, we’re running out of time. So what’s the fourth reminder?

Mark Rowlette:

Well, we kind of addressed it already. I mean, getting the right advice is obviously really important. Most people, when they sit down with a financial person, they probably think that the person knows what they’re talking about, but really what the most important, I think thing is the trust factor. I talked to somebody last week on a strategy call, which was an opportunity to answer questions and kind of maybe put somebody’s mind at ease. And we were chatting and she’s like, “I have a hard time trusting people.” And I said, “I completely appreciate and understand that.” Especially when you’re talking about money. Money is probably one of the biggest things that people have trust issues with. So finding some firm or person, or group of people that you’re going to work with that you trust is the most important thing.

We pride ourselves on having super relationships with clients and we realize that they trust us with their life savings. So that’s obviously really, really important. And we said this before the break, and also having the ability to work with a firm that has the ability to work with you and work with their other clients, because you’re not the only in an office. Other people need help. Other people need servicing. And the ability to be able to help all of those people and grow your business and work in all of the things that we do here in the office, you have to be able to do all of those things without forgetting about a client. So if you’re a client that you feel like you’re forgotten about, that’s a problem because something could get missed and it could cost you money, it could cost you returns, it could cost you something, and it shouldn’t have to be that way.

And again, to just promote these wonderful ladies here in the office: Nancy, Carol, Holly, Becky, Susan. They just are incredible at each of the things that they do for the office and for clients. And I hear clients coming in every day, I’m sitting in my office, I know an appointment’s coming in. Door opens. Holly’s like, “Hey, how you doing?” And it’s just a really wonderful kind of relationship that was built around a business decision, but it turns into an actual friendship. So I think that’s really important.

The last bonus one before we wrap up the legal side of things. The financial and investments and everything can be super and on point and everything could be squared away perfectly, but without an estate plan in place, if you needed one, everything can go out the window. So Bill Caldwell is a fabulous, fabulous attorney who you’ve met a number of times offers legal work to our clients to make sure that all of those documents get done. So you can go into retirement and just enjoy retirement and not have to worry about the what if scenarios, because they’ve already been addressed, stress tested, and you can just enjoy yourself.

Jordan Rich :

You’ve got that Irish humility thing going. I don’t know how many times you’ve said on the air, I just know what I know. And I know what I don’t know. But it really has paid off because you’ve got a great team surrounding you who can answer the questions that you don’t have time for, or don’t have the ability to know about. And no one person can. So I think that’s a very important point. And I just wanted to add having a nice relationship with your staff. They get back to me as quickly as they get back to anybody, but I’m very, very impressed. So that makes a big difference. So Mark, as we sign off today, great food for thought, the idea of pulling it all together. I’ll go back to what I said at the beginning. Having a bit of organization at this point in your life, and then that allows you to coast a bit afterwards, because you’ve earned it, is the best formula for success in my opinion.

Mark Rowlette:

Absolutely. I don’t know how much coasting I do.

Jordan Rich :

Well not you. You don’t coast. You’re just a kid. You’ve got some time before you can coast. Same here.

Mark Rowlette:

I do. I do. No, it’s wonderful to see the clients enjoy their retirement and come in and tell us stories about their adventures.

Jordan Rich :

Well, we will reconnect next week. In the meantime, go to retiresouthshore.com for all kinds of great information to follow up and we will see you next week. Take care.

Rowlette & Associates, LLC DVA, South Shore Retirement Services and affiliated company is an independent financial services firm offering both insurance and investment services. Investment advisory services are offered only by dually registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC, AEWM, AEWM and Rowlette & Associates, LLC DVA, South Shore Retirement Services, not affiliated companies. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier.

Speaker 1:

You’ve been listening to Retire South Shore Radio, a presentation of South Shore Retirement Services. For the latest on free seminars, to obtain a report, or to set up a consultation, please visit retiresouthshore.com. Stay tuned for more real world retirement solutions, retiresouthshore.com.

You may think you’ll be paying less in taxes in retirement, but what if that isn’t true with the national debt out of control? Approaching $30 trillion, it’s safe to say we are all going to be paying for it. If you’re about to enter retirement, you may have accounts that have not yet been taxed. It’s time to strategize, just how to make the most of your hard earned savings. Here’s Mark Rowlette, Founder and President of South Shore Retirement Services.

Mark Rowlette:

Consistent returns are critically important during your retirement, but I would argue that tax management and tax strategy is equally as important. It’s not just about reducing your tax bill this year. It’s about minimizing and being smart with your total lifetime tax bill. And that takes preparation.

Speaker 1:

Schedule your free 15-minute strategy call today and get helpful answers to your retirement questions. Visit retiresouthshore.com. That’s retiresouthshore.com.