Retirement Answer Man

If you don’t qualify for a Roth IRA you may be interested in using a backdoor Roth to utilize the advantages of a Roth IRA. One listener wonders about the rules for contributing to a backdoor Roth. Today, I’ll clear up his question and answer many more. 

Other listener questions in this episode cover using RMDs as QCDs, dealing with capital gains, and target date funds. Don’t miss out on discovering the answers to questions from listeners like you. Press play now to listen. 

Should we be optimists or pessimists right now?

Optimism can only get you so far. I tend to be an optimistic person, but that doesn’t mean that I put on rose-colored glasses. I can see that the present situation calls for something more than simply blind optimism.

However, that doesn’t mean that we should reverse our stance and become pessimists. Pessimism is the tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen. It calls for a lack of hope or confidence in the future. This isn’t what we should strive for at all. So how should we view things instead?

“Rather than practice pessimism, perhaps we should practice productive paranoia.” - Jim Collins

How about a dose of productive paranoia? Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, helps us understand productive paranoia by explaining that the only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you can survive. Since conditions can change rapidly it is important to build in margins of safety so that you can handle disruptions from a position of strength. This will help ensure that you can mitigate damages or take advantage of opportunities. Use your angst to build structures to help you weather the storms that the market throws at you.

Learn more about the Rock Retirement Club at our live meetup

Join our live meetup tomorrow, 10/27, or 10/29 to hear how you can handle market disruptions from a position of strength by ensuring that you have an agile retirement plan in place. In the meetup, we’ll lay out how you can work through the process to develop your own agile retirement plan. We’ll also showcase the Rock Retirement Club so that you can gain a better understanding of what the Club is all about. 

Can backdoor Roth contributions be made throughout the year?

Scott doesn’t quite qualify for a Roth IRA, so he has been looking into a backdoor Roth.

His question is if he can make backdoor Roth contributions throughout the year or if he can only do them once during the year. Yes, you can make contributions throughout the year; however, there may be a reason that you want to set that money aside and wait until the end of the year to make your contribution. Listen in to hear why. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

LISTENER QUESTIONS

  • [5:30] Can backdoor Roth contributions be made throughout the year? 
  • [9:53] Can Dennis use RMDs as QCDs?
  • [15:03] How to deal with capital gains
  • [23:15] Should Marie switch from target date funds to separate funds?
  • [28:08] Do you factor in the cost of Roth conversions

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [37:43] Do something that intimidates you

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - Good to Great by Jim Collins

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM458.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CST

Direct download: RAM_RRC_4_Yr_Celebration_-_102122_3.14_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm CST

The latest news in retirement is that Social Security recipients are getting a raise in 2023. While that is helpful for everyone receiving their benefits, what about those who choose to delay taking Social Security? A couple of listeners have been wondering if they, too, will get inflation adjustments if they wait to file for Social Security. We’ll have the answer to that question and many others as well as feedback from recent episodes. If you have been on the fence about whether or not you should delay Social Security, you won’t want to miss out on this episode. 

It’s hard to be optimistic when you are in the middle of a storm

We can all be optimists on a sunny day, but what do we do when we’re in the middle of a storm? It seems we are in the middle of a storm right now. Market downturns, high-interest rates, and high inflation make it difficult to be optimistic about the economic times ahead. Things could get better, or worse, or they could stay the same for a while. Although there is no way for us to know when the economy will get better, there are things we can do to improve our situation. 

Focus on the micro instead of the macro

In a storm, it is important to stay calm, step back, and consider what to do next. You may have the impulse to do many things at once to do all that you can to try and survive the situation, but you’ll spread yourself too thin. Instead, it is important to focus on the micro rather than the big picture. 

Don’t worry so much about optimizing interest rates and whatnot. Alternatively, identify where you have the agency to make incremental changes so that you can weather whatever the storm may bring. Consider your next baby step to creating the life that you want to live. How will you cover your expenses?

You may come out a bit battered and bruised, but if you make compromises, you’ll be able to use your agency to navigate the storm so that you can rock retirement in any weather. 

Will you still get COLA if you wait to file Social Security?

Social Security recipients are in for a big raise again next year, so if you are planning to delay taking it, you may be wondering if you’ll eventually get that raise too. Karen is one listener that has that same question. 

The answer is yes, for the most part. COLA (cost of living adjustments) are included in your future Social Security payouts. There is only one group of individuals that won’t see a COLA adjustment. Listen in to hear who they are and how COLA works in Social Security.

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming webinar on October 27 and 29 where I will share the retirement plan structure I use with my clients. This simple structure will help you gain confidence in your retirement plan so that you can rock retirement. Register at LiveWithRoger.com.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [1:21] What to do to weather a storm

LISTENER QUESTIONS

  • [9:17] 2 Questions on Social Security and inflation
  • [14:01] The best use of a universal life insurance policy
  • [18:14] Should Bill go with a smaller investment vehicle in retirement?
  • [24:25] Retirement Plan Live case study
  • [26:57] Feedback on how to meet people in retirement

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [34:00] Set a meeting with yourself or your partner to review your plan

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Retirement Plan Live case studies 

MeetUp.com

Long-term care series episode 311312313314

Hugh Calc retirement calculator

ValueYourPension.com retirement calculator

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM457.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CST

If you are getting close to retirement you have probably been watching the financial news to help you stay up to date with what is going on in the world. If so, you won’t want to miss out on hearing why this is not a good idea. 

Today, I’ll also answer questions about bonds, charitable gifting, and how to find a financial advisor. Make sure to stick around until the end to hear about upcoming changes to Medicare with, Medicare expert, Danielle Roberts from Boomer Benefits

Keeping up with the news won't help you navigate your way through retirement

Have you read the news lately? It’s not pretty out there. Inflation, bear markets, rising interest rates, political craziness, a poor economy: it’s non-stop fear peddled 24-7. Staying up with the news will not help you navigate your retirement journey. Trying to stay on top of the news will only bring you more stress and worry.

You're not going to weather this bear market by keeping up with the headlines. Instead, you’ll navigate it by getting to the bottom of things, relaxing, using a process, and making a judgment call. If you are interested in the process that we teach, join one of our live meetups on October 27 or 29. Register at LiveWithRoger.com

Should I switch my bond portfolio to CDs?

When choosing which type of investments to own it is crucial to use a process and consider what the money will be used for. You’ll need to ensure that you have an emergency fund and 5 years of prefunded consumption before building your long-term income floor.

You can prefund your first 5 years of consumption with individual assets that mature when you need them by using CDs, treasury bills, Treasury Inflation-Protected Security (TIPS), MYA-guaranteed annuities, or individual bonds. Build this income floor by creating an income ladder that matures at the time you will need to use it. The current market is a good example of why you wouldn’t want to use stocks and bond funds for these first 5 years of cash on hand. 

Beyond the first 5 years, you’ll build a portfolio that contains a mix of stocks and bonds. At this point, rather than buying individual bonds you may want to purchase ETFs and managed index bonds. This way, as interest rates rise, the funds get reinvested back into your portfolio. 

By ensuring that you won’t need these funds for 5+ years, you don’t have to worry about the markets or rising interest rates. 

Look out for these upcoming changes to Medicare

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period is coming up soon, so Danielle Roberts joins me to discuss the real and potential changes coming to this essential benefit. Listen in to learn about the crucial difference between the annual open enrollment period and the one-time-only initial enrollment period that occurs when you turn 65. 

You’ll also hear about how recent legislation will change drug coverage for many common drugs. Danielle offers a wealth of information, so you won’t want to miss out on her expertise. Stick around until the end to hear her take on what is happening in Medicare news. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [2:11] Staying on top of the news will only bring you more stress and worry

LISTENER QUESTIONS

  • [7:23] Should I switch my bond portfolio to CDs?
  • [12:07] What to use for your middle bucket
  • [13:48] On using charitable gift annuities in retirement planning
  • [17:27] How to find a financial advisor to help plan retirement
  • [21:44] Should taxable and tax-free assets be weighted differently on a net worth statement?

MEDICARE NEWS WITH DANIELLE ROBERTS FROM BOOMER BENEFITS

  • [24:53] Changes to Medicare to look out for
  • [37:30] What to look out for in your mailbox
  • [45:35] Potential changes upcoming in 2023

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [47:20] Stop trying to stay on top of things

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

LiveWithRoger.com - Make sure to secure your spot for the live event on October 27 or 29!

Boomer Benefits

RetireAgile.com

NAPFA.org can help you find a fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM456.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:04am CST

RMD tables, bond classes, international exposure, and 1099s–we’ve got answers to your questions. First up is which account is best to begin drawing from in retirement. Listen to these answers to listener questions and take some time to reflect with me about how too much data can inhibit our ability to make good decisions. Press play to listen.

Too much data can hinder your decision-making process

There comes a point where more information doesn’t help you make decisions, it can actually hurt your decision-making. A new low in this bear market recently passed taking it down 22.4% for the year. Rather than dwelling on this fact by looking up news articles, try changing your perspective. Use the data to flip the narrative. Instead of focusing on the current downward trajectory focus on the 10 years of growth that we had beforehand. When you have a feasible, resilient plan in place you won’t need to worry about this bear market. 

Are you curious about the Rock Retirement Club?

Have you heard me talk about the Rock Retirement Club in previous episodes but still aren’t sure exactly what it is? The RRC is a group of just under 1000 members from all over the country all within 10 years of retirement. Our focus is on how to live your best life as you make the transition into retirement.

We do that with a masterclass that helps you create an agile retirement plan. This isn’t simply a class where you watch videos and take a quiz at the end. This structured masterclass walks you step by step as you build your own agile retirement plan. Once you create your plan, then, you’ll learn how to make it resilient by testing it against common risk factors. Next, you’ll optimize and enhance your plan.

In addition to the master class and the camaraderie of the group, you’ll also get the experience of our team of coaches who will coach you through the financial and non-financial aspects of retirement. 

Our goal is to give you the tools to create the ideal retirement plan for you and lifelines to reach out to when you need help. If you would like to learn more about the Rock Retirement Club sign up for our live meetups on October 27 or 29 at LiveWithRoger.com.

Which account should I begin drawing from first in retirement?

One of the classic optimization questions is which account to draw from first. Many are often drawn to the after-tax assets first, but if you take all these away, you will only be left with tax-deferred assets. These are subject to RMDs once you turn 72, so you could be left with a situation where you have to take more out than you need. Consider taking advantage of lower tax brackets now to pay today’s low tax rate. 

Listen in to hear the answer to this retirement question and many others. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [1:56] More data can cause you to distort your view
  • [6:34] What is the Rock Retirement Club?

LISTENER QUESTIONS

  • [12:42] Which account should I begin drawing from first in retirement?
  • [16:46] What are the actual percentages of RMDs taken each year
  • [20:10] Comments on my recent comments on international exposure
  • [21:59] What to consider as a 1099 contractor
  • [26:10] What is the best bond asset class to buy?
  • [28:44] How to take advantage of NUA?
  • [35:49] Do you need a personal financial advisor? 

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [39:25] Gain some perspective

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM455.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CST

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