10 Steps to a Successful Retirement


Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. Welcome to Financial Literacy Month. I had no idea, and shame on me, but I have a valid excuse because I was caring for my mother, and she passed away on April 2nd. So the last few weeks have been somewhat of a blur, and lucky for me, my significant other had a full knee replacement two days ago. So yes, I have been on nursing duty, and I’ve kind of had my head under a rock, so to speak. But guess what? I came up from below the depths of nursing and a little bit of, or a lot, I should say, grieving. And now I’m just trying to look on the bright side and find the sun and happiness in life. And lo and behold, it’s financial literacy month, and I am all about financial literacy, particularly for the phase of life called retirement, however, you define retirement.


So I want to talk a little bit about that today. In today’s podcast, go over some financial literacy resources that I have on my website and talk about my new book and my masterclass coming up on May 4th that I would encourage you to come to. It’s a 90-minute class, which I’ll talk about in a few moments. But before I jump into the resources that I offer through the Her Retirement platform, I wanted to talk about the ten steps to a successful retirement. And this is actually a guide that I have on my website. So you can go and read the guide after you listen to me talk through the guide, and hopefully, that reinforces these steps for you listening, reading, and then taking action. So are you approaching retirement? Well, you’ve probably been planning for retirement in some way, shape, or form, I would think, for many years.


Maybe you’ve participated in your employer’s 401k; maybe you’ve contributed to a traditional or a Roth IRA. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to work for an employer that offers a pension plan. Although, although we are seeing those fewer and farther between, these are all important retirement income planning actions. And I think when we first set out contributing to these programs, at least I know when I was 20, I knew it was kind of for this later period in life called retirement. But I didn’t totally grasp the concept of taking that retirement plan and turning it into an income. And even ten years ago, prior to getting into this industry, I hadn’t really put that all together, you know, put all the pieces together. But as you get closer to retirement, it’s important to plan in more specific detail. And that’s why I created my platform because I want more women to take action and plan their retirement.


Don’t let it just happen. Retirement or that phase of life happens, you can be more proactive, and you can be a planner for that period of your life. So the question is, how much money will you have coming in the door every month when you retire? Is that money guaranteed, or could it fluctuate? How will you spend your time? How will you spend your money? Asking yourself these questions will help you nail down the answers to more important questions. Will you have enough income to cover your expenses in retirement? And if not, what can you do to resolve the issue? The sooner you answer these questions, the more effectively you can plan to cover any shortfalls or what I refer to as gaps. An insurance agent certainly could review your income needs and develop a plan for your future retirement income. A retirement advisor could be a financial advisor, A C F P.


There are so many different options, I have some opinions about that too. Definitely reach out to me before or while you’re engaging with some other advisors because, as you may or may not know, I co-own an advisory practice called your Retirement Advisor. And I’d certainly be willing to connect you with the fine people over at your retirement advisor to yet. Retirement advise. I focus more on retirement education and personal financial coaching. You can also do quite a bit of planning on your own if you feel up to that task of getting yourself educated. It’s about how much time you wanna spend getting educated and doing it yourself. It’s all about getting educated and doing this yourself. I’m going to give you ten questions that I want you to ask yourself. They’ll help identify areas of concern and help you develop action plans to resolve those issues. So number one is how much-guaranteed income do you have?


This is the problem. It’s always best to start your planning with those things you are certain about. There are some forms of income that are fixed and guaranteed. You know, you’ll receive the income, and you know generally what the amount will be. This income doesn’t fluctuate based on things like stock market volatility or interest rate changes. Knowing your base of guaranteed income will give you an idea of whether you have enough money to cover your most urgent expenses. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a significant amount of guaranteed income, you may have a good foundation from which to build. If not, you might have to do some extra planning. The three most common sources of guaranteed income are pensions, social security, and fixed annuities. And, of course, pension benefits are partially protected by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp, which is a federal agency. Guarantees provided by annuities are the responsibility of the issuing insurance carrier.


And of course, social security does face some financial challenges in the future, which we hope they’re going to be addressed by our government, but it’s still quite likely to be a reliable source of income for those who are approaching retirement. And the Social Security Retirement Trust fund is projected to run out in 2033, but even after that point, it will offer benefits. And, of course, you know it’s a good idea to have a Plan B, so you’re not totally relying on social security. So what you should do is really take a look at everything you have, all your sources of income, you know, including those pensions, social security, and any annuities, and determine your estimated guaranteed income from those sources. And if that information isn’t easy to find, we can help you do that. And, of course, as if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts in the past, my software platform helps you organize all of those guaranteed income sources.


The software adds all those sources up, and then it’s going to take a look at your expenses that you enter into the system, and it’s going to help you identify that gap so you don’t have to be scratching on a piece of paper or figuring out an Excel spreadsheet. My software is super easy to use, and I encourage you all to check that out. Number two is the pension payout that you should select. When it comes time to choose your pension benefit, you’ll be offered several payout options, and it’s tempting to take the highest-paying one, but that might not be the best choice. And in addition to the amount of the payout, you also need to consider what happens to the payout when you pass away. Most pensions offer joint and survivor options, and under this plan, your spouse would continue receiving a portion or even all of your pension payment after you pass away.


So selecting a joint life option over a single life payout likely will lower your benefit amount. However, your spouse may need that income to live off of if you pass away first. And this is often more of the issue with the man because men tend to pass away prior to their female spouses. So get all of your options from your employer’s Human Resources department in advance of your retirement. This will give you time to review your choices and figure out what’s best for you. Number three, when will you receive your guaranteed income? Once you’ve totaled up the annual amounts of your guaranteed income, you’ll receive, you need to determine when you’ll actually receive the payments. This is especially true if you don’t have much in savings and you’re operating on a fixed budget. Not getting a payment when you expect it could send you into a cash flow crisis. In retirement, it’s all about cash flow.


You need to know your cash flow, which is your income in and your expenses out, and identify your gap before you get there. So you need to make sure you know when you’ll receive the income so you can plan your income and expenses on a monthly basis. Social security for instance usually pays benefits monthly, and the exact day of the month depends on your date of birth. Pensions could pay quarterly, monthly, or even biweekly. And the payment frequency for an annuity could also vary. So make sure you understand when you’re going to receive that income. Number four, which I touched upon just a moment ago, is your expenses. How much will you spend in retirement? Many Americans, trust me, many Americans underestimate how much they’re going to spend in retirement. They assume they can get by on a percentage of their current income, like 70 or 80%.


However, having free time in retirement can lead to some heavy overspending. Once you’re retired, your schedule will be freer to potentially dine out, go shopping, take up costly hobbies, and spend money on your kids. For example, you might wanna travel more than you did when you were working. Many people also fail to consider healthcare medical expenses. You may feel healthy now, but you’re likely, you know, let’s face it, you’re likely to face health issues as you age. If you need in-home care or treatment in a facility, you can expect to pay a large amount for that care. So what you need to do is analyze what you spend today so you can better plan for spending in retirement and have a better estimate. You can break down your spending between required and discretionary expenses. And another plug for my software, I have a smarter spending tracking tool.


You can track your pre-retirement expenses, and you can pr, and you can track your retirement expenses. So one of the cool things is it has all the expense categories. You can fill in some expense categories if we’ve forgotten some, and you can really get down to the nitty-gritty of your spending. You can be a smarter spender pre-retirement and in retirement and get a really, really good estimate of those retirement expenses. To analyze that all today. Break down your spending again between those required and discretionary expenses, and then you can determine if you’re going to have any gaps. Number five, do you have enough guaranteed income to cover your required spending? This is a big question. It will help determine how much additional planning you need to do. How much of a gap do you need to figure out how to fill? If your guaranteed income exceeds your required spending every month, then you at least know that you have enough money coming in to cover the basic expenses and maintain a comfortable lifestyle.


However, if your guaranteed income is less than your required expenses, you might have some difficulty maintaining your quality of life. That’s especially true if you don’t have a nest egg and non-guaranteed sources like a 401K or an ira. You may have to implement strategies to help you cover the shortfall. So sit down with somebody like a retirement advisor to review those guaranteed income sources and your expenses and any potential gap. Doing the gap analysis is so very important. It’s one of the things I talk about in my book, and in my class, in my software is really a gap analyzer and a risk mitigator. Two very, very important things to do in retirement. Number six, what to do if you’re short? You know what, what to do if you have that gap? Well, and in an ideal world, your guaranteed income would exceed or at least match your required expenses, like those non-discretionary things like housing and transportation, and food.


You could then tap into your nest egg, your 401k, your ira, you know, any stock that you hold. You could tap into your nest egg for those discretionary expenses and for any unpredictable expenses like medical and healthcare. However, if your guaranteed income doesn’t exceed your required expenses, you do have options. You need to either find a way to reduce your required expenses or increase your guaranteed income, or there’s a third way they are called heroes, her efficient retirement optimized strategies. And these are some very unique strategies that I do talk about in my masterclass that can help you cover a gap. So before you panic about a gap, you need to consider these little-known heroes to help you close the gap. Some people say, oh no, I have to go to work. Well, guess what? One of these strategies might help you avoid having to work if you choose or aren’t able to work.


These strategies are very important. So come to my May 4th live masterclass and learn about these heroes. Next, number seven, what if cutting expenses doesn’t do the trick? Well, you know, I just kind of explained a little ahead of the game here. If cutting expenses doesn’t do the trick, you can look at these strategies called heroes. You know, it would be great if you could cut your expenses enough to get under your guaranteed income level. It’s not always reality, though. And there are some minimum expenses you just have to pay. So what can you do in addition to considering these heroes? Obviously, you could work part-time to bring in more money, but that might not be conducive to your schedule, your desires, and your health. Another option is to increase your guaranteed income. There are a variety of investment in insurance vehicles that can generate guaranteed income.


They come with their own benefits, costs, and risks. So it’s always important to consider your options carefully before committing to anything. So again, definitely check out my May 4th live masterclass so you can learn about these strategies to help close the gap. Number eight, what to do with the rest of your nest egg. So once you’ve balanced your guaranteed income and required expenses, you can start planning on how best to use and invest the rest of your next nest egg. So, in this case, you have a gap, and you’re trying to figure out, okay, I’ve got, you know, this lump of money here over in my nest egg. I’m going to see how I can use that to cover my gap. But there are very efficient strategies that are covered in heroes that can help make that money in that nest egg more efficient and sustainable, right?


So rather than just rolling over your 401K and then using it to cover your gap, you definitely wanna get yourself educated on what are some ways to make that money last longer. It’s like squeezing more juice out of the lemon, okay? Also, you need to keep saving for the future if at all possible. You could be retired for several decades, and you’ll likely see prices go up and down during that time due to inflation. As we all know right now, you may also need to tap into additional savings to help pay for healthcare in the future. Retiring doesn’t mean you stop saving and investing, okay? On the contrary, it may be even more important than ever to have a well-thought-out but risk-protected investment strategy. So, you know, you’re not gonna take all of your nest egg at once, right? It’s, it’s gotta stay invested in making it more sustainable.


But there are some very important strategies to make sure that it can be sustainable without having too much of it At risk. To avoid market volatility, you really have to strike a careful balance between funding today’s discretionary expenses and saving for those unplanned expenses down the road. So really important to talk to experienced and knowledgeable security licensed financial professional, i.e., a retirement advisor, that can help you determine the appropriate risk level for you. And then, design an allocation for your investments that meets your needs, your risk tolerances, your personality, your preferences, and your goals. So very important. And number nine, what happens when you pass away? You know, no one likes to think about this, but when you’re planning for retirement, you’re usually not just planning for yourself. You may have a spouse who will need financial support after you’re gone. And as I said before, this is more likely for men because they typically don’t live as long as their female spouse.


But you may wish to leave money to children or grandchildren. And what is the most effective way to do that? Well, leaving a financial legacy really starts with early planning. You need to prioritize your wishes with a spouse, you know, try to get on the same page for all of this, actually. And if supporting a spouse is a primary concern for you as a couple, and all the other goals are secondary, you need to put that on paper in writing. And it’s easier to make estate planning decisions when all your goals are really clearly communicated and stated and agreed upon. The problem is many people really don’t address this because they don’t like thinking about their own demise, and it’s normal, but you have to get past it to really accomplish those legacy goals. So schedule a time to talk to an estate planning attorney or to your retirement advisor, and of course, with your significant other and family so that you can have a plan for any money and other things that you choose to leave to those you love.


And finally, number 10, what happens if you can’t make decisions for yourself? This scenario may also not be a pleasant one to think about, but it’s a reality for many people. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases can rob many people of their ability to make and communicate decisions later in life. So the sooner you try to make those decisions and put them in writing, the more important it is. And although you might not be able to stop the disease, you can take steps to protect your assets, your income, your legacy, and those you love. Problems do arise when there are no clear goals or wishes stated in writing. Trust me, I know I’ve been going through this with my mom’s passing. Luckily, she was very organized. She had everything clearly written down, even written down to the point of saying, I want Lynn, my daughter, to have my mother’s tea wagon.


So she even has a playlist that she left us. God bless her soul, she was just an amazing planner, and she was brave enough to face the thought that someday she wouldn’t be here. And she made her wishes very clear. Various family members, you know, may try to make decisions often with good intentions, but those may go against your wishes. So you really, really need to kind of, as I say, suck it up and do the planning. The best steps you can take are to put as much information as possible in writing. Various power of attorney documents can designate who can act on your behalf if you’re unable to make these decisions. And if you would like to have access to some trust and will estate planning resources that are extremely affordable because they’re offered virtually online, just reach out to me, and I can connect you with those resources.


So as I like to say, you know, your main takeaway from these ten steps is that a happy and successful retirement starts with planning efficiently. You know, and sufficiently by planning early, you’re gonna give yourself the opportunity to take action and address potential issues before they become your reality. And you can start the planning process by sitting down and either, you know, writing down new goals. Yeah, you could use a spreadsheet to run the numbers. I always say this is all part numbers crunching and part soul searching because you’re gonna do a little bit of both when you’re doing this planning. And you know, again, I have this software platform that I’ve worked on for the past three years that can really help organize and get everything in a format that’s both consumable and easy for you to work with. And the software is going to identify those gaps automatically for you.


So you don’t have to do any math <laugh>, I don’t like math. So the software is gonna come back and analyze those gaps. It also educates you so you know not only do you potentially have some financial gaps, but you may have some knowledge gaps. And that leads me to some of my resources. So I mentioned the software, which you can check out on the website. I mentioned my May 4th live masterclass. It’s a 90-minute pretty new content that I’m putting together, and I’ll be ready for you on May 4th. You can go to her retirement to sign up for that. And you can just go to Her retirement website to check out the software. I do offer a membership program, and in the membership program, you get access to a whole bunch of resources in addition, addition to the software. So you can check out the Her Retirement Membership program.


You can also check out my new book, that’s on Amazon. It’s the first one, and it’s called The Big Book of Retirement Questions and Answers. And you can go to her retirement to check out that book. It’s about 90 pages, and it’s 15 different categories with common questions that I’ve heard about retirement from people over the last decade. So hopefully that gives you like, oh, I’ve thought about that question before, and what does the research and what do the experts say on how to, you know, answer that question. So that’s kind of the format of that book. It’s actually a nice compliment to my full six-hour masterclass. And there’s a learning center on my website where I have lots of videos and guides that are free for anyone to watch and download. So I do try to offer a lot of content. Obviously, you’re listening to this podcast, which I do each and every week.


I’m on social media; I do a ton on TikTok, so yeah, I’m just putting a lot of content out there for free. And then I do have the Her Retirement Masterclass on demand, and that is a six-hour class that you can get on demand. It does cost money, but it’s not a lot, and it’s well worth it because when you know more, you can have more. And I believe that financial literacy can be a woman’s superpower. Like I, I wish I had fully embraced this superpower when I was younger. It’s one of the things that I regret. I did a little, you know, but I could have done more. But there’s so much more conversation about this. Women just need to make a commitment and understand that this really, really isn’t all that hard to understand. You just have to make a commitment to it, right?


It’s just like committing to being healthier and eating right. You just have to make a commitment, a time commitment to getting financially educated to being more financially literate because knowledge is power, and I believe that you can know more and have more and have a healthier, happier, and wealthier retirement when you take the time to get educated. I’m not saying that you have to make your own plan, but when you get educated, you can make more informed decisions, you can have more informed conversations, and no one will ever sell you anything, right? The worst thing is to buy something you don’t understand or to be sold, something that will never happen when you get educated because you’ll know enough to ask the tough questions and to not have the wool pulled over your eyes. And yes, I do believe that you need help. In some cases, you might DIY this; you’re certainly welcome to do this.


You can learn, you can plan, and you can implement on your own. There are resources to do that. For me personally, you know, I was always of the opinion that I had so many other things that I wanted to spend my time on, namely my children and raising them in my career that, you know, I said I’m just gonna hire someone to do all this other stuff for me, this financial stuff. So getting a financial plan and having someone else paying attention to it can free you up to do other things. But I do encourage you to make sure that you understand what you need to do for retirement. Like what are the components of a retirement plan? I just went over a bunch of them. There are so many other things that you should make sure that whether you’re doing it yourself or you’re working with someone that they are covering all your bases, making sure that each component of your financial life is covered.


And then you got all the non-financial stuff, which I talk about also in my six hours on demand, her retirement class. I’ll touch a little bit on that on May 4th. But the May 4th class is really about the financial aspects of retirement planning. There’s a whole nother set of issues for the non-financial part of retirement planning. So anyway, thank you so much for listening to this week’s podcast. I hope that you reach out, check out my book, leave me a review on Amazon; that would be awesome, and try to attend the May 4th live class. It’s 90 minutes, 6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. And if you can’t make it, I encourage you to keep interacting with my content, join my private Facebook group, her retirement, whatever it is. Just keep learning, ladies, okay? We can do this. The best investment you can make is in yourself. And speaking of investing, I do have a separate class, and I’m investing that I’m about to launch, and I’m gonna let you know about that because investing for retirement is so very important. All right, ladies, I’ve done enough gabbing here for this particular episode. So thanks for listening. Here’s to knowing more, having more, and getting her done.


FILE PHOTO: SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) logo and decreasing stock graph are seen in this illustration taken March 10, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

SVB’s Collapse and What It Means for You

Why Did Silicon Valley Bank Fail?

SVB, the 16th largest bank in the U.S. and heavily skewed toward serving companies and individuals from the technology industry, faced significant challenges amid a tough phase for tech firms and the Federal Reserve’s move to increase interest rates. The bank, like others, invested billions in safe investments, such as Treasuries and bonds, whose value began to plummet due to higher interest rates. Typically, banks aren’t required to report the loss in the value of bonds until they sell them. However, with the bank’s customers (primarily tech-focused startups) withdrawing deposits, it was forced to sell a substantial portion of its bonds, leading to huge losses. As news of the withdrawals spread, it worsened the situation, ultimately leading to the bank’s insolvency marking the second-largest bank failure in United States history and the largest since the 2008 financial crisis.

What Did the Government Do in Response?

In response to the recent bank collapses, the US government has taken steps to guarantee deposits in banks, including Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, beyond the $250,000 insured deposit limit. This move is critical because many of Silicon Valley’s tech-focused clients had deposits beyond the limit, and as much as 90% of the bank’s deposits were uninsured. By guaranteeing all deposits, the government aims to prevent bank runs and to reassure businesses and individuals of the safety of their deposits. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has launched an emergency lending program to provide banks with the necessary funds to cover customer withdrawals without resorting to bond sales, which could threaten their financial stability. The program has no borrowing limit, but banks will need to provide collateral to borrow money. The primary aim of the program is to reassure the public that the government is committed to protecting their deposits and will lend whatever is needed to ensure their safety.

How is this Program Designed to Work?

In contrast to its convoluted efforts to rescue the banking system during the financial crisis of 2007-08, the Fed’s current strategy is much simpler. They have established a new lending program called the “Bank Term Funding Program,” which will provide loans to banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions for up to one year. The banks will be required to put up Treasuries and other government-backed bonds as collateral. The Fed is offering favorable terms, with a low-interest rate that is only 0.1 percentage points higher than market rates and lending based on the face value of the bonds rather than the market value. This provision will enable banks to borrow more funds as the value of the bonds has decreased on paper due to rising interest rates. According to the FDIC, US banks held securities with approximately $620 billion in unrealized losses at the end of last year. If they were compelled to sell these securities to cover a wave of withdrawals, they would suffer significant losses.

What Does This Mean for Consumers?

According to Mina Tadrus, CEO of investment management firm Tadrus Capital, the failure of banks like SVB and Signature can have negative impacts on both customers and investors. These include a decrease in overall account settings, liquidity issues when needing quick access to funds, and potential difficulty transferring funds to other banks depending on withdrawing or transfer limits. Additionally, hedge fund firms that use these banks for operations may experience losses that could spread into a wide array of businesses in the financial sector, causing instability within institutional banking systems. The effects of these failures extend beyond depositors, as seen with online marketplace Etsy and venture-backed retailer Camp, which both experienced delays and encouraged purchases to stay afloat. The collapses also caused anxiety among consumers and small business owners and halted trading in several bank stocks due to volatility. However, President Joe Biden sought to reassure Americans that their deposits are safe, and the Federal Reserve has implemented measures to prevent future collapses.

What Will This Cost Taxpayers?

Both insured and uninsured deposits at the two failed banks will have access, but taxpayers won’t bear any losses, as both the FDIC and President Biden mentioned on March 13. Instead, banks will pay for the funds through the Deposit Insurance Fund, which consists of premiums banks pay quarterly for deposit insurance coverage. According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s testimony ahead of the Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 16, the funds to cover deposits at the two banks will come from fees imposed on banks. Emergency actions were taken by the Fed and the Treasury on March 12 to ensure public confidence in the banking system, as maintaining access to deposits and credit for consumers and small businesses helps to foster strong and sustainable economic growth, the statement said.

So I Don’t Need to Panic?

No. It is reassuring to note that most investors need not worry as the current situation does not demand immediate action. At this time, most experts will advise that the best strategy is to do nothing. The equity market, particularly bank stocks, may be affected in the short term, but a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis is unlikely. Regulations put in place since then ensure that banks hold capital buffers to protect against systemic risks. However, it is vital to be aware of significant aspects related to the rapidly changing situation and how it could affect your financial plan.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or ideas regarding your financial objectives.

Diana Place

What’s Your Third Act? with Diana Place of Third Act Quest

This conversation was transcripted from Episode 88 of the Her Retirement Podcast. 

Lynn (00:41):

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. I have the pleasure of speaking with Diana Place of Third Act Quest, and, you know, Third Act Quest just begs the question like, what is that? What do you do? I am so excited to talk to you because I’ve been looking at some of your LinkedIn posts and saying, this sounds amazing. So I was really excited that you welcomed the chat today and wanted to be part of my podcast. So, hello, Diana.

Diana (01:34):

Hello. How are you Lynn? It’s, I’m, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Lynn (01:38):

Yes. And we’re just like not that far away from each other. So us New England girls, we have to, we have to stick together. <Laugh>, so,

Diana (01:45):


Lynn (01:47):

<Laugh>. So, tell my audience what is third at Quest? And I know you have a bunch of other things that you’ve got going on as well, so I’m anxious to hear all about it.

Diana (02:00):

So just one of the things I wanna say that’s interesting. People are curious when they hear third act, I have people that are a little older and their seventies go, I’m in my fourth act or my fifth act, and I said, it doesn’t really matter what number you call it. What I define as a third act is that time in our lives that is usually in the fifties and sixties, that we start rethinking a lot of things. Either life changes and we go through the transitions. If we’re blessed to have a a, a family, it’s an empty nest happens. If we are re about to re reach a certain age or retirement, traditional retirement age, we are rethinking what we’re going to do with that, that time of our lives after we leave our careers or we’ve hit the wall in what we’re doing.


And we’ve realized, I mean, and this is the most common thing I’m seeing in particular after the, the pandemic, is we hit a wall and we said, oh my gosh, this isn’t me. This job is only giving me money. It’s giving me nothing. It’s not giving me meaning or joy. So there’s a lot of, a lot of people who flip into a mode of making new decisions and changes, and that’s a third act. And the third act is a reinvention of sort of some part of their life, their job, how they live, where they live, who they live with. You know, all those kinds of things start to happen for your third act. So that’s the basis of third act. And third act Quest is, I’m passionate about it because of a number of reasons, and I won’t get into all of those details, but for me, after a crazy corporate career and some entrepreneurial ventures where I was always dancing on the edges of my passions, I got sick in 2018 and said, this is it.


Life is precious. I’ve gotta be living my passion at the front of my life, not in the, not in the, oh, I can do this on the weekend kind of thing. So I decided to launch third at Quest as a way to help inspire other women. And not, not to say that I exclude men from any of our events, but is particular focused on women to embrace this time of their lives. Not to fear it, not to dread it, but to get excited about it. And in particular, I hope there’s a bleed off to the younger generations that all of a sudden go, man, she’s 63 and she’s just having a great time <laugh>, she’s not planning on retiring at 65. So wow, maybe it’s not so bad to get older <laugh>. Yeah. So that’s a long way of answering question, but I hope it helps.

Lynn (04:53):

Yeah, that’s great. So within third at Quest, do you do counseling? Do you offer programs content? Like when someone goes and Google’s third act Quest, what would they see? And, you know, is it a service company, product company? What is it exactly?

Diana (05:14):

It has several ma several components. Third Act Quest is about inspiring women. So we have a series over the last three years, I had an event annually that’s now turning into a smaller version on a monthly basis called Third Act Spotlight. And it is a, it started off as a pure storytelling event, meaning I found women living really interesting versions of their lives in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and even eighties. And they would come and, and share their stories at this annual gathering. And the pandemic’s put us on Zoom. But now I do that monthly. So you’ll hear a woman who is doing something unique, but also bringing an expertise and leads a conversation with the audience around the topic, whether it be ways to pivot in in your career or it be how to start your own business. So those type of topics which really resonate with people.


So tho that, that’s a really important part, which is the inspiration part. The second, and, and along with that, hopefully changing the way people think about people who are old and older than them. And then the second is I do have in-person workshops and online workshops, I call them Living Forward, which they’re all sorts of versions of them. I also have I actually have a retreat. I don’t know when this will air, but it’s a, it is an annual one and this one is at the end of April here in New Hampshire called Opening Up, which is about, you know, there’re gonna be some really interesting experiences people will have that will push them a little bit out of their comfort zone and, and start to reconsider their lives. And we’ll do some some envisioning kinds of work. And then the third component beyond the in-person stuff.


Oh, and I also take two trips a year of women. We go, we’re going on the Camino Des Santiago in September. So that’s an example of something where take groups doing unusual things <laugh> and that it’s really fun. Yeah. that now that we can actually travel. And then the third is a community that I created cuz I saw such a craving of women to connect with other women who were energized, excited, curious, inner, doing some interesting things in their lives that they want positive people around them. You know, they want this community of people to fuel them forward. And, you know, sometimes our friends are just anxious to tell us what could go wrong if we tried it, or, you know, maybe if we are leaving and retiring, we’ve lost our work friends, but where they really our friends, you know? So there are lots of needs, I think we have at this age in the fifties and sixties. So I created the 3 33 Collective, which is a membership organization. So that’s the other kind of that’s the other and it’s actually probably coming more of the central 24 by 7, 365 a year. I also have on occasion done one-on-one coaching. I, at one time probably only have like five people I work with, so I can focus on these other things. Yeah.

Lynn (08:55):

So the 3 33 collective, that is the community that you mentioned mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and that’s, yes. And that is, does someone pay to be part of that community? Yes. Okay. So there’s like a monthly It

Diana (09:06):

Is, it’s not, it’s not an expensive, it’s it’s a, you know, that’s why I said it’s a couple of visits to Panera Bread a month, <laugh>. And it is very rich. It, the collective, the word collective was consciously chosen because it not only is a place where people can come, we have accountability circles. We have areas that are hosted by other members around their expertise. So you can learn things, you can participate in things, you can have fun, you can socialize. There’s lots that you can do. But, but it basically, there’s a lot of value to what they do. And a lot of the women come because they wanna share their expertise. So we all sort of participate and support each other in that process.

Lynn (10:00):

Love that. I love it. So, so, so needed, right? Because as we are transit transitioning Yeah. Because we’re transitioning, let’s say from that career into a third act and it’s, you are losing some things. So what do you backfill for some of those things you’re losing? Absolutely. Yeah.

Diana (10:22):

Absolutely. Well, also don’t, I think you know it when you meet someone that thinks like you do about life. I mean, there’s some people that, you know, we spoke a little bit earlier about retirement and the word retirement and the realities of retirement, both for financial and emotional reasons. There are some people that say, oh my gosh, I’m not done yet and I have so much more to do. Don’t, don’t make me leave <laugh>. Don’t make me stop. Some people are like, I cannot wait until I retire because I have been waiting to sail around the world or build a sailboat or just spend my days writing and painting or, you know, so everybody’s different in how they wanna spend different parts of their lives. So the women that we tend to connect with are women that want a whole life. You know, they want a balanced life.


But many of them for, if I was saying to some somebody, you know, we have everything from corporate execs that will shift at some point, nonprofit leaders, they’re writers and artists, entrepreneurs, teachers and, you know, some are podcasters like yourself to add as an, as a passion mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for them to share. I, a number of the women in the community have travel related businesses because travel is such important thing to all of us, not just to go places, but to experience other cultures and learn about ourselves along the way. Right. and I have actually, this is so ironic, a number of the women that have been in my storytelling events, I have four that ditched a corporate career to become a filmmaker. So we have a couple of documentary filmmakers. So it’s a, it’s, it’s that kind of friendship that you can have in the 3 33 that’s not always easy to find, even amongst your best friends, that kind of encouragement and excitement about trying new things.

Lynn (12:33):

Right. Would you say everyone in the collective is kind of entering or thinking about entering their third act? Are they kind of all in that same place

Diana (12:43):

If you want? That’s a great question. That’s a great question. I think where that’s where the most of the value is for being a part of it. I find that most of the women I know in their seventies or eighties are, they’re attracted to the idea of this third act. But when they come and we talk, they’ve already figured a lot out of what they want out of the rest of their lives. So I think that the ideal pl, the ideal age is typically in their fifties or sixties. That said, I do have women in their seventies in the 3 33 collective, and I ask them why they’re there. Their reasons are a little bit different. They, they’re either just really curious and love to, excuse me, they love to do new things or learn new things, but really at the heart of their life is about connecting with other women.


And they, they just find it fascinating. So they don’t come to learn and they don’t come to figure out their life. They know what they’re up to, but they come for the connection. Connection. And so that’s fun. And, you know, I see such value in the intergenerational interplay. You know, I, I don’t use the word mentoring because we teach each other. Right. No matter if, you know, I learn from my daughter’s 21 year old friends, <laugh> as much as I learn from my 81 year old friend, you know, different things. But we learn and we need to stay connected with each other.

Lynn (14:20):

Yeah. I love that. Yeah. It, it could be you know, bring your daughters to one of the meetings, right? Yes.

Diana (14:26):

Oh, that’s a great idea.

Lynn (14:28):

<Laugh>. That’s a

Diana (14:28):

Great idea.

Lynn (14:30):

<Laugh>, I’m full of ideas. I always got an idea. So we talked about this, this word retirement, and I, I had mentioned that I’m working on a book, and the first thing that I say, even though the book is called Her Retirement, my first question is, do you even wanna retire? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And you know, like you said, so many people cannot wait. They identify with the word retirement. To them it means freedom, you know, that I can, I can call it quits on the career that I had, and I have the freedom to choose how I want to live beyond that, that corporate career or maybe that business. A lot of case I work with women that have been employed by other people mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, because sometimes I think small business owners tend to just keep going. Yeah. They don’t, they don’t quote retire. So it tends to be more corporate people that are just kind of done with that rat race.


And so the word retirement resonates more with, with those people. Sure. and I’ve, you know, I’ve searched around for, you know, other, other, other words, but because we’re not just focused on the money part of it, I’m not just bringing resources and content to women just about money. It was like, well, I don’t really want it to be money focused, because even if it were money focused, oftentimes women wanna have more conversations around their life goals. And then, okay. Tell me how the money part of it will support that. So absolutely. I think in the financial services industry, there’s, you know, 300,000 financial advisors. Most of them are men, 80%. Most of them are probably over the age of 50. And they kind of have this traditional old school way of saying first thing, Hey, Diana, you know, nice meeting you. First meeting, what do you have for assets?


What are you looking to do for it? You know, do with it mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And it’s like, well, wait a minute, <laugh>, I let, let’s, let’s step back. Let’s talk about what kind of life are we, you know, wanna design here. You know, whether you’re 30 or just graduating from college, same conversation as, you know, a 60 year old that wants to leave their corporate workplace. It’s what kind of life do you wanna design? And I think that’s where we have to start. And unfortunately in the financial Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And unfortunately in the financial services industry, they just weren’t trained that way. A lot of, a lot of them just don’t even have that kind of behavior to have those conversations. But more often than not, women do want to have those conversations. They want to really be intentional about what they want in this next phase of life, life 2.0, chapter two, third act, you know, whatever. Oh,

Diana (17:20):

Absolutely. Whatever you call it. It’s something new. <Laugh>, it’s something different.

Lynn (17:23):

Yeah. Something new. I just picked up a book on a concept called Iki Guy with Yes. The Japanese. Oh my gosh. Yes. Absolutely.

Diana (17:32):


Lynn (17:33):

Yeah. And I just started it, and it kept coming into my life for several years mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And I finally picked up the book, and then my son actually texted me the other day. He was cleaning out his photos on his phone, and he had a picture of an icky guy diagram from 2018. And he and I had never talked about it. So I’m like, the universe is giving me some kind of indication that I need to learn about this and maybe incorporate it into what I’m doing with people. But the interesting thing about that was in, in Japanese culture, there’s, there’s no such word as retire or retirement. And they feel that the path to a long happy life is to continue to stay busy, end quote, work or, or contribute. You know, I use the word contributions.

Diana (18:22):

That’s the, that’s the most important element of it is, you know, have you ever read Frankl’s book? Man’s Search for Meaning?

Lynn (18:29):


Diana (18:31):

Oh my goodness. It is beautiful. And I mean, that, that to me, what you said, a couple of things that I just wanted to just add on too quickly. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but yeah, freedom is important. And that’s why so many that have their own businesses, it’s not because they don’t have enough money necessarily, but they love what they do. They have a certain amount of freedom that they don’t in their corporate roles unless they add the perfect boss. But most people don’t. But you know, when you have a freedom and, and you add meaning to it, and like your work, my work, I derive so much meaning from what I do, not only because I know that it’s needed and I’m helping people, you know, I also just feel connected to what I’ve n have known always that I should be doing in the world.


So I think that’s a sort of a, your search goes back to uncovering something that you know, is inside of you that you bury. And a lot of people in the corporate world, I was there, we do bury our passions and our dreams. And, you know, it doesn’t say, if you have your own business, it’s gonna be like hoop law. It can be a business that isn’t. But in most cases, this is the time in our lives where, I mean, look at the stats for the number of women who start businesses in their fifties and sixties. It’s a huge and growing number. And some of it sadly, is not because of choice. Ageism and gendered ageism is still pretty, pretty significantly powerful in, in the corporate headquarters, believe it or not. But, you know, either by choice or not by choice, there are a lot of women starting their own things.


But so it’s freedom plus meaning, and icky guy is, you know, really think about it. It’s like we all know if you’re doing something and you are just like, your, your heart doesn’t have to beat fast, but it feels full. And you you, you could do it and forget to eat lunch or dinner, you know, it’s like you’re in this total flow that’s, that’s an indication you’re doing something. But when you attach it to why, and you understand why it means so much to you, then, you know, knowing your why is, is like jet fuel, <laugh>, like, keeps it going, you know? Yeah. Like you, I know I, I get a sense of your why. I don’t know all the details of your life, but I get a sense of your why, and I get a sense that you really are seeking a way to add it. It it is meaningful for you to be able to support people, and in this case, women. So

Lynn (21:33):

It’s, yeah. Hundred hundred

Diana (21:34):

Percent geeky guy is you, baby. I think you should, you should definitely go for it. <Laugh>.

Lynn (21:40):

Yeah. I actually used to work with women. I was part of a program called Ladies Who Launch and was providing an incubator in a program to help women really incubate their ideas, whether they were business ideas or hobby ideas, and how to really bring those two fruition and not kind of keep them buried. And a lot of the people in the program were full-time employed, but they had this, this idea and this thing that they wanted to create. And so, ladies who Launched was to help women through that launch process. And I was working full-time at the time. I’m, I’m always one to add more onto an already full plate <laugh> with three kids working full-time. And, but I, I was just so passionate about it, and I would come home so lifted from having those, those meetings with the women that were there to fulfill some of those passions and purpose and ideas, and they just didn’t really know the way to do that.


Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so I kind of combined, you know, creativity and business experience. I was in corporate America for 25 years, I guess. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> launching small, small businesses for the most part, small high tech companies. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So they weren’t that small. But then transitioned to really small businesses, you know, helping a woman, you know, start a bakery or, you know, nice a, you know, a decorating, you know, home decorating company or whatever. So, so many different ones. But like you were saying, in your collective, you’re there to help each other and to work together. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so that was the same concept, was that I was the, the leader but we were all working together to brainstorm together each other’s ideas. Because sometimes you get so stuck in your own, like mind. And so having that time to think about 10 other businesses or 10 other ideas and not think about yours, and you had 10 other people thinking yours, you just got this huge brain dump of creativity and inspiration.

Diana (23:52):

Oh yeah. It’s, it, it is absolutely magical. I am, I am fascinated, you know, even the unspoken words, the energy that you share, zoom makes it a little harder, but I believe you can still share it. We have sessions some of our Zoom events in the 3 33 are mind blowing. You know, what happens between women that live across the country, some that don’t even live in this country who’ve never met each other. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> connection that forms and the energy they give each other, then they can take it off, you know? And, you know, if they’re lucky enough to live near each other, they can go have lunch, whatever. So I see, to me, it’s, that’s the magic of life really, is that connection. I love the term Ladies Who Launch. I, I’ve, I’ve heard that before. I just think it’s brilliant. You know, I’m reading this, have you ever read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way?

Lynn (24:55):

I have, yeah. I actually have it right here on my shelf.

Diana (24:58):

Okay. So she more recently l you know, sort of took the same principles of the artist’s way and has I think it’s never Too late to Begin again, is her next book. And she uses the, and it’s funny cuz she uses the word retirement a lot. And it’s so funny because I keep saying like, it’s not all about retirement, but I don’t, I, I get away from that. But what I love about what she has so beautifully done for so many people is giving them very basic, simple ways to open up and to really allow their own inner creativity to come out. Hmm. And not, but what, what you’re talking about is this exponential thing that happens when you are with others, right? Yep, yep. So I

Lynn (25:53):

Actually, that’s, I put together a Facebook group called Never Too Late to Launch. It was Oh, right. It was, it was based on my experiences and all the data, seeing how many women are starting new things in, in their own things. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so the concept was to support these women that were launching these businesses because I have so much experience in that in marketing and business and operations. And I was like, you know, maybe my path will go more toward that direction. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But it was, you know, it was another thing that I add to my plate that <laugh> was already full, but who knows? You know, it might be something, you

Diana (26:36):

Know what though? Can I, can I just say, because you and I sound very similar, I I I laugh at myself. Have you ever had heard that term the shiny penny syndrome? Oh

Lynn (26:46):

Yeah. Ah-Huh. <affirmative>. Okay. Yep.

Diana (26:48):

So if you have that, it’s a sign of being a creative person and an excited, passionate person. So for many years I used to malign myself and say, okay, Diane, you gotta focus, focus, focus, focus <laugh>. And because all during my corporate career, I always had things going on the side, but they fed me and informed me. And now they’re all coalescing. So they’re like breadcrumbs. So a lot of, lot of all these things that you’re doing too many things on your plate. I call it the all you can eat Buffet of life. It’s is so good <laugh>, because as it morphs and, and evolves, yeah. It will refine down to what you really want. But you need to explore all these things if they come up for you.

Lynn (27:36):

Yeah, yeah. I agree. And I, yeah, I’m, I’m an artist, so I’m a self-taught artist for the most part. I had an art company, actually left corporate America and started an art education company. So I You did, yeah. I had, I had that so I could raise my, my children and be present versus traveling all over the world with a corporate career. But it’s, it was called Let’s Go Art. And woo. Yeah. It was, it was fun. It kind of got shut down a little bit with Covid and Sure. Because I was so involved with her retirement and passionate. And my passion now is really focused on educating women about those, those gaps and risks and opportunities because money has been either taboo or overwhelming or confusing. And, you know, I’d like to change that for, for a lot of women, I’d like them to change that financial opportunity so that they can go off and pursue these other things that make life rich. Right. Right. Because it’s not just money that makes you rich. It is experiences and relationships,

Diana (28:50):

But money can set you free if you, if you are in need, it can keep you a prison. Yeah.

Lynn (28:55):

Yeah. And a lot of women are in prison and they maybe by choice, maybe by just not being taught, maybe by a spouse who’s kind of, you know, kept them there. You know, maybe not intentionally, but that was just the way Yeah. You know, money, women didn’t talk about money at lunch and, you know, in their circles. Right. And so I’m just, I, I wanna be a part of that change from that perspective. That’s beautiful. Yeah. But then there’s all these other things that women are pursuing and I was like, oh, I could help, I could help them do that, or I could help them do that. Or <laugh>, I just want to be a little helper. I

Diana (29:32):

Think it’s all relate. What you’ve done is you’ve connected those dots together and it is all related because, you know, I would say in the work that I do the very beginning stages, cuz if, if a woman is in a transition period, so let’s say she’s just about to leave a job, whether it’s retirement age or not, or she’s been let go or she’s just done. Or if she, like you, the ladies who launch have just had this burning passion inside. They don’t really know exactly what it is, but they wanna get it. Yeah. And, and bring it up and have it be in part of their lives. Maybe not a new business, but be part of their lives. So wherever it is, the first thing we do is a series of writing exercises and discussions and prompts around letting go. You know, and money is probably the number one limiting belief of every soul on this planet.


So to me, if you can help, you know, there’s the emotional release. You know, I I will admit that for most of my corporate career, I felt great guilt for making too much money. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, when there were so many people who needed so much. I, so money was, is very triggered for all of us. It can, it can do a number on your decisions, it can do a number on your confidence. So you can’t just let go and say, I guess I don’t need money cuz you do. Right. You gotta eat. But you know, for you, for, for if you help them just on this sort of practical level of money, all the other stuff can just blossom. So that’s, I think it’s a beautiful connection you’ve created.

Lynn (31:17):

Yeah. That’s, that’s what I’m trying to help women is make that connection and do it for, do it from the perspective of when you make those major life transitions, whether it’s divorce or widowhood, the average widow is 59 years old. You know, whether it’s, they’ve always been single or they’re transitioning into being an empty nester, then they’re done that or you know, they got, they got laid off and they’re 60 and they’re like, what do I, what do I do now? Right. Yeah. So if we can, if we can kind of say, let’s, let’s deal with the practical stuff. Let’s address it whether you’ve been confused, overwhelmed, dismissed, you know, a lot of women are dismissed by male advisors that they’ve seen or you know, there’s just so much lack of education around it, and that’s just in the financial space. But then you get to quote retirement because retirement planning is social security, healthcare, long-term care, you know, there’s so many, how do I take my 401k and create a paycheck from it? And we were already kind of, a lot of us behind the eight ball with the, the financial concepts prior to retirement and retirement introduces a whole bunch more. It’s like, wait, I was already

Diana (32:35):

<Laugh>. I know I

Lynn (32:36):

Was already overwhelmed. <Laugh>,

Diana (32:38):

My very first retreat was a three day retreat. And I took them through this living forward process. And it, it’s like looking back and knowing what the beliefs were that have shaped your positive values, but also have held you back. And it, then there’s a envisioning part of the process where we look across their whole lives and then there’s the, hey, okay, what is the, what is the next, you know, three months look like to get us on the way and keep momentum? You know, what are the things we need to, to do? I was blown away. One of the women there she was 64 and she was due to retire, she was petrified. She had a very high paying job. She, I’m sure she was very safe, but she had been given the impression from not her financial advisor, but the whole ether out there, fear breeding around, do you have enough? You’re living longer. You know, so I witnessed a woman who was so smart and so savvy, be befuddled and confused, and it was her biggest barrier was her financial security. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that was her biggest barrier of all. So it, it, it, it is, you’re right. It is such a, it’s such a big deal.

Lynn (34:02):

Many, yeah. Some, sometimes people that have the most are the most fearful and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. They also may have been raised in not abundance. So when it comes time to quote, start spending their money versus saving, it’s very hard to switch that. Okay, I’m not saving or I’m not earning, like I was, I’m not earning

Diana (34:28):

No income. Yes.

Lynn (34:29):

Yeah. And now I have to start spending what I saved. And there is that fear that, oh my goodness, I’m gonna run out.

Diana (34:36):

What if it runs out? Yeah. <laugh>,

Lynn (34:38):

What if it runs out? My mother always said, you don’t wanna be a bag lady. And so sometimes I feel I’m inspired by that fear and I think, well, if I, if I, if I’m in this space and I’m doing this, there’s no way I’m gonna be a bag lady. <Laugh>. Yeah. Yeah.

Diana (34:55):

Well, and it is a, it’s a fascinating reckoning we have with ourselves throughout life. What I like to say too is that as you do get older, and I’m talking fifties and sixties, you see the end zone in far sharper focus. You know that your number of days that you’ve spent are most likely more than the days you’ll go forward. And that on top of money is very destabilizing. One of the things that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do in the retreat. I call it opening up because so many of us stay in routines, jobs, lives that aren’t serving us because they’re the one we know. Right. You know, they’re not the one that we have no idea about. You know, one of the, one of the gifts I call it, of our third act is to embrace uncertainty and take a leap of faith to follow your heart. You, if you don’t, it’s, it’s, you know, if you have the deathbed conversations you hear of people, it is usually not doing those things that their heart really wanted in favor of playing it safe. Right.

Lynn (36:17):

Yeah. I mean, yeah. I unfortunately, women want safety. We crave security for the most part. Yeah. And change is very hard. I mean, I, I was speaking with another woman on a podcast and she said that she’s a non-financial life coach. And she said the people that she works with that have an easier time making the transition are the people that have had more change and transition in their lives.

Diana (36:41):

Absolutely. Because resilience is very

Lynn (36:44):


Diana (36:45):


Lynn (36:45):

Yes. Resilience. Yep. So that’s why oftentimes widows and divorcees, you know, they’ve been married for 35 years or 40 years, they, they haven’t had that level of transition and resiliency to those changes. And so embracing change at 60 is like, wait, what is change? Right. it’s, it’s, you have to work on the behavior. I, I was talking to someone the other day about behavior because behavioral finance is a very interesting area and we tend to be our own worst enemies. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve, I’ve taught classes where women say yes, you know, they’re all like, they’re all gung-ho. They wanna make the change, you know, it’s, and then the class ends and they go back to their lives. And a lot of ’em probably aren’t making any changes, but they were all psyched up to make the changes. So I’m like, if I could figure out how to get women to follow through on some of the things they know they need to follow through on, you know, whether it’s your health, you know, diet. I was just speaking to a woman yesterday, her husband passed away in November. She’s gonna be fine financially. She has more than enough it looks like. But she said she smokes, she hasn’t exercised, she’s just unhealthy and she just cannot get, you know, get it going. She’s

Diana (38:14):

Got a lot to let go of

Lynn (38:15):

Right now. Well, yeah. She’s got a lot of emotional stuff to deal with. Yes. Financial, you know, financial things. And I’m like, it will come. But it’s like, how do you, how do you change those behaviors? And I think behavior is so hard to change. It was one of my questions for you actually, when you mm-hmm. <Affirmative> bring these women together, they’re, they’re there to make some changes. Yes. So do you feel that, that it’s difficult for women to make the changes? Absolutely.

Diana (38:40):

Yeah. It is absolutely difficult. However, and this is, there’s, there are all sorts of theories on how long it takes to establish a new routine in your life and all these kinds of things. You know you know, smoking’s a whole different thing cuz it’s a, there’s a physical and emotional addiction. But if you’re talking about incorporating a new practice in your life, whether it be meditation, a walking, 10,000 steps at whatever these new things, there’s, there’s the best school of thought or the best study I’ve seen is that consistently 30 days in a row you’re good. But I don’t think it’s ever that simple. And I think doing research is beautiful to understand it, but at the end of the day, that’s why what I say, what we do is we attach a desire to your why. Why do I wanna quit smoking? And you know, I’ll give you an example.


Actually, one of the women that we, we back things off and say, okay, what are these beliefs that are holding you back? In her case when she was able to come up with this, like, you know, I smoke because I’m still upset with myself or whatever, whatever. All of that, her why to quitting smoking, which was at the top of her list is cuz she wants to see and know her grandchildren. So she attached not smoking to a future vision born out of this why, which is so important to her family and love and connection that she was able to let it go much more easily because she knew what she was letting it go for. And likewise, that works for things you wanna start that are new, why do you wanna start that? It’s new a it’s gonna do this, this, and this. For me, the, the y is essential.


And it takes a while to, to in some cases to really figure it out. That’s why I think, you know, that’s why retreats are good. And I’m doing one that’s four days, but it’s not going to stick unless you, and that’s why I believe in the power of community, unless you attach it to a continuum, unless you have a partner accountability, you might, you might have, you might have heard a lot of people just established accountability partners with each other. And it’s amazing how many things you do because of an external, you know, somebody who’s externally he expecting you to do that. So, you know, that’s why I love my community because I think we all are there for each other, but we all are are willing to say, Hey, you’re a little off because that’s, that’s not you. You know? Right. Yeah. So, so all of that I think aligns, but, but you have to be open to change. If you’re not open, it’s not

Lynn (41:44):

Gonna, yeah. That’s one of the first things I say in my class is you have to have an open mind. You have to be, you know, ready to accept the responsibility, ready to, you know, accept, change new ideas. And if you’re not, well, maybe this isn’t the right program for you, you know? Yeah. Because it’s, it’s it’s, it’s, it’s simple in some cases, but it’s not easy.

Diana (42:12):

No. But you know, I wanna go back to one thing you said, which is powerful. And again, that’s one of the things I like to talk to people that think, oh my gosh, it’s tough to get older. I’m like, yeah, but think about all of the experiences you’ve had, the disappointments, the losses, the failures, the disruptions in your life. The more you have, the more you know and the more you understand that you can recover. So I like to say, you know, like you have a g p s in the car, say like your internal G p s call it your gut. Even your internal G p s is so clear about what is right for you and wrong for you, that the older you get it is so finely tuned, you know? Yeah. <laugh>, you know, what’s, what’s the right thing? And it’s like you just, so part of it at this age is trusting what you keep yearning for or thinking about or dreaming up and trust it and go for it because like, what are we waiting for? Yeah. You know, <laugh> trust, what are you waiting

Lynn (43:18):

For? I always say invest in yourself, trust yourself. Right.

Diana (43:22):


Lynn (43:23):

Yeah. Because so often women have kind of put ourselves on the back burner, you know, and it’s,

Diana (43:28):

Well, it’s easy. I mean that’s part of what’s so beautiful about if, if you are blessed and if you decide and you’re blessed to have an interesting career and a family and you’re, and, and, and relationships and friendships and learn. I mean, if you’re blessed to be that way, it’s still a lot. And it still takes away from just you, you know. That’s why empty nesting can be terrifying and horrifying for so many women and depressing for so many because they haven’t figured out their what next. But if they’re in their what next, they’re like, okay, <laugh>, see ya,

Lynn (44:10):

<Laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. I see <laugh>, I had my what next, but I still was mourning the loss of the loss of that phase of my life cuz it was so fun. And I was like, I’m never going to have that, like those experiences again. And I’m like, but I have all these new cool experiences. And I’m like, but they’re, I don’t know if they’re gonna be as good <laugh>.

Diana (44:31):

It’s this whole Oh yeah, I’m with you on that. I think I, I was a latent life mom. I didn’t have my child and my one o only until I was 41. So my last imperfect egg when she left the nest, you can believe <laugh>, I was actually just recovering from a pretty crazy cancer at that time. So I was like, oh my gosh, what else universe. But it, it, it, it ended up being a gift for me, but I’m with you. It’s like, it doesn’t mean that you don’t want in urine for that. But it does, it, it takes a lot out of us to be a parent. Mm. and it, it, where do you take it from? You, you usually take it from your own self and your own self care or even focus a number of the times that women that come on these retreats, you know, will do these exercises that you and I would see as fairly you know, oh, that’s pretty logical. Yeah. I already do that. Have never spent time thinking about their own desires. Wow. Beyond the obvious, like Yeah. That I like, you know, skiing or Right. You know, something like that. That’s so it, it, we, we don’t think about ourselves typically. Yeah. Until we have a little bit more time freedom to do

Lynn (45:53):

That. Yeah. I love it. I’ve often thought about retreats. It’s kind of on my, on my list. I have a logo for some retreats where you go for a long weekend or whatever, and it’s, and it’s looking at that, the non-financial, the financial and just kind of retirement retreat and figuring out what your retirement is going to look like from the purpose, vitality, connections, contributions, and your financial foundation, and you mm-hmm. <Affirmative> come for the weekend and you get it all put together and then you go off and you live this happier, healthier, wealthier life in retirement. Well,

Diana (46:29):

Let me, let me recommend something to you because I think it’s brilliant idea and it’s a different version of a slightly different version of what I do. Yeah. However, the thing that I found is that you also need to have the mechanism for continuity and momentum. And so that’s why, again, that’s why I started this community, it’s this craving to really stay connected and keep going. Yep. a lot of the women in the collective originally were a part of a workshop and they wanted to stay connected to each other. So, oh, that might be a really interesting thing for you to incorporate and hey, you know, maybe we can collaborate there. I would be happy to, to talk about that as well. So, I mean, I really believe in the power of and I say collective because the difference between a c between collective and community is that a community is a group that bands together toward a purpose.

Lynn (47:30):


Diana (47:30):

And a collective is one where there’s an e you know, sort of energy and support interrelated so that each can be successful on their own, in, in different ways, different businesses, different lives. But it’s, it’s a little bit different. Yeah.

Lynn (47:49):

Yeah. Cool. I like, it’s pretty cool. I’m just putting together a, it’s a membership program right now. I haven’t that, for lack of a better word, I’m just taking initial signups for it, but I haven’t really named it yet. And it’s for that, for that purpose, right. You can come to one of my classes an event, but you need that continuity and to keep that momentum and that accountability. And that’s, that’s what this, this membership group, I, I call it retire Together. Nice. Because a lot of women are doing this on their own and they need to know that they don’t have to. So hopefully

Diana (48:23):

This Oh, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Yeah, it’s a wonderful idea. You know, just, I’m sure you’ve already thought of it, but the what’s so cool about that is that, you know, everybody retires differently in, in everybody’s space. There’s a book that you might have read, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it for you and for your listeners. It’s called Life is in the Transitions, it’s r written by Bruce Byler. Okay. And he interviews 250 people across the, mostly I think us, who have had some, some sort of pretty major life, life disruption. But he talks about how transitions happen and one of the things that was the most meaningful, so a transition to retirement, most people go, oh yay, I retire. There’s a lot of depression after that, even if they couldn’t look forward to, even if they have their, what’s next planned is because it’s really hard. But so for you, this period of transition is usually between five and seven years. Hmm. and the beginning can be sort of depending on what it is, pretty crazy and pretty chaotic and pretty maybe euphoric, but the middle gets messy and then there’s a resolution and you figure it out, you know, kind of thing. So I think what you’re, what you’re doing with this membership is, is a wonderful idea. Not just get retired, but go be retired and how it, how it fits your life.

Lynn (50:02):

Yeah. How it all plays out. And so, yeah. Because sometimes, you know, we, we, we need a friend <laugh>. Yeah. And I love that you have this collective of, of friends. You’re in New Hampshire, so I I I need to like do this, I need to come up there and do this event. Well you

Diana (50:20):

Do. And you know, my vision for this and like, I have a couple of women from outside of the US us my vision is that it is global for the ability to find sort of this unique like-mindedness. But my, my, my real vision is that we’ll form in, there’ll be geographic clusters. So that, and right now it’s New England, you know, Boston, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont is the cluster the biggest cluster cuz that’s where I’m from and that’s where most of my contacts are from. But I have beginnings of, you know, DC, California Canada. And, but, but one of the things I said to them, it’s like, you know, that’s the vision is that, hey, I met you Lynn on through LinkedIn or something, and now we’re on this podcast, but why don’t we just drive and, and meet someplace in the middle and have coffee or lunch, you know, so those kinds of hybrid kind of relationships, and that’s what retreats are. I’m going to have an annual gathering that I hope, hope gets larger and larger and larger, and I want to collaborate. So, hey, you know, let’s do it. We’ll see what happens, where that goes.

Lynn (51:34):

Let’s do it. Yes. Well, I thank you so much for this awesome conversation. It was just great. Oh, I

Diana (51:39):

Loved it. I

Lynn (51:40):

Loved it. It was a good way to end a Friday afternoon. I like, like I said, I have a lot on my plate. Professionally, personally, I’m, I’m a sandwich generation. I, I’m a, if you look up sandwich generation, and there is a picture of me and there’s all my stuff that I’m dealing with and Yeah, it’s hard.

Diana (51:59):


Lynn (52:00):

Hard. It’s a lot.

Diana (52:01):

It is. It’s really hard. And it, nobody told us

Lynn (52:06):

No, there was no, there was no training told us. No, no training for this. Like, mom, I’m taking care of mom now. Wait, I miss my mom. She’s supposed to take care of me. But it’s good, we’re blessed. Right. It’s, we have to, we have to just reframe how you think about it in your mind.

Diana (52:24):

Absolutely. You’re right.

Lynn (52:26):

I appreciate everything you’ve done. Is there a website that people could go to see

Diana (52:30):

More? Yeah. Third act Quests, you know, third act quests, all one, you know, continuous dot com is there, I have, I list out all the different programs. There’s a place to learn about the 3 33 collective, and it is a paid membership, but it’s not a, it’s not expensive really. And there’s a two month free trial so people can come in and check it out for two months. We just celebrated our first birthday and at our little virtual birthday party with some of our core members, we were laughing and having a great time, and we said, oh my gosh, we’ve only been around a year. We’ve had over 80 Zoom events. We have 13 special interest groups that are led by individual people in the collective. And we’ve, we keep adding members and we’re, you know, we’re on a really beautiful trajectory. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just a very exciting time.


But anyway, so yeah, third It’s all there. Perfect. And I, you know, I welcome anyone, I also have a newsletter that I put out, and I’m just about to launch this series called the, the 12 Gifts of our Third Act. And each of these, each month I’ll go through a different resilience. Is the next one coming? Oh, Paul was the first. Resilience is the second. So I, I, I give a lot of research around the power of it, and then I tell stories and give suggestions and things like that. So it’s, that’s a fun newsletter that people can sign up for to be on the mailing list too.

Lynn (54:08):

Perfect. I love it. Well, thank you again, Diana. I really enjoyed this conversation. You stay safe up there in New Hampshire. We got snow coming in. So for you people in Florida, you can, you can be saying ha ha ha. But I, I’m a skier, so I don’t mind the snow, but

Diana (54:24):

Oh, I’m, I love the snow. I just don’t like it when I’m driving, otherwise. I love it. Yes.

Lynn (54:30):


Diana (54:30):

Thank you so much, Lynn. I love what you’re doing and I believe in your vision and, and you know there are many ways that I’d love to support you and collaborate in the future. So have a great, like, great day.

Lynn (54:44):

Likewise. Thank you everyone for listening to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. As I always say, each and every week, it’s all about knowing more, having more, and getting her done.



4 Scenarios NOT to do Roth Conversions

Roth conversions can be a useful strategy for some people to save on taxes and potentially grow their retirement savings, but there are also scenarios where it may not be the best option. Here are four scenarios in which you might want to avoid doing Roth conversions:

1. You’re currently in a high tax bracket:

If you’re in a high tax bracket, converting traditional IRA or 401(k) funds to a Roth IRA could result in a significant tax bill. It may make more sense to delay the conversion until you’re in a lower tax bracket, such as during retirement when you have less taxable income.

2. You expect your tax rate to decrease in the future

If you expect your tax rate to decrease in the future, for example, if you’re planning to retire soon or your income will be significantly lower in the coming years, it may be better to wait to do the conversion. This way, you can take advantage of the lower tax rate when you convert the funds to a Roth IRA.

3. You don’t have the cash to pay the taxes

When you convert traditional IRA or 401(k) funds to a Roth IRA, you’ll owe taxes on the converted amount. If you don’t have enough cash to pay the taxes, it may not be the best time to do the conversion.

4. You plan to leave the funds to heirs

If you plan to leave your retirement funds to heirs, it may not be the best strategy to convert the funds to a Roth IRA. Your heirs will inherit the tax basis of the Roth IRA, which means they’ll be responsible for paying taxes on the converted amount. If your heirs are in a higher tax bracket than you, this could result in a higher tax bill for them. In this case, it may make more sense to leave the funds in a traditional IRA or 401(k).


If you’d like to find out if Roth Conversions make sense for you and your financial situation, reach out to Lynn to schedule a chat at


12 Types of Retirement Income and How They Get Taxed

When looking forward to retirement, many people envision traveling, enjoying leisure activities, and helping their loved ones financially. However, it’s important to take into account the impact of federal and state income taxes on retirement withdrawals, as how retirement income is taxed can significantly affect your finances. Most forms of retirement income, including Social Security benefits, pensions, and withdrawals from 401(k)s and traditional IRAs, are subject to taxation under U.S. tax laws. In addition, unless you reside in a state without an income tax, you can expect to pay state taxes on your retirement income. It’s important to research the tax laws in your state and understand how they will impact your retirement income. To help you plan, it’s worth examining the federal income taxes you’re likely to face on 12 common sources of retirement income.


Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s

Tax-deferred retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and traditional IRAs are popular among savers as they can reduce their current-year tax bills by lowering their taxable income. These accounts allow savings, dividends, and investment gains to grow on a tax-deferred basis, which can help increase the value of the account over time. However, it’s important to remember that the taxes on the gains and pretax contributions will need to be paid when the account holder retires and starts taking withdrawals. While withdrawals can be delayed, required minimum distributions (RMDs) must be taken from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s by the age of 72. If the account holder continues to work past age 72, they may be able to delay taking RMDs from their current employer’s 401(k) until they retire, as long as they own less than 5% of the company. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are subject to ordinary income tax rates, and early withdrawals before age 59½ may be subject to an additional 10% penalty in addition to regular tax. However, after-tax or nondeductible contributions are excluded from taxation.


Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s

Roth IRAs offer a significant long-term tax advantage, as contributions are not deductible but withdrawals are tax-free. However, there are two important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, the account holder must have had a Roth IRA account for at least five years before they can take tax-free withdrawals. The five-year period starts when the first contribution or conversion from a traditional IRA is made to any Roth IRA account. Secondly, while the amount contributed can be withdrawn tax-free at any time, withdrawals of the gains are subject to an early-withdrawal penalty of 10% and can only be made once the account holder reaches age 59½.

Similarly, Roth 401(k)s have similar rules, where contributions are not deductible and withdrawals are tax-free as long as at least five years have passed since the first contribution was made to the account. The five-year period begins on January 1 of the year the first contribution was made to the Roth 401(k) and ends after five years.



If you didn’t make any after-tax contributions to a private or government pension plan, any pension payments you receive are considered fully taxable at ordinary income tax rates upon receipt.
Social Security Benefits


Social Security Benefits

The taxation of Social Security benefits depends on a recipient’s provisional income, which is determined by adding 50% of their Social Security benefits to their income on Line 9 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR (excluding Line 6b) and tax-exempt interest. While some Social Security beneficiaries may not owe federal income tax on their benefits, others may have to pay taxes on up to 85% of them. For those with a provisional income of less than $25,000 ($32,000 for married couples filing jointly), their Social Security benefits are tax-free. If their provisional income is between $25,000 and $34,000 ($32,000 and $44,000 for joint filers), up to 50% of their benefits may be taxable. For those whose provisional income exceeds $34,000 ($44,000 for joint filers), up to 85% of their benefits may be taxable. To determine whether their Social Security benefits are taxable, individuals can use the IRS’s online tool.


Life Insurance Proceeds

If you receive proceeds as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy when the insured person passes away, those proceeds are usually not subject to taxation. However, if you are the holder of the policy and you decide to surrender it for cash, the tax implications are more complex. The taxability of these proceeds depends on the amount you receive and the premiums you have paid into the policy.

Generally, if the amount you receive upon surrendering the policy is greater than the amount of premiums you have paid, the excess is taxable as ordinary income. The taxable amount is the difference between the cash value of the policy and the premiums you have paid. If the amount you receive is less than the premiums you have paid, the difference is not taxable.

To determine the taxable amount of your life insurance proceeds, the IRS provides an online tool that you can use to calculate the taxable portion of any surrender or withdrawal from a life insurance policy.



Annuities purchased with pretax funds, such as from a traditional IRA, are fully taxable because the funds were not taxed when they were contributed to the IRA. When you withdraw money from the annuity, it is taxed as ordinary income. Similarly, if you annuitize a portion of your traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, the entire payment is taxed at ordinary income tax rates.


Sales of Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

When you sell stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that you’ve held for more than a year, the proceeds are taxed at long-term capital gains rates of 0%, 15%, or 20%. The specific rate depends on your income level and the amount of the gain. If you sell investments that you’ve held for a year or less, the gains are short-term and taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. If you sell at a loss, the loss can offset capital gains for the year, plus up to $3,000 of other income. Excess losses can be carried forward indefinitely each year, subject to the same tax treatment, until those losses are exhausted.

The 0%, 15% and 20% rates on long-term capital gains are based on set income thresholds that are adjusted annually for inflation. For 2022, the 0% rate applies to individuals with taxable income up to $41,675 on single returns, $55,800 for head-of-household filers, and $83,350 for joint returns. The 20% rate starts at $459,751 for single filers, $488,501 for heads of household, and $517,201 for joint filers. The 15% rate is for individuals with taxable incomes between the 0% and 20% break points. The income thresholds are higher for 2023. For 2023, the 0% rate applies to individuals with taxable income up to $44,625 on single returns, $59,750 for heads of household filers, and $89,250 for joint returns. The 20% rate starts at $492,301 for single filers, $523,051 for heads of household and $553,851 for joint filers. The 15% rate is for individuals with taxable incomes between the 0% and 20% break point. The favorable rates also apply to qualified dividends (see below). There’s also a 3.8% surtax on net investment income (NII) on top of the 15% or 20% capital gains rate for single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes over $200,000 and joint filers over $250,000. This 3.8% extra tax is due on the smaller of NII or the excess of modified AGI over the $200,000 or $250,000 amounts.



Retirees who own stock, either directly or through mutual funds, often receive dividends paid by companies to their stockholders. For tax purposes, these dividends are classified as either qualified or non-qualified. Qualified dividends are taxed at long-term capital gains rates, while non-qualified dividends are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.


Interest-Bearing Accounts

Interest payments on certificates of deposit, savings accounts, and money market accounts are subject to federal income tax as ordinary income, regardless of the term of the deposit or account. Interest earned on corporate bonds is also taxed as ordinary income. However, as mentioned earlier, interest earned on municipal bonds is typically exempt from federal income tax. It’s worth noting that if you sell bonds for more than you paid for them, you will owe capital gains tax on the difference between the purchase price and the sale price. The tax rate you pay will depend on how long you held the bond before selling it. If you held the bond for a year or less, any gains will be taxed as short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. If you held the bond for more than a year, any gains will be taxed at long-term capital gains rates, which are lower than ordinary income tax rates (see above for long-term capital gains tax rates).


Savings Bonds

U.S. savings bonds such as EE and I bonds are generally taxable at ordinary income rates in the year they mature or are redeemed, whichever comes first, for federal income tax purposes. However, holders of HH bonds are required to report and pay U.S. tax on interest annually as it is paid to them. It’s important to note that interest on U.S. savings bonds is exempt from state and local income taxes.

If you plan to use EE and I bonds to pay for higher education, it’s possible for the interest to be tax-free if you follow certain rules. The bonds must have been purchased after 1989 by buyers who were 24 years of age or older. Additionally, they must be redeemed to pay for tuition or fees at a college, graduate school, or vocational school for the bondholder, their spouse, or dependent. However, it’s important to note that room and board costs are not eligible. Furthermore, the bonds must be in the taxpayer’s name, which means that grandparents can’t use this tax break to help pay for their grandchild’s tuition unless they can claim the grandchild as a dependent on their federal tax return.

The income exclusion is subject to income limits. For 2022, the exclusion begins to phase out for joint return filers with modified adjusted gross income over $128,650 and $85,800 for everyone else. The tax break disappears when modified AGI hits $158,650 and $100,800, respectively. For 2023, the exclusion begins to phase out for joint return filers with modified AGI over $137,800 and $91,850 for all other filers, and it disappears when modified AGI hits $167,800 and $106,850, respectively.


Home Sales

Retirees often have their home as their largest and most valuable asset, and the tax laws offer a significant federal income tax benefit when selling a primary home at a gain. If the property has been used and owned as the taxpayer’s personal residence for at least two out of the five years before the sale, they can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from income ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly). Any gains beyond the $250,000 or $500,000 exclusion are subject to long-term capital gains rates. It’s important to note that losses cannot be deducted.


Reverse Mortgage Payments

That’s correct! When you receive payments from a reverse mortgage, they are considered loan proceeds and not taxable income. This means that you don’t have to report the payments as income on your tax return. However, the interest you eventually pay on the reverse mortgage is generally not tax-deductible unless you used the original proceeds to buy, build, or substantially improve the home securing the loan. If you did use the proceeds for these purposes, you may be able to deduct the interest on your tax return, subject to certain limitations.

If you’d like to find out more about how your personal retirement income may actually be taxed, feel free to reach out to Lynn at

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Where Will Your Retirement Money Come From?

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience.  For many people, retirement income may come from a variety of sources. Here’s a quick review of the six main sources:

Social Security

Social Security is the government-administered retirement income program. Workers become eligible after paying Social Security taxes for 10 years. Benefits are based on each worker’s 35 highest earning years. If there are fewer than 35 years of earnings, non-earning years are averaged in as zero. In 2022, the average monthly benefit was estimated at $1,625.1,2

Personal Savings and Investments

Personal savings and investments outside of retirement plans can provide income during retirement. Retirees often prefer to go for investments that offer monthly guaranteed income over potential returns.

Individual Retirement Account

Traditional IRAs have been around since 1974. Contributions you make to a traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your individual circumstances. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.

Roth IRAs were created in 1997. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals also can be taken under certain other circumstances, including as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.

Defined Contribution Plans

Many workers are eligible to participate in a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan. Eligible workers can set aside a portion of their pre-tax income into an account, which then accumulates, tax-deferred.

In most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Defined Benefit Plans

Defined benefit plans are “traditional” pensions—employer–sponsored plans under which benefits, rather than contributions, are defined. Benefits are normally based on factors such as salary history and duration of employment. The number of traditional pension plans has dropped dramatically during the past 30 years.3

Continued Employment

In a recent survey, 71% of workers stated that they planned to keep working in retirement. In contrast, only 31% of retirees reported that continued employment was a major or minor source of retirement income.4

Expected Vs. Actual Sources of Income in Retirement

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience.

Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey

  1., 2022
    2., June 8, 2021
    3., July 18, 2022
    4., 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite


Financial Literacy, Longevity Literacy & Retirement


Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. As I was thinking about what I wanted to speak about this week, I saw an article about a T I A A institute study that kind of stopped me in my tracks because the title of the study is Financial Literacy, Longevity Literacy, and Retirement Readiness. And those are all real buzzwords, keywords in my vernacular as I am talking about her retirement and retirement planning topics. Of course, financial literacy is a huge part of the Her retirement platform, and my personal mission, longevity literacy, might be something new to listeners. I’m going to get into exactly what that means. And, of course, retirement readiness, I talk about that all the time. Are we ready? I actually have a self-assessment right on the homepage of the Her Retirement website where you can find out if you are truly retirement ready, not only in the areas of wealth but health and happiness.


And if you haven’t checked out that, do it yourself an assessment. Go to the homepage of the Her Retirement website and definitely take that. You’ll get an email with the results of your assessment, giving you some indication of where you are ready and where are some gaps and some suggestions on how to fill those gaps. But back to this very interesting T I A A report, six years of data from the T I A A Institute clearly demonstrates that US adults with greater financial literacy tend to have better financial well-being. This report that I’m about to talk about shows that retirement readiness, which is, of course, a specific part of financial well-being, likewise, tends to be better among those with greater financial literacy. In addition, the report shows that retirement readiness is also related to longevity literacy. While this is typically an overlooked factor, the importance of longevity literacy is really not surprising since retirement income security inherently involves planning for the time that will be spent in retirement, which of course, is uncertain for all of us, right?


We don’t know how long we’re going to live, and that’s the essence of longevity. So data from the 2022 P Fin Index, it’s called shows that retirees with high financial literacy were more likely to plan and save for retirement while still working compared to retirees with low financial literacy. That’s why I always kind of preach that the more you know, the more you’ll have because once you start learning about all this stuff, you’re just automatically incentivized to plan, right? It. It means that those who have a plan will accumulate more, have more, and have a better, more intentional, and financially secure retirement. The ultimate outcome is that those with high financial literacy tend to have a better financial experience in retirement. So, for example, retirees with high financial literacy are more likely to find it easy to make ends meet. Many more report that their lifestyle in retirement exceeds or meets their pre-retirement expectations, and more are very satisfied with their current financial condition.


For the first time since its inception, the 2022 P F N Index survey gauged longevity literacy with a question addressing longevity knowledge, specifically life expectancy at age 60. I actually just did a TikTok on this asking people if they knew the longevity of the average man, a healthy man, and an average healthy woman, both non-smoking for women, it’s 81, and for men, it’s 85. And I had people surprised they were like, no, it’s more like 74, 75. Well, those are life expectancy ages at birth. This is if someone lives to 60, what is their life expectancy? So the older you are, the longer you’ll live. The question of longevity knowledge assesses whether someone has a basic understanding of how long people tend to live in retirement. And as with financial literacy, retirees with strong longevity literacy were more likely to plan and save for retirement while still working compared with those with poor longevity knowledge.


And they also tend to experience better financial outcomes in retirement. These findings are pretty significant given that many Americans do, in fact, face the prospect of financial insecurity in retirement. The challenge is that longevity literacy, like financial literacy, tends to be low among US adults. Only 37% have what is called strong longevity knowledge. This challenge could be turned into an opportunity as these findings demonstrate that initiatives to improve financial literacy and longevity literacy could strengthen retirement security, which of course, is something we all want. Longevity literacy is really fundamental in this context as appropriate decision-making is really contingent upon understanding how long your retirement might last. So the point is, is yes, financial literacy, get smart, understand the financial concepts, understand your gaps, your risks, your opportunities, the strategies that many people aren’t aware of that could change your retirement outcome, but also understand longevity.


And there’s actually even a tool, and I may have mentioned it on another podcast where you can go to the website, it’s called Living two It asks you a series of questions, and it does its best bet <laugh>. It does its best to protect your longevity. Of course, you can look at family members, parents, siblings, and genetics to get an idea of longevity. I was actually posting a TikTok and a video on Instagram and Facebook, and I got so many comments from people saying, well, I’m taking social security at 62 because so many people dropped dead at 63, and I want to take it while I can. And the people that have commented, which have been a lot, really seem to think that they’re not going to live much later into their sixties, which is kind of sad on the one hand because I know so many happy, healthy 60-year-olds.


And I, I don’t know, I guess, you know, it’s personal, it’s a personal decision and personal choice. But I think that there’s probably a significant number of Americans that are like, hell no, I won’t go. I’m living to a hundred <laugh>, and you can count me in that group. Financial literacy really matters in its relationship to financial well-being. And I talk about this all the time. I use financial well-being on the Her Retirement website because that’s really what my platform is all about. Six years of data from the T I A A institute and the P F N Index clearly, clearly demonstrates that US adults with greater financial literacy tend to have financial, tend to have better financial well-being, and the relationship holds when controlling for other factors such as age, income, and education. And, of course, this relationship has been documented in other research as well.


But how strong is this relationship with respect to a specific realm of financial well-being, which is retirement readiness? Well, many Americans face the prospect of financial insecurity and retirement, as I mentioned earlier. And according to a 2021 survey of household economics and decision-making, there were some things that were discovered, some statistics; let me share those with you. One-fourth of non-retired adults have no retirement savings. So a quarter of non-retired adults have no retirement savings. Only 40% of non-retirees think their retirement savings are on track. Among non-retirees age 60 and older, 13% have no retirement savings, and 48% do not think their retirement savings are on track. Among those aged 45 to 59, the analogous figures are 16% and 55%, respectively. Almost 60% of non-retirees with retirement saving accounts report low levels of comfort in making investment decisions with their save data from the 2022 p, and the index also highlights some critical findings.


32% of workers do not save for retirement on a regular basis. Only 22% of those saving for retirement are very confident that they’re saving an adequate amount. 47% of those saving have not tried to determine how much they need to save for retirement. Even among current retirees, 19% have difficulty making ends meet in a typical month, which is a really, really sad state of affairs. And 24% report that their lifestyle in retirement has fallen short of pre-retirement expectations. So is greater financial literacy a viable avenue to help improve retirement readiness in the United States? It might increase financial literacy among the population and help improves retirement income security outcomes. While the 2022 P F I N Index was designed to provide such insights by including questions indicative of retirement readiness alongside a comprehensive 28-question financial literacy list, the survey also included a question gauging longevity literacy. Achieving retirement income security inherently involves planning for an uncertain retirement span. It follows that longevity literacy, like financial literacy, is likely very important for retirement readiness. So let’s dig into this a little bit. I want to explore the relationship between financial literacy and retirement readiness.


Retirement is better for those who have prepared for it, period. It’s what I say all the time at her retirement. It’s what my whole website is all about. Information on retirees’ past financial decision-making and current experiences really help us analyze the relationship between financial literacy and retirement readiness. In fact, data on retirees show a positive relationship between literacy, financial literacy, and retirement readiness along multiple dimensions. Retirees with very high levels of financial literacy are more likely to have one saved for retirement on a regular basis planned for retirement. I.e., like to try to determine how much they need to save and accumulate. And three, they’ve accumulated greater knowledge about ways to draw income from savings during retirement. We call that the distribution phase. It follows that those retirees with greater financial literacy report having better personal finance experiences in retirement. Retirees with very low levels of financial literacy are more likely than retirees with very high financial literacy, too, typically finds it difficult to make ends meet. And two, spend ten or more hours per week on personal financial issues and problems, which is a problem.


Finally, positive evaluations of personal finances are more common among retirees with greater financial literacy. More specifically, compared to retirees with very low levels of financial literacy. Retirees with high levels of financial literacy are more likely to, one, be satisfied with their current financial condition and, two, feel that their retirement lifestyle exceeds or meets their pre-retirement expectations. And, I think you could make an argument that having financial literacy, retirement readiness, and some comfort in knowing what’s happening with your finances and knowing that you are going to make it in retirement or that you are doing the right things to make it in retirement, is going to lead to much more peace of mind, less stress, more happiness. And guess what That means? You’re going to be healthier. So financial literacy and financial well-being have a direct impact on your mental and physical help. So very important people, this is what I talk about all the time.


So to wrap up this episode of my podcast, I think there’s really tremendous opportunity to help improve retirement security. And there are several ways to do that beyond, you know, appropriately planning and having the proper strategies and plan design. The findings of this report demonstrate that initiatives to improve financial literacy and longevity literacy can promote retirement security. This is important since even individuals who are auto-enrolled in 401K plans at like a default contribution rate and with default asset allocations should, at a certain point, proactively engage in their retirement preparation. So there comes a time where you need to say, okay, we’ve been accumulating, we’ve been accumulating, but what is my de-accumulation plan? What is my plan for retirement? As I noted previously in the podcast, longevity literacy is fundamental in this context. Appropriate decision-making is contingent upon understanding the inherent uncertainty regarding how long retirement will last.


So, my advice to you is, when you are doing your projections, whether you’re working with an advisor, if you’re using my Her Retirement software platform, which will help you project your income and your expenses over your retirement, regardless of how you’re doing it, spreadsheet, pen, and paper, whatever way you’re doing it, you need to make sure you have that longevity literacy, and you incorporate that into your planning. So, very important and good for you to listen to my podcast and be attentive to your retirement planning needs. And I want to encourage you to encourage other women, other people you know in your life, to do the same thing. We really need to focus on our retirement security. We need to make sure that it’s, it’s something that we start long before we get to retirement, but the closer we get, the more we have to kind of switch off the, you know, okay, it’s just about accumulating and retirement will be here someday. No, you’re going to wake up, and retirement will be here, and you need to have a plan. So get smart, and understand the impacts of long life and retirement. And I do believe, as I always say, when you know more, you’ll have more. Let’s get her done.



What’s So Great About a Rollover?

What’s So Great About a Rollover?

Changing jobs can be a tumultuous experience. Even under the best of circumstances, making a career move requires a series of tough decisions, not the least of which is what to do with the funds in your old employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Some people choose to roll over these funds into an Individual Retirement Account, and for good reason. About 34% of all retirement assets in the U.S. are held in IRAs, and 59% of traditional IRA owners funded all or part of their IRAs with a rollover from an employer-sponsored retirement plan.1,2

Generally, you have four choices when it comes to handling the money in a former employer’s retirement account.

First, you can cash out of the account. However, if you choose to cash out, you may be required to pay ordinary income tax on the balance plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59½.

Second, you may be able to leave the funds in your old plan. But some plans have rules and restrictions regarding the money in the account.

Third, you can roll over the assets to your new employer’s plan, if one is available and rollovers are permitted.

Or fourth, you can roll the money into an IRA. Rollovers may preserve the tax-favored status of your retirement money. As long as your money is moved through a direct “trustee-to trustee” transfer, you can avoid a taxable event.3 In a traditional IRA, your retirement savings will have the opportunity to grow tax-deferred until you begin taking distributions in retirement.

Rollovers can make it easier to stay organized and maintain control. Some people change jobs several times during the course of their careers, leaving a trail of employer-sponsored retirement plans in their wake. By rolling these various accounts into a single IRA, you might make the process of managing the funds, rebalancing your portfolio, and adjusting your asset allocation easier.

Keep in mind that the Internal Revenue Service has published guidelines on IRA rollovers. For example, beginning after January 1, 2015, You generally cannot make more than one rollover from the same IRA within a one-year period. You also cannot make a rollover during this one-year period from the IRA to which the distribution was rolled over.4

Also, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has published some material that may help you better understand your rollover choices. FINRA reminds investors that before deciding whether to retain assets in a 401(k) or roll over to an IRA, an investor should consider various factors including, but not limited to, investment options, fees and expenses, services, withdrawal penalties, protection from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum distributions and possession of employer stock.5

An IRA rollover may make sense whether you’re leaving one job for another or retiring altogether. But how your assets should be allocated within the IRA will depend on your time horizon, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

A financial professional can help: If you’re a woman concerned about saving for retirement or have questions about your unique situation, give us a call. Our team understands the unique challenges women face, and we’re passionate about helping women just like you plan for a comfortable retirement. Contact us and let’s get started. Email

1. Investment Company Institute, 2021
2. Distributions from traditional IRAs and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions. If the account owner switches jobs or gets laid off, any outstanding 401(k) loan balance becomes due by the time the person files his or her federal tax return. Prior to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees typically had to repay loans within 60 days of departure or face potential tax consequences.
3. The information in this material is not intended as tax advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a tax professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.
4., 2021
5., 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.


Understanding Long-Term Care and the Secure Act 2.0

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. I am a day late, but I don’t think I’m a dollar short. My mother used to say that expression all the time. I think it was something my grandfather used to say. And speaking of my mother, one of the reasons I’m delayed in getting my podcast out this week is that I was helping her. As many of you know that listen to my podcasts and have participated in some of my master classes, my mom has been successfully battling ovarian cancer, and this week was a Dana Farber week and a procedure and so many other things. Also, this week, one of my twins left for college in California, and the other one left for college in Amherst, Massachusetts. So I am once again an empty nester, and then you throw in a little hit-and-run on my car and an appointment for me and a whole bunch of work stuff.
And yeah, I think I have a legit excuse for being a day late on getting my podcast out to all you faithful listeners, but I’ve got some good stuff to share with you. I’m going to be talking about long-term care and also giving you an update on the secure 2.0 update that was passed late December in 2022 and some of the things that you need to be aware of with that secure act and the changes. But first, let’s jump into long-term care needs. I’m going to walk you through a case study with John and Mary Sample, and this is gonna provide a general overview of some aspects of your personal financial position. It’s designed to provide educational and or general information, and it is not intended to provide specific legal accounting, investment, tax, or other professional advice. That’s not what I do. I just educate you and then give you some personal financial coaching should you need that.
So for specific advice on these aspects of your overall financial plan, you need to consult with registered professional advisors. That is my advice. And, of course, because I co-own a financial advisory practice called Your Retirement Advisor, I would love for you to speak to the folks there. There’s Brian, who’s a registered investment advisor who’s an expert at retirement planning, and then also recently hired a certified financial planner or C F P Kent Cooper. And Kent is a fantastic young guy, knows his stuff, and can do fee-only financial plans, which is a tremendous new offering for your retirement advisor. But we’re really not here to talk about that. It just occurred to me as I was talking about talking to a financial advisor that they are a couple of great guys with an exceptional team to help you plan your retirement. And if you happen to need long-term care advice, they can definitely look at your situation and give you some ideas for how you can plan for long-term care.
Now, I did touch upon long-term care last week in my podcast with Dan McGrath. He actually brought it up and suggested that we’re going to have some challenges as we face any long-term care needs in our future. And I’m talking about more Gen X folks like myself because the problem is, there’s going to be a huge population of us retired and perhaps needing long-term care beds, but will there be enough beds for us? So that may mean, in many cases, that we have to age in place, and we’re going to have to get that care at home, which Medicare does not cover care at home. So what we need to do is we need to be proactive, and we need to plan for those long-term care needs. So that’s why I wanted to emphasize some educational components of long-term care. Review this case study with you and make sure you understand your risk for long-term care and if you’re willing and able to protect yourself from the risk of long-term care needs.
Basically, long-term care is sustained medical or custodial care, either in a hospital, a nursing facility, or equivalent care at home. And this care meets the needs of people when for whatever reason, they cannot care for themselves. Long-Term care insurance provides coverage for costs when the need for care extends beyond a pre-determined period. And benefits start when certain conditions and timeframes specified by a long-term care insurance policy are met. So generally, the needs requirements to obtain insurance benefit falls into two categories. Number one, an inability to perform two or more activities of daily living or ADLs and activities of daily living are basic functions of daily independent living. And these include dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, transferring, and continents. The second category is impaired cognitive ability. So this is where you have a loss of mental function, which can result from stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Alzheimer’s is a disorder that progressively, as we probably all know, affects one ability to carry out those daily activities.
Now I wanna talk about the cost of waiting to plan for a long-term care incident. 40% of all long-term care recipients are under the age of 65. Over 45% of seniors who reach age 65 will spend some time in a nursing home. And over 70% of seniors who reach age 65 will need some form of home healthcare in their lifetime. One out of four families provides care to an elderly relative or a loved one. And I am smack dab in the middle of this. I am the definition of sandwich generation as I have kids and pretty much adult kids and college kids who need support and financial support and advice. And then I have elderly parents. My mom’s 87, and as I said, she needs a lot more of my time, which I am giving it to her wholeheartedly. It’s, it, it’s what I, I was born to do was to help my mom.
And I will continue to do that as best I can, but she will probably get to a point where she needs more care than I’m able to give her. Oh, and speaking of my mom, I forgot that this week I was also talking to my dad, who happened to have been in the hospital for five days down in Florida because he’s got congestive heart failure, and he was dealing with that and a complication. So it was just, it was just one of those weeks where it rained and it, and it poured, and we all have those, but we have to keep on swimming. Alright, next statistic. 25% of people will stay in a nursing facility for more than one year, the average nursing home stay is two and a half years, and the average Alzheimer’s stay is seven years.
So without benefits from long-term care insurance or compatible plan or you know, funding these, these incidences yourself, the cost of providing these services could definitely devastate many people’s lifetime savings or your relative’s life savings. So, you know, certainly, you can share this information with a relative who is not prepared for this. On average, one year in a nursing home costs a lot, and it can easily, easily exceed a hundred thousand, 200,000 depending upon the nursing home costs continue to skyrocket depending on the care required. Most of these expenses for long-term care are paid for by the patient and or their family. And Medicare may contribute towards the first 100 days of expenses in a skilled care facility. And there are no Medicaid benefits available for intermediate-term or custodial care unless the state finds the patient to be impoverished under local guidelines. So the bottom line is if you impoverish yourself, perhaps you can get Medicaid coverage.
But what does that care look like? What does the facility look like for Medicaid folks? So even then, though, care options are restricted to care facilities, like I just said, what kind of facility they’re restricted to care facilities that accept the very limited benefit payments that Medicaid offers. I want to share a few Medicaid and Medicare facts. Medicaid is a welfare program designed as an emergency safety net to pay the healthcare costs of the impoverished. Medicare is a part of social security and helps pay for the general healthcare needs of retired persons. Medicare typically only pays for doctors, hospitals, and short recuperative stays in nursing facilities. Private health insurance is designed for medical doctors, hospitals, et cetera, not long-term care expenses. Most people end up relying on their own or their relative’s resources to pay for long-term care expenses.
So now I wanna talk about long-term care needs analysis. It definitely requires long-term planning, and the sooner you start, the better long-term care insurance is available to cover these expenses, protect your assets and your independence, and control the quality of the care you receive. You’re able to choose the specified daily benefit level as well as the types of medical and care services covered. When is the best time to purchase long-term care insurance? I know I’m smack dab in the middle of trying to figure this out. I’m 57, and according to this, I’m a couple of years past the ideal age. Generally, the premium stays level once the policy is purchased, much like level-term insurance in practice, the earlier you buy a policy, the lower the premium. And since the odds of becoming disabled increase with age, purchasing coverage before the age of 55 is pretty prudent planning, consider the premium cost of several coverage levels to determine which is right for your budget.
Okay, so what I want to talk about next is that there are some alternative options to long-term care insurance if you find that the cost is prohibitive to your budget. But definitely talk to someone like the folks at your retirement advisor to figure out if there are some affordable options for you within the insurance space. So, for instance, index universal life policies that carry a long-term care insurance writer may be a more affordable option, but they can cover all of the various options to see what is actually realistic for you and your budget. But the alternatives are a few, of course, self-insurance. This alternative to purchasing long-term care insurance is using your existing investments to pay for long-term care if needed. But what happens is, let’s say, a couple husband and wife, the husband typically will pass before the wife. He uses up all of their savings and investments to care, you know, for his care, leaving the wife without money for her own care and, in some cases, leaving her impoverished.
So for us women, you know, sometimes that’s not the best plan. This approach of self-insurance would be appropriate if sufficient assets are available. And the potential loss of those assets to heirs if you are planning to leave that as a legacy is acceptable. Of course, this means that you’re willing to liquidate your assets, and if you don’t have sufficient funds, you transfer the financial burden onto your spouse, that survives you when you pass if you pass from this long-term care incident or your loved ones. And while this may be more flexible and quote affordable at 55, long-term care insurance would be more beneficial if the coverage is eventually needed. The second option is a reverse mortgage. I’ve talked a few times on my podcast about reverse mortgages, and it’s certainly one of, you know, one of the three prudent ways to fund a long-term care incident.
It’s, it’s your emergency bucket of money, you’re leveraging a dead asset in your home, and many people plan to stay in their homes. So, in that case, a reverse mortgage definitely makes sense because if you’re not, you know, typically it doesn’t make sense, but a reverse mortgage can allow you to age in place and to have that emergency pool of money to fund a long-term care incident. But some people don’t wanna a reverse mortgage, they don’t qualify, you know, for whatever reason. And then the third option is qualifying for Medicaid. Medicaid was enacted to provide healthcare services, as I said, for the impoverished recent legislation has made it very difficult for a person of modest means to qualify for Medicaid benefits by gifting or otherwise disposing of personal assets for less than fair market value. So if you’re thinking, “oh, I’ll just impoverish myself and get Medicaid,” you need to really take a close look at that and make sure that you are approaching that intelligently, I guess, is what I’ll say.
Now, I do have a long-term care cost case study. You can certainly ask for a cost analysis from your retirement advisor. So definitely reach out to me for either of those. But in summary, so in summary, be aware that the potential loss of financial assets to pay for long-term care costs is definitely due to increasing life expectancies, especially for US women, and advances in medical treatment for the elderly. So longevity is definitely a double edge sword. This represents a risk to your life savings and financial future. L T C insurance is available at varying levels of coverage and corresponding premiums to meet these risks. Should you want to mitigate the risk of long-term care needs, long-term care insurance can allow you to maintain your desired level of independence and preserve personal assets. However, premium costs will certainly be a factor in your decision. And as I said earlier, consider discussing these needs and options with the team at your retirement advisor.
Or if you have an insurance agent already, somebody looking out for your best interest, definitely chat with them about this. Fully understanding available options can help you make the most informed best choice for you and your family’s future. As I always say, it’s all about knowing more and having more. All right, so that’s long-term care. Next, I wanna chat about the secure Act, and I’m going to give you a really quick snapshot of the changes in that legislation that went through in December. So let’s jump in. It was signed into law on December 23rd, 2022. There are hundreds of changes affecting retirement accounts, including but not limited to 401ks 4 0 3 [inaudible], 4 57 s, TSPs, and IRAs. And these are just a few of the changes to that legislation that you need to be aware of. Again, if you would like to read the full overview of the secure Act 2.0 update, definitely reach out to me at, and I can get you access to that.
So first up, auto-enrollment and auto rollover beginning in 2025 with some exceptions for small businesses, the act requires auto-enrollment and DEF four ohk and 403 [inaudible] plans unless the participant opts out. You know, most people would think this is a good thing as many people fail to sign up, and they miss out on years of investing. So yes, however, if you are already, you know, significantly invested in a 401k, you might want to look at some tax-savvy vehicles that allow you to have tax-free income in retirement because, as you know, 401ks and 4 0 3 Bs are tax-deferred, which means you, you’ve got a, a bill coming due from Uncle Sam and you’re going to have to pay it well so that all your eggs aren’t in that tax-deferred bucket. You need to consider other ways to invest your money. So you need to look at it and say, how much is enough in my 401k, and when should I turn off the, turn off spigot going into the 401K and turn on the spigot into a tax-free account?
Right? So definitely think about that and consider that retirement plans can also offer rollover services when you leave your job. So they will handle the transfer to your jobs, new jobs, and new plans. All right, let’s talk about student loan matching. An employer can choose to make a matching contribution to your retirement account based on your student loan payment. This will allow more people to invest while still paying off debt, which is a good thing. Next, catchup contributions begin in 2025. These catch-up contributions will increase to the greater of $10,000 or 50% more than the regular catchup amount if you are 60 to 63 years old. So this will allow many older workers who may be at their peak earning years to put away more tax-advantaged money. Next, emergency fund booster and match, starting in 2024, employers can auto-enroll you in a saver’s account that you can use for emergencies up to $2,500.
An employee can make up to four withdrawals per year. They would be tax and penalty-free. These could also be eligible for an employer match and Roth treatment so the money can grow. Tax-free employees can also withdraw up to $1,000 from their retirement account without having to pay the 10% penalty. All right, next up, Roth option for an employer match. This is a big one. Employer matches have always been pre-tax, even when the employer offers a Roth option. Now employers may offer the option to make these contributions post-tax, which allows you to grow it tax-free. So not only are you getting free money from your employer, but it will also be free and clear of taxes. The next option is to roll a 529 plan into a Roth IRA. Lots of caveats on this one, so don’t get too excited. It starts in 2024, but a 529 plan must be open for 15 years, and there’s a lifetime limit of $35,000.
Changing a beneficiary will restart the 15-year clock. The rollover is treated like a contribution, so you can’t add any more money to that account. You also can’t roll over any contributions or earnings made in the last five years. Those are the highlights that I wanted to give you on the Secure Act 2.0 update. So like I said when I started, if you would like a copy of a full overview of the Secure Act 2.0 or you’d like to sit down with a CFP at your retirement advisor or go over your retirement plan, financial plan and how these changes impact your financial situation, definitely reach out to me at Lin And as always, here’s to getting or done and thanks for listening to this week’s episode.


The IRMAA Impact, Stop Contributing to a 401(k) & Other Tips from Dan McGrath


Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Her Retirement Podcast. Welcome to 2023, and I wrote my first check the other day with the correct year on it. I didn’t write 2022, so that was my big win for the new year. But in all seriousness, today I have the pleasure of speaking with a gentleman named Dan McGrath. And what we are talking about is something maybe some people have never heard of, or if you have heard of it, you’re pretty unclear about what it means to you and your retirement. And what I’m talking about is an acronym called IRMAA. Welcome, Dan McGrath, to my podcast to talk about IRMAA and to educate all the women who follow my podcast and listen to it each and every week as we explore this important topic and how it could perhaps right, affect your pocketbook in retirement. So, Dan, welcome. How are you?

Dan (00:02:01):

I’m doing very well, Lynn. Thank you very much for the introduction and allowing me the opportunity to speak on your podcast, Her Retirement.

Lynn (00:02:08):

Thank you. Happy 2023. So yeah, I’m a, I’m a glass half full kind of person, so let’s, is there any good news with Irma? Can you tell me what the acronym is and tell my audience what the acronym is and just give us a little quick background on that, and then I’ll probably ask you what you and your company is all about.

Dan (00:02:28):

Sure. The acronym for IRMAA is just short for the income related monthly adjustment amount, and that is through Medicare. So ultimately what IRMAA is, is a surcharge on your income or surcharge in your Medicare premiums for those that happen to be earning too much income. Okay. So anybody in 2023 that’s earning over a certain threshold, which is $97,000, is going to pay extra for their Medicare part B and part D premiums.

Lynn (00:02:56):

Okay. And part B and part D cover what exactly?

Dan (00:03:00):

So part B covers in Medicare, everything’s, it’s called the alphabet of health coverage. Yep. So Medicare Part B covers basically all costs that are associated with physicians. So a physician comes in and sees a patient, part B will cover it. If the physician prescribes drugs or medications while with inside the hospital or under that appointment, those medications will be covered under part B prescription. Part D, the other part of IRMAA that is prescription drug coverage. So anything that has to do with medications outside of the hospital is going to be covered under prescription drug coverage. So if you are earning too much income, that income is go, that, that income is going to reach a threshold with inside what is known as Irma, and then you’re gonna have to pay more depending on how much income you have. So the more income you have, the higher the threshold, but the higher the surcharges.

Lynn (00:03:59):

Okay. So is it safe to say that IRMAA doesn’t really impact people that are just collecting social security? It’s more, you know, you know, if they’re, if they are just high income earners from whatever they saved in their retirement savings, that kind of thing. Correct.

Dan (00:04:19):

So the scary part of Medicare ZBA is Medicare ZM is based on income. Now, how they define income, meaning the Medicare Centers for Medicare Medicaid services, as well as the Social Security Administration, which works as the, the pocketbook of the piggy bank of Medicare. So anything financial runs through the Social Security Administration for a key reason which we’ll get to. So when you’re looking at, I’m sorry, I lost my complete train of thought.

Lynn (00:04:57):

That’s okay. <Laugh>. So we were talking about, I was so busy. Yeah, we can edit this out. Yes. But,

Dan (00:05:02):

So No, no, no, no. Please keep it. So we’re talking about income sources. The way they define income is very simple. It is modified adjusted gross income. So that is your top line, which is AGI i your adjusted gross income. Now, when you’re looking at your tax returns, that’s basically line two, that is your top line, and then they’re not going to allow you to put deductions in. So whatever your gross income is, then they’re going to add any tax exempt interest. So if you have income from muni bonds, if you have no, that’s actually tax exempt interest is income from muni bonds. Yep. So if you have any dividends from that, as well as any income that you are generating, that’s going to count as your M A G I. Where this becomes an issue is the biggest production of income in retirement is your social security check and your savings.


So what happens at the age of 72, for everyone that has invested into what is known as a traditional 401k at the age of 72, they have to take out a required minimum distribution that R M D counts as income, which is on the top line. Okay. Now, what happens is that R M D, which counts as income, is then added to half of your Social security benefit. If that total half of your social security benefit and your R M D are over $34,000 as an individual, or over 44,000 as a couple, 85% of your social security benefit is going to be taxed. Now, what they do from that point is they take your new 85% social security benefit that’s taxed that amount, and they add it back to your R M D. So what happens to your income?

Lynn (00:07:02):


Dan (00:07:04):

Now we got good news in 2023 or 2022 For 2023. The very good news is social security’s cost of living adjustment has gone up by 8%. So what does that do? That increases everyone closer to the taxation of social security, which means their overall taxable social security benefit, 85% of it can be taxed. Okay. And they’re receiving more social security benefits. Now when they speak to their financial advisor, their financial advisors trying to get ’em 35% rate of return and their traditional 401k. And then each year with the required minimum distribution, they have to pull more and more money out. So what ends up happening with Medicare IRMAA is eventually anyone that has made over $75,000 a year has already has about 50, $60,000 in their traditional 401k. Let’s say they’re 55 years old today, they’re going to reach Medicare’s Irma.

Lynn (00:08:05):


Dan (00:08:06):

This isn’t just for the rich, this is for people that are saving money incorrectly, and that is 95% of everyone in the country that is saving money.

Lynn (00:08:21):

Okay. So if they’re saving incorrectly, i e in those deferred, you’re talking about tax-deferred accounts? Yes. What, what are the alternatives? So if you know, you’re like, okay, I’m, I’m maxing out my 401k, or I’m putting all of my eggs in that tax-deferred bucket. What are some options that don’t impact your top line, your M I M A G I and also, you know, all right.

Dan (00:08:50):

Yeah. So first I’d like to say anybody that’s maxing out their traditional 401k, that is legitimately, if you’re doing it with tax deferred traditional 401k, you can’t do anything worse for your retirement than that.

Lynn (00:09:06):


Dan (00:09:07):

Singularly there is nothing worse that you could possibly do. Even health-wise, even smoking cigarettes, there is nothing worse you can do than max up your traditional 401k. There’s nothing worse that you can do than put money into your traditional 401k. It is a complete utter waste of time.

Lynn (00:09:27):


Dan (00:09:28):

The simple solution Roth.

Lynn (00:09:33):

Okay. Yeah, a lot of c that’s it. Offer the Roth 401k.

Dan (00:09:37):

Now, where the problem arises in, what people have to pay attention to is companies are not, they’re not incentivized to put their company match into a Roth 401k. So what happens with many firms that you decide to put money into a Roth and then the company in order to make a benefit, so they get a tax break, if they match the money, they put it in the traditional 401k. If they don’t put it in the traditional 401k and they don’t, and they put it in a Roth for the company match, they don’t get that incentive from the federal government for giving money to their employees for saving for retirement.

Lynn (00:10:17):

Oh, okay. Did I see legislation that they were trying to change, that

Dan (00:10:21):

They are trying to change it? They’re not going to, but they’re gonna sit there and say that they should be able to contribute to the Roth and it there being an in a monetary incentive for the employer to do that. It doesn’t behoove the federal government for people to put money in a Roth

Lynn (00:10:43):


Dan (00:10:44):

<Affirmative> in any way whatsoever.

Lynn (00:10:46):

Right. Now, would you say it’s okay to put just enough to get that match? Because isn’t that free money? No.

Dan (00:10:53):

Nope. No. Nothing’s free. So the way retirement works, again, when you’re looking at your social security benefit, if you’re making $34,000 an individual, or $44,000 as a couple, 85% of your social security benefits gonna be taxed. So that company match, you’re putting money into a Roth, your company’s matching that Roth with a traditional 401K asset, that’s free money. When you pull it out at the age of 72, that free money’s taxable at your tax rate. We can have a discussion on where we believe tax rates are going. Some could argue they’re going up. The sunset provision states in 2026 that the tax, the tax brackets revert back to 2017, which means they’re going up. So not only are you gonna be in a higher tax bracket later on in retirement, your social security benefit because of that r and d is now going to be 85% taxable.

Lynn (00:11:52):

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So basically the free money that you got is negated by the taxes you will end up having to pay.

Dan (00:11:58):

That’s why it doesn’t behoove the federal government to give an incentive to the employer to give the match in anything other than a traditional 401k.

Lynn (00:12:06):

Okay. Now, if you’re self-employed, you can open your Roth 401k and Bingo. Just Yeah, just do it.

Dan (00:12:15):

Just do it. The other, the only other alternative, so for self-employed, there’s a couple other alternatives. You can work with a financial professional by setting up life insurance, however they do that. I’m not a financial advisor. I just am the, the person that speaks about Irma. Yep. That’s all. I am Medicare, I work, I work with people on helping them find the right Medicare plan, and I help them setting up Irma. I am not licensed. I don’t sell any product. We just provide information to people. Okay. So they can use life insurance. And also for self-employed people, they should all be using a four one [inaudible] plan.

Lynn (00:13:01):

And what is a 401k?

Dan (00:13:03):

So a 4 0 1 H plan, as we like to kid, is new legislation that was passed by Congress in 1984.

Lynn (00:13:12):

Oh, <laugh>.

Dan (00:13:14):

So that’s been around for quite some time. And no one in the financial industry has acknowledged that this even exists. So have you heard of a health savings account? I have

Lynn (00:13:26):

Hsa. I was actually just on the phone with Mass Health Connector because it’s that time where you can choose a new plan and I’d like to have an HSA account and I need a high deductible health plan, but the two different people I’ve talked with at Mass Health Connector are like, we have no idea what you’re talking about. And <laugh>.

Dan (00:13:46):

So if you’re going through mass connector, that’s a state exchange. Yes. So under the state exchange, and I haven’t looked at Massachusetts they may not have an h s a high deductible plan. Okay. For the simple fact that Mass Health is Massachusetts is structured health insurance wise different than all 49, all, all 50 states. It’s, it’s its own entity.

Lynn (00:14:13):


Dan (00:14:14):

They may not have that. Now, the reason why I would deter you from looking at an HSA is in order to have an hsa, we say this on stage and it does infuriate people, and I’m sorry, but it’s the reality. You have to have a really bad health plan in order to have an hsa.

Lynn (00:14:35):


Dan (00:14:36):

You have to spend $12,000, or it’s 8500, 80, 900, whatever the number may be, but you get, spend an exorbitantly large amount of money in order to start getting the benefits of an H S A while also paying premiums on a monthly basis. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s gonna cost you, if you actually do need healthcare, it’s gonna cost you $15,000 of after tax money to take advantage of your hsa.

Lynn (00:15:02):

Yeah. So what is the That’s insane. Yeah. So what is the benefit? I mean, I know it’s triple tax free, but

Dan (00:15:08):

For the employer Yes.

Lynn (00:15:09):


Dan (00:15:10):

Benefits the employer.

Lynn (00:15:11):

Yeah. But if you, you put in your money tax free, you take it out tax free. Yep. It grows tax free. So I guess you just have to run that analysis to see all that extra money you paid in deductible. If that’s more than what your HSA is gonna give you down the end when you start

Dan (00:15:29):

To use it. If you are not using healthcare, meaning you’re in shape, you’re healthy, you’re not going to the doctor HSAs are absolutely fantastic vehicles. You should be plowing in the money up to the maximum every single year.

Lynn (00:15:45):


Dan (00:15:47):

If you need healthcare in any way whatsoever. You know, I like to joke, if your kid’s a soccer player or you, you, you’re active in sports, may not be the greatest thing to look

Lynn (00:16:01):

At. Yeah. We just joined a ski race team. This might not be the year

Dan (00:16:05):

<Laugh>. Precisely.

Lynn (00:16:09):

<Laugh>. Yeah. And, and the big guy needs a knee replacement this year, so that’s probably not,

Dan (00:16:15):

Not, yeah, you’re, you, you may wanna look at something else. Yeah. so what we do do is if you do need any help I can do some digging and tell you the differences between the plans you’re looking at. And that’s one of the things we do at earn a certified planner for people we work with. Yeah.

Lynn (00:16:35):

I mean the, the, the whole healthcare is just a whole nother issue. I mean, we, our healthcare just went up another $300 this year. Yep. $2,500 a month for a family plan here in Massachusetts. And that’s, that’s probably with a pretty high deductible also through Harvard Pilgrim healthcare anyway, through the Mass Health Connector. But that’s, that’s, that’s another topic. <Laugh> a whole nother topic,

Dan (00:17:01):

<Laugh>. It’s, it’s not it’s a convoluted mess that is only going to get unfortunately worse. Yeah. There is no, there’s no need or there’s no reason in any way whatsoever for the problem to be fixed.

Lynn (00:17:22):

Right? Yep. Yeah. So back to Irma. Oh,

Dan (00:17:30):

So before we go back to Irma, yes. You as I’m assuming you are, are self-employed. Yes. Okay. So you need to open up a four one H

Lynn (00:17:40):

Oh yes. That’s

Dan (00:17:41):

What we were talking about. What a 4 0 1 H is, is to piggyback to your company the way it’s structured to their retirement account. Now, like in hsa, any money that you place into a 4 0 1 H is fully tax deductible. The money grows tax deferred. If you take the money out like an HSA to pay for the health benefits of you, your spouse, or any dependent, it is tax free. The difference between a 4 0 1 H and an HSA account, besides it being piggybacked to a corporation’s retirement account, is you can put an unlimited amount of money into a 4 0 1 H and again, it’s fully taxed deductible.

Lynn (00:18:27):


Dan (00:18:29):

Now, that should be something every single self-employed person has not up for debate, not up for conjecture. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they have to have it. Because the argument that we make here is what is your greatest asset

Lynn (00:18:45):


Dan (00:18:46):

Yeah. Bingo. Your health.

Lynn (00:18:47):


Dan (00:18:49):

You’re the first person to know that. People say, oh, my house, my car, <laugh>. No, you’re, you’re hell.

Lynn (00:18:53):


Dan (00:18:54):

Think of it. If you have a slip and fall and you break, you know, you break your hip and can’t walk all the money in the world, doesn’t mean anything. You can’t walk.

Lynn (00:19:02):


Dan (00:19:04):

Unfortunately, if you contract cancer, the only thing that matters is cancer. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> worse. It’s the person you care most about contracts, cancer. The only thing you care about is that

Lynn (00:19:17):


Dan (00:19:18):

Health is the greatest asset. Quick question, how many people have actually planned for it?

Lynn (00:19:26):

Not very many.

Dan (00:19:30):

So, back to Irma, how to get around it is basically have assets that the i r s does not see in any way whatsoever. And that’s, again, assets that don’t show up on line. It’s, it’s line two and 11 of the 2021 IRS tax form. I believe it’ll be the same for 2022. Okay. So it’s lines two and lines 11. So the only things that are available, believe it or not, are Roth Life Insurance. 4 0 1, 4 0 1 H or HSA Home equity. And the last thing that you can use in retirement is if anybody has a non-qualified annuity, if you annuitize or work with the right annuity company, if you take that annuity and you annuitize it, that income will have what is known as a tax exclusion ratio. Okay. And you can generate an income that is excluded from your tax return.

Lynn (00:20:33):

Okay. Yeah. When you mentioned home equity, we do talk about reverse mortgage and how that greatest,

Dan (00:20:39):

Greatest thing everybody should be looking at.

Lynn (00:20:40):

Yep. Tax free, tax free income buffer for retirement.

Dan (00:20:46):

It’s than that as well. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> for the simple fact that we, I ask a very simple question when speaking to the general public, and I ask for a raise of hands and you can imagine what the, the, the reply is. And the question is, how many people here believe they’re gonna go into a long-term care facility?

Speaker 3 (00:21:10):


Dan (00:21:11):

Now what do you think the reaction is when I ask for raising hands?

Lynn (00:21:14):

Yeah. Not many.

Dan (00:21:15):

Okay. And I see, congratulations, you’re all a hundred percent correct. I know for a fact, none of you, none of you are ever going into a long-term care facility. Now I also know that 70% of you need to go into a long-term care facility, but none of you are going in. Now, here’s the reason why, and I’m gonna use old numbers for setup. Back in 2015, the US Census, as well as the Kaiser Family Foundation as law, as well as the Bureau of Labor, believe it or not, released reports stating that there were 15,648 long-term care facilities in the United States of the 15,648 long-term care facilities in the United States. There was about 1.6 million beds of the 1.6 million beds in the 15,648 long-term care facilities in the United States. 1.31 million of those beds were occupied as of 2018. So there are less than 300,000 beds available in the United States. The long-term care. Now, baby boomers comprise about, let’s call it now, I know the numbers off of 80. I haven’t computed them for 70, but let’s say it’s still 80 million baby boomers. Of the 80 million baby boomers, 70% of them are expected to need some form of long-term care. Meaning they can’t do an adl ac

Lynn (00:23:06):

Activities of daily living.

Dan (00:23:07):

Living Yes. Activity deal living of that 70%, which is about 54 to 56 million people. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, 20% of them are going to need to stay in a long-term care facility. That’s about 12 million people. So here’s the question, ladies and gentlemen. How are 12 million people gonna fit in a 1.61 million beds?

Speaker 3 (00:23:34):


Dan (00:23:39):

So where are you gonna convalesce when you get older?

Lynn (00:23:43):

Yeah. With family?

Dan (00:23:47):

So now, quick question. Quick question. Does your hallway, can it accommodate two walkers, husband, wife? Is it wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Have you adult proofed the bathroom, those kitchen cabinets today? Can you reach them? What do you think’s gonna happen when you’re 85, 90? Is your laundry room on the same floor as your master bathroom, as well as the kitchen, and as well as the master bedroom? So what are you gonna do when you’re 85, 90 years old? Oh, I know. Cuz your financial advisors already told me, I made you a super duper bunch of money in your traditional 401k and y’all gonna rip it out of the traditional 401k. And then what happens to your Medicare premiums? Oh, by the way, how do you pay for your Medicare premiums? Which we didn’t talk about. So how do we pay for IRMAA through your social security check? So what happens to your social security check? So now you rip out even more money to offset that. And now do we see the vicious cycle?

Lynn (00:25:04):

Yeah. Scary.

Dan (00:25:06):

So why you need a reverse mortgage is you are not leaving your house wherever you are living when you retire, that’s where you’re living.

Lynn (00:25:16):

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dan (00:25:18):

Now, quick question, or I’ll make a statement. My mother who has equity in her house, god forbid she, and there is some signs, but God forbid something happens medically and she needs help. I really don’t want to go back to her house and mow the lawn every other Sunday. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I, I really don’t want to pay another tax bill every month on a, on a piece of property I’m not living in. I really don’t wanna repair the roof. I’d rather see her take the assets out and live a comfortable life than worry about inheriting something that’s just gonna cause me headaches.

Lynn (00:26:01):

Right? Yep.

Dan (00:26:04):

Everyone that’s retiring, the second thing they should be doing after getting rid of all of their visible assets to the i r s. Yeah. They should be lining up a reverse mortgage.

Lynn (00:26:20):

Yeah. We’ve talked about reverse mortgage a couple times here on my podcast. Once with a, a great guy named Luke Cintron. And yeah, he’s, he’s a wealth of information about reverse mortgage. So it’s definitely one of the key strategies that we talk about at her retirement. So I appreciate you shedding some light and giving some real like, case study like this is gonna happen. In fact, when we purchased this home, our realtor kept saying, this is a great aging in place home. And Brian kept saying, can you stop saying that? And I’m like, well, no. Like, other than the cabinets, I was going through the list in my mind I was like, yeah. Other than the cabinets, we just, we wouldn’t be able to access any food above the certain height of the cabinets. But, and you know, we’re super competitive, so we’d be, we’d be racing each other to see who could get their walker in the hallway before the other guy. But or the other gal <laugh>. But I mean, I think we’re, I think we’re, I think we’re good cuz everything you said we’re like one level, you know,

Dan (00:27:23):


Lynn (00:27:23):

Fantastic. Might need a little, actually, might need a little ramp, but other than that, you know, yeah.

Dan (00:27:28):

It’s besides, you know, being in the area, let’s say the northeast, that’s, you know, e every house has got multi-level stairs. So for you to do, pull that off in the Northeast, that’s fantastic. A

Lynn (00:27:41):

Ranch, you gotta buy a ranch.

Dan (00:27:43):

<Laugh> <laugh>.

Lynn (00:27:45):

I did, I did the, you know, the big 4,000 square foot colonial three floors, you know, all that. And I’m like, I ended up in a ranch where I started my life with my mom. But it’s not a bad thing.

Dan (00:27:57):

There’s there’s a lot of reasons why those that were before us built things the way they built <laugh>. We’ve unfortunately forgotten a lot of information. Yeah.

Lynn (00:28:08):

Pretty smart people. Yeah. So what do people do that already have those big 401ks and they want to pay attention to this issue and plan for it before they retire?

Dan (00:28:26):

So I would highly encourage them to start looking at taking up, well, first stop putting money in traditional 401k. Okay. Stop whoever’s listening to this, and if you want to argue or debate just keep this in the back of your mind. I have the federal government backing every single thing that I’m saying. So unless you can come with information other than the federal government and how they’re gonna attack you, I winded aey. Okay, stop putting money in a traditional 401K yesterday. That’s the first thing. The second thing, you gotta start taking the money out, spending down. So let’s say you retire at the age of 62, 63, you still have a couple more years to Medicare, spend down that money. You’re 59 and a half years old, you can start taking money out of your traditional 401k. You want to go on vacation, use that money. Your kid needs to go to college. You happen to have children later in life. Pay pay for the college education out of the traditional 401k. Get rid of the traditional 401k yesterday. Yeah. Now for those of you doing research, everyone’s gonna start googling and hitting IRMAA after you see me, because I’m it, unfortunately, and I’m not saying it because I’m the smartest, I’m not. My mother will tell you I’m not that bright <laugh>.


I just happened to have got here first. It’s the only thing that separates from me, from everyone else. I just got here first. I’ve been doing this for 12 years. 15 years. Okay. I actually started a company with our former governor of Massachusetts years and years and years ago. And then he became governor and I, I went my other way and left that company because he’s really passionate about people planning for healthcare. And God does, does, does Charlie Baker know a lot about the subject <laugh>? So I just got here first. Yeah, that’s all. It’s, I’m not smarter than anyone else. I just got here first. Yep. So if you want to debate and argue, when you start looking at Irma, you’re gonna find out that ooh, 5% of the population in Medicare hits her. That’s not the case. It’s actually more like 30%, but we are not gonna go there. I’m sorry, not 30. It’s more like 11% this year. By the time 2030 rolls around. So in seven years, the Medicare Board of trustees report is stating about 30% of everyone on Medicare is going to be an erm

Lynn (00:31:12):

Because they’re gonna be starting to take all those RMDs.

Dan (00:31:15):

Correct. Not only that, because they’re gonna start taking the RMDs, but more importantly, the frightening part of what’s going on with our country, Medicare is officially broke. There is no more money. Sorry. So there’s only two alter, well, three alternatives that the government actually has. The first alternative is to raise everyone’s taxes, which they can’t do. The next alternative is to how Medicare works. Real quick for alternative two, how Medicare works. You are on Medicare, you go see your physician. Your physician doesn’t hand you a bill. They take your Medicare card, they put your name number Medicare card, and they give the codes for that. Identify the procedures that were done on you. They then take those codes and they build the federal government or Medicare, the amount of money for the services provided. Medicare then reimburses the physicians or the healthcare providers, the amount of money that they’re charging.


Now, the reimbursement rate for Medicare by law is 80% of what the insurance companies are paying your physician. So let’s say you go in for, I don’t know let’s use a colonoscopy. Everyone can, everyone I’m assuming is subject to that at some point. Yep. Let’s say the colonoscopy is a thousand dollars. Well, the insurance company’s only gonna pay the healthcare provider, let’s call it $900. Well, Medicare only has to pay 80% of that 900. So does the physician actually get all of their money? They do not. So every year the physician has to raise their prices to make up the loss. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, hence why healthcare costs continue to rise. So one of the easiest ways for Medicare to save money is to cut the reimbursement rate from 80% of what the health insurers are paying, cut it to let’s say 60%. But what it will end up happening to healthcare costs, they’ll just skyrocket. So what’s the other easiest way that Medicare can generate income to make sure it doesn’t go insolvent? Anybody ever hear this thing called Irma? All they’ve gotta do is increase the surcharges and they’re gonna generate a bunch of money if they leave the brackets alone and they just follow the path that they’re supposed to be following the federal government between today in 2030, the federal government’s going to collect $355 billion. That’s what they’re projecting in the report. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So going forward, they’re gonna collect $355 billion off of seniors. That’s where we’re headed. Quick question that we like to ask, how many people have actually planned for this?

Lynn (00:34:45):

They just don’t know about it.

Dan (00:34:48):

There’s a reason. Yeah. It doesn’t behoove the federal government or the financial industry to inform anybody of this. The thing that people have to realize is, I’ve been doing this for, let’s call it 15 years, and I did it with the former governor of Massachusetts. IRM has only been on the books since 2020. I’m sorry, since 2003. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> IRM is only 20 years old. How does people, how do people not know about it?

Lynn (00:35:19):


Dan (00:35:23):

And it gets worse for the simple fact that it isn’t just for supposedly affluent people, the way the rules and regulations are set up for Medicare. And I’ve already asked the question, which you’ve answered properly, how do you pay for your Medicare premiums through your social security check? So as Medicare is going insolvent or going broke, and they need to generate more and more money, the other easy, simple way is to just increase the premiums. So if I increase the premiums as the federal government, and I don’t give out a cost of living adjustment for Social security because you pay the bulk of your Medicare premiums to your Social security check, what happens to your social security benefit?

Lynn (00:36:11):

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dan (00:36:16):

So no one’s social security benefit is actually ever gonna get increased because the Medicare premiums are gonna consume all of that cola. So in order to avoid all of this is you take a step back, get out of the traditional assets, get out of tax deferred place money into vehicles that the I r s doesn’t acknowledge. Again, I, I cannot speak more for Roth accounts.

Lynn (00:36:45):


Dan (00:36:46):

And then I know people despise life insurance, but it’s the only thing that hasn’t changed.

Lynn (00:36:56):

Yeah. The cash value whole life.

Dan (00:36:58):

So the way we like to describe it, in 1913, the federal government passed and passed a law that brought taxation permanently to the United States. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> prior to 1913, it was never permanent. It was always because of certain situations from the federal government. Yep. There’s always been taxes for state. That’s a completely different avenue. But when it comes to an income tax that was created in 1913, the legislation that enacted your tax code in 1913, the tax code was 194 characters. It consisted of 194 words. You could have tweeted sort of the entire tax language in 1913. Today, what is our tax code? How many characters are in it? Oh,

Lynn (00:38:04):

Probably hundreds

Dan (00:38:04):

Of, no, not hundreds. Yeah. Tens of millions of characters. Yeah.

Lynn (00:38:07):


Dan (00:38:10):

Can you tell me the name of the financial product that hasn’t changed since then?

Lynn (00:38:14):

Yeah, life insurance.

Dan (00:38:16):

What are we telling people not to buy

Lynn (00:38:18):

<Laugh> life insurance? Well, I don’t,

Dan (00:38:21):

The only product that has never changed, ever. The only product that every bank owns, every senator, every house that rep owns, we tell people not to buy. And what do we tell people to do? Put money into tax deferred as much as humanly possible. This is all better for us.

Lynn (00:38:45):

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Dan (00:38:51):

Yeah. And I do a whole diatribe on why the financial industry hates women. I’m not sure if you want me to go down that path. I don’t know how much time we

Lynn (00:38:58):

Have. Oh, wow. That would be a good one. But I have a quick, quick other comment about people that have money in their 401ks, Roth conversions. Right. So that’s a way for people to get those funds out of those 401ks into Roths, but you have to do it intelligently.

Dan (00:39:18):

Well, that’s why they work with people that I’m assuming they work with you.

Lynn (00:39:21):

Yeah. I I’m not a financial advisor. I’m an educator. Oh, you know what, no, I’m not a licensed financial advisor. No. I I am an educator and a coach. So I po focus on personal financial coaching and what I call retirement readiness. And I like to educate women on these various topics. And then you know, if they need help, I have a network of experts that I can connect them to, depending upon their needs. I help them figure out what exactly are their needs and get them matched up with that professional. So, and I am a co-owner of your Retirement advisor, which is a financial advisory practice. So on that side, that team can do the Roth conversions and help you figure out your 401ks and your retirement income plan and tax efficiency, which is very critical and all that good stuff. So, yeah. So her retirement, thank you

Dan (00:40:13):

For doing

Lynn (00:40:13):

It. I’m sorry.

Dan (00:40:15):

Thank you for doing that. That’s incredible. Thank you for doing what you do.

Lynn (00:40:18):

Thank you. Yeah, it’s it’s a passion project and helping a lot of women who are in the financial services industry. I feel like women in particular have a lack of trust greater than the population at large. For a lot of different reasons. You know, I, I could talk about all the, the issues. Women are a little overwhelmed, perhaps older women have been in a partnership where they weren’t the, the C F O, they weren’t making those long-term decisions. The average age of a widows 59, so like 90. Really? Yeah. 95% of women are going to eventually make their decisions. You know, 80, 80 or 90% of women die single lots. Statistics point to the fact that women are going to have to make these decisions on their own. They’re going to have to make sure because of longevity, that they have enough money, you know, that all their, their family money with their partner wasn’t used by their partner.


So it leaves them Yep. Unable to care for themselves. So that all these different factors that I am trying to educate and alert women too and give them objective information. Not, not you know, a financial advisor who just wants to take their money and, you know, manage it. Or not an insurance salesman who just wants to sell her, you know, a big fat annuity. Like never be sold anything because you get educated. You won’t be sold anything. You’ll make a buying decision. And that’s what I’m trying to impart to women is that base level knowledge. Give them some questions to ask. I was actually just communicating via email with a woman who said she’s talking to a few different financial advisors. She’s aware of your retirement advisor. Because when I first talk to women, I tell them that I co-own a practice, but I gave her a guide to financial advisors and I gave her a series of questions to basically vet that quote retirement advisor to make sure that that person they’re going to be working with isn’t just focused on investments. You know, that they know about reverse mortgage, they know about Irma, they know about all these topics because that person can serve your best interest. Not someone who just wants to manage your money and, you know, collect a commission on the assets under management and call it a day. Someone who’s truly going to look out for all these gutches. Right. Because there are a lot of gutches and it requires proper planning. And not, not a lot of advisors know all of these things.

Dan (00:43:09):

No. And that, so here’s where we like to say, we step in and thank you for what you’re doing. That’s incredible work. And thank you for being the educator, not being licensed and having a ha ha having a horse in the race. That’s just incredible. Thank

Lynn (00:43:23):


Dan (00:43:23):

Where, why we started IRMAA certified planner and all IRMAA certified planner is, is an educational stop certification for fi financial professionals have it be accountants, c CPAs, tax attorneys not, we are targeting the financial industry. We want financial advisors to be certified because they’re the ones that’ll end up doing the ultimate work. But we are targeting other financial professionals other than the financial industry. We’re, we like to say why IRMAA certified certification matters. Why IRMAA certification is the key out of everything that you’re going to speak about as a financial advisor, you’re gonna speak to the end client. What’s the only thing mandated by law? What’s the one thing that you have to have in retirement, or one thing you have to have to meet the requirements set forth by the federal government? You have to have health coverage. One thing government says you have to have it if you don’t, granted, they don’t have what is known as the individual mandate on the, the Affordable Care Act currently. So you can’t be taxed just yet. You used to be able to, it’s coming back. Oh. But by the way, if you don’t enroll in a Medicare when you’re 65 and older and you don’t have any other credible health insurance through an employer or spousal employer, you forfeit a hundred percent of your social security check. Hmm. So what must you have in retirement

Lynn (00:45:04):


Dan (00:45:06):

Which financial professionals helping people plan for it? Hmm. You want to ensure that you have a list of people that they can go to that are qualified. Do you, what do you know about IRMAA if they don’t know it, don’t work with them. Yeah. Because guess what? They’re not following federal law then they should have to know about reverse mortgages, HSAs. They should have to know about everything else that goes into it.

Lynn (00:45:35):


Dan (00:45:38):

You know, what we’re trying to prevent is, as we were talking earlier before we came on about a, a particular call that I was on, that particular call that I was on is always with unfortunately a woman. And ultimately this call for your listeners woman who’s in her sixties, she’s unfortunately divorced. She’s not necessarily healthy, not by anything that she’s done wrong. She eats completely clean, she tries to exercise. She just has a disease that she was born with that she’s struggling with now because of the way she’s saved for retirement assets through a traditional 401k. All of her money is visible to the I r s. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. She needs prescription drugs that are extremely expensive. They’re looking at 15, 16, $17,000 a month for these type, it’s called tier four or five injectable of biologic drugs. They’re extremely expensive. She can’t afford them. And then also maintain savings. Her social security check is getting destroyed because of the Medicare premiums. So what does she do? She’s choosing to go without medication so she can save her money. So if she, unfortunately to her quote, unfortunately, if I live too long, I can at least stay where I am and I won’t be homeless. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that’s a quote.

Lynn (00:47:10):

Yeah. It’s horrible.

Dan (00:47:12):

And my only comment back, and hopefully people realize this, if you don’t have tax deferred assets, I get you your medications for free. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it’s that simple.

Lynn (00:47:30):


Dan (00:47:32):

But we can’t do it for some reason, the financial industry just can’t do it.

Lynn (00:47:37):

Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think of the 300,000 financial advisors in the country, they’ve been focused on the accumulation phase of life. I think that’s one of the issues. And there’s not a lot of quote you know, de accumulation phase of life focus. You know, it’s, it’s I know in my case, my partner Brian, he decided probably 10 years ago to start focusing on retirement planning and, and decided to rebrand the company to your retirement advisor to address that specific phase of life and why I’ve chosen to focus on her retirement as a brand and an education platform to do just that. Right. Because I, I also understand, I know this is perhaps a not a minor point, but with Irma, isn’t there like a two year look back or not look back <laugh>, but how would you describe that?

Dan (00:48:37):

Wow. You want to go into the weeds <laugh>. Just

Lynn (00:48:40):

Quick, quick weed.

Dan (00:48:41):

All right. Real quick. What Medicare, so the majority of your listeners, congratulations, all of you are going into Irma, not up for debate, not up for conjecture. Because what Lynn is just pointed out is the hard truth of retirement. So Medicare is always looking back at a two year tax return. The reason being is I’ll use the example planning for 2023. So what they do for those that are enrolled in a Medicare or those that are enrolling the Medicare, they contact the IRS electronically or your M A G I information. So when they’re looking at 2023 to see who’s in Irma, well unfortunately you haven’t filled out your tax return in 2022 yet. So they’re looking at your 2021. If you don’t have your 2021, they look at your 2020. If you don’t have 2021 or 2020, meaning you don’t have a tax return, Medicare automatically puts you in the highest Medicare IRMAA bracket.


So if you don’t have any tax returns, you go on Medicare, you get hit with the highest IRMAA bracket. So now Medicare is looking back at your two year tax return. That’s just what it does. So now let’s say you are turning 65 years old, or you’re 65 years old. In 2023, you’re gonna retire, go on to Medicare. Well guess what? Tax return they’re gonna look at. You’re 2021. Are you making more than $97,000? Well, you just reached derma. Granted, you have the ability to file an appeal, and you should, and you will. If you speak to lamb and you speak to your retirement is your retirement planner,

Lynn (00:50:22):

Your retirement advisor,

Dan (00:50:23):

Your retirement advisor, you’re gonna automatically file that appeal. Okay? Now what happens next year in 2024? Well, they’re still gonna look at your two year tax return from 2022. You haven’t retired yet. You still have income. Y’all gonna be in IRMAA again unless you appeal. So yes, they’re always looking two years behind. This is a bigger problem. Now, let’s say you turn 72, you take out that R M D, you’re not really planning for it. Take out the R M D. You don’t get subject to tax of IRMAA until age 74. Now, when you get the letter in the mail at the age of 74 that you’re reaching IRMAA, the last thing you’re gonna do is file an appeal. You are just gonna pay the money.

Lynn (00:51:12):


Dan (00:51:13):

The reason being is the Social Security Administration, which sets up to find out who’s in Irma. Again, I said it earlier, electronically contacts the irs. So every time you appeal an IRMAA determination, what you’re telling a federal agency, the Social Security Administration, is that the other federal agency, the Internal Revenue Service is wrong. So ultimately what you’re stating to the I R s is the tax information that you have about me is incorrect. Hmm. How many IRS agents is the current administration hiring?

Lynn (00:51:54):

Yeah, a lot.

Dan (00:51:57):

Everyone thinks it’s to try to go after corporations or go after the rich. How many baby boomers are there?

Lynn (00:52:07):

10,000 retiring every day,

Dan (00:52:09):

About 80 million. What do you think the i r s agents are going after? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

Lynn (00:52:16):


Dan (00:52:18):

So yes, IRM is a two year lookback

Lynn (00:52:21):

Is like, what’s the average increase? What does, what does IRMAA add to that budget that you might not be prepared for?

Dan (00:52:29):

So the first IRMAA threshold is about 40% more Okay. Than the second IRMAA threshold is double. So whatever the Medicare premium is, it’s double.

Lynn (00:52:40):


Dan (00:52:41):

Then there’s two other bra, three other brackets after that. So it goes from 40 to a hundred percent to 160% to 240% to 260%.

Lynn (00:52:52):


Dan (00:52:54):

So now here’s where people need to take a look at real IRMAA. I don’t know how much time we have under the Medicare Monetization Act, which started Irma, that was back in 2003. The IRMAA thresholds are supposed to adjust based on the C P I U. So the consumer price index of IRMAA consumers. So each year they’re supposed to look at what the C P I U is on average, and it’s supposed to go up by that percentage. It has not done that in the history of Medicare zma. It didn’t even do it this year. When it jumped from 91,000 to 97,000. It’s really supposed to be at 111,000. So it still hasn’t done that. Yep. Now, through the years, the Medicare IRMAA bracket threshold has gone up. Now, what people have to realize in 2014, the president of the United States and the Vice President, who is now your president, passed legislation through the budget in 2015, that decreased Medicare’s IRMAA brackets by about 40% on the coup on the, the, the couple side. It also increased the surcharges by 25%. Now, that was supposed to take effect in 2017. What ends up happening is the next president of the United States comes in and enacts legislation. It’s called the Bipartisan Budget Act that happened in 2018. Enacts legislation, which blocks the legislation that happened in 2015, and then readjust the herba brackets and states that they cannot be adjusted. The the bottom tier. So the, the highest tier, the the 500,000, that can’t be adjusted through at least 2028. So unless Congress creates another act, hopefully the IRMAA brackets don’t change.

Lynn (00:55:00):


Dan (00:55:01):

But have they’ve already been enacted to be lowered. They have. Is it coming? Yes, it’s coming. And it has to because Medicare’s broke.

Lynn (00:55:15):

Yeah. Yep. Before we wrap up, and I may end up breaking this into two podcasts. I’ll have to see how how it pans out. We’ll make uhoh we’ll leave, we’ll leave it on a cliffhanger like Netflix to get, you know, when you’re watching Yellowstone and you know, Beth shoots someone in, don’t know if they died or whatever. She’s hit someone over the head. I don’t know if you’re a Yellowstone fan, but they leave you on a cliffhanger. So you have to watch the next, next episode. So we may end up doing that. But there’s, there’s 30 trillion that’s going to transfer the greatest wealth transfer of all time. And women are probably going to inherit a lot of that money. So my question is, what does that inheritance do to women’s incomes? And it’s probably when you’re gonna need a financial slash retirement advisor to help you when you inherit that kind of money. Because it can have impact. Right. Cuz it’s, it’s it’s taxable.

Dan (00:56:23):


Lynn (00:56:25):


Dan (00:56:28):

So I don’t know how much time again I can assure you 30 trillion isn’t going to be transferred. It’s not gonna happen. The government’s going to take 29.9 trillion of it. Women are gonna be left with nothing. As again, I do a whole presentation on, I do a five minute real five minute quick why the financial industry hates women.

Lynn (00:56:52):

Okay, we got five minutes for that cuz this might be part two of the podcast.

Dan (00:56:56):

So let’s take a typical scenario of husband and wife. Currently 45, 50 years old today. They sit down with a financial advisor. The financial advisor’s going to tell them to invest as much money tax deferred. So you get a tax break today cuz it’s all about putting money in your pocket today when you’re working and you can afford it. They’re going to tell the person to buy term insurance to protect themselves. God forbid either one passes away and you want to invest the difference. There is no reason to have life insurance later on other than term because we’re gonna invest your money and you’re gonna have so much money you’re not gonna know what to do with it. They’re gonna tell them to work until the age of 70 and they’re gonna tell ’em to do the third worst thing you could possibly do in retirement. And that is maximize your social security benefit. Newsflash, you don’t wanna really do that, especially if you have tax deferred assets. There are times when you should do it and we’ll show you when. So let’s say the couple continues. Life, life goes on now they’re about to retire. They have a lot of money in their traditional 401k. They’re gonna maximize their social security check.


They don’t have any life insurance. They don’t buy an annuity because annuities are bad. Reverse mortgages. Why would you ever want to do that? You want to give your house to your children. Correct?

Lynn (00:58:24):


Dan (00:58:25):

Do i, does does this sound off the wall?

Lynn (00:58:28):

Sounds pretty common.

Dan (00:58:30):

Okay. So what ends up happening in the real world, and I’m sorry this is gonna sound sexist, but this is just the way it is because women are smarter than us as they get older, the husband’s gonna collect more in social security benefits because the wife stayed at home and raise the kids. She did the most important job for our society, for them, for their family, is they raised sensible normal children. That’s the most important job. I don’t care what anyone says. And by the way, by the way, as a, as a male, you don’t want me raising my own kids cuz I’m a moron. <Laugh>. And I’m gonna get there to a point. <Laugh>. So she’s collecting half of his social security benefit. Now what happens? Every single, I don’t care what anyone says, the man gets sick. Correct? Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, is there any long-term care insurance? No. So what does the woman do? Takes care of him. What happens to her health? Is she starting to take care of the man?


Hmm? Her health deteriorates. So what ends up happening is he passes away. But because his health was deteriorating did they take money out of the traditional 401K to help offset the medical situation? Did they reach Medicare’s? Irma, did their social security check start going down? Now he passes away after he, he’s depleting some of the assets. The assets really don’t have much. Hmm. She’s now stuck with a social security benefit. She’s now in a higher IRMAA bracket because it’s no longer married. She’s an individual. There is no life insurance. There is no stream of income. All she has is her house. So she has very little assets cuz they got bled to take care of the husband. She’s collecting a social security benefit that’s being chewed up by Medicare’s Irma. And she has a house and that’s it. So what happens to her?


Oh, they move her to a long-term care facility and they take the house. And the only thing that she had in the, in her entire life, everything she worked for vanishes. Oh, and by the way, when you go to a long-term care facility and you see women that are there by themselves and they have nobody visiting, it’s not because they’re bad people. Not even remotely close. The reason is when you decide to make yourself look indigent to get on a welfare or, or to get on a Medicaid, which is unfortunately where women are headed by law, they can move you anywhere to a long-term care facility that’s a 50 mile radius of your home. How many times can your children get out to visit you if they’ve gotta drive 50 miles each way? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So how does the women end up ending their lives? Homeless and a long-term care facility with no loved ones and broke.


Correct. Now how easy is this? Same couple sits down with their financial advisor. Who doesn’t hate women? Hmm. They buy life insurance. They invest money instead of into their traditional 401k. They put it into a Roth. They get the, they ex, they excu, they, they take away the company match. Don’t even want it. Just put it in a Roth. Don’t even want the company match just before retirement. They sit down with their financial advisor. They take some of the money that’s been in a Roth. They buy annuity. They it over two lifetimes. Now, no matter what anyone says, the guy’s getting sick. And the reason the guy’s getting sick is men are dumb. Men are stupid. To give you the quick example of how stupid we are. Couple years ago when I was married, I’m out in my backyard with a machete. You can think of where this is going. <Laugh>. I’m drinking beer while using a machete to cut a path for my children to play in the woods. I sink the machete into my shoulder <laugh> and like a genius. I pull the machete out and then I pour beer on it and say it’s alcohol. I cleansed it. And because I’m a moron, I continue to do the work. A couple days later I get an infection and my, my wife at the time who’s a nurse tells me, Hey stupid, you’re not sleeping in this bed because your arm smells cuz it’s infected. You need to go to the doctor

Speaker 4 (01:03:20):


Dan (01:03:21):

Now, couple weeks later, my wife again a nurse at the time, she goes out, she’s a runner. She has some pain in in her hip region. She immediately stops running, immediately goes to the doctor, comes out, she’s got a crack pelvis from whatever it may be. They put her on a regimen for rehab. She follows it to a T. She’s healthy. Within three months she’s back to normal. So out of the two stories that I just gave you, which person deserves to live?

Speaker 4 (01:03:53):


Dan (01:03:57):

Women outlive men. Because men are stupid. There’s no other reason. <Laugh> women are intelligent. Sorry. Anybody wants to argue, debate? I can. We’ll just go to a cemetery and we’ll look at the headstones. <Laugh> there. Proof women are smarter than men. Proof. So John still gets sick. I’m sorry the, the husband still gets sick, but they have long, they have life insurance inside the life insurance. What do they have? Long-Term care rider. Long-Term care rider kicks in. There’s money spent on John. It doesn’t come outta their savings. Ah. Now instead of the wife getting sick, getting unhealthy from taking care of the husband. Well the long-term care coverage allows somebody to come in. She maintains your health, huh? No assets are being spent. Now when he passes away, what happens? There’s a death benefit. Huh? So now she gets half of the social security benefit, but she’s no longer in IRMAA because she’s got Roth assets also. They have the income from the annuity coming in and she has life insurance. Huh? Does she have to worry about anything else?

Lynn (01:05:18):


Dan (01:05:19):

Can she stay in her house for the rest of her life and be surrounded around people that love her? Yeah, but we can’t do that. Why? Cuz we hate women. So, I’m sorry if anybody wants to say it. A financial advisor that doesn’t understand IRMAA and doesn’t understand federal law, you shouldn’t not work with, you should run away. You should report, you should sue, get away from them. Yes. I’m sorry. The financial industry to this day still and will continue to hate women because it’s really not that hard to make their lives extremely easy for everything that they’ve given to us. Mm-Hmm.

Lynn (01:06:08):


Dan (01:06:12):

So that’s, that’s my little spiel.

Lynn (01:06:14):

Love it. Yeah. I did a podcast with Larry Kotlikoff. Not sure if you’ve

Dan (01:06:21):

Heard of it. Oh, quick guy. Yeah.

Lynn (01:06:22):

Yeah. I know Larry. He went into a whole diatribe during the podcast on, you know, how the Social Security system is not friendly to women. And he just, he just, he just brought out things that I just never even thought of. And it was,

Dan (01:06:38):

Larry’s a great guy,

Lynn (01:06:39):

So insightful. Yeah. He’s he’s fun to chat with. Very, very, very nice man. We’ve actually been to his townhouse oh, back, back, probably five or six years ago. We went into Beacon Hill and visited with him. But so if we could just summarize, if somebody is listening, what are like the three most important things that they could do with this information like today?

Dan (01:07:08):

All right. So the first three things that we like to talk about is the biggest mistake you can make in retirement. The number one biggest mistake is placing money into tax deferred today. Just, just don’t do it. There’s no reason to put any tax deferred money in. Don’t get what anyone says. The third thing we tell people is never maximize your social security benefit until speaking to a financial professional. Now, if you have all assets in a Roth and life insurance, by all means maximize your social security benefit. But you have to realize if you have any tax deferred asset, if you maximize your social security benefit, you just get quicker to 85% of your social security benefit being taxed and

Lynn (01:07:50):

Irma. So when you say maximize social security, are you saying to wait in as long as Yes, not as as

Dan (01:07:55):

Possible. Do not wait, unless of course you have non recognizable assets to the I R S, then by all means, yeah. Get as much money as you possibly can. Right. Social security is a tool to strip away your retirement assets.

Lynn (01:08:12):


Dan (01:08:13):

So, and that leaves us to the second one, and this is the running joke in retirement. Don’t start a land war in Asia. So that’s an ode to the Princess Bride. So those are the three things that we tell people not to do. Irma, very simple, is a surcharge on your Medicare premiums for those that earn too much income. That’s all it is. It’s really not that, not much more to it than that, unfortunately. It’s all encompassing to your income with the exception of a few things. You need to work with a financial professional that understands these federal laws and understands what income is so you can maintain your healthcare costs and keep as much of your social security benefit is humanly possible.

Lynn (01:08:56):

Yep. Great. Dan, thank you so much. This was quite a topic. We covered a lot of ground. We went over my typical podcast time. So like I said, I may divide this into two part one and part two, get people to listen to us two weeks in a row chatting about all of this. I came into it thinking we were going to be talking about Irma, but we covered life insurance, annuities, reverse mortgage. So many important topics for women to understand. And I always say, you know, retirement is about not only risk mitigation, like under identifying your gaps, your risks, but also opportunities. So on a positive note, I always take a look at, you know, don’t be afraid of these things. Look at these things as opportunities, right? And opportunity to change your outcome. You have control to do that. The sooner you do it, the better. <Laugh>. That’s what I also preach is, you know, cuz I talk to so many women where they think, oh, it’s too late, but I always say it’s never too late to make some change. So as I always say, retirement, her retirement is about knowing more and having more and getting her done. Thanks for listening. Thanks Dan, for participating in this episode of the Her Retirement Podcast.

Dan (01:10:23):

Thank you.

Lynn (01:10:24):