Take Back Retirement
Are You Ready to Take Back Retirement?
Welcome to the Take Back Retirement podcast! Where two financial planners help women age 50 and better break down the myths and mysteries of retirement so they can gain clarity and take action around their next chapter.
The show will be a combination of conversations between hosts Stephanie McCullough and Kevin Gaines, interviews with subject-matter experts, and conversations with women who have been there and have stories to share.
While it’s a serious topic, we’re also going to have fun with it. We believe the best learning happens when we are able to relax and enjoy.
We don’t give cookie-cutter advice. Everyone’s experience, situation, and priorities are unique. We’re here to empower you to ask the right questions so you can gather the information you need to make wise decisions.
Because when women feel smart about money, they are able to control their future!
The show launches in September 2020 with two episodes per month.
Welcome to Take Back Retirement, the show for women 50 and better facing a financial future on their own. I’m Stephanie McCullough. And along with my fellow financial planner, Kevin Gaines, we’re going to tackle the myths and mysteries of quote unquote retirement, so you can make wise decisions toward a sustainable financial future. Through conversations and interviews. You’ll get the information and motivation you need to move forward with confidence, and we’ll be sure to have some fun along the way. We’re so glad you’re here. Let’s dive in.
Hey, welcome to Take Back Retirement. The podcast where two financial advisors have conversations aimed at helping women 50 and better gain clarity around their next chapter. I’m Stephanie McCullough and this is my cohost Kevin Gaines.
Well, we’ll see how well the comedy actually works. I, huh?
Why did you say comedy? Oh, I thought you said my comedic host. No, cohost. I was a little, it caught me a little off guard. I didn’t have a good retort.
I didn’t say it.
Oh yeah, this is, yeah, this is definitely going to be edited.
Um, all right, let me try that again.
I’m Stephanie McCullough. This is my cohost Kevin Gaines. Kevin, why the heck are we doing a podcast?
Oh, because we had nothing better to do this morning. No. In, all seriousness. No, we want to help people. We want to help women understand that this is, retirement is the best time of your life. And if you properly prepare for it, it will be. But if you don’t, the stress is going to eat you up. And we want to eliminate that stress.
Yeah. And the stress comes from something we’ll talk about a bit a little bit later on just how complicated it is to get the money stuff all lined up in retirement so that you don’t have to worry about it. Right? We’re not about spending your whole life worrying about money. We want to get things lined up so that you don’t have to worry and you can do the things that you really want to do. Right. But who the heck are we and why are we qualified to talk about this topic?
Well, I’m Kevin Gaines, MSFS RICP CFP. I know
That’s a heck of a lot of letters. I know, OMG, right?
But so, I am a retirement income planner. Meaning I focus my energies on working with people who are already in retirement or retirement is the most important thing in their financial life. They’re done paying for school or they’re done getting their kids through school. That’s all set aside. Job is well covered. They’ve got, you know, hopefully they’d have their bills under control. So it’s all about retirement and what to do with the next 30 40, 50 years of my life. It’s a big question. So that is my focus. But Stephanie, you know, you have a slightly different take, which hopefully, this is going to be such an intriguing podcast.
So, I’m Stephanie McCullough. I have been a financial advisor for over 22 years. My business is Sofia Financial. I am dedicated to empowering professional women to make wise decisions about money. And to me a wise decision is one that is in alignment with your values as well as cognizant of the trade offs around there. Right. Very few of us have unlimited dollars. So every dollar we use on one thing, we don’t have to, we don’t have to put towards another purpose. So, we’ve got to make wise decisions about where we’re putting our resources.
Well, when you talk about value, what’s the biggest misconception you get when you have these conversations with people for the first time?
Well, I meet people, I was having this conversation with someone yesterday and she’s like, Oh, you’re the financial planner, you’re all about the numbers. And that always mystifies me a little bit. The computer does the numbers right? The computer does the math, I understand it, but it’s a very human problem. It’s a very human question about money. There’s so much kind of head trash we carry around about money and finances and the stuff we feel like we should know but no one ever taught us. So really I get kind of in the weeds with my clients about their emotions around money and their patterns and you know, kind of what gets in their way.
Yeah. Issues I have are, you know, you see people, and I know you’ve seen this as well, even the people with the best of intentions and the rest of their life is well-rounded and adjusted and all that stuff. But they still view financial, their financial life is keeping score a lot of times, maybe not intentionally, but accidentally they fall into this trap of what’s that number? How much do I have in forgetting that money is just a tool and that’s it. The tool lets you do what you want to do, what is important to you, what is fun for you, but they get kind of hung up in this. They get trapped into worrying about this number and forgetting what that number really represents.
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I have also seen people be super hesitant about working with an advisor or a financial planner because they feel like they’re going to be judged, right? They feel like someone’s going to get on their case for how much they spend on X or Y. I would say, I don’t care where you spend your money. I’m just going to try to help you not spend more than you’ve got and you know, make sure it’s going to last your lifetime, but it doesn’t matter to me where you choose to dedicate it. That’s what I mean by aligning your money and your values.
Right. I mean, and the part of that problem that gets back to the whole keeping score, it’s like, Oh, you’re going to judge me because I spent this money. That’s what you want to do. We’re here to help you do what you want to do. We’re just going to help you do it, in a way, our goal anyway is to help you do it in a way that you’re not going to be stressed, that you’re going to be able to sleep at night without worrying about what comes next.
Yep. Yep. I agree. So why this question of retirement income planning, why is that worthy of a whole podcast for women about this issue? What’s different about it?
The biggest problem with retirement income planning is that it really receives no publicity. So people don’t think about it. They hear the phrase retirement planning. Oh, okay. Well, retirement planning is saving for retirement. Planning how to get to retirement. And that can be in an oversimplified way, a very simple process. Save as much as you can for as long as you can. Yes. You’ve got to juggle it with other things, you know, saving for college or vacations or joint life along the way. But really it’s just a matter of saving as much as you can. But retirement income planning. Now we’re talking about having this pot of money and figuring out what to do with it so that you don’t have these stresses because now at this point you’re pretty much on your own. Something goes wrong, the heater goes up, you know, in your house in your forties, worst comes to worse. I get a second job or okay maybe not a heater but you know something bigger but you know I get a second job or I work more hours. You can kind of work through a lot of your problems, literally.
Or you take a loan, right. Cause you can do that cause you have income.
Absolutely. When you’re retired you don’t necessarily have a whole lot of income as far as you know, banks are concerned and you don’t necessarily have the option or want to have the option of working more. I mean it’s retirement. So you’re kind of on your own. So you’ve got to cover all of your risks and all the things you want to do. So, it’s a lot of, it’s a really big jigsaw puzzle is how I picture it.
Yeah. What I tell people is it’s an equation with so many unknowns. Like you said, when you’re accumulating towards retirement. You know, the end date, you know when you’d like to retire, you know you want the pot to be as big as possible. I kind of picture it like that’s climbing the mountain. And then on the other side you’re going down the mountain, but you don’t know when you’re going to get to the bottom. Right. The big question is how long are you going to need money?
Yeah. And it’s an unknown. It really is an unknown. But I love the mountain analogy and I’m glad you brought it up because I always try to work it into the conversation because it’s a fairly. I take it and make it much darker. But you know, people, you know, and you see financial planners do this all the time. It’s like, Oh, it’s climbing a mountain. You get to the top of the mountain, Hey, you got all this money for retirement. But what they don’t tell you is two thirds of the deaths on the ascent or climbing Mount Everest, two thirds of the deaths are on the way down, not up. So, like I said, yes, it’s a dark analogy, but it’s apropos. I mean it’s building up this. Accumulating, the savings is relatively speaking, the easy part.
Yeah. Because we don’t know how long are you going to need money. We don’t know what inflation will do. We don’t know what the investment markets will do. We can kind of get an idea, a pretty close idea, hopefully of how much money you’re going to need. But like you said, unexpected things come up. So there’s all this uncertainty and then you’ve usually got different, you know, you’ve got pots of money in different places that have different rules around them, different taxation. And then maybe you’ve got some income stream, social security, maybe a pension, maybe some other stuff. So coordinating all of that so that it gets you where you want to be without unintended consequences. I say that’s kind of, that’s kind of our thing, right?
It is. It’s to channel that Donald Rumsfeld. You know, his famous quote about unknown unknowns. Our job, it’d be great if we can take the unknown unknowns of retirement and make them no knowns, but we at least want to make them known unknowns. So that when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with retirement, we’re at least going to help you figure out and learn what do I need to think about? What do I need to be prepared for? Maybe there’s nothing I can do about it or not a whole lot I can do about it, but at least I can kind of think, So, when it does happen, I know how I’m going to react.
Yes, exactly. That’s right. Because in a crisis, we know from the biology that our brains kind of lose a little bit of their critical thinking power. So if we can plan ahead of time what’s going to happen if these various eventualities hit, then you’re in a much better place. So that was our introductory episode. We’ll get into much more detail as you might be able to tell. Kevin and I can talk about this for four days without taking a breath. So, we’re going to wrap it up from here. What you’ll expect going forward, we hope to publish this podcast twice a month. It’s going to be a combination of conversations between me and Kevin, interviews with experts on various subjects that we think are super helpful for you guys to know about when you’re thinking about how to structure your retirement and hopefully some conversations with actual humans, actual women who either are on the cusp of retirement, have gone through it and have some learnings to share.
Great. Yeah, I’m excited to be doing this. I hope everybody gets something out of it and please reach out to us if you have any questions, if you have any suggestions. This is the whole idea. This is going to be a fairly open conversations that we’re going to have.
Yeah. We’d love to hear what questions are on your minds and where you’d like us to focus. We’ll have a lot of information in the show notes for you, some good links and information, and please give us a like and a subscribe.
Be sure to subscribe to the show and please share it with your friends. Show notes and more information available at TakeBackRetirement.com. Huge thanks for the original music by the one and only Raymond Loewy through New Math in New York. See you next time.
Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group, American Financial Management Group, and Sofia Financial are separate entities. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you consult your financial advisor prior to investing. This information is not intended to be substitute for individualized tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.