69 episodes

The Common Sense Financial Podcast is all about finances, mindset and personal growth. The goal is to help you make smart choices with your money in your home and in your business.

Securities offered through Kalos Capital, Inc. and Investment advisory services offered through Kalos Management, Inc. located at 11525 Park Wood Circle Alpharetta, GA 30005. Skrobonja Financial Group is not a subsidiary of Kalos Capital, Inc. nor Kalos Management, Inc.

Common Sense Financial Podcast Brian Skrobonja

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 19 Ratings

The Common Sense Financial Podcast is all about finances, mindset and personal growth. The goal is to help you make smart choices with your money in your home and in your business.

Securities offered through Kalos Capital, Inc. and Investment advisory services offered through Kalos Management, Inc. located at 11525 Park Wood Circle Alpharetta, GA 30005. Skrobonja Financial Group is not a subsidiary of Kalos Capital, Inc. nor Kalos Management, Inc.

    The Wealth Building Strategies of Entrepreneurs and Real Estate Investors Revealed

    The Wealth Building Strategies of Entrepreneurs and Real Estate Investors Revealed

    It’s no secret that entrepreneurs and real estate investors are responsible for the majority of the wealth creation in the world, but did you know it’s possible to take the same strategies they use and apply them to your own investments? Learn how to multiply your wealth through the power of leverage and how to use the idea of internal and external rates of return to acquire assets that not only appreciate but generate cash flow at the same time.
    Many investors have a contradictory attitude when it comes to investments and leverage. With their investments, they favor risk but when it comes to leveraging they adopt a scarcity mindset. Entrepreneurs and real estate investors are the biggest wealth creators in the world, but the typical investor can benefit from using the same strategies they use. There are two primary reasons those two types of people create so much wealth. The first is they effectively leverage other people’s money. The second is they create cash flow using internal and external rates of return. Rarely do real estate investors purchase a house in cash because the more money that is tied up in one property, the less there is to purchase another. By using the bank's money to leverage the purchases, they have the ability to use the same amount of money to acquire multiple properties. This allows them to grow their wealth using internal and external rates of return. What many people fail to understand about real estate is that the property is worth the same whether or not it has a mortgage. The investor benefits from the appreciation of the property, not the bank. A $100,000 property with a $75,000 mortgage on it that appreciates 5% is the equivalent of a 20% yield on the investor's $25,000 investment. That’s the internal rate of return. Real estate investors also have the ability to create cash flow from the investment. The rent collected can vary, but assuming a rent payment of around $1200 per month or $14,400 per year, using the same example as above, $14,400 would equate to around 14% of the value of the property and a whopping 57% on the investor's $25,000. Even factoring in the interest on the mortgage, the total rate of return is still exceptional. This is why it makes more sense to leverage $100,000 to buy four separate properties than to buy one $100,000 property in cash. The concept of external and internal rates of return can be applied to anyone who owns real estate or cash value life insurance policies. The challenge many people face is that they dislike the idea of holding a mortgage and would prefer to pay it off quickly. If you can leverage the mortgage to get a higher rate of return, the logic doesn’t support the decision to pay down the mortgage quicker than you have to. There are very few subjects more misunderstood than the subject of life insurance and with so many options it’s easy to see why, but when a dividend-paying whole life insurance policy is designed and funded correctly, its benefits mirror that of most real estate. Both are properties that build equity, grow tax-deferred, allow for tax-free access to cash, and can be owned free and clear. Both are conduits for internal and external rates of return. With insurance, cash values will appreciate the same whether or not there's a loan. That's an internal return, and you can use tax-free loans to leverage as capital and generate cash flow. Using your home equity to make home improvements can increase the home’s value and possibly increase the overall cash flow, while essentially costing you none of your own money. Taking a loan from a life insurance policy and leveraging it into an investment or property accomplishes the same thing.  
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    buildbanking.com

    • 11 min
    Exit Planning Secrets From Randy Long

    Exit Planning Secrets From Randy Long

    The sale or transition of a business is a messy, complex, and time consuming process. If you want to make sure it’s a success and doesn’t tear your family apart, you have to make sure it’s done right. Randy Long reveals the biggest misconceptions around selling a business and how to make sure your children still want to eat Thanksgiving dinner together afterward.
    Randy is a lawyer by trade with a background in finance, having practiced for the past 25 years. Around half way into his career in law, Randy started working with the father of exit planning, John Brown. Around 9 years ago, Randy and his daughter started a separate consulting firm focused on helping multi-family, multi-owner businesses get prepared to sell. Many business owners have no idea what it takes to prepare a business to be sold. Working in the business and getting the day-to-day tasks done can make it hard to step out of that role and plan for the future. That’s typically where Randy comes in. Transition periods can be quite long, with most businesses working with Randy for more than a year. Some families contract with him for multiple years when the situation involves transitioning between generations. One of the biggest misconceptions is business owners don't understand that buyers are going to look at their business differently than they do. They don't look at it with the same set of eyes. The business owner has to be able to put on the glasses of a buyer to look fresh at their company, which can be a major challenge. Many business owners struggle with transitioning their business to their kids without causing a lot of conflict and strife among the other family members. Randy uses the Thanksgiving Test to judge the success of a business transition to the next generation. The first year after the parents are gone, will the kids still have Thanksgiving dinner together and be happy to be there? Not communicating with the family can be devastating after a parent’s death. Another major misconception is the belief that a person’s business will sell for a hypothetical average multiple, but the truth is each business is unique and sold on their pros and cons. Many business owners also find themselves in trouble after selling their business where they no longer have the income, benefits, and insurance they used to be able to deduct. There are a lot of variables when it comes to selling a business and no two sales are going to be quite the same. The business and merger and acquisition cycles also have an impact on the sale of a business. Ideally, business owners time the sale to maximize the value. Don’t wait until you absolutely want to get out of your business, plan around the business cycles instead. Service-based businesses can be sold too, they just need to be structured in a way that the business owner isn’t physically necessary to get the work done. Those types of business owners need to shift their thinking from the down to earth job of getting things done to higher level strategies like joint ventures. Randy usually starts working with those business owners by eliminating their tasks and slowly delegating them out to employees, which frees up the owner to do what they are good at: finding new business and inspiring employees. You’ve got to get away from the day-to-day grind to give yourself time to think and get your head around the future. Business owners often desire control, which can prevent them from scaling past a certain point. The most successful multiply themselves and expect progress instead of perfection. The first step is finding the work the business owner hates doing. Once those tasks are identified, they become the job description of the next employee. Randy prefers to keep his consulting business small and work with around 15 clients at any given time. Most financial advisors are W2 employees, not business owners. Those employees can be integral to a business and are often targeted during a transition to encourage the

    • 43 min
    Generate More Retirement Income and Keep More of Your Money

    Generate More Retirement Income and Keep More of Your Money

    There is a key mindset shift that many people fail to make when they retire and it can cost them thousands of dollars from their investment portfolio. Hear about Hypothetical Helen and how her plan to pay off her mortgage with money from her 401k once she retires actually puts her further away from her goals, and what the most optimal solution for cash flow in retirement is.  
    Retirement in its purest form is simply the creation of passive income sources used to support your cash flow requirements. Everything revolves around your cash flow in retirement, yet many people lose sight of this fact and overcomplicate their investment strategy. Take the example of Helen. Helen was to have $40,000 per year to supplement her Social Security income. She has a million dollars in a 401k and has a mortgage of $200,000 with a payment of $14,400 annually, and her home is valued at $500,000. Her plan is to eliminate her mortgage with funds from her 401k as well as make some renovation while living off a 4% draw each year from the remainder. The 4% Rule is not necessarily the best strategy for income in retirement. The assets to income stacking method often yields better results, and can often create an additional $20,000 a year in cash flow from the same $1 million investment. Using the 401k triggers a tax liability on the full $200,000. Using an estimated 25% tax rate, Helen would end up with a distribution of $262,500, leaving just $737,500 to draw from at 4%. Factoring in the home renovations, Helen would be paying around $75,000 in taxes and reducing her annualized income by $5,100. Every one of those decisions moves her further and further away from her goal. Every decision you make flows downstream to your cash flow, which is why everything should be about maximizing that amount. Giving up control over your money is usually a bad idea. Whether that’s a bank or the government. Many people get hung up on paying a mortgage, but in Helen’s situation maintaining the mortgage would be the best solution to getting the most income from her assets. To satisfy Helen’s $40,000 retirement income goal, she could designate about $667,000 at 6%. The remaining $333,000 could be invested long term to help offset inflation or other cash needs along the way. She could also refinance her mortgage and pay roughly the same each month, but also get access to $50,000 tax-free with which to make those renovations. Instead of using her 401k which will cost her $75,000 in taxes to obtain, while also lowering her income by over $5,000 for the rest of her life, she can just use her home equity to give her the cash she needs while maximizing her income potential. A few key takeaways: tax-free money is better than taxable money. Home equity and life insurance values are tax-free sources of money. A home will appreciate whether or not it has a mortgage and has inflation as its tailwind. Once money is spent, it's gone forever and is no longer able to create income, and there's opportunity cost for every dollar spent. The mindset shift from accumulation over to utilization is where most people struggle in retirement.  
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    CSF episode - The First Domino
    questionsforbrian.com

    • 11 min
    The Five Biggest Regrets People Have About Retirement

    The Five Biggest Regrets People Have About Retirement

    Regret and retirement don’t have to go together, but for many people they often do. Learn about the top five regrets people have in retirement and how you can set yourself up so instead of feeling like you should have done more, you can retire with confidence.
    When it comes to retirement, there are almost always things that you’re going to regret. Investments you missed the boat on or investments that went sour. Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to make retirement planning easy. There are five common regrets that most retirees have and the first is not starting soon enough. The sooner you begin to save the longer your wealth has to compound over time. In addition to saving sooner, retirees often wish they had begun planning for the transition to retirement sooner as well. There is more to planning your retirement than just having a large investment account and picking the start date. Many retirees, mere weeks before retiring, find out there's much more to it and wish they had started years earlier. The next big regret is not asking for help sooner. Making assumptions is a slippery slope, and there is so much to consider. It can be challenging even for a seasoned advisor to navigate all the tax implications and available products. Not changing strategies is another major regret of many retirees. There are certain phases of growing assets that require a different approach and knowing when you are entering into another phase is critical for capitalizing on opportunities. Many would-be retirees start off investing in mutual funds but end up blowing right past the time they should be adjusting their investment strategy. You shouldn’t be investing the same way in retirement as you did in your 20’s. Not saving enough is one of the most common regrets of people retiring today. The idea that saving 10% will allow you to achieve your goals is inaccurate. We’re seeing the most effective plans are coming from people saving in the 20%-30% range and with the end goal in mind. Many people put their head in the sand when it comes to making important decisions about their retirement because it brings to mind their own mortality, but it’s important to think ahead. The ideal time to figure out long-term care is not when you’re forced to. Many of these regrets may seem like common sense, but the vast majority of people aren’t following through with them, common sense or not.  
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    brianskrobonja.com/retirement-checklist
    questionsforbrian.com

    • 8 min
    Most Important Retirement Number (Not How Much Money Is In Your Portfolio) - Encore

    Most Important Retirement Number (Not How Much Money Is In Your Portfolio) - Encore

    Most people think about what investments they should be making or what stocks they should have in their portfolio when they approach retirement age, but they are going about it backwards. Brian Skrobonja breaks down the calculations you need to make in order to understand how ready you are for retirement and what your retirement plan needs to factor in to be truly financially free.
    How do you know when it's safe to retire? The answer depends on your plan and understanding the most important numbers in retirement. Success is the result of following a plan to fruition. The more specific the plan is, the higher the probability of reaching the goal. If you’re on the cusp of retirement, you may have a number of new questions and concerns starting to enter your mind. Are you invested in the right assets for retirement? How much should you be withdrawing from your accounts? Do you have enough saved up to last your whole retirement? If you search the internet, you’ll end up finding a lot of often contradictory advice. If you want to get a good sense of direction, take our complimentary Retirement Readiness Quiz. The quiz will ask you a series of questions to help you gauge how ready you are for retirement and give you an idea for what you still need to work on. One of the most important numbers you can know when it comes to retirement is your income needs. When you understand what level of income you need to afford everything in retirement, it’s much easier to work backwards from there to figure out what you need to create that flow of income. Total up all your bank payments, insurance, tax, and monthly living expenses. Include your regular expenses throughout the year as well because the total you’re looking for is how much money you will spend over a year. Keep in mind that your income needs in retirement will not be the same as they are when you’re working. Be sure to think about how you'll be spending your time in retirement because you will have a lot of time to fill. Once you have your income needs for the year calculated, subtract your Social Security and/or pension benefits, and any other fixed income. What’s left over is your income gap. With the income gap number you can calculate how much of your invested retirement money is required for retirement income. This will also tell you the yield you need to achieve to fund your lifestyle from the assets you have. This figure shouldn’t be more than 4% or 5%. Any higher and you considerably increase the risk of running out of money before you run out of life. You also have to factor in inflation on top of market volatility and healthcare expenses. If you stretch your resources too far right off the bat, you are setting yourself up to run out of money much sooner than you would otherwise. When making these calculations it’s best to err on the side of caution. Inflation will continue to be a major factor going forward. Using a historical figure of 3.5% inflation each year, we can estimate that over the course of 15 years, your income will depreciate by 68%. This is why you need two pools of income for retirement, one for income now and another for income later. The key is in finding income-producing assets, particularly ones that are pegged or indexed for inflation. This can be done either actively (getting a part time job, buying a business, owning a rental property) or more passively (annuities and other similar investments). Formulate a plan that articulates where you are, where you're going and what needs to be done to start receiving the income you need.  
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    Retirement Readiness Scorecard - brianskrobonja.com/retirementreadinessscorecard/
    6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Ensure Your Money Will Last in Retirement - kiplinger.com/retirement/retirement-planning/603596/6-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-ensure-your-money-will-last

    • 10 min
    When A Pension Lump Sum Is Better Than An Annuity Payment

    When A Pension Lump Sum Is Better Than An Annuity Payment

    How do you pick between a lump sum payment from your pension and an annuity? A lot of that decision depends, but if you want to have control over your financial assets, a lump sum is often the better option. Find out when you should take a lump sum option instead of an annuity, why insurance is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, and how to ensure your family doesn’t lose out either way. 
    The choice between a pension annuity and a lump sum often comes down to which provides the greatest income, but that’s not the only factor you need to consider. We're seeing fewer and fewer pensions than we did 20 years ago because of the systemic issues with defined benefit programs. They are often replaced with defined contribution programs like 401(k)s. People used to retire at the age of 65 and could expect to live another 10 to 15 years on average. Today, people are retiring sooner and living longer than ever, and that is making the traditional approach to retirement unsustainable. Historically, pensions aimed for between 4.5% and 7.5% to calculate their projection of benefits. With interest rates being below that range for decades and with life expectancy being lower in the past, the math worked out, but that’s no longer the case. According to an article in the Daily News, nearly 1 million working and retired Americans are currently covered by pension plans that are in imminent danger of insolvency. Pensions are insured similarly to bank accounts by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), but according to Heritage.org, they found that for promised benefits of $24,000 a year, they're insured up to $12,870. The PBGC has the same problem as the FDIC. The FDIC has billions and reserves, but has exposure to trillions of dollars in bank accounts. The promise of insurance for both pensions and bank accounts is not mathematically supported. If the PBGC becomes insolvent, the promise goes from $12,870 down to about $1,500. If you are relying on an annuity payment from a pension, you're placing a lot of trust in the pension calculations. And if the calculations are off, there's not enough insurance to cover the loss. The alternative to the pension annuity, the lump sum payment, gives you much more control over the future of your finances. Not all pensions are destined to go broke, but the risk should be taken into consideration when constructing the income streams that will support you for the rest of your life. A lump sum payment gives you control over your financial assets. Your income needs can fluctuate in retirement and the control of the assets backing your income gives you flexibility to meet your income needs. In the event that you predecease your spouse, they gain control of the asset. Your heirs can also inherit the asset, which is not the case with a pension annuity. Not all pensions offer a lump sum offer. In that case, the goal is to move as much of it into your control as possible. A single life annuity option is often your highest monthly benefit and is the quickest way to get the most from the pension in the shortest period of time. The downside to electing this option is that it can leave your spouse with an income shortage, which is why your spouse will have to sign off on it. In that case, you should buy insurance either within the pension or outside of it. With insurance outside the pension, you would accept the single life benefit taking the highest annuity payment then pay a premium to an insurance contract to pay a lump sum to the surviving spouse or the children if you die. Inside the pension, you take the lower annuity amount to ensure your spouse continues to receive the benefit after your death. Buying insurance within a pension that has a cost of living adjustment also comes with additional costs which compound over time. For most people, this means you’re paying an ever increasing monthly premium for a decreasing benefit. It's critical that the type of policy you purchase and the amo

    • 11 min

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