123 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.

Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.

Common Sense Financial Podcast Brian Skrobonja

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 23 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.

Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.

    Tax Deferred to Tax Free: Navigating Taxes in Retirement - Replay

    Tax Deferred to Tax Free: Navigating Taxes in Retirement - Replay

    In this milestone 100th episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja delves into the critical topic of managing taxes in retirement. The episode focuses on strategies for minimizing tax liabilities, especially for retirees with tax-deferred accounts facing potential hefty tax bills.
    Brian emphasizes the importance of sustainable income creation during retirement and the role of tax optimization in this process.
    Most people envision their retirement to be built from predominantly tax-free income, but after many years of deferring taxes, retirees are facing a sizable tax bill on distributions taken from their retirement accounts that could be a third or more of what has been accumulated. When you’re saving for retirement, growth of your assets is the priority. But many people don’t realize that once they retire that’s no longer true. The priority is actually creating sustainable income to support you through retirement while minimizing taxes. A common issue I’ve seen is future retirees knowing they will owe taxes on their deferred accounts, but not realizing the extent of the problem since the rules change once they retire. Many retirees we work with tend to have the same income goals in retirement, yet with fewer deductions. They no longer have children or mortgage interest to help them offset their tax burdens, which makes the situation more complex. Delaying distributions isn’t an option either. Required Minimum Distributions will eventually force your hand. There are two tax problems facing retirees: taxes you will have to contend with today, and taxes that you will have to contend with in the future. With the national deficit continuing to rise, do you expect tax rates to go down in the future or go up? The most likely answer is that tax rates are on the rise, so we should be planning accordingly. There are two possibilities to help minimize the level at which you participate in paying your fair share towards the government's future revenue increases. You can either complete a Roth conversion or through tax deferred withdrawals contribute to an overfunded permanent life insurance policy. Making the decision of which strategy to implement is the easy part. The trick really is completing this process with minimal tax liabilities, which requires specialized knowledge. The progressive nature of the code makes understanding your tax burden complicated and miscalculating this could result in having a larger tax liability than anticipated. Depending on your income level, a taxable distribution can subject your Social Security to additional taxes. This is a separate calculation from the income tax brackets and uses a two step process to determine how much of your social security will be subject to taxation. This is important to know because a taxable distribution may not only push you into a higher income tax bracket, but it could trigger additional taxes on your social security, which could result in a higher effective rate. You should also be aware of the impact a taxable distribution can have on Medicare premiums. The impact of any possible premium increase is typically delayed by two years. This is one of those things that often comes as a surprise when people make decisions about distributions. The antidote to taxable income is deductions, credits and losses which can help reduce the net income subject to tax. There are a few options that can help offset the burden of taxes and make the transition from tax-deferred to tax-free easier, but they don’t work for everyone, which is why we recommend working with a professional. The first thing is a donor advised fund or DAF. This allows you to contribute future charitable donations into a fund that you control when distributions are made that can also receive the tax benefit of the donation in the year you make the contribution into the fund. By making multiple years of donations in a single year into that fund, you have the potential of help

    • 17 min
    Are You Prepared for the Evolution of Retirement? - Replay

    Are You Prepared for the Evolution of Retirement? - Replay

    In this podcast episode, Brian Skrobonja takes us on a thought-provoking journey through the evolving concept of retirement. As we dive into the past, present, and future of retirement, Brian helps us unravel the complexities of this modern-day concept which, though deeply ingrained in our society, is relatively new in human history.
    This episode is essential for anyone planning for retirement, offering a fresh perspective on how to approach this significant life stage in the context of rapid societal shifts, economic developments, and increasing human longevity.
    We start off by exploring the concept of retirement and its transformation from ancient societies to the modern era. The Industrial Revolution marked a significant shift from agrarian societies to industrial ones, influencing how people viewed work and retirement. It even shaped the way that families and communities lived together. The change in how work was done over the centuries resulted in the creation of a retirement system based on pensions, which was the precursor to modern-day retirement benefits. In the 1900’s, Social Security was introduced which shifted the responsibility from families and communities onto the government. In a relatively short period of time, the concept of retirement has changed drastically, and the pace of change is continuing to accelerate. Based on the way technology and healthcare are developing, it’s very likely that retirement will look very different in the future as well. As the Baby Boomer generation progresses toward retirement, it will put tremendous strain on programs like Social Security and Medicare due to a considerably lower worker-to-retiree ratio than ever before in history. The programs and retirement paradigm will change, similar to the way that pensions underwent change. Pensions used to be the default vehicle for retirement but have become scarce and relegated, mainly for those with government jobs. According to the Social Security Administration, benefits are projected to run negative by 2033. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt is projected to reach $52 trillion in 2033. Life expectancy also continues to rise, which puts pressure on the current retirement paradigm from another angle. With new breakthroughs in human longevity, the concept of retirement will have to adapt. Retirement was once considered a necessary transition when a person was no longer productive in their work and had a short life expectancy once retired. Today, people retire when they're still fully capable of working. That reality is widening the chasm between the number of workers and retirees, as well as the financial resources needed to sustain retirement for longer periods of time. Retirement needs to be redefined, since the reality of shorter lifespans is no longer the case for most people. There are three factors that contribute to success in retirement. The first is contribution. The longer you contribute, the better. Perhaps redefining expectations after the age of 60 and looking toward a second half of life with a meaningful career or business may be called for. The second is prevention. The longer your retirement is, the more risks are amplified and can have a significant impact. Finding ways to move things into your control helps prevent unforeseen problems that put your retirement at risk. Examples of this include: insurance, annuities, and tax-free investments. The third is delegation. Retirement planning is a team sport. You can delegate the heavy lifting of a retirement plan to financial advisors, attorneys, insurance agents and CPAs and then use that collective wisdom to implement the actual plan.  
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    BrianSkrobonja.com
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube 
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify
     
    References for this episode:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/interactive/2023/aging-america-retirees-workforce-economy/
    https://www.ssa.go

    • 16 min
    The Three Retirement Mindsets That Could Have A Negative Impact On Your Retirement Plans

    The Three Retirement Mindsets That Could Have A Negative Impact On Your Retirement Plans

    In this episode, Brian Skrobonja goes over the three main retirement mindsets that could negatively impact your retirement plans.
    He sheds light on what most retirees get wrong about retirement planning, why being confident doesn’t eliminate investment risks, and what to consider when hiring a financial planner.
    Brian goes over three retirement mindsets that have the potential to derail even the best-laid retirement plans. He starts by explaining that there is more to the conversation around retirement than just having a permanent vacation. Retirement is not a destination; it’s a transition into a new stage of life. The different mindsets you need when saving money and growing a nest egg versus spending and withdrawing money from your retirement accounts. Mindset #1 - The Idea That Annuities Are Bad. For Brian, retirement is about having a steady stream of income you can rely on no matter what Wall Street throws your way. Brian reveals that most retirees want consistency and predictability in retirement--they want to know exactly how much money they have coming in each month. Annuities are designed specifically to deliver this predictability and remove guesswork out of producing income for retirement. Remember, stock market risks are real and they don’t disappear just because an investor is optimistic about what could potentially happen. Mindset #2 - The idea of the status quo of the stock market in retirement. Some people believe that a well-diversified portfolio will predictably turn out enough profit to sustain them throughout retirement. According to Brian, what is missing from this ideology is that the market doesn't go up in a straight line. If you experience a 50% loss, 50% in earnings will not get you back to even; you need 100%. And if you're making withdrawals, that only compounds the problem. Brian reveals why the stock market is a great tool for wealth creation--but only if you allow the money to grow and aren't making withdrawals for income purposes. Mindset #3 - Fee anchoring. What is a fee anchor? It's the amount someone has in their mind for what they should pay for financial related advice. When considering a fee for an advisor, it's important to understand that it’s less about the fee and more about what you're getting in return. A fee is only an issue when there is a vacuum of value. For Brian, if you try to get an advisor to cut their fees, the more experienced and valued advisors will not take you as a client. Brian explains why finding the right advisor can be invaluable, especially when it comes to navigating complex financial products like annuities, private markets, or selling a business. Fees are important and you should understand them, but Brian encourages people to not use them as the primary consideration for making a decision.  
    Mentioned in this episode:
    BrianSkrobonja.com
    SkrobonjaFinancial.com
    SkrobonjaWealth.com
    BUILDbanking.com
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube 
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify
     
     
    Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS.
    Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
    The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states

    • 19 min
    My Story - Replay

    My Story - Replay

    In this podcast episode, Brian shares his remarkable journey from his parents' middle-class immigrant background to achieving financial freedom through decades of learning and building businesses.
    He recounts his early aspiration for an opulent lifestyle and the pivotal moment when he realized the importance of creating income-producing assets. Through content creation, including three books and the Common Sense Financial Podcast, Brian's financial wisdom and expertise have garnered recognition and awards, providing valuable insights into wealth, financial freedom, and the pursuit of life's true riches.
    Join us as we explore Brian's wealth-building principles, the significance of faith, family, and relationships, and the pursuit of genuine financial freedom.
    It was over 30 years ago when Brian got started in business and he’s spent this time building his knowledge while building teams and companies. Brian begins by telling the story of his parents and how they came over from Croatia and lived a middle-class life. His father worked evenings and weekends as a lab engineer while also running a business on the side. His work ethic greatly inspired Brian as he grew up. As a teen, he always dreamed of having expensive things, but his only model for getting that done involved trading time for money, which is exactly what he did throughout his early 20’s. This led to him working harder to keep up with his increasingly expensive lifestyle. After doing it wrong for years, Brian had an epiphany where he realized he needed to create income-producing assets that would pay for his lifestyle. He set out to create a passive income stream to support his lifestyle and successfully accomplished it. That’s when his focus for what he was really trying to do for his clients came into clarity. Brian began producing content back in 2010. And out of that came three books: Common Sense, Generational Planning, and Retirement Planning, which can all be found on Amazon. This led to the beginning of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, which has since been recognized by Forbes as a top 10 podcast by financial advisors. Brian also became a regular contributor for Kiplinger magazine locally in St. Louis. He’s gone on to win numerous awards for his work. After 30 years of helping clients create the passive income they need to create real financial freedom, Brian regularly hears clients say that his process has really opened their eyes about how money works and how to think about wealth. In his personal life, Brian has been married to his wife Carrie for 30 years and has three kids, who have also grown up and had families of their own. Throughout their lives, Brian and his wife have taught their children two main things. First, most importantly, for them to pursue a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to live out their faith in their daily walk. Second to that, is to understand that a worthy pursuit in life is the things money can't buy: building relationships, investing, and creating memories and experiences with people that you love. A key lesson that took Brian a long time to figure out is that the pursuit of things never brings satisfaction. Real wealth is not found in things but in the freedom to live your life free from having to work for a paycheck or trade your time for money, which is another lesson he tries to impart to his kids as well as his clients.  
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    BrianSkrobonja.com
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube 
    Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify
    SkrobonjaFinancial.com
    SkrobonjaWealth.com
    BuildBanking.com
    Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja
    Generational Planning by Brian Skrobonja
    Retirement Planning: Have A Plan So You Can Live Your Life by Brian Skrobonja
     
     
    Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sol

    • 10 min
    The 5 Key Performance Indicators To Help Measure The Health Of Your Retirement Plan - Replay

    The 5 Key Performance Indicators To Help Measure The Health Of Your Retirement Plan - Replay

    In this episode we talk about the importance of using key performance indicators beyond just investment performance to gauge the health of one's retirement plan.
    There are five crucial data points that form the foundation of a successful retirement strategy: passive income, effective tax rate, cash flow ratio, banking capacity, and horizontal asset allocation. By focusing on these metrics, you can adopt a comprehensive approach to retirement planning that factors in various financial variables and bridges the gaps in your financial plan.
    Business owners use KPIs or key performance indicators to track and understand the health of their business and marketing efforts. Those planning for retirement should consider their retirement KPIs to help measure the health of their financial situation. People often make the mistake of substituting investment performance for more meaningful key performance indicators. ROI is not the only KPI you should be paying attention to. People often view their finances in silos and tend to make standalone decisions about what to do while leaving out other important variables concerning their situation, which can result in having gaps in their overall retirement plan design. For example, the stock market can go down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your plan should change. The flipside is also true: the market may be up, but that could mean you need to make adjustments. Knowing what KPIs to use and how to use them can help measure the health of your overall financial situation, not just track portfolio performance. A KPI is simply a collection of data points that helps provide a consistent method for measuring and monitoring the health of your retirement plan. In my experience, there are five key data points needed to measure the effectiveness of a retirement plan. The first is passive income. Income is an obvious component and the central theme of a retirement plan. Income is not growth of a share or unit of a particular investment. It is the income generated from the share or unit of an investment. If there is a retirement income gap of $5,000 each month, the goal of the retirement plan is to not simply cash out investments each month or spend down savings to meet the goal. It is to create passive income sources that can consistently provide the cash flow. Missing this point can be catastrophic to the longevity of a retirement plan. The second is the effective tax rate. Tax rates in the United States of America are progressive. The more you make, the higher the marginal rate is on portions of your income. Marginal rates have their place when filing a return or making decisions about asset positioning. The effective tax rate is a single rate that's calculated using the total taxes that are paid against the gross income. This percentage gives us a better overall understanding of the impact taxes are having on retirement income. If the retirement income gap is $5,000 each month and the effective tax rate is 30%, we can determine the additional amount of income required to cover the tax liabilities. The more tax mitigation techniques you incorporate into a retirement plan, the less pressure there is on your assets to generate additional income just to pay the tax. The third is cash flow ratio. People often define cash flow too narrowly and often exclude things like taxes, retirement savings and health insurance premiums, which leaves gaps in understanding. It is also important to know the ratio of income to bank payments, taxes, savings insurance, as well as fixed and variable expenses. It’s also important to know the earned income versus passive income ratio along with the number of different income sources you rely on to fund your lifestyle. The fourth is your banking capacity. When it comes to asset allocation, there is often the out-of-the-box structure where assets are divided up between investments and bank accounts. This approach oversimplifies a more complex situation and ove

    • 15 min
    Certificates of Deposit: What to Consider and How to Use Them - Replay

    Certificates of Deposit: What to Consider and How to Use Them - Replay

    In this episode on Certificates of Deposit (CDs) as investments, we talk about the nuanced decision-making involved in purchasing CDs and whether or not CDs are good investments, particularly in a rising interest rate environment, and we explain why interest rates are the only factor you need to consider.
    Wealth creation isn't solely dependent on CD rates, and we need to consider the impact of inflation and interest rates to gain a comprehensive financial perspective. The episode also explores how government strategies to combat inflation by adjusting interest rates impact not only investors, but also shape the attractiveness of CDs as an investment option.
    In a rising interest rate environment, buying CDs may seem like a good idea but it depends on your needs and goals. Wealth isn't created by buying a CD based on a rate. It's created by understanding why the rate may not be all that important. Banks look at what is known as the federal funds rate, also known as a benchmark rate. This is the rate banks charge one another to borrow money overnight that's needed to maintain reserve requirements. Upstream in the decision making process is the Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC, who meet throughout the year to discuss and set monetary policy. Within these policies, rates are set and typically linked to inflation. When those rates are set, banks may adjust rates on loans, deposits and certificates of deposit. But just like any business, banks will adjust rates to compete in their market as they seek to cover their costs and maintain a profit. CDs specifically are an attractive tool for banks, because unlike a deposit account, CDs actually lock up customers with a maturity date, which gives banks better control of their cash flow. The higher rates draw in customers seeking to maximize their returns. Rates on CDs matter, but not as much when you factor in inflation and interest rates. If inflation is at 7% and interest rates are at 5%, the net is 2%. The same is true if inflation is at 0% and interest rates are at 2%. You have to look at both numbers to get a full picture. When you consider the gridlock within the housing market and the amount of debt our government holds, it's hard to believe rates can remain elevated over the long term. The government is desperately trying to combat inflation by raising rates. These higher rates not only impact consumers, but they also impact the government. According to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, in June of 2023, they projected that annual net interest costs on the federal debt would total $663 billion in 2023 and almost double over the next decade. Interest payments would total around $71 trillion over the next 30 years, taking up to 35% of all federal revenue by 2053. These numbers are impacted by interest rates and with lower rates come lower interest payments, so the government has reasons to see rates lower than they currently are. The question is: Does it make sense to lock in CD rates while rates are high? It depends. If you have money sitting in a bank account that you don't need and the CD rate is offering a higher rate than your savings, then it might be a good option. A good idea is to compare CD rates to other options like fixed annuities and money markets since they share some similarities but also have a few key differences that could make one choice better for your situation. Certificates of Deposit are offered by banks as a savings account that offers a fixed interest rate over a specified period of time, ranging from one month up to five years. They carry penalties if funds are removed before maturity, and they're FDIC insured up to $250,000. Fixed Rate annuities are issued by insurance companies and are financial products that offer a fixed interest rate over a specified period of time. Early withdrawals can incur a penalty, and interest earnings are tax deferred until you start taking distributions. The guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Fiveyellowstars ,

More than wealth management

This is a great podcast that goes beyond great wealth management and financial planning strategy to give insights into performance, mindset, relationships, and life. I’m impressed with the quality of guests Brian occasionally brings on the podcast.

paulcolligan.com ,

Common Sense Financials - What A Pleasant Change

There’s a reason Forbes rated this a Top 10 Podcast. Brian’s ability to cut to the chase is what makes this Podcast such a pleasant change from all of the rest. Money is what Brian does, and you can tell he does it well.

Adcmoneytree ,

Just an advertisement

This podcast is literally just Brian trying to sell you on his services. He keeps talking about how he can make you rich by teaching you his system but really this system is just how he gets rich.

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