15 episodes

Based upon the book, "Control Your Retirement Destiny," this podcast equips you with the knowledge you’ll need to avoid big mistakes while providing step-by-step instructions on how to align finances to support a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

Control Your Retirement Destiny Dana Anspach

    • Investing
    • 4.8, 20 Ratings

Based upon the book, "Control Your Retirement Destiny," this podcast equips you with the knowledge you’ll need to avoid big mistakes while providing step-by-step instructions on how to align finances to support a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

    Chapter 13 – “Estate Planning"

    Chapter 13 – “Estate Planning"

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers Chapter 13 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Estate Planning.”
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 13 – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that shows you how to align your finances for a smooth transition into retirement.
    In this podcast episode I cover the material in Chapter 13, on “Estate Planning.”
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And, if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
    -----
    Even if you have never been to an attorney or drawn up a will or a trust, you have probably still done some type of estate planning- and not even known that’s what you were doing. How could that be?
    If you have ever opened a bank account or named a beneficiary on a retirement account or life insurance policy, that’s estate planning. It’s a legal document that specifies where your assets go when you pass.
    For example, if you open an account titled jointly with a spouse, friend or child, when you pass, that account belongs to them. It doesn’t matter what your will says – the titling of that account overrides any other documentation.
    The same thing occurs with beneficiary designations on retirement accounts. The financial institution must disburse the funds to the beneficiaries you have listed – it doesn’t matter if you have a trust or will that says something else.
    Many people don’t know this. And it can get you in trouble. I saw this first-hand with George and Faye.
    George was referred to me shortly after Faye passed away from pancreatic cancer. This was a second marriage and Faye had two children from a previous marriage. When Faye was diagnosed, they had wisely visited an attorney and had a trust drawn up. Faye wanted 1/3 of her assets to go to each of her two children and 1/3 to George, so that is what the trust said.
    However, nearly all of Faye’s assets were in her company retirement plan. And Faye never changed the beneficiary designation on this plan to the trust. George was named as the beneficiary.
    Unfortunately, George and Faye thought the trust document would take care of this. They did not realize the trust has no legal authority over her retirement plan unless she took the next step of filing updated beneficiary paperwork.
    Now, George was in the awkward position of inheriting the entire account. Luckily, George is a good guy, and continues to honor Faye’s wishes by taking withdrawals and then sending the appropriate after-tax amounts to Faye’s children. However, this has unfortunate tax consequences for George, forcing some of his other income into higher tax rates.
    Overall though, this case has a happy ending because George is doing the right thing. But not everyone would.
    The type of estate planning error that happened to George and Faye could have been avoided if the estate planning had been coordinated with the financial planning. Many attorneys don’t ask clients for a detailed net worth statement. I’m not sure why. They should and they should look at the types of accounts that someone has so they can make recommendations that will work.
    An attorney can draft the best documents in the world, but if they don’t make sure the client follows through on all the other paperwork that is needed, those documents can become pretty ineffective.
    In this podcast, I’m going to cover a fe

    • 21 min
    Chapter 12 (Part 2) - “Interviewing Advisors and Avoiding Fraud"

    Chapter 12 (Part 2) - “Interviewing Advisors and Avoiding Fraud"

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers part 2 of Chapter 12 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Whom To Listen Too.” Part 2 covers "Interviewing Advisors and Avoiding Fraud."
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 12 (Part 2) – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. Fee-only means no commissions. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that shows you how to align your finances for a smooth transition into retirement.
    This podcast is an extension of the material in Chapter 12, on “Whom To Listen To”. I’ll be covering the topics of avoiding fraud and how to interview potential advisors.
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And, if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
    -----
    We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s too good to be true….” So why do we fall for fraud, over and over? I think I know the answer.
    To recognize if something is too good to be true, you must know what truth is in the first place. And when it comes to investing, a lot of people have no idea what is realistic and what is a fantasy.
    By the end of this podcast, you will not be one of those people. I’ve got several real-life stories to tell – stories about fraud and why people fell for it. You are about to learn what to watch out for. And as a side note – for the personal stories I tell I change names and details for privacy reasons. Although details are changed, the substance of each story is true.
    Let’s start with the biggest financial scam in U.S. history – what is known as the Bernie Madoff scam – a 65 billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. If you haven’t heard of him, Bernie Madoff was the former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market. Naturally when he started his own investment firm, people trusted him. His scheme came unraveled in December 2008 and many families lost their entire life savings.
    One of the men credited with bringing down Madoff’s scheme is Harry Markopolos. He tells his story with his co-author Frank Casey in their book called No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller.
    How did Harry Markopolos figure out Madoff’s scheme? Markopolos said, “As we know, markets go up and down, and Madoff’s only went up. He had very few down months. Only four percent of the months were down months. And that would be equivalent to a baseball player in the major leagues batting .960 for a year. Clearly impossible. You would suspect cheating immediately.”
    Maybe Markopolos would suspect cheating immediately, but would you? Harry Markopolos was in the investment business. He knew what is and is not possible. But what about the average person who walked into Bernie Madoff’s office and was told that they could consistently earn 12% returns each year? Any one of us in the investment business would walk out and head to the authorities. But the average investor? They think that sounds great and that someone has the magic formula to make it happen. They don’t know that they should suspect cheating immediately.
    How can you assess what is realistic and whether someone is lying? First, you must understand that safe investments earn low returns. If a proposed investment pays more than a money market fund or more than a one-year CD, than there is risk. If someone doesn’t explain those risks and tries to assure you that your money is completely safe, they aren’t telling the whole story. You also must know th

    • 20 min
    Chapter 12 (Part 1) - "Whom To Listen To"

    Chapter 12 (Part 1) - "Whom To Listen To"

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers part 1 of Chapter 12 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Whom To Listen Too.”
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 12 (Part 1) – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that covers the numerous decisions you need to make as you plan for a transition into retirement.
    This podcast covers the material in Chapter 12, on “Whom To Listen To”. Meaning, when you need financial advice, who can you turn to?
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
    -----
    Not everyone needs a financial advisor, but certainly everyone needs reliable financial advice. So where do you find it? That’s what I cover in this episode.
    There are three main places to find advice – the media, the product manufacturers, and the 250,000 to 350,000 people out there who go by the label “financial advisor.” I’m going to cover all three.
    First, the media.
    Early in my career in the mid 90’s, I had an experience that made me realize the impact of the media.
    A client called up one day, quite excited, and said, “Do you have municipal bonds?”
    “Yes,” I replied. “Why do you ask?”
    “Well,” she said, “they told me I need municipal bonds.”
    I was a bit confused, as I was her financial advisor, so I apprehensively said, “Do you mind telling me who ‘they’ are?”
    “Oh,” she said, “you know—the people on TV.”
    Municipal bonds provide interest that in most cases is free from federal taxes, and if the bond is issued by the state you live in, it may be free of state taxes too. That means municipal bonds can be a good choice for investors in high tax brackets who have investment money that is not inside retirement accounts.
    This client however, was in a low tax bracket and most of her money was inside her IRA. The TV host didn’t provide specifics—only an overview of municipal bonds and the fact that they paid tax-free interest. This woman heard “tax-free” and thought it must be something she should pursue.
    The media doesn’t know you. I don’t know you either.
    I get inquiries from strangers on a regular basis asking for advice. Most of the journalists and other media personalities I know experience the same thing. Someone emails us a few pieces of data and wants to know what to do. It’s hard, because we want to help. But we don’t want to guess.
    To feel comfortable giving financial advice, most of the time I need to do a thorough financial projection. To do it right, I need to know everything about someone’s financial life. Once I see the entire picture, I can answer a question about the particular puzzle piece someone is asking about.
    Today, the media encompasses both traditional venues, such as TV, radio and magazines, as well as numerous online mediums, like blogs and podcasts. In all forms of media, there are pay-to-play articles, spotlights and links.
    There is nothing wrong with the pay-to-play model, as long as it is disclosed. As a consumer, you just need to be aware that many things you see, such as certain top advisor lists, are put together because someone paid to be on the list. Many product endorsements in blogs are there because the blogger gets affiliate revenue, or advertising revenue.
    The other challenge with media advice is that, by nature, it is designed to

    • 21 min
    Chapter 11 – “Working Before & During Retirement - Your Human Capital”

    Chapter 11 – “Working Before & During Retirement - Your Human Capital”

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers Chapter 11 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Working Before & During Retirement - Your Human Capital.”
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 11 – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that covers the numerous decisions you need to make as you plan for a transition into retirement.
    This podcast covers the material in Chapter 11, on your human capital - your ability to earn a living.
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And, if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
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    What is the biggest asset you have? Most of you will likely answer your home, or maybe your IRA or 401k account. If you’re a business owner, perhaps it’s your business that comes to mind.
    This might be the correct answer, if you are about to retire, but what if you’re still 5 to 10 years away from retirement, or thinking about partial retirement? Your biggest asset could be your ability to earn income.
    This is what we call your Human Capital. Traditional financial planning often ignores this important and valuable asset.
    On Twitter, one podcaster who goes by the Twitter handle of “@ferventfinance” wrote that “95% of discussions, books, and articles on the topic of finances concentrate on budgeting, investing, and debt repayment. Yet, the one thing that will probably move the needle the most is increasing income.”
    People are often surprised when we show them that the value of their future earnings can be in the millions. Even part-time work can be worth a lot.
    Take the case of Marian, age 59. She works in IT with a stable job and a $140,000 per year salary that goes up with inflation like clockwork. To maintain affordable health care insurance, she plans to work to her 65th birthday. When you factor in the employer contributions to her retirement plan, and the health care benefits for her and her spouse, her remaining 6.5 years of work are worth a million dollars. Their total financial assets are $1.7 million, and their home equity is about $750,000. Her remaining human capital is a big asset. In percentage terms, it’s about 40% of their total net worth.
    You would not be quick to walk away from a million-dollar account. Yet, some people walk away from a job without realizing the value of that asset. Once you walk away, in many careers, it can be difficult to get back in at the same level.
    That means you want to give some thought to what retirement really means to you. For example, I have a client who is a CPA, in his mid-50’s, who asked me one day, “Dana, do you have clients who actually retire… and enjoy it?” He loves the business he has built and the challenges that come with growing a business. It’s hard for him to imagine getting up and not going to work each day.
    I chuckled when he asked this question. Because, yes, I have many clients who retire and enjoy it. And a few who retire and end up back at work within a year because they found it so unenjoyable. Before you retire, you have to give thought to what makes you tick.
    In this podcast episode, I’ll offer two different views on how you might think about, and use, your human capital. There is the “mercenary approach,” and the “thrive approach”. Then I’ll cover a few stories to help you figure out what retirement means to you. And I’ll wrap up wi

    • 19 min
    Chapter 10 – “Health Care”

    Chapter 10 – “Health Care”

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers Chapter 10 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Health Care.”
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 10 – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that provides a step by step plan on what to do as you transition into retirement.
    This podcast covers the material in Chapter 10, on managing health care costs in retirement.
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And, if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
    —————
    When it comes to health care costs in retirement, the media scares us with big numbers. One common statistic you see is the lump sum cost for health care for a couple age 65 and older.
    For example, the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate is frequently quoted by the media. It says an average retired couple, age 65 in 2018, will need approximately $280,000 saved (after taxes) to cover health care expenses in retirement. This sounds scary, but it is almost the same price tag that is quoted as the average cost to raise a child. Most parents don’t have $280,000 sitting in an account when they have a baby, yet they still manage. Health care costs are similar.
    Let’s look at these expenses annually instead of as a lump sum. $280,000 over 25 years is $11,200 per year, or $5,600 each. When you think of it this way, it becomes a manageable expense that you can plan for.
    However, this expense does not occur evenly, like a car payment. Instead, the expenses vary depending on what phase you are in. The more you understand what to expect, and how the expenses vary, the better of you’ll be.
    There are four key areas of planning for health care costs that I’ll cover in this podcast.
    First, Medicare, which begins at age 65 for most people.Second, the gap years, which occur if you retire prior to age 65 and don’t have any employer provided coverage to bridge the gap until age 65.Third, I’ll talk about one of my favorite savings vehicles, the Health Savings Account.And the last thing I’ll cover will be long term care costs.
    Let’s start with Medicare. If you’ve worked in the U.S. long enough to qualify (which is 10 years or 40 calendar quarters of covered work), then you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. Medicare has four parts; Parts A, B, C and D.
    Medicare Part A begins at age 65 and is free. Part A is the foundation of the Medicare program and is often referred to as hospital insurance.
    Medicare Part B is next, and it is not free. It covers additional services, some medical supplies and some preventative services. You pay a monthly premium for Part B. The amount is announced annually.
    In 2019, the basic Medicare Part B premium is $135 per month. However, this premium is means tested -so if you have a higher income, you may pay more. Those with the highest incomes pay $460 a month instead of the $135. I’ll cover this means testing in more detail in just a few minutes.
    Medicare Part D refers to prescription drug coverage that you can add to your basic Medicare Part A and B benefits. As with Medicare Part B, high-income folks pay more. In 2019, the base premium is $33 a month, and the highest income households pay $77 a month.
    If you add up what is covered in Parts A, B and D, you’ll find there are gaps in coverage. On average, Medicare covers about 50% of your total health care costs. Most p

    • 22 min
    Chapter 9 – "Real Estate and Mortgages"

    Chapter 9 – "Real Estate and Mortgages"

    In this episode, podcast host and author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”, Dana Anspach, covers Chapter 9 of the 2nd edition of the book titled, “Real Estate and Mortgages.”
    If you want to learn even more than what there is time to cover in the podcast series, you can find the book “Control Your Retirement Destiny” on Amazon.
    Or, if you are looking for a customized plan for your retirement, visit us at sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
     
    Chapter 9 – Podcast Script
    Hi, this is Dana Anspach. I’m the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, a fee-only financial planning firm. I’m also the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny, a book that covers the vast array of decisions you need to make as you plan for a transition into retirement.
    This podcast covers the material in Chapter 9, on real estate and mortgages.
    If you like what you hear today, go to Amazon and search for Control Your Retirement Destiny. And, if you are looking for a customized plan, visit sensiblemoney.com to see how we can help.
    —————
    It was about 2010, and I was having a conversation with a woman who I considered to be successful and intelligent. Suddenly she says, “Well, stocks are a much better investment than real estate, right? You’re a financial planner, so isn’t that what you tell your clients?”
    I was speechless.
    A good planner plans. Planning encompasses all aspects of one’s financial life, including real estate and mortgages. It would be irresponsible for a financial planner to make a statement such as “stocks are better than real estate.”
    Many financially independent people that I know accumulated their wealth through real estate. On the flip side, many people I know experienced bankruptcy and foreclosure by stretching their real estate investments TOO FAR. Real estate can be a profitable investment if you know what you are doing, and a disaster if you don’t.
    When nearing retirement, all aspects of your financial situation need to align toward a common goal: generating a reliable source of cash flow. That means real estate and mortgages need to be evaluated just as carefully as other items on your balance sheet.
    In this podcast, I’m gonna start by talking about your home and mortgage, and address one of the most common questions, which is, “Should you pay off your mortgage before retirement?” Then we’ll talk about home equity lines of credit and how to use them in retirement. And we’ll move on to discussing investment properties, and the last thing we’ll cover will be reverse mortgages.
    First, let’s talk about your home. Is it an investment? Meaning is it something you hope to make money on? Or is it a lifestyle choice - something you purchase for comfort and pleasure? Everyone has their own opinion on this. For most people, the answer lies somewhere between these two extremes.
    I rarely see people buy a personal residence solely because they think they can make money on it. Most of the time other factors like location, the type of neighborhood, and other personal lifestyle preferences have a big impact on a home purchase.
    Yet, when discussions about retirement start to happen, at that point, people often take a fresh look at their home as an asset.
    For many of you, a portion of the value of your home will need to become a part of your retirement income plan.
    If you know this ahead of time, you can put more thought into your next home purchase, how you finance it, and figure out how it fits into your plan.
    When I talk about fitting a home into your plan, I am not talking only about downsizing. There are other creative ways to think about your home and where you live.
    For example, you can choose a home that has ample access to public transportation, so you would not need a car on a daily basis. With services like Uber and Lyft, this option can work well today and result in a net sav

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

IHatezTix ,

Always helpful

Dana is pretty smart yet she communicates so down to Earth so us non-finance types can understand. She’s also been deeply engaged in all the facets of personal finance so she has the answers to literally everything. Toss in the fact she’s simply a nice person and the experience of working with Sensible is a pleasure, not a chore.

Samcully ,

Great Risk Analogy

Dana does a great job creating an easy to understand analogy between retirement and a road trip that is both informative and entertaining. Definitely gets you thinking about how well you’re planning for retirement!

Gariz1990 ,

Control Your Retirement Destiny

Effective, efficient, and compelling. Looking forward to the next episode!

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