44 episodes

The Financial Independence and Retirement show dedicated to helping you build the life of your dreams, as fast as possible, with as little stress as possible

Leibel on FIRE Leibel Sternbach, EA & Freddie Bell

    • Education

The Financial Independence and Retirement show dedicated to helping you build the life of your dreams, as fast as possible, with as little stress as possible

    How To Protect Against Market Volatility

    How To Protect Against Market Volatility

    What's Up With The Volatility?
    The big question on everyone's mind today is what's up with the volatility, will it get worse? Are we nearing a turning point...how much longer can it all continue? Here are my quick takes and some tips on what you can do protect yourself.

    First, let's get the big question out of the way, the current volatility is likely to continue! This is due to several unresolved issues. The first is this ongoing tug of war between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street. Second, we have the recent developments in Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and the activity in the banking sector as a whole. This has helped to solidify the markets messaging, but the direction in which the market will ultimately move remains uncertain. While there may be a reduction in volatility, many experts still predicts a bumpy road ahead.

    Unforeseen events such as bank failures or fallout from the crypto market could still have a significant impact on the market. In addition, there are many unknowns in the data, as highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the challenges faced by the Federal Reserve in collecting accurate data.

    Due to the flawed nature of the data being used to make decisions about the economy, uncertainty about the future is likely to persist. This creates opportunities for savvy investors to make gains in a volatile market.

    Volatility Likely to Continue for The Next 6-Months
    At Yields for You, we believe that the current volatility will remain for at least the next six months. . However, even once the market quiets, we do not believe that the market will return to the historic bull market of the last 14 years. Instead, the market is likely to move sideways or experience a downward trend for an extended period of time.

    Many analysts are predicting a modest return of only three to five percent over the next decade. This forecast has serious implications for those who have been relying on the market's historical average of nine percent return to fund their retirement.

    While some sectors, such as defense spending, may outperform, a broad-based buy-and-hold strategy is unlikely to yield significant returns in the coming years. This presents an opportunity for investors to reevaluate their portfolio, rebalance, and take advantage of market volatility.

    Beware of Buying The Dip
    However, for retirees, simply buying the dip is not a viable option. Rather, it is essential to create an income plan that minimizes the risk of taking money out of the market at the wrong time. In addition, retirees must ensure that their investments are growing and will be available when needed.

    Traditional strategies such as dollar cost averaging and buying the dip are unlikely to work in the current market environment. Retirees need to develop new skills and adopt new strategies that are specifically designed for retirement.

    Furthermore, retirees must be mindful of inflation, which disproportionately affects them due to their unique expenses. Bank CDs and IBonds, while providing risk-free growth, may not keep pace with inflation and can result in retirees losing money.

    In summary, the current market conditions call for a proactive approach to retirement planning. Retirees must adapt to the new reality of lower returns and higher inflation, and develop income plans and investment strategies that are specifically tailored to their needs.

    How to Combat Inflation
    Retirees must confront the unrelenting force of inflation, which shows no signs of capping any time soon. While individuals may exercise some control over inflation through their spending habits, it remains largely beyond their sphere of influence.

    Rather than attempting to control inflation, retirees should focus on investing aggressively to beat it, without risking their financial security. This means devising an investment strategy suited to the current market conditions, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach like buy and hold. It also mea

    Silicon Valley Bank and Your Retirement Accounts

    Silicon Valley Bank and Your Retirement Accounts

    What happened with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and what does it mean for our retirement?

    What happened with Silicon Valley Bank?
    Silicon Valley Bank, a niche bank that focuses on the tech sector and funds startups in Silicon Valley, found itself in an unexpected situation. They were so successful at helping the startup community and that people were just throwing money at them left and right, that they, the traditional business model for banks of, loaning money out and making money that way was something that just wasn't really viable for them because, As much money as they wanted to loan out, they had more deposits.

    As a result, the bank found themselves in a bit of a pickle.

    As a bank, their primary job was to make money, and they began looking for alternative ways to do so. And they went with the most conservative investment they could find...United States Treasuries. A lot like many retirees today. Rates are attractive and if held to maturity they won't lose value.

    Of course, the key word is held to maturity!

    Banks like retirees are not in full control of their assets.

    Due to regulations the bank was forced to sell some of their conservative investments at a loss, even though they would have been fine if they had held onto them. And so the real tragedy is that they were forced to sell by the government to sell their investments at the wrong time, at a price that was disadvantageous for them.

    Required Minimum Distributions Are The SVB of Retirement
     I find the parallels between what happened with Silicon Valley Bank and what happens with so many retirees, what I believe to be the biggest risk in retirement, which.Being forced to sell our assets at the wrong time. I find the parallels uncanny in their similarities. Silicon Valley Bank they had these assets, they had really low risk. They were investing in treasuries, right? Really low risk. It was basically the equivalent of a bank CD except from the United States government.And it's right, it's princip that you pro protected. You're not gonna lose your money and you're gonna get interest, right? What's not to like about it? Other than the fact that if you need to sell it before it reaches maturity, then you are subject to interest rate risk, right? You are subject to the whims of the market, and that's what happens at the Silicon Valley Bank.They had. They had investments that were too conservative for the market, and the market was like we can get better rates elsewhere, so you're gonna sell it at a loss. And the same thing could happen to us in retirement. In retirement, the IRS comes along and says we've got required minimum distributions, right?You have to take money out of your retirement accounts, and we decide how much you have to take out and when you have to. Like the banking regulations for Silicon Valley Bank that said, you need to have liquidity on hand to cover your depositors, and if you don't, you're going to have to sell assets to raise the cash.I see that as being, the same. And so what happened was, Just like the IRS comes to of retiree and says you gotta pay taxes. You gotta take money on your retirement account and pay taxes.  Doesn't matter that the market's down, doesn't matter that it's the wrong time.Doesn't matter that if you just held on six more months, you would be fine. And you'd be able to pay it and you'd be, your retirement would be fine. No, you have to sell it today. You have to pay those taxes today. And if you don't, we're gonna penalize you. In the case of Silicon Valley Bank they took them over.They forced them to sell it at a loss, and then they took them over and put them out of business. In retirement, we don't want to be put out of business, and so we need to make sure that we're never in a position where the I R S comes to us and says, you have to take this money out of your account and liquidate it and pay taxes on it even though it will hurt your retirement.And I think that they're like, the parallels are

    How to Not Run Out of Money in Retirement

    How to Not Run Out of Money in Retirement

    One of the big questions we all have in retirement is, do we have enough money to retire? And how do we ensure that it lasts? Join us as we walk through how to answer these important questions in this week's episode of Leibel on FIRE!

    Why is it that it seems like every advisor has a different answer?
    Shouldn't there just be. One answer one size fits most isn't retirement planning, isn't it just math? How is it that every advisor can seem to give a different answer?


    When, you go to school to become an accountant, you'd like to think that every CPA learns the same material and that they have the same abilities, but anyone who has worked with multiple accountants can tell you...that simply isn't the case. Some are better than others. Often by wide margins.Some are more creative than others. Some are more knowledgeable than others. And when it comes to financial planning, where there are infinity more moving pieces than a tax return...isn't it a wonder that there is so much variance in ability.

    Compounding the issue, we have an unknowable future! Will inflation continue? Will inflation be high? Will inflation be low? Will the stock market, return the same, nine 10% that it has historically done, at least in the United States, or is it gonna reduce, will you know? You got all kinds of questions. And the thing is, when it comes to financial planning, the answers to those questions are extremely important.And so everyone has their own perception. They've got their own filter, their own lens that they look through the world at. And when it comes to the question of, should you take social security early or late? What's happening in the market? What should you do? What should you know? Do you have even enough money saved for retirement? Those questions require a little bit of an art artist touch in answer.

    Since we don't know what the future holds. Because there is no magical formula that we can plug-in and know the future. If there was a way to know the future, we would all be really wealthy. Oh but the future is unknown.And because it's unknown, we have to do the best that we can to protect ourselves and create a plan that, a plan really to, hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Every financial advisor has their own approach, they have their own take, they have their own solutions. Some are better at different stages in life than others. So it is no wonder why every financial advisor, every media outlet, every article you read seems to have a different answer, it is because there are lots of different answers and everyone's trying to figure out what the answer is and only time will tell time. Time and some good planning to help protect against being wrong.

    How to Have Confidence In Your Financial Strategy
    All this doubt and uncertainty of the future begs the question, "how do you have confidence?" How do you create a plan that doesn't keep you up at night, tossing and turning, wondering if you will run out of money in retirement?

    The way I like to approach this problem of confidence, is through overwhelming firepower! I am a firm believer that no matter the financial decision, the choice needs to be obvious! It needs to be so overwhelmingly obvious that you feel like there is no other answer. And that's when you know that you have the right answer. That's when you have confidence in your financial decisions. The way we achieve this nirvana, is by sitting down and creating a plan. The plan needs to say, this is what we have a reasonable belief that our expenses are gonna be, what we're gonna do, and what the results of that are gonna be.

    Your plan needs to anticipate, what if we're wrong! How do we protect ourselves? Think of your plan like an onion. You want to have layers of protection, so that no matter how wrong you are or how many things you missed, that your plan is still going to protect you.

    Protect The EssentialsYou need to know that you're still gonna have a roof over your head, you're gonna have food

    • 2 min
    More In The Bank or Bigger Social Security Check?

    More In The Bank or Bigger Social Security Check?

    More In The Bank or Bigger Social Security Check?
    When planning for retirement, one of the biggest concerns is having enough money to support oneself during the golden years. People often wonder whether it's better to have a large bank account or rely on a guaranteed income, such as a social security check, for a secure retirement.

    However, in my option, the real question you should be asking is not which option is better, but rather which one will give you the life you want.

    Having a large bank account can give you a sense of control over your finances, while a guaranteed income can provide peace of mind knowing that you will receive a set amount of money each month.

    Ultimately, both options will need to be converted into an income stream in retirement. Whether you trust the government to provide inflation-adjusted social security benefits or prefer to rely on a private insurance company, the important thing is to consider how you will turn your savings into a reliable income source.

    Of course, the answer to this question will vary depending on each individual's unique circumstances and preferences. Some people may prefer the security of a guaranteed income, while others may prefer the flexibility and control that comes with having a large bank account.

    In the end, the most important thing is to carefully consider your options and make a decision that aligns with your personal goals and values. Whether you choose to rely on a guaranteed income, build up your savings, or some combination of both, the key is to have a plan in place that will help you enjoy a happy and fulfilling retirement.

    File Early or File Late? Which Is The Right Option?
    The first step is to determine what you want to accomplish and how much money they need to achieve those goals. I work with each client to determine their concerns and aspirations, and then we create a plan to make those dreams a reality. I have enough tools in my toolbox to help most people achieve their retirement goals, regardless of their financial resources.

    I always tell my clients that I don't have all the answers, but I have the experience and expertise to run the numbers and analyze their financial situation. Together, we go through the analysis from start to finish, which will tell us what decisions we need to make.

    The goal is to make the decisions so simple that they smack you in the face as being the right choice. We will determine when to file for social security, which accounts to use, and where to take the money from, so the client can retire with peace of mind.

    Is The Filing Decision Always Obvious?
    Most people are very aware, but what's interesting is that as people have more money the decision actually gets harder. Let me explain. When you stop working? You have time on your hands and you want to do things with We need more money in retirement than we anticipate.

    Now, most people know the areas that they don't know...and that's why they seek out a financial advisor, to help them address those questions. In answering those questions though, we may uncover false assumptions or myths and misconceptions that may actually be holding us back from maximizing our retirement resources.

    Let me give you an example,

    One client I worked with had two million dollars in his accounts, but was paying tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes because he was trading in the wrong accounts. By making some simple adjustments, he could have saved a significant amount of money. These kinds of financial considerations can also impact decisions about filing for social security.

    As a financial advisor, it is my job to help people understand and address these fundamental questions and considerations in order to make informed decisions about their financial futures. By doing so, we can uncover new opportunities and ensure financial stability and success throughout retirement.

    Which Accounts Should You Spend Down First?
     In planning for retirement, there are various strategie

    • 15 min
    File Early or File Late - The "Big" Social Security Question

    File Early or File Late - The "Big" Social Security Question

    Should you delay filing for Social Security or claim early, discover the surprising answer that trips most retirees up and can get you up to 175% more in benefits.

    Can You Really Increase Your Social Security Benefits by 175%?
    Yes! You absolutely can. In fact, if you don't believe me go to the social security website, pull up your statement and look on the bottom left of it. It has a whole list of all the people who can get benefits under your work history. And on there it says the maximum family benefit, which is 175%. Of your social security. So there are all these people, which includes your spouse, your surviving spouse, children, parents. There's a long list of people who can get paid on your work history.

    Once you start factoring in those other "family" benefits, it can really start adding up. And no, you don't have to be dead in order for most of them to claim these benefits!

    Isn't Delaying The Only Way to Increase Social Security Benefits?
    If you read any financial magazine or newspaper it would be easy to believe that delaying benefits is the only way to increase your social security check...but that simply isn't the case. And while simple statement sound great, and they make for great click bait headlines...the truth is that maximizing your social security check is about so much more.

    It isn't about "delaying as long as possible," or your "break-even" point, or auntie IRMMA. All those thing make great headlines, but they have nothing to do with your reality. This is what I tell every single person. Unless you're single, unmarried, and don't have kids, delaying social security benefits is probably not your best option. And even if you're single unmarried it still might not be your best option.In fact, I just told a couple this morning to both file early, even though it reduce their benefits by a significant amount. I told them to take early because it would take the pressure off of their portfolio, and would make their retirement last so much longer.And in fact, it added something like a million dollars to their retirement savings over the next 20 years just by taking social Security early. So the answer is really different for everyone, and you really, you gotta map it out to find out what is the ideal filing age for both you and your spouse.

    What About "File & Suspend?"
    It used to be you had your social security benefits, and you also could get benefits under someone else's benefits, such as your spouse. You were also able to tell Social Security, Hey, listen, I'm gonna claim my spousal benefits, but I want my personal benefits to continue to delay and accrue deferral credits. Allowing both spouses to max out their benefits.

    ...But congress took this benefit away in what I call a "stealth tax."  Congress created a rule called the "deemed filing" rule.This rule, ostensibly was to close the loophole of all these people who are taking advantage of the social security system and doing things like this file and suspend. When in reality what they did was take away benefits that you earned.Now, the only way they can get those spousal benefits is if both you and your spouse file for social security. So now, the breadwinner needs to figure out when do they file, and then the secondary spouse, the one who was, staying at home with the kids who didn't have that big grade income. They really need to figure out whether to file, file early or file late. And so this becomes a huge calculus that you gotta think about is not just, my benefits when I'm living, but my benefits when I die. And the benefits of my children, or my dependent parents who can also claim on my social security. And oftentimes, claiming a little bit early will end up actually getting you more lifetime money than if you delay and get a a bigger personal check.

    The Simple Solution to Social Security
    Creating a successful retirement plan is not as simple as plugging numbers into a computer program. While there are tools available that claim to do just

    • 15 min
    Mortgages and Retirement...Should You Pay It Off Early?

    Mortgages and Retirement...Should You Pay It Off Early?

    Are you a homeowner who's ever wondered if you should be putting extra money toward paying down your mortgage? Well, you're in luck because, in this article, we're diving into the world of mortgages.

    As a homeowner, the question of whether to pay off your mortgage is a common one. And in today's economic climate, it's more important than ever to make an informed decision.

    But the truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In fact, the answer that might have been right for the last 20 years may not be the right one for you now. The math behind paying off your mortgage is complex, and it's highly dependent on a variety of factors such as your interest rate, your personal financial situation, and your long-term goals.

    So in this article, we're going to dive into the details of paying off your mortgage. We'll explore the pros and cons of making extra payments, discuss the impact of interest rates, and offer some tips on how to make the most of your mortgage payments. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of your options and be equipped to make an informed decision about how to manage your mortgage. So let's get started!

    Reasons To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early
    There are two reasons for paying off your mortgage early. The first reason is simply the peace of mind that comes with owning your home outright, and the second reason is to pay less interest on your mortgage.

    By paying extra principal on your mortgage, you can pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule.

    A Better Option...
    However, before you jump head-first into paying off your mortgage early, you should consider something called arbitrage. Arbitrage is taking advantage of a mismatch in pricing.

    In this case, it might mean instead of paying off your principal, investing that extra money in the market and using the returns to pay off your mortgage. This can be a good strategy if your mortgage interest rate is low, as you can potentially earn a higher return in the market. However, if your interest rate is high, investing in the market may not make sense. It's important to consider the math and the long-term trends of the market before deciding whether to pay off your mortgage early or invest in the market.

    The Simple Answer...
    When it comes to the question of whether or not to pay off your mortgage early, the answer is not a simple one. Personal finance is just that, personal, and what works for one individual may not work for another. The decision to pay off a mortgage early or not should be made on a case-by-case basis, considering both financial and non-financial factors.

    First and foremost, it's important to consider the non-financial aspect of the decision. As financial expert Dave Ramsey suggests, ask yourself, "Does it make you sleep better at night? Does it give you a certain amount of satisfaction?" If the answer is yes, then the decision to pay off your mortgage early may be worth it, even if it may not be the most financially beneficial option.

    For some people, the peace of mind that comes with not having a mortgage payment can be invaluable. Knowing that they own their home outright and no longer owe monthly payments to the bank can be a significant relief. It's a personal decision that can provide a sense of accomplishment and pride, as well as the added benefit of freeing up cash flow for other financial goals.

    However, it's important to note that the decision should not be based solely on non-financial factors. The financial implications of paying off a mortgage early can be significant and should also be considered. In some cases, it may not make sense to pay off a mortgage early if the interest rate is low, and the funds could be better invested elsewhere.

    Ultimately, the decision to pay off a mortgage early or not should be made after careful consideration of both financial and non-financial factors. It's important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks and make a decision that aligns with your

    • 15 min

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