217 episodes

Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/

Retirement Starts Today Radio Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP®

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 326 Ratings

Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ask-a-question/

    Six Month Social Security Mulligan [Rebroadcast]

    Six Month Social Security Mulligan [Rebroadcast]

    Deciding whether to delay filing for Social Security is a hefty decision. Waiting to collect Social Security until age 70 will increase your monthly benefit by 32%, but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t live long enough to reap the rewards of being patient. 
    In today’s retirement headlines segment, I’ll share an article written by Jeffrey Levine from Kitces.com that discusses a workaround to the seemingly all-or-nothing decision of whether to collect Social Security benefits at full retirement age or to delay filing until age 70. If this decision has been weighing heavily on your mind, you won’t want to miss this episode. 
    Outline of This Episode [1:22] If you are a do it yourself investor you are your own financial advisor [5:30] Retroactive payments are granted as a lump sum payment [7:03] Use the nudge strategy [9:00] Drawbacks to the 6-month nudge strategy [12:48] Using QLACs and MYGAs to enhance a bucket strategy DIY investors need plenty of tools in their retirement planning toolbox Jeffrey Levine, the author of Getting Comfortable Delaying Social Security with Six Month Reversible Delays, has a way of explaining complex financial concepts by breaking them into understandable bites. You can follow him on Twitter @CPAPlanner if you are looking for another go-to financial resource. 
    Although today’s retirement headline was written for financial advisors, it contains valuable information for the do-it-yourself investor. As a DIY investor, you need to recognize that you are your own financial advisor. Kitces.com offers a wealth of information and is one of my favorite retirement planning resources. 
    Nudging your Social Security claiming decision can lessen the worry of making the wrong choice The biggest question that you probably have about Social Security is how big will your benefit be? The answer hinges on two factors: your earnings history and when you choose to take your benefit. 
    By the time you get ready to retire, there isn’t anything you can do about your past earnings history, but you can control when you decide to collect your benefit. The longer you wait to collect, the larger your monthly check will be. Each year that you choose to wait your payment will increase by 8%. 
    With lifespans continually increasing it can make a lot of sense to delay filing for Social Security. However, not everyone will live long enough to reap the rewards of delaying their monthly benefit. 
    Many people see the decision to delay taking Social Security until age 70 as an all-or-nothing endeavor, but that is not the case. In fact, as Jeffrey Levine explains, this decision can actually be broken up into a series of 8 smaller decisions. 
    By using the strategy of nudging the decision forward every 6 months, you can break this seemingly all or nothing choice into 8 separate, independent, reversible decisions which will lessen the fear of an all or nothing approach.
    Challenges to using the every 6-month nudging approach As with every financial strategy, there are drawbacks to using the nudge approach every 6 months. The most obvious is that if you happen to die during your wait, you won’t be able to collect the benefits. The author makes an important side note for married couples to consider this drawback. Listen in to hear what it is. 
    Another downfall is that retroactive applications can reduce your lifelong benefits. Something else to consider is that if you file retroactively, you will receive retroactive benefits in a lump sum which could lead to a spike in your marginal tax rate for the year. 
    Breaking down the decision of when to claim your retirement benefits into many smaller, less drastic decisions can give peace of mind to the decision-maker especially when they understand that the decision is reversible. 
    Resources & People Mentioned Getting Comfortable Delaying Social Security with Six Month Reversible Delays Kitces.com Jeff Levine on Twitter @CPAPlanner Connect with our Spon

    • 19 min
    Do's and Don'ts for Your 7-Figure Retirement [Rebroadcast]

    Do's and Don'ts for Your 7-Figure Retirement [Rebroadcast]

    Do you wish that there was a list of what to do and what not to do in your retirement? I recently discovered an article from MorningStar.com written by Sheryl Rowling titled 8 Financial Do's and Don'ts for the 7-Figure Retirement, and I thought it would be perfect to share with my listeners. You'll learn several tips that you should consider when planning your retirement.
    After we analyze the article’s do’s and don’ts, we’ll turn to Debbie’s question about taking Social Security early in order to protect beneficiaries. 
    Outline of This Episode [1:42] 8 Financial Do's and Don'ts for the 7-Figure Retirement [4:11] Boredom is a 4 letter word in retirement [6:25] Don’t take Social Security too late [10:19] Don’t write checks to charity [12:07] Consult a financial professional [13:45] Should Debbie take Social Security early? 8 Financial tips for a successful retirement Don’t retire too early. Retiring too early can be detrimental to both your psyche and your savings. If you have to retire early or sooner than expected, make sure that you retire to something rather than away from something. Creating a purpose in retirement can ensure that you don’t get bored. Boredom is a four-letter word in retirement. 
    For every year that you retire early, you have one less year of savings and one more year of spending. Do the math to learn what that could mean for your portfolio.
    Do watch your taxable income level. This may sound odd, but it often makes sense to pay more taxes now in order to pay significantly less later. Retirement is one time in your life when you have control over the taxes you pay. Implementing careful tax planning strategies can save you over the course of your retirement.
    Don’t take Social Security too early or too late. When to take Social Security is a complex question, and the answers vary depending on the individual. It’s usually best to wait until full retirement age to start taking benefits and it’s often even better to delay until age 70 especially if you’re married. Listen in to hear what I usually recommend to my clients.
    Do consider Roth conversions. If you have the opportunity to convert your IRA to a Roth you should even though you must pay tax on the amount converted. Remember that since these are after-tax dollars, the income they provide is never taxed.
    Do consider retirement stages and safe withdrawal rates when determining your budget. Spending more in the early years of retirement makes sense as long as you consider several factors. You’ll need to ensure that you have a safety net in place and that you have a plan to reduce your spending over time or whenever the market becomes uncooperative.
    Don’t lock yourself into financial commitments or expensive payments. Long-term expenses like leasing a luxury car can lock you into financial commitments that you can’t free yourself from. Becoming the Bank of Mom and Dad can not only ruin your kids’ chances of financial independence, but it can also ruin your relationship and your own financial security in retirement. 
    Don’t write checks to charity. Instead of writing checks to charity, consider contributing appreciated stocks. This way of charitable giving can save you more in taxes. One way to utilize this strategy is by creating a donor-advised fund (DAF) which could be likened to a charitable IRA.
    Do consult a financial professional. Obviously, I agree with this tip. Consider consulting a CPA as well as a financial advisor so that you can ensure that you are considering every angle in your retirement plan.
    Resources & People Mentioned Boomer Benefits 8 Financial Do's and Don'ts for the 7-Figure Retirement Connect with Benjamin Brandt Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retiremeasap Subscribe to the newsletter: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on
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    • 19 min
    Special Announcement and What’s New for Medicare Open Enrollment

    Special Announcement and What’s New for Medicare Open Enrollment

    Have you been wondering how to best prepare for the end of the tax cuts coming up in 2026? One of our listeners is and they would like to know how Roth conversions should factor into planning for the end of those tax cuts. You might be surprised by my response to her question, so don’t miss out on the listener questions segment today to hear my answer.
    If you are Medicare aged you’ll want to pay attention to the Retirement Headlines segment today as we discuss Medicare’s open enrollment period. You’ll learn what changes to pay attention to and why. Make sure to press play to hear what you need to know about Medicare’s open enrollment period, how to plan for the tax cut sunset, and a special announcement regarding the show.
    Outline of This Episode [3:02] What’s new for Medicare open enrollment [8:52] How to prepare for the 2026 tax code changes Resources & People Mentioned What’s New for Open Enrollment from Investment News Retirement Repair Shop podcast with Mary Beth Franklin Medicare series with Danielle Roberts - Episodes 163, 164, 165, 166 Boomer Benefits on YouTube Connect with Benjamin Brandt Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retiremeasap Subscribe to the newsletter: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on
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    • 14 min
    I Bought My House at the Peak, Now I Regret It…

    I Bought My House at the Peak, Now I Regret It…

    What a difference 18 months makes in the housing market! Many who bought their homes at the peak of the real estate boom are beginning to regret their decision. A recent article from BuzzFeed tells stories of remorse experienced by several homeowners who are now in over their heads. 
    In this episode, we’ll explore the homeowners’ stories, and compare expert opinions. Finally, I’ll close the segment with my own thoughts. Make sure to stick around until the end to hear my observations about clients’ spending patterns once they reach retirement. 
    Outline of This Episode [1:22] Many who have bought a house in the past 2 years now regret it [5:39] Advice from different financial advisors [9:02] My takeaways [11:33] My interesting observations about clients’ spending patterns Resources & People Mentioned BuzzFeed article Connect with Benjamin Brandt Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retiremeasap Subscribe to the newsletter: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on
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    • 15 min
    2023 Changes to Social Security Benefits

    2023 Changes to Social Security Benefits

    There’s big news in the world of retirement. The news is so big that we have 2 articles from mainstream media sources to check out in this week’s retirement headlines segment. If you’ve been wondering how inflation will affect Social Security benefits you won’t want to miss out on this episode. 
    Stick around for the listener questions segment to hear how to transition from biweekly paychecks to monthly portfolio withdrawals in retirement. This transition is trickier than you might think, so you won’t want to miss my tips for making the adjustment.
    Outline of This Episode [2:02] The average Social Security beneficiary will increase by $140 per month [4:52] What is COLA? [9:20] Will you get the increase if you delay filing for Social Security? [10:21] How to manage a monthly payday [13:54] How to get extra credit from your portfolio Resources & People Mentioned Social Security Benefits to Increase 8.7% in 2023 from ABC News Social Security Announces Biggest Benefit Hike Since 1981 from CBS News  Inflation Reduction Act on CBS news Connect with Benjamin Brandt Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retiremeasap Subscribe to the newsletter: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on
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    • 17 min
    The Father Of 4% Rule Doesn't Buy 3% Alternative

    The Father Of 4% Rule Doesn't Buy 3% Alternative

    Have you been wondering if the 4% rule still applies with a bear market and high inflation? Many financial pundits may have you questioning the validity of this so-called retirement rule of thumb. 
    In the retirement headlines segment, I share a recent article from Financial Advisor Magazine that highlights quotes from the creator of the 4% rule, William P. Bengen. After sharing the retirement headline, I’ll chime in with my own thoughts on the validity of the rule. 
    Stick around until the end of the episode to hear whether Social Security benefits increase each month that you delay filing until age 70 or each year. 
    Outline of This Episode [1:52] William Bengen doesn’t believe that it is necessary to adjust spending to 3% [5:24] Where the 4% rule is helpful [9:20] Do Social Security benefits increase each month you delay filing until age 70, or each year? Resources & People Mentioned The Father Of ‘4% Rule' Doesn't Buy 3% Alternative Delayed Social Security Planner Connect with Benjamin Brandt Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: http://retirementstartstodayradio.com/ Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/retiremeasa Subscribe to the newsletter: https://retirementstartstodayradio.com/newsletter

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
326 Ratings

326 Ratings

Pops Frost ,

Job well done!!

Love the down to earth information and advice you provide. As a fiduciary financial advisor, I tend to agree with most all your viewpoints as well as learn new things. I wish you continued success on this and your other podcast with the CPA. Job well done! Also, thanks for the book, it was great!

Jem of a find ,

This is a jem

While there seems to be a thousand retirement advice podcasts, this one stands out. Drops early every Monday and is about 15 minutes. He tackles one point and some listener questions. Therefore, you really get the point
I look forward to this podcast each and every week. Give it a try!

Archaic app ,

Trustworthy source

Great show, very useful information and great advice. Benjamin is a calming voice in these hectic times. Highly recommend this podcast.

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