34 episodes

You’re a woman on the cusp of “retirement” naturally feeling some anxiety. We are two financial planners who take this subject seriously (but ourselves less so). We will help you feel more confident about your choices by cutting through the myths and mysteries. Through conversations and interviews with both subject-experts and women who have gone through what you are approaching, you will have the correct information and motivation to be in control of your future.

Take Back Retirement Stephanie McCullough & Kevin Gaines

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 10 Ratings

You’re a woman on the cusp of “retirement” naturally feeling some anxiety. We are two financial planners who take this subject seriously (but ourselves less so). We will help you feel more confident about your choices by cutting through the myths and mysteries. Through conversations and interviews with both subject-experts and women who have gone through what you are approaching, you will have the correct information and motivation to be in control of your future.

    33: What Women Need to Know about the Estate and Gift Tax System

    33: What Women Need to Know about the Estate and Gift Tax System

    Today, Stephanie and Kevin cover a topic that can often get confusing for many people: the estate and gift tax system. This is different from the income tax system, and both are federal tax systems that everyone needs to be aware of when planning for retirement.
     
    At the end of the day, the IRS is getting paid. The only two questions, then, are: Who pays? and When? Our hosts tackle these questions and more.
     
    While today’s discussion is a big picture overview of the estate and gift tax system, it will give you a general grasp of the concepts and vocabulary that will make your next meeting with your accountant or estate planning attorney a more insightful and productive one.
     
    Key Topics:
    “At the end of the day, the IRS is getting paid.” (2:47)
    Defining estate taxes. (4:02)
    What are “exclusion amounts?” (6:14)
    Defining gift taxes. (8:16)
    Maximizing how much your beneficiaries inherit. (11:53)
    “My parents can only give me $16,000 a year…” Why this isn’t true. (17:30)
    “I want to avoid probate, because if I can do that, then I’m not going to pay estate tax…” Why this isn’t true. (22:11)
     
    Resources Mentioned:
    Take Back Retirement Episode 31: What the Heck is a Trust, and Why Might I Need One? Take Back Retirement Episode 32: True Confessions of Two Financial Planners.  
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com 
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 26 min
    32: True Confessions of Two Financial Planners

    32: True Confessions of Two Financial Planners

    Today, Stephanie and Kevin offer a unique perspective on the show by diving deep into their own backgrounds as financial planners.
     
    The two kick things off with a brief history of their first jobs before reflecting on their first ever roles in the financial services industry.
     
    Then, Stephanie discusses the inspiration behind Sofia Financial and how she and Kevin came to work together.
     
    Finally, the pair do a rapid-fire Q&A, revealing a few little known tidbits about our hosts, from their guilty pleasures to their financial pet peeves to their dumbest purchases!
     
    Key Topics:
    Stephanie and Kevin’s first jobs. (1:27) Entering the financial services industry. (6:37) From boiler room newbie to Certified Financial Planner. (12:28) “Where did ‘Sofia’ come from?” (16:05) What Kevin likes best about his current role. (20:22) How about Stephanie? (24:07) Rapid-fire Q&A. (26:17)  
    Resources Mentioned:
    Video: “Guy Suddenly Gets Disappointed After Looking at His First Paycheck”  
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com 
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 41 min
    31: What the Heck is a Trust, and Why Might I Need One?

    31: What the Heck is a Trust, and Why Might I Need One?

    Trusts.
     
    What the heck are they and why might it be a good idea for you to have one?
     
    Most people believe that trusts are this elusive thing reserved for the uber-wealthy…
     
    …or have only heard of it as being a sort of plot device in a movie or murder mystery.
     
    Joining us today is attorney Shannon Evans, a recognized expert in the area of trusts and estate planning. She practices out of Las Vegas and is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit.
     
    With so much confusion around trusts, Shannon is a refreshing presence that gets to the heart of the matter real quick. She demonstrates that trusts are a lot more pedestrian—and a lot more useful—than most would think.
     
    Key Topics:
    So… What is a trust, exactly? (3:27)
    Who should have a trust? (8:06)
    What is an “irrevocable trust”? (14:39)
    What you should take into consideration if someone asks you to be a trustee. (18:40)
    In which state should you set up your trust? (22:48)
    Why should you NOT have IRAs in trusts? (25:33)
    Who is the fiduciary of a trust? (29:31)
    Updating beneficiaries (33:51)
    Stephanie and Kevin’s closing thoughts (40:49)
     
    Resources Mentioned:
    Take Back Retirement Episode 14: What Women Need to Know About Caregiving and Elder Law with Cathy Sikorski Evans & Associates  
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com 
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 47 min
    30: Retirement Savings Options for Self Employed Women

    30: Retirement Savings Options for Self Employed Women

    You did it. You made the leap.
     
    You left behind that corporate 9-to-5, the micromanaging boss, the freeloading coworker...
     
    Now, you’ve started your own thing. You have endless potential. The world is your oyster. You can do what you’ve always dreamed of.
     
    It’s a dream many of us are striving for. But, it’s easy to forget that we still should be saving for retirement. As a self-employed person or a business owner, how do we pick the right retirement plan to set ourselves up for success?
     
    Listen in as Stephanie and Kevin shine a torch to guide us down the exciting but often muddy path to retirement by speaking on how to choose between the different retirement savings options available.
     
    Key Topics:
    “SEP-IRAs still may be the best option for you, but…” (2:37)
    How do you save for retirement on a tax-favored basis if you’re self-employed? (2:50)
    How to decide on the best plan or account option for you. (9:25)
    The traditional and Roth IRA. (13:58)
    The SEP-IRA. (20:10)
    The SIMPLE IRA. (24:11)
    How to save “gobs and gobs of money” with a pension plan. (28:35)
    Stephanie and Kevin’s closing thoughts. (30:35)
     
    Resources Mentioned:
    IRS Publication 560 https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-for-small-entities-and-self-employed          IRS landing page for Small Business retirement plans https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf        Rollover Chart Take Back Retirement Episode: 12: What Women Need to Know About IRA's, with Sarah Brenner Take Back Retirement Episode: 20: Women + Roth IRA's - What Should You Be Aware Of?  
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com 
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 34 min
    29: How Much Cash Should I Have and Where Should I Be Putting It?

    29: How Much Cash Should I Have and Where Should I Be Putting It?

    “How much money should I have in the bank?”
     
    It’s a question that Stephanie and Kevin hear on a very regular basis.
     
    No doubt about it: it’s important to have cash on hand; but, with a well-thought-out financial plan, you can really start to make cash work for you.
     
    Listen in as Stephanie and Kevin invite listeners to sort out the purpose of their dollars to know where they should be going. They delve into the question of liquidity and the actual level of accessibility of different cash vehicles, from your bank checking account to your Venmo wallet.
     
    After explaining the characteristics of cash and where to keep it, they talk about how much one should have in cash, and how to invest in your financial future if you happen to have more than enough cash.
     
    Key Topics:
    The job of money. (1:41)
    What exactly does “cash” mean and where should you put it? (3:32)
    The difference between saving and investing. (5:56)
    Different places in which you can hold cash. (08:41)
    Why your line of credit doesn’t count as part of your cash. (11:28)
    Three factors to take note of in order to figure out how much cash you need. (12:58)
    “Cash gives you flexibility, and you want flexibility when you’re not sure.” (16:50)
    Have more cash on hand than you need right now? What do you do with it? (20:35)
    How to invest without tax breaks. (24:59)
    Why Stephanie is a big fan of cash. (28:51)
     
    Resources Mentioned:
    Take Back Retirement Episode 20: Women + Roth IRA’s - What Should You Be Aware Of? (https://bit.ly/3Bpd1Zz) Take Back Retirement Episode 27: Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s): What Women Need to Know (https://bit.ly/3vX0Bap)  
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 32 min
    28: Dr. Barbara Provost of Purse Strings on Women, Power & Money

    28: Dr. Barbara Provost of Purse Strings on Women, Power & Money

    Today’s guest is Dr. Barbara Provost, a business coach, professor, and entrepreneur with a Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education. She has a long history as a consultant in the financial services sector.
     
    Dr. Barb has taken her expertise into her latest venture, Purse Strings, which offers free financial education and resources for women.
     
    Listen in as Dr. Barb shares how her initiative aims to tackle the lack of safe spaces for women to ask questions and take control of their financial future. She also offers practical strategies for marketing to women (hint: it’s not as simple as “pink-it-and-shrink-it”!).
     
    Key Topics:
     
    The Purse Strings origin story. (1:55) What to know about working with women. (7:39) How women learn vs men. (11:41) “I started being really thoughtful about how I spent all of my money.” (11:00) How more women have taken up more positions of authority. (15:33) How Purse Strings serves as a support group for women in times of transition. (18:41) Communicating with women in a business conversation. (22:49) “Respect and dignity is everything.” (25:30) Questions from women that surprised Dr. Provost when she first started Purse Strings. (25:57) “If we’re not talking about money, we’re not learning about money.” (31:50) How to learn more about Purse Strings. (33:41) Stephanie and Kevin’s biggest takeaways. (35:18)  
    Resources Mentioned:
    Purse Strings Website https://pursestrings.co/
    Purse Strings Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/pursestringfinanciallyfearlesswomen
     
    If you like what you’ve been hearing, we invite you to subscribe on your favorite platform and leave us a review. Tell us what you love about this episode! Or better yet, tell us what you want to hear more of in the future. stephanie@sofiafinancial.com
     
    You can find the transcript and more information about this episode at www.takebackretirement.com.
     
    Follow Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
    Follow Kevin on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Mary Beth Simon ,

Approachable Finance

I love the broad array of retirement related topics discussed on TBR. I always learn something new to consider related to my retirement plan and love the stories of redefining what retirement looks like.

KT Friend ,

Great podcast!

Just listened to your senior living episode It really resonated with me and provided a very helpful framework to think through options. Well done!

LizL1111 ,

Fabulous

Thank you Stephanie! I so enjoyed this podcast and look forward to lots more listening in the future. Such a great resource for all of us looking to learn more about life and personal finance!
Liz L

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