Smart Money Questions

Weekly investing and financial planning wisdom seeking to provide answers to your financial questions with your host, Matt Hausman.

Is It Worth Getting Out of An Annuity With High Fees?

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Are you feeling stuck in an annuity? Do you have big plans to travel in retirement? Matt answers these questions and two others on today’s podcast.  


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

1:01 - We’ll talk about four questions today.

2:56 - If a variable annuity has high fees but a high penalty to get out, what should you do?

8:25 - With travel plans in retirement, do you need more income than in your working years?

13:38 - Should your advisor be talking about life insurance, Social Security, and legacy plans?

15:28 - What kind of planning does Matt do?

18:44 - Should you pay off the house or rental property with a money market account?

Mortgage Rates and HSAs

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Are you looking at the mortgage rates right now and considering making a home purchase or refinancing your home? If so, what do you need to know beforehand? Matt will also tackle a discussion of whether you should have a Health Savings Account.

Show Notes, Resources & Contact Info:


1:22 - Today we’re going over mortgages and HSAs.

4:17 - Mortgage rates have dropped to historic lows.

8:18 - What is a cash out refinance and rate and term refinance?

9:30 - What requirements are in your loan?

11:11 - How does a variable rate work?

12:27 - What are the closing costs?

15:55 - Are you eligible for any discounts?

17:20 - Make sure you understand what you are getting into.

20:01 - How is the bank expecting you to pay back a home equity line?

20:40 - A home equity line of credit can be very valuable when needed.

21:42 - What is a Health Savings Account?

23:31 - Qualified medical expenses can be paid out in the future, tax-free.

24:49 - How does Matt use his HSA?

26:15 - What are the drawbacks?

What To Know About Becoming a Consultant

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Are you considering working as a consultant or independent contractor? What does that mean for your finances and what should you prepare for ahead of time? We’ll answer those questions plus talk about trusts on today’s episode


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:30 - Matt shares his excitement for the hope of reopening when the time comes.

1:40 - What would it look like to come back to work as a consultant?

5:17 - Does it make sense to go from being retired to becoming a consultant?

6:31 - What expenses will you incur?

8:03 - What kind of expenses could be considered a write-off?

9:04 - How will you be paid?

10:09 - Does it make sense to set up an LLC or corporation?

11:47 - What kind of liability are you subjected to?

15:04 - Mailbag: Is it wise to have a trust as a part of a financial and estate plan?

Mark Twain, Traditional IRA vs. Roth and Other FAQs

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Where is your retirement money saved? Will it benefit you more now or later? On this episode of Smart Money Questions, Matt answers several FAQs when it comes to your retirement accounts as well as another question about inheritance plans. 


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:30 - Philadelphia is moving into the next phase of reopening.

1:54 - “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress…”

5:05 - What is a qualified retirement account?

7:18 - What is a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)?

9:34 - What happens if the tax rate gets raised?

11:36 - What are the contribution limits?

13:12 - What is a Roth conversion?

17:29 - Mailbag: Should the anticipated sum of an inheritance be talked about or a surprise?

Listener Questions: Diversification, Retirement Savings & More

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In today’s episode of Smart Money Questions, Matt answers a number of questions from listeners. From saving enough for retirement to claiming Social Security, we will talk through several scenarios listeners are currently facing.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:38 - We’re about to kick off summer with the holiday weekend.

4:48 - Mailbag: I have 33 different funds, is that adequate diversification?

8:20 - What is your underlying asset class?

10:29 - Mailbag: Based on my age, am I saving enough?

15:18 - Mailbag: Can I start my Social Security benefits and still earn an income?

18:37 - Mailbag: I just inherited a large unexpected sum of money, what should I do?

Be Aware of the Latest Frauds

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Have you heard of some of the latest frauds? The more you know, the better you can keep safe from being fooled by a fraud. We'll also talk about staying positive and maintaining your well-being before addressing some inheritance questions. 


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:33 - How is everyone making the best of the last six weeks? 

4:22 - How can you have a glass half full mentality?

9:09 - Make sure to be aware of the frauds happening right now.

12:57 - Be extra diligent with communication in regards to your stimulus check.

14:11 - Are your emails from credible sources?

16:23 - Navigating the complications of an inheritance takes a team of professionals.

What You Need to Know About the CARES Act

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Are you wondering what the CARES Act is all about and how it might benefit you? What rules should you be aware of? Matt will share the key elements you should be aware of when it comes to the CARES Act in times of coronavirus.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's show rundown: 

3:09 - What is the CARES Act doing with RMDs?

5:52 - Can you still make qualified charitable distributions?

7:24 - What does it mean for charitable contributions?

9:07 - If you are under 59 and a half, what happens if you want to take money out of your retirement account?

12:58 - Who gets a stimulus check?

Staying Financially Sane During This Crisis

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Coronavirus has already impacted all of our lives, be it through social distancing or through the stock market. How can you think strategically and stay level-headed financially?


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

1:13 - What is our new normal going to look like?

3:58 - What’s happening in the market?

8:06 - Everyone wants to know, am I reacting the way everyone else is reacting?

11:25 - Where are you in your financial life?

17:03 - If you are contributing into a retirement plan, do not stop!

18:18 - What if you haven’t done any planning?

22:23 - Do not take your financial advice from the media.

Paying For College In Retirement

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It is no secret that college tuition is expensive and many parents want to help out their children pay for a higher education. But is it worth risking your retirement? Today we will look at the factors that parents should consider when paying for their child's education. Especially for those parents that are near, or in retirement. We also answer a question from a listener who is looking to sell their farm for a little under a million dollars and does not know where to invest the money.


3:25- What do you do when your ready to retire and the kids need to pay for college.

5:53- How to prioritize saving for retirement and paying for college.

7:59- Matt gives a tip to save money for college. 

10:00- What to look for when picking a school.

15:30- What you need to analyze before entering retirement. 

19:48- How much long term care coverage is recommended.

26:28- Is the benefit payout an expense or an indemnity benefit? How will this affect retirement. 

Coronavirus and Protection Of Assets For Long Term Care

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The outbreak and spread of the coronavirus has caused a bit of a panic in the market in recent weeks. We'll talk about how these events should affect your investments, short-term and long-term. We'll also take a look into some important strategies for protecting your assets from the state if you were to move into a nursing home.


2:40- How the market has reacted to the coronavirus and the history behind similar events.

3:39- There is going to be increased volatility during this time in the market, Matt explains how your investments are affected.

6:40- Markets go down, but it is important to not let fear drive financial decisions. 

9:02- What needs to be done to protect assets for long term care. 

9:58- Tings to consider before finding care and protecting assets.

12:15- Not all financial assets are the same, which means they need to be protected in different ways.

16:43- Matt explains the look back period the government uses when you start moving assets to other vehicles of ownership. 




Downsizing, Old Policies & Portfolio Options

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There are many misconceptions that surround the idea of downsizing your house in retirement. Many people think that they will be able to make a huge profit if they downsize, but that is not always the case. We will guide you through some other considerations to keep in mind before you make the big sale. We also discuss reevaluating an old life insurance policy, how much company stock you should invest in, and deciding whether to move your money into cash, or to keep investing.


Show Notes


2:45- Should you look to downsize when you retire?

5:15- The issues with downsizing and the importance of understanding the real estate market.

7:40- What you need to consider before making the move.

8:30- Matt breaks down what needs to be taken care of in order to have an early retirement. 

13:25- What to do with old policies and how to use the asset properly.

15:22 Matt answers a listeners question on how much company stock should you hold in your portfolio.

18:45- Matt explains deciding on moving to cash or continuing to invest is a question that has many factors for the individual to consider. 

How To Account For Emotions In Your Financial Plan

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Most people like to think that they always make decisions based on logic and facts, but the truth is that emotions usually play a role for all of us in the decision-making process. Matt will share examples he has seen where emotions have influenced the thought process of individuals. Understanding the emotions that come from financial planning and putting the right strategies in place leads to making the best decisions. 

 Show Notes:


1:26- Peoples concerns are often times driven by emotion. Matt will break down the good and bad behind emotions in financial planning. 

3:34- Matt explains the different types of emotions people have when dealing with money. 

4:53- The emotion of fear is always around us. It is key to be cautious of fear and not let it take hold how we make decisions. 

8:54- Greed is an important emotion to identify and ensure it is not negatively affecting your financial planning. 

12:00- Loyalty to companies and family is an emotion Matt encounters that can has led people to make poor decisions. 

16:38- Matt states the importance of understanding your emotion and using logic to come to answers.

17:00- Strategically making decisions, knowing all the options and potential risks leads to the best approach to financial planning. 

Understanding Property and Casualty Insurance with Ted Wolfer

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You’ve likely carried an auto and homeowners policy for many years and don’t think too much about it, but your property and casualty insurance is your protection from major financial disaster. We talk with an insurance specialist to get a better understanding of these policies and what we should be paying attention to.


Show Notes and Additional Resources: 


Today's Rundown: 

0:21 – Today we’re talking property and casualty insurance with Ted Wolfer

1:31 – Start by helping us understand what this insurance is?

2:09 – Understanding auto insurance and the requirements vs the add-ons.

5:34 – Are there minimums that are required for vehicles you lease or have a loan on?

6:30 – Understanding the liability minimums you might have seen on your policy.

8:55 – Here are the recommendations Ted and his office makes.

10:40 – The difference in premiums is usually very small.

11:29 – Something that confuses Matt on his policy.

15:31 – Understanding what’s covered and what’s not on homeowner’s insurance.  

14:13 – Again, premium increases to cover a much higher amount is around 5% 

20:22 – Explaining code enforcement and why it’s important for insurance policies.  

23:34 – What does an umbrella policy cover?

29:28 – Property and casualty insurance policies need to be evaluated on an on-going basis.

30:01 – How to get in touch with Ted to get more information or discuss policies.

3 Listener Questions About Investing, 401k, and Retirement

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You never know what kind of questions or scenarios you’ll come across when working with clients. But that’s what makes planning exciting. Today we’ll pull three great questions that we’ve heard recently involving 401k rollovers, investing rental property proceeds, and the challenge of spending in retirement. We’ll go in-depth on each answer to show you how we approach each situation.


Full Show Notes: 


On This Episode: 

0:34 – The plan for today’s show.

3:07 – Question: I’m selling one of my rental properties in the next month or two and I don’t have any plans to buy another one. What’s the best thing to do with the money from that sale?

4:08 – The first thing to consider is your tax obligation when selling the property?

5:19 – What the IRS is looking at when calculating your taxes.

6:26 – Now what to do with that money. Here are some options.  

8:00 – This question reminds Matt of a past client. This is how it played out.   

9:58 – You want to understand your tax costs, much like you would for a 401k.

13:04 – Question: Are there really no tax implications for rolling over my 401k?

13:39 – First thing to do is reach out and see what your company’s policy is for transferring.

14:13 – How the transfer will actually work.                          

17:05 – What about an old 401k? Is it the same process?

18:18 – Question: Ever since I retired, I’ve had a really hard time spending money. Something about not having a paycheck makes me nervous.

19:38 – Matt’s advice to Jay involves a distribution plan.

20:24 – Look at your budget in these three categories.

21:27 – Five places you can generate income in retirement.

3rd and 4th Quarter Financial To-Do List

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We’ve already rolled into the third quarter of the year and that presents us with a great opportunity to evaluate our portfolio. Giving your plan a check-up will help keep it on track headed towards your goals so use this checklist focus on the most important questions.

Check out the full show notes by clicking here. Keep reading →

Understanding Tax Laws Can Help You With Investing Decisions

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A recent tax bill was signed into law in July 2019 and it serves as a reminder that understanding taxes is an important aspect to planning your retirement. Knowing how much of your money will be yours when you decide to access it will determine how much you actually need. On this episode, we discuss this tax law and answer a few questions sent to us.

Check out the full show notes by click here. Keep reading →

Early Retirement, NOT In A Lower Tax Bracket, & Defining Your Financial Security

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We've got a few listener questions on the docket for today. First up, we'll discuss Abe's question about being forced into an early retirement. Should he get another job? What items should he address before he is no longer receiving a paycheck? We'll also answer Blair's question about tax brackets in retirement. What is the real outlook on future tax rates, and how should we prepare? Finally, we'll take a look at how you can define financial security for yourself.

Adam Quiney On Your Relationship With Money

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This week we speak with special guest Adam Quiney, an executive leadership coach, about how your relationship with money can define your experiences as an investor and as a retiree. We'll delve into how that relationship is formed and how it then influences your thoughts and decisions throughout each phase of your life.

SECURE Act & Gifting vs. Inheriting

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At the end of May, Congress passed the SECURE Act, which will create some major changes to qualified retirement accounts. We'll look into what those changes will be, as well as possible future implications. And later, Matt shares a story about a client that highlights the importance of understanding the difference between gifting and inheriting.

Roth IRA Follow Up And Inheriting Something I Don’t Want

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We received quite a few responses from listeners after the last episode, so we'll be following up on last weeks's topic by discussing Roth IRA conversions. We'll also talk about what to do if you inherit a piece of property that you don't want, and we'll learn about Stretch IRAs.

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