Smart Money Questions

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

Listener Questions - Reverse Mortgages and Helping a Widowed Parent

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We’re talking about two important topics today: Are reverse mortgages a bad idea? And how can I help my widowed parent with their finances?


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Learn more about reverse mortgages: 


What we discuss on this show:

2:56 – Are reverse mortgages a bad idea?

6:35 – Different types of reverse mortgages

9:08 – Can we get kicked out of our home?

13:03 – How to help a widowed parent

14:49 – Look at beneficiaries

16:01 – Do you see any life insurance?

17:46 – Look at parent’s living arrangement

18:36 – Matt talks about is father’s passing

20:04 – Are liabilities joint or just in one parent’s name?

Top Places to Retire and How They Affect You Financially

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U.S. News & World Report has released its list of the top places to retire in the country. Choosing where to retire is not only a personal decision; it’s also a financial one. We’ll explain why.


Read more and see the full list of cities here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

2:26 – How were places ranked?

3:15 – Top 15 places to retire

4:40 – Consider housing affordability

7:03 – Consider renting before buying

9:50 – Consider changing residency

12:12 – Consider doing a financial exercise

13:43 – Consider the emotional side

An Update on Maggie’s Health and What to Know About Medicare

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This week marks an important milestone in Maggie’s journey with cancer. We’ll give you an update about her health. We’ll also discuss Medicare and help you understand it better.


Read more and get additional financial updates here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

0:41 – Maggie’s 5-year mark after cancer diagnosis

6:45 – What do I need to know about Medicare?

8:16 – Traditional Medicare

11:38 – Medicare Part D

13:39 – Medicare supplements

15:13 – Husband’s health coverage options

17:22 – Obamacare

20:07 – Listener question: Should I give inheritance money to my son?

23:24 – Listener question: How reliable is my 401K income estimate?

Election Worries & Steps to Saving for Retirement

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There’s no doubt that election concerns are on the mind of many people right now, especially as it relates to their financial portfolio. We’ll start the show by addressing these election cycles worries by looking back at what history has shown us. From there, Matt will talk about a call he had with someone recently that wanted to get their retirement on track. He’ll take you through the essential steps that need to be taken to get your financial house in order.


Read more and get additional financial resources here:  


What we discuss on this show:

0:44 – Many people worried about the upcoming election cycle.

4:19 – What is going to happen with the market? Here’s what history tells us.

9:44 – The steps we suggest you take if you’re concerned.

11:59 – A conversation we had last week with someone curious about how they were doing financially.

13:12 – 3 parts to building a budget

14:58 – Understanding your debt.

17:59 – Have an emergency fund

20:31 – Financing a home that you hope to buy

22:07 – Investment options

25:38 – Real estate investing

Update On CARES Act and 401k Fees

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We get a lot of questions about the CARES Act and 401k fees. Here's how they work and what you need to know.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

2:49 – Questions about CARES Act, 401K fees

5:19 – CARES Act

9:04 – Qualified individual

12:36 – IRA withdraws, RMDs and charitable distributions

15:18 – Roth conversions

18:06 – Qualified charitable distribution

20:23 – Qualified retirement accounts

Let’s Talk About Retirement, Market Swings and Election Fears

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Between the coronavirus, market swings and upcoming election, people have been calling our office with all kinds of investment and retirement questions and fears. Let’s talk about some of these common concerns. 


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this episode: 

3:00 – Get serious about financial planning

8:22 – Don’t make emotional, fearful decisions

12:03 – How are you going to pay for health care?

15:22 – Which account should I withdraw from first?

19:44 – Where are we putting our investment monies?

21:44 – How to contact us

Mortgage Expert Lindsey Johnson Discusses PMI and Future of Real Estate

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Did you know that more than 80% of all first-time homebuyers last year put less than 20% down on their homes? Mortgage expert Lindsey Johnson tells us about private mortgage insurance and what changes the mortgage and real estate industries may see.


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Read more and get additional resources here: 


About our guest: 


On today's show: 

0:29 – Meet Lindsey

1:20 – Her background

2:32 – What is private mortgage insurance and how does it work?

4:47 – Is PMI part of the complicated mortgage process?

9:37 – Does PMI automatically come off at 20%?

14:18 – Should buyers be speaking to multiple lenders?

15:49 – How will COVID-19 impact real estate, mortgage and insurance industries?

21:35 – Will rates go up as fast as they came down?

23:30 – Are any changes coming in the real estate and mortgage industry?

34:03 – Should there be underwriting metrics?

34:55 – Why does the mortgage process seem so complicated?

37:02 – Demographics, rates and inventory

39:00 – Helpful websites

On today's show: 



A Chat With Walter Storholt of Third Wheel Media

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You may recognize his voice. Now, get to know more about Walter Storholt, our friend and former co-host who runs Third Wheel Media. How has the pandemic affected his business? What is the future of podcasting and media? And what is his dream job?


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


About our guest: 


On today's show: 

0:29 – Introducing special guest Walter Storholt

2:20 – What is Third Wheel Media?

3:18 – Why working from home has worked out well

6:00 – The story of Walter’s house purchase and renovations

10:44 – How locals are embracing working from home

12:00 – What business owners think about remote work

18:56 – Does Third Wheel Media do TV?

22:16 – The future of media

24:15 – A diversity of voices

26:43 – Local versus national media

29:55 – Social interaction during a pandemic

32:52 – Businesses doing more regional work and Walter’s dream of reading an audio book

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. 

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