Podcast: Jeff Rose — Good Financial Cents

Episode 65 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Jeff Rose — founder of the Good Financial Cents blog, the Wealth Hacker YouTube channel, author of “Soldier of Finance,” and CFP. Steve and Jeff discuss why financial control & independence is important and how to plan, save & invest your way there. They also take some listener questions.

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Full Transcript of Steve Chen’s Interview with Jeff Rose:

Steve: Welcome to The NewRetirement Podcast. Today we’re going to be talking with Jeff Rose. He’s the founder of the Good Financial Cents Blog, the Wealth Hacker YouTube channel, author of Soldier Of Finance and a CFP. We’re going to discuss why financial control and independence is important and how to plan, save and invest your way there. We’ll also take some listener questions. Jeff is a veteran of the Iraq war who then became a CFP before building his fast growing media empire. Jeff, welcome to our show. It’s great to have you join us.

Jeff: Yeah, I’m excited to be here.

Steve: Yeah. So I thought, first we could dive in a little bit more about what it means to be Jeff Rose and how you got here, because your story is inspirational, and I think there’s a lot of lessons in there, I guess my first question was, are you… Have you gotten comfortable with the whole media empire label yet?

Jeff: I think so. Empire some reason always has like this negative connotation to me, but I’ve just enjoyed producing all types of content. Writing actually is the one that I… I’m say I enjoy the least because it hurts the most, hurts my brain that is because I’m just not a great writer, but recording a podcast, recording a video. I just… It typically brings me life. I enjoy it, but yeah. So I’ve gotten comfortable with it.

Steve: Yeah. And have you, I guess you start with writing obviously that’s… And you find that the hardest, but then that does feel when I watch some of your YouTube stuff and listen to some of your podcasts that definitely seems like it comes much more naturally to you. Are you starting to produce a lot more of that kind of content versus the written content?

Jeff: Yeah, I mean, it’s taken me a long time to figure this out. But as far as like me actually writing anything, for me to record a podcast or a video, there was a time where I could just hit record and go and it actually wasn’t that bad. It didn’t suck that bad. I’m at a state now where I just think seeing the YouTube landscape, especially, or you even podcasts. I mean, there’s just such great production that exists that I’ve put a lot of more pressure on myself to produ… The final product. The final offering is good quality. So I do spend some time, I don’t script out anything, that’s just not me. I actually do… I respect for those that don’t know this, you do an amazing job, putting all these questions together, giving some context.

Jeff: I look at what you do and I get anxiety because it takes a lot of my brain that I don’t have, I guess, to do this part. So take what you put together and number one, a sentence, number two, a sentence, maybe a few bullet points. And that’s what I start with. And then from there I can hit record and record the podcast, record the video. Unless there’s any specific like stat or figure, I want to share a dividend yield for example. But if it’s all stuff that I already know, based on my experience, personal story, I just list out the major bullet points and I’m good to go. And then from there I’ll have an editor take that podcast or video after it gets transcribed and they’ll turn that into a very well written blog post, better than I could ever put together.

Steve: Yeah. I shared your kind of highlight video that’s on your YouTube channel with our team, and I was like, this is pretty amazing, because it seems very well produced. It’s amazing what can be made with a… I mean, I don’t know your team is, but from the take of what it was about, which is kind of how you’ve built your business, it seems like you are super efficient with resources, but it comes across as well produced, well edited and all that stuff. I mean, how big is your, the team that’s behind you?

Jeff: So on the blog… On the website itself, we’ve got five team members right now. I just have a podcast editor. I have a executive assistant and then the video team right now is actually a subscription service that I’ve been using for a year. It’s called Vidchops. V I D Chops. And it went through a process. I’ve had video editors. I kind of geek out, for me, I know we talked about control, right? I mean, that’s one of the questions I think we started talking about control financial independence. For me was if I want to create a piece of content, if I want to record something, whether it be video or podcast, I want to know how to do it. I want to have the equipment, right now, this whole setup, I’ve got three cameras. I got my podcast mic, my mixers and all this stuff.

Jeff: So I did kind geek out on getting all this set up. But why? Was because when I’m ready to do something, I didn’t want to have any obstacles in my way, preventing me from doing so. Whereas I know there are some entrepreneurs, I know two advisors have… Financial advisors have a great podcast, a lot of listeners and one of the guys I talked to, he doesn’t know how to record a video by himself. And there’s part of that I can respect, right? I mean, he’s just there for his expertise, his knowledge. So I can respect that. But for me it’s like, I want be able to come here, hit and go, and not have anything stopping me. So anyway, that’s the approach I have taken, what works for everybody is differently, but that’s what I enjoy.

Steve: Nice. You mentioned you also have an EA, is that a local person or is that a virtual PA?

Jeff: Yeah, she is virtual. She actually lives north of Nashville. So not too far from me. And I didn’t realize that until after I think after I started… She was referred to me not knowing that she was like 45 minutes from me, but we have never met in person and we’ve been working together for at least three or four years.

Steve: All right. I have to think about getting an EA, so maybe I should. If they have spare time, let me know.

Jeff: My favorite thing with my executive assistant, which I finally figured this out. So we, different apps you can use, but I use an app called Voxer with a V, which is almost like a chat, an online, a chat, a walkie talkie, but with a chat function. So I’m the type of guy where, when I get an idea, I don’t want to send an email. I don’t want to get on a slack. I mean, I will if it needs more detail, but I just go on Voxer, I just start talking and she’ll take that and run with it. So that’s been such a huge blessing.

Steve: Yeah. It definitely feels like this. You have the superpower that some kind of super empowered individuals have where they really figure out what to outsource in their lives, remove a lot of friction and it lets them scale up in a big way. Are you really intentional about that or is it just kind of happened?

Jeff: I definitely was not intentional. It all started for me when I joined a business coaching program and this would’ve been probably eight or nine years ago. Program is called Strategic Coach founded by Dan Sullivan. And there was a lot of different exercises that we went through to get us to that point. But I remember one of the first things that he introduced us to was the entrepreneurial time system. And in that there are three different days of the week. You have your focus day, your free day and your buffer day. And one of the first exercises we had to do was in the… Over the last year, calculate how many free days that we had taken. And his definition of a free day was nothing work related. So that means not reading, no trade magazines, no blog posts, no emails.

Jeff: And at the time I was still practicing financial planner. So I didn’t work on the weekends. I was good there, but I also was growing this media empire that you spoke of, which at that time was mainly the blog. And I was writing blog posts. I was responding to emails. I was tweeting all this stuff on the weekends. So that exercise, calculating how many free days I took it over the last year, took me all about 45 seconds because the answer was zero. Zero. I hadn’t taken a… I didn’t even know what a free day was. And that began this process of… One of the first things I did was I scheduled, I think it was a Wednesday, during the summer, taking my kids to the St. Louis zoo. And I know that sounds so stupid, but at that time, taking a day out of the middle of the week that wasn’t a vacation to go do a family thing and not respond to email.

Jeff: So I had to sit with my assistant, like listen, Hey, don’t… Call me if there’s a client there’s deserves a dire emergency, but other than that, don’t contact me. And that’s, I said, we set that up and I’ve freaking out like, oh my gosh, can I really do this? It’s… Because vacation before was like, I was always checking email, It was either on my Blackberry, old school, on the beach, checking email or checking the stock market or whatever. It was almost like the status thing of, oh, look at me, look how important I am that I’ve got my Blackberry and I’m emailing my clients, cause that’s how important I am. It’s so funny looking back, like…

Steve: Hustle. There’s hustle culture right now. We’re kind of grinding culture in…

Jeff: Yeah. So anyway, that began this whole process of taking time off. So then it started… Had to start answering this question of, okay, it’s not… Can I do this, or how do I do this? Is like, what do I need to change about, my role, my duties, my team that allow me… Allow this to happen. And it was not too long after that, I believe, is whenever I scheduled a two week RV trip with… It was just my wife and my three boys at the time. We didn’t have our daughter yet. So I took a two week RV trip and completely, I won’t say… I didn’t completely unplug, but for the most part I did, unless there was… I did have, I think one or two, a client. Emergencies come up that I had to get on the phone and it was totally fine.

Jeff: But nonetheless, I’d never taken two weeks off to go get a RV and go to the Grand Canyon. And that just being in this process of continually focusing on what Dan Sullivan defines as your unique ability, what are the things that you enjoy doing that you love doing that give you life that give you purpose, but furthermore also pay you very well. And that was, I mean, I used to schedule my own appointments. It was one of those things I just kind of did. And it’s like, why am I doing this? You go to doctor’s office, you don’t call the doctor’s office and talk to the doctor and they put you on the calendar. It was just these little things I just started to change about what I was doing and not only train myself, but train myself, my staff and also my clients.

Jeff: Like, Hey, when you need a distribution from your IRA, you don’t need to talk to me. Mary will take care of it, she can handle that. When you need to update your beneficiaries, you don’t need to talk to me. You can talk to somebody else on my team. So we did have to retrain a lot of people, but man, just starting that process was just so life giving.

Steve: Yeah. It’s great hearing your story and how you… Or this process that you went through, are you still working with a coach right now?

Jeff: No, I did strategic coach for five years. Then I did Michael Hyatt. He had a coaching program for a year and then began this transition we ended up moving to Nashville and it’s been four years that I’ve had any sort of coach. And I finally have reached this point in my life where I recognize, I need it. I’m looking for something, I won’t say actively, but I am asking questions, though I do have some certain requirements, I guess, that I’m looking for. But yeah, I mean, coaching has just been… I’ve had mentors, I’ve been in mastermind groups and I kind of just walked away for a little bit, kind of took a break just to deal with some family stuff. And now I’m at this point where I’m seeking it. I recognize it is definitely a void in my life right now.

Steve: Can you just give us some quick color before I move on? Where are you at right now in terms of the media side of things, the audience that you reach. Cause this goes to what you’re trying to get done, but it, you know, when I took a quick look at YouTube and some of the podcast stuff that you’re doing, I mean, there’s some pretty big numbers out there.

Jeff: Yeah. So, I mean, I was, for those that don’t know, I was a financial planner for 16 years. I had… I was a CEO of my own wealth management firm, my own RIA, alliance wealth management, and really thought that was it. I was going to do that for the rest of my life. And along the way, I stumbled upon blogging. And as I started to learn just the reach and the impact and also the business side of it, that’s where it ended up shifting. So I think it was just two years now where I ended up selling the financial planning practice altogether, focus on the blog, the YouTube channel and the podcast. The blog is the main business, the YouTube channel and the podcast are more or less like marketing components, supporting components of the site.

Jeff: So right now with the blog we attract anywhere from 500 to a million visitors a month, on the site, depending on how much Google likes us. YouTube, I think we got 375,000 subscribers and the podcast is something I’ve had for a while, but re-relaunched, I guess, the fall of last year. So it’s still small in comparison. I think we’re only getting between 10 to 12,000, downloads a month right now. But yeah, I mean, that’s what I do. And it’s been… It’s funny where I live right now. I live just outside of Nashville and Dave Ramsey, his headquarters is literally like, I think six miles from my house. And every time I drive towards Nashville, towards Franklin, there he is right there. And I mean, he’s something I… I Like a lot of what Dave does.

Jeff: I also disagree with a lot of things that he does, but you can’t deny just the impact and the reach that he’s had with his show and his books and all his training stuff. And it’s impressive to see, his new building that I believe is all paid for in cash. And I think what I’ve heard is he’s had some good real estate investments in the Nashville area and has capitalized on those. But nonetheless, I mean, he’s been an inspiration of mine because, whether it’s just like every day when I produce something, it’s. I know I’m going to help somebody. I know that this piece of information, whether it be a podcast or video or a blog is going to help somebody. And I don’t always get those people responding back saying, oh thank you so much.

Jeff: But the ones I do get, those are the ones I hang onto. And it’s just, it’s good. It’s just good knowing that I’ve had a few people reach out to me this week actually just sharing like, Hey, when I first started listening to you, I had a negative net worth, and now we have plans of retiring early and it’s just like, oh, that’s cool. It’s me knowing that I was that seed for them. They still had to water it and nurture it and take action and do everything. But it’s cool knowing that something that I did gave them the catalyst to start it, to realize that there is something different for them and that they took action on it.

Steve: A hundred percent. I want to give a shout out to all the listeners and users and consumers of people like Jeff or myself or other people that are trying to build things because you actually… The feedback you get isn’t that often, but positive feedback goes a long way. I mean I, we get some people email us and be like, Hey, this stuff been game changing my life and we’re like sharing it to our team. It’s like, oh wow. We’ve had this huge impact. It’s almost more valuable than someone’s like, Hey, we think your company’s worth a lot of money, you know? Okay great. But we’re here like you. Can we positively impact lots of people build kind of a new way to serve these folks.

Jeff: Yeah. And then you bounce that off with the… I think for every one positive comment that I get, and this is mostly on YouTube, which I’ve got thick enough skin now, but I probably get like 250 mean comments or just… It’s like, wow, dear Lord. But I’ve just… I’ve embraced it. I love responding with emojis. That’s what I do, giving people a virtual hugs. Like gosh, you just… Did you just hate the world right now. Like, wow. I feel good in the sense that I’ve impacted your life that much that you felt the need to leave this two paragraph.

Jeff: Mean comment like, wow. Okay. Awesome.

Steve: Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. Every channel is so different. Well, yeah. Congrats on your Testament to focus, right. I mean, that’s something that I’ve heard a lot too is like, Hey, you got to really focus on what you want. And I remember reading about how you are shutting down the wealth business and doing this. And I was like, at the time I was like, wow, that seems like a big move, but clearly it’s working out, and so your vision, how big do you think this could get?

Jeff: Gosh, I used to get really, I want to say obsessed with hitting certain numbers and hitting visitors and maybe I’ll go back there and I’ll revisit it. Behind the scenes there’s been some shake up with the business structure and I had a falling out with a business partner that has… I don’t want to say derailed the business, but it definitely has forced me to take a step back, and reassess what our goals are and… Because at one time when I was working with this business partner, we had an exit strategy or exit goal of a hundred million, of selling the site. And as of right now, we’re nowhere close to that. But I recognize, for me it’s like, gosh, when I started getting those numbers, I mean, I can’t even fathom, I don’t need a hundred million dollars.

Jeff: When you see these NBA and major league baseball contracts, all these athletes making this insane amount of money, it’s like, gosh, how do you even spend that? And I recognize I started getting really caught up in that and what did we need to do to get to that number? And really that’s, I mean, that’s great and that’s not, I mean that works for certain people, but for me, it helped… It removed why I started this in the first place, what was the whole point? And yes, it was a marketing channel, for the financial planning practice but underneath was really just this desperate cry to prevent people from making the same mistakes, not only that I made, but, for those that don’t know, my background, my dad, filed for bankruptcy twice in his life, not once but twice.

Jeff: And when he passed away, I mean, he had a negative net worth, he was trying… He was asking me to pay for an insurance policy on him. I think it was a whole life policy, had to have been. A whole life policy paid the premium so that I would get the death benefit. That was his way of like, Hey, I want to give back to you, like oh, dad it just feels wrong. And maybe I would’ve made money out of the deal, but I just, I was like, no, I don’t want to do that. I just, I’m not comfortable doing that. And seeing how much he struggled with finances and also seeing early on in my career, I was going down that same path and knowing that we’re not the only ones, my dad was not the only one, I’m not the only one.

Jeff: And just wanted to share a lot of that stuff with people so that they didn’t fall in that same trap. So that continues to be the mission and the purpose behind it. So I have tried to figure out a way of how do I track this? I mean, I can check Google analytics all day and downloads and views on YouTube. And I… To me, that’s just like, one of these metrics is saying, how many followers you have on Instagram. I want to know how many of these people actually took action and did something, and started investing, started IRA, bought life insurance, retired early. That would be something if I could track, as of right now, I just take a screenshot of every positive comment or email that I… Not every comment, but mostly the emails that I get from people.

Jeff: Cause I’m like, man, somebody’s taking time out of their day to thank me for something that I did, this week or 10 years ago I put that into a little folder just so, man, I need a little pick me up. I can read, like oh man, oh, I remember Carol or Johnny or whomever. It is just good to remember that.

Steve: Well, it’s interesting where we just did this OKR exercise, which is objectives and key results for our business. So this is a big thing from John Doerr who’s a venture capitalist here. He took it out to Google and many companies out here use this methodology of, how do you set goals and how do you drive alignment in your organization? But one of the discussion points was, what’s our big, hairy, audacious goal, right? This BHAG, and we’re reading Google. Well for YouTube, they had a BHAG early on of, we want to have hundred billion hours of video consumed per, I don’t know if it was day or week or month, but it was not that big amount of time, but it was, seemed like this insanely audacious goal, which they ended up hitting.

Steve: But the… So we were thinking about ours and to your point about how do you measure impact? We provide planning software, right. But we can see what people are doing, what they punch in, how they’re tracking their plan, how they come back to it and, are they… We’re building in more capability so we can help them take action and see the impact. So we’re like, okay, we want to help a hundred million people, per month through planning. That’s what we want to get to, or maybe bigger. I mean, we feel like this problem is, global, there’s 7 billion people on this planet, right? Most of them are pretty crappy with their money and have very little control and the ones that do well, they seem like they have much better lives. So do you have that kind of, big goal in your mind of where this is going to be in five or 10 years for your business?

Jeff: Yeah. I think there is one metric that I’m trying to figure out a way to track it, but it was in… When I say it this way, I don’t actually like how it sounds, but it’s like helping one million people make one million dollars and it’s like, oh, that sounds actually like, this sounds somewhat superficial, right. But the more behind that is if I could show people to do it the way that I would do it, is that means that they make a million dollars then they’re going to take 10% of that and they’re going to give it to their church or a charity or some sort of charitable organization. And also, when you learn how to do this, I mean, for the most part, you can’t help but want to share with others, you know?

Jeff: So it’s like, there’s going to have that exponential reach. So it’s like, gosh, if I could show one million people to make a million and then they take 10% of that and give it away to a good cause, I think what… I forgot the number now, but it was some crazy number. Yeah. It’s like… That was really more… The reasoning behind it was not so much, so they can go out and buy a Lamborghini and put that on Facebook or Instagram, but really just show people how to do that. And that’s something I’ve not really openly shared a lot just because I’m looking for the cool thing to name it, put little trademark behind it and then have some sort of way to track it. And I don’t know what that is, but that’s kind of what I’m doing without really verbally announcing it as a goal.

Steve: That’s awesome. Well, it feels like you’re well on your way, I mean, 375,000 YouTube subscribers, many people would kill for that. So, and that’s just one part of what you’re doing. So, as you’ve helped people over the years, do you have a methodology, a kind of steps people should take that you find, or I guess, that help them address the most common problems to get on track?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I really don’t… I could like, oh wait, where’s my Dave Ramsey, Baby Steps. And I do his initial steps. I mean, for most people that don’t have, a savings account, don’t have an emergency fund, all that good stuff. That’s important, but really at the end of the day, it becomes, you got to know what you’re trying to do. You got to have that goal. You got to know what are you trying to accomplish? Are you… Cause if you’re just saving just to save, I mean, that’s good. I mean, it’s probably better than most, but if you don’t have a specific goal of retiring at a certain age, I think before I even understood financial independence, I had this… My goal at the time, when I was still a financial planner was not retire at the age of 50, I wanted to have the financial resources so that if I could retire the age of 50, it was a possibility.

Jeff: But at the time I’m like, man, I don’t ever think I really want to retire. I mean, probably naive cause I was still in my late twenties or early thirties, but even now, so I’m… Time is recording. I’m 43 years old and I still enjoy what I do, not a financial planner anymore, but I enjoy sharing my experiences and helping people. I really like testing new things. Whether it be opening new accounts, testing out… I’m really into crypto right now and… And just testing out, different investment platforms so that I can kind of be that Guinea pig for people. Cause a lot of people are scared to take that risk, like oh, it just seems overwhelming. I don’t know how to do it. Like okay, well let me do it, and I’ll record a video and publish a blog post or record a podcast and share my experience.

Jeff: So it’s going back to answering your question is, you got to have that goal, is it you want to retire at the age of 50 and have so much an income? If that’s the goal. Cause without that, then it’s like, well. Because once you know that, then it just becomes this whole reverse engineer and, like okay, well what’s… What do you need to start today? What’s the first step and what do you need to do?

Steve: And are you, I mean, it sounds like you’re financially independent today. Probably.

Jeff: I mean, I cannot buy all the Jordan 86 clear rookies as I would like mostly because my wife won’t let me, but no… It’s so funny because financial independence is like, for those that haven’t achieved it, you read it, you’ll read the definitions and maybe you listen to the podcast or read the blogs, but whenever you’re you’re here and you’ve arrived, you almost like, oh, is this it, is this what financial independence is? And I don’t know if I’m jumping ahead here, but so my middle son, so I’ve got four kids. My middle son just turned 12. And his favorite team, favorite player, Seth Curry of the Golden State Warriors was in town playing the Memphis Grizzlies in town. It’s like three hours away. And I’m like, dude, your favorite player is in town on your birthday.

Jeff: You have to go, we have to go, right? So he… We took off on Monday, drove to Memphis, went to the game, spent the night, went to Dave and Busters the next day played video games, and drove back. I didn’t have to ask permission. I didn’t have to ask for time off. Only thing I had to… No, I had to have to reschedule this podcast, that was because of snow. And to me, it’s like, to me, that’s financial independence of, I got to do that because I wanted to, and I got to do with my, one of my kids. We had an awesome one-on-one trip, Warriors lost, but it was still a great game. It just… And so it’s those little things, but those are the things that I almost have to… I do a gratitude journal every single day.

Jeff: And sometimes I forget. That’s my life right now, for others, they don’t get that opportunity, and I have to tell that to my kids all the time. Like, Hey this, how do I say this? This isn’t of the real world. I mean, it can be, but for many people this isn’t how it works. It takes time and… I think something you and I have talked about before is my kids get the benefit of seeing hours and years of hard work and sacrifice to get where I’m at now. And that scares the crap out of me because they don’t see the 96 Grand Am that I drove or the 98 Chevy Lumina I was driving as a financial advisor.

Jeff: They don’t see the house that my dad had to borrow money from his ex-wife, my mom to purchase, which was $8,000. The house that we grew up in, they don’t see that. I constantly remind them and show them pictures and stories and you… Just so they realize like, Hey, this doesn’t just happen overnight. There was a lot of work and luck and drive and grit that got me to this point. So that’s not something that you also want. That’s going to take a lot of that as well.

Steve: Yeah. That’s awesome to hear that story. By the way, I think it’s, is it Ja Morant? Is he… He’s the guy, right? That guy is incredible. That guy’s the next step Curry. I don’t know. Did you see the video, the highlight where he is almost banging his head against… Was going to knock his head against the backboard. The guy can jump, he was about four foot vertical.

Jeff: It was amazing, I think he had at least two or three hoops in that game. It’s like, you might not… I’m not a Memphis fan per se, but dear Lord. I mean, there is a team, he’s excited to watch, especially with him. I mean, he’s fun to watch.

Steve: Yeah, for sure. We’ll have to do a separate session on the Warriors and basketball. I did see in your YouTube video, your collection of sneakers was like, oh, that’s pretty interesting. He’s got a little closet full of clearly collect items here.

Jeff: Yeah, no, by the way, one interesting thing that I’ve done sometimes with my kids is, if we’re watching an older movie, a movie from older, I mean, from the eighties, I’d be like, yeah, there’s a phone booth, right? Look at these cars. There’s no cell phones, right. That’s what… It gives them a little sense of, it wasn’t… life wasn’t like it is that now always connected and also your life is super blessed and most people, yeah, don’t get to live this way. And you may not either because you have to make your own money and figure out your way in the world.

Jeff: But they do get the benefit of seeing… They say a lot of entrepreneurs, they have entrepreneurs in the family because they kind seen their parents do it. And like, oh it’s possible. I can go start a company. You can do it from nothing. A lot of people that think about starting companies, they feel like it’s this giant challenge it’s impossible to do and they never do it. And you got to just start somewhere.

Steve: So we talked a little bit about financial independence and some of the things you need to do. I think as people get closer, one of the big challenges in our audience is, how do I know I have enough? How do I actually turn these assets that I’ve been saving my whole life into income and feel like it’s safe enough to make this switch any insights from, your life as a planner and working with folks or your own life where you’re like, Hey, this is how I manage to make it real. Cause, especially if you’re younger, right. You’re in your forties, right. You might be alive hopefully 50 more years you got to have enough income and you know, from passive income or whatever or things that you love doing where you can sustain your life.

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t matter what your age, how much you have, it’s never going to feel like it’s safe. It’s never going to feel like it’s the right time. And that’s just something. And for me, because it’s that transition of going from their career, what they do every single day to all of a sudden now like, wait, what? I don’t have to wake up at 6:00 AM and go to work and drive to the office or wherever I got to go. So it’s never going to feel safe. And I mean, the only thing you really can do is run the projections, and with the help of hopefully a financial professional that can address just how you’re invested and also knows your tendencies and just run these projections and that’s really all that you can do to see if it actually makes sense.

Jeff: Or if you’re just completely in the dark, just for some people may have like, oh, I’ve got $200,000. That seems like that’s enough. But based on your spending needs, no you’re two and a half years are done. You have to go back to work. But I think it’s just like, except the fact that it’s never going to feel like the right time and being scared is a good thing. I mean, that’s not a bad thing for the most part, unless you never retire. There are… I’ve had instances where people had millions of dollars and these were talking about, let’s say grandparents from the depression era where they wouldn’t even spend their social security check. And because they didn’t think… They thought they were going to run out of money. There’s that extreme? That’s not healthy.

Jeff: But I think, accepting the fact, Hey, okay, I really want to do this right now. And I think also too, it’s just like quality of life and how… What is your job? How hard is it, is it a… I had a lot of clients that used to work at a power plant and it was a hard job. And there was instances where guys they worked with, they busted their butt working overtime, weekends, finally get a couple million dollars. All right. It’s time to retire. And it wasn’t my client, but it was a friend of theirs. He was retired for a couple years, heart attack done. And that’s just, that’s basically working where it’s just too much.

Jeff: So yeah. Never going to feel safe when you get… Start working with somebody, run the numbers to see is this going to work out and then, plan for some, plan for life to get involved. And there’s going to be some, oh, crap factors that are going to come up that’s going to drain the piggy bank a little bit. But as long as you’ve had somebody give you that stamp of approval, I mean, I think that’s when it’s time to go.

Steve: Right. What kind of safe withdrawal rate do you coach people up on or have you seen out there as the best practice?

Jeff: It’s so funny. I always, I mean, I’ll… You always start with that 4%, 5% somewhere in that ballpark. And maybe it was just the clients I had, but that’s where we would start. And, that’s what they always were like. Yeah, that sounds good. And then three months later, like oh, Hey, we’re going to go on this vacation or we want to buy this car or we’re going to do this home repair. And I’m like, do you remember that plan that we worked on? We were like… And you were like very confident that there was nothing else that you were going to spend money on, at least in the first year. We haven’t made it halfway there and you’re already asking for more money that wasn’t every single client, but there’s definitely some of those that come to mind, but always tried to stay in that four to 5% range.

Jeff: And if anybody wanted to take more out, it was just like, Hey, it’s your money, you are in control of that. Just you need to understand what are the potential, ramifications if we do this and we’d run the numbers again so they could see, and either that would scare them into like, oh no, you’re right maybe I don’t need this. Or it was like, eh, I only live once Yolo.

Steve: Right. How frequently were you checking in or do you think people should check in, is this every six months kind of rerun the numbers and see where you’re at? Or is it quarterly or is it annually?

Jeff: Yeah, I think with most of the retiree clients that we have that were taking, their distributions, we would meet at least once every six months, depending on how complex the situation was. There were a few that we’d meet quarterly. And that was really it. I mean, if we needed a phone call check in and there was some that I had to tell, listen, stop checking in. And I hate to say that, but I just think of one situation where, I mean, I thought the guy was going to have a hard high because the Dow Jones was down 1% and I could hear it in his voice and I could see it. It’s like, dude, this is not, that is not healthy for you. Cause it’s like, we have a plan. The plan is in place, trust the plan. And you have to surrender that.

Jeff: And if it’s too much for you, then that’s fine. But realize if we into, if you’re going to go back to the bank or wherever you want to go, a lot of the things that you want to do is not going to be a possibility

Steve: A hundred percent. Yeah. I think it’s hard for people like, the past whatever decade, I guess, right. Since the great financial crisis, it’s been pretty good times in the very good times in the stock market so people are getting used to that. But if you have… If you go to retire in the first few years, there’s some serious volatility and the market is down a lot you have to be ready psychologically and feel confident that like, yeah, the long term plan’s going to hold together or are you going to might find yourself doing bad things that like selling it all at the bottom, which is what many retail investors do. And like, I can’t handle it. And then they’re out and then they’re screwing themselves for the next 20 years.

Jeff: And something that I did. And I don’t know, I just feel like I needed to do this because a lot of these retirement questionnaires that you take like, oh, can you… Are you… How risky are you and how much loss can you stomach? Oh, I’m good with 20%, that’s happened before yeah. That’s fine. They’re like, okay, well, you’ve got, 1.5 million so if you were to lose 20% in a year, here’s how much… This is what it looks like, and you quantify it. And most people will be like, oh crap, hell no. So they think they’re okay with that until it happens. So I always try to quantify so they could see, in regards to their specific portfolio, this is what that looks like. When you hear this all the time, okay. You see that on TV. Well, this is what it looks like for you.

Steve: Right.

Jeff: How does that make you feel?

Steve: I think this is the biggest part of… One of the biggest values of having a financial advisor in your corner is that when, the bad stuff hits the fan, you have someone to talk to before start making crazy moves. One user from our audience, Jolene was saying, Hey, why don’t more people retire offshore? I mean, did you see people making big moves either in onshore, like cheaper locations or let’s go to Mexico for five or 10 years?

Jeff: No, I mean, not really. Maybe that’s just because where I… I was in the Southern Illinois area, so a lot of people kind of stayed there locally. I will say, here recently I’ve had quite a few people I know have moved to Puerto Rico, take advantage of the tax benefits, but no, not really. And that’s just thing for most people. I always say the most common reason is that for retirees to have their kids and have their grandkids, is that they don’t want to move too far away from them. It’s just like more of the family aspect or it’s just the fact that, yeah, that just sounds scary. How do you do that? I mean, if you’ve never done it before.

Steve: Yeah. That’s a main

Jeff: …yeah.

Steve: It’s on the grandkids. I think a lot of people, they don’t… That is like the biggest single thing that drives a lot of grandparents to say it’s the greatest part. Last question here, Brian is asking about, any best practices on autopilot piloting, like the decumilation part. Have you seen people do that, string accounts together and automate it?

Jeff: Yeah, no. I read his question on like, he has to be an engineer. There has to be some sort of engineering background because I’m like, oh I’m sure that you could set something up that is definitely over anything that I would have any interest in doing. But no, I’m… I mean, yeah, that’s… I would be curious to see what he’s trying to do and if anything else exists out there, especially with different accounts. Cause that… I’m sure there’s software that exists, but I’m… It sounds like, I don’t know a lot of these firms don’t work together. They don’t like working together.

Steve: Yeah. So that’s actually in our software at some point maybe I’ll show it to you. I mean, we help people think through how to take down taxable, tax deferred and then tax exempt. But, it’s the… There is still a lot of thinking that people doing it. Okay, well look, we have two minutes left. So before I wrap it up, any… You’ve listed some great resources which we’ll put into the show notes, but any other, resources that you love that you want to call out, including your own for folks that are… Our audience is mostly 50 plus getting ready for retirement and looking for help.

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, not so much being on the investing side, but, I mentioned strategic coach and the… Basically was like a goal setting system that I ended up learning through that process. And I finally basically took that, adapted that and I’ve created it. So it is a course, it’s called the 10x Goals Accelerator. And for me, it’s almost the kind of like the same reason why I do what I do is… So with strategic coach, all these other coaching programs, I mean, you talking 10, $15,000 to be a part of it. And I wanted to create something that was for the younger version of me, or that person that wants this, but doesn’t have the 10 or $15,000 to set it up. So basically it’s just like a goal setting system which sounds pretty generic in a sense.

Jeff: But, I mean, just the process that I went through in that coaching program, how it has impacted my business, my personal life, how I set goals, how I achieve them, how I celebrate the wins and passing that on to my kids. And man, it’s just like, it has really truly been a game changer in my life. And so anyway, that’s something else that it’s live. I’m not really heavily promoting it yet, but I’m excited to get it out there because I know how much of an impact it’s going to have on people just because how much it has impacted me.

Steve: Sure. Well it definitely. So the 10x Goals Accelerator, well, we’ll find it and finally put a link to it. Thanks Jeff for being on our show. Thanks Davorin Robison for being our sound engineer. For the folks out there, appreciate your time in listening to this, and if you’ve made it this far, definitely check out Jeff’s site, goodfinancialcents.com or YouTube channel or blog podcast. And also we’ll link to the course and hopefully you check out our software as well. And with that, appreciate your time and attention and have a great day.

NewRetirement Planner

Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable

NewRetirement Planner

Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable.

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