Episode 006:
Knowing Your Budget and How Much You Spend is Critical in Retirement!


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(audio version is below)


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What is Episode 006 All About?

“If you don’t have a good sense of humor, you’re better off dead.” ~Roger Rabbit.

Has anything truer ever been said? Not according to The Dave, who helps kick off this episode of Retirement = Freedom with several pearls of wisdom before he and Host Josh Bretl, CPA and Founder of FSR Wealth Strategies, get down to business.

When it comes to getting your retirement planning act together, there are two key questions that Josh puts to all his clients right out of the gate:

  • How long are you going to live?
  • How much do you spend?

These are personal, sensitive questions and the answers are at once straightforward (“I don’t know”) and complex (“How many puddin’ cakes a month can we afford?).

No one wants to think about their mortality and anyway who can predict? We can’t, says Josh, which is why it’s probably smart to err on the side of preparing for a very long life!

Longevity rates are increasing at a brisk pace and you’ll likely motor along years beyond what you might now imagine.

The subject of spending is a whole other animal. No one wants to get naked and admit things (like their disproportionate monthly spending on laser tag, ahem, Dave).

But the truth is that, when it comes to working with a financial planning professional like Josh, it’s a judgment-free zone: “We don’t care what you spend money on, but we do care how much you spend.”

Spending choices are entirely at your discretion. No shame and no blame. But wherever you are on your retirement planning journey, it’s important to get honest and get a strategy.

Josh and Dave will follow up on this episode with more conversation about ideas for allocating resources in retirement. So stay tuned and in the meantime enjoy a cup of Cometeer Coffee!

Click here if you’d like to learn more about or listen to previous episodes of the Retirement Equals Freedom Podcast.

Click here to explore the services that FSR Wealth Strategies offers and schedule a discovery call with one of the team’s CPAs. When it comes to living your best life, it’s never too early to get started!

REF 006 video thumbnail

Talking Points

The guys get started by trying to bounce back from technical difficulties and – with a little help from their senses of humor – they do!

Josh shares some really bad advice that life insurance companies often give about how to save your way to financial freedom. (Spoiler Alert: It’s not an actual strategy.)

The two key questions Josh recommends that everyone ask themselves:

  • How long are you going to live?
  • How much do you spend?

Probing questions can be uncomfortable, but candor is still required.

Why getting back to basics at basketball practice also works when it comes to retirement planning.Question #1:

When Josh asks about people’s longevity he tends to get one of two reactions. Either his clients wants to look at family history and actuarial data or they have a fixed endpoint in mind. Either way, money ultimately doesn’t go with you.

Question #2: When it comes to spending, the immediate response is, “NO! Not a budget!” But Josh’s goal isn’t to limit spending but rather to get a true reading of how much clients are spending so they can plan realistically.
Were you raised to avoid talking about money? Time to unlearn that behavior!

Getting financially naked is tough. It can feel vulnerable and even shame-inducing. But retirement planners don’t care about your choices so much as how to help you maximize resources over time.

Three ways to consider spending:

  • If you’re still earning a paycheck, are you paying down debt or setting $$ aside?
  • If you’re retired, how much social security and income from savings and investments are you spending each month?
  • Consider using a financial planning form to record and track every expenditure. Tedious perhaps, but highly effective!

Dave Gets Naked: All about a fascinating archival document unearthed by his Mom. Check out the official "Dave" Budget that Josh designed for his best friend some years back. It reveals deep insights you won’t want to miss, like a line item for laser tag!

Josh provides the "Dave" Budget backstory, the origins of a financial relationship for which he has been paying ever since!

Remember: When you’re completing a financial planning form, it’s generalized. You don’t have to reveal individual expenditures on things like food or entertainment. It’s a safe space! No judgment!

In summing up, Josh ticks off the two most important things to consider when you start thinking about retirement:

  • How long do you need your money to last? (Hint: It’s probably longer than you think.)
  • How much do you want to spend? Get honest with yourself!

Dave is humbled and ready to revisit his Josh-inspired budget to update for his current stage of life!

Quotable Quotes

“If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re better off dead.” ~Dave, quoting Roger Rabbit.

“ ‘You shouldn't buy that $5 coffee every day. If you just save that, you could … make a lot of money in the long run.’ That's an embarrassing way to talk to people.” ~Josh

“Well, if you wouldn't eat those puddin' cakes, you could buy some life insurance.” ~Josh

“The question is: Let’s see how much you spend so we can plan for (retirement) distributions. And the truth of the matter is nobody has any idea of how much they’re spending.” ~Josh

“Growing up, at least in my family, we were taught not to talk about money. There are issues you don’t talk about and money is this secret topic. But … it’s so important to talk about money.” ~Dave

“You do have to get financially naked. If you’re going to trust your adviser they have to know exactly what’s going on and it’s a terrible feeling. Nobody likes it.” ~Josh

“(Financial planners) don’t care what you spend money on, but we do care how much you spend.” ~Josh

“Look up longevity. Look up how long people are living. You need your money to last.” ~Josh

About your Co-Hosts

A certified public accountant, Josh Bretl has spent the past two decades growing FSR Wealth Strategies into a firm that specializes in tax-focused retirement planning. Because taxes have the single biggest impact on how much you can spend in retirement, Josh is dedicated to developing individualized financial plans that extend and grow his clients’ retirement savings. Based in Elmhurst, Illinois, FSR Wealth strategically preserves and maximizes resources through tax-efficient strategies designed to fulfill retirement dreams.

Apart from producing and co-hosting The Retirement Equals Freedom Podcast, Josh's longtime friend Dave Schmidt is marketing director at FSR. He’s also a content provider and marketing adviser to local businesses and nonprofits. He’s also an advocate for t-shirts, all things 90s (especially the music), short walks and long naps.

Standard Disclaimer:
FSR Wealth Management is a registered investment advisor located in Elmhurst, Illinois. Information and opinions contained in this audio have been arrived at by FSR Wealth advisors. All information herein is for informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice. It does not constitute an offer, a solicitation or recommendation to purchase any security. FSR is not providing legal, tax, accounting, or financial planning advice in this audio. These views are as of the date of this publication and are subject to change.

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