#152 - Financial Forecasting: 2017 Predictions And The Impact They Have On YOU
Financial forecasting season is upon us! It’s the new year and there’s always a handful of predictions you see regarding politics, markets, social trends, and much more. If you spend much time listening to the talking heads out there you can come away very confused. Why? Because you’ll hear as many opinions and forecasts as there are talking heads! On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to talk a bit about the role financial forecasting should play in your financial decisions. You’re going to find out what I think of all the expert advice out there, so be sure you give this one a listen.
Financial forecasting is often primarily about attention, not truth.
Don’t get me wrong, the people out there making their financial forecasts truly believe that what they are saying is really going to happen. But they’re not making their forecasts solely for the sake of helping you know what to do. They are trying to get attention, to get eyes on themselves and their organizations. That enables them to be positioned as an expert in the field and hopefully (they are hoping) they will get some clients or business as a result. So how should YOU take action based on the forecasts? I’m going to tell you what I think, on this episode.
What is a donor advised fund and how can you use one?
On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I received a question from a listener about the wisdom of putting some assets into a “donor advised fund.” What is that you may ask? A donor advised fund is essentially a philanthropic financial vehicle established at with some public charity. It allows you - or any donor for that matter - to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time. So in this way, as a donor, you are able to also be an advisor to the fund regarding what they do with the money that's given. So in answer to my listener’s question I dive into those types of funds and give a bit of advice about how you can wisely contribute to and participate in them.
Do you have retirement funds in an ESOP? Is there any way to move them out?
One of the things I love to do on The Retirement Answer Man show is answer listener questions - and on this episode, I got a great one about ESOP accounts. An ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan. It’s a qualified plan designed to invest primarily in the stock of the company where you are employed. ESOPs are "qualified" in the sense that the ESOPs sponsoring company, the selling shareholder and participants receive various tax benefits. But the listener who asked the question wants to diversify the account. Is it possible? I’ve got some suggestions for him on this episode, so be sure you listen.
Are you device-addicted? You should take the question seriously.
I recently saw a video created by a very thoughtful and wise guy named Simon Sinek. He was talking about the tendency among Millennials to be “device addicts.” He pointed out that the “ding” of a device notification stimulates the very same chemicals in the brain as shot of cocaine. That means we are able to become physically addicted to the sensation on certain levels. Why am I asking the question? Because I’m concerned not just about retirement planning, but retirement planning that leads to a HAPPY life. And if you’re addicted (to anything) I doubt you’re going to be your happiest. Find out how I suggest you go about answering the question on this episode.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN
[0:32] My introduction to this episode of the podcast and an invite to check out the blog.
[2:31] Retirement Plan LIVE begins February 1st with a new couple!
HOT TOPIC SEGMENT
[4:26] The issue of predictions for the markets for 2017.
[6:49] How I think about predictions (it’s all about attention).
[9:10] What you have to do practically in light of predictions.
[14:13] High value activities regarding your portfolio.
PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT
[15:45] QUESTION: How wise are donor-advised funds and how should I approach them?
[22:01] QUESTION: My portfolio is full of company stock only by requirement (ESOP). Is that legal?
[26:06] QUESTION: Can a spouse take an early SS benefit on their own then “upgrade” to the higher benefit of their spouse when the time comes?
TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT
[30:06] In the next 7 days, update your net worth statement for 2016.
THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT
[31:15] Do you have a device-addition? Do a self examination.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That
BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney
3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover
Roger’s Retirement Learning Center
The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page