It’s an innocuous sounding question, isn’t? “What are your retirement income expectations?” Yet, it may be THE most important question you ever ponder when speaking about retirement income. The reason? Most folks frame their answers based upon false assumptions fed to them for decades.
Transcript: Everybody talks to me about their expectations for retirement income, whether it’s five years from now or 35 years from now. I talk to all ages. One of the things that I notice is that a lot of them repeat what they’ve heard from various financial advisors, whether it’s a 401k guy at work or maybe their neighbor who might be a financial planner of some sort. Those guys, they know what they’re doing. One of the things that has always bothered is when these advisors tell people about not to worry about income taxes and retirement because they’re going to be at a lower rate. If you’ve been investing since the 20s, 30s, or 40s age brackets and you’ll retire at 65, 66, and you’re going to go down in tax rates, what we’re you doing wrong? I’ve never understood that. Let’s get specific. If you have a family, whether it’s one or two working parents and they start out, and we all experienced this cycle, we’re learning whatever industry we’re in, we start getting better. Sometimes we switch industries. That happens more these days. We used to have one or two employers our whole life. Now, we’ve got people now in their 30s they’re already on their third employer because that’s just the new nature of the economy. Over time, they begin to make more and more money. They understand that their lifestyle doesn’t have to keep increasing with it, they save more and more and they begin to invest because they understand the dynamics of investing for retirement. How they invest for retirement really begins to show itself as being just extremely important. Are they going to do the stock market? Are they going to be in bonds? What are they going to do that’s going to give them enough money to retire on? If we have somebody who, by the time they’re 40 years old, is making somewhere between 75 and 150,000, clearly that’s more than the median 50,000 household income for the country. They’re not living up to their eyeballs, so they’re saving money, which is why they have money to invest. If they’re going to invest for 25 years from that point on, they’re 40, they’re going to retire at 65, they’re saving and they keep making a little bit more money every five or ten years, they can look back and say, “I’m making more money now,” and they’re saving more. They invest in real estate. They invest in notes. They maybe got themselves EIUL with a David Shafer here on my staff. What ends up happening in about 25 years is they’ve compounded all those investments and they haven’t relied on the stock market or some kind of fund, they’re not subjecting themselves to these huge cyclical and sometimes pretty stealthy drops. Now, I understand. Real estate has it’s on bubbles, this that and the other, but in real estate and especially notes, and I’ll address that, but in real estate, even when property goes down in value, you have to understand, there’s a false assumption that that’s deadly. You’re not getting to retirement with the biggest of net worth that you can create because you’re going to be spending your net worth in retirement. You’re not going to spend your net worth. You’re going to spend the yield on that net worth. If you have a property that might have been worth half a million dollars when you’re retired, and something happened in the real estate market where it went down 20%, now that’s worth 400,000, you didn’t lose any money because you didn’t sell. What you really have to look at is was there a concurrent drop in rents? A lot of times, that goes with it. Even if it did, you lost 20% of your income, you still have income. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s not just you’re getting 4% or 5% or 3.5 from your 401k, what you’ve done is over 25 years you’ve invested in real estate, you’ve invested in notes. Notes, not only do notes help you pay off all your real estate way sooner rather than later because of the payments over time, you’ve also invested into the notes in what we call a tax free wrapper, usually a ROTH entity of some sort over those 25 years. What’s happened is, they’ve grown and grown. You’ve killed two birds with one stone with the notes you bought in your own name because they help you pay off debt. When you pay off debt, what happens to the income from the real estate? It skyrockets the next day because you don’t have the debt service. Meanwhile, back at the note ranch, you’ve got notes in your own name. You’ve got notes in a ROTH. You’ve got income coming everywhere. Every time a note pays off, you’re paying capital gains taxes notes in your own name. You’re not paying any tax whatsoever in the ROTH. It just keeps growing. It keeps growing after you retire. Think about 25 years of doing the real estate, 25 years of doing notes, 25 years of doing an EIUL, and you’re supposed to be in a lower tax bracket? People, most investors, if they just stay close to the vest, like I always say, just take the boring road from A to B, end up making more money more money in retirement from their first year in retirement on than they ever made in their best year at work. Now, is that true all the time? No, it’s not. Sometimes people have to correct mistakes they’ve made before they started executing the wiser strategies. Sometimes they come on board too late in life or time is not their friend anymore, but they still can make improvements. The key is this: if you start before you’re 50 and you have any kind of equity of cash to work with and you’re consistent in what you do, if you retire with less than six figures a year at retirement at 65, look in the mirror because it’s your fault. Catch you later.