Mailbag: Social Security Age, Life Insurance Policy, Refinancing, & More

Today’s Wisdom:

It’s time for another mailbag edition of the show and we’re answer five of your questions that cover a variety of retirement and financial planning topics.

Want to save time? Click the timestamps below to jump ahead to specific spots in the episode.

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What You’ll Learn:

With more than 150 shows under our belt, we get quite a few financial planning questions covering all types of questions. While we try to get to a few on every show, this time we’re opening up the entire episode to what’s on your mind.

Join us for a special mailbag edition of Money Wisdom as we cover five different areas of planning and investing. We’re hitting it the ground running and giving you as much information as we can in a short period of time Let’s get started.

Social Security Age

One of the biggest problem areas in retirement is Social Security. You really only get one opportunity to get it right and many retirees don’t know what option is best for them. In this case, the listener heard that 70 is the ideal age but doesn’t want to work for another decade or more before retiring. The good news is they don’t have to but it depends on what the rest of their financials look like. If it’s not necessary to work until 70, why would you want to? The key, though, is knowing for sure and we can help you plan that out.

[0:18]Mailbag Question #1: All the experts say you should work until 70 and then start Social Security. I’m only 57 and I can’t imagine working 13 more years. How important is this notion of working until 70?

 

Refinancing Your Home

With interest rates at historically low levels, many people are thinking about refinancing their home and that’s a great reason. But what about refinancing to make home improvements? One listener had a house in their neighborhood get flipped for about a $150K gain and sees this as an opportunity to renovate their kitchen. Does it make sense to refinance to pay for those improvements? Hear what Joel thinks about this idea.

[2:02]Mailbag Question #2: A home in our neighborhood was recently purchased for $350K and flipped less than a year later for $500K. I’m considering refinancing our home and re-doing our kitchen. Good move?

 

Choosing an Advisor

Working with an advisor is an important decision and a big step for most people. It’s your money and you’ve worked hard for so letting someone in on that can cause you to be protective. It’s only natural, but when you’ve interviewed a half-dozen advisors and none of them check every box, maybe you need to relax your standards a little bit. No one is perfect, but that’s why you build a complete portfolio.

[3:17]Mailbag Question #3: I’ve interviewed 7 different financial advisors. They all have aspects that I like but no one seems perfect. Should I keep interviewing or am I being too picky?

 

Life Insurance Issues

One listener wrote in and said that an old life insurance policy that they stopped paying on for a while suddenly requires payment again to stay active. New expenses are rarely welcomed, especially when nothing has changed with the policy. Unfortunately, this situation might be worse than the listener thinks and Joel explains what’s likely happened.

[6:14]Mailbag Question #4: I have a life insurance policy that I’ve had for many years. I was able to stop paying premiums more than a decade ago while keeping the policy in place. But I just got a letter saying I need to start paying again to keep the policy. What happened?

 

Stock Market Whiplash

There never seems to be an easy day when it comes to the stock market over the past few months. Big swings in both directions are more than a lot of investors want to deal with, and that’s the case with one of our listeners. If you’re tired of watching your account fluctuate but want to stay invested, what options do you have? We’ll wrap up the show by talking about where your money could go.

[8:45 ]Mailbag Question #5: I have whiplash from watching the market for the last few months. What can I invest in that won’t be so volatile?

Thanks for listening to this episode. We’ll be back again next week for another show.

 

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Final Thoughts:

“We get a ton of questions on Social Security, and it’s one of the biggest areas that people make mistakes in that can cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.”  

– Joel Johnson, Money Wisdom Podcast

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