Overrated Or Underrated?

Welcome to the Money Wisdom Podcast where Joel Johnson, CFP® of Johnson Brunetti, reviews retirement and investment topics weekly. Let’s get started…

Today’s Wisdom:

We live in an era of hot takes; that is to say, strong opinions. Without becoming too controversial, Joel shares his opinions on certain topics and explains whether they’re overrated or underrated concepts.

What You’ll Learn:

00:41 – Sell In May, And Go Away!

  • It’s an old saying meaning, “Don’t expect the market to do well the rest of the year, especially over the summer.”
  • Joel explains whether there’s any truth to this saying.
  • Remember, market timing doesn’t work. You need a long-term investing strategy.

2:40 – Variable Annuities; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • It depends on who you’re asking. Many people are pushed into buying variable annuities and end up being stuck with high fees and penalties.
  • Variable annuities are the ones you probably hear about the most, but there are other types of annuities that could be useful depending on your situation.

3:52 – Fireworks; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • We pause for a heartwarming story Joel shares about growing up watching fireworks at the park.

4:38 – Paying Off Your Mortgage Early; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • From an analytical standpoint, Joel shares why it’s probably overrated. Most people in retirement would be better off to have a mortgage with a low interest rate.
  • Retirement is more than numbers. Some people like the peace of mind that comes from knowing they’ll have no debt in retirement. This is important to consider as well.

6:23 – Roller Coasters; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • Most definitely underrated! Joel shares a story about his bout with the Colossus as a teenager.

7:00 – Sushi; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • We quickly learn of Joel’s personal distaste for raw fish.

7: 36 – Tax Refunds; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • Getting a tax refund just means you’ve loaned the government money throughout the year, and you haven’t earned any interest on it. Large tax refunds are most definitely overrated.

9:46 – Roth IRAs; Overrated Or Underrated?

  • Roth IRAs are underrated. Joel explains why that money is tax-free forever.
  • Roth IRAs allow you to pass wealth to your heirs, tax-free.

12:38 – Implications Of The Trade War

  • Joel explains the implications for the ongoing trade war with China.
  • We’re due for a market correction or recession. When the market stumbles, people like to blame various events and people. However, it’s really normal for Wall Street to cycle between bull and bear markets. That’s why we stress the importance of being financially independent from Wall Street.

16:02 – Mailbag – How To Use An Inheritance

  • Jacqueline is about to sell a farm she inherited. She wants to know whether to use the proceeds to pay off her mortgage or invest the money and use investment income to pay off the house instead.
  • Joel explains why Jacqueline needs to assess how she feels about debt, and why carrying mortgage debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

17:45 – Mailbag – Paying For College

  • Richard wants to know whether he should be doing anything other than investing in 529 plans to save for his kids for college education.
  • Joel explains how 529 plans work and why they’re a great tool for saving for college.

20:48 – Mailbag – A New Advisor

  • Lillian is considering a new advisor. She only wants to put half of her wealth with the new advisor because she thinks it’d be good to have multiple perspectives. She wants to know whether it’s a good idea.
  • Unfortunately, this is not a good idea. You wouldn’t play one doctor against another, and you shouldn’t risk complex and conflicting opinions from multiple advisors.

Final Thoughts:

“Now is your time to get across the finish line to retirement. The worst thing that can happen is that your retirement plans are blown up by poor investments or a lack of a financial plan.” – Joel Johnson

Additional Resources:

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Thank you for listening!