Your Money & Your Life Podcast

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Have You Made a ‘Corona Purchase’?

Have you made a big splurge recently? How have your finances shifted in the past several months during the pandemic? Today we’ll talk about how spending has changed as our lifestyles have slowed down.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


On today's show: 

0:26 - Don talks summer heat and summer fun before school starts again.

6:28 - Have you heard about the “Corona Purchase”? 

9:08 - Home improvements projects and remodels are popular right now.

14:51 - Inventory on some hot items are running low.

15:51 - Who benefits economically from these improvements?

18:10 - Are you diversified?

22:14 - Getting to Know You: Would you rather make twice as much money next year or make the same amount of money while only working half as much?

What Happens Financially After the Loss of a Spouse?

Times like these may make you think more soberly and realistically about if something tragic were to occur. How do you prepare financially for the inevitable of one spouse passing away? We’ll take you through the important considerations on this episode.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:27 - Don shares about his holiday.

3:01 - What happens after the loss of a spouse financially?

5:16 - What does it look like when only one spouse takes care of the financial plan?

6:58 - What can people do ahead of time to prepare?

9:08 - What tax changes will happen after a spouse dies?

11:37 - Mailbag: Is this a good time to buy bonds?

16:10 - Do you know your risk tolerance as well as your goals?

Assess Your Financial Health With A Stress Test

Don recently went to the doctor for a checkup and a cardio stress test. All is well, but the experience reminded him just how similar it is to the testing he puts his clients’ portfolios through to make sure they can weather life’s various financial storms. He’ll also give you five easy-to-follow rules for how to survive the next stock market crash.

Show Notes, Resources & Contact Info:


0:35 – Life is slightly back to normal for Don.

2:23 – Don stumps Marc on some July 4th trivia. How many signers were on the Declaration of Independence?

4:23 – Have you ever gone through a cardio stress test? Don just experienced one during a health checkup.

10:09 – What does the financial stress test really look like? Don lays out three key elements.

12:50 – Let’s learn some lessons from the 2020 market crash with the 5-Rule Market Crash Survival Guide.

17:02 – Don discusses some more tweaks to this year’s Required Minimum Distribution rules. Lots of IRA law tinkering this year… 

19:55 – Getting To Know Don: If you were going to own a different business, what kind of business would it be?

Financial Lessons from Mark Twain & Picking the Right IRA

We look at several quotes from Mark Twain in today’s episode to see how it may apply in our own financial life. Then, we talk through traditional and Roth IRAs to see which is better for you.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:31 - Don shares his summer plans and how they’ve had to change.

2:17 - What can we learn about money from Mark Twain? 

4:13 - Thinking the market will always go up can lead to panic when it doesn’t.

6:18 - October…and basically all of our months are dangerous for stocks.

7:57 - What are people talking about when they mention the stock market?

9:34 - A balanced portfolio does better during turbulent times.

11:19 - Choosing between a traditional and Roth IRA.

13:12 - What is the power of the Roth IRA?

14:33 - What’s the difference between a Roth conversion and contribution?

16:23 - Who should contribute to a traditional and who should contribute to a Roth IRA?

18:25 - How does the Roth conversion work?

June Economic Update

With a constant changing world, particularly in the last four months, what is going on with the economy right now? What takeaways should we have from that when mapping out our financial plan?


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

0:43 - Hopefully we move toward a better tomorrow.

2:01 - How can we have high unemployment and a rising stock market?

3:17 - How is this possible?

6:43 - Why is it important to diversify?

9:13 - Cash Connection: Is it worth the penalty in a variable annuity to move my money somewhere with lower fees? 

13:04 - Getting to Know You: What does Don get nostalgic about from the past?

How Have Our Clients Been Doing Through Quarantine?

We spend a lot of time on the financial side of life, but money is nothing without your physical and mental health. Today we talk to Don about how clients have been handling isolation, how they’re staying healthy, and whether they are starting to venture out.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

1:09 – What’s the latest update on opening up businesses?

2:57 – Don was finally able to get a haircut but here’s what he had to do.

5:15 – How are clients doing financially and emotionally through this pandemic?

7:06 – Are clients starting to venture out yet at all?

10:13 – The isolation is starting to wear on people.

13:20 – Many deceased people are receiving stimulus checks.

14:59 – A lot of companies like insurance are providing discounts during this time.

16:56 – Cash Connection question: I just inherited a large sum of money from my dad. I thought it would be a bout $50,000 but it’s about 10x that amount. I’ve been saving on my so I don’t really know what to do with this. Any recommendations?

18:39 – Different tax treatment for each asset in the inheritance

What Does Economic Health Looks Like?

As we transition into a new routine and daily life, the economy continues to struggle. What has the Fed done? And will it be enough to help our economy?


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

1:45 - Life feels a bit like the movie “Groundhog Day” that repeats over and over. 

3:35 - What lessons could be learned from the movie?

5:32 - In the News: Police in New York City broke up an illegal night club/barbershop.

7:23 - What is the Federal reserve doing to help with the high unemployment rate?

11:15 - The Fed is trying to pump money into the economy. 

12:02 - What should you do with your stimulus check?

12:25 - What is the formula for economic health?

13:37 - Using an example of a restaurant dinner bill, how will that money be used?

17:12 - Cash Connection: Should you refinance your mortgage?

21:18 - Have you been inundated with virus-related emails? Be careful!

The Latest Financial Update on Coronavirus

As we approach the third month dealing with the coronavirus health crisis, let’s get an update on where things stand. Don will tell us how he’s dealing with the quarantine, what clients are concerned about, and the adjustments you might want to consider.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's show schedule: 

1:56 - Some quarantine trivia.

3:47 - How is the family doing through all this?

4:47 - Don’s three good things to reflect on.

6:30 - How are clients and other people in the industry dealing with this?

7:39 - It’s hard to find context for a lot of the statistics we’re hearing.

10:42 - What kind of feedback are you hearing from clients since last month?

11:28 - The changes in the IRA rules have caused some confusion. Don clears things up.

13:45 - Tax obligations for these provisions.

14:24 - What adjustments are clients making right now?

17:00 - Does this law affect charitable donations at all?

19:09 - Getting to Know Don: If you could relay a message to yourself 20 years ago, what would you tell yourself knowing what you know now?

Coronavirus Update: Understanding the CARES Act

Have you heard about the CARES Act, which will provide aid and relief for individuals and businesses? What adjustments have you made recently due to coronavirus and its impact? We'll discuss a few key areas to pay attention to.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

0:40 - What a world we’re living in now with social distancing and flattening the curve.

5:40 - Have people been making big changes with their financial plans?

7:49 - People typically fear getting sick or running out of money.

8:20 - What can you control?

9:54 - What has changed with the CARES Act?

14:40 - What are coronavirus-related distributions?

18:31 - Planning is a process and this will pass.

Coronavirus Market Update

The coronavirus struck quickly across the country and it caused a rapid sell off in the market that has many people worried. How bad will this be? What can you be doing for your retirement plan? We get the latest from Don Cash with his perspective on what we’re witnessing. 


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

1:24 - Let’s talk about what’s happening here and across the country with the coronavirus.

2:22 - Life has changed in many ways.

3:15 - Don talks about an app he’s been using to show gratitude daily.

4:23 - There’s not a lot of positivity in the news right now.

6:25 - Has Don been getting inundated with calls from clients? What kind of conversations is he having?

8:31 - What kind of financial topics are you covering right now?

9:30 - People are prone to react with fear in uncertain times.

10:44 - Is it a good time to buy?

12:44 - How do you see the government proceeding over the near term?

13:51 - People are looking for a v-shaped recovery. 

15:01 - This time there’s no fear of a bank run. 

15:58 - What are the things that can hurt your retirement plan right now?

18:04 - What other time of history would you rather be living in when it comes to dealing with this type of situation?

19:35 - With all the talk of selling, many people are actually adding. 

21:30 - Getting to Know Don: What’s something you’ve done before that you’ll never do again?

Revisiting the SECURE Act: Inherited IRAs

Have you heard of inherited IRAs? The SECURE Act changed a lot of rules, including the details surrounding the inherited IRAs, so you’ll want to know how to plan accordingly.


Read more on this topic and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

1:27 - How has the SECURE Act changed things for us?

3:51 - How have inherited IRAs changed?

7:32 - Are there RMDs in the new rule?

9:26 - Which beneficiaries are exempt from this rule?

10:15 - If you listed a trust as your IRA beneficiary, you’ll want to revisit that with an estate planning attorney. 

12:09 - Cash Connection: What are the contribution limits and rules for a Roth IRA?

17:42 - Getting to Know You: What is special about where Don grew up?

Coronavirus, Impeachment, & Election – How News Might Affect Our Retirement

It’s been a busy year already and we aren’t even through February yet. Today we’ll address the top stories dominating the news right now – the Coronavirus, impeachment, and the election – and discuss whether these things will affect our retirement and planning in 2020.


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

1:28 – In the News: What’s Don’s take on the Coronavirus and its impact?

4:34 – Don has a client that’s a doctor who’s always surrounded by viruses and never gets sick. This was his advice.

5:35 – In the News: How about the impeachment and election and its impact?

6:53 – The key is wisdom and the media doesn’t always provide that.  

8:12 – Cash Connection question #1: I just retired and my husband is retired as well. We’re thinking about doing some serious traveling now. Should we buy travel insurance?

10:49 – Here are the conversations we have with our clients about travel.

14:37 – Getting to Know Don: What do you do to stay in shape during the winter?

Surviving The Sandwich Generation

Are you caught in the middle of caring for both aging parents and a young family, or even, adult children and grandchildren? It can be a difficult time full of stress. In today’s episode of Your Life, Your Money, Don shares a few examples of what this can look like and how to navigate it. 


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

0:57 - The “sandwich” generation consists of people taking care of both their aging parents and grown children.

3:12 - Everyone’s situation is different, but it can often feel like one sibling takes on the most responsibility.

5:13 - How do you handle the stresses of being caught in the sandwich generation?

5:53 - Don’t do it all yourself.

6:43 - Assess your own situation for the future.

7:13 - On the other side, parents may feel a lot of pressure to help their children succeed.

9:29 - Cash Connection: Is it a good idea to sell your home and move into a retirement community?

14:09 - How are Don’s New Year’s resolutions going?

RMDs: Are You Billy Or Are You Bruce?

Feeling confused about what the SECURE Act means for you and your RMDs? Don will talk you through what you need to know and help you figure out whether you’ll need to take RMDs sooner or later.


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

1:38 - The SECURE Act is making people feel insecure about their RMDs.

2:57 - Are you more like Billy Joel or like Bruce Springsteen?

7:44 - How does Don help clients navigate these changes?

10:08 - Cash Connection Question: Can you explain the widow’s tax?

13:41 - Is there anything that can be done ahead of time to prepare for this tax?

17:02 - Getting to Know You: How does Don start the day?

2019 Financial Year in Review

Before we turn the page and move into the new decade, let’s take a look back at a busy 2019. We saw a strong market, interest rate cuts, the passing of the SECURE Act, and more, but there are also some signs for concern heading into 2020.


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

0:35 – Hard to believe it’s already 2020.

1:33 – What does Don see in store for 2020 from a financial perspective?

4:39 – People ask frequently about what’s going to happen in the stock market.

5:11 – Think about what was happening one year ago (December 2018) and the predictions we heard.

7:52 – Here’s what hasn’t changed financially in the last year.

8:21 – There are a few things to be concerned about heading into 2020.

11:52 – Cash Connection Question: My dad is 91 and remarried about 15 years ago. Both my dad and stepmother are in assisted living and thankfully have long-term care plans that cover the cost. He has told us he’s leaving all his assets to his kids. Someone told me in New Jersey that you can’t leave everything to your kids. Is that true?

14:45 – What does Don’s planning process look like when it comes to estates?

16:57 – Getting to Know Don: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

SECURE Act Update Heading Into 2020

We’ve been keeping an eye on the SECURE Act for months now and recent legislation passed by Congress will make it effective starting in 2020. Get an overview of the adjustments and find out why Don believes this is the most important change to retirement accounts in nearly 15 years.


Show Notes and Additional Resources: 


Today's Rundown: 

0:27 – Christmas time is here!

1:52 – In the News: Congress passed a $1.4 trillion spending bill in December to avert a government shutdown. Included in this was the SECURE Act. Can you give us an update on what this means to listeners.

3:25 – We reviewed the SECURE Act earlier this summer but there hasn’t been much to update since then.

4:12 – The 3 biggest changes in the SECURE Act

5:20 – Some important notes to know.  

6:56 – Don sees some big problems potentially.

7:48 – Will everyone have to deal with these issues?

9:00 – The current tax code reverts in the year 2025 so the next few years are important.

10:21 – Cash Connection: I keep getting these fake emails from people claiming to be Nigerian bankers wanting to send me money. I know it’s fake but my friend opened an email that looked to be from American Express and ended up opening a link to a virus. How can I protect myself from all the scams out there?

15:25 – Getting to Know Don: Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

Understanding 2020 Medicare Premiums and IRMAA Surcharges

It was recently announced that the Medicare Part B monthly premiums and the annual deductible would be higher in 2020, so how is this amount calculated? We turn to Don Cash to explain Medicare premiums, IRMAA surcharges, and how it breaks down into different tiers.


Show Notes and Additional Resources:


On This Episode: 

0:32 – We made it through Thanksgiving (maybe a little heavier).

1:43 – In the News: It’s IRMAA Medicare season and more people are getting letters saying they’ll be paying a surcharge. Don explains.

6:16 – The five different tiers for surcharge levels.

7:44 – Where do people run up against these charges?

9:58 – Final thoughts from Don on IRMAA

11:39 – Time for Cash Connection

11:50 – Mailbag question: I’m in my mid-50s and I don’t have much saved for retirement at all. But I own my own business and I’m having a huge year so I’ll have some profits to invest. Can you give me some places to start?

14:11 – Getting to Know Don: What is your ideal way to relax after a long day or week of work?

Common Misunderstandings When It Comes to Social Security

Myths, rumors, and misunderstandings are pervasive in the world of Social Security. On this show, we’ll look to clear up the most common misunderstandings about Social Security, provide some background on the program, and forecast possible changes that could be coming.


Show Notes and Additional Resources: 


On This Episode: 

0:56 – Happy Thanksgiving!  

2:23 – In the News: Social Security announced benefits would increase by 1.6% to cover cost of living. What are some of the common misunderstandings around Social Security?

3:37 – Here are the five most common misconceptions that Don hears.

4:25 – Let’s talk about the idea that Social Security is going broke. It’s been around since the beginning.

8:20 – How Social Security works exactly.

10:54 – Here’s how the ages break down for claiming Social Security.  

13:58 – A fact about cost of living increases and how it all began.

14:45 – How we work with clients to determine the best strategies to maximize benefits.

15:31 – Most people do need to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits.

16:02 – How has the current program evolved over the years and is it going broke?

16:56 – 5 ways that Social Security could change to generate more money.

19:35 – Getting to Know Don: Any new renovations going on at your house?

How Legal Documents Impact Your Finances and Retirement - Part 2

Americans believe it’s important to have a will, but less than half have one. Not only do many Americans lack a basic will, they often lack very important legal documents. On part two of this series, Don will discuss how his family handles these documents and the process of getting his children updated.


Show Notes:


Today's Rundown: 

0:36 – Baseball season not going any better for Don than football.

2:05 – What we talked about during part 1 of this series.

2:45 – Don fills us in on how the estate planning is going for his family.  

3:24 – Don had to make changes with his children getting older.

4:03 – Typically, the husband will name the wife as the executor of the will.

4:53 – Where do your children’s spouses fit into the plan?

5:33 – Remember that not all of your assets get passed on through the will.

6:25 – Here’s how Don got to thinking about getting his adult children to think about legal documents.

8:50 – How often should people be updating these types of documents.

10:36 – Cash Connection time

10:40 – Mailbag question: I keep hearing that if President Trump is impeached, the stock market will crash. What do you think I should do?

11:57 – Trivia Question: Who are the only two presidents to be impeached?

15:00 – Getting to Know Don: Any television shows that you’re into right now?

How Legal Documents Impact Your Finances and Retirement - Part 1

Americans believe that it is important to have a will, but less than half have one. Not only do many Americans lack a basic will, they often lack very important legal documents like a power of attorney, an advanced healthcare directive (living will) or HIPPA authorization forms. We will begin this discussion in part 1 of 2.

On this episode: 

1:30 – Don Cash, a NY Jets fan, shares what the acronym J-E-T-S stands for in 2019.

2:26 – A recent survey found most Americans find it’s important to have a will but less than half actually have one. Why is that?

3:45 – We’re creatures of habit so if no one is talking about these things, they are easily ignored.

5:42 – What are some reasons you need to update your legal documents?

7:50 – A couple more things people should think about: gifting assets, protecting the children, clear up conflicts.

9:07 – For many folks, the 401k, IRA, or life insurance is the biggest asset and it doesn’t get passed on based on will. Instead it goes off beneficiary form. 

9:40 – It’s a tough issue to tackle which is why we work to help clients on these circumstances.

10:43 - Not only do we avoid this for our own finances, but we also don’t help our children. 

12:02 - Mailbag question: I have to pay an extra premium for Medicare because my income is too high. My wife passed away a few years ago but my income hasn’t really changed. Am I stuck with this penalty?

14:02 - There is an appeal you can file if the surcharge is due to 1 of 8 life-changing events.

Medicare Surcharge and Appeal Form:

Caring. Com Estate Planning Survey:

Show notes:…etirement-part-1/

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