Your Money & Your Life Podcast

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GameStop Stock Situation

What just happened with GameStop? What can we learn from it, and how does it apply to your financial plan? We’ll get Don’s perspective on today’s show.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this episode: 

1:06 - Don’s theory when it comes to picking a team to cheer for in the Super Bowl. 

2:40 - What other drama has occurred in February?

3:48 - What good news has happened so far this year?

6:49 - What’s been happening with GameStop?

9:01 - What’s a short sell? What was different this time?

13:31 - What’s long-term investing and what’s luck?

15:25 - Why does this situation remind Don of a TV show?

17:26 - Don’t get greedy!

18:16 - Did any of Don’s clients consider buying GameStop stock?

19:43 - How do you build wealth?

21:07 - What age did Don love being?

What Should You Be Thinking About For 2021?

What does Don predict for the new year? How can we prepare our financial plan appropriately for what may come in the future? Let’s talk about some areas that need attention in 2021.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

0:50 - As predicted, 2021 hasn’t exactly been the brand-new start we all hoped for.

3:09 - What’s the latest in vaccine and COVID news?

10:17 - What is the economic side of what’s to come?

14:27 - What is the real estate market like right now?   

18:17 - What should we be thinking about in 2021? 

The Highlights & Lowlights - Wrapping Up 2020

As you wrap your gifts and prepare for the ball drop, we wrap up 2020 by reviewing the highlights and lowlights that happened this year. Can you believe all that’s happened?


Read more and get additional financial resources here:


Download the strategies checklist PDF: 


What we discuss on this show: 

0:39 - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with snow for Don.

3:28 - Let’s do a year-end wrap up of 2020.

5:37 - January was when we were talking about the impeachment of the president.

6:28 - March we started the shutdown.

6:50 - Early summer we had protests and riots.

8:07 - By fall we were watching the election.

10:40 - What lessons can we carry into 2021?

15:05 - What habits have we changed?

18:10 - What other surprises has 2020 brought?

End of Year Financial Checklist + Market Update

We’re closing in on the end of the year, which is a great time to catch up on a little rest and relaxation. Before you do that, there are some financial items you should review before the calendar turns to January. We’ll run through a list of five planning considerations on this show, and we’ll also get Don’s thoughts on the recent surge in the market.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


Download the strategies checklist PDF: 


What we discuss on this show: 

1:14 – Holiday update

5:29 – Market up nearly 10% in November, surprising?

7:16 – How much is vaccine and treatment related?

8:25 – Value vs Growth companies

13:46 – Roth conversions

16:07 – IRA hardship distribution

17:07 – Qualified Charitable Distributions

18:49 – Estate Planning

Evaluating the End of the Year 2020

As we near the holiday season and end of the year, what’s been happening in our country? How does it impact what we do in our own financial planning? Anything we should do before the year is over?

What does the election mean for planning for 2021, especially when we don’t have official results yet? Even without total clarity on our politicians, the economic results are coming back fairly strong, especially when it comes to consumer spending.

We'll talk about that on today's episode.


Read the show notes here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

1:14 - COVID is spiking sadly.

3:52 - The election results are not yet finalized.

5:22 - The stories about possible vaccines are promising.

7:16 - What does a divided Congress mean for taxes?

9:10 - What moves should we make before the end of the year?

10:29 - Any changes with Social Security?

12:46 - What specific financial planning moves should we consider?

16:19 - What are long-term capital gains and qualified dividends?

How This Election Compares to Previous Years

Election Day is behind us but the results for this year’s vote are still unclear. As unusual as the 2020 election has been, there are some surprising parallels to previous years. Join us as we go through those and then discuss what we can be doing from a planning standpoint during all the uncertainty.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

0:29 - Election Day has passed 

2:30 - Will be a while before things get settled 

3:50 - Similar to the great election controversy of 1876 

7:17 - So how was that election resolved?

9:52 - What planning considerations do we need to have during all this?

12:59 - What do we do now?

16:17 - Gaining that peace of mind for your future

Planning for Social Security Benefit Changes

The federal government recently announced an increase to Social Security benefits for 2021 but it also came with an increase in Medicare premiums. On this episode, we’ll tell you what you need to know about these adjustments along with thoughts on additional changes that could come be coming down the road.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

3:22 - Mixed signals from the market with the latest news.

4:37 - Canceled debates

6:55 - Cost of living & premium increase in Social Security benefits

9:08 - Is Social Security going broke?

11:04 - Stats on claiming benefits

12:11 - Ways they could make the program solvent

14:28 - Reducing the inflation benefit

16:47 - How does this impact someone in retirement now?

20:38 - Getting to Know Don: What’s a habit that drives you crazy that some people might have?


What are some of the economics surrounding an election year? How will our president impact our economy? Let’s talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room as we head into the final quarter of 2020.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

1:39 - What does it take to go boating these days?

4:31 - What should investors and retirees be doing leading up to the election?

6:12 - What do the polls indicate?

11:17 - How do the markets react?

16:04 - Why do we see the economy working independently of the presidents?

Obsolete Financial Planning Axioms

Have you ever heard of the 10-5-3 rule? It’s one of the outdated financial planning axioms that just don’t make sense anymore. Today we’ll tell you why and explain interest rates, inflation, and factors that determine where we’re headed.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this show: 

0:33 – An update on what’s going on with Don.

3:45 – The 10-5-3 Rule

9:07 – An example of how inflation works.

11:59 – Items with the greatest inflation.

14:06 – Could 10-5-3 rule become more relevant?

15:16 – Cash Connection: Should I be investing different since we have this election approaching in a few months. 

Stock Market & Real Estate Update

As summer winds down, the economy is still facing numerous challenges but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the stock market and real estate these past few months. Let’s try to make some sense of what we’re seeing in both markets and find out what Don thinks about the rest of the year.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


What we discuss on this episode: 

0:48 – What’s going on since last show?

5:48 – What should we make out of these market gains?

10:19 – Tech driving the market

12:56 – How will the election factor into the market?

16:45 – How is the housing market staying so strong?

23:25 – Does Don have any clients thinking about cashing out and moving?

24:24 – Where is Don getting his news from these days?

Preparing For Financial Storms

Are you prepared for a financial storm? We explain what to do and why a financial advisor is so important in helping you weather tough conditions when the forecast gets dark.


Read more and get additional financial resources here: 


On today's show: 

5:35 – We react and don't plan for financial storms

7:30 – Positives and negatives of diversification

9:07 – Hot stocks

10:02 – Tesla

13:54 – Mailbag: Should financial advisor help with social security, life insurance and legacy planning?

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.

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