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EP 12: Retirement Benefits Talk with Danielle Roberts, Boomer Benefits

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Danielle blew me away with her knowledge of retirement planning and the medical needs our parents and we will soon face as we enter retirement. I'll be 50 this year. Thinking about my medical needs in 15 years wasn't on my radar, but Danielle says it should be.

Danielle Roberts and Boomer Benefits help people and families to plan and transition into their retirement years. Many of us fail to plan for our medical needs in our retirement years putting stress on the entire family. Danielle shares a little of wisdom and several steps to make the transition much less stressful and smooth. Retirement doesn’t have to be scary or difficult, and a little wisdom from a mentor really helps.

Discover more about Danielle Roberts and Boomer Benefits at

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Retirement Benefits Talk With Danielle Roberts, Boomer Benefits

Announcer: Is money slipping through your fingers. Are you missing your opportunity to become a millionaire? Welcome to the millionaire choice where we talk to millionaires and future millionaires about how to build wealth and what to do with it once you have it. We're here to help you do two things, make your millionaire choice and create your own millionaire plan. Here's your host, speaker, wealth coach, and author of The Millionaire Choice. He made his choice, and he created his millionaire plan at age 25; now it's your turn. Welcome your host, Tony Bradshaw.

Tony: Well, hello again, and welcome back to the millionaire choice show today. I have on the show, Danielle Roberts, with boomer benefits, and I'm excited to have Danielle on the show because she's going to help us learn a little bit about transitioning into our later years around insurance, Medicare, and those kinds of things, as well as if you're like me and have some older parents who are moving into those years, it's going to be really good for you to learn about those things and the insurance and how to help your parents out and migrate them into the, you know, the golden years and not the worst years of their life. Danielle, thanks for coming on the show.

Danielle: My pleasure. I'm happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Tony: Yeah. So I'm really excited that the little bit of time I've been able to spend talking with you about this whole topic of insurance. I think a lot of times, uh, you know, in the financial world, everybody's guilty of this, right, is you kind of stumble along through your life and you make the mistakes and make the mistakes, and you just keep making mistakes financially. Probably some of the worst mistakes I think you could make is to be 65 years old. Ready to quit working, ready to retire, and just be in a real mess and not be prepared for that. And one of the great things you do is obviously help people get prepared for that. Talk to us a little bit about some of the big mistakes you've seen, um, that people have made in those pitfalls as they get ready for that.

Danielle: Yeah, you're right. If people put it off until the last minute, and we've certainly seen them, you know, the ones that call us the day before they're turning 65 and they know absolutely nothing, and they need the crash course, we can certainly help them with that. But it's better the earlier you learn. I often like to say that there should be a mandatory class at 50. That every American must go through so that they can have enough time to prepare for everything they didn't know about Medicare. Um, one of the most common misconceptions is that Medicare is free. And of course, people believe this because their whole working lives, they have deductions being pulled out of their paychecks. FICA deductions for social security and Medicare. And they then assume that because they've paid those deductions when they get to age 65, Medicare will be free and it will cover a hundred percent of everything. And that really couldn't be further than the truth. Medicare does have one part that will cost you nothing at 65 because of the taxes that you've paid. But there is a whole other part which is very necessary if Medicare is going to be your primary insurance that you'll pay for out of pocket. And then there's also things that you have to add on like supplemental and drug coverage to pay for all the things that Medicare doesn't. So someone that is turning 65, a married couple, you know, they may end up spending anywhere from 300 to $500 a month between them for both their Medicare benefits and their supplemental and drug products. And if you didn't plan for that earlier with your financial planner, you might learn that at 65 and say, "Oh wait, I need to keep working for another five or ten years here, because this was not in my budget for retirement." I actually get some really funny emails and posts about this from people with very colorful language, explaining how they feel about the federal government after being surprised by the fact that Medicare isn't free. So the sooner that you can know that upfront and plan for those healthcare dollars that you're going to need in retirement, it really is the better.

Tony: Yeah. And I've heard, I don't know if this is true. Um, I've heard that you can plan on about $300,000 in medical insurance expenses during

your retirement years.

Danielle: Yeah, that's right. That came from a study that Fidelity put out. And I think the surprising part that people don't realize why it's so expensive is that something Medicare doesn't cover as longterm care. So in addition to all the money you need just for medical and retirement, you also, if, if you or your spouse at some point, the chances are that at least one of you will need a stay in an assisted living or may need some in-home support someday with keeping on living independently. Um, none of those things are paid for by Medicare, and Medicare also doesn't cover dental vision or hearing. So they computed just what all those things might potentially cost the average couple turning 65. And that was the number that came out. It's pretty astonishing.

Tony: Yeah, it is shocking because when you look at the American savings rate and how much wealth people have actually created a $300,000 is way more than most people have when they retire. And it's not enough. And even if they did have it, it's not enough. So if it all goes into the insurance, it's just a miserable place to be. You also mentioned the number 50, and you talked about that is when people should start looking at that. Why 50 versus some other age.

Danielle: I guess, I feel like when someone turns 50, it's sort of a milestone birthday, and the horizon begins to open up. You're, you're looking out at what's coming at you, and you realize that you're closer to retirement than you were when you first started your work journey. And now is the time that they start to get a little more serious about, "Hey, you know, I'm not going to be able to continue working forever." A lot of them won't want to work forever and are looking forward to being retired. Some of them think they're going to retire at 62 because, of course, they can get social security that early, although it greatly reduces their benefit. And so I want people to know about this before. You know, they don't have enough time to make a difference in what they put away. We tell people, start looking at learning how Medicare works when you're 64 or 64 and a half, give yourself six to 12 months to kind of learn how things function and that way you'll be prepared to make the decisions that you need to make about what type of supplemental coverage to purchase or whether or not you're going to need drug coverage. And you can learn that piece at 64, but at 64, it's really kind of too late to start saving for the $300,000 that you'll need in retirement. And you don't want to be in a position where you have to rob Peter to pay Paul because you're choosing between food and rent. And that is something that if you find out that Medicare isn't free and that there's going to be some expenses to you and you learn that when you're 50, you still have enough time to really buckle down and make a difference to how comfortable you're going to be in terms of your lifestyle and affording healthcare when you retire.

Tony: Yeah. And I think, uh, you know, just speaking from experience, uh, my mother passed away from cancer. It's been, uh, I guess four years ago, but she didn't even know she had cancer. Found out, yeah found out when she had already retired. And so she was retired. She was staying at home, mostly helping with grandkids and, and was on the insurance and Medicare insurance and things like that, paying all that. And I think the Aflac or some kind of supplemental program that she had had, and, yeah, found out she had cancer in August and then passed away and was buried in November. So very quick. Yeah, by contrast, my mother-in-law, she also in retirement age, she passed away at age 70. My mother, my mother, was 67. The same year, by the way. And my mother-in-law spent about a year and a half fighting cancer a year and a half, two years. But by contrast, my dad and my father-in-law both in their seventies, still alive, still working. Well, my father-in-law's not, but my, my dad is working.

Danielle: Yeah.

Tony: But he's not really, I don't know that he's doing anything with the insurance and stuff. I mean, he's still a full-time guy, 70 hours a week. He's one of those old school guys that just, he gets, that's what his motivation is. Get up there to work every day.

Danielle: Wants to work.

Tony: He doesn't know anything else. And you know, that's what he does. But I'm thinking about those things. He can't do that forever.

Danielle: Yeah.

Tony: Like it's just not going to happen. And, you know, he wasn't taught by anybody to, you know, manage his finances or, you know, do investment or retirement thing. So I'm going to have to be the one to step in and help him out. You know, there's not another family member to support him. I haven't thought about those things. You know, I would have loved to have, you know, started thinking about those things with my parents back when they were probably in their fifties and helping them plan for that. I just wasn't in a place to do that. How would you advise somebody like me, as you know, they've got parents that are getting into those elderly years and helping to, you know, just bring the family tighter together to make sure everything's kind of shored up. What're some of your best advice for that?

Danielle: Yeah, it's really good to sit down and have a, just a frank conversation with your parent. Um, sometimes that can feel really uncomfortable because maybe you haven't discussed finance with your parents before, but I think an easy way to lead into that for any of your listeners would be to say, "I heard this podcast the other day, they talked about Medicare and got into some of the things about social security and what all this is going to cost someday. And I just wanted to make sure that you have the support that you need, mom or dad. For preparing for some of those things, uh, it sounded like some of that is really confusing stuff. Have you made plans for how you're going to afford healthcare and retirement? Is there anything I can do to help?" You know, just trying to open up that conversation in a nonthreatening way. You will find some parents probably are going to be more likely to discuss it than others. But I think the question needs to be asked because sometimes people don't plan for this stuff at all. And in addition to Medicare, there's a million questions about social security. And when do I take it? And how much is it going to be and how long will it last me and all of those things can be difficult to handle on your own. And you may not understand all of it. And so if you can, um, help your parents, uh, if for someone that's our age and you're helping a parent age into that you're a little more familiar with how insurance works because you're in the thick of it with your own coverage and you can translate that into, "Okay. So let's go, Mom and Dad, and see if we can find a course that we can take that will teach us a little bit." Or, "Hey, I picked up this book about Medicare and stuff that's really good. I thought it would be helpful for you." All of those things are ways that you can lend support without prying or making them feel like you want to know how much it's going to be leftover for you. I think people worry about that sometimes and asking their parents that some of the times their parents will take that the wrong way. And I think it all goes about how you ask the question. So that's a good way to phrase it. And I have really found in my business that a lot of the beneficiaries that work with are very open to having their adult kids on the phone call with us. Sometimes they feel more comfortable actually talking with an insurance agent or broker like us to learn those things when they do have their kids on the phone. And. If you can provide them just that little bit of relief to have another set of eyes looking at this and knowing, and you can also approach it from the aspect of, uh, you want to make sure that you follow their wishes. "What if there comes a time, mom, dad, when you aren't able to make a decision on your own, and if that time ever comes, I want to know what your wishes are, and I want to be able to carry those out. So have you given any thought to that?" And start the conversation that way. I think it's a good way to approach it.

Tony: Oh, that's very helpful. And as I'm sitting here listening to you, I'm talking about these people, like they're 50 years old in the future and I actually turned 50 this year.

Danielle: And so real for you and me.

Tony: I should be listening to Danielle here, you know, getting ready. My kids are going to be the ones who are going to be having these conversations with me before too long.

Danielle: Yeah, that's right.

Tony: Yeah, my oldest, I have six children, and, uh, my oldest is 20 in college right now. So I'm trying to mentor them up properly with finances, but, uh, this insurance thing, it's, it's sad, but a lot of times where we just deal with the problems when they surface, and I'm a firm believer in trying to get out ahead of the problems and solve them. And I think this insurance thing, especially the boomer benefits and the retirement age stuff, you got to stay out in front of it. To really be successful with it. It's not one of those problems that you can try to solve. You know, when it, when it happens, when you're there in the moment, that's like the worst time to be dealing with the insurance issues. Now, um, question, do you have a blueprint or anything, you know, for family planning? Like that's what went through my head as you're talking, I'm like, cause I'm, I'm very much a, a roadmap kind of structure guy. Yeah. What would, what would that roadmap or that plan look like for somebody like me to help walk their parents through those financial issues? At age 50, what should be the steps to actually take care of? Do you have a blueprint for something like that?

Danielle: And I can recommend a really great book. It's a friend of mine. Her name is Cameron Huddleston, and she has written a book that is called mom, dad, we need to talk. And she describes in the book how, when her mom turned 65, there had been some memory issues. And then there was this particular moment when they were having a conversation, and it became very clear to her that her mom didn't remember something that happened just five minutes ago. She just, in the nick of time, while her mom was still semi with it, she was able to go and meet with an elder law attorney. And have her mom do the power of attorney paperwork and the amount of stress that, that itself takes off you as a child, dealing with a parent that has Alzheimer's just to have that power of attorney to be able to make decisions for them when you're not ready. And so in the book, she walks you through all of the things that you should be thinking about. She talks about what happens if you don't have certain documents in place, the different types of questions that you do need to go over with your parents, and gives you some tools for doing that. I had her on my YouTube channel, and she was phenomenal. And I really thought the book that she put together was excellent. So that might be a good resource. If somebody really wants to know, like what, what do we start with? And that's also something that you can make an appointment with an elder law attorney for. So if you really don't know where to begin, find a good elder law attorney in your area or in your parent's home area, make an appointment, go sit down with them. "Hey, what are the things we need to be thinking about now? When mom is getting ready to turn 65 or dad's getting ready. My parents are getting ready that... that are going... do we need to put in place so that in five years, ten years, 15 years if it's not as easy for them to make these kinds of decisions, you know, they're going to have my help." Or if you have siblings, maybe you have a family meeting and sit down and decide how you're going to have that appointment. Um, but that's a really another good way to go about it. And they'll have, of course, a protocol that they'll walk you through to make all those decisions.

Tony: Yeah, those are great resources. I think it's important to seek those out. I mean, I'm really focused on building wealth. That's been my focus for a while, and, you know, raising kids and paying for college, I guess paying for college is not really focused on building wealth for me, but hopefully for setting my kids up for success. But I