On this episode of the Retire Once Show, Johnathan sits down with Matt Meline CFP®, the Founder and CEO of PrairieFire Wealth Planning and the author of the book Empty Nest Full Pockets – How to emotionally and financially prepare for you and your children’s future. With the rising cost of education, college planning can be very stressful. Many parents focus on the financial aspects of college planning while overlooking the emotional impact they face as parents. Matt shares his journey of becoming an empty nester and his advice on how to best avoid what many parents face empty nest syndrome.
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Hello, and welcome to the retire wants show the show designed to help you get to retirement, but most importantly, stay retired. I'm your host, Jonathan Ranken. I'm the founder and CEO of the and wealth management. And I am joined as always by my lovely co-host. Hi, I'm Alyssa Ranken. Thank you for joining us.
We are happy to have you here today. We've got a great show. We're gonna be talking about the top three things that are impacting your retirement decisions right now. So, uh, yeah, it's been a weird couple weeks in the news lately. It is. It's a lot of talk about recessions and a lot of negativity. Yeah. I don't see, I mean, the, the market's been positive the past couple weeks, but it seems like the news and everything out there is just making it so much harder to think about the decision to retire and make just that whole process of financial planning, a little bit more difficult.
And I know the conversations that, you know, we've been having with clients have been. The recession inflation. And that's really what we want to talk about today is what's going on in the world. Is impacting just the thought around retirement planning. And I think that is hopefully gonna help you as you plan your retirement out to hopefully weed out some of that noise.
But these are the top three things that we've noticed that clients have been asking about that are impacting their decisions. But, uh, before we jump into that, Make sure that you hit that subscribe button. Join us on this lovely retirement community that we are building here. We are building retirement paradise one person at a time.
So click that little button. So jumping right in. I mean the main three things that we've kind of come across are that we get questions about. I mean, like we said, there's tons of negativity. the first one, the forefront of everything inflation, like that's everything that you turn around and everybody's talking about inflation.
And there was a, uh, that study that we were talking about the other day by, it was by BMO Harris. It's their real financial progress index. And in this survey, they surveyed thousands of people. It said that 60% of people surveyed were adversely affected. By inflation for their personal finances. Well, I think we're all impacted by inflation, right?
I mean, we, we actually constantly talk about it every single time we have to buy paper plate. It's the first thing that I noticed when I went to Costco, I was like, these went up in price and then I saw they, they raised the price of egg whites. I get egg whites. They were 9 99. Now they're 1199. It's a pretty big increase, a little glimpse into our life, paper plates and egg whites.
Yep. That's that's what I have for breakfast, cuz that's I'm a fun person. I don't like yolk and we're just trying to save water here. That's right. And uh, so that's why we go with the paper plates, however. Yes, that is true. Uh, but one in four people actually said that they felt a major impact of inflation.
And out of that, I think some of the big aspects that I noticed was that 36% of people have reduced their savings. And one of the things that we had talked about before on this channel, uh, 21% have reduced their retirement savings. That's something that hopefully you don't have to do, because we know that right now, the market's been down over the past couple months and reducing that retirement savings.
You're not, you're not buying into the market right now as it's going down, which is that long term dollar cost averaging that we talked about, which I mean, makes sense. Obviously, if you're spending more money on regular essentials, life things, groceries, things like that. Of course. The last thing you're thinking about is, okay, well, let me keep up my savings at the same.
However I'm still spending more. Yeah. I mean, that just kind of makes common sense. Yeah. And I could see why people are doing that. It's just try to, you know, I would say the advice I'd give is try to cut back in other places and keep that savings as constant as you can and as consistent as you can over time.
Uh, but one of the things that really stood out was that 25% of people that were surveyed said they will need to delay retirement altogether, altogether because of inflation. I'm gonna just push back a little bit on this to say, if this, you know, bout of inflation is causing you to delay retirement, was retirement going to be that solid in the very beginning, you might not have been as close as you thought.
And this isn't to put anybody down. Who's in that 25%, that's thinking about delaying retirement. I think it's having that conversation about modeling all this stuff out well in advance. And I know we've talked at nauseam on this show. Stress testing of financial plan, but I think this really goes into it.
If you are, imagine if you retired a year ago and you're in that 25% that would have had, we, you know, had the inflation data we have now have wanted to delay your retirement because of that inflation was your, was your retirement really that, you know, say that solid. And that's so that's my understanding of it is that when I think of this, I go, well, how solid was that retirement in the first place?
And to me, I think it's very important to start really modeling that out and stress testing that as I've said multiple times on this show, um, because I really don't feel like the 25% that are delaying, that were really focused on that financial planning aspect. And this is not to put 'em down. I just feel like there was some shaky ground.
which kind of leads into, I mean, the next point or question, if you will. So how are Americans offsetting the increased cost of living? I mean, if you're pushing off retirement all together, like 25% are, yeah. It said that 80% of Americans are changing how they spend money on everyday essentials. I mean, I know, you know, they talk about 42% are changing how they shop for grocer.
I wish someone would talk to Melissa about doing this because, uh, I don't think we need paper plates that are going up by, you know, and we're gonna start buying, uh, full eggs. Okay. And he's just gonna separate the, the yolk out. We're all doing our part. We are doing our part by eating, eating, you know, but you know, I do have high cholesterol and yes, we're bringing that up here.
Bring that up on the channel, cuz I, we are everyday people and , that is what we do as we explained to you with our paper part. That's right. So, uh, 42% are changing outta the shop for groceries. They're avoiding brand names, opting for cheaper items and only buying the essentials. Uh, 46% of people are either dining out less or.
Being more conscious about where they're dining out and trying to spend less there. I felt the interesting part was 31% of people are driving less to offset cost of gas, which has come down a little bit. It has come down. But to me, this kind of goes to that 25% delaying retirement, 23% are spending less on vacations or they're canceling vacations altogether.
Now that one's crazy to me. I'm sorry, but if you are canceling a vacation altogether because of inflation. Should you have been planning that vacation the very beginning, that specific vacation, I'm not, you know, so if you were planning to go to Disneyland and it was going to be this extravagant vacation and you're canceling that because the cost of everything has gone up, should you have maybe gone for more moderate vacation in the very beginning?
Like maybe, you know, a splash pad. There you go. A or a slip and slide. There you go. See, we're trying to help with moderation here. I feel like if you are having to cancel these things and make these major life changes, you know, how much of this was just excess spending in the very beginning? How prepared were you all along?
Yeah, it was, we were you actually planning out and budgeting for this stuff in the beginning? Um, you know, the one that did stand out for me that I was hoping that you would listen to is that 22% of people are canceling subscriptions. We've talked before about Melissa's non-used, uh, you know, car wash, subscription.
Sorry, what. The non-used car wash subscription. See, that's, it's weird. It's like, I just didn't even hear him talking at all right. Then it was selective hearing. This is, uh, this is something. See that that's usually what he suffers from. It's crazy. So this is now I'm going to have to spend more money on her hearing aids because she has selective hearing.
I bet there's a subscription for that. This is an insight into our household. So welcome. And we're letting you into behind the scenes here. Um, this, I want you to go through the next boy here. This is the interesting book. So this one women are more likely to make lifestyle changes than men. Yeah. So let that sink in women are more likely to make lifestyle changes than men.
Nearly half of women plan to adjust the way they shop for groceries. 47% plan to change the way they shop for groceries versus 36%. Of men now, I wonder if that's because most of the men don't do the grocery shopping. That is very, I wonder if that's why that is such a 1950s way of looking at it. I go to Costco.
Okay. I've adjusted the way that, so I'm in the 36%. You're in the 53%. Okay. Um, accurate women will want to dine out less of 49% of women plan to adjust the way they dine out versus 43% for. Um, and then I think that one's probably true, 25% of women not named Melissa plan to cancel subscriptions versus 20% from men.
Now, see, I feel like our roles are reversed right now and in this survey, it's the opposite, but that's just me, but that's just how we operate. However, right. So, like I said, welcome into the rank and household right now. We're gonna be talking a lot once this camera and microphone shut off. So what are people actually doing to manage their way through?
So the way that this survey worked is that they it's a quarter by quarter survey. So compared to the first quarter of the year, more people are putting together an actual budget. So they're starting to stick to that. Uh, they are having an actual written financial plan and always helpful. Yeah. And they're meeting with their financial advisor more often.
So. If you don't have any of those things, we'd be happy to help you with any of that. Um, you can access our calendar at the bottom of here in the show notes, and we'd be happy to schedule some time to, to have a conversation with you, but that's what people are doing. And it's unfortunate that going through, you know, you have to go through a tough thing to start this process, to really take stock of where you're at financially.
I feel like it kind of goes back to your point. We should I say we as a whole collect. We should be kind of taking stock every day of where we're at financially. I mean, it shouldn't be that impactful to cancel vacations altogether or cancel a car wash subscription. I mean, there's just little things that shouldn't be that big of a deal.
Well, but also it's almost like everybody's doing this stuff after the stuff has happened. It's like, you know, buying homeowner's insurance after you, you know, have a fire at your house, it's like a delayed reaction if you will. Yeah. So. Prepare for the next recession or inflation or whatever that next thing is by doing this stuff now.
So it's never fun. No one likes to budget or stick to a budget. Nobody wants to sit down and like it at what they actually spend. No, no one likes to do that. It's it's like a, you know, people are living a life like it's a long drawn out weekend in their, you know, early twenties and they just look at their bank account on a Monday and go looks like I'm eating ramen this week.
So there was a, nothing against ramen though. No, nothing against ramen. There is a, there was another survey by, uh, F and G and it was talking about inflation as well. How in this survey, four to five Americans over the age of 50 are worried about inflation in retirement. Uh, 84% of pre-retirees are worried about it in only 76% of retirees.
We bring this up because inflation's that hot topic and it's making people. , you know, what are they actually going to do with their retirement dollars? You know, how are they gonna spend them? Should they retire? And it's just causing this overall confusion. And I feel like if that noise wasn't there, if it wasn't on every single headline that people were, every time you turn the TV on or open your phone or any news source for that matter, or.
Talk to companies that are, you know, they just are raising prices and they go, well, we gotta raise it because the supply chain, all this stuff, I feel like it's just an excuse for everybody to raise prices. But yes, it does impact a lot of people, but I feel like the noise around it is almost more impactful than what's actually happening, especially.
I agree. There's something about when you constantly hear all the, the negativity coming at you, it's hard not to internally feel that like, oh God. And I feel like we're dealing with that on the second thing that is negatively impacting that retirement decision. And this is something I feel like you can't get away from talks of recession.
I mean, you hear it everywhere, every single place. And I, so are we actually, even in one? Okay. So this is that debate that I've, this is the first time I've ever actually seen it. Be a debate every time that GDP before has, you know, dipped negative for two consecutive quarter. Everybody said it's a recession, but right now it's are we in one?
Are we not? It's not become a political thing. Like everything else in this country. Ah, yep. The left. We're not in a recession. The right we're in one. It does, you know, at this point, yes. Does the national bureau of economic research have other factors that they consider when looking defining recession?
Yes. There are other factors that they look at and they're kind of the one to come out and say, Hey, guess what? We were in a recession. Cuz remember calling recession is. Past looking thing, but kind of equate this to like, look, you got a fever, you're throwing up. Pretty good sign that you're sick. Right?
Pretty good one. Yeah. Doesn't necessarily mean you have a life threatening illness, but it's pretty good sign that something's wrong with you, right. Okay. We've had two straight cords of GDP decline. that's kind of the fever and you're throwing up. Something's not right. , you're kind of sick, but it doesn't mean the world's ending.
No, it doesn't mean the world's ending. And you know, back to that, FNG survey 71% of people said they are worried about a recession. Now I, I get that. I it's it's I get this question every single week, multiple times per week, dozens of times, are we in a recession? Are we in a recession? But here's the question?
Does it even matter? Does it really even matter? Now, look, I get that recessions are never fun, but you have to remember recessions happen to rid the economy of excesses. And right now the excess has been inflation over the past year and a half. So that's what the recession is trying to do. That's what the Fed's trying to do is rid the economy of that excess inflation.
So I'm gonna balance it out. Now, remember, we're talking about the economy, not the stock market, ignore the stock market. We're talking about the economy. So if you're not. Does a recession matter to you? I would say if you're not retired. Yeah. Probably is in some capacity in some capacity, because typically in recessions we've seen unemployment increase.
So if you are losing your job yes, that is impacting you. And that's something that you should be worried about. But if you're retired, does a technical definition of recession actually impact you? Probably not quite as much. No, I I'm going to just. Probably not, you'd have to really find some, you know, just a very direct, no, I just, I feel like it's the news.
That's around it. That's making the conversation of retirement so much more challenging right now because there's this fear that okay, we're in a recession. We're going into one. How long is it gonna last? What's it mean to me, the reality is does it actually matter to you? Because it is different than the stock market stock.
Market's completely different. We're talking about the economy. If you're retired, living your life, you kind of hope prices come down. You're well, yeah, obviously you don't want the stock market to go down. You don't want your assets to go down, but you do want prices to go down. You want the. Economy to kind of reset.
And you wanna be able to take that vacation to buy that gas, to get those brand name groceries. Yeah. To, to wash your car. you want those things, but you want the little things, but I feel like people talking about bad times right now are making it seem so much worse than it is now. I'm not saying that the economy's great.
It like. Sick. It's got a fever. It's throwing up a little bit and it, it's not great, but it's not on its death bed. No, but it's right now, I feel like it's, it's like if you were to go to a restaurant, but your friend tells you right before you walk in, oh God, that place isn't good. I ha I had their tacos and they just were not good.
And you go in. Ordering the tacos. You're gonna have a jaded opinion on that dish, even if to you in your personal taste, it's good because to some people it's already in your mind that it's bad. Yeah. So to some people, you know, they've, uh, we've got clients that we've ran financial plans at nausea for, for, you know, well over a decade and we've gone through them and we tell 'em look, regardless of market cycle, you're going to be able to live your life in retirement without worrying about running outta.
That should be comforting, but they hear all this noise about recession and inflation and all this stuff and they go, am I still gonna be okay? Yeah, we've done this now. Hundreds of times you're gonna be okay. But it's because everybody's talking about it. It just seems to make it so much worse and that decision to retire makes it, it, it is really, I would imagine a lot harder right now because of the talks of recession, whether or not we are in.
You could debate that for yourself. You know, I, I would burn my economics degree before someone ever tells me that two straight cores of GDP decline is not a recession, but Hey, that's just me. So, um, you know, I do feel like that is the second thing. That's really impacting the conversation around retirement right now.
And I think that kind of leads into the, the next point. The conversation is the media. Oh, my there's so much noise right now. It is impossible just to focus. You in your individual life and how everything impacts you. And here's a perfect example. Okay. So I went on to Kiplinger's website. I, you know, often go there just to see different headlines, things like that.
And there were two stories written on the same day, by the same author story. Number one, 12 reasons to retire in an R. Okay. Okay. Hey, great story. You know, what have you thought about the headline? Kind of reminds us about the retirement travelers that we interviewed last week. They retired, spent a over a year in an Airstream, so I don't know how they did that and remain married, but that's a different conversation.
Once again, welcome to the ranking household, but 12 reasons retire in RV might be something you want to do. However, same day article number two, same author, 15 reasons. You'll regret an RV in retire. Same author, same author. How are you supposed to make a informed decision reading these articles? Talk about conflicting information here.
It's it reminds me of that, uh, of that scene in shits Creek when Ray was taking the photos, you know, look at the camera, but look at me, look, but look back at it, look up and look down, but look down, but look at me, but look at the camera. Look at me that that's exactly what it's, but it's we see this on all media.
It's you know, on one side, buy this. Other time, do this thing, sell this stock. Nope. Take social security at 62 as early as possible. Just wait, wait till 70. Gotta wait till 70, uh, traditional IRA Roth. No, you gotta go Roth. Right? I mean it's everywhere. Every single decision you need an annuity. No, you don't.
Don't even mention that word. That is a toxic word in this household. So, you know, those are things that the back and forth, I mean, the back and forth makes it so. To make any informed decision. There's a reason why 401k plans have typically limited options because the more options you have, the less likely you're going to do anything, anything, same thing with the media.
Do you think anybody reading 12 reasons retire in an RV and 15 reasons you're gonna regret an RV? How many of those people are actually gonna buy an RV? I was gonna say, all you're gonna do is just close the book on the RV, gonna go, you know what? There's more, I guess there's, I guess there's three more reasons why you would regret an RV.
So is that the reason why not to get it? I, I just feel like base your retirement on you. Ignore the noise. Now it's hard to do. Hopefully you don't think that we're noise, but we hope that you're enjoying what we're talking about. We're bringing you the noise. We're yes. We're. We're bringing in we're we're delivering the noise to your doorstep.
So thank you for joining us on this noise Fest, but based your retirement on, on you. And I feel like. Figuring out what you want to do without the impact of the, no, the media, the noise, uh, build a plan for that. If you're between two options, RV, not R. Weigh that yourself, you don't need some article telling you, should you buy one or not?
That's a, let's see where it fits into your financial plan again. Plan have a budget. Yeah. Think about things like that. Take it a step further. Yeah. If it is planning related, if it's some of those decisions Roth versus traditional social security to ages, you know, all that stuff. If it's financial. then yeah.
Work with a financial advisor, you know, make sure that it you're incorporating it into your financial plan, model it out, see if it fits for all contingencies, all contingencies and, and then make an informed decision from. But don't let some author, who's writing two conflicting articles, tell you, Hey, this is what you should do.
And shouldn't do. And then using that from there, try to ignore the media. It's just at this point, especially media like that. Yeah. It, that is, to me, the, the kind of the all encompassing thing of what's making it so hard right now to, you know, have a decision to retire and, and make that decision. So hopefully this was helpful.
Those are three things that we hope you should ignore inflation. I think you should. We're all living it. It's going to be there. They're trying to get rid of it. But, you know, technically I don't think it should really be impacting the decision to retire as much as it's impacting everybody's everyday life.
Uh, the talks of a recession, whether or not we're in one, you know, at this point, we're in the state of economy that we're in, it shouldn't impact the decision or the retirement planning conversation and the least important. One of it all the least. The media just ignore 'em and if you think we're media just hit that subscribe button before you ignore us, do us that favor, but, uh, that was our show for today.
I am Jonathan Rankin. Thank you so much for being here. I'm Alyssa Rankin. Thank you.
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