Connecting Your Money with Your Life

By Dean Barber

October 8, 2020

Connecting Your Money with Your Life

If you live to be 100 years old, that is 36,500 days. Think about how many days you have to enjoy your life in retirement. It’s not that many. The life expectancy for a man who is 65 is only 18.1 years. How many of those will be good years? Join Dean Barber and Bud Kasper as they discuss how to make the most of your financial future by connecting your money to your life.

Financial Independence: Am I Already There?  Complimentary Consultation

Connecting Your Money with Your Life

Dean Barber: Thanks so much for joining us here on America’s Wealth Management show. I’m your host Dean Barber, along with Bud Kasper. Bud, how you doing today?

Bud Kasper: I am so good, Dean.

Dean Barber: Are you?

Bud Kasper: Yeah. The weekend is here. We’re enjoying the change in the weather a little bit.

Dean Barber: Yeah. Nice.

Bud Kasper: Fall to summer, summer to fall.

How Many Days Will You Have in Retirement?

Dean Barber: It was going back and forth there for a while. In February, Shane Barber, one of the partners here at Modern Wealth Management, wrote an article called Financial Independence: Am I Already There? 

In that article, he talks about how he had a conversation with one of his grandsons, and his grandson says, “How old are you?” He says, “I’m 55.” And he says, “Man, that means you must have been alive for a hundred thousand days. Right?” Of course, he had to explain, “If I lived to be a hundred years old, I’m only going to live for 36,500 days.” And he said that hit him like a ton of bricks. When you start doing the math and look at what’s going on, our father got 24,455 days. 

His brother only got 10,950 days and died in a motorcycle accident. If you start thinking about that, and think, “Okay, what are you going to do with the days, weeks, or months I have left?” When we say “helping you live your one best financial life,” what that means is providing you with clarity, confidence, and control so that you know, daily, that you can do the things you want to do. 

We started talking about this here a few weeks ago. I thought, well, we had to do a radio show about this because I think a lot of times we get so caught up in what we do every single day. We’re chasing these crazy, sometimes meaningless financial goals of wanting to achieve a specific dollar amount or wanting to get to some magical number. 

Men Have an Average of 18.1 Years After Age 65

The reality is, if you’re a man and you’re 65 years old, a male that’s reached age 65 has, on average, an 18.1-year life expectancy.

Bud Kasper: From that age.

Dean Barber: From that age. So if you reached age 65, on average, you’re going to live another 18.1 years. Now, many people are retiring at 65, 66, 67, some earlier than that. I mean, we just lost a great musician, Eddie van Halen this week. Right? He had only made it to 65, died of cancer.

Bud Kasper: Right.

Dean Barber: We all have those stories, and Bud, you and I, because we work with so many people every single day, we’ve seen so many stories where people had all these aspirations and all these dreams, and they want to do this. 

Then you get to retirement, and now you’re starting to do these things, and somebody gets sick, somebody dies. All of a sudden, you can’t do it. The gentleman who used to produce our radio show here finally retired. He and his wife moved to North Carolina, and they wanted to be close to the kids and the grandkids. And nine months later, as they’re in the middle of building their dream retirement home, she dies of a sudden heart attack, 66 years old. So now he’s devastated.

What am I going to do now? All the things that we talked about doing, we can’t do. The reason I’m bringing it up, and I don’t mean to be a downer for people, but what I want people to think about, we have a finite period here on this earth, and what we do with that time is up to you.

How Can I Achieve My Goals and Not Sacrifice My Needs?

There are many times, Bud, where you and I see people sacrificing so much for the future. Not doing this, not doing that. And the question is: “What can you do to fulfill your goals and your dreams today and still not sacrifice the long-term security of your family?”

Bud Kasper: That everyone requires.

Dean Barber: Exactly, and that’s where our Guided Retirement System™ comes in. It allows us to sit down with you and coach you through all of the different nuances of the things that you want. Once we understand what it is that you want, not just today, but what you’re going to need and want in the future, we can put together that plan so that once and for all, your money and your life meet. 

They come together and become one, and when you have that clarity, you have that confidence, you have the control, that is when you can truly live your one best financial life.

Sacrifice of Planning

Bud Kasper: I agree, Dean. You took the words out of my mouth. I thought this is the sacrifice of planning is what people have to do so to have the lifestyle they want in their later years. Most certainly, the GRS, the Guided Retirement System™ created by the firm, is the best way we know anyway: to go in and identify all those salient points that people need to understand to have that successful retirement. 

Life is short. Numbers drive us, and a lot of times, the numbers you ought to be paying attention to are the numbers that you might have left.

Dean Barber: There’s nothing that gets me more excited, after 33 years in this business, than watching my clients and clients of our firm truly live their one best financial life. I’d love to have you come in, sit down, talk to us, and get a complimentary consultation

Take a little test drive through our Guided Retirement System™. Understand that life is short, it’s finite, and what you do with those days, a lot of times, it’s driven between by what’s between your ears, as opposed to what is reality. Our Guided Retirement System™ can show you what your financial reality is.

Life is Short, Live Your One Best Financial Life

Bud Kasper: Dean, today’s show may sound like, well, they’re talking about retirement. I’m not interested in that. You know what? It’s the 40, 50, and 60-year olds that better be paying attention.

When you hear that and what we’re talking about here and the people we’ve lost in 2020 with Eddie Van Halen, we also had Little Richard, really one of the original rock and roll concept pioneers passed away.

We connect ourselves with these people. They’re celebrities. We watched them on television. Ken Osmond, not with the Osmond brothers, but the guy that played Eddie on Leave it to Beaver. He passed away. Hugh Downs died at the age of 99. 

Carl Reiner died at 98. These are all folks we lost here in 2020. Of course, we know about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but also Kelly Preston and Charlie Daniels. These are all well-known names, and we relate to those. Let’s see, am I that person’s age or not, or what happened here?

Dean Barber: Well, Bud, I think that many things are even closer to home than that. When we lose a parent, we lose a spouse; we start to lose our classmates from high school and college and those types of things. And all of a sudden, our mortality starts to become top of mind. So we don’t have that much time left.

How Many of Your Retirement Years Will Be “Good Years”?

We spoke earlier about what we try to do here, using our Guided Retirement System™, helping you live your one best financial life by connecting your money and life to give you clarity, confidence, and control over what it is that you can do. So think about this. We said that an average man, who’s made it to age 65, is going to live for 18.1 years. 

An average woman who’s made it to 65 is going to live 20.6 years. The question then is, of those 18.1 or 20.6 years, how many of those will be what you and I would consider being good years? Years where we feel good, we can do the things that we want to do. Let’s say that it’s an even 15. So now you retire, you and your spouse are 65 years old. You got 15 good years where both of you are going to have your health.

Bud Kasper: Mobile, ready to go.

Dean Barber: Ready to go. Now that means this is going to hit hard. If you take one vacation a year, you only have 15 vacations left. Fifteen vacations left.

Bud Kasper: That brings it down to reality, doesn’t it?

Spending Time with Family

Dean Barber: So, what are you going to do? Many times I’ll have conversations with my clients who are heading into retirement, or they’re already retired, and I say, “Okay, what’s the most important thing in your life?” And they’re like, “It’s spending time with the people that I care about, spending time with the people that I love.” “Well, okay. Tell me more about that.” “Well, it’s my kids. It’s my grandkids. I want to be around them. I want to be closer.” “All right. Have you ever thought about paying for a family get together once a year at a destination vacation?” “Well, I don’t know if we can afford that.” “Well, let’s take a look. Let’s see what that looks like.”

Bring Together What Matters Most, Families

Dean Barber: And so, there’ve been so many stories that I could tell, Bud, of us building something like that, something simple, like a destination vacation for the entire family, that the matriarch and patriarch are putting together. Why? Not to give them a nice vacation, but to get the family together in a meaningful way, to create a legacy of memories.

Bud Kasper: Absolutely.

Dean Barber:  I have clients today that are doing that, and they have their destinations picked out. They give the kids a couple of years advance notice to get time off of work, and they’re paying for the airlines and those types of things. The memories and the stories that I get from that are incredible. 

Plan to Achieve Your Goals

Had we not sat down, Bud, and discovered what’s truly important and what these people want to do with the rest of their lives, there’s no way that they would have been doing these things. They would have been like the vast majority of people out there who live in fear of running out of money because they have no way of understanding where they are from a financial perspective. That’s where our Guided Retirement System™ comes in, and it gives that clarity.

Bud Kasper: You are so right. There’s nothing sadder than regrets. “I regret I didn’t do this. I regret that we didn’t do this.” So on and so forth. Do you know why they have regrets? Because they were afraid. Why were they afraid? Because they didn’t know.

Dean Barber: Right.

Bud Kasper: They didn’t know. When you have a comprehensive financial plan that takes into every aspect of your life, and I mean anything that you own, anything that’s driving income, anything that could be inherited, all these different things need to be honed in, to come up with a reality check that would tell you, “I’m okay, I’m ready. I can do this, and I can do it and still not have regrets about the things that I didn’t do.”

We’ve Seen the Impact on People’s Lives

Dean Barber: I think that is the essence, Bud, of what drives you and what drives me, while we are financially independent and going to do whatever we want to do, it’s the essence of what drives us to continue to do what we do, because we see the impact that we have on people’s lives. And that’s where the thrill, to me, comes in.

Bud Kasper: Yeah, I agree. That’s the thing that gets me up in the morning and the opportunity that I have to help others. It’s just a rewarding experience when you are doing the best job you can do for a person.

Dean Barber: That’s why we bring in the CPAs, estate planning attorneys, and risk management experts. We dissect every single part so that we can answer the question. What is it? “Here’s what we want; here’s my ideal life.” All right, let’s see if it’s possible. 

If it’s not possible, then we’re going to have to do some prioritization, and we’re going to have to do some planning. We can’t do some things, maybe every other year, we can do certain things, but again, it’s doing it on purpose. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it takes some energy. It’s not just a once and done, and you set your plan up. It’s multiple conversations throughout each year, making sure you’re still on track to accomplish all the things you want to do.

Test Drive the Guided Retirement System™

It’s so much more than just investments and a monthly income from those investments. It’s about your life. I’d love to invite you in for a complimentary consultation to take a test drive with our Guided Retirement System™. We can do that through a Zoom meeting, via phone call, or in person. Just pick up the phone and give us a call and ask for that complimentary consultation. Let us show you how we can help you connect your money to your life and take advantage of the few short years that you probably have left here on this earth.

I also encourage you to read the article, Financial Independence: Am I Already There?

Finding Clarity When Connecting Your Money to Your Life

Bud Kasper: Dean, there’s nothing more reassuring to a person who is either preparing for retirement or in retirement, that what they’ve got, how they are accessing their income, gives them what they need to have to be able to live their one best financial life.

Dean Barber: It’s interesting. I have a client and he and his wife go up to Wisconsin every summer. They started out doing four weeks, and then they went to five weeks, and then six weeks. This year, they went to seven weeks. I talked to him here a few weeks ago, and he says, “Next year, we’re going to do eight weeks.” Just watching them do what is really, truly important to them, is such a thrill.

Bud Kasper: The beauty of that story is the confidence that they had to build up, that they did have the resources, and have all their ducks in a row to be able to accomplish another week in Wisconsin.

Dean Barber: Right. And the thing is that we sat down and we said, “Let’s analyze, what’s it going to take to rent the kind of place that you want up there?” We did a for rent by owner type of deal. How do we compare that to if we purchase? So, we were able to run through all the numbers, and we discovered that they could spend more time and still spend less money if they do a rental arrangement, as opposed to buying something.

Bud Kasper: Sure. I run into that all the time. Where’s the best use of my money?

Dean Barber: Right. And if I did buy, what else would I sacrifice to do that? Is it worth it to own it, or should I just rent?

Live Without Regrets

Bud Kasper: If you don’t, what do you have? Regrets. Don’t live with regrets.

Dean Barber: Yeah. We did a show on regrets here. It was sometime in 2019. It wasn’t a 2020 deal, where you ask a person that is on their death bed, “What do you regret?” Not one time do you hear somebody say, “I wish I would have saved more money. I wish I wouldn’t have spent as much.” What they say is, “I wish I would have taken the time to spend more time with the people that I love and the people that I care about.”

That is what comes through our Guided Retirement System™ because it helps you discover. It helps us understand, as your financial planning firm, what’s truly important and put those pieces together, connecting your money with your life. Get that complimentary consultation.

We Don’t Know What’s Going to Happen, Live to Your Fullest

Dean Barber: I want to tell a quick story. I know I’ve told this story before, but it’s a powerful one that gets me every time I share it. Five years ago, one of my clients, a husband, and wife, we’re talking about what’s going on with their life and what they want to do. He’d just gotten a kidney transplant, and she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. And so, their mortality is hitting them straight in the face.

So, I just looked at her, and I said, “What do you want to do? If you could do anything you wanted to do, what do you want to do?” And she said, “You know what?” She said, “I don’t want much.” She said, “But I cannot stand the winters in the Midwest anymore.” She said, “If I could do anything, January, February, March, I’d love just to take off and head to someplace warm.” I said, “Well if you could go someplace warm, where would you go?” She goes, “I think I’d like to spend a winter in Florida.”

I looked at her husband, and I said, “How do you feel about that?” He goes, “I don’t think we can afford to do that.” I said, “If I can show you that you can afford it and it’s not going to impact anything else that you’re doing, would you take your wife to Florida?” And he goes, “Absolutely, one hundred percent.”

Reworking the Financial Plan

So we reworked their financial plan. We went online and  found a for-rent-by-owner and discovered the cost. Then we talked about what it would take for somebody to provide any maintenance or care on the house here in Kansas City while they’re down there. We added up the total cost and plugged that into the financial plan, and it didn’t move the needle on their probability of success of their plan. It was an October meeting, almost five years ago, and they did that first January and February in Florida.

When they came back, he said, “That’s the best winter we’ve ever had. Thank you for helping us do that.” And I said, “You guys did the hard work. You saved the money. You sacrificed everything else but what you weren’t doing is challenging the notion of what is possible in your financial life. That’s my job. It’s to help you live that one best financial life.”

And I tell that story because I just had a conversation with the wife last week. And I said, “So what’s the plan for this winter?” I said, “You guys going to let COVID slow you down.” She goes, “No, no.” She said, “It’s not going to slow us down at all.” She said, “Matter of fact, we got the same place that we’ve been renting, but we got it for three months this year, so January, February, March.” And they said, “We’re just super excited to get down there and do that.” So, in my opinion, it’s like that Tom Petty song, Runnin’ Down a Dream. We found it, we caught it, we captured it, and we lived that dream.

Diagnosing Your Financial Wellbeing

Bud Kasper: Yeah. I think its only human nature though that people are afraid of losing their security. If their security is what they’ve got in their account, then they relate, “Oh my God, the market’s down 10%. My security has just dropped by 10%. I’m not going to be able to do the things I want. I’m not going to be able to feed myself if this continues at this rate.” And you get this sense of panic that comes in. That happens, ladies and gentlemen, because you’re uninformed, because you don’t understand what financial planning truly is.

It’s no different than going to the doctor. It’s a thorough checkup, a complete diagnosis of your financial wellbeing. And once you’ve located and understand and define all the aspects of your financial life, as Dean said, now we have the opportunity of going in and looking at different cases. Such as your friend going down for three months in Florida, to see what you were hoping you’d see. The result of taking that 90-day hiatus in Florida during the winter was not only doable; it was repeatable.

You Don’t Always Know When You’ll Get Another Chance

Dean Barber: Right. I don’t know. I mean, he’s now five years past the kidney transplant. Her breast cancer is still in remission. Things look good for them, but they’re now in their late sixties, early seventies, she in the late sixties, he in his early seventies. So, how many more times can they do this? But the fact that they’re doing it now is a huge deal, and your point is well taken of the security because that’s what most people want. So, if you don’t challenge the notion of that security and you don’t put it in the format of your plan, you’ll never really know.

So think about when you’re going to your doctor. Sometimes it’s just, “Hey, I’m going in for my annual physical. I’m going to get my blood drawn. We’re going to do blood pressure, cholesterol. We’re going to check all this stuff out.” Sometimes, when you go into your doctor, it’s because something is wrong. There is a feeling that something’s not right. You’re down on the energy. Maybe you’re having frequent headaches, or something isn’t right. And so, that visit to the doctor requires a deeper dive, more diagnosis, more tests.

Our Guided Retirement System™ Help

The same thing is true, Bud, in our Guided Retirement System™. Sometimes, our reviews are just like that annual physical. It’s just a real reaffirmation that everything’s still on track and everything’s okay. Sometimes, a global pandemic hits, a great recession hits, or the government does something crazy with interest rates or monetary policy. Sometimes, there’s craziness going on in the Middle East or China or North Korea, and we got to take a deeper dive because it’s impacting the plan and maybe we have to make some adjustments and do some things differently. That Guided Retirement System™ allows us to put a pulse on those things and to be able to see when it’s a routine checkup and when we have to start making some adjustments.

Bud Kasper: And Dean, we’ve seen dozens and dozens and dozens of times when that has happened. I don’t want to meet more of it, but I want to plant something in our listeners’ minds, and that’s this: If you didn’t do anything for yourself, I’m talking about you couples that are out there this year, and you didn’t do it the year before, and you’re worried about your security. Well, guess what? You’re running out of days. The security you were worried about two years ago actually has more security 24 months later because you didn’t do anything at that time. So, all you’re doing is building up more security and less time to be able to do what you want to do.

Don’t Let Unexpected Events Hold You Back

Dean Barber: I’ve had many conversations this year with people who weren’t able to travel and do other things. Some of them have said, “You know, we’re going to double up next year.” Some of them said, “You know what? We’ve taken that money that we were going to spend on trips this year, and we’ve done some remodeling to the homes. We’ve wanted to do things that weren’t a high priority, but we’re glad that we did them. It’s given us a little bit more enjoyment of our home.” But again, knowing that the dollars are there to do the things you want to do, and that’s what having that comprehensive financial plan, we call it our Guided Retirement System™, does for you.

We’d love for you to take a test drive on that, whether it’s through a Zoom meeting, through a phone call, or an in-person meeting. You need a complimentary consultation with a  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. We also encourage you to get to our website and read the article that we’re referencing today, Financial Independence: Am I Already There?

Bud Kasper: I don’t want people to live with regrets, especially when they’re all in front of you, and you had the ability to do that. That’s why the GRS, Guided Retirement System™, was created. We have multiple CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™, including myself, in the firm. We have CPAs and attorneys. All of us are working to give you that one best financial life.

Connecting Your Life with Your Money Gives You Confidence

Dean Barber: Yeah. And you know what? The clarity and confidence that comes out of that Guided Retirement System™ give people the confidence to do the things they want to do, connecting their money to their life in a meaningful way. Request your complimentary consultation.

Just about two months ago, I had a conversation with a client who plans to work for a couple more years. He’s been maxing out the 401k, focusing on putting a bunch of money in their taxable accounts and everything else, and he has this thing built up to eight weeks of vacation a year. So I said, “Here’s what I’m going to do.” I said, “The next two years, I’m going to show you saving zero money. We’ll only put into your 401k what your company is going to match. Everything else you’re going to keep. What you’ve been putting into your taxable account over here, I’m going to say let’s take that, and let’s take eight weeks of really nice vacations these last two years of your work, and let’s see how that impacts your ability to retire.” And you know what?

Bud Kasper: What?

Dean Barber: It didn’t impact it at all, because he was already there. He’d already achieved financial independence. In other words, he and his wife could retire now if they wanted to. He’s super involved in some special projects that he wants to complete before he retires, which I get.

Bud Kasper: I understand.

Don’t Let the Numbers Scare You

Dean Barber: But I said, “Look, that’s fine. Do that, but I’m telling you, you don’t have to sacrifice any more than you’ve already sacrificed. Start enjoying it.” And when I showed him that, he said, “Seriously, I can do that?” And I said, “Yeah, absolutely.” His wife’s got tears in her eyes, and she says, “That’s almost like you’re going to retire early. We’re going to get a chance to spend some quality time together and do some things we wanted to do.”

Bud Kasper: Right. We work with many engineers, and a lot of times, because they’re usually generally brilliant people and they’re numbers-driven and everything, they’ve been driving those numbers personally in their heads on what they need when we get to the retirement age. But I think the disappointment with that’s that many times they’re so focused on what they’re going to need. Ultimately, in their heads anyway, it isn’t necessarily what they need to enjoy life. Having that security that, especially this profession, needs to have. That’s why the Guided Retirement System™ was created. To be able to give them evidence that this is for real. We’re vetting all this information you’ve collected over the years and proving to you that you’re there.

Dean Barber: Yeah. You’re exactly right, Bud. I think about this from the standpoint of that continued sacrifice. People have a number in mind of what they need to be, and they are very disciplined at saving. So sometimes they have blinders on, and they miss the fact that “Hey, we could be doing some other things now. We don’t necessarily have to keep sacrificing so much. We can start to enjoy some of the fruits of our labor because we did such a good job of sacrificing early on.”

Having the Right Conversations to Make the Right Decisions

Dean Barber: Think of it this way. What can you do to live the life you want today without sacrificing the security of your long-term future? That is where the magic and the art of financial planning come in.

Bud Kasper: Yeah, and I don’t want people to think that these are numbers that we’re just working with just because we want to create a great outcome. That’s not it at all. We stress-test these plans incredibly well because we want to assure ourselves and then to our clients that what we’re presenting to you is very real, and that’s where the security comes in.

Budgeting is Essential!

Dean Barber: Yeah. We go to great lengths to break out budget items, not just today but into the future, and in terms of fixed payments on mortgages. If the house is paid off, what do we project the property taxes, etc., are going to go up on by each year? What’s our health insurance cost going to be? How fast is that going to inflate? What about our dining and traveling? What about our automobile replacements, or gifts for our kids and our grandkids? We itemize all those things out. We apply the appropriate inflation rate to each one of those things. That way, if the plan starts to show stress we can say, “Okay, which one of these goals would we sacrifice first if the plan became compromised?”

We have those conversations so everybody knows what the rules are and what the game plan is if something goes wrong.

Bud Kasper: Right. In financial planning, we refer to those as disruptors. What are the disruptors that life could bring us that might throw us off track? The real issue is, will it throw us off track, or is it just a little bump in the road? A small speed bump?

Dean Barber: Right. It goes to the heart of the number one question from a financial perspective that is on everyone’s mind, “Am I going to be okay? Financially, am I going to be okay? Can I do the things that I want to do and have the security that I desire?” The only way you know is through a comprehensive financial plan where you have the investment professional, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™, the Certified Public Accountant, the attorneys, and the risk management specialist, all working as a team on your plan.

Connect Your Money with Your Life and Live on Purpose

Dean Barber: What we’ve put together and what we do for people, I call them the millionaire next door, is what the ultra-wealthy expect. The problem is most of you out there that have accumulated a half a million to $5 million, not only do you not expect it, you don’t even know that it exists. Well, it does. It’s right here in Kansas City at Modern Wealth Management. Meet with us for a complimentary consultation. We’d love for you to experience what we’re talking about.

It’s ready. It’s time to go. You think about the people, Bud, that you’ve worked with over the years, where they get two years out, three years off from retirement, and they get the calendar out, and they’re counting down the days. They’re counting down the weeks. They got the vacation time built in there. The question is, what’s the calendar look like between now and the time that you pass away? How many days, weeks, months, years, etc., are there? What are you going to do with them? That’s where the art of financial planning comes in. To help you live your one best financial life and connect your money to your life.

Live Your Life on Purpose

Bud Kasper: Yeah. The worst thing is to find out you can go out and enjoy yourself only now you’re ill and you can’t, but you could have.

Dean Barber: Right.

Bud Kasper: Don’t let that happen to you, folks.

Dean Barber: Yeah. Live life on purpose. Live with confidence, clarity, and control. Don’t die with a mattress stuffed full of money that you could have enjoyed and used to make some great memories with kids and grandkids. Understand how that works with a complimentary consultation with Modern Wealth Management.

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