EP36: GulfCoast Financial: A Mother's Day Edition: "Caring For Our Family"
Peter: Welcome into the program, ladies and gentlemen. This is Gulf Coast Financial brought to you by your team at Gulf Coast Financial Services, and Founder and CEO, John Kuykendall, here with us as our resource for important information, perspective, and guidance on what we need to be doing, thinking about in order to achieve our financial goals for our financial and retirement planning. John, always a pleasure, we appreciate your time. Welcome back.
John: Thank you, Peter. It’s great to be here. I hope everybody had a good week out there, and I hope you did too.
Peter: Thank you very much. I did, yeah. No complaints here, John. I mean, we’re still in the midst of all of the COVID pandemic and quarantine, and all of the repercussions of that I think are really beginning to settle in. People are getting a little quarantine madness setting in, cabin fever.
John: Yeah, I think we’ve been quarantined long enough. Americans aren’t used to not being able to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and so this is a whole new experience for us and something that we’ve had to get used to. I know, in my own situation, I notice my wife has been able to do more projects around the house that she’s been wanting to get done for a long time, and the house is looking really clean. Everything is going great there, but it’s time for us to get back to somewhat semblance of whatever that’s going to be. It’s interesting. A lot of people say that our norm will be the new norm, not the old norm. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like yet.
Peter: I think that people are beginning to weigh what they want to do when things are lifted and we are told we’re allowed to go back to normal. Does it make sense to actually do that? As an individual, I prefer the ability to do things if I so choose. I’d rather not have the mandate to say I can’t. When I’m allowed to, do I still want to? Is it commonsense to go out and do those same kind of activities? We’re making do, John, a lot of activities around the house. I took care of a few projects, stained my back deck, re-mulched the gardens. Quite frankly, I’m running out of things to do.
John: Yeah, that’s our problem too, Peter. It’s interesting because I think that we as a nation have been able to find out that we can get by on a lot less money, a lot less things to spend money on and still live. I think that in the last month I filled my gas tank up once, and I haven’t been to the ATM but one time.
Peter: Yeah, I think it cost me $14 to fill my tank up last time too. No complaints there.
John: No, that’s back to 1968 days there.
Peter: Yeah, $5 is gas money again.
John: Yeah, here’s a dollar. Go get three gallons of gas.
Peter: Yeah, you can get somewhere on the change you find under your seat. It’s nice. Before we go any further, I do want to make note Mother’s Day weekend upon us, John, a special shout out. I know you’ve got some ladies in your life you want to give a shout out to, and I certainly want to give a shout out to the special women, my mother and my wife.
John: Yeah, Peter, our mothers and our wives and our daughters and our sisters and just everyone in our family, the women are very special to us. They’re very supportive. They give us a sense of balance I like to say, whereas some of us men are more compulsive and quick to do things. Women sit back and look at it. It’s always been amazing to me how their perception of something is so much different than mine in many cases, but their perception was the right one to begin with.
Peter: Yeah, I’ve experienced that a time or two. Moms are special people, though. I mean, they take care of themselves. They take care of others, and sometimes those things can be especially hard to juggle. Moms sometimes need taken care of as well, so special thoughts go into planning for our families. I think that’s for everyone, not just the moms out there. We all need to think about how to plan for our families, John.
John: Families are really important. I think, in our society, they’ve gotten to be less important over the years. We’ve been so busy, and we’ve been doing so many different things. Everybody’s been going different ways. Families are what stand behind you, and they’re there when you need them. You just can’t say enough about a strong family, and we’re blessed to have those. I don’t understand how the ladies of the world can sit there and clean the house and do the laundry and work, and then we get upset when we have to mow the yard.
Peter: I think that there has been a revitalization of our understanding of the importance of family with everything that has gone on here and our new normal, really getting to know these strangers that we live in the same house with, John.
John: Oh, that’s for sure. I mean, a lot of times we don’t see them that much, especially in my case. They’re asleep when I leave. They’re staying up when I’m ready to go to bed. It’s been great to spend as much time as we’ve been able to spend with them, and realize that it doesn’t take a lot of money to be happy and put our priorities back into perspective. Peter, I think that’s going to help a lot of people get ready for retirement that might’ve been putting it off because they didn’t think they had enough money or could do enough things to make them happy. I think that this time that we spent the last four, five, six weeks has shown us that we can get by with less and still be happy and still function and live a good life.
Peter: Absolutely, well, I know I’m still doing everything I can to enjoy myself and certainly enjoying the additional time with family. Just small no-cost activities has really gotten us by. I think that is something, as you said, John, that’ll help us in our retirement planning and preparation, but we still need a plan, ladies and gentlemen. If you would like help with the rest of that and formulating that plan, pick up the phone and give Gulf Coast Financial Services a call, 386-755-9018.
John, I saw a recent article. It was asking the question is now a good time or still a good time to retire? What are your thoughts on that? Is this just the wrong time? Should we put it off if this was our plan, or is now still doable for most people who have that in their projections and their plans?
John: For those that have been working on a plan and have been following that plan, now is as good a time as any if it’s within what you set up to do and what you planned on all along. Everybody’s plan’s different, Peter. You can’t say that some people can get by on a lot less. Some people need a lot more money just to live what they feel to be comfortable and to do the things they want to do. A lot of people go into retirement with a lot of debt, so therefore, they need more cash flow. There’s never not a bad time to retire if you’re ready. The last thing that I think the Lord wants us to do is be unhappy in our work, unhappy in our lives. He wants us to have a fulfillment in retirement that we still get when we were young and we were working.
When you’re to the stage that you think you’re tired, you don’t want to work anymore. You’ve got that plan worked out. It’s certainly a good time. There’s never a bad time, but what we always said on this show is it’s getting that plan in place, knowing where I have to be, and then getting to it and then following out. If we’ve got that income plan that we’ve talked about on this show numerous times, then certainly any time’s a good time to retire because I planned my income. I planned my predictable sustainable income that’s going to last me through retirement, and I’m ready. I’m ready anytime.
I think a lot of people, certainly when this happened, you got into a situation where you had whole nursing homes that were sick, had the flu, but nobody could visit them because you couldn’t see them. I think it brought back the thing that we don’t want to put off tomorrow to live today. We all want everybody to have that kind of retirement if they want, but we want to work with it, work on the plan, and certainly be ready. It’s always a good time. It was interesting, Peter. I don’t whether you realize this or not, but when the COVID-19, coronavirus started out, they were predicting we were going to have a lot of deaths, a lot more than what we’ve had. We’ve been very fortunate. Life insurance policies would have covered a death from the coronavirus. Now, that’s being excluded from future policies, so if you get a policy after this virus has been out there, it won’t cover the coronavirus again.
Peter: John, I know there was a glut there, a big rush of people who were out in the market searching for life insurance as this thing was beginning to play out, and that speaks to me twofold. One, that you can’t do something after you recognize you need it, and of course, it took longer in the processing once so many people recognized that they needed it. Two, that by and large we’re underinsured for what is appropriate, and we probably need to address that.
John: It’s hard to get dental insurance when you need the tooth pulled. That’s the case. When you think that you’ve got a situation where I’m going to have to have the insurance, I may possibly die, and all of a sudden, you realize that you’re underinsured. You haven’t thought about it. You haven’t worked through it, and you’re going to leave your family owing money, owing debt, maybe not being able to keep the house that they live in now. Those are all times you think and said, man, I wish I had done something sooner.
Peter: Why you call it planning and not reacting. Financial reacting is not a profession.
John: Right, and the reason I bring this up is because it’s so typical that we wait until we have a crisis, and then we try to hurriedly fill the gap that we’ve created. We should’ve been planning for it all along. With the life insurance policies that we have today, I mean, they are so much better than the life insurance policies that I used to sell back in 1968 and ’69. These policies will do more than just cover death, and so they do cover retirement, terminal illness, long-term care. They have a lot of components to it that really make it a more viable policy for today’s lifestyle. Also, we just rewrote the tables, and with people living longer, the cost of the insurance continues to go down. Insurance is cheaper today than it’s ever been, and it continues to go down.
As part of that retirement plan and we don’t stress it enough, we also need to look at our insurance and what our insurance is doing for us and if we have enough or if we’ve got too much. There are some ways that we can address some different things and still get money out of those policies if we don’t want to keep them. We need to do that whole plan and look at everything we have, but don’t wait until you need to have the tooth pulled and decide that I need dental insurance. You got to get it ahead of time.
Peter: Yep, and again, just one aspect of the comprehensive review, the retirement planning strategy session that they offer there at Gulf Coast Financial. If you would like to review your situation, the fees that you’re paying, the risk that you’re taking, the investment performance, the amount of income that you can generate from those retirement accounts, the tax liability that you may encounter into and through retirement, now’s a great time, by the way, to do some proactive tax planning and manage that lifetime tax liability. Pick up the phone. Give a call, 386-755-9018.
John, the market volatility certainly grabbed the headlines, but the tax management may be where we can do our most strategic proactive planning during this downturn. Are you seeing right now that people are having recognition that there is a benefit in working with a financial professional? Are you talking with people? Are people reaching out to get help and the assistance that they should have?
John: Yeah, Peter, I think it’s more relevant today than it ever has been. After you take a 30% hit in the market and all of a sudden you realize that if you’re getting ready to retire in 2 or 3 years that may have not been the best time for that to have happened, and so they’re seeking professional help. Certainly, on the tax, we’re going to see a lot more emphasis on tax planning in the future. With this new stimulus packages, the 2 trillion and the $450 billion that has been pumped into the economy, somebody’s got to pay that back eventually.
Peter: We are.
John: Yeah, it’s going to be the taxpayers. We’re going to pay it back. The government’s going to give me $2400 if I’m lucky. I haven’t seen it yet, but they tell me it’s coming. At the same point in time, eventually, I’ve got – I’m going to have higher taxes, and I’ve got to pay that back. With the new SECURE Act and with the SAFE Act, which just came out with all the stimulus packages, now’s an ideal time to sit down and do some tax planning and look at everything one more time. There are some advantages, some things in those bills that will help us, some things that we can do now, Roth conversions, not taking R&Ds. Doing some different things this year that we need to take advantage of from a tax standpoint to be able to give it the best shot we got. Certainly, as I’ve always said, taxes are the lowest they’ve ever been in history. These are the lowest taxes that you will ever pay in your life. There’s no way they can ever be any cheaper.
Peter: Strategic opportunities to do some planning, to be more efficient with our money, with our dollars. Let’s identify those and where we can take advantage, ladies and gentlemen. The team from Gulf Coast Financial voted best of the best in financial services. Their sister company, Gulf Coast Tax Advantage, can look at a cohesive complimentary review of your situation and of your outlook, of your planning, and make sure that you’re doing the right things with your dollars and the right things to keep as many of them with proper guidance in tax planning. Pick up the phone if you would like to take advantage, 386-755-9018. That’s 386-755-9018.
John, you said it. If folks had a plan, then they were probably okay still making that transition into retirement. If not, then this may have caused them more of a shake-up than they really feel comfortable now making that transition. Bottom line, I think that emphasizes that everyone needs to have a plan, and we want to be able to plan to support ourselves and to support those loved ones that may depend on us. Not to be cold or callous, but planning has to be our responsibility. We have to put ourselves as the top priority. John, whenever I think about this and I think about my family, I always think about getting on an airplane and the safety speech that they give before taking off. That if the masks drop from the ceiling, make sure to secure your own mask before helping those loved ones that you’re traveling with or others that may need help. It’s because if you don’t put yourself in the most stable position possible, you’re in no place to stabilize other people and provide them with help and assistance.
John: Yeah, that’s right. That’s so right, Peter. I mean, if we don’t take care of ourselves and take care of our own needs, our plans for the future – we’ve got to be able to plan for everybody. They’re there. The kids are taken care of, everybody in the family. We’ve got a plan for them as part of the master plan. One of the things that I’m still amazed at is the number of people that don’t have estate planning documents when they’re really not that difficult. Because of the new inheritance taxes being over $11 million, we really don’t have to have complicated estate planning documents to the average person. All we need are four documents that any attorney can draw up for us. They’re not expensive.
I’m totally amazed at the number of people that sit down with us, and I ask them. I say, “Okay, do you have a will?” They look at each other. Then they’ll turn around to me, and they say, “No,” or “Yeah, we’ve got one, but we did it when the kids were 5 years old. They really don’t need my mother to take care of them now. They can take care of themselves.”
Peter: Now they’re 30, yeah.
John: Yeah, they’re 30. They’re not going to go stay with my mother ‘til they reach 18. Everything is just out of sync and out of whack with what they really wanted to do. Then you sit down and talk to them about, well, how are we going to transfer this money if something happens to both of you all or to you? Then they realize that we really should have this. It’s just like the life insurance. I can’t wait until St. Peter’s calling me and knocking on the door. I’m saying could you wait just a minute because I need to get this will drafted? We need to have it now.
There’s just so many opportunities this year, Peter, like I said, with that SECURE Act and the SAFE Act; not having to take R&Ds this year if you don’t need them; with the Secure Act, not having to take them ‘til age 72. Just all these things that are in these acts, requirements, that if we do it right they’re going to be great for us. If we don’t handle the paperwork and the accounting properly, then it’s going to cause us more headaches and more taxes and more penalties in the future. Get with a professional. Find out exactly what you can do, what you can’t do, how all this intermingles.
I think I mentioned a couple weeks the person that applied for the new money that was out from the SBA, the PPP money, which was to keep people employed. After the individual, the company got the money, they fired everybody. You can’t do that because then you owe the money. There’s no free lunch. We just need to make sure we understand how we’re going to – how everything works together in one big piece, one big plan. It’s all part of estate planning and income planning here at Gulf Coast.
Peter: John Kuykendall is Founder and CEO there at Gulf Coast Financial Services, your resource, ladies and gentlemen. Pick up the phone. Give them a call, 386-755-9018. John, you mentioned it briefly at the beginning of the show but how everyone’s situation is unique and individual. Everyone’s situation truly is very different right now. I mean, maybe we could generalize sometimes that a person in their 20s or 30s should be investing more aggressively for growth, or a person nearing retirement should begin to get more conservative and work on that income plan. Someone with debt or a family that depends on them absolutely should have life insurance, and everybody at least needs those basic estate planning documents. I think now more than ever everyone’s situation is very different.
Two neighbors who both had families and they’re in their 50s maybe at the beginning of the year might have had a similar set of circumstances. Now they could be in entirely different circumstances based on all of the change that has happened, maybe a change in their job or their income situation. You yourself, you could be in a very different set of circumstances and a different situation than you were just three or four months ago. That’s why we all need planning, why that plan is so important to support ourselves and make sure that we are making progress and doing the best things and to support those that count and rely on us, that depend upon us, and that we want to make sure that we are never a burden to or dependent upon. John, all of that is just the planning process. We always bring it back to the basics, many aspects there, and you’ll go into all of the details in that complimentary review and that strategy session, which by the way you can conduct virtually. If folks want to get that done or get started in that process, fully capable of still doing that even with social distancing and restrictions.
John: Peter, we’ve gotten really good at that. We learned how to do it, and we’ve worked it out. We’ve had numerous Zoom meetings where we’ve met on the line, and actually shared screens back and forth with the clients and been able to give them a lot of good tips. We’re actually going to be doing some webinars that are going to be on-demand on our website, so you’ll be able to go there and listen to a webinar any time you want to on some different topics, taxes, estate planning. Things like that.
Peter: Wonderful, well, we all need that plan. The team from Gulf Coast Financial Services not only are good at it, but they also make it convenient for you. They’ve been voted best of the best by the Lake CityReporter in financial services, and they also have an office of convenience in Gainesville, serving Lake City, serving Gainesville savers and investors, taking your planning and your financial future seriously. They are there for you as a resource, and if you’re willing to invest a little of your time, they’re willing to donate some of theirs to make sure that you’re on track. Similar reviews can easily be valued at over 1,000 to $1200. They make it available to you on a complimentary no-cost, no-obligation basis. Let’s take that first step. Pick up the phone. Give them a call, 386-755-9018. That’s 386-755-9018. I think that now more than ever people are recognizing the need, John, for qualified professional advice and guidance, and we appreciate you providing that to listeners throughout the area.
John: Thank you, Peter. There’s no minimum. We don’t care how much money people have got. We’re willing to work with anyone. We want to educate anybody that wants help.
Peter: There you are. There’s a resource, ladies and gentlemen. Pick up the phone. Give them a call. You have a couple specific questions on your mind or if you want to look everything over and make sure it’s in order. The team from Gulf Coast Financial Services are here for you, 386-755-9018. You can also visit online gulfcoastfinancial.net. Lots of great additional resources, reports, calculators available there, gulfcoastfinancial.net, or give them a call, 386-755-9018. John, again, appreciate your time. Thank you for being here.
John: Thank you, Peter. It was great.