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Coasting in Retirement Ep 2: The collapse of crypto exchange FTX and other shady investments to avoid Thumbnail

Coasting in Retirement Ep 2: The collapse of crypto exchange FTX and other shady investments to avoid


Josh and cohost Michelle discuss the cypto FTX collapse and some recent headlines on retirement.

This episode touches on a couple of recent developments in the speculative investment space and tie those into our theme of the week: things that pre-retirees and retirees should either NOT have in their investment accounts, or at the very least, be very educated about before investing.

Transcript:

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Coasting in Retirement! I am your host, Josh Null, and I’m joined by my co-host, Michelle Lee Melton. Well some of you listening may recognize me the various podcasts, radio shows and marketing videos I’ve done. And if you do, great, thank you for continuing to follow our efforts. But most of you will have no idea who I am and that’s OK! (Laughs). We’re going to get to know each other a lot better on this journey of knowledge and education. So let’s start our journey and dive into our topic of the day! 

This week we going to touch on a couple of recent developments in the speculative investment space and tie those into our theme of the week: things that pre-retirees and retirees should either NOT have in their investment accounts, or at the very least, be very educated about before investing. We’re going to talk about investments such as non-traded REITs, which stands for Real Estate Investment Trusts; we’re going to talk about precision metals, including gold, plus collectibles, individual stocks, and commodities, and we’re going to briefly touch on private equity and hedge funds. But before we get to all of those intriguing topics, I think we need to first talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to the mother of all speculative investments, something that has been all over the financial news the past few weeks: cryptocurrency. It’s subject that is often avoided by financial advisors, and I think for good reason - there was such a monumental downside for advisors to recommend these types of investments. And from the looks of it, that probably was a wise choice for most of us, at least those of us that deal in the pre-retiree and retiree space. 

So, first, let’s do this: as a fiduciary based financial advisor, I have never, nor am I in this radio show, recommending crypto, or bitcoin, or NFT’s, or anything related to blockchain to my clients that are in or near retirement. Does that mean I am an ardent opposer of crypto? No. Not necessarily. I personally know folks that I consider pretty smart that went heavy into crypto. So hold your fire my crypto true believers. I just don’t know enough about it to make an educated and fiduciary based recommendation to my clients. Does the technology have a future? Maybe. Probably. I really don’t know. It doesn’t look to good right now, but I’m also old enough to realize that many of the tech I use in my current life didn’t make much sense to me when it emerged either. That’s not really the point of this discussion today. The point is to detail investment choices that investors in or near retirement should be careful with, and definitely be educated about, while using one example, crypto, as something I believe that right now should not be in retiree’s portfolios. 

Let’s start with a brief summary of why crypto is top of mind for many investors right now:

  • Discuss FTX as an exchange, similar to both a NASDAQ where things are bought and sold as well as a broker dealer when things are stored. Except not SEC and/or Finra regulated. Then describe how that $32B exchanged basically collapsed this past week, and it appears that billions of dollars of investor’s money is missing. Basically what happened was the classic run on the bank once a must larger competitor casts doubts on the strength of the balance sheet of FTX
  • FTX was led by a guy named Sam Bankman-Fried, a precocious 30 year old wonder kid with a degree in physics from MIT. He went by the initials “SBF” and was considered a bright light in an otherwise sometimes dark and mysterious industry. 
  • While not the biggest crypto exchange, FTX was very well known relatively speaking. They had naming rights to the Miami Heat basketball arena and had paid several well known spokes persons, such as Tom Brady and Larry David. 
  • It appears that FTX used investors money to fund short falls in it’s related investment fund, Alameda Research. It also used a coin called FTT as collateral for loans. When investors demanded their money back in mass, coupled with the fact that FTT was exposed as basically a worthless ticket, not unlike a reward ticket at Chucky Cheese, the whole thing collapsed in spectacular fashion. 

So the show is not hear to break down every single nitty gritty detail of FTX’s collapse. And I think it’s safe to say that many of your listening to the show had your own reservations about crypto, and more likely than not had steered clear. But my guess is that it still alarmed you some, and made you take a look at your other assets in your portfolio that are considered “unconventional”. The point is this – I am paid by my clients to give my professional opinion and offer fiduciary guidance. And I never could reconcile my albeit limited knowledge of crypto enough to recommend it to clients, particularly those in or near retirement. Plus, to be honest, I was like many financial advisors that were being told often that we should have a certain percentage of client’s investments in crypto, sometimes in breathtakingly arrogant fashion, which just automatically turned me off. So for those of you that do have exposure to crypto, and especially any of you all that used FTX, I think one thing we can point to is that we don’t invest based on what is called “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO for short. If you would like to hear more about our investment philosophy, please give us a call at 251-333-5151 or find us online at gulfcoastfa.com. 

Alright, let’s pivot to the 2nd part of our discussion: investments that are considered “unconventional” in retirement accounts. Let’s start with defining what is considered an unconventional asset. Simply put, an unconventional asset, often referred to as an alternative investment, is a financial asset that doesn't fall into conventional asset categories, like stocks, bonds and cash. Alternative investments include private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, managed futures and collectables like art and antiques. Why do people hold alternative investments? I think it’s fairly simple. Many investors are trying to do better than average, such as holding all index based funds, particularly if they believe healthy capital gains are going to be hard to come by in a stagnant stock market. Plus they are looking for diversification away from a purely stock market based portfolio, or are looking for income streams via a REIT, or for a variety of thoughtful reasons.

On that note, as a distinct contrast to crypto, alterative investments are something we advisor’s see and use in our client’s portfolios. Let’s discuss a couple of examples: Precious metals, specifically gold. You can hold physical gold, which many people do in the form of jewelry or coins, or through investment vehicles like ETFs. Either way the primary reason you hold gold is to hedge against inflation, i.e., as the purchasing power of your dollar decreases due to inflation, your gold holds it’s value, or potentially even increases. We’ll discuss gold more in this episode, including why it’s not much use for generating steady income in retirement unless it happens to be your profession. 

REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts. There 2 broad types of REITs: publicly-traded and non-traded, or private. Publicly traded REITs are often traded on well-known securities exchanges. Investors may buy and sell publicly traded REITs in the same way as stocks during a trading session. Folks typically hold REITs to generate income via dividends, often as part of their retirement. We’ll discuss some important things investors should know about REIT’s later episode, particularly non-traded REITs.

Private equity and hedge funds. For those investors with the means to access such vehicles, the idea is to place some of your money with talented and unique money managers in an attempt to out perform the market. Typically these are accredited investors playing in this space, but this space has definitely broadened it’s reach, in my opinion primarily through technology that allows for way more available information about the funds than in years past. 

Commodities, collectibles, limited partnerships, private placements, etc. There’s a diverse, and possibly dizzying, amount of choices for investors to consider. Many are not appropriate for all investors, many investors need to concentrate on what they know and understand – as well as many financial advisors. But if you’re an investor that has the appropriate risk tolerance and asset base, there is a place for the conversation. At Gulf Coast Financial Investors, we often incorporate this conversation by using a tool called Riskalyze. Riskalyze basically performs an “x-ray”, you could even say maybe an MRI, of your investment holdings. It’s designed to identify not only how much risk an investor has currently, but how much that investor wants, which we use to help determine how much risk an investor needs to accomplish their goals. It’s a useful tool to match the investor’s desired risk, or lack thereof, with the holdings in their portfolio.  

For listeners of the show that reach out to us, we’ll provide this Riskalyze holdings analysis at no cost and no obligation. You can give us a call at 251-333-5151 to set up an appointment, or find our contact info on our website, gulfcoastfa.com.  

Riskalyze is just one of the tools we use to put a plan in place is the first step to making sure your savings will last no matter what happens with inflation, taxes, long term care, potential volatility, etc. Here’s out basic approach to working with folks in or near retirement: 

  • First we figure out how much you’ll need for the retirement you’ve been dreaming about
  • Next we uncover the main risks posing a threat to your retirement, including inflation, stock market volatility, potential tax increases, skyrocketing health care costs, etc
  • Then we discuss options for generating income in retirement and putting your investment portfolio to work doing specific jobs, such as battling inflation
  • Finally we discuss how to keep your current standard of living in retirement, even as costs keep rising.

 The strategies we use are designed in part to help you with inflation and longevity risks. Not only are we trying to match your risk tolerance with your investment holdings, we want to help make sure you don’t end up outliving your retirement savings. If you’re interested in having that conversation, give us a call at 251-333-5151, or find us at gulfcoastfa.com. That’s gulfcoastfa.com.

 Alright, coming up next - There’s always a lot going on in the world! Particularly the world of finance. It seems like there’s major headlines every week affecting investors, especially those in or near retirement. Join us after the break to hear Michelle and I discuss this week’s relevant headlines in our “Michelle with the News of the Week” segment. Stay tuned!

Segment 2 - Michelle with the News of the Week:

Josh: “Welcome back to Coasting in Retirement, your host Josh Null here! As we discussed before the break, it seems like there’s major headlines every week affecting investors, especially those in or near retirement. Coasting in Retirement’s co-host Michelle and I are going to help you all understand and decipher the deeper meaning of those headlines, particularly the ones that relate to our show topic and have an impact on those in or near retirement. So with out further adieu, here’s “Michelle with the news of the week”!:

1. Michelle: Money Talk News published an article called “13 Bad Investments for Your Retirement”. The article was written by Bud Hebeler, a legendary retirement guru who developed his own special methods and gave numerous seminars on retirement until his death in 2017. A couple of the investments listed are “livestock and commodities”, “collectibles” and “individual stocks”. Josh, what are your thoughts on what Bud had to say in this article? 

Josh: Since you mention livestock, this is one of the articles that provided the “meat” for what we what we are discussing today. Or if you’re not a meat eater like Michelle and I, the…tofu? Beans? Eggs? Michelle, what would take the place of meat for the protein? (Michelle answers). Alright, back to the article. Bud was a well known and decorated investment writer and advisor. The article has 13 items listed, so for the sake of brevity, let’s concentrate on the 3 you listed. Let’s start with livestock. I spent quite a bit of time on my grandparent’s hog farm growing up in Wappapello, Mo. While this article is not implying that an investor actually throw on some overalls and get out in the pig slop, what it is saying that owning livestock, or anything related to animal farming, or anything related to the buying and selling of the products of that industry is a hard, hard business and should be left to the professionals. Retirees sometimes get into trouble when they hear a good sales pitch, say for something like funding a fish farm. 

As to collectibles, you could make a joke about beanie babies, or the piles of Transformers and Star Wars toys from my childhood I have stashed in my garage not even being remotely worth the effort of buying and storing. But this article is really referencing things like art and jewelry when it references collectibles, and what the author is saying that you don’t want to bank your retirement on such things for a couple of reasons. One, collectibles are illiquid by nature, it’s a fairly narrow and esoteric market for them, plus unless you’re a seasoned collector is very easy to get duped. I would suggest that if you are in a position to purchase valuable collectibles, develop a relationship with a trusted buyer in that industry and/or do your homework. Lastly, and probably most relevant to our target audience of those in or near retirement, is ownership of individual stocks. It is not uncommon for investors to hold individual stocks in retirement. But what this article warns against, and I agree, is holding most or all of your portfolio in a handful of individual stocks. Yes the upside can sometimes be greater than with a diversified mutual fund or ETF, but the downside can be pretty devastating if something goes sideways with that particular company. Just look at Tesla’s stock right now (laughs).

(https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/bad-investments-for-your-retirement/)

2. Michelle: Headline CNN Business News: “Crypto crisis continues. Here’s the latest on the FTX collapse.” According to the article, “Prices of digital currencies fell again as the crisis engulfing the market deepened over the weekend.” Josh, why is FTX’s collapse so impactful on the crypto universe, and why do you think this matters to investors? 

Josh: Alright, so we touched on this in our first segment of the show. To recap, FTX was one of the larger exchanges in the crypto space, or a place for folks to buy and sell crypto currencies to each other, or to hold them in a digital wallet. Again, think of it as a much smaller and narrowly focused New York Stock Exchange, or probably more relevant, the NASDAQ exchange. It’s not apples to apples, FTX is miniature compared to these huge stock exchanges, but you get the idea. It’s CEO was a guy named Sam Bankman-Fried, a baby faced 30 year old that was held up as one of the bright lights in the industry, one of the good guys, which is why the collapse of FTX has sent such shock waves across the entire crypto universe. On top of the collapse, there appears to be a ton of investor’s money that has gone missing – recent estimates are $1 to 2 billion – plus it appears that the executives of the exchange were taking investor’s money and using it to cover the debts of an related, more risky endeavor…and now that money may be gone as well. The SEC has shown some regulation on the promotion of crypto currencies but I think most folks would agree that they have not dived in headfirst into regulating the exchanges. I’m pretty sure they will now. The bottom line is this: we’re not hear to tell you that crypto is dead or that blockchain doesn’t have a future, we’d have to dedicate an entire show just to get past the tip of the iceberg on that conversation. But I do think it’s another signal that it’s just not time yet for those folks in or near retirement to be holding such risky investments in their accounts dedicated to their retirement. Let’s the younger folks with a longer time horizon work out this industry, they have more time to recover from any financial mistakes. 

(https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/14/business/ftx-crypto-collapse-updates-hnk-intl)

3. Michelle: An article on Investopedia asks, “What Are the Risks of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)?” The article states that REITs can offer investors a steady stream of income that can be attractive in a low interest-rate environment but that there are REIT risks you should understand before making an investment. Josh – first question – explain to me what a REIT is, and second – aren’t we in a high interest rate environment now versus low? 

Josh: REITs is short “Real Estate Investment Trust”. REITs can be attractive to investors because they offer the opportunity to earn dividend-based income from real estate without having to actually own and maintain any of the properties. In other words, investors don’t have to invest the money and time in buying a property directly, which can lead to surprise expenses and endless headaches. Common REIT holdings are apartment buildings, healthcare facilities, hotels, office buildings, even self storage buildings you see popping up all over the place. There are two broad types of REITs, publicly traded and non-traded, and while they share a lot of the same similarities, there are some different risks associated with each type. For non-traded, you have liquidity and cash flow risks. Bottom line is you don’t have a ton of control over the REIT, particularly if you are trying to sell one and move on. Additionally they tend to be fairly expensive, there are typically some hefty fees associated. Now while you can say generally that publicly traded REITs have less inherit risk than non-traded, there are still risk. The biggest risk to REITs is when interest rates rise, which reduces demand for REITs because investors typically opt for safer income plays, such as U.S. Treasuries. And just as if you owned the properties directly, there’s always inherit risk in investment real estate – think about what has happened to so many indoor shopping malls over the past 10-15 years. 

(https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/031915/what-are-risks-reits.asp)

4. Michelle: Josh – here’s one of your favorite sites – Investment News! The title of this article is kinda wordy: “The appeal and pitfalls of holding unconventional assets in retirement accounts”. The article goes onto state that while there may be benefits associated with holding esoteric asset classes, from real estate to precious metals to farming interests in individual retirement accounts, experts warn of pitfalls extending beyond investment risk. Alright Josh, I understand what they mean when they say real estate, or farming interests, or a personal favorite of mine – precious metals – but what I don’t understand is why these things are called “unconventional assets”. 

Josh: So, first, why do investors even consider unconventional assets in their investment portfolio? Generally speaking, when there is a gloomy forecast for stocks and bonds, especially those that are intended to produce income in retirement, it’s not uncommon for investors to look to “juice” their returns and provide some diversification away from the stock market. Often investors and advisors both are looking for investment choices that have less correlation to the overall stock market as a method to insulate some against market fluctuations. Common unconventional assets held in retirement accounts are real estate via REITs, private equity and hedge funds, at least according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office. Others unconventional assets include limited liability companies and limited partnerships, precious metals, promissory notes, church bonds and private placements. I think the most important thing for those in or near retirement to consider are that there are very unique complexities within their IRAs regarding unconventional assets that are held outside of mutual fund or ETF forms, including tax scenarios, RMDs and liquidity. It diffently makes sense for most investors to talk to a financial professional about these types of investments, and I am happy to assist with that conversation in my role as a financial advisor at Gulf Coast Financial Advisors.

(https://www.investmentnews.com/the-appeal-and-pitfalls-of-holding-unconventional-assets-in-retirement-accounts-71452)

5. Michelle: Alright Josh, last headline for this week. Forbes has an article titled “Is Investing In Gold A Bad Idea? Here’s What You Should Know”. Note: have Michelle discuss her personal feelings about gold, maybe discuss her affinity for it and/or other metals used in jewelry, etc. Have some fun with the headline. 

Josh: There are two sides to every gold coin—investing in gold is a lucrative idea, and investing in gold is a losing idea—and then there’s the truth. The truth always sits somewhere in the middle and, in this case, the truth is rooted in a multitude of factors spanning your investment goals, time horizon and, ultimately, your investment strategy. There’s 2 basic ways to own gold – either holding it physically in jewelry, coins or one of my favorite things to say because I feel like a pirate, gold bullion, or through investment vehicles like gold focused stocks or ETFs. Either way it important to know that while gold is considered a hedge against high inflation because it holds it’s value, and it definitely diversifies your portfolio, it also typically does not provide high returns on your investments and is not a considered a steady source of income in retirement. While I may not be an expert in the gold you hold in your hands – I wear zero jewelry – we can assist you in the conversation about whether you should hold gold in your investment portfolio or not. Just give us a call! 

(https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2021/12/21/is-investing-in-gold-a-bad-idea/?sh=7612e8334a37)

Josh: Michelle, great job with the headlines, these are all important pieces of information that impacts those in or near retirement. And for our listeners that are impacted by this news of the week, or interested in learning more, we invite you to take action and start a conversation about your financial plan. You can reach us at 251-333-5151 or find us at gulfcoastfa.com. 

Alright folks, coming up after the break, we get to have a little fun and probably get picked on a little bit by my co-host, Michelle. Our next segment is titled, “Where Josh nailed it, where Josh was a little off”. I’m going to share some opinions I’ve made public that proved fairly accurate, and for balance, or at least be fair, a few where I didn’t quite stick the landing. I am human after all! See you after that break! 

Segment 3- Where Josh nailed it, where Josh was a little off: 

Welcome back! So the point of Coasting in Retirement is to offer guidance to those in or near retirement, which means I often give my professional opinion. And while I am proud of thought, care and due diligence I put into giving my professional opinion, both on this show and in my financial planning practice, I’m also human, which means I don’t always stick the landing perfectly. So each week I get to poke a little fun at myself by admitting to any thoughts or opinions I’ve put out there that weren’t 100% on point. BUT this segment has to be fair, so I also get to pointing to some of my thoughts and opinions that were pretty accurate. We call this segment “Where Josh nailed it, and where Josh was a little off”. Alright Michelle, what’s first?

1. Michelle: So Josh, REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts…are hard to sell if you want out of a particular REIT. Did you nail it or were you a little off?

Josh: Both. First Michelle, we touched on this earlier in the show, but let’s refresh the listeners regarding the 2 broad types of REITs: publicly-traded and non-traded, or private. Publicly traded REITs are often traded on well-known securities exchanges. Investors may buy and sell them in the same way as stocks during a trading session. This is a fairly well-known fact with most seasoned investors. Where investors sometimes get stuck, and where I feel I’ve nailed it in the past, is with privately placed REITs. Getting out of a non-traded REIT can be difficult and expensive. When a non-traded REIT is closed to new investors, the directors may suspend the redemption scheme. Once this occurs, shareholders have limited options to sell their REIT. This may cause problems for investors, especially if the value of the REIT falls. In some cases, the directors may allow redemption at a heavily discounted price, causing substantial losses for the shareholders. If redemption is unavailable, shareholders can choose to sell their shares on the secondary market. In this case, the price for the shares will be at a steep discount. I will say that there have been relatively recent exchanges developed to help investors unload their non-traded REITs, I’m familiar with one called Realto.ai and would be happy to have a discussion about this topic, just give me a call! 

2. Michelle: Cryptocurrency should be a part of many, if not all, investor’s portfolios. Nailed it or a little off?  

Josh: Nailed it, unfortunately for some. So allow me to be bluntly honest with our listeners. Like many of my fellow financial advisors, I’ve intentionally steered clear of much of the crypto debate because it’s just a landmine for those of us with a securities license and under SEC oversight. It was a no win debate. Add that to the fact that many advisors are not what one would call young – I’m a relative baby that I’m still in my 40’s – and when you’re older you’re just not as in tune with what the younger crowd is into, whether it’s fashion, or in this case, cryptocurrency. And I will gladly say that from everything I have learned that there is a promising future in the underlying technology of crypto, which is called blockchain. So with the risk of sounding like Clint Eastwood and telling all the crypto folks to “Get off my lawn”, there are a couple of opinions I have expressed both publicly and privately where I feel like the most recent crypto crisis is confirming. One, there’s no strong sovereign nation on earth that is going to allow it’s citizens to create it’s own fiat, or currency. I mean this as no offense to anyone that has immigrated from countries that have tried to accept crypto as currency, such as Venezuela, but the countries that run the financial world – the US, China, the United Kingdom, etc – none of these countries are going to give up the right to be the exclusive provider of legal tender to it’s citizens. None. I, like so many others, have also pointed to the fact that crypto needs to provide a viable use case, needs to produce real revenue and profits, and for the love of Pete, figure out how to tamp down the illegal trade and constant theft that happens before I would ever advise any of my pre-retiree or retiree clients to invest 1% or 5%, or heck, a single dime, of their retirement assets in this space. Will time for crypto come? Probably. Maybe. But until that times comes, those in or near retirement need to steer clear from this Wild West show. 

3. Michelle: Utilizing insurance products that feature capital preservation with some upside potential. Nailed it or a little off? 

Josh: This is somewhat nuanced question because of the role insurance plays in our practice. I’ll start by saying I was a little off when it came to the retirees in my client base. Let me explain. I am an independent financial advisor that works with a larger independent RIA called Prime Capital Advisors for my and my clients’ investment management needs. Financial advisors generally take two routes on their way to becoming independent financial planners and investment managers like me. One track is coming up thru a wirehouse or brokerage like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley or Ed Jones. Another path is through the insurance side, such as New York Life or Mass Mutual. I came up on the insurance side. Which would lead one to think that I would have built an insurance focused practice, but instead I built an investment management and financial planning based practice. Why? Because I have dealt with insurance companies for many years now and have learned to have a healthy skepticism of some of the narratives they present. Or at least some of the sales agent representing them. Not a distrust necessarily, I just follow Ronald Reagan’s advice of “trust but verify”. So any of my clients that use insurance products in their planning walk in with eyes wide open and all aspects discussed. That said, in the situations where we decided a capital preservation focused insurance product was the best fit for a particular client’s needs, those clients in general have had some peace of mind during this recent market downturn and particularly during the market volatility of the past 2 years. It takes some of the worry off the table. Does that mean insurance products like these are for everyone? No. But it means that I much more open minded about it than I was 2 years ago. 

4. Michelle: Josh – your clients interested in purchasing a boat should delay the decision and see what happens to boat prices and demand. Nailed it or a little off? 

Josh: Nailed it. Dead center bullseye. Probably somewhat due to the fact that I am an avid boater and have had a motor-boat continuously since I was 14 years old. And being on a boat often down here on our part of the Gulf Coast, I could see with my own eyes the dramatic increase in boat traffic during the past 2 years. The fact is that during Covid, prices of many boats, even used boats, increased dramatically over the purchase price paid in the years prior! It was nuts. Now, why is this? As opposed to the automobile industry, the boat industry did not suffer debilitating supply chain issues. Supply was fine. Demand went through the roof because of the historical levels of money that was pumped into consumers hands by the federal government. Couple that with more free time during lock down periods, remote work becoming more acceptable (at least for a time period) and historically low boat loan interest rates, and you had every Tom, Dick and Harry wanting to buy a boat. Well guess what? Just like with overzealous housing demand being artificially propped up by these factors, so where boats. And the party is over, at least for now. Most boat manufacturers are anticipating a rough sales period in 2023. Which mean they will drop prices to move product. And new boat prices set the table for used boat prices. So while it sucks for my clients that really wanted to own and use a boat the past year or so, they will now have much better options and leverage when they look to purchase a boat for our next boating season. Which comes early down here! 

5. Michelle: Alright, one more Josh. The Auburn Tigers football team would rally behind new coach Cadillac Williams and defeat Texas A&M by a score of 39-32 to secure his first head coach win. Nailed it or a little off? 

Josh: Oh I nailed this big time. Auburn fans are so concerned about jinxes, and as a KC Chiefs fan I get it. But there was no way those players were going to let Cadillac down in his first home game as a head coach, they are way too fond of him and want him to succeed. Now as I remember Michelle I believe I said the final score would be 13-10, and that Auburn’s excellent defense and incredible kicking game would win the day. But I might have had a couple of beers at the game and be misremembering. Michelle what do you think about Cadillac so far? 

Great stuff, great job Michelle. Alright, coming up next: we reach into our listener mailbag for our question of the week! Stay tuned! 

Segment 4: Mailbag and Show Close 

Welcome back to Coasting in Retirement, your host Josh Null here! Great show today Michelle! Every week we try to get to a listener’s question if we have. We’ve got some time left so why don’t we check in the mailbag and see if there are any questions needing answered? 

Michelle: Alright Josh, here’s one from Nathan in Fairhope: I am an independent contractor with about 5 years left before I would like to retire. I’ve got a 401k from a previous employer and have contributed as much as I could to my traditional and Roth IRAs, but I’m concerned that it won’t be enough. What options do I have to really go hard at my retirement savings as I prepare for retirement? 

Josh: Great question Nathan. You’re in what I call the “retirement red zone”, a football based reference meaning you are approaching the goal line and hoping to score. It sounds like what you’ve been doing is fine, but now that you’re seeing the end of your accumulation years coming soon, you’re concerned about the size of the bucket of money you’re holding in your qualified investment accounts There are a couple of ways for self employed, independent contractors or small business owners to run a power play and get the proverbial football into the end zone. Now these options definitely require conversations with a financial professional, so let’s just touch on them in broad terms. There are Solo 401k options that provide considerable more contributions limits than a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Same with SEP IRAs. There’s also Cash Balance plans that sometimes make sense for small business owners that can provide significantly more tax-free contributions limits, with the help of a qualified actuary of course. We can help with all of these options and more, all you have to do is give us a call at 251-333-5151 to make an appointment or visit our website at gulfcoastfa.com

Folks, that’s it for us this week here at Coasting in Retirement! I want to give a huge thank you to my lovely co-host, Michelle Lee Melton, a thank you to our awesome radio station 106.5, many thanks to the provider of our show music, local band Sloth Racer, and as always my sincere appreciation for all of your out there that have been listening and joining us on this journey. We would love to be a part of your journey as well. Until we talk again next Sunday, have a wonderful and productive week. This has been Coasting in Retirement with Josh Null!