by John Bearss
Jerry Robinson: John, we constantly hear from our audience that they appreciate the insights that you provide on retirement planning each week here on Follow the Money Weekly.
John Bearss: Thank you Jerry for having me on your show this week and I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be able to share financial strategies with your listening audience. The times we are living in have really escalated the need for financial planning. I believe people are less fearful of the future if they have established a financial plan for themselves and their families because being prepared is the best solution to relieving stress and fear. So your radio show has been a wonderful platform to do this and I would like to encourage your listeners to take some time this week and forward the ftmdaily.com website to everyone in their address book because there are so many people who need to understand the times we are living in and how to prepare for it. I also believe that if everyone would forward the link to the website to their address book that their friends would be appreciative of the fact that someone cared enough about them to help make sure they are financially prepared for the times ahead.
Jerry Robinson: John, you were one of the first advisors that our company accepted into the Christian Financial Advisor Network. How has being a part of CFAN impacted your retirement planning practice?
John Bearss: Jerry, I can not tell you how wonderful it has been to be able to share Biblical financial principles with those folks who have a genuine concern to follow after what Jesus has taught us that we should do with the assets that he has entrusted to us and how to be good stewards of these assets.
As you might remember when you and I first talked about CFAN, my vision was I wanted to have the opportunity to share my faith and belief of what I think the Bible teaches us about being prepared for the future financially. The more and more I read the scriptures, it amazes me just how many financial strategies that the Lord gave us to help guide us through the current times and the times that are ahead. He taught us how to provide not only for ourselves, but also our families, he taught us that giving, to further the Kingdom of God is an important part to any financial plan and if we do it with the right spirit, he will bless us in return. He taught us how to prepare for our older years and he gave us strategies of how to do it.
So to answer your question about the opportunity within CFAN, I can truly say that this has been the most exciting time of my career.
Jerry Robinson: John, being a Christian yourself, you have a lot of Christian clients. In your opinion, how should Christians view the topic of financial planning and retirement?
John Bearss: As I stated before God has entrusted to us everything that we have and it is up to us to be good stewards of what he has given us and to expound on this a little further. I have appreciated your series on the 5 Steps to building a financial game plan and how important it is to start with level 1 which is building an Emergency Reserve, then advancing to level 2 – Protecting your Assets, Income and life before you need it and then level 3 – Diversifying your reserves then level 4 build a diversified investment portfolio and then level 5 things you can do with advanced investing. I see too many times where people do not do these things and they do not do them in the proper order.
I think about the passage of scripture when God says that when they are living in peace and safety then sudden destruction cometh upon them. I know this was given as an end-time prophesy, but I think you can apply it to building financial strength. I have seen many times that people are feeling real secure about all the assets that they have accumulated and then because they didn’t protect them, something like a lawsuit, a natural disaster, nursing home expenses or high medical expenses has totally wiped them out financially because they did not prepare by utilizing these 5 building blocks and doing them in the proper order. My goal for clients is very simple we want to create as much guaranteed income that they can not outlive as their estate will allow, but then when they pass away, we want to pass on to the heirs as much of the remaining estate as possible with the least amount of losses to taxes, probate, creditors and nursing homes. So when we talk about protection, important protection elements would be life insurance, long term care insurance, disability insurance for those that are still working, umbrella policies and other protection methods depending on the client’s situation.
Jerry Robinson: John, I was reading a new report released last week by Retirement USA that says that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire. You and I both know that the retirement picture for millions of Americans is looking grim. What advice would you give someone who is maybe 5-10 years away from retirement and who has failed to save enough money?
John Bearss: I think that people need to lower their cost of living as much as possible and then with the money they have saved by doing this they need to get out of debt. I believe the Bible is very clear about what God thinks about being in debt. My dad told me when I was young that there in only two ways to get ahead financially and that is to either go out and earn more income or lower your standard of living so that you do not give away all that you have earned and if you can do both that is even better. If you are only 5-10 years away from needing to use your investments to live on then by all means use investments where you will not lose money if the economy worsens. I see to many people gambling with their investments in the stock market when they do not need to. They are trying to hit that last home run with their investments. More baseball games are won hitting singles and doubles then hitting home runs because percentages say there is a better chance you will hit a single or double than a home run. But most importantly don’t make an out, like a lot of people did when the markets nose dived in 2008 and before that from 2000-2003. Then it is important to sit down with a financial planner to help you determine your income needs now and in the future, what will your expenses be when you retire, what types of protection could benefit you the most and then reviewing this information on a regular basis.
About John Bearss: John R. Bearss is a Retirement Specialist. He has been helping clients and financial professionals understand financial strategies for 24 years.
Disclaimer: John Bearss is a registered representative of and does offer securities through Sicor Securities, Inc. Lifetime Decisions Management, nor it’s representatives provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your CPA or qualified tax advisor before making any decisions. Lifetime Decisions Management, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by SICOR Securities, Inc.