Make It Last – Ep 178 – The Three Stages of Life

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This week on Make It Last, the show starts with a little, “Get To Know Victor,” segment. Find out how he is connected to the hit trilogy: Pitch Perfect.

Then, Victor goes on to discuss the challenges behind guiding his clients through their estate planning and the three stages of life: the Go-Go Years, the Slow-Go years, and the No-Go years.

Finally, they wrap things up with a game of “Would You Rather?”

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Make It Last is hosted by Victor J. Medina, a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA®) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP™). Founder of Medina Law Group & Palante Wealth Advisors, Victor and his companies are dedicated to empowering people through education about estate planning and their finances.

Full Transcription Below

Mark Elliot:  Maybe you’ve heard Victor’s radio show before, so you’ve heard him. Have you seen him? Victor. You’re probably on billboards all over the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. Just New York City, you’re there, Times Square

Victor Medina:  Yeah, I think today’s billboards are probably my YouTube channel. That’s the only thing that anyone’s staring at these days. I don’t know anyone’s looking at billboards any longer.

Mark:  Now, I will say though, that people might have seen you as the local director of the a cappella group.

Victor:  Oh, my goodness. You didn’t warn me that you’re going to embarrass me this way off of it.

One of the things that I do for fun is that I’m the musical director of a local a cappella group, which is great because I’ll tell you, what we do for that for fun is every Wednesday we start singing at 7:30 at somebody’s house in the area, everyone’s from general Mercer County, New Jersey area.

We meet at somebody’s house at 7:30. We sing from 7:30 to 10:00, and then we drink wine and eat cheese until we get kicked out of that person’s house from 10 o’clock on. It’s really a cover for being able to hangout with some great people, and I just have the privilege of leading just talented musicians, a lot of fun.

Victor:  I will tell you that one of my favorite movies of all time, and there’s like three of them, “Pitch Perfect,” Anna Kendrick.

[crosstalk]

Victor:  What’s interesting is that the musical director that was on, this guy named Deke Sharon, who actually went to my college at Tufts University, New England, Conservatory of Music, and somebody that I knew personally, and he’s somebody that sent arrangements to my a cappella group called Jersey Transit, which is kind of a cool connection that that music made it to Hollywood‑movie level.

They had a TV show. It’s called the “The Sing‑Off.” It’s cool to watch somebody that I went to college with turn that into something that’s almost mainstream accepted.

Mark:  Yeah, absolutely. Well, that’s cool, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to get to know Victor a little bit because I think it’s important that we do a radio show, we’re talking about retirement. We’re talking about some of the challenges, some of what‑ifs. What if this happens? What if that happens? How are we going to handle it?

What about the fun stuff we’re going to do? How do we do all of this? We kind of get bogged down into, “Well, it’s really all about the money.” Well, it’s not. It’s really about what is your plan? What are you going to do to enjoy your retirement? How are you going to do? What’s your perfect day in retirement?

I think a lot of it, though, is if you’re going to talk to somebody about your retirement, your hard‑earned money for 20, 30, 40, 50 years in the workforce and say, “Hey, I want you to help me with my retirement.” You need to know a little something about him.

I don’t think you’re just going to go to a stranger on the street and say, “Here’s my retirement 401(k) and IRA, can you help me in my retirement?” No, you got to know a little about him. I think this is a fun segment, I think, Victor, because we’re going to learn a little bit about Victor Medina.

I guess, to start with a little bit about your background, and how did you get involved in the financial business because you certainly started in the law area first before getting into the retirement world. What’s your background?

Victor:  Yeah. I did exactly that. After going to college I worked for a little while, had a job working in the pharmaceutical industry and then I went back to law school. That was mostly driven by my wife, who’s wonderful because what she said to me is, “Look, you’re reasonably intelligent, but if you don’t get an advanced degree, people are going to think that you’re full of it for the rest of your life.”

I owe her thanks for pushing me to go to professional school. I went and got a law degree, did what traditional people do going into law school, meaning that I went to go clerk for a judge and work for a large law firm. I did corporate‑related work. That’s where the money was.

Then there was something deeply unsatisfying about that because I was working for corporations, and not for people. In a fit of entrepreneurial spirit, I left that job and started a firm where we were going to focus on estate planning.

I did that mostly because I had a family member who suffered an untimely death. It was early, they had done some estate planning, really thought they had everything in order. It turns out was like a big disaster, and it was not malpractice. It was just common practice on the way the estate planning was done.

It gave me an opportunity to the way that we were going to do estate planning, whether we’re going to be partners with people all the way through the rest of their lives, that we made sure that plans work when we needed to them, we tested them along the way.

We just completely changed the way that estate planning was practiced based on the fact that I had this family member have something that I knew his family…that I knew he wouldn’t want to happen to his family.

We started doing that differently, but because of that, where we were doing with people on an annual basis, we were establishing deep and long term relationships.

It wasn’t around the paper, but around the plan, it gave me an opportunity to start to be in a position of trust with them, where they would seek my opinion on things, lots of different things, not just because I was a lawyer, but because they knew that I cared about them, and I was invested in their family’s success.

One of those areas was about finances. For the longest time, maybe the first six, seven years of the practice, they would ask me about their investments and say, “Can you help me with this? What do you think about it? We really like you, and we trust you. We want to make sure that we’re OK. I want my family to work with you. Can’t you manage our investments or help us with the retirement plan?”

For the longest time, I would just say, “No, I don’t have those credentials. I can’t do that for you, I try to put you in the right hands.” What I found was that about 50 percent of my clients were being successful, not working with somebody that was really an expert in the area.

I looked at myself in the mirror, I said, “You know what? You’re just not meeting the expectations of your clients, you’re letting them down. They came to you to make sure that they were going to be OK.”

What we did is, then go ahead and create this sister company that just handles retirement planning. I own that completely. It’s not a relationship where we send you to somebody that we have a relationship with. It’s like here, it’s all in house. It’s with exactly the same team that you were dealing with your estate planning, you’re dealing with your retirement planning.

I went and got all the credentials. I got more letters marked after my name than are in my name, but the idea is to be able to do that the right way for clients, and that’s how I got started.

Mark:  Yeah. If you want to find out more about the law group side, just go to medinalawgroup.com, M‑E‑D‑I‑N‑A, medinalawgroup.com. Palante Wealth is P‑A‑L‑A‑N‑T‑E, palantewealth.com. You can find out about both companies, but they work under one umbrella. They’re all here to help you. I wonder, your wife, Jennifer, is a school psychologist.

Do you think she did a little psychology work on you thinking, “You know what? I can make my husband a better man if I can get him to law school. He can take better care of my kids.” Did she use some psychology on you, do you think?

Victor:  I’d hate to ascribe that much manipulation and forethought. I would rather just think that she insulted me to do it, which is kind of what she did, but yeah, maybe she did know what the ultimate result was going to be if she just tweaked it one way or the other.

Mark:  All right. Tell me your…I guess, growing up. Finances, were they a big part of the family? I’m sure you went to private school. You went in the limousine, you sat in the back, got dropped off at first grade. It was an easy upbringing.

Victor:  It’s funny. No, of course, it’s the opposite. They were important, but they were important for reasons why our very real and understandable people, but it wasn’t something like we were sitting on a whole bunch of money. I was raised with really financially savvy folks.

The biggest and most impactful early introduction to finances was essentially when my parents ended up getting divorced. I was living with my mom. She didn’t have enough money to make it where she was at, and ended up taking me back to Puerto Rico to live with her and her family for a while. Ended up having to declare bankruptcy for what was going on and start over.

Look, it’s a wonderful story in the sense that after having married and met my stepdad, she’s got multiple properties. She’s retired with an apartment in New York City. A really successful story, but nobody really ever trained her or taught her on the concepts of finances.

I’ve taken that lesson by the way, as something that’s crucially important. One of the books I authored is called Empowering Women ‑‑ specifically in retirement ‑‑ “Empowering Women in Retirement” because I took the lesson around my mom and said, “How is it that we can help serve these women that are either suddenly single or just weren’t the financially savvy person in their relationship, if they got divorced or widowed?

“How do we serve them to make sure that they’re getting the right advice?” And so, the book is one of the ways that we’re able to do that.

The earliest lesson on finances was just watching my mom’s struggle, and realizing that as I was going to make my own family and being able to be responsible for supporting them, I want to make sure that I avoided similar mistakes or struggles, and really got sophisticated in thinking about it and doing things the right way.

Mark:  You think about now as a parent, you and Jennifer, three boys, Aiden, 17, Lucas, 14, Dylan, 8. There are different stages. Aiden’s getting ready. One more year of high school, then go off to college if that’s what his choice is. Lucas, getting ready for high school. Dylan just graduated from middle school. Or no, Lucas…

[crosstalk]

Victor:  I’ll mention, yeah, second grade still for him.

Mark:  Yeah. Lucas just got out of middle school as he moves on into the junior high level. You think about them, because I’m thinking for your wife’s a school psychologist, you’re an attorney, but you’re a certified financial planner as well. Finances were always something hard to talk about it seemed to me growing up. I never really heard much about money.

My dad was a college coach. My mom was a school teacher, then worked for a bank. We really didn’t talk. I knew I got all the sporting stuff because my dad was a coach at a college. I got new footballs, new basketballs, new baseballs. It was perfect for me growing up, but it wasn’t like we had a lot of money. We didn’t take a lot of trips or anything. How important is teaching your kids about finances?

Victor:  I think it’s as essential as one of those areas that they’d probably ought be adding into school‑related topics, much more than physics or…

[crosstalk]

Mark:  Wouldn’t it be cool if they taught what you talk about, to actually have classes like that, to how to think about finances? Because I don’t think…

[crosstalk]

Victor:  Never happened for me. Did it happened for you?

Mark:  No, no, not at all.

Victor:  Yeah. I think it’s really important to do it. To your point, even if you have some level of money that’s in there, I think it’s very difficult conversation to have with your kids. You go back and forth between one of these two positions, Mark.

Either you don’t have a lot, and the last thing you want to do to your kids is make them be the worriers about where security’s going to be coming from in the future. That’s not anything you want to saddle them with, or you have a ton, and the last thing you want them to do is become complacent about either work ethic or what it took to get there.

You’re in this no man’s land for trying to figure out how to have these discussions, but they’re important discussions to have. They’re discussions that I’ve had with each of my kids, specifically the two older ones. The youngest one is always listening and always offering comments from the peanut gallery.

The older two are interesting examples for me because I’ve learned two things from each of them, or how successful I’ve had these financial conversations. Aiden has got a job as a lifeguard, and by the way, great job for a high school kid to be sitting at the pool, getting a tan, and swimming and looking good.

He works, and he gets his paycheck, and he’s now driving. He’s responsible for his own gas. We’ve got a lot of that stuff in there. He tells me, and this is after I’m trying to, “Hey, listen, your savings rate’s important if you want to retire, if you want to have a nest egg, the more that you put aside.”

He’s the guy that comes to me. He says, “Look, this is what I want you to do. Help me manage this, Dad. Help me manage…” ‑‑ which I think is great ‑‑ “I’m going to take everything in the hundreds level off of that paycheck, and I’m going to give it to you to invest, and I’m going to spend what’s in the tens and the twenties.” I thought, my goodness, that’s a lesson really well‑landed on this kid.

Instead of giving me the tens and the ones spot, he was giving me the hundreds spot off of it because he understood the value of a savings rate, and why that was important for him. I knew that I had landed that one, that one was successful. Then with Lucas as the middle one, he is 14, he’s now of age to work. The first thing he’s thinking about is how and where do I get a job?

He is thinking about getting his working papers. It’s not that we’re sending him out to the fields to get working early, but what’s important about discussing finances is, the value of what labor is to generate money. That’s such an important lesson to know.

There is a spectrum on this, about what you’re going to work at, how much you’re going to get compensated for, what the value of your effort is off of that. Then, eventually, how you increase that over time. The one that has got his designs on following in dad’s footsteps the clearest, at least the way he’s communicating, is my middle son, Lucas.

He wants to go to Tufts the way I went to Tufts. He wants to go to law school. He wants to have a financial degree, and he wants to come and work in the business. I think what he sees in that is a road that he wants to emulate because we’ve been able to show him that it’s got a lot of benefits for him.

The lesson on finances is, work hard and understand what the value of your labor is. Hopefully, this other part of it, I hope he gets this. I know it to be true for what we do, but I hope he understands that we’re delivering immense value to families.

What we do for a living is transform their lives and give them security in retirement. He wants to be a part of that. I like those elements. The eight‑year‑old, Mark, we’re not sure. We’ll see how he turns out, but the first two. I’m batting hall of fame numbers so far.

Mark:  Absolutely. The financial retirement business is important because Victor and the teams at Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth are not only working to improve your retirement life, but they’re also assisting with important decisions about the family as well. Whether that’s estate and legacy planning, helping to establish trust with an attorney, or long‑term care planning.

There are a lot of things that impact the other members of the family. When you work with Medina Law Group, with Palante Wealth, it’s a big family. They’re all here to help support. We know that there are challenges. There’s going to be some of those what‑if situations that happen, and how do we handle this?

“Holy cow, we are getting ready to start our beautiful retirement. Now, all of a sudden my spouse has Alzheimer’s, we’ve got cancer.” We can think of all those things. We don’t want to, but it’s life.

The important thing is you have a plan that really is built for the what‑ifs, but it’s also there in place where you put your head on the pillow at night and say, “You know what? When I wake up tomorrow, I’m going to be fine.” We’re thinking we’ve got things moving in the right direction. How do you do that if you’ve never worked in the retirement world?

Well, that’s where Victor’s companies come in to help you do that. It’s about you. You’re the CEO, it’s your retirement. It’s your hopes and dreams.

Victor’s team is basically your CFO, your chief financial officer, to help you understand the things that you don’t, and to make sure that you make the right decision according to you, because at the end of the day, it’s your final decision, but Victor can really help walk you down this path.

I don’t know why you wouldn’t take advantage. There’s no cost. There’s no obligation. There’s no pressure to chat with the teams. It’s 856‑506‑8300. 856‑506‑8300. Great opportunity, take advantage. 856‑506‑8300. Stay with us. This is “Make It Last” with Victor Medina with the Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. We’re back in one minute.

Mark:  Welcome back to Make It Last with Victor Medina and make it last. You’re like, “What is that all about? What is that title of your show? Tell me.” Victor is a retirement planner, and what do you want your money to do? You want to make it last.

He has a process, a holistic planning process that he walks his clients through because at the end of the day, you’re the CEO. It’s your retirement. It’s your hopes and dreams. What are you going to do? It’s decided by you.

If you have questions though about how to put this planning process together, and it’s called to Make It Last process because that’s what we want to do. We want to make your money last for you, as long as you’re here. If your priority is to leave it behind to beneficiaries in the like, or charities, Victor’s here to help you do that as well.

That’s why we call it Make It Last. You can always find out more about Victor and the team. You’ve got palantewealth.com, which is a holistic planning for retirement. You’ve got Medina Law Group, which is about estate planning and all those things we need to think about when it comes to the end of life, and even while we’re living.

Victor, you don’t wait to do all that elder law attorney stuff when you’re 90, do you? Don’t you do it when you’re getting closer and closer to retirement, or I suppose even in your 30s, you should have some plan in case something happens?

Victor:  You should definitely have some documents in place. I thought you’re going the other direction of that I said, “You shouldn’t wait until you’re dead to do your will.” I was going to agree with that. That’s probably a really safe place to be. That yeah, you should have your estate planning in place before you become incapacitated, and before you die.

That’s at least when we would like to do it. By the way, if you know that date, then we can back up, maybe six months so you get your documents in place.

Mark:  Yeah, it would be actually really easy. Victor, when you sat down with people on planning their retirement, if you knew their end date, that would be a great help. If you knew if they would have any health issues at all along the way, that would help. That’s one of the challenges. You have to really do a little bit of what‑if scenarios with your clients, I would imagine.

Victor:  Think about it this way, there are lots of variables that are going to happen in the future, and we can go beyond just the fanciful, funny ones about when you’re going to die, when you’re going to get sick, how long you’re going to last.

There are other things that are going be variables that we can’t control like, what are market returns going to look like in the first 10 years of your retirement that actually has a mathematical impact on what you should be doing? Similarly, what are the tax policies going to be like?

Just because you have the tax laws today, doesn’t mean that you know exactly what they’re going to be out 10, 20 years as part of your retirement. There are enough of variables in place. What I do as a planner for you as a client is, I starts to design a plan that is flexible and takes into account those contingencies.

If we have a situation where somebody gets ill, or we have a situation where the tax policies change, or whatever it is that the variable just sets the dial one way or the other that we weren’t expecting, we actually have expansion in the plan to account for that flexibility, so that it doesn’t submarine everything.

That’s really the risk. If you go into a situation planning for your retirement as though you assume that this is all going to happen exactly the same way. I know exactly when I’m going to die. I’m not going to live past age 85. I know exactly the same tax laws are going to be.

If you set all of those up, and not any of them can change in order for your planning to work, when one of them does, boy, are you scrambling afterwards. It’s much easier as a retirement planner to know what the things that we have to avoid, like say, “Hey, it’s a landmine field out there, but the nice thing is I kind of know where some of those things are.”

What we can do is we can chart a path through the landmine field, so you don’t step on one of them in the course of the rest of your retirement. I’ve been through this field many times with other clients, and I understand what the right way to walk through this is, now you’ve got a better chance of success by having that plan in place.

Mark:  Today we’re going to talk about retirement in maybe a little bit different way than you’ve heard it talked about because we used to, especially when we were young…You think of your grandparents, when you’re 10 years old, your grandparents are ancient.

Now we’re that age, but we don’t feel ancient. We’re not ancient at this point, but we always thought of retirement as a final stage of life. It’s really not the finish line anymore. Maybe it was “The Bucket List” movie that got everybody thinking about, “Holy cow! There’s still a lot of things I can do.”

We’ve seen the 90‑year‑old or 100‑year‑old woman that’s jumping out of an airplane. It’s a different style of retirement than it was 20, 30 years ago. It’s a little bit more in that go‑go category. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

We’re going to talk about the three stages of retirement that we all go through, but all at different times. The go‑go years, the slow‑go years, and the no‑go years, we are going to talk about all those.

Victor, here’s my plan. I’m going to go 15 to 20 years in the go‑go years, I’m going to go a couple years in the slow‑go years, and one night in the no‑go year. That is a fantastic plan, isn’t it?

Victor:  I like that plan a lot. I’ve heard the no‑go years as the won’t‑go years, but if you’re going to spend one day, you are going after that one day. Do you want to carve it up that way? I’m good with you, Mark. That’s fine.

Mark:  The sad thing is I don’t have that much control over all of that. I think it’s really fun when you think about the go‑go years. That’s what gets people excited about the opportunity to leave their working years behind, and jump into retirement is the go‑go years.

How do you look at the go‑go years, Victor, for your clients? We’ve all heard of their, “Hey, we can front‑end load our retirement a little bit because we’re going to be more active.”

At the back end, we’re going to talk about all three of these phases. At the back end, there might be more medical expenses. Doesn’t mean that just because you got 90 years old, you’re not going as much that there’s no cost any more to retirement. That’s not the case.

How do you look at the go‑go years? I would think that’s an exciting part of your job when you sit down with people, and they’re so excited about, “Hey, I got this bucket list on my list. I got this bucket list item.” They’re excited, aren’t they?

Victor:  I think most of them are, but I do want to spend a moment with the folks that aren’t getting excited about retirement. What I’ve experienced is that it’s very difficult when you lose the identity as a working member of society, like what your job was, what you get up every day to go and do. That has a lot of sense of an identity.

As people start to plan their retirement, I found that the most successful people are those that have a purpose or identity post‑retirement.

Those can be the people that do come in on those go‑go years really excited about what they’re going to be doing. They know that they’re going to be traveling, spending time with grandkids, picking up a new hobby, or volunteering at the hospital and shepherding some families around, worried about somebody that might be in surgery.

Whatever that’s going to look like, I know that if they’ve identified a purpose, a way of creating an identity post their working years, they’re going to have a much more successful retirement because they’re going to have this purpose that is bigger than them.

That’s really important. When we think about how to plan around for the go‑go years, if you’re coming in for retirement, and you have plans about what it is that you want to do, many times, those plans have got little sales tags associated with them. They’re cost items.

They’re things that we have to plan for, especially if we’re thinking about travel whether it’s travel for pleasure, like you’re going to go someplace exotic as part of what you’re doing, or it’s just travel involved to visit where all your grandkids are. They might be spread across the country, and you want to be able to do that. There are usually price tags associated with that.

What’s important is for us to be able to help you understand whether or not that’s all possible. That’s why we have to take a look and say, “Well, that’s something that we can or can’t do based on what you have.” Or if it’s something that it is possible, how do we ensure that it’s something that you can do with complete peace of mind?

That whatever you are planning for, you can do with the comfort and calmness of knowing that it totally fits within your budget for retirement, and for you to be able to be successful.

We really like planning for the go‑go years because for the people that have got a good, clear design about what it is they’re going to be doing, it’s the thing that launches them with a lot of momentum into retirement where they’re loving it.

They’re going in their…every day is Saturday, they’re spending time, they’re gardening, they’re reading, and they’re doing all the things that they want to do. I really want to encourage that.

The people that don’t take advantage of it, when we start talking about the slower‑go, or the no‑go years, after that, it’s usually because health considerations have started to overcome them, and then it’s the last opportunity.

We think about each one of these stages is very difficult backwards. Often, never happens. You don’t go from the slow‑go years to now, the go‑go years. You don’t go backwards from that. Take advantage of the go‑go years that you have so that you can really fully live in retirement.

Mark:  Now, I will say this though, is there opportunities for somebody that’s in the go‑go phase, “Oh, a spouse gets sick.” Now all of a sudden they’ve gone to slow‑go because that’s where the spouse is at this point. The spouse then passes away, and the other surviving spouse pops back into the go‑go years.

Those kind of things can happen. Everybody’s situation is different is what I think is so interesting about that.

Victor:  That’s a really good point, Mark. I overlooked that. I was thinking about from the individual’s perspective, that usually when your health starts to go backwards. You are right, I do encounter, especially from the estate planning and elder law side, a lot of couples that were doing planning for where one of the spouses may have come down with Alzheimer’s, or they’re dealing with MS.

The entire family has gotten into the no‑go or slow‑go years to be able to deal with this issue. After somebody passes away, they are then…I don’t want to say the word free, but their life circumstances have changed. They’re healthy enough.

They are taking advantage of the time that they had to put on the shelf, being a caregiver for somebody else, to then go and take advantage of it. I think that is definitely on the menu for some folks that that is a possibility as well.

Mark:  You think about all these stages, we all go through them, the go‑go, the slow‑go, and the no‑go. We’re going to break them all down for you. If you’d like to talk with Victor about, “How do I plan for all of this?” 856‑506‑8300. I’d like to stay in the go‑go years because that’s the more fun time, I think, that we all have when we think about retirement.

Is that something that you have to put into that retirement plan that Make It Last plan process that you do with your clients is, “Hey, Victor, we’re going to travel overseas for one month. We’re going to stay at home.” That’s different planning. You really have to get an idea of what their retirement is going to look like from their viewpoint, don’t you?

Victor:  Sure. That’s totally true. We need to know what your plans are. What your goals are. One of the first things we do in the meetings that we have with clients, if you were to come in, what we’d do is we’d go through nine areas as part of your overall planning, where we’re looking at each one of your goals, and what are we starting with to really understand whether or not we can make this thing happen for you.

We need to know that. Actually, I want to take this opportunity to talk about the value of planning. Even for the people that walk in with clear designs about what they are going to do, if that was the only thing that they needed to do for planning, there probably would be no place for us going forward.

What we experienced is that there’s enough of the ground that shifts underneath them, that their goals change, that their desires change, that the landscape that they were relying on like taxes or the investments and the market changes.

Really, the value of an advisor in your life ‑‑ especially when it’s holistic, the way that we are, that’s doing legal and financial for people under one roof ‑‑ what it allows you to do is just have pickup that one bat phone, if there’s something wrong at Gotham, you just pick up that one phone and say, “How does this affect my plan now. With this new information, what’s changed?”

While we’re creating a plan now based on what people want to do in their go‑go years, “I want to travel,” and we say, “We can make that happen.” The real value that we bring is that when that answer changes, and they come back in and say, “I’m sorry, but this spouse now came down with Alzheimer’s, what does that mean?”

Like a real serious thing like that or, “It turns out that travel wasn’t what we thought it was cracked up to be. Actually what we want is a second home, and we want it over by the beach so that the kids come and…Can we do that? Is that something that we can do?”

It’s when the circumstances change, the value of the advisor really comes in because what we can do is refine the plan and help you navigate towards that new goal.

Mark:  It’s a great point. If we just retired, had 20 years of perfect health, and then passed away in our sleep, there’s not a lot of, what‑ifs along that path. The problem is we never know what’s going to happen. If I could, I want to go back.

In the next segment we’re going to get into the slow‑go years, the no‑go years, some of the things we need to think about in those areas. I think the go‑go years are the fun time to think about mostly is, “What are we going to do? How are we going to spend our time” and the like.

I want to go back to your mental side of retirement. For me, when I retire, I’m going to miss you, Victor. I’m going to miss doing the show, but I know there’s going to be somebody that can handle my job very easily. I’m going to go right off, go play golf, and I’ll probably fine.

For somebody like you that has two companies that you’ve made very successful helping others, Medina Law Group, Palante Wealth, your identity a lot to a degree, I would think, is tied up in the company. When you retire, it’s going to be a little bit harder to walk away. That’s a big mindset challenge.

Victor:  It is. Actually it gives me an opportunity to talk about a secret project that we have going on that we’ll talk more about in the future issues of the episodes of the show. We’re actually in the process of creating a planner for clients in retirement.

It’s not available yet, but it has me thinking how to answer exactly that question, Mark, which is, how do we guide people through retirement so that they can discover what their purpose is going to be? What their contribution is going to be? How they’re going to find significance? What are they going to be able to enhance about themselves?

What skills are they going to work on? How are they going to better themselves really enjoy retirement. Find those elements that will help them either re‑establish an identity that is after their working years or really maximize, and just squeeze the juice out of their retirement life because they know that they aren’t wasting any of their days.

That they’re doing exactly what they want, and it’s really serving their purpose. I would say that in that whole spectrum, whether it’s people that are so closely tied to their working identity needing to find something else that’s worthwhile for them in a way of being in retirement that is as significant as where they were before that.

Or if it’s just folks that say, “I have a pretty good idea of what it is I want to do. Let me just not miss the boat on it. Let me just make sure that I’m really taking advantage of everything that I thought was possible into there.” Both of those are really important to do.

If you’re not enjoying, if you don’t have the right emotional and mental sides to retirement, I don’t care how much money you’ve got. This is not what that’s about. Forget about the fact that we’re creating an extra paycheck for you on a regular basis.

These are the times that you really need to be reflecting back like, “I really enjoyed that. That was really awesome. Through retirement, I was able to do exactly what I wanted to, I found a great new purpose in what I was doing. I was able to contribute beyond myself.”

That’s going to be the stuff that lasts longer than any of the money that we’ve created for you, or how you spent it.

Mark:  When you think about all this planning that goes into this, and certainly I say that jokingly, but I would certainly like to see that happen, that I’m 15 years in the go‑go. A couple of years in the slow‑go, and I’m one night in the no‑go. That would be nice, but I don’t have a lot of control over that.

As we all know, things happen. Maybe you go into the go‑go years, you’re super excited, and the go‑go years only lasts two or three years because of a health issue. That’s life. We have to have a plan for whatever happens. Victor said it very well, because things happen, and we have to be able to adjust.

The Make It Last process that Victor runs his clients through, it’s not written in ink because things happen. We have to be able to adjust as we move along. If you’d like to get this process started, come in and talk to him. Find out where you are. “What do I need to be doing? Am I on the right track? Can I retire? When can I retire? Do I have enough?” Those are big questions.

856‑506‑8300 is the number. 856‑506‑8300. Of course, the Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth serve the Pennington, the greater Mercer County area, as well as Bucks County. There’s clients in New Jersey, there’s clients in Pennsylvania. They’re here to help.

They don’t know if they can help till you give them a call. Why don’t you do it right now? Great time. 856‑506‑8300. We’re talking about the three stages of life that we will all go through.

Hopefully, it’s longer in the go‑go years. Sometimes that’s not how it works out, but there’s the go‑go years, the slow‑go years and the no‑go years. We’re going to come back, and talk about some of the challenges in those years, the slow‑go and the no‑go right after this. This is Make It Last with Victor Medina.

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Mark:  Glad you’re with us today for Make It Last with Victor Medina of Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. I’m Mark Elliot, glad you’re with us. We’re talking about the three stages of life that we all go through in retirement is what we’re talking about. The go‑go years, the slow‑go years, and the no‑go years.

Now, I think the old Bucket List movie got everybody excited about, “Wow, just because I retired, my life’s not over. There’s a lot of life to be lived.” It kind of struck a chord with that generation. So excited. The baby boomer generation, they’re a go‑go generation. At some point, you’re not going to go as much.

Victor, my mom is 84. A couple of years ago, her and a friend decided to drive from the middle of the country to Charleston, South Carolina. She’d always thought, “Man, that place, it always sounds so beautiful, historic. I want to go there.” She drove 20 hours there.

When she came back she said, “That was a wonderful trip that I am never doing it again.” I said, “Mom, congratulations, you’ve hit the slow‑go years. You can still go, but you don’t want to as much.” How do you look at the slow‑go? The go‑go years, we all get it. The Bucket List, we’re excited.

Slow‑go, it’s not that we can’t, it’s just that maybe we don’t want to as much.

Victor:  It’s partially that. Partially, by the way is not that we can’t, but it’s much harder for us to do that. You know what usually visits on us are health related concerns. Specifically things that affect our mobility and whatever the demands of travel would be, or the demands of up‑and‑go life.

Usually, it’s health related concerns that slow us down and sometimes not in a way that ends our life, where we would won’t go anywhere. It’s not the same. We can’t navigate the cobblestone streets in Portugal. We can’t deal with the getting up early to go and volunteer at a new job, or a part‑time job, or something else that we have going on there.

The slow‑go years are about taking the time that we’re filling, that we needed to fill with all the go‑go stuff, and then starting to think about what are the requirements for us now if there’s a health related concern, or something like that.

Is that going to place a new demand on the way that our assets are being used, and where we’re going to be spending, and the paycheck that we need every month? Is it going to change what the demands are on our plan? That’s what I think about.

Mark:  Yeah, because you think about the go‑go years. We all think, “We’re going to spend more money in that phase of our life.” We’re going, we’re spending. We’re traveling. We’re doing whatever that we want to do. We get to the slow‑go and the no‑go, now we don’t have as much expenditures.

We get into the slow‑go years, and certainly the no‑go years…No‑go years you might need to be in a facility. The slow‑go years, you might have more health issues. Just because we’re not going as much doesn’t mean we need a lot less money, is it?

Victor:  No, that’s exactly right. It doesn’t mean that we need less money. In fact, many times, we need to as much, or sometimes even more. Those costs are crazy, Mark. You start looking at the cost of a long‑term care facility.

Not necessarily a nursing home where you’re all the time under health concern, but even an assisted living facility, or an independent living facility, where you’re in a place where those are where the activities are.

New Jersey, and this Northeast cost, they’re going to range anywhere between $5,500 and $8,000 a month, depending if it’s single or married coverage and what’s available in those facilities.

If we’re talking about generating a check, that is to be getting spent on one place for your meals and your roof over your head, and maybe some coloring books, that’s a lot of money for that.

It’s really as much as probably we were spending if we’re talking about an extra spend of anywhere between $60,000 to $90,000 a year, is what we were doing when we were traveling. It is definitely important to realize that the slow‑go years does not mean that we’ve turned off the spigot of the flow of money. If anything, we’ve kept it up.

This is where it becomes important to start thinking about protecting against that risk with the use of something like long‑term care insurance. This is difficult to give everybody the same blanket advice on the radio because there are a lot of factors that go into that.

What kind of policy should you have? Are you even healthy enough to get one? Should it be part of your annuity income rider? Should you be using life insurance with accelerated death benefits? There’s a lot of variations in there.

I will tell you what are the most important things to consider. One of those things is to make sure that it is a policy that covers your needs when you need them.

One of the biggest things that’s overlooked, is thinking about the healthcare costs as they are today. If you’re putting this long‑term care policy in place for some time in the future, like 10, 15 years when you think you’re going to need it, guess what, the costs are going to be more then. We have to skate to where the puck is going to be on that.

The other thing that we want to make sure, is that with respect to anything that looks like that solution, that it is something that we will have with us when we need it.

The worst thing that we see happen, is people will take a long‑term care policy where they have to pay premiums every year, and as their expenses go up, they ditch it as they’re getting older and that’s exactly the time that they need it.

We’d like to look at solutions to this that are a little bit more guaranteed, that will always be there. Maybe it’s paying for a little bit point in time, and then it’s fully paid, and we don’t have to put any more money into it, and that becomes a good way of solving it.

Lots of little wrinkles to this. What’s important is that people need to do this planning, Mark, before they get sick. They don’t do in their slow‑go years, they do prior to their slow‑go years. Just because, most of the time if we’re solving this with forms of insurance to help it, the underwriting for that, you got to be healthy enough for it.

If you’re waiting until you’re in your slow‑go years, guess what? The insurance company doesn’t want to talk to you, you’re already drawing from that. You’re not somebody that they want to have a conversation with. It’s definitely something you need to have in place before you actually get to that stage.

Mark:  You think about you’re going into retirement, you don’t not think about those things that you might need down the road, whether it’s long‑term care, whether it is how you’re going to leave your money behind to beneficiaries, to charities, whatever it is.

You do all of that right out of the gate because beneficiaries may change. There’s a lot of things that may change. You put it in place before you get to that point where you need it. 856‑506‑8300, 856‑506‑8300. Because when you get to the no‑go years, now it is, you will really are trying to wrap things up.

Where am I going to leave my money? How am I going to do it? I know you a report on 920elderlaw.com. What’s that all about? That seems like it fits right in here in the no‑go years. We don’t want to wait until we’re in the no‑go years, though, to think about elder law.

Talk about that, that report on 920elderlaw.com is free of charge to anybody that wants it.

Victor:  With my lawyer hat on, I’m a certified elder law attorney, which is a specific designation for helping people that are in retirement and post‑retirement, navigating the world of elder law to make sure that things like protecting assets against long‑term care, making sure you avoid a guardianship, making sure that you navigate that world. It’s very specific to folks that are getting older.

That designation has allowed us to create a guide that can help educate people before we get into that crisis mode. What we did is we created that guide. It’s entitled “Don’t Let Your Health Destroy Your Family’s Wealth”. It’s a great guide for you to download. You go to 920elderlaw.com. You put in your name and email so we know where to send it to. Then we’ll send you this guide.

This kind of planning, Mark, is something that you absolutely need to get done before you’re in those stages. Too many times clients come in to us in crisis. We’re meeting with the daughter because the mom’s in the nursing home. Like, “What can you do? ” The kitchen’s on fire. What do you want me do?

There’s stuff that we can help you with, but if you had Mom come and see us before this happened, we would have been able to do so much more. What we’re doing by providing this guide and this report, is to allow people to understand what the risks are as part of what you need to get in place in elder law for your asset protection.

If you do that ahead of time, my goodness, are your choices better. My goodness, are you going to be in a position where more assets are saved, that your options on how you get your long‑term care are broader, and you don’t have to worry about Medicaid devastating your home.

They are all really positive benefits, but the only way that we can do that is when we start to talk to people before the need arises. We provided this report as a way for people to able to get into this discussion because it’s not things that people are often familiar with, but do it in a way before you actually need it.

All you have to do is go 920elderlaw.com, put it your name and email address, and we’ll send you that report free of charge.

Mark:  Hopefully, you’re getting the idea that you don’t wait for these types of things because we don’t know. I joke around and say, “I’m going to be in go‑go phase for 15 years, the slow‑go for two years, one night in the no‑go.”

I have no idea how that’s going to play out. We can always hope for the best, but we better be planning for the worst. That means you need to start all this planning process when you’re really getting closer to retirement.

You should probably have all these wills, powers of attorney, and all those things in before you even get to that point. There’s a lot of moving parts. You can always call Victor and the team, 856‑506‑8300, to talk about all of this.

You think about these three stages, we’re all going to go through them, but we don’t really know the timelines for each. It could be long, could be short. We don’t know. The go‑go, the slow‑go, the no‑go, there are different challenges in each one of these phases, but doesn’t this maybe talking about it this way…?

Do you ever talk about this with your clients in this way, go‑go, slow‑go, no‑go because it makes it, I think, a little bit easier to understand, “Wow. I need a comprehensive plan for all three of these phases”?

Victor:  It does. It allows us to frame that discussion. I think, as you were saying, a lot of people went to this thinking that retirement is going to only have one picture that is not going to change, or as you were saying, that you’re going to know exactly how much time you’re going to spend, or how many hours you’re going to spend in each one of them. We just don’t know.

The purpose of thinking about it this way of breaking it down to say, “Well, what if this happens? What would you do if this is what was going on?” Or “How do we plan if this is the circumstance that we have?”

Thinking about in each one of those different phases, what it allows us to do is build a plan that will allow us to have the best options in each one of those situations. It’s like this thing. It’s like, “I know that I want to end up some place…”

If I’m sailing a ship way out there, it’s really important to make sure that my ship is aimed in the right direction because this is like a big aircraft carrier. If something is off, we going to be off by hundreds of miles by the time that we need something. It’s very difficult to make a really sharp turn on what we need to do.

If we think about time segmenting these things where your go‑go years are your first part of retirement, your slow‑go years might be in the second or third phase of your retirement, and the second or third decade of what your retirement is, and by the time we get to no‑go years, it’s at the final end.

When we start thinking about time segmenting it, now we can layer on top of that ‑‑ for example ‑‑ what your investments look like. We might be allocating some of this money for use that is in one of these other phases, and the sooner that we get it working in that area, the better benefit is going to have for you knowing that’s the purpose of that particular bucket of money.

Whatever that looks like, whatever that investment looks like, whatever that strategy looks like, is that it’s for that time in your life. The idea is that if we’re able to think about that before you’re actually there, your choices get better, your options get better, your quality of life gets better.

It’s super important to think about it ahead of time. I think the other part is really be working with somebody like us that had focused in retirement, that can see each one of these phases for a lot of their clients, and then help you navigate what it is that’s going to look like.

Mark:  Remember, there is a lot of moving parts and a lot of moving pieces. That’s why Palante Wealth is about holistic planning for your retirement. The income strategies, investment strategies, tax strategies moving forward. Medina Law Group can certainly help you with all the estate needs, elder law stuff. It’s all a moving part. There’s no guarantees for any of us on any of this.

That’s why Victor and the team put together that report on 920elderlaw.com. You can get it downloaded right to you. They’ll send it to you. 920elderlaw.com. A lot of great information in there. There will be some things you probably haven’t thought about. Why not get this free report? 920elderlaw.com.

Of course, at the end of the day, why not sit down with the team, and let’s get started on your situation. What are your hopes and dreams for retirement? What are you going to do? How are you going to spend your time? What happens if?

Do you need a new car in the first five years of retirement? We’d better plan for it. You’re going to take the family to Hawaii? We’d better plan for it. There’s just a lot of moving parts, and Victor and the teams are here to help.

856‑506‑8300 is the number again. No cost for this. 856‑506‑8300. There’s no time like the present. Let’s get started. 856‑506‑8300. We’re headed to our final segment of Make It Last with Victor Medina. Right after this short time out.

Mark:  Glad you’re with us today for Make It Last with Victor Medina. 856‑506‑8300 if you have questions about anything. What it pertains to your retirement, pertains to your finances. You need some guidance in the legal world. Certainly, Medina Law Group can help you. 856‑506‑8300.

Victor, I don’t know. You’ve got three kids, 17, 14 and 8. I don’t know if you’ve ever played a little game of Would You Rather with them, have you?

Victor:  No, I have not. [laughs]

Mark:  You’ve never said, “All right, Aiden. You’re 17. Would you rather go to college, or just have me fund you traveling around the country and enjoying yourself?” You never asked that? [laughs]

Victor:  I haven’t given him that option. My wife would kill me if I gave him that option. I did give him the option and said, “Would you rather take a scholarship for college, and I will give you a car, or go someplace where I have to pay out of pocket?” He understands that one.

Mark:  I bet he does. [laughs]

Victor:  I think he’s interested in the one where I get a car.

Mark:  Absolutely. If you think about it, when people come in and sit down with you and your companies, Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth, it’s because they have questions or they have concerns, or they have a big decision to make.

I think that’s what retirement is all about. If you’re a married couple, and the husband says, “You know what? I can’t wait to go fishing every day.” The wife’s probably not going to be excited about that opportunity. Maybe, or maybe flip‑flop it. Maybe the wife loves to fish, you don’t want any part of it.

It’s really interesting on how you make some of these decisions. There’s got to be a little give and take, especially if you had a job that traveled all the time. You may not want to travel on retirement, but the other spouse had a job where they were always at home, maybe taking care of the kids, or worked at home and didn’t go much, and they can’t wait to travel.

You’ve got to come to middle ground, if you will. We’re going to play a little game of Would You Rather today. Victor, would you say Would You Rather is one of those…It’s what retirees have to decide, isn’t it?

Victor:  You do. You make decisions between two options and say I would rather be this or that, or rather be right at this or that. I think that’s a good one. I like game shows, by the way, Mark. Let’s do this one.

Mark:  There you go. Now, we’re going to get into retirement Would You Rathers, but I always like this one right out of the gate. Would you rather, Victor, have unlimited pasta for life or unlimited tacos for life? For me, this is a no brainer. What about you?

Victor:  Is it? What is it for you?

Mark:  Tacos undoubtedly.

Victor:  I’m with tacos, too. I want to make one little caveat to the rule, because me as a lawyer, I always have to put a little parenthetical. I’ve got to argue the underlying foundation of it. I also need the ability to have different kinds of tacos ‑‑ just in the same way we want different kinds of pastas for there ‑‑ because I like tacos al pastor, I like tacos…

If we go to the tacos with the caveat that they can be different kinds of tacos, unlimited, for life, keep your pasta.

Mark:  All right. You’re one for one. Congratulations.

Victor:  Thank you very much.

Mark:  Now though, we’re going to get into retirement. These are the things that I’m pretty confident that a lot of your clients have to make a decision. Some might depend on their age as well. If we get into retirement let’s say at 65, but now we’re 85, maybe our views will change. Fair to say?

Victor:  Yeah, for sure. That’s OK.

Mark:  Here we go. Let’s go with we’re going into retirement. We’ve got to make some of these decisions. Would you rather spend your retirement living in your own home, or would you rather move to a retirement community?

Victor:  That’s a good one. I think that I would prefer to stay in my own home. The reason for that is because we redid our home. We like old homes. There’s something about staying in there because of the pride of what we did to change it. I would prefer to be in my own home.

I will tell you, when we think about it from a perspective of retirement, people need to have flexibility around their decisions, because I don’t know that you can actually control what that looks like. What I mean about that is, sometimes it’s as simple as going to retirement community where you’ve got the shuffleboard and the activities, and maybe it’s a decision between the two.

I see this as the ability to change your retirement picture around living at your choice, rather than it being forced to you.

For example, you might have kids, that as you’re starting to have grandkids start to move to other parts of the country. What you need the flexibility to do, is have one base of operations, but perhaps maybe rent a home for two or three months, or have a second home if you’ve got one kid to be around your grandkid.

That idea of having flexibility around that, is probably more important thing to have in place than directly choosing one because even as you get older, and you might need a long‑term care facility as part of what your retirement is, you need to plan around that.

You can’t control if you’re going to get sick. You can’t control, for example, if you’re going to need some additional care. There’s a lot of people like for me, I wouldn’t want to be a burden on my children, so I would want at least to have the option to be in a place that could provide me my meals.

Make sure that I didn’t have to cut the lawn and take care of me if I got sick, especially if I had lost my wife, and I was by myself or the other way around. I would want my wife to have the ability to have that option. You think about these things that might be coming, and keep as many doors open for that.

This is a tough game Mark. You’re asking a lawyer to make decisions between two things, and our default answer is always it depends. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep up with this the whole time.

Mark:  It is interesting, because I think most would probably prefer to stay in their own home. Now, my mom is 84. She lives in a retirement community, which means everything inside of her gated area, her porch area. There’s yard, but she doesn’t deal with that. Everything is inside the fence basically.

She deals with that. It’s a balcony. It’s really nice, but she doesn’t want to do all the landscaping and all the yard work, but she still has her little flower areas, but it’s not as much as it was when she had her own home. There are some benefits to all of this. It depends.

That’s why I said, “Does it depend if I’m 65 and eager about retirement, or I’m 85, and I’m like, ‘I’m slowing down a little bit. Maybe I don’t want to take care of everything.’” We do put this with a grain of salt. We’re not saying, “Look ahead, you’re in retirement, what are you going to do?”

Here’s another one. Would you rather rent a house in retirement or be a landlord? I have no handyman skills. If that was my choice, I’d have to be…I guess rent, but I could also hire a management firm and be a landlord, I suppose. Would you rather rent to someone else or rent a house out to others for potential income in retirement. You probably have clients that do have rentals.

Victor:  I was going to say, you asked this question. I’m all of a sudden in the Kawasaki book about “Rich Dad Poor Dad” about trying to get to that point of being somebody who’s a business owner or somebody who’s an investor, and they’re getting income from that.

That idea about a landlord spoke to my quadrants, and I’m looking at which quadrant I’m going to be for cash flow. The entrepreneur in me, the guy who started two companies and is taking care of all that stuff with the team and wants to grow, for me, I think I would default to wanting to be a landlord.

I would say this for the people that are landlords, or have current properties. If you’re married or if you think about what would happen if you became incapacitated, you have to think about the impacts to other people. I had a client of mine who came in, and he was very successful in owning different properties.

He had a portion of stuff that was in a shopping center. He had different apartments that happen to be right near where BMW had its plant, so they were constantly rotating executives into this high‑rise apartment that he had. He was very successful on getting that.

When he came in, and we talked about what we were going to be doing with his plan, one of the questions that I asked him. I said, “You’re very good at this.” You talked to, Mark, how you’re not as handy. He would show up to the homes, and he would hammer things, and he would plug things back in. He would do electrical.

I said, “You’re very handy, and you’re very hands on doing this. What would happen if you got sick, or what you think would be the effect if you died suddenly? What would happen to these?” We know that we’re going to sell them because your wife is not going to take care of them.

What would happen in the interim of that? How would we even manage that as we were getting ready to sell them? Isn’t that an activity that we should take care of while we still have control over that?

You are the most knowledgeable person around this property, wouldn’t it make sense to have you in control of making decisions on how to get rid of it, when, and what you’re going to ask for it? Then make the burden on the people that you leave behind much lower.

You have to think about if you’re going to be somebody that wants to be a landlord, if you’re fully capable of doing that, as long as you’re well, what happens if you become sick. If you’re married, what happens if your spouse is not as handy as you are?

The impact of that because everybody that we meet with and certainly, it’s probably the case for most folks that are thinking about their retirement and how they’re going to manage it, they don’t want to leave a problem behind. Part of the reason they want to do this planning is that if something happens to them.

Chiefly, the person who is most responsible for the finances and doing the planning, they don’t want to leave the person who’s not as involved holding the bag and in trouble. One of the things you can do with respect to real estate is lower the complexity level of that.

You still have real estate, ‑‑ maybe find a real estate fund that will offer what you’re doing ‑‑ but want to get you to that passive situation rather than it being something that you’re actively involved in, because you may not always be there to help manage that property.

Mark:  If you’d like some guidance in this, because these are big questions and big decisions that basically every retired couples got to make. They’ve got to make this decision. Would I rather do this? Would I rather do that? What if one of us passes away, then what? 856‑506‑8300 is the number to chat with Victor and the team.

There’s no cost, no obligation, no judgment. 856‑506‑8300. Great opportunity to be proactive, not reactive. Let’s get started. 856‑506‑8300. What I want to say though to wrap this all up, is that to me, Victor, a lot of people think, “Oh, Victor has a wealth company, Palante Wealth. He’s got Medina Law Group, so it’s all about money.”

I think a great deal of what you do is helping people with questions like these. It’s the relationship stuff. Do I buy that second home, or do I rent a home for a month or two? How do I make those decisions and certainly, money plays into this.

Your companies are not built just because people have money, you’re trying to help them, and it’s more relationship. Are you on board with me, Victor?

Victor:  I am on board. It is an unfortunate byproduct at anytime you talk about estate planning or trust, “I don’t have enough money for that.” Or if we talked about wealth advisors or retirement planning, “You must only work with people that are super‑rich. That’s not me either.”

It’s certainly an uphill battle that we fight to make sure that people understand no matter who they are, and how they show up in our lives, we’re going to be helping them. If you called us, we would say, “OK, listen, where are you right now?” We’re going to do the very best job for you where you stand. There’s no values, there’s no judgment where you are.

We always have some ideas on helping you get to a better place. That’s the case whether you have $100,000 or $100 million about what we’re going to be capable to do.

The bigger point that you’re making is that the value of the person in your life is in the relationship that you’re having with them, and the ability that you have someone that you can call and trust to help guide you along the way because the answers that we’re giving you when you come into planning are not answers that are static without change forever and ever.

It’s the beginning of a plan that sets you on the right course, probably a better course than you were before we met. It gets you headed in the right direction, but where the value of the relationship is, is when you have a question that was not foreseen and what we put together in the plan.

That wasn’t something that we knew coming in, that change in the law and how it impacts your planning. The change in your personal life circumstances, and how it affects it.

One of my favorite stories, I had one of my very first clients, and we had a call with them and they were on there. They spoke with me and they said, “I don’t know if you know this, but you’re with us a lot of the time during the day.”

I said, “I’m not sure what you mean. We’re not talking about spirits or anything like that.” He said, “No, we sit there and we think to ourselves, what would Victor say about this? Or how would he guide us in this area?”

That, for me, was the highest compliment that I’ve ever been paid. In the idea that our clients find so much value in our perspective that we’re there with them as that voice even when we’re not physically there, or they’re not calling us. That they’re looking for the guidance that we provided, put so much value on what it is that we’re doing.

By the way, that comes with it a related obligation, which means that we always have to be there for them. If they’re relying on us, we always have to be there for them. That’s one of the promises that we make. One of the commitments that we want back and forth is we say, “Look, we’re going to do this great planning for you.”

Then your obligation is that when you have a question, you contact us. When you are worried about what to do or you have a question about it, you don’t hesitate you just contact us. Since we don’t bill by the hour and since we’re not concerned about collecting for every time that we’re talking to you for…all we want to do is help you in your time of need.

The best part of that interaction is to know that when you’re done with it, you’ll sleep peacefully at night.

That relationship aspect, the fact that we are growing a client family is the thing that we look for and happen to get in all of the testimonials that we get for our law firm. Anytime anybody talks to one of their friends about it, they say, “It felt like we were treated like family. If we were his parents, it felt like he was doing that kind of work.

“We were welcomed in, and we were welcomed with open arms. We know that that’s a place that we can turn to and get the advice that’s in our best interest from somebody that cares. We’ll never be made to feel stupid about questions that we’re having. We’ll always get the best possible answer they can give us and we’ll always be cared for and welcomed.”

That’s the thing that we’re doing, and has almost nothing to do with the dollar amount that’s in your account.

Mark:  Coming soon to Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth, you will be able to get the rubber wristbands that say WWVD, what would Victor do?

[laughter]

Mark:  There you go. Hey, you want to sit down with Victor and the teams and talk about your situation. We’ve talked about a lot of different things today. You need to have a plan, and it starts with the call 856‑506‑8300. No cost, no obligation, no pressure, no judgment.

We’re looking forward. 856‑506‑8300. You know it’s time, you’ve been thinking about it. Let’s pick up the phone, and get started. There’s no obligation for this whatsoever. You’re going to find out more about where you are just by picking up the phone, and then you decide, do you move forward?

It’s got to be a good fit for Victor. It’s got to be a good fit for you. 856‑506‑8300. Thanks for being with us this week for Make It Last with Victor Medina of Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. We’re back with more next week. Have a great week, everybody.

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Woman:  Taxes are just a fact of life. You can’t avoid it even in retirement, but what if I told you there are ways to minimize what you pay in taxes? Victor Medina and his team can help. To learn more, visit 920taxes.com to get your free copy of Victor Medina’s tax guide. 920taxes.com. That’s the numbers 9‑2‑0, taxes.com.

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Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety, or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed‑insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier.

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