Can you Retire on Social Security Alone? (Josh’s Best Tips)

Updated : Sep 09, 2019 in Articles

Can you Retire on Social Security Alone? (Josh’s Best Tips)

Hey there, everybody,
Danielle from Boomer Benefits. And I have a special treat
for all of you today. So you may remember, that
a few months back, we did a joint video with financial
advisor Josh Scandlen– who is joining me again today. And our video was all about, can
you retire on $300,000 or less? And it was actually one of
our most popular videos. We got tons of comments
and emails about it. And some of you,
since then, have been sending me emails all about
whether you can retire on less. So I’ve been getting
questions like, what if you don’t have $300,000? What if you don’t have $100,000? And so if you’re
in that boat, this is going to be an awesome
video for you today– because Josh has written
a book about how you can retire on Social Security. And it’s full of great little
hacks on how you can build your nest egg, and ways that
you can work with your Social Security income benefits–
and when you take them– to maximize the
amount that you’re going to have to live on. So without further ado,
Josh, welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us. Thanks, Danielle. It’s great to be back on
board, on this hot summer day. Ahh. Yes, that’s right. We’re going to cool you
down with some amazing tips today, about your retirement. When people are watching
this in December, they’ll be like,
man, I can’t believe he’s griping about the heat,
because now it’s freezing cold. You know what I’m saying? Yeah, that’s right. Prior to the start of the video,
we were just talking about it. I’m in Texas. Josh is in Georgia. We’re both very hot. So all you people out
there chilling in Michigan, or wherever you’re
at, I hope that you’re enjoying that pre-fall
cool weather– or maybe they’re getting
something like that. But it’ll be hot here
till October, at least. Anyway. So Josh, I kind of
mentioned about what’s happening with the
people emailing us. I have lots of clients
here at Boomer Benefits who share with us that they
live on Social Security, or slightly more than that. And I think that there’s
some really great points in your book, where
you’re talking about, when is the right time to take
Social Security– to maximize you’re going to retire on. And also, some of
just the fallacies that we live by,
about the differences in the spending that we have
before we retire and then after. So can you tell us a little bit
about why you wrote the book, and dive into some of those
myths out there– that maybe frightened people
as they’re getting close to retirement age. And then we’ll talk a little bit
further about, what you can do, if you’re in the last 15 years
or less before retirement, to get the most out of what you
do get from Social Security. To be perfectly honest
with you, Danielle, I wrote it because I get so
fed up with the fear mongering in this industry, financial
advisory– the clickbait stuff and all this. I get emails every day, like,
I need $1.7 million to retire. I’m like, this is
frigging nuts, man. So let’s start from
the bare bones. What is the median– you
don’t have to answer this. I’ll answer it. Well, the median
income in the US right now– the median household
income– which means 50% have higher, 50% have
lower– is $60,000 today. So what I use my book here– You Can Retire on
Social Security– is I just use it as the proxy. If we’re a median household
income at $60,000– and I don’t have my trusty
calculator– yes, I do– and you’re working. You can take your
trusty calculator. And we know for a
fact that you’re going to pay 7.65% for
what’s called OSDI– which is, old age, survivor,
disability insurance. And then you’re going to
pay your Medicare tax. So a 7.65% goes
out the door right out the gate, which means
you’re going to pay basically $5,000 of that $60,000 right out
the gate– that’s not including if you’re self-employed. If you’re putting in
10% to your 401(k)– you’ve got the income taxes. Not Texas and Georgia, we don’t. When all is said and done,
you’re not living on $60,000. You’re living on about
$40,000 to $45,000, depending on the various
mechanisms of the state taxes that you’re in. And so this idea that you
need this significant– I don’t care, [INAUDIBLE]
need $300,000. And I prove it in the book. You can retire on
Social Security, without even blinking an eye. And that doesn’t mean you
have to take that step. It doesn’t. There are other ways to
look around this, too. But, Danielle, I cannot tell
you how much it annoys me. Because everyone and their mom
says, look, I’ve got four kids. My wife just started working
for stupid health insurance, but she doesn’t make that much. So we’re sitting there
thinking, before I quit my job, I was making pretty
good money at USAA. And so they’re sitting
there thinking, oh Josh, you need 80% of
your pre-retirement income. And I’m like, why? Why would I need
80% of that income? My four kids are
going to be off. We’re going to downsize a house. We’re not going to have
any mortgage, hopefully. We’ll see. But I can always use a
reverse mortgage, if I need. But my retirement income will be
completely different from what my pre-retirement income is. Because we don’t have the kids. We don’t have braces. We don’t have bones
getting crushed. We don’t have school expenses. Trust me, it’s a whole lot
more expensive now than it I used to be growing
up, for school. We don’t have college– we don’t have any of that. We don’t need a five-bedroom
house on an acre. We’re going to downsize, live
in Tennessee or something. Who knows? Where there’s no state-income
tax, low property tax. So to look at me at 80% of
my pre-retirement income is inherently stupid, because
it doesn’t mean anything. That person– Josh– 80% of my income now will not
be that person of what I’ll need once I look at retirement. It just won’t. There’s a guy who I
talk about in my book– a guy named Larry Kotlikoff– and Scott Burns, who wrote a
book called Spend Till The End. They talk about
consumption smoothing. And just for me, that
changed– there’s a couple seminal articles
or books I’ve read, and that changed
everything for me. I realized it’s all been
fake– smoke and mirrors. And I’m not trying to
say it’s conspiratorial. But do not people recognize
the insanity of saying, you need 80% of your
pre-retirement income? I do that being some
fancy [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHS] I don’t get it. The only thing I can get
is they’re either ignorant or they’re fear mongering–
or a little bit of both. And I don’t know which
is worse, but it’s bad. So that’s the
premise of my book. I spelled it out in detail. We also talk about the
fallacy of medical costs causing all these
bankruptcies is fake. I just did a blog post this
morning on how the CPS– the Census Bureau– misstated
retiree income by 30%. It’s nuts. In fact, we were just
talking about before, how Social Security has
been way, way over counted for people’s income– that
Social Security provides 90% of 50% of the population. All this is just not true. And it’s annoying. [LAUGHS] Well, I gathered that. And I think you had some
excellent points in the book. So one of the first things
I wanted to ask you about was, you mentioned that Social
Security is doing a look-back at 35 years of your income. And one of the things– you should be checking
your statement every year. Because if they happen to
miss some of your income, you definitely want
them to know about that. But also, there’s
an index factor. So when they’re multiplying
what your earnings were, to base what your Social Security
check was being on, they’re not taking the
baseline of what you earned. But is it indexing
it for inflation? So the average wage
index, until you hit your earliest year of
eligibility– which is 62. In the example I used, when
I was in the Army in 1989, I made like $7,000–
something like that. You get your statement. It says, oh, 1989,
Josh, you made $7,000. And you’re despondent. You’re like, oh my
goodness, there’s no way Social Security is
going to be able to pay me any income on $7,000. What the Social Security
statement doesn’t say– they don’t say on that
statement how the AWI– the average wage index– the inflation amount. It’s a little bit more
than just your COLA. But still, at the end
of day, that $7,000. I made in 1989 is equivalent– I can’t remember. We’ll say $30,000–
whatever it is. Off the top of my
head, I don’t know. But no one knows that. Everyone just looks
at their statement, and they see their
numbers from the past. They’re thinking, man, I
only made $12,000 in 1992. There’s no way. I’m going to be destitute. And then they think they’ve
got to work until they’re 70. And here’s the
problem, Danielle. Once you hit 62, the
earliest year of eligibility, then it’s just basically COLA. [INAUDIBLE] say 2.6%
a year until 2094. We’re not going to get that
this year, I guarantee you. [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, I agree. But at the end of day, they’re
still using 2.6% as their COLA. But you can even throw that in
there, optimistically, is fine. But do you really need to
work an extra year, or five, or 10 in order to boost your
Social Security benefits? And the answer is, a
lot of times you don’t. Because the money you
made in 1992, 1984– whatever, 2006– because
it’s indexed with AWI– the average wage index is
going to be more than what your current income is. And so what happens here
is they take your top 35 years of indexed earnings. If you’re working
a few extra years thinking you’re adding to
your Social Security benefit, if you actually run
the numbers, you’ll find you probably are not. It depends on what
your circumstances is. You probably are not, though. Your benefit is
locked in for what it is, because your earnings
this year are not replacing earnings from the past
year– because it’s your top 35 of indexed earnings. If you have 42 years of
earnings, seven of those years are just lost. You pay taxes, but you’re not
going to benefit from it– the top 35. And I hear all the time, I want
to quit my crappy little job, but I’m only 58, and I
need the extra couple years of Social Security. And when you actually run
the numbers, they don’t. They absolutely don’t. Now, that does not take
away from saving money into a 401(k), having
health insurance. That’s not what we’re
talking about here. What we are talking about– if you are in a world
of hurt physically, because this is grinding
you and life is too short. And you’re only staying at work
because you think that Social Security, you need to work those
extra five, six, seven years to build it up– that might not be true. And I bet, for a lot of
people, it’s not true at all. They’ll do something
else that they enjoy. And really maybe
lose the weight, get rid of the diabetes. Just enjoy their life. Because you don’t want to be
that 62-year-old guy having a heart attack at his desk. And that happens all the time. Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think a good
point is, it’s not that we’re saying you don’t
need to save for retirement. Anything that you
save is going to help you be above and beyond what
your Social Security is. So in those last few years– the reason shouldn’t be to
increase your Social Security check, but if you want to
work an extra year or two, maybe that’s one or two
years that you do everything you can to throw a
little bit of extra money into your retirement savings. But at the same time, if
you’re sacrificing your soul because you hate
that job so much, there’s a lot to be
considered there. And I think sometimes people are
too quick to sign up for Social Security right at 62. Because they think,
I don’t know how long I’m going to be around– what if I die? And you really address the
life expectancy in the book. So tell us a little
bit about that, and why it may be a good idea
to wait as long as possible– and how that does affect the
amount of Social Security that you get. Yeah, and I’m not
one to say, delay. I fought Devin– my
man Devin Carroll. You know, you’ve
interviewed him. Yeah, I know Devin. And I’ve learned a
ton from that guy. Everybody should
watch his videos, because I’ve learned a lot. But there are times when it
does make sense to take early– if you’re affected by GPO– government-pension offset. WEP doesn’t bother me so much. But GPO would– and
if you’re married and you have a
low-earning spouse. But the facts are that
everyone thinks that their life expectancy is 78. And I guarantee if you did
just a survey on your Facebook page, Danielle, and say,
what’s your life expectancy? And I guarantee the bulk
will say that it’s 78. And that’s wrong. That’s a good idea. I’d like to do that. It’s incorrect. And the reason is because
that’s for a baby born today. A baby born today has a
life expectancy of 78. Anyone who’s watching
this video inherently is not a baby born today,
so their life expectancy is different. And what happens is,
as you get older, you’re more likely to live. Because at least in America
and most of the world, the infant mortality rate
is still a big, big decrease in life expectancy, once you
survive the first two years. It’s not nearly as
bad as it used to be. But you look at the
Society of Actuaries– I’ve done videos on this,
where they show this drop off of life expectancy. Or I should say, huge increase–
however you want to look at it– because they survived
the first 18 months. Once you survive
the first 18 months, you’re not likely
to die until you hit about mid 70s or something. I mean, there’s people
dying, but not likely. And so the average life
expectancy for someone 65 isn’t 78. If you just look at Social
Security’s own data set, it says you’re– I can’t remember what it was. I have it all in the book. Mid-to-late 80s is an
average life expectancy. And don’t forget– and
here’s the problem. I don’t want it to
get too deep, but when you talk about group insurance
versus private insurance, you’re thrown with the group. So I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I’m a teetotaller. I do get on my knees every
day, to say, thank you, Lord, for separating me from alcohol. But the facts are, I am
conscious about my health. Most people are too,
but some people aren’t. I don’t mean it negative,
like they’re deliberately poisoning themselves. But there are some people
who have health issues. I get that. But the Social Security and
the life-expectancy data are all thrown– all
these people in together. And so what happens is
you’re essentially saying, the guy or a lady who’s
healthy is thrown in equal with the guy or lady
who’s not healthy. And they’re saying their
average life expectancy is this. And you’re like, OK–
which is not 78, again. It’s the mid-to-late 80s. But that’s not you. If you aren’t at risk,
for whatever reason, what’s your life expectancy? So if you just think about
it– if you don’t smoke, primarily, you’re
most likely going to live beyond the average
life expectancy anyway– which is well above 78 anyway. So all these people, they
take Social Security at 62 because they think they’ve
only got 14 years left to live. It’s completely not true. It’s unfortunate the financial
industry has allowed– and again, I don’t know if
it’s by ignorance or by more nefarious– Sinister design, yeah. –to get people to make
mistakes financially. I don’t know. But it’s not correct. It’s really surprising
to me the difference in the amount of check
that you can get as well. When we are looking at
the numbers versus someone that takes in at 62– when you’re really earning like
70% of your full retirement income. Whereas if you
wait till age 70, I think the example in your
book showed that that check might be as much as $2,500. Well, if you are living
on just Social Security, there’s a big difference
between a check that’s $1,300, or $1,400, or $1,700,
and one that is $2,500. So it’s a very
personal decision. You have to figure in
what kind of savings you do or don’t have, how
much longer you can work, and is that mentally
killing you? Maybe you like your job, or
your spouse likes your job, and you can wait a
little bit longer. And then accepting the
fact that you probably aren’t going to die
at 70, or 75, or 78. So you know, what’s
more important? You don’t want to be
destitute later in your life. So those few dollars can
really make a difference, if you have the ability to wait. And it gets actually
even deeper than that, too, because what people say
is they’ll get their statement at 62 years old. And I just did a bunch of
videos on this right here. We’ll say, Karen. She has her statement at 62. The statement says, if she
waits to her full retirement age– we’ll just say
66 for simplicity– it’s $2,000 a month. If she takes it now at
62, it’s $1,500 a month. But if she takes it
at 70, it’s $2,640. So she’s looking at that
statement saying, now at $1,500 a month, at 66 at
$2,000 month, or 70 at $2,640. But that’s not right. Because what happens
is that there is cost-of-living
adjustments– inflation that goes onto these numbers too. I have a huge chapter on this,
with tons of charts on this. A lot of people don’t
realize it’s not $1,500 versus $2,000
versus $2,600. It’s $1,500 adjusted
with inflation versus $2,000 adjusted with
inflation to $2,600 adjusted for inflation. And what happens is, when
you start with $2,000– and we’ll just use
a 5% inflation. So we take our
trusty calculator. And it’s not 5%. I get it. But just for simplicity. So we say I have $2,000. I take 5%. That means I’m
going to get a $100 increase in my Social
Security benefits. $100. Because all that matters
is actual dollars, not percentages. What if I have $1,500 and I
get a 5% Increase It’s only $75 then. You see what I’m saying? Yes. So at $1,500, I still
get the same 5% increase. But at $1,500, it’s only
giving me 75 actual dollars I can use to spend. But if I were to have waited
till my full retirement age, that’s $100 I
could use to spend. And then lastly, you go
to $2,640 times 1.05. That’s $132. So that means,
then, for every year that I delay, I get $132
versus $100 versus $75. And so when you factor in those
compounded month over month, over year over year, it’s nuts
how much more delaying can actually pay you in dollars. All that matters, my
friends, is dollars. It doesn’t matter the percent. It matters the dollars. And the percent will
give you more dollars the more the amount
is to start with. And I just think so many
people screw this up. They’re like, my break even
is 78, if I take it at 62. I’m like, are you
factoring in COLA? Ah, what do you mean? So yeah, the COLA. But it’s the same percentage. It’s the same percentage,
but it’s not the same dollar amount. You can’t spend percentages. You spend dollar amount. Such a good point. And I’ve been thinking–
going back and forth on this a little bit, between
taking [INAUDIBLE] at full-retirement age,
or taking it at 70. I vacillate there. I can scratch out
taking it at 62. You really shouldn’t do that,
unless you need the money, or unless you’re not in
good health or something– or if you’re single, maybe. But full-retirement age versus
70, I go back and forth. It really depends on what
your spending needs are. But if aim for that– you know,
if you can make it that far, you’re definitely going to
be at a much better position. And then when you combine
that with some of the things that you had said
about, you don’t have a commute to your job anymore. You’re not paying FICA taxes. And FICA taxes go toward
your future Social Security and Medicare. We don’t pay those anymore,
once you are on Social Security. You’re not putting things
in for dry cleaning. You’re not going to lunch
with your co-workers. You have less fuel, and
fewer entertainment costs. So I was mentioning to
Josh before the video, I thought this was
such a good point. Because I’m 45, and I
love to go home after work and throw the
ball for my dogs, and have a quiet
evening reading a book. And my life is so different
from when I was in my 20s, when I was spending
money every night, going out with my friends. Party girl. Woo hoo. Yeah, you know. And I can significantly
see how, as you get older, many people will just
naturally spend less. And you have to factor that in. Something else I’ve just
recently been working on for one of my clients– I’m have very dear client
that’s been with us since almost the beginning of our agency. And she has a significant
health condition, for which she has expensive medications. And she is one of these people
that lives on Social Security. So her income is $1,644 a month. And she was telling me that due
to the cost of her medications there were some really
hard times for her, in that last week before
the Social Security check would come. And I said, have you
checked into the local– any type of aid for you? And she’s like, well, I
don’t qualify for Medicaid. So I spent about two hours on a
Sunday just researching options for her here in Fort Worth. I was able to find
an activity center one mile from her home that
serves $2 hot meals Monday through Friday for seniors. So that is a bargain. And they have a little
listing on their website to show you what they’re
serving, what the calories are, and everything. So that’s a resource for her. I was able to find another food
pantry in a pretty nice area of town, that was near to her– that she qualifies
for, to go in on what they call Senior Saturdays,
to get help with food. And so if you did find
yourself in a situation where you felt like in that
last week before the next check comes, there are resources
in your community for you, that can help you get along
if you don’t have the means. So I think you also have
to remember that you aren’t necessarily all alone. You’ve got that check. You’ve got some control
over when you’re going to take that check. So you have control over how
much that check is going to be. You have control over a lot of
your entertainment spending, and some of the things
that we mentioned that are going to cost you less. And then also, there
are community resources that are available for people. Even if they’re not
at such a low income level that they
qualify for Medicaid, there still might be some help. And when you put all of
those things together, the picture may not be
as bleak as you think. And I’d just add, too, if all
your income is Social Security, you literally have no taxes– no taxes due at all, whatsoever. So if you’re looking at
income-based assistance, you should qualify if
it’s based on your 1040, because there is
literally no taxes. And I’ll tell you,
let’s say you’re single. All of your income is
from Social Security, and you have $10,000
of an IRA distribution. We’ll just use
that as an example. You’re still not going
to have any taxes. And the reason for that
is because you have your– I don’t want to get into
provisional income rules how Social Security works. But at the end of the day,
you have a standard deduction higher than what your adjustable
gross income would be. So you have zero taxes. So don’t think,
folks, that you don’t qualify even if your
Social Security is higher. Because if it’s based
on your taxable income, you have no taxable income. I mean, just none. And that includes some
IRA distributions, too. Going back to the guy
with $60,000 a year who has taxes coming
out, FICA coming out. When you’re on Social Security,
you don’t have any of that. Not only you do not
have FICA, but you don’t have income tax either. So don’t hesitate to
look at opportunities that exist out there
for folks who have– when they look at
your taxable income. Because you might be
surprised [INAUDIBLE] In fact, I was talking to
my aunt out in California. She lives in
Whittier, California. It’s a pretty well to do– well, I don’t know if
it’s well to do anymore. But long story short,
it’s California, so you know it ain’t cheap. Yeah. So expensive to live. All she’s is on is
Social Security. And she told me that she can
get dental from the university– UCLA. They’ve got a dental office
down there that works. She gets discounts on her
electrical bill and whatnot. This is specific,
obviously, to California. But she just says,
what’s your income? She goes, my income from
a tax perspective is nada. And she’s not stealing. That’s all she’s got. And so that’s a good thing. So don’t overlook
that kind of stuff. You might think it’s welfare. I’m telling you it’s not. Social Security is not welfare. Social Security is
your money by design, by [INAUDIBLE] by right. Because government can
take your rights away in two-seconds flat. This is your money. You paid into it. I’d argue you paid into it more
than you’re going to get back, in terms of the 42 years
you worked of labor, but you’re only get 35 years
of earnings to account for it. Yeah, good point. [INAUDIBLE] face. But this is your money. If this is all you’ve got, you
put money in for other people to live on. So if you can qualify for some
of the stuff, it’s not welfare. It’s not. This is OK for you
to take advantage of. It’s not OK to be
sitting there– we can’t eat, because
some stupid health care expense comes in. It’s OK. Yeah, it’s OK to
reach out for help. Ah, my goodness. What would you say to
some of the people that might be watching, that are
in the last five to 10 years before they are retiring? What are some of the
hacks and recommendations that you have for squeezing
every little bit of savings out that you can? I think a couple of things. You see this right here– it’s called the LED light bulb. While you have good
income coming in, you really need to change
all your lights to LEDs. I mean, the facts are
just one 60-watt– and we have lights
outside our garage. We have four sets of
those– like 24 of them. Those candelabra–
whatever they’re called. Those little lights
like that, they’re freaking 40-to-60 watts a pop. So if you’ll be those
suckers on all night long, that’s costing you a
lot of electricity. Yeah, this is a good one. You can save easily $20 a month
just switching out your lights. Now, LED lights aren’t cheap. But you do it one
time, essentially, you have that light right
there for a long, long time. And you want to
do this, Danielle, while you have income. And the reason is
because we know there’s a guy won the Nobel Prize– Richard Thaler– in
economics, from the idea of mental accounting. What that simply means is
people are very, very worried about spending down principle. But they’ll spend
like drunken sailors if it comes from income. [LAUGHS] Now, I was in the Army. And every one of my
family is from the Navy, so I can say that. I’m not discriminating. You can call it drunken
infantrymen, I suppose. But anyway, what happens is
when you have income coming in, you’re more liberal on
your spending, so to speak. And when that
income stops, you’re a lot more
conservative– which is one of the reasons
why people’s income, or consumption drops
as they hit retirement. Because they’re
spending from principle, and they get real
nervous about that. Not that they can afford it. They can. Just they don’t
want to, by rights. It’s just mental. It’s the way God made
us, for some reason. So what you want to do is you
want to go through your house, if you have a house right now. Get insulated,
first and foremost. Take out your LED lights,
because utility bills are huge. If you can get insulated,
you could take out your high electrical charges,
things like that nature. You’ve got to do all
that, because that can save you $30 a month. And that’s $30 a month,
just right there alone, will really be a big
difference for folks who are just on Social Security. Here’s what I say, too– start
trying to grow your own food. In Fort Worth it’s
tough, but people can. Grow some corn. Grow some beans. Grow something out there. Because there’s no sales
tax on food you produce. There’s none whatsoever. I’ve got peppers out there. I made some awesome salsa
with some habeneros. A little bit too spicy. But I didn’t have to buy it. A lot of states don’t
tax food anyway. But still, there’s
no income tax. Because any time you
have to buy something, you had to generate
an income to buy that. That income that
you had to generate could be subject
to income tax, even if the net is go to buying
something at the store that doesn’t have a sales tax. So I’m buying a pepper. Well, I still had to get
the income from someplace to be able to buy that pepper. That income I had to
generate could be taxable as ordinary income, right? Because it’s income. And there might be a sales
tax on the food good. So anything you can do to
reduce the outflow is good. You don’t have to
be miserly here. I don’t think you have
to do that at all. I’ve found tons of people–
and look, Danielle, I’ve been in this
business for 25 years. I’ve done thousands of plans. The one thing that
I always chuckle at is the guys and ladies
who’ve got pretty good, squared away retirement plans. They’re not living
large like we’d expect– like the
Kardashians, or whoever those stupid people are. They’re not living like that. They’re living on
a 2004 Ford F-150. You know what I’m saying? Sure. A 2006 Honda Accord. They’re living in the same
house they’ve been in. It’s paid off. I mean, it’s a certain
mentality of that. And once you have
that mentality, that you can live just fine
in your T-shirt or something like that, without having to
get in your three-piece suit to go and show everybody
how hoity-toity you are. Once you get into
that mentality, you can find you can get by
without a whole lot of income. I’ve seen it happen a
million times to Sunday. It’s [INAUDIBLE] We have them. And we also put together a blog
post on our site a while back, about 50 ingenious ways to
make money in retirement. Yeah, I saw that. I have some really cool
things that people do. We have a client that’s a
professional Santa Claus. Year round he’s
doing these events. He gets paid to go and
be Santa Claus, which I think is so cool– a lot of great things
he does for kids, which is very fulfilling. We have people that sign up
for sites like And they are teaching kids,
online in another country, English as a second language. We have a lady that
teaches a class at her local senior center,
on how to use your iPhone. So people that just want
to be better at using apps with their
grandkids and stuff. And she makes a little
money doing that. And one of the best
ones that I think, that I see happening
in my own neighborhood, and that I
participate in myself, is you can sign up for
sites like next door. And you can post in
your neighborhood that you’re available for
pet walking or pet sitting. Whenever I travel for
work, I have a retired lady that pet sits. I pay her $50 a night. Considering my travel schedule,
she makes a few thousand dollars a year off
what I’m doing, and it’s usually cash money. So I think there are ways,
because of the digital age that we live in,
that you also make a little bit in your retirement. Not enough to make you
end up having to pay tax on that, or your
Social Security income, but enough to make a difference
in your grocery bill, or how much money you
have for medications. And some of just the ordinary
living expenses, even a few-hundred dollars can
go a long way toward that. There’s a group of YouTube
guys called the Income School. And I watch these guys because
they’re freaking awesome. But anyway, these guys talk
about how you can make you know $1,000-$2,000 a
month off your blog, just by having ads on there. And they go through
the litany of things. And I’m telling you, I just got
off the horn with a lady today in Nashville–
freaking awesome lady. She knows more financial
planning than 99% of financial planners do. We’ll just call her Samantha. I said, Samantha, why
don’t you just start a blog or something like that? She goes, I like to be private. I said, yeah, but maybe you
can just do it anonymously or something like that. But you got this knowledge
up in that noggin of yours. And I said, you could
use that to help people, and you might even be able
to make some money off it. And I deal with
tons of engineers. They get passionate putting
solar and stuff like that. I said, why don’t
you do a blog post? Whatever it is, do
something that you enjoy. Get out there for
the masses to see. And if you do it well– I mean, well is
well-thought-out, that gets people engaged– believe it or not, you
can start making some ads off your website. And that could be enough
to pay this lady’s extra week of income
that she needs, that you were talking about. And so the Income Schools
is one I recommend people look at it, if
they’re looking at YouTube and blog posts– and just
anything kind of like we’re doing here. Because you don’t have
to be a rocket scientist. You can just be someone
who’s passionate about– I like minor-league
baseball cards. I don’t why. But I said, huh, I
wonder if there’s a YouTube thing on
minor-league baseball cards. And sure enough there is. I don’t know what these
guys are getting paid, but they’re getting
paid something– because I saw the ads. Someone is getting
paid [INAUDIBLE] minor-league baseball cards. It’s crazy. So why not? Why can’t that be you? If that’s something you enjoy. And see if there’s
an opportunity there, to earn a little bit of money. But you’ve got to be consistent. The only thing
I’d say, Danielle, is you’ve got to be consistent. Just real quick– I know this is about
Social Security. No one will read or hear
you for the first 90 days. I’m just telling you. The minute you start
a YouTube channel– and you’ll see like this is
stupid, no one’s watching me. It takes awhile. It does. It does. And I’m just
telling you, there’s a guy named Miles
Beckler who I follow, who told me that on
his YouTube channel. I said, I don’t know, man. And he was right. After 90 days, nobody. Then all of a sudden,
it’s a slow steady, then a slow [INAUDIBLE] Then it goes
and goes, and goes exponential. And then a
year-and-a-half later, here you and I are yapping. And you found me, I
think, through YouTube. So it’s cool. But you’ve got to start
someplace, for sure. You live in the best time. I mean, this is by far
the best time in history to be able to make ends meet. And so these are some really
great ideas to think about, if you are in those
last few years and you’re heading
into retirement– and you’re one of those people
that have emailed or commented on our site, saying, what about
if I haven’t put anything away? Well, I think we’ve given some
good opportunities, some things to think about. And I would totally
recommend, also, anyone watching the video today
to pick up Josh’s book, which you can find on Amazon. And Josh has his own
YouTube channel as well. Scandlen. Not the traditional Irish way. I think when they
came over, they didn’t understand the original
guys, so they said Scandlen. But this was not [INAUDIBLE]. Just real quick too,
Danielle– just going back– I do find reference
to this guy’s email. And I get this a lot,
actually, about people are scared crapless about this. And I wish they would not be. I totally feel that. Man, I’m telling you,
if you think about it. If the median income in
the States is $60,000, just think about that. That means half the
people make more and half the people make less. We don’t have mass
poverty in the States. We don’t. It is not out there. There is some. In some segments of the
society is mass poverty. And a lot of times that’s due to
issues with drugs and alcohol, for sure. But there isn’t any. So how can we possibly
have a retirement crisis, if the median income is $60,000? And yet, we don’t have
mass amounts of poverty. We just don’t. And to say that we do is silly. It’s just not out there. I just did a blog. I can’t remember if I said this. But the Social Security
Administration, when they used the
Census Bureau numbers to show that 63% of people
said 90% of their income is solely from Social Security. That number is wrong. It’s unequivocally wrong. They’ve since
backtracked from this. The numbers are just out
there that are incorrect, of what the fear mongers
are leading us to believe. And so if you’re sitting there,
you’re 60 years old, thinking, I’ve got to work another 10
years at my crappy old job– look, I’m not saying you don’t. I don’t know what
your situation is. But I’m just telling
you right now, I have a sneaky suspicion
you’re going to be just fine. And the reason I say it is
because you can look out your window wherever
you are and not see mass amount of
homelessness– not see mass amount of
people with no money. We just don’t see it. And the reason is
Social Security. With all the negativity–
everyone says it’s going to go bankrupt. No, it’s not. It’s not going bankrupt. It’s not going bankrupt. It will be there. They’re going to
reduce it by 20%. Yeah, when has a
government, politicians ever taken away benefits? They never have. Just look at Dan Rostenkowski. Look up Dan
Rostenkowski on YouTube, and you’ll see what
I’m talking about. They won’t take it away. I agree with you
there, because I think you see the politicians
kicking that can down the road. Nobody wants to
be the one that’s going to cut into programs like
Medicare and Social Security. They’re invented for
very good reasons. And when you do look out your
window the level of poverty that we have in the US
compared to other countries, we’re very lucky
where we live today– and to have the
programs like we have in place, like Social
Security, so that people aren’t going bankrupt. And you know, knowing that
previous legislators saw this problem in society before
they created these programs– and that they were created
to be a safety net, and to be something that you
will have so that you aren’t someone with absolutely nothing
when you find the day comes around for you to retire. And so all of those things
should be positive signals. And that’s why we love having
you on the channel, Josh, because you’re kind of the
good-news guy out there. [LAUGHS] So I think people
really enjoy that. That was the feedback that
I felt like was coming from, after we posted the video. And I encourage people
to check you out. Go learn more about Josh,
so that you can maybe get a little bit more
of that good news. And again, we’re not
saying that it’s not important to save
for retirement. No. Anything makes a difference. Anything makes a difference. But if you find yourself close,
and it’s consuming you worry, and you can’t sleep
at night, there are obviously some
things that you can think about and some
things that you can do, that will make a
difference in the means that you have to live
once you do retire. Yeah. Thanks for having me, Danielle. And again, you can find me– my YouTube channel is
Heritage Wealth Planning. I probably do three
or four videos a day. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHS] That’s crazy to me. I love it, man. It’s fun. There is so much crap
to interject about all these people out there. It’s like, oh, we’re
all going to die because of the [INAUDIBLE] ah. And I’m like, ahh. And it’s fun to be the
bearer of good news. I’m not Pollyannaish,
because there is some negative stuff out there. But we live in the United
States, for heaven’s sake. So thanks, Danielle,
for having me. Good point. Absolutely. Josh, always great
to talk to you. We’ll have you on again
sometime in the future. Take care, and have a great day. Thanks, everybody, for watching. Thanks, Danielle. Bye.


  • I was on Disability before age 65 and am now getting full benefits. As of now (age 67) I've got a number of IRA's. At age 70, I have to start taking out money from the IRA's. Do I have to take it out of each IRA or just one at a time?

  • I am 68, already on SS and I work full time, and Uncle Sam takes plenty. I am obligated to work 4 more years due to legal issues. My plan is to buy a used RV to live in. I am starting this month, to save as much as possible towards my RV and extra, for gas and groceries etc. hopefully this is a good plan. I am in security, so there is always something to do.

  • What it costs to live after you retire depends on how lavish your lifestyle will be. When my wife and I retired we had no savings at all but we still live comfortably on our Soc Sec income. We have enough money to eat what we want, we have comfortable beds and a warm home. Our home is 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms and 1750 sg ft with a quarter-acre lot. There are just two us so we don't require much. We eat out 4 or 5 times a month and buy whatever clothes we want or need. We don't travel much which is mostly our choice, but we could travel a little if we wanted. We couldn't afford a cruise or a trip overseas but that is not what we desire now anyway. Our property taxes are $1200.00 a year. We have other expenses like everyone else. House insurance, car insurance for our two cars. We have to pay for the deductibles on our prescriptions and our co-pays to the doctors. There is approximately $250.00 dollars a month held out of our Soc Sec for our Medicare payments, after that, we take home $2142.00 dollars a month combined. we also have utilities to pay. We have no other retirement income as well as no savings. It would be nice to have savings in case of an extreme emergency but we don't need it to live comfortably and safely. By the way, we both have hobbies that we enjoy. My wife loves doing the yard work and I love my woodworking. I am 77 and my wife is 74.

  • Great to have you both on the same, enjoyable video! I read Josh's book and listened to his reading each chapter, too! 😎

  • How can you protect yourself from a spouse's debt? I just discovered we have $30K in credit card debt, including one card with 25% interest! I thought I was going to retire this year.

  • I would like to know the true cost of health insurance and if long term care insurance is need. those 2 things will definitely eat into your money

  • full retirement age last dec. and started drawing ss. meant to retire b4 now but probably end of this year. should i give back what ss has paid in order to increase the monthly amount?

  • In choosing whether to start social security early, l haven't seen anyone address how the deduction for medicare that kicks in at 65 impacts the monthly dollar amount. Also, if you wait until FRA, you'll have to pay the medicare charge from other income starting at 65. Please address this. Thanks!

  • There is a point in life when time becomes more valuable than money.
    When that point arrives is an individual choice.
    I REACH FRA 8/2020.
    Can I begin SSI 1/2020 and not owe SS if I earn below the grace period cap for the months leading to 8/2020 when I will end employment with a pension?
    Would it go by earning less than approximately $3000 gross income per month from 1/2020 thru 7/2020?
    I have some outstanding debt that I would like to pay off with the SSI payments before I end employment in 8/2020.
    Thank you!

  • So, my biggest concern in retirement. Before Josh, it was whether I would have enough income. Now it's how am I going to pay these taxes!

  • Excellent information! Josh you are so good at teaching! Danielle, thank you so much for your company and your information! You rock (both of you)!!!

  • Retirement to me is all about quality of life , if I have to wait till my full retirement age of 67 then that doesn't really leave but maybe 5 to 7 years of good quality of life that I would be physically able to do some of the things I want to do . If I can retire at 62 and add 5 more years of quality of life then that is more appealing to me than living to my late 80's with the majority of that time being spent in a lesser quality of life ! We don't work for 40 years so we can have 5 to 7 years of quality of life ! That math makes no sense to me …

  • I'll definitely be sharing this. We're behind on retirement funding due to unexpected life events, but we can catch up because I have a good income. Our goal is as Josh mentioned, we want to downsize to some acreage, grow our own veggies, have chickens for meat and eggs, maybe some other livestock, and I'll probably do some part-time contracting in my career field, because I really enjoy it.

  • Umm…you are saying, If I'm hearing correctly…you have no taxes? SS is taxed. I couldn't believe this because what little they pay you….they tax you. I worked all my life only to have my Social Security income taxed? This really needs to change. Not that it would really matter all that much but it does.

  • My biggest concern is what type of residence to live in. My wife and I live in a raised ranch that is becoming difficult due to the 13 stairs we have to go up and down to get to/from the garage. My wife broke her leg last December and has had a long recovery, creating more trips for myself. Grocery purchases result in at least 5 trips up and down the stairs. I hope to work 5 more years to age 65 (not full retirement age of 67) and then move somewhere else. I would love to have another house in an area I could get a dog and let him run free without being leashed up. I would love a place with a swimming pool. My wife has a ceramics hobby that requires a room where it's okay to spill paint on the floor. On the other hand, though I do considerable maintenance on our house myself, I'm getting tired of it. Also I would like two wings of a house so that she can be comfortable with air conditioning but I can enjoy fresh air and the birds chirping. So that's what I'm totally confused about what to do going forward. Thank you for asking. I think I'm dreaming of more than I'll come close to getting.

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