Former Shows & Episodes

Planning with Dollars and Sense

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Financial Planning: Yes, You Should Have a Plan!

Join my discussion today with special guest, Michael Merdinger, lead advisor with Financial Strategy Network, LLC located in Chicago. Our discussion centers on the holistic approach to Financial Planning.
What are the pieces of your financial puzzle and how do the effect the other pieces in your financial puzzle? When will I be able to retire? Will I outlive my money? How much money do I need? We discuss the need for Life, Disability, and Long Term Care insurance and how the financial planning process will calculate your actual amount of need. We discuss the long term impacts of rising health care costs and why Long Term Care insurance is really asset protection insurance. I invite all the listeners wherever they are to visit my firm’s website and create your Personal Financial Index. You may enter your financial information anonymously and free of charge. You may also request help from a member of The WealthCare Center team to help you build your financial roadmap.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Is Obamacare Going to Affect My Medicare? What Do I Need to Know?

Healthcare in the United States is changing. It is my opinion that the changes are not good.There are nearly 500 Billion cuts to Medicare in the health care law as it stands now. Most of those cuts will be from Medicare Part C the Advantage plans. Join our discussion as me and my guest Pauline Maslynsky, a medicare and medicare supplement specialist, define Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. What are the qualifications, how does my current healthcare coverage fit in if I am still working after age 65? Will Medicare be there when I reach 65? Pauline has offered to answer and questions you may have. She can be reached by email at or 800-421-9666. You can call Medicare directly at 800-633-4227 and Social Security at 800-772-1213. We will continue our discussion of the ins and outs of Medicare with Pauline on a future show.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – More on Obamacare; Details and Clarification on the Mandate and More….

I have asked my special guest, Dwight Mazzone to return and give us more details on the most talked about parts of the new Healthcare Law. The individual mandate to buy Health Insurance, the waivers for religious, union and large corporations. What about the idea of portability across state lines? Recap of what the Health Care Exchanges are. What about the 30 million or whatever the true number is? Will this force rationing? Is Obamacare free? What about the lack of Tort Reform. Join us as we discuss these subjects and our gut feelings as too exactly what will happen when the law is fully implemented in 2014. Email Dwight Mazzone with questions at

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Social Security Survivor’s Benefits: Just How Important Are They?

The loss of the family wage earner can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. This comes directly from the Social Security Website. Join my discussion today as I detail this all important benefit, how to qualify, how minor children qualify as well as divorced widows or widowers and tax implications. I still maintain that Congress WILL have to fix the trillions in unfunded liabilities and SOON.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Social Security Disability:Do I Really Need an Attorney to Qualify? Probably!

Social Security Disability benefits are available to anyone who meets the minimum eligibility requirements. Working and paid into the system through Social Security payroll taxes. So why is it so difficult to have your claim approved? Disability benefits have the most stringent definition of disability, permanent or terminable. Are you saying I have to be dying to qualify? No, not in every case, but the first time you file a claim, you are likely to be turned down. The statistics are, roughly 25% of claimants are approved usually with the help of an attorney. Join my discussion with Attorney and Social Security advocate, Marianne Lanuti as she outlines the 5 step process to file a claim. For more information go to, the Social Security website and contact your local Bar Association for Attorney’s who specialize in Social Security representation. If you live in the state of Nevada, you can email Marianne Lanuti.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – I’ve Paid in All My Life…Will Social Security Be There When I Retire?

Most people don’t know how long they will live. Most people don’t know if and when they will run out of money. We are being told that the Social Security Trust Fund has $2 Trillion dollars in it and will run surpluses for the next 14 years and grow to $4.3 Trillion by the end of 2023. Really? I believe that Social Security is currently paying out more than it takes in and what goes out of our paychecks today goes straight into the hands of the current recipients. Yes, there may be $2 Trillion in the trust fund, but, it consists of Treasury Bonds, so actually the Government is lending to itself. Economics 101 says that will not work over the long term. Join my discussion this week on what the retirement benefits are, when can you claim benefits, and what the future holds. This show is Part 1 of my discussion on the retirement benefit, Part 2 will look at the Disability and Survivorship benefits. For more information go to the Social Security Website.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Obamacare: What was Congress and the President Thinking?

The new healthcare law known as “Obamacare” has created a firestorm of criticism, rhetoric, misunderstanding and downright anger. What does all this mean? And, more to the point, how is this going to affect the individuals and small business owners? Why are some many waivers, (opting out,) being given to large companies, certain religious groups and of all things the unions? Were the not ones who pounded the pavement? What are the health insurance exchanges? How will the federal government continue to fund Medicare, what about the States and Medicaid? Join me and my special guest, Dwight Mazzone, a 39 year health insurance agent, as we discuss these topics and more. Dwight just returned from Washington DC where he met with legislators, officials from HHS and also finished discussions with the Nevada State Insurance Commission. Please go to the National Association of Health Underwriters to find out information on health insurance and agents in your state.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Will I Outlive My Money?

We are facing a disturbing prospect: Americans outliving their retirement income looms large. Financial Planners are well positioned to help Americans with this issue. The population is large and growing. By 2010, 100 million Americans were over the age of 55, yet fewer than half of all investors at or near their retirement consider themselves to be “very prepared.” Our clients have said that maintaining income that meets my needs topped the list of what investors most wanted to learn about in 2011. Next was “not outliving my money.” Concerns about retirement income are a direct result of the market downturn of 2008-2009. Join me as I discuss the 6 Steps to provide a systematic method of producing a custom financial plan to manage income and minimize risk.

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Women and Financial Planning: Without a Financial Plan, Women’s Long-Term Outlook is at Risk

The recession has helped push women to become more educated about their financial lives, more proactive about in making financial decisions and gain more confidence about their financial futures. But too few women have a financial plan in place. This lack of a plan can impact their financial futures over the long run. A 10th anniversary was conducted by Prudential Financial that showed that 95% of women are involved in the financial decision making with ¼ of women acting as primary decision makers in their households. Women are saving more and paying down debt, and gaining confidence about their finances, but just 1/3 or women have a financial plan in place. Our discussion today will help women with financial planning strategies and also direct them to resources where they can find financial advisors in their area. To locate certified financial professionals in your area go to CFP Board of Standards or The Financial Planning Association

Planning with Dollars and Sense – Is 21st Century America Becoming to Dependent on Government?

President Obama has often reminded us, “Government only steps in when the private sector has failed.” Financial Service professionals are that private sector. They are the people that our citizens look to for leadership and help for their very uncertain futures during this economic downturn. If we fail to help our citizens achieve financial independence, then government must play a bigger role. Join as myself and my special guest, Joe Murtagh, the Dream Speaker, as we detail how our country got in this mess, how banks and insurance companies have come to depend on government regulations, how entitlements such as Social Security has created dependence and what the heck is Socialism.