Are You a Prudent Pessimist? Ep # 142


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By Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® and Benjamin Brandt CFP®. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Are you an eternal optimist or a prudent pessimist? It may seem like the stock market is the eternal optimist. Have you seen the headline that Uber laid off 3,000 employees? If you have, you may be wondering why their stock jumped up. Learn why this is a common occurrence by listening in. Then on the other side of the coin, you’ll learn how you can be a prudent pessimist after reading the latest Social Security headlines. But first, let’s get to a listener question from Jennifer.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:22] Should Jennifer roll over her lump sum pension payment into a Roth IRA?
  • [6:45] Bad news and stock prices
  • [10:15] Should you worry about the latest Social Security news?
  • [16:10] If you want to be a pessimist, be a pessimist the right way
Should Jennifer roll over her lump sum pension payment into a Roth IRA?

We may be hearing more and more questions regarding lump sum pension payments in the coming months due to dropping interest rates. These lowered interest rates make lump sum pension payouts more attractive. Jennifer is considering rolling over her lump sum pension payment into a Roth IRA. I would advise against this due to the high tax rate. You don’t want to have that heavy tax bill all at at the same time. Instead of rolling everything into a Roth IRA, a partial Roth conversion could be a better option. Listen in to hear why.

Why does the stock market favor bad news?

I recently came across an article on Tech Crunch which stated that Uber laid off 3000 employees. However, the stock market’s reaction to the tightening of Uber’s purse strings was positive. Many people wonder why news like Uber’s often leads to increased stock values. This is because the stock market looks forward in time, months, or even years ahead. While the news is bad for the company and the employees right now, this fiscal responsibility may pay off in the long run, or so investors think.

Should you worry about the latest Social Security news?

While the stock market may seem overly optimistic, any news surrounding Social Security seems pessimistic. How about this headline from Investment News? Pandemic Will Deplete Social Security Trust Fund, is that scary enough for you? Of course, like all headlines, this one is meant to grab your attention. The truth is, legislators will probably figure this out in the end. The pandemic will not last forever and soon people will get back to work and their Social Security tax contributions will be collected once again. As long as people are paying into Social Security, this fund will not run out of money.

If you want to be a pessimist, be a prudent pessimist the right way

If you still believe that Social Security is doomed, don’t let that cause you to change your retirement plans. If you think that claiming your benefit early at age 62 will be the best way to make use of your contribution, think again. If you really want to be the prudent pessimist you’ll wait all the way until age 70 so that you receive a 32% increase on your benefit. Listen in to hear why waiting to take Social Security at age 70 is the best choice for the prudent pessimist.

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235 episodes