Jason and Emilia discuss the launch of his revised and updated book, Sound Retirement Planning.
Below is the full transcript:
Announcer: Welcome back, America, to Sound Retirement Radio, where we bring you concepts, ideas, and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence, and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement.
Now, here is your host, Jason Parker.
Jason: America, welcome back to another round of Sound Retirement Radio. So glad to have you tuning in. It’s my good fortune to have Emilia Bernal joining me again this morning.
Emilia, welcome back.
Emilia: Yes. Thank you, Jason.
Good morning, everyone.
Jason: This is an exciting show. I’m so excited to tell our listeners what we have available for them. The title of the show is Episode 191: A Special Offer For You, which really is special. But before we tell the offer, I’d like to start the morning two right … This is going to be a tough morning.
Emilia: Yeah, here we go. Two ways.
Jason: To start it, wait, two ways. Oh, my goodness. Where’s the coffee? Okay. First one is by renewing our mind, and this comes to us from James 3:17. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.
Then, Emilia, you always like to put a smile on everybody’s face. Thank you. What do you have for us this morning?
Emilia: Yes. Here we go. Why do chicken coops only have two doors?
Jason: I don’t know.
Emilia: Because if they had four, they would be chicken sedans. Those will be the light cars that might get you.
Jason: I like eggs. I don’t know. All right.
Emilia: Great. Yes. So excited.
Jason: Sound Retirement Planning. Yes.
Emilia: Planning, yes. Jason, you just launched your new revised and updated version of Sound Retirement Planning. How exciting.
Jason: Yeah, man, it’s so much work to do this. The first time I wrote the book, I remember just feeling this sense of, “Ah, I’m done.”
Emilia: Here we are again.
Jason: You’re never done, yeah. What I found is the world’s changing. I always want to be optimizing. I always want to be getting better. We were at a place where the book needed to be revised and updated, and the new version is available. That’s what today is all about, and we have a special offer for our listeners, for our community, for our clients, for our tribe, because we want to honor them first, and then let everybody else pay the higher price. Do you want to talk about this special offer?
Emilia: Yes. Your special offer for our listeners and, like he said, our tribe today is to go to Amazon first, and right now the book is on sale for 99 cents.
Jason: For the Kindle version.
Emilia: For the Kindle version of the book.
Jason: 99 cents.
Emilia: 99 cents. If you go make that purchase and leave us a review, and then you can go to SoundRetirementPlanning.com, which is our website, and there’s going to be a link there on our web page so that you can click for your free copy of a paperback signed by Jason himself. You’ll just go there, enter your information, and copy and paste your review from Amazon, and we will send you a paperback signed copy of Sound Retirement Planning’s new edition.
Jason: It’s awesome in two ways. Number one, they’re going to get the Kindle version for only 99 cents, and that’s not going to always be the price. The price is going to go up. Again, we want our clients, our listeners, our tribe, our people to get the best price on it, which is different than the way the world usually does it. Usually, the first people in pay the highest price, and then two years later the price drops. We want to do the opposite. We want to give the best deal to our people.
Emilia: Great offer for all of you.
Jason: The 99 cents is going to go away. But the other thing we needed to clarify in terms of the free paperback version, so you buy it for 99 cents, and you post your review on our site, let us know that you posted the review, and then we send you the paperback. But we’re only going to do that for the first 100 people.
Emilia: Oh, yes, I forgot that.
Jason: Because that could get really expensive. It’s only one per household. You can’t go in and be the guy that orders all 100 books.
Emilia: Hey, it’s still a great offer, because then you have the travel version on your Kindle, and then the one you can sit down in bed or on the couch, nice and comfy, and it’s always nice to have an actual book in your hand, too.
Jason: Especially when you’re reading something that’s kind of technical, to be able to highlight it and be able to easily reference back. The Kindle allows you to do that, but I’ve just found, for me, it’s easier to have a paperback version or hard back version of certain types of books.
But let’s get … Because what I want to do is I want to tell people about the different chapters, and what the book is going to cover, and how it’s hopefully going to make their life better as they’re getting to make one of the most important decisions of their life, which is how to have an amazing retirement and make this transition from working.
In fact, I don’t think you ever really retire, because all the people that come in here tell me they’re busier now retired than they were when they were working. They just stopped collecting a paycheck.
Emilia: Yes. I hear that a lot, too.
Jason: They’re doing something, they’re just not earning money.
Emilia: Not getting paid for it.
Jason: Okay. I want to talk about the chapters, but before I do, I want to share with our listeners a little, going way back to when I first wrote the book. I called this one of my worst days ever. When the book first came out, it had a different title, and about a year after the book had been available, and hardly anybody ever bought that very first book, but after it had been available for about a year, I got a letter one Friday afternoon from a law firm, all these attorneys atop, certified letter. I’m thinking, “What is this?” I don’t usually have to deal with attorneys in this capacity.
I open this letter up, and it was a cease and desist. A big mistake that I made when I first published the book was that I used for the title of the book some words that had been trademarked. Somebody else owned those words. They were telling me that I couldn’t use the title of my book, I had to unpublish the book. I wasn’t sure if it was going to end up in this huge lawsuit, if people were going to take everything I had worked for. This happened on a Friday afternoon right when I was getting ready to go home. I had this horrible weekend. I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach, all this fear and uncertainty.
Initially, I thought to myself, “I’m done. I’m just going to unpublish the book. I’m never doing this again. I can’t believe this happened to me.” Then after some reflection, and some reading some verses, I said, “You know what? I can move forward with this process.” What I did was I rewrote the book. I gave it a new title, which was Sound Retirement Planning, and we relaunched it. We added 40% new content. We reordered the chapters. Then when we relaunched it, the book ended up becoming a number one bestseller on Amazon and held that position for a couple of weeks.
The reason I tell that story, Emilia, is somebody out there driving down the road right now this morning is having what they consider to be their worst day ever. You don’t know how the end of the story’s going to turn out. Stick with it, because I was ready to throw in the towel on that first book when I got that letter from the attorney, and what I thought was meant to hold me back was actually meant to promote me to the next level, because it gave us a better title. It gave us better content. It had a much larger audience as a result of that initial setback.
We just want to encourage people. Sometimes we don’t know what’s coming next, and that’s okay. That’s how Sound Retirement Planning came to be. This version that people have … The book keeps growing, like you were saying. It’s getting kind-
Jason: … of expensive to ship to people. That’s one of the reasons we’re limiting it to only 100 people for the special offer. But one of the things we did for this new edition is we have a whole chapter devoted to health insurance. For people that are before they get to Medicare, how should they be thinking about health insurance, for people that are retiring early, and then after they retire and they hit age 65, how does Medicare work. Some really good additional information in there, because that’s sometimes people’s biggest expense.
Emilia: Great. I want to say thank you for sharing that story. I think it’s so inspiring for a lot of our listeners. Jason, you said you were going to go through some of the chapters here and just share some of the content with us, some updates and information. We were starting with Chapter 1, Conquering Change.
Jason: Conquering Change, yeah. One of the great things about the work I do, I get to meet some really amazing people all over the country. This particular woman, though, she lived right here locally, and I actually had the chance to meet with her in her house years and years and years ago. It was a house that she and her husband had built together, and he had passed away. By the time I met her, he had passed away probably 12 years earlier.
I remember one day she was walking down the steps to do laundry, so they had a two-story house, and she was walking down the steps to do laundry, and she slipped and fell. She was in her 80s, and that landed her in kind of a rehab facility. Her kids were worried about her, and she had to make this change, this really, really hard change, which was making the decision to sell her primary residence and move into an independent living type of facility. It wasn’t associated living she had to move into, but she had to make that decision.
I was so inspired by that, because she had lived in this house for 50 years. It was a house that she and her husband had built, but she came to the realization, with the help of her kids kind of counseling her through this, that it really wasn’t safe for her to be at home anymore.
One of the things that I am absolutely 100% confident of is that the way that people’s lives are today is probably not going to be exactly the same tomorrow. The one thing that is constant in this whole retirement picture is change. We’ve got to be nimble. We’ve got to stay flexible. We’ve got to be ready to kind of roll with the punches, be ready to roll with the changes that are happening.
For a lot of people that are retiring at 55, they’re not thinking anything about these assisted living type of decisions. They’re thinking about where’s my next trip. But maybe being nimble just means when you go on vacation and you’re planning to do that river cruise through Europe, and something changes at the last minute, you’ve got to catch a different flight, or be on a different boat, or the kids were going to come and now they’re not, I mean, you’ve just got to be ready to roll with it.
Conquering change, being nimble, being willing to change, is the first chapter of the book, because it’s just life.
Emilia: Yeah. Well, thank you. Looking here, Chapter 2, I hear you talk about this so often, especially now with the new year coming in, but Focusing on What is Most Important.
Jason: Yes. Focusing on What’s Most Important. We just did this webinar Designing a Great Year, and we got to just talk not about money, but just talk about having a great life. Here’s what I know, Emilia. I was listening to a pastor give a sermon recently, and he was referencing C.S. Lewis’s book The Great Divorce, and in C.S. Lewis’s book, he described hell as anything you think about, you have instantly. Anything you think about is yours instantly. I thought, “Wow, that’s a really interesting concept about your worst case scenario.”
What I’m reminded of with the people that we meet is you can have all the money in the world, but when you lose your health, or you lose those relationships that are most important to you, the money doesn’t really matter anymore. Unfortunately, people, depending on where they’re at in life, they’re going to learn this at different stages. But once you realize that your time is your most valuable asset, you don’t have forever, you may not have to 100, and even if you do make it to 90, the last five years may not be the greatest.
We just want people to not live in the land of someday. We want them to be inspired and encouraged to go and live the best life they have, which is the one they have right now, and that means honoring the relationships that they have. It means taking care of the people that are most important in their life. It means doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. That’s one of the things I think people are excited about with retirement, just really focusing on the most important things.
We tried to order the chapters based on really what people need to be thinking about as they’re making this transition.
Emilia: Right. That takes us to Chapter 3, which is where we kind of have a lot of people start sometimes, depending on where you are, but Can I Afford to Retire? I guess that’s the big question for a lot of people.
Jason: For people that are going to buy the Amazon Kindle version for 99 cents while we have this limited time pricing going, and they want to try to be one of the people that get the first 100 copies, they’re thinking, “Geez, Jason, this book’s over 300 pages long, you mean I’ve got to …” or I guess right at 300 pages. “I mean, I’ve got to read this whole thing that fast and write a review?” I would say if they don’t want to read the entire book cover to cover, I would encourage them to just start with Chapter 3, Can I Afford to Retire.
That’s the question that so many people want to have answered. Have I saved enough? What is enough? How much do I need? Are the numbers going to work? Can we do this and have some confidence? Can we do this and not have to worry about what our financial life’s going to look like? Can we spend a couple of months in someplace warm? Can we go and travel? Can we spend time with the grandkids? I mean, they just want to know … There’s a lot of retirement planning that’s about getting your thinking right, but there’s also the mechanical component, which is what we help so many people with, which is making sure the numbers are going to work, and that’s where you get the confidence from.
Clarity is understanding what’s most important in your life, what’s the purpose of your money, who are the most important people, how are you going to spend your time. Confidence comes, in my opinion, from having a good plan and making sure the numbers are going to work. I would say this is probably the most important chapter. If people buy the Kindle version, they want to write a review but they don’t want to read the whole book, just read that one chapter, Can I Afford to Retire, Chapter 3, and then maybe write your review based on that chapter. Just let people know, if they’re writing a review, that that’s how much they’ve read. We want them to be honest and sincere.
We have bad reviews of the book. There are people that don’t like it. That’s okay. I’d prefer not to read them personally, but we’re hoping people like the book.
Emilia: Yeah. I just want to remind our listeners, we have that special offer for you and our tribe, our clients. If you go buy your Kindle version on Amazon for 99 cents, write us an awesome review and then post it to our website at SoundRetirementPlanning.com, you’ll get your free copy, paperback, signed by Jason. Again, just the first 100 that get to us first will get that copy. But just wanted to remind you about that, and we’re going to go on and ask Jason here a couple-
Jason: Well, wait, now, before we go to the next chapter, I want to talk about something that I’ve recognized. At 44 years old, I’m recognizing more than I did when I was 34 years old. That is people have a secret power. They have a superpower. Everybody has something that they’re just really, really good at. Sometimes it takes a while to come to know that superpower.
I recognize one of my wife’s superpowers is not only is she an amazing artist and she makes the world more beautiful with the work that she does, but she is so organized. She’s a schoolteacher right now, and she teaches art. How she has taken over this classroom and how she has organized it, everything’s got a place. That creates just a really great environment for the kids to come into when there’s not a lot of chaos in the classroom. I recognize that about my wife, and I don’t know that I really appreciated it as much. We just celebrated 22 years of being married, so yes.
Emilia: Oh, yes, congratulations.
Jason: Yeah, I know. One of the things I realized, 22 years later, you realize how good life is, and it’s getting better all the time, and you get better at recognizing people’s strengths. One of my superpowers that I’ve come to recognize, and I didn’t always know this about myself, I just always thought everybody thought this way, but I’m always looking at how can things be made better. How can this be improved, the process, the system? I always thought everybody thought this way, Emilia.
Here’s an example. I had the really good fortune to go on vacation to Maui recently. Let me just say, this is not intended to be critical of the airlines, because I love those pilots. They always get me to where I’m going safely, and we work with a lot of pilots. But as I was sitting on the airplane, it’s a six-hour flight, and at the end you’re just like, “Oh, man, I want to get off this plane.” Every time I’m on an airplane, I’m asking myself, “How could this be done more efficiently?” I have to believe that there are other people that work in the airline industry that are asking the same question.
I just started kind of brainstorming ideas. If I had the opportunity to speak at the airline’s life, what would I recommend? I’ll bring this back to why this is important with the work that we do, because I certainly don’t think anybody’s going to change anything at an airline based on my rambling here, but-
Emilia: That would be great if they did, though.
Jason: … here’s some really quick ideas. Number one, what if we could load and unload those planes much faster? If we could, we could get the planes back on the runway, and they would be making more money because they could be having more flights. Number one, we eliminate carry-on luggage completely. Nobody’s allowed to have a carry-on luggage.
I know some people, that’s going to offend them, because they don’t want to have to pay a little bit more money to check their bag, but we eliminate the carry-on luggage, because what I see happening, there’s these people getting on and off the plane, and they’ve got these carry-on luggages packed so full, they weigh 75 pounds, and these little old ladies are hoisting them up over their head and probably throwing out their disc in their back because of these carry-ons. Number one, you just eliminate them. Nobody’s allowed to have a carry-on. Maybe a purse that fists under the seat.
When you eliminate the carry-on, you don’t have to have the overhead baggage compartments anymore. Once we eliminate the overhead baggage, now we could put like a rail system. When people want to order drinks, instead of having somebody push this great big cart up and down, you can’t get up and use the bathroom, now you just have this rail system. They stand in the back of the plane. You want a drink, you push a button, it comes. It’s delivered right to you from the rail system.
Because we have a rail system, we eliminate that big cart that’s being pushed down the middle of the plane. We can have fewer people working on the planes accomplishing the same task. Like I say, there’s nothing worse when you have to go to the bathroom right after they serve you a drink, and you can’t get up and use it because they’re taking up the whole aisle with the … Anyways, I’m just kind of rambling. I’ve got all kinds of ideas for the airline.
Jason: The point is this is just how my brain works. I am looking at how do we optimize, how do we make things better. I’m applying that same type of thinking to my own business, to the retirement planning that we’re doing all the time. That’s a superpower. Not everybody thinks that way. I’m looking at all these decisions that have to be made all the time. I’m looking at the planning, the process we’ve put together, Social Security, taxes, insurance, investments. How does it all come together? What are the pieces? How can it be done more efficiently? How can it be optimized?
I just always assumed the whole world looked at things that way, and then I realized, “You know what?” I’ve been on these airplanes since I was 10 years old when I flew back to see my grandparents, and the only thing that I can really tell that’s changed significantly is, number one, the seats seem like they’re a lot closer together and I have less leg room. Number two, there’s no more smoking on the planes like there was when I was a kid. Number three, sometimes we have little video screens built into the back of our seats.
But I just have to believe that there’s got to be a better way to get people on and off those planes, and I think there’s a better way to do retirement planning. Anyways, that’s just my kind of rambling on.
Jason: Let’s get into the next chapter.
Emilia: Well, Jason, you know what? I just have to say thank you for your superpower, because that’s why we have this updated and revised version of the book, because you just keep-
Jason: It’s optimized.
Emilia: Yeah. There you go.
Jason: It’s got to get better. Thanks, Emilia.
Emilia: Thank you. No, thank you. Chapter 4, then. Here, Saving Safely in Retirement.
Jason: Yeah. The reason that I wrote that chapter is because we have to think about our money different in retirement than we did in accumulation years, because in our accumulation years, the biggest asset that we have, the most important asset that we have, is our ability to earn an income. We have human capital. We’re earning money. We can be diversified. The market goes up and down. It doesn’t really matter, because you’ve got time on your side and you’re not dipping into those assets.
But when you retire, the world changes, because now you don’t have the human capital anymore. You’re not working for income. Now, what you’re doing is you have these assets. They have to produce for you for the rest of your life. You really have to think strategically about which accounts you’re going to dip into first, how that money should be diversified, how much risk you can afford to take before you actually have to access the accounts.
You do have to think differently when you’re in the de-accumulation phase, as you’re in the distribution phase of retirement, than you were in the accumulation phase. Sometimes what I see people do is they go into retirement with the same mindset. Their money has the same mindset during their working years. They’ve shifted gears, but their money hasn’t shifted gears. We have to think differently when we step into retirement, because the number one fear that people have in retirement is running out of money before they run out of retirement. That’s why you’ve got to have a good plan.
Now, I’ll tell you this, Emilia. Investment management is being commoditized. In other words, what I’m saying is there are these robo-advisor platforms, and there’s these really low-cost options. But what is not being commoditized, and it’s going to take a lot more time before it can, is people who can think strategically about planning and making the right decisions. Sometimes people get this mixed up. They don’t understand that retirement planning and investment management are two different things. Those need to come together, and then they need to support the plan.
You may be able to commoditize the investment management, drive the fees down, which is a good thing for people, but the planning is really where people need help.
Emilia: Yeah. Do we have time for a few more chapters?
Jason: Maybe one. Well, we’re almost out of time. Geez, it goes by so fast.
Emilia: All right.
Jason: What’s next?
Emilia: Chapter 5, Tips for Maximizing Your Social Security Benefit.
Jason: Yes. We’ll end on this one. It’s a great benefit. For some people, they can start it early. We recommend they do, because they get more life out of those dollars. Other people, if they start it early, it could mean they run out of money in retirement. I wish I could give a cookie-cutter advice on the best way to do that.
We operate as fiduciaries, which means we have to act in their best interest. For people to go and listen to the show and make any decisions, or even if they read the book and make any decisions, they just need to realize that they’re responsible for those decisions. I always recommend they get a second opinion. The good news is this is what we specialize in. This is what we do all the time, and we’re always thinking how can we make it better. I think they should work with somebody. Even if it’s not us, they should work with somebody. Read the book to get a baseline.
Emilia, one more time, tell them about the special offer.
Emilia: Yeah. Your special offer, if you go to Amazon and purchase the 99 cent Kindle version of Sound Retirement Planning, and write us a review, again, awesome review, if that helps-
Jason: Well, let’s call it an honest awesome review.
Emilia: Honest awesome, okay. I’m asking too much. Sorry. But yeah, once you’ve written your review, and then you go to our website, SoundRetirementPlanning.com, we’ll have a link there on the right-hand side where it’ll say Your Free Book Offer, and you can go on there, give us your name, contact information, and copy and paste your review from Amazon, and if you’re one of the first 100 people, we will mail you a paperback copy signed by Jason himself.
Jason: They get the Kindle version for 99 cents, so even if they miss out on being one of the first 100, they’re still going to get the 99 cent.
Emilia: Great offer, yeah.
Jason: Yeah, and it’s not going to … Again, that’s a special offer for our tribe, for our listeners, for our clients, for the people that we serve. We want them to have the best in this whole thing.
Emilia, with that, we are out of time. Thanks for being here.
Emilia: Thank you.
Announcer: Information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate and complete, for general information only, and should not be construed as specific tax, legal, or financial advice for any individual, and does not constitute a solicitation for any securities or insurance products. Please consult with your financial professional before taking action on anything discussed in this program.
Parker Financial, its representatives, or its affiliates have no liability for investment decisions or other actions taken or made by you based on the information provided in this program. All insurance-related discussions are subject to the claims-paying ability of the company. Investing involves risk.
Jason Parker is the president of Parker Financial, an independent fee-based wealth management firm located at 9057 Washington Avenue Northwest, Silverdale, Washington. For additional information, call 1-800-514-5046 or visit us online at SoundRetirementPlanning.com.