200 A Rich Life with Beau Henderson

Jason interviews Beau Henderson best known as “The Retirement Authority” and is national media resource on retirement planning.

Beau is also a best selling author of 9 books, top rated radio host and writer for one of the largest financial publishing houses in the country. 

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’s your host, Jason Parker.

Jason:  America, welcome back to another round of Sound Retirement Radio. So glad to have you tuning in this morning. Man, I love that we get to do life together. We’ve got a great guest lined up, I’m going to introduce him in just a minute. But before we do, as you know, I like to get the morning started right two ways. The first one is by renewing our mind, and I have a verse here from Second Peter, three, 15. “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.”

Jason:  All right. Then, as we were getting ready for the show, I asked Emilia if she had any good jokes for me, give you something to share with the grandkids, and the joke that I have for you this morning is, if money really did grow on trees, what would be everyone’s favorite season? Fall. I don’t know. Okay. It’s my good fortune to bring Beau Henderson on to the program. Beau is best known as the retirement authority and is a national media resource on retirement planning. He’s a best-selling author of nine books, top rated radio host, and writer for one of the largest financial publishing houses in the country. After watching his mom struggle financially, due to the sudden death of his father, Beau realized that he could make a profound difference by helping people navigate important financial decisions.

Jason:  Today, he is the CEO of the Rich Life Advisors, and has helped over 4,000 families discover their true relationship with money, and equip them to live a healthier, wealthy and fulfilled life. Beau Henderson, welcome to Sound Retirement Radio.

Beau: Hey, Jason. Excited to be here.

Jason:  Man, I’m excited to have you. I understand you’re doing some really great work helping people navigate this whole retirement thing. I want to talk, you’ve got a new book out called Customized Social Security, take a minute, tell us why you wrote the book.

Beau: You know, it’s a great question, why did I write the book? What I found, this is going back seven or eight years ago, a mentor of mine, a very successful businessman over lunch said, “Hey, Beau, I shafted my spouse.” I said, “Hey, I don’t know if I want to hear this story, Jerry.” He said, “Here’s what happened.” He had realized that when he turns 66 years old, he’d call the social security administration and they advised him, “Hey, you’re at full retirement age, even though you’re making really good money with your business, you might as well claim your benefit because you have no earning cap anymore, so why not?” And he did.

Beau: What he realized is one he didn’t need the money, and he could afford to cover his expenses with his business income. But what he didn’t realize is when we looked at the math, by not delaying that benefit, he’s costing his wife about $1,200. And in their specific situation, she’ll probably outlive him 10 to 15 years. So that’s 100,000 to 120,000+ of money his wife would receive over the course of her retirement just by him not knowing the rules. Jason, in that situation I said, “If this very smart, intelligent guy got this wrong, I think a lot of people out there probably get this wrong.” So I really started diving in learning the rules so that I could help people navigate this. Because, you know, for most people it’s over half of the retirement income.

Jason:  Boy that is such a great point, Beau. One of the things that we’re always trying to teach people is you cannot make this decision in a bubble, you can’t just say, “Hey, why not?” You really need a comprehensive plan. But before we get more into social security, I want to back up. You said something there that struck a chord with me, because it’s been so true in my life. You said you went to lunch with a mentor. Tell me about these mentor relationships that you have, these people that, how you find mentors, how they come into your life, because we have two different sets of people that we’re helping, Beau, some of the folks are people that are getting ready to retirement, and some of them are people that are looking for a mentor.

Jason:  Some of them are people that are saying, “Man, I’ve got a lifetime of wisdom that I can share with other people.” So talk to us for a minute about mentorship. What that means in your life? How you find mentors? What you’re looking for? And what they do for you?

Beau: You know, I think I’ve been blessed and fortunate in that early on I’ve just had some people show up in my path, I think it’s a total blessing, that believed enough in something in me and invested in me, and helped me. But even more so, once it became intentional for me, I started paying attention and I would look, I’d say, “Okay, let’s get real clear on, on where I am right now and have a very honest conversation with myself about that and where do I want to be.” Then what I would seek out is who is a person that’s there and that really would be how, and still to this way, always that next step I want to take, as the business continues to grow, as other things I’m like, “Okay, now who’s in that next level that could be a good mentor to teach me.”

Beau: And really it’s not so much to teach me things to do, it’s to teach me sometimes the things to avoid doing on the path, because a lot of times just the lessons learned is more valuable than even the how-tos.

Jason:  I love that. One of the people we serve once they said, “Find somebody who has what you want, do what they do and you’ll get what they’ve got.” I had the good fortune, just this morning, when you used that word mentorship, I think how important so many people are in my life that have taught me, like you say, not just what to do, but what to avoid and how to ask a better question. But this particular gentleman this morning, he shared with me, he said, he said to me, and he’s 75 years old, he said, “Jason, I love one liners.” He says, “These are things that stick with you and it’s easy to remember.”

Jason:  So he shared with me just a couple of his favorites this morning. I thought I’d share them with you real quick and our listeners, Beau, but he said. He says, the first one was, “Work that rises from the heart, lands on the heart.” The second one was, “Work like it’s up to us, live like it’s up to God.” The next one was, “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Beau: It’s a good one.

Jason:  Then he said, “If you can fix it with money, don’t worry about it.” The power of mentors, the power of wisdom these people that have come before us that have learned a lot and they have so much to share. So, any other, before we transition back to social security, any last tips or things that your mentors have said to you that have really impacted you?

Beau: You know, I think just that, that really resonated, that one about if it comes from the heart, it lands on the heart and what that immediately connected. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed is that when I was bold enough to be authentic, and I do what I do different than most people do this business, but I believe in what I do, and that translates. I think people buy into people that believe in what they do. That might sound like that’s the way it should be, but there’s a lot of people out there kind of faking it. So I think that there’s a lot to that, that one quote, and it just really caught me there.

Jason:  That’s awesome. Man, can’t take me down this rabbit trails, but this idea-

Beau: It happens.

Jason:  Because being authentic, it took me a long time. I’m in my 40s now, but for a long time, and maybe this is a normal journey, you feel like you have to be somebody different, or certain type of person if you’re going to be successful. Like you just said, learning to be comfortable on your own skin, being authentic with who you are is such a powerful attribute. It’s such a powerful quality. How did you learn to become authentic? What does being authentic mean to you?

Beau: I think what it was was coming out early I started in this business, I’m in my 40s too, I started this business my early 20s. I completely bought and thought that I was supposed to be this idea of a financial professional, or a retirement strategist. I tried to fit that. I tried to be what I thought people, or my clients, would expect from me. Then over time, there was just a little bit of discontent, disconnect with that, and then lo and behold, Jason, what I realized is those times when I let my, like you said, vulnerable, authentic self-show up, that’s what people connected with. They could see that I believed in what I was doing, they could see the real me.

Beau: That’s when I said, “You know what? Even though it might be a little scary at first, that’s where the real magic happens. Those people you see really hitting those next levels, they’re doing that, they’re doing that from the real space, and from an authentic space.” It’s funny, what I figured out, I think this is a good way to put it, I figure out, I need to be very clear and do a lot of work and study on who I am, how I’m wired, how I work. Then make sure I’m creating an environment and a world that works with that.

Jason:  That’s good. I heard somebody say once in your 20s you’re worried about what other people think about you. In your 40s, you don’t care what other people think about you. By the time you’re in your 60s, you realize nobody was ever thinking about you in the first place.

Beau: Right.

Jason:  Beau, I want to transition you, in your bio there you talk about the story of your mom, and your dad passing away suddenly. [inaudible 00:09:30] sharing a little bit of that story with our listeners?

Beau: Yeah, you know, one of the things, and I think it comes across in a lot of the things I talk about and teach is that behavior has always been a fascination to me. In fact, I was leaving the University of Georgia, enrolling in graduate school to be a psychologist of all things, which it’s kind of funny, and my father passed away. I was in my early 20s at that point. And I went home to help mom with his business, and a couple of pieces of real estate just to navigate that. And I realized really quick that if there’s not people that’ll help people through those transitions and those things in life that happen, that there’s 10 people that’ll show up and take advantage of them.

Beau: So, it really kind of shifted my train track so to speak from this counseling, psychology, to becoming a financial professional, a retirement planner. That was really, it’s kind of funny, it’s come full circle, because probably the unique thing about me talking about being authentic and real is that I really approached from a holistic standpoint of we got to make sure the math and the tactical side works, but let’s also make sure we’re incorporating the whole picture of your behaviors, your patterns, and all the things that make you successful or not when it comes to money.

Jason:  Well, that’s interesting. Tell us more about behaviors and patterns, because this is something that we found to be true, a lot of us learn about money at a very young age, some of those lessons were good, some of them were not good, yet we tend to carry this with us through our whole life. How can people unpack that? How can they make better decisions based on the ways things are, not necessarily the way that they think they are?

Beau: You know, a lot of it’s unconscious, meaning we learn these lessons and usually as children. We learn them typically from parents, or grandparents, or people close in our lives. A lot of times it sounds bizarre to go work on your money and do this, but a lot of times it is answering some questions like what is your earliest memory of money? Where did it come from? You know, you can go through with your parents and your grandparents and you’ll start to see, it’s amazing how you’ll start to see patterns emerge. That reflect some problems you’ve had with money in your current adult life.

Jason:  Yeah. There’s a couple things you’ve said that I really want to hit on, number one, when your dad passed away, you said that for every one person that will help you, there’s 10 people that will come and take advantage of you. I think one of the awesome responsibilities we have as financial advisors, people that are helping people on this journey, isn’t just to present opportunities, but to help people stay away from and out of things that they shouldn’t be involved with. I think that’s just a really important realization about the work that we do, because there is a lot of stuff out there that retirees shouldn’t be getting involved with.

Jason:  But the second thing that I wanted to talk to you about there, when you talk about your first memory of money, because that is something that I’ve thought about a lot just in my own life and I’ll ask that to folks, I want to ask you what’s your first memory of money? As you go back as far as you can in your childhood, what do you remember the first thing about money?

Beau: You know, I think when I look back, it depends, one of the biggest things that sticks out is remembering my parents fighting about money, and the stress around money. I’m sure there was some, some of the work I’ve had to do over the years in my own shift to make sure that I don’t give money that energy, that it’s negative, it’s got the power that I think we give it, that you know what, I can separate from that. That showed up in these situations early on. Really the biggest step for me was learning that money is a tool. That we can utilize if we have a good relationship with money to move towards the life or the goals, the retirement, or whatever it is that we want.

Beau: But if we’re not careful and we feel that that emotion, that energy around it that we give it, a lot of times that’s tied back to us going back and looking at those beliefs, like I had with my parents fighting about it, because it was stressful at that point in their lives.

Jason:  So, as you’ve had the opportunity to work with real people, walk life with people that are making this transition into retirement, if there were one or two things that you hear over and over and over again, what are some of that reoccurring themes you hear from people trying to make this transition?

Beau: The biggest thing that they’re … honestly it’s fear. I had a group of guys, they were all retiring, there was five of them, they were retiring from a company. They all got basically buyout plans. It fascinated me to learn, I was the seventh advisor that they’d come in to talk to about their situation. The reason was, it’s because everywhere they were going they were being pushed a different product by different professionals, and usually depending on where they worked, and what they sold, or what they were being pushed, and every piece of advice was different, so they were confused.

Beau: That’s what I think a lot of things, people are afraid of not doing the best they can, they’re afraid of being taken advantage of, or making a mistake. One of the things I do to really try to combat that with clients is say, “Hey, let’s do something different. What you probably experience in a lot of scenarios,” and you can probably speak to this, Jason, and seeing this with people coming in, going through some things, is that they probably talked to some people that took a product and said, “Here, this is a product. Let me make it fit your situation.” I really say, “Let’s back up, what we want to do is we want to make sure we get the right retirement strategy in place.”

Beau: By that, you know, what are the jobs we need to accomplish in retirement and how do we need to accomplish that? Only after we go through a couple of meeting getting very clear on the right strategy, then we can talk about the tools that would make that happen. So I think that’s a big shift, is that fear of not doing the right thing, is having a strategy. Here’s something I think is key for people to hear. If you can say that, one, you have a strategy at all, I find probably only 5% actually have a plan or a strategy. But two, that you understand it and you’re confident in your strategy. Then you’re probably in the top couple of percent of your peer group if you accomplished those things. So that’s my goal with retirees trying to make that transition is if we can do that, I know we’re doing something right.

Jason:  Beau, I hear the same thing from people all over the country. They have a financial advisor, they have financial products, they have investments, they have asset allocation, they have diversification, they don’t really understand how it all works, or how it’s going to work as they’re making this transition into retirement. Like you say, you got to have the strategy. We call it a plan, Sound Retirement Planning. You got to have a plan to understand how this all works, because the distribution phase is different than the accumulation phase. It’s one of the biggest decisions of people’s lives.

Jason:  Beau, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, we developed some software called RetirementBudgetCalculator.com. I found that one of the most important parts to really helping people have a good plan is we have to understand how much they’re going to spend and how that spending is going to change over time. How important would you say it is to understand somebody’s spending as they’re trying to get ready to make this transition?

Beau: You know, that’s probably the most important aspect is getting a really good picture of expenses, right, and expenses in retirement. It’s one of the biggest mistakes that I see come through and I’m excited to hear your software, because it sounds like it’ll take out expenses, it sounds like it’ll do a lot of that calculation that needs to be done. Because one of the biggest mistakes I see is a couple coming in, or an individual coming in, and saying, “My expenses are $5,000.” They get into retirement and they’re spending nine. We’re going to have a problem with that.

Beau: So, I think getting the clarity again it’s just like, you know, we talked about some of the personal things and mentors, money, health, relationships, it’s all the same principles. If we can get the clarity around really where we are, really what those expenses look like, then we can really, even if we don’t like it, I think that’s an important part too, I think a lot of people don’t get clear, because they know it’s not what they want it to be. But when we do get clear, there’s always seems to be a sense of relief, because then we can really come up with that strategy or plan to move towards it. So I think it’s probably the most important thing that we have an accurate picture of what expenses are going to be, because then we can fix the cash flow situation, right. Now we need to know what we need to solve for, for income coming in.

Jason:  How important, you guys, I hope our listeners, I hope you guys are really listening to what Beau is saying, because one of the things that gives him and I a unique perspective is that we have the opportunity to talk with real people and help them on this journey, and many of you are probably hearing what Beau is saying, you’ve heard me saying over and over and over again. This is the first time Beau and I have ever talked. I think it’s interesting for our long-time listeners to hear what he’s saying and really take heart on this. But I want to also remind you RetirementBudgetCalculator.com, for a limited time, we still have a coupon code, which is podcast, and you can get 50% off the coupon are off the price of that calculator if you use the coupon code podcast when signing up.

Jason:  But Beau, you just hit on another hot topic, something that we’re always talking to people about. Once we get the expenses figured out, then we need cash flow. How important would you say cash flow is to a good retirement plan?

Beau: Well, beyond expenses, I think that’s the next most important thing. I think a lot of focus is misdirected. I’ll get a lot of questions about, “Do I have enough to retire? How much do I need to retire?” To me, that’s the wrong answer. You know, years ago there was some marketing around what’s your number. I think that led to that is, “Okay, do I need a million to retire? Do I need three million? Do I need 500,000?” To me it’s really, what’s the cash flow scenario? Because what we’re really needing to solve is, when we’re very clear on our expense, we need to make sure we’ve got some, it’s like working still, we need to make sure we have checks coming in, or we have income coming in, that’s above our expenses.

Beau: It sounds overly simplistic, but if we can make that transition, and make sure that we’re ensuring that there’s income that covers the expenses, and our goals, lifestyle goals, and others things, then you’re going to have a successful retirement.

Jason:  Yeah. Folks, remember, the tag line of my book is clarity, confidence and freedom. You’re listening to episode 201, I have Beau Henderson as my guest today. His new book is called Customized Social Security: 15 Steps to Social Security Success. Beau, I’m sure our listeners are going to want to learn more about the work that you’re doing, what’s the best way for them to connect with you and learn more about the work you’re doing?

Beau: I think you can go, I think the best place to start would be to go to socialsecuritywin, W-I-N, .com. And my publisher is actually giving away this book and a couple of months of my newsletter absolutely free. Socialsecuritywin.com. And with April being social security month, I just think it’s a really good … it’s like with retirement literacy, I think there’s a lack of financial literacy, retirement literacy, and social security literacy in this country. And with all these things, Jason, I think the key is I appreciate when people trust me. That’s a true blessing.

Beau: But, don’t blindly trust me. Because knowledge is power with this thing. If I can get some information in your hands to help you make a better decision, and I’m happy to help you with that, but I want to make sure, like we said earlier, that whatever we’re doing, plan-wise, strategy-wise, that’s not just something we do, it’s something you understand and are confident in.

Jason:  I think that’s great. I think that’s really wise. You’re right. There’s a lot of information out there. You can go on Google and search for social security claiming strategies and probably get hundreds of thousands of results. But if it’s not customized to your specific situation, what good is it pouring through these hours, and hours and hours of doing this research unless you really understand how it’s going to affect your specific plan. But one of the concerns that some people have out there regarding social security is, you know, there’s the social security report that comes out every year, The Trustees Report, and they say, I think it was the year 2032 there’s going to be a reduction in social security unless there’s a change.

Jason:  They say that that reduction could be as high as, that the future benefit payout might be 77%, or 79% of the current benefit amount. How should people from a planning perspective, how should they take that into consideration as they’re trying to make decisions about when to start social security?

Beau: One of the questions that comes up around Atlanta, I’ll do workshops every month talking about social security strategy, and the question is every month that comes up is, is it soluble? Is it going to be there for me? The basic rule of thumb I’ll go by with clients, if you’re 50-55, I’m confident based on what I’ve seen in the proposed legislation I’ve seen that we can plan on your statement, meaning they may continue to bump back the full retirement age, even the early retirement age, they continue to raise the cap on the amount of income that takes social security tax.

Beau: So there’s a lot of those things, but what I tell people younger than that is, you know what, the system was made when people didn’t live to be 65 years old. It’s got to change, and it is going to adjust. So what it does is, although there’s a demographic, but I think we can plan with it as the rules are now. It’s also a warning to younger demographics that even more the responsibility is on you to make sure you prepare yourself, you do the work you need to do, you save the money you need to save, because the government might not be there to do it the way they have in the past.

Jason:  Absolutely. I think a lot of people, our generation and younger, when we do our planning, we don’t even, we try not to use social security as part of the strategy. We say, “Look, let’s make sure that we’re over-saving, if social security is there, great. It’s a wonderful extra. But if it’s not, what are we going to do?” This has really been a fun interview for me, Beau, I really have enjoyed having the opportunity to talk with you. The message you’re sharing is so similar to the work that we’re doing. I hope that our listeners enjoyed this. Again, you can find Beau Henderson, it’s Social Security Win, if you want to learn about his book, his website is richlifeadvisors.com. Beau Henderson, thank you so much for being a guest on Sound Retirement Radio.

Beau: Hey, Jason, I had a lot of fun.

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 NW, Silverdale, Washington. For additional information, call 1-800-514-5046. Or visit us online at soundretirementplanning.com.