You already have the foundation, but what’s a house without walls and a roof? Victor gives you all the materials you need to make sure the Big Bad Wolf doesn’t blow your house down.
Then, Victor goes on to discuss the challenges behind guiding his clients through their estate planning and the three stages of life -the Go-Go Years, the Slow-Go years, and the No-Go years.
Find out how the Biden Administration’s plans to make tax changes affect the estate planning world, and how it could affect you if you fail to make your own plan.
To access additional information, please visit: Don’t Let a Health Crisis Threaten Your Retirement
Also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, & Google Podcasts
Make It Last with Victor Medina is hosted by Victor J. Medina, an estate planning and Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Certified Financial Planner professional (CFP). Through his law firm and independent registered investment advisory company, Victor provides 360º Wealth Protection Strategies for individuals in or nearing retirement.
For more information, visit Medina Law Group or Palante Wealth Advisors.
Full Transcription Below
Mark Elliot: Welcome to “Make It Last” with Victor Medina. I’m Mark Elliot. Now, Victor has two companies, The Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. Medina Law Group started back in 2006. You can find out more on their website, medinalawgroup.com.
Palante Wealth came from the clients of Medina Law Group going, “How come you can’t help us with all of our retirement stuff?” Hence, Palante Wealth came to be in 2014, palantewealth.com, P‑A‑L‑A‑N‑T‑E, palantewealth.com. Victor also is the author of three books on retirement planning under his acclaimed Make It Last series. He’s been featured on national television, “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Huffington Post,” “U.S. News & World Report.”
Look, Victor’s probably going to say some things today that you’re like, “Wow, I didn’t know that. I’d like to learn more.” Or “Wait, I don’t have a retirement plan. I don’t know how to build my financial house. What do I do? How do I come up with some help in this area?”
Well, it’s easy. You just call the team, (856) 506‑8300. There’s no cost. There’s no obligation. There’s no pressure. There’s no judgment. (856) 506‑8300, glad you’re with us today.
Victor, there’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to retirement. Most of us think about our investments. That’s our retirement world. One of the things is a cool analogy is to compare our retirement planning with building our home. We’re going to build a financial house today on the program. I know you told your kids the story, the fairy tale, “The Three Little Pigs And The Big Bad Wolf,” right?
Victor Medina: Yeah. [laughter]
Mark: Back in the day, right?
Victor: [laughter] I know it.
Mark: The wolf would huff and puff and blow every house down except for the last one, was made of…What was it made of? We had straw…
Victor: It was brick.
Mark: We had straw. Brick, right? We had straw. What else did we have? We had sticks and then we had bricks.
Victor: We had brick.
Mark: Exactly. The brick house, the wolf couldn’t blow it down because it was strong. That’s what we’re talking about today. How do you build a financial house to get you to, and even more importantly, through retirement? Let’s get into this, Victor.
It’s an easy way for us to understand what you do, how do you help people when it comes to retirement planning is that it starts with building that strong, sturdy, financial house, doesn’t it?
Victor: It does. It’s interesting too because those people who know me and our clients have heard me talk about the story that was me rebuilding the house that we live in. The house that we live in is an old home built in 1878. We took the thing down to the studs.
We found brick in between the studs. That was part of the reason why it was so quiet and stable. The people that were building the house was like, “The reason why this thing doesn’t move left to right is because they put bricks in between it way before they had any plywood.”
It is important to have a sturdy house for retirement because, unlike opportunities to rebuild things, when you’re facing retirement it’s super important to make sure that the plan that you have in place is one that can withstand time because you can’t go back to work and you can’t go in and add to the pile.
This decision is a crucial decision and one that needs to factor in all these things about what happens if the stock market takes a tumble in the future. What happens if your care costs increase? What happens if all of these elements that they’re factoring into their planning that everybody needs to be thinking about.
They need to build it to withstand the threat of the Big Bad Wolf of retirement, and it is really, really important to make sure that they’ve got a sturdy house.
Mark: All right, so you think about it. We want to build a strong fiscal financial house for our retirement. Where do we start?
Victor: First of all, the idea that someone is thinking about this as something they should do rather than going into it blindly or assuming they’re going to pull money from some account when they need living money. That needs to be congratulated and needs to be rewarded and heralded because the idea that you want to put a plan in place or wants to build a house around it doesn’t land for everybody.
Not everybody recognizes the need for a way of creating the retirement that is stable and can withstand the rest of time that they need to live. It first begins with making decision that they care more about creating a plan than they care about the specific products that are involved in there.
We have a way of approaching it with our practice that supports that because, for everybody that comes through the process, we create a plan for them. The plan is this eight‑page document that goes through income, investments, taxes, and estate planning. Each of those four elements.
They are all of equal value. I want to make sure that you have great income. I want to make sure that your investments are supporting the income and I want you to avoid paying taxes. You have to have your estate plan in place. Each one of them has a role, but it is the idea that if they are all in one place for you to look at.
The plan is this eight‑page document that reviews all these areas. What it does is help you understand how you can gain a successful retirement. What that means for you is that you have the opportunity to rest easy knowing that you have a great plan in place.
Where do you start? You start by making an assessment of where you currently are. Identifying where you want to get to which by the way isn’t as simple as saying, “Well, I don’t want to be poor,” or “I want a vacation,” but it is about outlining your goals for retirement, and then being able to determine the way that you’re going to get there, which I think probably dovetails into another concept around building homes. You need a blueprint, right?
You need some way of building this so that you know how to create it competently in a way that it will stand up, you’re going to have the inspectors of life come in and give you your approvals or not. You definitely need that plan to be able to know how to put these things together, because that’s the way that you create and make all of these elements work together.
Mark: Yeah, you don’t start with the roof when you’re building a house. You better start with the foundation. We’re going to talk about what goes in the foundation, what goes in the walls, what goes in the roof, and all those kinds of things when you’re building that sturdy fiscal financial house for your retirement.
Here’s the deal, if you want to talk more about this, your retirement income plan, investment strategies, tax‑efficient strategies, healthcare, legacy estate planning, social security’s in the income part, Medicare’s in the healthcare part, a lot of moving parts.
You’re like, “Well, I’ve never done planning like that. I’ve just kind of looked at my investments and tried to figure out, ‘Hey, could I do what Victor said to start with, pull out that 30, 40, 50, 60 thousand dollars out of my accounts every year, and I shouldn’t be good. That is not a plan.
Palante Wealth is about holistic planning for your retirement. If you’d like to call the team and say, “Hey, I’d love to get started. I’d like to hear kind of where you think I am? Am I on the right track? Do I need to make a tweak here or there? I like the idea of actually having a written plan for my retirement, call the team, they’re here to help. 856‑506‑8300.
Again, no cost for this at all. Because the team, they’re here to help. They just don’t know if they can help until they hear your situation. Why not call? Find out. Let’s get started. 856‑506‑8300. We’re building your strong, sturdy financial house for your retirement.
As you said, it starts with a blueprint. I think the retirement plan that you create for your clients at Palante Wealth starts with a blueprint probably, doesn’t it? You don’t come in and say, “OK, in 10 minutes, you’re done. Here’s your plan, good luck to you and hope everything works out.”
Victor: Not at all, Mark, because it’s like showing up with lumber and a hammer, just start swing and things and say, “Well, I think that there should be a room over here, why don’t we just start building a square?” Nobody would go about doing that.
It’s this idea that a lot of people start with the end of that element of like, “Well, I want to go pull money out,” or “I just want to start moving forward,” or whatever else without really taking an opportunity to assess, but you’re right, what we do in our practice is we help people create their blueprint.
These blueprints are not uniform, they’re not cookie‑cutter, they are a built to the specifics of the clients that we have in mind because they’re each going to have different goals. They’re each going to have starting resources that are different. They’re going to have different obstacles that they’ve got to overcome.
For that reason, each blueprint is custom‑tailored for them. Each plan that we create is something that is specific to the client that we are working with at that time. While there are some general principles that needs to be followed, in order to have a successful plan, you have to understand physics, and you have to understand that it needs plumbing, and here’s how heating works.
All of those are uniform in the way that you would build a house. The way that they get implemented is going to change from client to client. And so, we want to follow some principles. We want to make sure, for example, that people have enough income to get through all of their days.
They’re going to be able to afford the lifestyle that they have or recognize that they’ve got to make some adjustments in those areas. The blueprints always consist of the HVAC and the plumbing and the electrical and the framing off of it. This is the similar in the way that we would do our plan.
We’ve got the income and the investments and we’ve got the tax planning and the estate planning. None of these can be ignored. None of them can be overlooked. Now, it can be just be passed aside. You can’t just look at a house and say, “Well, that house doesn’t need electricity.” I don’t want any put that in a part of the blueprint. It’s an essential part of making all of these things work together.
We do that for all of our clients. It’s the base part of how we create a plan, but it’s also important to know that things change. When I was rebuilding my home because it was an older home, as you start to do a little bit of a demolition, you figure out that there are some areas that weren’t what you expected when you start to peel away the onion.
We had a window that was missing underneath the patio that all of a sudden it was going to rain that evening, we had a patch that thing quickly, but we need to be able to have some flexibility built into that.
The idea of the plan isn’t that you just follow it without regard to what you find, but it is a guiding principle to making sure that you create something that is structurally sound, is stable and sturdy and gets you through retirement.
Mark: All right, you were mentioning the HVAC. I have a friend of a friend, and this is a true story. They’re building their second home. They thought, “It’s not going to be as nice as our full‑time home, but we want a nice place we can go get away.”
They said, “What? We’re not going to hire anybody to do it. We’re going to get the contractor to do this, the HVAC people to do. We’re going to separate it. We’re going to be in charge.” They get it done.
Nobody was talking to anybody, they get done. They found out, “Oops, we did forget heating and air.” They had to go in and do it on the outside of the house because it would have cost a fortune to go back in and tear through and build it in.
When it comes to retirement planning, all those areas, we’ve talked about, the income investments, taxes, the legacy planning, and all of that, the estate planning. If we overlook any of these areas, there could be major problems, couldn’t there?
Victor: Yes, it can. I’ll relate my true story as well, which is when we had the plumber coming in and looking at what was going on.
I talked to my general contractor, whose name is, Eric. I said, “Eric, your guy, Theo,” because it was his plumber, “your guy, Theo, comes in and he just stares for about an hour. Then he walks out of the house.” I said, “I don’t know if he’s doing any work. He comes back in and he looks up, and he looks left, looks right, and he walks out.”
Eric says, “You do realize the medium that he’s working in, he’s creating the stuff that’s going to handle your toilets and your shower. There can’t be any detail that he overlooks. He needs to understand where all of this is going to be flowing and the directions they’re going.”
It’s a good jumping‑off point to underscore this idea that no details can’t be overlooked. Part of the planning that you do ‑‑ and it’s one of the reasons why you really need an expert in that area to help ‑‑ because the reason why the general contractor brought in his own demolition team, to do that stuff.
He brought in a master plumber to do the plumbing, and a master electrician to do the electrical work and didn’t try to handle on their own because he recognized the risk involved. If there had been a detail overlook, that would have been identified by somebody that was an expert in their area.
To anchor it back into the way that I built my home, the experts that this contractor brought in were experts in dealing with older homes. I already said that our home was built in 1878. They were people who were accustomed to dealing with construction in that time.
Similarly, you need somebody who’s an expert in retirement, if you want retirement planning. In other words, the kind of home that you’re building isn’t the vacation home or isn’t the second home that’s going to be on the shore or someplace else that it’s completely different.
You have a very specific home that you’re trying to build in retirement. It makes sense that you bring in people who are versed in those areas. You want to be in a situation where you’re like, “I know exactly what this looks like.”
We can help guide you the way, you need somebody who does that in your financial work, specifically to retirement.
Mark: The Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth, serve the Pennington greater Mercer County, as well as Bucks County. Victor has clients in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania as well.
If you would like to learn how the team might be able to help you, don’t know if they can’t, because they don’t know your situation. They’d love to find out. They’re here to help.
The Medina Law Group, Palante Wealth, they’re here to help you. Give them a call. Let’s get started. There’s no cost for this. 856 506 8300 is the number, again 856 506 8300.
We’re talking about building your fiscal financial house, comparing to building your house that you live in. That’s what we’re talking about today. One of the most important pieces of the house is the foundation.
Not the most exciting to think about when it comes to retirement, but it might be the most important piece. That’s where we’re headed next. Stay with us. This is Make It Last with Victor Medina, of the Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. We’re back in one moment.
Mark: Welcome back to Make It Last with Victor Medina. Make it last, you’re like, “What is that all about? What does that title of your show tell me?”
Victor is a retirement planner. What do you want your money to do? You want to make it last. It is a process, a holistic planning process that he walks his clients through because at the end of the day you’re the CEO. It’s your retirement. It’s your hopes and dreams.
What are you going to do? It’s decided by you. If you have questions, though, about how to put this planning process together. It is called the make it last process because that’s what we want to do. We want to make your money last for you, as long as you’re here.
If a priority is to leave it behind to beneficiaries and the like or charities, Victor is here to help you do that as well. That’s why we call it Make It Last. You can always find out more about Victor and the team.
You’ve got palantewealth.com, which is a holistic planning for retirement. You got Medina Law Group, which is about estate planning, and all those things we need to think about when it comes to the end of life.
Even while we’re living, Victor, you don’t wait to do all that elder law attorney stuff when you’re 90, do you? Don’t you do it when you’re getting closer and closer to retirement, or I suppose even in your 30s? You should have some, kind of, a plan in case something happens to you.
Victor: You should have some documents in place. You’re going the other direction that I said, you shouldn’t wait until you’re dead to do your will. I was going to agree with that. I think that’s probably a safe place to be that.
You should have your estate planning in place before you become incapacitated, and before you die, that’s at least when we would like to do that. By the way, if you know that date, then we can back up maybe six months, so you get your documents in place.
Mark: It would be actually really easy. Victor, when you sit down with people when planning their retirement, if you knew their end date, that would be a great help. If you knew if they would have any health issues at all along the way, that would help.
That’s one of the challenges. You have to do a little bit of, what‑if, scenarios with your clients, I would imagine.
Victor: You think about it this way, there are lots of variables that are going to happen in the future. We can go beyond the fanciful funny ones about when are you going to die, when you’re going to get sick, how long you’re going to last.
There are other things that are going to be variables that we can’t control, like what our market returns going to look like in the first 10 years of your retirement. That has a mathematical impact on what you should be doing.
Similarly, what the tax policies going to be like, just because you have the tax laws today doesn’t mean that you know exactly what they’re going to be out 10, 20 years as part of your retirement.
There were enough variables in place, that what I do as a planner for you as a client, is I start to design a plan that is flexible and takes into account those contingencies.
If we have a situation where somebody gets ill, or we have a situation where the tax policies change, or whatever, it is that the variable sets the dial one way or the other, that we weren’t expecting. We actually have expansion in the plan to account for that flexibility so that it doesn’t submarine everything.
I think that’s really the risk. If you go into situation planning for your retirement as though you assume that this is all going to happen exactly the same way, “I know exactly when I’m going to die. I’m not going to live past age 85. I know the same tax laws are going to be…”
If you set all of those up and not any of them can change in order for your planning to work, when one of them does, boy, are you scrambling afterward?
It’s much easier as a retirement planner to know what the things that we have to avoid, I say, “Hey, it’s a landmine field out there.” The nice thing is I kind of know where some of those things are. What we can do is we can chart a path through the landmine field, so you don’t step on one of them in the course of the rest of your retirement.
Because I’ve been through this field many times with other clients, and I understand what the right way to walk through this is, now you’ve got a better chance of success by having that plan in place.
Mark: Well, today we’re going to talk about retirement and maybe a little bit different way than you’ve heard it talked about. Because I think we used to, especially when we were young, you think of your grandparents when you’re 10 years old, your grandparents are ancient. Now we’re that age, but we don’t feel ancient. We’re not ancient at this point.
We always thought of retirement as a final stage of life. It’s really not the finish line anymore. Maybe it was “The Bucket List” movie that got everybody thinking about, “Holy cow, there’s still a lot of things I can do.” We’ve seen the 90 or a 100‑year‑old woman that’s jumping out of an airplane. It’s a different style of retirement than it was 20, 30 years ago. It’s a little bit more in that go‑go category.
That’s all we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about the three stages of retirement that we all go through, but all at different times, basically. The go‑go years, the slow‑go years and the no‑go years, we’re going to talk about all those.
Victor, here’s my plan. I’m going to go 15 to 20 years in the go‑go years, I’m going to go a couple years in the slow‑go years and one night in the no‑go year. That is a fantastic plan. Isn’t it?
Victor: I like that plan a lot. I’ve heard the no‑go years is the won’t‑go years, but if we’re really going to spend one day, you actually are going after that one day. You want to carve it up that way, I’m good with you, Mark. That’s fine.
Mark: The sad thing is I don’t have that much control over all of that. It’s really kind of fun when you think about the go‑go years. That’s what gets people excited about the opportunity to leave their working years behind and jump into retirement is the go‑go years.
How do you look at the go‑go years, Victor, for your clients? Because we’ve all heard of their “Hey, we can front end load our retirement a little bit because we’re going to be more active.”
Well, at the back end, we’re going to talk about all three of these phases. The back end, there might be more medical expenses it doesn’t mean that just because you got 90 years old, you’re not going as much, that there’s no cost anymore to retirement. That’s not the case, but I guess how do you look at the go‑go years?
I would think that’s an exciting part of your job when you sit down with people and they’re so excited about, “Hey, I got this bucket list on my list. I got this bucket list item.” They’re excited, aren’t they?
Victor: I think most of them are but I do want to spend the moment with the folks that aren’t getting excited about retirement because what I’ve experienced is that it’s very difficult when you lose the identity as a working member of society.
What your job your job was. What you get up everyday to go and do. That has a lot of sense of identity. As people start to plan their retirement, I found that the most successful people are those that have a purpose or identity post‑retirement.
Those are could be the people that do come in on those go‑go years really excited about what they are going to be doing because they know that they’re going to be traveling or spending time with grandkids or picking up a new hobby or volunteering at the hospital and shepherding some families around worried about somebody might be in surgery.
Whatever that’s going to look like, I know that if they’ve identified the purpose, a way of creating an identity post their working years, they’re going to have a much more successful retirement because they’re going to have this purpose that just is bigger than them. That’s really important.
When we think about how to plan around for the go‑go years if you’re coming in for retirement and you have plans about what it is that you wan to do, many times those plans have got little sales tags associated with them, right?
They’re cost items. They are things that we have to plan for especially if we’re thinking about travel. Whether it’s travel for pleasure like you’re going to go some place exotic as part of what you’re doing, or versus travel involved to visit where all of your grandkids are and they may be spread across the country and you want to be able to do that.
There are usually price tags associated with that and what’s important is for us to be able to help you understand whether or not that’s all possible. That’s where we’re going to have to take a look and say, well, that’s something we can or can’t do based on what you have or if it’s something that, if it is possible how do we ensure that it’s something that you can do with complete peace of mind.
That whatever you are planning for, you can do with the comfort and calmness of knowing that it totally fits within your budget for retirement and for you to be able to be successful.
We really like planning for the go‑go years because for the people that have had a good, clear design about what it is that they’re going to be doing, it’s the thing that launches them with a lot of momentum into retirement where they’re loving it.
They’re going and everyday is Saturday and they’re spending time…They’re gardening and they’re reading and they’re doing all the things that they want to do and I really want to encourage that because the people that don’t take advantage of it, when we start talking about the slower‑go or the no‑go years, after that, it’s usually because health considerations have started to overcome them. Then it’s their last opportunity.
We think about each one of these stages, it’s very difficult to go backwards. Often it never happens, right? you don’t go from this slow‑go years and now the go‑go years. You don’t go backwards from that. Take advantage of the go‑go years that you have so that you can really, fully live in retirement.
Mark: Now, I will say this though. Is there opportunities for somebody that’s in the go‑go phase whose spouse gets sick. All of a sudden they’ve gone to slow‑go because that’s where the spouse sits at this point. the spouse then passes away and the other surviving spouse pops back into the go‑go years.
Those kind of things can happen. Everybody’s situation is different is what I think is so interesting…
Victor: That’s a really good point, Mark. I overlook that. I was thinking about the individual’s perspective that usually when your health starts to go down, you don’t go backwards but you are right.
I do encounter, especially from the estate planning and elder law side, a lot of couples that we’re doing planning for where one of the spouses may have come down with Alzheimer’s, or they’re dealing with MS, and so the entire family has gotten into the no‑go or slow‑go years to be able to deal with this issue.
Then, after somebody passes away, they are then, I don’t want to say the word “free,” but their life circumstances have changed. They’re healthy enough and they are taking advantage of the time that they had to put on the shelf being a caregiver for somebody else, to then go and take advantage of it. I think that is definitely on the menu for some folks, that is a possibility as well.
Mark: You think about all these stages, we all go through them, the go‑go, the slow‑so, the no‑go, we’re going to break them all down for you. If you like to talk to Victor about how do I plan for all of this, 856‑506‑8300. 856‑506‑8300.
I like to stay in the go‑go years because that’s the more fun time, I think, that we all have when we think about retirement. Is that something that you have to put into that retirement plan, that “Make It Last” plan process that you do with your clients?
“Hey, Victor, we’re going to travel overseas for one month. We’re going to stay at home.” That’s different planning. You really have to get an idea of what their retirement’s going to look like from their viewpoint, don’t you?
Victor: Sure, that’s totally true. We need to know what your plans are, what your goals are. One of the first things that we do in the meetings that we have with clients. If you were to come in, what we’d do is go through nine areas as part of your overall planning where we’re looking at each one of your goals, and what are we starting with to really understand whether or not we can make this thing happen for you.
Yes, we need to know that but actually, I want to take this opportunity to talk about the value of planning because even for the people that walk in with clear designs about what they are going to do, if that was the only thing that they needed to do for planning, there probably wouldn’t be any place for us going forward.
What we experience is that there’s enough of the ground that shifts underneath them that their goals change, that their desires change, that the landscape that they were relying on, like taxes or in investments when the market changes.
Really, the value of an advisor in your life, especially when holistic the way that we are just doing legal and financial for people under one roof, what it allows you to is have pick up that one Bat Phone if there’s something wrong in Gotham.
You just got to pick up that one phone and say, “How does this affect my plan now? With this new information, what’s changed?” While we’re creating a plan now, based on what people want to do in their go‑go years, they want to travel and we say we can make that happen.
The real value that we bring is that when that answer changes and they come back again and say, “Ah, I’m sorry but this spouse now came down with Alzheimer’s, what does that mean?” A real serious thing like that.
Or, “It turns out that travel wasn’t what we thought it was cracked up to be. Actually, what we want is a second home and we want it over by the beach so the kids come in. Can we do that? Is that something that we can do?” It’s when the circumstances change, the value of the advisor really comes in because what we can do is refine the plan and help you navigate towards that new goal.
Mark: It’s a great point. If we just retired and then at 20 years of perfect health and then passed away in our sleep, there’s not a lot of what‑ifs along that path. The problem is we never know what’s going to happen.
If I could, I want to go back. In the next segment, we’re going to get into the slow‑go years, the no‑go years, some of the things that we need to think about in those areas, because I think the go‑go years are the fun time to think about mostly as what we’re going to do, how we’re going to spend our time, and the like.
I want to go back to your mental side of retirement. For me, when I retire I’m going to miss you, Victor. I’m going to miss doing the show, but I know that there’s somebody that can handle my job very easily.
I’m going to go ride off and go play golf and I’ll probably be fine, but for somebody like you that has two companies that you’ve made very successful helping others, Medina Law Group, Palante Wealth, your identity a lot to a degree is tied up in the company. When you retire, it’s going to be harder to walk away, I would think. That’s a big mindset challenge.
Victor: It is, and actually it gives me an opportunity to talk about a secret project that we have going on that we’ll talk more about in the future issues of the episodes of the show. We’re actually in the process of creating a planner for clients in retirement.
It’s not available yet but it has me thinking how to answer exactly that question, Mark, which is how do we guide people through retirement so that they can discover what their purpose is going to be, what their contribution is going to be, how they’re going to find significance, what are they going to be able to enhance about themselves?
What skills are they going to work on, how are they going to better themselves, really enjoy retirement, and find those elements that will help them either reestablish an identity that is after their working years or really maximize and squeeze the juice out of their retirement life because they know that they aren’t wasting any of their days, that they’re doing exactly what they want and it’s really serving their purpose.
I would say that in that whole spectrum, whether it’s people that are so closely tied to their working identity, needing to find something else that’s worthwhile for them and the way of being in retirement that is as significant as what they were before.
Or if it’s just folks that say, “I have a pretty good idea of what it is I want to do. Let me just not miss the boat on it, let me just make sure that I’m taking advantage of everything that I thought was possible into there.”
Both of those are really important to do because if you’re not enjoying, if you don’t have the right emotional or mental sides to retirement, I don’t care how much money you’ve got. This is not what that’s about. Forget about the fact that we’re creating an extra paycheck for you on a regular basis.
These are the times that you really need to be reflecting back like, “I really enjoyed that. That was really awesome. Through retirement, I was able to do exactly what I wanted to. I found a great new purpose in what I was doing. I was able to contribute beyond myself.”
That’s going to be the stuff that lasts longer than any of the money that we’ve created for you and how you spent it.
Mark: When you think about all this planning that goes into this, certainly I say that jokingly but I would certainly like to see that happen, that I’m 15 years in the go‑go, a couple years in the slow‑go and I’m one night in the no‑go. That would be really nice, but I don’t have a lot of control over that.
As we all know, things happen. Maybe you go to the go‑go years, you’re super excited and the go‑go years only last two or three years because of a health issue. That’s life, right? We have to have a plan for whatever happens. Victor said it very well because things happen and we have to be able to adjust.
The “Make It Last” process that Victor runs his clients through, it’s not written in ink because things happen. We have to be able to adjust as we move along. If you like to get this process started, just come in and talk to him. Find out where you are, “What do I need to be doing? Am I on the right track? Can I retire? When can I retire? Do I have enough?”
Those are big questions. 856‑506‑8300 is the number, 856‑506‑8300. Of course, the Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth serve the Pennington, the Greater Mercer County area as well as Bucks County. There’s clients in New Jersey, there’s clients in Pennsylvania, they’re here to help. They just don’t know if they can help you until you give them a call.
Why don’t you do it right now? Great time. 856‑506‑8300.
We’re talking about the three stages of life that we will all go through. Hopefully, it’s longer in the go‑go years. Sometimes that’s not how it works out but there is the go‑go years, the slow‑go years and the no‑go years. We’re going to come back and talk about some of the challenges in those years, the slow‑go and the no‑go right after this. This is Make It Last with Victor Medina.
Mark: Glad you’re with us for Make It Last with Victor Medina of Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. I’m Mark Elliot. Glad you’re with us. We’re talking about the three stages of life that we all go through in retirement is what we’re talking about, the go‑go years, the slow‑go years and the no‑go years.
I think the old Bucket List movie got everybody excited about, “Wow, just because I retired, my life is not over. There’s a lot of life to be lived.” It struck a chord with that generation and so excited. The baby‑boomer generation, they’re a go‑go generation. At some point, you’re not going to go as much.
Victor, my mom is 84. A couple years ago, her and a friend decided to drive from the middle of the country to Charleston, South Carolina. She had always thought, “Man, that place always sound so beautiful, historic, I want to go there.” She drove 20 hours there. When she came back, she said, “That was a wonderful trip that I am never doing it again.”
I said, “Mom, congratulations. You’ve hit the slow‑go years. You can still go, but you don’t want to as much.” How do you look at the slow‑go? The go‑go years, we all get it. The Bucket List, we’re excited. slow‑go, it’s not that we can’t, it’s just that maybe we don’t want to as much.
Victor: I think it’s partially that. By the way, it is not that we can’t but it’s just much harder for us to do that. What usually visits on us are health‑related concerns specifically things that affect our mobility and whatever the demands of travel would be or the demands of a up‑and‑go life. Usually, it’s health‑related concerns that slow us down.
Sometimes not in a way that ends our life where we would just won’t go anywhere, but it’s not the same. We can’t navigate the cobblestone streets in Portugal and we can’t deal with the getting up early to go and volunteer at a new job or a part‑time job or something else that we have going on there.
The slow‑go years really are about just taking the time that we’re filling or that we needed to fill with all the go‑go stuff and then starting to think about what are the requirements for us now, if there is a health‑related concern or something like that, is that going to place a new demand on the way that our assets are being used and what we’re spending in the paycheck that we need every month?
Is it going to change what the demands are on our plan? That’s really what I think about.
Mark: Yeah, because you’re thinking about the go‑go years. I think we all think we’re going to spend more money in that phase of our life, we’re going, we’re spending, we’re traveling, we’re doing whatever that we want to do. We get to the slow‑go and the no‑go. Now we don’t have as much expenditures.
We get into the slow‑go years and certainly the no‑go years. no‑go years, you might need to be in a facility. The slow‑go years, you might have more health issues. Just because we’re not going as much doesn’t mean we need a lot less money. Is it?
Victor: No, that’s exactly right. It doesn’t mean that we need less money. In fact, many times we need it as much or sometimes even more. Those costs are crazy, Mark.
You started looking at the cost of a long‑term care facility and not necessarily just a nursing home where you’re just all the time under health concern, but even in assisted living facility or an independent living facility where you’re just in a place where those are where the activities are.
They’re going to range anywhere in New Jersey and it’s northeast cost, they’re going to range anywhere between $5,500 and $8,000 a month depending if it’s single or married coverage and what’s available in those facilities.
If we’re talking about generating a check that is getting spent on one place for your meals and your roof over your head and maybe some coloring books, that’s a lot of money for that. It’s really as much as probably what we were spending if we’re talking about an extra spending of anywhere between $60,000 to $90,000 a year is what we were doing when we were traveling.
It is definitely important to realize that the slow‑go years does not mean that we’ve turned off the spigot on the flow of money. If anything, we’ve kept it up.
This is where it becomes important to start thinking about protecting against that risk with the use of something like long‑term care insurance.
This is really difficult to just give everybody the same blanket advice on the radio because there are a lot of factors that go into that. What kind of policy should you have? Are you even healthy enough to get one? Should it be part of your annuity income rider? Should it be using life insurance with accelerated death benefits?
There’s a lot of variations in there, but I will tell you what are the most important things to consider. One of those things is to make sure that it is a policy that covers your needs when you need them.
One of the biggest things that’s overlooked is thinking about the healthcare costs as they are today. If you’re putting this long‑term care policy in place for sometime in the future, like 10, 15 years, when you think you are going to need it, guess what? The costs are going to be more than, so we have to escape to where the puck is going to be on that.
The other thing that we want to make sure is that, with respect to anything that looks like that solution, that it is something that we will have with us when we need it.
The worst thing that we see happen is, people will take a long‑term care policy where they have to pay premiums every year. As their expenses go up, they ditch it as they’re getting older and that’s exactly the time that they need it. We like to look at solutions to this that are a little bit more guaranteed that it will always be there.
Maybe it’s just paying for a little bit point in time and then it’s fully paid and we don’t have to put any more money into it. That becomes a good way of solving it. Lots of little wrinkles to this, but what’s important is that people need to do this planning, Mark, before they get sick.
They don’t do it in their slow‑go years, they do it prior to their slow‑go years. Most of the time, if we’re solving this with forms of insurance to help it, the underwriting for that, you got to be healthy enough for it. If you’re waiting until you’re in your slow‑go years, guess what, the insurance company doesn’t want to talk to you.
You’re already drawing from that. You’re not somebody that they want to have a conversation with. It’s definitely something that you need to have in place before you actually get to that stage.
Mark: You think about, you’re going into retirement, you don’t not think about those things that you might need down the road. Whether it’s long‑term care, whether it is how you’re going to leave your money behind? To beneficiaries, to charities, whatever it is.
You do all of that right out of the gate because beneficiaries may change. There’s a lot of things that may change, so you put it in place before you get to that point where you need it. 856‑506‑8300. 856‑506‑8300.
When you get to the no‑go years, you really are trying to wrap things up. Where am I going to leave my money? How am I going to do it? I know you have a report on, 920elderlaw.com. What’s that all about? That seems like that fits right in here in the no‑go years.
We don’t want to wait till we’re in the no‑go year zone to think about elder law. Talk about that report on 920elderlaw.com, that’s free of charge to anybody that wants it.
Victor: With my lawyer hat on, I’m a certified elder law attorney, which is a specific designation for helping people that are in retirement, post‑retirement navigating the world of elder law to make sure that things like protecting assets against long‑term care and making sure you avoid a guardianship.
Just making sure that you navigate that world is very specific to folks that are getting older. That designation has allowed us to create a guide that can help educate people before we get into that crisis mode. What we did is we created that guide, it’s entitled, “Don’t Let Your Health Destroy Your Family’s Wealth.”
It’s a great guide for you to download. You go to, 920elderlaw.com, you put in your name and your email, so we know where to send it to, then we’ll send you this guide. This kind of planning, Mark, is something that you absolutely need to get done before you’re in those stages.
Too many times, clients come into us in crisis. We’re meeting with the daughter because the mom’s in the nursing home. They’re like, what can you do? Look, the kitchens on fire, what do you want me to do? There’s stuff that we can help you with, but if you had mom come and see us before this happened, we would have been able to do so much more.
What we’re doing by providing this guide in this report is to allow people to understand what the risks are as part of what you need to get in place for elder law for your asset protection. If you do that ahead of time, my goodness, are your choices better.
My goodness, are you going to be in a position where more assets are saved, that your options on how you get your long‑term care are broader and you don’t have to worry about Medicaid devastating your home. They’re all really positive benefits. The only way that we can do that is when we start to talk to people before the need arises.
We provided this report as a way for people to be able to get into this discussion, because it’s not things that people are often familiar with, but doing it away before you actually need it. All you have to do is go to, 920elderlaw.com, put in your name and email address, and we’ll send you that report free of charge.
Mark: Yeah. Hopefully, you’re getting the idea that you don’t wait for these types of things because we don’t know. I joke around and say I’m going to be in the go‑go phase for 15 years, the slow‑go for two years, one night in the no‑go. I have no idea how that’s going to play out.
We can always hope for the best but we better be planning for the worst. That means you need to start all this planning process when you’re really getting closer to retirement. You should probably have all these wills and powers of attorney and all those kinds of things in before you even get to that point. There’s a lot of moving parts.
You can always call Victor and the team, 856‑506‑8300 to talk about all of this. You think about these three stages. We’re all going to go through them but we don’t really know the time lines for each. It could be long, could be short, we don’t know. The go‑go, the slow‑go, the no‑go, there are different challenges in each one of these phases.
Do you ever talk about this with your clients in this way, go‑go, slow‑go, no‑go? It makes it a little bit easier to understand. “Wow, I need a comprehensive plan for all three of these phases.”
Victor: Yeah, it does. It allows us to frame that discussion because as you were saying, a lot of people will enter this thinking that retirement’s going to only have one picture that it’s not going to change, or as you were saying that you’re going to know exactly how much time you’re going to spend, or how many hours you are going to spend in each one of them.
We don’t know. The purpose of thinking about it this way of breaking it down says, “Well, what if this happens? What would you do if this is what was going on? How do we plan if this is the circumstance that we have?” Thinking about in each one of those different phases. What it allows us to do is build a plan that will allow us to have the best options in each one of those situations.
It’s like this thing is, “Well, I know that I want to end up someplace if I’m sailing a ship way out there. It’s really important to make sure that my ship is aimed in the right direction. This is like a big aircraft carrier. If something is off, we’re going to be off by hundreds of miles by the time that we need something.”
It’s very difficult to make a real sharp turn and what we need to do. If we think about time segmenting these things where your go‑go years are your first part of your retirement, here’s slow‑go years might be in the second or third phase of your retirement in that second or third decade of what your retirement is.
By the time we get to no‑go years, it’s at the final end. We start thinking about time segmenting it. Now, we can layer on top of that, for example, what your investments look like because we might be allocating some of this money for use that is in one of these other phases. The sooner that we get it and working in that area, the better benefits going to have for you.
Knowing that that’s the purpose of that particular bucket of money, whatever that looks like, whatever that investment looks like, whatever that strategy looks like is that it’s for that time in your life. The idea is that if we’re able to think about that before you’re actually there, your choices get better, your options get better, your quality of life gets better.
It’s super important to think about it ahead of time. The other part is working with somebody like us that had focus in retirement that can see each one of these phases for a lot of their clients and then help you navigate what it is that that’s going to look like.
Mark: Remember, there’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of moving pieces. That’s why Palante Wealth is about holistic planning for your retirement, the income strategies, investment strategies, tax strategies, moving forward. Medina Law Group can certainly help you with all the estate needs, elder law stuff. It’s all a moving part.
There’s no guarantees for any of us on any of this. That’s why Victor and the team put together that report on 920elderlaw.com and you can get it downloaded right to you. They’ll send it to you. 920elderlaw.com. A lot of great information there. There’ll be some things that you probably haven’t thought about.
Why not get this free report? 920elderlaw.com. Of course, at the end of the day, why not sit down with a team, and let’s get started on your situation. What are your hopes and dreams for retirement? What are you going to do? How are you going to spend your time? What happens if? Hey, do you need a new car in the first five years of retirement?
We better plan for it. You’re going to take the family to Hawaii. Well, we better plan for it. There’s a lot of moving parts and Victor and the teams are here to help. 856‑506‑8300 is the number. Again no cost for this, 856‑506‑8300. There’s no time like the present. Let’s get started. 856‑506‑8300.
We’re headed to our final segment of Make It Last with Victor Medina right after this short time‑out.
Mark: I’m glad you’re with us today for Make It Last with Victor Medina of Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth. You can find out more about the estate planning, the certified elder law attorney of Victor Medina on the website, medinalawgroup.com. M‑E‑D‑I‑N‑A. medinalawgroup.com.
You want to find out more about retirement planning, income, how am I going to replace my paychecks that are no longer coming in?
What should I be doing investment‑wise? Should I be tweaking a little bit? Am I going to invest at 65 like I did at 35? Maybe? Maybe not. Everybody’s situation is different.
How am I going to handle taxes? We know taxes, we least think taxes are going up. There’s a lot of changes coming, it sounds like. We know of nothing if the Biden administration does nothing. We know that taxes are going to revert back to 2017 rates in brackets, January 1st of 2026.
There’s tax raises coming our way. How do we handle all of that? Victor and the team, they’re here to help. 856‑506‑8300.
Victor, if I asked you, what do you think the average retiree…how many years is an average retirement today in today’s world?
Victor: I think because we’ve seen all these advances in medical care and people are living longer, even though some of them retire longer. We plan somewhere between 25 and 30 years, and that’s an average length of a retirement. It’s almost a full quarter or fourth of their entire life span.
Mark: If you retire at 65, it’s not unusual at all that you’re going to hit the age of 95. The average ages keep going up and certainly, the pandemic would have an impact on that probably. Typically, or it used to be…What was it? 19…Let me give you some ages.
In 1900, life expectancy was 49. In 1960, it was 69. In ’04, it was 80. Now, it’s kind of mid‑80s. It’s not unusual. We retired for 20 or 30, or even over 30 years, because the largest group that’s growing is the group that is hitting the age of 100.
You’ve got to think about that when it comes to retirement. Think about it. We’re in 2021. What is 30 years from now? That would be 2051.
If you’re retiring right now, it’s not unlikely that you will be here probably in 2050. We’re going to go back in time today. We’re going to go back to 1990. What was going on in 1990? It was the Gulf War. Nelson Mandela released from prison. NASA launching the Hubble telescope into space, or maybe you go to things like the TV show, “The Simpsons,” and it’s still on today.
I don’t watch the Simpsons, but I know a lot of people like it. I do remember the movies. I’m more of a movie guy. “Ghost.” Did you see Ghost, Victor?
Victor: I did. Yeah…
Mark: Patrick Swayze, Demi…
Victor: Whoopi Goldberg. Yeah, I remember that.
Mark: No, Ghost was Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore on it. I think it was.
Victor: But Whoopi Goldberg was the ghost.
Mark: Oh yeah, no, you’re exactly right. That is right. I forgot about Whoopi. Yeah. “Dances with Wolves” with Kevin Costner, “Pretty Woman,” Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, “Home Alone,” the classic. Whatever you think back to 1990, it’s interesting.
What were you in 1990? Victor, we go back 30 years. You weren’t in business yet, were you? You didn’t start Medina Law until ’06.
Victor: No, no, no. I was about to graduate college two years later, so 1990. I was 15 years old, Mark. I was about to graduate high school. Yes, 1993 that I graduated. So yeah, I was 15 years old.
Mark: You were Lucas’. You’re about like Lucas’ age at that point.
Victor: Yeah, exactly. I’ll be a sophomore in high school.
Mark: You think back and for those of us that are 60, I’m 61. We can certainly remember 1990. Now the crazy thing is when you look back in time, the median home value, $79,100. What is that buy you in Bucks County today or Mercer County?
Victor: Not a chance. I’m not even sure you could get…I don’t think you can get your kitchen done in this town for that kind of money these days.
Mark: The Dow ended the year in 1990 at 26.33. That’s different. You could get a CD at the bank with an interest rate of around eight percent. We would love to see that again. Here’s the deal, it would cost you around $12 to $15 for a CD. They don’t even put CD players in cars anymore.
The new cars don’t even have CDs, because you can just play your phone through your car. It’s totally different and I think you’re in high school. Certainly, you remember this, don’t you, Victor?
Victor: Probably the first time that that’s been played on this radio station since 1990. I probably guess.
Mark: “Ice, Ice Baby,” Vanilla Ice. This was August 22nd, 1990. Number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. It is fun to go back and I think it is. It’s one of the things that radio does. It sticks in your mind. You can remember the songs from your high school days, your college days. And so, it’s really interesting, I think to go back in time.
What we’re thinking about here is that we can go back 30 years, but are you ready to go forward 30 years for your retirement and see your entire life in front of your eyes? You think about 1990, Victor, as well. There was a recession in 1990. It wasn’t long, it lasted just eight months. And then it was a little sluggish recovery from job losses.
And so there were some challenges then. There were a few things that were cited as factors to that short‑lived recession. There was a restrictive monetary policy by the Federal Reserve to lower the rate of inflation, poor consumer confidence, real estate collapse, a jump in oil prices. I mean these kind of things we see them come back when we have bumps in the road.
Anything from…because 1990 after that little recession, it was the great decade on Wall Street. It was a phenomenal decade on Wall Street, followed by the loss decade on Wall Street.
One of the challenges if you retire with all of your money sitting in the market, and you’re just going to live on that four percent withdrawal, boy, I hope the markets are good for you then when you retire, because it’s a different retirement today. People aren’t coming in with you most anyway, probably not.
90 percent of your people coming in, they don’t have pensions. It’s a different retirement time and we can’t have everything at risk, can we?
Victor: It’s totally a different retirement time. Everybody has these little windows and there’s a great difference between starting a few years in between these different recessions that have happened or these different bull markets that have happened.
Clearly, I wasn’t an advisor in 1990. Clearly, I didn’t advise people how to get through the depression or recession the way that had happened for that period of time. But I will tell you that there’s a lot of information to glean from the concept that these things do happen. They happen at times that people least expect that they’re going to happen.
Then coming into 1990 when the purposes and one of the reasons why there was a recession is there’s this restrictive monetary policy trying to hedge inflation at a time where interest rates are relatively high. You’d think, “Well, jeez, there’s a lot of room in this for us to be able to do things and keep it going.”
But there’s actually some by most accounts of mismanagement, when that occurred. Here’s where we go from there going forward is that we expect that these things are going to happen. We just can’t predict exactly when.
Because we can’t predict when, the best thing that we can do is be in a position that if it happens tomorrow, that you will be OK with your retirement. We need to plan for that. What does that mean for people that are entering retirement in terms of having all of their money in the market, or having all of their money at risk?
It means that there’s a tremendous risk that if it does happen tomorrow, you’re going to have one of the like, less good retirements than the people that have completely up market for the beginning portion of their retirement, especially over that 30 years. If you look back 30 years, we just went through two different setbacks in the market, two different sets of recessions.
In fact there was even within that, not quite 30 years, but coming into the COVID response, almost a third for that period of time.
If you don’t get in a position where you’ve taken some of these winnings off the table, protected some of this money, make it available for you, regardless of what’s going of the market, and that the market changes the downside of the market don’t impact how good your retirement’s going to be.
If you don’t do that, you’re going be at risk that if it happens to you, if you cut that wrong calendar period, that wrong frame, you’re just not going to have as good of retirement if you caught the other one.
What do we do for clients? Well, in creating a Make It Last plan, where we’re looking at four elements of their overall planning life, we’re looking at their income, their investments, their taxes, their estate planning.
When we create a plan like that, what we put in there, what we bake into everyone of them, even though all of them are a little bit different, what we do bake into all of them is the flexibility to withstand a market correction the next day, the next period of time, because it could happen that quickly.
Look, if it doesn’t happen. That’s OK. The plan still is successful, but if it does happen, then you’re not on the phone worrying about it. Then you’re not up late at night. You’re not losing sleep, because your plan already contemplated the idea that there might be a recession. That’s really what’s important about putting a plan in place.
That’s why, when we did have a market correction, and of course with COVID, we didn’t have any clients calling us concerned that their plan wasn’t going to work because they knew, when we put this plan together for them in the first place, that it was going to contemplate from the beginning.
It was going to happen, just happened to happen maybe a little earlier than we thought. We’d just done it the year before and so, they’re going to be OK. If you want to get to that point in time, if you want to get to the point in time where you’re not losing sleep about what’s going on, or that you know that you have a plan that can withstand these little different things that happen in this time machine, in the last 30 years going 30 years forward.
If it ain’t going happen to you tomorrow. If you want that kind of plan you’ve got reach out to us to be able to take the next step. Now, we want to work with people that are, are good people that are fun to work with and then have something to probably consult, but we don’t know anything about you unless you give us a call.
We can meet with you and learn a little bit about you so the way you do that you contact the team at 856‑506‑8300. We’ve got openings. Have you come in and we’ll have a conversation. You’ll initially speak with Susan, who’s our Director of Business and Client Strategy, and she’s going to talk a little bit about what it is we do, make sure you’re a great fit for us and move you along onto the path.
We’ve got this great team in place that can help you put a Make It Last plan in place for you so that you don’t have to worry about where your income is coming from, how your income investments are positioned, whether or not you’ve made too much in taxes and how your estate plan is set up.
You got that all done under one umbrella. We love doing that for clients. Love to have a chance to talk to you about it.
Mark: 856‑506‑8300. Again, there’s no cost. There’s no obligation. There’s no pressure for this. The team’s here to help. 856‑506‑8300. Be proactive, not reactive. Let’s get started today. 856‑506‑8300.
Final thing, quickly here. One of the things that helped the economy recover from the ’90 recession was emerging technology like the desktop computer. November 12th, 1990, the concept of the World Wide Web was formally proposed by Tim Berners‑Lee. I always thought it was Al Gore.
I was mistaken, right? A lot of things have happened since 1990. Think about your retirement. If you retired today, what all will transpire by the time we hit 2050? It’s more than likely you’re going be around. If you’re retiring today, or you’re 55 today, you’re going to be around in 2050 or 2065. You’re probably going to be around in 2050. A lot of moving parts.
Mark: Victor’s teams, Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth, are here to help you plan for your retirement. What if this happens? What if that happens? How do we deal with it? What if the markets go backwards? We don’t want that to happen, but they certainly do. We’ve all lived through that. The Make It Last plan is all about you.
Again, that number’s 856‑506‑8300. 856‑506‑8300. Victor, enjoyed it, as always. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Have a great week. We’re going to do it again next week.
Announcer: Taxes are just a fact of life. You can’t avoid it even in retirement, but what if I told you there are ways to minimize what you pay in taxes? Victor Medina and his team can help. To learn more, visit 920taxes.com to get your free copy of Victor Medina’s tax guide. 920taxes.com, that’s the numbers 9‑2‑0‑taxes.com.
Mark: Palante Wealth Advisors are an independent financial services firm that utilizes a variety of investment and insurance products. Medina Law Group is an independent estate planning and elder law firm. Investment advisory services offered through Palante Wealth Advisors, LLC at New Jersey and Pennsylvania registered investment advisor.
Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principle. Any references to protection, safety, or lifetime income generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims‑paying abilities of the issuing carrier.
This radio show is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual situation. Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth Advisors are not permitted to offer, and no statement made during this show, shall constitute tax or legal advice.
Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US government or any governmental agency.
The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by Medina Law Group and Palante Wealth Advisors.
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