The Smart Take:
When choosing investment vehicles, for many people the most important factor is the guarantee that they’ll receive a certain amount of income across their lifetime. But what exactly will that guarantee cost you? We’ll find out on the fifth and final episode in the Retirement Income Planning Series.
Prefer to read? See below for the transcript of the show.
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Introduction: 00:03 Welcome to Retire Smarter with Kevin Kroskey. Find answers to your toughest questions and get educated about the financial world. It’s time to Retire Smarter.
Thanks for being with us for another edition of Retire Smarter. I’m Walter Storholt alongside Kevin Kroskey. He’s the President and Wealth Advisor at True Wealth Design, serving you with offices in Akron, Canfield and throughout Northeastern Ohio.
Walter Storholt: 00:27 You can find us online by going to TrueWealthDesign.com and don’t forget, to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcasting app. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts. You can access us through the Spotify app as well if you’d like to use that, Stitcher, all those good ones. And if there’s one that you particularly like that we aren’t on, for some reason we’re not into the store of your favorite podcasting app, just let us know and we’ll get it submitted there. You can let us know by going to TrueWealthDesign.com and contacting us through the webpage and we’ll certainly be able to get that on any platform that you desire. Kevin, great to chat with you once again, I can’t believe we’re finally here. Part number five, our final episode in this series that we’re doing on retirement income planning.
Kevin Kroskey: 01:12 Yes. Here we are. We we’ve been talking about, and I’m not going to do a full recap if anybody’s just coming into this episode and maybe a first-time listener one, we’re happy to have you, but if you’re just kind of diving in mid-series, actually the last episode had a fairly lengthy recap of the prior ones, although I’m sure everybody’s going to want to go back and listen to a, to every single minute of every podcast, right? At least maybe my mom will. But well we’re going to talk about today is kind of put a button on everything that we’ve gone over in the series. And one of the things that I had mentioned a few times was that you know, guarantees for retirement income sound great, you know, who wouldn’t want that? But then when we talked about, you know, falling more investing type framework and outline some of the issues with that. But what am I going to do today is really measure and reference some things about how expensive these guarantees really are. And then, you know, hopefully, make it clear to somebody the choice and the tradeoff. And so they can help determine whether or not it’s worthwhile to them.
Walter Storholt: 02:22 Well that tradeoff is really what grabbed my attention at the end of the last episode when we were specifically talking about spending and why somebody would want to, you know, go the route of saying, yeah, I’ve got to be dynamic with my spending and retirement because things go up and go down. Well, some people get nervous about that or they get uncomfortable with that concept, that idea. And so when the marketing message of guarantees, guaranteed income and the like come across the screen or across the radio airwaves, you know, people tend to pay very close attention. Or as you’ve mentioned in the past, Kevin, maybe it’s through the mail, through the mailbox, getting, you know, flyers and leaflets talking about guaranteed income and the benefits of that kind of income in your portfolio. And maybe as the sort of the magic bullet to this big retirement planning question. In any event, it draws a lot of attention from folks. And so I’m interested to hear your take on what that trade-off looks like. Is going for the guarantee worthwhile or is the expense of getting that surety something that you know really needs to be highlighted here? So, what would take us in the right direction?
Kevin Kroskey: 03:30 Sure. So, if we’re talking, we’re talking about guarantees, we are talking about insurance and as I’ve mentioned, you know, we all have some Social Security benefit. Some people are fortunate to have a pension benefit and maybe a sizeable one. So there’s already guaranteed income there. So smart decisions already need to be made there on how to best claim those. But then, and you know, for the additional monies that you’ve accumulated, anything that we’re talking about is buying additional guaranteed income. And typically that’s through some sort of annuity. You know, we’ve had a couple of prior podcasts episodes where we talked about, I think the title was “The Myth of the No Cost Fixed Annuity.” Then we also and took variable annuities out to the woodshed immediately after and just talked about some of the problems and some of the high costs and outlined a lot of the same things. So we’re going to talk about today, but this is going to come at it from a different angle and specifically at the retirement income and these annuities, you know, there have been annuities have been around for literally hundreds of years and they were very simple ones.
Kevin Kroskey: 04:28 We’ve gotten fancier ones if you will over the last 20 years or so. Anybody who wants to better kind of understand these different forms of annuities. I’ll go back to listen to those prior podcasts, but we’re going to talk about today are the ones that are most commonly sold today are these, they’re deferred annuities. So they are basically, you know, you put money into it and hope it grows. But there’s also this kind of, this hypothetical account of, it’s called an income account and there’s a rider attached to the annuity riders, just a kind of an insurance contract term where there’s some additional benefit. And so on. On one hand, you have this, you know, kind of the cash that’s in the annuity. And on the other hand, you have this hypothetical income account and most annuities today are so-called with what’s called a guaranteed living withdrawal benefit.
Kevin Kroskey: 05:17 So basically, you know, you can get to age, say 60 husband and wife and you can start pulling out 4.5% of whatever the income account value is, not the cash account, but the income account value for your lifetimes. And so we talked about that in detail, most notably on that variable annuity episode. But again, we’re going to look at it a little bit differently today. And I think I have a pretty simple example to think about this. So Walter, you recently, if I recall, he bought a new home with your wife, right? And I think you guys are maybe even kind of fixing it up.
Walter Storholt: 05:52 I’ve got paint all over my arms as we speak today. In fact, from the weekends painting extravaganza. Yes.
Kevin Kroskey: 05:59 Good man. Good man. So whenever you got that house I imagine you had to have insurance on it.
Kevin Kroskey: 06:08 Particularly, I know you did if you have a mortgage on it. So do you have insurance on your home Walter?
Walter Storholt: 06:12 Absolutely. Yes.
Kevin Kroskey: 06:13 Okay. Now, do you expect a profit from that insurance? Or said another way. Do you expect your house to burn down and get more insurance money than what the home is worth?
Walter Storholt: 06:22 No, not an expectation I’m taking into it.
Kevin Kroskey: 06:24 Right. So, and that’s how it works with, with all insurance, you’re transferring risks, you don’t expect to profit from it. Set another way. The same thing goes for casinos. You know, there may be people that you know that have gone to Vegas and have one and maybe you have selective memory. They tell you about the hand or pot the day one, but they don’t necessarily tell you about the cumulative amount of losses and how that greatly outweigh the win that they had.
Kevin Kroskey: 06:48 But as long as you play enough, it’s called the law of large numbers. The casino is going to win. The house is going to win, otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business. And the same goes for these insurance companies, whether it’s insurance on your house, whether it’s insurance on your car, whether it’s health insurance, whatever, you know there’s going to be a cost for the insurance. And on average, whoever buys insurance is a net loser because if they were a net winner, on average, there would be no such thing as an insurance company. So that’s the important thing to remember. I think it’s simpler to understand all this stuff because if anybody has ever been pitched an annuity, it gets complicated. I like to tell the story of a client who’s a contract attorney and had two of these things that they brought into my office before we started working together.
Kevin Kroskey: 07:34 And he said, I’m a contract attorney and I have no idea what these contracts say. So there are all kinds of bells and whistles. It’s created by the marketing department to be sellable. But what we’re going to try to do today is just kind of gives a straight truth. And I think the overarching principle is insurance has a cost to it. You’re transferring risk and for that transference, you know the insurance company’s going to pool the risk. But on average, anybody who’s buying insurance should expect to lose by the amount of what they paid for the insurance. Pretty logical. Fair statement, Walter?
Walter Storholt: 08:08 Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. And I like viewing it through the lens of, you know, either life insurance or the homeowner’s insurance. Viewing it through that lens kind of opens up the eyes a little bit more.
Kevin Kroskey: 08:19 So now that we have that simple overarching principle, so that may be okay. All right. And so we have this idea of a guarantee. On average we’re going to be a net loser, but now that I understand that, and that makes sense, is that still okay? Well, let’s put in context some of the anticipated costs of the insurance because if it’s insurance that I’m not getting charged an arm and a leg for that may be okay. If it’s really expensive insurance, then maybe it’s not worth it to me. So we’ve got to provide some context as to the cost. So here’s where I got to kind of get a little wonky. So forgive the numbers, but this is probably the best, at least the best way that I thought of to do this. So there’s a gentleman by the name of Dr. Wade Pfau. He is currently at the American College in Pennsylvania and he is a professor of retirement income.
Kevin Kroskey: 09:08 So we’re talking about retirement income. We’re talking to the professor and he’s done a lot of studies over the years. What I’m referencing is specifically a 2011 paper that he did and what most of these studies from Dr. Pfau or from others that have studied this. These writers have been around for about 20 years now. And so if you have a withdrawal plan for a retiree, so you cut the cord from work, you go ahead and you already have this beautiful plan that you put together maybe with the help of your well-informed advisor and is guiding you through this transition process. You made some smart decisions on Social Security and on your pension. If you have it, you stress test, your plan, you really measured the rate of return that you need, making sure that you’re not kind of leading with the chin and taking too much risk with the investment portfolio.
Kevin Kroskey: 09:58 And now you’re going to start, you know, selling some stuff in retirement. So if you think about what stocks and bonds do, they kick off some income. So it’s naturally generating some cash. And then on top of it, well, you know, maybe investment a or investment B is going to do better than the other one. And so if you need money for the next couple of months, you’re going to sell the thing that did better. So you kind of keep your overall proportions and aligned with where you want to be. And that is something simply called a systematic withdrawal plan. So you’re going to have this portfolio of investments, stocks, bonds, real estate, what have you, you know, in this beautifully constructed low cost, well-diversified portfolio and you’re systematically month by month, quarter by quarter are going to go ahead and take the cash. It’s naturally being kicked off and selling some of the things that do a little bit better than other things in the portfolio to go ahead and generate the income that you need to go ahead and live the life that you want.
Kevin Kroskey: 10:54 And so that’s the systematic withdrawal plan and what Dr. Pfau and all these other studies have done is compare that plan versus having an annuity and insurance-based strategy with this underlying guarantee. And really, again, the benefit, go back and listen to the prior podcast episode on the variable annuity, but why do people buy guarantees? One word is fear. They’re scared that they’re going to retire and you know, 2008 is going to happen and they’re going to run out of money. And so they say, well, I don’t like that. Fear is not good. Please solve my fear problem. I’m going to buy this guaranteed income. But again, we’re trying to go ahead and say, okay, the guarantee has a cost. And now we’re talking about how much does that cost really so we can make a more informed decision. So, what Dr. Pfau did in 2011 let’s compare the guaranteed approach versus the non-guaranteed approach.
Kevin Kroskey: 11:48 And he did basically over a 30 year period. So say if you’re retiring, say 62, you’ll live to your early nineties and making sure that your money lasted over these 30 year periods. And he went all the way back to 1926, which is really when we started having really good data historically speaking. And I think that’s important. We’ll kind of talk about non-historical data in a moment, but going back over the last ballpark hundred years for stock and bond returns and measuring, you know, Hey, did the systematic withdrawal plan work if it didn’t, when, and if the insurance or guaranteed base approach, when did that do better? And he had to have some assumptions on here for the guaranteed base strategy too. And he picked some very favorable ones. They’ll comment on a little bit more in detail, but basically a low-cost assumption on this annuity, which, you know, frankly isn’t really what’s sold out there more often than not.
Kevin Kroskey: 12:43 But what he found was over 30 year period. So you have somebody retiring in 1926 living 30 years and then somebody retiring 1927 living 30 years. And he did this actually with every quarter. So you kind of come up with this whole series of 30 year periods over that time. And what he found was that, you know, even though you had the Great Depression in the late 1920s even though you had interest rates rising a good bit, you know, after the post-world war II boom in the late 1960s through the 1970s you had 1973, 1974 where the oil embargo happened, stock prices went down by half, and bond returns were very poor because the interest rates were rising over that time period. So even though you had some of these really, really bad time periods in us market stock market history, what he found was the systematic withdrawal plan beat the guaranteed withdrawal plan every single time throughout history.
Kevin Kroskey: 13:43 You know what I say to that Walter? Perfection is quite a good record.
Walter Storholt: 13:48 Yeah, that’s an impressive statement to show that kind of comparison. And we’re not, we’re not talking like 80/20 or 70/30 split here.
Kevin Kroskey: 13:59 No, we’re not. And so when you hear that and it’s like, okay, well, what are they really providing insurance on? If you have a fireproof house and you’re selling fire insurance, well yeah, you’re going to have a perfection record there as well. But when you look, and we’ve talked about this in prior episodes, but when you look at history, you know, history is a good starting point when you’re talking about investment returns. But it certainly is a little bit short when you’re talking about what the returns are going to be in the future. Because you know, the past is not necessarily prologue.
Kevin Kroskey: 14:30 So maybe history is not going to repeat itself. Maybe you’re going to live longer than 30 years, maybe you’re going to, you know, beat the odds. Maybe you’re going to be like 40 or 45 years in retirement and need the income a lot longer. Maybe those investment returns that we had since 1926 are going to be lower, both in stocks or bonds or you know, maybe the underlying guarantee will allow you to go ahead and stay more disciplined through market downturns. You know, maybe rather than if you went through 2008 and I’m happy to say this didn’t happen to any of our clients, but going through 2008 and when you see your money go down by half, if you have a lot of stocks in the portfolio, you’re going to feel some pain, no doubt about it, particularly if you’re in retirement and don’t have a paycheck coming in from work.
Kevin Kroskey: 15:15 So what a lot of people do, and this is bad investor behavior, that happens time and time again, but they panic out. They say, you know, I’m going to sit this one out. I’m just going to wait on the sidelines, or I’m going to move over here and I’m going to put a Band-Aid on this big piece of pain that I have that’s causing me a lot of fear about the future. And they do that. And inevitably that bad investor behavior causes them financial harm because they don’t stay invested and they lose out on the rebound and they took the risk and they don’t stick around for the return. Again. Thankfully that didn’t happen to any of our clients in 2008 we had one client who lowered his risk and I said, you know, that’s fine, but we shouldn’t be kind of doing this willy nilly where we’re just going to lower it and then we’re going to raise it again down the road.
Kevin Kroskey: 15:56 We have to be at a level that you feel comfortable with. And so I was pretty happy with the record that we had there. But you know, it’s reasonable to say, and in fact, studies have shown that people with guarantees on their portfolio do tend to have a higher stock allocation within these variable annuities that they have. So I think that’s pretty reasonable. So where Wade Pfau looked back on history and went back to 1926 there’s another very smart gentleman who is the head of retirement research at Morningstar and his name is David Blanchett. And he did a study after Pfau and he considered a lot of these possibilities and most notably this was for looking. So, Dr. Wade Pfau was historical, was looking in the rearview mirror. David Blanchett looked at all of these. He said, well I won’t say all of them. I bet that implies everything.
Kevin Kroskey: 16:43 And we didn’t certainly talk about all the variables, but we talked a lot about the key ones and what Blanchett did. He said you know, what about if people live longer, what about if returns are lower? He also used some pretty favorable assumptions for a low cost guaranteed annuity, which again is not what’s typically sold there out there in the marketplace. But even in light of all of those, he reaffirmed Wade Pfau’s conclusion that taking withdrawals on a systematic basis. So again, not using insurance but using stocks, bonds, real estate, what have you in a portfolio and just selling a little bit over time to meet the cash flow that you need has a very high probability. And what he estimated at about 93% for couples have better outcomes. So only 7% of the instances with the guaranteed base approach work out better than the systematic withdrawal approach.
Kevin Kroskey: 17:40 And again, this is for looking factoring in that people may live longer than returns, could be lower, but also using some pretty favorable costs. Assumptions for what is typically a high-cost variable annuity. So whether you’re looking at history and you say, Hey, that record is perfection, that the non-guaranteed plan always works better, or whether you’re looking forward under some pretty reasonable slash favorable assumptions for the annuity and you have a 93% success, no matter how you strike it, you know the insurance is going to have a cost. And that’s exactly what these studies are showing. And that’s why the systematic withdrawal plan tends to work better and can be expected to work better going forward to take it one step further and put a number on it. As I alluded to, David Blanchett estimated that the net cost of the guarantee was about 7.5% of the dollars invested into the couple’s annuity.
Kevin Kroskey: 18:37 Let’s think about that for a moment. So suppose that you know, you’re 60 years old, you went and put together your plan and you’re debating, you know, after the, you have this beautifully constructed financial plan, you went ahead and made smart decisions on the pension, Social Security and you stress test your plan and now you’re making this decision of well with some or all of my savings and investments and when I got to go ahead and follow more of a, an insurance-based or guaranteed based approach to derive my retirement income or am I okay with the probability approach and investing in diversified low-cost fashion? Well, if you’re going to put $1 million if you have $1 million basically, and you’re going to put it in either one of these strategies, what blanch had estimated is you’re going to have to write a separate check for the guarantee to the tune of about $80,000 so that’s what it’s going to cost you to go ahead and provide that peace of mind.
Kevin Kroskey: 19:30 Another $80,000 and it’s only going to pay off per Blanchett study and about 7% of the time. So it’s a fairly low probability event that it’s the insurance is going to pay off for you. So if insurance companies price their product this way, if it didn’t come out of the marketing department and kind of go through some sort of sales tests like, Hey, this feature does this marketing brochure look good, how are we going to go ahead and put some lipstick on this pig? I mean to make this product sound attractive. If you actually just went ahead and had to write a check and make it very explicit for what the cost of the guarantee is, and you had $1 million, you’re writing a separate check for $80,000 to that insurance company for the guarantee, and Walter, I would submit that if these products are actually priced that way in that explicit nature, I could pretty much predict how many would be sold in. It’d be darn close to zero.
Walter Storholt: 20:21 Yeah. Yeah. You’d start dropping in percentages of people’s portfolios in quite a big way if you looked at it through that different lens. That’s what I find so interesting about this conversation, not just today’s podcast but all five that we’ve had in this retirement income planning series. Kevin, is that you know, and this is why I guess you called the show Retire Smarter, right? I mean the messaging, the marketing that’s out there from the financial realm doesn’t always match up with what’s truly in the best interest of an investor and on purpose. That sometimes is a really hard road to figure out, untangle and navigate through.
Kevin Kroskey: 20:56 I completely agree. I mean I think all the ideas behind the recommendations that we make for clients don’t come out of the marketing department of some company. They come out of the research department of a company or out of all the fine academic institutions, not only US but across the world on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to retirement, when it comes to investing, when it comes to retirement income, we need to first start there and follow this more science-based approach as to what works and what doesn’t before we get into the qualitative decisions. Because if you’re just coming out and looking at it and saying, oh guaranteed income, that sounds good. Yeah, I did not like 2008 well, it’s logical for a lot of people to go ahead and say, yeah, sign me up.
Kevin Kroskey: 21:41 And you see, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars going into these variable annuities and into these index annuities with these riders for that. But we want to make this choice in this tradeoff, very clear for our clients, for any of the people that are listening today. So we’re not seeing that the guarantees are bad, but on average you should expect to lose from them. And on average Blanchett and other studies, and again, I think the Blanchett is a little bit more pro annuity. There are some favorable cost assumptions that are there, but on average you’re going to have to go ahead and write a check. And if for every million dollars that you’re going to invest another $80,000. So just think about it that way. That’s the way that you should think about it because that’s really what the true cost is. Now it could pay off or could not. I would submit.
Kevin Kroskey: 22:27 And this is, you know, this is how we do business because you know, we just think it’s the right way. We follow that science-based approach and that’s where the science leads us. But we believe there are better ways to do it. And some of it may feel like it’s a little bit more complicated. You know, the prior episode we talked about, you know, Hey we got a, you’ll keep an eye on this. It’s like, you know, if you have a flowerbed, you need to go out and you may need to go ahead and prune the flowers for them to grow back even stronger. Or if you have a piece of equipment or we all have vehicles, right? You have to take it in for some maintenance. So does your financial life plan. So does your investment portfolio.
Kevin Kroskey: 23:01 So does your retirement income plan, particularly if you’re not going down this more guaranteed based approach. But if you can do that, and particularly if you have somebody that is good, that is technically competent, that is trustworthy, that somebody that you feel that you have a rapport with, it can be that guide for you and help you make these smarter decisions. More likely than not, you’re going to end up in a better place financially and probably emotionally as well. You’re going to have greater peace of mind. And if you buy one of these annuities, I can tell you in my, it’s not like we have a ton of clients that have these annuities. We certainly don’t have any of that, any variable annuities, anyway that we recommended to people. We do have some immediate annuities kind of have a conversation for another day, but they’re much lower costs and clearer for people to understand.
Kevin Kroskey: 23:47 And frankly we use them as a bit of a bond alternative for some of our retirement income plans for really conservative clients. But people that I’ve found, they don’t understand these variable annuities because again, just like the contract attorney, they don’t understand what the heck’s going on within it. And when you call customer service, that is a euphemism for a black hole and you know, then they come to us and literally we’ve been paid by several people over the years just to go ahead and look that this annuity that they have that they’re not sure what the heck to do with because the person that sold them the annuity isn’t around anymore. They went around and found some other high commission that they could go out and get rather than provide planning for somebody that they already sold this product to. And so even though somebody starts off with as good attention of, Hey, I like this guaranteed income, I’m going to go ahead and do this.
Kevin Kroskey: 24:34 There’s still all this other complexity about how you’re actually going to go ahead and take it when you’re going to turn it on if you’re not doing it with all your money, how you’re going to kind of fit in other components of your plan. So what seemed like a really well-intentioned decision upfront to go ahead and simplify their life actually ends up leading to even more complexity than having kind of a non-guarantee type plan that we’re firm believers in for all the science-based evidence that we’ve researched and we’ve alluded to during our time together on this podcast.
Walter Storholt: 25:01 Well, so many moving parts when it comes to putting together your portfolio and your financial plan, it’s difficult sometimes to be aware of these other kinds of motivations that are out there. You know, sometimes we have blinders on, we’re so focused on our situation, we forget to ask the question of why and I think that this podcast does that very well. Kevin, we asked the question why are things like this in the financial world? And we got to the bottom of a lot of things over these past five episodes as we’ve walked through this, this conversation of retirement income planning and the importance of it. So I know if you’re listening to this show if you’ve heard all five of them, wonderful. Thank you for tuning in. If you’ve only heard one or two of the series, invite you to go back and listen to the rest of them as well.
Walter Storholt: 25:43 It’ll be well worth your time to invest in it. If you’re thinking after listening to one or more of this series, do I have a plan that’s dynamic like we talked about in the last episode? Do I have a plan that you know relies too much on these guarantees and overemphasizes them? Is that of a concern to me? Reach out, talk to Kevin about your plan. He has a great team there at True Wealth Design serving you throughout Northeast Ohio and they can go over all the details of your plan. You can tell there’s a lot of attention to detail here on the podcast. That’s even more so when you come in and meet and talk about your specific situation because we all know since we’ve used a lot of sayings over the last couple of weeks on this podcast, the devil’s in the details and so we want to make sure that we get to the bottom of what’s motivating you and your plan and how can we make sure that it’s best designed for you.
Walter Storholt: 26:32 If you’ve got questions like that about anything we’ve talked about, give a call (855) TWD-PLAN. That’s (855) TWD-PLAN or you can go online to TrueWealthDesign.com that’s TrueWealthDesign.com and contact the team through the website as well. Kevin, this was a lot of fun. I enjoyed walking through this series with you. Very educational, shared some really cool facts as well. Kind of peeling behind the current. I feel like we’re at the end of the Wizard of Oz and the curtain has been peeled back just a little bit.
Kevin Kroskey: 27:03 Yeah. Thank you. I, yeah, I don’t know if I’m the Wizard, but nonetheless, hopefully, we provided, I think from the framework of just, you know, all you got all these decisions to make, am I going to follow an insurance-based approach or an investing based approach? And if I liked the insurance, you know, how much is it likely to cost me? You know, it’s all about bringing clarity to these decisions that people have to make. We make a recommendation, but then ultimately, you know, whoever we’re recommending that to, they have to make a decision that they’re comfortable with. So it’s our job to do all these details, but then to give them more often than not, kind of the cliff notes version in a very clear and concise manner so they can make an informed decision and feel good about that decision. So if somebody is looking for that help, we’re certainly happy to talk to them.
Walter Storholt: 27:45 Again, (855) TWD-PLAN is the number to call or online is always a TrueWealthDesign.com. Well, Kevin, take a breath, get ready for the next podcast. We can close the book on this series, but I know you’ll have something good on the agenda force next time.
Kevin Kroskey: 28:01 I’m looking forward to it, Walter. Thank you.
Walter Storholt: 28:03 Well, thank you Kevin, and we look forward to another conversation with you around the corner. Thank you for joining us as well. I hope you enjoyed the podcast for Kevin Kroskey. I’m Walter Storeholt. We will talk to you next time. Right-back here on Retire Smarter.
Disclaimer: 28:28 Information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax or legal advice. Information is obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, but their accurateness and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All performance reference is historical and not an indication of future results. Benchmark indices are hypothetical and do not include any investment fees.