May 19, 2019

Guest Brett Saso Helps Explain How You Can Get Out Of Stock Market Volatility


SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market Volatility


Finance is always a complex topic for consumers. Brett Saso, the Founder of Bad Uncle Sam, teaches us how we can avoid stock market volatility by understanding our finances better and using The Power of Zero strategy. Taxes are some of the complexities of finances, and Brett shows us where taxes are going in the future and how to make it as a foundation of your financial plan. In this episode, learn how you can better understand how market and taxation risks affect your finances so you can start planning for your retirement and protect your future.

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Guest Brett Saso Helps Explain How You Can Get Out Of Stock Market Volatility

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There are a ton of things going on in the economy. The market took a big dip on some China stuff. I want to ask you this. Are you sick and tired of the volatility? Do you want to get out or do you want to get a portion of your funds, your money, your strategies, your portfolio or whatever you call it? Do you want it out of the volatility? Can you stomach a fixed rate of return once you understand how we do our oil and gas leases? Not the drilling of the wells, the leases for one, two or three years, 8%, 8.5%, to 9% monthly income or compounding yield of 8.3%, 9.23% or 10.28% for one, two or three years. Can you stomach that? It’s a great place for IRA funds. Funds you’re not going to touch anyway. If you’re looking for the monthly income and you have what I call lazy cash sitting there, show me another place where you can go get 8% in a year. When you lock it up for one year and get 8% and received monthly income the whole time or lock it up for the one year, compound it and received 8.3%.

There’s risk involved, but once you understand and educate yourself on this, you’ll understand how we do it. We do the same thing the big boys do. ConocoPhillips, EOG, Marathon, we do the same thing they do, except we’re 1,800 times smaller than them. I’m not going to talk too much about the drilling of the wells because there are some great tax benefits for that, what we call direct participation in the drilling of wells. The income is not as steady because number one, it depends when we’re going to hit oil, when we’re going to strike oil which we have a good track record of doing that. Number two, what’s the price of oil per barrel. Number three, how many barrels per day for production.

The price of oil per barrel is hovering around $62.50 to $63 great at the pump. I believe that at this price, landowners are making money, investors are making money, all companies are making money, and we’re not getting gas at the pump. I don’t mind if we go to $70 a barrel. $70 a barrel, we’re probably paying $2.50 to $2.60 a gallon. It is still doable. I’m biased because I have a lot of my money in oil and gas wells. I look at the price of oil per barrel often. If you’re looking for a fixed rate of return, if you’re tired of the volatility of the stock market, for a portion of your money, you decide how much you want to put in. This is a great place for IRA and old 401(k).

There are no penalties for transferring money out of your 401(k)s as long as you don’t touch it. Imagine the cash in your 401(k) or an IRA being in a suitcase in a car. Let’s say we have it in a little Toyota Camry and now we’re going to put it in a Mercedes. We’re taking the briefcase out and putting it in another vehicle. There are no taxes or penalties to do that. We transfer it over. The custodian we use charge a fee of $250 a year to have the account there. It doesn’t matter if you put in $50,000, which is the minimum or $1 million, they’re going to make $250 a year, which is a good reasonable price to have the account there.

They make their money on people opening accounts, not how much money you put in there. Can you stomach that? We have a great real estate option as well. We have some property and we’re financing a unit phase of a 22 unit town-home development in Truckee, California at the Northstar Resort. I’ve gone skiing there before. We are very familiar with this real estate. I’ve stayed in some condos there. I’ve been to Northstar resort twice. One time with my family in December of 2015, we went skiing. The first trip ever for my family to go snow skiing and then I went back by myself in the fall of 2017 for a meeting. We’re very familiar with the Truckee Northstar area. We have some real estate opportunities there that we feel very low-risk. There’s always a risk in anything but this is very low-risk.

This is some three, four and five-year options. The income on this is 6.75% per year for three years. Can you stomach that? Can you live with that? I know $100,000 on the five-year term. If you want to lock your money up for five years, it’s a 7.75% monthly payment steady returns. The principal is returned at the end of the term, but the yield of 7.75% as a monthly payment of $645 on $100,000 investment. Are you okay putting your $100,000 away for five years and receiving $645 a month for 60 months or there’s the five-year compounding or what we call the growth option? It’s a 9.42%. If you put your $100,000 away at the end of the five years, you get $100,000 back in basis and then the interest earned was $47,145. Can you stomach that? Can you live with that? You have some lazy money sitting around in the old 401(k) or an IRA.

Money and freedom are tied together because if you can’t have access to your money then you are not free. Click To Tweet

I encourage you to educate yourself on what else is out there besides what Wall Street wants you to know about. There are many opportunities out there that your financial advisor, I’m not knocking those guys because I had friends that do that for a living, but they don’t have access to a lot of good things. If you want your mutual fund or your annuity, even with the fake bonus money, they’re probably your guy. If you’re looking for something other than you’re not going to hear about on Wall Street, a private equity deal. You can go see this stuff at Truckee, California. The Northstar Resort was so popular. There are several people that I know that went there. It’s all about education. It’s knowing what else is out there and doing your own due diligence, research, education, talking to people, knowing the people involved in the deal, knowing the deal and looking at the track record of the company.

I encourage you to do that and do your own research. You don’t have to listen to your strip mall financial advisor because they’re probably going to steer you away from this. They want to put you in one of their 83 different mutual funds or one of their eleven fake bonus annuities. There are other places to make money that lock your money up for so long. When I look at an investment, I look at how long I’m locking my money up. There are things I do that is long-term that I’m going to talk about with my buddy, Brett. There are also things that I do that are short because I like to be liquid. I want my money back if I need it. I want to lock it up for ten to twelve years, like one of those what we call phantom bonus annuities. There are some annuities that are okay.

There are many that have the bells and whistles. You have to understand and do your research on those as well, as with anything you do. You see who’s involved. I always encourage you to ask the person anything they’re talking about with you. Do you own this or would you suggest this to your parents? We have my good friend and colleague with us, Mr. Brett Saso. He is in New York. This is what I learned from talking with Brett. He’s a good friend. He’s taught me a lot and still teaching me a lot. Not everybody from New York is a Yankee or they’re not a fast-talking person. I’m admitting my ignorance here. I always thought of New York as skyscrapers and urban but it’s not. Brett is about an hour North of New York.

We’re almost exactly one hour due North. If you were in New York City on the circle line, hijack that ship and took it up the Hudson River North, you’d hit the Poughkeepsie market in about 90 miles. We’re 90 miles North of New York City, right on the Hudson River.

Brett, welcome to the show. Tell our audience a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I appreciate you inviting me to the show and the kind words. I was listening to things that you were saying and I agree so much with what you say. It is what we do here. My operation is not necessarily that strip mall financial advisor that you mentioned. That’s usually the type of person that we have problems with when it comes to how recommendations come about and how understanding products come about. The world of finance is so complicated for the consumer. You mentioned annuities. There are thousands of annuities out there, all with different moving parts, all with different consequences, all with benefits that people may never know they had in them because they don’t understand how that product works. Somebody recommended it and they said, “I’ll take one of those. It sounded good”

SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market Volatility

Avoid Stock Market Volatility: The finance world can be complicated for consumers.


Money and your freedom because money is freedom. It’s all tied together. If you can’t have access to your money, you’re not free and this is the land of the free. My organization is a very out of the box operation. We’re not out here telling people what to do. We’re showing people what they can do and we’re happy to illustrate any financial scenario in a way that the average person could get their hands around. The name of our business is Retirement Architecture. That should draw a visual to your audience. The word architecture is what you would think about if you had to go in and build that lake house that you’ve always dreamed of or that million-dollar beach house or whatever it may be.

Very few people would ever do anything that has permanence without using some form of the architect or an engineer to do that. That’s what we do. We’re a firm and we work with you. There is some big stuff that we’re helping you with down in your market. We’re helping people see and understand instead of being led in trusting others. That’s a critical part of the financial world, it’s your responsibility to understand and not to trust. You don’t have to like people to do business with them, but you sure have to understand what they’re doing for you.

You and I believe the same thing when it comes to taxes and all that. I don’t want to give away the price here of exactly what we do. The term architect and the term blueprint, when building a house, you want a strong foundation. We believe in a strategy for sure that I believe should be a strong foundation of that. Why don’t you tell our audience if they decide to make a phone call to me and we connect, how the blueprint comes about? It’s cool because it’s like six feet long, two feet wide and you roll this thing out like you’re building a house. I’m a numbers geek. It was full of numbers with columns and rows and I get all excited when I see it.

Picture a blueprint as if you were building a house and it’s two feet high and five, six feet long. It’s got every detail that you’d want to know about your house. What cabinets look like? What are they made out of? Which way is the South? How am I getting sun into my new home? What’s it going to look like? With money, it’s similar because you have to have a whole bunch of different things that all come together working in symmetry so that you get the best output. The idea with construction is to make sure the foundation is square and level because if you don’t get that right, by the time you get upstairs in that house, the windows aren’t going to close.

There are many things that you have to have right in construction, but there are even more that you have to have right in finance because there are little invisible things. There are things that you don’t get to touch but can creep up on you like taxes. We talk about a good foundation. Taxes have to be part of your foundation in your financial plan. If you don’t have an understanding of how taxes will affect you not this year or last year, but how are they going to affect you ten years from now, fifteen years from now, how do you have a better way of forecasting that than just hope? That old saying “Hope is not a strategy.” The blueprints are enormous and if they call your number, you’re their guy. I’ve been blessed to come down there and spend time with you. If anybody is interested in getting a two-foot high, five-foot-long blueprint of their finances from their current age until age 100, they can get it. It’s free.

Call me 202-SAGE. That’s 202-7243 or go to the website. It’s Send me an email from there.

The provisional income is an easy place to create tax increases without calling them tax increases. Click To Tweet

The other thing on these blueprints, so everybody knows, because people get nervous when you start talking about finance. One of the things that make our blueprints so easy to get is that it doesn’t require personal sensitive information. If you want to get a blueprint made, we don’t even need your last name. We need to know your numbers, your dollars, not your account numbers, not your Social Security Number. We don’t care when your birthday is. We just need to know how old you are. There are things that we can do that we’ll get very close to being accurate, but it’s not until you get that real comfort level of, “This is something I really need,” that you have to worry about the accuracy. It’s the bigger picture that matters. It’s picking how the house looks, not the windows you’re putting in it right off the bat.

The blueprints will help any of your audience if they want to understand better how market risks and taxation risk. One of the biggest risks that we face, whether we’re retiring in five years, in two years or were already retired, is the fact that our government is going to run into a brick wall. It’s spent more than it can afford to spend. It owes interest to people that it’s having a hard time paying those interest payments. Within the next ten years, the interest-only cost of our national debt will be the largest line item in the budget of the United States of America, which is insane. If you think that the largest expense in your home was the interest on your credit cards, you probably are considered bankrupt. That’s where you would have to put the United States of America soon.

Understanding how these potential future snafus can be mitigated is our job. No one’s going to do it for us. If we don’t take the time to figure this out for ourselves, don’t expect somebody else to do it. You’re doing a great cause. I know when you do these shows, you’ve got to give up your Saturday and it’s a hard thing to do. I had my own show up here in New York for over a year and it got to the point where my responsibilities at my business wouldn’t even give me the ability to keep my live radio show going. I wish I were still doing it. It’s a commitment and you do it. It’s a sacrifice, but you’re doing something that is going to change people’s lives in the future. Not many people can say when they get up Saturday morning and go to work, that they’re doing that. I applaud you for your show and what you’re doing.

Thanks, Brett. I appreciate that. I have a lot of fun doing this. A lot of credit goes to my good friend and mentor, Mark McKay in Amarillo, Texas who helped me start this show. We got some ratings back not long ago and I’m blowing away the competition on Saturday here on all the other hours. I’m absolutely crushing them. It’s because I try to put a lot of work in keeping this show local as I can. Coming in here once a week and doing this is a lot of fun. It’s been awesome. It’s been a blessing to meet so many cool people called in. People call in, sometimes we don’t schedule a meeting and then all the people I meet with, sometimes they don’t become clients. I have met some good friends that are clients and a lot of times we ended up talking more about family, hunting or fishing than we do about business. This show’s been great.

The relationship is the key. It’s all about relationship.

It would be seven years in July 2019 that this show has been on. It has been a blessing. Brett and I are going to get into the mechanics and maybe some of the weeds of how we do things, what we do and talking about taxes. None of us has a crystal ball, but if you believe, you’re speculating on taxes and where they’re going, you need to take a serious step back. Look at what you’re doing with your financial strategies, maybe a phone call, and make sure we’re all doing the same thing. I like doing business with people who believe what I believe. Brett and I have a belief on taxes and looking at the data, looking at the numbers, it doesn’t take a genius to see where taxes are going to be going in the future. I don’t see how our government can continue to keep taxes this low.

SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market Volatility

Avoid Stock Market Volatility: In a blueprint scenario, the focus is on the amount of money that gets into your hand and the lifestyle that you want to live and what that costs.


For the record, our tax brackets are some of the lowest in history. We know that the next election could change all that. We’re taking some steps to plan for the worst. If taxes do go up, I don’t want to be affected by that. Brett, let’s tell our audience a little bit about what we do as far as the blueprint. We’re going to talk about Social Security more in detail, on the double taxation of Social Security. How the government is ripping us off by doing that with what they called provisional income. What goes into a blueprint? Specifically, when we can project what they’re going to pay Social Security and taxes, project their future and give them more of a realistic plan goal.

If you picture in your mind a giant array like a big spreadsheet, an Excel or what have you and the rows are based on the years of your life. If you’re 50 years old, your first row is age 50, and then it will continue down until you reach age 100. We call it live to 100. As you go across from left to right, you’re going to have your items that contribute to income. Now that could be a pension, it could be your Social Security income, it could be investment dollars from a deferred compensation or rental income from properties owned. It doesn’t matter. There can be as many columns to the left-hand side that represent money coming into your hands. There are rules, there are taxes, there are states and there are federal in some cases city like here in New York that affects how much of that income you get to keep. On the far right side is the money that you get to keep.

When you picture this, it’s like a filter. I’ve got all this money coming in. I’ve got all these rules in the middle that take it away from me and then when it comes out the other side, it’s what I get to spend. In a blueprint scenario, what we’re trying to focus on is the far right-hand side of that, which is the amount of money that gets into your hand, then the lifestyle that you want to live and what that cost. One more column, which I think is incredibly important and that’s called retirement dreams. That’s the money that you can confidently have in any given year to take that vacation of a lifetime, whatever your retirement dream or dreams are. That’s the idea of the far right side of the print.

What you’re referring to are the filters in between. There are different rules and Social Security is a very complicated rule. People don’t realize that their Social Security can be taxed. In some cases, 85% of your Social Security could be run back through that filter and say, “Add this to your income and pay tax on this too.” A lot of people don’t realize that. It makes it very complicated because you can get to a point in life where you’ve got a certain amount of fixed income and you have your Social Security. Social Security could say, “We’re going to test you through this provisional income filter and we’re going to determine how much of your Social Security we’re going to add to your other income and then tax you on all of that.”

It’s almost a set up if you look at it from the premise of a blueprint. You say, “If somebody knew about this, they might not have put so much money into a futuristic tax. They might have paid it years ago because it’s triggering more tax than it made in savings.” It’s absurd when you look at it. Those filters that you have to pass through are what everyone should be keenly aware of. Depending on your age, you may be able to affect those filters a little bit, which is something I know you do for all of the people that you counsel with options and strategies. I think strategies is the best word for all of this. That’s how the blueprints do it.

I have some numbers on Social Security. In New York, you all have some stone idiots up there representing the state. We have some morons down here in Louisiana too. I get so tired mainly of the career politician. The people who would probably starve to death if they had to go out in the private sector and work. They’re getting a government paycheck by the taxpayers. I don’t know how this Social Security thing passed in the ‘80s. The government has a great job of labeling things so we don’t know what they are like provisional income. The way I see Social Security is because it hits home with my parents and me. This is the way I feel. Every paycheck that my wife and I received, I feel like Uncle Sam is giving me the middle finger and saying, “Hollis and Mandy, we’re better at managing your money than you are. Give it to us even though we don’t know how to balance a budget.” That’s the way I feel.

There are things that you don't get to touch but can creep up on you, like taxes. Click To Tweet

I get pretty heated up talking about it because my parents were textbook definition, blue collar people. My dad owned a tire business in Port Allen. He went through some rough times. He had to shut it down and go work for a tire distributor in St. Gabriel. My mother was a registered nurse. She went back to school when I was a kid. She had to start over because she dropped out of college and had to go to prereqs and everything in LSU. We were a middle-class family. A lot of things, your behaviors and things you learn as a child set your ways as an adult, the way you manage money. I remember coming to our kitchen when I was a kid. It was midnight or so. I was in the fifth or sixth grade. I wanted something to drink. I remember my mom had her feet up and she was on the couch. We scared one another because it was midnight.

I was like, “Mom, what are you doing?” I realized she had been crying. I was like, “Mom, what’s wrong?” She showed me and that moment changed my life forever the way I look at money. Brett, in case you didn’t know, the public schools here in Baton Rouge are terrible. We had to go to a private school and my mother was writing a letter to the school to apply for reduced tuition. She explained it to me. She was like, “You all can’t go to school next year if we don’t get this.” I was shocked. I think of all the times my mother and father worked, putting money in the Medicare, putting money into the Social Security system, and they both passed away. My mother died at 54 years old of ovarian cancer. My dad died at 64 years old a year and a half later. My dad was nine years older than my mom. When my mother had passed away, my dad received a $250 check to help with burial expenses.

That’s the only payments from Social Security that my parents received and the government screwed them, their whole working career because of that. When I can show somebody how to avoid paying the double taxation of Social Security, I love it and it excites me. It goes back to the power of zero, meaning the 0% tax bracket. That is possible for some people, but it is not possible for all people. We can at least get you in a lower tax bracket only because of where your money sits and because of the type of account that it’s in. A lot of our behaviors as adults are learned from lessons as kids. For me, that was a big life lesson about money. I’m amazed that most people don’t even know that their Social Security is going to get taxed. The IRS, the government, the Treasury Department, whoever, I think they should be educating us on that, but they don’t. Brett, don’t you think that the provisional income is just a means test? Is that what you believe?

It definitely is and it’s an easy place to create tax increases without calling them tax increases. If you fail, let’s call it failing to mean test means that you’ll pay tax on your Social Security. If you fail it completely, you’re going to have 85% of your Social Security added to your retirement income. Whether it’s a pension, deferred compensation or whatever the number may be. That the key is that they start you off with 50% of your Social Security for that test. Whatever your Social Security is, they say, “Let’s start with 50% of that.” Let’s look at the other income numbers. If you’re a married couple and you go over $44,000 in total, 85% of your Social Security is going to get added to your other retirement dollars.

That’s money that hasn’t had withholdings on it. You’ve got this big chunk of money coming in, by the way, if you’ve never annualized your Social Security benefits, take your phone, take your calculator and do the number. That is a pension that’s never had taxes taken out of it. You’re going to not only have to pay tax on that Social Security benefit but now you also have to pay more tax on your other income dollars in retirement. It’s common for most people to have higher tax marginal rates, your effective tax rate, blended rate in retirement than they had during the years when they were working. No one understands that and very few people ever think that there’s a way to control it, but there is. You don’t start that when you’re 70 years old. You start in your 40s or you’re 45, 50. You want to have this strategy done before you’re 65 years old. You’re going to want to have a lot of this understood.

Before you turn on your Social Security faucet, when you’re still receiving your money back that you put into the system, it’s not a bad idea to have as much money as possible out of bucket one. There are four buckets when I look at money. Bucket one is the IRA, 401(k). People that have kicked that can down the road of taxes, you don’t know what the tax rate is going to be whenever you take that money out down the road. The government dangles this 401(k) thing in front of us. It got a tax deferment, but yet they penalize us in Social Security because we’re pulling the money out. Why do you put money in a 401(k) or IRA anyway, to use it later on, yet your Social Security is penalized?

SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market Volatility

The Power of Zero: How to Get to the 0% Tax Bracket and Transform Your Retirement

That’s bucket one. Bucket two would be the capital gains tax or cash in a brokerage account. Bucket three is tax-free, but bucket four is tax exempt. I’m going to read from a book, “‘Provisional’ income is your gross income plus 50% of your gross Social Security payments plus your tax-free interest.” Your tax-free municipal bond interest may make your Social Security taxable, so much for tax-free. There is a difference between tax-free and tax-exempt. That’s why Brett and I believe in putting money in bucket four, which is tax-exempt. There’s a difference.

There’s a big industrial presence here in Baton Rouge and a ton of people are putting money in their 401(k). I would say, “Put the minimal amount in your 401(k) to receive the match.” If you’re open-minded, let me show you bucket four, which is very similar to a big Roth IRA and it is not going to make your Social Security taxable. I do believe that Social Security will keep making payments. I do believe they’re going to keep means testing it. Like you just said, Brett, and how you described it, that 85% of $44,000 might go to 95%. The married filing jointly may be $30,000. They’re going to keep squeezing us out of that. That’s what I believe. If I can find a place to put money that doesn’t count towards that provisional income, it makes sense.

I’ll give you an example, a set of prints that I reviewed before they went out to the client. I think the client was in Dallas. We were working on these prints and the client had a concern about when they should start turning on their Social Security benefits. His question was, “Do I take it at 62 or do I wait and take it at 66?” We looked at his wife’s Social Security and their benefit was going to be about the same. When we ran the numbers in the blueprint, we realized that if he waited past 64, his income from his Social Security was going to go up high enough to trigger taxes on all his other dollars. In other words, that little bit of a difference would have been the difference between the power of zero, which means you pay no taxes in retirement and paying tax on everything in retirement.

It was remarkable. We said, “It’s not about that $900 a year or whatever the number was that you would be sacrificing.” When we showed him those tax savings, he was like, “I’m going to take my money at 62. I’m going to turn on this strategy that you have and I’m going to retire two years earlier.” Imagine retiring two years earlier and netting more money in your pocket through this power of zero strategies. That bucket that you mentioned, I liked the visual of the bucket, is critical to understand that. People have asked me on my radio show, “What is it, Brett? What is it you’re doing?” I said, “That’s not something I can share with every person because like medicine, like health, everyone’s got different conditions that are going to determine what the prescription will be.” Like doctors, financial professionals should respect the idea that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice and that’s never different in finance.

If you get frustrated and it’s like you’re waiting for Hollis to tell you, “What is it?” It’s inappropriate to start talking about recommendations when you have a bank of the audience that everyone has a different financial profile. Starting with a phone call, let’s face it, there are a lot of things you can do. Is it too difficult to make a phone call and start the process of having a conversation? Is there anything that you could do that would be as important as omitting taxes from your entire retirement? Think about that. That’s what I told a lot of the audience to my show, “Is there anything you could be doing right now that’s going to save you tens, twenties, thirties, six figures in money in your retirement?” If the answer is no, then you should be dialing the phone and start the process, start the conversation.

That is so true and so accurate because I have seen where people were going to pay anywhere from $200,000 to $240,000 over a 20 to 25-year period, extra in Social Security taxes only because of where their money sits. I learned a saying from a friend of mine, “Where your money sits is more important than the rate of return.” I’m going to read this paragraph from this book and I want you to comment on this. This is from a book called Confessions of a CPA. “We now see that anything tax-free, you still report it to the US government for tax purposes. In this case, to determine the taxability of your Social Security, what other tax-free investments are reported to the US government for tax purposes? A distribution from your Roth IRA is reported on a 1099-R form even though it is not taxable income. Will it ever be included as taxable income? Will it ever be part of the provisional income definition?

It's the bigger picture that matters. It's picking how the house looks, not the windows. Click To Tweet

We don’t know, but it is being reported. To make matters worse, haven’t you already been taxed on your Social Security deposits when you were working? Of course, you were. Our taxable income is determined when Social Security taxes are withheld. If they are taxed again, when you received the benefits that would be double taxation. If your members of Congress know about this double taxation that means that your interests were represented when this second tax was enacted in 1984. We started a revolution in this country because we were being taxed once by the British government without representation. Now, this is double taxation with representation. Isn’t it time you did something about this? You can live your retirement years without having reportable taxable or provisional income.” It’s a pretty good paragraph.

It’s a great paragraph. It’s so true and it keeps going back to the idea that most people have a better idea of what the gas prices are at a dozen different gas stations that they drive by than the taxes they’ll likely pay in retirement. Do you know, Hollis, what’s uncomfortable? People feel, “When you can’t control something, what’s the sense of thinking about it?” It was like, “I can’t do anything about the weather. Why should I worry about the weather?” That’s not how it is with money. It’s not how it is with finance. The idea is there are many things people can do, but the lazy thinking is, “I can’t do anything about it. It is what it is.” That’s not true. That’s the difference between somebody who’s going to have a very successful retirement and someone’s going to sacrifice what they could do in retirement because they chose the path that looks easier.

The truth is it isn’t overwhelming. It’s very empowering to start learning some of these things. The books you’re referencing are great, Confessions of a CPA, read it. The Power of Zero, I bought it on Amazon so I could send it out to a person I spoke to in a package that’s going because I mentioned the power of zero and he never heard of it before. The Power of Zero is a great book. I used to give out a couple of copies on my show. I would say, “The first three people that call in, I’m going to give out The Power of Zero book.” It works because it’s like getting a prize but the prize is help. The big prize is getting the book. Not the book, it’s getting what’s in the book and understanding it and then keeping that conversation going. It’s a fantastic book, The Power of Zero. It doesn’t fit everybody, but it does fit a lot of people.

That’s the first book I read that got me on my path of where I’m going in trying to educate people about reducing their tax burden to bad Uncle Sam. There are some things that we can do for people that are still working. There is some risk involved in that in decreasing their current tax burden to the government. Also, there are some things that people can start in a place that will lower their taxes in retirement. You will have to pay taxes in retirement. For our audience in this greater Baton Rouge area, if someone is telling you that you’ll be in a lower tax bracket when you retire, run.

That may be true for some but that is definitely not a broad stroke to paint for every person. I’ve seen people that are in the same tax bracket when they retire. That changed some of the things they thought they could do because they’re paying the same amount of money in taxes. There are some things you can do. I challenge you. If your financial person is giving you that advice, see if they will sign and date that and put that on their letterhead. I bet they won’t back it up like that because the bottom line is none of us know. Brett and I just speculate in what our beliefs are in future taxes but none of us know. Brett, do you have a few last words for our audience here in Baton Rouge?

Up here, we worry about blizzards and deep snow. Down there, you worry about big circular storms in the gulf. The bottom line is if there’s a potential of something coming, you prepare for it. Up here I own a snow shovel because sometimes it snows and it gets deep. When it comes to the potential of a financial crisis that could affect you, you better get thinking about owning a snow shovel or in your case, sandbags and generators.

SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market Volatility

Avoid Stock Market Volatility: The difference between somebody who’s going to have a very successful retirement and someone who’s going to sacrifice what they could do in retirement is the latter took the path that looks easier.


Brett, I appreciate you being on again for the show. The last time you were on, you were in the booth face-to-face with me. I appreciate your time and effort. We definitely think of likely the same thing.

Let’s do something when I’m down there, Hollis. Let’s do a live event and invite people through the radio. Maybe we’ll put something out. We can get some people in Baton Rouge to come by and ask some questions. I know some people are a little cautious to dial a phone, but maybe they’ll show up.

They’ll get to shake hands with a Yankee up there from New York too. God bless you. God bless the USA.

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About Brett Saso 

SMR 30 | Avoid Stock Market VolatilityBrett is a National Public Speaker and Host of “Tax-Smart Strategies” a weekly live radio program on iHeart Radio. Go to and learn more about our unique approach to retirement planning.




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