The LEARNING library

Tune in to valuable financial insight on WTCM AM 580 at 10:10 a.m. every Thursday to listen and learn while Retirement Planning Expert, Dennis Prout, CFP, and co-host Shea Petaja discuss and answer your questions on the latest financial news, tips, and strategies.

If you miss the Thursday show, you can hear it rebroadcast every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. on AM 580.


Questions or comments?

Call (231) 947-7675 during the show to talk with Dennis and Shea on the air.


Play Calculating Social Security radio show
Calculating Social Security August 22, 2019

This month marks 84 years since the Social Security Act was signed into law, but despite the program’s lengthy lifespan, many are still confused about how their benefits are calculated. It is crucial that you understand how much additional income your Social Security checks will provide once you start taking them because it can impact your tax bill. Depending on how many sources of income you have in retirement, your Social Security benefits could push you into a higher tax bracket. However, some proactive planning can help ensure that you can maximize your benefits while managing your tax liabilities.

To learn how your Social Security benefits are calculated, tune in! For professional assistance with creating a retirement plan that is designed to be tax-efficient and help maximize your Social Security contact our office at to schedule a time to visit.

Play The Low Hanging Fruit? radio show
The Low Hanging Fruit? August 8, 2019

Last week, I read a Shea Stat that, unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to that no one appears to be shocked. I’m referring to the mounting federal debt – which is currently more than $22 trillion. What should be considered a national emergency is being regarded as a mere speed bump. Currently, the cumulative amount saved in retirement accounts is $29.1 trillion, making it the most obvious “low-hanging fruit” (according to some economists) resource for national debt reduction/elimination. But what economic fallout will we Americans face as a result? Will those of us who have saved for decades to ensure our own retirement be punished? All in all, it’s difficult to stay positive about saving and being responsible when the government is struggling.

Tune in today for some financial tips that might help you keep your chin up even when it feels like we’re in over our heads.

Play Is It Time to Leave? radio show
Is It Time to Leave? August 1, 2019

Whether it’s by choice or decisions “beyond your control,” the time has come for you to leave your current employer. So what are your options regarding your employer-sponsored retirement/savings plan? Do you just leave it in the hands of your now “former” employer? Can you roll it over into a new plan? Or perhaps it makes sense to take a lump-sum distribution? What about a Roth IRA?

So many options! Tune in today, and we’ll discuss these scenarios and so many more. We’ll also discuss who can benefit from a Roth IRA and at what age. There are tricks to the trade, and we’re going to share as much as we can.

Play Mid Year Market Report radio show
Mid Year Market Report July 25, 2019

What goes up, must come down. And if it left, it will come back around! We’re referring to the market, of course. We are at the end of the first half of 2019 (already!), and it’s been a wild year so far. The markets continue to recover from the previous year’s losses, but the risk of a recession still remains. What exactly does that mean, and how does it affect you?

Great question! It’s one that we’ve already talked about this season, but it’s a conversation that’s worth revisiting. With the second half of the year ahead of us, it’s good to take inventory, especially with the rising tariff pressures, slow economic growth and talk of cutting interest rates (again). There’s never a dull moment.

Play Cha Cha Changes in Social Security radio show
Cha Cha Changes in Social Security July 11, 2019

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. population age 65 and over has increased 34% to more than 50 million people (Investment News). The Silver Tsunami is here, and you’ve got two options: Ride the wave or get up to higher ground. Today, we are getting the bird’s-eye view of 2020 and the six changes in Social Security that are coming.

If you’re retired or planning to retire soon, this is a show you won’t want to miss! And just in case you do, you can find the Investment News article here. We will be adding some additional information from IRA guru Ed Slott too!