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 Health Insurance Deadlines radio show
Health Insurance Deadlines October 18, 2018

The average couple retiring today at age 65 will need $280,000 to cover health care and medical costs in retirement, according to an annual estimate by Fidelity. Knowing how to navigate your health care is just as important as knowing how to manage your retirement accounts.
This past Monday, Open Enrollment began for Medicare Advantage Plans and prescription drug coverage, and you have until December 7, 2018, to make changes. Open Enrollment for individual health plans is November 1 through December 15, 2018, and you must be registered during this time in order to meet the January 1 effective date.
Join us and Laverna Witkop from Ford Insurance Agency this morning as we work through the health insurance deadlines.

Play Give Now Instead of Later radio show
Give Now Instead of Later September 27, 2018

Do you need another reason to look forward to turning 70½? How about the fantastic Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) option? What’s a QCD? The Wall Street Journal explains: “A Qualified Charitable Distribution is a withdrawal from an Individual Retirement Account that is sent directly to a charity. In other words, funds don’t pass through your hands. You instruct your IRA custodian to send the money straight to the group or groups you specify.” You must be 70½ to make the donation, and doing so allows you to give to a cause you care about AND reduce your taxes. And since a new tax law took effect this year, you’ll need to take advantage of the QCD before December of 2018.
There are many reasons to give, but giving now instead of later lets you witness the impact of your gift.

Play Tonya’s Story radio show
Tonya’s Story September 20, 2018

Tonya, the mother of four daughters, became a single mom overnight after her husband Michael passed away in her arms after a massive heart attack. He was only 36 years old. There are very few silver linings a person can find in such tragedy. In this case, Michael was an insurance agent and had planned on the worst should it happen. Today, you’ll hear a pre-recorded interview with Shea and Tonya as she recounts her story.
September is National Life Insurance month. There is no better time than now to consider the benefits of life insurance for those you love and will leave behind.

Play What Every Trustee Should Know radio show
What Every Trustee Should Know September 13, 2018

When I (Shea) was younger, my mom would leave a “to-do” chore list for us kids to complete after school and before she came home from work. As the eldest, I would “delegate” the chores in order to make the list fairer than my mother had. It took a few years for everyone to catch on. My brother was the first one to figure it out once his reading skills advanced, HA!
If only understanding your responsibilities as trustees were that easy after our loved ones pass. Well, actually, it can be! You can even delegate some tasks. Ed Slott, IRA expert, created a “to-do” list to help you understand what to do next. According to Forbes, there will be $30 trillion in assets transferred from Baby Boomers to their heirs. Will you know what to do when it’s your turn to inherit?

Play 529 Plan vs Roth IRA radio show
529 Plan vs Roth IRA September 6, 2018

A few weeks back, Dennis casually mentioned the pros and cons of saving for college through either a 529 plan or a Roth IRA. Well, we didn’t realize what a hot topic this was until the calls started to come in. In fact, just yesterday, I (Shea) was talking to a parent who has enjoyed funding his son’s college experience with a Roth IRA. I myself started a 529 for my niece when she was born. It’s exciting to think that you can make a difference by funding an investment account on someone else’s behalf. But why did my friend choose a Roth IRA, and why did I choose a 529 plan? How are they the same and yet different? What makes sense for your situation?