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 Roth IRA vs 529 Plans radio show
Roth IRA vs 529 Plans October 5, 2017

College tuition might be fresh on your mind now that the kids and grandkids have been back to school for a while. You may be considering helping a child, grandchild or loved one with the cost of higher education.
Record-high tuition costs have many families exploring the various options available to them, including 529 plans and Coverdell accounts, but many fail to realize that a Roth IRA could also be a viable option to help fund a college education. Roth IRAs provide a flexible alternative to 529 plans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are for everyone. FAFSA eligibility, taxes, as well as account limitations and requirements are all factors that should be considered in order to select the investment options that best fit you and your loved one’s needs.

Play Year End Checklist radio show
Year End Checklist September 28, 2017

Ed Slott created The Complete IRA Care Solution Year End Checklist and in today’s show Dennis tries to share as much of it as possible. Listen to Dennis as he discusses checklist items such as ensuring all RMDs have been satisfied, to include year of death RMDs for multiple beneficiaries. Also discussed are deadlines for Roth conversions, qualified charitable distributions and the splitting of inherited accounts.

Play October Deadlines radio show
October Deadlines September 21, 2017

Dennis is back from his adventures to the great Northwest. Guess what else is back? October deadlines. Yup. You heard us right. Here’s the list:
October 1, 2017
Deadline for self-employed persons or small employers to establish a SIMPLE IRA for the year 2017.
October 16, 2017
Final deadline to file individual tax returns for the year 2016 (Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ).
Last day the IRS will accept an electronically filed tax return for the year 2016. If filing after October 15, you’ll have to mail in your tax return for processing.
Final deadline to fund a SEP IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2016 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file.

Play The Cost of Loneliness radio show
The Cost of Loneliness September 7, 2017

The headline read, “People in rich countries are dying of loneliness.” I couldn’t resist, I had to read it and I had to know why. Turns out, this is a blurry issue without hard lines drawn between demographics. Instead, it’s about emotional isolation. We are living longer, moving away from our families, marrying less and living in a culture that promotes autonomy over community. This is the perfect storm for loneliness. In its wake is the higher risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity and early death.
Think this is a problem just for single people? Think again. According to The New York Times, “It is not the same thing as being alone: 62.5 percent of older adults who reported being lonely in this new study were married.”
Grant Porteous, local therapist and life coach, joins me (Shea) in the studio today to talk about how to identify loneliness and cope with it. He says, “You need to look at your 401(k) but you also need to look at this … you need to look at your emotional health.”

Play Rainy Day Fund(s) radio show
Rainy Day Fund(s) August 31, 2017

I was born an old soul, preferring adult conversations over play dates with my peers. One conversation I remember my grandmother and mother having went like this: “Well, you know. They didn’t have a rainy day fund, so they lost everything.” In my five-year-old mind I couldn’t understand how a rainy day could be more expensive than a sunny one, but it sounded awful.
This literal interpretation has context today as we watch the devastation in Houston. It also has the intended metaphorical context when we look ahead into retirement. The unexpected storms of life take preparation and sometimes, despite what we have done, it’s not enough.
Today, we are going to talk about the ways to protect your financial assets and documents should a disaster occur. We will also discuss how to be prepared for the unexpected health expenses that will more than likely happen while you’re in retirement.