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 Affect or Effect radio show
Affect or Effect March 1, 2018

Am I the only person who avoids using either “affect” or “effect” in a sentence? I just replace it with the word “impact” and move on. We all have our tricks for getting around the rules. This applies to both grammar and politics.
On Friday, February 9, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Guess what? It can directly affect (or is it effect?) your retirement plan! Ed Slott has a lot to say about it, and we are going to share that information. You’ll need to figure out how to navigate certain provisions.
We will also cover the Eight Ways to Help IRA Planning with 2017 Tax Returns. From now until April 17, it’s going to be a detail-heavy program. Stay tuned and stay informed!

Play When It’s Over radio show
When It’s Over February 22, 2018

According to husband-and-wife psychologist team, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, about 69% of relational conflicts are perpetual problems. All couples have them, and the chance for marital success is not in being able to solve the problems but establishing dialogue about them. If this doesn’t happen, a couple will enter gridlock, and gridlocked conflict eventually leads to emotional disengagement.
That being said, we don’t often hear the word “divorce” in our office. We’re thankful for that. However, when a marriage is “over” there’s a lot for a couple to navigate, and it’s almost always more expensive than they anticipated – especially later in life.
Today, Dennis is going to spend the hour giving you the “how-to” guide in evaluating your finances in divorce. His guest is Bob Guyot, a retired local attorney who has been navigating the complex issues of family law since 1975.

Play Since 1986 radio show
Since 1986 February 15, 2018

On this day, in 1986, the Beechcraft Starship made its maiden flight. One month prior, the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated just 73 seconds into its flight killing all seven crew members. In that same year, the annual U.S. inflation rate was 1.91%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average year-end close was 1,895; the year-end Federal Reserve interest rate was 7.50%; the average cost of a new house was $89,430; the average annual income was $22,400; a new car cost $9,255; and a gallon of gas was just 89 cents. The first American Girl doll entered the market and DORITOS introduced its Cool Ranch flavor. Oh, and the average life expectancy? Males: 71.2 years/females: 78.2 years.
It was also the last time we had an overhaul of the tax system, under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan.
Thirty-one years later we find ourselves here, facing another tax overhaul under the leadership of President Donald Trump. Who would have guessed? Join us today to find out how this affects you as a retiree.

Play Two Elephants in the Room radio show
Two Elephants in the Room January 25, 2018

Today we are witnessing two things going in the opposite direction – the stock market and the changing tax laws. We know you’d like us to talk about both of them more frequently, but there’s many good reasons why that’s difficult to do.
By the time I’m finished writing this email, for example, the stock market will have changed. Also, compliance keeps our industry “in check” so that we don’t give misinformation or give any indication of being promissory.
As far as the changing tax laws, the key word here is “changing” and the ripple effect has just started.
These are two very large elephants that are in the room. We are hoping to give you tools to navigate the game and put you in the offensive position knowing full well that both can change our situations in the blink of an eye.

Play For The Widows radio show
For The Widows January 18, 2018

Few people plan on being alone in life. Your future is imagined with someone next to you, fulfilling everything you planned TOGETHER. But then life happens, and you lose half of the dream. Today, we want to talk about that reality. “Money can be a source of stress for couples to discuss, or one spouse isn’t interested, or simply busy couples divide and conquer. Either way, the surviving spouse is at a huge disadvantage when left out of the day-to-day money management.” (Kiplinger)
Regardless of where you land on the spectrum of loss, the struggle is real and it doesn’t disappear. “Friends and relatives alike must understand that being a widow is not like having a cold from which you will recover. Rather, being a widow is like having a chronic disease – you may be in remission for a period of time, but you will have flare-ups.” (Nasdaq)
We are aware of this reality and hope to give you some fresh financial perspective to move you forward.