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 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?

Play 10 More Reasons radio show
10 More Reasons August 30, 2018

I (Shea) didn’t grow up dreaming of working in the world of finance. In fact, I had no aptitude for numbers at all. But here at Prout Financial Design, as the resident creative, I have thrown myself headfirst into understanding investments. It’s a world all its own, one that most prefer NOT to understand. We’d rather do what we’re good at, hire someone to set up our investment strategy and move on with our lives. That being said, a great article from MarketWatch called “The 10 commandments of retirement” was published a few days ago. This article is, hands down, one of the most clear-cut descriptions of not only how to save, but why we need to save. If I’ve said it once on the air, I’ve said it a thousand times, “If I can understand retirement planning, you can too!”

Play When Roth IRAs Don’t Work radio show
When Roth IRAs Don’t Work August 23, 2018

Admittedly, we’ve been a little excited about the Roth IRA and all of the fancy tricks it can do. At 20 years old, it’s still a young option full of possibilities. It even acts invisible at times. Did you know that since Congress first allowed all owners of Traditional IRAs to make full or partial conversions to Roth IRAs in 2010, savers have done more than one million conversions and switched more than $75 billion from Traditional IRAs to Roth accounts (Wall Street Journal)?
Today, we are going to talk about when the Roth IRAs don’t work. It may seem shocking, but there are times when it just doesn’t make good financial sense. Tune in to hear more.

Play Split Decision radio show
Split Decision August 16, 2018

For years you’ve imagined that the money you have, the retirement accounts you’ve accrued and your properties will go directly to your children and grandchildren. Then, by surprise, another cause captures your attention. It’s a non-profit that beats at the same rate as your own heart. Like your own children, its mission lights something up inside of you. Not only can you impact your family, you can impact your community for generations to come. There’s only one problem … you haven’t figured out how to explain the change of plans. Ideally, you’d like to include your children in giving. Is it possible? One advisor thinks so. Charlie Jordan coined the concept, “Charitable Inheritance” where he sets up Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) that are set aside for “inheritance dollars” – money earmarked for charity after a client’s death to be administered by the children.
Not only are we going to discuss what this can look like, we are interviewing Kate Pearson from the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to discuss what it means to impact generations to come with planned giving.

Play Mind the Income Gap radio show
Mind the Income Gap August 2, 2018

Dennis loves retirement planning for several reasons. Top of the list? The strategy of it all! Let’s say you want to wait until age 70 to collect your Social Security so that you can receive the full benefit (an 8% increase every year that you postpone collecting). At 66, you’ll have four more years until your benefits kick in. What do you do until then? Where can you draw income to cover the gap?
This is where the fun begins for us! Perhaps it makes sense for you or your spouse to work part-time. Or consider “rightsizing” your lifestyle to save on resources. Or even take a little more from your 401(k). What about the annuity you forgot about? So many options! Tune in to hear the different strategies as you “mind the income gap” while moving into your second chapter in life.