The X’s & O’s

Dave Ramsey has earned a lot of respect among savers and investors over the years as evidenced by his enormously popular radio show, books and sold out performance venues when he speaks. But is all of his advice worth following? Is it possible that some of the things he professes will actually hurt you financially? Brent, Matthew, and Joshua will take a look at some of Dave’s most popular advice and see if it actually makes sense for retirees and pre-retirees to follow.

Listen to the podcast episode…

The Hosts:

Brent Pasqua, Matthew Theal and Joshua Winterswyk


Brent Pasqua: This is the Retirement Plan Playbook. I’m Brent, joined as always by Matthew and Joshua, and today we’re on episode 26. Today’s topic, we’re going to go through, does Dave Ramsey give good financial advice? I think this is a hot topic that a lot of people want to know, because he is so well-known and he has a big presence, that is the advice that you’re actually hearing from him worthwhile advice? But before I start that, what are you guys doing to really stay busy and get out of the house?

Matthew Theal: Well, as we talked about in the last episode, I picked up golf again. So I’ve been playing a little golf with some of my friends on the weekend. My wife and I have been taking some strolls around the neighborhood, get the fresh air. Done a couple of drives. I actually really like driving out to Rancho Cucamonga now from Los Angeles. It’s a nice, relaxing drive, takes about 50, 55 minutes. And then, good old faithful, watching a little Netflix. I feel like we’ve almost burned through the whole library.

Brent Pasqua: Now, I heard that traffic’s starting to pick up traveling that way, back and forth, right?

Matthew Theal: Uh-huh affirmative. I haven’t seen it really. There’s been a few accidents. I think people are speeding. I have noticed there’s been some traffic in the downtown LA region. So probably people picking up their morning commutes a little bit more. But I mean, you leave in the afternoon, it’s a nice drive.

Brent Pasqua: What are you doing, Josh?

Joshua Winterswyk: I don’t mean to copy Matt, but golf as well. I actually played with Matt this weekend, and so golf is back in my life, and it’s been a lot of fun. Then the same too. We have two dogs, Memphis and Mila, that me and my wife take out for walks. And we also started riding bikes outside. So I really liked the spin classes, before all of this started, but never really rode a bike outside. So we started riding bikes, and that’s been a lot of fun, even got my wife a new bike for … she graduated. So shout out to her, and got her a new bike for her graduation, so.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah, we’ve been taking the kids out. We take the occasional drive also, taking them swimming every once in a while. I’ve been taking my son to the park, the baseball fields. They’re not obviously closed off, so I am out there hitting baseballs, and that’s fun, but I think there’s a lot of pent-up energy with the kids, and they’re ready to get back out there and start playing. So we’ve been trying to do a lot of that and just get them out of the house. I think everybody’s ready to be out and doing more normal things again.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah.

Brent Pasqua: So let’s get to some of the hot take headlines. Meat plants have been hit hard by COVID, and here’s really how some of the story has gone. I think Smithfield, the pork factory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was actually one of the first hard-hit factories. And then Tyson Foods has been another one that has been really hit hard. From my understanding, that a lot of these people work in congregated areas where it’s tight spaces, they’re shoulder to shoulder, and in these tight spaces where they’re working the whole time, it seems like it’s actually one of the hottest places where it’s been spreading. There’s been a tremendous amount of spread in these factories, which has led to a lot of speculation about food shortages. What do you guys know about this?

Matthew Theal: Yeah, I know there’s probably going to be the supply chain disruption, especially on the low end for pricing. Was it Wendy’s that was saying that they didn’t have meat for their hamburgers, which is kind of strange, because I think they sell hamburgers. So not really sure how … whether they’re selling grilled cheese.

Joshua Winterswyk: They’re going to start pushing the chicken fingers more.

Matthew Theal: Oh yeah, the chicken fingers. But really, I think meat’s just going to become a luxury item, like it was in the past in this country. From what I’ve heard, a lot of the premium cuts, or the grass-fed beef or organic beef, is a little bit easier to come by. It’s the cheaper, more factory farmed meats that are really struggling and selling out. But if prices rise, then that’s going to really cap people out from buying meat.

Brent Pasqua: What’s sad is these factories can’t get a lot of these animals in there, and these animals are ready to come into the factories, and then now they’re just basically having to euthanize the animals, and then there’s just obviously a ton of money involved. And I know that’s hard for the farmers and the factories, but now they’re so backed up. My question is, though, is when you have Sioux Falls, where they’ve had, I think like a thousand cases plus in their Smithfield factory, don’t you get herd immunity within the factory at some point?

Matthew Theal: I’m not sure. I mean, I guess, but I don’t even know if herd immunity’s real. It’s just so hard to trust people, man. I know that like some of the more prominent COVID researchers are like, “Oh yeah, we’ve got to get up the herd immunity,” but then there’s been some other people like, “I don’t know if herd immunity’s ever going to happen. I don’t know if that’s a real thing that could actually take place.”

Brent Pasqua: Right, but if you have so many people in the factory that have had it, then is there very … like they’ve already had it, so they should be able to pick up their supply chain there, right?

Joshua Winterswyk: I guess there’s one more question, though. Are those people actually coming back to work? They were sick. Do they feel comfortable coming back? You know, what is their belief on the virus? And if, can I get it again, or can I get it again and spread it to one of my family members who hasn’t had it? So I think it’s probably a lot of variables in there, that it’s making it just even more difficult for these plants to operate.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. I think the biggest question that most people want to know, I mean, obviously they’re being so hard-hit, these factories, but the question is, is it going to impact people being able to get meat, get food? Is prices going to go up? And I think from everything that I’ve looked at, for some time, that’s most likely going to happen, where prices are really going to go up.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. I think another thing to talk about with this is that grocery stores are limiting how much meat you can buy. So for bigger families, if you have more than four people, or you have grandparents or children living with you, limiting buying meat going to the grocery store is going to be an issue for these families. Just being able to put meat on the table. But like Matt said, I mean, then it just becomes a luxury, and you’re going to have to resort to alternatives.

Brent Pasqua: Germany’s soccer league, the Bundesliga, started on Saturday the 16th. I know UFC started back up this weekend, NASCAR started back up. PGA scheduled to start up in June. When will the four main pro sports really come back? Or will they not?

Matthew Theal: Speaking of sporting events, Josh. You want to get together and do the little pay-per-view Tiger versus Phil match, since we’re big golf guys now?

Joshua Winterswyk: Oh yeah.

Matthew Theal: I think that’s coming up over the Memorial weekend-

Joshua Winterswyk: Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning. They just hit it right, right? It just interests everybody. Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning. Let’s do it.

Matthew Theal: Yeah. I think that’ll be fun. Maybe we’ll play a round and watch that. But to answer your question, Brent, I don’t know if they come back. Like I’ve had this new thought. You guys tell me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think NBA, MLB, or NHL come back at all this year, because of money, and players’ rights. But the one league that has … is extremely greedy and doesn’t care about their players is the NFL. So like you would think they actually come back, right?

Joshua Winterswyk: And they seem like the most positive. There’s the most positive news, probably because of timing as well. But you know, it doesn’t start until September, but more positive news out of the NFL for sure, of them actually playing this year.

Brent Pasqua: They’ve been a hard yes since day one. They’re like, “We’re playing.” Like they have not stopped. They did the draft. They’re pushing forward on training camps. They are moving forward. I heard that they’re also working on the helmets, so that there’s some kind of a respiratory, like N95 thing on the helmet, so it will relieve them from like breathing on other players. But I guess one of the questions that I have is if, what happens when one player on the team tests positive? You just say, okay, that player is quarantined, and just keep testing everybody, but you continue games on as necessary?

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. That’s going to be really hard. And with that many people on a football team, I mean, you have so many people that are making this decision to somewhat quarantine themselves, right? Because they’re being exposed to so many people. So this decision has to be made with their families, their children. I mean, there’s just a lot that goes into going back to playing your sport. And then how are they going to pay them? There’s no fans. So that question becomes a big issue, like Matt just talked about.

Matthew Theal: What if though, I could totally see a scenario where you’re watching like a Dallas Cowboys game, and the stadium is filled. And then you’re watching like a New York Jets or San Francisco 49ers, or my home team, the LA Rams, play, and the stadiums are completely empty. Right? Because it’s kind of like state by state now. It’s like the wild, wild West out there.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah.

Joshua Winterswyk: What about, but see then again, what about Canada? Completely different country. We have all of our sports leagues have to think about the Canadian teams, and what they’re going to do, and what their regulations are, too. So another roadblock, even within our sports, because we integrate a different country within them.

Matthew Theal: That’s true. Really weird we play sports with Canada. I just thought about that. Why do we do that?

Joshua Winterswyk: But not all states legalized sports gambling. What if they just legalized sports gambling from all of the, for all the sports and then the teams have a revenue share?

Brent Pasqua: Here was my thought, also-

Matthew Theal: That’s true.

Joshua Winterswyk: You didn’t like that idea?

Brent Pasqua: If you have players, like if you look at soccer players or you look at baseball players, you look at hockey players, like their … and basketball, like their build, their physical build is very fit, and they’re very healthy people. But if you look at like linemen in the NFL, like defensive linemen or offensive linemen, they’re paid to put on weight, like they’re … this isn’t a virus that those types of players should be getting, just based on what we’ve seen. So wouldn’t we feel like the NFL has sort of the biggest risk with their athletes?

Matthew Theal: NFL doesn’t care about their players. I would agree, but they’re pretty clear. Like how long did they bury the concussion story for, 20 years, 25 years?

Joshua Winterswyk: And the lack of just a guaranteed contracts within the sport. I mean, anyone can get cut any time and not make any money.

Matthew Theal: They’ll probably … that’s probably how it’s going to work. Someone gets COVID, the team will just cut them.

Joshua Winterswyk: Awful.

Brent Pasqua: The stock market has been going up for a while now. The economic data is getting worse. The Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, said over the weekend on 60 Minutes that there is a lot more that they can do for the economy, and “We are not out of ammunition by a long shot.” That, along with Moderna coming out over on Monday morning, saying that they’re entering into Phase 3, I believe, of the vaccine virus testing, and everyone in Phase 1, the 45 people that were tested, did actually develop the antibody. What’s really, besides those, is the market surge that we saw shortly, what’s really causing the market to rise when economic data is just getting worse and worse?

Matthew Theal: Yeah, Brent. I think you pretty much nailed it. I mean, I think we’re moving into kind of a coronavirus vaccine market, right? So there’s really been no negative news. So therefore everything’s viewed as positive until maybe the trial fails or more cases start to explode. But for now, cases are down, the economy is hurting. But unfortunately the stock market and the economy are two completely different things. I mean the stock market fell in March when most people hadn’t even heard of coronavirus, right. It’s crashing, and now it’s shooting back up, but there has been a lot of money injected in, right. The Fed’s buying a lot of bonds, and really there’s, you only got a couple options to invest. You can invest in stocks, bonds, or cash. The only one that looks attractive right now is stocks.

Brent Pasqua: So what, there’s rumblings that they’re going to come out with a second stimulus. Is that possible? Is that realistic? And where are we at with that?

Matthew Theal: I’ve heard it. Kind of sounds like the Trump administration thinks the economy is recovering, which they might be right on, and they don’t want to do another stimulus. I know Pelosi is going for a stimulus. It’s so hard because like there’s states like our own, like California, where they need to open the state up. The numbers are pretty low. We got to get people back to work, but for some reason they’re being ultra-conservative. So they’re going to end up hurting a lot of people doing that.

Joshua Winterswyk: One thing to add about just kind of the stock market and the economic data too, is all the economic data is backwards-looking, right. Everything that happened in the past. And as we know, we’ve talked about on previous podcasts, the stock market’s looking forward. So we’re pricing in everything that’s in the future into the market. So the potential for potential profits from these companies. So you’re seeing a lot of these companies still doing well, like what’s going to hurt Netflix profits going forward? So their stock’s doing good. And you can have tons of other examples of companies that are still potentially going to do well when this is over, or even get through this period. And so the stock market is taking that into an account. Not necessarily all of the backward-looking data that’s being reported, like GDP and unemployment numbers and all of that stuff.

Matthew Theal: I think Walmart and Home Depot reported record earnings this week. So again, people are out spending money, just not doing it at restaurants or movie theaters.

Brent Pasqua: Let’s head into retirement planning corner. Dave Ramsey really has been a money management influencer. The question that a lot of people have is, does he actually give good advice? He’s a large radio show host. He has eight or nine different books, and his stuff is pretty much everywhere. He does a lot of classes, he’s in a lot of churches, but can his advice really be taken seriously? So we’re going to tackle four of his main advices that he talks about in his books. And we’ll see if we agree with them. The first one is debt snowball. Dave recommends tackling debt by paying down the lowest balance first, regardless of interest rate. His argument is that paying the small ones off quickly builds up confidence and motivation to tackle the bigger amounts. Matthew, by starting, does that … do you agree with that?

Matthew Theal: Psychological. I mean maybe for someone who’s struggling to pay their debt, paying the smallest one off will help them build confidence, but ideally you should start with the highest interest rate. Silly psychological strategy. I don’t care for it.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. I agree. Completely behavioral. There’s no real data that says that that strategy … and everyone’s situation is completely different, but typically the highest interest being paid first is going to be the smartest way or the fastest way to pay down the debt. So completely behavioral stance. I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think that you need to take the right approach that’s good for you, not so general of just saying this snowball effect is good for everybody. So I don’t agree with that.

Brent Pasqua: I mean, I guess the most important thing, when you’re paying down debt, is paying the least amount of interest, right?

Joshua Winterswyk: You’d hope.

Brent Pasqua: So. I guess my take on that would be pay the least enough of interest, and learn why you’ve accrued so much debt, and stop accruing your debt. You know, don’t worry about paying one off if you’re just going to add another one to it. Pay the least amount of interest and stop spending money, if you can’t afford things. And understand not all of it is controlled, but …

Joshua Winterswyk: And I think that that’s like another approach after that, right, is like cutting all spending. And that’s one of the things that he talks about. But if you’re wanting to do it the most efficient way, it’s definitely not the most efficient.

Matthew Theal: Right.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. Wait before buying things. Put things in your Amazon cart, wait a week or two, and see if you still want it, and then possibly go back and buy it.

Joshua Winterswyk: I do that a lot.

Brent Pasqua: You are very good at that. Let’s turn to investments. And some of his investments advice. He says to just invest into mutual funds, and I’m paraphrasing. Ramsey often suggests that investing is as simple as picking a few different mutual funds, just divide that money between growth, aggressive growth, growth and income, and international, and all will be fine. Joshua, do you agree with that philosophy?

Joshua Winterswyk: No. I think that there’s just a lot … again, it goes back to the efficiency of investing. Do you want a better outcome? I don’t think it’s as easy as saying just split it all up and pick a mutual fund, and you’re going to be fine, and you’re going to get a great interest rate. I think there has to be a philosophy that needs to be developed behind the investment strategy. And again, everyone’s situation’s a little bit different. I mean, this isn’t incorporating time horizon within the investment strategy. When are you going to need this money, or breaking it up between retirement, or anything like that, because they can have different investment allocations or strategies. So I definitely don’t think that I agree with him on this side. What about you, Matt?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. So I wish he would just be like, “Just call Vanguard,” or, “Just buy Vanguard,” oh yeah, that makes more sense. But to pick a mutual fund, like what are the mutual fund’s fees? Is this a good mutual fund compared to the others? Is it active versus passive? I don’t even know what growth and income is, and I’ve been an advisor for 10 years. Like what does growth and income mean? I still don’t understand that.

Joshua Winterswyk: I think he means balanced, Matt.

Matthew Theal: No, I know it’s a mutual fund classification, for these insurance sell or broker commission guys, who say, “Oh yeah, here’s growth and income. Look, you’re going to get some growth and you’re going to get some income, best of both worlds.” But-

Joshua Winterswyk: But it seems like lately he’s kind of like backed off from the investment stuff. Like, he’s not like … that’s not like his biggest pitch anymore, is like his investment advice. It’s more of like that budgeting, debt, like popularity that’s really-

Matthew Theal: Probably because his investment advice isn’t very good.

Brent Pasqua: I would have to say that, like you Matt, not all mutual funds are created equal. Fees become a big part of it. If you have a fund that has high turnover, it could lead to capital gains rolling downhill to you. There’s different fund managers out there. You just don’t want some random fund manager managing that fund. And is it really diversified the way that you want it? I completely agree. I think it’s not an answer you can tell someone, to go pick out from a magazine four top or five top mutual funds. And that’s the best way to invest. There’s a lot of smarter ways to invest than doing that. So I wouldn’t take that advice at all.

Brent Pasqua: The next one, Dave’s unrealistic expectations. On several occasions, Dave has implied you can expect about a 12% return on your money if you follow his investing guidelines, and that you can plan on spending 8% of your money. I repeat, 8% of your money per year in retirement, and you’ll be just fine. And a lot of this is in, also, The Total Money Makeover book. So what are your thoughts, Matt?

Matthew Theal: We’re laughing.

Brent Pasqua: For anyone watching us on YouTube, Matt’s face is priceless. Continue.

Matthew Theal: No, no, it doesn’t work like that. So historically, if you invested in like a total stock market fund, like the Vanguard total stock market, or the S&P 500, you could expect to earn anywhere from 8 to 10% a year. I usually quote eight when I’m working with clients because I want to take the expectations down a little bit, but you have to accept massive stock market volatility. We’re talking, you have to be able to stomach 50, 60, 70% draw downs on your account, to get that kind of return. And if you’re taking that amount of risk, you can’t pull 8% out of your portfolio. Makes zero sense. Mathematically, it doesn’t work.

Joshua Winterswyk: You could, but just might not have that much money left.

Matthew Theal: That’s true.

Brent Pasqua: This to me, is just a plan that’s getting set up to fail in somebody’s mind, because if you told somebody that they’re going to get and receive a 12% rate of return every year, and you factor it backwards. So let’s say you were doing planning and you knew that you needed $2 million by the time that you retired. And you said you’re going to get 12% rate of return, the amount of money that you are going … it’s going to tell you that you need to be saving on an annual basis is going to be far different than probably what you need. And you’re never going to hit that target projecting a 12% rate of return, because there’s no guarantee that you’re going to hit 12%. that’s way overinflated.

Brent Pasqua: And then to think, so then if you did start down the line at retirement and say, “Okay, well, I can take out 8% of my money a year,” and that’s how you came up with that $2 million money amount and percentage, like to factor … those are going to give you a wrong outcome. You’re going to kill somebody’s confidence with about three or four years, when they’re not getting a 12% rate of return. Even if they did follow that for all their retirement, to think that they’re going to have enough money when they get to retirement that they can take out 8% of their money. Probably, I mean, we’ve all looked at the academic research based on withdrawal rates. That’s never going to be possible.

Joshua Winterswyk: The expectation is just way too high. I mean, even in a perfect world, we’re looking at these numbers and I think that’s why Matt just started laughing. It’s just leaving, in a perfect world, leaving no room for any error. And it still isn’t projected well, so super unrealistic.

Brent Pasqua: When he said … I listened to his Audible of his book, The Total Money Makeover-

Matthew Theal: I’m sorry.

Brent Pasqua: … I about hit the curb. I was like, I don’t understand how he got to that, or how it’s even allowed to say that, but I wouldn’t follow that advice. Don’t let that be your expectation. Plan for much lower.

Joshua Winterswyk: Brent, don’t get me wrong. Or you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I mean, what’s that average rate of return that you use? Matt said he used 8%, but to give the listener an idea of your rate of return, that’s expected in your plans.

Brent Pasqua: Well, it depends on what age and stage the client is in. So if they’re in a 80% stock portfolio, then it might be in the seven range. But you know, if it’s a 60 40 portfolio, then it’s going to be a lot lower than that, because we want people to, we want to set them up for success. We want to get the client with enough money that we know that if they’re going to get to retirement, that they’re going to have enough. So we want to take down return and then test returns at different levels. For example, let’s test it at four, let’s test it at five, let’s test it at six, and then let’s test the withdrawal rate at 3% and 4% to see if it works within the plan. So there isn’t just one set hardline number that I feel comfortable just testing at.

Brent Pasqua: I want to test at different levels and let the client see what they’re comfortable with, because the client says, “Well, I like to be more conservative as possible.” That means I want to save the most. Then I want to set them up to have that option. So that blanket statement by Dave Ramsey, I think it’s a very general statement. I don’t know he gets away with it, but I don’t agree with it.

Joshua Winterswyk: Me either.

Brent Pasqua: On number four, cut retirement savings while paying off debt. So Ramsey has suggested and outlined in his baby steps to stop contributing to retirement plans until you get out of debt. The only exception is the mortgage. Agree or disagree, Josh.

Joshua Winterswyk: Disagree, if you do have a match from your company. Why would you sacrifice free money from a match in your 401k? To me, that’s just a little bit counterproductive for your future. Also, it’s just really confusing to me that, let’s say your debt is 8%. You have a credit card that’s 10%. I know they’re a lot higher, but just give an example, in some cases, but you have debt that’s 8%, but the market’s returning 12%. That’s his expectation, right? Well, to me, if I’m kind of comparing those two interest rates, which one’s higher? The investment expectation at 12%, not the debt at 8%. So why would I not invest the money? It’s just kind of contradicting a little bit, depending on if you don’t know the interest rate. Again, I don’t agree with that blanket statement. I think that it’s a little bit more complex than that, depending on the situation, which requires a little bit more planning, of course. But just as a blanket to not be contributing to retirement, when we don’t know if there’s any sort of match or profit sharing or anything like that, I think that could be counterproductive to your retirement plan or your future.

Matthew Theal: Let’s say that you went with this strategy, and you paid off your debt, and it took you until you’re in your 50s. Right? Because a lot of people got a lot of debt. People make some big mistakes with debt. All right. Then you only have what, five, 10 years to save for retirement. So then you’re going to have to retire, because sometimes you’re forced to retire. But then you’re just going to go back into debt because you don’t have any savings.

Brent Pasqua: And at that point you may not even be able to get the same kind of debt.

Matthew Theal: Right? Exactly. So it’s … paying debt, retirement. It’s all very tricky topics. And unfortunately it doesn’t go over well on a podcast or a radio show. It’s something that you need to meet one on one in person-

Brent Pasqua: Yeah, because-

Matthew Theal: … and kind of discuss your options.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. It becomes about accountability. I mean, can’t just listen to a couple of shows and read a few of his books and think that this is going to work. I understand the program, but like you were saying Josh, you have other factors here, right? You have company matching, you have tax savings on contributions, you have compounding interest, you have rate of return versus the cost of the debt. So there’s so many factors in a calculation that would need to be done to say that this is going to work or it’s not. And everybody’s answer’s going to be different.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. 100%. And I mean, that was something I didn’t even mention, but the tax savings, you’re absolutely right. What is that real rate of return on the investment, if you’re saving money in taxes and getting 12%, and what are you paying on the interest? I mean, that takes a few more steps, but you’re just going to get a better outcome in the future, if you do take those steps to analyze your situation a little bit more in depth.

Brent Pasqua: I understand the premise behind his program. He’s doing planning for people to try and take some real simple steps to get them in a better position. I understand that, and I get that. And I think that has a powerful message and it helps so many people. He has a big platform, and he’s able to help so many people that are in those beginning steps, but you got to be very careful. Like what’s in the individual person’s best interest. And I think where I get the most concerned with his program is a lot of his programs are in the churches. So that what the churches do is the pastor will set up these programs to be listened to, and they have the speakers come in, and the speaker speaks at the church and takes them through a eight week course or six week course. But what we’ve seen and we’ve heard from other people, is that at the end, there’s these advisors that they have, set up strategically set up in these programs, that start working with the clients, and the end result that’s being done out of this is they’re moving money to annuities, insurance products, they’re moving monies to mutual funds with commission-based sales.

Brent Pasqua: So it’s not some program where you’re just getting some basic financial steps. There’s a real sales to this. I know his whole company, I mean, they’re selling books, programs, classes, budgeting tools, merchandise. They have speakings, conferences, they have advisors working for them. So there’s a lot more behind this message than just some blanket advice that he’s given people over the radio.

Matthew Theal: Yeah, he’s trying to make money off you. And that’s sad.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. And that’s what I feel like gets lost in the translation. And a lot of people really value his advice, but us being in the industry, you can really see behind what’s leading all this. I mean, you can just go to his site and you could see, I mean, there’s a whole financial benefit to all of this. And he has seven or eight, nine books for a reason. I mean, he’s selling a lot of different things. So be very careful with that, without having one on one advice, what works for one doesn’t always work for the other.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. Good point.

Brent Pasqua: Any other thoughts on him?

Joshua Winterswyk: No, I think you’ve summarized it well, and just be mindful. I think that for a lot of people, if it is something that you were recommended, save more, spend less. I mean, that’s the general idea that we also preach too, if that’s going to help you get started. But just be mindful with all the tips, and making sure that you’re cross-referencing, making sure you’re taking a good look at in-depth analysis of your situation to make the right decision for you, but well-put, Brent. Good thing, it was a good summary.

Brent Pasqua: Yeah. I think some basic steps are good, but if you want accountability and real financial planning, counseling, I mean, it really doesn’t come through just general recommendations.

Joshua Winterswyk: Sure.

Brent Pasqua: Let’s go into RPA recommends. We’re in more time in quarantine. Josh, what do you have for an RPA recommends for this podcast?

Joshua Winterswyk: I’m just going to give a shout out to my local Trader Joe’s. Big Trader Joe’s fan for a long time. But their system, from even when the start of quarantine, has just been pretty good. They only let so many people in, and they have a good system with their line, even the checkouts. So I just want to give a shout out to my local Trader Joe’s, and definitely recommend them as a grocery store. Because they have made it easy for me to continue to shop and get out of the house and go to the grocery store. And that’s what I recommend this week.

Brent Pasqua: And feel safe doing it.

Joshua Winterswyk: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s important, right? I mean, one of the other options too, is Instacart’s become a lot popular as well. And then, the grocery delivery. But when I go to the grocery store, at least they’re still making me feel safe while we’re doing it. And that was already my favorite grocery store before. And it still is. So that’s good as well.

Brent Pasqua: What do you have for us, Matt?

Matthew Theal: Well, as you know, Josh and I have been playing a ton of golf. We have a ton of listeners who are big golf fans, and you know, quite a few clients who play as well. And it’s been a while since I’ve started, since I’ve played. I haven’t played in about five, six years before this last month. And there’s all this new technology, and you can get a couple apps for your phone, Golfshot and 18Birdies. And when you’re playing the course, they use your phone’s GPS to show you how far you are from the hole, which is really cool, so you could get some better club selection. Anyways, I used it this past week and you know, for you golfers out there who aren’t using it, I mean, great tool. I don’t know. Some people think it’s cheating.

Joshua Winterswyk: No, it’s not cheating. You’re just getting a good read on the distance.

Matthew Theal: It even has a watch app, too. So you just look at your watch, and it tells you how far away you are. So it’s really cool.

Joshua Winterswyk: It’s like having a caddy, right?

Matthew Theal: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s like an iPhone caddy.

Joshua Winterswyk: And the watch features, definitely I’ll have to piggyback on that recommendation. Look down at your watch, see your distance. Definitely big fan of that.

Matthew Theal: What about you, Brent?

Brent Pasqua: My RPA recommends, with the gym still being closed, and California, it looks like they’re still going to be closed for some time. I don’t know anybody has a good idea when they’re going to be opening, if you are working out at home, I’d recommend getting a TRX band. You can go to one of the … just Google search TRX bands, and they have been an extremely valuable piece to be able to work out. I didn’t need to buy a weight set or tons of different things. A TRX band is a very good way to have natural weight resistance, and just being able to work out. There’s tons of workouts that you can do with the TRX band. You can work out for years and be very comfortable using the TRX band. You can Google just some TRX exercises, but that TRX band has really helped me work out at home without needing … I don’t need 25 and 30 and 40 pound weights sitting in my garage. Buy a TRX band, you hook it up to the door, and you’re able to really get some really good resistant body weight workout. And I think it’s a great workout at home. And then go outside after you’re done, and take a run. It’s nice to be outside right now.

Matthew Theal: I saw you the other day, Brent. And you are one of the few people who has managed to lose weight during quarantine. And you look fantastic. In here I am the old man. I’m looking a little heavy, shorts barely button, and I need new shirts. Dude, it looks like you’re going … dropping a size and I’m going up a size.

Brent Pasqua: Well, you know, part of it was, in the beginning of quarantine, like when we didn’t really know how much the food supply was going to be impacted, and I started seeing all the people like hoard Costco and the grocery stores. I really didn’t know how the food was going, what was going to happen. We had a decent amount of stock here, but I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I just became very minimalist. I wasn’t overeating. I want to make sure my kids had food. So I was eating basically scraps, and working out, but working out has got me through this.

Brent Pasqua: So I’ve been working out with my wife, and I get up pretty much every morning during the week, and we’re working out. So I’m enjoying doing that, because we never get to workout together. So it’s been actually really fun. But yeah, my suit … my wife laughed at me too. She said my … because I have really tight, fitted suit, and it was not tight and fitted. It was very baggy. So I might have to take it to the tailor shop after this.

Joshua Winterswyk: So thank you for listening to the Retirement Plan Playbook. If you’d like to learn more about us or read the show notes, please go to the Retirement Plan Playbook. We thank you as always for listening. Bye.

Brent Pasqua: Thank you.

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