2023 Retirement Confidence Survey & Summer Travel Planning

Our 2 Cents – Episode #139

2023 Retirement Confidence Survey & Summer Travel Planning

Welcome back to another episode of Our 2 Cents! This week we’re discussing the 33rd Annual Retirement Confidence Survey to give you a better understanding of how your peers are feeling about various aspects of retirement. Then we’re sharing some tips for planning upcoming summer vacations.

  1. The 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey:
    • The huge gap between when workers expect to retire and when retirees say they actually did.
    • How much has America’s confidence in a comfortable retirement dropped over the years?
    • What do people feel are the most valuable improvements to retirement savings plans?
    • How confident are people in knowing how much to withdraw from their savings in retirement?
    • The ways you can plan in order to have realistic expectations about retirement.
  2. Summer Travel Planning:
    • 15 top U.S. vacation destinations for 2023.
    • The steps you should take to appropriately budget for and plan your summer vacation.
  3. Getting to Know Steve and Gabriel:
    • Where’s the funniest place you’ve fallen asleep?
    • What’s the best part of your day?

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: You’re listening to Our 2 Cents with the team from SGL Financial, building wealth for life. Steve Lewit is the president of SGL Financial and Gabriel Lewit is the CEO. They’re here to discuss all the latest in financial news, trends, strategies, and more.

Gabriel Lewit: Hello, hello, and welcome to Our 2 Cents again, and thanks for joining us today. You’ve got myself, Gabriel Lewit. You’ve got my partner in crime.

Steve Lewit: And Father.

Gabriel Lewit: And Father.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Steven Lewit.

Steve Lewit: I am. I was like what-

Gabriel Lewit: Say hello.

Steve Lewit: Sam I am. I am. I am, I am.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Can you say hello?

Steve Lewit: Hello, everybody.

Gabriel Lewit: Perfect.

Steve Lewit: Sorry.

Gabriel Lewit: Welcome.

So yeah, we wanted to just say we’re excited to talk to you here today, and of course, we love having you listen to our show, and we’ve got a couple comments recently at a little gathering of a few clients we were seeing and they were saying they love the show, and I was really very happy to hear that. So I’m hoping the others out there listening love the show too.

Steve Lewit: Well, if they’re listening, I would suspect they like what they hear.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Folks, we try to make every topic timely and interesting, and we know that some of them don’t apply to you, but one person said to me, “Steve, even though I was listening to the show…” And I think we were talking about getting married and all the different things that he says, “None of those apply to me. But I really enjoyed the show.” So I’m glad. I was happy to hear that.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, that’s our goal is give you interesting tidbits, timely information, joke around a little bit, have a little fun, not take ourselves too-too seriously. Otherwise, I think this show would be a little dull.

Steve Lewit: Snoozy.

Gabriel Lewit: Snoozy.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: So anyways, yeah, keep the feedback coming for us from time to time. Gives us a little juice to continue to come up with cool content ideas.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. And suggestions too folks, if you think of something that you think we should include, please let us know.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. So with that in mind today, we’ve got actually a research statistics data set for you here that is based on retirement. It’s actually called… Let’s see here, the 33rd Annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. They’ve been doing this for 33 years.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. And so basically what this survey does is they interview thousands of people to get a snapshot of how are people feeling about money, retirement, confidence in retirement, a bunch of different things here that we’re going to talk about. And so it’s an interesting way to look at what your peers in the world are feeling about things and see if you can relate to any of the things that get discovered here.

Steve Lewit: Absolutely.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: It gives you like a guidepost to say, well, this is the way other people feel about it, but maybe I feel differently or the same. And it’s interesting.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So this is done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. So they’ve been doing this again for 33 years, and now in prior years, the rates here, the results, I should say, not rates-

Steve Lewit: The rates.

Gabriel Lewit: … Have gone up and down. No surprise. Okay? So we’ll talk about some of the changes here, but in particular, there’s a huge gap between when workers expect to retire and when they actually did. Okay? So that’s an interesting one. People actually think that they’re going to work longer than they in fact do, which is one of the first thing that the study ends up measuring here.

Steve Lewit: And that really surprised me because we get folks come in here and say, well, I’m going to retire at 67 or 65, and what this is saying is that, that ain’t necessarily true.

Gabriel Lewit: So actually, only one in three workers expect to retire at 70, and then only 6% of people actually work through to age 70.

Steve Lewit: Really? I missed that one in there.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: There was so much data in here.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, tons of data. So we’re just going to cherry-pick a few items here for you. But that, as you mentioned, doesn’t surprise us, dad because we get a lot of people here that initially are like, “Yeah, we can work through till 70. Love what we do. We are going to maximize social security,” and fast-forward to 65, 66, and then all of a sudden it’s, “Yeah, we don’t want to work.”

Steve Lewit: Yeah. There’s a change in work in the workplace. They might have a new boss, but also with the report pointed out is that health is a big issue between 65 and 70, a lot of people are unable to work even though they plan to work.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep. Now, similarly to working, how long you would work before retirement, there is a data point here on how many workers expected to work at least a little bit after they retire. And before people retired, 73% of workers thought that they would do some form of part-time work-

Steve Lewit: And then?

Gabriel Lewit: … after they retired-

Steve Lewit: And then?

Gabriel Lewit: And then…

Steve Lewit: And then?

Gabriel Lewit: Only 30% did.

Steve Lewit: That’s right. Retirement’s a lot of fun. Yeah. And by the way, I couldn’t find it in here, Gabriel, but I think people, it wasn’t that they didn’t work because they couldn’t, it was that they didn’t want to work. That’s what I was looking for. I couldn’t find a confirmation of that, but I’ve heard that in previous studies too.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So psychologically things shift for you, and that’s a big part of planning for retirement, is using experience from our side that we have gleaned from many, many, many hundreds of client conversations, and we can start to share some of this with you to give you hopefully better, more realistic expectations of the future when you get into your later retirement years, would you say?

Steve Lewit: Oh, yeah. Well, I was thinking of what we were talking about last night in this group is that people expect, again to be in a lower tax bracket when they retire-

Gabriel Lewit: By the way, folks, Steve’s referencing, he did a seminar last night. That’s-

Steve Lewit: I’m sorry. Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: … They wouldn’t have known that.

Steve Lewit: Okay. Folks-

Gabriel Lewit: Just clarifying.

Steve Lewit: … I did a seminar last night, to clarify, and we were talking about people expect when they retire or what we’ve been taught is to be in a lower tax bracket, and most of our clients actually spend more and are in a higher tax bracket after they retire. So a lot of things we expect, which is what the survey puts out, isn’t exactly what happens.

Gabriel Lewit: True. Very true. Yeah. Taxes is a big one. Now, how about the confidence in having a comfortable retirement? Okay, so the 2023, I’m just going to read this off here for us, the 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey finds just under two thirds of American workers, 64%, feel confident in their ability to have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement. And only 18% of those feel very confident.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, it’s a pretty low number. And-

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, it dropped quite a bit too from last year.

Steve Lewit: It dropped quite a bit, and a lot of that has to do with fixed expenses. This is not just having a great life, it’s just I’m able to cover all of my expenses. So that is, that’s not a great number.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, to us, this speaks to the value of planning and why we do what we do. Because numbers aside, what’s our number one job, the reason people come to us, dad?

Steve Lewit: I would say peace of mind.

Gabriel Lewit: They’re looking for-

Steve Lewit: Did I get that right?

Gabriel Lewit: … They’re looking for confidence in the future.

Steve Lewit: Well, confidence gives you… and confidence-

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. That confidence is going to last them through retirement.

Steve Lewit: You know I can go out and spend, I can go out and have a dinner, maybe I fly first class once in a while on the plane and I don’t worry about it.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So I would like to believe that if we polled our clients here on their confidence levels of their money lasting them through retirement, we would get 100%.

Steve Lewit: That’s a great idea. That’s such a cool idea. Katie… Katie, let’s do a market… let’s-

Gabriel Lewit: Did I just create more work for Katie?

Steve Lewit: We should, yeah. Katie, put this on your list.

Gabriel Lewit: I think Katie’s future project list is already dedicated.

Steve Lewit: We should do a marketing survey of our clients similar to this to find out what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. And I think that would be great. What a great idea, Gabriel. Congratulations.

Gabriel Lewit: It’s my one for the month.

Steve Lewit: Day. No, for the day.

Gabriel Lewit: For the month.

Steve Lewit: Oh, you come up with ideas every day. It’s a great one.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, thank you. Thank you. So let’s see, what other kind of data can we pull from this report for you folks? I know there’s a lot more in here. Let’s see. I got another one for you. Hold on. I just got to find it. I got all sorts of… There’s all sorts of fact sheets and printouts here. Let’s see here… Dad, can you entertain for a minute?

Steve Lewit: Can I entertain?

Gabriel Lewit: You dance a jig or something?

Steve Lewit: I’m looking through the… You know what the problem with this survey is that it’s, I really mean this. It has data about everything, and it’s like it’s so affluent in data you don’t know. It’s like going to a smorgasbord table and there’s so many good options.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, we don’t want to data you to death out there either.

Steve Lewit: Right. But there are so many good options you don’t know what to pick.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m also attempting to not knock over my cup of coffee while I’m shuffling through all these papers.

Steve Lewit: Well, I noticed you didn’t put a cover on it, so I was a little concerned about that.

Gabriel Lewit: I never do. It cools it off a little bit quicker. I actually prefer it that way.

Steve Lewit: What about expectations in-

Gabriel Lewit: Let’s see.

Steve Lewit: … retirement?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, we already got that one. Yeah. Okay. I got, well, I got one here. Okay, hold on. Let’s see. So this is a little slightly different, but part of the same study. So they were also quizzed or polled on, what would they find to be the most valuable improvements to a workplace retirement plan? So dad, this is fact sheet eight on the front if you’re looking for it in your copies of the sheets. Okay? So let me read this for you folks. Among workers offered a retirement savings plan, three of the top four choices they say they would value the most in their retirement savings plans deal with the provisions or understanding of income after retirement. And the top two improvements selected are investment options that provide guaranteed lifetime income, 40% and better explanations for how much income their savings will produce in retirement. Those are the top two things that people, workers wish that they had in their retirement savings.

Steve Lewit: And I am absolutely not surprised about that. I didn’t know that was number eight, because look what I have my page turned to.

Gabriel Lewit: I can’t see it from here.

Steve Lewit: It’s number eight.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, perfect.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I thought this was really the most important. Really important.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m on a different graph than you, though.

Steve Lewit: Oh, I like the graph about here… This one is confidence in knowing how much to withdraw from retirement, and I’m not wearing my glasses, Gabriel, can you read that? What is the, because this is knowing how much do I take out of my portfolio?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So it says, how confident are you and your spouse… Meaning you know how much to withdraw from your retirement savings and investments in retirement. 36% said not confident, 44% said somewhat confident and only 20% said very confident.

Steve Lewit: And think about it, you go into retirement, you have your nest egg that you’ve accumulated, your whole entire life of saving. You got 30 years that money has to last, and only one out of four people are confident that that money will last.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep.

Steve Lewit: That’s not a healthy way to go into retirement.

Gabriel Lewit: Agreed. So what we’re talking about here, guys, is really, I mean, it’s what we do. Right? We’re planners. We help you figure all this stuff out, we are focused on giving you confidence and helping deliver you with things that aren’t going to stress you out.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. What I got out of this survey on a broad brush stroke… I got that out… Is that what we expect doesn’t happen, or what the common belief is not true. And that every year it changes. Like now we’re in a situation where the economy is struggling, the interest rates are rising, we got inflation and all that other stuff, and generally the confidence is down. And I think emotionally people react to that. And if you’re approaching retirement, it looms in your mind. You say, whoa, all of this stuff is going on, how is that going to affect me in retirement? I lose my confidence.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Well, and I think ultimately everybody’s very unique and very different, but this does give us a glimpse at the prevailing feelings that are out there as far as the current economy, the current climate, where people are at, and the general feeling from workers and retirees out there on these various topics.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. And folks, what we use this for is it helps us ask you questions. When we see you, we have this data in our heads and saying, well, this is the general trend. Let’s see where you are. If the wind is blowing north and you want to go south, we have to understand that and figure out how to do that.

Gabriel Lewit: Indeed, indeed. So if you have-

Steve Lewit: You could have said surely.

Gabriel Lewit: I didn’t.

Steve Lewit: You could have.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, if you have questions on any of this or you fall into any of those categories where you’re concerned or you’re wondering about your income withdrawals, or you want to know if you have enough saved or you’re not feeling confident, give us a call 847-499-3330 or email us info@sglfinancial.com and we will help you gain confidence.

Steve Lewit: And if you would like a copy-

Gabriel Lewit: Come up with a plan.

Steve Lewit: … And if you would like a copy of what we have, I’m happy to upload my pages to you.

Gabriel Lewit: We actually have a clean copy.

Steve Lewit: We do.

Gabriel Lewit: A PDF version we could send to anybody that wants to read the dozens of pages of data.

Steve Lewit: You don’t have one. It’s not underlined and highlighted and got all your little notes on it, like mine?

Gabriel Lewit: I do have one. Yeah. Circles.

Steve Lewit: Circles.

Gabriel Lewit: I have a lot of circles.

Steve Lewit: Yep. Okay.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t think people want that one.

Steve Lewit: No, they don’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Well, what I wanted to talk about next is something a little bit more maybe fun to brainstorm, and that is what are your summer travel plans?

Steve Lewit: Ah, gosh. That’s great.

Gabriel Lewit: So, I’m-

Steve Lewit: That’s great.

Gabriel Lewit: … I’m saying, I’m asking that I guess open-ended to everybody listening, what are your summer travel plans?

Steve Lewit: Now why did you pick that topic?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I am planning my summer travel plans. So I thought it would be good to talk about if you are thinking about planning out your summer travel or even your travel for the rest of the year, which is in fact more so what I’m doing and why would we want to start mapping that out ahead in advance?

Well, as financial planners, of course, we’re trying to get a sense of what do you want to do this year? If you’re retired, do you need to take withdrawals to fund that?

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Or do you already have money saved up? Do you want to take a bigger than usual trip and can you afford it? If you want to splurge, maybe it’s time after a couple years of subdued travel. Given the pandemic a year ago just ended, maybe it’s time to do a big splurge. So it’s helpful to start thinking about as you’re planning your travel, what are all the different things that you want to account for so you cannot get surprised and shocked by the credit card bill after you return.

Steve Lewit: Or worry about, “Well, I really can’t take this trip, but I’m going to do it anyway,” or “I’m not going to do It.”

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, exactly. Maybe some of you out there are thinking you shouldn’t take a trip because you can’t afford it or X, Y, or Z, but maybe you can.

Steve Lewit: Definitely. Yeah. I was just thinking that I was talking to a client the other day and we were talking about their trip to… I think it was Paris, they’re going to Germany and Paris. So we were talking about the cost of the trip, and I was so happy because they can afford it, and they were spending their money like they could afford it. So they were really having a good, they weren’t like, “Hey, this hotel is costing us too much.” I mean, they’re not big spenders, but they’re going out and having a good time.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. There’s difference between being a big spender where you’re just buying all the luxury everything’s and just spending what you need to spend to have a great trip, but not worry about it. Would you say?

Steve Lewit: Oh, absolutely. Folks, as soon as you spending money… If you go out for dinner and you worry did we spend too much? You got to come in and talk to us, because that’s the kind of worry that we aim for you not to have. We want you to be able to spend your money confidently like the survey says, with confidence and not worry because it’s built into your budget. In fact, Gabriel, you know what’s interesting is I’ve had a lot of clients this past six months that want a separate entertainment and travel budget over and above their regular spending budget. So let’s say you’re spending 50 grand a year. We are tagging in another 10 or 15 grand, that’s their fun money, and we put it in as a separate line item. Have you been experiencing that in your planning?

Gabriel Lewit: I think a lot of people… I have so many conversations with clients recently in the last six months, “Hey, we’re really looking forward to traveling this next summer.” They just hadn’t done much in a while. So yeah, everybody is getting out there. Katie, maybe let’s, this is out of curiosity. Can you Google top US summer travel destinations? We’ll talk about some of these here. Where are people headed to for this year? Okay, we got the 21 best summer vacations in the USA for 2023.

Steve Lewit: Okay. Where are they?

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, number… Is that really number one? Wow. Number one, this is of course, according to just one single article we picked on the fly here, Glacier National Park.

Steve Lewit: Really? Where is that at?

Gabriel Lewit: Montana’s-

Steve Lewit: Montana.

Gabriel Lewit: … Glacier National Park is known for its stunning geological features including 700 plus lakes, nearly 200 waterfalls and two major mountain ranges across more than 1 million acres.

Steve Lewit: Are you selling, like, tickets? Are you selling-

Gabriel Lewit: I’m trying to use my promotional voice.

Steve Lewit: Like an advertisement here. Folks, you must go to Glacier National Park.

Gabriel Lewit: That does sound… It looks really pretty, actually. Okay. Number two, Yellowstone National Park. We’re going to give you some ideas here, and then we’re going to tell you how you plan for these.

Steve Lewit: And you’re going to tell us how you’re spending your summer in the backyard.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I am taking a vacation too, but yes, there’ll be some time in the backyard. Grand Canyon National Park, number three.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Be careful there because it can get hot. San Diego, number four.

Steve Lewit: Wow. That surprises me.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Because there’s breweries and beaches and good weather. Yeah. You’ve got the Grand Teton National Park. How many of these you been to so far? I’ve been to Yellowstone in San Diego.

Steve Lewit: And Grand Teton, three.

Gabriel Lewit: You’ve been to Grand Tetons?

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh. Well, cool. San Francisco. I’ve been there.

Steve Lewit: Been there.

Gabriel Lewit: Bar Harbor, Maine. I’ve been there.

Steve Lewit: Been there.

Gabriel Lewit: Number seven is Bar Harbor. Adirondacks is number eight.

Steve Lewit: Been there. You were there. I think you were there. I think I took you there.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: I think you were in my hands.

Gabriel Lewit: Maybe. Seattle number nine.

Steve Lewit: Oh.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep. There you go.

Steve Lewit: We’re headed there.

Gabriel Lewit: We actually have a small business conference there Monday and Tuesday actually next week.

Steve Lewit: We’re getting good on this.

Gabriel Lewit: Hey, look at this.

Steve Lewit: This exam is turning out pretty good.

Gabriel Lewit: Number 10 Outer Banks.

Steve Lewit: Now where’s Outer Banks?

Gabriel Lewit: That is in North Carolina.

Steve Lewit: Nope. Never been there.

Gabriel Lewit: It says you’ve got windsurfing, boogie boarding and kiting adventures like kiteboarding, hang gliding, and classic kite flying.

Steve Lewit: Does not get me excited.

Gabriel Lewit: And sharks in the beach, not in the water.

Steve Lewit: Be fun to watch.

Gabriel Lewit: Hilton Head.

Steve Lewit: Been there.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s actually where I’m going for summer vacation this year.

Steve Lewit: Wonderful. Have you been-

Gabriel Lewit: Number 11 on the list.

Steve Lewit: … Have you been there?

Gabriel Lewit: I have not.

Steve Lewit: Hilton Head’s beautiful.

Gabriel Lewit: So, looking forward to the biking and kayaking, fishing and hiking and horseback riding and bird watching.

Steve Lewit: You can read that on the screen?

Gabriel Lewit: I sure can.

Steve Lewit: Without glasses?

Gabriel Lewit: No. Well contacts.

Steve Lewit: Oh yeah. Because-

Gabriel Lewit: Yes.

Steve Lewit: … I got like gray fuzzy little black and white and-

Gabriel Lewit: We’ll round out the top 15 here. We’ve got Cannon Beach. Where is Cannon Beach here? Hold on folks. Oregon.

Steve Lewit: Cannon Beach.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: There’s a beach in Oregon?

Gabriel Lewit: There. It does butt up against the coast, the entire state.

Steve Lewit: Oh, yeah. It does.

Gabriel Lewit: I think there are some beaches there.

Steve Lewit: I thought… yeah, my geography isn’t very good. I thought it was a little, I thought it was land enclosed.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Folks, you know my geography ain’t too good.

Gabriel Lewit: It says there are migrate… Go back up, Katie. It says there are migrating gray whales and tufted puffins. Tufted puffins.

Steve Lewit: Little birds.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, sounds cute.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. And cozy cedar shingled restaurants.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Not for me.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Zion National Park in Utah.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Very beautiful. My mom lives in Utah, she sends me photos.

Steve Lewit: Never been there.

Gabriel Lewit: Cape May, which is on the Jersey Shore.

Steve Lewit: I think I’ve been there.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, a long time ago.

Gabriel Lewit: If you go in June, it’s called Cape June. It changes with the months.

Steve Lewit: Nope. Okay.

Gabriel Lewit: No, it doesn’t. I’m just, I’m being silly.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Last but not least, for number 15, you’ve got the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Steve Lewit: Yes, sir. Where’s that?

Gabriel Lewit: Which is in… Hold on-

Steve Lewit: Smoky Mountains-

Gabriel Lewit: … Tennessee, North Carolina border.

Steve Lewit: In the Smoky Mountains.

Gabriel Lewit: And it boasts impressive waterfalls, top-notch fishing, scenic drives, and exciting hikes, including 71 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Steve Lewit: I was just going to say, folks who hike the Appalachian Trail, hike that through there.

Gabriel Lewit: With evening temperatures in the 60s to 70s, it’s an excellent place to camp.

Steve Lewit: All right. So let’s hear about what are you doing?

Gabriel Lewit: So, we’re going to Hilton Head, and then later on this year, I want to plan another trip somewhere, but I haven’t figured that one out yet. So hence what we’re doing with all this is figuring out how to budget. So I budget too, just like everybody else probably does. And you figure out, okay, where might we go? That’s your first step, which is part of why we just gave you some inspirations there. Where might we go? Are we going to do a ritzy downtown hotel in a metropolitan city with nights out on the town and fancy restaurants and bars and rooftop decks and dancing and whatever else your heart desires?

Steve Lewit: Sounds good. When are we leaving?

Gabriel Lewit: Or are you going to go relax on the campsite and kick your feet up on a wooden log while you roast marshmallows over the fire and swat the mosquitoes away on a warm summer night?

Steve Lewit: Fry the fish that you caught.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: So, what’s the difference between those two? Well budget might change?

Steve Lewit: Well, it’s not only budget, but that’s the whole deal. If you know what you can spend, let’s say your budget for travel in a year is 10 grand. Well then go spend your 10 grand, you can spend in one shot or three shots, but go spend the money.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So step one folks, we’re going to give you some quick tips here on how to plan this all out. Step number one… well start off either by picking some destinations or as Steve just mentioned, you can just pick your budget for the year. So you do your planning, you do your budgeting. You say, “Hey, I’ve got 10 grand this year to go on a vacation or two vacations,” whatever amount you’ve got saved up or carved out, that becomes your starting point. And then you need to start to figure out potentially where you might go. So pick your top spot. Let’s say it’s, it is blah, blah… Pick a spot on that list.

Steve Lewit: Well, I have a spot. So here’s what I do, Gabriel. I look at all the possible… I’m always looking, where can I go? Where can I go? I’m looking at the ads, I’m looking at the pictures. And what’s stuck with me is I want to go to Africa. Now, that’s an extremely expensive trip.

Gabriel Lewit: I think you need more than 10 grand.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep.

Steve Lewit: But the point is, I don’t know if I’m going to ever take it because I’m not used to spending that kind of money on a trip, but I might pull the trigger next year. But the deal is, folks look through and find something that really talks to you, and then see how you can get that trip into your budget.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, and what I was going to do is get a little deeper here into specifically the steps you would take. So I’ll use your example here, dad. If you’re going on an African safari, first step is you could either work with a travel agency if it’s something more exotic or you start to do some research on, especially with more adventure vacations like that, they tend to be bundled together. So you’ll find a group or a tour company that’ll have lodging-

Steve Lewit: Everything is set up.

Gabriel Lewit: … Guys with guns to shoot off the rhinos and the lions. It’ll come with everything you need to make sure you don’t get eaten-

Steve Lewit: Spears.

Gabriel Lewit: … by a hippo-

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Spears.

Gabriel Lewit: … Or trampled by an elephant. Right? So that’s one option. But then you also got to figure out your airfare. You got to figure out where you’re going to stay, lodging. And then you’ve got to figure out a daily food allowance. And this is where the type of vacation can very much change. If you’re going to be camping and you’re bringing your own food, that’s different than if you’ve got a fancy hotel where you’ve got to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there, and it’s $50 per person every time you eat a sandwich or a breakfast.

Steve Lewit: Breakfast.

Gabriel Lewit: So yeah, starting to figure this out, and I recommend we even have a template for you if you want it, you’re happy to request it from us, a little Excel file. Just go category by category, start to fill in this mini budget for your vacation.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Add them all up in, voila. There you go. You’ve got your rough budget for that vacation, that trip that you’ve plan planned. And then the question is, does that fit into your allotted budget for the year?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. And if it doesn’t, we’ve had folks, we’ve had clients come in and say, “Look, we want to…” Well, I just recently… Was it you? Somebody had took their whole family to Hawaii. Was that you?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. How much did they spend on that?

Gabriel Lewit: I didn’t get the final recap, but it was a pricey trip.

Steve Lewit: Like 130 or a 100. I know it was very expensive.

Gabriel Lewit: No, not in the hundred thousands.

Steve Lewit: Oh, maybe that was one of my clients. But here’s the deal. Let’s say your budget is 10, but the trip’s going to cost 15, but it’s something you really wanted to do. Come in and talk to us. Don’t write it off, because we’re good at figuring that stuff out and how to make it fit for you and let you know, “Yeah, you can really do this.” So you’ll leave a little less money by behind when you pass away, but so what? You’re going to go out and have a great time.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So guys and gals, what we want from you listening to our show today is realize time is precious and valuable. Life experiences are valuable, and family memories are valuable. And if we can help give you the, I don’t know, the freedom or the go ahead to take these trips and enjoy them and not worry as much about the money side, that’s really what drives us to help you do that.

Steve Lewit: It does. Because we’re good at money, Gabriel, and we love working with numbers and plans and money and everything. But what turns me and you on a lot is clients come in here and they say, “Hey, I just got back from my trip to wherever for three weeks, and we had a phenomenal time.” And they didn’t worry about their money.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Exactly. All right, so we’ve got a couple minutes left here that we have timed here specifically for Steve’s favorite segment of our shows.

Steve Lewit: I love this segment. I just can’t wait.

Gabriel Lewit: Which is where Steve sings the opera for you.

No, just…

Steve Lewit: (singing)

Gabriel Lewit: Actually, no. His favorite, of course, is getting to know Steve.

Steve Lewit: (singing)

Gabriel Lewit: So, I’m going to ask you a question, and you are going to answer that question for our audience.

Steve Lewit: (singing)

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. I’ve got one for you. Are you ready?

Steve Lewit: No. No, I’m not.

Gabriel Lewit: What is the funniest place that you’ve ever fallen asleep?

Steve Lewit: Oh, Jesus. How do you think of these things?

Gabriel Lewit: I Google them.

Steve Lewit: Oh.

Gabriel Lewit: And then I find lists of questions to ask.

Steve Lewit: The funniest place I’ve ever fallen asleep?

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. Not on your bed. That’s not on your bed.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know. I’ve fall asleep in lots of places.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s why it’s a question.

Steve Lewit: Well, here, I love power naps. I could take a 10-minute nap anywhere. Now, where is the funniest place I ever fell asleep? I don’t know, Kate, can you help me out? In my office? I don’t know. I’ve never fallen asleep in front of a client.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, that’s good. That’s good news. Yes, yes.

Steve Lewit: Thank goodness.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know how to answer that. Why don’t you go first?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, mine is, it’s a combination of falling asleep and maybe I had a few too many drinks, but when I was in my early twenties, I was riding the… I lived in downtown Chicago. I was out with friends, and we were like by, I think a White Sox game. I don’t know. We were further south and I was taking, it was late at night and I was really tired, and I was taking the L back north, and it was all my friends had gotten off and it was just me. Nobody else is on the L train. And I just closed my eyes for a second-

Steve Lewit: Just a second.

Gabriel Lewit: Just a second. It was just relaxing there and a ding. And I wake up and I’m looking around, I’m like, where is… Howard? It was like the Howard stop, which was the end of the line. Funny enough too, this was in the middle of winter. And so I get off the stop because I have to go back the other way, and it’s like 10 degrees, it’s snowing, I’m all alone on this Howard Red Line platform waiting for the train to come back the other way. And it was rather humorous. But, yeah.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I was going to give a subway example too. I fell asleep on the subway, and actually I slept till the last-

Gabriel Lewit: That’s basically what I did.

Steve Lewit: … and the guy came by, “Sir? Sir? This is the last stop, sir.”

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know if it’s funny, but I was an opera singer, and in between the acts sometimes you don’t sing for a full act, which could be 40 minutes. So you’re supposed to stay awake because it’s really bad for your voice if you fall asleep, because… It’s just bad for your voice. But I did fall asleep, and someone’s knocking on my door, “Mr. Lewit, where are you? Curtain call. Curtain call.”

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, you’re supposed to be on stage.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Whoops.

Steve Lewit: And then you go running out there like a crazy person.

So that’s a tough question.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. No, I just thought it was a-

Steve Lewit: Yeah, it’s interesting.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, it just called to me when I saw it. Okay. How about this one? What’s the best part of your day?

Steve Lewit: The best-

Gabriel Lewit: We’ll end on a positive, enlightening note.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. I think actually the best part of my day is the end of the day. I like to review the day and I feel really good about all the things I’ve accomplished, the people I’ve talked to. Looking forward… I mean, right after work… Looking forward to dinner and working out or doing something relaxing. But I have the, I’m like, “Wow, I had a really good day or enjoyed this conversation, or this was a problem that we got through,” or… I really enjoy that.

Gabriel Lewit: Terrific.

Steve Lewit: What about you?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I’ve got two. Number one is coffee in the morning. I’m driving to work. I’m feeling a little sluggish. I come in, I hit that Starbucks coffee machine we’ve got in the office and grinds the coffee beans out it comes and first sip, I’m just heaven.

Steve Lewit: That’s great. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Heaven.

Steve Lewit: I love the first-

Gabriel Lewit: Cup number two is equally as terrific. My second favorite time of the day is, if you’ve ever been to Trader Joe’s, they sell these hold the cones, mini ice cream cones. And so I enjoy having two, sometimes three mini ice cream cones at the end of every day while I wind down on the couch. And I enjoy my ice cream cones.

Steve Lewit: At home, not at Trader Joe’s.

Gabriel Lewit: No, not at Trader Joe’s.

Steve Lewit: Right.

Gabriel Lewit: I buy home and bring them home.

Steve Lewit: Oh, you buy them at home.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. And then you have mini ice cream cones. Anytime your heart desires.

Steve Lewit: And then you go to work out. Right?

Gabriel Lewit: Of course. By eating more ice creams cones.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. It’s a long walk to the fridge.

Gabriel Lewit: Sometimes it feels it. It’s like, man, if I just had these cones right here I wouldn’t even have to walk to the freezer.

Steve Lewit: We should bring some in.

Gabriel Lewit: They’re delicious. I highly recommend them folks, if you’ve not yet had them. There are many flavors, coffee, chocolate chip, vanilla.

Steve Lewit: Let’s put them on our menu here.

Gabriel Lewit: Frozen ice cream. That would be good to store some of those. I’d probably eat them all.

Steve Lewit: No, I won’t let you. No. No, you can’t do that.

Gabriel Lewit: All right, well, folks, if you have any questions for us, anything that at all that we can help you with, big or small, give us a call 847-499-3330 or email us info@sglfinancial.com or go to our website.

And meanwhile, we just wishing you a wonderful, wonderful day wherever you are, however you’re listening to our show, and we can’t wait to talk to you on the next one.

Steve Lewit: All right. Stay well, everybody.

Gabriel Lewit: Bye now.

Steve Lewit: Enjoy. Enjoy.

Announcer:  Thanks for listening to Our 2 Cents with Steve and Gabriel Lewit. For any questions about your finances, give SGL a call at 847-499-3330 or visit us on the web at sglfinancial.com and be sure to subscribe to join us on next week’s episode.

Prerecorded Voice: Investment Advisory Services are offered through SGL Financial LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance and other financial products are offered separately through individually licensed and appointed agents.