A Spooktacular Halloween Special

Our 2 Cents – Episode #155

A Spooktacular Halloween Special

Steve and Gabriel are embracing all things Spooky Season on today’s show! They’ll share with you the 10 best haunted houses around the country, plus the scariest one of them all. Then they discuss some parallels between this haunted holiday and retirement.

  1. The 10 Best Haunted Houses in the US:
    • As voted by USA Today readers, these haunted houses were chosen for the quality of their actors, set designs, and special effects, as well as value for money.
    • From a petrifying penitentiary to multiple fields of screams. Any Halloween enthusiast will want to hear about these haunted experiences.
  2. The Scariest Haunted House in America:
    • This one requires a 40-page waiver, a doctor’s note clearing you physically and mentally, a safe word, and more.
    • A whopping grand prize if you complete the experience, but has anyone ever successfully finished?
  3. Retirement is Like Halloween:
    • Both Halloween and retirement can be scary.
    • You shouldn’t navigate retirement or a haunted house alone.
    • Both Halloween and retirement involve assuming a new identity.
    • There are some tricks and also some treats in retirement, just like All Hallows’ Eve.
    • Having a plan can mean you get to treat yourself (with no stomachaches)!

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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: Well, hello. Welcome to Our 2 Cents. Of course you’ve got Gabriel Lewit here, you’ve got Steven Lewit, you’ve got producer Katie in the background.

Steve Lewit: Oh, yes. I was thinking about making a clever comment about the costume I was wearing, but I couldn’t think of anything. I’m here, folks.

Gabriel Lewit: I hope you’re here.

Steve Lewit: I’m really-

Gabriel Lewit: You were staring blankly at the microphone-

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I was.

Gabriel Lewit: … and I wasn’t sure if you were-

Steve Lewit: In a trance. I was in a trance, right.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Well, he’s here. We’re here.

Steve Lewit: Well, look, it’s Halloween and I really wanted to think of what clever thing could I say about Halloween in response to Your 2 Cents, and nothing came to-

Gabriel Lewit: And that resulted in you saying nothing, which was-

Steve Lewit: Nothing. It was embarrassing. Nothing came up. I knew you were waiting. Kate was looking at me like, I’m like, “Wow.” So yeah, hey. Hi, everybody. Good evening. Good morning and…

Gabriel Lewit: Happy early Halloween.

Steve Lewit: Happy early Halloween.

Gabriel Lewit: Because today, of course, as we hinted at last week, is our Spooktacular-

Steve Lewit: Spooky, spooky.

Gabriel Lewit: Spooky, Spooktacular Special.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: … for Halloween. And the reason we’re doing it before Halloween is in case you feel so inspired by what we talk about here today to change or alter your Halloween plans, you will have the opportunity in advance to do so.

Steve Lewit: Good thinking.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Because okay, here’s what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about, we’re going to start things off today, are you ready?

Steve Lewit: I’m ready. I’m ready.

Gabriel Lewit: With the Top 10 Haunted House Attractions in the United States.

Steve Lewit: Ooh.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Scary, right?

Steve Lewit: You know, I don’t know the details, but I do know someone that actually went to one last year.

Gabriel Lewit: And they never came out?

Steve Lewit: They really got scared. They really got scared, so I don’t know what goes on in these places.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, some people love haunted houses, some people don’t, so this is clearly going to be for the people that do, if you felt so inclined to go to these. For the others, it’s just fun to watch other people get scared out of their minds and then laugh at them as if you knew all along.

Steve Lewit: Are you a haunted house fan?

Gabriel Lewit: I’m like right in the middle of the road. If I was going with a group of people, you could absolutely encourage me to come along. Is it number one on my list to go do in Halloween? I wouldn’t do it by myself.

Steve Lewit: Right, right. You’d want to have somebody to hold your hand.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, all by myself in the haunted forest with chainsaws going off around me.

Steve Lewit: Somebody to hold your hand.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, no, I’m going to stay with a group. Yeah, I’m going to stay with a group.

Steve Lewit: If you want, I’ll go with you, son.

Gabriel Lewit: I’ll protect you, Dad.

Steve Lewit: I’ll protect you.

Gabriel Lewit: All right, well, let’s go ahead and jump into the list. Okay? So this article here is going to share with us and with you the Top 10 Haunted Houses in the country as voted on by the readers of USA Today. So thank you, USA Today, for your helpful research.

Okay. So we have number 10. We have the Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. So yes, you might have to either drive or fly to these places. They’re not all in Chicagoland.

Steve Lewit: This is in a penitentiary?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Steve Lewit: Oh my God, that sounds great.

Gabriel Lewit: It was one of the most expensive prisons in the world, housing the likes of Al Capone and Slick Willie Sutton. And today, the crumbling ruins stand empty, but they return to life during Halloween nights.

Steve Lewit: I would go there.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Visitors who dare can test their bravery in five haunted houses and learn about the prison’s past on historic tours. Oh, that doesn’t sound fun. I want to get scared.

Steve Lewit: Oh, no. It’s a tour. I don’t want that.

Gabriel Lewit: No, that’s just one of the options, I think.

Steve Lewit: Oh.

Gabriel Lewit: And of course, you can drink your fears away in the themed bars and lounges.

Steve Lewit: But of course.

Gabriel Lewit: Of course.

Steve Lewit: Of course.

Gabriel Lewit: With the blood of your ex-cons.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I love a penitentiary though. That is so cool, yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, number nine is the… You’re going to do some of these, by the way, Mr. Lewit.

Steve Lewit: Oh, no.

Gabriel Lewit: So, if any of them calls out to you, you can use your best discussion announcer voice. Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride, also in Pennsylvania, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. It’s located on the Arasapha Farm, and the Bates Motel offers an incredible experience of terror and mayhem.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I guess they would all say, “Terror and mayhem.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, you’re going to hear a lot of terrors and mayhem.

Steve Lewit: Terror and mayhem. Yes, terror.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So you’re going to check into the motel to experience a new level of horror with high-tech special effects and lighting, including levitating spirits and pictures with eyes that follow you. That’s creepy. And then the haunted hay ride’s a 25-minute ride through the forest, complete with detailed Hollywood-style sets and props, giant monsters, and more pyrotechnics than a KISS concert.

Steve Lewit: Whoa. That’s a lot of pyrotechnics. You know when I was a kid, there was a picture on the wall of my parents’ house, and I could swear the eyes were following me on that picture.

Gabriel Lewit: They probably were.

Steve Lewit: It’s like every time I looked at it, I’d go to one side of the room and it’s like he’s still looking at me. You ever have a picture like that or see a picture like that? They used to have those in schools where you have somebody looking down.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, I feel like I did, but I can’t remember when.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Number eight, A Nightmare on 13th in Salt Lake City, Utah. And it doesn’t say street. I almost said street. It just says Nightmare on 13th.

Steve Lewit: 13th themed nightmares ranging from Nightmare Alley and Dark Ride of Terror.

Gabriel Lewit: “Terra”?

Steve Lewit: “Terra,” that’s from the Bronx. To Deep Freeze and more.

Gabriel Lewit: More, yes. There’s also a second attraction called the-

Steve Lewit: Institute of Terror.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, which will prolong your night of scares.

Steve Lewit: Oh, my.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, that sounds good.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, it sounds all right. I’m not going to Salt Lake City.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, we’re going to vote on your favorite here when we’re done.

Number seven, The Horrorland Miami, which is in Miami. No surprise. Described by expert Nikki J., I don’t know what she’s an expert in, but it says, “Expert Nikki J.”

Steve Lewit: She must be horrible.

Gabriel Lewit: “Absolutely terrifying.” The Horrorland Miami is a themed haunted house that includes five main haunted attractions, along with eight scary outdoor zones.

Steve Lewit: I love the bloody carnival games and Freak Cirque shows. Wow.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Well, and you can regain your composure in the food village and coffin bar.

Steve Lewit: Oh, I love it. That’s a great idea, a coffin bar.

Gabriel Lewit: Coffin bar. People are coughing a lot. The Coughing Bar.

Steve Lewit: No, coffin.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, okay. I got it.

Steve Lewit: Coffin, not coughing a lot.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m kidding. I knew that.

Steve Lewit: I know, I know. Okay.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. If you want something a little closer to home here in Illinois, you can go to The Haunting Experience in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, where you must find your way through the haunted houses, winding corridors, which are filled with diabolical sights and sounds, including the remains of an abandoned hospital, and of course, another haunted hayride through the shadowy forest. And if you hadn’t had your fill of frights, you can escape a dark cornfield where the sounds of chainsaws rip through the air.

I think if you were by yourself in a haunted cornfield with chainsaws going off-

Steve Lewit: I think I would get scared; I would get scared.

Gabriel Lewit: … at nighttime, I think I’d be scared.

Steve Lewit: I would get scared.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah.

Steve Lewit: I like this one. The Field of Screams.

Gabriel Lewit: There’s two Field of Screams.

Steve Lewit: There’s Field of Screams in Maryland.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. This isn’t dreams. It’s screams.

Steve Lewit: Only, only?

Gabriel Lewit: Olney.

Steve Lewit: Oney?

Gabriel Lewit: Olney.

Steve Lewit: Only, Maryland.

Gabriel Lewit: Not only. Olney.

Steve Lewit: Olney.

Gabriel Lewit: There you go.

Steve Lewit: A horrific, terrifying world beyond imagination at the Field of Screams in only-

Gabriel Lewit: No, Olney.

Steve Lewit: Olney.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh my gosh. This is horrifying.

Steve Lewit: Maryland. This is horrifying.

Gabriel Lewit: You trying to say, “Olney.”

Steve Lewit: A walk through the woods, the Haunted Trail, and the Trail of Terror leaves visitors scurrying away. Scurrying.

Gabriel Lewit: You’re sounding more Bronx-ish than I remembered. “Scurrying. Horrah.”

Steve Lewit: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m from the Bronx. Along the journey, guests are welcome into several haunted houses.

Gabriel Lewit: Where they might find anything from dead bodies to clowns and butchers.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I’ll do my English accent now. Okay. Enjoy bag pumpkin toss.

Gabriel Lewit: What are doing over there?

Steve Lewit: The zombie.. What is that? Brian Zombie Smash? What is that?

Gabriel Lewit: Are you-

Steve Lewit: I don’t like this one.

Gabriel Lewit: Can you read?

Steve Lewit: No, I don’t like this. Let’s skip this one.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. I’m going to take us back on point here.

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. I’m going to skip one here.

Steve Lewit: Well, I’m not wearing my glasses. That’s the problem.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh.

Steve Lewit: So, I really can’t see what I’m reading.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, then I really should be the one reading these.

Steve Lewit: Yes, you really should.

Gabriel Lewit: Number four is the Petrified Forest in Altamonte Springs, Florida. I’m going to skip this one. It just says, “It makes your skin crawl.”

Steve Lewit: No good, no good, no good.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. We’ve got number three, the Azra Chamber of Horrors in Madison Heights, Michigan.

Steve Lewit: Right nearby.

Gabriel Lewit: You can dare to encounter Azra, who is an ancient and powerful dragon, and his collection of scariest fears. All right. That sounds fun.

Steve Lewit: Not really, not really.

Gabriel Lewit: Here’s another Field of Screams in Pennsylvania. You can choose from four terrifying experiences. The Nocturnal Wasteland is the fear-filled forest. Yeah, okay. That sounds pretty good. Let’s skip to number one, shall we?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Let’s do that.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. I don’t like the name of this one, but I think this is good. The Cutting Edge Haunted House.

Steve Lewit: Oh, I love it. That’s a great name. Cutting Edge on Halloween.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I see what they did there, but I think like cutting edge, like it’s avant-garde.

Steve Lewit: No, no, no.

Gabriel Lewit: I get it, the cutting edge.

Steve Lewit: It’s the cutting edge.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. This is in Texas, so you got to go down south for this. Now, I love this location, folks. You start in a parking lot, but it’s located near Fort Worth, Texas’s Hell’s Half-Acre, which is a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant. That’s got to be spooky.

Steve Lewit: That is spooky.

Gabriel Lewit: You got all those chains and hooks and corridors and musty rooms, and I don’t know, man.

Steve Lewit: All right, so this is my favorite. This is my favorite by far because it’s got live actors, it’s got all kinds of different stories.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I’m sure they all have live actors.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, but this seems like a production.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, it is number one.

Steve Lewit: Well, yes, it is. And for me, well, sometimes number one isn’t the… It might not be your number one, but this one I would go to Texas to see this.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. Well, go ahead. Take some pictures.

Steve Lewit: Well, you never know.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. So which is your favorite, folks? Let us know. If you do decide to go to a haunted house, we’d love to see pictures of you terrified, just for fun. Send them our way.

Steve Lewit: Or you could look at the stock market today.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah. To share the financial part of our show, yeah, the stock market is looking a little bit frightening here the last couple of months. It’s been dropping since July.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. It’s got no boost to it.

Gabriel Lewit: July it was at 4,600. Now S&P’s down to about 4,200, just dropped below that. So that is causing a little bit of indigestion, if you will, with many folks out there that were excited that the market was recovering at the middle point of this year, and now it seems to be retreating back the other direction.

Steve Lewit: That is correct. Yeah, it’s still way below the high it was a year and a half ago. So it’s struggling. It’s struggling. And the problem is nobody knows. There’s a lot going on, just like in a horror house, the world has a lot going on that’s horrible.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, since this is our Spooktacular Special, we are going to share with you some financial tips and terrors and all sorts of other things here, frights and fears, whatever, all sorts of Halloween-themed stuff for you.

But before we end on the haunted houses, I had one last thing to share. This wasn’t on the other list, but producer Katie, who also went to a haunted house, I think recently, and she said that she wasn’t that scared because she must be just better than everybody, right? Doesn’t get scared at haunted houses.

Steve Lewit: Can you imagine? A woman with no feelings, no emotion.

Gabriel Lewit: No fears apparently.

Steve Lewit: No fears. Oh my gosh.

Gabriel Lewit: I’m sure she has feelings, but.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, she does. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, well, so here’s one other thing we found in our hunt for scary Halloween houses is the scariest haunted house in the US, which apparently, no one has ever completed.

Steve Lewit: No, you mean they went in and never came out?

Gabriel Lewit: They never came out. No, they gave up. They did come out of the house.

Steve Lewit: Oh God, I hope so.

Gabriel Lewit: But they did not complete the challenge of the haunted house.

Steve Lewit: Oh, they couldn’t get through the maze or whatever it was.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, no, they gave up. It was too scary for them.

Steve Lewit: No!

Gabriel Lewit: That’s what it says. Okay, so look, this is what… You have to sign a 40-page waiver, a doctor’s note, come up with a safe word. And this is a place called McKamey Manor. Supposedly, I didn’t independently verify this and go there, folks. So if it’s not this bad, don’t blame me. Okay?

Steve Lewit: Safer than the stock market.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so you also are not allowed to even go in until you watch a two-hour-long video. And supposedly, no one has ever successfully completed it. So I also learned that Netflix has some shows, Haunters: Art of the Scare, which this was featured in, which I might now go and watch.

Steve Lewit: I think I will too.

Gabriel Lewit: And on an episode of Dark Tourist. I don’t know what that is though. He says his new haunted show, even though no one’s ever passed his last haunted shows, is even scarier and his most extreme haunt yet called, “Desolation.”

Steve Lewit: Do they have live mush in there? I can’t imagine what they have in there.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, it doesn’t really say much, so maybe the Netflix show does. The article says that your only payment is to buy Russ a bag of dog food. I don’t know if that’s true or not. And supposedly, for you adventurers out there, if you complete the tour, you will earn, from Russ, $20,000.

Steve Lewit: No!

Gabriel Lewit: That’s what it says. Yeah.

Steve Lewit: Really?

Gabriel Lewit: That’s what it says.

Steve Lewit: I’m on the plane.

Gabriel Lewit: You also have to pass a drug test before you go.

Steve Lewit: Oh, Katie, Katie. You should go, Katie. No, she’s not going.

Gabriel Lewit: So apparently, the two-hour video you watch beforehand is a montage of all the people that have attempted but quit the tour, all telling the new people watching that you really don’t want to do this.

Steve Lewit: I can’t imagine what it is.

So Gabriel, we do run a financial show, so bring us back to… This is fun, but I’m wondering how it connects. I’m just-

Gabriel Lewit: It doesn’t.

Steve Lewit: I’m thinking-

Gabriel Lewit: You’ve got to have your money and then you’ve got to have some fun in life. This is about having some fun in life.

Steve Lewit: As the leader of the show, I’m sitting here wondering, how is he going to transition this?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, my number one job, other than providing sound financial advice, is of course to entertain on the show.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, it is.

Gabriel Lewit: So that’s what I’m attempting to do is to entertain the listeners here with the stories, regaling them with stories of horrors for Halloween.

Steve Lewit: Well, I feel entertained.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, good. That is-

Steve Lewit: I wasn’t expecting this.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s good. That’s good.

Steve Lewit: I’m surprised too.

Gabriel Lewit: I like to surprise everybody.

Steve Lewit: But it makes me want to go to one.

Gabriel Lewit: You should. Live a little, man.

Steve Lewit: Would you come with me?

Gabriel Lewit: Maybe. Depends on which one.

Steve Lewit: Texas.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. Well, I do, as I mentioned, have some financial topics here for us. We want to mix and match what we talk about here. So let’s talk a little bit about why retirement is like Halloween, huh?

Steve Lewit: Okay.

Gabriel Lewit: And to start this off, there’s a quote from somebody named Steve Almond, I didn’t make up that name, saying, “Nothing on Earth is so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.” I assume he means candy, unless he’s hauling dead bodies or something like that.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. All right, so let’s see. What are some similarities between Halloween and retirement? Let’s start there. Well, to be fair, both Halloween and retirement can be scary.

Steve Lewit: That’s really true. I just had a client-

Gabriel Lewit: You’re entering into the unknown.

Steve Lewit: Well, the unknown is always scary. I had a client in yesterday that’s just retiring, and she was shivering in her chair. It’s like, “I am so nervous about this. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have to get up in the morning. I have no place to go. It’s like my whole world just turned upside down.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah, exactly.

Steve Lewit: And then I took the chainsaw out, buzzed it around her head-

Gabriel Lewit: Well, let’s see, you do have a sword in your office. Maybe you brought the chainsaw in for Halloween.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, yeah. I said, “Well, get this.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, did you chase her towards the right financial plan?

Steve Lewit: Oh, yeah. I chased her. I scared her into it.

Gabriel Lewit: You scared her. Well, look, just like turning that corner in the dark halls of a haunted house is a bit of the unknown, so is that new chapter of your life in retirement, which brings us to how do you get by in the haunted house? How do you get through retirement? Well, one of the number one rules is you don’t go it alone. Okay?

Steve Lewit: Yes, yes.

Gabriel Lewit: As I mentioned earlier, I think I would be totally fine in a group at any one of these haunted house locations, unless, like in producer Katie’s case, she went to one where they literally steal you from the group that you go with, and then they stick you somewhere in the haunted house on your own while they do whatever scary stuff, yell at you or scream at you, or I don’t know.

What do they do, producer Katie? Hold on.

Producer Katie: They put a sack over your head and scream at you.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, wow. So they put a potato sack on their heads and screamed at them. That seems scary, if you’re by yourself.

Steve Lewit: That is scary. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Were they carrying you to unknown locations? They just pulled you around, okay.

Steve Lewit: Ah.

Gabriel Lewit: So, the point though is generally when you’re running through a haunted forest or a haunted corn maze or a haunted anything maybe-

Steve Lewit: Don’t do it yourself.

Gabriel Lewit: Don’t do it by yourself.

Steve Lewit: It takes a village.

Gabriel Lewit: And so, when you’re preparing for something scary, it often feels less scary when you go with somebody. Maybe you’ve been with someone that’s been through the haunted house a hundred times and can tell you, “You know what? It’s really not that bad,” because they know.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So in reality, it’s like, hey, what are you going to do? Talk to friends, talk to your spouse or your mate, and make a plan. Say, “Hey, I’m going to try this. I’m going to try this,” or you might already know what you’re going to do. It’s not as scary. The last thing you want to do is wake up in the morning and say, “What should I do today?” Because that gets tiresome after a while.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So again, when you go into retirement, the way to, I think, eliminate the fears is have a plan. Go it alone. Don’t wing it. Be prepared for what’s going to come your way, just like you would a haunted house, and that’s going to give you a lot more peace of mind that everything’s going to work out and you’re not going to get snatched and taken away from all your friends forever.

Steve Lewit: Definitely.

Gabriel Lewit: Definitely.

Steve Lewit: I like the next one.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Okay, our next one here on our Spooktacular Special for you this year is both Halloween and retirement involves assuming a new identity.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. That’s really interesting because we adopt these different entities as… Like right now, I’m in the radio show entity. I feel like I’m on a radio show, so I have to have my-

Gabriel Lewit: Must deepen the voice.

Steve Lewit: … radio show voice or whatever it is. And in business, we’re in a business entity. At home, we’re in washing dishes.

Gabriel Lewit: No clue what you’re dressing up as. Oh, Mr. Lewit.

Steve Lewit: Right. So when you go into retirement, it’s like you-

Gabriel Lewit: I’m just teasing, I’m just teasing.

Steve Lewit: … you have a restructure. I’m serious. You have a restructure of your identity, which is not easy to do.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, you have a chance also to reinvent yourself.

Steve Lewit: And reinvent yourself, right.

Gabriel Lewit: I went to a Halloween party the other weekend. It was just a couple adults. It was also a birthday party, so it was a little earlier than Halloween, but no kids, which was nice for a couple of hours. But I dressed up as Jake from State Farm, so I didn’t stray far from my roots. If you’re not familiar with Jake from State Farm-

Steve Lewit: Just see Gabriel. See Gabriel.

Gabriel Lewit: … it’s a very simple costume. You need some khakis and a red shirt and a name tag and then you’re Jake from Safe Farm. If you don’t know what I mean, look at the commercials, you got to go Google the commercials. It’s funny. But he’s in insurance, so I didn’t go too far from what… So I didn’t really try on too much of a new identity, but you could be Batman or you could be-

Steve Lewit: What were the other costumes?

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, gosh. Some people were robbers with little bandits, striped and stuff.

Steve Lewit: Masks, yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Other people were, oh gosh, what’s the guy with the cars? The Flintstones?

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Some people were the Flintstones.

Steve Lewit: Freddy. Is that Fred?

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, Fred Flintstone.

Steve Lewit: Fred Flintstone.

Gabriel Lewit: You got, I don’t know, I can’t remember. Everybody was something, but I’d have to look at the photos. But yeah, some good costumes. But the point is you get a chance to pretend to be somebody different for a night. I introduced myself to everybody, “Oh, I’m Jake from State Farm.”

Steve Lewit: Yeah, but when you’re in retirement though, it’s not fake. It’s real. You need to get that real identity of being retired and it’s different.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, but maybe you want to become a golf starter, a bus driver, all these exciting things you could do, or you can go back to school. You can-

Steve Lewit: How about an artist?

Gabriel Lewit: An artist.

Steve Lewit: Let your creative self come out.

Gabriel Lewit: You can learn an instrument. You can become a bodybuilder. You can-

Steve Lewit: No, you can’t become a bodybuilder in retirement.

Gabriel Lewit: There’s some really buff retirement folks.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. Buff is not like bodybuilder.

Gabriel Lewit: Not like… No, yeah, competition bodybuilder.

Steve Lewit: Right, right. Yeah, but it is a new identity. And that could be scary because some people cannot find that new identity. It’s like trying on new clothes. They don’t always fit right.

Gabriel Lewit: Exactly, exactly. Okay, now you’ve all heard the phrase, trick or treat, give me something good to eat, which generally means candy for the kids out there. So Halloween of course involves some tricks and treats. The trick portion of it is usually egging somebody, usually the kids these days, egging someone’s house, toilet paper, shaving cream, all sorts of crazy shenanigans. These kids these days or kids any day probably did. But what are those retirement planning tricks that you’ve got up your sleeve, Mr. Lew?

Steve Lewit: You know, I don’t know. What tricks? Retirement planning tricks? I’m trying to think of something that you don’t see right away, like a card trick.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. I’ll do one, I’ll do the-

Steve Lewit: Yeah, help me here.

Gabriel Lewit: The backdoor Roth IRA conversion.

Steve Lewit: Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yeah. Or even the front door Roth conversion.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s not a trick. That’s just a regular Roth conversion.

Steve Lewit: Oh, okay. Explain a backdoor Roth.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, funny enough, I just talked about this with a client the other day, but if you’re ineligible because of income to contribute to a Roth IRA, which there’s an income limit, you can, this doesn’t work for everybody, but you can make a non-deductible Roth IRA contribution. Or sorry, spoke too fast. I skipped a step. A non-deductible IRA contribution and then you convert it immediately to a Roth and the net result is you end up with your money in a Roth IRA even though you exceeded the income limits. That’s a trick.

Steve Lewit: And that’s a backdoor.

Gabriel Lewit: Yep.

Steve Lewit: I’m trying to think of other tricks. Is there a trick in Social Security?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I would say the trick is knowing the right timing.

Steve Lewit: To take it?

Gabriel Lewit: When to take it. There’s a lot of false information out there with that.

Steve Lewit: Is there a trick in buying and selling securities?

Gabriel Lewit: The trick is always buy low, sell high. You know?

Steve Lewit: Yeah. The trick in trying to time the market is you never get the treat.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. No, I was actually, I wanted to use trick or treats, but I really don’t have that many things I’d call tricks. We have many, many strategies, not so many tricks.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, I trick-

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, if you’re a business owner, you got the Augusta Rule where you can rent out your home to yourself for both a tax deduction and tax-free income to yourself. That’s kind of a trick. So there’s definitely some tax planning tricks and loopholes that you can get into, which is kind of neat.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. There is, however, no sleight of hand because sleight of hand means-

Gabriel Lewit: Slight? Slate?

Steve Lewit: Sleight, sleight. Is it “slate” or “sleight”?

Gabriel Lewit: I say, “Sleight.”

Steve Lewit: Well, there’s no sleight of hand. You can’t deceive the IRS and expect to get away with it.

Gabriel Lewit: You probably should not try to trick the IRS or cheat the IRS. The I don’t think that’s going to-

Steve Lewit: Well, that would be a trick.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t think that’s going to end up well for you.

Steve Lewit: No, it wouldn’t.

Gabriel Lewit: If you’re out there listening.

Steve Lewit: It wouldn’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, okay. All right. But how about treats? Now, I like this. I want to maybe just, we’re getting close end to the show here, talk about positive things. Retirement, getting candy on Halloween is exciting. Retirement, candy doesn’t do it for you. I don’t know. I get baskets of candy that never get given out to the trick-or-treaters. I rarely eat candy. But what is it that makes you feel as excited as you were when you were a kid getting candy, in retirement?

Steve Lewit: Well, here’s the deal I think is you work all your life. You get your kids through school. You’re married, you buy a house, you fix it up, you buy a second home maybe, put plants in your garden. You cut down trees and raise trees, and all the time in the back of your mind you’re saying, “There’s going to come a time I want to retire. I want my time for myself.” And that is the biggest treat. You retire and you can do whatever you want if you’ve done a good job of planning,

Gabriel Lewit: I’m also-

Steve Lewit: What kind of a treat? That’s the best treat in the world.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, I’m going to expand this. Not just be in retirement, but if you have a good financial plan-

Steve Lewit: I knew you were going there.

Gabriel Lewit: What kind of treat can you get? Well, the point here, folks, is when you’re a kid and you have candy, are you supposed to have candy all the time?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: My daughter, Audrey, would say yes.

Steve Lewit: I would say yes too. If you’re a kid and you have candy, you want it all the time.

Gabriel Lewit: But you’re not supposed to because it’s not healthy for you. So life and finances has many ways you can reward yourself, but what’s interesting is it doesn’t mean you go out there and do these things all the time, but you can take a more lavish vacation. You could occasionally fly first class, you could go out, and sometimes I don’t cook meals because I’m like, “I don’t want to buy all the ingredients.” It’s kind of like you waste a lot on ingredients and stuff, but you could cook a nice meal and you go all out on all the ingredients. You can get that really expensive pie that’s always at Whole Foods for $30 that you wouldn’t otherwise. But you’ll find ways to treat yourself.

Because here’s what’s interesting. I was reading. I like to read forums and where people talk. I like to read, funny enough, ones where people are DIY investors and I like to get their perspectives because people are always asking questions and I like to see what kind of replies people give.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. DIY is do it yourself, yep.

Gabriel Lewit: And one guy, because a lot of times, I find their advice just a little lacking, but that’s okay, but one guy was like, “Hey, I just received an inheritance,” I was just reading this the other day, “of $1 million and I’ve been so used to not spending, I’ve been so frugal my whole life, I feel like I’ve already got retirement in the bag. I literally don’t know what to do with this money. Please help. What do you guys think?” He was asking this to the message board and people were like, “Dude, you got to spend some money.’

Steve Lewit: Go out and spend, go out and have some fun.

Gabriel Lewit: Treat yourself.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: And this is why I reminded you because some guy was like, “Treat yourself.” You got retirement saved. You just received a windfall.

Steve Lewit: And it’s scary to treat yourself.

Gabriel Lewit: It is.

Steve Lewit: It’s like I think we say to ourselves, “I don’t deserve this,” or “I can’t”-

Gabriel Lewit: Or “What if this does cause me to run out of money because I bought a pie at the Whole Foods?”

Steve Lewit: “If I spend more than my $25,000 a year, I’m going to run out of my $3 million.”

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So it’s scary to treat yourself sometimes. Not when you’re a kid, you love the candy, you don’t worry about the red dye number four or 40 or whatever it is that just got banned in California. Skittles, I think, got banned in California. You don’t worry about those things. You just eat the candy and enjoy.

Well, that’s kind of life in a nutshell. You’ve got to have some treats along the way. Reward yourself. Have some fun. Don’t worry too much about it. I’m not suggesting you go out there and buy six Ferrari’s or something and kill your whole retirement. Maybe just-

Steve Lewit: That’s more than a treat. That’d be something else.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, eating candy for a year. Okay?

Steve Lewit: Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: But go out there and have a little bit of fun, and of course, go to a haunted house this Halloween.

Steve Lewit: Well, I think-

Gabriel Lewit: Scare yourself silly.

Steve Lewit: I think you took the words right out of my mind. I was going to say, “Folks, go out there and scare yourself silly.” How about that?

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, must be a DNA thing.

Steve Lewit: But don’t go overboard. Don’t go overboard.

Gabriel Lewit: All right, our friends, well, of course if you have questions about building a plan, creating a worry-free retirement or investment strategy where you can reward yourself and not worry about it and need our help on that-

Steve Lewit: Yeah, don’t be afraid to call us.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, don’t be scared.

Steve Lewit: Don’t be scared.

Gabriel Lewit: Come to the SGL House of Un-horrors.

Steve Lewit: Un-horrors.

Gabriel Lewit: The House of Awesome Financial Planning. Call us, 847-499-

Steve Lewit: Not as much fun, but you’ll be really happy.

Gabriel Lewit: … 3330 or go to sglfinancial.com, click contact us. We can’t wait to see you and you don’t even have to dress up when you come here.

Steve Lewit: Come as yourself.

Gabriel Lewit: All right, folks. Well, have a wonderful Halloween. Share your stories with us. Email us, info@sglfinancial.com. If you have any fun Halloween adventures, we’d love to hear about them and we will talk to you on the other side.

Steve Lewit: On the other side.

Gabriel Lewit: Of the next weekend.

Steve Lewit: See you soon. See you.

Gabriel Lewit: Bye now.

Steve Lewit: Bye.

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.