Money Mindfulness: Cultivating Financial Peace

Our 2 Cents – Episode #171

Money Mindfulness: Cultivating Financial Peace

Welcome back to a very “mindful” episode of Our 2 Cents with Steve and Gabriel. They are excited to explore the intriguing main topic of Money Mindfulness. Then, they offer insight into a controversial take on a question from a client. Listen in now using a link below!

  1. Money Mindfulness: Cultivating Financial Peace:
    • Uncover practical techniques to harness the power of mindfulness in reaching your financial goals.
    • Learn to be present in your current financial situation to embrace self-awareness and mindful investing habits.
    • Take time to reflect and understand your feelings about your finances to achieve a prosperous wellbeing.
  2. Listener Question:
    • “Hi Steve, what is your opinion on this ‘Ask Terry’ question I saw online? I used to be a fan of Terry Savage, but after seeing this response, I’m not so sure anymore.” – Sharon

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: You are 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, guys and gals. Welcome back to our show here today. We are here with Gabriel Lewit, Steven Lewit, and producer, Katie. We’ve also got a new producer, Gabby, here in the room with us, helping to set up and make the show amazing for all of our listeners. So thank them when you get a chance to see them. How are you doing today, Mr. Lewit?

Steve Lewit: I am depressed. I’m just depressed.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s how you start off a show.

Steve Lewit: It’s a terrible way to start the show. But look, Purdue should have won. I had Purdue for the whole tournament, and they got smashed by Connecticut. Producer Katie and I were already celebrating that we won the pool.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah, she would’ve been first and you would’ve been second.

Steve Lewit: That would’ve been fine.

Gabriel Lewit: But you’re talking about March Madness, for those out there that aren’t in tune with what he’s referencing.

Steve Lewit: It wasn’t even a close game. They just got smashed.

Gabriel Lewit: They did not do very good.

Steve Lewit: No. Very well. Right. So, I’m not really depressed, but I thought I would start…

Gabriel Lewit: You’re fake depressed?

Steve Lewit: I’m fake depressed.

Gabriel Lewit: Because you lost $100. No, you would’ve only earned $50, minus the 10 you put in. So you would’ve made 40 bucks.

Steve Lewit: I worked hard on that. I watched all the Purdue games.

Gabriel Lewit: There you go.

Steve Lewit: I deserve to win.

Gabriel Lewit: It’s always hard, I think, if you’re a team in a tournament with… How many are there? 64, I think.

Steve Lewit: 64.

Gabriel Lewit: And only one of them wins. Those odds aren’t great.

Steve Lewit: And the only reason I’m a Purdue guy is because your brother goes to Purdue.

Gabriel Lewit: I know. I figured as much. I figured as much. All right, well, we’ve got a great show lined up. I was going to say a show. We’ve got a great show lined up for you here today.

Steve Lewit: We do.

Gabriel Lewit: We’re going to talk, first and foremost, about money mindfulness. Mindfulness is such an interesting topic. It’s a little zen. Some people think it’s a little out there, some people love it. So we’re going to talk about, what does that mean and then, what does it mean when it comes to being mindful with your money or practicing mindfulness about your finances?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Now, anytime I get into anything philosophical, I get a little concerned, because my father here-

Steve Lewit: You should be concerned.

Gabriel Lewit: -Tends to go off the deep end and start talking about the meaning of life and all sorts of other things that maybe will be off target.

Steve Lewit: Well, mindfulness is such a difficult subject, because the way most people present it is really not very mindful. But we can talk about it. I’ll keep it simple. I promise you, I will not talk about the meaning of life or death, and I will endeavor to share important information that folks, you listeners, can apply to your lives immediately.

Gabriel Lewit: Perfect. And we’re going to start off with a quote here from Harvard professor of Leadership and Business, Arthur Brooks, and he’s got a short, I guess, podcast episode, where he defined, sorry, that mindfulness is simply noticing new things. Noticing new things is one of the ways you can simplify and break down, what does mindfulness mean? Now, you can be mindful about lots of things. You could just be mindful about your day. You could be mindful about your spouse, your family. You could also be mindful about your money. And of course, that’s the tilt here, being that we are financial advisors, that we are going to focus on the show here today. Now, Arthur Brooks here says, “In order to be mindful, you need to figure out a way to focus on the present and to be really experiencing your current timeframe, as opposed to thinking about the past or thinking about the future.” Okay.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: So, as we would all agree, the present is not the past, and it is not the future.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay.

Steve Lewit: There’s another part to that is that, when you have memories from the past or when you’re thinking about the future, it distorts the present. You can’t see the present. So it kind is like a fog that you kind of work in. So for example, if you’re investing money and you’re living in fear that the market’s going to go down, because you have this future projection of the markets going down, you can’t see the present condition of the market, because you’re always looking at it through your fear.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So now, what’s interesting is being mindful doesn’t mean necessarily that you never think about the past or you never think about the future. There are times where that makes a lot of sense. But we are going to also, of course, dive into the differences between focusing on now versus focusing on the future.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So if you’re thinking about the past, in mindfulness, you would say, “I’m being mindful that I’m thinking of the past,” or, “I’m being mindful that I’m projecting into the future.” So I look at it a little bit differently. I think of mindfulness as being awake. We’re awake to what is going on in the moment around us. So if you’re nervous, then be mindful about that and understand that you are being nervous and connect with it directly, rather than hiding it or suppressing it.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. So let’s start with the mindfulness of today as a key starting point. So, let’s focus on your money. You’ve got money saved. You’ve got money invested. Steve?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Mister Lewit, dad.

Steve Lewit: Oh, are you talking…

Gabriel Lewit: I’m talking about you.

Steve Lewit: I thought you were talking to our clients.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, you our listeners as well as you.

Steve Lewit: Yes. Yes, we do.

Gabriel Lewit: So, let’s say you picked one of your accounts. One question you could ask yourself is being mindful about today is, “Why am I in this account?”

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: “Why did I pick this? As I look at it from today’s viewpoint, what was my reason for selecting this account?”

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So I would take one step before that, if I might.

Gabriel Lewit: Are you going to do that on every single…

Steve Lewit: Probably. So here, well, I do this.

Gabriel Lewit: I know.

Steve Lewit: My book is coming out about this. I got to put a plug in for my book.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay.

Steve Lewit: All right. So if I’m thinking about, like I’m thinking right now about one of my accounts, and I’m being mindful of how I feel about it first.

Gabriel Lewit: Sure. Not only what is it, why are you in it? But how do you feel about it?

Steve Lewit: How do you feel? And what reactions are coming up inside myself? And one of the reactions that are coming up is, “I think it’s pretty safe.” But what if I said to myself, “I’m pretty nervous about that,” and that’s my reaction. And being aware of those, then you can act on it, because you’ve seen it clearly. But if you don’t see it clearly, you can’t act on it.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s very true. So I think I’m trying to boil some of this mindfulness down into actionable steps. And one of the first steps you can do is inventory your accounts, Mr. and Mrs. Listener. Just write them all down. Or if you have a financial plan, go through each one at a time. Now, if you’re clients of ours, we’ve probably already done this, but the exercise would be ask yourself, “Okay, I’ve got this checking account with $50,000 in it, how do I feel about it? Sure. Well, I feel like it’s pretty safe.”

Steve Lewit: It’s safe.

Gabriel Lewit: Great. The next question I would have you ask for yourself would be, “Well, why do I have $50,000 in this account?” Okay. “And what was my purpose in having $50,000 here?” And if you struggle to answer that, that’s an indication that you are not really paying attention to what you have today.

Steve Lewit: Well, I had a client in, I don’t know, last week sometime, and this is a couple actually, and they have 30 different accounts with CDs and money markets and brokerage account. I said, “How did that happen?” Their answer was, “I don’t know.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, yeah, I just had a client last week that has $600,000, yes, $600,000, in cash. And I said, “I’m assuming you have a reason for that much in cash.” And he said, “No, I actually, I really, I don’t know how it happened. It just sort of built up, and I’m not sure what to do with it.”

Steve Lewit: “And it’s just there.”

Gabriel Lewit: And that was part of why we were talking. Okay. And I think that’s really where you want to begin. You want to be mindful about what you have and get clarity on your picture, as you have it here today.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. Now, that’s just one part of the step of being mindfulness with your planning. But the other question would be, “What are the goals that I have for,” I’m going to call them short-term, okay, “not necessarily long-term or even medium-term, but short-term this month, this week, even this day? Do I have anything that I would like to do, that would help me improve my finances?” And let’s break that down into something smaller, and we can turn that into a more actionable step. So let’s say we have a long-term goal of growing our money. Can we break that down into something really short-term today? “What can I do today that helps me grow my long-term money?”

Steve Lewit: Well, that’s hard. Not spend it.

Gabriel Lewit: Maybe. So mindfulness could be as simple as you’re going to the grocery store and you’re going to buy, I don’t know…

Steve Lewit: You can buy the organic blueberries at $7 a carton or the non-organic at $4.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, one’s bad for your health and the other’s better, but one’s better for your wallet than the other.

Steve Lewit: Than the other, right.

Gabriel Lewit: So, you’ve got to be mindful about that trade-off. And I think, as you just, maybe you’re at Best Buy, you really want to buy the new TV. I’m actually in a boat where I have TVs now that are, they’re still totally fine, they’re four or five years old, they’re great, they’ve got good picture quality, but I was at Best Buy the other day, and I’m like, I was floored by how good the quality of some of these newer TVs was. And I was like, “Hmm.”

Steve Lewit: I’m going through the same thing.

Gabriel Lewit: “Do I need a new TV? Do I not need a new TV?”

Steve Lewit: No, you don’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, no, I don’t.

Steve Lewit: No, I don’t. But you might get one anyway.

Gabriel Lewit: Lucky for me, I walked out without buying one, didn’t make the impulse buy. And then, I got home and I was watching my TV. I was like, “This is a good TV.”

Steve Lewit: Good enough.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, I can see the strands on their hair. I don’t know if I need to see them on like 4K, double OLED, QLED pixels, whatever that means.

Steve Lewit: Folks, I think he’s going to get a new TV. Give him six months.

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know.

Steve Lewit: I think you’re going to get one.

Gabriel Lewit: But you guys are getting the point.

Steve Lewit: Well, here’s another one. I have a client who has some wealth, and she wants to help her son buy a house and go into business with him. Now, she’s emotionally attached to this idea, and she’s like charging down the road to make this happen. There’s only one problem, she runs the risk of running out of money based on the amount of money she would have to give her son. But she can’t really see that objectively, mindfully, because she’s so emotionally committed to helping her son.

Gabriel Lewit: That’s a hard one.

Steve Lewit: It’s really hard. She says, “Well, I’ll feel like a lousy mother if I don’t help him.” I said, “Well, you might be a great mother, but a broke one. Which do you prefer?”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, life is always a sequence of trade-offs, obviously, most of us know that. But being mindful is really trying to assess how you feel about things, what’s going to make you happy. And that can really get us to, I think, our most philosophical point about money mindfulness and financial mindfulness, which is, what is really going to make you happy with your money? And it’s kind of a broader brushstroke than just, “Why do I have my money in this account?” Well, a lot of people say, “I want to make it grow.” And then, you can start really asking, “Okay, what if your money grew to $10 million? What would you do with it? Is having $10 million what makes you happy?” I would take 10 extra million dollars, right?

Steve Lewit: But you could be miserable with $10 million.

Gabriel Lewit: You could. You could. So, we always go back to one of our main philosophy points here at SGL is it’s not just about the money, it’s about your life and really starting to focus on, how is this money that we’re working on helping you build and grow really going to benefit you and make you feel happiest? And there are some people out there that just having the money there as a security blanket makes them feel happy, makes them feel more secure, even if they don’t spend it. It’s just about taking yourself off of autopilot and really asking sometimes these harder, more philosophical questions.

Steve Lewit: I think that’s a great point, Gabriel, because a lot of what… I like to watch myself, so be self-aware, and I recognize a lot of what I do is habitual. I get up in the morning, and I put the coffee machine on and I have my… It’s like everything is habitual. And in working with many people about their money, they have habits about their money that are really hard to break. They’re like, “I have to have $600,000 of cash in the bank.”

Gabriel Lewit: I’ll say one last thing on here, and then, we should probably try to wrap up and move to our next topic. But yeah, exactly to that point, I had a client, again just last week, interesting timing here, was adamant that he needed to save $3 million by the time he was 65 to retire. He said, “I need 3 million.” We were talking about goals, and, “Why are you here? How can we help?” “Well, I’ve got to get to 3 million.” And I just asked a simple question. I said, “Well, what do you need the $3 million for?”

Steve Lewit: “I don’t know, just need 3 million.”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, he said, “Well, that’s what I figured that I need to retire comfortably.”

Steve Lewit: Some people just have a number.

Gabriel Lewit: So I like that he was starting to think about that. But I said, “Well, how did you get the $3 million number?” “Well, I was crunching some numbers and using some calculators,” and long story short, we crunched some numbers for him, and he would need substantially less than $3 million. And he was kind of floored when he learned that. And so, I think there are lots of things to take from this, but it’s all about figuring out goals and objectives and values and meaning and, “What’s the point of this money in my life?” And then, we can help you, as advisors, really put that to good use and maximize that to elevate the quality of your life. That’s really what we’re here to do.

Steve Lewit: Yeah. So when you do those things, Gabriel, what does that do? It brings you into the present. When you’re figuring out your goals, you’re figuring out how to get from A to B, and you’re taking stock of where all your money is, it brings you into the present, makes you more aware. And that’s what mindfulness is.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, if I could clarify that there are some steps that this guy, Arthur Brooks, recommends, because a lot of people don’t, by default, bring that back to the present. And so, here’s what Brooks says, to maximize mindfulness, you want to use a three-step process. Now, I didn’t come up with these, so these are straight from our guy here. Use learned optimism to dream up and set long-term goals. Dream away, okay? Where do you want to be in 20, 10, or five years from now? Write those down. Okay. That’s the first step. So you’ve got to have a picture of where you’re going. Now, he says step two is break those goals into sub steps. Okay? We’re getting closer and closer now to the present, and that’s going to help us get to the very final step here. And that final step, step number three, is, if I can turn the page, I’d like to find it.

Steve Lewit: Hurry up.

Gabriel Lewit: I need a drum rolling.

Steve Lewit: Hurry up.

Gabriel Lewit: He says, live in day-tight compartments. That’s setting a goal for being alive or achieving what you want to achieve over the next 24 hours. Okay? So you’re going into smaller and smaller bite-sized steps to really set yourself up for success. And I can tell by your facial expression, you love that.

Steve Lewit: No, I don’t.

Gabriel Lewit: Does this go counter to your book?

Steve Lewit: Yes, it does. Well, I think he’s on the right track. I don’t think that’s where you get to mindfulness. I think that’s how you learn to accomplish things in life and reach your goals. I think those are very practical. You can’t make mindfulness. It’s not that kind of a thing.

Gabriel Lewit: In your opinion, you can’t.

Steve Lewit: Yes, in my humble opinion, that is correct.

Gabriel Lewit: Author Steve’s book says otherwise.

Steve Lewit: It does.

Gabriel Lewit: So, you’re going to have to do a read-off where you read both books. Arthur Brooks’ book or podcast and Steve’s book, when it, one day, eventually comes out. Is that coming out this year?

Steve Lewit: Probably.

Gabriel Lewit: Because I think you said that last year.

Steve Lewit: I did.

Gabriel Lewit: And maybe the year before.

Steve Lewit: And I did.

Gabriel Lewit: And possibly the year before.

Steve Lewit: No, I’ve said that now for six years. It’s almost done.

Gabriel Lewit: So, should I hold my breath?

Steve Lewit: No, no, you shouldn’t hold your breath, but I’m not trying to compete with him. Because I think those are good ideas. I just think mindfulness is something beyond that. We don’t need to get into that today.

Gabriel Lewit: It is about the meaning of life. I knew we would get there.

Steve Lewit: It’s about the meaning of life.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I don’t know if that was all too heavy stuff for you guys.

Steve Lewit: It was pretty heavy.

Gabriel Lewit: But again, we tried to turn that into some practical exercises for you. So, the point is take off the autopilot cruise control that you’re all on with your money and focus on it more presently.

Steve Lewit: Yeah, habits are kind of deadening. They’re not awakeful.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes, indeed.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay, so now…

Steve Lewit: Good job. Gabriel.

Gabriel Lewit: If you’ve got questions on that, of course, you can call us, 847-499-3330. If you want to email us any philosophical counterpoints to what we were talking about here, email us We love to share those on the show.

Steve Lewit: Should I start money mindfulness classes, SGL money mindfulness classes?

Gabriel Lewit: Is that next to the money therapy classes that we have?

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: In the schedule?

Steve Lewit: Yes. In addition to the male nail salons.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, that was from a really old throwback. I don’t think people will even…

Steve Lewit: Right.

Gabriel Lewit: Steve’s business idea from like four years ago is a male nail salon. What’d you call it? Menicures.

Steve Lewit: Menicures, yeah, for men.

Gabriel Lewit: Menicures.

Steve Lewit: Menicures, it’s a great idea. I still think about it.

Gabriel Lewit: Go for it, I say.

Steve Lewit: I need a partner.

Gabriel Lewit: No, I don’t do manicures. It’s not my thing. All right, let’s do our listener question.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: We had a listener question from last time, and we might end up talking deeper about it, depending on where we go. All right, so we’re are going to shift gears here. And so, we had a client, Sharon, forwarded us, well, I guess it wasn’t so much her question as much as she wanted us to talk about it on the show here, but she had forwarded us a question from someone emailing Terry Savage.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: And here’s what it said. It said, “Terry, I’m in a conversation with a broker about annuities, fixed index annuities, and using them to replace a portion or a part of our bond portfolio to protect from downside in the market. I’m 66 and a half and retired. My wife will be 62 at the end of the year and is looking to retire. And I’ll tell you that we are debt-free and have around 1.8 million in retirement accounts in a traditional 60-40 split. Can you recommend FIAs to replace bonds? And can you recommend this firm?” Was the question at the time.

Steve Lewit: And FIAs are?

Gabriel Lewit: Fixed index annuities.

Steve Lewit: Yep.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. Okay. And Terry wrote back, “I absolutely do not recommend fixed index annuities at any time, since the indexes are made up,” in her words, “and they are laden with fees. And the only ones who get rich on these products are the salespeople, including the one that is trying to sell this to you!!!” was Terry’s reply.

Steve Lewit: I think she added there, “Run away,” or something like that.

Gabriel Lewit: And then, she says, “Avoid this guy like the plague.” All right, so let’s unpack this. It gives us a lot to unpack.

Steve Lewit: Well, what do you do?

Gabriel Lewit: So, Sharon is one of our clients who happens to own an annuity and is very, very happy with her annuity, which would go counter to what Terry says, that people hate them.

Steve Lewit: You know what she said to me? She said, “I used to be a fan of Terry Savage, but no longer.”

Gabriel Lewit: And all of our listeners, sometimes, these money gurus say things we agree with as financial advisors. More often than not, they say things that are more sensationalist and that we do not agree with. I would say this falls into that latter. And I think, anytime you hear responses that are just such… This person doesn’t know this person. Terry doesn’t know this person, she’s not her financial planner or advisor, and she’s using this massively broad stroke to say, “Run away, avoid everything like the plague. Terrible for you. Don’t even give it a second thought.”

Steve Lewit: In writing, that’s called a straw man argument.

Gabriel Lewit: And it’s so unpersonalized as to render it almost completely, in our opinion, irrelevant.

Steve Lewit: Well, it’s irrelevant, in terms of unpersonalized, but it’s also inaccurate. What she’s saying factually actually is not true.

Gabriel Lewit: Correct.

Steve Lewit: It’s entirely wrong.

Gabriel Lewit: And people read stuff like this, and they do avoid exploring annuities or other products. Anything you read, where you hear somebody that you think is a celebrity professional, if you will, has a strong opinion, people listen to those opinions, and they avoid things, whatever it is, that these people… It could be skin cream, someone’s advertising on TikTok or not. They carry a lot of weight, and unfortunately, the weight that they’re throwing around isn’t always accurate.

Steve Lewit: Well, think about it, $250 billion went into annuities last year. So, there have to be a lot of unwise people out there just getting bilked by all these salesmen whose only interest is in making money.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so I thought we could unpack this a little bit here. And the first part of what Terry said, if we were replying, she says, “The indexes are made up.” Well, one of the most common indexes you would use in the annuity world would be the S&P 500.

Steve Lewit: Oh, that’s made up? That is someone made that index.

Gabriel Lewit: But I would also argue it’s one of, if not the most, prominent index in the world.

Steve Lewit: Like the Dow Industrial Index.

Gabriel Lewit: Which you could also use in some annuities.

Steve Lewit: All indexes are made up in that fact.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah. Okay. So that’s incorrect, Terry, if we were responding to that. Okay. She also said…

Steve Lewit: But to her point, there are some indexes, which are designed by the insurance company, to do certain things that are not, generally…

Gabriel Lewit: Some indexes do not track the S&P and are newly made indexes, let’s put it that way.

Steve Lewit: For a specific reason.

Gabriel Lewit: But the most prominent ones are the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ. And those indexes are far from made up. But she didn’t say that. She didn’t couch it at all.

Steve Lewit: Oh no. She said like, “They make this stuff up and they’re no good.”

Gabriel Lewit: Now, the next part of it, she said, “They are laden with fees.” Well, it’s so interesting, because the ones that we use most commonly that are linked to a non made up index, like the S&P 500, Terry, actually have zero fees.

Steve Lewit: None.

Gabriel Lewit: Zero as in none.

Steve Lewit: Well, that would be zero.

Gabriel Lewit: That would mean…

Steve Lewit: Means you pay nothing.

Gabriel Lewit: It means there is no fee.

Steve Lewit: That’s no fee.

Gabriel Lewit: Correct.

Steve Lewit: So where is the laden…

Gabriel Lewit: That’s not the laden.

Steve Lewit: That’s the laden, not laden. Yeah.

Gabriel Lewit: Correct. The other very common type that people buy is a fixed rate MYGA, which is, say, an annuity version of a CD, which, for example, could get you 5.8% for five years.

Steve Lewit: Which is more than CDs.

Gabriel Lewit: Which is more than CDs. And guess what the fees are on those, Ms. Terry?

Steve Lewit: Let me think. Let me think. Laden?

Gabriel Lewit: They’re unladen with zero fees.

Steve Lewit: Oh, they’re unladen, right? I was going to say they’re laden with nothing.

Gabriel Lewit: They are opposite of laden.

Steve Lewit: Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Okay. So look, are there some annuities that have fees? Yes. Okay. Are annuities a perfect product for everybody? No.

Steve Lewit: But even the annuities that have fees, I would argue, are not laden with fees. 1% is not laden with fees.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, there are some annuities, and again, kind of asterisk to her point, there are some really poor designed ones that I would never recommend, that are laden with fees. And you would want to avoid those ones.

Steve Lewit: For sure.

Gabriel Lewit: But again, she doesn’t say that. So here’s the point. She’s not giving a balanced review, and she’s giving a very sensationalist advice. And anytime you see people giving sensationalist unfairly balanced reviews, I always say you probably should ignore it and go find better pro and con balance reviews elsewhere. So I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on what Terry is saying.

Steve Lewit: And I won’t say anything about where she refers this person to go.

Gabriel Lewit: Oh, right. Yeah. So folks, a lot of these celebrities that talk about stuff, guess what? They have hidden agendas. They refer you to places that they make money, and they are going to tell you that the things that they don’t make money on are bad. So they can refer to the things that they do make money on. And then, lo and behold, those are magically good.

Steve Lewit: Imagine.

Gabriel Lewit: Imagine that conflict…

Steve Lewit: Like proprietary funds, like you go to Fidelity or Edwards, and you wind up with an Edwards fund.

Gabriel Lewit: Here’s what’s funny. Okay, so here, the last part of her reply, which we didn’t… This was all from, you could probably Google this and find this, if you Googled it. So not me making this up, but she wrote back, “Use Wealthramp.” So hmm, do you think she’s getting paid by Wealthramp? Why would she randomly pick Wealthramp to promote on her reply?

Steve Lewit: Well, we really can’t say, but the probability is probably a hundred percent.

Gabriel Lewit: Very high. So today is not designed to be a annuity overview review in extreme detail here, but it’s mostly we’re using this example, whatever the topic is, whether it’s somebody talking about investments or mutual funds or life insurance or annuities, is be careful of who you listen to advice on, especially if they’re providing you not really factually balanced feedback.

Steve Lewit: You know, Gabriel, you could phrase that a different way. You could say, be mindful of what you hear from celebrities.

Gabriel Lewit: You certainly could.

Steve Lewit: You could. Yes.

Gabriel Lewit: Or be wary.

Steve Lewit: Or be wary.

Gabriel Lewit: Of what you hear from celebrities.

Steve Lewit: Yep. Okay.

Gabriel Lewit: All right. Well, and so, this will be a lead-in to, we’re going to talk about this on our next show, but it’s relevant. So we had another topic here we were going to potentially talk about today, depending on how much time we had. And it says, and we will talk about this on the next show, it says, “The magic number for retirement is 1.46 million.” This is according to a survey of 4,588 adults. Okay? Now, I’m going to circle back to this. Why am I bringing it up to it today? Because Suze Orman, if we’re talking about being mindful of advice, and maybe we’ll find this article, so we’ll compare and contrast for the next show, but she said that, in her world, you need at least $20 million to be able to retire in today’s world.

Steve Lewit: $20 million?

Gabriel Lewit: $20 million per Suze Orman.

Steve Lewit: Let me see.

Gabriel Lewit: I was a recent article that she was quoted here.

Steve Lewit: I spent $70,000 a year, and I need $20 million to do that.

Gabriel Lewit: According to Suze, yes.

Steve Lewit: What’s Suze thinking? Most of the time, I like Suze. Well, I like Terry most of the time too.

Gabriel Lewit: Well, this isn’t about liking her, I’m just saying the soundbites that these are…

Steve Lewit: I don’t know where they get this stuff from.

Gabriel Lewit: Yeah, yeah. So in case somebody wants quick math, 20 million, 10% of that would be 2 million. So if you were taking a 1% withdrawal rate per year, that would be $200,000.

Steve Lewit: But is growing at 4%, let’s say.

Gabriel Lewit: So the 3% safe withdrawal rate would say that’s $600,000 a year.

Steve Lewit: Well, everybody needs that.

Gabriel Lewit: I guess you can’t survive on less than $600,000.

Steve Lewit: How can you possibly live on less than $600,000 a year?

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know.

Steve Lewit: I don’t know. Where do they get this? Can’t we come up with something that’s really funky that we could promote and get our names in the newspaper and get national ratings and have everybody think we’re great?

Gabriel Lewit: Well, so it’s kind of a chicken and the egg. To get the people to quote you, you’ve got to already have lots of people that follow you, but then, once they quote you, then sometimes, more people follow you. You got to somehow get there first, then they’ll quote you.

Steve Lewit: So it’s kind of, which comes first? The chicken or the…

Gabriel Lewit: Well, I think our show is up to like 150 listens an episode now, which is actually very good for… We’re in the top, I forgot what it said, like the top, that doesn’t maybe sound like a huge number, but we’re in like the top 2% of podcasts in the country.

Steve Lewit: It is very good. Do you remember when we had four people?

Gabriel Lewit: Or maybe it was…

Steve Lewit: Do you remember when we started, we had four people, and you and I were like, “Nobody…”

Gabriel Lewit: Well, we’re up to 150 episodes now, producer Katie. 171. Wow. Not too bad.

Steve Lewit: And we still like each other.

Gabriel Lewit: And we’re still talking.

Steve Lewit: We’re still talking because we’re mindful.

Gabriel Lewit: So, okay. That’s our show for us today. So again, just to recap, pay attention to your mindfulness in all aspects of life, but especially your money. Take yourself off of autopilot and be mindful about the types of advice you are blindly following. It is maybe not the most accurate and truthful advice, especially if it seems super sensationalized and really unbalanced from pros and cons. And we’ll talk more about the magic retirement number. What is the real magic retirement number, that we should have, on the next show.

Steve Lewit: And does retirement require magic?

Gabriel Lewit: I don’t know. If you have no money and you need $20 million, you need some magic.

Steve Lewit: That’s magic.

Gabriel Lewit: Yes. Yes, you do. Okay.

Steve Lewit: Well, stay well, everybody.

Gabriel Lewit: Have a wonderful rest of your day, week, or weekend. Again, if you need to reach us, call us 847-499-3330 or email us Or of course, go to our website and click Contact Us.

Steve Lewit: Be well. Stay well.

Gabriel Lewit: Stay well. Talk to you on the next one.

Steve Lewit: Bye now.

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