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Turning Your Hobby Into a Paid Passion with Lee Rathbun (Ep.16)

Turning Your Hobby Into a Paid Passion with Lee Rathbun (Ep.16)

“Find a job you’ll love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”’

But how?

Michelle Gessner is joined by special guest Lee Rathbun, a part-time sports official who shares his journey of turning his hobby into a paid gig. They explore the theme of “What are you going to do in retirement,” emphasizing the importance of not just planning for financial security but also planning for a fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

Lee Rathbun shares his experience of transitioning from baseball to football and lacrosse officiating, highlighting the physical activity, competition, and enjoyment he derives from his role as a referee. 

This installment of Retire To A Life You Love® discusses:

  • How Lee turned a hobby into paid opportunities
  • The benefits of doing something you like both for your physical and mental well-being
  • Dealing with pressure on and off the field
  • The shortage of referees & why you should consider becoming a sports official if you have a passion for sports
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner: 

Connect with Lee Rathbun:

About Lee Rathbun:

Lee Rathbun has lived in Houston since 2012 but is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has a bachelor’s degree in business with a master’s in telecommunications, both from the University of Maryland, and spent 9 years serving in the US Navy.  With a career in the transportation industry in logistics, Lee spends a lot of his free time as a high school football and lacrosse referee across metro Houston and in Pennsylvania where he lived before arriving in Houston. He’s also been found participating in various mud runs like the Spartan race. Lee has been a referee in his free time since 2005, about 19 years.  He is assigned anywhere between 2-4 games per week and sometimes more.  

Medicare: A Comprehensive Guide with Joanne Giardini Russell (Ep.15)

Medicare: A Comprehensive Guide with Joanne Giardini Russell (Ep.15)

After the successful release of “Understanding Medicare: A Guide for Beginners,” Michelle was prompted to ask Joanne Giardini Russell back to the show to provide a deeper look into Medicare.

Let’s gain further knowledge about how to make informed decisions regarding your healthcare and insurance options as Michelle and Joanne discuss: 

  • Recommendations to prepare for Medicare six months before eligibility 
  • Seek professional guidance to avoid common enrollment mistakes
  • The importance of annually reviewing your drug plans
  • Growing concerns surrounding predatory marketing/scams 
  • The Inflation Reduction Act and its impact on pharmaceuticals 
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner: 

Connect with Joanne Giardini Russell:

About Joanne Giardini-Russell:

Joanne Giardini-Russell is the owner of Giardini Medicare, an independent agency that provides Medicare products to the public. She and her team of Medicare nerds at Giardini Medicare specialize in the “transition” to the Medicare system. Do you need Medicare? If so, how do you get there in a stress-free and logical fashion? Having spent years in the financial and insurance industries, Joanne recognized an enormous and unfilled niche. Namely, the lack of quality education and assistance in “best practices” in getting yourself into the Medicare system.

She and her team of agents have grown a firm that can help assess the “Do I need Medicare,  how do I get it, how does it work” questions and more. They assist in the transition from the workplace era and into the Medicare years and enroll people in the proper Medicare products. 

Joanne routinely leads Medicare sessions for financial advisors, CPAs, Credit Unions, and the public. Additionally, she often writes Medicare content for publications and websites such as  Advisor Perspectives, SixtyandMe.com, and InsuranceNews.Net. She and Cameron Giardini produce the “Transition to Medicare” Podcast. , He produces the company’s YouTube channel while she handles TikTok. The company website is https://gmedicareteam.com/ 

Joanne resides in Michigan with her husband, Jeff. Three of her adult children work with her at Giardini Medicare; creating what they affectionately refer to as the “First Family of Medicare”.  

Retiring Abroad: How Glenda Cole is Living Her Storybook Life in Portugal (Ep.14)

Retiring Abroad: How Glenda Cole is Living Her Storybook Life in Portugal (Ep.14)

A lot of us spend time planning for our retirement from a financial perspective, which I will never tell you is a bad thing. However, how much thought have you given to HOW you will spend your retirement?

Everyone deserves to Retire to a Life You Love®, and today’s guest has done just that! Glenda Cole shares what it’s like living her storybook life in Portugal including details surrounding what led her to choose to leave the US. She gives insight and helpful tips about living abroad including the relaxed lifestyle, and affordable cost of living.

Gain insight into living abroad as Glenda shares:

  • Her journey of retiring to Portugal and what led her to this “leap of faith” decision
  • The perks and drawbacks of living abroad including tax implications
  • How she maintains her relationships in the United States
  • A day in the life of a retiree in Portugal (Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds!)
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner: 

Connect with Glenda Cole: 

About Glenda Cole: 

Glenda Cole’s career culminated as the Vice President of Marketing and Sponsorship for a U.S. developer of luxury shopping malls.  She managed a team of just under 100 professionals and a budget of over $60 million.  She was responsible for the marketing strategy for some of the most prestigious malls in the U.S., including upscale properties in most of the major markets in America.  She was awarded the prestigious International Webby Award for internet excellence and two Silver Caddys for copywriting.  

Glenda was the company spokesperson for marketing and was featured in television, radio, internet, and print interviews.  She created partnerships with many brands, including Disney’s Frozen, Fox Studios Ice Age, the Broadway show Wicked, Microsoft, and American Express.  Glenda is most proud of being recognized as the “most inspirational executive” in the company.  Since retiring to Portugal, Glenda has written a column in the Portugal Resident and has been the Social Secretary for the Casa social club.  She currently writes, creates internet content, and appears as a speaker for International Living magazine.  

Top Takeaways from 2023 (Ep.13)

Top Takeaways from 2023 (Ep.13)

A new year provides opportunities for growth and self-improvement, and this extends to your finances too! 

But before we look too far ahead, let’s revisit a few 2023 episodes of Retire To A Life You Love® for the top takeaways that you can carry into the new year.

Gain insight as Michelle highlights practical reminders and nuggets of financial wisdom like:

  • The value of understanding and implementing tax strategies for your retirement
  • Tips for your Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b) including converting pre-tax money  
  • Benefits of a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) strategy
  • Key issues for estate planning for yourself but also your aging parents

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner:

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her client’s interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm. 

5 Signs It’s Time To Fire Your Financial Advisor (Ep.11)

5 Signs It’s Time To Fire Your Financial Advisor (Ep.11)

In today’s world of relationships, if you are ignored, you’re being ‘ghosted.’ 

Basically, the person doing the ghosting has decided that they no longer care about you.

Do you feel this way about your financial advisor? If they don’t regularly communicate, share market advice or insights, or return your calls, you are likely being ghosted.

Is it time to fire your financial advisor? 

Join Michelle Gessner, CFP® as she lists the 5 Signs that you need to fire your financial advisor. Feel assured you’re making the right decision as Michelle emphasizes your right to regular communication, personalized financial planning, and having shared values with the professional that manages your investments.

Heed this as a warning that it’s time to move on as Michelle covers:

  • The importance of regular communication whether by phone, email, or in-person
  • Credential concerns; Are they a fiduciary or have financial certifications?
  • Aligning your investment goals and philosophies with your advisor
  • Warning signs that they may not be a good fit for you and your planning needs
  • How to fire your financial advisor
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner: 

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her client’s interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm.

The Importance of Personal Risk Management with Ryan Kaiser (Ep.10)

The Importance of Personal Risk Management with Ryan Kaiser (Ep.10)

If you go outside when it is raining, you take an umbrella to keep you from getting wet.

When you ride in a car, you put on your seatbelt to keep you safe.

But what do you do to safeguard your finances?

Taking proper precautions for the safety of your assets and finances is just as important as protecting yourself from harm which is why Ryan Kaiser, Personal Risk Specialist at USI Insurance Services joins Michelle for this release of Retire To A Life You Love®.

Join them as they talk about the importance of understanding both your physical and financial risks by sharing real-life scenarios that will have you questioning if your current coverage is enough. 

Gain insight as Ryan and Michelle discuss: 

  • Umbrella coverage; the benefits and how you can protect your assets
  • Examples of exposures you may want to know about
  • The importance of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  • Rising premium costs and why the insurance market is struggling with supply and demand
  • Why you should consider adding cyber coverage to your policy 
  • And more

Connect with Ryan Kaiser:

Connect with Michelle: 

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her client’s interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm. 

About Ryan Kaiser:

Ryan Kaiser is a Personal Risk Specialist at USI, and he and his team provide wealth protection by conducting comprehensive risk assessments, educating clients on potential exposures and risk mitigation practices, and transferring risk through the placement of insurance.  Ryan is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and has been in the insurance industry since 2011. Having spent a portion of that time in claims, he has helped thousands of customers recover from loss and understands the importance of having adequate coverage. 

His firm, USI, has over 150 years of consulting and brokerage experience, 10,000 employees, and 200 offices, and is a unique insurance industry leader in property & casualty, employee benefits, and personal risk.  

How to Avoid Common Retirement Planning Mistakes (Ep.9)

How to Avoid Common Retirement Planning Mistakes (Ep.9)

Planning for your retirement is not black and white. It’s not cookie-cutter, or one-size-fits-all. 

And because there is no universal template when it comes to retirement planning, it’s important that your plan is tailored to your lifestyle and how you envision your post-work life. 

In this episode, Michelle provides ten strategies to help you avoid common retirement planning mistakes. Listen in as she stresses the importance of having an adequate emergency fund, not selling investments during market downturns, and what you should know about holding too many scattered accounts, or holding too much of one company’s stock. 

Gain insight as Michelle discusses: 

  • How to build an emergency fund using modern-day strategies and tools
  • Diversifying your investments and how to avoid concentration risk
  • Misconceptions about renting versus owning a home
  • The importance of paying yourself first while eliminating any debts
  • Benefits of having your investments and accounts managed by one advisor 
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Michelle: 

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her client’s interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm. 

Master Your Tax Planning For Retirement with Sarah Brenner (Ep. 8)

Master Your Tax Planning For Retirement with Sarah Brenner (Ep. 8)

Join Michelle Gessner, CFP ® as she chats with tax attorney and educator Sarah Brenner from Ed Slott and Company, LLC. With over 20 years of experience, Sarah has become a trusted resource for financial advisors and their clients across the nation. Listen as she shares her insights on how you can navigate through the complexities of retirement and tax regulations. 

In this episode, you will:

  • Learn about common tax planning mistakes and traps that individuals often overlook
  • Hear real-life examples of how advisors can help you avoid costly tax implications
  • Get a glimpse into the key provisions of the recent Secure Act 2.0 and how they may impact your retirement planning
  • Why Sarah feels Roth IRAs and Roth Conversions are here to stay
  • And more

Resources:

Connect with Sarah Brenner: 

Connect with Michelle Gessner:

About Sarah Brenner:

Sarah has worked for almost twenty years helping clients solve complex technical IRA questions.  She has been a contributing writer for many IRA texts, articles, and training manuals and has been quoted in national financial and tax publications such as CCH IRA Guide.  

She is an experienced speaker who has educated thousands of professionals in the financial industry including attorneys, CPAs, bankers, financial advisors, and brokers on retirement plan rules.  Sarah has won praise for her ability to communicate complex laws in an easy-to-understand way and provide practical strategies for clients.

Sarah is a contributing writer and editor for Ed Slott’s IRA Advisor newsletter, distributed to thousands of financial advisors nationwide, and writes for several areas of the company’s website, www.irahelp.com. Sarah also serves as a valuable resource for the members of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group™, a 400+ member organization of some of the country’s top financial advisors who are dedicated to becoming experts in IRA distribution planning. She consults with firm clients and creates IRA course manuals and training programs for financial advisors.

Sarah is a graduate of Smith College and Villanova School of Law.  She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.  She practiced law with a concentration in elder law for several years and for fifteen years was a senior consultant with PMC, Pension Management Company, an independent IRA consulting firm for financial organizations nationwide.

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her clients’ interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston, and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm.

Planning Beyond Today: A Look at Long-Term Care Planning (Ep. 7)

Planning Beyond Today: A Look at Long-Term Care Planning (Ep. 7)

Don’t wait for tomorrow, next week, or next month to figure out your long-term care plan. Now is the time to equip yourself with knowledge so you can properly plan for your future. 

In this thought-provoking episode, Michelle Gessner, CFP® and host of the Retire To A Life You Love® podcast walks listeners through long-term care options and possible scenarios that could affect you and your family.

If planning for long-term care frightens you, or you think you’re simply not old enough to plan, you need a reality check. Every day, we are all getting older, and the fact of the matter is most people are not financially ready for what could possibly happen as they age.

Join Michelle as she tackles common questions regarding long-term care, provides invaluable insight from the perspective of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and shares some startling statistics about our aging population.

Gain information for yourself or to share with your family about:

  • The various types of long-term care available; assisted living, nursing homes, adult daycare, and at-home nursing care. 
  • Startling statistics that will propel you to take long-term care planning seriously
  • The expenses associated with long-term care, including discussions around Medicare and Health Insurance
  • What is long-term care, and how to know if you or a loved one requires assistance
  • How the latest insurance policies work that may be less expensive than you thought
  • And more!

Resources:

Connect with Michelle Gessner: 

About Michelle Gessner: 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Michelle is passionate about building a life plan for her clients and helping them see that they have choices, which often comes to them as a pleasant surprise. She is an independent thinker and a huge advocate of her client’s interests. Her greatest joy is working to do what is right for them and be their voice.

Michelle has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University, Brussels. Growing up in Montana and moving to Colorado for college, she took out student loans and worked her way through all four years. After graduating in 1987 with honors, she accepted a job at Shell Oil in Houston, and worked her way up the corporate ladder to a management position before leaving in 1992 for Brussels, Belgium, where she lived for 4 years. In Brussels, she learned about different cultures and basic conversational French as well as pursuing and earning a graduate degree in management. 

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional,  she is held to the highest standards set forth in the industry. She surrounds herself with a back office of experts in tax and investment research so that her clients have the best of both worlds – the resources of a large firm with the caring, dedication, and personal service of a small firm.