Life Financial Strategies with Steven LaBroi, Wealth Strategist – April 15, 2018
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Twanda Black: Good morning, thanks for coming back to the show. I’m [Twanda Black 00:00:02], and joining me this morning our chief strategist Steven LaBroi of the LaBroi Insurance Group LLC, and executive director of the Millennial Banking Concept, a not-for-profit organization objective to help young adults through money management strategies.
Twanda Black: How are you this morning?
Steven LaBroi: Well, I’m great, I’m great. Another beautiful Sunday morning, and I’m just really happy and pleased to be here.
Twanda Black: Absolutely. We’re going to talk about our millennial generation. We talk a lot about millennials, and discuss a work plan that can help them get ahead and stay ahead during their lifetime. There are certain things that I think has to be a realization for millennials, right?
Steven LaBroi: Oh, yeah, yeah. The idea that we discuss is mostly looking at things from a long view, even paying attention to the things that happen every day that will focus on what’s going to make your future and how to make a living, so it’s really important to be proactive and not react to everything that’s coming.
Twanda Black: Yean, yeah, very interesting. I got a chance to spend a couple of weeks with my millennial son over in Australia, and just listening to him, very interesting. Very interesting take on life, on the government and how they want to do things, and I kind of agree with … well, I do agree with you that regardless of all of that, you still have to live, you still have to have lights and a home, and if you marry, you have children, you have to be able to take care of those kids, you still have life’s issues, all the things that go along with making a life a life.
Steven LaBroi: Yes, yes. Millennials are just another generation that is characterized by the media or groups of folks that do this kind of characterization. But I tell you what, no matter what, we’re moving through life at the same trajectory, there are just a few different things that may occur that has happened as we’ve grown, like cellphones and computers and-
Twanda Black: Technology, period, yeah.
Steven LaBroi: … and iPads. All that stuff is in play, but we have to still work through it.
Twanda Black: Now, when they talk about the millennial generation, they say that this is a generation that will inherit the baby boomers’ stuff, whatever you left, the legacy, whatever you left, and most of us will make sure or we’re making sure that we leave something to our children.
Steven LaBroi: Well, I tell you what, it’s a part of a plan that is already inherent in generations past. It’s designed that way. We should live our lives in a way in which we’re able to take advantage of what’s happening here, create a better place, and then move things along to our children and grandchildren. As they matriculate, we want them to have good lives as well, so this is a part of a plan that we have to sit down and take some very care and look at. As opposed to just trying to live day-to-day, we have to be proactive and take a look at these things clearly.
Twanda Black: Absolutely, and no matter what’s going on, we’re all going through it together. It’s not like, oh, the millennials over here and they have their issues, and we’re over here and we have … No! We’re going through this thing all together.
Steven LaBroi: Yes, yes. You think about we’re still exposed to personal challenges, we still all have to create goals, we still all have to meet objectives. You’ll be driven by things that you see, you hear, things you don’t see like the economy, the weather, culture, national and international influences, and obviously technology is going to be a major influence on our lives.
Twanda Black: So, let’s talk about, for a moment, what some of our millennial children are going through like financial planning, credit cards, paying back student loans. Those are serious issues.
Steven LaBroi: Yes. When you think about this, most of us face having to finance the things that we need upfront, primarily because of the cost, then cost continue to rise day-to-day, year-to-year, and that’s what these institutions are out here doing. They’re financing things for us. Well, they’re making money on interest.
Steven LaBroi: But at the same time, we have to get a concerted plan to pay these things off and still create a life for ourselves, still build wealth and still create assets. So, it’s very strategic on how we look at the things that we borrow so that we can also manage our lives simultaneously.
Twanda Black: Yeah, I’m looking at going back to school for a master’s and that’s $15,000 out of your budget, and so where does that money come from? Is it out of your everyday living budget, or do you have that money set aside? It’s the same for a millennial or anybody else that’s trying to go to school without the benefit of having any scholarship or money or anything like that.
Twanda Black: I like this quote Robert Kiyosaki said in his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad: “How many days we can live in the future without having to create more income. We can’t keep putting it out and not putting something back in. It’s not going to work.”
Steven LaBroi: Yeah, that’s my favorite quote too. Wealth is building wealth and how many days can you live without going out and finding a job or having to have someone pay you? That means we have to put something away, we have to accumulate enough so that when it’s distributed to us it manages the rest of our lives as well as the expenses that we’ll continue to have.
Steven LaBroi: Later in life you still have health care as an expense, you’ll have entertainment as an expense. What I find is that when people retire, whatever they consider retire to be, what is shared is that you have more time to actually do more things. Sounds good, but that means you have to have more money.
Twanda Black: That’s right. You got to have money to do those things. Absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely. We’re really talking about building assets and building wealth while you’re young. It’s so important. And once you get that concept …
Twanda Black: Because I know we think we’re going to be young forever. We are not. And 30 years will pass so quickly, and if you have not started when you were young … Because some people haven’t started. Some people are in their 40s and 50s and haven’t started, so it’s never too late to start, because you must, because you have to retire at some point. So what the suggestion is is that you start early, in your 20s if you can, in your 30s if you can.
Steven LaBroi: One of the keys is having the discussion. Always having the discussion with someone. When you’re out of school, you’re never out of school. Always find a book that helps you dream and look into the future. In only five short decades, we become 50 years old. Doesn’t take long.
Twanda Black: It doesn’t.
Steven LaBroi: In the United States, 21 is the legal age to become an adult. Well, you’ve lived two decades at that time already, so you have to break things down into small bites and understand that time is still made up of 24 hours in a day and that time is going to continue to come. We just had Easter and it’s going to come again.
Twanda Black: Talk about the strategy for short-term, mid-term, long-term, when you talk about your financial life span.
Steven LaBroi: Oh, wow. This is something that I try to give people that there’s a framework that you have to create strategy for short-term, mid-term, long-term. We’ll just give it some parameters. In the short-term, meaning that every day you can pay attention to how you spend money. If you’re spending $20 a day on lunch, that’s $100 a week.
Twanda Black: A lot of money.
Steven LaBroi: Yeah, when you start adding it up … I mean, they always use the example of coffee and how $5 coffees a day or two times a day adds up during the week. If there’s an annual event that you know that you go to every year, and we all go to events, so we can put that money aside and have that ticket bought early, as opposed to waiting until the last minute. That’s a short-term look which can be looked at monthly and also yearly.
Steven LaBroi: Our mid-term is between five and 10 years. It’s kind of your decade strategy. During that decade, you can create a bucket list. Are you going to buy a rental property? Do you want to travel?
Twanda Black: Yes.
Steven LaBroi: Do you want to start a business? You know?
Twanda Black: Yeah.
Steven LaBroi: These are the kind of things you can say, “Hey, yeah, that’s what I want to do,” and you can begin to put a plan together to get that done.
Steven LaBroi: And just a long-term strategy, to wrap this, is your retirement, or the time you believe that you will want to complete going out to work. So retirement doesn’t mean you have to be 65.
Twanda Black: Right.
Steven LaBroi: It could be the time that you decide you don’t want to have to go to work for income, right? So, it’s an idea that you put in writing and put down and then you have enough money to be able to manage the rest of your life through the expenses that you’ll have, and that’s called retirement.
Steven LaBroi: And then you want the retirement to be great, so you must do something about this throughout your entire life, and so building on it during the good times, putting more money away, and then maybe still doing something during the challenging times that we find ourselves in will help you get to what we call that good retirement.
Steven LaBroi: There’s a song that I always reflect on. It’s an old song but it talks about, you know, time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future, and that’s always been something that I have to think about, and every day if you think about your goals and working towards them, that future is going to be today.
Twanda Black: Yes, yes, yes. And just before you know it, I know you think you have forever, but you really, really don’t, and then anything could happen. You could have a medical situation before you retire and not have enough money. So it’s just best to start now, start now while you’re young, while perhaps you don’t have kids and you don’t have a family yet, start putting some money away. But even if you do, you’ve got to start.
Twanda Black: I have a friend that he said he smoked cigarettes for 20 years, and he said every week he would put $10 in a jar for the amount of money that he spent on cigarettes, for 20 years, and he did that for 20 years.
Steven LaBroi: Wow!
Twanda Black: Yep.
Steven LaBroi: It’s a strategy, and I say that we want to make sure at some point we earn some interest on that money, but the idea that he …
Twanda Black: Yeah, that he was saving.
Steven LaBroi: That he created a goal-
Twanda Black: He did.
Steven LaBroi: … sounds right.
Twanda Black: He really did.
Steven LaBroi: He created a goal and he followed through with it. I have several clients that look at things that way. They say, “Hey, I paid this debt off and so I don’t miss that money for that student loan or that law school loan,” and some of them keep putting that money somewhere.
Steven LaBroi: Our company will help you figure out where to put it, but at the end of the day, that’s part of the strategy, because you know that even if you have to use it in an emergency, or if you have to use it ’cause you want to have some kind of lifestyle event or you want to enjoy yourself, it’s there for you, and that’s one of the key principles of making sure that you plan for the future.
Twanda Black: A part of that plan can even be, you know, we talked about the HELOC last month, which is the Human Equity Line of Credit. That can be a part of that plan, correct?
Steven LaBroi: Oh yes, yes. That’s going to be helping you structure where to put those additional funds, and it’s going to be formal but yet very flexible, the idea to help you control the use of your money, help you refocus on making sure that you’re building wealth for you with all these other circumstances that are happening out in the world, ’cause we just never know what’s going to happen from day-to-day.
Twanda Black: That’s true. Look at how many young people get hurt doing sports and now have this lifelong disabilities.
Steven LaBroi: [crosstalk 00:15:00]
Twanda Black: You don’t expect that. You don’t expect that. Where does that money come from? We’ve got to begin to save and to leave something for our children. That’s the goal, yeah.
Steven LaBroi: It is so important, so important that you pay attention to those things, ’cause even if you do have a great life in sports or professional life, things change.
Twanda Black: Yeah, they do.
Steven LaBroi: Things change, and we hear so many stories. In fact with this 24-hour news cycle, the influences are out there so strongly that you have to put pen to paper and figure out what your life should look like and not be influenced by what you see on the cell phone or the internet or cable TV, ’cause there’s so many things out there that we can’t control.
Twanda Black: And it may not even be true. That’s the thing. We see things and we think, “Oh my God, they have this and they have that.” That really may not be true. They only show you what they want you to see, so that’s something that you need to remember.
Steven LaBroi: Yes.
Twanda Black: Okay, so that was great and I love that we talked about our strategy for long-term, short-term, mid-term.
Twanda Black: Money mastery principle number nine: understanding taxation enables you to retain more of your money. Talk about that for a moment.
Steven LaBroi: Well, I really appreciate that because we just had taxes this year and the idea now is people feel like, well, that’s over. Let’s go into 2018. Well, here’s my thought. Taxes have been around for a long time. People pay federal and possibly state taxes for over 40 years that they work on average. Would you want to make sure that you get some of that money back? Could you be more efficient?
Steven LaBroi: Now is the time actually to sit down with your CPA accountant tax plan person and get a proactive plan for what you are doing or could be doing to make your taxes more efficient. Very important to have a plan. Do we think that refunds are another source of savings? Well, we teach you refunds are just letting the government use your money all year long and then you get it back without interest. I think you could do a little bit more with your money if you had it in your hands-
Twanda Black: That’s true.
Steven LaBroi: … during the year as opposed to waiting on a refund. So, let’s think about this, because you can create a lot more efficiency with your taxes if you plan and get the information from the professionals so that you can organize things appropriately.
Twanda Black: Exactly. They’ll help you out. I know my tax preparer, and she’s a CPA, she really discussed with me about owning a business and what I need to be doing and how I need to be tracking things and just all of that, and I think everybody needs that. You need that advice. You really do.
Steven LaBroi: Yes, it’s easier to do it now since you’ve done your taxes for 2017, than to wait until January-
Twanda Black: Right.
Steven LaBroi: … to start talking about that.
Twanda Black: Absolutely. Absolutely. Steven, tell folks where they can get more information, your website, especially on the Millennial Banking Concept.
Steven LaBroi: Oh, yes. Millennialbankingconcept.org, please go on, sign in. We’re going to be preparing to do some classes, we’re starting to set things up. With millennialbankingconxcept.org we do have a Facebook page, an Instagram page. We’re trying to be where we know our millennials are.
Steven LaBroi: And LaBroiInsuranceGroup.com, we’d love to hear from you. We do a lot of consultations and try to figure out where you are and give you some ideas on things to consider. So I look forward to speaking with whomever is interested in learning more about their financial life.
Twanda Black: Right, so important. I know money’s a personal thing. It should be personal because you put your blood, sweat and tears into it and especially having those strategies to save so that you will have a great retirement so you can live the way you want to live, so I love that.
Twanda Black: Steven, thank you so much for joining us. Steven LaBroi, chief strategist for the LaBroi Insurance Group LLC, thank you for joining us.
Steven LaBroi: Thank you.