Debbie has nearly 20 years of investigative experience and journalism on topics of insurance, mortgage, and financial advice.

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Money Strategies with Debbie

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement

Fix Money Mistakes Now, 18 Scary Retirement Stats, Successful Kids, And 4 Definitions Of Success That Do Not Bring Happiness

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement


Every day, we face a multitude of scary realities that we don’t talk about nearly enough. For example, we don’t often talk about preparing for retirement, or even how we define success.

Nobody really wants to talk about retirement, but the reality is that we’re always heading in that direction. Debbie Bloyd opens your eyes to the realities of planning retirement and how the decisions we make—or in many cases, do not make—can have a profound effect on our financial security as we live off our life’s earnings. Debbie enumerates the scary retirement statistics that nobody really wants to think about but are nevertheless painfully real. It pays to plan early and take necessary action, fix money mistakes and put up a comprehensive retirement plan before it hits us in the face.

Listen to the podcast here:

Fix Money Mistakes Now, 18 Scary Retirement Stats, Successful Kids, And 4 Definitions Of Success That Do Not Bring Happiness

Let’s talk about investing and your outlook on the future. A lot of people do not know how to budget for retirement. A lot of people don’t want to admit that they might want to retire, but that is the goal of most people. I happen to be blessed. I love doing what I do. I can’t imagine ever wanting to retire as long as I can help people. My career has evolved over the years. You’ve followed me for years. I went from being a mortgage broker to a mortgage banker back to a mortgage broker, representing lots of companies to working with families with their life insurance, getting life insurance. My background was property and casualty and life insurance to start with. We do that and we do investment planning.

I refer to myself as a financial person. I can help you with a lot of things. I got a nice compliment. I had a former client call me and said, “I’ve got some questions. I don’t know if these are all in your wheelhouse, but you seem to be able to know people that can maybe help us out.” After they’ve told me their story, they’re going to buy a house, sell a house. They’re talking about capital gains, “How much? Where do we call a primary? When do they move it over and have to homestead it? What are the ramifications of that?” We talked about all these things. I referred them to my CPA. I work with Jodi Jones over at Seidel Schroeder. They do a great job for me and many of my clients. I don’t have all the answers, but sometimes it’s best to work with several of us. Get your CPA in the room with a financial person, with a mortgage person.

I had another family. I do a lot of business in Dallas. I travel back and forth. In Dallas, I had appeared on Fox TV on the morning show. I was talking about the outlook of 2020 and what we were thinking was going to happen to the mortgage rates. By the time I got done with the interview, these people called me the next day and they had gotten my information from the station and they said, “Debbie, our finances are a mess. We don’t know where to start.” There was some borrowing against 401(k), some IRA issues, loss of jobs for a couple years and they took some money out. They had put their head in the sand when it came to talking about money together as a couple. She had her job and her money and he had his job and his money. They were both embarrassed with some of the choices that they had made. I can’t take the embarrassment out of it. It’s a fact, but you can’t swipe it under the rug either and think that you don’t have to address it. At some point, someone’s going to reach a breaking point where enough is enough and that’s why I think they finally called me and said, “She may not have all the answers, but at least she’s nice and we can talk to her.”

A lot of people think of work as terrible stuff that just gets them by. That’s why they don’t do any better and are not more successful. Click To Tweet

That’s one of the things biggest pluses when you can sit down with someone and communicate. “This is my issue. This is where I went wrong.” We’ve all made financial errors. Clients have been through bankruptcies, foreclosures, divorce, litigation and all kinds of stuff that will change your financial outlook. If you get a divorce, things are going to change in your finances. You’re going to have to regroup and not always have our minds wrapped around the solutions. We all think it’s a devastating loss if we have to regroup. I can tell you from my past, whenever I had a setback, I got to look at the money that I had, the job that I had and decide, “Can I grow from this and do more?” Which is what I chose to do. Get a different education, add a different line of business to what I do, make a bigger company, leave a company that does mortgages and become a broker again, all to put two kids through college. Setbacks are a way for you to grow.

We do have to acknowledge what’s going on in our investments and how it’s invested. I know a lot of people that put money in their 401(k) at work. They have no idea how it’s doing. They don’t look at the statements half the time. That’s a big mistake. You need to look at the statements. You need to see what your choices are in your 401(k). I can’t invest your 401(k) but we can look at funds and do a performance analysis and see what funds you should be in based on when you retire. A lot of these people have decided they’re going to do it alone. Millennials are going to do it alone and they’re going to get a robo-advisor. They’re going to talk to somebody on the other end of the phone. That’s great. They may know about investing, but the benefit to putting a coalition of us together is, I’m not going to give you advice that your CPA is going to turn around and tell you, “That’s a bad idea.” We’re all going to decide together because you can take a loss on some things and write it off on another side of your taxes.

This gentleman was worried about capital gains. If you can invest in a self-directed IRA and offset those capital gains, then you’re still back to zero. You’re fine. You need to group people together. Here are some of the common mistakes people are making with their retirement. They’re uneasy about the stock market so they’re staying out. The market is going to be volatile and it could lose money. It already has lost a lot of money, a third. It went down 36% in a couple of days and that’s a lot. It’s bouncing back up. It’s like Macy’s having a sale. It’s going to go up and down, but what other choices do you have? Let’s talk about those. You’re not going to put it in the bank. The bank has got low savings, but it’s protected. The cost of inflation is 3%. If you’re making 1.5%, you’re still losing money. We’ve got to find something that can beat inflation. Roughly 9% of workers increase their contribution when they get a raise. That’s not many workers.

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement

Preparing For Retirement: If you start investing at 50 and you want to retire at 65, you won’t have a lot of time for that money to do what it’s supposed to do.


Most people don’t adjust their 401(k) or their 457 or whatever type of investment their company has. They don’t change that as they get a salary increase. That’s something that we should look out and do. You should always say, “I’m going to tap out the top that I can at work,” whatever your work offers. You can’t ignore saving for retirement. Time should be on your side. If you’re a Millennial, you’re young. Start putting away money now. Let the compound interest and the market themselves and the investments do their jobs and grow. When you start investing at 50 and you want to retire at 65, you don’t have a lot of time for that money to do what it’s supposed to do. This is supposed to be long-term and we’re thinking short-term. People don’t budget for emergencies. That’s what I see a lot of people running into is, “I didn’t know I’d have a heart attack.” None of us do, but you got to have some money to the side.

I call it a cushion, cash reserves, slush fund, whatever you want to call it. You need to have six months of living expenses off to the side and a checking account or a savings account. Maybe you can put it on an online account to make a little bit more, but you need to have it to access it. You don’t have to be able to write checks from it. You don’t have to be able to transfer money in and out of it a lot, but you do need it to decide where you can get to it. Not anything that’s weird on the internet that it takes you a week and a half to get it in the mail. You’re going to want to be able to wire money back and forth out of those accounts. Capital One, Chase and a lot of vendors have some. You need to look into that. Don’t have credit card debt, that’s another thing. When people come to me, they’re trying to hang on to assets to pay down the debt. Why don’t we get rid of the debt? If that means to sell a car to pay off credit card, do it. Sell some cows. Get a part-time job for six months. That debt is killing people. It’s making marriages go wrong. It’s getting people crosswise. It’s getting people to borrow money. It’s asking their adult children if they can borrow money to pay off credit card debt.

If you run into these problems, give me a call. Let me see what I can do to figure out how to help you. For the couple that was in Dallas, it was a great story. They had a property they owned in Colorado. We ran the numbers on doing cash out on an investment property in Colorado or their primary residence in Dallas. The rates were cheaper. If you do it on your primary, you get a little bit more out. You get to go up to 80% of the appraised value. When the appraisal came in and it appraised out fine, they were able to pay off almost all of their debt. It’s going to be a huge relief because their marriage was suffering. He didn’t want to go out to eat and spend any more money. She wanted one night out a week. They were fighting. They were both buried with their heads in the sand, embarrassed about what had happened over the last few years. That was a clean slate. Now is a good time to start over.

Making it your sole intention to earn billions is never the road to lasting satisfaction. Click To Tweet

If you have questions, look me up on the internet. I’m everywhere. Follow me at DLB Mortgage Services and Money Strategies with Debbie on Facebook. I’ve got an Instagram now. I’m living large. The website has a lot of interviews that I do nationally and internationally on radio and TV about the real estate market and how real estate is. I always made millionaires out of people, but how to buy investment property in today’s market and how to flip properties? We cover all those things. Please find me on social media and give me a call. My number is (979) 220-3018. Some of the mistakes we make, we’ve got to admit to and fix so that it doesn’t carry over and ruin our retirement. We need to fix it before we get there.

We’ve talked about retirement on this show. How much do you need? It all depends on what lifestyle you want. You need to sit down and have a chat with yourself or your spouse, mostly with yourself and find out what you’re willing to settle for. Most people coast through life. They get comfortable. They figured this is the way it’s always going to be. Let me tell you, I get too many phone calls every day with people that thought things would be different. Let me give you some statistics to wrap your mind around a new reality. Here’s eighteen scary retirement statistics, so these are not going to be happy. Number one, people could routinely live past 100. The thing is, you may not want to. Number two, women are more financially fragile than they used to be. Number three, Social Security is not keeping pace with the real cost of living increases. Generation X is on deck and they are nervous. Talk to 30 and 40-year-olds, they’re not happy. Caregivers are facing a retirement crisis.

I’m in my 50s. I could have parents in my 60s and 70s. How am I going to keep my job, work to keep my older parents happy, comfortable and be their caregiver and expect any kind of retirement, especially if I take it one step further and quit my job to take care of my parents? I have ended my earnings and retirement plans. That’s happening every day. Retirees need $130,000 to cover healthcare costs alone. Do you have $130,000 set aside in account only for healthcare cost? I don’t. For health care costs, I took out a long-term care policy. What is the long-term care and what does it mean to you? Number seven, most Americans are concerned about health care expenses in retirement. They should be. Number eight, many retirees are on one health care crisis away from financial collapse. We never see it coming. It can be a heart attack, a stroke, a cancer diagnosis and it changes our entire life. Instead of saying that we’re going to die holding hands in bed when we’re 80 years old, let’s think of the reality.

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement

Preparing For Retirement: Instead of saying we’re going to die holding hands in bed when we’re 80, let’s think of the reality that something else is going to go wrong.


The reality is something else is going to go wrong that is going to require us to have some extra attention to medical facilities, long-term care, stay in a hospital for a long time. Do we have the finances for that? If not, if you want Medicare to pay for that and Medicaid, Medicaid is for those of you that have no money left. Some families come to me when their parents are 80 and say, “I want my mom to go on Medicaid. I don’t want to eat up all of the money that she was going to leave to us on her medical. How do we make that happen?” You’re about ten years too late. You need to get the assets out of the seniors’ names. That’s the money and the houses and the stuff so that they don’t have anything, because there’s a five-year lookback period on Medicaid. Number nine, women often regret not waiting to claim Social Security. If you don’t need to claim it early, call me. Let’s figure out a way for you to claim it later. Claim and suspend. Their strategy is with your Social Security and the Social Security office is not going to tell you about these strategies.

They’re happy for you to take the money as early as you can and get on the ticket and ride. Number ten, half of Americans are afraid they’re going to outlive their money. I do believe that is true. I see them in my office every day. Number eleven, even your boss is worried about your retirement readiness. Number twelve, majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Because I do mortgages, I do see people with money to put down on homes. When they come to me for retirement plans, they’re in 1 of 2 camps. It’s either, “I have a lot of money and I don’t want the government to take it and I want to give it to my kids, grandkids,” or, “I don’t have any money. How do I make what I have stretched?” Number thirteen, half of Americans are in debt. That means by the time they get ready to retire, they still owe their house. They owe on their kids’ education. They might owe on grandkids’ education and cars. They’ve got medical bills. We don’t want that to happen.

Number fourteen, a majority of Americans plan to work during retirement. That’s not retirement, is it? The old adage of retirement was that you would have time to go with the grandkids. Take them to Disney World, go on a cruise, see your friends, volunteer. I have a friend, her dad is 80 and he is a part-time school teacher. He needs the money. Her mother is sick and that’s the only way they can cover all the expenses and her Medicare Supplement is for the guy to work. He’s 80 years old. I don’t think we all ever saw this coming. Number fifteen, retirees who continue working face tax disincentives. If you make too much money in retirement, the taxes are going to change. Number sixteen, Baby Boomers keep getting divorced. You keep splitting your stuff over and over. You’re not going to have anything by the time you get ready to retire. Number seventeen, adult children are derailing their parents’ retirement. I know many parents in their 50s still paying for car insurance, cell phone bills and the next generations of stuff because they don’t have a good enough education to get a good enough job to afford what they want.

Our goal should not be to build a ton of friendships in life, but to find unbreakable ones with just a few. Click To Tweet

Mom and dad subsidize their kids’ living. It’s one thing if your kids are in college, I got it. I will have kids in college soon. Mine will have what they call jobs. They’ll have their own source of money. I’m not going to pay for everything forever. I have retirement. That is what we’re talking about. You only have a set amount of time to work. If you think about your set amount of years to work, and that’s if nothing goes wrong, that’s in case I don’t drop dead with a heart attack or a stroke or something happens to me, that’s going to derail my earning potential. My retirement, unless I’m dead, I’ve got to worry about it on less money. Number eighteen, we’re all worried about all the elections in the upcoming years. What does this new one have to do with any of our retirement? It doesn’t matter who is in office, the stock market is going to keep going up and down but keep going.

I want to give you more of an idea on how to be successful and happy. Money and finances are only part of it. Yes, we talk about that all the time. I don’t want you to think that the money part alone is going to make us successful and happy. Here are four definitions of success that are never fully going to satisfy you. Some people want to retire and they say they want to retire early to enjoy it, but they may not have enough money to enjoy their retirement. A lot of people retire from their first job and then they find that their second job, from their 60s or 50s on, is something that they’ve always wanted to do. They did the first job as a job and now they find something they want to enjoy. A lot of people think of work as terrible stuff that gets them by. That’s why they don’t do any better and are not more successful. It’s not about building a business, traveling or mastering a particular skill or craft. You got to have a definition of success to outline your goals and your dreams.

Wanting To Be Rich

What motivates you? Achieving enormous wealth. “Don’t gain the world to lose your soul. Wisdom is better than silver or gold.” That’s Bob Marley. We don’t want to start out wanting to be rich, do we? Perhaps when we’re younger and we know less about the true joys of life. How many of the world’s billionaires do you think started out with a goal of making a billion dollars? Most likely, none of them. They became billionaires but that wasn’t their true intention. They wanted to change the world. They wanted to have an impact on people’s lives. Mark Zuckerberg was obsessed with creating Facebook and connecting the world. Jeff Bezos wanted to build the largest and simplest eCommerce companies. Making it your sole intention to earn zillions or billions is never the road to lasting satisfactions.

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement

Preparing For Retirement: If you truly want to live a happy life, you should tie it to a goal, not to people or things. That is the true definition of success.


Liked By Everyone

Wanting to be liked by everyone is another problem that’s innately human, but the simple fact can seriously damage our lives in ways you may not expect. When you aim to build and maintain a lot of friendships, it causes several problems. Number one, you often go out of your way to do things for people who are happy to ignore or belittle you whenever it suits them. Number two, you try your best to please everyone, which means your attention is spread out and you’re not there for the true friends when they have a true need. Number three, you might not end up building strong relationships, only with a few individuals and therefore, you won’t have any people in your life willing to do anything for you. You’ll have a lot of people who are willing to do much. Your goal shouldn’t be to build a ton of friendships in life, but simply search and find unbreakable friendships with a few.

At An Early Age

At number three, and we talk about this a lot in what I do in retirement planning, is retiring at an early age. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Many people enter entrepreneurship wishing to retire by the time they’re 30 or 40 years old. That’s certainly possible. The issue is once you find something that you truly love doing, you won’t want to stop doing it suddenly. You’re going to want to continue doing it until the end. People like Warren Buffett, as an example, he’s 86. He continues to work because he loves it. He’s been one of the richest men in the world. He certainly could have retired more than 30 years ago, but he didn’t. That’s because of passion. Getting a goal to retire at an early age probably means you’re not going to enjoy what you’re doing in order to get there. You simply are selling the best years of your life to live your later years in freedom.

Acquiring Materialistic Things

Acquiring materialistic things. “The things you end up owning end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” This gentleman that wrote the article said he used to be obsessed with upgrading things in his life. Other than himself, he said, “My car, my TV, my clothes, my phone.” You begin to realize a lot of material things you require and acquire in life will fade. There are certain items that might seem to hold sentimental value to you, but 90% of the things that you own will quickly become old and outdated. The sole goal is to purchase your dream car or buy amazing pieces of technology. They’re only going to keep you happy for so long. Several years later, your possessions will be worn out, showing signs of age and then something new or better will come along. Albert Einstein once said, “If you truly want to live a happy life then you should tie it to a goal, not to people or things. That is the true definition of success.”

If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Click To Tweet

I hope this helps you look at your life sometimes in a different way. If you’ve veered from the path of what success and happiness means to you, you get back on it. Many of the people that I talked to about retirement planning, they want to retire so they can do what they want and it sounds like they don’t enjoy their life and their jobs. I love what I do. I don’t think I’m going to be one of those retiring early because I like what I do. I don’t want that to stop. Do you have questions about your retirement or how to retire early or to start again and finish one phase of your life and move into another? Feel free to call me. My number is (979) 220-3018 or email me [email protected].

We all want our kids to be successful. We all want the people that we work with to be successful. A lot of these things are aimed towards kids, but we can maybe teach our co-workers or if you’re a boss, try to get your employees on board with these things that you might have in common to be successful. These are great traits. Good parents want to keep their employees and their kids out of trouble, do well in school and go on to do awesome things as adults. While there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success. Surprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents.

Here’s what parents of successful kids do have in common. Number one, they make their kids do chores. If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing it for them. They’re absolved, not only the work, but learning that work has to be done and that each of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole. Harvard Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study ever conducted, said that kids doing chores go on to be employees who collaborate well with their co-workers and are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like and they’re able to take on tasks independently. By making them do chores, taking out the garbage or doing their own laundry, they realize that, “I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life.”

Number two, they teach their kids social skills. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke University track down more than 700 children from across the US beginning in kindergarten and age 25 and found that a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergartners and their success as adults two decades later. The twenty-year-old study showed that socially competent children who could cooperate with their peers without prompting, be helpful to others, understand their feelings and resolve problems on their own were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by the age of 25 than those with limited social skills. The study shows that children helping and us helping our children develop social and developmental skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future.

TDD 118 | Preparing For Retirement

Preparing For Retirement: To have successful kids, we should strive for authoritative parenting, where the parent tries to direct the child rationally instead of controlling the child based on a set standard of conduct.


From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, whether they end up employed or addicted. They have high expectations. Data survey from 6,600 children born in 2001, the University of California said that they discovered that the expectations parents hold for their children have a huge effect on attainment. Parents who saw college in their child’s future seem to manage their child towards that goal, irrespective of their income and other assets. The findings also came out in standardized tests. Fifty-seven percent of kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go on to college. This falls in line with another psychic finding, the Pygmalion Effect, which states that the person that expects of one another can serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, kids tend to live up to their parents’ expectations.

Next, they have healthy relationships with each other. Studies in children and families say that people that are always in conflict, have a volatile family life, tend to have more disruptions as they age. They get used to that and they think that’s normal. That happened to my house. I don’t like any of that high-maintenance drama stuff around me. I had enough of that growing up. They’ve attained higher education levels. A 2014 study led by the University of Michigan found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same. Parents, we need to be an example. Teach your kids math early. In 2007, there was a meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers and what they found was early math skills, beginning of school with the knowledge of numbers, number order, those things in kindergarten, first grade lead to math mastery which leads to higher success rates.

Next is develop a relationship with their kids. A 2014 study found that people born into poverty found that children who receive sensitive caregiving in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s. This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that can accumulate across individuals’ lives. Number eight, stress. The Washington Post found that the number of hours a mom spends with kids between the ages of 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being or achievement. What’s more, the intensive mother and her helicopter parenting approach can backfire. When mothers are stressed because of their juggling with work, trying to find time with the kids, may be affecting their kids poorly. Moms, let’s get it together. Get some help and maintain a stress-free home.

We value effort over avoiding failure. Where kids think success comes from also predicts their attainment. We should not train our kids to avoid failure because a fixed mindset is going to assume that our character, intelligence and creative ability are static. That is not going to help. What we need to do is take chances so that we learn to fail. We also keep trying and we’re going to learn to succeed. That’s a growth mindset. Number ten, moms at work. According to research out of Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits to children growing up with mothers who work outside the home. Study found that daughters of working mothers went to school longer, were more likely to have a job in a supervisory role and earn more money 23% compared to their peers who were raised by stay-at-home moms. The sense of working moms also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare. The studies found they spend 7.5 hours more a week on childcare and 24 minutes on housework.

Kids tend to live up to their parents’ expectations. Click To Tweet

This is role modeling and that’s what signifies what’s appropriate for our kids. We have to be good role models. Do you have higher socioeconomic status? One-fifth of American children grow up in poverty. We need to move the gap between low-income and high-income families. We need intervention. There’s so much that we can do. If we get our kids to want to drive, want to attain more, that will shorten that gap a little bit. Also, the way we raise our children and how we dictate to our children. Permissive way, the parent tries to be accepting of the child in any way possible. Authoritarian, the parent tries to shape and control the child based on a set standard of conduct. Authoritative is what we should strive for. That’s where the parent tries to direct the child rationally. Lastly, we’re talking grit. What do we teach our children? What we should be teaching them is how to sustain interest in an effort toward a long-term goal. This goes with school, college and what we expect of them. It’s about teaching kids to imagine and commit to a future that they want to create. We’ll be back with more tips on money and retirement and mortgages.

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