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Common Sense Financial Podcast Profile

Common Sense Financial Podcast

English, Finance, 3 seasons, 117 episodes, 1 day, 11 hours, 36 minutes
About
The Common Sense Financial Podcast is all about finances, mindset and personal growth. The goal is to help you make smart choices with your money in your home and in your business. Securities offered through Kalos Capital, Inc. and Investment advisory services offered through Kalos Management, Inc. located at 11525 Park Wood Circle Alpharetta, GA 30005. Skrobonja Financial Group is not a subsidiary of Kalos Capital, Inc. nor Kalos Management, Inc.
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Exploring Alternative Investments and Building a Long Term Vision

In this episode, Brian Skrobonja explains what alternative investments are and why they are the fastest route to growing your assets or retirement savings. He sheds light on how the most successful investors in the world keep getting wealthier and how to use an endowment like strategy to position your retirement assets. Brian explores alternative investments opportunities.  He goes over what larger investors are doing to diversify away from the public market in an effort to help clients protect downside risks. The shift in investment philosophy amongst the largest investors is something to pay attention to as it could offer valuable insights on how to position your retirement assets. Brian explains why it's prudent for investors to adopt an endowment like model. The wealthiest and most successful investors in the world keep getting wealthier, not because they are lucky or privileged, but because they are playing a different game than the average investor. According to Brian, with medical advancements extending life beyond what we have seen in the past, we are entering a longevity dilemma as people may find themselves living longer than their assets. For Brian, the traditional retirement age tied to social security eligibility has longevity implications that are being overlooked. The 4% rule suggests you can safely withdraw 4% of your retirement savings annually with the assumption that the balance in your account will sustain you for 30 years. Brian shares why he believes the 4% rule is not sustainable in the modern age.  There's risk with any type of investment and alternatives are no exception. Brian talks about portfolio diversification and why we need to expand the definition of diversification. Brian talks about alternative investments and why you should consider having a portion of your savings in private equity, private debt, real estate trusts, and even oil and gas. For Brian, the stock market may be a core component of a portfolio, but it cannot be the only holding.  Should investors get out of public markets entirely?  According to Brian, investors should not get out of the market entirely, but should acknowledge that there are many investment opportunities that are far better than the stock market.   We are seeing the world change before our eyes. The way we invest today needs to be forward looking to consider the changes that are underway.   Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com SkrobonjaFinancial.com SkrobonjaWealth.com BUILDbanking.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify   References for this episode: kiplinger.com/article/investing/t047-c032-s014-to-succeed-at-investing-do-what-yale-does.html brianskrobonja.com/podcasts/posts/ep-52-strategically-separating-your-assets-with-the-five-minute-retirement-plan/ prudential.com/financial-education/4-percent-rule-retirement#:~:text=The%204%25%20rule%20comes%20with,close%20to%20covering%20your%20needs. wsj.com/finance/investing/pension-funds-stocks-bonds-679b8536 imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2000/wp0018.pdf weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/longer-healthier-lives-everyone/ nmhc.org/industry-topics/affordable-housing/apartment-supply-shortage/ sealynet.com/news/sealy-company-small-industrial-spaces/ nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/inflation-and-debt nasdaq.com/articles/revisiting-the-classic-60-40-portfolio-as-challenges-loom     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Madison Avenue Securities, LLC This material contains forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict.  Actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. Consider your risk tolerance and specific situation before investing. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Prices of securities may fluctuate from time to time and may even become valueless. Carefully read all of the relevant investment product’s offering documents and information before investing. Seriously consider investment suitability by referencing your financial position, investment objectives, and risks profile before making any investment decision. Alternative investments may be subject to less regulation than other types of pooled investment vehicles. Alternative Investments may impose significant fees, including incentive fees that are based upon a percentage of the realized and unrealized gains and an individual’s net returns may differ significantly from actual returns. Such fees may offset all or a significant portion of such Alternative Investment’s trading profits. Incorporating alternative investments into a portfolio presents the opportunity for significant losses including in some cases, losses which exceed the principal amount invested. Also, some alternative investments have experienced periods of extreme volatility and in general, are not suitable for all investors. Asset allocation and diversification strategies do not ensure profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Endowment funds are managed for institutions not individuals. An endowment-like strategy is not an endowment or an endowment fund.
6/12/202416 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Create Retirement Confidence - Replay

In this episode, we delve into the link between overall retirement quality and the confidence you have in your financial plan. We emphasize how a well-designed retirement strategy tailored to your needs, not solely reliant on market performance, is pivotal for boosting confidence and making your retirement plan a reality you can rely on. Addressing common fears, exploring emotional extremes, and understanding the evolving landscape of retirement planning, will help you discover the significance of income-focused strategies and a diversified asset approach in building confidence in your retirement plan. When it comes to retirement, your quality of life in these golden years is often predicated on the level of confidence you have regarding your situation. A poorly-designed retirement plan can often cause emotional confusion, which leaves you feeling insecure and lacking confidence. Confidence is typically at its peak when a plan is optimized and is designed around meeting the needs of the client and not relying entirely on market performance. Retirement confidence is in direct correlation with how well your plan is designed to manage your exposure to risk and its ability to fulfill cash flow requirements. A plan built on hope and optimism can lead to very emotional times when the market doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Many client conversations relating to retirement are often centered around insecurities the client is working through. Common fears include running out of money before running out of life, market crashes, having a health crisis, missing opportunities, or simply making mistakes. There are typically two emotional extremes, no confidence or complete overconfidence. A lack of confidence leads to avoidance behavior and avoiding decisions, which often makes a person vulnerable to the very things they are afraid of. Overconfidence leads people to underestimate their vulnerabilities. Being skittish or practicing decision avoidance or fearing the idea of making a bad decision are all confidence killers, and the ultimate irony of this behavior is actually preventing the solution from being implemented, which can turn your fears into a reality. Confidence is about being able to rely on your retirement plan to do what you need it to do. If your retirement plan is anchored to the stock market, your confidence level relies entirely on the performance of the market. Most people’s retirement plans involve a stock market portfolio they plan to liquidate over time, Social Security, and a pension, but that’s really just the start. This paradigm seems to be rooted in watching our parents or grandparents work for decades in the same job and then retire with their pensions and Social Security benefits. However, circumstances have changed, and what worked back then isn’t going to cut it now. Pensions and company-provided retirement plans have been on the decline since the 1980’s. Baby Boomers started putting their money into retirement plans starting in the 90’s, which caused a growing stock market. 2016 was the first year that Baby Boomers started taking out money from those accounts. Those who ran the markets up are now the same group that is putting selling pressure on the markets, but there are other influences as well: government spending and policy, Fed policy, pandemics, interest rates, inflation, and more. When you lack certainty in the market, algorithms and a 24/7 news cycle can exacerbate the situation. There are two fundamental things that can have a profound impact on your retirement confidence. First is solving for income using income products. The foundation of a retirement plan is to generate consistent income, and unfortunately, consistency is not synonymous with the stock market. Separating your assets between long-term growth in public investments and income-generating private and fixed assets is a crucial component of being confident in your overall retirement plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja Brian's article - ‘Five Common Retirement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them’     References for this episode: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/retirement/erisa https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/baby-boomers-could-cause-market-crash-12117996 https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2021/02/11/the-coronavirus-crash-of-2020-and-the-investing-lesson-it-taught-us/?sh=17701bd846cf https://www.marketwatch.com/story/u-s-stocks-would-be-much-lower-if-it-wasnt-for-excessive-government-spending-morgan-stanleys-mike-wilson-says-1b8e65d2 https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/what-does-the-fed-do-and-how-does-it-impact-the-stock-market https://thefga.org/blog/president-biden-is-wrong-about-esg-heres-why/?gclid=CjwKCAjwvfmoBhAwEiwAG2tqzIhc3F2QbmLEygcbkIg9eV7bhXUz3dzXhO1A_hTNE3hNsMbTug59txoCPcwQAvD_BwE https://centerpointsecurities.com/stock-market-algorithms/#:~:text=The%20main%20thing%20traders%20need,because%20you%20may%20lose%20fast. https://www.statista.com/statistics/191077/inflation-rate-in-the-usa-since-1990 https://www.bankrate.com/banking/cds/historical-cd-interest-rates     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
6/5/202418 minutes, 27 seconds
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3 Factors to Consider Before Taking Your Social Security Benefits - Replay

The complexity of Social Security calculations can cause some confusion around when someone eligible should file and claim their benefit. There are a lot of variables to consider and acronyms to decipher that can make Social Security feel like a confusing hedge maze. Let’s cut through some of the noise and clarify some of the most pressing questions around Social Security benefits and what questions you need to consider to determine what’s best for you and your family. Social Security has many layers, and the concept of eligibility can be pretty complex. It's not always clear when and how someone should begin taking their benefits because being eligible doesn't necessarily mean you should turn that benefit on. Social Security benefits can be turned on as early as age 62. Each year the benefit is delayed, you receive what is called a delayed retirement credit or DRC. These DRCs guarantee an automatic 8% increase in your Social Security benefit every year you delay up to age 70. There is also your full retirement age. This is the age when you are eligible to receive the full benefit without any offset for having earned income. Earned income being income from employment, which is different from income received from investments, pensions or annuities. For those born in 1960, or later, your FRA is age 67. Benefits are calculated by the Social Security Administration by taking 35 years of earnings that are indexed for inflation. Any years you didn’t work are counted as a zero in your average earnings calculation. These annual amounts are then totaled and divided by four and 20 months to arrive at the monthly figure known as your average indexed monthly earning. This number is different from your benefit amount. The SSA then applies a formula to that number which determines your primary insurance amount or PIA and this is your monthly Social Security benefit. If you choose to take your benefit before your FRA while employed, there's an offset that can significantly reduce the benefit if your income exceeds $21,240 in 2023. This reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income over the limit. In the year you reach your FRA, the limit increases to $56,520 in 2023, with a benefit reduction of $1 for every $3 of earned income over the limit. After you've reached your FRA there's no earning limits and you receive the full benefit with no income offsets. Provisional income comes into play after your benefits are activated. Your provisional income is calculated by taking your adjusted gross income plus half of your Social Security benefit. If that total is less than $25,000, your Social Security benefit is not subject to federal tax. If it is  above 25,000, but below 34,000, 50% of the benefit is taxed, and if it's above 34,000, 85% of the benefit is taxed. If you're a government employee, there's something called a Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP. And there's also a Government Pension Offset, or GPO. There are three common conversations we have with clients when it comes to Social Security. The first thing is determining the breakeven point. One method for deciding when to take Social Security benefits involves calculating the breakeven point, this is the future point in time when the value of one option equals that of another. For example, if your FRA benefit is $2,000 a month, and $1,400 at age 62, there's a $600 a month difference. When compared to waiting the five years and taking the full amount, the breakeven point would be 11.6 years. Something else to keep in mind is that by taking a benefit early, you reduce the amount of spousal benefit made available since the benefit in and of itself has been reduced and this could be an important consideration. The second consideration relates to one's health and longevity. If you don’t expect to live past that breakeven point, taking the benefit early might make more sense. From this perspective, it could be a win-win situation if they start receiving benefits early and they live longer than expected because the payments continue. We can’t know our lifespan for certain, but if you're in poor health, taking benefits early might be a reasonable option. The third consideration involves a person's retirement income requirement. Many clients we work with see Social Security simply as a piece of the retirement income strategy, and aren't necessarily concerned with breakeven points as much as they are with maximizing their assets and the resources. Many clients opt to turn their Social Security benefits on instead of tapping into their assets in order to maintain growth. Using assets to generate income in retirement also comes with variables that are hard to predict, like the conditions of the stock market and economic policy. Social Security, in comparison, is stable and easy to predict. Figuring out your retirement income requires careful planning, which is why it’s crucial to work with a professional that understands Social Security and its role in your retirement plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources - Free Resources To Help You Protect Your Financial Future Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja SSA.gov   References for this episode: SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/agereduction.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/delayret.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/agereduction.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes.html   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
5/29/202414 minutes, 49 seconds
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The 7 Indispensable Steps in Building Your Wealth Strategy - Replay

If you tune into social media, there are a lot of influencers and gurus peddling one-size-fits-all financial advice and unfortunately plenty of investors base their strategies on what these people recommend. Find out why basing your investment decisions on what’s trending on TikTok is short sighted and discover the seven indispensable steps of building wealth that are the most common among our most successful clients. Conventional wisdom such as paying off mortgages, quickly maxing out 401(k)'s or buying only Term Life insurance can be short sighted. Wealth isn't created by following rules of thumb, random one-size-fits-all fixes, or chasing trendy financial tips. Wealth is created by developing a custom-tailored strategy that facilitates wealth creation and prepares you for the future. The wealthiest people aren't doing the same things as the other 99%. Avoid rushing and applying random tidbits of information without first creating a comprehensive wealth strategy. We all have to take a long-term strategic view of wealth creation. There are seven key steps in building wealth that are common amongst all of our most successful clients. The first step is understanding cash flow. Cash Flow isn't about monthly budgeting. It's a 12-month roadmap that outlines where your money will go including savings, investments, and day-to-day expenses. Effective cash flow management is about abundance and a focus on wealth creation. Budgeting operates from scarcity and measures success by such things as paying off debt or simply making ends meet. Wealth doesn't just magically form out of scarcity. Step two is really understanding your investment risk tolerance. Many investors carry far too much risk for their stated tolerance levels but have really no way of gauging what risks they're carrying. It's crucial to know where you fall on the risk spectrum and to work with a professional to help you tailor your investment strategy. Complete the questionnaire on our website to discover your risk tolerance and know where to start that conversation. Step three is to learn your tax allocation. Knowing how to help mitigate tax liabilities is an essential aspect of building and keeping wealth. Tax deferral methods like 401 K's can be useful in some situations, they are not what we would consider comprehensive tax strategies. A deferral is not a savings. Knowing how to allocate assets to mitigate tax liabilities requires an understanding of your entire financial picture. A professional trio of maybe a certified public accountant, CPA, certified private wealth advisor, CPW, or a tax attorney, is essential for making the most of the opportunities available to you. Step four is to understand investment verticals. The more public market investments that are acquired such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, the deeper the portfolio vertically grows, but adding more of the same to your portfolio doesn't necessarily mitigate the exposure to the risk you're trying to diversify away from. Horizontal opportunities are outside of the same vertical such as real estate businesses, private equity, and life insurance annuities, and they don't share in the same risk pools that each vertical may be exposed to. Effectively diversifying reduces the risk in a portfolio overall and forms a stable foundation to build on. Don't put all your eggs into one vertical basket. Step five is establishing multiple streams of income. Relying on a single source of income, like your job or a single investment is a risky proposition. Businesses, royalties, passive income investments, or other consulting or freelance opportunities are all ways to create more than one stream of income. More sources of income mean your financial situation is more robust during economic storms and you have more capacity to take advantage of opportunities. Number six is to adopt financial delegation. There's usually an element of cost and trust when managing financial decisions in a DIY fashion. There comes a tipping point when the perceived savings of doing things on your own becomes an opportunity cost. The complexities involved with wealth management require specialized support from professionals. The cost of working with a professional can be seen as an investment when it opens up new opportunities and it allows you to focus on your strengths. Delegate specific financial tasks to professionals like accountants, lawyers, and financial planners. This allows you to focus your time and effort on enjoying the benefits of having the help and the division of labor helps ensure that all aspects of your financial life are managed optimally. Step seven is finding your purpose. Scroll social media and you'll find that there are countless examples of miserable wealthy people. Money certainly makes things easier and helps you afford some privileged experiences but happiness is derived from inside of ourselves. You'll never have enough money and there's always something more to achieve. Answering the question of what you would do or commit your life to if money was not the motivation can offer insight into what you feel like your purpose is. Building wealth is not about quick fixes or following the herd. It's about strategic informed decision making that requires an opportunity that looks at cashflow, risk tolerance, tax allocation, diverse investments, multiple income streams, financial delegation, and purpose.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources - Free Resources To Help You Protect Your Financial Future     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
5/22/202414 minutes, 16 seconds
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Top 2 Questions Answered

In this episode, Brian Skrobonja answers the top questions he receives from people looking for help with their financial plan. He sheds light on why a plan is more than just picking stocks, what most people get wrong about passive income, and the benefits of knowing how much tax liability you’ll have in the future. Brian answers the top questions he receives from people looking for financial planning assistance.  He starts by explaining why a financial plan is more than just picking a few stocks or bonds. Unfortunately, there are many situations where products are being sold instead of financial plans being developed. For example, an annuity salesperson sells an annuity to somebody and suggests that the product is the retirement plan.  So, what does a good financial plan look like?  According to Brian, the first step is defining what success looks like. Growing your money is not a goal. You must understand and clearly know why you are saving money.  The other question Brian gets asked a lot is about passive income--what it is and why it’s important.  Passive income is income that is generated from an asset; it’s not cash in hand from selling an asset. For Brian, a retirement income plan cannot exist without passive income. Next is knowing how much future tax liability you have. The question here is what will you do to mitigate those taxes and what strategy do you have in place right now to reduce what taxes you owe right now? The other big question you must address when building a financial plan is the dangers you will face now and in the future. Life doesn't run in a positive straight line. We have to consider health challenges, an unforeseen death, market declines, and other scenarios that can disrupt your plans. The unique approach that Brian and his firm take is that they are more interested in knowing what clients want in life, than following a process to try to flush out the problems that could potentially disrupt those plans, and find solutions to satisfy those things. According to Brian, a plan has little to do with products and everything to do with what you want and how you can make that happen. Brian reveals the amount people have to pay to access his services and why he settled on that particular figure.  He also breaks down the definition of a professional--they get paid for their knowledge and ability to help you.  If someone is working for free, you have to ask what value is being delivered and what is their motivation for offering a free service.  Cost is only an issue when there's an absence of value and any fee without value is too high.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com SkrobonjaFinancial.com SkrobonjaWealth.com BUILDbanking.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Annuity guarantees rely on financial strength and claims-paying ability of issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Prices of securities may fluctuate from time to time and may even become valueless. Gas and oil investments are speculative in nature and are sold by Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). Carefully read the PPM before investing. Certain accreditation requirements may apply. Our firm does not offer tax or legal advice. Consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation.
5/15/202418 minutes
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Hidden Tax Strategies, with CPA Tanner Adams - Replay

Most business owners come into the financial game as the quarterback. They’re telling their CPA and financial advisor what they need and when they need it instead of working as a team to plan out a cohesive strategy. This needs to change. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn why your business needs a financial team that works together, and how to incorporate tax planning strategies into your operation, so you’re not overpaying taxes and maximizing the odds of your long-term success. Tanner is a CPA with 22 years of experience in the tax world. Born and raised in Utah, Tanner was a natural mathematician and considered joining the FBI as an accountant but didn’t end up going that route. He spent 12 years with five different CPA firms, discovering what he liked and didn’t like, before venturing out on his own. The Trump tax cuts expire in 2025 and a lot of professionals are anticipating higher tax rates in the near future. One tax benefit that is likely to expire is the QBR deduction for small business owners. Every client is different, but one piece of advice that every business owner can benefit from is choosing the right entity. A lot will depend on what your lifestyle looks like and what you are already paying for. Tax deductions are great but finding tax credits is even better. A good example is the Research and Development tax credit, which can go back as many as three years. Most people wait until there is an immediate need to contact their CPA, but that leaves a lot of opportunity on the table. Tax planning is very different from tax preparation. Tax planning occurs throughout the year and is a more proactive approach that many don’t realize is an option. The relationship you have with your CPA is crucial and can play a pivotal role during tax season. With a good relationship you also get the benefit of your CPA’s experience in other industries. Taxes are changing all the time, so it helps to have someone you can reach out to throughout the year. Having a financial plan should incorporate tax mitigation strategies. You, your financial planner, your attorney, and your CPA should be working as a team to manage your business finances. The more they can communicate and work together, the more effective they can be. There are a lot of inefficiencies in your business by having your financial plan and tax plan operating in separate silos. Individually, everyone does their job well, but when working together they can really shine. Typically, there’s a three-year window on filing for a refund claim. If you feel like your current CPA may not be bringing all the opportunities to your attention, it might benefit you to get a second opinion. If you’re planning on selling your business, there are a few things to keep in mind. Is it a stock sale or an asset sale? Do you have clean and accurate records? Plan your sale as far out in advance as you can to make sure you have all that you need for a smooth transition. One of the most underrated and overlooked aspects of tax planning is your bookkeeping for your businesses. Monthly bookkeeping makes it a lot easier to plan and stay ahead of the finances and taxes compared to waiting until January or April to figure out what you have to do. If you make a lot of money, you're going to pay taxes, and that's just the way it is. But when it's a surprise, that's where the problem comes into play.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify MTAconsulting.net     Brian Skrobonja and Tanner Adams are not affiliated. There is no compensation exchanged between Brian Skrobonja and Tanner Adams. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
5/8/202444 minutes, 19 seconds
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Four Big Financial Planning Mistakes Business Owners Make - Replay

Entrepreneurs by nature are continuously occupied with running their business and wearing multiple hats throughout the day just to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, that leads entrepreneurs into making a number of common mistakes. Mistakes that damage the long-term success and potential of their business. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn about the four most common financial mistakes entrepreneurs make that put the future of their business at risk, and how you can avoid them. Many entrepreneurs find themselves underserved when it comes to financial planning and often rely too heavily on their CPA for financial advice. One common mistake entrepreneurs make is assuming that as long as they meet payroll, stay current on taxes and receive payments from customers, their business is financially healthy. The problem is CPAs primarily focus on looking backwards and reviewing the previous year or quarter to meet tax filing deadlines, instead of looking forward and making strategic plans for the following year. Proper financial planning can help your business reduce its tax liability and increase its profitability. Another common mistake is entrepreneurs take the profit of their business as income, which may not be the most efficient method of distribution. Proper planning helps find the balance between income and profit. Financial planning can also help you determine whether your business structure is still appropriate for where you are or if it needs to evolve. Financial planning also helps mitigate risk, and there are three major risks that every business faces: death, disability, and divorce. Any of these risks becoming a reality can seriously derail a business and its long-term potential. Entrepreneurs tend to visualize positive outcomes rather than seriously considering what could go wrong and how they should address those potential problems. Having a financial plan can include agreements and other triggering events that can help facilitate a smooth outcome when facing such events. Another common mistake made by business owners is treating the business exit as merely a transaction rather than a transition. Exiting the business involves more than just the sale itself; it requires planning for life after the exit. Owners frequently overvalue their business leading to unrealistic expectations regarding the outcome of the sale. Many business owners also underestimate the time and effort required to prepare for a successful exit. Preparation for a sale can take years of planning, if done right, and should be incorporated into an overall financial planning process. Another common mistake is succumbing to the pressure of spending money to avoid tax liabilities. While tax planning is essential, it should not be the sole, driving factor behind financial decisions. FOMO (fear of missing out) can also lead to poor cash flow management, where entrepreneurs may be tempted to seize every opportunity that comes their way without considering its compatibility with their business vision. By having a well defined cash flow plan, entrepreneurs can allocate resources efficiently, reduce financial stress, and build wealth inside and outside of their business while helping to maintain stability during both prosperous and challenging times. A cash flow strategy is an integral part of an overall financial plan and acts as a roadmap, guiding financial decisions and helping you make the most of the cash flow.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
5/1/202412 minutes, 42 seconds
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How SDLI Can Provide Flexibility - Replay

High income professionals face a unique situation when it comes to their retirement. You have the dual challenge of having your money tied up in your investments and also looming tax burdens once you retire. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn about a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy, also known as a life insurance retirement plan, and how it could be the wealth preservation tool you’ve been looking for. A high cash value life insurance policy can help facilitate tax-advantaged growth that standard retirement accounts may not be able to match. Many professionals spend a considerable amount of effort accumulating wealth for most of their life only to find themselves in a bind: their money is inaccessible with looming tax burdens. High Income professionals often face a dual tax burden where their current high income places them in a high tax bracket, reducing the net income they have available for investment. Meanwhile, the money you've diligently saved in your retirement plan will be subjected to potentially hefty taxes upon withdrawal later in life. Retirement accounts are great vehicles for long-term savings, but they lack flexibility, and you're penalized for early withdrawals leaving you without a readily available source of funds for unexpected opportunities or emergencies. For high income individuals grappling with these issues, a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy may be the answer. A Specially Designed Life Insurance (SDLI) policy utilizes a high cash value life insurance policy to facilitate tax-advantaged growth and offer flexibility that standard retirement accounts simply can't match. Cash value builds over time in the policy, growing in a tax-deferred basis mirroring the benefits of a retirement account, yet the cash value can be accessed at any time through a non-recognition policy loan. If properly managed, these policy loans have flexibility and are not required to be repaid during your lifetime and can be simply deducted from the death benefit or cash surrender value when the policy pays out. The SDLI strategy enables you to tap into your wealth when needed, providing the liquidity to seize investment opportunities or meet unexpected expenses. The policy loans do have an interest charged on them, but well-designed policies provide an opportunity to offset the interest. Not all life insurance policies offer the features necessary to execute the strategy effectively. It's a delicate balance that must be carefully managed and is best done with the help of a professional. This strategic tool offers several other key advantages for wealth management, asset protection and estate planning. In many jurisdictions, life insurance policies are protected from creditors providing a shield for your assets. Life insurance can also play a crucial role in balancing out an estate amongst surviving family members. A life insurance policy can also provide immediate liquidity to family members or business partners upon a death, ensuring the continuity of a business or farm without the need to sell off assets. Life insurance proceeds can also provide a tax free inheritance to your beneficiaries, helping to preserve your legacy. A common pushback against using life insurance as an accumulation vehicle is the perception that it is expensive and takes a long time to accumulate substantial cash values. This is because most common policies are focused on maximizing a death benefit instead of rapid cash value accumulation. While there is an undeniable cost associated with a special desire life insurance policy, it's crucial to consider this expense in contrast to the potential tax liabilities. Retirement account distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income. For a high income individual, this can be losing a substantial chunk of your retirement savings to taxes. In many cases, the cost of a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy could be a mere fraction of what the tax liabilities may be on an investment growth over time. The true cost of these policies become apparent only when considering the full financial picture, including current and future tax burdens, access to cash and long-term wealth accumulation. A Specially Designed Life Insurance policy is not a catch-all solution but rather a tool within the context of a comprehensive wealth management plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BuildBanking.com     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Any descriptions involving life insurance policies and its use as an alternative form of financing or risk management techniques are provided for illustration purposes only, will not apply in all situations, may not be fully indicative of any present or future investments, and may be changed at the discretion of the insurance carrier, General Partner and/or Manager and are not intended to reflect guarantees on securities performance. The term BUILD Banking™️, private banking alternatives or specially designed life insurance contracts (SDLIC) are not meant to insinuate that the issuer is creating a real bank for its clients or communicating that life insurance companies are the same as traditional banking institutions. This material is educational in nature and should not be deemed as a solicitation of any specific product or service. BUILD Banking™️ is offered by Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC only and is not offered by Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. nor Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC. Any references to protection, safety or guarantees, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. The opinions and views expressed here are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisor for such guidance.
4/24/202414 minutes, 36 seconds
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"Who Should Consider An Annuity? - Replay

The concept of investing is often associated only with money and the pursuit of wealth, but this Annuities are a popular thing these days… why is that the case? And are they a valid option for those planning their retirement? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja explores the world of annuities – from what they are and the three types of annuities all the way to four common myths, Brian’s “unpopular opinion” and why annuities and investments aren’t in competition. Plus, Brian reveals what he considers the best way to accumulate wealth. You need to keep in mind that there are plenty of unknown factors in your life, such as how long you’re going to live, inflation, how the market is performing, healthcare costs, and economic shifts. Brian believes that the uncertainty surrounding retirement is why annuities are so popular. Annuities are a way to transfer risk over to an insurance company and provide some sense of safety for the future, says Brian. According to Statista, the risk of running out of money is a real concern for many retirees, with an estimated $2.53 trillion of retirement assets held inside of annuities. Brian breaks down the three types of annuities – variable, fixed-indexed, and fixed-rate – and shares a common misconception about income benefits. In his own words, Brian has an “unpopular” stance: he’s a believer in the fact that whether or not someone should use an annuity depends on their situation. Brian touches upon when it makes sense for you to use an annuity and when it doesn’t. “Capital appreciation over time” is what Brian considers the best way to accumulate wealth. Brian explains that annuities and investments aren’t in competition, because they both have a place at different times in someone’s life, depending on their needs. Brian goes over four common annuity-related myths.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify Statista.com Brian’s article: My 5-Minute Retirement Plan Brian’s article: The Financial Fiduciary Standard Explained Brian's article: What to Do With Cash in a Low Interest Rate Environment   Annuity guarantees rely on financial strength and claims-paying ability of issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
4/17/202414 minutes, 46 seconds
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Defining A Diversified Portfolio

In this episode, Brian Skrobonja breaks down ways to save, grow, and invest your money. He sheds light on what a well-diversified portfolio looks like, the true definition of financial freedom, and why you need different mindsets for spending versus investing money. We all want the same thing when it comes to money--we all desire to make money, grow money, and use the money that we have. However, most people have a belief system that is rooted strictly on growing money--which, on some level, makes sense. But this singular focus leaves out the idea of using money. Why is this important? Because how we grow money is not the same as how we spend money. Growing money and using money require different approaches and different ways of thinking. Brian reveals that many people spend money wrong. This is not about what people spend money on, but the source of the income being spent. If you earn a dollar and spend it, it's gone forever. If you earn a dollar and invest it for income, you potentially have income for life. Brian explains why it makes more sense to spend the money your investments earn versus spending the money you earn directly. Why is this important? If you want to grow your wealth over time, you should find ways to hang on to as much money as possible. What is the difference between making and growing money?  Brian breaks down a brilliant way to use other people’s money to access cash while your money continues to grow.  The definition of passive income and the benefits of making money with little to no effort.  Better ways to generate income other than the stock market. Brian explains why the stock market is great for growing money, but it’s not the best option for generating recurring income. Ideally, you want to position assets so you have a tax-free, passive income to live on. You need to have the ability to spend money with uninterrupted growth while simultaneously investing long-term. Financial freedom is defined by how much passive income you are generating.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com SkrobonjaFinancial.com SkrobonjaWealth.com BUILDbanking.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Annuity guarantees rely on financial strength and claims-paying ability of issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Prices of securities may fluctuate from time to time and may even become valueless. Gas and oil investments are speculative in nature and are sold by Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). Carefully read the PPM before investing. Certain accreditation requirements may apply. Our firm does not offer tax or legal advice. Consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation.
4/10/202413 minutes, 24 seconds
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Investing in Your Ideal Future Self - Replay

The concept of investing is often associated only with money and the pursuit of wealth, but this fails to capture the true essence of investing. An ideal future isn’t encapsulated by a stack of $100 bills. The true essence of investing is not about building wealth, but about building the atmospheric conditions that align with your ideal future self. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn why a relentless focus on accumulating wealth will end up costing you what you’re actually working for, and why you need to have a more encompassing vision for what your retirement can be beyond your portfolio. Your quality of life isn’t determined just by the number in your bank account. Those dollars are merely the resources you use to create the ideal life. Wealth extends beyond the mere accumulation of money. It’s about the life you can construct around it and the atmospheric conditions you can create for yourself. You can possess all the wealth in the world, but without the cornerstones of a healthy life like thriving relationships, health, purpose and meaning, the value of that wealth diminishes. We need to exercise caution in our perception of wealth and the significance we ascribe to money. Investing shouldn’t only mean contributing to your financial future but should be considered building towards your ideal future. Having a vision for your retirement that involves activities and people requires a keen understanding of what’s important. Brian had a client who embodied the rags to riches narrative that people in the West admire so much, but after years of diligently working toward accumulating his wealth, this client ended up sacrificing his health. Instead of traveling the world and enjoying the fruits of his labor, this client spent his golden years visiting doctors and hospitals. “Man sacrifices his health to make money, then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.” -Dalai Lama A healthy lifestyle lays the foundation for our capacity to live fully and pursue our ambitions actively. The importance of investing in health can not be overstated. Along with health, investing into your relationships is paramount. Relationships form an integral part of our support system. The rewards are not always monetary, but they are no less important, and investing time into relationships is crucial. Investing into a steady flow of income beyond just building a portfolio is another key component to enjoying your retirement. Growth is not income generating and growth is not the same as income. Retirement needs to be a time of shifting from a diversification of growth assets into a diversification of income producing assets. The true essence of investing is not about building wealth, but about building the atmospheric conditions that aligns with your ideal future self. That includes nurturing your health, cultivating meaningful relationships, ensuring a steady income, and fostering cognitive ability. Money is a tool to reach those goals, and not the goal itself. Retirement should be seen as a chapter in your life that is ripe with potential. True wealth is not just the abundance of money, but the presence of all the components that make life fulfilling.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com Previous episode - Make Health Planning Part of Your Retirement Planning, with Regan Archibald     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
4/3/202414 minutes, 23 seconds
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An In-Depth Breakdown of Privatized Banking aka Build Banking - Replay

Many people accumulate their wealth in a bank or a long-term investment, and this may create problems. But there is a different strategy. In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over the Build Banking strategy and how you can consider a different banking paradigm using specially designed life insurance policies that allow you to start banking on yourself. Most people know that banks use other people’s money to generate profits. This process is known as Fractional Reserve Banking, which is basically the bank using the spread between interest rates to profit. For banks, it goes a little deeper. Banks can loan out the money they have on deposit to people, and those dollars are then deposited again, which begins the cycle anew. This process acts as a money-printing machine within the economy. Banks aren’t currently required to hold any reserves to cover their customer’s deposits. The result of Fractional Reserve Banking is the expansion of the money supply which contributes to increased inflation. Silicon Valley Bank recently found itself in trouble and was unable to cover its liabilities leaving depositors to rely on the government to bail them out. It’s not realistic to be able to bypass the banking system entirely, but there are ways to take control of how you save and store money with a personal bank-like strategy. Build Banking uses a specially designed whole life insurance policy that’s built on the inherent tax-favored nature and unique capabilities of those policies. What makes Build Banking different is the design allows for rapid cash accumulation with uninterrupted tax-free growth, while having access to cash without having to rely on banks or Wall Street, but you have to set aside your preconceptions around life insurance. The challenge is the language around life insurance policies and how most people understand what they are capable of. With traditional banking, you either accumulate money and spend or borrow and then repay it. The Build Banking method offers a different strategy with a specially designed life insurance system that allows you to take back some of the control. Not all policies are the same and loan features can vary greatly, so it’s important to work with a professional with experience in this area. The main benefit of the Build Banking strategy is the ability to have your money remain in the policy and continue to grow uninterrupted, while simultaneously using a policy loan from the insurance company for personal use. A business owner has an extra advantage because they can leverage the loan in their business, creating both an internal and external return. This strategy also gives the policy owner a lot of control over how and when the loan is repaid because of the nature of the life insurance policy.      Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com     BUILD Banking™️ is a DBA of Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC. Benefits and guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the insurance company. Not FDIC insured. Results may vary. Any descriptions involving life insurance policies and its use as an alternative form of financing or risk management techniques are provided for illustration purposes only, will not apply in all situations, may not be fully indicative of any present or future investments, and may be changed at the discretion of the insurance carrier, General Partner and/or Manager and are not intended to reflect guarantees on securities performance. The term BUILD Banking™️, private banking alternatives or specially designed life insurance contracts (SDLIC) are not meant to insinuate that the issuer is creating a real bank for its clients or communicating that life insurance companies are the same as traditional banking institutions. This material is educational in nature and should not be deemed as a solicitation of any specific product or service. BUILD Banking™️ is offered by Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC only and is not offered by Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. nor Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC. Any references to protection, safety or guarantees, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. The opinions and views expressed here are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisor for such guidance. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
3/27/202415 minutes, 37 seconds
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Retirement Requires a Shift in Mindset - Replay

Time is your most precious resource, but how you use it is up to you. The shift from earning to retirement can be quite challenging, as you have to thread the needle between income, growth, and time. In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over the most important mindset shift people need to make in order for their retirement plan to succeed. It is possible to retire without growth, but it’s impossible to succeed without income. But many people have trouble shifting their mindset from focusing on long-term growth into a consistent and reliable income. When you invest long-term, that means not having to withdraw money from your assets for a long time. But once you enter retirement, your timeline moves from the future to the present. This transition requires a mindset shift to be made before significant progress can be made. Retirement planning is a discovery process that boils down to learning whether or not you have an income gap in retirement and, once that’s discovered, the whole plan is built around replacing that income. Without that number, everything else is a guessing game. If you shortcut this step with estimates, you will only compound the issue downstream. Retirement seems like a simple concept, but it’s surprisingly complex and solving the issue with old ways of thinking will lead you astray. Future performance of investments can’t be determined by looking at the past. An investment doesn’t address the risks you face in retirement. The sooner you figure out that investing is a spoke in a very large wheel, the sooner you can begin to formulate a true retirement roadmap. There are common components for retirement scenarios, like the income gap. There are also common risks that all retirement plans need to account for: sequence of return risk, market risk, interest rate risk, mortality risk, legislative risk, longevity risk, and health risk. All retirement plans should be built around the idea of protecting yourself and mitigating as much risk as you possibly can. Most people’s largest asset is their income, but it’s often not considered for insurance. Confirmation bias can hinder our ability to consider alternative perspectives and make the mindset shifts we need to make in retirement. People can find themselves endlessly searching for experts to tell them that they don’t need to change their strategy in retirement because of our natural need to confirm our beliefs. The more successful a person becomes, the more valuable their time becomes. To preserve those valuable hours, it becomes increasingly more important to surround yourself with professionals to whom you can delegate responsibilities to free up time. Insurance is just a form of delegation. You delegate your risk to the insurance company, which mitigates the risk and increases the quality of your time. Delegating the research and leveraging the experience of a professional in retirement planning can help you leverage your time with confidence.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
3/20/202415 minutes, 53 seconds
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Settling An Estate As An Executor

In this episode, Brian Skrobonja sheds light on the complex and often overwhelming process of managing an estate after the loss of a loved one. This is a step-by-step guide from the initial steps you need to take after a loved one passes, to the intricate details of settling an estate. Brian offers valuable advice and practical tips to navigate this difficult time with grace and efficiency. Having a clearly defined process in place for managing an estate can help avoid the emotional drain of making important decisions through the loss of a loved one. Friends and family may wish well and provide advice on what to do, but without a proper plan in place, that can lead to more financial problems in the future. Setting expectations for yourself and the beneficiaries of the estate is a great first step to help minimize the confusion and questions around how long it will take to settle an estate. This process can take anywhere from two months to several years depending on the type of assets that are owned and the size and complexity of the estate. A funeral home director will often help obtain death certificates, which will be required before making any claims. It’s a good idea to request 10 to 12 original documents because, once submitted, you may not get them back. It's important to first locate the deceased’s will, trust, or other estate documents they have on file. If none of these exist, you could have difficulty settling a person's estate which will most likely require an attorney to assist you through the probate process. Check to determine if the person may have left a letter of instruction behind as well. A letter of instruction is not a legal document, but it's a letter that can provide more personal intentions and information regarding an estate. The next step is to begin gathering an itemized list of all known financial institutions where money is held and life insurance companies for filing a claim. It's a good idea to put the list together before jumping into making calls because you'll want to keep track of phone conversations and other instructions. Tip: A really good practice is to keep a journal or Excel spreadsheet of all the conversations to keep track of everything. You'll want to avoid writing on the back of envelopes or scrap pieces of paper as that can become really unmanageable. Checks made out to the deceased will require a bank account to deposit them. Avoid closing bank accounts too early because of this. You will have to notify Social Security that a death has occurred as well as any pension provider to have payments stopped and any eligible benefits paid to the estate. If your loved one served in the military, you may be eligible for veterans benefits. You can get more information about these benefits by visiting va.gov. Over the next one to three months, you will want to screen incoming mail, both physical and email, to look for and gather bills, statements, and notices relating to various types of accounts and insurance policies. You will want to review credit card statements to identify subscriptions or other recurring charges to follow up with the service providers about cancellation. Next, notify creditors and credit card companies that were a part of your loved ones credit history. You can notify the big three credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, of their passing, which can usually be done online over the phone or by letter. You will also want to locate where they filed important documents to find deeds, titles to real estate, car titles, or lease agreements as well as storage space keys and account records. Look for a computer file or printout with digital account passwords so you can disable any active social media accounts. If the person was still working, contact the human resources office at their place of work to inform them of what has happened, the HR officer may need you to fill out some paperwork pertaining to retirement plans, health benefits and compensation for unused vacation time. If your loved one owned a small business or professional practice, a discussion with business partners and clients may be necessary as well as consulting with the company attorney who has advised the business. If there was a child in college, it may be a good idea to contact the Financial Aid Office to inform them of what has happened. Depending on the school and the financial situation the surviving child may qualify for more assistance. Before rushing into this process, you should consider speaking with a financial advisor and attorney. There are so many areas where you can make expensive mistakes, working with a professional through this difficult time is usually the best decision.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com SkrobonjaFinancial.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify va.gov     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS.   Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.   The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Prices of securities may fluctuate from time to time and may even become valueless. Gas and oil investments are speculative in nature and are sold by Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). Carefully read the PPM before investing. Certain accreditation requirements may apply. The appearances in Kiplinger were obtained through a PR program. The columnist is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by Kiplinger. Kiplinger did not compensate the columnist in any way. Our firm does not offer tax or legal advice. Consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation.
3/13/202413 minutes, 26 seconds
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Avoid Making These 5 Retirement Mistakes - Replay

“The more money you have, the bigger the mistakes,” someone once told Brian… How does that translate into retirement planning? And how can you help ensure you approach your financial planning for your “golden years” in the best possible way? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over five retirement mistakes that you should stay away from at all costs, as well as what retirement is actually about. Brian touches upon something that a very successful person told him when he was getting started with his business back in 1993: ‘The more money you have, the bigger the mistakes.’ With his desire to work hard and strong work ethic, Brian quickly became successful. But there was a problem with his approach – Brian opens up about that. Brian shares some of the retirement mistakes he has seen people make in his 30-year career. Having a distorted view of what wealth really is and having what Brian calls “vertical diversification” are two common mistakes Brian has seen over and over again in his career. There are many factors to consider when attempting to diversify. You shouldn’t believe that a bank account and a portfolio of public investments are all that’s available to you as you move your diversification horizontally. Brian points out a common practice to avoid: making an investment decision based on the tax deduction alone. When making decisions regarding how you save money, Brian suggests considering how you’ll ultimately use the money. Brian discusses why you shouldn’t have too much dependency on markets nor having complacency. Brian sees retirement as a balancing act between growing money for the future while drawing income for your retirement needs.   Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
3/6/202414 minutes, 39 seconds
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6 Tips For Choosing the “Right Fit” Financial Advisor - Replay

Are you part of that 68% of people who would like to have a personalized financial plan, but aren’t sure where to find a financial advisor? What should you pay attention to when trying to get a financial planning expert to help you, and you’re evaluating different options? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja shares six factors you should keep into consideration and look at when going through different financial advisor options. According to a May 2022 PR Newswire survey, 68% of people would like to have a personalized financial plan, but they’re not sure where to find a financial advisor. Brian sees information-gathering and understanding that planning isn’t the same as investing are the biggest mental hurdles of financial planning. When it comes to picking a financial advisor, there are six primary factors Brian suggests looking at. A 2022 study found that 80-90% of advisors fail in the first three years of practice – the main reason being the steep learning curve involved in serving clients. 10 years is the minimum that Brian would look for in terms of experience a financial advisor has. Brian discusses the different designations a financial advisor might have. Brian touches upon the importance of whether a financial advisor owns the company and the range of services they offer.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Dan Sullivan Chat GPT FINRA  The Financial Fiduciary Standard Explained (2021 Kipliger article by Brian)   Reference for this episode: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-3-in-5-americans-59-want-financial-advice-but-are-not-sure-where-to-get-it-according-to-intelliflo-survey-301494402.html     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.  The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. It is not possible to invest in an index. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This video is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this presentation shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm.
2/28/202415 minutes, 59 seconds
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Make Health Planning Part of Your Retirement Planning, with Regan Archibald - Replay

You feel healthy so everything is okay, right? Have you ever thought that health planning should be part of your retirement planning efforts? If you’ve answered ‘yes,’ pay close attention to Regan Archibald! Regan joins host Brian Skrobonja to discuss how people should approach health planning, the world of preventive care, the role of nutrition, and why longevity medicine is something you should be mindful of. Regan Archibald kicks off the conversation by sharing his origin story. In his work with entrepreneurs, Regan has found that when people focus on creating more balance and focus on their health, their business improves – and so does everything else. One of the major health issues both Regan and Brian have noticed is that many people think that if they feel okay, everything is okay… Regan stresses the importance not only to focus on a certain problem (like high blood pressure) but on trying to understand its cause (so, asking “Why is my blood pressure high?”). Regan illustrates how longevity medicine and financial planning share some of the same characteristics. “Peptides have been one of the most exciting developments,” says Regan. He explains why that’s the case. Regan believes that people should approach their health insurance the same way they approach their car insurance. What’s a good amount to budget toward health planning? For Regan, the answer to that is $15k/year. For Regan, making your health the #1 priority so that you feel it internally, is an excellent way to get started with health planning. Brian and Regan talk about what working with Regan actually looks like, and discuss diets and how to approach nutrition.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com ThePeptideExpert.com Unreasonable Health Podcast The Peptide Blueprint: Achieving Optimal Health and Performance at Any Age Never Stop Healing: The Unknown Shortcuts With Peptides for an Extraordinary Life EastWest Health Dan Sullivan Peter Diamandis Bryan Johnson Charles Schwab Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster by Dave Asprey Chat GPT   Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, MAS and Regan Archibald are not affiliated entities. NO compensation has been exchanged between Brian Skrobonja and Regan Archibald.   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
2/21/202453 minutes, 35 seconds
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Tax Deferred to Tax Free: Navigating Taxes in Retirement

In this milestone 100th episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja delves into the critical topic of managing taxes in retirement. The episode focuses on strategies for minimizing tax liabilities, especially for retirees with tax-deferred accounts facing potential hefty tax bills. Brian emphasizes the importance of sustainable income creation during retirement and the role of tax optimization in this process. Most people envision their retirement to be built from predominantly tax-free income, but after many years of deferring taxes, retirees are facing a sizable tax bill on distributions taken from their retirement accounts that could be a third or more of what has been accumulated. When you’re saving for retirement, growth of your assets is the priority. But many people don’t realize that once they retire that’s no longer true. The priority is actually creating sustainable income to support you through retirement while minimizing taxes. A common issue I’ve seen is future retirees knowing they will owe taxes on their deferred accounts, but not realizing the extent of the problem since the rules change once they retire. Many retirees we work with tend to have the same income goals in retirement, yet with fewer deductions. They no longer have children or mortgage interest to help them offset their tax burdens, which makes the situation more complex. Delaying distributions isn’t an option either. Required Minimum Distributions will eventually force your hand. There are two tax problems facing retirees: taxes you will have to contend with today, and taxes that you will have to contend with in the future. With the national deficit continuing to rise, do you expect tax rates to go down in the future or go up? The most likely answer is that tax rates are on the rise, so we should be planning accordingly. There are two possibilities to help minimize the level at which you participate in paying your fair share towards the government's future revenue increases. You can either complete a Roth conversion or through tax deferred withdrawals contribute to an overfunded permanent life insurance policy. Making the decision of which strategy to implement is the easy part. The trick really is completing this process with minimal tax liabilities, which requires specialized knowledge. The progressive nature of the code makes understanding your tax burden complicated and miscalculating this could result in having a larger tax liability than anticipated. Depending on your income level, a taxable distribution can subject your Social Security to additional taxes. This is a separate calculation from the income tax brackets and uses a two step process to determine how much of your social security will be subject to taxation. This is important to know because a taxable distribution may not only push you into a higher income tax bracket, but it could trigger additional taxes on your social security, which could result in a higher effective rate. You should also be aware of the impact a taxable distribution can have on Medicare premiums. The impact of any possible premium increase is typically delayed by two years. This is one of those things that often comes as a surprise when people make decisions about distributions. The antidote to taxable income is deductions, credits and losses which can help reduce the net income subject to tax. There are a few options that can help offset the burden of taxes and make the transition from tax-deferred to tax-free easier, but they don’t work for everyone, which is why we recommend working with a professional. The first thing is a donor advised fund or DAF. This allows you to contribute future charitable donations into a fund that you control when distributions are made that can also receive the tax benefit of the donation in the year you make the contribution into the fund. By making multiple years of donations in a single year into that fund, you have the potential of helping offset a taxable distribution from your retirement account in that year. The second is a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT), where you can contribute future charitable donations into the trust and receive the tax benefit of the donation in the year you make the contribution. You can also receive income from the trust while you're living within IRS limits. A CRT is a more complex arrangement than a DAF with many options and requires an attorney to draft the trust. The third is a qualified charitable donation or QCD, which allows for anyone over the age of 70 and a half to make a direct donation from a qualified account to a charity. The fourth is something known as IDCs, or intangible drilling costs, which allows accredited investors to participate in the drilling expenses of an oil and gas company that could provide reportable tax losses that can help offset all forms of income, as well as the potential for cash flow back to the investor once the wells are operational.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com SkrobonjaFinancial.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify Brian's article - From Tax-Deferred to Tax-Free: Navigating Taxes in Retirement   References for this episode: https://www.usdebtclock.org/ https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-tax-inflation-adjustments-for-tax-year-2024 https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-tax-inflation-adjustments-for-tax-year-2024 https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes.html https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/medicare-premiums.html#anchor5 https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/charitable-contribution-deductions https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-remainder-trusts https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/qualified-charitable-distributions-allow-eligible-ira-owners-up-to-100000-in-tax-free-gifts-to-charity https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/intangible-drilling-costs.asp https://www.crfb.org/blogs/tax-break-down-intangible-drilling-costs     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. A ROTH Conversion is a taxable event. Consult your tax advisor regarding your situation. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Prices of securities may fluctuate from time to time and may even become valueless. Gas and oil investments are speculative in nature and are sold by Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). Carefully read the PPM before investing. Certain accreditation requirements may apply. Donor Advised Funds represent an irrevocable gift of assets from the donor to the fund. Contributions made to the fund are irrevocable and cannot be returned or used for any other individual or used for any purpose other than grant making to charities. The gift is not an investment or a security. When evaluating a contribution to the fund, carefully consider the terms and conditions, limitations, charges, and expenses. Depending on the tax filing status, DAF contributions may or may not be tax deductible.
2/14/202416 minutes, 8 seconds
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The 4 Biggest Obstacles to Effective Estate Planning - Replay

Life when you’re gone… an uncomfortable conversation most people prefer to avoid. Why isn’t that a good idea? How can estate planning help you ensure that things are taken care of once you aren’t around anymore? Listen to learn about big mistakes people make, the different elements that make up the estate plan puzzle, the three primary areas of cash flow, and the type of plan you should have in place. When it comes to end of life financial planning, many people tend to put it off because it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have. Even though the process for end of life planning is relatively simple in nature, Brian recommends getting professional help to deal with the details, which can be complex. Despite every situation being different, there are several core aspects of estate planning that everyone should consider. The first has to do with title and legal work. Brian has noticed that many people have a complete misunderstanding of the role legal work plays within their planning. Then, there’s life insurance. Many households rely on two incomes – or people – contributing to the family’s ecosystem. Their contribution to the family must be replaced when they’re gone, and that’s where life insurance comes into play. Another important, but often overlooked, aspect to an estate plan is budgets and cash flow. Brian doesn’t recommend planning in terms of weeks or months for it… rather, to plan in terms of years. “Your cash flow can be broken down into three primary areas,” says Brian. “Reoccurring obligations, irregular obligations, and savings.” Debts and investments are an additional area that makes up the estate plan puzzle. Brian stresses the importance of cash flow and shares a couple of examples that illustrate its key role. End of life planning is a difficult topic to address. Brian’s suggestion is to take steps to protect your loved ones by creating a custom comprehensive plan with the help of professionals. After that, the next step is to communicate the plan with your partner and family members – then, enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with knowing you have done everything in your power to provide for your loved ones.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Estate Planning Checklist     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS.   The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.   This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place.   Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier.   This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
2/7/202414 minutes, 4 seconds
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Longevity: The Retirement Problem No One Is Discussing - Replay

Did you know that a good part of American households haven’t thought about retirement planning? When it comes to planning for retirement, there are some key concepts to understand and three traps you should do your best to avoid. Listen to learn why a money increase doesn’t always equal a lifestyle enhancement, the three things people often look at but that come back to bite them later on, and how you can effectively plan for retirement and protect your money. As life expectancy increases, people will be finding themselves needing to save more money for retirement. Brian believes that it’s going to be possible to be retired for as many years as one has worked, because people are living longer than ever before. According to a 2019 retirement confidence survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than half of American households are at risk of running out of money in retirement due to the lack of savings and the unpredictability of the stock market. If you look back and think about how much money you were making when you first started working and compare it to today, you should see an increase. However, more than a lifestyle enhancement, the increase is just an inflation adjustment. And the crazy thing is that only 42% of Americans have tried to calculate how much money they will need for retirement! Brian has noticed that many people go into retirement because of eligibility, without having actually calculated how much money they would need – this is a problem, especially because of three things that are outside of their control: inflation, markets, and taxes. To offset inflation, you need to earn more on your money than the inflation rate that is eroding your purchasing power. Want to protect yourself from market losses? Then, you either need to not be in the market or work to insulate your portfolio through diversification strategies that are challenging for most people to leverage. As far as taxes are concerned, the best way to tackle them would be to focus on building tax-free assets and stop the propensity to kick the “tax can” down the road. Even though these may sound like obvious moves, Brian has seen people do the opposite – with things like funding their 401k accounts, parking money in the bank, or pouring it into the stock market. Brian warns against tapping into the stock market as a means to draw income because it’s the Government and Wall Street that have control over it, not you. There’s a key difference that some people tend to forget when it comes to retirement planning: accumulating money is done one way, drawing income for retirement is done another way. Brian stresses the importance of not taking retirement planning lightly. Remember: underestimating the amount of money needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, or relying on too many things outside of your control can be a significant financial risk.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BrianSkrobonja.com/FamilyOfficeQuiz Center for Disease Control Pew Research Center Employee Benefit Research Institute Susan Powter Chat GPT     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clientsor prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This podcast is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this podcast shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm.
1/31/202414 minutes, 24 seconds
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Different Approach of Financial Planning Addresses ‘the Missing Middle’ - Replay

Emergencies and retirement. This is what we're taught to save for. But what if you created a different system, which allowed you to pay for the expenses you will incur between now and retirement age – without losing the ability to build wealth? Find out why you may need to rethink your financial planning approach and what you should do about the “Missing Middle.” According to popular opinion, sound financial planning advice typically consists of two main steps: saving for emergencies and saving for retirement. Brian found this to be slightly misleading because of the phenomenon he refers to as “The Missing Middle.” Think about how life generally goes: there are car payments, furniture, credit cards, tuition… you also have money going into an account that you can’t touch until you’re 60 and then, before you know it, you have thousands of dollars of debt. And that’s by following general advice. However, opting for a less traditional and more customized approach allows you to pay for the expenses you incur between now and retirement – the middle of your life, without entirely losing the ability to build wealth. Brian believes that the real benchmark you’re going to use should be based on your personal needs, goals, and financial situation. When there are big expenses people don’t account for in their regular cash flow, one of two things happens. People either continually deplete savings in order to pay for the things in cash (constantly funneling money back into their bank account to replenish the emergency fund). Alternatively, they finance everything with bank loans and credit cards. Neither option leads to wealth being created. Brian is convinced that you should model your entire financial life around your actual life, instead of around arbitrary concepts or ideas that don’t fit into the puzzle of what you’re actually trying to create (Brian calls this Your Life Cycle Model). In the Life Cycle Model individuals allocate resources over their lifetime with the aim of avoiding sharp changes in their standard of living, while avoiding debt and simultaneously building wealth. Brian explains how using the so-called build banking instead of a traditional bank can help you leverage the Life Cycle Model (and why you shouldn’t compare it to the stock market). People tend to separate their money into two buckets: saving and spending. Brian explains why that may not be the best of approaches – and what to do instead.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com How Long Will My Money Last in Retirement     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS.   The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.   This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place.   Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier.   This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
1/24/202415 minutes, 40 seconds
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An Innovative – and Life-Changing – Way to Look at Retirement, with Dean Jackson - Replay

What comes to mind when you think about retiring? Is it enjoying your "golden years?" That's an outdated approach, says today's guest Dean Jackson! He joins host Brian Skrobonja to discuss a new way to think about retirement – and how doing things this way will change your life – the concept of "pre-tiring," two types of economy, and what "money hobby" and self-managing companies are all about. The idea of the conversation with Dean came to Brian as the result of conversations he has been having with clients, plus the increased longevity and the outdated models that are still presented as the tools to approach retirement planning. From an early age, Dean realized the difference between what Dan Sullivan calls the time & effort economy, and the results economy. In the first type of economy. you get paid a fixed amount for your time and effort, whereas in the latter. you’re paid by the results you create. Dean has been “pre-tiring” since 1999, splitting his time between Canada and Florida. For Dean, trying to define what success means to you and what your ideal lifestyle looks like are key aspects to reflect on. Society has been structured in a way where people worked with an eye on retirement, where they would spend their golden years. Now, things have changed. As Dean points out, there are billions of definitions of what "a perfect life" looks like, and "everyone’s in possession of what could be a perfect life in their definition." The key is filling the blank, using your own situation and words, in regards to the sentence "I know I’ll be successful when ____." Rehearsing for retirement is one of the things Brian has been helping clients with. Retirement is a transition, so being prepared for it is crucial. Dean believes that one of the important steps to take to prepare for the transition into retirement is what he calls "money hobby." Find something you’re truly passionate about and look at whether you can turn it into some kind of business, like the Ryan’s Toys YouTube channel, for example. Brian thinks that retirement isn’t an age but a mindset. You can retire at 65 or at 35 if you have the right mindset and path to run down to create passive income. Citing Dan Sullivan’s ideas and work, Dean and Brian touch upon the whole idea of life extender and making your future bigger than your past. For Dean, it isn’t about how to do something but who can get something done for your company. You should decide whether you want to find a who that can help you with a specific thing – you can then turn into a business – or become that who yourself, for someone else’s business, and do the what you really love. Dean talks about the so-called eight profit activators, a blueprint that’s universally applicable to all businesses. It’s about looking for opportunities to activate profits in any of the eight areas.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Previous episode - Retirement is Not an Age DeanJackson.com Dan Sullivan - StrategicCoach.com/our-team/#/people/dan-sullivan Tony Robbins’ New Money Master program Thomas Leonard Shopify.com Ryan’s World on YouTube Chat GPT   Brian, Dean Jackson and MAS are not affiliated entities.   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
1/17/20249 minutes, 27 seconds
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Are You Prepared for the Evolution of Retirement?

In this podcast episode, Brian Skrobonja takes us on a thought-provoking journey through the evolving concept of retirement. As we dive into the past, present, and future of retirement, Brian helps us unravel the complexities of this modern-day concept which, though deeply ingrained in our society, is relatively new in human history. This episode is essential for anyone planning for retirement, offering a fresh perspective on how to approach this significant life stage in the context of rapid societal shifts, economic developments, and increasing human longevity. We start off by exploring the concept of retirement and its transformation from ancient societies to the modern era. The Industrial Revolution marked a significant shift from agrarian societies to industrial ones, influencing how people viewed work and retirement. It even shaped the way that families and communities lived together. The change in how work was done over the centuries resulted in the creation of a retirement system based on pensions, which was the precursor to modern-day retirement benefits. In the 1900’s, Social Security was introduced which shifted the responsibility from families and communities onto the government. In a relatively short period of time, the concept of retirement has changed drastically, and the pace of change is continuing to accelerate. Based on the way technology and healthcare are developing, it’s very likely that retirement will look very different in the future as well. As the Baby Boomer generation progresses toward retirement, it will put tremendous strain on programs like Social Security and Medicare due to a considerably lower worker-to-retiree ratio than ever before in history. The programs and retirement paradigm will change, similar to the way that pensions underwent change. Pensions used to be the default vehicle for retirement but have become scarce and relegated, mainly for those with government jobs. According to the Social Security Administration, benefits are projected to run negative by 2033. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt is projected to reach $52 trillion in 2033. Life expectancy also continues to rise, which puts pressure on the current retirement paradigm from another angle. With new breakthroughs in human longevity, the concept of retirement will have to adapt. Retirement was once considered a necessary transition when a person was no longer productive in their work and had a short life expectancy once retired. Today, people retire when they're still fully capable of working. That reality is widening the chasm between the number of workers and retirees, as well as the financial resources needed to sustain retirement for longer periods of time. Retirement needs to be redefined, since the reality of shorter lifespans is no longer the case for most people. There are three factors that contribute to success in retirement. The first is contribution. The longer you contribute, the better. Perhaps redefining expectations after the age of 60 and looking toward a second half of life with a meaningful career or business may be called for. The second is prevention. The longer your retirement is, the more risks are amplified and can have a significant impact. Finding ways to move things into your control helps prevent unforeseen problems that put your retirement at risk. Examples of this include: insurance, annuities, and tax-free investments. The third is delegation. Retirement planning is a team sport. You can delegate the heavy lifting of a retirement plan to financial advisors, attorneys, insurance agents and CPAs and then use that collective wisdom to implement the actual plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify   References for this episode: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/interactive/2023/aging-america-retirees-workforce-economy/ https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html https://www.cbo.gov/publication/58946 https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/IndustrialRevolutionandtheStandardofLiving.html#:~:text=On%20the%20other%20hand%2C%20according,come%2C%20it%20was%20nevertheless%20substantial https://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html#:~:text=Life%20expectancy%20at%20birth%20in,and%20paid%20into%20Social%20Security https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/life-expectancy#:~:text=The%20current%20life%20expectancy%20for,a%200.08%25%20increase%20from%202020 https://www.diamandis.com/blog/mark-hyman https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/what-to-do-before-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-tcja-provisions-sunset     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.
1/10/202416 minutes, 12 seconds
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In Financial Planning, Consider Your ‘Fuel Tank of Capability’ - Replay

You can live without saving money, and you can live with debt, but you cannot live without cash flow. In fact, if you want your personal finance to flourish, cash flow is a key element you need to focus on – passive income too. Why is that the case? Find out about critical personal financing missteps you should avoid making, what to focus on to measure financial progress and happiness, and the key traits you can learn from the happiest and most successful people to win more in personal finance. Just like many other areas of life, personal finance too is dependent on your own tank both from a mental, physical, and resources standpoint. Trying to do too much with their resources is one of the most common personal finance missteps people make. There’s a tendency of segregating financial goals into silos and of gravitating towards what looks easiest over what is often best – which typically leads to personal finance goals not being achieved. Brian believes that the key to maximizing your capabilities should be on building resources, and then creating cash flow from them to fund everything else. Passive income plays a crucial role in that it fills your income gap, allowing you to free up your time. Brian sees people often getting caught up in their silos and finding themselves beholden to their system of working to spend. It’s possible to live without saving money, and with debt, but it’s impossible to live without cash flow. How do you measure financial progress? To identify what makes them happy, people often go beyond financial aspects and look at things such as family, friends, faith, fitness, and free time. Once you have this aspect figured out, you can either do everything by yourself – with all the risks that this approach entails – or you can delegate. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that the happiest and most successful people have figured out how to buy more time by relying on professionals with the knowledge and experience to help them manage their relationships, health, time, and money. Tom Rath, author of Stengths Finder 2.0, has found that successful people tend to leverage strengths and delegate weaknesses. They spend their time on things they’re good at and want to spend their time on, and they delegate the tasks they can gain more time from by not doing them.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BrianSkrobonja.com/FamilyOfficeQuiz Chat GPT The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath   This is a replay of "In Financial Planning, Consider Your ‘Fuel Tank of Capability’"   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
1/3/202414 minutes, 29 seconds
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My Story

In this podcast episode, Brian shares his remarkable journey from his parents' middle-class immigrant background to achieving financial freedom through decades of learning and building businesses. He recounts his early aspiration for an opulent lifestyle and the pivotal moment when he realized the importance of creating income-producing assets. Through content creation, including three books and the Common Sense Financial Podcast, Brian's financial wisdom and expertise have garnered recognition and awards, providing valuable insights into wealth, financial freedom, and the pursuit of life's true riches. Join us as we explore Brian's wealth-building principles, the significance of faith, family, and relationships, and the pursuit of genuine financial freedom. It was over 30 years ago when Brian got started in business and he’s spent this time building his knowledge while building teams and companies. Brian begins by telling the story of his parents and how they came over from Croatia and lived a middle-class life. His father worked evenings and weekends as a lab engineer while also running a business on the side. His work ethic greatly inspired Brian as he grew up. As a teen, he always dreamed of having expensive things, but his only model for getting that done involved trading time for money, which is exactly what he did throughout his early 20’s. This led to him working harder to keep up with his increasingly expensive lifestyle. After doing it wrong for years, Brian had an epiphany where he realized he needed to create income-producing assets that would pay for his lifestyle. He set out to create a passive income stream to support his lifestyle and successfully accomplished it. That’s when his focus for what he was really trying to do for his clients came into clarity. Brian began producing content back in 2010. And out of that came three books: Common Sense, Generational Planning, and Retirement Planning, which can all be found on Amazon. This led to the beginning of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, which has since been recognized by Forbes as a top 10 podcast by financial advisors. Brian also became a regular contributor for Kiplinger magazine locally in St. Louis. He’s gone on to win numerous awards for his work. After 30 years of helping clients create the passive income they need to create real financial freedom, Brian regularly hears clients say that his process has really opened their eyes about how money works and how to think about wealth. In his personal life, Brian has been married to his wife Carrie for 30 years and has three kids, who have also grown up and had families of their own. Throughout their lives, Brian and his wife have taught their children two main things. First, most importantly, for them to pursue a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to live out their faith in their daily walk. Second to that, is to understand that a worthy pursuit in life is the things money can't buy: building relationships, investing, and creating memories and experiences with people that you love. A key lesson that took Brian a long time to figure out is that the pursuit of things never brings satisfaction. Real wealth is not found in things but in the freedom to live your life free from having to work for a paycheck or trade your time for money, which is another lesson he tries to impart to his kids as well as his clients.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify SkrobonjaFinancial.com SkrobonjaWealth.com BuildBanking.com Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja Generational Planning by Brian Skrobonja Retirement Planning: Have A Plan So You Can Live Your Life by Brian Skrobonja     Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
12/6/202310 minutes, 53 seconds
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The 5 Key Performance Indicators To Help Measure The Health Of Your Retirement Plan

In this episode we talk about the importance of using key performance indicators beyond just investment performance to gauge the health of one's retirement plan. There are five crucial data points that form the foundation of a successful retirement strategy: passive income, effective tax rate, cash flow ratio, banking capacity, and horizontal asset allocation. By focusing on these metrics, you can adopt a comprehensive approach to retirement planning that factors in various financial variables and bridges the gaps in your financial plan. Business owners use KPIs or key performance indicators to track and understand the health of their business and marketing efforts. Those planning for retirement should consider their retirement KPIs to help measure the health of their financial situation. People often make the mistake of substituting investment performance for more meaningful key performance indicators. ROI is not the only KPI you should be paying attention to. People often view their finances in silos and tend to make standalone decisions about what to do while leaving out other important variables concerning their situation, which can result in having gaps in their overall retirement plan design. For example, the stock market can go down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your plan should change. The flipside is also true: the market may be up, but that could mean you need to make adjustments. Knowing what KPIs to use and how to use them can help measure the health of your overall financial situation, not just track portfolio performance. A KPI is simply a collection of data points that helps provide a consistent method for measuring and monitoring the health of your retirement plan. In my experience, there are five key data points needed to measure the effectiveness of a retirement plan. The first is passive income. Income is an obvious component and the central theme of a retirement plan. Income is not growth of a share or unit of a particular investment. It is the income generated from the share or unit of an investment. If there is a retirement income gap of $5,000 each month, the goal of the retirement plan is to not simply cash out investments each month or spend down savings to meet the goal. It is to create passive income sources that can consistently provide the cash flow. Missing this point can be catastrophic to the longevity of a retirement plan. The second is the effective tax rate. Tax rates in the United States of America are progressive. The more you make, the higher the marginal rate is on portions of your income. Marginal rates have their place when filing a return or making decisions about asset positioning. The effective tax rate is a single rate that's calculated using the total taxes that are paid against the gross income. This percentage gives us a better overall understanding of the impact taxes are having on retirement income. If the retirement income gap is $5,000 each month and the effective tax rate is 30%, we can determine the additional amount of income required to cover the tax liabilities. The more tax mitigation techniques you incorporate into a retirement plan, the less pressure there is on your assets to generate additional income just to pay the tax. The third is cash flow ratio. People often define cash flow too narrowly and often exclude things like taxes, retirement savings and health insurance premiums, which leaves gaps in understanding. It is also important to know the ratio of income to bank payments, taxes, savings insurance, as well as fixed and variable expenses. It’s also important to know the earned income versus passive income ratio along with the number of different income sources you rely on to fund your lifestyle. The fourth is your banking capacity. When it comes to asset allocation, there is often the out-of-the-box structure where assets are divided up between investments and bank accounts. This approach oversimplifies a more complex situation and overlooks the realities of life and how people actually use and spend money. There are many factors to consider outside of just growing assets and covering emergencies, such as big ticket purchases and other family needs, that could benefit from incorporating a family bank into the financial plan. A family bank, aka Build Banking, is a specially designed life insurance contract that enables a family to have banking capabilities within their own financial ecosystem without relying on an actual bank outside of their financial situation. This piece is usually missing from most retirement plans. The fifth is horizontal asset allocation. Most people think of diversification as a vertical landscape of public market investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds or ETFs, but that’s the wrong idea. Asset allocation is similar to gardening. It requires diversity in many different forms to help manage growth, produce income, minimize risk and mitigate taxes. Adding things such as real estate businesses, private equity, life insurance, annuities, amongst other things, can provide characteristics and other elements of stability to help support a retirement plan. To develop a retirement plan, you must first identify the gaps in your existing situation, and then begin to work out on strategies to help fill those gaps. Having a way to measure passive income tax exposure, cashflow, asset allocation, and your baking capacity are the most important metrics to start with.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/thegapreportstart      Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
11/22/202315 minutes, 40 seconds
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Certificates of Deposit: What to Consider and How to Use Them

In this episode on Certificates of Deposit (CDs) as investments, we talk about the nuanced decision-making involved in purchasing CDs and whether or not CDs are good investments, particularly in a rising interest rate environment, and we explain why interest rates are the only factor you need to consider. Wealth creation isn't solely dependent on CD rates, and we need to consider the impact of inflation and interest rates to gain a comprehensive financial perspective. The episode also explores how government strategies to combat inflation by adjusting interest rates impact not only investors, but also shape the attractiveness of CDs as an investment option. In a rising interest rate environment, buying CDs may seem like a good idea but it depends on your needs and goals. Wealth isn't created by buying a CD based on a rate. It's created by understanding why the rate may not be all that important. Banks look at what is known as the federal funds rate, also known as a benchmark rate. This is the rate banks charge one another to borrow money overnight that's needed to maintain reserve requirements. Upstream in the decision making process is the Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC, who meet throughout the year to discuss and set monetary policy. Within these policies, rates are set and typically linked to inflation. When those rates are set, banks may adjust rates on loans, deposits and certificates of deposit. But just like any business, banks will adjust rates to compete in their market as they seek to cover their costs and maintain a profit. CDs specifically are an attractive tool for banks, because unlike a deposit account, CDs actually lock up customers with a maturity date, which gives banks better control of their cash flow. The higher rates draw in customers seeking to maximize their returns. Rates on CDs matter, but not as much when you factor in inflation and interest rates. If inflation is at 7% and interest rates are at 5%, the net is 2%. The same is true if inflation is at 0% and interest rates are at 2%. You have to look at both numbers to get a full picture. When you consider the gridlock within the housing market and the amount of debt our government holds, it's hard to believe rates can remain elevated over the long term. The government is desperately trying to combat inflation by raising rates. These higher rates not only impact consumers, but they also impact the government. According to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, in June of 2023, they projected that annual net interest costs on the federal debt would total $663 billion in 2023 and almost double over the next decade. Interest payments would total around $71 trillion over the next 30 years, taking up to 35% of all federal revenue by 2053. These numbers are impacted by interest rates and with lower rates come lower interest payments, so the government has reasons to see rates lower than they currently are. The question is: Does it make sense to lock in CD rates while rates are high? It depends. If you have money sitting in a bank account that you don't need and the CD rate is offering a higher rate than your savings, then it might be a good option. A good idea is to compare CD rates to other options like fixed annuities and money markets since they share some similarities but also have a few key differences that could make one choice better for your situation. Certificates of Deposit are offered by banks as a savings account that offers a fixed interest rate over a specified period of time, ranging from one month up to five years. They carry penalties if funds are removed before maturity, and they're FDIC insured up to $250,000. Fixed Rate annuities are issued by insurance companies and are financial products that offer a fixed interest rate over a specified period of time. Early withdrawals can incur a penalty, and interest earnings are tax deferred until you start taking distributions. The guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the insurance company and are insured by what is known as the State Guarantee Association. Money markets are funds issued by financial institutions that are backed by highly liquid short maturity investments. Maturities usually range from overnight to just under a year, and assets can be quickly converted to cash with minimal loss of value. They are generally considered more risky than a bank, CD or insurance company annuity, and the underlying investments include such things as treasury bills, commercial paper and CDs. While CDs offer the safety of fixed returns, they are not devoid of risks and limitations. It's essential to understand both the micro and macro economic factors that affect CD rates before diving in.      Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources - Free Resources To Help You Protect Your Financial Future Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja “What to Know About How Banks Work” The State Guaranty Association   References for this episode: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/americans-faith-in-banks-hit-low-after-failures-says-ap-norc-poll https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/reservereq.htm https://fortune.com/recommends/banking/will-cd-rates-go-up https://www.usbank.com/investing/financial-perspectives/market-news/federal-reserve-tapering-asset-purchases.html https://www.pgpf.org/analysis/2023/07/higher-interest-rates-will-raise-interest-costs-on-the-national-debt   Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS.
11/15/202313 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to Create Retirement Confidence

In this episode, we delve into the link between overall retirement quality and the confidence you have in your financial plan. We emphasize how a well-designed retirement strategy tailored to your needs, not solely reliant on market performance, is pivotal for boosting confidence and making your retirement plan a reality you can rely on. Addressing common fears, exploring emotional extremes, and understanding the evolving landscape of retirement planning, will help you discover the significance of income-focused strategies and a diversified asset approach in building confidence in your retirement plan. When it comes to retirement, your quality of life in these golden years is often predicated on the level of confidence you have regarding your situation. A poorly-designed retirement plan can often cause emotional confusion, which leaves you feeling insecure and lacking confidence. Confidence is typically at its peak when a plan is optimized and is designed around meeting the needs of the client and not relying entirely on market performance. Retirement confidence is in direct correlation with how well your plan is designed to manage your exposure to risk and its ability to fulfill cash flow requirements. A plan built on hope and optimism can lead to very emotional times when the market doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Many client conversations relating to retirement are often centered around insecurities the client is working through. Common fears include running out of money before running out of life, market crashes, having a health crisis, missing opportunities, or simply making mistakes. There are typically two emotional extremes, no confidence or complete overconfidence. A lack of confidence leads to avoidance behavior and avoiding decisions, which often makes a person vulnerable to the very things they are afraid of. Overconfidence leads people to underestimate their vulnerabilities. Being skittish or practicing decision avoidance or fearing the idea of making a bad decision are all confidence killers, and the ultimate irony of this behavior is actually preventing the solution from being implemented, which can turn your fears into a reality. Confidence is about being able to rely on your retirement plan to do what you need it to do. If your retirement plan is anchored to the stock market, your confidence level relies entirely on the performance of the market. Most people’s retirement plans involve a stock market portfolio they plan to liquidate over time, Social Security, and a pension, but that’s really just the start. This paradigm seems to be rooted in watching our parents or grandparents work for decades in the same job and then retire with their pensions and Social Security benefits. However, circumstances have changed, and what worked back then isn’t going to cut it now. Pensions and company-provided retirement plans have been on the decline since the 1980’s. Baby Boomers started putting their money into retirement plans starting in the 90’s, which caused a growing stock market. 2016 was the first year that Baby Boomers started taking out money from those accounts. Those who ran the markets up are now the same group that is putting selling pressure on the markets, but there are other influences as well: government spending and policy, Fed policy, pandemics, interest rates, inflation, and more. When you lack certainty in the market, algorithms and a 24/7 news cycle can exacerbate the situation. There are two fundamental things that can have a profound impact on your retirement confidence. First is solving for income using income products. The foundation of a retirement plan is to generate consistent income, and unfortunately, consistency is not synonymous with the stock market. Separating your assets between long-term growth in public investments and income-generating private and fixed assets is a crucial component of being confident in your overall retirement plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja Brian's article - ‘Five Common Retirement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them’     References for this episode: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/retirement/erisa https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/baby-boomers-could-cause-market-crash-12117996 https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2021/02/11/the-coronavirus-crash-of-2020-and-the-investing-lesson-it-taught-us/?sh=17701bd846cf https://www.marketwatch.com/story/u-s-stocks-would-be-much-lower-if-it-wasnt-for-excessive-government-spending-morgan-stanleys-mike-wilson-says-1b8e65d2 https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/what-does-the-fed-do-and-how-does-it-impact-the-stock-market https://thefga.org/blog/president-biden-is-wrong-about-esg-heres-why/?gclid=CjwKCAjwvfmoBhAwEiwAG2tqzIhc3F2QbmLEygcbkIg9eV7bhXUz3dzXhO1A_hTNE3hNsMbTug59txoCPcwQAvD_BwE https://centerpointsecurities.com/stock-market-algorithms/#:~:text=The%20main%20thing%20traders%20need,because%20you%20may%20lose%20fast. https://www.statista.com/statistics/191077/inflation-rate-in-the-usa-since-1990 https://www.bankrate.com/banking/cds/historical-cd-interest-rates     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA &SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
11/8/202318 minutes, 27 seconds
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3 Factors To Consider Before Taking Your Social Security Benefits

The complexity of Social Security calculations can cause some confusion around when someone eligible should file and claim their benefit. There are a lot of variables to consider and acronyms to decipher that can make Social Security feel like a confusing hedge maze. Let’s cut through some of the noise and clarify some of the most pressing questions around Social Security benefits and what questions you need to consider to determine what’s best for you and your family. Social Security has many layers, and the concept of eligibility can be pretty complex. It's not always clear when and how someone should begin taking their benefits because being eligible doesn't necessarily mean you should turn that benefit on. Social Security benefits can be turned on as early as age 62. Each year the benefit is delayed, you receive what is called a delayed retirement credit or DRC. These DRCs guarantee an automatic 8% increase in your Social Security benefit every year you delay up to age 70. There is also your full retirement age. This is the age when you are eligible to receive the full benefit without any offset for having earned income. Earned income being income from employment, which is different from income received from investments, pensions or annuities. For those born in 1960, or later, your FRA is age 67. Benefits are calculated by the Social Security Administration by taking 35 years of earnings that are indexed for inflation. Any years you didn’t work are counted as a zero in your average earnings calculation. These annual amounts are then totaled and divided by four and 20 months to arrive at the monthly figure known as your average indexed monthly earning. This number is different from your benefit amount. The SSA then applies a formula to that number which determines your primary insurance amount or PIA and this is your monthly Social Security benefit. If you choose to take your benefit before your FRA while employed, there's an offset that can significantly reduce the benefit if your income exceeds $21,240 in 2023. This reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income over the limit. In the year you reach your FRA, the limit increases to $56,520 in 2023, with a benefit reduction of $1 for every $3 of earned income over the limit. After you've reached your FRA there's no earning limits and you receive the full benefit with no income offsets. Provisional income comes into play after your benefits are activated. Your provisional income is calculated by taking your adjusted gross income plus half of your Social Security benefit. If that total is less than $25,000, your Social Security benefit is not subject to federal tax. If it is  above 25,000, but below 34,000, 50% of the benefit is taxed, and if it's above 34,000, 85% of the benefit is taxed. If you're a government employee, there's something called a Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP. And there's also a Government Pension Offset, or GPO. There are three common conversations we have with clients when it comes to Social Security. The first thing is determining the breakeven point. One method for deciding when to take Social Security benefits involves calculating the breakeven point, this is the future point in time when the value of one option equals that of another. For example, if your FRA benefit is $2,000 a month, and $1,400 at age 62, there's a $600 a month difference. When compared to waiting the five years and taking the full amount, the breakeven point would be 11.6 years. Something else to keep in mind is that by taking a benefit early, you reduce the amount of spousal benefit made available since the benefit in and of itself has been reduced and this could be an important consideration. The second consideration relates to one's health and longevity. If you don’t expect to live past that breakeven point, taking the benefit early might make more sense. From this perspective, it could be a win-win situation if they start receiving benefits early and they live longer than expected because the payments continue. We can’t know our lifespan for certain, but if you're in poor health, taking benefits early might be a reasonable option. The third consideration involves a person's retirement income requirement. Many clients we work with see Social Security simply as a piece of the retirement income strategy, and aren't necessarily concerned with breakeven points as much as they are with maximizing their assets and the resources. Many clients opt to turn their Social Security benefits on instead of tapping into their assets in order to maintain growth. Using assets to generate income in retirement also comes with variables that are hard to predict, like the conditions of the stock market and economic policy. Social Security, in comparison, is stable and easy to predict. Figuring out your retirement income requires careful planning, which is why it’s crucial to work with a professional that understands Social Security and its role in your retirement plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources - Free Resources To Help You Protect Your Financial Future Common Sense: YOUR Guide to Making Smart Choices with YOUR Money by Brian Skrobonja   SSA.gov   References for this episode: SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/agereduction.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/delayret.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/agereduction.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html SSA.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes.html   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
10/25/202314 minutes, 49 seconds
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The 7 Indispensable Steps in Building Your Wealth Strategy

If you tune into social media, there are a lot of influencers and gurus peddling one-size-fits-all financial advice and unfortunately plenty of investors base their strategies on what these people recommend. Find out why basing your investment decisions on what’s trending on TikTok is short sighted and discover the seven indispensable steps of building wealth that are the most common among our most successful clients. Conventional wisdom such as paying off mortgages, quickly maxing out 401(k)'s or buying only Term Life insurance can be short sighted. Wealth isn't created by following rules of thumb, random one-size-fits-all fixes, or chasing trendy financial tips. Wealth is created by developing a custom-tailored strategy that facilitates wealth creation and prepares you for the future. The wealthiest people aren't doing the same things as the other 99%. Avoid rushing and applying random tidbits of information without first creating a comprehensive wealth strategy. We all have to take a long-term strategic view of wealth creation. There are seven key steps in building wealth that are common amongst all of our most successful clients. The first step is understanding cash flow. Cash Flow isn't about monthly budgeting. It's a 12-month roadmap that outlines where your money will go including savings, investments, and day-to-day expenses. Effective cash flow management is about abundance and a focus on wealth creation. Budgeting operates from scarcity and measures success by such things as paying off debt or simply making ends meet. Wealth doesn't just magically form out of scarcity. Step two is really understanding your investment risk tolerance. Many investors carry far too much risk for their stated tolerance levels but have really no way of gauging what risks they're carrying. It's crucial to know where you fall on the risk spectrum and to work with a professional to help you tailor your investment strategy. Complete the questionnaire on our website to discover your risk tolerance and know where to start that conversation. Step three is to learn your tax allocation. Knowing how to help mitigate tax liabilities is an essential aspect of building and keeping wealth. Tax deferral methods like 401 K's can be useful in some situations, they are not what we would consider comprehensive tax strategies. A deferral is not a savings. Knowing how to allocate assets to mitigate tax liabilities requires an understanding of your entire financial picture. A professional trio of maybe a certified public accountant, CPA, certified private wealth advisor, CPW, or a tax attorney, is essential for making the most of the opportunities available to you. Step four is to understand investment verticals. The more public market investments that are acquired such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, the deeper the portfolio vertically grows, but adding more of the same to your portfolio doesn't necessarily mitigate the exposure to the risk you're trying to diversify away from. Horizontal opportunities are outside of the same vertical such as real estate businesses, private equity, and life insurance annuities, and they don't share in the same risk pools that each vertical may be exposed to. Effectively diversifying reduces the risk in a portfolio overall and forms a stable foundation to build on. Don't put all your eggs into one vertical basket. Step five is establishing multiple streams of income. Relying on a single source of income, like your job or a single investment is a risky proposition. Businesses, royalties, passive income investments, or other consulting or freelance opportunities are all ways to create more than one stream of income. More sources of income mean your financial situation is more robust during economic storms and you have more capacity to take advantage of opportunities. Number six is to adopt financial delegation. There's usually an element of cost and trust when managing financial decisions in a DIY fashion. There comes a tipping point when the perceived savings of doing things on your own becomes an opportunity cost. The complexities involved with wealth management require specialized support from professionals. The cost of working with a professional can be seen as an investment when it opens up new opportunities and it allows you to focus on your strengths. Delegate specific financial tasks to professionals like accountants, lawyers, and financial planners. This allows you to focus your time and effort on enjoying the benefits of having the help and the division of labor helps ensure that all aspects of your financial life are managed optimally. Step seven is finding your purpose. Scroll social media and you'll find that there are countless examples of miserable wealthy people. Money certainly makes things easier and helps you afford some privileged experiences but happiness is derived from inside of ourselves. You'll never have enough money and there's always something more to achieve. Answering the question of what you would do or commit your life to if money was not the motivation can offer insight into what you feel like your purpose is. Building wealth is not about quick fixes or following the herd. It's about strategic informed decision making that requires an opportunity that looks at cashflow, risk tolerance, tax allocation, diverse investments, multiple income streams, financial delegation, and purpose.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BrianSkrobonja.com/Resources - Free Resources To Help You Protect Your Financial Future     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
10/18/202314 minutes, 16 seconds
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Hidden Tax Strategies, with CPA Tanner Adams

Most business owners come into the financial game as the quarterback. They’re telling their CPA and financial advisor what they need and when they need it instead of working as a team to plan out a cohesive strategy. This needs to change. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn why your business needs a financial team that works together, and how to incorporate tax planning strategies into your operation, so you’re not overpaying taxes and maximizing the odds of your long-term success. Tanner is a CPA with 22 years of experience in the tax world. Born and raised in Utah, Tanner was a natural mathematician and considered joining the FBI as an accountant but didn’t end up going that route. He spent 12 years with five different CPA firms, discovering what he liked and didn’t like, before venturing out on his own. The Trump tax cuts expire in 2025 and a lot of professionals are anticipating higher tax rates in the near future. One tax benefit that is likely to expire is the QBR deduction for small business owners. Every client is different, but one piece of advice that every business owner can benefit from is choosing the right entity. A lot will depend on what your lifestyle looks like and what you are already paying for. Tax deductions are great but finding tax credits is even better. A good example is the Research and Development tax credit, which can go back as many as three years. Most people wait until there is an immediate need to contact their CPA, but that leaves a lot of opportunity on the table. Tax planning is very different from tax preparation. Tax planning occurs throughout the year and is a more proactive approach that many don’t realize is an option. The relationship you have with your CPA is crucial and can play a pivotal role during tax season. With a good relationship you also get the benefit of your CPA’s experience in other industries. Taxes are changing all the time, so it helps to have someone you can reach out to throughout the year. Having a financial plan should incorporate tax mitigation strategies. You, your financial planner, your attorney, and your CPA should be working as a team to manage your business finances. The more they can communicate and work together, the more effective they can be. There are a lot of inefficiencies in your business by having your financial plan and tax plan operating in separate silos. Individually, everyone does their job well, but when working together they can really shine. Typically, there’s a three-year window on filing for a refund claim. If you feel like your current CPA may not be bringing all the opportunities to your attention, it might benefit you to get a second opinion. If you’re planning on selling your business, there are a few things to keep in mind. Is it a stock sale or an asset sale? Do you have clean and accurate records? Plan your sale as far out in advance as you can to make sure you have all that you need for a smooth transition. One of the most underrated and overlooked aspects of tax planning is your bookkeeping for your businesses. Monthly bookkeeping makes it a lot easier to plan and stay ahead of the finances and taxes compared to waiting until January or April to figure out what you have to do. If you make a lot of money, you're going to pay taxes, and that's just the way it is. But when it's a surprise, that's where the problem comes into play.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify MTAconsulting.net     Brian Skrobonja and Tanner Adams are not affiliated. There is no compensation exchanged between Brian Skrobonja and Tanner Adams. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
9/27/202344 minutes, 19 seconds
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Four Big Financial Planning Mistakes Business Owners Make

Entrepreneurs by nature are continuously occupied with running their business and wearing multiple hats throughout the day just to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, that leads entrepreneurs into making a number of common mistakes. Mistakes that damage the long-term success and potential of their business. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn about the four most common financial mistakes entrepreneurs make that put the future of their business at risk, and how you can avoid them. Many entrepreneurs find themselves underserved when it comes to financial planning and often rely too heavily on their CPA for financial advice. One common mistake entrepreneurs make is assuming that as long as they meet payroll, stay current on taxes and receive payments from customers, their business is financially healthy. The problem is CPAs primarily focus on looking backwards and reviewing the previous year or quarter to meet tax filing deadlines, instead of looking forward and making strategic plans for the following year. Proper financial planning can help your business reduce its tax liability and increase its profitability. Another common mistake is entrepreneurs take the profit of their business as income, which may not be the most efficient method of distribution. Proper planning helps find the balance between income and profit. Financial planning can also help you determine whether your business structure is still appropriate for where you are or if it needs to evolve. Financial planning also helps mitigate risk, and there are three major risks that every business faces: death, disability, and divorce. Any of these risks becoming a reality can seriously derail a business and its long-term potential. Entrepreneurs tend to visualize positive outcomes rather than seriously considering what could go wrong and how they should address those potential problems. Having a financial plan can include agreements and other triggering events that can help facilitate a smooth outcome when facing such events. Another common mistake made by business owners is treating the business exit as merely a transaction rather than a transition. Exiting the business involves more than just the sale itself; it requires planning for life after the exit. Owners frequently overvalue their business leading to unrealistic expectations regarding the outcome of the sale. Many business owners also underestimate the time and effort required to prepare for a successful exit. Preparation for a sale can take years of planning, if done right, and should be incorporated into an overall financial planning process. Another common mistake is succumbing to the pressure of spending money to avoid tax liabilities. While tax planning is essential, it should not be the sole, driving factor behind financial decisions. FOMO (fear of missing out) can also lead to poor cash flow management, where entrepreneurs may be tempted to seize every opportunity that comes their way without considering its compatibility with their business vision. By having a well defined cash flow plan, entrepreneurs can allocate resources efficiently, reduce financial stress, and build wealth inside and outside of their business while helping to maintain stability during both prosperous and challenging times. A cash flow strategy is an integral part of an overall financial plan and acts as a roadmap, guiding financial decisions and helping you make the most of the cash flow.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
9/20/202312 minutes, 42 seconds
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How SDLI Can Provide Flexibility

High income professionals face a unique situation when it comes to their retirement. You have the dual challenge of having your money tied up in your investments and also looming tax burdens once you retire. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn about a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy, also known as a life insurance retirement plan, and how it could be the wealth preservation tool you’ve been looking for. A high cash value life insurance policy can help facilitate tax-advantaged growth that standard retirement accounts may not be able to match. Many professionals spend a considerable amount of effort accumulating wealth for most of their life only to find themselves in a bind: their money is inaccessible with looming tax burdens. High Income professionals often face a dual tax burden where their current high income places them in a high tax bracket, reducing the net income they have available for investment. Meanwhile, the money you've diligently saved in your retirement plan will be subjected to potentially hefty taxes upon withdrawal later in life. Retirement accounts are great vehicles for long-term savings, but they lack flexibility, and you're penalized for early withdrawals leaving you without a readily available source of funds for unexpected opportunities or emergencies. For high income individuals grappling with these issues, a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy may be the answer. A Specially Designed Life Insurance (SDLI) policy utilizes a high cash value life insurance policy to facilitate tax-advantaged growth and offer flexibility that standard retirement accounts simply can't match. Cash value builds over time in the policy, growing in a tax-deferred basis mirroring the benefits of a retirement account, yet the cash value can be accessed at any time through a non-recognition policy loan. If properly managed, these policy loans have flexibility and are not required to be repaid during your lifetime and can be simply deducted from the death benefit or cash surrender value when the policy pays out. The SDLI strategy enables you to tap into your wealth when needed, providing the liquidity to seize investment opportunities or meet unexpected expenses. The policy loans do have an interest charged on them, but well-designed policies provide an opportunity to offset the interest. Not all life insurance policies offer the features necessary to execute the strategy effectively. It's a delicate balance that must be carefully managed and is best done with the help of a professional. This strategic tool offers several other key advantages for wealth management, asset protection and estate planning. In many jurisdictions, life insurance policies are protected from creditors providing a shield for your assets. Life insurance can also play a crucial role in balancing out an estate amongst surviving family members. A life insurance policy can also provide immediate liquidity to family members or business partners upon a death, ensuring the continuity of a business or farm without the need to sell off assets. Life insurance proceeds can also provide a tax free inheritance to your beneficiaries, helping to preserve your legacy. A common pushback against using life insurance as an accumulation vehicle is the perception that it is expensive and takes a long time to accumulate substantial cash values. This is because most common policies are focused on maximizing a death benefit instead of rapid cash value accumulation. While there is an undeniable cost associated with a special desire life insurance policy, it's crucial to consider this expense in contrast to the potential tax liabilities. Retirement account distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income. For a high income individual, this can be losing a substantial chunk of your retirement savings to taxes. In many cases, the cost of a Specially Designed Life Insurance policy could be a mere fraction of what the tax liabilities may be on an investment growth over time. The true cost of these policies become apparent only when considering the full financial picture, including current and future tax burdens, access to cash and long-term wealth accumulation. A Specially Designed Life Insurance policy is not a catch-all solution but rather a tool within the context of a comprehensive wealth management plan.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify BuildBanking.com     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Any descriptions involving life insurance policies and its use as an alternative form of financing or risk management techniques are provided for illustration purposes only, will not apply in all situations, may not be fully indicative of any present or future investments, and may be changed at the discretion of the insurance carrier, General Partner and/or Manager and are not intended to reflect guarantees on securities performance. The term BUILD Banking™️, private banking alternatives or specially designed life insurance contracts (SDLIC) are not meant to insinuate that the issuer is creating a real bank for its clients or communicating that life insurance companies are the same as traditional banking institutions. This material is educational in nature and should not be deemed as a solicitation of any specific product or service. BUILD Banking™️ is offered by Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC only and is not offered by Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. nor Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC. Any references to protection, safety or guarantees, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. The opinions and views expressed here are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisor for such guidance.
9/13/202314 minutes, 36 seconds
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Who Should Consider An Annuity?

The concept of investing is often associated only with money and the pursuit of wealth, but this Annuities are a popular thing these days… why is that the case? And are they a valid option for those planning their retirement? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja explores the world of annuities – from what they are and the three types of annuities all the way to four common myths, Brian’s “unpopular opinion” and why annuities and investments aren’t in competition. Plus, Brian reveals what he considers the best way to accumulate wealth. You need to keep in mind that there are plenty of unknown factors in your life, such as how long you’re going to live, inflation, how the market is performing, healthcare costs, and economic shifts. Brian believes that the uncertainty surrounding retirement is why annuities are so popular. Annuities are a way to transfer risk over to an insurance company and provide some sense of safety for the future, says Brian. According to Statista, the risk of running out of money is a real concern for many retirees, with an estimated $2.53 trillion of retirement assets held inside of annuities. Brian breaks down the three types of annuities – variable, fixed-indexed, and fixed-rate – and shares a common misconception about income benefits. In his own words, Brian has an “unpopular” stance: he’s a believer in the fact that whether or not someone should use an annuity depends on their situation. Brian touches upon when it makes sense for you to use an annuity and when it doesn’t. “Capital appreciation over time” is what Brian considers the best way to accumulate wealth. Brian explains that annuities and investments aren’t in competition, because they both have a place at different times in someone’s life, depending on their needs. Brian goes over four common annuity-related myths.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Common Sense Financial Podcast on YouTube  Common Sense Financial Podcast on Spotify Statista.com Brian’s article: My 5-Minute Retirement Plan Brian’s article: The Financial Fiduciary Standard Explained Brian's article: What to Do With Cash in a Low Interest Rate Environment   Annuity guarantees rely on financial strength and claims-paying ability of issuing insurance company. Annuities are insurance products that may be subject to fees, surrender charges and holding periods which vary by carrier. Annuities are not FDIC insured. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
9/6/202314 minutes, 46 seconds
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Investing in Your Ideal Future Self

The concept of investing is often associated only with money and the pursuit of wealth, but this fails to capture the true essence of investing. An ideal future isn’t encapsulated by a stack of $100 bills. The true essence of investing is not about building wealth, but about building the atmospheric conditions that align with your ideal future self. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast to learn why a relentless focus on accumulating wealth will end up costing you what you’re actually working for, and why you need to have a more encompassing vision for what your retirement can be beyond your portfolio. Your quality of life isn’t determined just by the number in your bank account. Those dollars are merely the resources you use to create the ideal life. Wealth extends beyond the mere accumulation of money. It’s about the life you can construct around it and the atmospheric conditions you can create for yourself. You can possess all the wealth in the world, but without the cornerstones of a healthy life like thriving relationships, health, purpose and meaning, the value of that wealth diminishes. We need to exercise caution in our perception of wealth and the significance we ascribe to money. Investing shouldn’t only mean contributing to your financial future but should be considered building towards your ideal future. Having a vision for your retirement that involves activities and people requires a keen understanding of what’s important. Brian had a client who embodied the rags to riches narrative that people in the West admire so much, but after years of diligently working toward accumulating his wealth, this client ended up sacrificing his health. Instead of traveling the world and enjoying the fruits of his labor, this client spent his golden years visiting doctors and hospitals. “Man sacrifices his health to make money, then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.” -Dalai Lama A healthy lifestyle lays the foundation for our capacity to live fully and pursue our ambitions actively. The importance of investing in health can not be overstated. Along with health, investing into your relationships is paramount. Relationships form an integral part of our support system. The rewards are not always monetary, but they are no less important, and investing time into relationships is crucial. Investing into a steady flow of income beyond just building a portfolio is another key component to enjoying your retirement. Growth is not income generating and growth is not the same as income. Retirement needs to be a time of shifting from a diversification of growth assets into a diversification of income producing assets. The true essence of investing is not about building wealth, but about building the atmospheric conditions that aligns with your ideal future self. That includes nurturing your health, cultivating meaningful relationships, ensuring a steady income, and fostering cognitive ability. Money is a tool to reach those goals, and not the goal itself. Retirement should be seen as a chapter in your life that is ripe with potential. True wealth is not just the abundance of money, but the presence of all the components that make life fulfilling.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com Previous episode - Make Health Planning Part of Your Retirement Planning, with Regan Archibald     Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
8/30/202314 minutes, 23 seconds
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An In-Depth Breakdown of Privatized Banking aka Build Banking

Many people accumulate their wealth in a bank or a long-term investment, and this may create problems. But there is a different strategy. In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over the Build Banking strategy and how you can consider a different banking paradigm using specially designed life insurance policies that allow you to start banking on yourself. Most people know that banks use other people’s money to generate profits. This process is known as Fractional Reserve Banking, which is basically the bank using the spread between interest rates to profit. For banks, it goes a little deeper. Banks can loan out the money they have on deposit to people, and those dollars are then deposited again, which begins the cycle anew. This process acts as a money-printing machine within the economy. Banks aren’t currently required to hold any reserves to cover their customer’s deposits. The result of Fractional Reserve Banking is the expansion of the money supply which contributes to increased inflation. Silicon Valley Bank recently found itself in trouble and was unable to cover its liabilities leaving depositors to rely on the government to bail them out. It’s not realistic to be able to bypass the banking system entirely, but there are ways to take control of how you save and store money with a personal bank-like strategy. Build Banking uses a specially designed whole life insurance policy that’s built on the inherent tax-favored nature and unique capabilities of those policies. What makes Build Banking different is the design allows for rapid cash accumulation with uninterrupted tax-free growth, while having access to cash without having to rely on banks or Wall Street, but you have to set aside your preconceptions around life insurance. The challenge is the language around life insurance policies and how most people understand what they are capable of. With traditional banking, you either accumulate money and spend or borrow and then repay it. The Build Banking method offers a different strategy with a specially designed life insurance system that allows you to take back some of the control. Not all policies are the same and loan features can vary greatly, so it’s important to work with a professional with experience in this area. The main benefit of the Build Banking strategy is the ability to have your money remain in the policy and continue to grow uninterrupted, while simultaneously using a policy loan from the insurance company for personal use. A business owner has an extra advantage because they can leverage the loan in their business, creating both an internal and external return. This strategy also gives the policy owner a lot of control over how and when the loan is repaid because of the nature of the life insurance policy.      Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com     BUILD Banking™️ is a DBA of Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC. Benefits and guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the insurance company. Not FDIC insured. Results may vary. Any descriptions involving life insurance policies and its use as an alternative form of financing or risk management techniques are provided for illustration purposes only, will not apply in all situations, may not be fully indicative of any present or future investments, and may be changed at the discretion of the insurance carrier, General Partner and/or Manager and are not intended to reflect guarantees on securities performance. The term BUILD Banking™️, private banking alternatives or specially designed life insurance contracts (SDLIC) are not meant to insinuate that the issuer is creating a real bank for its clients or communicating that life insurance companies are the same as traditional banking institutions. This material is educational in nature and should not be deemed as a solicitation of any specific product or service. BUILD Banking™️ is offered by Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC only and is not offered by Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. nor Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC. Any references to protection, safety or guarantees, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. The opinions and views expressed here are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisor for such guidance. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
8/23/202315 minutes, 37 seconds
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Retirement Requires a Shift in Mindset

Time is your most precious resource, but how you use it is up to you. The shift from earning to retirement can be quite challenging, as you have to thread the needle between income, growth, and time. In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over the most important mindset shift people need to make in order for their retirement plan to succeed. It is possible to retire without growth, but it’s impossible to succeed without income. But many people have trouble shifting their mindset from focusing on long-term growth into a consistent and reliable income. When you invest long-term, that means not having to withdraw money from your assets for a long time. But once you enter retirement, your timeline moves from the future to the present. This transition requires a mindset shift to be made before significant progress can be made. Retirement planning is a discovery process that boils down to learning whether or not you have an income gap in retirement and, once that’s discovered, the whole plan is built around replacing that income. Without that number, everything else is a guessing game. If you shortcut this step with estimates, you will only compound the issue downstream. Retirement seems like a simple concept, but it’s surprisingly complex and solving the issue with old ways of thinking will lead you astray. Future performance of investments can’t be determined by looking at the past. An investment doesn’t address the risks you face in retirement. The sooner you figure out that investing is a spoke in a very large wheel, the sooner you can begin to formulate a true retirement roadmap. There are common components for retirement scenarios, like the income gap. There are also common risks that all retirement plans need to account for: sequence of return risk, market risk, interest rate risk, mortality risk, legislative risk, longevity risk, and health risk. All retirement plans should be built around the idea of protecting yourself and mitigating as much risk as you possibly can. Most people’s largest asset is their income, but it’s often not considered for insurance. Confirmation bias can hinder our ability to consider alternative perspectives and make the mindset shifts we need to make in retirement. People can find themselves endlessly searching for experts to tell them that they don’t need to change their strategy in retirement because of our natural need to confirm our beliefs. The more successful a person becomes, the more valuable their time becomes. To preserve those valuable hours, it becomes increasingly more important to surround yourself with professionals to whom you can delegate responsibilities to free up time. Insurance is just a form of delegation. You delegate your risk to the insurance company, which mitigates the risk and increases the quality of your time. Delegating the research and leveraging the experience of a professional in retirement planning can help you leverage your time with confidence.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
8/16/202315 minutes, 53 seconds
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Avoid Making These 5 Retirement Mistakes

“The more money you have, the bigger the mistakes,” someone once told Brian… How does that translate into retirement planning? And how can you help ensure you approach your financial planning for your “golden years” in the best possible way? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja goes over five retirement mistakes that you should stay away from at all costs, as well as what retirement is actually about. Brian touches upon something that a very successful person told him when he was getting started with his business back in 1993: ‘The more money you have, the bigger the mistakes.’ With his desire to work hard and strong work ethic, Brian quickly became successful. But there was a problem with his approach – Brian opens up about that. Brian shares some of the retirement mistakes he has seen people make in his 30-year career. Having a distorted view of what wealth really is and having what Brian calls “vertical diversification” are two common mistakes Brian has seen over and over again in his career. There are many factors to consider when attempting to diversify. You shouldn’t believe that a bank account and a portfolio of public investments are all that’s available to you as you move your diversification horizontally. Brian points out a common practice to avoid: making an investment decision based on the tax deduction alone. When making decisions regarding how you save money, Brian suggests considering how you’ll ultimately use the money. Brian discusses why you shouldn’t have too much dependency on markets nor having complacency. Brian sees retirement as a balancing act between growing money for the future while drawing income for your retirement needs. Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
8/9/202314 minutes, 39 seconds
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6 Tips For Choosing the “Right Fit” Financial Advisor

Are you part of that 68% of people who would like to have a personalized financial plan, but aren’t sure where to find a financial advisor? What should you pay attention to when trying to get a financial planning expert to help you, and you’re evaluating different options? In this new episode of the Common Sense Financial Podcast, host Brian Skrobonja shares six factors you should keep into consideration and look at when going through different financial advisor options. According to a May 2022 PR Newswire survey, 68% of people would like to have a personalized financial plan, but they’re not sure where to find a financial advisor. Brian sees information-gathering and understanding that planning isn’t the same as investing are the biggest mental hurdles of financial planning. When it comes to picking a financial advisor, there are six primary factors Brian suggests looking at. A 2022 study found that 80-90% of advisors fail in the first three years of practice – the main reason being the steep learning curve involved in serving clients. 10 years is the minimum that Brian would look for in terms of experience a financial advisor has. Brian discusses the different designations a financial advisor might have. Brian touches upon the importance of whether a financial advisor owns the company and the range of services they offer.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Dan Sullivan Chat GPT FINRA  The Financial Fiduciary Standard Explained (2021 Kipliger article by Brian)   Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
8/2/202315 minutes, 59 seconds
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Make Health Planning Part of Your Retirement Planning, with Regan Archibald

You feel healthy so everything is okay, right? Have you ever thought that health planning should be part of your retirement planning efforts? If you’ve answered ‘yes,’ pay close attention to Regan Archibald! Regan joins host Brian Skrobonja to discuss how people should approach health planning, the world of preventive care, the role of nutrition, and why longevity medicine is something you should be mindful of. Regan Archibald kicks off the conversation by sharing his origin story. In his work with entrepreneurs, Regan has found that when people focus on creating more balance and focus on their health, their business improves – and so does everything else. One of the major health issues both Regan and Brian have noticed is that many people think that if they feel okay, everything is okay… Regan stresses the importance not only to focus on a certain problem (like high blood pressure) but on trying to understand its cause (so, asking “Why is my blood pressure high?”). Regan illustrates how longevity medicine and financial planning share some of the same characteristics. “Peptides have been one of the most exciting developments,” says Regan. He explains why that’s the case. Regan believes that people should approach their health insurance the same way they approach their car insurance. What’s a good amount to budget toward health planning? For Regan, the answer to that is $15k/year. For Regan, making your health the #1 priority so that you feel it internally, is an excellent way to get started with health planning. Brian and Regan talk about what working with Regan actually looks like, and discuss diets and how to approach nutrition.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com ThePeptideExpert.com Unreasonable Health Podcast The Peptide Blueprint: Achieving Optimal Health and Performance at Any Age Never Stop Healing: The Unknown Shortcuts With Peptides for an Extraordinary Life EastWest Health Dan Sullivan Peter Diamandis Bryan Johnson Charles Schwab Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster by Dave Aspery Chat GPT   Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, MAS and Regan Archibald are not affiliated entities. NO compensation has been exchanged between Brian Skrobonja and Regan Archibald.       Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered  individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. The firm is a registered investment adviser with the state of Missouri, and may only transact business with residents of those states, or residents of other states where otherwise legally permitted subject to exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be  rendered by Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC unless a client service agreement is in  place. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers of industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you  away from our website. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites. Any references to protection, safety or  lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the  issuing carrier. This is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole  basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no  statement made on this site shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or any governmental agency. The information and  opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Any media logos and/or trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners and no endorsement by those owners of Brian Skrobonja is stated or implied. The awards, accolades and appearances are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance. Each of these awards have set criteria for their nominations and eligibility requirements. “Best Wealth Managers” and “Future 50 Company” are annual surveys conducted by Small Business Monthly. The winner is chosen by an online vote of the general public and no specific criteria is utilized to determine the winner other than number of votes. Some voters may not be clients of Brian Skrobonja and Skrobonja Financial Group. These awards are not representative of any one client’s experience and is not indicative of future performance.
7/26/202353 minutes, 35 seconds
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An Innovative – and Life-Changing – Way to Look at Retirement, with Dean Jackson

What comes to mind when you think about retiring? Is it enjoying your "golden years?" That's an outdated approach, says today's guest Dean Jackson! He joins host Brian Skrobonja to discuss a new way to think about retirement – and how doing things this way will change your life – the concept of "pre-tiring," two types of economy, and what "money hobby" and self-managing companies are all about. The idea of the conversation with Dean came to Brian as the result of conversations he has been having with clients, plus the increased longevity and the outdated models that are still presented as the tools to approach retirement planning. From an early age, Dean realized the difference between what Dan Sullivan calls the time & effort economy, and the results economy. In the first type of economy. you get paid a fixed amount for your time and effort, whereas in the latter. you’re paid by the results you create. Dean has been “pre-tiring” since 1999, splitting his time between Canada and Florida. For Dean, trying to define what success means to you and what your ideal lifestyle looks like are key aspects to reflect on. Society has been structured in a way where people worked with an eye on retirement, where they would spend their golden years. Now, things have changed. As Dean points out, there are billions of definitions of what "a perfect life" looks like, and "everyone’s in possession of what could be a perfect life in their definition." The key is filling the blank, using your own situation and words, in regards to the sentence "I know I’ll be successful when ____." Rehearsing for retirement is one of the things Brian has been helping clients with. Retirement is a transition, so being prepared for it is crucial. Dean believes that one of the important steps to take to prepare for the transition into retirement is what he calls "money hobby." Find something you’re truly passionate about and look at whether you can turn it into some kind of business, like the Ryan’s Toys YouTube channel, for example. Brian thinks that retirement isn’t an age but a mindset. You can retire at 65 or at 35 if you have the right mindset and path to run down to create passive income. Citing Dan Sullivan’s ideas and work, Dean and Brian touch upon the whole idea of life extender and making your future bigger than your past. For Dean, it isn’t about how to do something but who can get something done for your company. You should decide whether you want to find a who that can help you with a specific thing – you can then turn into a business – or become that who yourself, for someone else’s business, and do the what you really love. Dean talks about the so-called eight profit activators, a blueprint that’s universally applicable to all businesses. It’s about looking for opportunities to activate profits in any of the eight areas.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Previous episode - Retirement is Not an Age DeanJackson.com Dan Sullivan - StrategicCoach.com/our-team/#/people/dan-sullivan Tony Robbins’ New Money Master program Thomas Leonard Shopify.com Ryan’s World on YouTube Chat GPT       Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
5/31/202357 minutes, 55 seconds
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The 4 Biggest Obstacles to Effective Estate Planning

Life when you’re gone… an uncomfortable conversation most people prefer to avoid. Why isn’t that a good idea? How can estate planning help you ensure that things are taken care of once you aren’t around anymore? Listen to learn about big mistakes people make, the different elements that make up the estate plan puzzle, the three primary areas of cash flow, and the type of plan you should have in place. When it comes to end of life financial planning, many people tend to put it off because it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have. Even though the process for end of life planning is relatively simple in nature, Brian recommends getting professional help to deal with the details, which can be complex. Despite every situation being different, there are several core aspects of estate planning that everyone should consider. The first has to do with title and legal work. Brian has noticed that many people have a complete misunderstanding of the role legal work plays within their planning. Then, there’s life insurance. Many households rely on two incomes – or people – contributing to the family’s ecosystem. Their contribution to the family must be replaced when they’re gone, and that’s where life insurance comes into play. Another important, but often overlooked, aspect to an estate plan is budgets and cash flow. Brian doesn’t recommend planning in terms of weeks or months for it… rather, to plan in terms of years. “Your cash flow can be broken down into three primary areas,” says Brian. “Reoccurring obligations, irregular obligations, and savings.” Debts and investments are an additional area that makes up the estate plan puzzle. Brian stresses the importance of cash flow and shares a couple of examples that illustrate its key role. End of life planning is a difficult topic to address. Brian’s suggestion is to take steps to protect your loved ones by creating a custom comprehensive plan with the help of professionals. After that, the next step is to communicate the plan with your partner and family members – then, enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with knowing you have done everything in your power to provide for your loved ones.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com Estate Planning Checklist       Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
5/24/202314 minutes, 4 seconds
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Longevity: The Retirement Problem No One Is Discussing

Did you know that a good part of American households haven’t thought about retirement planning? When it comes to planning for retirement, there are some key concepts to understand and three traps you should do your best to avoid. Listen to learn why a money increase doesn’t always equal a lifestyle enhancement, the three things people often look at but that come back to bite them later on, and how you can effectively plan for retirement and protect your money. As life expectancy increases, people will be finding themselves needing to save more money for retirement. Brian believes that it’s going to be possible to be retired for as many years as one has worked, because people are living longer than ever before. According to a 2019 retirement confidence survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than half of American households are at risk of running out of money in retirement due to the lack of savings and the unpredictability of the stock market. If you look back and think about how much money you were making when you first started working and compare it to today, you should see an increase. However, more than a lifestyle enhancement, the increase is just an inflation adjustment. And the crazy thing is that only 42% of Americans have tried to calculate how much money they will need for retirement! Brian has noticed that many people go into retirement because of eligibility, without having actually calculated how much money they would need – this is a problem, especially because of three things that are outside of their control: inflation, markets, and taxes. To offset inflation, you need to earn more on your money than the inflation rate that is eroding your purchasing power. Want to protect yourself from market losses? Then, you either need to not be in the market or work to insulate your portfolio through diversification strategies that are challenging for most people to leverage. As far as taxes are concerned, the best way to tackle them would be to focus on building tax-free assets and stop the propensity to kick the “tax can” down the road. Even though these may sound like obvious moves, Brian has seen people do the opposite – with things like funding their 401k accounts, parking money in the bank, or pouring it into the stock market. Brian warns against tapping into the stock market as a means to draw income because it’s the Government and Wall Street that have control over it, not you. There’s a key difference that some people tend to forget when it comes to retirement planning: accumulating money is done one way, drawing income for retirement is done another way. Brian stresses the importance of not taking retirement planning lightly. Remember: underestimating the amount of money needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, or relying on too many things outside of your control can be a significant financial risk.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BrianSkrobonja.com/FamilyOfficeQuiz Center for Diseases Control Pew Research Center Employee Benefit Research Institute Susan Powter Chat GPT       Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
5/17/202314 minutes, 24 seconds
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In Financial Planning, Consider Your ‘Fuel Tank of Capability’

You can live without saving money, and you can live with debt, but you cannot live without cash flow. In fact, if you want your personal finance to flourish, cash flow is a key element you need to focus on – passive income too. Why is that the case? Find out about critical personal financing missteps you should avoid making, what to focus on to measure financial progress and happiness, and the key traits you can learn from the happiest and most successful people to win more in personal finance. Just like many other areas of life, personal finance too is dependent on your own tank both from a mental, physical, and resources standpoint. Trying to do too much with their resources is one of the most common personal finance missteps people make. There’s a tendency of segregating financial goals into silos and of gravitating towards what looks easiest over what is often best – which typically leads to personal finance goals not being achieved. Brian believes that the key to maximizing your capabilities should be on building resources, and then creating cash flow from them to fund everything else. Passive income plays a crucial role in that it fills your income gap, allowing you to free up your time. Brian sees people often getting caught up in their silos and finding themselves beholden to their system of working to spend. It’s possible to live without saving money, and with debt, but it’s impossible to live without cash flow. How do you measure financial progress? To identify what makes them happy, people often go beyond financial aspects and look at things such as family, friends, faith, fitness, and free time. Once you have this aspect figured out, you can either do everything by yourself – with all the risks that this approach entails – or you can delegate. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that the happiest and most successful people have figured out how to buy more time by relying on professionals with the knowledge and experience to help them manage their relationships, health, time, and money. Tom Rath, author of Stengths Finder 2.0, has found that successful people tend to leverage strengths and delegate weaknesses. They spend their time on things they’re good at and want to spend their time on, and they delegate the tasks they can gain more time from by not doing them.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BrianSkrobonja.com/FamilyOfficeQuiz Chat GPT The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath       Some of the podcasts here are historical in nature. They aired before July 1, 2022 and were previously approved by Kalos Capital. The views and statistics discussed in these shows are relevant to that time period and may not be relevant to current events. This is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection, safety or lifetime income, generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. Our firm is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US Government or any governmental agency. The information and opinions contained herein provided by the third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by our firm. Securities offered only by duly registered individuals through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS), Member FINRA & SIPC. Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through Skrobonja Wealth Management (SWM), a registered investment advisor. Tax services offered only through Skrobonja Tax Consulting. MAS does not offer Build Banking or tax advice. Skrobonja Financial Group, LLC, Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC, Skrobonja Insurance Services, LLC, Skrobonja Tax Consulting, and Build Banking are not affiliated with MAS. Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
5/10/202314 minutes, 29 seconds
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Different Approach of Financial Planning Addresses ‘the Missing Middle’

Emergencies and retirement. This is what we're taught to save for. But what if you created a different system, which allowed you to pay for the expenses you will incur between now and retirement age – without losing the ability to build wealth? Find out why you may need to rethink your financial planning approach and what you should do about the “Missing Middle.” According to popular opinion, sound financial planning advice typically consists of two main steps: saving for emergencies and saving for retirement. Brian found this to be slightly misleading because of the phenomenon he refers to as “The Missing Middle.” Think about how life generally goes: there are car payments, furniture, credit cards, tuition… you also have money going into an account that you can’t touch until you’re 60 and then, before you know it, you have thousands of dollars of debt. And that’s by following general advice. However, opting for a less traditional and more customized approach allows you to pay for the expenses you incur between now and retirement – the middle of your life, without entirely losing the ability to build wealth. Brian believes that the real benchmark you’re going to use should be based on your personal needs, goals, and financial situation. When there are big expenses people don’t account for in their regular cash flow, one of two things happens. People either continually deplete savings in order to pay for the things in cash (constantly funneling money back into their bank account to replenish the emergency fund). Alternatively, they finance everything with bank loans and credit cards. Neither option leads to wealth being created. Brian is convinced that you should model your entire financial life around your actual life, instead of around arbitrary concepts or ideas that don’t fit into the puzzle of what you’re actually trying to create (Brian calls this Your Life Cycle Model). In the Life Cycle Model individuals allocate resources over their lifetime with the aim of avoiding sharp changes in their standard of living, while avoiding debt and simultaneously building wealth. Brian explains how using the so-called build banking instead of a traditional bank can help you leverage the Life Cycle Model (and why you shouldn’t compare it to the stock market). People tend to separate their money into two buckets: saving and spending. Brian explains why that may not be the best of approaches – and what to do instead.     Mentioned in this episode: BrianSkrobonja.com BuildBanking.com
4/19/202315 minutes, 40 seconds