Whether you’re leading your family, a department or work, or heck, “managing from the middle,” every one of us has leadership potential inside of us that’s untapped. And it’s this time of year, when we’re thinking so much about what we value and need in our lives that the topic of leadership is so important. That’s why we asked Chuck Wachendorfer to be our Stacker mentor today. He met Joe and OG while leading a team at American Express and now helps major organizations, small business owners, and government entities develop better leaders. We talk to him today about the biggest issue in leadership: what do you do first when trying to lead? You may be surprised by his answer.
In our headline segment we mark the passing of one of the greatest investors of our time. Charlie Munger passed away last week and we pause for a moment to talk about many of the common sense ideas Munger advocated and share some of his (maybe surprisingly) very funny takes on things like crypto currency.
Of course, we’ll delight you with the TikTok minute, shining a light on a creator who may or may not be sharing some brilliant insight about money management. We’ll also throw out the lifeline to a lucky Stacker who needs our help. This time we help Allie determine annuity options for her work. When you retire, how should you think about your income stream? You’ll want to listen to OG’s answer.
Of course we also feature Doug’s trivia, the back porch, and more!
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Our TikTok Minute
Big thanks to Chuck Wachendorfer for joining us today. To learn more about Chuck, visit Think2Perform.com. Grab yourself a copy of the book Don’t Wait for Someone Else to Fix It: 8 Essentials to Enhance Your Leadership Impact at Work, Home, and Anywhere Else That Needs You.
- On this date in 1980, what band climbed the proverbial stairway to heaven?
Need life insurance? You could be insured in 20 minutes or less and build your family’s safety net for the future. Use StackingBenjamins.com/HavenLife to calculate how much you need and apply.
- Allie has a question for the gang about evaluating her annuity options that you won’t want to miss!
Have a question for the show?
Want more than just the show notes? How about our newsletter with STACKS of related, deeper links?
- Check out The 201, our email that comes with every Monday and Wednesday episode, PLUS a list of more than 19 of the top money lessons Joe’s learned over his own life about money. From credit to cash reserves, and insurance to investing, we’ll tackle all of these. Head to StackingBenjamins.com/the201 to sign up (it’s free and we will never give away your email to others).
Join Us Wednesday!
Tune in on Wednesday when you’ll learn why valuing rookies can make you a better leader with NASA astronaut, Dr Mike Massimino.
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Top 10 Financial Mistakes (SB1443)
Did you guys see what happened Thanksgiving week about uh, Snoop Dogg? Yeah, Snoop Dogg saying he was giving up the smoke and all of his friends come and he said, please respect my privacy. And then a couple days later he’s like, oh, I’m not giving up smoking. I’ve given up smoke. We sit around the campfire with my solo stove.
I’m like, are you kidding? Who sold more solo stoves? Me or Snoop Dogg? I think it’s me.
I totally think it’s me. Absolutely. You didn’t see my post in the basement. I posted that and said, there’s no way Joe isn’t behind this campaign. I’m no, I’m,
I want the cash solo stove. What the hell they doing? It’s ridiculous.
Anyway, you know, it’s not ridiculous how much ridiculous fun I had this weekend being all safe and happy around my solo stove because of the men and women in our armed forces. Armed forces. That’s right. Yeah.
by Ganja Enterprises. I mean,
they clearly haven’t done their homework like solo stove.
I’m so one star. Solo stove, one star. The product is a five star, but their reaction, one star. Anyway, raise your glasses guys. We can complain about that because we have the freedom to do so because the men and women are armed forces. Here’s to you Hoorah, men and women on behalf of the men and women at Navy Federal Credit Union and the Men and Women making podcast in mom’s basement.
Giddy up. Can I
refill your eggnog for you? Get you
something to eat. Drive you out to the middle of nowhere. Leave you for dead. No, I’m doing just fine, Clark.
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. Today you’ll learn how to be a better leader in your family or your team with the president of Think to Perform Chuck Wado In our headlines, an investing legend has passed away. We’ll pay our respects and for our TikTok minute, what’s more painful than childbirth? What if you’re delivering a charcuterie board?
Plus we’ll throw out the lifeline to Lucky Stacker Alley, who wants to know how to take her retirement distribution. And then on top of all of that, I’ll share some heavy trivia. And now two guys who are always rambling on with the best personal finance advice. It’s Joe and oh,
can’t stop this. Wagon, train Doug. Hey everybody. Welcome to the Stacky Benjamin Show. I’m Joe Sal. See hi, average Joe Money on Twitter. On x, on uh, threads on uh, what else? We got OG on Facebook. Insta, Insta. The Insta Snap. Do you do Snapchat? You do Snap? I’m not on Snap. No, I’m not
OG barely does. Like smartphone to any of that stuff.
Load social media.
I am now on month 13 of not opening. In fact, it’s not laughable. When people send me stuff from Instagram, Doug sends me videos from Instagram that are his screenshot of him videoing the video from Instagram. So he knows I get it ’cause Right, because if he sends me a link to Instagram, I
don’t click on it.
There’s a couple of people that, I only have two people in my life that do not do social media and it’s such a pain in the ass because then I have to record, I have to play the video and do the record thing on the iPhone and then send the
people the video. I just, I just let him not be in on the joke.
Doug. That’s what I do. I’m like, I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for your nonsense. Get with 1997, man. No, actually, how great would it be to just go back to flip phone? Wouldn’t that be awesome? That’s what I’m telling you. Like mine have to press the button three times to get to the letter C.
Yeah. Wouldn’t that be
Testing would go down a lot, wouldn’t it? Uh oh
yeah. Yeah. The text. Lot less message messages
from Doug. That’d be nice. Here’s what I’d
messaged. Doug. Let me tell you guys, Doug, this is exact. If we’d flip phone, this is the exact message I would send you.
That sounds like Morris Code.
Do it again. Lemme see if I can figure out what it said.
Oh, check it out. Hold on.
Did you just say Morris Code? Like Morris the cat? Yes. Morris.
It’s two S’s at the end.
Who are you to be complaining? Doug. You said charcuterie. It’s Coterie.
Charcuterie. It’s a coer. It’s right there. It’s, that’s how it’s spelled.
Look, I’m the pro here at
reading. We got a, uh, guy who knows a lot about leadership. We know personally that he knows about a lot about leadership. We are both OG people who have worked extensively with, uh, this gentleman and saw his incredible leadership. Do remember, if you wonder, do, is
Lou Tuxedo at the Christmas party?
do. Uh, we’re talking of course about leadership expert Chuck Wafer Yeah. Is going to be joining us. And I gotta say, if you’re wondering what leadership has to do with money. Well, we’re gonna kind of cover that in the headline because if, if you’re somebody who wants to earn a lot of money, I think you really need to up your, your leadership game.
If you’re somebody leading the house at home, the charge at home, I think there’s a lot to do there. ’cause as we talked about before, stack and Benjamin’s a lot more than just about investing. It’s definitely a lot about leadership. So all that, but First Man, a headline We never wanted to bring you, but we all know someday this is gonna happen.
So let’s do it. Hello Darlings. And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show, our Stacking Benjamin’s headlines. This headline comes to you from, I think, every major publication on earth. We’ll take ours from, uh, uh, CNN because I actually like this story. Charlie Munger’s, best quotes on Investing Life and everything in between.
If you have been in a cave somewhere or you’re OG and doesn’t, uh, look at social media ever. I read the Wall Street Journal
investor every three weeks just to catch up.
Billionaire Investor, Charlie Munger. Vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, longtime friend of Warren Buffet died last Tuesday. He was 99 years, almost made it to a hundred og.
Almost. Almost. He’s actually has a, uh, new book that’s coming out, uh, I believe the last week of this year. Pot? Precisely. Yeah. And I know Charlie was very excited about, about that book, but OG this is a big name to lose.
You know, I read it obviously in a couple of different places and we were reading a lot of articles about it, uh, or about, you know, his passing.
And one of the things that kept coming up was he was the balance to Warren Buffet’s, like outgoing personality. He got a lot of the credit behind the scenes and I think, I think Warren Buffet tried to give him lots of credit in public, but of course he wasn’t the gregarious personality who ate McDonald’s and drank Cherry Coke every day and wanted to be on CNBC and, and host all this stuff.
So he wasn’t necessarily the guy. But, uh, I was reading a story about when they first met and, you know, some of their, uh, background and how they had done some investing similarly, and actually Charlie’s investing partnerships had done better than Warren’s investing partnerships over the period of time where they were kind of competitors.
I don’t know if that’s a way to put it, but, you know, when they weren’t working together and Warren Buffett credits him with kind of changing his philosophy on all of overall his investing strategy, which was buy anything as long as the price is good to buy great companies at a fair price as opposed to any company at a great price.
And that kind of seems like a change the trajectory of Berkshire Hathaway as a, as an organization because prior to them working together. Warren Buffett was like, I’ll buy anything if it’s cheap.
So basically Warren was like a day trader before
showed up. He was, he was his Wallstreet bet’s version of Reddit, I guess.
I don’t know. But um, he
was the only person maybe on earth who could look Warren Buffett in the eye and say, Warren, you’re not thinking about this correctly. Yeah, no. Like, I don’t, there is nobody else on earth I think that could look at Warren Buffet. Well, a lot of people could say it, but he’s the one person.
Yeah, he’s the one person that Warren would actually listen to if he said it.
Yeah. There are some cool stories in there. I’ve got, uh, uh, Warren Buffett’s biography. It’s like 7,000 pages and I have read zero pages of it, but I bet you there’s a lot of good stuff in there about that It might, might crack that this holiday
season just for, well, it’s a definitely a great time to do that because Charlie Munger’s forgotten more about investing than many people.
Even though, uh, Charlie in the last few years, of course we just, I think we’re coming down off the big crypto boom now. I really feel like that’s settling in. I don’t know what to, what to say about the crypto boom, but when they asked, uh, Charlie, his opinion of crypto on CNBC, he got some pushback. And then over and over he would come back with quotes like this.
This is, uh, Charlie Munger on CNBC.
I don’t think there are good arguments against my position. I think the people that oppose my position are idiots and.
And so I don’t think there is a rational argument against my possession. This is an incredible thing. Naturally, people like to run gambling, conceals where other people lose, and the people who invented this crypto Creo, which is my name for it, sometimes I call it crypto crapo, and sometimes I call it.
Well, crypto, it’s just ridiculous that anybody would buy this
stuff. Crypto crapo,
to be fair, it is up 130% over the last year, but yeah. But you know, you had to take it on the chin to get the, the plus one 30, you know, in the last 12 months, but that’s right. I know that there was some crypto crappo. I’m, I’m gonna, I’m crypto, I’m gonna hang on
to that one.
I like the long pause
Doug. We asked our stackers in Mom’s basement, which is our Facebook group about this, and I know they had some stuff to say.
Yeah, we got a number of responses there. Uh, Tom Arberg said in my whole hi, his favorite quote was, in my whole life, I have known no wiser people over broad subject matter area who didn’t read all the time.
None. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads and at how much I read. My children laugh at me, they think. I think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out. But, uh, so it sounds like Tom really took Charlie’s advice literally, and he reads all of
the time. I think it’s so important. I, I think it is so, so important.
I know both of you guys read all the
time. Yep, yep. Do, definitely
do. I don’t think OG can get anywhere without working on sharpening the saw. You gotta keep sharpening that
saw. Yeah. I’ve gone through the whole Richie Rich catalog and I’m circling back around and starting over again and I’m also layering in some Archie in the gang good as well.
So it’s really, you can get so much from those. Uh, Dan Anderson posted this one is paraphrased but was similar to, he would rather hire a person with 150 iq, who thinks it’s really one 30 then a person with 150 IQ who thinks it’s really one 70.
That’s absolutely fabulous.
I love little humility.
Oh, absolutely. Well, and I love this, we talked about last week guys, about, you know, this rat race where we think that if we just have a little more money, like if we just make a little more, if we just have a little more, if we just get a little more, that we’re gonna be better off.
This was Charlie’s take on all that, which this is a riff on my favorite quote from Charlie, which he talked about this topic quite a bit. The world
is not driven by greed, it’s driven by envy. So the fact that everybody’s five times better off than they used to be, they take it for granted. All they think about is somebody else has having more now, and it’s not fair than he should have it, and they don’t.
That’s the reason that God came down and told Moses that you couldn’t envy your neighbor’s wife or even his donkey. And so it built into the nature of things. It’s weird for somebody my age because I was in the middle of the Great Depression. The hardship was unbelievable. I was safer walking around Omaha in the evening than I am in my own neighborhood in Los Angeles after all this great wealth and so
You know, one thing I hate about trying to get audio off a TikTok video is it comes with its music soundtrack as well, but, uh, I think Munger there OG pointing out something. It doesn’t matter how much you have, if your neighbor has more and you’re always looking at what your neighbor’s got, you always like, Ooh, look at that shiny thing.
Yeah. Well, and that’s really the biggest, the biggest risk with everything is the comparison tool. You know, because there’s always, I mean, literally, unless you’re Warren Buffett or Charlie Bunker, or Elon Musk or Bezos, right? Like there’s always somebody that has, well,
and the way OG fights that Joe is, he’s just the neighbor that has all of the stuff, and then he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to worry.
People know it’s, the struggle is real.
The struggle is real, though. I know the great way to not be envious of anybody else if I already own it. You know what’s funny though
is that I even noticed this in an article a couple of weeks ago, or maybe over the Thanksgiving break where. People were Poo-pooing Bill Gates because he had sold some of his Microsoft stock.
You know, obviously he sold some over the years, right? He is, you know, diversified his investments and whatnot, and people were like, what a loser. If he’d just hold onto it, he’d be with a trillion dollars. Right Now. It’s like even Bill Gates, who at one point in time I imagine was the richest guy in the world and now is in the top whatever, 20 probably or some significantly high number, there’s still articles going.
Yeah, he sucks. He sucks, man.
It’s like, what would’ve killed it? He could’ve been number 18 if he just stayed focused.
What a loser. He had sold some of his stuff and bought a house. What a dork.
I think still though, og the point that you can, you know, stack Benjamins or stack stuff just because your neighbor owns it is a nice lesson.
Yep. Yeah. I don’t know how, how do you transition to the TikTok minute off of Charlie Munger passing away? I have, well, do
you have a favorite quote, Joe? Did you already? Well, my
favorite is on that topic of envy. I wanted to play that because that is definitely my favorite. He said it very succinctly. I put it in the Facebook group in the basement, the exact quote that I had.
But it was really Doug. I mean, you’ve gotta, I think right in front of you, it’s pretty much a riff on what we talked about.
Yeah. Right. You know, my favorite, I, it’s, maybe you could say it, it is in that same category of, you know, how do you handle, uh, or prevent yourself from getting envious. And my favorite is when he said, uh, you know, it’s okay, grandpa.
I bet those golden tickets make the chocolate taste terrible. That was, that was my favorite
Oh, that’s good. That is, there’s so many great, uh, organisms. You can join our Facebook group if you’re in there. Uh, please add yours. I think it’s a nice, uh, fitting tribute. That we’ve got going on there and um, man, we’re gonna miss Charlie Munger.
I feel like guys, that that type of, um, that type of common sense thinking that Charlie had, oh gee, I think we need a lot more of that. I agree. I. So back to, how the hell do I transition to
the TikTok? This is super easy. Just don’t do transitional material. Oh, Doug knows that I don’t do it. You just go. And now, and now
it’s time for our TikTok minute, the time when we take a look at some incredible, or maybe air quotes, incredible creator on TikTok.
And we ask the question, is this brilliant or is it air quotes? Brilliant. Doug, we’ll ask you today. You think we’re gonna get some brilliance or some air quotes? Brilliance?
No. Brilliant. Oh, this is, yeah. Well, this is 170 level iq.
Every once in a while we find one that’s very much like a TikTok, but someplace else, a Tina on our team who does an amazing job curating our videos for YouTube and for social media.
Tina found this, uh, as a Facebook reel.
Find everything you need today. Yeah, great. Okay.
Everything okay, ma’am? Oh, it’s just
only scanned a few items and it’s already 60 bucks. I’m so
Okay. I’m a trained professional, ma’am. I’ve scanned a lot of groceries. I need
you to stay with me.
It’s just that my in-laws are in town and
board. This isn’t gonna
be easy, so I need you to be brave. All right.
What’s your name? Patricia. Patricia.
All right. I need you to take a deep breath. We’re about to do the
Oh my God.
Why do we have to be a Boulder Son’s
house? Don’t look up there. It only makes it worse. Keep your eyes on me. Okay?
you just scan
expensive? I can, but let’s not forget.
It’s the little things that add up. All right? Now, brace yourself. I’m about to do the mix
nuts. Oh my God. I’m gonna pass
Bite down on this cia, get ready. I’m gonna do the cured meats.
No, stop. I can’t do this anymore.
It’s too late. There’s a line behind you. Okay? You’re locked in. I’m not strong enough.
I know it looks like a
now, but I
promise you, you’re gonna get home and you’re gonna
wonder, what did I even buy?
You’ve got this. Patricia, get ready. I’m
gonna weigh the great, oh, what have you done
Okay. Your total is 257 84.
No, you gotta dig deep. This is the hardest part, Patricia. It’s
The pain is real.
It’s like when you go to Costco, like I bought
what I wasn’t trying to buy for the people behind me. I just wanted to buy my own
groceries. That’s that bit from, uh, the progressive commercial where he is at the salad bar. The guy goes, that’ll be 1961. He goes, oh no, I’m just paying for mine.
Yeah, I love that. I’m a hundred percent gonna use that next time I’m out because that, that really resonates with me. We went to Costco and my middle kid nailed the Costco price to the dollar. Wow. Like in terms of like, this is how much this is gonna be. I don’t know if he was doing it in his head or maybe on his phone to see what’s as we were going through and nobody was paying attention, but he got it on the button and it was always like, when you go to Costco, it’s like, oh, I’m just gonna go in and grit some, uh, I just need toilet paper and some peanut m and msm and it’s like, so I bought some of that homemade mac and cheese, uh, six cases of Perrier, um, 14 dozen eggs, a pecan pie.
They looked amazing. And uh, some filets and a brisket and that’s it. And six pounds of Turkey. A whole bunch of those little frozen cupcake things that you can microwave.
Thanks to Tina, our team, 17 pounds of coffee for, for sending that our way. Thanks. Also, by the way, to, I mentioned that Tina does YouTube videos.
Also, Dan, Dan and Tina together, do our YouTube videos. Go check out, uh, this video and more over on our YouTube page. Also, if you wanna dive deeper into some of the mongers out there and leadership, the topic we’re about to talk about, subscribe to our 2 0 1 newsletter, Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1.
It’s always free. Always comes out the day after our Monday, Wednesday shows, which would be Tuesday, Thursday, if my math is correct, if that still holds. Uh, if math still makes sense, that’s the deal. Stack Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1 coming up is a leader who og you and I know very, very well. He actually led us when we were both with American Express in Detroit.
He has consulted with some of the biggest companies with, uh, government agencies. Some of the best and brightest have learned from our next guest. Chuck Wafer is joining us. And, uh, on top of all that, og, he’s got a name that’s fun to say. Wdo.
That is kind of cool. Yeah, it sounds like you’re still angling to get a raise from this guy.
You’ve just pumped him up so much you’ve. Well, if he’s, does he want a promotion
too? If he’s on the show? I mean, on Mondays and Wednesdays, we wanna bring it, and I gotta tell you something that I dislike, Doug, I dislike when people like, oh, I’d like to introduce you to my next guest, my neighbor. And I’m like, I don’t care what your neighbor thinks about this.
Like, we gotta curate top people for our stackers. And, uh, man, it was a privilege to work with this guy and I’m super happy that we have him on. So, yeah. Yeah, I want to tell you why it’s not just that we got to work with him and see it firsthand. I think hopefully he’s gonna mentor people pretty damn well.
Okay, so back off pal. Back off.
Okay, fine. I’m, I’m not giving you a raise. How about some trivia? Doug? Okay, fine.
Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, you know, I haven’t been to Las Vegas since I saw Brittany Spears perform there during her residency at Planet Hollywood. Now that my broken heart has finally mended after she ignored my homemade, will you marry me? Sign I. I think I’m finally ready to go back.
You just want Brittany
to do it to you one more time.
Uh, the first time would be great. Actually, I don’t need one more. I need the first time anyway. From Liberace to Barry Manalow to Adele, it seems like one of my favorite musicians is always performing in Vegas. Of course, I’m too young to have seen Liberace, but there’s a rumor in my family that my grandma once hooked up with ’em U too, is the latest band to sign up for a residency in Sin City.
Committing to dozens of shows through next February inside the sphere. That might not sound like very many shows for such a legendary band, but they’ve been together with the original lineups since 1978. That’s 45 years of working and traveling together more than 20 times the length of my longest relationship.
I bet the edge never complained. When Bono left his dirty socks in the living room, did he OG or when he accidentally left the hose running overnight, did he ma Yeah. He doesn’t complain about that. That’s how they stayed. Anyway, which is exactly why they’ve lasted longer than any other rock band in history, which is exactly why they’ve lasted longer than any other rock band in history.
And why I’m packing my bag right after I record this question. Speaking of today’s trivia question is on today’s date in 1980, what band climbed the proverbial stairway to heaven? I’ll be back right after I find my old band’s cassette demo.
Hey there, stackers. I’m former rocker and possible illegitimate grandson of Liberace Joe’s Mom’s neighbor Doug. During the break, I found my old band’s cassette demo and man, we were good. I think I’m gonna send it out to radio stations again. Today’s trivia question is on this date in 1980, what band climbed the proverbial stairway to heaven?
The answer formed in 1968 and considered one of the very first heavy metal bands Led Zeppelin officially split on this day in 1980. And now here to teach you how to be a more positive and impactful leader. It’s Chuck Wafer wafer. It is fun.
You’re right Joe, and I’m super happy we have him here On my dad’s shortwave radio, I’ve interviewed a.
There are very few of our guests I know as well as I know our current guest, Chuck Wafer joins us. How are you man?
It is so great to be here, Joe. It’s been a long time. Our paths, as you mentioned, crossed many years ago and, uh, it’s happy to be back together with you.
I am super happy you’re here. I love this project.
I think that we, especially, you know, as we kick off, what do we have, uh, uh, maybe 40 something weeks until this election, like leadership and, and, uh, truthfulness and integrity, I think are on everybody’s mind right now. Absolutely.
You know, we started writing this book probably in 2018. You know, we’re talking about don’t wait for somebody else to fix it, I think is the Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Point of our conversation today, so don’t wait for somebody else to fix. It is a leadership book, but it’s not a business leadership book. It’s a leadership book. And our, our basic premise, Joe, is everybody’s a leader and we say that because. First of all, we’re influenced by what we read, what we watch, who we, who we hang out with.
And most of our behavior is observable by other people. So we’re both influenced by who we hang out with and what we read, but we’re also influencing and leader leadership at its fundamental level is about influence. And so in 2018, Doug and I are my co-author, Doug Lennick and I were talking about writing a leadership book, and we were also talking about like what was going on in the world at the time.
This is obviously before Covid, but we were lamenting like a lot of the bigger issues in life, I. In the world, frankly, that, that a lot of people were waiting for somebody else to fix.
Absolutely. You know, you and I were at American Express, the same place where you begin this project. We were both in Detroit.
I remember the day of the World Trade Center bombing, which is the first story that you tell. Mm-Hmm. And I remember Chuck, usually I was at work fairly early. I go to the office fairly early, but on this day it was my job to drop off my kids at school. So it was maybe nine 15. I’m rolling in the back stairs at my office in Troy, Michigan, and a guy who, you know, another financial planner named Glen Cooper.
Glenn comes down the back stairs, Chuck, and he says another plane hit the other building. I said Another what? Like what? Like what are you, what are you talking about? I had no idea any of that was happening. Do you remember where you were when the planes hit the World Trade Center?
I was in an Einstein’s walking in.
I was getting ready to fly. It’s crazy. I mean, I’m sure your listeners had the same kind of, I know where I was when this happened, and so I was walking into Einstein and it kind of had a similar thing. Guy walks past me out the thing and he goes, I can’t believe a plane just hit the World Trade Center.
And I was like, what? And as we’re walking in, they hit a TV on. It was probably about nine 15. All of a sudden, I see a second plane fly into the second World Trade Center. I turned to my wife and I said, that’s
not an accident. Well, and I thought, when Glen said it to me, Chuck, I thought it was a Cessna. You know what I mean?
I thought it was a, I had no idea the magnitude of, of what was going on. You and I, you and I then had a front row seat being part of American Express to seeing a leader who has been known, and I think rightfully so, myself, a guy named Ken Chenal at American Express try to navigate this company, which, by the way, the American Express Building right there in New York.
Tell us the story of Ken Schnat dealing with an organization and stepping up in leadership during that time.
There was so many things you can imagine impacted American Express’s business at the time. Not only did they lose employees, not only did they lose their world headquarters, but their entire business model was affected because travel was shut down.
If you remember, the stock market was closed for five days after that, but the first three days after they opened the market stocks fell like a rock. So he’s losing value in the company, he’s losing employees, he’s losing his headquarters, his business is being affected because nobody’s traveling. And here this guy has the wherewithal to bring people together in Madison Square Garden.
And I forget, it was like 5,000, 6,000 people that were traumatized as we all were, but specific, specifically this group of people to talk about, like what they can focus on, how they can begin to fix it, how they can see hope and optimism through this situation. I think it’s a fantastic leadership
Yeah. The fact that he, you know, with all this stuff going on in a deteriorating business at the time to lead with compassion, I felt like he put all that on the back burner and made it, what can I control and how much compassion can I have for these people?
Absolutely. And we all get stuck. Things happen in life, you know, bad stuff happens to good people.
And a leader’s responsibility, or part of a leader’s responsibility is to help people get unstuck. So whether it’s my family, my school, my company, my neighborhood, whatever, you know, part of what a leader does is to help people get unstuck, is demonstrate empathy. And empathy, I think is most underappreciated by leaders is empathy’s about recognizing how someone’s feeling.
It’s not sympathy, sympathies that feel what you feel empathy’s, that recognize what you feel. And if I recognize you’re emotional, you’re upset, you’re overwhelmed, you’re frustrated, you’re angry. Then I can say, Joe, tell me more about that. We can talk about it, we can deal with it. And that’s what Ken
One of my favorite plot lines, by the way, from uh, just popular TV, is when a leader totally misses out an empathy. Chuck, I was watching Mythic Quest last night, which is, it’s a hilarious romp on Apple tv, but the leader is, she’s showing off her Porsche to this woman who makes far less money than she does.
And you can see the total disconnect and, and the person actually getting angry that, that the leaders showing off, showing off this perk. You make the point very early, though. It doesn’t have to be the leader of American Express. You don’t have to lead the free world. You talk about, uh, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, some of these big iconic people.
But Chuck, you also talk about people who are much more people we’ve never heard of. And I’d love for you to tell a couple of these stories. I’d love for you to tell us about a guy named, uh, Danny Bavaria, if you don’t
mind. Danny Paria was a guy who fought in World War ii, came home and wanted to make a difference in his community in Pennsylvania, and started a a league for women’s basketball like junior high and high school.
And he focused on not necessarily getting everybody prepared to play in college or the Olympics. I mean, unfortunately, I think a lot of, uh, kids sports in the United States, everybody thinks their kids going to the Olympics. And not that he didn’t want help girls get better at basketball, but he was about helping them improve as people.
Not necessarily if they played college basketball, that was great, but he, instead of taking people’s money as many kids’ sports do, you’re gonna be on a travel team, a club team, ’cause we’re gonna get you to the next level. He was all about like making sure they were good people, they were great players, they were well-rounded, and he wanted to make an impact in his community.
And that was really the essence of the, of the book was. This is appealing to anybody, anywhere to make a difference in your own life or in the lives of people that you care about. So we interviewed Olympic coaches, polar explorers, people like Danny every day, normal people that focused on what they could do instead of waiting for somebody else to fix it.
What can I do in my own life, in my own community to make that positive difference? And that’s really what the world
needs more of today. You know, a lot of times I feel like we think that we’re not close enough to the event, right? You see these people that step up after an event. So you talked about Ken Chanel being right there in New York, so of course he’s right there and his people are right there.
So he has to, but you guys even talk about that at the beginning before we just, I wanna get into the tactics in a second, but just, I think this is even a big point. A woman named Kristen Proco not involved at all with some of the shootings that have happened, but these deeply affected her, and she just decides she’s out in the middle of somewhere else, Chuck, and just decides, you know what?
It’s my time. Talk about that.
It’s what can I do to make a difference? And Kristen took a stance on, on gun control and impacting her community there to say, I can’t maybe change laws. I can’t necessarily influence Congress in my, but what can I do? And I think that’s the question. We want people to be aware of us instead of waiting, what can I do in my little community, in my little to make a positive difference?
There’s 7 billion people on the planet. If we had a third of them thinking about what can I do every single day to make a positive difference? One of my favorite books out recently is a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. And it’s all about stopping bad habits and starting good ones. And one of the principles he leaves people with is getting 1% better.
Could I get 1% better today than I was yesterday? Maybe I can’t do 50 pushups, but I could do one. Maybe I can’t change gun control or I can’t change the economy. I’m not the president of the United States, but could I demonstrate an act of kindness today to help somebody? And that’s the ripple effect we’re trying to talk about.
And the eight essentials. And there’s a number of them in there that we talk about. And we use people in everyday walks of life to illustrate these eight essentials. Aim to be your ideal self, right? None of us is perfect, but aiming to be my ideal self. Most of us wanna be our ideal self more often, but it begins with me knowing my values.
So we talk about how you under, how you identify and understand your top five values, you know, how do I do that? Because if I live my values more often, I’m making that positive impact in my life and the lives of those around us. Knowing my real self, none of us is perfect. We’re not, the point is not perfect perfection.
It’s about progress. So if I know who I hope to be ideally, and I pay attention to who I am, really I can begin to close that gap. We’re gonna make mistakes, but could I make less mistakes? Could I correct those mistakes a little faster? Could I be a more positive influence? We think the answer to those questions is
Well, let’s dive into a four step process that you have, because I think there’s a lot of people listening. Chuck says, sounds great, I’m ready to go. Dunno where to start. You don’t start where I thought you’d start. You start with self-awareness first. Mm-Hmm. Being, being aware of yourself. Why do you start there?
because in order to be more effective with other people, this is the, what we call the leadership logic chain. There’s four steps to it. The leadership logic chain is, if I wanna be more effective with other people, I gotta do the best job of managing my own behavior. Managing my own behavior begins with me.
Making better choices. Making better choices is grounded in self-awareness. So it’s almost counterintuitive. For me to build a regret relationship with you, the person I have to pay the most attention to is me. And oh, by the way, this is also true about your money. I know we’re talking about Stacking Benjamins here today.
87% of portfolio growth, not portfolio performance. 87% of portfolio growth is saving and investing behavior. So what I decide to do with my money has the most impact on how much money I’m going to have, not the market, not the economy. You know, it’s, it’s what I do with my money, how much I save and invested, how long I stay invested.
So people worry about stuff that’s going on in the market, but what they fail to pay attention to sometimes is, how much money am I spending? How much money am I saving? How long am I investing? And so that’s kind of the leadership logic claim chain applied to people’s finances. If I pay attention to what I’m doing with my money, I’ll probably make better choices with it.
And we make 35,000 decisions a day. I don’t know if that surprises anybody. Surprise hell outta me. Most of them we don’t think about like going to Starbucks and buying a $5 cup of coffee. Yeah, yeah. That’s a decision I make. I might make every single day, five days a week, every week of the year. That’s a lot of money and we all have things like that, but then I can start paying attention to it.
So the motto you’re talking about, but in terms of decision making are the four Rs. So it’s recognize, which is self-awareness. What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What am I doing right Back to decision making, you know, I’m gonna ask your audience, how many of you believe stupid is optional? Stupid is only optional if I notice and pay attention to myself.
So if I notice I’m getting upset, I can then make stupid optional that leads to the second R, which is reflecting. So I know I’m getting upset. That’s recognized. What am I thinking? How am I feeling? What am I doing? That’s the human experience of of life. Thought is linear. Feelings are more than one.
Actions are either voluntary or involuntary. So feelings aren’t good or bad. Emotions aren’t good or bad. It’s what I do with the emotion that makes it good or bad. If I notice I’m getting emotional, I can then move to the second D because what we know about emotions, emotions tend to sacrifice accuracy for speed.
They want us to respond very quickly and are usually wrong. So the worst time to make any important decision, and I’ve at least listened to some of your previous episodes. I think there’s a family that decided they were gonna go to Hawaii and sump themselves into a, a whole lot of debt. They went to Hawaii because they were emotional.
It’s exciting to go to Hawaii, and when we act on those emotions, our emotions tend to sacrifice accuracy for speed. So I don’t care if it’s excitement or euphoria or anger or frustration. Those high energy emotions jeopardize our decision making. So the second jar is reflection. If I can reflect on what’s important to me, my values, my goals, what’s really important to me, I calm down.
And when I calm down, I can think more clearly. It’s why the people say sleep on it. When you sleep on a big decision, when calm down and you engage the rational thinking part of your brain. So now when I’m calmer, I think about what’s important, what I’m grateful for, who I love. I can think more rationally.
And that leads to the third R, which is reframing.
Well, and this is a great idea just to stop for just one second. During the holiday season, I mean, yes, everybody, everybody’s buying crazy crap for everybody else. And, and, and it’s very natural. Then Chuck to go, Hey, you know what? I’m buying all this stuff for everybody else.
I see this thing’s on sale. I’m just gonna throw that into my cart. Which is why I think it makes a ton of sense what you’re saying. Leave it in your cart overnight. Look at it the next day and go, come on. I need my rational brain attached, not just the, oh my God, that thing’s on sale and I can buy, buy myself some fun.
Here’s this holiday season. This
is an important tool to use right now. Right? We, we had a discussion. I was with a bunch of friends over the weekend, and somebody asked the question, what was your favorite gift as a kid growing up? And here’s the interesting thing, there’s probably five or six of us nobody could remember.
So to put gift giving in perspective, I’m not saying don’t give a gift. I’m saying don’t risk your financial future for a gift that maybe 10 or 20 years ago they might not remember. And so that leads to the third R, which is reframing. Now what I’m logical and calm, I can think about, well, I don’t have to spend that much money to impress somebody on the gift I’m going to give them that I really can’t afford.
Maybe there are other options here. Maybe it’s an act of kindness or an act of service. Maybe it’s a less expensive gift to not jeopardize myself financially. That’s reframing. We’re exploring the options, evaluating the trade-offs, but you can only do that when you’re in the right state of mind, when you’re calm and less emotional.
And I know Amazon and all kinds of stuff will send us alerts. There’s things in your cart, Joe. Yeah. You know, that stuff’s getting way, you know, if you don’t buy it now, it’s not gonna make it there by Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever. Well, Chuck,
and part of that reframing for me was, and I think this is good advice for everybody, I turned off my alerts.
Sometimes it drives my wife crazy because when I turn ’em all off, I turn ’em all off and then I have to check my phone. But man, when there were alerts on my phone, it was always somebody selling me something, like consistently selling me. And I wouldn’t even think I needed it, Chuck, until somebody said, Hey, guess what?
Guess what? It’s on sale today. Believe it or not. Yeah.
It’s not how much money you make, it’s how you spend it. You know, when we were financial advisors, I remember I, I started my career in Dallas and we used to say the other, the competition in Dallas were not the other financial advisors in town. It was the car dealerships, the shopping malls, the furniture galleries, all the stuff that we think we need in air quotes, can’t live without, and then you can’t even remember it.
You know, why did I buy that? It’s about how much money you spend and how much you can save and invest. That’s stuff that’s in our
control. I wanna remind everybody before you give us the fourth hour, Chuck. This is a conversation, guys that we’re having about leadership and the fact that leadership begins with you.
And Chuck and I have spent so much time talking about it beginning with you. It’s very difficult to lead others unless you begin to lead yourself. And I think for a lot of us, Chuck is this big aha that maybe we, maybe we need. Yeah. Leadership
begins at home. That’s what we like to say. And so if I don’t lead myself well, and think about people in your own life, people who have poor relationships.
You know, don’t do a good job with their money, don’t have any money. It’s usually because they manage, they don’t manage themselves very well. And so we begin with self-leadership. If I do a good job of managing myself, then my influence with my money and with other people will grow. And that’s what the eight essentials focus on is.
What can I specifically do? We, we wanted this book to be a workbook, a book that people can use. So there’s tools in there, there’s exercises. It’s not theoretical, it’s not, you know, big picture. We drill it down to behaviors. If I want my life to be different tomorrow, it begins with knowing what behaviors I have to change today.
And that leads to the fourth A, which is responding. I don’t have to make all 35,000 decisions a day better, but if I made one or two better choices. Maybe it’s the stuff I have in my Amazon cart. Maybe I don’t go to Starbucks every day. You know, those kinds of things. Those little tweaks can begin to change and impact my life.
That’s the ripple effect that James Clear talks about. In Atomic Habits. It’s getting 1% better. And so that’s really the four Rs. It’s recognize, reflect, reframe, respond. They happen to be alphabetical. That’s the way I remember them. Ref recognizes playing the freeze. What am I thinking, feeling? Am I doing?
If I notice I’m emotional, I gotta play the second R, which is reflecting. Reflecting helps me calm down. When I’m calm, I can then explore my options. I don’t have to buy all the stuff on my Amazon cart. Could I downsize some of it? Could I save some of it for a birthday later? That leads to a better decision in responding.
You have a personal story about this, about you being exhausted every day, that kind of is you working through this. And I think this is something a lot of us feel right now. We feel kind of exhausted. We feel a little overwhelmed. Tell us this story, Chuck, about you complaining about being, being gassed every day.
You know, I was at the end of the day, one day it was, and I was sitting on the back deck with my wife and we were talking about our days and she was asking me about mine and I was telling her, and I did the end of it. I just said, you know, I’m just worn out and exhausted. And she goes, you know, you say that a lot.
And I said, no, I don’t. And she goes, yeah, you do. And convinced I was right. What do you think? I started paying attention to how often I said it. And what do you think I realized? You say it a lot. She was right. Like people say, how you doing, Chuck? And I’ll be like, I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m worn out. Well.
It wasn’t even my own self-awareness. It was my wife’s pointing out, heightening my self-awareness. I started paying attention to why was I worn out and exhausted? Well, I was doing stuff I didn’t like with people I didn’t respect. So then what do you think I started to do? Change that. But we tend to do what we’ve always done.
Most of our lives. We live out of a part of our brain called the basal ganglia. That’s the habit center part of our brain. And what happens is every pattern in, in of behavior that we have is a pattern, because at some point it worked for us. And what happens is as we get older and our lives change, some of those patterns hold us back.
They stopped working. So I worked with a very, very successful business owner years ago who made a lot of money, but miserable. I mean, literally, the guy would work all day long, get home at eight o’clock, eat a quick dinner, and work at his desk until he fell asleep, and he would wake up at three o’clock in the morning.
In his home office on his desk. Is this,
is this Randy in the book?
Uh, no, not Randy. This guy’s name was Jeff. Okay. I think
you, okay, well, we’ll get to Randy next because I wanted to actually use Randy to tie together, but I love this. Keep going. I’m sorry. So
anyways, I said, Jeff, where did you learn that you have to work like this and Jeff, with any, I don’t, any hesitation says Jeff.
Jeff says to me, I’m dyslexic. And so to get through college, I had to work two or three times as hard as everybody else to get through college. And that’s what Jeff needed to get through school. But Jeff’s 45 years old. He makes millions of dollars he didn’t need, but he continued this pattern of behavior and he was miserable.
He was lonely. He had no relationships, no family, only work. But that was a pattern. He started in his twenties. Randy was the same, same way. Also a successful guy. But Randy says to me, you know, in five years I gotta stop doing this ’cause I’m burnt. I’m burnt out. I said, Randy, well why don’t we give some of your responsibility to the people on your team?
And he goes, well, that’s my job. I said, well, Randy, do some people, some of the people on your team want your job? He goes, yeah. I said, well, maybe giving them some of your job now would be opportunities for them to grow and develop. He goes, I never thought about it that way. I said, so let’s give these 15 balls you have in the air.
Let’s give half of them to some of the people on your team. Let them grow and develop. And Randy says, well, I don’t know what I would do with my time. I said, well, what is it you’ve always wanted to do? He goes, I wanted to be a pilot. I said, well, what if you took Pilot Flying Lessons? He goes, I love that idea.
I said, okay. Literally within a year, the guy bought himself his own airplane. Yeah, but it’s like this. We tend to do what we’ve always done. And if you believe that when you’re happy or you do better, paying attention to when you’re happy is really
important. I love those stories. I love the way that you practice self-care so that you can take care of other people.
Randy did the same. You know, I was thinking as you were telling Randy’s story, Chuck, was that, you know, we, we heard today people like attentional. You also talk about in your book about how Randy is a very conscientious leader. People love working for him. He doesn’t wanna give stuff to people ’cause he’s so worried that he’s pushing his task off on them, that he does more himself, which makes him the type of person people wanna work with.
He’s gonna carry his load. But when you turn that around and you go, you’re keeping them from their own development. Something that truly is gonna be legacy building maybe for, you know, for your company, or let’s even broaden this. If you’re a parent, you’re not letting your kids make some mistakes. You’re not giving them the opportunity to grow.
So whether it’s a family, a company, your community, whatever it is, it’s a hard thing to get. Chuck that doing less is sometimes doing more.
Yeah. The question is, am I helping people or hurting people? Am I holding them back or am I helping them grow and develop? In order to grow and develop, we have to get uncomfortable.
You know, most of us perceive comfort over discomfort. I get that. But when we pursue comfort all the time, we stop growing. And not only do we stop growing, so do the people around us. And so I have to be willing to get outta my comfort zone. In Randy’s story, he was willing to get out of his comfort zone.
He didn’t know what to do with his free time. That was what was holding him back. He didn’t wanna impose on other people. But when he, when he changed his perspective, when he changed what he thought about, back to reframing, when he saw that holding all these tasks, not only made his own life miserable, but he denied growth opportunities for the people on his team.
He was like a big shift. He is like, okay, I got it. And now the guy, ’cause the guy was, when Randy and I were talking, Randy was in his late forties. You know, Randy’s gonna, he’s got a much longer runway ’cause he’s enjoying his life. You know, being selfish isn’t a bad thing. But to, to what you said earlier, if I don’t take, do a good job of taking care of myself, I can’t take care of other people.
Not long term. I can’t.
The book is Don’t wait for someone else to fix it. Eight Essentials to enhance your leadership impact at Work, home, and anywhere else that needs you. The uh, what’s funny is we, we only got to the beginning. We got to the, it begins at home, Chuck, to your point, but the book looks like available everywhere,
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, audible, Kindle Hard Copy. I don’t know if it’s in paperback yet, but it’s available wherever. You might buy books, however form you’d like to buy it. It’s a great gift for people. As we’re coming up on the holiday season, you might have people that would benefit from better Self, self-leadership, and I said, it’s not a business book.
It’s about can I make a more positive impact in my own life, in the lives of the people that I care about? The answer is yes. Hey,
is Andy Hill from the Marriage, kids and Money Podcast, and when I’m not singing Disney karaoke songs with my kids at home. I’m Stacking Benjamins.
So great to see Chuck again.
It was, it’s like old times like, uh Sir. Yes sir. Sir, yes. Exactly. Yes.
I’ll get back on the phone. I’m sorry. Can
we just do this interview real quick? Would you like me to take care of that for you, Chuck? It is great, but you know what was even better and I’m so happy that we had Chuck on because I think our average stacker, looking at the headline for today’s show going into the interview was sure that Chuck was gonna talk about, okay, you know, if you’re leading the family, this is what you tell your kids.
This is how you lay it out. This is the, these are the rules you create. This is the and OG, we got none of that. We got none of that. I love that there’s a deeper foundation than that and I don’t know that really hit home for me,
if you look at some of the old kind of classic. Leadership stuff, right? Like take Franklin Covey, the first part of Franklin Covey is all about building the foundation for yourself right?
Before you had the ability to build on other people. So, you know, you can’t, in the military, in any organization, if the, if the captain’s not willing to do the dishes, then how are you gonna get the kitchen guys to do the dishes? You know, like you have to demonstrate it and have a good foundation of self-leadership before you have the opportunity to have other
Leadership. You know, I’ve talked in the past about how you hear one of our mentors say something that might be just their thing, their cool, neat spin on stuff, but you hear things over and over that there’s a lot of truth there. And the story that he told about Randy and Randy wanting to make sure he picked up his load and always do his part so that his team saw him do his part and Chuck telling him, Hey, Randy.
If you’re feeling burnout, you need to delegate stuff to these people. You’re holding people back by doing more. That’s the same type of training that we’ve been getting at Strategic Coach. Like there’s the paradox of leadership is sometimes less is a hell of a lot more because you actually get outta the way and let people do their thing.
let people do their thing. Yeah. And grow. That’s a
hundred percent right. Not only do what they’re good at, but also then grow and get better. So you don’t have to do it anymore, but it’s that ability to restrain yourself to not say, I can do this better and faster, so I’m just gonna do it. That’s the challenge I think, of being a great leader.
Yeah. Doug’s right, Doug’s right. And what’s interesting is that in your organization, whether it’s, you know, your family, like you were talking about earlier, or you know, your entrepreneur organization, whatever it is, the people around you want to do that stuff. They want they, they want more responsibility.
They wanna have career growth and skill growth and all that sort of stuff too. And the only way that you’re gonna be able to grow is by getting rid of the stuff that. Is limiting you and giving them, you know, it’s like this waterfall effect of, in order to find the time to move to the next level for yourself or for your organization, you have to find ways to get rid of the stuff that you’re already doing so you can do more things.
There’s just not more time in the day to be able
to do it. Yeah. But that’s actually really, that’s another great point is then that will give you time to get better. But more importantly, Steve, uh, I think probably the most, the, the biggest thing that OG just said there, maybe in the history of the show, uh, was Doug’s right.
So can you just make a clip of that and can we have that available to play? Numerous times throughout future episodes. Just, yeah, Doug. He said it twice actually. Yeah, Doug’s right? Doug’s right. So we need to, yeah, we need to capitalize on that. Hey, let’s throw
out the lifeline and help a stacker get better with their money.
If you’ve got a question for OG and I, this is a segment where we answer your question and hopefully help you stack more Benjamins, send your question to Stacking Benjamins dot com slash voicemail. And actually don’t send it, just go to that URL my first time using the computer thingy, Stacking Benjamins dot com slash voicemail.
And uh, leave your question. And you know what? For being brave, we will also send you some sweet Stacking Benjamins Greatest Money show on Earth Swag. I know you’re welcome. But we are super thankful for our stackers that have called in, especially for the one who called in today, which is. Ally.
Hi, this is Ally and I have more questions about annuities.
I have a cash balance retirement plan that at retirement age, I can either take a full cash out of 1.1 million or I can get $8,000 a month for the rest of my life. Given that my grandparents have all lived into their nineties and one lived to be 103, I think I have longevity in the family. I’m also in very good help and very good shape, so I think I will live for a long time.
I also am not married. I’m divorced. I have one son. I also have plenty of money in a 4 0 3 B, so I’m not worried about. What I’m going to leave for him once I pass away. So it seems to make the most sense to take the annuity at $8,000 a month because of using the 4% rule. That 1.1 million, I’d only be getting about 40,000 a year, whereas the annuity, I would be getting $96,000 a year.
Am I missing something? Thanks so much,
Ali. Thank you so much to you, by the way, also. Thank you. Uh, to the dog who had to make the cameo at the end. I always like it when somebody does a cameo. You, you know the people that, that photo bomb. I love how your dog’s like, wait, you’re on the Stacky Benjamin Show.
I gotta get in on that. I gotta get, it’s like an exclamation point. Yeah. I liked it. If I can get in on that, that’s, and you know what? He’s telling all the other dogs next time he’s barking, he’s like, no, no, no. I was on Stacking Benjamins. You should have heard it. It was amazing. She called. Yes. And I got my big moment.
So congrats to your dog for now being famous. But, uh, let’s talk about this 8,000 a month. Versus 1.1 million. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great problem to have, Ellie, this is, this is my kind of problem. These are the types of decisions that I, uh, love to have to make. I think there’s
some additional questions here that we have to answer before we can get to what is the right choice.
And, and really the first one is, how far away are we from making this decision? Annuity companies, pension companies, whatever you want to call ’em, are notorious for printing out statements that go, Hey, by the way, when you’re 65, you’re gonna have this amount of money and you’re gonna get this amount of money, and this is how much you’re gonna get forever and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, when you’re like 31.
And so if you’re a young person and you’re seeing these pension calculations, I totally think it’s fine to put it in your plan. And I totally think it’s fine to put if even some of it in your plan in terms of the different parameters, right? I, I, I don’t know if I’m gonna take the income or I’m gonna take the lump sum or whatever.
We have to recognize that the lump sum is gonna be largely determined based on what interest rates are when you go to retire. So if you’re gonna retire tomorrow, and these are the numbers that you’ve been given, and hey, these are the facts of the case as of today, then we’ve got a different way to think about this, I think than, Hey, I’m 45, or I’m 35, or I’m 55 and I’ve got 10 or 20 or 30 years, and this is what the projections are telling me because they’re projecting it based on today’s interest rates when we don’t know what the interest rates are gonna be.
And basically the lower the interest rate, the higher the lump sums gonna be. So we’re in a pretty high-ish interest rate environment right now, uh, relative to, you know, recent experience. So if you’re seeing, you know, 1.1 million based on today’s interest rates, and this may be a decision 10 years from now, you may have a totally different number based on, you know, what interest rates are going to be in the future, which you obviously don’t know.
The calculation from the pension, the payout is usually pretty accurate because it’s like literally like, we’re just gonna assume this is your pay raise, you know, and here’s what you’re gonna get, you know, your top three and multiplied out, and it’s just a big math problem. But the lump sum is really largely determined by interest rates.
So that’s gonna be question number one. The other question that I have around the annuity payout is, what is that income stream gonna do over time? You know, so let’s say that you’re 60 years old today, or 65 and you’re like, I think I’m gonna live 30 more years. At least that’s what I gotta plan, you know, which I would agree 30, 35 years, is that $8,000 gonna be flat for the next 30 years?
Because that’s the equivalent of losing well over half, even more than half of your purchasing power to inflation, even at regular inflation rates. You know, so we, we can look at price of milk, gas, groceries, cheese, travel, whatever, and see that over time those prices increase. Today you’ve got this $8,000 income and maybe you don’t need all 8,000 bucks.
But in the future, as prices rise, that $8,000 may get surpassed by the cost of living and you’ve got a flat income stream that doesn’t rise with inflation. So I’d be concerned about the inflation protection, if there is any. And maybe there is ’cause some pensions have that. Depending on where your organization is structured, how it’s structured.
When you look at it purely on a math standpoint and you go, well, 8,000 a month is greater than 4,000 a month, so therefore the 8,000 a month is better. I think you’re missing out on, you know, the realisticness of, is that a word, realisticness? Real realism. I don’t know. Be realisticness. I think it’s,
I think you gotta put be real in the front of
Yes. Be realisticness. There it is. Of the trajectory of life. And I’m concerned that in my experience, you take the high income and you go, oh, I’ve got a hundred thousand dollars a year to live on and life is good now, 10 years from now, it’s like I’ve got a hundred grand to live on. And it’s a little snug.
And 20 years from now, it’s like I have a hundred grand to live on and that’s not even close to enough. And 30 years from now I need to start writing big checks for medical expenses or long-term care costs or something like that. And I don’t have any extra because I’ve got this stream of income. That’s flat.
Other considerations to think about are what happens if you pass away? So you go to get your first check outta the mailbox and you get hit by the mail truck. You had this million dollar asset that’s been converted into $8,000 income stream and nobody cashes the first check, right? So you wanna look and see what benefits are able to be transferred to your kid, you know, should you wanna do that.
And then the other piece of this is, and you kind of alluded to it, is the outside assets that are available be besides this. So I think Allie said, Hey, I’ve got a 4 0 3 B, so I’ve got some money outside there too. If you’ve got pension and 4 0 3 B and social security and you know, an investment property and you’ve got all these different streams of income, I think that that’s really what you’re trying to solve for.
Is, can I create a stream of income over my lifetime that is going to allow me to live the life that I wanna live? In that case, sometimes having that guaranteed pension money, a little bit of guaranteed social security money, and you can say, all right, I’m gonna live on this for the next 10 years while my retirement account grows.
And that retirement account money is then used to offset the rising inflation costs in 15 years from now. So there’s a lot of different ways to structure it, and this is where I think having, you know, a really well thought out retirement income plan is, is super important. People who are really great savers, it’s hard to kind of turn that around and go, well now how do I turn this all into a paycheck to me?
Like I’m used to going to work and I get a paycheck and I save some and you know, all goes into this big bucket and I got all tons of money. But now how do I take all this, all these different income streams and turn it into a paycheck back to me? Yeah. For the next 30 or 40 years. So there’s a lot of things to think about here and um, largely starts with is this just an exercise of thinking about it or is this a decision that you’re making, like now, you know, in the next two months or six
months before they change the interest rate, which will be different?
interest rates generally change at the beginning of the year, and they generally know those changes. I think it’s October, late October, early November. So if you’re retiring next year, you’re pretty much already locked into what those interest rate numbers are going to be. They’re not gonna change throughout the year.
I’d really like the point you made that if that $8,000 number doesn’t go up, remember that you have to build in your own inflation rider, which means living on less than that and then banking some of the money for later. Or, you know, realizing that you’re gonna slow down over time and, and you won’t have as much to spend later
Yeah, it’s hard to predict that and it’s certainly hard to account for it if this were the only source of income. I would be very hesitant to devise a spending plan on all of the dollars, you know what I mean? And like not accounting for any sort of extra fluff in there. Sure. Sounds fun for
a while though.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, 8,000 bucks minus some taxes, you’re probably living on 6,500 bucks or $7,000 a month. That’s, you know, that’s pretty sweet, especially if you don’t have a lot of debt. But in reality, you probably need to be living on four ish thousand dollars a month so that you can save the three grand, because in 20 years from now, you’re gonna need that extra money to pay for the, the rising costs.
You just have to model this out and you’ll see what the impact of it is over time. Allie,
thanks for the question and uh, oh, gee, thanks for the fantastic answer. This is the, you know, Allie asked about annuities and then immediately went into pensions, and that’s because at its heart, an annuity is a pension, and I think a lot of people OG don’t know that.
They’re like, oh, I love a pension, but I hate annuities at their base, they’re the same damn thing.
Yeah. Uh, if you’ve got a question for us, you can be just like ally and Ally’s now, famous dog, and, uh, leave us a question. Stacking Benjamins dot com slash voicemail gets you there. Hey, time to transition into our last, sadly, our last segment of this show.
We call this the back porch where we hang out and we always start that off by talking about the community calendar and Doug. We’ve got some fun happening this week.
Yeah. Justin, are you saying it’s finally time? We can go out in the back porch and have a cocktail even though we just got done toasting with coffee mugs?
OG is, uh, already three coffee mugs. Into his cocktail. Who knows?
So we’re out there now. We’re gonna chill. I wanna talk a little bit about Instagram live, uh, ’cause that’s always a ton of fun. We’ve got two Instagram lives coming up this week. We’ve got one tomorrow that’s Tuesday at like, uh, what is it, like 1130 Eastern Time?
Yeah, 1130 Eastern time. And then again on Thursday at five o’clock Eastern time. You gotta show up ’cause you never know what’s gonna happen in our Instagram lives. We’ve always got great guests. But you know, what I loved was last week, I think it was, or maybe a couple of weeks ago, Kate had this great community moment where she asked people for ideas for frugal holiday parties.
And everybody who was on the Instagram Live kind of contributed these really amazing ideas and together they all came up with this great idea for a frugal
holiday party. Yeah, it was fantastic. It was like, we didn’t need a guest. The guest was you. Right. And just some of the ideas. I love the idea by the way that, uh, somebody presented there, which came originally I think from Keith Ferrazzi.
At, uh, never Eat Alone In, in this, uh, great book from God over a decade ago, probably now, uh, but probably
two decades, man. Yeah. Maybe
two decades ago, Keith had this great thing that I implemented Doug, which was go to the local high school or community college, find either somebody who plays a guitar very well, like go to the music people, the music department and tell them what you wanna do, and you can pay for very little money because they just wanna perform in front of people.
Bring these kids in who are great musicians, still undiscovered to play your gig. That’s not the cool part. The cool part is don’t tell anybody coming to the party that that’s going to happen, and have them show up maybe an hour, hour and a half after the party starts. So have go ahead and have your, whatever the dinner’s gonna be, or whatever you’re gonna do first and then halfway through these kids come in, they set up in your living room and they start playing.
And I agree with Keith every time that happens. It takes this, you know, okay. Neighborhood thing that’s like, oh yeah, we’ll go over to Doug’s house and hang out for a little bit. It turns it into the one of these epic, epic get togethers. I thought that was a great one. Somebody shared. Yeah. Great
ideas. And it’s what I love about our community.
We have built such a strong community that you’re right, sometimes we don’t even need a special guest. We just need to get all our community members together to share knowledge and, and share ideas. It, you know, over on the Facebook page in the basement, we’ve got a lot of really fun stuff that happens all the time.
Like, you know, somebody found one of my signs that I posted in the Pacific Northwest that said, beware of Doug. I post ’em all over the country. I just want people a little on edge. Just a little on edge. ’cause they don’t know what’s coming out of Doug’s mouth or what I’m gonna do next. So I like it that way.
So thanks, uh, thanks for posting that sign that, that you found. But we also have, we also have some really good, insightful stuff out there too. And it’s, it’s a perfect blend of really what our show’s all about. Alex Hooft Hooft, Alex Hooft, uh, posted a, a really deep question. What I like is he took a little swipe at OG too while, while he was at it, but he said, I just listened to SB 1439, which I think was our, he always loved that.
Yeah. Which was like what our, our tech episode, right? Our hot, what’s Hot? What’s Not Tech? Yeah. Bridge Carey. Um, but he said, after hearing OGs familiar answer to the target date question, I was curious what everyone’s thoughts were on the ideal timeline of converting to a more conservative portfolio. And he goes on, there’s a little bit more to it, but I just love that people are out there in the basement asking serious questions and getting more input from other people who are really focused on their finances and their, and their retirement approach.
So Alex, thanks for posting that and, uh, and then, you know, we’ve got a review. I really liked. I wanna go back and, and read the one that talks about how I’m the savior of the show, but I can’t do that every, every week. Level two, ev still my favorite review of all time, but I also, but I also liked, uh, a review from Jen from Fort Worth who said, there’s so much value in this podcast.
It can help you grow your savings, reduce your spending, and all the while thinking about retirement before the official date. Highly recommend five stars. So Jen from Fort Worth, thanks for that. Um, you know, and anybody wants to shoot right to the top of me, uh, reading your review. Just make sure you talk about my value and importance to the podcast.
It’s all it takes. oog. Darn sure.
I’m gonna read that. Just if people pander, stroke
his ego a little bit. Isn’t that what it takes for all of us?
Look, I’m, I’m, I’m not even trying to hide it. I’m just putting it right out there.
Uh, somebody OG has an important birthday coming up. Have you thought about what birthday gift you’re giving yourself this year?
I haven’t, no, no. This is kind of a run of the mill one, but, um, but there’s still time. I, I’m
sure it’ll probably best gift is being with us.
Um, okay. I’ll think about that one. Um, maybe, um, put me down for, for sure. Maybe on
that one. Well, while he thinks about that, let’s, uh, stack our to-Do list up, uh, Doug.
What should we have learned in this episode? Well, Joe, here’s
what should be on our to-do list today. First, take some advice from Chuck Wafer. Chuck Wafer. It just gets better every time. Pause this podcast right now and write down the type of leader you hope to be. Then list your first move, which should be to work on your leadership skills immediately.
Second, are you on your way to buy some groceries for the holidays? Just breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. Just breathe. And finally, what’s on my to-Do list. I gotta call up all the members of my old band, the Whiskey Tango debutantes. We.
Thanks to Chuck for joining us today. You can find his book, don’t Wait for Someone to Fix It wherever books are sold. We’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com. This show is The Property of SB Podcasts, LLC, copyright 2023, and is created by Joe Salsey High. Our producer is Karen Repine.
This show is written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe, and Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called the 2 0 1. You’ll find the 4 1 1 on All Things Money at the 2 0 1.
Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Wonder how beautiful we all are. Of course, you’ll never know if you don’t. Check out our YouTube version of this show Engineered by Tina Eichenberg. Then you’ll see once and for all that I’m the best thing going for this podcast. Once we bottle up all this goodness, we ship it to our engineer, the amazing Steve Stewart.
Steve helps the rest of our team sound nearly as good as I do right now. Wanna chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude and Kate Youngen are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the Room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement. Say hello when you see us posting online to join all the basement fun with other stackers, type Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement.
Not only should you not take advice from these nerds, don’t take advice from people you don’t know. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any financial decisions, speak with a real financial advisor. I’m Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug, and we’ll see you next time. Back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.