Episode 49 - Safe Savings Rates with Dr. Wade Pfau [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

We chatted with Dr. Wade Pfau about his 2011 paper, Safe Savings Rates: A New Approach to Retirement Planning over the Lifecycle.  It's really the accumulator phase version of Bill Bengen's famous 4% rule for retirees.

For CFP CE credit, be sure to go to www.cheetahsmash.com to take a 10 question quiz.

Here are the papers discussed in the episode:

Safe Savings Rates: A New Approach to Retirement Planning over the Lifecycle - Journal of Financial Planning

Getting on Track for a Sustainable Retirement: A Reality Check on Savings and Work - Journal of Financial Planning

Episode 48 - The Definitive (and Only) Radio Guide to PowerPoint

Yes, a podcast episode about PowerPoint.  There's a decent chance you dislike PowerPoint and everything it represents, but the truth is that PowerPoint is here to stay.  We'd might as well study how to use it effectively.

This is an episode we've wanted to do for quite a while now, so we're excited about it.  Be sure to listen to the bonus section at the end, in which Roger describes his first memory of a PowerPoint slide.  The story involves the Nobel prize, an unexpected pregnancy, and the homecoming queen.

Following are links to some of the things we talked about:

Episode 47 - Ben Birken - The Man, The Slightly-Older Legend

We return to our not-very-popular series in which Ben and Roger interview themselves on or near their birthdays.  In Part 1, Ben interviewed Roger on his journey to becoming an financial planner.  In this second part, Roger interviews Ben.

We get to hear about how he overcame being a Californian, how he found himself doing stand up comedy, and how he found his calling as a financial planner.  And since we've been joking about it for 14 months, we also found a way to talk about his studies in kinesiology.

Episode 46 - Announcing the Zebra Smash Conference Adventure Game on Your Amazon Alexa Device!

Tired of using your Alexa device just to check the weather and store your grocery list?  We have a solution: the brand new Zebra Smash Alexa Skill.

Our Alexa skill isn't another lame podcast app.  Nope.  Instead we built a turn by turn adventure game.  Collect items and encounter mythical creatures as you attempt to "win" a financial planning conference.

How do you enable the skill and then play the game?  Two steps:

Step 1: Say "Alexa, enable Zebra Smash"

Step 2: Say "Alexa, open Zebra Smash"

Ben learned the hard way that saying "Alexa, play Zebra Smash" gets you to a place you don't want to be, so be careful to follow the steps above to the letter.

Best of luck, and let us know what you think.


Wired - Inside the Alexa Prize

Develop an Alexa skill in 5 minutes or less

Episode 45 - Philanthropy Planning with Patrick Briaud from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors - [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

We visited with Patrick Briaud from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.  His firm works with mega donors from corporate entities, foundations, and ultra high net worth families, but it was clear from the conversation that the tools and frameworks they use can apply to clients of all sizes.  Have a listen as we go through the steps to build a solid philanthropy plan that reflects the clients true goals and values.

In this episode, we went through Rockefeller's excellent workbook: Your Philanthropy Roadmap.


Episode 42 - Financial Planning Unplugged (from Investments) with Holly Donaldson

Holly Donaldson, (for NAPFA members listening, you know her as Holly Thomas), built her business as a plug and play operation.  Clients would go to her for financial planning, but with her help they could plug into whichever 3rd party investment manager they saw fit.  Why did she go that route, and how did it work out?  And what sorts of clients were drawn to her approach?

Episode 41 - Financial Planning and Senior Living, with Brad Breeding - [CFP CE Credit Eligible]

Fresh off of his presentation at the NAPFA 2017 Fall National Conference, Brad Breeding, CFP(R) of myLifeSite.net joins Ben and Roger to talk about aspects that planners need to consider when discussing aging plans/living arrangements with clients. 

Brad has a unique perspective in this area, having worked as an advisor for 14 years before launching myLifeSite.net. In that time, he fielded so many questions about Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) that that identified a need for resources and databases related to general questions about CCRCs, various contract types, the application process, and how to research specific communities. 

In this episode, Brad touches on:

  • The age/life phase when most folks need to seriously consider long-term aging plans
  • Pros and cons of "Aging in Place"
  • Considerations of defaulting to a family caregiver, and the limitations of direct home care providers
  • Defining elements of most Continuing Care Retirement Communities
  • Differences between the three primary CCRC contract types
  • Aspects to consider regarding refundable entry fees

While discussing home care providers, we stumbled on the right name for case managers who can help coordinate health and other care-related activities for older folks. The term we were looking for was "geriatric care managers." Brad wrote a great post about geriatric care managers at myLifeSite.net You can also find more information at the webpage of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers). 

Episode 40 - Linda Leitz PhD

On a cold January 2nd, 2018, we spoke with Linda Leitz over Skype about why she went back to school to get her PhD, and how that experience has shaped her as a practitioner and as someone who serves in leadership roles within the profession.  Linda has done great work for financial planners for years, so its no surprise that one of her motivations behind going back to school was to look for new ways to help the profession grow and improve.


Linda's Dissertation - She said it couldn't be found!  Google said otherwise.

Heat Pumps in Cold Weather - A lot of articles say they work fine, but we know better.