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Best of MoneyTalk:

Here are some MoneyTalk listener favorites from the past; we hope you enjoy!


How to Interview an Advisor

Choosing your financial advisor is a decision that should not be taken lightly, because any professional relationship that could span decades is worthy of a formal vetting process. Donna and Nathan discuss the questions you should ask when shopping around for a new financial advisor.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 3/21/2024.


Trends in Retirement

We often talk about how retirement is changing, and for those retiring soon, it may be a good idea to revisit some of those assumptions that you made during the early days of your retirement planning. Donna and Nathan discuss current trends in retirement, including living longer than expected, retiring earlier than planned, working part time in retirement, expanding 401(k) options, and more. Also on MoneyTalk, the exponential impact of auto escalation of 401(k) contributions.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 3/13/2024.


Finding Your Work/Life Balance

Burnout is all too common in corporate America today, and for those trying to decide if it’s time to jump ship to a new career it can be a scary and uncertain time. Nathan talks with Dave Lubelczyk, founder of The Dream Catapult, to discuss his journey of leaving the corporate world behind to help individuals rewrite their story and pursue a lifestyle that better reflects their true values.
Host: Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Dave Lubelczyk; Air Date: 2/23/2024.


The Extraordinary HSA

The Health Savings Account is what is known as a tax unicorn, combining some of the key tax benefits of both tax deductible and tax deferred accounts, so if your employer offers an HSA as part of your benefits package, you should strongly consider taking advantage of you qualify. Donna and Nathan discuss how to use the HSA to its full benefit. Also on MoneyTalk, a discussion on Ben Carlson’s “17 Thoughts About Money”.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 2/15/2024.


Getting the Most From Your 529

The 529 can be a great tool for funding your child’s education, but when it comes time to use it, you need to have a good understanding of the rules to avoid steep taxes and penalties. Donna takes us through the rules governing 529 accounts, and the best ways to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the tax benefits. Also, on our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History, Nathan covers the history of the US banking system.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 1/31/2024.


Competing Goals

As humans, it is in our nature to focus on near-term goals and obligations above those that await down the road, but neglecting our long-term goals, like retirement, can lead us down a path to ultimate failure. Donna and Nathan discuss the importance of letting your values drive the process of goal prioritization, and the pitfalls of failing to do so. Also on MoneyTalk, how to account for sequence of returns risk.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 1/30/2024.


Can We Be More Productive By Working Less?

As much as we talk about the importance of work/life balance, professionals across many industries continue to work arduous hours just to remain competitive in their respective careers. Nathan invites CPA and author John Briggs back to the show to discuss his new book, “The 3.3 Rule: The New Workday Standard of Creating More by Working Less”, and the science behind his proposal for employers to require 20 minutes of rest for every hour of work.
Host: Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Special Guest: John Briggs, CPA; Air Date: 1/12/2024.


Communicating With Your Beneficiaries

When people pass money on to their heirs, too often they neglect to discuss their intentions with their beneficiaries prior to death, leaving them unprepared for the important decisions that lie ahead. Donna and Nathan discuss issues around estate planning and inheriting money. Also on MoneyTalk, questions you should be asking your financial advisor.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 1/2/2024.


How to Choose Life Insurance

Life insurance is a broad and complicated area of personal finance, and the particular type of insurance that is right for you may not be right for someone else. Donna and Nathan discuss the various types of life insurance, and how to determine which products will best serve your individual needs. Also on MoneyTalk, Ron Baron’s philosophy on choosing investments.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 12/19/2023.


Year-End Tax Planning

It’s that time of year again where we look at making moves to minimize our tax liability, and one of the best places to start is with your investment accounts. Nathan and Steve discuss year-end tax planning related to your retirement accounts, Medicare, charitable contributions, and more. Also, on our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History, Nathan and Daniel tell the story of how Charlie Merrill used financial advertising to draw the middle class into the investment markets.
Hosts: Nathan Beauvais CFP®, CIMA® & Steven Beauvais; Guest: Daniel Sowa; Air Date: 12/13/2023.


What To Do With Your Inheritance

One of the most common questions we hear has to do with decisions around money received, particularly when that money was not planned for, like an inheritance. Donna discusses the process of determining how to use that money to best serve your particular needs and goals. Also on MoneyTalk, benchmarking your portfolio performance, determining your appropriate withdrawal rate, and issues around wealth transfer.
Host: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®; Air Date: 12/11/2023.


Getting Started With Estate Planning

Estate Planning can sound a bit grandiose, but when broken down into its parts, it is simply a series of measures intended to protect your assets for the future, and some of the more important estate planning tools at your disposal are surprisingly simple. Donna goes through various steps that people with young families can take to begin building out their estate plan.
Host: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®; Air Date: 11/20/2023.


Year-End Planning Checklist

It’s that exciting time of year again where we look at our progress towards our financial goals and assess whether or not we are on track. Donna talks us through some of the priorities that should be on your year end planning checklist.

Host: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®; Air Date: 10/9/2023.


IRA Rundown

IRAs come in different flavors, each with its own set of rules and benefits, and deciding on which one to use for your particular situation requires an understanding of their limitations and tax consequences. Steve and Nathan run down the various types of IRAs and how they can be employed to your maximum benefit. Also, our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History covers the birth of communism during the Russian Revolution.

Hosts: Steven Beauvais & Nathan Beauvais CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Daniel Sowa; Air Date: 9/20/2023.


Investing With a Short Time Horizon

The amount of time you have from now until the day you retire is arguably the most important factor in determining your investment strategy, and with a short time horizon your allocation recommendations may vary broadly due to the unique market conditions we find ourselves in. Donna and Nathan discuss how to approach your investment strategy if you are closing in on your retirement date. Also on MoneyTalk, how the Roth 5 year rule applies to your situation.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 8/24/2023.


Mind Your Retirement Blindspots

We spend a lot of time focusing on the quantitative side of retirement planning, reducing debt, saving money, and planning for your income needs, but too often people enter into retirement without adequately planning for the lifestyle changes that come with it. Donna discusses the importance of taking the time to flesh out a realistic vision for your post-career life and eliminate those retirement blind spots. Also on MoneyTalk, how to pass on financial wisdom to the next generation, and where to put your non-retirement money.

Host: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®; Air Date: 7/31/2023.


When Should I Claim Social Security?

If you ask when the right time is to claim your social security benefits, you may hear "wait until 70 to maximize your benefit", or "don't wait, because it has no estate value and who knows what tomorrow will bring". Steve and Nathan explain why both of these social security claiming strategies are valid, but neither accounts for the whole picture. Also, our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History covers Charles Schwab and the advent of retail investing.

Hosts: Steven Beauvais & Nathan Beauvais CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Daniel Sowa; Air Date: 7/26/2023.


Leveling the Corporate Tax Playing Field

The small business tax landscape is precarious at best, which is why the corporate tax planner tends to be one of the key support relationships for small business owners. Nathan brings on CPA and tax attorney, Steve Moskowitz, to discuss some of the ways small businesses can save on their taxes, including: using pension contributions to increase your deductions, setting up your business entity to limit liability, taking advantage of the Employee Retention Credit, and much more.

Host: Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Steven Moskowitz, CPA; Air Date: 6/16/2023.

The 10 Most Costly Retirement Mistakes

With life expectancy continuing to rise, your retirement years could potentially be as long as your working years, so the mistakes we make in our retirement planning can carry long term consequences. Nathan covers the 10 most common retirement mistakes, including: inadequate income planning, favoring accumulation over distribution, failing to fully account for inflation, incorrectly titling your assets, mistaking diversification for asset allocation and more.

Host: Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 6/12/2023.

Using the Roth as a Teaching Tool

As parents we strive, often in vain, to pass on the lessons we’ve learned through our experiences to the next generation, particularly when it comes to our finances. Donna and Nathan explain how opening a Roth IRA in your child’s name can allow you to foster a variety of good money habits during those formative years, and discuss excerpts from Morgan Housel’s book, “The Psychology of Money”, on our tendency to lean towards pessimism when framing our world view.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 5/25/2023.

Reasons to Use a Corporate Trustee

The process of selecting a trustee can often lead to conflict when family dynamics come into play, which is why more and more people choose to use a corporate trustee to act as an impartial third party to marshal their assets. Steve and Nathan brings on Bob Peixoto, Senior Wealth Manager at Bluestone Bank, to talk about the benefits of using a corporate trustee to assist in the management of your estate plan.

Hosts: Steven Beauvais & Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Bob Peixoto; Air Date: 5/19/2023.

Navigating the Real Estate Market

The real estate market is punishing buyers with high prices, rising interest rates, and low inventories, and for those looking to compete it is more important than ever to know how to take advantage of your resources. Nathan brings on Mike Kidwell, mortgage originator at Leader Bank, and Dave Schneider, real estate agent at HomeSmart, to discuss the challenges buyers are facing and how to approach the process to position yourself for the best possible outcome.

Host: Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guests: Mike Kidwell & David Schneider; Air Date: 4/21/2023.

Your Mind on Money

We talk often about the importance of understanding how our psychology can lead us to inconsistent feelings and behaviors when it comes to money. Donna and Nathan discuss contradictions in consumer perceptions of fairness in business practices, and address some listener questions on how derivatives work, and the process of vetting a new financial advisor.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 4/4/2023.

Taking Control of Your Estate Plan

It may come as a surprise to hear that everyone has an estate plan, and if you haven’t set one up formally, the future of your estate is dictated by the laws of the state in which you live. Steve and Nathan bring on estate planning expert and long time friend of MoneyTalk, Paul Brule, from Brule, Nault & Hainley, P.C., to share some of the more misunderstood and consequential facts that you need to know about estate planning, and how to ensure that your intentions are met.

Hosts: Steven Beauvais & Nathan Beauvais, EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Paul Brule; Air Date: 3/24/2023.

Easing Into Retirement

More and more people are thinking about retirement as a gradual transition process rather than the traditional end of the road to their career. Donna and Nathan discuss the factors driving the semi-retirement trend, as well as some telling statistics on retirement account activity, and considerations for homebuyers in the current real estate market.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 3/7/2023.


Money & Marriage

Conflicts around money have long been cited as a leading cause of divorce, and in a recent survey, 64% of respondents admitted to being financially incompatible with their partners, with different philosophies around spending, saving and investing. Donna and Nathan offer tips to help keep couples on the same page about their finances.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 2/16/2023


Should I Use a Public Adjuster?

The insurance game is complicated and if you have a claim it can feel a bit like a David and Goliath scenario, but the representation of a public adjuster can be one way to even the scales. Nathan brings on senior public adjuster Andy Gurczak from All City Adjusting to explain the best way to handle the insurance claims process and the tactics insurance companies use to maximize profits.

Host: Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: Andy Gurczak, Senior Public Adjuster; Air Date: 1/20/2023


Debt Afterlife

When our loved ones pass away, they leave behind a legacy, but what happens when they leave behind debt? Donna and Nathan take us through the various types of inherited debt and how they are treated, and discuss the questions you should be asking during the interview process for a new financial advisor.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Air Date: 1/19/2023


Your Tax Season Prep Course

As we stand at the brink of tax season, we are joined by an expert in the field of taxation to address one of the more anxiety provoking areas in the world of money and finance. Nathan brings on CPA John Briggs to discuss tax issue, including: common IRS myths, best practices for 1099 earners, frequent misconceptions about deductions, and important tax code changes that you should know about.

Host: Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA®; Guest: John Briggs, CPA; Air Date: 1/6/2023


5 Reasons Retirement Plans Get Thrown Off Track

Often times retirement reality doesn’t meet our retirement expectations, whether your facing an unexpected need for part time work, the acceptance of your new identity outside your profession, or sudden health issues. Donna and Nathan talk through five of the more common reasons why retirement plans get derailed, and the importance of building flexibility into your plan.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®, Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®, CIMA® & Daniel Sowa; Air Date: 1/5/2023


Medicare Crash Course

It is officially Medicare election season, and this time of year we like to refresh our Medicare eligible listeners on the facts that they need to know. Donna brings in Medicare specialist Nick Pacheco, founder of Independent Benefit Solutions, to discuss what is covered by Medicare Parts A, B and D, what common needs are not covered, and how to determine if a supplemental plan is right for you.

Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF®, Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP® & Nicholas Pacheco, CLTC®; Air Date: 10/25/2022

How to Choose Your Advisor

Finding the right financial advisor for you is not as easy as it should be, especially because the title financial advisor does not carry a requirement for specific licensing or certification, making them hard to compare. Donna and Nathan discuss the various factors that should go into your decision on choosing an advisor, questions to ask during the vetting process, and how to compare fee structures.
Hosts: Donna Sowa Allard, CFP®, AIF® & Nathan Beauvais EA, CFP®;  Air Date: 10/4/2022


Financial Don’ts

We tend to spend a lot of time asking the question “what do I do” when it comes to managing our money, but sometimes it is even more valuable to focus on what not to do. Don and Donna talk about the money and finance topics that matter to you, including the importance of knowing your financial “don’ts”, near term expectations for the markets, and more. (aired on 8/9/2022)


Simplifying Your Financial Life

Da Vinci said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, which means many of us tend to live pretty unsophisticated financial lives. Donna and Nathan discuss personal finance topics that matter to you, including ways to simplify your life by reducing your financial clutter, the trajectory of the markets, and how sector performance rankings have shifted over the past year. (aired on 7/28/2022)


Understanding How Your Income is Taxed

Many Americans today, particularly retirees, live off several different sources of income which often receive different tax treatment. Donna and Nathan take us through the various types of income, how they are taxed, and how to incorporate this information into your tax planning. (aired on 7/7/2022)


Your Best Defense Against Emotional Investing

The urge to exit the market when volatility is high is one of the most difficult behavioral hurdles for long term investors to overcome. Don and Donna discuss how dollar cost averaging helps to protect investors from the emotional triggers of a down market, the importance of starting good investment habits early in your career, and the historical relationship between inflation and stock performance. (aired on 6/28/2022) 

Systematic investment plans do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Such plans involve continuous investment, regardless of market conditions. Markets will fluctuate, and clients must consider their ability to continue investing during periods of low price levels.


Financial Planning Baby Steps

Financial planning is about doing the best you can with what you have, but too many people neglect to prioritize their planning because thinking about all of their financial obligations at once can be overwhelming. Donna discusses the importance of taking on your financial goals one step at a time, goes into detail about some congressional proposals for social security reform, and takes a listener question about the importance of life insurance at various stages of life. (aired on 6/14/2022)


Lessons From the Past

Buy low, sell high; time is more valuable than money; markets always return to the mean - there are certain pearls of wisdom that continue to hold up over time. In a modern era of investing defined by innovation and speculation, Don and Donna Grace encourage us to be mindful of the lessons of the past, as times are never quite as different as we may perceive. (aired on 5/18/2021) 


NFTs: Valuing Digital Scarcity

Why would someone pay millions of dollars for a piece of digital artwork that could be viewed for free with a simple google search? Donna and Nathan attempt to settle some of the confusion around the latest crypto-craze: nonfungible tokens, and how they could forever reshaped the value potential for digital assets. (aired on 5/6/2021)


Inflation Ready

For years analysts have been warning of looming inflation while prices have remained steady. Don explains why this moment may be different, and how investors can prepare their portfolios to be inflation-ready. (aired on 5/3/2021)


Segue to Retirement

It comes by many names: accumulation to withdrawal, earn to burn, grind to grizzle - the transition from work life to retired life often feels different than we expect. Don and Donna Grace talk about the psychological hurdles that new retirees face when it comes time to start drawing down on those retirement assets. (aired on 4/27/2021)


The Debt Dilemma

It has been said there are three kinds of people: the have's, the have-not's, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have's. Steve addresses the complex question of whether to invest your cash or use it to pay down debt. (aired on 4/23/2021)


Avoiding the Crypto-Euphoria

The corporate adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and speculative frenzy that followed has captured the attention of people from all walks of life. Don explains why the cryptocurrency risk/reward trade-off is a bad gamble for the average investor approaching retirement. (aired on 4/19/2021)


Withdrawal Pains

You are taught from a young age to practice disciplined savings, then one day the government tells you they will penalize you if you don't spend it. Donna Grace and Nathan cover the Required Minimum Distribution: its purpose, how it works, and RMD rules that you need to know to stay out of the IRS penalty box. (aired on 4/15/2021)


Thank You for Your Contribution

Ready to roll over that employer sponsored plan? Donna Grace and Nathan stress the importance of knowing the various ways retirement plan contributions can be taxed prior to moving your money. (aired on 4/8/2021)


Bonds Away & Dawn of the Rail

After decades of record bond returns, rising rates are hurting long-term fixed income investors at a time when many of them need it most. Also, on our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History Steve and Nathan talk about the corruption, scandal, and challenges the US faced during the development of the railroad system. (aired on 3/31/2021)


Long Term Care

Many fear the possibility of spending their last days and dollars in a nursing home. Donna and Nathan discuss how long-term care insurance has created new alternatives for those seeking to maintain some independence in their sunset years. (aired on 3/25/2021)


Retirement RedZone  

Steve offers some of the questions you should be asking your advisor during the final 10 years leading up to retirement: How much income will I need? What age should I retire? How aggressively should I be paying off my debt? (aired on 3/19/2021)


A Seller's Market 

Donna and guest John Tetrault with Slocum Realty discuss the state of the current real estate market; how the pandemic and aggressive Fed rate cutting propelled an existing seller's market to levels not seen since the Housing Bubble. What can a buyer do to compete? (aired on 3/11/2021)


Income Investing & The Ponzi Scheme  

Steve and Nathan talk about the chase for yield in a low-rate environment. Fraud, arbitrage, stamps...? Our MoneyTalk Moment in Financial History takes a look back on the unlikely origins of the Ponzi scheme. (aired on 3/10/2021)


Considerations When Approaching Retirement 

Donna and Nathan take on the some of the big decisions individuals face when approaching retirement: Do I take or defer my social security? How much investment risk can I assume if I’m taking income? Do I still need my life insurance? How aggressively should I pay down my debt? (aired on 3/4/2021)


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