Mark Kenney - retirement

As a parent, it’s never too early to start talking to your kids about money. Before you know it, they’ll be going off to college and getting their first job as a young adult. At that point, they’ll probably have questions about how much they can afford to spend and whether or not they should invest in a 401(k). Today’s episode will help prepare you for some of those questions.

We’re excited to introduce our audience to Mike Guthrie. Mike is a Financial Advisor at SHP and has over 25 years of experience in finance and financial planning. Before joining us at SHP, Mike worked at Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, and Northwestern Mutual, to name just a few.

In our conversation, we’ll explore some of the common questions that your kids might need advice on. We’ll discuss employer benefits that might be available to them, the difference between a traditional and Roth 401(k), and what types of investments they should consider within those plans.

In this podcast discussion, you’ll learn: 

  • The value of saving early with compounding interest.
  • How to start the process of teaching your kids about managing expenses.
  • The difference between a traditional and Roth 401(k).
  • How Target Date Funds work and why they are attractive for young investors.
  • The importance of investing early with regular contributions, especially when the markets are down.

Inspiring Quotes

  • “I think the cornerstone of any saving or launching yourself into the world financially is, don’t live above your means because then you’re in trouble.” – Mike Guthrie
  • “When the market’s down, if you need that money the day that it’s down, you feel the pain. But if you don’t need it for the next 30 years, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to purchase something on sale?” – Mike Guthrie


Matthew Peck: Welcome everyone to another edition of SHP Financial’s Retirement Road Map podcast. I’ll be your host, Matthew Peck, and we certainly hope everyone is enjoying wherever they are doing at this point in time, whether it is driving, walking, or wherever you’re enjoying this podcast. We certainly hope that this finds you well and healthy, and enjoying it. Do you have kids? How do you speak to them about when they first start out, how to save, how to be smart, how to handle 401(k)’s? It’s really fascinating about how just talking to kids about money, sometimes it’s inheritance about your own assets and what they’re going to do with it at that point in time, but it’s also about when they reach certain ages and they start that first job. How do you pass on those values? How do you have those conversations? What are the most important things that you can tell someone who’s just starting out, whether it’s anybody or obviously, more importantly, your kids, as they kind of flee the nest and you want them to be as successful as possible, how do you have those conversations with them?


Well, to discuss that today, we are honored to have Mike Guthrie. He has actually been in the field now for 25 years working at such companies as Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, Northwestern Mutual, all of the above, earning some valuable insight on all of the world of finance and financial planning. Although I must admit, this is his first time on a podcast, so that part will be, I’ll try to be nice to him, and we’ll make sure that we’re not picking on him too, too much.




Matthew Peck: But without much further ado, Mike, thank you so much, and welcome to the show.


Mike Guthrie: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I feel like, in Talladega Nights, where it’s like what I do with my hands. I try to put them in front of me. But thanks for having me. Too excited to be here. And what a great topic to discuss today.


Matthew Peck: Yeah. No, for sure. And I think specifically because it hits home, I mean, you have kids yourself who are just about to enter the workforce.


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, I have a couple in college and one in high school. And a topic that was very rarely discussed in my house growing up. And I think there’s not a ton of education around it for kids in school. So, it’s a topic, I think, that they’re starting to think about. And certainly, when they get into the workforce, the questions will start to abound. What do I do? I’ve heard about a 401(k). How does that work? Or what is a budget? How do I pay for things that I used to think were free? Right now, I have to pay for my own. So, I think it’s a topic that gets overlooked a little bit, but certainly, an important one for sure.


Matthew Peck: But even before we sort of get into some specifics, how was that as a parent, how was that as a dad saying, “Oh, my goodness”? I think of a sophomore, right?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, she’s 20 now.


Matthew Peck: How old? I’m sorry.


Mike Guthrie: Twenty.


Matthew Peck: So, we’re talking, let’s say two years. Two years from now, she will be graduating from college. Now, I know it’s bittersweet saying, like, okay, my daughter’s all grown up and all of that stuff, but how is it in regards to just saying like, okay, go make a living?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, launch into the world, right? And hopefully, cross your fingers and hope it works. But yeah, I think, she’s studying something that she really loves in a biomedical engineering type of program. So, obviously, initially, it’s, hey, let’s get a job. Let’s start to look at that, and then, okay, what’s your salary? And how are we going to budget that? I think the discussion really comes around to somebody who’s had summer jobs and it’s usually for a specific reason, hey, I need some money to take back with me to go to school. And that’s really where we spend it.


But now, hey, we’re starting to be productive members of society. And how do I start to plan for myself? Maybe at some point, a family down the road, but how do I get kind of involved in saving, investing, budgeting, all those sort of things? So, really just sitting down and having an open conversation more than anything, just being honest with them and telling them about the different options they have and answering many questions.


Matthew Peck: Okay. Well, I think that’s the other difficult part too. So, half of this, and listeners, we are going to get to some of the more specific questions, don’t get me wrong. However, and maybe this might just be me, I might be the only parent in the whole wide world that I tell my kids to do something. And apparently, my voice, just they have a tough time hearing me or understanding, whereas if my brother, like their uncle tells them something or another family friend will encourage them, suddenly, yeah, they jump to attention and respond. So, how are you going to overcome the fact of, like, yeah, whatever, dad, whatever dad effect?


Mike Guthrie: My hope is that when they’re like adults that it goes away from because I’d feel your pain. I mean, certainly now for sure, parents don’t know much, right? They don’t know anything until you realize, maybe they know everything. So, I think, hopefully, she’ll be a little bit mature and even, I’ve got a couple of kids behind her, too, that they’ll be willing to have that discussion. I think it’s something that I’ve always kind of floated out there a little bit because they know what I do in the business I’m in. So, it’s kind of always been a topic.


But I think it’s just trying to hammer home a couple of key kind of points. Here’s what you need to do and here’s what that can help you down the road and it’s not just an immediate thing. It takes time. And as you build your career, as you build some wealth, one day you wake up, if you had good habits to start with and you’re in a pretty good spot. And I think that’s, again, not something that a lot of folks from my generation had those conversations really, other than just, I think my dad sat me down and said, “Hey, spend less than you make. Save as much as you can. And most importantly, don’t do anything stupid.” So, it’s kind of like, okay, let’s just see what happens. It’s certainly more involved in that, but I think it was more of just, you’ll figure it out on your own. But I think having an open conversation and just being honest, and here’s the impact it can have on you now and down the road, and hopefully, they make the right decisions.


Matthew Peck: Well, okay, so a certain extent as a parent in the financial world, it’s a little bit easier in our space because our kids know what we do. So, along those same lines, it did sound like that you were sort of setting it up a little bit to– whether it was just because of your background or because of it. So, it’s almost like you were bridging some of the things that you were preparing the ground a little bit for this conversation.


Mike Guthrie: Yes, I think so. And it’s probably, hopefully, more by osmosis than anything because like you said, it goes in one ear and out the other. But trying to put little nuggets out there that hopefully they pick up on and then when they go to kind of launch into the world and are on their own, they say themselves, “Okay, I’ll remember that. Oh, that’s right.” We talked a little bit about that. Or we got that book in our stocking that year that I never read, but maybe I should have. And that happened, by the way, three kids, a book, I can name it, but just a book about saving money and all that sort of stuff. And I don’t know if they read it, but the conversation has been brought up that, hey, at some point, when you’re out in the world and you’re making your own money, what are the steps to be kind of financially sound, to have a budget, to put some money away? And then again, down the road, you’ll start to reap those rewards.


Matthew Peck: Okay. So, let’s start to get into some of those more specifics. Okay, and certainly let’s also build on the foundation and the knowledge of our own parents as you mentioned, which is don’t spend as much as you earn, save as much as you can, and don’t do anything stupid. Okay, all right. So, the fundamentals are now, I mean, we’ll probably end the podcast right now, but let’s try to spruce it up a little bit with more modern terms and modern things that your kids, my kids eventually, or anyone else that’s listening, they’re young. When I say young, I mean, I’m talking in their 20s now. What type of issues that they’re going to be facing? What type of choices that they are going to have to make at that point, and so, that they don’t do anything stupid? Now, obviously, at that age, they can make up for their mistakes. But one thing, I think it was, I don’t know if Benjamin Franklin or Albert Einstein, whoever said that the eighth wonder of the world is compounding interest.


Mike Guthrie: I think it was Einstein.


Matthew Peck: Okay, and it truly is. I mean, it’s absolutely amazing, and I have seen studies where they say, okay, let’s say you start saving from 25 to 40 and then stop. And then you guys compared to somebody that starts from 50 to 60 and that amount of time span, it’s a dramatic difference between those two people only because that person, Individual A started at the early age and Individual B was never able to get caught up because of the power of compounding interest. Okay, so we know the time is on their side. So, Mike, where do we start? What’s the first sort of nugget of wisdom or planning situation that we want our listeners if they’re parents or our listeners if they’re kids? Again, kids, 20 years old, adults, young adults, where do they start?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, I think with any planning really, or particularly when they’re just starting to earn their own money that is actually theirs and not just summer money is you got to start talking about a budget, right? So, whether they’re moving back home, which seems to be a little bit more commonplace than it used to be or moving out and having a place of their own, whether they’re renting or owning, it really comes down to kind of that first thing you said there, spend less than you make. So, what can we afford? Where do we need to cut back and start to look at things? Hey, my rent is X, great, but you haven’t eaten anything yet, right? So, you need to go buy some food, or you want to spend time with your friends or pay for your cell phone bill or whatever that might be. So, really determining what your monthly expenses are. We talk about it with people into retirement. It’s all cash flow, what’s coming in the door versus what’s going out and then what’s left. And then what do you do with what’s left? And I think that’s probably the cornerstone of any of this, of saving or kind of launching yourself into the world financially is don’t live above your means because then you’re in trouble, right? You get behind the eight ball pretty quickly.


Matthew Peck: And is that something that– is it like the chicken and the egg in regards to their salary, where it’s like, okay, let’s figure out what your job is, and then you figure out what your budget would be? Or is it no, let’s really make sure we have a budget, I really have that buttoned up? And then, hey, whatever your salary is, then we can start to figure out the difference.


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, I think it comes down to the type of job they have and what they’re making initially, because again, you can budget out for things and suddenly, that’s not going to work. Hey, you can’t afford that type of rent or you can’t live in that apartment in the city where you wanted to live. Maybe you need to find a smaller place somewhere else. So, I think it really comes down to more of, okay, what’s your initial kind of salary look like? And then, again, let’s build, kind of reverse engineer from there, so we know where the ground level is. And let’s kind of back out from there and see what you can afford.


Matthew Peck: And then staying on the jobs, I mean there’s a number of different benefits that the kid– they can keep on calling them kids even though…


Mike Guthrie: They’re all kids, man.


Matthew Peck: I guess, yeah. I guess they’re all kids but benefits at the job, what type of questions should you be talking to your kids about? Which type of question should they be asking about their benefits and how do you maximize those?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah. So, I think a pretty high percentage of any sort of benefit or income comes from benefits of your company. And then I think sometimes, all too often, it’s just a click the button, sign up, sign up, sign up, and then move on to what you’re doing, but to pay really close attention to those things because, again, there’s some really good benefits in there. And not just your health care and your medical costs taken care of, or if you sign up for some sort of life insurance or disability insurance. But really, when it comes down to kind of that savings part and when we start to talk about how do we think about investing or saving some money, the big questions come around. And fortunately, they’ve been around long enough that most kids, as we say, entering that workforce have heard the term 401(k), right? They know what that is.


So, should I sign up for my 401(k)? And the answer is, probably yes, we should because I think when you start to build out that budget, you say, “Hey, here’s what you’re going to make.” If we start right off the bat, removing some of that out of your paycheck and it goes into kind of a forced or planned savings into a 401(k) that you don’t really miss it, right? You never had it to begin with. So, hey, my weekly paycheck is $200. If you take $50 of it and put it into a 401(k) right off the bat, your weekly paycheck that you condition yourself to, or whatever the amount might be, is $150. So, you never really miss that $50, so you’re putting it away, right away. So, do we have 401(k)? Does an employer match it and try to figure out all those different things? How much should I be putting in? What’s the employer match?


And then I think really, most importantly is what type of 401(k). And everyone’s kind of heard of a 401(k), and unfortunately, in our vintage, we’re around the same age, me a little bit older than you, but the Roth 401(k) wasn’t an option. You had a 401(k), which is a great way to save and put money away and it grows tax deferred. But the power of a Roth IRA, and for those listening who don’t know kind of the difference between the two, the traditional 401(k), you put in money with pretax dollars and it grows tax deferred. And then when you take it out, you pay taxes on it. The Roth 401(k), very much like a Roth IRA, which many of you have probably heard of, you’re funding it with after-tax dollars and it grows tax-free. So, when you take it out, you’re not paying taxes. I mean, how powerful is that? Put money away for the next 30 years and it’s growing tax-free. I mean, it’s pretty impactful for sure.


Matthew Peck: And just for our listeners, I always love kind of like the little farm analogy that we have about IRAs versus Roth IRAs or Roth 401(k)’s versus traditional 401(k)’s is a question of taxing the seed or taxing the harvest. With IRAs and traditional 401(k)’s, they tax the harvest. You put the seeds in there, your deposit, so that’s not getting taxed. But eventually, when you pull the money out, when you reap the harvest, and the harvest becomes taxable at that point when you start to distribute it. Well, the Roth 401(k)’s or Roth IRAs, they tax the seed, they tax the money and the contributions that are being put in there on a regular basis.


However, they do not tax the harvest, would eventually, those seeds grow too. So, I’ll also add though, so hopefully, that helped all of our listeners kind of get to understand the differences between them. I also love how the fact of a kid situation. Okay, how much are you earning too? Do you need that tax break? Now, most kids will say, I mean I’d say what, 99 out of 100, you should be doing the Roth unless you’re a highly, highly successful at a very, very early age, where your income is in like the 30% tax bracket or maybe the tax write-off will be better in that situation. So, maybe, that’s for some of our higher income earners because I certainly do, Mike, I mean, some of the things we’re talking about, too, affect everybody. I mean, this is specifically for people that are just starting off or who have kids that are just starting off and how to talk to them about it. But yeah, I mean, this information you can apply at any time.


Mike Guthrie: Yeah. And again, we talk to people all the time and we’re working and they’re contributing to 401(k). And the question I ask a lot of times is, hey, do you know if your company has a Roth 401(k) because they started contributing to it 10, 15 years ago? When they didn’t exist, they didn’t have one. So, do you have one? And if you do, does it make sense to kind of stop contributing to the traditional and switch over to the Roth? Because, again, that money is going to grow tax-free and there’s a lot of benefits with that for sure.


Matthew Peck: And then also just a shift within the 401(k), the next question comes, how should they invest those 401(k)?


Mike Guthrie: Sure. It’s a good kind of dovetailing to that because a lot of times, we get the question, is it the right time? Should I be investing now the markets are at all-time highs or the economy is in the trash? And is this the right time to invest? And particularly for young people, for our kids, I mean, people our kid’s age who are just getting started out, I mean, it’s not about kind of “time” in the market. Is this the right time to be putting money to work? It’s more about time in the market. So, you’ve got 25, 30, and who knows, by the time our guys, if they’re elderly, they could be working 30, 40 years, they could be working well into their 60s. And who knows what the world will look like at that point?


But you’re talking about a 25, 30, potentially 40-year time horizon and no matter what chart you look at in the history of returns, who knows what everything does one year, you could have up or down, three years, five years? But every 10-year chunk, the market’s positive and certainly, every 40-year chunk, the market’s higher. So, again, having the runway, so to speak, to put money away now and let it grow over time, you wake up as you’re approaching retirement, you’ve been systematically putting money in. You’re putting more and more in each year because you’re hopefully earning more so that kind of pile that you’ve saved up or the nest egg is going to be exponentially higher just because you’re in it longer than somebody who started much later on in life.


Matthew Peck: So, for sure. So, no matter what happens for all of our listeners and for their kids for that matter, it’s not necessarily trying to time the market, as Mike was saying, it’s time in the market. However, the kids will come to us with questions and clients, too. They’ll say, “Okay, how should my 401(k) be invested?” Not just the timing of it. And should I be contributing or not contributing, and so forth, but what type of options that 401(k)’s have? And how do you walk through kids on what they should invest with if you don’t have a financial background like we do?


Mike Guthrie: I mean, most 401(k)’s, whether it’s traditional or a Roth, have kind of the same type of investment vehicles, and usually, that’s in the form of a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund. So, diversified type of portfolios, again, mutual funds, ETFs, and in some cases, they have what are called target-date funds. So, hey, I think I’m going to retire in 30 years, so that 2055 potentially or 2054, whatever that 30-year time horizon, I’m not doing the math, it says I’m going to retire at that point and the mutual fund is designed to invest as you’re accumulating that money over time and as you get close to retirement, theoretically, it should start to dial back the risks. So, again, that kind of broad spectrum of type of vehicles that you can look at in a 401(k), again, typically, it’s a mutual fund, it’s an ETF. And there are some that you can look at that will be designed specifically kind of age-based or target date.


Matthew Peck: Well, I love that whole, that statement of KISS, keep it simple, stupid, where unless you really have this massive background and you want to do all of the research on the funds and the mutual fund and all the options that the company is offering, the target-date funds, I’m not a huge fan of because I’m someone that does know those funds, and obviously, we spend that time in it, but it’s a great sort of starter fund for people of that age, where, yeah, their target date will probably be 2070. I know, right? I mean, if you think about it. Yeah, exactly, right? I mean flying cars I guess at that point, but I guess I can make Back to the Future 2.


Mike Guthrie: I was thinking of hovering skateboards.


Matthew Peck: Our vintage gets that. But yeah, target-date funds are a great option, I think, for kids that don’t necessarily want to really do all the research on it. And that’s better than nothing. You know what happens.


Mike Guthrie: And I think, we talked to a lot of clients who are investing in 401(k), particularly younger folks that initially a target-date fund makes a ton of sense because you don’t have to think too much about it. You just put money in and it grows. And then once you get maybe to a point of some critical mass where you have some money saved up, maybe $10,000, $15,000, whatever that amount might be, that you start to look at what the options are and potentially, be able to capture a better return than just in a target date.


If you had a textbook and you pulled it off the shelf and you flipped to the page around risks, and where should I be invested? And you just looked at the chart and age and time, most young people, we would recommend that you should be aggressive because you’ve got that time. So, why not swing for the fences, is maybe the right terminology, but why not try to get as much return as you can? Because you can stomach or weather a downturn in a more aggressive type of portfolio than if you’re in retirement in a couple of years. So, be more aggressive because you’ve got more time for it to grow in an aggressive kind of growth spots. You’ve got an opportunity to capture more return.


Matthew Peck: No, absolutely. And I think too, that is important too, because I always loved pointing out that if you’re in your 20s and 30s and you have a job, obviously, the job and income is crucial for all of these planning, sort of fundamentals, which we haven’t got to the emergency funds. But I think that’s certainly, a good thing to cover it quickly. It’s just the fact that, with the market’s going down, you should love that. And let’s say you did take an aggressive posture, like you’re just mentioning, Mike, in your near 20s and 30s, or let’s say if you’re the parent and your 20 and your 30-year-old is coming to you kind of freaked out because where the market is, because of this economic event, this black swan event or whatever that may be, that is a wonderful opportunity for people in their 20s and 30s to make sure those contributions keep on pumping into their because now you’re buying the market at a discount. So, it’s aggressive. It helps you in both situations. But over time, obviously, it ends up, up to the right, but now you’re buying low in these market events as long as you have the income during.


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, we always use the analogy of buying things on sale. I mean, my kids know if it’s my money, it doesn’t matter if it’s on sale. That’s the shirt I want or the pair of sneakers I want. But when it’s their own money, certainly, they kind of do a little bit more bargain shopping, look for things on sale. And when the market’s down, I mean, yeah, if you needed that money the day that it’s down, I mean, you feel the pain. But if you don’t need it for the next 30 years, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to purchase something on sale? And that’s really what a down day or a down year or a down couple of years, particularly for somebody who’s 22, I mean, that’s just, things are on sale.


Matthew Peck: Well, know that too and this is just a quick little digression, I think, because I was reading an article where they did point out, especially when it comes to stocks and the historical rate of return on stocks and whatnot. Now, the hypothesis, I mean, it’s a bit too risky for my own taste, but it was just interesting because they were comparing why we allow kids to leverage to go for this mortgage and for a real estate, which sort of it earns you, let’s say, on average, 3% or 4% per year of growth throughout your time. But we don’t necessarily encourage them to leverage to buy into more stocks, which might have a 6%, 7%, 8% rate of return at that point.


Now, that’s a bit too risky for our blood, not to mention for this podcast. That’s a whole topic to itself. But it just points out the power of equity returns over time, taking advantage of that compounding interest that we were talking about and just making sure that we kind of– because we hold hands for our clients during difficult times. And so, if there’s any parents listening for their kids just really mentioned that idea that, hey, the stocks are on sales is a great thing. Don’t even worry about it in your 20s and 30s. Keep on pumping money into that because it really does make a difference over time.


And I think that’s the other part too, Mike, I was going to say too, is like, sometimes I think and now I’m throwing our producer, Evan, who is in his 20s, so he can under the bus a little bit. But I think when they see the Zuckerbergs and when they see these very young influencers on YouTube, whatever that is, they’re making millions and they’re in their 20s and it’s like, “Oh, I wish I could get rich quick.” And it’s like, okay, hey, there’s no getting rich quick. There is getting rich though. Do you know what I mean? It’s not quick. That’s why you get to take the quick out of that statement. But you can get rich if you fall over time, I should say, following these types of fundamental ideas and fundamental rules of sort of taking advantage of 401(k)’s, budgeting, and whatnot.


So, I’m going to quickly review. So, we’re talking about making sure that people put money in the market and it’s time in the market, not timing the market. Again, a great law to sort of pass on to the next generation the importance of power of 401(k)’s, whether it’s a Roth 401(k) or traditional, but certainly, taking advantage of Roth 401(k) is something that we want people to explore, making sure that if they are invested, target-date funds are a nice, quick, and dirty way of getting it in there. If not, just sort of, as you mentioned, if it hits critical mass, then maybe you want to sort of slice and dice a little bit. What other areas do you think are good, sort of, not parting moments, but more so, what else didn’t we cover that we hope…


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, I think one little kind of nice way that potentially, as a parent, you could jumpstart your kids’ savings as if they have a 529 and if there’s anything left over, and I say that with a smile on my face because there might be some people listening to this, leftover money in the 529 plan, but if there is money left over in the 529 plan, whether they completed school or they’re not doing grad school and you’ve got some money left in there, there is the ability to convert money from a 529 plan into a Roth in your child’s name. Now, there are some restrictions around that. I think the lifetime maximum you can do is, I think, about $35,000, and you can only convert what would be the regular contribution into a Roth IRA, which is $6,500 right now. So, you can convert that amount over time and kind of jumpstart them if there is that money left over, potentially in a 529. That’s a new rule that just came out, I think, with the SECURE Act 2.0.


So, it’s actually very new in the last 12 months or so, 12 to 18 months, again, where you could potentially jumpstart your kids down that road and have a really easy conversation. Hey, we’ve had this money saved up for school. Maybe you got a scholarship or you didn’t go to one of those super expensive schools or something left over. So, let’s talk about what we can do with this. We convert it, put it into a Roth. We do a little investing. You’ve got your 401(k) going. And here’s kind of how those things can work. So, there are a lot of ways to kind of open that door for a conversation that I think, unfortunately, we mentioned before, because we’re in this business, it’s a little easier of a conversation to have. But if you’re not and you’ve kind of pushed off that conversation, it’s definitely worth at least raising, hey, what questions do you have as you’re moving on from college student or whatever you’re doing, trade school, or wherever you’re going into kind of the working world and how to save and invest and budget.


Matthew Peck: Well, and let me ask that too, I mean, just how to frame the conversation, I mean, we’re all sort of uptight New Englanders at times and talking about money sometimes is like talking about politics and it’s religion or whatever, it’s sort of like a third rail. But obviously, this is kids and this is family, so is it something where you hope that it comes up and then, it comes ground up from the kids and then you say, “Hey, this is a great time to talk about it.” Or the advocate saying, “Okay, let’s sort of set a time at a certain point once I graduated from college,” I guess, what type of experience or any thoughts that you have there?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah, I mean, certainly, the answer is it depends what type of relationship you have with your kid. I’m of the belief that organically, coming from them to ask, it’s probably not going to happen, right? It’s maybe, hey, dad, I’ve got my new job or whatever I’m starting. I’ve got this benefits package. What should I do? Maybe. But I think, setting the stage and having the honest conversation to say, here’s what this could mean. You’ve worked very hard. You’re going to work. You’re going to start earning money. You need to save for the future. And just having an open, honest conversation. And I don’t think it’s one that your kids will roll their eyes at or be shy about, particularly when they’ve moved on from the lifeguarding job over the summer to potentially a career path where they’re going to start earning real money that they have to live on and create income and take care of themselves and potentially a family at some point, too. So, get it out in the open, start talking about it, and see where it goes.


Matthew Peck: Excellent. So, hopefully, that was very helpful, especially on that part about framing it. So, what we like to wrap up though is with, all right, let’s go to more fun stuff, Mike. So, about what? About a year in here with SHP, although 25 years in the industry, that’s certainly a long, long time, a long, long…


Mike Guthrie: Thanks. You know the experience.


Matthew Peck: Okay, so what happens after you clock out of work? Are we reading? Are we watching TV? Are we watching movies? What do we do with our free time? When?


Mike Guthrie: Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s funny, you start to put those years on the odometer and our kids are getting to a point where, my wife and I, Laurie, start to think about, hey, what does this look like when they’re out in the world and doing the thing? So, there’s a lot of people who have done. We went and played a little pickleball this Saturday. Sunday, there’s a new place. All right. So, that’s the thing. I haven’t golfed. And as you can imagine, that takes a lot of time when you’ve got kids who are involved in everything. So, trying to get back into that.


I love to go, get to the beach in the summer and down to the Cape and those sort of things. Our son’s down in South Carolina at school, so traveling down that way and getting into SEC football has been kind of an eye-opening experience for me, too. So, lots of things going on. We like to have fun as a family and do a lot of things together.


Matthew Peck: That’s great.


Mike Guthrie: Wide-ranging interests.


Matthew Peck: That’s fantastic, Mike, and thanks so much, because I think specifically, as a parent of college kids that, and besides, obviously, your long history and knowledge and expertise in this area of course too, but specifically having the kids that are in college that are going to be out on their own soon. And of course, for all of our listeners, I mean, every kid’s situation is a little bit different. The idea that some move home is not the end of the world. And I think there’s a lot of other factors, too, like health insurance you can cover until 26. And there’s a lot of other elements at work here, to say the least, but being able to talk to your kids about maximizing their earnings, maximizing their savings, making sure that they’re budgeting, making sure that they’re not making easy mistakes or mistakes that are easily avoided, I think, is so crucial because eventually, maybe we’ll have to come back out here when you have the inheritance conversation, too, to say, okay, for all of our clients, this is more for the parents. If they have all done well and the planning that SHP or whomever you use for planning has held up, well, there might be an inheritance. So, talking about money, whether they’re earning it themselves or whether it’s inheritance, we need to overcome that whole idea of the third rail, because there are so many mistakes out there that are just so easily avoided. Then we’re not doing our job, frankly, as financial advisors, to not be able to tell people or to coach people to have these conversations with their kids because it can be generational. You can really make sure that we’re building year after year, generation after generation.


I mean, we might not be the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, or whatever that may be. However, if we’re avoiding these easy mistakes or avoiding mistakes that are easily made and really making sure that people are maximizing their income, maximizing their savings, maximizing their budgeting or whatever that may be, then we’re truly making a difference for us, for our kids, their kids, so forth and so on. Thank you again, Mike, I should say, thank you so much for joining us. I certainly hope everyone enjoyed this session and certainly stay tuned for next time and certainly hope everyone is staying well.

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