Framework with Jamie Hopkins, Episode #43

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Today’s guest on the Mitlin Money Mindset™ is Jamie Hopkins, the managing director of Carson Coaching and the Director of Retirement Research for Carson Group. Jamie is one of the most well-known and educated people in the area of wealth management. In addition to his role at Carson Group, he is a finance professor of practice at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business and has helped co-create the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation at The American College of Financial Services. Jamie is the author of the book Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement Planning. And if all this was not enough, he was named as a top 40 young attorney by the American Bar Association and a top 40 financial service professional under the age of 40 by InvestmentNews. In 2020, his work on retirement planning and the SECURE Act won an award from WealthManagement.com for being the best Thought Leadership Advisor Education. I have known and followed Jamie and his work for several years. He is a go-to for me when we’re in need of an outlook on how things in the world might affect the markets, and we love having him as part of our team.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Jamie’s path to his many roles today [2:52]
  • Why is retirement planning such a difficult topic for clients to approach? [8:40]
  • Three things you should be doing when planning for retirement [12:31]
  • Things people are doing regularly with an adverse effect on their retirement? [16:20]
  • Changes that have impacted how people should be thinking about retirement [19:37]
  • Social Security. Will it be there for those who need it when they need it? [23:35]
  • Are changes coming to the retirement landscape with the new administration [31:20]
  • What Jamie did today that put him in the right mindset for success? [36:01]

Why is retirement planning such a difficult topic?

Retirement planning is such an important part of what an advisor does. It’s a big part of how we help clients. It’s also what clients are interested in, most people are interested in what their retirement will look like. So why then is it such a difficult topic in many instances, for clients to approach?

Jamie says there are a bunch of reasons. It’s one of those areas where there isn’t necessarily a single answer. He explained one reason is that people have never experienced it before. You haven’t lived through retirement so it’s very hard to know what it’s going to feel like. The other thing is just how big of a time period it is in our lives. You could literally have just as long planning for retirement as you do living in it. There’s no other time in most of our lives where we try to plan out the next 30 to 40 years. The other thing is that everything changes along the way.

So we don’t have experience and knowledge around it, it is an incredibly long time period, and it’s shifting.

3 things to make sure you’re doing when planning for retirement

With a long time horizon and a changing landscape in terms of pension and net income replacement, what are three things that those planning for retirement should make sure they are doing?

Jamie said the easiest one is just engaging in the planning. There’s research that people with a written financial and retirement plan feel more confident about their own retirement when heading into it. It’s good to have a plan in place.

The next is long-term care, which is a big risk in retirement as we have increased longevity and long-term care costs continue to rise. Studies suggest a single private room in a nursing home can cost over $100k a year. That becomes a very expensive liability for many people in retirement. What are we going to do about it? It doesn’t always mean that a product is a solution. People hear long-term care and their mind immediately goes to insurance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do long-term care planning.

The third thing goes back to what we talked about before, which is the whole goal of retirement planning and that is to NOT RUN OUT OF MONEY. Do you have sustainable income sources or ways to generate income throughout retirement? Honestly, relying too much on any one income source is always a red flag. Sometimes you can’t avoid it, but it is something to at least be mindful of.

Social Security. Will it be there for those who need it, when they need it?

One of the questions we often receive—especially from those that are close to collecting Social Security—is should we take SS into account? Is it going to be there? In Jamie’s opinion, Social Security is going to be there. That’s his gut feeling but he likes to back it up with some facts.

Jamie says Social Security is a huge piece of what Americans rely upon in retirement. For almost 1/3 of retirees, it’s over 90% of their income and for nearly another 1/3 it’s more than half. That’s right around 62-ish% of retirees that rely on Social Security as more than half of their income. So what does that mean? It means that it’s the primary source of income for the majority of retirees. If you were to take that away, what would it do? It would collapse our economy. It would mean half or more of our senior population would become destitute, unable to make any of their payments, medical bills, housing, or food. It would cause a huge economic issue across the board.

It can’t go away in the sense that we don’t have some type of secure income for retirees. Jamie says Social Security, arguably, does a good job at what it was meant to do, which is creating an income and keeping seniors out of poverty. We still have fewer seniors in poverty today than the general population.

Connect with Jamie Hopkins

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., LLM, MBA, CFP®, RICP® is the managing director of Carson Coaching and the Director of Retirement Research for Carson Group. He is a finance professor of practice at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business and is the author of the book Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement Planning. Jamie helped co-create the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation at The American College of Financial Services. He was named as a top 40 young attorney by the American Bar Association and a top 40 financial service professional under the age of 40 by InvestmentNews. In 2020, his work on retirement planning and the SECURE Act won an award from WealthManagement.com for being the best Thought Leadership Advisor Education in the industry.

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