Mattson Financial Services - May 2018

F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S , L L C


May 2018

Are Your Kids Ready for Retirement?

Think about the amount of time you’ve spent planning for retirement. Then, think about how much time you’ve put into planning your summer vacations. The crazy truth is that people spend more time planning their two- week vacation for the year than reviewing and planning for their retirement. When you think back to those family vacations before you became an empty nester, it was an important annual ritual. Your own children have probably picked up the habit of spending hours planning for their vacations. But are your kids planning for retirement like you did? Are they in the habit of looking at the future and setting themselves up to retire on their terms? The common answer is no. If this is your answer, it might be time for your kids to take a look at where they’re at, where they’re going, and how to put together a plan so they can get there. Now, if you have kids and you say, “You must do this and that,” your kids aren’t going to react any differently than if your parents had told you the same thing back in the day. No one likes being told what to do, so instead, make it a conversation. A good first step is to ask your kids if they’re getting all the tax breaks available to them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share any insight you may have. What tax breaks have you been able to take advantage of? While not every tax break will be applicable now, the insight is always valuable. The second step is to ask if they are maximizing the money they’re putting toward retirement. Do they have a retirement plan through work? What kind of retirement accounts are they taking advantage of? Are

they taking dollars they normally pay in taxes and putting them away for retirement?

Most of the time, our clients want their money to stay in the family. To do this properly, not only does your financial house have to be in order with updated trust and beneficiary information on all of your accounts, but your children’s houses must be in order as well. When your financial houses are in order, this gives both parties the safety and protection they need for a smooth transfer of wealth when the time comes. But before that time comes, we’re here to help. This summer, we’re extending a complimentary financial review to your adult children. If they call our office any time in the next 45 days, we’ll sit down with them free of charge to talk about their financial health and retirement. Just as you plan for your summer vacations, it’s important to plan for your retirement. We want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch so that when you take your first step into retirement, you know you’re in for the time of your lives. After all, you deserve a stress-free retirement. –Gary Mattson

Third, suggest they speak to a financial advisor if they haven’t already. An advisor is there to make sure they’re on track for the future. Not only do advisors help determine when you can retire, but they also make sure you have a good plan in place that won’t hurt you in times of high volatility. One thing you want to avoid is simply giving your kids money to put toward their own retirement. People are surprised when I say that they can hurt their children by giving them money, particularly if it’s a lump sum. While we all want what’s best for our kids no matter their age, this can do more harm than good. There are a lot of things that don’t always enter the money or retirement conversation. If your children are going through a divorce, a bankruptcy, facing excessive medical costs, or any number of issues, those dollars may drift away instead of being deposited in a retirement fund. It doesn’t mean that the money isn’t useful, but perhaps it’s not useful in the way you intended.

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The Incredible Journey of Bobbie

Imagine America in 1923. Yankee Stadium opened its doors for the very first time. Walt and Roy Disney founded The Walt Disney Company. The first issue of Time magazine hit newsstands. President Warren G. Harding died of a heart attack in office, and Vice President Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president. And Bobbie the Wonder Dog trekked 2,550 miles to return home. Of all the stories to come out of 1923, Bobbie’s may be the most incredible. It all started with a road trip. The Brazier family of Silverton, Oregon, decided to take a road trip to visit relatives in Wolcott, Indiana. Mom, Dad, their two daughters, and their Scotch collie piled in the family Overland Red Bird touring car and headed across preinterstate-highway-system America. Several days later, after the Braziers had settled in with their Wolcott relatives, Bobbie the Scotch collie was attacked by a pack of dogs. The dogs scared Bobbie away, and despite a long search around Wolcott, the family was unable to find any trace of the collie. The search continued throughout their stay, but time ran

out, and the Braziers had to return home to Oregon without their beloved Bobbie.

What the Braziers didn’t know was that Bobbie had been searching for his family as well. He may have been scared away, but he was determined to get back home. And so began his incredible journey. He turned his head west and began walking. And walking. With winter setting in, Bobbie had a monumental task ahead. Bobbie swam across numerous rivers. He trekked across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains. While we will never know exactly what Bobbie endured, we know he made it home. Over 2,500 miles later, in February, 1924, a tired and beaten-down pup arrived home in Silverton, Oregon, to a stunned family. Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s story made national headlines. He received a medal and the key to the city, and he became a silent movie star in the film “The Call of the West.” Today, you can visit Bobbie’s memorial near his home in Oregon.


Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’

honed over his career. Dalio believes these are the real reason he stands in such a prominent position today.

to understand what makes sense and no one has the right to hold a critical opinion without speaking up about it.” From the outside, it might seem that such an uncompromisingly honest vision would create problems. After all, Bridgewater employees describe “public hangings” of those who don’t rigorously follow Dalio’s rules and meetings that sometimes stretch for hours due to disagreements about a single item on the agenda. But Dalio argues that creating this fluid back-and-forth is a vital component of a healthy organization.


Since its publication last year, Dalio’s book has risen to No. 5 on Amazon’s charts, become a No. 1 New York Times best seller, and been touted as revolutionary by some of the most successful businesspeople of our time. It’s a thick volume of just under 600 pages, but is nonetheless compelling. Dalio’s dedication to the idea of openness in all things is evident through the organization of his life’s work into a detailed and actionable program.

If you grew up in an ordinary, middle-class neighborhood on Long Island, proceeded to found an investment firm out of your apartment in NYC, and went on to make more money for your clients than any other hedge fund in the history of the industry, you would assume there was something uniquely special about you, right? Not according to Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and one of the most successful — and influential, as 2012’s Time magazine attests —men in the world. He’ll be the first to tell you that there’s no secret to his genius. Just open his book and memorize the 200-plus “Principles” he



Aside from Dalio’s trademark transparency and sometimes brutal honesty, “Principles” has one thread that runs through the whole book: Everything can and should be boiled down and understood with a simple system. By acknowledging how reality operates, you can transform your business and achieve clarity in every aspect of your life.

Dalio’s transparency extends to creating an open forum for disagreement. In an earlier 2011 draft of Dalio’s “Principles,” he wrote of the importance of “creat[ing] an environment in which everyone has the right

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Whether you are preparing for or are currently in retirement, managing your spending can be difficult. On one hand, you’re supposed to save money to ensure that your nest egg lasts. At the same time, you should make the most of life by enjoying the activities and adventures you never had time for in your working years. For those willing to put in the effort, there are ways of making your dreams more affordable. DEDUCTING ADVENTURE WAYS TO WRITE OFF YOUR FUN

he Wonder Dog


Whether you love taking a trip out on the water or into the wilderness, doing it in comfort is always a plus. While boats and RVs can have a high sticker price, there are tax deductions you can use to make the dream of ownership a reality. If the vehicle is equipped with sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities, a boat or RV qualifies as a second home. You’ll be able to deduct the interest you pay on your loan, saving you plenty of money. Seeing the world is a great way to enrich your life, but it can be tough on your bank account. However, under certain conditions, Uncle Sam may be willing to lend a hand. Most people think the only way to deduct travel expenses is by planning a business trip, but this is not the case. Write-offs also exist to help people who are traveling for knowledge or to do good in the world. If you write for a blog, need to do some regional research for a novel, or want to volunteer in a disadvantaged part of the world, your expenses incurred for these purposes can be deducted. For lifelong learners, continuing your education can be just as much of an adventure as sailing the open seas. Unfortunately, feeding your brain can cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully, the IRS offers a Lifetime Learning tax credit, which can take off as much as 20 percent of the first $10,000 you spend for education after high school. There is no age limit for this credit, so go learn the subjects you’ve always been passionate about! TRAVEL EDUCATION



• 2 pounds baby potatoes, halved • 1/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • Juice of 1/2 lemon • 1/2 packet ranch seasoning

• Ranch dressing for drizzling • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives • Bacon bits (optional) • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat grill to medium. In a large pan, toss potatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, and ranch seasoning. Season generously with salt and pepper. 2. Skewer potatoes. (If using wood skewers, be sure to soak in water an hour before grilling.) Grill until tender and lightly charred, about 15 minutes. 3. Drizzle with ranch and garnish with chives and bacon bits.

Inspired by

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F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S , L L C

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3226 28th Street SE Kentwood, MI 49512 INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Have Your Kids Planned for Retirement?

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Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s Incredible Journey The Radical Transparency of Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’

Laurel’s Grilled Ranch Potatoes Should You Buy That Boat?


The Key to a Memorable Vacation


**Reminder: If you have any changes to your financial situation, please notify us as soon as possible.

Enrich Your Vacation BUY LOCAL WHEN YOU’RE ABROAD Investment advisory services are offered through Mattson Financial Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Michigan. Insurance products and services are offered through Lakeview Financial Group, LLC. Mattson Financial Services, LLC and Lakeview Financial Group, LLC are affiliated companies.


The virtues of buying locally sourced food and supporting small businesses have been widely extolled. But we rarely think to apply the same practices when we travel. Many Americans spring for all-inclusive packages when planning their next summer vacation, but doing so means they’ll miss out on some of the best aspects of the culture they’re visiting.

market stalls and craft fairs while you travel. It can lead you to some truly special souvenirs, and you’ll support the arts and traditions of the region!

Why have a cheeseburger from a fast-food chain when you can try a local favorite? A great way to start is by asking your taxi driver or hotel concierge about their favorite place to eat. You’ll discover new foods and flavor combinations, and the locally owned restaurant is sure to appreciate your business!


While you’re out sampling local restaurants and exploring local markets, you’ll meet plenty of local people. Don’t be afraid to strike up a friendly conversation. You can make new friends around the globe and learn about their unique experiences. One of the most enriching experiences in life is meeting new people and gaining new perspectives.

Part of the joy of traveling is having new experiences you can’t have at home. Whether you’re in another state or another


Just as your town probably has local artisans who produce unique and interesting work, the same is true for your vacation destination. Anyone can get a gift shop bauble that was mass-produced somewhere else. Take the time to peruse

country, you owe it to yourself to seek out the unique aspects of that location. But to find the character and quirks of your destination, you’ll have to explore beyond the hotel lobby.


Treasured memories are the best souvenir you can bring home from any vacation. So you owe it to yourself to get out and explore!

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