Leslie Barrows (00:06):
Hi there. I’m attorney Leslie Barrows, and you’re listening to the Texas divorce lawyer podcast with me, Leslie Barrows. The goal of this podcast is to educate people in Texas about divorce. I want to be able to describe what divorce means, how it affects children, both young and groans and give my listeners a little bit of hope, especially if they are about to start or are in the middle of divorce proceedings. Welcome to the podcast.
Hey there, it’s Leslie Barrows and we’re here for our podcast afternoon and I’m here with James McGlynn and he is with Next Quarter Century. So I wanted to welcome you, James, to the podcast. How are you doing today?
James McGlynn: I’m doing great. Leslie yourself?
Good, just surviving COVID and trying to stay cool in the summer months here in Texas. So I know we’re all you know, trying to get through the heat for sure. Yes. And so James, tell me a little bit about your practice at the Next Quarter Century, what you’re doing and how you’re helping people with their managing their retirements.
James McGlynn (01:18):
Okay. I work for Next Quarter Century. I’m the CEO owner founder, and I do retirement planning for people who are just about to retire or just starting retirement as I am 61, myself. And I’ve been doing this for myself for a few years, as I wanted to learn about how to design my own retirement plan. So it’s really talking to friends and clients and talking to them one-on-one what do they want? And all the myriad plans that they’ve got in place, their pensions, their investments, and their future social security withdrawals, how to, how to get that all working together. I also can do some longevity, annuities and hybrid long-term care, which are somewhat more complicated, but a very good to help for retirement planning.
Leslie Barrows (02:09):
Okay. And you are a chartered financial analyst. What does that entail?
James McGlynn (02:15):
Chartered financial analyst is a three-year program where you have to learn everything about investments and the economics and what people who want to become professional money managers manage mutual fund money. That’s the that’s the designation that they want. And I, I learned that back in 1983, so it’s been quite a while.
Leslie Barrows (02:33):
Oh, cool. And then you’re also an R I C P. Is that is that a retirement income specialist? Okay. And what does that entail?
James McGlynn (02:44):
That it’s a three part exam, not nearly as intense as the CFA and that’s where, as I remember always telling myself when I retire, I really want to understand the programs that are out there. And this walks you all through details. What is Medicare? What is Medigap, social security, what are annuities now? You’ve got your money in your 401k now, what do you do with it? How do you get it out? And how do you live on that for the rest of your life? And so the RICP, it’s a very, fairly new program, but it’s very popular among people who want to find out what do I do to, to live on my money for the rest of my life.
Leslie Barrows (03:23):
Right. And that’s a, a great question. And I know with COVID, and we’ve had some unemployment and, and loss of income and loss of jobs, I know that it seems like there’s a kind of an increase of people retiring right now due to the pandemic. Have you seen that as well?
James McGlynn (03:41):
I’ve I was looking at someone’s account just yesterday. I just said, yeah, my mother’s, you know, 61 and she’s not in good health and she’s unemployed, but they’re probably not going to hire her back, you know, bad health and old. It’s not the time to be trying to look for a job. So I was helping them probably access social security at 62 for that person.
Speaker 2 (04:02):
Okay. And now we’re going to talk a little bit about the our top six issues for social security and what to look for, if you are going through a divorce. I know that I get that question a lot. You know, if, if the marriage is over 10 years, that that’s something where that’s a benefit, you know, that you’ll be able to collect the spousal benefits of your ex. So, but besides that, I’m so glad that you came in and joined the podcast today. So, so tell us a little bit about the spousal benefits that someone can earn. If you do have a 10 year marriage and the couple ends up getting divorced.
James McGlynn (04:40):
Okay. And I think that the most important thing to remember is going through the divorce, if you’re nine years, that you want to hold out for that 10 years, because if you get divorced before the 10 years, there is no spousal benefit whatsoever from social security. And in addition to the spousal benefit, there’s a survivor benefit if and when the ex passes away and that’s where the, the spousal benefit essentially can, can double. So it’s a very, very important to know that if an ex is passed away, not only are you entitled to some benefits there, but there could be a very good amount of benefits.
Leslie Barrows (05:17):
Okay. So yeah, if you’re, you know, in a marriage and it’s not going so well, and you’re at nine years, you’d be best to kind of hold out until you get that celebrate that ten-year anniversary. Right. And then say, Hey, I’m done with this guy.
James McGlynn (05:29):
Yes. And, and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve worked with someone who was married for almost 10 years and later she was asking, Hey, do I get survivor or spousal benefits? And they said, Nope, unless it’s 10, 10, plus you get nothing. There’s no prorated amount. So it’s, if you’re it maybe eight, eight and a half nine, just wait for the official date to get that 10 years. So you can be entitled to something from social security on the spousal benefits. Okay.
Leslie Barrows (05:55):
And do you still get that spousal if say you have a stay at home mom they’re married 10 years, you know, husband’s the breadwinner and she really hasn’t ever had a job or can chick contributed to social security. Is it so possible for a homemaker to to get those benefits going forward?
James McGlynn (06:15):
Yes. I think social security was designed in mind when all you had were almost Pell makers, not both of them earning income. So, and I do know people who have their spouses never worked, but they got, they got their own benefits and the spouse was entitled to essentially half of their benefits, you know? So if one got a thousand and the other, they’d also receive another 500 on the spouse.
Leslie Barrows (06:39):
Okay. And does it matter of you know, how many times that they’ve been married? I mean, can you have, you know, five or six spouses and still get the spousal benefits?
James McGlynn (06:53):
Six might be pushing it. As in, I think we, I had mentioned, and I always liked talking about Johnny Carson that he had, he was married four times. I think Joan, Joanie, a gentleman, Joanna it’s it’s. It was interesting. And then his last wife and the first wife was married for 13 years, the second, less than 10, then another 14 years. And he died with the last wife. So the spouses were entitled to their own spousal benefits on Johnny Carson, even though he had only, he contributed himself and they may have never worked in social security, but they’d still be entitled to benefits and it wouldn’t have affected his current spouse at the time.
Leslie Barrows (07:35):
Oh, okay. That’s good to know. So are there spousal benefits that are available when someone turned 62?
James McGlynn (07:45):
The social security originally was set up that everyone, the benefits were all set up at 65, they reduced, they lower that number so that you can get your social security benefits or spousal benefits at 62 at a reduced amount. And you were conversely, if you waited until 70 as a worker, you can maximize your benefit. However, the important thing to know on the spousal benefits that no spouse, if only if they’re only receiving spousal benefits should wait past full retirement aides. That dollar amount does not go up after that day.
Leslie Barrows (08:19):
Okay. Is there a recommended age when it would be better to, if you’re trying to collect the spousal benefits? I mean, is it 62 or 65 or does it, or does it really matter?
James McGlynn (08:32):
It gets complicated if you’re single and you weren’t ever married and have no dependence, it’s very easy to calculate when you should do it. But if it’s spousal, it really depends on your longevity on how much older one is than the other. As I said, 62 is the earliest for spousal, and that can only be earned if the spouse has filed their benefits except for in divorce. There is a benefit in divorce. So if you’re 62 and your ex is 62, have you been married or divorced for two plus years? You can file for spousal benefits, even though the ex has never filed for their own benefits. Oh, okay. That’s good to know. Whereas in marriage, you get no spousal benefits unless your current spouse has filed for benefits. So it’s another little extra twist to throw in there. Okay.
Leslie Barrows (09:22):
Now there are survivor benefits available at the age of 60. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
James McGlynn (09:29):
Yes. You know, analyzing social security. I understand where people get confused on it. Spousal benefits mean your ex or your current spouse is still alive. Survivor, better pets, main the extra, your current spouse has passed away. So the spousal benefits as, as, as we mentioned, can start at 62, but a survivor benefit can start at eight 60. So if and I, I, I, I actually was in a yoga class pre pandemic and the instructor said, Oh, I’m going to get my social security in a year or so. And then I has, I noseley asked her, well, well, tell me about it. So while I was divorced and he passed away, I said, you’re also entitled to survivor benefits. Cause she was already over eight 60. So she had no idea that she was entitled these benefits. As, as I tell people social security, doesn’t send you a letter and say, Hey, you’re, you’re entitled has benefits on your ex or your, your ex passed away. So that’s why get out here and try to educate people on what their benefits they’re entitled to.
Leslie Barrows (10:31):
So she, yeah, she would not have even known that that was out there. She, you know, she hadn’t said anything to you and, and you gave her that great information to, to reach out and you know, reach out to the social security administration and get that information. So that’s really good. Yep. Now as far as the spousal benefits you’ve said there’s you want to make sure to maximize at the full retirement age. So how do you make a decision about spousal benefits and maximizing to the full retirement age?
James McGlynn (11:04):
Okay. The, the terminology in social security full retirement age currently is either age 66 through eight 67. It, it changes but the, the oldest will be 67. The benefits can start at 62 but they it’s only like 35% of the X’s full retirement amount. And it goes up to 50%. So it’s not a huge increase and again, a deep, and if you’re currently still working, then social security will reduce your benefits. If you file before full retirement age and lets you make very little money, I think 18,000, if you’re making less than 18,000 than social security, you can keep your benefits. But if you make more than 18,000, they start taking, taking money away from you until you hit full retirement age. Oh, okay.
Leslie Barrows (11:54):
Now, and I know a lot of there are some careers where like for example, teachers and they can opt out of contributing to what social security is that correct?
James McGlynn (12:06):
Well teachers, they, they have are designed that they don’t pay into social security. You know, the teachers themselves opted out of the whole social security thinking of ha we don’t want to contribute to this thing. And then in 1983, when Reagan saw that the social security was running out of money, that’s when they put on some of these changes where they started taxing social security. That’s when they said, well, that’s great. The teachers aren’t contributing, but as spouses, we’re not gonna let them get, get a free ride on that. And also as workers, there’s also reduction, but if you’re a spouse and you’re in teacher retirement, it’s severely reduced your social security better.
Leslie Barrows (12:43):
Okay. But even if you know, you have teachers that are married and, and they divorce after the 10 year Mark and then it’s time for them to try to get spousal benefits. Is it still an option for them even though, you know, they’ve they were teachers and had opted out of contributing.
James McGlynn (13:03):
It’s something I would look at, but I wouldn’t be optimistic. There’s a whole lot
Leslie Barrows (13:07):
That you’re going to receive. Okay.
James McGlynn (13:09):
So then you say, why is that? Well, social security will say, if you wait until 60 to get remarried, we’ll give you the option to earn survivor benefit on your ex or your current spouse. But if you remarry it at 59 and a half and your first spouse passes away, you’re not entitled to survivor benefits. Unless of course you get divorced again, then option comes available.
Leslie Barrows (13:32):
Oh, okay. So that’s good to know about, about that for sure. If you’re going to remarry, just wait until age 60 then, correct? Yes. Okay. And then also our, our second or our sixth topic is filing for benefits on an ex spouse. You had some information that you wanted to share about, you know, what you should do if you’re trying to file for benefits on an ex spouse. Okay.
James McGlynn (13:56):
Yes. you know, talking to people, whether the divorce was amicable or not some say, Oh, I don’t want to file for spousal benefits and hurt his current spouse or himself. And so there’s no effect on the current spouse, if they were going to earn 500 a month and you’re going to earn 500 a month and theirs hasn’t reduced, it’s the system isn’t logical. They don’t have a certain amount of money that you spread out. If there are multiple divorce spouses of 10 plus years, they could all be entitled to spousal benefits and it’s, and it’s not effected a current spouse and the current spouse or the ex spouse is not even informed that you file for benefits.
Leslie Barrows (14:34):
Oh, okay. So they don’t even know that you’re receiving them.
James McGlynn (14:38):
If you send them a letter and say, thanks for these benefits, we waited 10 plus years.
Leslie Barrows (14:42):
Oh, okay. Unless you take a picture of the deposit, I guess, and posted on social media or something.
James McGlynn (14:49):
I had no idea I was going to still money from him or her.
Leslie Barrows (14:53):
And what do you recommend for, you know, people that have need to get started with retirement planning? I know that, you know, a lot of people talk about it, but it’s kind of like doing your will. You never get to that point of, Hey, I really need help. I need guidance. You know, what’s your recommendation for, if you’re shopping around and need to find, you know, the, the person that’s gonna work with you the best for any retirement planning.
James McGlynn (15:20):
That’s a great question. I would, I would say it depends on your age. I focus on people who are near retirement. To me, it’s fairly simple if you’re just starting out working. So you max out your 401k or your get your match, do a Roth or health savings account. And then come to me after you’ve filled up all those buckets. But when you get close to retirement, whether it’s in your fifties or sixties, I think someone with an RICP designation, that’s what we focus on the most. Okay. You’ve already spent your 30 years accumulating your money. Now we want to have you set up to have it live for the next 25, 30 years and maximize it.
Leslie Barrows (15:59):
Okay. And and so your focus is on mostly they’re about to take the next step and they’re pretty close to retirement age and they want to make sure that they’re going to be taken care of and financially okay. For retirement. Is that correct?
James McGlynn (16:15):
Yes. And I may have mentioned about five years ago, I stopped being a mutual fund manager. I started focusing on retirement planning and most of my friends are either mutual fund managers, hedge fund managers, very well educated on investments. When it comes to some of this retirement stuff, they have no clue whether it’s social security, Medicare, new cities long-term care. I go I’ve been, I spent 40 years knowing this investment. What do I do about this stuff? And, and that’s where I help out. And I think as myself in my late fifties to now 61, any anybody who’s going through those phases, I’m going through those phases as well and doing my Roth conversions and setting up, when am I going to get my social security? So I’m, I’m a participant as opposed to someone who says, well, this is what the book says to do. That’s what I’m doing for myself.
Leslie Barrows (17:06):
And you’re familiar with the long-term care. And that’s an option for people windy, recommend that people start contributing to along a long-term care plan.
James McGlynn (17:20):
That’s one that I did for myself in my mid fifties. I think that was a, that’s the, that’s the perfect time to do it. When you, when your kids have left the house, you got to take care of your you’re in your dependence or semi-independent, and now, now they’re gone and it’s okay. Now we need to plan for ourselves. And to me, it’s a great legacy benefit. If your kids have to take care of you, cause you don’t have long-term care, I think they prefer you to buy it, spend some money to take care long-term care so that they can monitor you, but not have to monitor you 24 seven. So the, the mid fifties is good and there’s some new products hybrid long-term care where the the premiums don’t go up in price. And that’s, that’s the scary part of you have standalone long-term care where the premiums have gone up and up and the hybrid long-term care, which is based on a life insurance product. That those ones, that’s what I’ve got for myself. And that’s where I try to help people get with, get for themselves. Okay.
Leslie Barrows (18:19):
Okay. Yeah. Cause I know that’s something that comes up a lot is, is, you know, I’m interested in it, but right now, I don’t know if I need to invest in it and when I’m in my forties, cause you know, I’m trying to make sure my kids are in college or getting there or graduating from high school. So I do get that question a lot too. And the estate planning and family law arena, for sure. I appreciate you so much coming today and where can our listeners find you?
James McGlynn (18:48):
Well, I have a website next quarter century.com. Okay. And I, and I got the name next quarter century, as I was talking to him, one of my investment broker friends. I said, I’m tired of worrying about the next quarter on earnings. I care about the next quarter century. So that’s it next quarter century. And I read like once a month for a blog, humble dollar.com and I’ve got that blog tied into my website as well. And I’ll also have a retirement book on Amazon and available retirement planning tips for baby boomers.
Leslie Barrows (19:19):
Okay. That’s awesome. Well, thank you again so much for your time. And those are just a great, you know information, little tidbits that we can all take, you know, from you and even share that information with our friends on via social media or, you know, if this comes up, cause you really just never know when when this might happen or, you know, there may be a divorce and you probably weren’t even thinking that, Hey, you know, they were married 10 years, they’re entitled to benefits. So it’s really good information for sure. Have a great day. Thank you. Bye-Bye
Thanks for listening to the Texas divorce lawyer podcast with me, attorney Leslie Barrows. If you like my show and want to know more, check out my website, embarrass firm.com or please leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, or whichever social media outlet you are listening on. Be sure to join me next time and thanks for listening.