Kevin Spacey Tells Us about Retirement

FrankunderwoodKevin Spacey portrays Frank Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards.  As a deceitful political candidate for President of the United States , it would be hard to imagine anyone worse. Underwood claws his way into the White House by manipulating the press and ruthlessly crushing anyone that might get in his way. He does however recognize one significant fact that seems to have escaped our consciousness of late and that is that our government and its taxpayers are overwhelmed by our social obligations.  Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. Welfare. Entitlements.

In the words of Frank Underwood, entitlements are the root of all of our political  problems. “ Let me be clear”, he tells us,  “You are entitled to nothing.”

If you’re in or close to retirement, finally eligible for a least two of those programs after years of paying into them, those words are a very hard to swallow. But it doesn’t mean they’re not true. Social Security and Medicare are not “rights” in any legal sense. Congress decides on the payout, and Congress can change it—or eliminate it—at any time. You really are not “entitled” to anything and certainly nothing is guaranteed, according to a recent Forbes article titled “Life Lessons From House Of Cards: "You Are Entitled To Nothing".

You are entitled to nothing. It’s not fun to hear, but it’s important to remember when you’re planning your retirement. You should plan under the assumption that your benefits in retirement will be lower than currently promised. With that in mind, here are three specific recommendations from the article’s author on how to approach your planning:

  1. Focus on income rather that the “magic number.” Most financial planning is driven by creating a nest egg of a certain size. But this doesn’t take into consideration the market yields. Focus on the income generated instead of only a certain net worth number.
  2. Consider investments you might not have looked into before. Investments like preferred stock and closed-end bond funds can be good income producers if bought at a reasonable price.
  3. An immediate annuity can be a smart method of converting part of your nest egg into a safe stream of income resembling a pension.

Take President Underwood’s words to heart—You are entitled to nothing—and start planning accordingly.  You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: Forbes (March 20, 2015) “Life Lessons From House Of Cards: "You Are Entitled To Nothing"


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.