Retirement Planning Course Curriculum

Who this course is for:

This course is designed for ANYONE with retirement on their mind.  But primarily it’s designed for those folks who are less than 5 years out, without a huge asset base, say less than $500,000.

People who made average income over the course of their working careers, say household income for a married couple around $80k and $50k for a single.

These people aren’t expecting any inheritance or any other windfall. They’ve never lived large.  They just punched the clock day in, day out, year in, year out. But they’re tired of it now. They want to punch out one last time.

Unfortunately, they’ve been lead to believe by the media and the financial industry that they need MILLIONS to retire. And they look at their retirement savings and they have far, far less than millions. It depresses them actually.  They did everything they were supposed to do. And yet, retirement is not an option, it seems. They’ll have to stay in their crappy, old job until they fall over.

But is this actually true?  And this is who this course is designed for. People who think they can’t retire, but man, oh man, wish they could.

I’m going to show you how you can actually make retirement happen, without crazy strategies, without huge investment rates of return, without changing your lifestyle;  Just old-fashioned, common sense.



We’ll start the course by deeply analyzing the most fundamental aspect of any retirement plan: YOUR EXPENSES.  I can’t tell you how many people ask me questions like this:

“Josh, I have $300k in my 401k and I’ll get about $2400 a month Social Security.  Do you think I can retire?”

I’ve no idea.  Without knowing your expenses, it’s all complete speculation.  ONLY with an understanding of expenses can you build a retirement plan.

Health Care Costs

Everyone has been lead to believe that health care costs will doom us all. When I ask for evidence of this, I receive a link citing studies from Fidelity and others saying how Health Care will cost $300,000 in retirement and that doesn’t include long term care costs.   But when I ask how much it costs to eat in retirement, people are flummoxed. They can tell you the total cost for health care but not for sustenance? Weird no?

So, after we defeat that scare-mongering tactic, we’ll receive other links that claim along the lines of “Half of Americans over 75 will need some form of long-term care.” Or something like that.

And then I ask for evidence as to the COSTS of those people who need long term care I’ll get a link to a Genworth study that talks about the average cost of a room in a nursing home today.

When I ask what percent of people actually wind up in a nursing home, they’ll throw anecdotes around, like “Grandma was in one and it cost $8,000 a month!”

Notice the questions I ask never get answered. Anecdotes are used instead. Anecdotes are not evidence, just be advised.  Empirical evidence is needed, and frankly, this evidence doesn’t warrant the scare-mongering. Not at all.


We’ll examine Medicare, what it costs and what it covers.  I’ll share what I use for projection costs as I do financial plans for clients. We’ll go over the general costs for Part B, Part D, Medicare Supplemental policies and Medicare Advantage.  Be advised, I’m NOT an expert on individual options when it comes to Medicare so I highly, HIGHLY recommend you contact a Medicare broker.


Without question, the number one expense you’ll encounter in retirement is housing. Nothing even comes close. So, we’re going to tackle this expense and how you can reduce it.


Everyone WAY over-estimates their taxes in retirement.  Which is odd, when you consider there is a decent chance you will pay NO taxes if you position yourself correctly, which we’ll show you how to do in this course.

In fact, a lot of people think they’ll have to leave the state they’re in, say California, because of state income taxes. Nope. And we’ll show you why.

We even have a video titled “The Two-Step Process to Understanding Your Taxes in Retirement”.  With this knowledge you’ll be well-armed to project what your taxes will be. You’ll be quite surprised, I predict, how much lower they will be than you thought they would.

Social Security

This is the BIG ONE as Social Security is the backbone of every retirement plan.  We’ll analyze it in complete detail, front to back, top to bottom. Should you take it at 62, at Full Retirement Age(FRA), at 70?  What if you stop working today, how will that affect your benefit? Is Social Security even going to be there? How do they even calculate your numbers? etc… We’ll tackle it all.  And by the time you’re done with this course, you’ll know more about Social Security than the vast majority of financial advisors out there.

You may think this knowledge is overkill, you’re WRONG!  How can you make a retirement decision without having a thorough knowledge of the biggest source of your retirement income?  It makes no sense how many people discount Social Security and proudly feign ignorance about it because they say “it won’t be there anyway.” NUTS TO THAT!

Wanda Worker

Social Security provides sample statements for Wanda Worker every year. We’re going to analyze her statements to the Nth degree to show you how you can understand your own statement and what that means for your retirement.

Case Studies

Charlotte and Josh: Married Couple, 62 years old now, $150k or so in their retirement plans.  They both make $40k a year income. Can they retire now?

Single Suzy: 62 years old. Makes $50k year income. About $135k in retirement plans.  Can she retire now?

We’ll have nearly 20 videos going over various scenarios for Charlotte and Josh and Single Suzy.

Retirement Planning Strategies

We’ll discuss a number of different concepts for you to consider as you’re making your retirement plan.

Reverse Mortgages

Should you do a reverse mortgage? Before you scoff and say “reverse mortgages are scams” ala Dave Ramsey, isn’t it advisable to at least understand how they work and how you could benefit from them?  We’ll discuss the pros…and cons of reverse mortgages.

Lump Sum or Pension

A question I get routinely on my Youtube channel is if someone should take a lump sum with their retirement account or do the pension instead. We’ll examine this question in detail.

Investing in Retirement

What you use for investment return assumptions will go a long way towards determining your ability to retire.  I will show you what I use when I set up retirement plans for clients.

I highly caution you against using historical rates of return. While there is simplicity in doing this, there is a better way, one which is more conservative too. I argue you should err on the side of caution when it comes to your retirement planning and investment projections because if you mess this up, it’s awful hard to get your old job back. So proceed with caution!


Bonds are the easiest investment to evaluate for future returns. Unfortunately, many people don’t get this and are way too optimistic on what they expect they will receive in their bond investments.  I show you why.


Stocks are incredibly difficult to project for future assumptions. I show you the simple equation I use to “predict’ stock returns.  I first came across this equation when I read John Bogle’s Common Sense on Mutual Funds back in 1999.


WHERE you put your investments will go a long way to determine what your actual taxes will be. What investments should go in your IRA? Do you have a Roth? What investments should go in that?  How about your taxable, brokerage accounts? Not having an understanding of taxes on your investments will lead you to pay significantly more than needed.

Estate Planning

Probably the most overlooked aspect of financial planning is estate planning. When people hear “estate planning” many assume it’s only for wealthy people to avoid estate tax; nothing could be further from the truth. I show you exactly what you need to do in your estate plan and WHY you need to do this.


We’ll end with the NEXT STEPS you need to take to make sure your retirement plan is in good order.  In the course, I show you that while I hope you can retire, I’m not going to pull punches. If the numbers don’t work, they don’t work and you shouldn’t retire.

So, please be advised, you’re not buying this course for fanciful thinking, unicorns and lollipops. You’re buying it for truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. But the benefit about knowing you’re going to get the truth is that sometimes it’s also liberating, leading you to say, “Wait, I CAN do this. I CAN retire!”

And that is my hope for you.


Josh Scandlen

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