How Investment Fees Destroy Retirement Plans

“You explain this better than anyone on this planet.”

“Thank you , thank you! This was a subject I needed to know more about. Im a divorced “survior” and your links have been very helpful! Thank you!”

“Oh my gosh you’re amazing! Thank you so much for your time you are so thorough and so helpful God bless you!”

“Beautifully and clearly explained. Thank you very much.”

These are just some of the comments I get on my Youtube channel on the videos I do about Social Security benefits for divorcees and survivors.  Here is part 1 of my video for divorcees. Here is part two, which I just did last night. (I have over 200 videos now on the channel so by all means go there and check it out. I’m sure you’ll find a topic of interest to you.)

Okay, so why do I post these comments, other than to make myself look good?

Because I was able to land for a podcast interview the person who taught me nearly everything about Social Security!

For over a year, I’ve been trying to get her to be interviewed.  And nothing but crickets.  She’s a VERY busy lady so I wasn’t shocked.  But in my last request, I said the magic words, “Elaine, on my Youtube channel, I’m getting a million comments/questions from women about their divorce and survivor benefits.”

Elaine has personal knowledge of being a divorcee and a divorcee survivor when it comes to receiving Social Security benefits.  My comment reached her on a personal level.  And thus I landed her.

Elaine Floyd is the most important person you’ve never heard of.  Her education for professional advisors on Social Security is, without question, the most important education I’ve ever received.  Nothing else even comes close.  (Actually, that’s not true, the tax training I received when I was a business banker back in 2002 was pretty close. That training was also conducted by a Baby Boomer divorced lady.  Coincidence?)

The training Elaine provides has completely revolutionized the financial advisory business.  I am living proof of that.  Previous to coming across Elaine back in the mid-2000s I was a typical “financial advisor”.  I put that term financial advisor in scare quotes because I wasn’t advising on anything other than investments.  And that was what most financial advisors were doing back then. Focused solely on investments.

Well that’s not financial advice, my friends.  That’s investment consulting/advice; two completely different things.  But, for me at least, when I first started receiving Elaine’s training back around 2006 or so, I began to realize that there was a much broader world out there and I changed.

I always wanted to be a financial advisor to help people.  Ordinary people.  People who put in a honest day’s work and were getting by the best they could but maybe could use a bit of a helping hand to figure out their financial circumstances.  People like my own family in fact.

But how do you do that when the only thing you can do is sell investments?  What happens to people who don’t have investments, or whose investments are tied up in their employer plan? How do you help them?

And then, Elaine Floyd’s training on Social Security found me. And the whole world of real financial advice opened up.  Elaine also offered training on Medicare too.  Both of these are topics that affect every, single American. Every one.

For someone who is interested in helping the type of people I just described being knowledgeable on these two topics was the best thing ever.   Now, I believe I am doing what the Good Lord intended.  Look at the comments above.  And that’s just a small sample.  They go on, just like that.  And it’s because of Elaine that I was able to help these people.

Elaine is a force for good in an industry that way too often turns its back on the people who need us the most. Because of her some in my industry, not enough mind you, have answered the call to bring real financial advice to the middle class.  I can’t stress enough how revolutionary this truly is.

So, with a bit of persistence, and luck in saying the right things, I was finally able to land her for my podcast.  This won’t be until the second week of September due to her hectic schedule.  But I’ll let you know when I have the episode ready.  You can find my podcast here.

In the meantime, put Elaine Floyd on your list of must-read writers.  You won’t regret it.

Investment fees are one of the two biggest detriments to successful investing. I discuss this in detail when it comes to using Monte Carlo analysis to determine one’s ability to retire in my podcast here.

In this video though I show you how a portfolio with an all-in fee of .18% has a 95.7% retirement success. Whereas the exact same portfolio with a 1.50% fee has a 74.4% success.

Everything is the same. I use the calculator at if you want to run your own numbers.

The lower cost portfolio not only had a 28% higher success than more expensive one but its average account balance after 30 yrs was over $1 million.

The higher fee portfolio average account balance after 30 yrs was less than $500k.

So, if an advisor were running a monte carlo analysis based on this portfolio and NOT taking into consideration investment fees that advisor would provide a very misleading end-result.

Now, the one drawback of is it does not take TAXES into consideration. So you’ll have to do your homework on that. Taxes are a big deal and should not be overlooked.

However, for what it’s worth offers the best financial planning calculator on the web when it comes to retirement projections.

You can change your scenario a bunch of different ways. Too many ways to get into here.

I can not recommend this tool enough.

As always if you have questions, thoughts or concerns, please let me know.

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