Making the Most of Your Money | Tim Streid & Mart McClellan

Making the Most of Your Money

How can you make the most of your money? If you want a secure financial future – and who doesn’t – then you should ask yourself this question.

One common approach to make the most of your money is to ruthlessly cut expenses to the bone and stick to a draconian budget. Another approach is to max out your retirement account every year; yet another is to automatically reinvest interest and dividends you earn.

But when we work with our clients, many of whom are successful dentists, we don’t recommend any of these approaches. Instead, we talk about how the best way to make the most of your money is to keep your money in motion.

What is Money in Motion?

Just as blood needs to circulate in order to keep the body alive, so, too, does money need to stay in motion. Money that stagnates in one place goes stale and prevents you from reaching your full potential when it comes to building wealth.

Yet this is exactly what most people do, because it’s exactly what they’ve been taught. Financial experts almost all say the same thing: take the money you’ve earned and put it into a retirement account that can’t be touched (without incurring a penalty) for years, possibly decades, depending on your age. Or invest it and don’t touch those investments until retirement.

This “set it and forget it” approach is appealing because it requires so little effort. But it means that each dollar you’ve put into that account has now been used just once to build your wealth.

Why is this a problem? Because it’s not the best way to make the most of your money. It’s certainly not how the financial institutions, corporations, and government (which we collectively call “the rainmakers”) make theirs.

How the Rainmakers Do It

When you deposit $10,000 into a savings account, the bank does not literally put your $10,000 into the vault for safekeeping and let it sit there. Instead, it takes your money and makes more money off of it, mainly in the form of loans to other customers. It gives you a very low interest rate while making a lot of money off your one-time deposit, all because it’s keeping that money in motion.

We find it interesting that the institutions that advise individuals like us to lock away our money for our own good for long periods of time are doing the exact opposite – and making a lot of money in the process.

Making the Most of Your Financial Future

Now that you know how rainmakers make money by keeping it in motion, don’t you want to do the same? You can build the wealth and have the retirement you want without resorting to severe budgeting or locking away your money for decades.

You can read more about money in motion and how to set yourself up for retirement without a pay cut in our book, Your Retirement Smile, or visit our website to learn more.

How to Ban Financial Failure

What would you do if you found yourself without the resources you expected at retirement? Unfortunately, the prospect of financial failure at retirement is high – if you don’t plan properly. Here’s how we help our clients avoid financial failure in their golden years and how you can plan ahead to ban financial failure, too. 

Don’t Rely on the Best-Case Scenario

The problem with many financial plans, and much of the financial advice you hear in the media, is that it’s based on the best-case scenario. The underlying assumptions are that the market will keep increasing and give a consistently high rate of return; favorable tax laws won’t change; you will continue to earn the same income you currently do, or more, until retirement; and that until retirement, you and your family won’t encounter a crisis that requires a large amount of money to resolve. 

But we all know that life is unpredictable. We can follow all the rules and do all the right things and still face unexpected challenges that turn our plans upside down. That’s why the best way to avoid financial failure is to have a contingency plan. 

Have a Contingency Plan 

Having a contingency plan assumes that some unexpected things will happen in life. It doesn’t rely on the best-case scenario but instead takes into account the fact that there will be detours along the way. We work with our clients to create a Financial Treatment Plan that is built to be successful under all circumstances. We do this by stress-testing situations before implementing them in order to see if they are a good fit for the Plan. We call it evidence-based financial planning. The best part is, we structure it in a way so that there’s no cost differential compared to a plan that’s built on the best-case scenario only. 

Having this kind of robust plan means our clients don’t have to be reactive when something unexpected occurs, such as a market crash or health crisis. Instead, they have peace of mind knowing they’re still on track for the future. 

Failure Cannot Be an Option

It’s understandable why so much financial advice is doled out based on the best-case scenario – it’s easy to sell. But it’s simply not realistic for many people. None of us have a crystal ball to see what life has in store for us. That’s why we need to take all adverse circumstances into account when planning for the future.

If you want to learn more about how we help dentists plan for their future, you can find out more on our website or in our upcoming book, Your Retirement Smile. You can take control of your financial future – we can help.

The Importance of Wealth Distribution

We are taught by the traditional financial world to focus mainly on the accumulation of money. We are told to save money, place it in accounts such as a 401k, and wait until we reach the age when we can withdraw the money and hope it’s enough to live on during retirement. But wealth accumulation is just one of three phases in your Financial Treatment Plan. Today, we challenge you to look beyond accumulation and consider phase two: wealth distribution.

What is wealth distribution?

We define wealth distribution as the spending and enjoyment of personal assets both today and in the future without the fear of ever running out of money. For most people, this is the ideal situation: have your cake and eat it too. You get to have and enjoy the life you want now, with guarantees built into your plan so you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle or take an income cut in retirement. Not to mention that this will also give you peace of mind so that you can avoid retirees’ number one fear of running out of money.

The importance of a distribution strategy

So, how do you position yourself to have maximum retirement income in the future while still enjoying your hard earned money now? It all comes down to strategy. The accumulation of assets by retirement is meaningless if you don’t have exit or distribution strategies in place. Building a solid distribution strategy in to your Financial Treatment Plan will allow you to turn your assets into income streams, and potentially add hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars into your model. 

You should begin thinking about your wealth distribution strategies and desires while you are still working, and continue the rest of your life. When you go to make any investment, think about the long-term benefits, as well as how you will get the money out (or if you will be able to) in the future to enjoy. Work with your financial advisor to implement a distribution strategy, and resist the temptation to put all your money away and simply let it accumulate. We want you to be able to enjoy every part of life, whether you are 20 years from retirement or 5 years in!

You can learn more about wealth distribution and creating a Financial Treatment Plan in our upcoming book, Your Retirement Smile. If you are interested in our services to help set you up financially for the retirement you’ve always wanted, visit our website and get in touch. We’d love to help you achieve financial freedom so you can smile through your retirement!

Take control of your retirement

The Goal Standard of Guaranteed Retirement Income

One of the most important things our clients want is as we go through the financial planning process is guaranteed retirement income. This is a big goal but it’s also an achievable one. We develop a Financial Treatment Plan for the dentists we work with that do just that, built on a solid foundation of three key elements. 


Maximum Protection 

Read: insurance. This includes having full auto, homeowners, liability, disability, health, and life insurance in amounts that fully cover you in case something unexpected were to occur. Some dentists we work with balk at this step because they don’t want to spend the money on the insurance premium. However, a single terrible accident or event could wipe out all your financial resources if you’re not insured. That’s why we consider it the first key foundational piece in your strategy for guaranteed retirement income.


Savings Rate

This second cornerstone requires discipline. We tell our clients that they must be disciplined and put aside 15% or more of their gross annual income. So if you bring in $300,000 per year gross, you should be saving $45,000. Is that a lot? Yes! But that’s what it takes to create the foundation for guaranteed retirement income. It’s the minimum to offset inflation, taxes, standard of living increases, and other wealth-eroding factors. Ideally, the savings rate would be even higher than 15%. 


Cash Liquidity 

Finally, we come to liquid cash in the form of CDs or checking, savings, or money market accounts. It’s important to establish this cash reserve even before putting money into retirement accounts. We advise our clients to have 50% of their yearly gross household income liquid. A dentist who makes $250,000 per year gross, for example, should have $125,000 easily accessible. 

This is just a brief overview of foundational pieces of the Financial Treatment Plans we develop for the dentists we work with. If you’re interested in learning more about planning for guaranteed retirement income, look out for our upcoming book, Your Retirement Smile or visit our website. We help dentists plan for their future and we’d love to help you.

What Is the Return That Can Support Your Lifestyle?

Are you prepared to retire at age 65? If you’re like most dentists, the answer to that question is No. In fact, dentists are retiring later than ever before. According to a report from the ADA, leaving their practices at the age of 68.8 on average. That’s almost four additional years of work beyond what we’ve been told is the “normal” age for retirement. Part of this can surely be blamed on the fact that many people aren’t quite prepared financially to retire at 65.

What about you, are you on track to retire at 65? Do you know what return is needed to support your lifestyle? Here’s what to know in order to retire on your schedule.

Don’t Focus Just on Accumulation

Many dentists believe that for successful retirement, it’s necessary to accumulate a huge pile of assets by age 65. That’s why they focus on the first of the three wealth-building phases – accumulation – and ignore the second and third – distribution and conservation.

But we believe this is the wrong way to approach it. These three phases aren’t sequential, but are intertwined throughout life; every decision you make impacts two or possibly all three. That’s why it’s imperative to understand and plan for the distribution and conservation phases during the wealth accumulation years (i.e., while you’re making money in your dental practice). If not, you’ll likely maximize your retirement accounts without understanding exactly why or exactly how you’ll get the money out of those accounts decades later.

The True Difference Between 3% and 8%

To illustrate the importance of distribution, imagine these scenarios. Two dentists are saving money before retirement, both with the same goal of continuing to live on $300,000 a year once they stop working. The first dentist must accumulate $10,000,000 by retirement to draw that annual income of $300,000 at a distribution rate of 3%. The second needs only $3,750,000 in assets to draw that same $300,000, this time at a distribution rate of 8%.

Which scenario sounds better to you? You can see that these scenarios don’t depend on a high rate of return or even the nature of the financial products themselves, but are dependent on having the right distribution strategy in place to maximize the assets that have been accumulated. What’s important here is not the rate of return, but the rate of distribution.

Planning for All Three Phases

Our goal is to help dentists retire when they want to with the peace of mind that they have financial security to see them through their golden years and don’t have to downgrade their lifestyle in the meantime. For more info on our philosophy and how we make that happen, we invite you to peruse our website and check out our book, Your Retirement Smile.

How You Can Enjoy Your Wealth Now Without the Fear of Running Out

On the financial path to retirement, there are numerous trade-offs and choices along the way. These trade-offs and choices affect your lifestyle in the present and have ramifications for your future. Spend a lot of money now, and you up your lifestyle now but at the expense of your nest egg. Live too frugally, and you’ll have more money in retirement but at the expense of enjoying yourself in the prime of life. 

At least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe all our lives. What if you could both enjoy the wealth you’ve created now while also feeling secure about your financial future? 

What Financial Success Really Is 

To us, financial success means having the maximum benefits from a maximum money supply at all times in your life. It means having the foundation and peace of mind to be able to enjoy your wealth now and have the certainty that you’ll never run out of money in the future. 

Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? 

This is the kind of financial success we aim for with our clients. With our Financial Treatment Plan, we create a situation where income doesn’t stop once retirement starts, and our clients effectively don’t take a pay cut just because they’ve stopped working. 

How to Enjoy Wealth and Preserve Wealth at the Same Time 

This may sound too good to be true, but we swear it isn’t. It simply requires a different approach to money. 

Stop listening to the rainmakers. That’s what we call the government, financial institutions, and corporations. They dole out the same bogus wealth-building advice you’ve heard all your life, advice that preaches accumulating money and relying on compound interest and the like to help grow it over time. This strategy works out wonderfully for them but not so great for you. 

Instead, you need to shift your focus from accumulating wealth to accelerating wealth. Acceleration strategies effectively employ every dollar in more than one job at a time, creating a new rate of return with additional benefits and accelerating wealth.  

Guess which strategy the rainmakers follow themselves. That’s right, they’re leveraging acceleration strategies, not the accumulation strategies they advise you to follow. Interesting, isn’t it?

When you swap accumulation for acceleration, that’s when you really take control of your wealth. With smart planning, you can put yourself in a position where you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor now while knowing that you’re not sacrificing your future for it. 

Think About Wealth Differently 

This is just a brief overview intended to get you thinking differently about how your money works for you. There’s much more to learn, and you can do that by checking out our website. Be sure to be on the lookout for our upcoming book, Your Retirement Smile, too, which is all about helping dentists take charge of their financial future and maintain their wealth and income through retirement.

Related post: Don’t Let Poor Planning Take A Bite Out Of Your Retirement Adventures

Don't delay retirement

Don’t Delay Retirement: Put A Plan In Motion

People are retiring later and later in life, and missing out on the sixties…the best decade of your life! There are many reasons that cause people to delay retirement, but most are unnecessary and can be avoided with a strategic financial plan. Keep reading to find out more about utilizing your financial plan to prepare you for a happy, comfortable, on-time (or even early) retirement.

In order to avoid delaying your retirement, it’s vital to set yourself up for long-term wealth enjoyment. Just because you make a good income during your career and save money for retirement  (in the traditional sense) does not mean you will retire on time. In fact, many of our clients (particularly dentists) are doing both of these things and still retiring later—closer to age 70. If you are doing everything “right” according to the traditional method of retirement planning, why are you having to delay retirement to stay afloat?


Factors that delay retirement 

First, professionals pursuing higher education delay entering the workforce, naturally cutting down on the number of years they will have over the course of their career to accumulate wealth. Once you are finally in the workforce, it is likely that you have several large financial obligations such as student loans, purchasing a home, or starting a family. 

Additionally, many people do not understand the exponential curve of life and its impact on long-term wealth building, which can also slow down wealth creation and push out retirement. There are three phases of the curve (accumulation, distribution, and conservation), which are dynamically connected and intertwined. It is important to look beyond wealth accumulation and understand that your money decisions throughout life will affect multiple, if not all, of these phases. 


The role of your Financial Treatment Plan

In order to overcome these factors that delay retirement, you must have a dynamic Financial Treatment Plan in place. This plan should be set up long before you are ready to retire, and it is incredibly important to look at this plan holistically and at a macro-level. Nothing works in a vacuum, and your financial decisions in each area of your plan affect the others, including your retirement. A Financial Treatment Plan will help you make the right decisions with every dollar that comes into your life by positioning it to benefit your long-term wealth.

You deserve to be able to retire on time without stressing over your finances. Learn more about our philosophy and the importance of a Financial Treatment Plan in our book, Your Retirement Smile. You can also learn more about our services on our website, and give us a call to schedule a consultation to discuss your financial future!

How to Win The Fight For Your Money

We are in a fight for our money every day of our lives. What are we fighting for? Who are we fighting with? Most importantly, how do we win? Winning the fight for your money is the key to financial freedom and success, which will allow you to enjoy the maximum benefits from a maximum money supply throughout your life…even through retirement! Our approach to wealth management, retirement planning, and financial advising will help you do just that.


Acceleration vs. Accumulation

We are constantly fighting with the government, financial institutions, and corporations (three entities that we refer to as “the Rainmakers”) for control of our own money. In an effort to gain control of our money, the Rainmakers preach the principle of accumulation to consumers. They want you to put your money in one place and let it accumulate and compound over time. 

However, the Rainmakers do not live by the rules they put into place for consumers. Rather, they use the principle of acceleration, in which money is kept in motion, meaning each dollar has multiple uses and a rate of return—accelerating your wealth over time.


How does this affect me in retirement?

Most consumers buy into the principle of accumulation, and one of the biggest ways we accumulate money is by putting it in a retirement plan. When you put money into a retirement plan, such as a 401k, the Rainmakers gain control of a large block of your money for a long period of time. That money is locked in the retirement plan until you reach the age when you can take it out…and if you want to take it out before then, you will pay heavy fees. 

This brings us to another point to consider. The Rainmakers make all the rules for your retirement fund: the age of distribution, the type of taxes you have to pay, penalty rates, and more. These rules can change at any time. The age of distribution for your 401k could increase, or the taxes and penalties could be changed or bumped up. 


Winning the fight

With a proper plan and strategy, you can win the fight for your money. Our individualized Financial Treatment Plan helps you visualize and understand your finances so that you can be proactive, rather than reactive, with your financial decisions. This approach also helps you keep your money in motion so that you can get the most out of every dollar and accelerate your wealth. You can live without the fear of running out of money now or in the future, which is our definition of financial success.

We want to help you achieve financial success and freedom. Take the first step by taking our quick retirement readiness assessment, and visit the Macro Wealth website to get in touch. You can also learn more about how to position yourself for a stress-free retirement in our book, Your Retirement Smile.

Man donating money on phone

Charitable Giving: The Ultimate Triple Win

When planning for your financial future, there are a few things that are top-of-mind: a retirement fund, money to leave behind for your family, and saving, conserving, and protecting your wealth. Charitable giving can help with all of those factors. While it may sound counter-intuitive, giving more can mean that you have more money in retirement and more to give to your family when you are gone.

We speak with many people who are hesitant to make sizeable charitable donations because they view it as a transaction, or a wealth deduction. Thinking of charitable giving in this way is a microeconomic perspective and can put you at a financial disadvantage. We challenge you to evaluate your financial situation and plan on a macro-level, where all facets of the plan are connected and you keep your wealth in motion. This approach means that your charitable giving can actually increase your wealth and be a strong part of your strategy.

With a holistic and well-balanced financial treatment plan, charitable giving can act as a “triple win” in the following ways: 

  1. Have more income in retirement.
  2. Not disinherit your spouse or children.
  3. Make a gift to the charity of your choice and see the results of your gift during your lifetime.

When a well-positioned charitable strategy is paired with a traditional retirement plan, the tax benefits are three-fold. There is the potential to receive a tax deduction up front, a tax deferral on growth inside the plan, and tax-free access to investments at the end. Charitable giving, when carried out properly along with other diversified assets can be one of the most powerful distribution strategies.

There are a few different approaches to take, such as the TurboTithe strategy or a charitable remainder annuity trust (more on this in our book, Your Retirement Smile). Many people don’t take advantage of these opportunities in their financial plan because they are unaware of the benefits, or they did not find out about them early enough in their career. The right financial advisor who is concerned with your passions and best interest can help you work through the ideal method for your overall financial plan.

The bottom line is this: the better you are positioned financially, the more options and income streams you will have in the future. This gives you the freedom to make proactive decisions, and allocate your money how you want to—whether that means giving to charity or using it in other ways.

Let us talk to you more about charitable giving as a win-win-win strategy. Visit our website and give us a call to get on the right track with your financial future.

Pension vs 401k

Pension vs 401k: What You Need to Know

When thinking about retirement, there may seem like there are a lot of different paths to take. The best way to make good financial decisions for yourself and your future is to be well-versed and educated in personal finance topics, such as retirement plans. In this blog post, we are breaking down pensions vs 401k plans, two common retirement plan options, to help you better understand them.


A pension is a retirement fund that an employer contributes to while you are working. In retirement, the funds from this provide you with guaranteed income, typically on a monthly basis.

There are several factors that determine how much income you receive in retirement, including: your age, how long you have been with the company, and your income while working. Additionally, different companies may have rules about pension eligibility.

Pensions are being phased-out across the country and it is becoming increasingly hard to find companies that still offer them. However, if you like the idea of a guaranteed income in retirement, which most people do, an annuity can be an alternative and acts as a “self-made pension.”

401k Plans

A 401k plan is a retirement fund that is offered by your employer and is funded by you. You are responsible for making all of the investment decisions, therefore you take on all of the risk associated with it. Even if your company matches your contribution, the burden of figuring out how much to contribute to save enough for your retirement falls entirely on you.

Additionally, 401k plans are controlled by the government and they make all the rules. The government dictates when you can take money out of a 401k and how it will be taxed. They can also change these rules, meaning that you may not be able to take out your money at the age you expected, or you may be taxed differently than you had planned.

What you should know

The best route to take when planning for retirement is extremely dependent on your situation, preferences, and retirement goals. We are big proponents of keeping your wealth in motion, as well as devising a retirement plan that doesn’t require you to take a pay cut in retirement. It is always best to talk through these decisions with a financial advisor so that you can set yourself up to be smiling through your retirement! In need of retirement planning or wealth management advice? Visit our website to learn about our services and give us a call to schedule an appointment.