This podcast highlights resources, stories, and ideas for helping Mainers find their own success in retirement.


Ep 047: In today's day and age, we're having more and more conversations with our financial planning and advisory clients that they want their values to be incorporated in all aspects of their lives. There are hot button items that they want to be impacting wherever possible. Maybe its climate. Maybe its social inequality. Maybe its disclosure of a company's business practices or countless others. 2020 was a solid reminder of these issues to many of us as COVID impacted the world significantly and there were urgent calls to address racial injustice after the murder of George Floyd. According to the Report on US Sustainable and Impact Investing Trends 2020, which tracked data as of year-end 2019, found that investors are considering "ESG" factors across $17 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 42 percent increase since 2018. So what is "ESG" and how can someone tie their values to their investments?  That's the premise of today's show!

Today's guest is the Head of Fundamental Equity Client Portfolio Management team for Emerging Markets and International Equities in the Americas, and an Emerging Markets specialist at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). She leads the building of the Emerging Markets and International Equities franchise, drives business expansion, designs new portfolios, and communicates Fundamental Equity strategies to clients in the Americas. In her role as an Emerging Markets specialist, she is focused on helping clients gain appropriate access to emerging markets, as well as assisting with their strategic asset allocation decision making process.

She has 13 years of industry experience, joining Goldman Sachs in 2008. She graduated from Lehigh University magna cum laude with a B.S. in Finance in 2008. She  was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2012. Please welcome Katherine Bordlemay to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!


Welcome, Katherine! [3:40]

What is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and ESG? [9:55]

Why would someone want to invest their long-term savings in one of these vehicles (SRI/ESG)? [15:36]

How do asset managers evaluate ESG? [23:38]

As an investor, how can we know that an ESG’s strategy is really aligning with my values? [31:27]

How are asset managers themselves doing on ESG characteristics, including diversity and inclusion? [44:25]

What is Katherine’s definition of Retirement Success? [50:21]

Abby, Ben, and Curtis wrap-up the episode. [51:38]

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Ep 046: According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data from 2017, the average monthly energy bill in Maine is just $87.21. That’s the lowest average energy bill of any state in New England, and one of the lowest in the U.S. For reference, Maine’s closest neighbor, New Hampshire, features a much pricier $114.95 average monthly energy bill. (Source: SmartData) However, that's not the entire picture where electrical energy is only ONE energy source that Mainers use ~ many Mainers use heating oil, gas, wood, pellets, solar, etc. to heat their homes during winter months or supplement electrical use. For many Mainers, heating and electrical use is the considerable budget item. Energy can also be talked about in regards to our transportation systems and our vehicles ~ Energy in Maine is a BIG topic! But for us Mainers today, what's going on in energy use today and how will it impact tomorrow? Especially for retirees, how should they be thinking about creating enough energy flexibility for their homes that they can adapt and react to changing prices on energy over their lives? That's the premise of today's show!
Our next guest holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer. He is a former State Representative, where he was a member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. He co-founded DuraLife Decking, a composite decking manufacturing company that continues to operate and grow in Biddeford. After the company's acquisition, he then served as Director of Sustainability for GAF, North America's largest roofing manufacturer, developing initiatives such as roofing recycling and the company's Zero-Waste-to-Landfill effort, as well as building networks with national organizations such as the US Green Building Council. Currently, our next guest is the Executive Director for E2Tech - the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine. He also hosted "The Grow Maine Show" for over 100 episodes and 6 years and had his show picked up by WGAN, where it airs Sunday Morning at 11a. 
He grew up in Carthage, Maine, where his family still runs a small farm keeping Jersey cows. He and his wife Amy and their two children live in Biddeford where Amy works in the Biddeford School Department. 
Please welcome Marty Grohman to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Welcome, Marty! [2:53]

How is energy being utilized throughout the state of Maine? [16:22]

What are some things that Mainers can do to lower their heating and energy costs? [26:54]

What’s coming down the pike in terms of cutting-edge energy technologies? [37:50]

What is Marty doing today to future proof himself from energy costs and moving to more sustainable forms of energy? [44:31]

What is Marty’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [48:36]

Ben and Curtis wrap up the episode. [51:50]

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Ep 045: The next jackpot for the next Powerball drawing has hit $1.5 billion. If you win it, you won't ever have to worry about money again--right? Wrong.

With good money management you--and your heirs--could live handsomely for many, many years. But from the moment that you claim that prize, you will be descended upon by vultures who want a hefty helping of those winnings. And if you didn't have smart money habits up until now, you could easily turn out to be your own worst enemy by quickly squandering the fortune.  There's actually a term for this, it’s called a "Lottery Curse Victim"! 

With that, we have wanted to tackle the concept of winning the Powerball with three pillars of help: legal, tax, and financial advisory. Our first guest was recently on episode #39 -Estate Planning Mistakes that Lead to Probate Litigation, she is on the executive committee for Legal Services for the Elderly in Maine, the Maine Justice Action Group, a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, and an advisor to the Peaks Island Fund, a Maine Community Foundation fund. She also teaches elder law as adjunct faculty at the University of Maine School of Law. She was a member attorney of Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC prior to the Center merging with Perkins Thompson, P.A. in September of 2019. Our second guest joined BBSC Certified Public Accountants in 2015 as a Senior Accountant with 7 years of experience in public accounting and is now a Principal at the firm. He works with small to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries, including real estate development, retail companies, service providers, and construction companies. He advises on and prepares returns for partnerships, corporations, and individuals. He also handles the Firm’s personal property tax programs administered by the State of Maine and local municipalities, the BETE & BETR programs.

Please welcome Barbara Schlichtman and Justin Freeman to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!


LEGAL SEGMENT – Barbara Schlichtman, Attorney [3:12]

Basics about a trust and why estate planning is so important, especially in a case of wealth. [3:55]

Why are Fiduciaries so important? [9:34]

I WON! What is the timeline for getting the legal structures in place before claiming the prize? [20:55]

What should people consider before gifting/donating away the prize money? [30:20]

TAX SEGMENT – Justin Freeman, CPA [39:38]

How are lottery and gambling winnings taxed? [41:34]

From a tax perspective, when does it make sense for someone to choose the annuity payout or the lump sum payout? [45:22]

When a pool of people purchases lottery tickets, and they win, how does that work from a tax perspective? [48:42]

What happens if the lottery ticket is purchased in another state? [50:36]

How much can charitable giving help reduce the tax bill over time? [54:40]

How can a trust receiving the winnings help from a tax perspective? [1:01:39]

FINANCIAL PLANNING SEGMENT – Guidance Point Advisors, LLC [1:10:07]

Annuity or Lump Sum, and why? [1:11:33]

How to invest the money? [1:18:41]

What to consider when realizing your dreams after winning the Powerball? [1:25:08]

What are some practical things to be doing with the winnings? [1:32:39]

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Ep 044: In our show, we've covered many topics but we've not had the conversation about Caregiving. According to the National Alliance of Caregiving (NAC) and AARP, 53 million, or 21% of Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult with health or functional needs. 24% of caregivers are caring for more than one person. 26% of Americans are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Lastly, 26% of family caregivers report THEIR own health as fair to poor! So what do we need to know about caregiving BEFORE we get into the role? How do we balance our own mental, physical, and emotional health and the person we're taking care of? Where do I go if I need help and have questions? How do I make sure I'm ok AFTER the adult I'm caring for is gone? That's the premise of today's show!

Enter an expert who has been a well-known patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker for the last 35 years. She began her career working with geriatric patients who experienced catastrophic illnesses and counseled them and their families about adapting to these medical problems. She helped them understand their medical condition and counseled them about how to cope with the disease and its impact on their lives. She continued to work on a rehabilitation unit in a large Chicago teaching hospital with patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes, cancer, amputations, burns, and neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. She also covered the emergency room for 13 years seeing patients of all ages with a variety of medical problems.
In writing her new book, "Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents," our guest has come full circle. Her experience in caring for her beloved father, who died at age 97, triggered her passion in reaching out to others who suddenly find themselves in a caregiver role and are uncertain about what to do or where to go for help. In this book, she shares her father’s inspiring story and her personal and professional experience in assuming the challenges that come with being a caregiver for an aging loved one.
Today's guest has been doing freelance writing for the last 20 years. The focus of her work has been on health-related topics and assisting her readers gain knowledge that helps them feel less alone and empowers them in significant new ways. Please welcome Iris Waichler to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Welcome, Iris Waichler! [2:29]

An introduction to caregiving. What is it? How does caregiving change as the person receiving the care ages? [12:46]

How can caregivers avoid burnout? How do caregivers cope as their loved one(s) decline? [21:30]

What advice does Iris have for someone who doesn’t have that immediate family member to step in as their caregiver? [35:48]

What is the “caregiver conversation” and when is the best time to step in? [38:44]

What is Iris’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [53:03]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap up the conversation. [55:08]


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Ep 043: You'd think that in retirement we are going to be stress and anxiety free and life is just six Saturdays and a Sunday, right? But, there is always something to worry about - starting with the retirement transition period of "who am I and what do i do with the rest of my life?" to financial, medical, relationships, and life in general. One thing we've found with our clients is that just because one part of their life retires, other things in their life steps in to complete their time more, and with that, stress accompanies life. So what can we do to de-stress our lifestyles? How do we quiet our minds and heal ourselves from years of job, family, money, relational, and other life stresses? Well, meditation is a great way to clear our minds and de-stress ourselves. So we wanted to dive into meditation and how it can help today's retiree ~That's the premise of today's show! 

Our next guest is a meditation teacher and energy worker specializing in meditation, women’s energetics, and sexual trauma healing. She is the author of The Art and Science of Meditation: How to Deepen and Personalize Your Practice and Chakra Empowerment for Women: Self-Guided Techniques for Healing Trauma, Owning Your Power & Finding Overall Wellness. She has trained in many energy healing modalities and is certified in both mindfulness meditation instruction and trauma sensitivity. Lisa is a member of the International Association of Meditation Instructors, the American Holistic Health Association, the Energy Medicine Practitioners Association, and The Breathe Network, a non-profit dedicated to supporting holistic healing for sexual trauma survivors. She supports individuals in goal attainment and to support physical healing, showing them how energy meditations and guided exercises can help. Please welcome Lisa Erickson to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!


Welcome, Lisa! [2:11]

What are the different meditation forms, and what are the benefits of each? [7:28]

How can retirees specifically, start or develop their meditation or yoga practice? [21:24]

Meditate with us! [34:20]

Can group meditation help combat social isolation? [45:16]

What is Lisa’s definition of Retirement Success? [52:53]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap-up the conversation. [55:20]

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Ep 042: In the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community is large; in fact, this group makes up approximately 4.5% of the country’s total population. An estimated 2.7 million adults in the US are both LGBTQ+ and over 50, with 1.1 million over the age of 65. Despite their size and prevalence, the LGBTQ+ community still experiences myriads of hurdles and challenges, especially when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have encountered anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination when attempting to access healthcare. Further, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges through the aging process. So what are those challenges and what resources are available to help overcome them? That's the premise of today's show!

Our guest is the Associate Vice President of Community and Pediatric Services at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to youth and families across a variety of settings. He also is an adjunct faculty member at both UMaine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor and is the Clinical Consultant for the Bangor YMCA. He serves on the Maine Board of Social Work Licensing and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Locally, he was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy work with LGBTQ+ youth and was named Health Care Social Worker of the Year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC. Nationally, he was the SSWLHC’s 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs in Patient Care for his work on youth suicide prevention. In the Spring of 2020, he was named the University of Maine School of Social Work's Alumni of the Year. Please welcome Christopher McLaughlin BACK to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Welcome back, Chris! [2:37]

When we talk about LGBTQ+, who are we talking about? [9:13]

What does it mean for the LGBTQ+ community to take ownership of who they really are? [20:47]

What are some things that LGBTQ+ seniors can do to reduce social isolation? [31:58]

In Maine, what organizations can LGBTQ+ seniors turn to to assist with their needs as they age? [46:16]

How do state statutes on rights and the stability of those rights impact the decision making on where to live? [50:24]

If Chris could have anything named after him, what would it be and why? [1:03:46]

Ben and Curtis wrap-up the conversation. [1:06:08]

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Ep 041: One of the things as financial advisors, we get asked about a lot from clients, but also just people we bump into, is cryptocurrency - there just seems to be lots of questions about what it is and how it's impacting people. There are questions about what it is today, how it's impacting us and also, how it's tying into our lives, both today and in our retirement and how we think about aging as well. We really wanted to reach out to somebody that really knew about cryptocurrency, someone who has had some expertise in the past with it, but also is deeply involved, and could help teach us.

Enter Tyler Frederick, CFA. Tyler is a manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Applied FinTech research team. He contributes to the bank's research and experimentation with emerging technology in its potential impact on both the financial services industry and the Federal Reserve's mission broadly. Prior to joining the Boston Fed, he worked for Circle internet financial, a cryptocurrency payments and exchange company. Where he led the compliance team's blockchain forensics and market surveillance functions. Before Circle, Tyler was a senior trader with Fidelity Investments where he was responsible for supervising teams of traders in a variety of asset classes. He's a graduate of the Boston college Carroll School of Management and a CFA Charterholder. Please welcome Tyler Frederick to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!


Welcome, Tyler! [4:03]

What is cryptocurrency? [10:30]

Why are cryptocurrencies so popular? [30:05]

How do we protect ourselves from fraud or theft once we’ve purchased a cryptocurrency? [39:57]

Why should retirees be paying attention to blockchain and cryptocurrency technology? [43:54]

Is cryptocurrency a “green” thing, or is it not a green trend at all? [49:01]

What is Tyler’s personal definition of Retirement Success? [55:00]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap up the episode. [57:11]

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EP 040: It's estimated that for the average American retiree, 40% of our retirement income comes from Social Security. But how do I make sure that I'm making good decisions about a social security benefit that is supposed to pay me for the rest of my life? Am I asking the right questions of Social Security when I talk to them? Are there benefits that I might be entitled to that I don't know about? What about life complications that can impact my social security benefits like divorce, disability, death, With all of our shows, we want to discuss the insights that may better your upcoming or existing retirement.  That's the premise of today's show!

Enter someone that helps educate the public on how to maximize their Social Security benefits. Our guest is the Social Security Administration’s Public Affairs Specialist for all District Offices in the State of Maine as well as for the Portsmouth, New Hampshire District Office.  She has worked for the Agency since 2005 and enjoys sharing her knowledge of Social Security with the communities she serves.  Disclaimer: “Participation in this presentation/podcast/video does not constitute an endorsement by the Social Security Administration or its employees of the organizations and information and products not provided by Social Security.” Please welcome Libby Newport to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!


Welcome, Libby! [1:17]

A conversation about the experience of claiming Social Security benefits. [7:54]

How do spousal Social Security benefits work? [15:08]

How do MainePERS and Social Security interact? [27:39]

How do spousal benefits change when a spouse passes away? [33:18]

How can folks really protect themselves from someone defrauding their Social Security benefit? [35:52]

How true is the statement, “Social Security won’t be there when I retire”? [38:49]

What questions does Libby wish people would ask of the Social Security Administration? [42:17]

What does Retirement Success mean to Libby? [49:45]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap-up the episode. [51:31]

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EP 039: Earlier in our shows, we had two estate planners come on and talk about the importance of having an up-to-date estate plan. In our experience as financial planners, many people come to us nearing retirement and have a will/estate plan that can date back to 30 years ago. So we all know now that we should keep these plans up to date. BUT, what are some common mistakes that we (as in Mainers) make by either not executing an estate plan, or having an old will that doesn't keep up with our wishes or state law, or perhaps we don't share the right information with our estate planning attorney so that they can make the best plan for us, our wishes, and our families? We wanted to have a conversation about the probate process POST death and how things can go RIGHT and how things can go WRONG. That's the premise of today's show!

Enter someone that helps her clients prepare themselves and loved ones for life events by designing personalized legal documents to carry out their wishes and protect their assets. Our guest is on the executive committee for Legal Services for the Elderly in Maine, the Maine Justice Action Group, a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, and an advisor to the Peaks Island Fund, a Maine Community Foundation fund. She also teaches elder law as adjunct faculty at University of Maine School of Law. She was a member attorney of Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC prior to the Center merging with Perkins Thompson, P.A. in September of 2019.  Please welcome Barbara Schlichtman to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!

Welcome, Barbara! [1:52]

How can an incomplete or non-existent estate plan worsen the outcome for a family following a death? [12:29]

Barbara discusses the process of litigating an estate or trust. [20:30]

A deep dive into trusts. How well can a trust protect your assets? How/when do independent trustees come into the picture? Are trusts expensive to maintain? What mistakes are commonly made when setting up a trust? [30:26]

What sort of common family situations (dynamics/relationships/structures) would Barbara identify as being most likely to have challenged estate? [48:23]

What is Barbara’s definition of Retirement Success? [53:46]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap-up the episode. [55:09]

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EP 038: What's the one "hobby" that everyone associates with retirement? They might say "So now that you're retired, I bet you're playing lots of golf". Well, for some retirees that's EXACTLY what they want to do. But what if we've never actually played before, how do we start learning to play (is it too late)? Or we've played some while we've been busy in our careers, how can we get better? What about experiencing golf courses in the state of Maine or outside the State, what are some experiences that need to be on your list?

Our next guest is a PGA Professional, the Head Golf Coach for Bates College, a LPGA Tour Caddie, and host of Maine Golf Talk Podcast. You can access him as a coach through or listen to Maine Golf Talk Podcast on all the major podcast platforms. 
Please welcome to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast, Henry Fall!

Welcome, Henry! [2:46]

How does Henry recommend to those that are new to the game of golf, start playing and progress their skill? [20:50]

A conversation about golf accessibility as people age. [25:35]

What should we consider when planning a golf bucket list trip? [32:49]

What are some things to consider when deciding if becoming a member at a particular golf course is right for you? [41:12]

How does Henry define Retirement Success? [52:26]

Ben, Abby, and Curtis wrap-up the episode. [55:18]

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