Now offering Medicare help

Tony Treece

By Tony Treece
Change is exciting! And we have some big changes to announce this week, but allow me to tell you a story to explain. In 1984 I began my career helping people plan for the future by showing them the need to plan for “what ifs.” Naturally this led me to enter the insurance industry, and during the 1980s and early 1990s I helped literally thousands of people with their Medicare supplement insurance and health insurance, and I was really enjoying it. But then I got nervous.
As you will recall, in 1992 Bill and Hillary Clinton were elected and seemingly immediately began talking about nationalized healthcare. This was extremely troubling for me because I was making my living selling health insurance. We understand now that during this period of time the idea of government mandated health insurance was in its infancy, and nobody knew how it would all play out. I didn’t know if supplemental insurance was going away, but every time Hillary opened her mouth about the subject I would cringe.
Not wanting to be put out of business, I determined it was time to begin figuring out another way to help people prepare for the unexpected. My mother, Linda, took over my Medicare supplement clients and until last year she was servicing those clients and adding to the business. I became securities licensed to sell stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and started down that path. This was around 1993, and like most things I do, I hit the ground running.
This went well, and as many of you will recall I pulled my clients out of the stock market before the 2000 stock market crash. This started a new chapter in helping people with better alternatives to stock market investments and we’ve been at that ever since.
We began warning you last year that new government regulations could again limit our ability to help our clients with their finances. It’s like a broken record… The government continually “fixing” things that the free market could remedy better than any government solution. You can read more about our first warning here:
So we are coming full circle. We are in the process of coming back to the Medicare supplement insurance industry for several reasons, which I’ll quickly outline here. We have been aware that many of our clients are confused about Medicare and do not have adequate help with figuring it out.
Second, we want to grow our business and help more people in the same ways we’ve helped many of you with your retirement savings.
Third, as I’ve mentioned, the government normally thinks it knows what’s best for us, and our ability to help our clients could be severally hampered by the Department of Labor Fiduciary rule that I alluded to earlier in this article. It went into effect on June 9th.

There is nothing to worry about if you’re already our client, but if you’re not you should be worried. The counsel you get concerning how to save your money will be changing. We can help you, but we need to meet with you soon.
Change is exciting and we’re eagerly anticipating where our new path will take us.

Be sure to register for the July 25th educational Medicare workshop we will be hosting in Kannapolis. Click here to register.



What will come of it

By David Treece

You’ve probably heard the adage; “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I bet Donald Trump wishes he had heeded that saying before he fired James Comey, the controversial FBI director. Hindsight is 20/20 and Trump can’t catch a break from anyone after his unexpected ousting. Even Republicans have begun calling for his impeachment.

David Treece

For a day this week it looked like the stock market was going to punish Trump too, after Dow Jones closed over 300 points down. The Plunge Protection Team acted fast to stabilize the market the next day.

Some are saying the Trump administration has more leaks than the sinking Titanic, and it seems the president tried to jump on a lifeboat by going on his first international trip since being elected. President Trump met with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, on Saturday and today. From there he will jet set off to Israel and the Vatican. He will end his trip by going to the European Union and meeting other world leaders in Italy.

The King of Saudi Arabia, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opaque Catholic Church have long been advocates of wars and threats of wars. It never ends and Americans love war! We relish war and the thought of beating up the “bully.” Insert Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, or now Bashar al-Assad (the Syrian president) and the public by and large approves of sending our military personnel and using our assets to fight these bullies for reasons that are often ambiguous at best.

Believe me, I’ve asked quite a few people how they felt about Trump’s bombing of Syria and Afghanistan, and most everybody I’ve asked approved of it. National polls reflect that most Americans approved. Democrats and Republicans alike (not that there is much difference) approved of it. In fact, after Trump bombed the countries, the establishment media and his strongest critics gave him a reprieve for a week or two.

What the people who approve of these bombing do not realize is they are playing into Biblical prophecy. Matthew 24:6 states, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Sadly, if I asked the Christians who approved of Trump’s bombing if they were worried about things spiraling out of control and causing a worldwide nuclear war, they would probably grin at me and say, “No, we’ll be raptured out.”

Many Christians do not worry about how bad, immoral, and atheistic the world is becoming because they believe Christians will be taken to Heaven before it gets “too bad.” They make this gamble not based on Scripture but on a man named John Schofield’s commentary on the Bible. The seeds of deception crept into churches and propagated through pastors and preachers in most corners of America.

It’s sad that Christians have been lulled to sleep when it comes to fully understanding world events and how they may be impacted. I encourage you to study this topic. While you may be scratching your head thinking “What in the world does this have to do with financial matters, saving for retirement, or anything?”, it’s important because knowing why to prepare and take a conservative approach is important.

There are more reasons than I can list of why the stock market is for gamblers and those not worried about their money and why banks are not a safe place to park your money.

That’s why it’s imperative that we take the bull by the horns when it comes to our personal economy. We may not have Donald Trump’s ear and we may not be able to impact the world economy, but we can sure impact our personal economy. We can plan well so that we have the money we have and it is not squandered in high-risk investments so that it’s there when we need it most often, in our golden years. You need a plan to have guaranteed income that you cannot outlive. This is what we help do.



Redefining Repeal

By David Treece

It takes an astute eye to keep up with what’s going on politically these days. President Donald Trump stated in his weekly address that House has passed an Obamacare repeal. Well, that’s partly the case.

Mark Sanford, a Congressman from South Carolina stated, “Many Republicans will claim this bill eliminates the Affordable Care Act. These may be good talking points, but it’s not so accurate. It eliminates some portions of the Affordable Care Act and leaves other portions standing.” The reason the “repeal” bill passed the House is because it cut taxes and eliminates penalties. While this is noble, calling it a repeal isn’t quite precise. Next the bill goes to the Senate for consideration and is likely to ultimately look nothing like the House bill.

Arguably the worst piece of legislation of Obama’s tenure, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, has stifled the economy. A Congressional House committee passed a bill to overhaul Dodd-Frank. In 2010 Congress passed the Dodd-Frank legislation, which mandates that there will be bank bail-ins instead of bank bailouts.

Meaning, depositor money will be used to stabilize the bank should the need arise. Remember 2008? Banks were sinking and our tax-dollars were used to stabilize it. Now your money in the bank will be used. It’s apparent that the FDIC would be unable to payout should the need arise. It’s broke.

Not to mention that money saved in a bank is not keeping up with inflation. With interest rates being artificially low, there is no way for bank deposits to keep pace with inflation. It would be a wonderful thing if Dodd-Frank wasn’t just overhauled but it was repealed.

As we have explained previously, banks being able to leverage money to borrowers caused the stock market crash of 1929. The stock market was rising higher and higher, much like it has over the last few years, and banks capitalized on the climbing stock market. If you had ten dollars you could get a loan for a hundred dollars and if the market went up ten percent, you doubled your money. Sounds good, right? It did until these loans were called. These loans were called 24-hour call loans. If the bank asked for their money, within 24 hours the borrower had to pay the called loan. Of course, when people could not pay these loans off it caused the crash and as a result banks closed too.

In 1932 the Glass-Steagall Act was passed to prevent banks from lending money beyond what they actually had. Like government does, it created the problem all over again in 1999 when Alan Greenspan lobbied Congress to repeal Glass-Steagall. The Wall Street cartel is a powerful lobbying force in Washington, and it does not care if its actions cause you to be a retirement loser when the market crashes. The monster only cares about being fed our money, and it has an insatiable appetite that’s fed through investor greed.

The repeal of Glass-Steagall didn’t create an immediate problem. However, think about credit card debt… Most of us do not get in credit card debt with one big purchase. It’s little decisions here and there that add up to big consequences that often haunt us. The first manifestation of problems occurred in 2007 with the housing market crash, and then a year later the stock market crashed. Of course Bill Clinton never gets much blame for the 2008 crash, but he should.

President Trump seems to have good intentions but the problems he faces are greater and more severe than most people can or are willing to comprehend. Despite what you hear on cable news, we are living in uncertain times. We implore you not to get caught up in Wall Street greed or banking ignorance. Safely and securely put your money to work for you. That’s what we help people like you do.



The dog with no teeth

By David Treece

War with North Korea appears imminent. The rogue communist continues to launch missiles and talk big talk while U.S. warships stalk the edge of the isolated country’s coastline. President Trump seems to have backed himself into a corner, and backing down at this point would severely damage his ego.

It’s this author’s opinion that if President Trump and the media quit talking and giving the Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, attention the snake will go back in its hole. It’s unclear how capable North Korea is, but what if they are already nuclear capable? What would it mean for the American and global economy?

The Dow Jones stock market index climbed over 21,000 despite Gross Domestic Product getting off to a horrible start in 2017. The stock market does not make fundamental sense. Reports indicate that the leading driver of the economy thus far has been home sales. This has been driven by artificially low interest rates.

Retail sales are down, and car dealers are reporting stagnation in sales. In fact, the dealership where I purchased a vehicle a few years ago contacted me this week offering me 0% interest on a new car. While this is a great deal for consumers, it’s a terrible sign for the economy.

When banks cannot earn interest on money loaned, it forces them into risky derivatives that can be problematic on many levels. This issue is a direct result of the Federal Reserve tampering with our money supply.

You may ask what we would do if we did not have the Federal Reserve. What do you do when you rid yourself of a cancer? Live healthier. The economy would be healthier and more robust and operate with a much greater degree of integrity.

With banks making risky bets and the oversold and overhyped stock market climbing higher and higher, it only means the stock market fall is going to be harder, longer, and more dramatic.



What in the world is going on with Donald Trump?

By David Treece

David Treece

Trump told us he was going to go to Washington and “drain the swamp” but he quickly began wading out into the swamp instead. It did not take long for him to begin appointing various members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and former employees of Goldman Sachs.

As far back as 2010 outlets like Rolling Stone magazine stated, “From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again.” If President Trump wanted to drain the swamp, he sure started out with a lousy slate of appointees.

As much as we want to hope for the best with Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, we must note that both are past members of the CFR.

But what’s the big deal about the CFR?

Pat Robertson wrote in 1991, “This august body of ‘wise men’ has effectively dominated the making of foreign policy by the United States government since before World War II. The CFR has included virtually every key national security, and foreign policy adviser of this nation for the past seventy years.”

Robertson went on to write, “In government policy, the most visible expression of the Establishment is the Council on Foreign Relations, and its publication, Foreign Affairs. Out of some twenty-nine hundred members, at least five hundred are very powerful, another five hundred are from centers of influence, and the rest are influential in academia, the media, business, and finance, the military, or government. A few are token conservatives.”

Trump campaigned on draining the Establishment and listening to you and me, but his reversal on key topics has caused a few questions. His unconstitutional bombing of Afghanistan and Syria without Congressional approval is an enormous reversal.

When Obama was mulling the idea of bombing Syria, Trump tweeted on August 29, 2013, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and possible long-term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.” Trump tweeted numerous other times about how bad of an idea it was… So what’s changed?

Another point of conflict for the President is his pledge to label China as a “currency manipulator.” He said he would once elected, but has deliberately decided not to follow through. The truth of the matter is that any government with a central bank like the Federal Reserve is a currency manipulator. China can easily and clearly make a case that America manipulates its currency, thereby helping put another nail in the coffin of the dollar losing the world’s reserve status. I’m sure a few backroom conversations were had about this topic.

At our next free dinner seminar on May 9th we will share more on President Trump’s reversal and why it is still a very important time to have your financial house in order. The façade we see today is reminiscent of prior economic bubble explosions. Tread carefully.



Who pays when Medicare won't?

There are huge misconceptions about what Medicare covers and if it will pay for long-term care needs. Some people believe they are covered because they have Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan, but unfortunately this is not the case. It’s important to understand what your plans cover before you need long-term care.

In a recent survey, 34% of people believed Medicare would pay for long-term care, and 27% had no idea what Medicare would pay for. Our goal is to help educate people about these common misconceptions so they can be prepared when situations arise.

Medicare will pay for short stays in nursing or rehab facilities, but if you need continual care at home or at a facility you will need an alternative way to pay for care. And for younger people, most private insurance plans will not cover long-term care services like a nursing home or ongoing care provided by a licensed home health care aide.

However, when surveyed, 18% of people believed their private insurance plan would cover ongoing nursing home care, and 25% believed their private insurance plan would pay for ongoing care at home.

The reality is that most people don’t want to think about these things. As a result, another government program called Medicaid is used for over half of long-term care needs. Of course, when you are using Medicaid your choices are much more limited. It cannot be overstated how limited your choices may become, so this is why advance planning is essential.

“Medicaid is a federally funded and state funded needs-based benefits that will provide for various types of Long-Term Care depending on the state’s regulations.” As stated, the program paid in 2013 for over half of all long-term care needs in America yet over half of people surveyed do not expect to need to use Medicaid in their lifetimes.

At our free dinner seminar next Tuesday, we will discuss these topics and we will go into greater detail. Please reserve your spot by following the link below. If you are not in the Concord, North Carolina area, we would be happy to arrange a time to speak to you and to answer your questions. Please call 704.717.4848.



People-centered care for Long-Term Care

What are a few things most people avoid talking about at all costs? What comes to mind? A short list may include taxes, politics, religion, and the big one: death! Something else that most people avoid is the potential need for long-term care.

The path we must stride in our golden years can be tough, but this topic is like many things. A sage person once said, “We need to plan time to plan time.” Long-term care can be thought of similarly in that we have to plan time to plan our future. Planning for the future never stops, no matter what age we have reached.

What’s alarming is that surveys reveal that most Americans have huge misconceptions about long-term care. The SCAN Foundation funded a survey of American over the age of 40, and its discoveries are startling. The finding stated that most people drastically underestimated the potential that a loved one may need long-term care in the next 5 years, there is a lack of knowledge of the impact of “person-centered care,” there is a lack of understanding of how private insurance plans and Medicare supplements cover long-term care needs, and there is a lack of desire to plan at all.

Person-centered care is “An approach to healthcare and supportive services that allows individuals to take control of their own care by specifying preferences and outlining goals that will improve their quality of life.”

The main way to have person-centered care is through pre-planning and coordinated care. This is achieved primarily through communication and by pre-planning. Obviously, this is the care everyone would hope for if they understood the needs or had the resources.

Over the next few weeks we will dive into the topic of long-term care and attempt to help you have a better understanding of what you can do to plan for your future. We believe this will be an empowering and rewarding path to travel.



Your smart phone is listening to you

By David Treece

Did you see the latest WikiLeaks release? Early reports indicate that a whistleblower inside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) bravely and heroically leaked documents and information similar to that of exiled Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden 

Edward Snowden 

The new series is being called “Vault 7,” and WikiLeaks states that only 1% of the leaked info has been published. The data leaked reveals that the government has the ability to commandeer “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs” without users like you and me even knowing it.

The leak reveals that the CIA has lost control of its spying programs and that parts of the programs could be stolen or exploited by bad actors. A cyber weapon that is “loose” could electronically spread anywhere around the globe in seconds, and be maliciously used against anyone. These clandestine programs have had little to no oversight, with most people not even being aware they exist.

“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.” Remember, the National Security Agency (NSA) was the known proprietor of this unethical breach of public trust, but now we learn that the CIA is doing as much or more data mining on the American public.

One of the most alarming details so far is that the CIA is said to be attempting to breach a vehicle’s computer systems. The motivation is not clear, but this would allow for undetected vehicular assassination attempts with little trace.

“The CIA’s Mobile Device Branch developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio, and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.” And there’s no escaping it. According to the Vault 7 revelations, popular secure messaging applications have all been breached.

Our days of privacy have vanished. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is dead. It states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

What does this have to do with financial matters? Our ability to privately decide our efforts is dissipating. Had it not been for President Trump delaying new regulatory costs, harsh financial regulations were set to go into effect. Americans would have lost more of their ability to affordably access financial guidance. Unfortunately, our government has grown into an insatiable monster that feasts on personal freedom.

Any time we have the ability to take the reins to our destiny, we should. At TreeceCo we put our clients in the driver’s seat in order for them to plot their trajectory. We don’t believe in sitting back and hoping for the best. We believe in actively pursuing the best outcome.




Opportunity rising

By David Treece

Opportunity arises out of crisis. The light at the end of the tunnel is the knowledge that new horizons can be reached if we can just make it through the storm. We’ve been in the business of helping our clients and friends prepare for the next financial crisis for years now.

David Treece

About every decade in America we face a stock market correction, and those who are most prepared and knowledgeable are the ones who fare the best. After the mortgage meltdown crisis in 2008, those who were positioned well seized upon cheaper real estate prices and even many stocks being sold at a 30% discount. However, those who were financially wiped out had no recourse. They either went bankrupt or had to wait on average at least 7 years for their investment prices to regain value.

Statistically it’s time for a stock market correction. We’re not fortunetellers or mystics, so I don’t know when the correction will transpire, but being ahead of the curve is key to succeeding. Nothing stays the same. Times are changing, and being proactive with your saved money is essential to maintaining the life you want to live.

Some savers are sitting on the edge of their chairs watching the Dow Jones average creep higher and higher… 20,500… It’s a lot like sitting on the edge of the stool at the casino table, knowing it’s time to cash out, but wanting just a little more. Don’t risk your future standard of living. We can help you participate in the gains of the market but not lose when it corrects every decade.



Is it morning in America

David Treece

By David Treece 

Many people are optimistic that a new day is dawning in America. People outside of the urban centers understand that globalization has been detrimental to America’s economy, and some people are waking to the reality that cheaper products don’t necessarily help as much as having industry and jobs.

I, like many people, believed the lie of the media that Hillary Clinton was surging to victory, but we were thrown a curveball when Donald Trump ascended to the White House. One thing is for certain: since the moment it became evident that he was winning the election it’s been a roller coaster of “what’s next?” On election night, when he started winning the stock market futures dipped, but now the market has risen to record heights. What’s the stock market going to do next? We can help it not matter for you, because your money is safe and growing regardless of how the market performs.

Donald Trump has been loose with his words and quick to jab anyone who questions his authority. The list of foes seems to grow daily, and while this is entertaining and the old way of doing politics needs to be shattered… I just wonder how we are all going to be impacted by President Trump’s assertiveness.

Morning in America

The civil unrest and protest, which became normal during Obama’s reign, seem to be heating up even more. Politico ran an article this week with the title “Republicans fear for their safety as Obamacare protests grow.” The truth is that career politicians are more worried about their next election than their safety. But the point remains that protests like what we saw after the inauguration are becoming normal.

Historically, about every decade the stock market takes a dive. Due to the government’s intervention in the economy after the last decline we are experiencing a huge stock market bubble.

Just this week a client stopped by our office who is 84 years old. We helped him get out of the stock market last year, but he was thinking he got out too soon now that the market has continued to go up. He admitted that he worried about whether he’d lose money in the market, but he knew he couldn’t make up losses like he sustained to his money in the dot-com stock market crash or the mortgage meltdown crash. Getting out a day, a year, or many years too early is a great problem to have. The reason is simple, because you are not going backwards financially.