The Aul Financial Hour

Steve Aul

As a baby boomer, retirement planning today is up to you. But you don’t have to go it alone! Steve Aul founded the Aul Financial Group in St. Louis to help people navigate the challenges of retirement. If you’re looking for lessons on 401(k)s, minimizing taxes, asset protection and creating lasting income in retirement….this podcast is for you!

All Episodes

Every year, the Social Security Administration adjusts benefits based on cost-of-living (also called COLA).  It’s averaged about 1.7% annually as inflation remained low.  But in 2022, the increase is set for 5.9% - the biggest boost in beneficiary checks in 40 years.  It’s all because the economic recovery from the pandemic has triggered rising prices for a wide range of goods and services.  Should retirees view this as a pay hike?  Does this change any strategies when including Social Security in a retirement plan? 

Nov 26

9 min 45 sec

The #1 fear of planning for retirement is running out of money. Have you ever wondered what the planning process is like when you work with Steve and the Aul Financial Group? If so, you're in the right place! Hear Steve take you STEP by STEP in his process and how he makes it easy for you to have confidence in retirement.  And...  The Federal Reserve will begin dialing back the extraordinary economic aid it's provided since the pandemic erupted last year.  It’s a response to high inflation that now looks likely to persist longer than it did just a few months ago. When it comes to retirement plans, what’s the smart play at this point?

Nov 18

6 min 15 sec

If you're lucky enough to have a pension, Forbes says a lot of companies are offering lump-sum buy-out offers.  What are some of the factors we should consider if we’re given that option? 

Nov 5

9 min 44 sec

Every year, the Social Security Administration adjusts benefits based on cost-of-living (also called COLA).  It’s averaged about 1.7% annually as inflation remained low.  But in 2022, the increase is set for 5.9% - the biggest boost in beneficiary checks in 40 years.  It’s all because the economic recovery from the pandemic has triggered rising prices for a wide range of goods and services.  Should retirees view this as a pay hike?  Does this change any strategies when including Social Security in a retirement plan?  Then, the backdoor roth is on its way out but there is still a little time to take advantage of this NOW! 

Oct 29

9 min 45 sec

One of the most basic retirement planning questions people have is “How am I doing?”  We want to know if we’re on track for a comfortable retirement, or if we might need to change something.  To help, Fidelity came up with some so-called “benchmarks” for how much money we should have set aside by certain ages. Hear Steve explain if these benchmarks are reasonable or  Then, they call it the retirement “sweet spot.”  During the period after you retire … but before you have to start taking RMDs … you have more flexibility to control your retirement taxes.  Hear Steve explain how his tax tools and strategies can help to even have a tax free retirement!  

Oct 22

8 min

The Senior Citizens League says if you’d retired in the year 2000 with a total income of $100,000, you’d now need $156,000 to be able to afford the same standard of living.  That’s thanks to inflation, which – by the way – has been rising much faster than usual lately.  We’d like to think that we’ll be able to replace our current income in retirement, but it appears we’re losing ground.  What’s the answer?, People seem to have strong feelings about Bitcoin and other forms of crypto currency.  Some think it’s nothing but a scam … while others are confident it’s a good investment.  Steve shares his ideas about Bitcoin and if it's a good investment opportunity. 

Oct 8

10 min 7 sec

Stay the course.  That’s the message from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week on dealing with the pandemic recession.  He’s advising against raising interest rates to head off inflation, as long as employment continues to move upward.  Hear Steve's opinion on Powell's remarks, and how he is guiding his clients on this topic. If you have a “target date” fund, the year ends in either a zero or a five.  And an Iowa State University study claims most people have a psychological bias that causes them to choose a fund year ending in zero.  And because of that, some of them are choosing a fund that matures before their actual retirement.  The researchers claim those people have lower returns because they were under-invested in stocks!  Hear what Steve thinks – should we choose a fund that matures a few years sooner than our expected retirement date, a few years later, or does it really matter?

Sep 24

7 min 28 sec

When it comes to taxes, we tend to focus on our federal liabilities, but remember that Uncle Sam is not the only one with his hands in your pocket.  Here’s a good example:  The state of California just raised its gas tax again … even though the state has a $75 billion budget surplus this year!  Is it unreasonable to hope that … sooner or later … we might see our taxes go down, instead of up? What comes to mind when you hear the word “retirement”?  Most of us probably think about all the things we want to do when we quit working – like take a fancy vacation, or maybe play a lot of golf.  But a survey by the management firm Voya found that people are also thinking more about how they’re going to pay for those things.  

Sep 10

7 min 14 sec

I don’t know if you saw this or not, but there’s a new study showing that stress really can turn your hair gray!  Aging expert Dr. Richard Siow says it’s a pretty big deal! But here’s the best part:  The researchers also found that – once the stress is gone – you might be able to get your original hair color back again!  Now, we don’t expect Steve to magically make all our gray hairs go away, but we are hoping he can help you relieve some of the stress you're feeling as a result of planning for retirement. Steve talks about how having a financial checkup as we are halfway thru the year!  

Aug 27

10 min 9 sec

Hard to believe, but we’re almost at the half-way point of 2021.  So, what will the second half of the year bring?  A report from the GO-Banking-Rates website predicts higher prices at the supermarket … and at the gas pump.  That’s in addition to “astronomical” prices in the housing market.  Sounds like inflation may be here to stay … at least for a while, how do we keep up? Plus, what if you could add Bitcoin to your retirement account – would you do it?  

Aug 13

7 min 3 sec

We hear a lot about the benefits of a Roth IRA.  But a writer for The Motley Fool says she doesn’t want a Roth because… She’s not convinced her tax rate will be higher in retirement.  And, She doesn’t want to be tempted to withdraw money before she actually retires. Steve weigh's in on the benefits of a Roth IRA and how it can help you in your retirement!  Then, one of the big debates in retirement planning is whether … and how much … you should continue to invest in stocks after you’ve retired.  Morningstar’s Christine Benz believes everyone should be in the market and she says the current rise in inflation is a good example of why, hear what Steve thinks about inflation risk!     

Jul 30

7 min 58 sec

Now that President Biden is trying to raise the inheritance tax, CNBC says some people are considering life insurance as an estate planning tool.  Is that really an option? May inflation rate was 5% higher than May of last year!  So, here’s something to keep in mind:  Rising inflation means a lot more than just higher prices at the supermarket.  Strategist David Kostin says – if this rise continues – it could have a negative impact on your retirement portfolio… so, how do we deal with this “concern”? 

Jul 16

10 min 57 sec

Market Watch had an interesting take on tax planning:  They said you shouldn’t change your financial behavior just to avoid taxes.  A good tax planning strategy is one that allows you to keep doing what you want to do … while reducing your tax liabilities, in the process.  Steve discusses his approach to having a strong tax plan in retirement.   

Jul 2

10 min 4 sec

Question:  If you’re planning to leave an inheritance to your adult children, at what age would they most benefit from it?  The authors of the book “Die Broke” argue that the money would mean a lot more to them when they’re still young and getting started … than it would when they’re in their 50s or 60s.  In other words, the authors say you should give your kids the money now … instead of waiting until after you’re gone.  Steve weighs in on this - what is the benefits of waiting vs now?  You may have seen that Census Bureau story about Texas and Florida being the fastest-growing states, population-wise.  Coincidentally, both of those are considered to be low-tax states.  Jimmy Patronis, who is CFO of the state of Florida, tells Fox Business that’s a big attraction for people who are tired of paying high taxes… but what if I’m happy right here?  Do I really have to move, just to lower my tax bills in retirement?

Jun 18

10 min 1 sec

Lawmakers in New York recently approved a new top state income tax rate of nearly 11%, which will be retroactive to January 1st.  It’s that kind of treatment that has a lot of New Yorkers … as well as residents of other high-tax states … moving to states that are more tax friendly.  But USA Today warns that anyone considering relocating because of high taxes really needs to do their homework first. Steve discusses the tax burden overall during retirement, and how he can help you SAVE money from Uncle Sam ! 

Jun 4

8 min 59 sec

Over the course of your lifetime, how much money would you guess you’ll have paid in taxes?  USA Today says – if you add it all up – the average American pays Federal, state, and local governments more than half-a-million dollars!  Now, imagine if you could somehow save just a little more on your taxes each year and keep that money for yourself.  I’m guessing that would be worth looking into, right?  So, is that doable?   We’ve all heard the statistic: An estimated 10-thousand baby boomers retire, every single day.  But considering what’s happened as a result of the pandemic, I’m guessing a lot of boomers may be second-guessing that.  Hear Steve's advice for listeners who want to retire, but are no longer sure they can! 

May 28

10 min 46 sec

Steve's job is to help people not run out of money during retirement.  But NerdWallet says there are some retirees who worry about money too much – almost to the point of depriving themselves.  How do you help clients find that “sweet spot” between feeling financially secure, and still being able to enjoy a happy, fulfilling, retirement? When it comes to the different expenses you’re going to have in retirement, most of them are fairly predictable.  But there’s one that could range from a little … to a lot:  Healthcare.  You might get lucky … or you might suffer a major illness that wipes out the savings you thought would last you 20 or 30 years.  So, how can we plan for healthcare, when we really have no way of knowing how much it’s going to cost us?

May 11

9 min 42 sec

President Biden wants to raise taxes on businesses and high-income earners.  But economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth tells the “Cheddar” financial site that the timing of this is questionable. Of course, Biden insists the tax hike would apply to only a small segment of people.  Hear Steve's take on this and how he can help you put a customized tax plan together to protect your income no matter what changes come our way.  Then, we’ve been hitting new market highs recently, but investment strategist James Paulsen tells CNBC that nothing lasts forever.  You know, I hate to say it, but it almost seems as if we’re getting a little blasé about the constant ups-and-downs of the market. Steve discusses his strategy of investing in the market and protecting your assets.   

Apr 19

9 min 40 sec

When you transition from the working world into retirement, one of the many adjustments will be not receiving a paycheck - have you thought about that? Hear how Steve can replace that paycheck, get you income for life and help you create a financial plan that will be protected against the market, taxes and more! 

Apr 5

10 min 14 sec

Jessica and Steve talk about having a income stream and the Steve talks about how President Biden wants to study the idea of a financial transaction tax – a new tax that you’d pay each time you buy or sell a stock.

Mar 16

9 min 57 sec

Where are you getting your financial advice, these days?  CNBC says a growing number of young people are getting it from social networking sites like TikTok, or Reddit.  Hear why Steve says this a big NO NO!  Then, a lot of us saw the big profits that some investors made in the Game Stop deal and wondered if maybe we should try to get in on that.  But Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for a federal investigation of what happened.  She tells CNBC it’s proof that the market is not working the way it’s supposed to, is she right? Hear what Steve thinks!  

Mar 8

7 min 12 sec

A surprise announcement from Jeff Bezos … who says he’s decided to retire as CEO of Amazon. No one saw it coming – and Bezos will obviously find other things to occupy his time – but the suddenness of his decision made me wonder:  Does being wealthy make it easier for someone to walk away, without worrying about all the financial details?  Or do high-earners perhaps need even more planning than the typical worker?, How can you increase your retirement account balance without making a deposit?     

Mar 1

6 min 12 sec

Some analyst say that a RECESSION is coming before 2038!  Not one, not two … but four of them, if the historical average holds true. Hear how Steve can help you ride out all those downturns that we’re likely to experience. Plus, have you and your spouse discussed claiming Social Security? The Motley Fool says there are certain mistakes that couples tend to make, we discuss that and much more!  

Feb 15

9 min 29 sec

Kiplinger says there are five ages that are “special” for retirement planning.  Steve goes down the list and tells you what you need to know! Then, RMD's are coming back! Should you start taking these funds now? Steve talks about the benefits and strategies that can prepare you and your financial plan and how to avoid a tax torpedo!   

Feb 8

11 min 12 sec

Steve discusses Barron’s magazines list of the  “Top 3 mistakes people make saving for retirement.”  They are: Paying too much in fees, hoarding too much cash and chasing hot new trends.  Hear Steve explain that you can capitalize no gains, while not chasing and avoid risk

Jan 29

9 min 38 sec

Happy 2021! Hear Steve discuss financial resolutions that need to be on your to-do list. Then, how can Steve help you be financially prepared for whatever life throws our way? And, just like 2020 - our taxes will be "unique" this year - how can Steve help? Listen now ! 

Jan 18

9 min 47 sec

Does a higher paycheck during your working years guarantee a more successful retirement? Not necessarily! This week, Steve discusses some of the challenges that high-income earners face in planning for their retirement. Plus, why one billionaire has decided to leave New York City’s taxes behind. Have a question for Steve? Drop us an e-mail at

Dec 2020

7 min 58 sec

Understanding risk versus reward is important for investors, especially in a volatile market. But do you really need to take the risk? Steve discusses why that question is so important for retirement savers. Plus, what should you do with your emergency savings when interest rates are super low? Have a question for Steve? Drop us an e-mail at

Dec 2020

7 min 22 sec

Over half (57%) of Americans are worried inflation will make basic retirement expenses unaffordable BUT, less than a quarter (24%) of Americans are discussing the impact of inflation with their financial professional - see the problem here?  Steve discusses how he can help you prepare for the expenses of retirement, but avoid the #1 fear of running out of money!   

Dec 2020

7 min 31 sec

Over the years, you’ve probably heard about certain retirement rules, but do those same rules apply today? This week, Steve discusses the things you might want to “unlearn” as you head into retirement. Plus, we’ll explain the details in a new retirement bill under consideration by Congress. And remember…there’s still time to schedule a year-end retirement review at

Nov 2020

7 min 44 sec

After a tough 2020, are you thinking about calling it quits for good in 2021? If so, Steve has some tips on how to make sure you’re ready. Plus, we’ll discuss the numbers you need to know that are critical to your retirement success. There’s still time to schedule a year-end retirement review at

Nov 2020

7 min 27 sec

Phew! We made it through election week, but there’s still plenty of uncertainty about where we’re headed next. Steve breaks down the immediate aftermath of the election, the market reaction and what happens in the event of another coronavirus lockdown. There’s still time to address your retirement questions during a crazy 2020! Schedule a time to go over yours at

Nov 2020

10 min 26 sec

The presidential election is finally here, but what happens after Tuesday? Steve discusses the potential market volatility & what you can address with a review, no matter what happens on election day. Schedule a time to go over your questions at

Nov 2020

10 min 51 sec

This month in 1986, President Reagan signed a major tax reform bill into law, but our tax rates have changed quite a bit since then. This week, Steve discusses why now may be a great time to take advantage of today’s low tax rates, while you still can! Schedule a time to go over your year-end retirement tax strategy at

Oct 2020

7 min 46 sec

Taxes are just a headache for most of us, but Steve finds them exciting…especially as we head toward the end of the year! Listen this week as he explains some of the unique opportunities retirement savers can take advantage of in 2020. Schedule a time to go over your year-end questions at

Oct 2020

7 min 39 sec

There’s a lot of talk about taxes this election season, but most Americans might be missing out on ways to take advantage of today’s tax rules for their retirement. Steve explains why using the tax code to legally reduce your future tax rates is so important. Have some year-end tax planning questions? Schedule a time to go over those questions at

Oct 2020

10 min 15 sec

We heard a lot of back-and-forth at last week’s Presidential debate, but not many details on the issues that affect our finances. So this week, Steve breaks down a proposal from Democrat Joe Biden that could affect the tax break you get on your 401(k). Plus, we’ll discuss the tax moves you might want to consider before the election. Have a question about your retirement tax strategy? Drop us an e-mail at

Oct 2020

7 min 54 sec

British researchers say they’ve come up with a calculator that can predict how long you’ll live – but would you want to know that answer? If not, Steve says you can still plan for retirement income for as long as you need it! Plus, a market historian weighs in on what might happen on Wall Street after the November election. We’ll be hosting an online town hall event on that subject the day after the first presidential debate! Want to attend? Contact us at

Sep 2020

7 min 33 sec

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? USA Today says the bigger question in November will be who controls Congress. Steve explains why that matters when it comes to our future taxes. Plus, are you focusing too much on the Dow when you’re trying to figure out your investment strategy? Drop us an e-mail with your questions at

Sep 2020

9 min 55 sec

You won’t believe the latest tax proposal in California. Some lawmakers want to tax the wealthy – even if they move out of state! Steve discusses why we may start hearing even more crazy tax proposals at the state and federal level. Also from the “What will they think of next?” files: a new “virtual” shirt with a price tag of $700. Plus, Steve admits the craziest thing he’s ever purchased. Have a question for Steve? Drop us an e-mail at

Aug 2020

6 min 14 sec

A report from CNBC says wealthy Americans are making tax moves now, in anticipation of higher taxes after the November election. So should the rest of us also consider some tax moves? Steve discusses that, plus the possible impact the pandemic could have on our state and local taxes as well. Have questions about your tax strategy for retirement? Drop us an e-mail at

Aug 2020

6 min 50 sec

This week, Steve explains why he’s decided to hold steady at 60 rather than celebrate another birthday! You might want to put a freeze on your age too when you hear the latest Fidelity estimates on what married couples will spend on health care in retirement. Plus, the interesting way that NFL rookie Joe Burrow is structuring his income. We’ll explain how you can essentially do the same with your retirement income. Have a question for Steve? Drop us an e-mail at

Aug 2020

10 min

Confused about why the market continues to surge, while our economy slides? Steve offers some perspective this week on what’s propping the markets up. Have a question about your retirement or investment strategy? Drop us an e-mail at

Aug 2020

8 min 52 sec

“No one can be prepared for that.” That’s what legendary guitarist Peter Frampton says about his overnight success with “Frampton Comes Alive!” in the 70’s. This week, hear his conversation with Steve about what kept him grounded, what he wants his legacy to be, and the fascinating story of the lost guitar that appeared on the cover of his smash album. Find more interviews online at

Jul 2020

8 min 40 sec

Who knew that pickleball could be so dangerous?! Steve discusses how he managed to hurt himself on the pickleball court, and why he sought out a second opinion. A second opinion may not be a bad idea, either, when it comes to your retirement! Plus, we’ll discuss how to help prevent injuries to your portfolio in an uncertain market. Have a question for Steve? Drop us an e-mail at

Jul 2020

7 min 50 sec

Every single July, retired baseball star Bobby Bonilla receives a paycheck for more than $1 million from the New York Mets! Steve discusses how you can set up a Bonilla-style income plan for your retirement. Plus, after a crazy first half of 2020, July may be a great time to do a mid-year retirement check-up! Schedule a call to go over your questions at  

Jul 2020

7 min 36 sec

When it comes to retirement fears, one of the big ones for retirees is not having enough money to cover basic expenses. But a good retirement plan should cover more than that. Steve discusses what to consider when building that plan, plus how to get the most out of your Social Security benefits. Have a question? Drop us an e-mail at

Jun 2020

10 min 25 sec

Some health experts warn we could see a second wave of the coronavirus this year, so how are you preparing financially for that? Plus, we’ll have some fun with the lessons dads have taught us about finances…and the really unusual ways that states have found to tax us! Have a question? Drop us an e-mail at

Jun 2020

12 min 18 sec

At 74 years old, Dolly Parton is still churning out new music. Her latest hit, “When Life is Good Again,” is offering hope to many during the pandemic. This week, hear her explain why she’ll never retire! Plus, Steve discusses all the new ways Congress may tax us to pay for the recent stimulus spending. Have a question? Drop us an e-mail at

Jun 2020

7 min 55 sec

Morningstar says you might want to use some of your down time during the pandemic to review your retirement plan. Steve discusses how you can do that from the comfort of your home. Will the coronavirus crisis change how much you’ll need for retirement? Plus, pension problems may be getting even worse. What should you consider if you think your plan is underfunded? Have a question? Drop us an e-mail at

Jun 2020

9 min