What is a Sherpa? According to an online dictionary, a Sherpa is a member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.
Theresa Yarosh, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC® and owner of Macro Wealth Management, LLC and Main Street Medigap, LLC says she’s sort of a “retirement Sherpa.” She’s not Himalayan, nor has she’s traversed the side of a tall mountain in Tibet. She’s from Paramus, NJ and the mountains she speaks of are proverbial; relating to how people prepare for and live out their retirement years.
She says that the biggest challenge for those headed into retirement is not so much the saving and investing part (climbing up the mountain), but it’s the longevity in one’s golden years which include various risks from market exposure to healthcare expenses to long term care (climbing down the mountain) that poses the greatest obstacles.
“Think about mountain climbing,” says Yarosh. “More participants get hurt not on the way up the mountain, but instead they twist their ankles and fall on the way down.” She goes on to say that most folks in their 40’s and 50’s are under-educated about what to expect in terms of Medicare costs and how this affects expected Social Security income. It’s easy to see why. The rules and regulations for Social Security and Medicare have changed so many times over the years; it’s downright confusing. “I want to bridge that gap for people and help them get down the mountain prepared. That’s why I created my second company, ‘Main Street Medigap’.”
Yarosh has been frustrated with the lack of information that’s out there for people and that so many are entering their retirements with big misunderstandings. She states the following:
“Most folks are headed into the unknown, and much of it is because people don’t understand the nuances of Social Security and Medicare. Thus, not everyone is taking healthcare costs into consideration in their financial plans and the Medicare Part B- gets deducted from people’s social security checks.
Medicare is now means-tested based on income. The more money you make, the more you’ll pay. Virtually all income counts EXCEPT such things as Roth IRAs, permanent life Insurance, health savings accounts, reverse mortgages, and certain non-qualified annuities. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 put this into play.
Before 2003, Medicare Part B premiums weren’t based on income, or “means-tested.” (Individuals’ costs did go up based on inflation, however.) In 2011 under the Affordable Care Act, the means test brackets were expanded. So, they added more categories of income, which would count towards what individuals must pay out of their Social Security checks.
To design an adequate retirement plan, we need to know your expenses.”
Yarosh states that it’s common for people to think that their health care costs will be covered by Medicare. However, according to healthline.com, Medicare does not include the following things:
Finances can be an emotional and touchy subject for people. Yarosh states that she loves to bring logic and reason to the conversation. She indicates that money decisions are generally best made when emotions are at bay. She has helped many clients to know the facts and accurately navigate the waters around government programs for senior citizens, placing them in a more comfortable position to live in retirement. She says if you understand the rules the game of retirement planning as well as living well into your 70’s, 80’s and beyond it becomes simpler and more doable.
According to an article in money.usnews.com, there are several reasons seniors can wind up receiving smaller Social Security checks than what they were expecting. These include:
It seems that while most people expect things like tax withholding and Social Security benefits altering depending on current employment situations, once folks start hearing things like “Medicare Part A, B, C and D” their eyes glaze over like a couple of frosted donuts. In fact, pass the donuts and some very strong coffee to go with them.
A voracious reader of informational and motivational books, Yarosh lives by Michelangelo’s words, “Ancora Imparo” which means “I’m still learning.” She is consistently seeking the truth about what men and women can expect in terms of government programs for seniors and how to tweak a financial plan accordingly. She also learns all she can about people before helping them plan. Some questions she asks at the first meeting include:
Yarosh offers the following tips on “what to pack” in your financial plan to potentially get “down the mountain” in the safest way possible:
Theresa Yarosh lives in Byram Township, NJ with her husband Sam and their dog Baci.
For more information on Macro Wealth Management, check out www.macrowealthmanagement.com. For more information on Main Street Medigap, see www.mainstreetmedigap.com.
Representatives are registered through, and Securities are sold through Nationwide Planning Associates, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, located at 115 West Century Road, Suite 360, Paramus, NJ 07652. Investment Advisory Services are offered through NPA Asset Management, LLC. Nationwide Planning Associates, Inc. and Macro Wealth Management, LLC are non-affiliated entities.