Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast


  • The importance of coordination among your team. (3:00)
  • Why you must ensure that your clients understand their options. (5:15)
  • Why you should articulate terms in dollars rather than percentages. (8:30)
  • How Jacob’s experience as a former professional athlete shaped his career today. (11:30)
  • The importance of finding your niche. (14:30)
  • The benefit of letting your clients know that sometimes things don’t go to plan. (17:30)
  • Why it is always better to be proactive than reactive. (22:30)


With personal experience on how to build out sustainable lifestyles that offer long-term security, Jacob Turner, founding partner at JL Strategic Wealth, uses the insights he has gained as a former Major League Baseball player to better counsel his clients on their individual life cycles. Today he joins the show to share the importance of communicating to your clients in a way that they understand and why it is essential to coordinate with the other people involved in your client’s team, whether that be the CPA or the advisor.

Listen in as Jacob explains why putting things in dollar terms is a helpful way to ensure your clients understand the conditions of their plan, as well as how to make your client feel more confident in your services. You will learn the benefit of working in a niche, why you should make sure your clients know that things don’t always go to plan, and how to effectively set expectations with clients.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

Us as advisors can do a huge disservice to our teams if we are not coordinating with that team of people around them. - Jacob Turner Click To Tweet We want to talk in a way that makes us sound smart, but oftentimes, clients just really want a 'yes' or 'no.'” - Jacob Turner Click To Tweet It's all about setting expectations. - Jacob Turner Click To Tweet

About Retirement Tax Services:

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Read The Transcript Below:

We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.

Steven Jarvis:     Hello everyone, and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast, financial professionals’ edition. I am your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA.

And with me today, I have a financial advisor who has a unique perspective of having spent a decade on the client side of the desk. Jacob Turner, from JL Strategic Wealth, is here on the show with me. Jacob, welcome.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I appreciate you having me on. I’m really looking forward to the conversation today.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, I love hearing different perspectives of what people have experienced themselves.

And so, we’ll get to what you do for clients now, but would love for you to share some of your background and kind of what your experience was sitting on that client side of the desk, and how that shaped where you’ve gone with your career.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I think it’s really unique; coming from where I came from, my background was in professional sports, so I spent roughly 10 years as a client to multiple advisory firms.

So, I have a unique perspective on one, how tax planning can help the client, and two, how to articulate tax planning in terms that the client can understand.

Steven Jarvis:     So, kind of extrapolating from that, is it fair to say that that means early on, that it was not explained to you in a way that was easy to understand, and that was kind of a bit of a learning curve?

Jacob Turner:      Well, certainly, my experience at 18-years-old, I got drafted into professional baseball. So, I came into a relatively significant amount of money at 18, and really, had no concept of this financial advisor world. It seemed like this big black box to me.

Fortunately, I had some good people around me, but all I really thought was like my financial advisor just kind of picks funds and we do this thing, and the market was obviously going up in 2009 when I got drafted, so I always tell people I’m the best market timer ever.

But the tax planning portion was definitely not something that we focused on, and I always thought taxes, oh that’s just something my CPA does. That’s not something my advisor does.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. So, did that understanding change over time for you when you were still on the client side of the desk, or is that something you really started to understand better when you became an advisor?

Jacob Turner:      No, I would say definitely as a client, signing at 18, I really took it upon myself that, hey, I really want to learn and understand what’s going on. I don’t have to be the expert, but as I start to learn and engage and ask better questions — I’ll always remember there’s a time when my CPA came to me at the end of the year and she said, “Hey Jacob, why didn’t we contribute to X, Y, Z account?”

And my response was, “Well, have you talked to my advisor about this? He didn’t mention this to me?” And she was like, “Well, I didn’t really want to step on his toes. He didn’t bring it up.” And she was like, “But it could save you X amount of dollars in taxes if we do this.” And I was like, “Well, I definitely want to do that.”

So, I bring it to the advisor and he says, “Oh yeah, that’s a great idea.” And here I am thinking like, okay, well, so nobody’s communicating here. This could have easily fallen through the cracks of my CPA wouldn’t have brought it to my attention. And I’m like, there’s no coordination amongst this team here.

So, I think for me, that whole coordination amongst the team has been the biggest aspect for me from both the client side, and then also, from the advisor side. I think us as advisors can do a disservice to our clients if we are not coordinating with that team of people around them.

Whether that’s the estate planning attorney, whether that’s the CPA, and really making sure that they understand, they’re like, “Hey, we’re all working for the same goal here to serve the client in the most meaningful, impactful way possible.”

And I kind of compare it to the CPA is the tax driver. They’re the ones that are the expert, but at the end of the day, they need the roadmap. We can’t have them driving in the dark.

And I think for the advisor, we have this unique perspective to really understand everything that’s going on in the client’s financial lives, and we’re doing a disservice to not only the client, but also, the CPA to not give them the roadmap of, “Hey, here’s what we’re thinking, here’s some strategies we might use, here’s what the client’s goals really are, and anything that we might be able to do on top of that would love to collaborate.”

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. That’s some really great insight in there. We often talk about tax preparers being really focused on the rear-view mirror, which I think in practice is commonly the case. But part of the reason for that is that for most tax repairers, they’re not learning about what their client’s done until it’s already in their rear-view mirror.

So, to your point, advisors typically have a better opportunity to see what’s coming. They’re more plugged into their client’s life throughout the year. They can raise their hand and say, “Hey, this is something we should consider.” And to your point, that’s going to be most effective if there’s a collaborative effort in making sure that happens correctly.

I like your analogy there of making sure you have the roadmap. How are you ever going to get to where you’re going if you don’t know where to make the turns?

Jacob Turner:      No, absolutely. The other thing that I would mention Steven, is from the client’s perspective, I know you guys talk a lot about the dishwasher rule, but just articulating the value to clients, I think is so important.

And an example I use is one in my own life. I actually switched advisory firms because an advisor came to me and we were very charitably inclined when I was playing, I’m making significant income; I’m in the highest tax bracket. And he was like, “Hey, have you ever thought about kind of creating some generational planning around your gifting?”

And I was like, “No, I’ve never — like how would I do that?” And he was like, “Well, there’s this thing called a donor-advised fund.” And now, I know advisors that listen to this think like, “Oh, donor-advised fund, that’s a super simple concept. Everybody knows about it.”

But the fact of the matter is there’s a lot of advisors out there and clients in particular, that don’t understand what a donor-advised fund is, or don’t understand how to articulate the value of potentially using one. And as advisor, you kind of walked through like, “Hey, here’s some things that we could do while you’re making this significant income, and then you could really give away this money over your lifetime.”

And I was like, “Oh wow, that would be great. So, I can save money in taxes, I can give more to the charities that I want to give to, and we can really have a plan and strategy in place.”

And I went back to my advisor that I was currently using and again, it was kind of that same concept, “Oh, yeah Jacob, that sounds like a great idea.”

Now, from the client’s perspective, I’m paying this individual a lot of money, I want to make sure I’m getting value from that relationship. And it kind of made me reconsider, am I getting the value of this relationship that I’m getting based on the fees that I’m paying?

And ultimately, I ended up switching to the other advisor just because of the simple concept of him articulating the value of a donor-advised fund, and explaining it in terms that I could understand, and then also, kind of giving me action on for my own life; “Hey, here’s some things that you might want to do.”

So, I think those little concepts can often be overlooked because I know a lot of the listeners of this show are very in tune with tax planning and sometimes, we forget that the clients that we’re talking to, the prospects that we’re talking to, maybe aren’t getting that from their current relationship.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. That’s a powerful testimonial for incorporating tax planning. And to your point, it doesn’t have to be, and quite often, isn’t going to be some super complex and obscure tax rule. It’s consistently explaining these things in a way that resonates with clients.

And for advisors, it can feel repetitive, redundant to explain a donor-advised fund to 99 clients who say, “Oh, probably not going to be a good fit.” But when you get to that hundredth client or that hundredth prospect that happens to be someone who has an advisor who’s never brought that up, that seemingly simple thing can make all the difference on closing that prospect, on helping that client on delivering incredible value to your clients along the way.

Your point about how it gets articulated is so important as well because we can start with this at a really high level and unfortunately, this is where a lot of people do start of, “Hey, we can do this thing called a donor-advised fund, or a DAF and you’re in the 37% bracket, so we can save you 37% in income taxes, and on and on and on and on — we can quote the tax code.”

Nobody thinks in percentages. And so, where this is going to get more impactful is when we can turn this into real dollars. Clients are coming to you for professional advice, they want to hear, “Here’s how I would recommend you set aside X amount of dollars, and it’s going to save you X dollars in taxes.”

Not percentages; get rid of the percentages, and translate it into real dollars if you want clients to take action.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I would hammer home that point of articulating it in dollars, because coming from the client’s perspective, I remember having these conversations whether it was about beneficiaries or taxes or investment strategies, but really, all I cared about from a client perspective was dollars.

I didn’t talk in terms of like, “Oh, 33.3% is going towards this beneficiary.” I’m like, “What does that even mean?” But when you say, a million dollars is going towards this beneficiary now, all of a sudden, it really puts in perspective.

And I think from the tax planning standpoint, articulating that, especially as I like to say that we plan for the unknown, we plan for the future, we kind of describe what the future’s going to look like for clients — articulate for clients what that’s going to look like on a piece of paper in terms of the ability that you might have to save them in taxes in the future with a given strategy, and extrapolate that out over 10 or 20 years because really, that’s what the plan is.

If we do a Roth conversion, the plan isn’t that we’re going to save taxes in the next year, but hey, over the next 30 years, let’s see what this might look like in the future. And I think particularly that in dollar terms is really, really, impactful from clients’ perspective.

I always use this example of, I’ve probably been in 50 client meetings where I was the client sitting across the table from an advisor, yet I can probably remember three to four of those meetings. The common thread between all three or four of those meetings is they answered things in real life terms.

And what I mean by that, Steven is, I’ll give you an example; it’s not a tax example, but I remember when my wife and I were looking at buying a house, I said, “We want to spend X amount of dollars on a house.”

And the advisor came back and he said, “Hey, instead of thinking about spending X amount of dollars or can you do that, think about really what you want. Do you want four bedrooms and you want an acre of lawn, and you want a fenced in yard, and then let’s figure out how much that’s going to cost an area you want to be in. And then let’s figure out if we can afford to do that.”

And it’s just a simple yes or no answer. And I was like, “Great, that’s like all I need. I don’t need like this big data sheet of all this information, I just need a yes or no. Can I do this or can I not?”

And I think that common theme sometimes gets lost in advisors because I think we want to talk in terms that maybe make us sound smart, but ultimately, what the client wants is a yes or no.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, that’s a really great point right at the end there, of whether we’re talking about financial advisors or tax professionals, as financial professionals, it can get really easy to be lolled into this trap of, “Well, I’ve got to sound like the smartest person in the room.” Great news, almost guaranteed you’re the smartest person in the room on finance and taxes.

You might work with clients who are phenomenally smarter than you in their areas of expertise, but they showed up at your office because they already trust that you’re an expert. You don’t need to prove it to them over and over and over again by citing the tax code, and talking in percentages all the time.

What they’re there for is that actionable information. And I like how you talked about even if it seems like a relatively small dollar amount, putting it in dollar terms and then extrapolating it.

Even if we do this really simply to say, “Hey you know, Mr. and Mrs. Client, you had asked about the tax impact of max-funding your 401(k). Well, based on your current tax situation, by putting $20,500 in your 401(k) this year, it’s going to save you about $5,000 in taxes that we can defer and pay at another time. And over the next 10 years that’s potentially $50,000 that we’ve deferred.

And so, now, you’re putting in real dollars, you’re not putting in percentages. We’re talking, especially if you use a bucket strategy or you’re using some sort of framework to explain to them how these different taxable buckets work, now, you’re giving them real information they can work with.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s ultimately what it comes down to, Steven, is giving them real information that’s actionable that they can feel really confident about everything that we’re doing in their financial life to ultimately help them.

Steven Jarvis:     So, Jacob, you’ve shared a lot about being on the client side of the desk, but at some point, like for everyone, professional sports can only go on for so long. When you walked away from that, for some reason, you said, “Wait, why don’t I just switch sides of the desk and become a financial advisor.”

I would love to hear about how that experience shaped what you do now and maybe talk a little bit about who you work with, and how tax planning fits in.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I mean for me, I’ve always loved personal finance and my mom has a background in accounting. So, at 18-years-old, I’m coming into this money, she’s sitting me down with like this Excel spreadsheet and being like,” Oh, well, you can only spend this much money.” And I’m like, “No, no, I think I should be able to spend more and …”

But in all seriousness, it really helped me because I learned along the way throughout my professional sports journey, and what I love now, is this passion of being able to pour back into other folks, and just help them understand the concepts that we do.

And I think for me, one of the foundational elements is like I want to be educational for our clients. I want our clients to feel empowered like we’re simply the guides here to help them make great financial decisions in their own lives.

Because I think clients, it often gets lost on them, all the hard work that they’ve put into to get to this point, to have the meeting with me to talk about the millions of dollars that they’ve saved, and how we’re going to one, connect it to their life but also, help them, potentially save more money, whether it’s taxes or investments, and things of that nature.

Steven Jarvis:     Talking before the show, I know that you primarily focus on working with clients who have come into sudden wealth, I think is how you describe it.

Whether that’s professional athletes, or people who are inheriting a lot of money, but the people who are getting large sums of money all at once, which I’d love for you to talk a little bit about, because it’s not like there’s a specific section of the tax code that only applies to those people.

But the tax strategies are going to apply differently or at least have a different emphasis on them depending on how the money is being earned and the timeframe.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I think a lot of the tax strategies are similar, but the connection points are different. And what I mean by that, Steven, is if you think about a traditional retiree, they retire and they might have those gap years between retirement and social security where we’re doing Roth conversions, we’re trying to take advantage of these lower income years.

For our clients, those gap years might happen at 25-years-old, they might happen at 22-years-old, they might happen at 45-years-old, where they’re potentially ending one contract and they’re in between doing something else or they’re selling a business and they’re saying, “Hey, I want to really kind of pull back and figure out what I want to do next over the next 24 months.” So, I think a lot of the strategy is the same.

Now, for the athletes in particular that we work with, there are some unique strategies and I can go into details on that if you would prefer, but I think one of the coolest things that we get to do with young athletes is help to educate them on what these tax strategies might be.

So, the three most basic ones, when a guy gets drafted and we’ll use major league baseballs as an example, the biggest question is, how is my signing bonus going to be taxed?

How’s it going to be taxed from a state level? How’s it going to be taxed from a federal level? How could we potentially structure us getting that signing bonus in a way that ultimately benefits our end of the year bottom line. And then also making sure that what’s in the contract is actually in the benefit of us.

And the example I would give is there’s actually a clause in major league baseball contracts that’s called the abandonment clause. So, it’s kind of a fun clause for me to talk about because it means that if you leave the team, the team can actually pull back that money.

Now what that means from a tax perspective is that signing bonus then turns into W-2 income and it’s not taxed as a true signing bonus.

So, let’s say you get assigned to a team that’s in New York, but your state residencies in Texas. Well, if that bonus is not taxed as a true bonus, you’re going to pay state income tax in New York City on that versus paying no state income tax if you’re a Texas resident.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. So, for people listening, if you weren’t convinced already that niches are important, there are areas where understanding these nuances are incredibly impactful.

And so, I would imagine that probably most of our listeners are not working with professional athletes. That’s a pretty small subsection of the population. But the same principles still apply.

You got to understand what those potential pitfalls are, what those areas for opportunity are, and then focus on that education piece because whether we’re talking about an 18-year-old or a 19-year-old kid who’s getting drafted and coming into money they probably never expected — or even just your typical Bob and Sue client who’ve been working hard and saving money, most taxpayers I run into have some questions about taxes and a lot of misunderstandings.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, and I think the other thing that connects really well is, the entrepreneurs that we work with, typically they’re going through this process of selling a business that they’ve worked really hard to do.

Now, I know there’s a lot of advisors that work with business owners, but what I found is particularly for entrepreneurs, the biggest pain point is almost always taxes. Whether you’re prospecting them or you have a client already, but talking about taxes and talking about how it could potentially help them as they move forward, I think is such a huge piece that we do.

And a lot of those strategies aren’t strategies that are super unique to a specific industry, but they are specific in terms of how they apply to the client. And there, you have to really understand who you’re working with, what they’re trying to accomplish.

We call it the calendar year sprint, but if somebody sells a business, we have until the end of the calendar year to figure out how we’re going to actually help them save money in taxes.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, that timing becomes very important. And back to an earlier part of our conversation, this is again where the advisor can play such an important role on the tax side of things.

Even if you’re not doing the tax prep yourself, which most likely you aren’t; all too often consumers, clients, tax payers think of their tax preparer as someone who they talk to in March or April.

And to your point about the calendar year sprint, if we wait until March or April to start talking to a tax professional, a lot of times, we’ve missed our opportunity to do great planning.

So, our listeners would never know this, but halfway through the episode, the audio actually gave out on us, and we had some massive technical difficulties and thankfully, we have an awesome production team and so, that all gets cut out and no one would ever know.

But we talked earlier about the dishwasher rule, about setting clear expectations about effective communication. And so, as that relates to tax planning, I want to use this to highlight that one of the things we can do for our clients is to make sure it’s clear to them that especially when we’re talking about the IRS, that not everything always goes according to plan the first time.

And Jacob, I would imagine that working with people who suddenly come into a lot of wealth, that there inevitably are times where we lay out a plan and then sometimes, it doesn’t work out just perfectly.

And so, setting that expectation upfront of, “Hey listen, we’re going to get on this podcast today, we’re going to hit record, don’t worry, my production team can take care of anything that doesn’t go quite right so that when something does go wrong, it’s not this scary, oh no, the world’s over, we can’t deal with it.”

We know, “Oh hey, wait, this is actually something we can handle. We knew this might happen.” So, with taxes, this can be all sorts of things. But especially anytime where we have to mail something to the IRS, which is the exception, not the norm. Or when we’re trying to estimate where we’re going to be at for the end of the year, I always say, “Hey this is our best estimate based on what we know right now, we’re going to reevaluate.”

But kind of setting those expectations so that we don’t scare the clients when something maybe doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, absolutely. Well, ultimately, we talk about tax projections, the projections. So, we know going in that they might not go according to plan. But I think Steven, to your point, it’s all about setting those expectations.

And I’ll even use an example in my own life; my last year of playing professional baseball, I had the opportunity to play in South Korea. And when I played over there, the tax code was really unique in terms of how they taxed us, how we got taxed here. And what ultimately ended up happening is I had to refile tax returns.

Now, my CPA did a great job of setting those expectations of, “Hey, we’re going to do it this way but we’re going to research more of doing it this way.” Ultimately, those expectations allowed me to feel confident in the way that we ended up doing it.

And I’ll tell you, ultimately, it saved me tens of thousands of dollars. But she set those expectations on the front end, which ultimately, helped me from the client perspective, on the back end.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, absolutely. It can be easy to just focus on the potential upside of different tax planning strategies. And when you’re confident in a client situation, obviously, you want to share that confidence, especially when you’ve done the same strategy with client’s dozens and dozens of times, it can be easier to share that confidence.

But it’s still important to right from the onset, set those expectations of what the range of possible outcomes are. We were talking about donor-advised funds earlier and intentional charitable giving.

Another one that comes up, related charitable giving quite often is qualified charitable distributions. One of the things I’m always saying to clients, is we talk about QCDs, is that this is something that your custodian, the account where this money’s coming from, doesn’t have a great way to communicate this to the IRS.

So, it’s possible that you’ll get a letter from the IRS saying that your 1099 didn’t line up with your tax return. If that happens, great news, you can just send it to us, we’ll help you take care of it, but just wanted to let you know that that’s a possibility.

And when you set that expectation and the client gets that letter, they say, “Oh, hey, Steven told me this was going to happen.” But if you don’t set that expectation and they get that letter, then it’s … those letters are written on this archaic font that just makes you feel like you’re going to jail, and it’s a totally different experience even though it’s the same outcome.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, and what I would also add to that Steven, is the setting expectations. Even as the advisors working with CPAs, I think a lot of times I hear you guys talk about how do we work best with CPAs.

But setting them expectation on the upfront before you say like, “Hey, can you send me the tax return?” CPAs over here sitting, they’re saying that I’m the expert, like why am I sending it to you?

But setting the expectation that hey, all we’re trying to do is make you look as good as possible and we just want to take a little bit off your plate, and if it’s okay with you, if we could just double check some things and before anything ever happened we’d come to you and say, “Hey we’re seeing this, what are you seeing? You’re the expert in this situation.”

But setting those expectations on the front end, that, “Hey, we’re going to be working on the same client together, we’re really happy with that and we’re excited to work together to collaborate.”

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, I love that approach. Because then, you’re really approaching that other professional as a peer. This isn’t conflict or competition of who’s got the better tax planning strategy, it’s what’s ultimately best for the client.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, and I think, look, CPAs have a really hard job. I remember even this last year, I told a CPA, I said, “I’m just kind of glad I do what I do and not what you do,” because they felt so swamped.

And if we can take just a little bit off their plate and help articulate value maybe in a different way than they’re articulating it, ultimately, it’s going to make that whole team approach look better.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah as we’re recording this, my kids just started school today and that’s how I feel about teachers. I’m glad you do what you do and I do what I do because I’m not sure it would work if we reverse the roles there.

Jacob, as you think about working with your clients, anything else that comes to mind as far as success stories or value that you see from incorporating tax planning into what you’re doing?

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I think, there’s a few stories I can think of. One of the biggest ones I think for entrepreneurs is, when they’re going to sell their business, this is a one-time thing. So, how can we make sure that we are doing it right this one time?

This is not, we stubbed our toe and made a financial mistake because we didn’t do a tax planning strategy. This is like we broke our leg and we’re not building this business again for the next 20 years.

So, we had an entrepreneur that exited last year and just even the simple concept of when he changed to an S Corp making sure that everything was done the right way, gave him confidence that when he was going through the sale process, that ultimately, his bottom line was going to be maximized, and he didn’t feel that same level of confidence before we came on board.

And it’s not to toot our own horn, there was nothing super fancy we were doing but it was just articulating in a way that made sense to him, and gave him the confidence that he could move forward.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, I like that of talking about those one-time opportunities because those definitely come up for people whether we’re talking about business owners or when people retire, when they have those gap years — for most of us, we’re going to have situations in life where that is our window of opportunity, and we want to make sure that we’re prepared for that.

Kind of another reminder as far as setting expectations is making sure that your clients know that anytime they’re going to make a financial decision that you want to be informed early, if not before it actually happens so that we can talk about these kinds of things.

It certainly, it happens all the time to tax preparers, but financial advisors can fall on this trap too of not clearly letting clients know they want to know about it upfront, so then they only find out about it after the fact. And whether we’re talking about selling a business or a whole host of other financial decisions, after the fact, might be too late.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, absolutely. There’s a lot of times there’s no going back and saying like, “Hey let’s redo the sale of this business, like we can refile tax returns.” But I think particularly for the clients that we’re working with, we have one chance to do it the right way.

And oftentimes, especially with taxes, most clients don’t realize that they’re missing out on something until it’s too late and somebody else brought it to their attention, they’re like, “Why didn’t you do X, Y, Z?” Which is obviously not the position that we want to be in from the advisor perspective.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, and being a tax nerd and with that, an Excel nerd, the undo button, control Z in most any software, it always comes to mind of, I love my undo button on my software, but that’s not how it works with the IRS. Yes, there are some situations where we can amend a return, but that’s a lot harder than just hit and control Z.

And so, sometimes, we’ll have missed the opportunity altogether or if we can amend, it’s going to be a really painful process to do. So, there’s so much value in being able to be upfront and proactive with it.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, absolutely. I think you hit the nail on the head there. Just being proactive and being forward-looking where we’re really just trying to help the client in that given year and not looking back and saying, “Oh, I wish we would’ve done that strategy.”

So, I think it’s just always making sure that we’re consistently adding value for our clients and obviously, tax planning is a massive piece of that.

Steven Jarvis:     Definitely. We always want to make sure that we turn information into value and that’s through taking action.

So, Jacob, as you think about our conversation today, or kind of your journey to this point of where you’re at as a financial advisor, what are action items you would recommend to help advisors make sure that they are delivering value to their clients through tax planning?

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I think the biggest thing I know for me personally, what has helped is actually just writing down whether it’s as simple as a Word document and saying, “Hey, this is my niche, what are five or 10 ways that I can consistently help the group of clients that I work with?”

And that does not mean that every single client is going to use one of those 5 or 10 strategies, but just write them down and get them ingrained in your head, because I think when you’re having those conversations with clients, part of articulating value is articulating strategies that might not be useful for them today, but they also might be useful for them in the future.

And I think one thing to keep in mind is that ultimately, as you’re working with clients, there’s going to be other folks talking to them. So, if you’re not talking to them about tax planning, somebody else probably is.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, absolutely. I love that reminder to actually, make sure you’ve taken the time to write those things down. We’re all guilty at times, of kind of telling ourselves, “Oh, I’ve got that covered,” but there’s power in taking the time to write it down to really holding yourself accountable to, “Okay, these are the things that I’m going to make sure I’ve at least looked at for all of my clients.”

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, absolutely. Well, I know one thing that’s always resonated with me was on Steven’s podcast talking about, “If you didn’t look at the tax returns, I probably will,” and the client would feel pretty bad about that if you were talking to two different advisors. So, just always making sure being proactive, I think is important.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, and that’s a great reminder. It’s been a few episodes since I’ve included this in the action items, but guess what, it’s not going away anytime soon. Every advisor, needs to do tax return for every single client every single year. And as soon as we’ve got a hundred percent follow through on that, I’ll stop bringing it up, I promise.

But there’s still such a huge opportunity even in that simple action and really, the way we make sure we’re doing great tax planning is to have the real data in front of us. We don’t want to just be shooting from the hip, we don’t want to take our clients’ word for it.

It’s not that we don’t trust them, it’s that these are complicated issues, and they don’t know the difference between taxable income and adjusted gross income. A lot of advisors don’t either, but having the tax return is certainly going to help with that.

Jacob Turner:      Yeah, I would definitely say that that’s been a huge value-add for us, is just getting tax returns and even just going through simple concepts and making sure that everything’s right on those tax returns has been a big value add for our clients and ultimately, just instilled more confidence in them that they’re with the right team.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, absolutely. Well, Jacob, I really appreciate you taking the time to come on and share your experience, and share the great things you’re doing with clients. Thank you so much for being here.

Jacob Turner:      I appreciate you having me on and enjoyed the conversation.

Steven Jarvis:     For everyone listening, until next time, good luck out there. And remember to tip your server, not the IRS.

We’re not overpaying. No, we’re not overpaying. We’re not overpaying anymore. The tax code’s complicated, boring, and overrated. You don’t want that, you want a pro. One thing that you should know: this is a radio show. It’s not tax advice, don’t take it that way.


The information on this site is for education only and should not be considered tax advice. Retirement Tax Services is not affiliated with Shilanski & Associates, Jarvis Financial Services or any other financial services firms.

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