Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast


  • How Roger transitioned from financial advising into software. (2:27)
  • His focus on simplicity and how he built out the product. (4:17)
  • An example of one area where software is able to provide clarity. (8:23)
  • Roger's dream for Holistiplan and why he’s teaming up with advisors and firms. (12:16)
  • New features and value-adds coming from Holistiplan. (14:00)
  • What advisors often forget when it comes to tax planning. (20:17)
  • The role of scalability in your practice. (24:01)
  • Why you should never miss out on the value tax planning can provide. (28:56)


Many advisors ask for advice on how to navigate tax returns and more effectively help clients with their tax planning services. This episode is particularly exciting because we’ll not only be talking about tax planning, but also talking about tools that make it easier. Joining the show today is Roger Pine, one of the co-founders of Holistiplan, and he’ll be shedding light on how he helps advisors wade through tax returns.

You will get to hear a bit of Roger’s origin story, why he started Holistiplan, and why he is such an advocate for helping people do more with tax planning. Listen in as he shares key insight into the importance of simple solutions and providing something an advisor can use to immediately show value to a client. He also breaks down some of the most important aspects of financial and tax planning, as well as how Holistiplan implemented it into their solutions.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

People really gravitated toward this idea of helping people do tax return reviews. - @Roger_S_Pine Share on X It was our own users that brought us down the path of building out an entire planning solution. - @Roger_S_Pine Share on X You start to layer on more and more as you as an advisor become more comfortable and as software becomes more capable over time. - @Roger_S_Pine Share on X

About Retirement Tax Services:

Steven and his guests share more tax-planning insights in today’s Retirement Tax Services Podcast. Feedback, unusual tax-planning stories, and suggestions for future guests can be sent to

Are you interested in content that provides you with action steps that you can take to deliver massive tax value to your clients? Then you are going to love our powerful training sessions online. Click on the link below to get started on your journey:

Thank you for listening.

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 in this show, I teach financial advisors how to deliver massive value through tax planning.

I’m particularly excited for today’s show because not only are we going to talk about tax planning, we’re going to talk about tools that make this easier because I get that question a lot of, “I’m an advisor, how can I possibly navigate my way through an entire tax return?”

And a very special guest with me today, Roger Pine, one of the co-founders of Holistiplan to talk about exactly that; how we can help advisors wade through all of these big tax returns.

So, Roger, welcome to the show.

Roger Pine:         Thank you, Steven. Great to be here, looking forward to talking about tax planning.

Steven Jarvis:     I love it when people can come on and be excited with me to talk about tax planning.

Roger Pine:         Well, normally, I have to like convince people it’s worth talking about.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, clearly you are a person who is excited to talk about tax planning. You’re committed to this. I mean, really at this point, your whole career is helping empower people to do more with tax planning.

So, maybe give us a little bit of your origin story of how you got to where you are today of being so focused on Holistiplan and on helping — and your background it says “Tax Return Reviews Made Simple.” How did you get here?

Roger Pine:         So, Holistiplan was really a midlife crisis move for me, I’d been working as a financial advisor for about 10 years. And during that time, I get really interested in the idea of building software.

We’d talked earlier before the call started about our own experiences with software and programming, like took a couple of courses in college. I never touched it again for like 15 years, but I really wanted to be able to create something and bring it into the world. I’m not going to build a factory, I can’t fix things, but with computers, I could.

So, I spent years learning to code, learning to build things. I built systems for my own practice as a financial advisor, our billing systems, some of our trading systems, and so that gave me some more confidence as far as building things.

When I quit my job as an advisor, I spent a year failing miserably, trying to build a consumer facing product that brought financial planning to consumers. Total failure, didn’t make a single dollar in revenue on that business.

Pivoted when I teamed up with co-founder Kevin Lozier, another advisor friend of mine, and we pivoted to the idea of, “Okay, let’s build something for advisors rather than trying to go out to the general public.”

And we had a lot of great ideas for what we were going to do, but we just landed on tax and people just really, really gravitated to this idea of helping people do tax return reviews, and then our own user base started to guide us in the direction of what other features they needed, like a scenario analysis piece, like what are some quick ways to figure out how to do the optimal Roth conversion.

Like it was our own users that brought us down the path of building out an entire planning solution. That wasn’t our plan at the beginning, but you’re right, like that’s where we’re at and maybe that’s what the rest of my career is going to look like because there’s still a ton of cool work we can do in this area.

Steven Jarvis:     Roger, talk a little bit about kind of, obviously, there’s already been, even in the few years you’ve been doing this, there’s been evolutions and there’ll continue to be; you’re going to release more cool features.

But from my perspective as a tax professional, you started more on the simple side of things, which I really appreciate. I mean that as a compliment, because as you look around at the software world in financial planning, it’s 50-page reports and all of these huge graphs and numbers and so, you really started with, “Hey, here’s a couple of pages.”

Roger Pine:         Yeah, and there was no like strategy behind that. That was just a matter of … we were trying to build something that was workable. This whole like lean startup idea of put out your minimum viable product and iterate based on that.

And so, that’s what we did. I mean, basically we had something that would help you do a tax return review. It was very limited like you say, but over time, advisors were like, “Hey, it’d be really useful if you read in form 8889 to get that HSA contributions from my employer.” And then they said, “It would be really nice if you could drop this data into my product that I use for developing scenarios.”

And because we couldn’t figure out how to do that, we’re like, “Oh, we’ll just build one” not realizing how hard that would be. And then you build that and you’re like, “Okay, well I need to make sure I can capture AMT, and I need to make sure I can capture the foreigner and income exclusion.”

And so, the complexity has grown over time, but I think you’re right, like the guts of it has always been, let’s start with the 80/20 rule. Like what is this stuff that advisor can really sink their teeth immediately to very quickly show value to a client.

And then yes, we want to build out and we’ve continued to build out those deeper elements that allow you to go deeper, but it all starts with, you have to gain credibility by just saying, “Look, I understand what’s going on on page one and page two of 1040.” Like start there, and then you start to layer on more and more as you an advisor become more comfortable and as the software becomes more capable over time.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. And to be really clear, like I genuinely mean that the simplicity as a compliment, because the complexity that goes on in the background is massive. The tax code is not simple, it’s not logical, it’s not a lot of things.

And you’re handling all of that. And then the report is the piece that in my view is that simple output to get us to what’s relevant, what’s important, the Holistiplan. The way I look at it, the way I explain it to advisors a lot of time of why I like using Holistiplan is, it hits the easy button for me.

I can take a 90-page tax return, almost instantaneously have a two or three-page report that has now boiled it down to here’s probably the most relevant things.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, and I think there’s a critical piece to that tax report also. I mean, you and I being planners and having that history, we want to go straight into what are the meaty, cool strategies I can chase and what are the things I can put, analysis I can put for my client.

But a good chunk of what we do as advisors is just demystifying what’s going on. And the form 1040 is a designed nightmare. I mean the information, some of it’s not even on there, like what is my marginal bracket is nowhere on form 1040.

And so, even our ability to just demystifying, extract some of that data out before we even talk about planning, just pull that information out and put it in a place that’s readable to a human being, like that’s super valuable.

I didn’t really realize that until we got pretty deep into what we’re doing with Holistiplan, just how valuable that element of it is, making that piece simple before we get to this stuff that sometimes by necessity is hard.

Like some of the stuff is more complicated when you’re building out a scenario and things like that. Like you’re going to have to dig in a little more, it’s not always going to be all there on a silver platter for you, but we can at least do that piece.

We can at least explain what the heck is going on. We can at least give our clients some quick wins and then take them deeper if they’re willing to follow us to go into those harder, more complex, more interesting strategies for them.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, you’re really hitting on so many of the reasons that we use Holistiplan with all of our clients. It’s those different elements that I can so quickly cut through some of that complexity.

I mean, really simple example; I love on the scenario analysis, how it’s kind of two thirds, three quarters of the way down, here’s what the next thousand dollars of income is going to cost you in taxes.

And maybe nobody else nerds out about that as much as I do but you mentioned how the marginal rate’s not on the 1040. The marginal rate even if you have the brackets in front of you isn’t always helpful. What if you hit a threshold for the premium tax credit, or what if you can see your marginal rate on your ordinary income, but you’re pushing capital gains out of the 0% into the 15% bracket.

The tax cost on the next thousand dollars can be all sorts of answers. And I might intuitively or based on my experience know kind of ballpark of where we’re headed, but being able to do that quick double check of know really what’s it going to cost my client, that’s phenomenal.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, and honestly, you can’t do that stuff in your head. No matter what kind of expert you are, I think high-level, you can kind of have in the back of your mind … okay, my Medicare part … you didn’t mention Medicare part B, but that’s another gotcha.

In the back of your mind, you can be like, I got to watch for this and then maybe you’ve got a piece of paper on your desk and you kind of watch it, but those actual calculations behind it, I mean, like that’s the sort of thing a computer does so much better than a human. Let’s remove the ability for us to screw up and miss that, let a computer do that for us.

And then bring the art of what we’re doing back into our hands as humans, let that hard, boring stuff be something the computer does every time because computers do it better than us. That’s all there is to it.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, absolutely. It’s such a phenomenal tool and you really need both. You need the skills and you need the tool. We spend a lot of time talking to advisors about effective ways to communicate complex issues to clients and so we can talk about Roth conversions as an example.

Sure, I can look at a client’s income, see about where they’re at and tell them that, “Hey, if we were to convert $20,000 from your traditional to a Roth IRA, here’s the tax package you’re in, it’s going to cost you about X amount of dollars in taxes. But back of the napkin math, we’re going to make sure that we’ve really looked at all of this for you.”

“And that we’re going to look at all this for you” is such a critical piece because of all those kinds of gotchas in there. And that’s where, again, my team immediately goes back Holistiplan. And a lot of the times, I was pretty close, but those times where there’s some other nuance in there is so important and you’re just going to do a huge disservice to your clients if you don’t have a way to double check those things.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, a hundred percent. I agree.

Steven Jarvis:     So, it’s actually one of the reasons we’re really excited …. so as this episode airs, it’s August 22nd and a couple of days on August 24th, we’re doing a co-sponsored webinar with Holistiplan to talk about kind of the intersection of this, of what a great tool it is and my team sharing here’s all the things we use it for, because we love it.

And then talking about; then how does this get translated to clients? How is this communicated to clients? Because the tax planning is an area where … well, Holistiplan has done great things of making this easier for advisors, it’s still not a replacement for an advisor adding their expertise and wisdom to the equation.

Personally, I think we’re still a little ways away from a software completely replacing advisors.

Roger Pine:         Right, and that’s that whole art and science piece to it. You know, as much as I would love for Holistiplan to just be a push a button and it does the work for you — I mean, it’s a tool. I mean it needs an operator to be done right.

And so, that’s the piece that I’m really looking forward to having the help of your team to help all our shared customers, our shared clients get to the bottom of this stuff easier.

I shared before our call started that about 70% of the ticket volume that we get into our support desk are questions that we classify as tax questions rather than, “Can you change the credit card on my thing? Or I forgot my password.” Those are software type questions. About 70% of the tickets are tax questions.

Now, admittedly, some of those are software. They’ll be like “I can’t find the box where AMT is on scenario analysis,” but a lot of them are, “I have this client situation that I’m trying to model and I’m not really sure what the tax implications are of this situation the client has presented to me” and those aren’t software questions.

I mean we try to help them. We want to make sure our tool gives them the ability to answer those types of questions, but really, the advisor needs to come into that particular modeling or whatever that thing is with the underlying knowledge.

And so, that’s why I’m really looking forward to … that’s why I really try to connect our clients with resources like you, like Michael Kitces, these people who are out there focusing on making advisors better advisors and understand how to do their job better.

And then I can come in as a tool to help them do it faster and help them do it more effectively and in a more scalable way. That’s really my dream of where this thing ends up.

Steven Jarvis:     And in a lot of ways, I mean, from my perspective, you’re already there and it’s exciting to me how much further you’re committed to going, because I can already do it faster with Holistiplan, I can delegate large portions of it to my team with Holistiplan, and then focus more of my efforts on just my highest and best use of doing the more complex areas we’re communicating with the clients.

Roger, talk about areas that we’re going to continue to see new features and value ads from Holistiplan. I know you have a lot in the works of where you see this headed.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, one thing I realized at the beginning of this year was I think we’ve done a really good job of helping advisors extract the needed information, of course, that’s the part where you upload a tax return and it reads it and all that stuff, like that’s a solid piece.

We’ve given them good tools for doing the analysis, the scenario analysis screen, stuff like that. And then we just kind of like leave them and we’re just like, okay, good luck explaining to your client why this Roth conversion is a thing we’re doing or good luck explaining why this qualified charitable distribution is the right thing to do.

And advisors who’ve been doing this a long time, they have that infrastructure already built up either informally in their minds or within their firms where they have that email already built, how do you explain what a qualified charitable distribution is? And they’ve already thought about how to present to the client, the side by side, with and without — here’s the tax bill with and without a QCD.

But some advisors who haven’t done that before, or even those who have, like why do we force them to build all that communication piece on their own?

And so, that’s what we’ve actually been rolling out just in the last few weeks or some communication type tools that kind of closed that loop; you’re doing a donor advised fund, there’s several reasons why you might do it and let’s lay it out for the client what the benefits are over multiple years of grouping itemized deductions or whatever it might be.

So, to me, that’s the next horizon for us, is really thinking about that. And it allows us to even go further to things that only kind of are adjacent to tax planning.

So, for example, one thing we’re working on is a cash flow sort of visualization tool. And why does that touch tax? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in situations where a client would be in my office and they’d be like, “I have no idea what I spend.”

And they’d be like, “I tried to use Quicken to count up what I spend and all that stuff” and we’d say, “Okay, hold on, what’s your total income? Let’s subtract out your taxes, let’s subtract out whatever your additions or subtractions are to the portfolio and whatever’s left is spending.”

And there have been times when like that’s the first time one of my clients ever really understood what their spending level was. But one of those inputs is tax. Tax was a critical piece of that. So, that’s some of the stuff we’re working on that I’m really excited about.

There’s clearly more we can do with integrations with other software products, working a lot with Salesforce which is a beast, but that’s really what the future holds for us.

I mean, for me, the lens I really look through is what’s going to just help advisors provide richer planning to more clients. And so, richer means how do you make it easier for them to communicate that concept? How do you make it easier to model that specific thing that comes up all the time?

And then the more client’s piece is one of the things I’d really love to get deeper into is how can we convince advisors that this is something they can be using as part of their prospecting process? I mean, I would do this, I would have a client come in for a prospect meeting.

And I knew they went to the other advisors in town, but I would say bring your tax return to the meeting. And I would just kind of eyeball it, I didn’t have Holistiplan to throw it in, but I kind of eyeball it and pick out a few things. And invariably, that prospect would be like, “Whoa, no one has ever pointed this thing out to me before, including my CPA.”

And so, to me, like that’s a whole other channel that we can open up where we’re helping advisors get more clients by showing even before they become a client, “Let me show you the value I can provide quickly by demystifying this tax return, by finding some opportunities for you. And so, if you join me as an advisor, I’ll be able to provide all those values.”

So, all kinds of good stuff we can still do in tax, it’ll keep us busy for years, I think.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, and the great news is, is once you get it figured out, Congress will change all the rules anyways, and then you can keep updating it for us.

Roger Pine:         Yes. We can count on that for sure. That’s happened a few times.

Voiceover:  Hey podcast listeners, you know that tax planning is imperative to financial planning, and that a well-designed tax plan could make or break a client’s financial plan and their ability for a successful retirement.

That is why we are always looking for ways that we can deliver massive tax value to financial advisors. So, they, in turn, can go and work hand-in-hand with their client. That is why after hundreds of inquiries from financial advisors across the country, Retirement Tax Services is partnering with Holistiplan.

Jump online to to purchase your ticket to attend a one-time power session where lead CPA, Steven Jarvis, shows financial advisors how they can use the Holistiplan software to deliver massive tax planning value to their clients.

This is what the industry has been asking for and you will not want to miss your opportunity to attend this power session; It’s time you start planning for success.

Steven Jarvis:     I like that you talked about the prospect process in there. As we look at this webinar this week, we’re going to specifically talk about it in two different sections of how do we use Holistiplan with prospects, then how do we use it with clients.

Which there’s a lot of similarities, they both have tax returns, we’re trying to add value to both of them. But Holistiplan is such a great tool for, especially that initial conversation where again, you we’re hitting the easy button. We’re hitting fast forward on let’s get to what’s relevant and meaningful to the client.

And the stories I hear over and over again from advisors of the difference it makes to a prospect if the advisor is leading with taxes, because it’s such an emotional and most of the time, painful element of a person’s financial life that they can see here’s how much money I made. And then here’s the piece that got taken away from me.

Roger Pine:         Totally. Yeah, I mean like we should really highlight that because I mean, we, as advisors, we love tax returns. We think tax returns are fascinating. We can’t get enough of looking at tax returns because that’s what we do in our jobs. But I think we forget what the relationship our clients have with taxes and tax returns in particular.

One, I mean, basically they have to prepare their own invoice for the biggest expense of the year for them. So, that’s one.

And two, deep down, they’re wondering a couple things. One, “Did I screw this up somewhere, am I going to get in trouble?” And two, “Did I overpay because I hear about all these loopholes and other people get a better deal than me, and that’s not fair, I don’t want that.” And so, like that’s real emotional baggage that clients have around their taxes.

And if we’re able to demonstrate, like I understand this thing. Not only do I understand this thing, I understand this thing at a level where I’m going to bring you on the inside.

You’re going to know what those loopholes … I mean like a Roth conversion or a QCD, are they really loopholes? Not really, but I’m going to bring you on and you’re going to be an insider on this whole loophole thing, and I’m going to be your guide.

And for us, we just think of them as tactics or strategies, but for clients, like this is borderline magic, like this is borderline magic stuff that’s getting them past something that they have real emotional baggage around.

And so, the earlier you can insert that into the relationship the better. And I also think we have advisors who work with Holistiplan and they do tax return reviews, maybe for 20% of their clients.

And I’m thinking you have the tool now, do this for all of your clients. All of your clients deserve this, all of them have this same baggage, all of them have the same relationship with tax. And now, that we can do it at scale, why would we not do it for everybody?

So, yeah, I’m thrilled with anything that we can do together to get more advisors pumped up about tax planning, and using the tools available to them, Holistiplan and others, to do it more efficiently and get it to more people. I mean, I think that’s a game changer for our profession, I really do.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, I completely agree. I like to make the joke that all the advisors who have clients who pay taxes should listen to this podcast. Everyone pays taxes. I mean, what goes along with that, is that okay, great, if your clients pay taxes, which they inevitably do, then you absolutely have to be getting their tax return.

And if you’re getting their tax return, you have to be doing something with it. Otherwise, your clients are going to stop providing it. And being able to put it through Holistiplan, to again, just hit the easy button on taking 90 pages down to two or three.

And then even for advisors who have tons of experience with tax planning, why not have a tool that gets you too close to the finish line faster. You get that Holistiplan report, and here’s this list of things to consider, observations is what they’re labeled as at the bottom. But we’re just pointing you in the right direction that much faster.

Now, I’m a huge tax nerd. For most of my clients, if I’m preparing the tax return, obviously, I’m still going to the tax return.

But for a lot of times, I’m still going to the tax return, but now, I’m going to very strategically and very pinpointed. I’m not going through all of the pages at the same level of detail I would’ve otherwise. I’m looking at those observations then saying, “Okay, here’s something I want to look at the nuance of.”

But it’s accelerating what I’m doing. It’s much more quickly getting me to talking about those strategies, talking about those tactics that are specific to that client. And we can help them see, okay, here’s how we can move the needle on how much of that tax you’re paying, making sure that you’re not overpaying, giving you confidence that you’ve done it correctly, all those things you’re talking about.

Roger Pine:         It’s a scalability question, that is something I hear from people who try the software, who are very experienced CPAs like yourself and they may say, “This didn’t teach me anything new.” And I’m like, “I would hope it wouldn’t actually. I mean, I would hope that you’re not going to learn anything from our system, you should know this stuff.”

But scalability isn’t necessarily about teaching you new things. One, does it make you more efficient? Like how long would it take you to prepare something that pulls out their marginal bracket and where are they in terms of their capital gains bracket?

Like calculating the MAGI for the 15 different type of MAGIs there are. I mean, I know you know how to do it, but why do that by hand when you could have something do it faster. That’s the efficiency.

I define scalability in two ways. One is efficiency: can you do it faster? The second way is consistency. Because you’ve got a staff like yeah, I get it CPA who owns a firm and like you can read the return, you get it every time. But what about all the other people in your firm, if given the same exact return, the same exact fact pattern, are they going to come out with the exact same output?

Now, even expand that out. Let’s say you represent a firm with multiple offices or you have grown through acquisition and you have different practices who’ve been glom together through some strategy — how do you make sure that everyone’s coming up with a consistent output when you’re given the same set of facts?

I mean, I get that this person in this office is a CPA who knows it all and this person in this office is a CPA who knows it all, but even those too, are they going to come up with the same recommendations and the same outputs?

And so, yeah, sometimes, we have to think about like why do we invest in software? Is it to give us the new insights? Yes, potentially, but also, is it to help us just do the thing faster and better, and then we have to define what faster and better means for us, and are we getting the value out of it?

I think it’s there, but sometimes, it’s a matter of framing it in those terms and people come in to buy a new piece of software, what are their expectations for what it’s going to do for them?

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, the thought that came to mind as you were describing that, especially as you’re talking about some of the users only using it for 20% of their clients, is that we wouldn’t take that same approach with other software tools.

So, the one that came to mind is scheduling. I can have someone on my team call clients or email back and forth 16 different times to figure out the right time for someone to meet or what’s available on my calendar or their calendar, or even as we scheduled this podcast, whatever it is. I mean, we could do that manually. I could do it all these different ways.

But there’s tools for that. I happen to use Calendly (there’s other ones), but I didn’t get Calendly and then say I’m only going to use it for my favorite clients or my best podcast guests or whatever it might be. Like I adopted that tool because it made me much more efficient and much more consistent to your two points. And then I used it across the board.

Honestly, that’s also how I use Holistiplan. I’m not going through and saying, well, I’ll use Holistiplan for these half of my clients, in part, because the ROI on using Holistiplan, if you look at the cost per return and then what you can do with it, like that’s not a hard decision for me to begin with. But that efficiency and consistency, those are huge. Loved how you pulled those out there.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, I would guess that of the firms where they’re using our software, where they’re doing a tax return review for 20% of their clients, I would almost be certain that that’s a legacy policy from before they were using software.

So, back when it was a manual process, I totally get it, like it’s hard to do that for everybody. I think that’s why our product caught on so quickly, is we took a process that was 45 minutes and took it down to a minute, but there’s still like that legacy of, okay, well, this is our platinum to your clients, they’re the ones who get the tax planning, and this is our kind of gold tier and they only get it every three years.

But we now are able to — and your competitors, advisor who’s listening; your competitor who have embraced this new way of doing things, they’re doing it for all their clients.

And so, for me, that’s going to be the norm. I mean, like it’s going to be every single year … and I’ve even thought about this, like do I put up a billboard not aimed at advisors, but aimed at clients that says, “Has your advisor reviewed your tax return this year?” That’s what it should say.

And that should be the question that clients should be asking each other like “Yeah, my advisor reviewed my tax return, they didn’t review yours?” That needs to be just like part of what we do. I mean, if you look at the CFP curriculum, like tax planning is one of the pillars. And I’ll tell you what’s great about tax returns is, your client’s got to do it every year by law.

You know, I can get on my client’s case about redoing their will and then year after year, they don’t do it and please redo your will, and they don’t. Whereas, I don’t have to compel them to do a tax return every year, the government compels them under penalty of law.

And so, as an advisor, it’s such an incredible window in what’s going on and they get a new one every year. It’s to me, the perfect checkpoint that’s just handed to you every year; why would you not take advantage of it?

Steven Jarvis:     Totally agreed.

Roger Pine:         You’re sold on this. I don’t need to sell you on tax plan reviews, but-

Steven Jarvis:     No, I love it, I love knowing that I’m not the only one committed to this, for one. It’s good to know that there’s other people in the club.

But right now, I spend most of my time talking to advisors about tax planning, but we’re not on some secret forum — consumers hear me too. And so, I actually more and more have consumers reaching out to me saying, “Hey, I hear the things you’re talking about, can I work with one of those advisors that you’re talking about that does tax planning?”

And originally, I thought those would be DIYers who are now looking for help. I’ve talked to a couple of consumers who are reaching out to me, even though they have a financial advisor because their financial advisors don’t ask about their taxes.

And for some advisors, I get that it kind of feels like this kind of circular kind of chicken in the egg thing of, well, I don’t get tax returns for all of my clients because I’m not sure what to do with those tax returns and I don’t want to ask for them and not do anything, but now, you’re talking about Holistiplan but I don’t have the tax returns to run through it.

Okay, great. Yes, we need to solve both of them but you need to get a tax return for every single one of your clients. This is like going to the doctor and them not checking your pulse or your blood pressure. Absolutely, you have to looking at their taxes.

And if you’re beginning to get their taxes anyways, you absolutely need a tool to make sure that you can deliver value on all of them in an efficient and consistent way. And for me and my team, that has been Holistiplan.

Roger Pine:         Yeah, and I think, I can see how that could be daunting for an advisor who’s not doing tax planning at all. And so, it kind of goes back to what we were talking about as far as like when we built our software. Like that minimum viable product … start somewhere; start.

You know, upload your own tax return and see how it works for you. And start with just doing the tax return reviews. And then once you get comfortable with that, you can start looking at in the second half of the year, doing some actual projections and actual pursuing of actual strategies where we’re trying to do some things by the end of the year.

And then the next year to layer on tax letters where you’re helping your clients communicate with their tax repairers on all the cool things you did the previous year, so they don’t make mistakes on their return.

Like it doesn’t have to be everything at once. I mean, like it’s hard to break it out into pieces like that because we’re so excited … “You could be doing this, you can be doing that” and I could see how it could be too much and people don’t want to start.

So, start, do your best, start with the tax return reviews, you’re going to find things. You don’t have to necessarily pursue it. Talk to that CPA, that enrolled agent in your town and say, “Look, I found this, is this something we pursue together?” Let them do the actual work.

Steven Jarvis:     Roger, I really appreciate you spending the time coming on, sharing your insights, your background, all the great things that you’re doing with Holistiplan. We like to make sure that as we’re sharing all this great information with advisors that we’re highlighting how we can turn information into action, which is how we get value out of it. And so, there’s a couple of action items that I think just really have to come out of this conversation we’re having.

The first one is that as an advisor, you have to be getting tax returns for all of your clients every single year. Roger, you made the point that they come back around every single year, this isn’t a one and done type thing; whether you’re using Holistiplan and you’re working with RTS or you’re using another software altogether, we all just need to really lean into taxes has to be part of the equation.

Now, the next action item, because I am personally biased because I’m a user and I really love the experience, is that you need to go get signed up for Holistiplan. We’ve got the link in the show notes. Everyone can do a free trial.

If you’re not convinced by our conversation of how easily and effectively it works, great, go do the free trial, upload a tax return, you’re going to see how easy it is to go from massive tax return to really actionable information. So, get signed up for the free trial.

Then the next step, and Roger, you have highlighted this as well that this is both art and science. So, you need the tool and you need to know how to use it. So, again, a little bit of bias here, I’ll admit that, but August 24th, we are doing a co-sponsored webinar talking about unlocking the full potential of Holistiplan.

So, this is me and my co-host, Matthew Jarvis, at The Perfect RIA, talking about how we actually are using Holistiplan in our practices with our clients, the things that we love about it, the tools that we’re using, and then how we’re communicating with clients. So, make sure you get signed up for that webinar.

If you are already a Holistiplan user, go back and check your email, you got a promo code so that you can attend at our promotional rate with our partnership with Holistiplan — that’s something that they made sure that they took care of for you. So, make sure you’re looking for that code as you get signed up.

Roger, anything else you want to add before we wrap this thing up?

Roger Pine:         No, that sounds great, I second it. Thank you for pointing people our direction. Like you said, we have a free trial and I’m looking forward to working with your team to help advisors just be better tax planners. That’s education and that’s putting the right tools in their hands. I think together we can make it happen.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, because at the end of the day, the client wins and that’s what this is all about.

Roger Pine:         Yep.

Steven Jarvis:     So again, Roger, thanks for being here. Thanks for listening everyone. 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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