Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast
In this episode, Steven is joined by Jerilyn Klein, Editorial Director at Rethinking65 to talk about how Advisors can stay up to date on all the different things they might have to help a client with, including taxes. Jerilyn has years of experience in the industry bringing actionable information to Advisors on a variety of topics and shares her experience with how Advisors can keep doing more for their clients. Taxes of course are on the list of important topics but cannot happen in a vacuum.
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 email@example.com.
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Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services podcast, Financial Professionals Edition. I’m your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA, and with me this week on the show I have Jeriyn Klein, who’s the editorial director of Rethinking65, and I’m really excited to have Jerilyn on the show today because Rethinking65 is doing so much to help advisors from an education standpoint that goes beyond just the taxes that I focus on. So Lyn, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much, Steven for having me here today. I’m excited to speak with you and your audience about Rethinking65. As Steven mentioned, I’m editorial director and Rethinking65 is a website and newsletter for advisors who are working with clients age 50 and over. As you know Steven, most of the assets at this point are still owned by this demographic, so the majority of advisors are working with them. We launched the website in March of 2021, and my colleague Dorothy Hinchcliff and I have been longtime journalists covering the financial services industry. Dorothy had been the executive editor at Financial Advisor Magazine and I was a contributing writer over there for more than a decade. One of the things that both Dorothy and I realized from covering the industry for so long that while a lot of trade publications spoke about retirement and getting people ready for retirement, none of them really focused primarily on the topics of concern to people who are 55 and over.
And also we had noticed that a lot of advisors also fall within this demographic. Just also to give you some sort of a sense of how significant the population is. According to a recent US Census American Community Survey, over 35% of Americans are now 50 and over, and people think it’s a lot of really complex decisions when they get older. It’s not just how much money do I have in retirement, but really how do you take that money? When do you take Social security? How do you figure out if those assets are going to last? What do you need to do about drawing down and taking those required minimum distributions? What happens when legislation changes? Where am I going to live when I get older, if I’m lucky enough to live a long time? What do you do about long-term care options? A lot of people in this demographic are also sending kids to college or still supporting them.
Somehow people are interested in charitable giving. So there are so many different topics and the Americans really have very little training on how to deal with this and don’t really have anybody to speak with. Advisors really sit in the perfect seat to be able to help with these decisions and to get clients to think about the things that they don’t even know that they don’t know about. Dorothy and I thought that it would be great if we could give advisors some insight on these topics and to share what advisors are already doing, but to also gather more information for them. We read a lot what’s out there. We also follow information from the Stanford Center on Longevity, the MIT age lab, different resources that are really focused on this demographic.
Jerilyn, there’s so many great things in what you’re describing. I love the commitment to taking such a broad approach to helping advisors help their clients in this demographic. Even though I’m certainly a specialist, taxes is kind of my thing. Everyone listening to this podcast is very aware of that. I regularly hear from advisors and really part of the reason they’re even interested in taxes is they, they’re looking for more ways to help their clients and some of this I think is just a result of where the industry’s headed of wanting to expand value and be competitive. But when I talked to advisors one-on-one, I can also see that a lot of this is just their commitment to really wanting to serve and help their clients. You highlighted so many things in there that are just the realities of getting older, of having a great retirement.
It’s really easy to find endless industry publications about what people’s prognosticating about the market’s going to be and all of these things around investments, but it’s harder to find information that goes beyond purely advertising and clickbaits and gets to, here’s things that we can make decisions based on. I love that you didn’t list out just a bunch of topics in there. You listed out questions for people to answer, and I love that approach, and I would imagine that that’s intentional with the background that you and Dorothy have in this space. I would imagine that’s very intentional on your part, but talk to me a little bit about how you think about what content makes it onto rethinking 65. Because I think for a lot of advisors, this can be a great resource for when I have a question, regardless of the topic, this could be a starting place for where I go find information.
And we really want to be that starting point, so we are getting there. Well, one of the things that we heard from advisors, and you had mentioned this briefly, is they really feel like they need to figure out a way to set themselves apart. Everybody has the asset platforms and all of that, but being able to have these conversations with clients is a way to really build client loyalty and to add value, which goes well beyond the finances and explores those many aspects of life after 50. And that’s where living well with purpose really comes in. That’s part of our tagline. When we started, we spoke with a lot of advisors who we knew and we know a lot of people from all of our years covering the industry, and we talked to them about what are things that you are concerned about? What are things your clients are concerned about?
What are some of the things that you would like to be able to help your clients with that you feel that you are not finding enough information about? And so it kind of grew organically in that aspect. We also looked then, and we continue to look at a lot of the research that comes out from different sources, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and so on. One of the themes that we hear, people want to know about a lot of different topics, but advisors really want to know more about expenses. Their clients want to know more about expenses, how to make retirement feasible, how they can save on taxes. They want to talk about strategies that they can use, but they also want to hear how other advisors have been successfully implementing some of these strategies.
And I’m glad you hit on that because just for background, if it hasn’t already been obvious to our listeners, I mean, we got connected because I’ve written for Rethinking65 specifically on tax topics that come as no surprise to anyone. Rethinking65 is also our media sponsor for the upcoming RTS Tax Planning Summit. Even though you and Dorothy have this extensive background in journalism, you clearly have this commitment to going out and finding people who are actively doing these things in practice. You’re not just looking for someone who can articulate a topic, but someone who’s experienced it and can share how you sit down across the table from Bob and Sue, the name of all of my made up clients and help them take action. So again, talk to me about where that commitment came from, why you see so much value in that, because not every publication shares that same commitment.
Well, I think that it’s one thing to be able to just report on the news, and that’s something that we do, but to be able to tell stories is really valuable. An advisor wants to hear if somebody else is doing this, how has it worked with their clients? How have they helped their clients with a specific situation? So that’s sort of the angle that we come from. A lot of our content is generated by advisors like yourself. We have people who talk about what they’re doing with their clients, how they’re helping their clients. We encourage our writers to write in the first person. First of all, it’s a little bit easier, I think for people to talk about what they’re doing, and it gives them a chance to really articulate in a very authentic way about what is working for them, the client who comes to them and said, I’m recently widowed and I really didn’t like how my advisor or how the advisor that my spouse and I were using, I didn’t like how they ignored me.
They just sort of glossed over things. I didn’t have the opportunity to ask questions. There’s a lot of people who change advisors when a spouse dies or relationship ends, whatever. And so advisors realize that they really need to be listening to clients. They need to be educating clients. And we feel that if we are helping educate advisors and advisors are helping educate each other, then they’re able to communicate more with their clients. You had mentioned your articles. You’ve recently written on a couple of text issues including Backdoor Roths. That’s been a very helpful and popular topic. Advisors want to try to figure out how to make retirement more feasible for their clients and saving on taxes is one aspect of that.
If a client walked through your door right now and asked to see their 10 year tax plan, what would you do? How would you answer that question? What would you show them? What actions have you taken as a financial advisor to ensure you’re delivering massive tax value to every single one of your financial planning clients without being a CPA? If you are like the hundreds of financial advisors that reach out to us from across the country, you know, you need to do a better job for your clients when it comes to tax planning, and that is why leading financial advisors across the country will be going to Las Vegas, Nevada, September 27th through the 29th to learn directly from Retirement Tax Services how they can improve their tax planning for financial planning clients. Go to retirementtaxservices.com and register to attend this incredible tax planning session September 27th through the 29th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Yeah, taxes tend to be a pretty big expense in retirement. I totally agree with what you’re saying. There’s so much value in being able to learn from what other people are doing, and as I look at topics I’m going to write on, I always focus not just on things that I’m interested in, which clearly there’s interest there, but it’s what am I seeing with my clients? I mean, you mentioned the article on Backdoor Roths reason that comes up and I since spend so much time on it. We write articles, we put out reference guides, we’re doing a webinar coming up, and it’s because I see issues in this area so often. I see both the planning opportunities that you spoke to of how do we set clients up to minimize their tax expense and retirement. But this is also an area where so many things go wrong so often that an advisor might start out thinking that they’re going to help their client come out further ahead. And if it gets reported incorrectly, you end up paying taxes twice and your client comes out further behind. And so it is this bit of a minefield that if you want to do more than the average advisor, you really need to be prepared to do it correctly. Or in some cases you might’ve been better off just not even attempting it as the unfortunate reality. And so it’s so important that the right information is out there and accessible and available.
It’s also been confusing. Advisors trying to get a good grasp on secure 1.0 and then secure 2.0 comes out. So you had, in addition to Backdoor Roths, you recently wrote about inherited IRAs and what do you need to know about those? And like you said, there are so many nuances that you can make a mistake and that’s it. I know you had spoken about if you don’t do the transfer correctly, you give up that opportunity and that’s a big mistake. So advisors really need to be able to stay ahead of the game on different topics.
Jerilyn, as you’ve gone down this journey or you’re over two years in which, congratulations on that by the way. Are there any topics that you are getting questions on that you’re covering now that maybe you weren’t expecting or that surprised you? I know you spent a lot of time responding to what you’re hearing in the industry.
One of the things that advisors, I guess are taking a bigger role into is estate planning. And there are so many mistakes that can happen with estate planning. We read about what’s happened in the news with a lot of famous people, I guess recently, Aretha Franklin, who is well, I guess was found under a couch cushion. But there are so many issues related to that, particularly because families are very spread apart and so geographically a lot of adult children are trying to manage things from afar. And even the person, the family member who lives closest may not be the person who is most qualified. So we have had a lot of interest in estate planning types of articles. I think also our timing was kind of interesting. We launched, we were a year into the pandemic at that point, but a lot of topics started, we’re still coming up at that point, people joining retirement earlier than they had expected and then maybe even coming back from retirement, which they didn’t anticipate. So there has been a lot of shifts going around. So it’s been exciting to be writing about those type of issues at this time. People are very interested in how life insurance, long-term insurance acronyms that they know about, maybe they’ve heard about with some negative connotations, but learning how some of these different tools and strategies can help them advisors or are communicating things like that.
We also cover a lot of the Medicare type of issues about drug pricing and coverage and things like that because even though that’s not financial and that’s not investing, that’s still a very big concern for the over 50 demographic. Another area that has been very talked about a lot and our advisors are talking about this, thinking about it for themselves too, is what do I actually do with my time after retirement? Do I want to quit cold Turkey? Do I want to stay somehow involved? People are living much longer, people are working much longer. They’re able to work much longer because of technology, maybe better health. So life doesn’t stop at traditional retirement age and neither does work. So that’s something that advisors have been sharing a lot of their stories as well as their client stories.
Jerilyn, are there any topics that you stay away from or that you don’t cover? Because as I’ve explored your site and read different articles, I mean, when it comes to someone getting ready for or into retirement, it seems pretty all-inclusive.
There is nothing that we are consciously staying away from. We invite our readers, our subscribers, to let us know what topics are important to them and what they would like to read more about. So no, there’s nothing that we have been avoiding. If there’s anything that we haven’t gotten to yet, it’s just because we haven’t gotten to it yet. But I think we’ve covered a lot of bases. We have had a lot of interest about college planning and the value of college. And so that’s something that we’re going to be covering more, keeping an eye on what’s happening with student debt, student loan forgiveness, and different issues like that. And there is no one typical client, even though our advisors are helping clients over 50, everybody is different. There’s no typical 50 plus investor and that lumping clients together by age group is really non-productive. Investors over 50 have different goals. They have different needs, different levels of risk tolerance. So there’s just a lot of different things to look at. Intergenerational wealth transfer, that’s a biggie. So we’re looking at that from different perspectives. There’s the tax issues, there’s just the conversational issues with families, so that’s another big one on our radar. Budgeting annuities. A lot of these are becoming increasingly critical for advisors to educate their clients on these types of issues, especially as lifespans are really increasing.
Jerilyn, as you work with advisors, I mean, like I said, there’s so much great information on Rethinking65. The thing I hear from advisors at times is, well, where do I find the time to stay up on all this, to consume all of this? So any thoughts or best practices, things you’re hearing from people as far as how they’re approaching consuming something like Rethinking 65?
I know that a lot of advisors have said to us that they really appreciate our content. We put up articles on our website. We also share them in our newsletter. We disseminate them on social media as well. We try to make it as easy as possible to get these topics in front of advisors eyes in a very timely manner and without them having to hunt for it. We send out our newsletter daily. We have a half dozen articles up there to read. We curate our content and try to put up there what we think is of most interest and importance for advisors to see during any given week. Some of this information is out there in other publications, but you may find a few articles about financial advisors or you may find a few articles about some of these topics, but we are inherently for that advisor audience. So we think about when we select topics to write about and topics to articles, articles accept is does this have some type of value for our readership? And we feel that everything really needs to have some sort of value for advisors in different ways. Some of it are steps that they can take. Some of it is information that is good conversation pieces to have with their clients just to keep up with things, but everything has to have some sort of value for advisors and for their clients.
I love that. That’s what you ended with. At the end of the day, it’s all about value to the advisor and the client, which is a perfect segue as we look to wrap this episode up of, we always try to make sure the information we’re sharing value, which we take as meaning that people can take action on it. So thankfully, this is really simple. Rethinking65.com is the website. But Jerilyn talk as far as action items go, talk about how people can get signed up for the newsletter and talk about how advisors listening who have thought about contributing articles or writing themselves, how they can reach out for those opportunities.
Sure. If you go to our website, rethinking65.com, you’ll see a contact us button at the top of our page and subscribe. So we encourage you to fill out the subscribe form. All it really takes is a name, work email, company title, and we can have you reading the newsletter this week. Anybody is interested in contributing content. You’ll see stuff on the website under contact, but you can also reach out to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We have contributor guidelines. I can talk to advisors about what next steps are, share our contributor guidelines. We make it as easy as possible for advisors to contribute content. We work with you for brainstorming ideas if you’d like. We edit everything. We make sure that anything goes out there is well written and will be something that gets attention. And that’s another thing that sets us apart is, we don’t just publish content, we work and we get to know our writers as well, our contributors. So I invite you to reach out and check us out. We have a lot of different topics, money, longevity, real estate, work life, estate planning, insurance, whole toolbox section on how to help run advisory practices better. And then there are many subcategories under these main categories. So we hope that we have a little bit of something for everybody and welcome you to check us out.
Well, Lyn, having contributed to multiple outlets, I can certainly say that you do make it really easy to work with you, and I’ve really enjoyed the process. So I would definitely encourage people who considered it to reach out. Jarilyn, really appreciate your time today. Always love being able to share resources with advisors of how they can be doing more with clients. The only other action item I’ll add to that list is that this has got to be blocked out time on your calendar for advisors. If you want to really level up your knowledge, your skills, whether it’s taxes or any of these other areas that Jerilyn’s talking about, this can’t be a random or sporadic approach. It’s got to be intentional. It’s got to be on your calendar, and that’s how you’re really going to take these things to the next level. So Jerilyn, again, thank you so much for being here, for spending some time and sharing your experience.
Thank you so much, Steven. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today and look forward to more contributed byline content from you.
And to everyone listening, thanks for being here. And until next time, good luck out there and remember to tip your server, not the IRS.
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.