Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast


What You'll Learn In Today's Episode
  • You don’t have to be a fire chief to know what smoke smells like. Clients don’t just want tax strategies from you—they need them. You may even save some from worst-case scenarios.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the volume of the tax code. Your goal should be getting knowledgeable enough to talk about it; not memorizing it. A CE course on taxes could be a great start.
  • Systematizing your approach, even if it’s just in terms of what you discuss or whiteboard, is investing in quality control. This means working on your business rather than just in it.
  • The market is changing. If you want to be a great advisor, you’ll have to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Providing more knowledge; deeper insight than the rest is a great way to do this.

Executive Summary:

Welcome to the Retirement Tax Services Podcast! Steven’s guest today is advisor Dan Cuprill of The Profitable Advisor. As a longstanding financial planner and a teacher, Dan advocates value through better systems.

In fact, his approach can yield the practice you want—regarding both profitability and life in general. Consequently, he and Steven discuss how it can help advisors shed fears of tax planning, too.

Cure Tax Terrors

Full disclosure time: Dan worked for years in the insurance industry, where he learned the tax ropes early. As a result, he’s never been intimidated by them.

However, he has had advisor friends who were. This is why he started helping them make the leap to tax planning.

Let’s say someone comes to their doctor complaining of chest pain and other heart-related symptoms: Does the doctor immediately instruct them to lie down for surgery?

Of course not. A good primary care doctor will get blood work and run other tests. Only then, if necessary, they’ll refer the patient to a cardiologist.

Similarly, your job as an advisor is to get clients’ financial vitals and refer them to a specialist as needed. Just as a primary care doctor will discuss weight loss regimens, you can help clients plan tax strategies.

It’s a natural aspect of advising. However, if a client should need tax preparation, that’s when you contact a CPA.

Ideally, you’ve reached out proactively to know their other centers of influence already. Therefore, things go much smoother than they might otherwise. Regardless, you get the idea.

Use Your Stethoscope, Systematically

Don’t worry about becoming a tax expert. The point is to have a system in place for observing and assessing clients’ financial health (and the likeliest long-term outcomes).

In other words, establish means for getting the most accurate picture possible. Next, show them the direction they’re currently headed in. Ask, “Do you feel good about this?”

For example, suppose that their net worth has never been taxed. Interest rates are low today, but they could be sky-high tomorrow. Find out if they understand this.

When you’re able to point out potential problems early, you’re adding value. Propose solutions, as well, to add to the value.

Advisor Dan Cuprill recommends asking, “When I write your plan, would it make sense to develop a strategy to do that?”

Make sure they’re okay with cutting the IRS a check while rates are low. Ask—and then listen. This can get potential objections out of the way early.

A Good Financial Planner Saves Financial Lives

Like any professional, you should be knowledgeable. CE courses are there for a reason, so take one (or several) on taxes.

No one’s going to ask you to memorize the forms. Nevertheless, you should be familiar with things like Rule 72(t). Learn how dividends and capital gains are taxed differently from income, too.

Again, you don’t need to be a walking tax code library. Don’t be intimidated. Instead, get familiar with the ins and outs. With this in mind, prepare to be the point person; not the specialist.

Preventative maintenance can save more lives than surgery. Additionally, it turns prospects into clients. Show them the direction they’re headed in.

Your Action Items

  • Listen to The Profitable Advisor, visit, or both. Sign up for his newsletter, too. You’ll learn much more for maximizing your profitability.
  • Pick a tax topic and systematize it. This can be QCDs, RMDs, or anything else. If it’s currently taking too much of your time, that’s the one to start with. Build a checklist, build something in your CRM, or both.
  • Get tax returns from every client, every year. Doctors don’t guess about patients’ health from year to year. You need it for your doing your best work.
  • Leave us a 5-star review (please). If we’re delivering value to you, please make that known. Your feedback, wherever you get your podcasts, is appreciated.

Steven and Dan have more systematic insights in this episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast. You can reach Steven at

Thank you for listening.


Steven Jarvis:

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 in this show, I teach financial advisors how to deliver massive value to their clients through retirement tax planning. On today’s episode, I’m really excited to have Dan Cuprill here with me. He is the host of the Profitable Advisor podcast, which is a podcast for advisors by an advisor. And Dan really focuses on teaching systems so that you can have the practice that you want both from a profitability standpoint and from a life standpoint. So Dan, welcome to the show. Really excited to have you here.

Dan Cuprill:

Steven it’s, it’s an honor to be on. I really appreciate it.


Yeah. I’m really excited to talk, uh, to take your theme that you use of systems and talk about how that can apply to advisors who are looking to either start their game or up their game as it relates to tax planning, because that’s what we’re all about here. So maybe give us a little background on just this idea of systems as a whole, and then we’ll bring it back to taxes.

Dan Explains The Importance Of Systems In Being A Successful Advisor [1:47]


Yeah, sure. Well, so I’ve been an advisor for, I guess it’s been about 25 years now. And very early on in my career, I was fortunate to stumble across the book that I think most of us have probably read, it’s called the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and it talks about how a true entrepreneur is somebody who works on his business, not in his business. And that the way you achieve that is to create systems for everything that you do, that other people could operate. So if you take, for example, McDonald’s, there’s a reason why the fries tastes the same, no matter where you go, there’s a very specific system. But if you, if you ever saw the movie, The Founder, which is about the founding of, um, McDonald’s, that wasn’t always the case, each individual restaurant owner was doing his own thing and then Ray Kroc finally said – ‘no enough, you got to follow this process’. Well, what that then allows you to do is separate yourself from it. And you can then go on and expand your operation. But if you, the business owner, are the center of the operation, then it lives and dies by you. You’re not an entrepreneur and you don’t have to be, you’re a small business owner. And I try to make that distinction because I think the entrepreneur level is worth aspiring to, for a lot of people. But just because you own a business, don’t delude yourself into believing that you’re an entrepreneur, at least by Gerber’s terms. So I guess what you can, Webster’s terms are so broad, you know, it could be anything, but systems are a big part of it. So when it comes to planning, for example, there was a point in my career where I no longer wanted to be the planner. What I wanted to do was systematize how we do planning so that I could basically show anybody with a reasonable level of intelligence, how to do a thorough holistic plan for a client and taxes were a big part of that, which most people, heck I got friends, trained advisors, you know, they’re, they’re CFPs for many years and they still won’t touch the tax issue. And it’s a huge mistake because that is the one thing that brings us all together as Americans, we all hate taxes. Everyone always hates it. Even the people who say they want taxes to go increase, they still don’t want to pay it themselves. They want other people to pay them, but they don’t want to pay them. So if you’re looking for pain points, if you’re looking for something, that’s going to get somebody to want to learn more about you, well, tax is a big part of that. And so if you’re comfortable with it, if you have a system, you don’t even have to be an expert in it. But if you have a system whereby as part of your planning, you are gathering that information and you’re able to point out potential problems or at least show the client the direction he or she is heading, and then ask them, do you feel good about this? Do you feel good about the fact that most of your net worth has never been taxed, but will be someday and that we have no idea what that rate’s going to be. So are you comfortable with the current rates? Because as far as I know, they’ve never been lower in our lifetime. So would you like, you know, would it make sense when I write your plan? Would it make sense to develop a strategy to do that? And suddenly now you’ve got the client thinking of – ‘well, of course it would make sense, okay, good, well, let me, let me just make sure you understand though, it’s you know, there will be some tax paid now, but not later.’ And what this is doing is and I’d usually do this during the design function of working with client, as it’s getting all potential objections out of the way now. So I’ll say to them – ‘you need to understand, we do this, you’re going to write a check to the IRS, but you’re going to write it now versus later. Did you still want me to go ahead and proceed with that recommendation?’ ‘Yes, I do.’ ‘Perfect.’ So if you systematize that, even to the conversation itself, even to what you write on the board, you’re going to be in much greater control from a quality standpoint. And if you choose to work on your business, rather than in your business, like now I live 300 miles from the office, so I do pop in. In fact, I am in today, but for the most part live in Nashville and the office is in Cincinnati and I’ve been able to do that because, and by the way, I’ve been able to do it with was still rather lean staff, because there’s a systematic approach to it. We’re not trying to recreate the wheel, kind of like McDonald’s again, you’re not saying – ‘okay, go make some fries; you’ve got to go buy the potatoes and then go find a burner.’ No, it’s all worked out.


Yeah, Dan so many great things in there. If we could divert from systems just for a second, you mentioned having friends that are advisors who still won’t touch taxes and I talk to advisors all the time, trying to help them get past that objection of – ‘I can’t talk about taxes. I’m not a CPA, I’m not an expert in it.’ And I try to really get across to them that you don’t have to be an expert to talk about the topic and really you shouldn’t even be the final say bringing in these opportunities out to them. You’ve given a great example there of “when are you comfortable paying those taxes? Can we help you reduce that risk of taxes going up?” But from your experience, both you personally and these advisors, you know, how did you get past that hurdle? And what do you think keeps them from moving past it for these advisors who haven’t?

How Does Dan Address Advisors’ Hesitation In Relation To Taxes And Overcoming It? [6:53]


Yeah. Speaking for myself, it was never something that scared me that much because in my case, I came up, my first 10 years, I worked in the life insurance industry at the company level, so I had the great fortune of learning about tax and tax planning at that level so that I could ultimately assist other advisors. So I had a lot of that, that training. And then when I went to get my professional designations, that was pretty comfortable for me. You know, I understood it and in some crazy way actually enjoyed it. But when it comes with other advisors, the important thing is to think of yourself like a primary care physician. I always use medical analogies. If you’re a primary care physician, you are not expected to be a cardiologist; you are not expected to be an orthopedic.  So when someone comes to see you and they’ve been complaining of your primary care, and they’re complaining about heart issue pain – ‘I’ve got this pain in my chest and I don’t have a lot of energy’ – whatever the signs are that would lead that physician to believe this person probably has a heart issue, what’s the good physician going to do, send them to the cardiologist, but he is going to run some tests. He’s going to say – ‘you know what, we’re going to do a blood profile right now and that’s going to tell us a lot right now about your heart’ or whatever, I don’t know, I only played doctor on the weekends [laughter] but you know what I’m saying? They’re the point person. And that’s what you want to be because you, you don’t want to assume that what they’ve been doing up until now has been perfect, cause I got news for, it’s not, in fact the best way that you can plan for any client, if you want to get a prospect to really move over to you, show them the direction they’re heading now, ask them if it’s optimal and if it’s not, then offer recommendations. So in terms of getting over any mindset issues that you might have that are preventing you from doing it, understand no one is asking you to, to be the final solution. You’re just looking for the problem. Think of it like you’re looking for the smoke that ultimately the fire department will take care of, but you can see the smoke. You just have to know what smoke looks like. And that’s what it, that’s what it would take when you’re working with a client. So yeah, I mean, you should, as any professional, you should be knowledgeable in the area. If you have never…

your CE courses are there for a reason, I mean, I know we go like – ‘oh god, I got to do this.’ That’s I know people actually have other people take their CE for them.


[laughs] We don’t want to talk about that.


I know. I know. We’ll keep going. But take one on tax, take on tax and understand it’s not nearly as overwhelming, especially for what you do. No one’s going to ask you to memorize the forms, all right. But you ought to have a good working knowledge of what 72T is all about, right? You got to have a good working knowledge about how dividends get tax and capital gains get taxed differently from income, right? You should have that. And if you don’t have that, then I got, I’m going to be brutally honest with you, you’re really not an advisor. You’re just, you’re just a product pusher, which is okay, but you’re probably going to go away soon because this industry is rapidly changing so fast and people don’t need you for a product. So if you’re still in your thirties and you still want to be an advisor in your fifties, the way that you distinguish yourself from everybody else –well, one way, there are several ways, but one way is to provide more insight and knowledge than your competition will. And just by doing that, you’ll be amazed how many referrals you’ll get without ever asking for them, by the way.

Don’t Ask For Referrals. Demonstrate Your Value. [10:28]


Yeah. That’s a lot of really great insight in there, Dan and I’m totally with you. In fact, on the first episode of this podcast, we talked about getting referrals from centers of influence and one of our huge points was, you don’t ever, ever, ever ask for the referral, demonstrate value, demonstrate your expertise, provide value to the center of influence, but don’t, don’t ask for referrals. You’re never going to get them. And I say that as a CPA, who has been asked for referrals by many, many advisors, and I don’t give them out because when you lead with – ‘hey, give me a referral?’ Not going to do it.


Well. And it’s even worse when you do it to your clients. Because if you think about it, the client relationships should be all about the client. And now what have you just done? You said – ‘no now it’s about me.’ And then the other thing too, as I always try to point out is look, your ideal client is somebody who has a lot of anxiety about their money. Well, I have a lot of good friends, but I don’t know if that’s, what’s keeping them up at night, so at best you might get is a name from me – well, what’s that, you know, so yeah, there’s a lot of problems with that but if you not only provide expertise, no one else does, but then maintain a high level of contact with people who are likely to give you referrals and I mean, a level of contact where I’m always saying to you, Steven – ‘is there anything I can do to help you?’ You’ll be amazed how that will suddenly turn around because people like to reciprocate. And so if I’m doing something good for you without even asking, you’ll naturally do something good for me because you’ll trust me more.


Yeah. Consistency is such an important part of so many things that advisors do, that CPAs do. And that really gets back to your approach to having systems in place. So let’s circle back to that. And can you give me an example of where taxes fit into one of the systems that you have?

Dan Explains The Relationship Between Taxes and Systems [12:17]


Yeah. So believe it or not tax planning is part of my selling system. And I say that because you have to ultimately provide a product that is worth having. So one of the frustrations many advisors have is that they either spend a lot of time working with a prospect, showing them how to do things right and then they never actually get hired or they don’t get hired fully. So the client says, ‘I’ll give you some of the money, but I’m not going to give it all of it to you’ or ‘they say this was really great information, I’ll get back to you’ and then they ghost them. They never do. Which really means they didn’t value at all what you did. So to me, you have to incorporate your selling process with your planning process. They have to go in sync. So first of all, I would tell you that in terms of your selling system, you should only offer your services to people who truly need them, which means they have indicated to you that, they have, they don’t have any, what I like to call landmines. They don’t already have a current advisor, they’ve expressed a level of anxiety about their money, they tell you they want to act now and they’re very open – ‘oh yeah, no, we would want you to work with me, work with us fully.’ Too often advisors are scared to even ask those questions, they just want to show them a bunch of stuff and hope something clicks. Well, it’s not a logic based decision for the client, it’s an emotion based decision for the client. So you’re throwing more numbers at them. It’s just going to make it worse. Okay. So assuming we get to that point and then I say to the client – ‘Okay. Um, would you like for me to show you what we do? Because up until this point, I’m asking all the questions that I’m not telling them anything about what we do. Then I’m going to explain to them that one of the five areas that we’re going to look at is taxes. And we’re going to show them in all five areas. So in case anyone was wondering, the five areas are: retirement income planning, investment strategy, tax, insurance, and estate planning. And we’re going to show you the direction you’re currently headed. And if it’s optimal for you, we’re done. But if it’s not optimal, we’re going to show you an alternative approach, but just understand that there’s a pro and con with each of these approaches. So that is the initial discussion. Then we have what we call the design meeting, and that’s where we’re showing them in those five areas where they’re going. So in the issue of tax, and again, you don’t have to be an expert here, and I’m not an expert. I probably know a little bit more than the average financial advisor, but that really doesn’t say a whole lot. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to – [laughs] listen, if you’re listening to this show, you’re above average. So I have not insulted you. Right. Alright, so what essentially that I’m doing is I usually will focus primarily on the amount of money that they have seen in qualified accounts, because most people have like all of it in qualified accounts. And so I’m just showing them graphically the percentages. And I’m just simply, I am giving them a little bit of insight of the state of the country. I’m talking about the aging of the baby boomers. I’m talking about the need for debt servicing. And I asked them, ‘are you comfortable with having that much money, not being taxed yet, knowing that the tax rates now are as low as they’ve ever been?’ And that’s where you’ll start to… they hadn’t really thought about it in many cases, but then I asked them, ‘so when I write your plan, would you like for me to develop a strategy to minimize the tax that you’re going to pay in the future, when you retire?’ But notice, I didn’t say that you’re going to get off tax free; I said – ‘would you like for me to create a strategy.’ Of course, they’re going to say yes. Well then I have to talk about the downside – ‘okay, I just want you to be aware and I can’t wave some magic wand, suddenly turn $2 million in a 401k, into tax-free money. There will have to be tax being paid, is that gonna be a problem?’ So what am I doing? I’m laying out all the objections now. Now I ultimately may need to call their accountant. Okay. In fact, I usually do, because I don’t want any surprises. Okay. I want him in the loop, but I’m at least starting that discussion, but nothing will get finalized until I talk to their accountant or I talk to somebody like you. And I say, ‘okay, Steven, here’s what I’m thinking about doing, does this make sense? Or am I going to go to jail for recommending it?’ And you know, and you’re going to say, now, here’s just like the primary care physician is going to call the cardiologist. And he says, ‘look, does this person, here are their test results, should they come see you?’ And the cardiologist might say – ‘no, no, no, this is, this is normal, this is fine, I’ve seen EKG’ or he might say – ‘yeah, you better get them there right now.’ Okay. But you were the point person. And that’s basically how I do it. So to me, the sales process is not just having them say, ‘yes, I want you to do a plan’, the sales process ends when the planning is done and they’ve moved all the assets over; well, planning is in the middle of that. So the planning has to be done in a way that aids that relationship, that doesn’t overwhelm them. And I don’t want the plan to be the only thing I do for them. I want to do the plan and charge the plan only for the people who want to implement with me. I don’t want any planning-only clients.


Well, and I think the wording that you were using there, as you were talking about how you phrase it to the client is really important to get them on board with implementing that plan. I think the way you said it was, ‘would you like me to include that in your plan?’ So you’re giving them the option, even though you know that this is integral, that if they say ‘nah, I don’t care about taxes’ – you’re probably not going to want them as a client, you’re still giving them the option because they already had the option, but it gets them to buy-in, they have to opt into this instead of needing to opt out of it cause we’re all looking for a way to opt out.

Dan On The Language of Communicating With Clients [17:55]


See, you’re giving them permission to say no. And you know, there’s so much, so much of selling and negotiation today is, built around this idea of win-win and getting to yes. And the studies show that what happens is if you go in with that attitude too often, you end up getting used a lot, because someone always ultimately wins in a negotiation. There’s only one word that has meaning and it’s ‘No’. ‘Yes’ can easily mean ‘No’, we’ve all had clients, or prospective clients tell us ‘Yes’ only to tell us ‘No’ because they were just too timid and then, and we all know, ‘Maybe’ probably means ‘No.’ I mean, I can count on one hand the number of people who said they’d get back to me and didn’t. So if someone says that to me, I take that as a ‘No’. Okay. I’ll continue to nurture them. But I take that as a ‘No’. So when you’re working with a client and I’ll give a great example: so we’re doing one right now for clients where I’ve said to them and I’ve had them for a number of years, but I said – ‘look, if we look at the landscape here, given the size of your net worth, I’m concerned that this, that the unified credit is going to change as it relates to estate taxes and I would rather address this issue now than wait, whereas right now, the two of you could die and with the planning we’ve done, we could minimize it, even under the current law, you’re getting very close to the $23 million and so we need to take some strategies now. So would it make sense if I develop a strategy whereby you gift your kids a hundred thousand dollars a year, but you do it in a way that when you die, we have more than enough money to pay for the estate taxes?’ They said, ‘yeah, that would be ideal.’ Okay, now, ‘do you care where we put the a hundred thousand, I mean, it’s going to be prudent, but I’m not going to put it in stocks, do you care?’ ‘No.’ ‘I’ll handle the issue?’ ‘Yeah.’

I haven’t even told him how I’m going to do it, but what am I doing? I’m getting them to agree to give up a hundred grand a year because they go with taking a hundred grand every year. Okay, and they’re like, ‘no, we like that.’ Okay. That’s what we’re going to do. In fact, if I remember correctly, actually, I didn’t even bring out the map, they brought it up. They go, ‘so what are we talking about, a hundred grand a year?’ And I go, ‘I don’t know’ and truthfully, I didn’t know, but I said, ‘that’s probably going to be the starting point we’re going to look at it.’ So it’s that approach of saying to them, is this important to you? If this is what you want to do? Because I made it very clear to him. Look, you’ll still leave your kids plenty of money. All right. But this is up to you, you can define patriotism any, any way you want, you know, we all know Warren Berger, I think he did define it by paying as much as estate tax. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that one, but you know, Warren Berger was the chief justice of the Supreme court. So he obviously knew the law and he intentionally designed his plan to maximize the tax to his, to his family and back then the, you know, the unified credit kicked in at 600,000, it was expired after 600 grand. So, but in any event, that’s the approach that we’re taking, we’re asking them, just like you would, if you had a patient and you were a doctor – ‘does this hurt?’ ‘No, it feels great.’ Okay, and we don’t have to do anything, but they say, ‘no, no, no, that really hurts, I do not like the idea of kicking in at 40% rate.’ And if they suddenly now, it’s, you know, it goes from 13 million to 5 million and I’d rather do it now, I don’t want to be told later because I waited that I’m uninsurable.


Yeah. There’s so much planning we can do now based on what we know, because anybody who tells you that they’ve already figured out what’s going to happen with this next tax law change is buying or selling a product. But that doesn’t mean we have to just sit and wait. So I love the proactive approach. I love how you’re, you’re working collaboratively with the client and identifying why this is important, not just dictating things to them.


And be prepared for, you know, well, what if, like, for example, in this case, it was like –what if the taxes don’t change? Well, if they don’t change, they don’t change. We just added a significant amount to the family’s net worth, so we can continue the strategy. Um, so you have to be prepared, you know, but I don’t know the future. All I know is that in this instance they could afford it. Gifting makes a lot of sense, anyway, their kids are too young though to really take advantage of those gifts. So we create this structure and you propose it in that manner, but I’m telling you, tax is a unifying thing and it’s really even more powerful with your existing clients. So you’ve got, forget estate taxes, if you’ve got existing clients who have qualified money, you should make that a part of your annual discussion. So if you had a good year in returns here today, you need to discuss that issue with them. Changes to tax law are a gift to financial advisors, because everybody wants to know ‘how’s this going to affect me.’ So if you’re not doing like a webinar right now, on how, you know, to your whole list on the Biden tax laws, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Even though you don’t even know what those are, but you can go in the paper, you can look online and say, ‘well, these are the five or six things that they indicate they want’ – at the very least you’re letting them be aware. But then you’re also saying – ‘so what would I do?’ Well, you know, chances are, if there’s a tax increase, it’s not going to be retroactive January 1st, it’ll kick in next January. Okay. So you got this year’s laws to operate. Let’s take full advantage of them. Here’s what I recommend you do.

Dan Cuprill’s Actionable Advice For Financial Advisors [23:57]


Taxes are really hard to go back and change. If we’re not taking a proactive approach, you’ve missed your opportunity. Well, Dan, we really love to focus on action on this podcast, making sure that advisors can take this information and do something about it because knowledge alone is never enough. So, let’s start with, if advisors listening, are excited about the things you were talking about, you actually, this is something you do beyond just advice to your clients, you work with other advisors. So what’s an action advisors can take to learn more about what you’re offering.


Yeah, so we, you know, we basically help clients, advisors put 10 systems and into their practice and, and most of them are geared around maximizing your profitability as a business owner, because I have a goal for every, every advisor with whom I work, I want them to someday become their largest client. And so if you want to learn more about that, the easiest thing is just go, you can either listen to my podcast regularly, which is the Profitable Advisor podcast. And Steven is going to be a guest here pretty soon. The other thing you can do is just go to, uh, Cuprill is spelt C-U-P-R-I-L-L,, and you can sign up for my almost daily email where I provide regular business advice for financial advisors based on my experiences with my practice, so everything that I recommend is stuff that I do, and this is the genesis of really a lot of advisors calling me, asking me for advice on how to do things and finally I said, ‘all right, well, we’ll make a business out of it.’ So go to I’ll also give you a free copy of my subscription newsletter. If you do that and you enter your email in there and you can opt out any time. So if you get tired of hearing from me, you know, you can opt out which you’re better off doing quite frankly. It’s just, don’t read that one because eventually there’s going to be one out there that’s going to get a click, but the podcast Profitable Advisor podcast, you can find that on all the platforms,, sign up for the almost daily email and we’ll take care of you from there.


Perfect. So there’s a couple of options for learning more about the great things Dan is doing, uh, other actions from our episode today, I’m a huge proponent of having systems in place so that these processes aren’t just repeatable, but that they’re, that you’re easily able to delegate them because the goal for an advisor should not be to spend all their time doing taxes. So pick whether it’s something you would like to add to what you’re looking at, as far as tax topics with your clients or something you’re already doing, but it’s taking too much of your time pick one tax topic, whether that’s QCD’s or Qualified Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions, or any of the other things we’ve been talking about recently on this podcast and systematize it, whether that’s as simple as a checklist or building out in your CRM, or you have some other project management platform, build something to systematize that, start with just one thing.


Yeah. I mean, look, if you did nothing more than, than draw circles on the board and put in the amount of money they have, that’s qualified, non-qualified and say, tax-free, Roth or Life Insurance Cash Value, for example, if you did nothing more than that with every single person, and then you, you started the discussion – how do you feel about that? That is a system, by the way, what I just described as a system, because you do that every single time you work with respective client, there was no modern technology. I see all of these people spend all this expensive money on software, and I’m like, why have software about the future, when the future is unpredictable? I mean, I’m not talking Monte Carlo simulations, that’s mathematically sound, but if you’re trying to sell somebody, okay, ‘if we get X percent every year, we’re going to pull it from this account’, you’re getting lost in the weeds. Just show them that and then begin the discussion. And then you go back and you get very analytical with yourself, frankly. And then you recommend what they should do. That is a system in and of itself. And if you do that right regularly, that’s the one topic that will bring people together, is tax.


Yeah. Dan, you and I talked about this before the episode, but the other action item I want to put out is making sure that you are getting tax returns for all of your clients and prospects, because this is something that Dan does. And this is one of the reasons he’s able to so effectively talk to his clients and prospects about taxes because the return is there in front of him. And he’s using real information specific to them.


Well, that’s a system too, right? So the system for engaging a prospective new client, what’s the system or the system is they must give me these five or six things. So it’s not an option. In fact, now it’s kind of funny because when someone comes to see me for the first time, I tell them to bring nothing because I want to be in total control of the conversation. But then at the end of that meeting, I say, okay, here’s a list of the eight or nine things that I need. And guess what? The 1040 is like the first one on the list. So you to work with me and not give me the 1040 would be like me going to see my doctor and not letting her take my blood pressure. She’s not going to work with me. Right. So why would you do that? Why would you not require that? Because I got news for it. They expect to give it to you. In fact, I think if you don’t ask for it, you’re going to hurt yourself because they’re going to be like, it’d be like the doctor again, ‘wait a second, she prescribed me medication and not once did she listen to my heart or take my blood pressure? Isn’t there something wrong with that?’ Yeah, there is. Yeah. So remember that, you know, structure, the other thing too is, and this kind of goes into whole new direction, but you always want to be testing the compliance level of your prospects. Will they follow what you ask them to do? Because if they won’t, they’re going to be an awful client. You’ll never be happy with them, but if they say, ‘well, I don’t want to give you my tax return.’ Well then fine. Go find another advisor. We do all kinds of little things on my office to see how compliant they are. We make them follow a little directions and it’s subtle, but it tells you before I even sit down with them, okay, this person is going to be easy or this person is going to be a pain in the neck. And then I, I know how to prepare.


I love that perspective. Thanks, Dan. The last action item as always is to make sure that you go out to wherever you listen to podcast, to leave us a review and give us five stars so that we know this is valuable for you and our community keeps growing. Dan, thanks so much for being here. This has been a great conversation. Thanks for listening, everyone. 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.

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