Click Here To Listen To The Retirement Tax Services Podcast


  • Why so many tax professionals struggle to get their clients involved in tax planning. (2:20)
  • Why it is essential to make complex things simple for clients. (5:30)
  • The importance of asking for clarification if you don’t completely understand something. (6:40)
  • How to make complex issues simple at scale. (12:10)
  • How to go above and beyond for your client. (17:20)
  • Why you should not take news headlines at face value. (20:20)
  • The importance of knowing the three most effective tax planning strategies for your niche. (23:45)


Taking complicated tax issues and making them simple for clients is essential if you want them to actually take action. So, how can we break down these complex topics in a way that is digestible? In this episode, Steven is joined by Matthew Jarvis to discuss how to help your clients by using plain language and avoiding technical jargon so that they better understand the information being presented to them.

Listen in as Steven and Matthew discuss how to do tax planning at scale in your practice and how to deliver even more value to your clients. You will learn the importance of asking the right questions to ensure you know how to serve your clients the best, why you should have an idea of the three most effective tax planning strategies for your niche, and the benefit of practicing frequently.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

Action is the only thing that counts. - @RTSTaxServices Click To Tweet We need to take these complex things and make them simpler so that clients feel empowered to take action. - @RTSTaxServices Click To Tweet I've never heard a client complain that an explanation is too simple. - @RTSTaxServices Click To Tweet

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 Professional’s Edition. I am your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA.

And as a special treat for this episode, we are actually going to use an interview that my brother, Matthew Jarvis and I did recently for The Perfect RIA Podcast. So, let’s listen in.

Matthew Jarvis:   I’m your host Matthew Jarvis. And with me today is not Micah, but rather my brother, Steven Jarvis. Steven, how are you today?

Steven Jarvis:     I’m doing really good, Matt. Thanks for having me on the show.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love it. We’re actually recording this in-person. Steven and I are actually doing some meetings with my team at Jarvis Financial. We’re doing some meetings with some other CPA firms that we’re working with, and so, we had this chance to record this together.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, it’s always fun to be able to do these in-person. You kind of lose sight of just all the stuff that goes on and it’s such a virtual world, but it’s fun to sit across the table and try to figure out where my camera normally would be and my microphone. It’s good.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes. For those of you watching on YouTube, my apologies, we don’t have a video set up here. The backdrop is not that good.

But today, we want to talk about a couple of things. One, of course, being the importance of being able to take tax knowledge and apply it in your practice.

Steven, this is something I struggled with for years in my practice. I knew all this tax knowledge, I’m reading all this tax code, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I just sort of knew about intentionally defective grantor trust. I can never figure out when to actually use them.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, it’s an interesting balance of trying … I mean, people come to a professional of any kind because they want help with a complex area, and taxes are certainly complex.

And as we are kind of pre-gaming for this, it also made me think of why so many tax professionals struggle to get involved in tax planning. When it’s hard to identify where you should be or how that balance should work, it’s easier to just ignore all together.

And so, we talk about complex tax planning issues. For tax professionals, we want clear, perfect answers. We want to get to the mathematically optimal outcome, whatever that means.

And so, it can feel almost a little bit disingenuous to try to pull back and simplify things and take out all the detail to just get people to take action. But at the end of the day, Matt, you talk about this all the time, I mean, action’s the only thing that counts.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Well, and it kind of … I know we poo poo on this show and other shows that tax preparers get a myopic focus on just reducing this year’s tax bill. But if we step back for a second, that’s a really quantifiable thing to do. We can really easily point to if, “Hey, if you can find me a few more receipts, we can lower your tax bill by $12 for a certainty.”

Whereas a thing like a Roth conversion or a 401(k) contribution or almost any meaningful tax planning is a future oriented. We’re making all these assumptions about the future that may or may not be true.

And at the end of the day, we’ll never actually really be able to measure if it worked well enough until it’s so far down the road, it doesn’t matter.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, so, you’re talking about the uncertainty of what the outcome’s going to be. Add to that, trying to explain this to a client.

So, again, if we find an extra $100 in receipts that we can deduct, that’s really easy. I can say, “Hey, Matt, great news. Since you brought in a $100 receipt, your tax blankets going to go down by a $100 and you’re going to save $12 in taxes. Cause clearly you’re in the 12% bracket.”

Matthew Jarvis:   Something like that.

Steven Jarvis:     But so, you add the uncertainty to, “How do I even explain this to a client?” So, we get to the future planning, the natural assumption would be, well, I’ve got to explain that, what if tax rates do this or this or this other thing? And what if your income goes up by this much? And what if instead of contributing pre-tax, we contribute after tax and how are we going to pay the taxes on those things?

And there’s so many different possible scenarios that we could talk about. How would I possibly explain it to a client in a way that they’re going to feel good about doing something?

Matthew Jarvis:   But this brings up an important point. When you are studying to get your tax knowledge, (and you and I independently spend a lot of time studying taxes) as an advisor, you really want to focus your study around the things that impact your clients.

And so, what tends to happen is you go to a tax presentation or a tax conference … and we’re going to talk about the RTS tax conference that’s coming up. But typically, you go to them and they’re trying to give you as much sexy and interesting information as possible that doesn’t apply to your clients.

And so, what I want to do, whenever I’m doing tax planning, my first thing to do is talk to other very successful advisors and say, “Hey, what tax planning are you doing for your clients?” And then they say, “Hey, I’m doing this or I’m doing that.” Cool, I want to go down research down that path because it’s something I can take to my clients.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. And I’m sure that part of that conversation is understanding the clients that they serve, so that if you go … like an RTS Premiere member comes to mind that works with mid-career doctors. And he does great tax planning with his clients, but it looks totally different than the tax planning you’re doing with your clients.

And so, you guys get together and be sharing these different tax planning strategies and thinking the other person is way off base if you are not taking the time to understand what does your client base look like.

So, yeah, it’s a great point that you want to be learning from people who are doing this, learning from people who are serving similar clients and making sure, kind of circling back to our original point of we need to take these complex things and make them simpler so that clients feel empowered to take action.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. An example of that, one of the speakers at the Retirement Tax Services Summit, which is September 27th to 29th, Las Vegas, my hometown, Michael Henley, who’s a rockstar advisor. He’s been on this podcast multiple times. He’s been on the kids’ podcast. He works with his clients and himself to do massive Roth conversions, large six figure Roth conversions.

How does he explain that to clients? “Mr. and Mrs. Client, at your income level, you will always be in the top tax bracket. Let’s do Roth conversions now before tax rates go up.” End of discussion.

No Monte Carlo analysis, no 30-year projections, no talking about the expiration of the TCGA. Just you are in a top tax bracket now, you will always be in a top tax bracket. Let’s do Roth conversions.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. And for his client base, that makes a ton of sense. It works all day and it gets to just the piece that they need to know to take action. Michael’s a really smart guy, he could do all the charts and graphs and color coordination and get into all the details and nuance and spend three hours with one client explaining all the details, but the outcome would be the same.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes. Well, another note on Michael (I’m not just trying to blow smoke on him, he is a good friend of mine), I’m on a personal text string with him because we are in a personal mastermind together. And even just the other day he’s texting, saying, “Hey guys, I want to make sure that I understand this particular nuance of the tax code and I want to know how you’re explaining it to clients.”

So, again, he has a phenomenal practice, very deep knowledge. He’s still going to his peer group saying, “Hey, how are you explaining X, Y, and Z to your clients?”

Steven Jarvis:     Well, Matt, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this. And this is a question we’ll have to put to another one of our guest speakers, Leila Schaefer, who is an attorney that works with advisors on doing things in line with compliance.

I’ve never heard someone bring an issue to me of, “Hey, my compliance department doesn’t like this because I’m making it too simple.” Compliance might throw it out because they don’t want you doing taxes. But I’ve never heard that be an issue (and that’ll be a fun one to bring up to Leila) of, “No, I’m sorry, Matt. You can’t tell your clients that cause you’re making it too simple for them.”

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, yeah. I mean, I’m trying to think of how to some extreme we could take this and I think the only place you’d risk it is if you said, “Hey, it’s this simple and don’t ask your CPA about it.”

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, exactly. Don’t ask your CPA.

Matthew Jarvis:   So, I’m just trying to think the only way you could carve it out, because I want to start as simple as I possibly can and then add layers of complexity as needed.

So, if we’re doing a Roth conversion, the first time I want to talk just about Roth conversions. Later, I do need to mention about the five-year rule that, “Hey, listen, we’re going to need to leave this money in here. Or how 59.5 plays into that.”

I want to start as simple as I possibly can, not as complicated as I can. If only because if they say, “I never want to do a Roth conversion, I think it’s a terrible idea.” Cool, I don’t want to waste time going through the rest of this stuff.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. Well, and you’re alluding to a couple of important things in there that I think as we talk about this, as you and Micah talk about this, it’s really easy to kind of gloss over some really important details of what is that action plan.

And we’ve already mentioned a couple times, but we’re doing this RTS Tax Planning Summit in September 27th through 29th to be in-person in Vegas, as well as a virtual element to it.

And really a big premise behind this is helping advisors get clear on what are those actions they need to be taking, what are those actions they need to help clients take. Because there’s a lot of great tax information out there.

We didn’t look around the industry and say, “Every tax information out there is garbage.” We said, “Hey, what’s missing are these really clear action steps.” So, we put together a conference to address that.

And so, we’re bringing together all these advisors, these experts who cannot just speak to, “Here are the details,” but, “Here’s when you’re going to do it. Here’s how you’re going to do it. Here’s the pieces you can delegate to your team.”

So that people who leave this conference will have a clear action plan of things they can go home the next day and implement their practice and what their 2024 tax planning calendar looks like.

Matthew Jarvis:   I love that. Of course, another speaker who’s going to be there is our good friend, Micah Shilanski.

One of my favorite things to do with Micah whenever he and I are out and we’re talking to small business owners, is while we’re talking to whatever service they’re providing for us, we start running through their taxes and we fine them at least a $100,000 in tax savings.

And then we say, “Listen, you shouldn’t charge us. In fact, you need to pay us the delta. You were going to charge us 23,000. We just fined you a $100,000 in tax savings. Well, you need to pay us the delta.” Kind of jokingly.

But working with small business owners, if that’s your niche, (and that’s a big niche of Micah’s) we can so quickly go through and start finding enormous tax savings. But again, knowing how to find those and then knowing how to communicate them and implementing them, that’s something I think you can only learn by seeing somebody do it or through some insane amount of trial and error.

Steven Jarvis:     So, taking another example of this concept of how simple can we get, because I’ve seen advisors push back on that and say, “Wait, we’ve got this obligation to explain the details to the client.”

And recent one that came up is someone pushing back on using the phrase, “Oh, would you rather pay tax on the seed or the harvest?” And say, “Okay, that’s too simple. You’ve got to go into more details.”

And Matt, you’ve already talked about, hey, let’s start on the simple sign and then as questions come up, then we’re going to go into more detail. But I mean, are there examples that come to mind for you, or do you think there is this danger of we’ve gotten too simple?

Matthew Jarvis:   I mean, I hate getting deep into hypotheticals, so I’m trying to think of real-life ones. A good advisor friend of ours, he would always say, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, would you rather pay $10,000 in taxes today or $20,000 in taxes at some future date?” Client immediately says, “I’d rather pay 10,000 today.”

And so, he shows him, he says, “Well …” And his logic is, “Hey, at some point your IRA is going to double in value. Maybe that’s 10 years, maybe that’s 20 years. I don’t know. That’s not really the point. Do you want to convert it now at the current value or later?”

Now, again, our technical advisors would say, “Wait a second, what about the time value of money? What about the inflation rate? What about real dollars versus non dollars?” No, none of that matters.

And if you’re thinking, “You know what, if I could run into that client, I could talk them out of it or into whatever.” That’s why you have no clients. The people who understand that the simpler you make it, the better it is, that’s who has all the clients. Because that’s who’s able to articulate to clients in a way that they can understand and take action on it.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, and think about going to professionals outside of the finance industry, think about going to a doctor or a chiropractor or something in the medical field where when I’m in those situations, I’m usually asking questions to try and make it even simpler than what they’re explaining it to me. I want it as simple as possible so I know what action I need to take.

Sometimes I think we give ourselves this misguided delusion that well, since everyone knows how to spend money, they must understand finances at a level similar to that that I do. And so, I need to prove to them how smart I am. But no, no, no. They’re coming to you as a trusted advisor to help take the complex and turn it into action.

Matthew Jarvis:   The only hypothetical that comes to mind, (and again, I hate going to hypothetical, so if you’re actually running into this, we could talk about it) is if you’re doing some pretty obscure trust planning that has risks of angering the IRS.

If by some chance that’s your arena, then yes, you should not oversimplify, you should really outline, this is a bad strategy. But if you’re that advisor, I’ll buy you beer later. Everyone else that’s not an issue. The simpler you can get it, the better.

Now, I think, Steven, another component of this is how do you do it at scale? If you’re the average advisor with 150 clients, you can’t spend two hours looking at each tax return. You need to do it at scale.

And I mentioned this, we’ll talk about a couple examples. One of our guest speakers, Sheryl Rowling, who you may know, she created the TRX rebalancing software because as an advisor, she was trying to figure out how to do asset location optimization. There was no software available.

So, she wrote her own software to this, now part of Morningstar, TRX, great platform. But she’s going to talk about how do you stew tax planning at scale in your practice.

Now, this can be as simple as to have your team pull five or seven key pieces from the tax return, put it in a spreadsheet so you can look at all your clients at once for Roth conversions as a simple example.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, yeah. There’s so many great systems and processes to that. There’s also this element that (and I think we do a pretty good job of acknowledging this), tax planning is work.

Matthew Jarvis:   It’s very work.

Steven Jarvis:     Even as we talk about this conference, the resources and handouts we going to give to our attendees, the things we do through Retirement Tax Services, we’re really not trying to sugarcoat the fact that there is still work that needs to be done. And you’re going to get better at this through practice.

If you want to be able to more effectively and efficiently review tax returns for tax plan opportunities, review more tax returns. Again, I’m intentionally oversimplifying this, it really is that simple because that’s the action you can take. Review more tax returns.

That’s one of the things we do for our RTS essentials members is I review tax returns. And I have my team members do an initial review before I look at it. In part, to help train them because they’re tax preparers first and are now learning how to be tax planners.

But it’s interesting to me, to get in and see the notes they make and how long it takes them and then how quickly I can say, “Oh wait, here’s what we’re going to talk about.”

I was looking at one literally just this morning where retired single individual who only had about $6,000 of income and all sorts of things are going off for me that the team hadn’t even identified yet of, wait a second, at a minimum up to the standard deduction we need to be recognize as income every single year.

And that’s not even thinking about our 0% bracket for capital gains. And there’s all these things in there that I noticed instantly. We’re not talking even minutes, we’re talking seconds, because of the practice.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And this suggests to your earlier point on niches. I was reviewing through a client situation. She was widowed in her mid-30s. Her husband tragically passed away, she had two kids. And so, they had Social Security benefit they were receiving and they had these child tax credits and a big IRA balance.

And so, we have over the last 10 years or so, converted some $500,000 from IRAs into Roth tax free because she was otherwise going to forfeit some of the standard deduction. And so, we just each year worked on that difference.

And again, I was able to articulate to her … because she would say, “Hey, I don’t need any of this money.” “Someday you will. Someday you’ll want to have a lump sum to buy a house or a car or whatever the case may be. We’re going to eat this proverbial elephant one bite at a time. And in your case, Mr. and Mrs. Kleiner, or this case Ms. Klein, we’re going to do this one year at a time.”

And we just moved all this money from IRA to Roth, saving her hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her lifetime.

Steven Jarvis:     Well, and to save those hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last 10 years, clearly this was a four-hour presentation with charts and graphs, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Nope. It was (and I’d just love to do this really simple), we had her tax return and I did another one that showed doing a $20,000 Roth conversion where the dollar amount was, and I showed her it was zero both times. So, we said, “Hey-

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, that simple.

Matthew Jarvis:   … you’re going to be zero or we can do this and your tax bill is still zero because you had some credits so you weren’t going to be able to take, why don’t we do this?” “Yeah, let’s do that.”

And then after that it was just, “Hey, Miss Client, this year it’s this number and let’s go ahead and do it.” “Okay, perfect.”

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. That’s where you’re delivering massive value to tax planning.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. And those are things that I learned from going to events like the Retirement Tax Service Summit and talking to advisors and saying, “Hey, tell me something you did for a client on tax planning this month or this year. Or how are you handling the required minimum distributions in light of the new SECURE Act?”

In fact, Steven, on that note, on our team, we recently, a few weeks ago reached out to all of our clients that were age 68 and older and anybody that had an inherited IRA account because most of the rules changed on both of those.

Then you might think 68 or older. Why? Well, they’re thinking about 70 because that’s when everyone still thinks RMD starts. And you can decide how much you want your practice to go by how much value you deliver.

Generic would be to do nothing. Hey, you’re not the taxpayer, it’s not your job. Next level would be to send a generic email to all your clients saying, “Hey, the rules have changed and here’s the 10 things you should be aware of,” or forward something. That’s better than nothing.

Next level after that would be a generic video. Bom, bom, gloom. “Hey everybody.”

The next level after that, which is what we did, “Dave and Sue. Just wanted you to know there’s been some changes in the tax law. We’re on top of those. In March, when we get together for surge, we’re going to talk about it in more detail. Until then, please remember these three things. Have a great day.”

That kind of next level is where referrals come pouring in.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. Well, and again, for your client base, focus on the RMDs was what-

Matthew Jarvis:   It’s a big thing for us, yeah.

Steven Jarvis:     … was the most relevant. For other advisors, they might be highlighting the fact that there’s all these rules changes to 401(k) plans. Maybe it’s highlighting the fact that a matching contribution can now finally actually be Roth dollars.

And this is what I like to bring up to advisors. I know that SECURE Act 2.0 isn’t that old, but one of the things I immediately started looking for was where is confusion going to happen?

And these Roth matches is a huge area for confusion and possibly frustration and pain. Because the thing that is being left out of a lot of the headlines that I’m seeing or the lot of the social media posts and short articles, it is making sure you’re reinforcing to clients that, “Hey, that’s great that your employer is putting those dollars into Roth, that’s taxable income for you. And that’s taxable income that didn’t come with cash flow.”

Now, I love a big Roth balance. It might still be the right decision to get that into Roth and to pay the taxes, but if I’m not expecting that match, increase my taxable income, my tax bill by thousands of dollars potentially, that’s going to come as a nasty surprise at tax filing time.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. This transitions nicely into prospecting. So, let’s stay with that 401(k) example. Any prospects I have, or again, if small business owners is my thing, or 401(k) plans in general, if I’m seeing, if I’m at a networking event, if I’m wherever, I’m going to say, “Dave, I’m sure your guys talking to me about this, but have you guys thought about the unintended consequences of doing Roth matches?”

“No, we haven’t. No one’s mentioned that to me.” “Alright. Well, if you ever are curious about that, I’d be glad to chat with you about it.”

Again, I don’t need to know everything about it, but if he says, “My guy didn’t talk to me about the phantom tax that comes with doing Roth employer contributions. Oh shoot. Alright. I better go talk to Matt about this and figure out what’s going on.”

Steven Jarvis:     Well, and the way you explained that is why I’m so excited that we put together this tax planning summit. And that we’ve been really intentional about who we’re inviting because we’re not just inviting people who can come and tell you the rules.

We’re inviting people who can come and share these really important nuances because the way you phrase that is really important. That whole, “Hey, I’m sure your guy’s talking about that.” That’s a way to present it that’s not going to put somebody on the defensive.

They’re not going to say, “Oh, well, my guy …” If you come and say, “Hey, you guy’s probably screwing this up.” “No, my guy’s great, I like him. He’s my friend, he’s my brother-in-law,” whatever.

But by being intentional about our wording, that’s where we get people to take action. Whether that action is following through on a tax strategy so they save money. Whether that action is bringing you on as their financial advisor or this is the prospecting process. Those words matter.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Related to that for someone on this path would be the new rules for 529 accounts going into Roth. Then I’m reaching out to every client that has a 529 account. And then any clients who have grandchildren saying, “Hey, listen, we need to really look at opening this 529 account and let it start seasoning with this 15-year-old.”

Now, there’s a lot of things we don’t know yet, but there’s not a lot of harm in saying, “Hey, let’s just open one of these, start the clock ticking. Maybe we’ll pull the money back out, not a big deal. Maybe we’ll leave it in there and turn into a Roth someday.” But it gives me a reason to reach out.

And again, it goes to, “Hey, I’m sure your guy told you about the new 529 rules, but if he didn’t gimme a call.” “What new rules?” “Oh, you can turn them into a Roth IRA.”

But I don’t have to say that, “Well, 15 years and it has the season and we’re not sure about the beneficiary and there’s 40 …” What? I just need to get that ball rolling.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. You want to be that person they’re going to come to with the questions.

The other thing that I would throw out there is that when something like SECURE 2.0 happens, sometimes it can feel like, well, that’s dominating all the headlines, all the biggest publications are covering it. There’s no room for me to do something different or add value to my clients.

And that’s just absolutely not true. Especially when something big like this happens and people are so reactionary and they want to be the first one to publish something.

On the 529 plans, saw an article just this week, the headline made it seem like you could put everything into a Roth. That now, suddenly all of these 529 plans, they basically alluded they were garbage before and now, they can all magically be into Roth. And this is such a great solution for creating Roth accounts for your kids.

No mention of the fact that to get the money into the Roth account you need earned income and this counts towards your contribution limit for the year. This is not the same as converting from traditional IRA to Roth IRA. It’s a whole separate set of rules. We can’t think about them the same way.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. There’s so many different areas. Now, again, we’ve just rattled off a dozen of them, which is a dozen out of, I don’t know, maybe 500 that we can go through. You don’t need to know that many. You just need to have a couple that you can go to on a routine basis.

Whether that’s QCDs, whether that’s now 529 accounts, 401(k) plans. There’s just kind of go-to things that you just need to be really well versed on. Again, I know I joke about intentionally defective grantor trust. Unless that’s your niche, stay away from that.

Even Roth conversions, you need to know enough to be able to communicate it effectively. You can always bring in the big guns, (especially if you’re an RTS member) if you need them.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. Matt, there’s so, so many good things in there. My mind’s already racing ahead to this conference in the fall and how we’re going to make sure that advisors don’t just come and hear some great presentations, but they leave empowered to take action on these things.

We’re going to make sure that people are identifying these actions as they go. We’re not going to leave it up to chance to hope that somebody a week after the conference has taken action.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. One that comes to mind because we talked about this with our small business owners, we always ask them, “Hey, are your children on the payroll?” Which can be a really powerful strategy, but you need to know how that strategy works.

And that’s a whole episode on its own. But when we say, “Well, what’s reasonable compensation?” I don’t know. What’s the Screen Actors Guild paying for models?

So, there’s these things that you can know for your niche that make an incredible difference. Even if they decide, “I don’t have the cashflow to put my kids on the payroll, even with the Screen Actors Guild, I don’t want to do these things.” The fact that you’re the first one that brought that up, puts you head and shoulders above everybody else they’ve ever talked to.

Steven Jarvis:     Absolutely. It’s all about being intentional.

Matthew Jarvis:   Well, Steven, let’s talk about some action items. Because of course, this podcast is all about taking action. I’m always surprised when there’s podcasts not about action. And you want to-

Steven Jarvis:     Well, most of them.

Matthew Jarvis:   Most of them. In fact, I’m always a little disappointed when I get to the end of someone’s presentation and they don’t have action items for me. I’m like, “What? I got to figure out my own action items. Are you serious here?”

But let’s talk about some action items. Of course, selfishly, the number one action item would be to go to the Retirement Tax Services website and sign up for the September Tax Summit.

I’m going to be there. Of course, Steven, you are going to be there. It is going to be a lot of fun, as nerdy as that sounds, but it’s also going to be super productive. So, sign up for the Retirement Tax Services Tax Summit and we’ll certainly see you there.

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah, It’s going to be a fantastic event. We have a great video production team that’s going to be there. So, the virtual option is going to be high-quality.

But to your point earlier, Matt, where you learn so much from these conferences is be able to come and interact with people. So,, get signed up, come see us in Vegas, we’re going to have a great time.

Matthew Jarvis:   I would say action item number two is to know the three most effective tax strategies for your niche. These don’t necessarily have to be the ones that are the sexiest or the ones that even have the biggest dollar amount.

But the ones that are the most effective, the most commonly used, know how to illustrate that on a piece of paper with a crayon. I’m not even kidding. You should literally be able to illustrate whatever your top tax strategies are with a crayon on a piece of paper. And that way, again, this oversimplification.

Now, from there, you need to know how all the details work. You need to make sure you’re not screwing somebody up when you’re doing this Roth conversion or QCD or putting their kids on the payroll. But you need able to illustrate that on crayon, how it works, how it benefits them.

Steven Jarvis:     Matt, the other action time I might throw out that I think fits in with what we’re talking about today is you have to practice. Whether you’re new to this, whether you’ve been doing for 20 years. The rules are always changing, the strategies are always changing. You need to practice.

It’s not just that first time of going through and figuring out how to write this in crayon. Whether it’s to your team members, it’s on your own tax return, you’ve got to get the reps in. Any professional who wants to be at the top of their game has to bring the reps in.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, that’s a really great point. I love practicing on my team members. One, because I want them to be aware of the strategy. It also lets me know right away if I’ve been talking to Steven too much, and I’ve got … not just you personally, but if I’m talking on a nerdy academic level versus how people can explain it.

I love to explain it to my teenagers. One, because I want them to learn how this stuff works. Two, it drives them crazy. And so, I really have to be compelling on how to explain this or they’re just going to zone me out.

And again, this is not to be disparaging to clients. It’s just, it’s not their level of expertise. Again, imagine you go to the doctor and the doctor, instead of telling you to take an ibuprofen, he tells you the official scientific name of ibuprofen and like, “I don’t even know what the heck that is.” “Oh, it’s ibuprofen.” Why didn’t you just start with take two ibuprofen?

Steven Jarvis:     Yeah. Or tells you the milligrams instead of the number of pills or whatever it is.

Matthew Jarvis:   Ah, that’s right. Any of those things. And so, look for those, how to make them as simple as possible.

Last but not least, be sure to check out the Retirement Tax Services Podcast. Steven, that you’ve got great episodes. I really love that show as well. It’s one of my go-tos. And as always, until next time, happy planning.

Steven Jarvis:     Happy tax planning.

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.

Contact Us