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What You'll Learn In Today's Episode
  • What the heck Legos have to do with taxes
  • The importance of goals based tax planning
  • Tax strategies for business owners that can help them not get killed on taxes


In a rare “in-person” interview Steven is joined by Financial Advisor Kyle Gabhart for a fun and informative discussion around tax planning. Kyle shares his favorite approach to talking tax planning using his Lego analogy (what tax nerd isn’t going to love being able to include Legos in the discussion?). Steven and Kyle talk about best practices for communicating around taxes and then dive into specific tax strategies for business owners, which is Kyle’s area of focus.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“It is so crucial to shift the thinking to go- if I have clarity about where we're trying to get, what decisions can I make in assembling the Legos today from a tax-conscious perspective to really lay the framework for where we… Click To Tweet “I sincerely mean that exciting tax planning- that's the kind of tax planning where you're not paying as much to the IRS.” - Steven Jarvis Click To Tweet “20 years from now, none of the limitations that you have today have to be true.” - Kyle Gabhart Click To Tweet

About Retirement Tax Services:

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Read The Transcript Below:

Steven (00:50):

Hello everyone, and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services podcast, Financial Professionals edition. I am your host, Steven Jarvis, CPA, and I am doing this interview in person, which is a new experience for me and a lot of fun, but really glad to be here just outside of Dallas with Kyle Gabhart. Kyle, welcome to the show.

Kyle (01:08):

Howdy. It is an absolute pleasure to be here.

Steven (01:10):

Well, Kyle, it was kind of a weird set of circumstances that led to this. I kind of threw out there, Hey, I’m looking for podcast guests, and I mentioned I was going to be in Dallas. You said, well, I’m in Dallas. If we can make it work in this little tiny window of time, let’s do it in person. And here we are.

Kyle (01:22):

Indeed, indeed. It’s amazing what technology can pull together.

Steven (01:26):

Yeah, it’s so fun being able to meet people from all over the country who are doing similar things. And as we were kind of getting ready for the episode here, I’m just immediately seeing clear overlap in how we think about things and how we look to serve people. Because this isn’t about trying to force people into one specific system. It’s about really figuring out where people are and what their goals are. And you set this up in this analogy around Lego, so I want you to talk about that because it really resonated with me. So let’s talk about how clients are like Legos or I’m going to do this all wrong, so you go with Legos and we’ll build from there.

Kyle (01:57):

No, it’s perfect. I love that. So I love playing games just in general because I get bored easily and I really enjoy Legos. What we have observed is that most investors are running around gathering Legos as quickly as possible. And what I mean by that is every asset, everything they have from real estate to traditional stocks and bonds businesses, or even just cash piled up in the bank or I don’t know, crypto and gold in their backyard, every asset they’re collecting is proverbially a Lego that they’re tossing in the bucket. And what most people do in terms of measuring success is ask themselves, well, do I have more Legos in my bucket today than I did last year? And if I do, I’m winning and if I don’t, I’m losing. Or you made the point when we were talking earlier, do I have more Legos than my neighbor or perhaps than my siblings?


And so those are the measurements of success. And the thing that we love to ask them is, look, that’s terrific, but what’s on the box top? What are you trying to actually build? Because if you’re trying to build Hogwarts Castle, you need very different pieces than if this is going to be the SpaceX rocket that takes us to Mars. And yet most people haven’t given it that level of consideration and they’re just rapidly gathering Legos as fast as possible, which may or may not connect to each other. And even if they do connect to each other, may not get them from where they are today to where they want to be. And so we try to provide them a framework to facilitate that.

Steven (03:19):

I love this analogy probably in part because while I like Harry Potter, and you’ve already referenced that I grew up with Legos, but I like that idea of what was the image on the box? What are we trying to accomplish? Because I’m the tax guy, everybody knows that. And I feel like a lot of times, even with a really powerful tool like taxes, that people can still come along and miss what that end image is. And so taxes might not be one of the Legos. Maybe it’s a tool for how we assemble ’em, but still tax plan is only relevant if we understand what that final image is supposed to be and if we’re helping people progress towards it.

Kyle (03:49):

Yeah, no, that’s so good. And normally the way people approach taxes is backwards looking, right? CPAs more often than not, are trained to be historians. Their job is to tell a story to the IRS about what happened last year. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to tell a different story a year or two later and go, that’s not what really happened. Lemme tell you what actually happened in 2021. And so it can be challenging, but it is so crucial to shift the thinking to go, well, hold on, if I have clarity about where we’re trying to get, what decisions can I make in assembling the Legos today from a tax conscious perspective to really lay the framework for where we want to be down the road.

Steven (04:31):

Yeah. We’ll dive into some of those specific tax things in a second. But one of the things I’d love to hear you talk about around this analogy is, especially as you meet with a new client who’s new to this idea of, Hey, what’s my Lego box supposed to look like? I mean, life goals aren’t as simple as I picked out the Hogwarts Castle or the SpaceX rocket. So how do you help people really understand? How do you help people help you understand what their box top was supposed to look like?

Kyle (04:54):

I love that. I will say that it feels fuzzier than maybe we might like it doesn’t fit into a 1040. We can’t fill out all the different pieces, but we walk ’em through a series of exercises to really talk and dream in terms of what do they want life to look like 10 and 20 years from now. And I like the 20-year framework because, and I always frame it for clients this way, 20 years from now, none of the limitations that you have today have to be true. You don’t have to live where you’re currently living because of your kids’ school district. You don’t have to be in the current line of work that you’re in. You could develop new skills. You could live in a different part of the world. You could grab a new language. You could dramatically reinvent your life 20 years from now.


None of the current constraints have to hold you back. And that really frees people up to go, huh, what is important to me? What do I want to have be true of my life? And once we get some clarity around that, then we back ’em up 10 years and go, okay, if what we’re aiming for is that 20 years from now you’re on a sailboat in Spain and you know three languages and you’ve learned how to craft pottery and sell it to local fishermen, then where would you need to be 10 years from now to make that viable? Oh, well, gosh, I guess I should probably get in a boat for the first time and figure out how sales work. That’s a good idea. You probably should work your way towards that. And so then we start to create a foundation of 10 years from now, where would you want to be to be on track for that? And then we back it up to three to five, and then eventually we get it down to one. And I love that quote. It’s been attributed to lots of people, but we overestimate what we could do in one year, but we dramatically underestimate what we could do in 10 because while it’s true that we have compound interest on money, there’s also compounding on skills. There’s compounding on capabilities, and so the trajectory is much greater than what some people oftentimes realize.

Steven (06:55):

Yeah. Such a great reminder separate from anything else we’re going to talk about that your skills compound. Yeah, you got to get started on those things. I love that framing around 20 years. A lot of times I’ll start with 10 years because multiplying by 10 is easy math, but regardless of what timeframe you’re going to use by using a longer term especially, then we start weaving the taxes into it. And love your opinion too, but I always tell people, I’m not your Cayman Islands guy. I’m not trying to figure out a tax strategy that saves you all the taxes right now. And so if we’re already framing your long-term goals around 20 years now as we start with weaving in tax strategies, we don’t have to talk about how much are they going to save you this year? It’s what kind of a dent can we make over the next 20 years?


Because at times people will shy away from, well, that sounds like a lot of work to save a thousand dollars this year. Although when it comes to taxes, to be honest, a lot of people will jump on that anyways. But when we start looking at that over 10, 20, 30 years, now all of a sudden this becomes more powerful, this becomes more motivating, and we can keep tying it back. And this is something that gets missed quite often. We keep tying it back to how this helps people accomplish their long-term goals because for people listening, if you want your clients to consistently take action on the tax planning you’re recommending, it has to be tied to accomplishing a goal, not just sticking it to the IRS. Sticking it to the IRS is motivating in the very short term, knowing that a tax strategy helps you keep more of your hard-earned money so that you can sail in Spain, that’s so much more motivating.

Kyle (08:21):

No, you’re exactly right about that. I’ll tell you, as you were describing it, one thing that connected with me was I think there’s a tendency a lot of times for folks to reject long-term tax planning because they feel like it’s a target they can’t hit, right? They’re like, no, it’s a moving target. Congress is just going to come up with something else. There’s going to be some other wicked thrown into it. It’s going to throw me off, and so why even bother? And I think the thing that we miss is that we can set ourselves up to be flexible for taxes and that tax strategies don’t have to be rigid. A lot of times we imagine, oh, if it’s a tax game plan, it’s going to be super narrow, but there’s incredible power in going, wow, you are plowing outrageous amounts of dollars into pre-tax vehicles, and that in and of itself is tying your hands. You have fewer options because you’ve locked everything up to this magical age 59 and a half. What if we diversified your tax strategy? So you had buckets of money and buckets of income that weren’t tied to that one date on the calendar, and now we’ve given them flexibility and now we’ve given them the opportunity to adapt and navigate because Congress is going to throw wacky things at us down the road, and so we want to have the ability to be fluid.

Steven (09:34):

I like that reminder of trying to be fluid, and one of the things I do with all of my clients, even when we’re doing exciting tax planning in a given year, I still…

Kyle (09:41):

You did say exciting and tax planning in the same sentence.

Steven (09:44):

With a straight face. I can sincerely mean that exciting tax planning, that’s the kind of tax planning where you’re not paying as much to the IRS.

Kyle (09:52):

Yeah. Oh, that is exciting. 

Steven (09:53):

Even when we’re doing that in a given year, I mean there’s years where we’ll save a client, tens of thousands of dollars in that one year. I still in that conversation with, and we’re going to revisit this next year and adjust if we need to. That’s good. And so I’m always reinforcing we’re going to come back to this. We’re going to revisit this. We might need to adjust this because to your point, the client who’s concerned that Congress might change things, they’re absolutely right. Congress is for sure going to change things. We already know that tax laws are going to change in 2026 and the tax codes written in pencil. Congress loves to monkey around with that, and so I reinforce that idea so that it’s not a surprise when it happens. So the clients know that next year I’m going to bring up tax planning again. It’s not because I failed the first year. It’s because this was the plan all along.

Kyle (10:33):

That’s so good. We are really, really careful in our practice to avoid the use of the word plan, which is a noun, and to reinforce planning, which is a verb, and we make that point to clients that if you’ve worked with other professionals who would create a financial plan for you or a tax plan for you, that thing goes out of date. The moment you print it and stick it in the binder and put it on the shelf, what you need is a discipline of planning so that you can be nimble so that you can adapt as new curve balls get thrown your way.

Steven (11:05):

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. The focus on the verb, Kyle, I know you work with a lot of business owners. We’ve been talking high level about the kind of philosophy behind this, but we also want to be able to get specific. So you have a new client who comes in, they’re a business owner, they’re interested in not getting killed on taxes. Where do you actually start? What’s the most common tax strategy that you’re helping as you go through this planning process? 

Kyle (11:25):

I love that one of the more common ones is centered around just first looking to see what the real estate story is for them, and if they are renting rather than owning a piece of property, is that a conscious thought or have they just not had the guidance to when it would make sense and why it makes sense to own the building? Because the opportunities for accelerated depreciation and the opportunities for having the business’ cashflow actually pay for that asset over time are so invaluable that the real estate component of the business is one of the first places that we go look.

Steven (12:00):

That’s really interesting, and this reinforces why it’s so important to have a specific niche, whatever word you want to use for it that you are focused on because that answer is going to be very different depending on the advisor you’re talking to, advisors who work exclusively with retirees, that wouldn’t have been their first answer. But when you’re working with business owners, especially business owners with physical locations, that makes a ton of sense that you’re starting right out of the gate to say, okay, here’s probably one of your larger expenses anyways, whether you own or rent. If you have a physical location, that’s going to be a big percentage of the pie to say, are we doing this tax efficiently? Is there something else that we could be doing here?

Kyle (12:33):

Yep, spot on. So that’s probably the first place we go. The second place is we actually look at their returns to see what they’ve been doing over the last few years. So we prefer three years returns if possible.

Steven (12:44):

Yeah, and you mean their actual tax returns? We’re not talking about return on investment, I’m sorry.

Kyle (12:47):

Great point. Yes, the super nerdy tax stuff.

Steven (12:50):

Yeah. You’re getting actually their 1040s, their 1065s, their 1120s, whatever it might be. You got it As I just make up numbers here, correct. People don’t know what I’m talking.

Kyle (12:58):

They’re X, Y, Z. We get all of those.

Steven (13:01):

You get all of the things, whatever was reported to the IRS, you want a copy of. So you’re dealing with real data because your clients might be smarter than my clients, and my clients are really, really smart. They just don’t like taxes. And so when they tell me what they think was on their tax return, I don’t believe them. I make sure that I get the real document. And again, it has nothing to do with whether or not my clients are smart, but unless you spend all day on taxes, you’re not going to know these things off the top of your head. You’re going to misremember, you’re going to focus only on certain things that stood out to you, so you have to get those real documents.

Kyle (13:33):

No spot on. And particularly Q4 from a planning process, that’s where our heavy tax focuses each year. So all things being equal Q1, we focus on goals. Q2, we delve into assets and liabilities. Q3 is structures, and so that’s estate plans, it’s trusts, it’s LLC structures, are you doing an S corp designation, all those kinds of things. And then Q4 is our heavy focus on tax, so many things that are tethered to the calendar, and we also incorporate private equity into those discussions because there’s a lot of really interesting tax offsets in the private equity world. 

Steven (14:07):

I do just want to highlight really quick, completely unrelated to taxes, how easily and how casually you just talked about your structure for the year. I want advisors to key in on this that all of the most successful advisors I know can talk about their calendar that way that they have a set way that they approach working with their clients and whether you want to call it surge meetings or whatever else, the more intentional you are, the more value you are delivering. And I’m sure you have situations where a client has a need in one of those areas outside of one of those quarters, and you help them with it.

Kyle (14:34):

Of course! But I’m sorry, we’re going to talk about that in seven months. In seven months. I can’t help you with that right now.

Steven (14:40):

But by starting with a baseline where these are the times where your team knows your clients know these are the times of years that really elevates the experience you’re able to deliver. I do want to ask a really question. You mentioned structures in there, and I’m sure I’ll never stop hearing the comment or question or however people phrase it of, well, I start an LLC so that I can save money on taxes. So how do you have a conversation around structures with clients? Because especially for business owners, this is very relevant, but it’s not a tax-first conversation.

Kyle (15:11):

I know. So the way that we talk about it a lot of times is really just to help them think of it in terms of that first and foremost, and LLC’s purpose is just protection. We describe it as an envelope that you’re going to put an asset in, in this case, the asset you’re putting it in is a business, but you could also put a piece of real estate in that envelope. You could actually put a stock portfolio in that envelope. So the LLC is just an envelope, and there’s a variety of reasons you might use it. Maybe it’s just because you want some measure of privacy, but in a lot of cases it’s because you want to protect yourself from that evil person out there that’s going to come after you. But the reality is you’re actually maybe even way better off getting an umbrella policy to do the exact same thing because the LLC even in and of itself doesn’t give people the protection they think it’s going to.


And so part of it is we just kind of unpack it a little bit to go, okay, look, this is an envelope. The envelope has a purpose. We can put various assets in it. I can do everything you want to do from a tax standpoint using a sole prop. You may not want to do a sole prop for a variety of reasons, and the only reason we really have to have the LLC is if we’re going to do the S corp designation and here’s the benefits of that and so on and so forth. But that’s kind of where we start to break it down is just explain for them it is a limited liability, but it’s really just a fancy version of a sole prop initially.

Steven (16:37):

Yeah. I try to reinforce this often as I can that regardless of the topic, we need to make good life decisions and then figure out the tax benefits, and figure out the tax-efficient way to do it. And it’s definitely true with entity structure. Anytime somebody comes to me with a tax question about how they should set up their business timeout, and thankfully I’ve only got to be the tax expert, I can point it back to their advisor on other things or whoever it is they might be working with, but I’ll at least point ’em in the right direction to say, Hey, this is a legal question first. This is a question about where you see your business now and where it’s headed later. Even when we talk about S corp versus partnership, there are non-tax questions that get left out of social media and it’s ah, just save on payroll tax. 

Kyle (17:15):

But, I watched the TikTok and it said, I need an LLC.

Steven (17:18):

The TikTok told me, yeah, geez, TikTok, I probably shouldn’t complain. I’m on LinkedIn all the time. So social media isn’t inherently evil, just pretty close. Yeah, trust but verify is how we like to refer to that in the CPA world.

Kyle (17:32):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Steven (17:33):

Okay, so we talked about where you start. Let’s have some fun for a second. What are some more exotic tax strategies that on occasion will come up that you have some fun with?

Kyle (17:42):

Almost every year we end up helping a client facilitate a Rob’s. So we had one right at a year ago. In fact, I just had a meeting with him earlier this week and he was living here in Texas, wanted to buy a business in Florida, and so we helped him set up the C corp, helped him set up the stock in his company, rolled his 401K balance or a large chunk of it into the 401K, the prototype 401K that he had that we helped him set up and then bought a hundred percent of his company’s stock that then transfers the cash into his business checking account. Legit ended up with three quarters of a million dollars sitting in a business checking account that had previously been pre-tax dollars for zero tax liability so that he could bootstrap his business in this case, buying a car lot in Florida that he is now operating. That was his passion.

Steven (18:37):

But yeah, I just want to reinforce it. That’s the exception, not the norm. That’s not what you lead with. 

Kyle (18:42):

No, but we probably do one of those a year.

Steven (18:43):

But yeah, and that’s super cool to me. So why are you doing one not a hundred? How are you identifying when that’s the good fit and when it’s not?

Kyle (18:52):

Great question. So the first thing is the moment that someone tells me that they want to take their nest egg or a healthy chunk of their nest egg and use it on this boondoggle of running a business, I go, wow, special flower, let’s sit down and chat for a little bit about the joys and the failures and the disasters associated with running a business. I posted on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago because hit a significant anniversary in our business and I said, starting a business is a terrible idea, but running one is awesome. And so part of it is it depends on the person and if I don’t feel like they are wired for success as a business owner that is a different animal, then I’ll explain, oh, it’s super complicated. I don’t know that that’s such a great idea for, and I’ll shoo them over to something else or encourage them to go get financing from a bank or something along those lines.


But it’s got to be the right individual that they can gamble on themselves as it were, and that it’s going to be the right payoff. So that’s part of it is knowing them as to whether or not that’s the right fit. Then the other piece is going back to tax strategies. The necessity on a Robs is it has to be a C corp. There is not another structure that will work, and depending on the business we’re talking about, that’s either a wonderful idea or it’s an awful idea for a C corp to be used. And there’s also, as I’m sure a lot of CPAs that just despise C corps, I don’t know why, but they’ve decided that C corps are evil and S Corp are what all the cool kids are doing. So there’s sometimes those obstacles to deal with, but yeah, definitely not the go-to strategy, but it’s kind of fun when you can pull it off.

Steven (20:30):

Yeah, it is cool that some of those strategies that exist out there that once we’ve gone through, and I would imagine there’s an order of operations for you, there is again, when a client comes in, that’s not the first thing you start with that if we come full circle back to our Lego analogy, it’s not that you are only building Hogwarts castles and everyone has to have a Hogwarts castle and they can’t work with you.


It’s okay, what was the client’s vision and how do we help them accomplish that? It is fascinating how often you’ll run into issues with the tax preparer not wanting to be involved in things. Yeah, I’ll give my industry a little bit of credit sometimes there’s legitimate reasons for this. There’s horror stories, there’s bad experiences. What I don’t like is when people take one or two bad experiences and extrapolate that out and say, that means we can never ever do this again. Never, ever, never, ever, never, never. But it can be really hard. This is the value of building strong relationships and making sure that you have professionals in your network who you can go to when you say, Hey, we’re going to set this up and here’s somebody who’s going to work the whole way through with you. But anytime we have legal things involved, we’ve also got state considerations and it’s not a simple process.

Kyle (21:30):

Yeah, no doubt. One that we use more routinely would be coaching people on bundling strategies for, okay, on your even tax years, we’re going to load up on your itemized deductions, and then on the odd tax years, we’re going to slip way under that standard deduction and you can men max it on an alternating year basis. For our clientele, the thing that most trips them up is, well, I’ve got this either church or handful of charities that are dependent on me sending money on a routine basis. So then we educate them about DAF and how you can stroke a check one time and then send money on a routine basis as needed. But bundling would be an example of a tax strategy that’s far more common that we use for a whole lot of clients, but it does require them to change their behavior, which is easily the hardest part of that. I can show ’em the math all day long, but then they’re like, oh, so I need to try to squeeze medical procedures into a particular timeframe if at all possible. I need to try to squeeze big purchases into that timeframe. I can’t just drop money in the bucket every week at church. I don’t know. Okay.

Steven (22:34):

Yeah, no, I appreciate you bringing that up because that does get overlooked sometimes. I’m sure I’m guilty of it at times of, hey, we talk through the technical side of things and we forget the human behavior side of it. And you quickly touched on in there that we also need to understand what it is they’re trying to accomplish and who the organization on the other side is. Because we’ll definitely run into that with clients where it’s, Hey, you know what? These funds go towards ongoing operations and the church depends on it. The charity depends on it. Donor-advised funds can be a great answer there, but we’ve got to really solve that behavioral side of it because all of the good ideas in the world count for nothing if they’re not executed. And at some point you start doing yourself a disservice if you’re constantly listing out these ideas for your clients that never get executed, which is why I like the approach better of let’s understand the client and be able to, in a very white glove way, say, Hey, here’s a couple of things that might be a good fit, not, here’s my laundry list client.


You go ahead and pick which one makes sense. Let’s just roll it, dice whatever number. That’s the one we’re going to do. Playing like the roulette wheel. No, it is. We understand what is that envision, what’s the picture supposed to look like? And then we can basically hand-feed the ones that make the most sense.

Kyle (23:43):

No, that’s good. Quick sidebar for a second, but still in the tax world, I am just going to put this out for more like a PSA because this happened very recently in our practice. We were introduced to someone through another client, and this individual was in the process of going through a divorce and we mentioned, Hey, happy to help if you need any guidance on navigating the division of assets and so forth. And they were like, no, I think we’re all set. We’re just waiting for all of that dust to settle, and there’s still a few more steps. Okay, that’s fine. And we didn’t advocate hard enough for why it was important that we get involved in that conversation early. The assets hit earlier this week, and I am here to tell you that it was a not insignificant amount of money. All post-tax three positions, all highly, highly appreciated individual stocks. This individual got absolutely reamed from a tax standpoint and had no idea that that’s what was going on.

Steven (24:50):

So when they split up the assets, they weren’t looking at the tax nature of those assets. Nope.

Kyle (24:54):

Just the raw dollar figure.

Steven (24:56):

Yeah. So that’s interesting that you bring that up actually as we’re recording this, I think it’s this coming Monday, or if not, it’s one. Recently I had somebody on the podcast talking specifically about going through divorce proceedings and how that’s such an important piece that gets missed quite often. We can’t just look at, Hey, am I getting a million dollars and is my ex spouse getting a million dollars? Because a million dollars of highly appreciated, you don’t get a step up in basis from divorce. So yeah, if I’ve got a million dollars of highly appreciated assets or I got all of the retirement money, whatever that might look like, yeah, taxes have to be a consideration. So it’s a great reminder that’s come up a few times recently for me as well. The one that I’ll throw out there that’s related to this is I always get questions about what filing status people should use. And people think they have way more options than they actually do, but in general, we don’t work with people who are married filing separately. There’s some exceptions to that, but part of the logic behind that is that unless there’s student loan considerations, if you are married filing separately, it’s usually because there’s a bunch of other legal stuff going on that needs to get sorted out.

Kyle (26:02):

Sure. Or you need marriage counseling or something like that. Yeah.

Steven (26:05):

This isn’t the place, the taxes aren’t the place start. If you’re coming to me for advice, I’m married filing separately to for whatever it is other than student loans, you probably need some other help first. So yeah, there’s some things in there that we want to make sure get addressed appropriately. 

Kyle (26:19):

We do have a couch in our conference room, but we are not those kinds of professionals.

Steven (26:29):

Kyle, we always try to make sure that the information we provide is valuable and for us that means people are going to take action. And so as you think about the progression of your ability to help people around taxes, I’m guessing on day one you weren’t knocking out of the park doing some of these tax strategies. So how did this build over time for you and what do you recommend to advisors who are trying to do more with tax planning?

Kyle (26:50):

That’s a really interesting question. I appreciate that. So it really started with financial planning to begin with, which I initially brought on one financial planning client because everything I had previously done was all traditional assets under care, and they were more or less my Guinea pig. And I did financial planning for them for a full year. I charged them $1,200 and I lost my shirt on that five times over.


The level of service they got was phenomenal. There was also no process to it. There was also nothing systematic. And incidentally, in that first year, I did no tax planning at all. So they missed out from that standpoint. But I also, I just didn’t have the systems in place for it. And then what I’ve done since then is really been okay with adding a layer at a time and not feeling like I had to from day one, have this fully baked super robust financial planning process with all the bells and whistles and instead said, it’s okay for me to trial run pieces of it with a handful of clients. It’s okay for me to roll out the version 1.0 of my financial planning process. Actually, I don’t even know that the 1.0 necessarily included tax. It was probably more so we had a tax discussion. But to get to the point of now Q four is a heads down full court press focus has been a more recent evolution in the process. And so that’s just something that we continue to evolve the craft over time and incorporate new strategies, new capabilities to continue to add more value.

Steven (28:22):

I love that. To kind of boil that down to a couple of bullet points, I repeat myself here. The intentionality has got to be there regardless of where you’re at. I completely agree that you don’t have to try to jump to the finish line of, I’ve got every tax planning strategy possible. I can help you execute. You’ve got to start somewhere, but it’s got to be intentional. So whether you are a tax expert or you’re just starting out having a calendar where you can say, here are specific times of year I do this. That’s an intentional step that anybody can take. And then making sure that layering is how you talked about it. Regardless of where you’re at, I promise there is more you could be doing. So you should be looking at this every year to say, what am I going to do to elevate my client’s experience around taxes this next year around estate planning, around business structure, whatever that is that makes sense for your clients. And then going back earlier in the conversation that I always appreciate when people bring this up, but I’m always going to reinforce, you need to be getting tax returns for all of your clients. That should be non-negotiable. It should happen every single year. You need the real data. So Kyle, really appreciate you taking the time for this conversation. Anything else as we wrap this up?

Kyle (29:21):

Oh my goodness. I would just say keep your eyes peeled on LinkedIn because you never know how the stars might align and what opportunities might be available. I’m thrilled I happen to be looking at that time. I’m thrilled that our schedule’s aligned and that we could actually do this in person. This has been an absolute thrill. 

Steven (29:38):

Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. 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.

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