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What You'll Learn In Today's Episode
  • One of the most important things you can do is help link how tax savings apply to whatever your client wants. Don’t just say, “We’re saving you $10,000 this year.” Instead, present it as, “You’re now $10,000 closer to being able to retire from that job you don’t like,” or “You’re that much closer to the RV.”
  • Few people have “Pay less in taxes” on their bucket list. Everybody wants to, but it’s rarely a conscious goal. However, in order to reach their financial goals, it’s vital. Motivate clients to follow through when they don’t feel like it. In other words, show them the bigger picture.
  • If you believe a client is considering a bad move, make sure it’s not an entirely emotional decision. For instance, highlight the tax implications. If the move will create a $3,000-$4,000 tax bill, that might serve as a wake-up call.
  • Conversely, reduce reluctance toward necessary adjustments by spreading out tax implications. Unless you have to, don’t do it all in one year. Go through to quantify the cost of inaction, too. This can help mitigate reluctance to follow through.

Executive Summary:

Welcome back to the Retirement Tax Services Podcast! Steven’s guest is advisor Brendan Frazier, the founder of Wired Planning and host of “The Human Side of Money.” His primary focus, as a tax planner, is the psychology of advising. In other words, he helps clients keep motivated for success.

Why Advisors Need The Why

It’s one thing to get a head nod in response to “Let’s pay less in taxes.”

It’s another to see enthusiasm for “Let’s take action on it.” Sometimes you’ll get a blank stare, at best.

As a result, it’s crucial to know somebody’s why. There’s often a big difference between what people think they want and what they actually want.

One of the most important things an advisor can do is help link together how tax savings apply to whatever your client wants. For example, explain how the tax savings you plan will facilitate more money for them to give to their grandchildren or take a trip or retire earlier.

Take the flat, quantifiable number and turn it into something emotional and purpose-driven. Don’t just say, “We’re saving you $10,000 this year.”

Instead, say “You’re now $10,000 closer to being able to retire from that job you don’t like,” or “You’re that much closer to the RV.”

Most tax strategies require a consistent effort. In fact, some phases may even cost additional money at times. Keeping clients connected with their why will keep them invested in the overall process.

Give them the motivation; the fuel to follow through when they don’t feel like it. In other words, show them the bigger picture. Remind them of their progress toward the long-term prize.

Few people have “Pay less in taxes” on their bucket list. Everybody wants that, but it’s not typically a conscious goal. However, in order to reach their financial goals, it’s vital.

The Psychology of Strategy

Consider the psychology of selling to get buy-in from clients. There’s a good side and a bad side.

Let’s say someone has a portfolio with gains built up. They want to sell. They go in, they say “I need to raise cash, so I want to sell out of this position.”

Make sure it’s not an entirely emotional decision. That is to say, highlight the tax implications. If the move will create a $3,000-$4,000 tax bill, that might serve as a speed bump.

The goal is never to keep clients from spending their money. Instead, it’s to sober the giddy so that they will think twice. If they choose poorly, make sure that it’s an informed decision.

This is the good side. In fact, by gently encouraging them to look before they leap, you’re adding value. Most people eventually develop an appreciation for this, if they don’t immediately.

On the other hand, the bad side may occur when you’d like to re-balance. For instance, we’ll say you want to better align an account with your approach: The client knows that it has grown.

Alternatively, your reasons may be related to a policy statement or rules you’ve based the strategy on. Regardless, the client is hesitant. They know that in order to reach your re-balancing target, they’ll have to realize $2,500 of their gains.

Try spreading out the tax implications. Unless you have to, don’t do it all in one year. Go through to quantify the cost of inaction, too. Both of these insights can help ease their concerns.

Your Action Items

  • Make sure to quantify your tax strategies. Whenever you recommend a strategy, the long-term benefit must be clear to clients. Avoid condescension, but never assume they understand everything that you do.

  • Keep meeting conversations linked to the why. This adds fresh fuel, fire, and passion to clients’ engagement. The reasoning behind your tax planning will stay more appealing, too.

  • Get clients’ and prospects’ tax returns every year. This is where you’ll get the necessary details for identifying opportunities. Additionally, making sure everything is correct and gets reported to the IRS accurately is a value-add.

Steven and Brendan have much more on keeping clients passionate about their financial goals in this episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast. Tax-related questions are always welcome at

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.


Steven Jarvis:

Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of the Retirement Tax Services Podcast: 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 tax planning. I’m really excited about the guest on the show today. Brendan Frazier is here with me. He’s the founder of Wired Planning, the host of the Human Side of Money podcast, and he’s one of Investopedia’s top 100 financial advisors. And Brendan spends a lot of time focused on the psychology of money and kind of the, this behavioral piece of it. So I’m really excited to talk to him today for a couple of reasons that we’ll get into in a minute. So Brendan, welcome to the show!

Brendan Frazier:

Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for having me, even when you reached out, this was pretty much a no brainer because I’m all about providing massive value through taxes. And in fact, I kind of wanted to say this from the beginning, but in my career, the first seven years of my career, I would spend like consulting with financial advisors, and got to meet thousands of advisors. You know how that can go. Like you get to see the best of the best. Sometimes you get to see the other side of that, whatever you want to call it. But one thing that was consistent to me, and then I talked to a lot of my friends and colleagues about was I remember thinking to myself, ‘how is it that so many advisors don’t even think about or incorporate or even discuss taxes?’

And I remember one example specifically, where this guy was stuck, I was in his office and he’s talking about how he was going to make a change in his client’s portfolio. He is going to sell out of this and move to this. And I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it doesn’t matter. And I remember sitting there and thought about and asked him, like, ‘have you thought about the tax implication?’ He was like, ‘what?’ And I was like, ‘have you thought about the tax implication? He said, ‘well, no. I mean, I know there’s going to be taxes, but like, that’s not my area of expertise.’ And he didn’t, he didn’t even think about like, Hey, what’s the rest of the year look like from an income standpoint, he didn’t think about the short-term long-term gains. Can we offset it?

Can we minimize the taxes anyways? It was just truly strictly through the lens of investments in portfolio, the portfolio construction. Not that that’s not important. And I know things have changed quite a bit and you’re helping to advance the conversation, which I think is great. But I remember sitting there in that room and that office thinking like, ‘man, that just doesn’t feel right!’ Like I know you’re the investment guy, but like there’s some massive implications on the other side of this one decision. So, I just wanted to throw out there, that I appreciate what you’re doing to advance the conversation, to bring awareness, to raise awareness and to make it easier on advisors to actually bring this value to their clients.


Yeah. Unfortunately, that’s not a unique story you’re sharing and that highlights why so often on this show, we talk about what advisors can do to work better with CPAs is because I don’t know who that advisor was, but I can go ahead and bet that the end of the year went like this. They went ahead and made those transactions. There was a huge tax bill that they didn’t tell their client about, that they didn’t tell their clients tax preparer about. The CPA prepares the taxes, huge tax bill. And the CPA says to that client, ‘well, your advisor is an idiot’ or whatever they decided to say and blames everything on the advisor. And now that CPA is forever going to think badly of advisors, which is why there’s such a huge lift for advisors to fix that relationship. So, I’m sorry to all advisors out there that you have to make up for that other side of it is what you called it. But it’s reality.


Yeah. I guess I’ll say this from my experience, working with all those advisors for obviously the advisors listening to this know, or they get it, they get the value, I would think, but just know you’re still, you may not feel like you’re in the minority because here you are as a part of an audience listening to, and focusing on this and you probably, you probably connect with like-minded people who feel the same, but just know you’re very much in the minority. And if you’re adding this value, it’s a huge differentiator.


I appreciate that. I feel very strongly about that.


I thought you might.


What prompted this conversation is that since you spent so much time on the psychology side of things, on the behavioral side of things, we were having a conversation and I realized that one of the things that I’m always saying to advisors, you actually recommend that people take even a step further. That, and that’s the fact that I always focused on, ‘Hey, you need to be talking to your clients about paying less in tax to the IRS.’ But your point, which I really, really enjoyed was that really, ‘we need to take it further so that they have a better connection to why we’re doing this.’ So why don’t you talk about that?

The Power of the ‘Why’ [4:44]


Yeah. So it’s been my experience. One, the one thing I’ve learned is that if you go through the why process to really figure out somebody why oftentimes what you’ll see at the surface is just a surface level presenting issue. And if you dig deeper, you get into the real meaning and the real why behind what somebody is doing. So to use a non tax example for a second, just to kind of link it together. If you have a client who let’s say they, they come in and they’re 55 years old, they’re thinking about retirement. They come in and they’re like, ‘Hey, I want to earn, I need to earn more money on my investments. I need a higher return on my portfolio.’ What that looks like on the surface is that they want to get more aggressive, to make more money. And you think, okay, well, why do they want to make more money?

It’s easy to think. Like, well, they want to make more money because they want to retire. Like who doesn’t want more money? First of all, but then the question is like, what, well, why is it that they want more money? Why is it that they want these higher returns to make them more money? Is it to retire sooner? Maybe. But, in this one particular case, if you keep asking like, well, why is it that you want to retire sooner? Well, it’s not because I want to go play golf more often. It’s because I don’t like my job. Well, why don’t you like your job? Well, I have a miserable boss. Okay. So now we’ve taken what we thought was, Hey, I want to get more investment returns. I want more bang for my buck. I want more money. And what we’ve is, that’s not what you ultimately want to, what you ultimately wanted was a job where your boss loves and appreciates you, right?

Where you actually enjoy going to work every day. You want to do something that you enjoy. On the surface what looks like a portfolio return problem is actually a life problem. And so when we think about that same concept through the lens of taxes or, or just financial planning in general, it’s always, I mean, it’s crucial to know somebody. Why? So if we’re thinking about from a tax perspective through that lens, we all know that when you talk about delivering massive value, I even think personally delivering massive tax value means saving people tons and tons, thousands, tens, and hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of dollars in taxes, which is exactly what it is. But there’s a big difference between what people think they want and what they actually want, as we just talked about. So the, one of the most important things you can do is help link together how these tax savings actually apply, how they linked to the things that your client wants.

So, tax savings means you’re saving them money. Well, let’s make sure you take a step further, tell people what saving money means. Well, it means that you’re going to keep more money, which means you’re going to have more money, which it’s easy to think. Oh yeah, well, most people want more money, but what’s the reason why that client, that you’re with, gets excited about saving taxes and wants more money. In other words, make it an emotional thing because taxes are naturally so numbers focused and granular. It’s easy to just hone in on the dollar signs and stick with spreadsheets and dollar signs. But it’s crucial to link these, this decision to link these savings, to what you’re ultimately using, what you’re ultimately doing it for and making it emotional. So it’s not just a matter of having more money by getting more money back and having more money.

You’re now able to give more money to your grandkids so that they can go to college. You’re now able to give more money to the causes that you care about. You’re now able to take your family on a couple vacations a year when, before maybe you could only take one vacation a year. So, I mean, it can, I’m just throwing out random examples, right? But the whole, I think the Pope for the point makes sense, or it’s like, Hey, let’s take this quantifiable number. We focus so often on with taxes and turn it into something emotional and ‘why’ driven or purpose driven.


Yeah, I like that. Tying it into the why for the client, so that if we identify a strategy, that’s going to save them $10,000 a year. It’s not just, ‘Hey, you’ve got 10,000 more dollars in your bank account.’ It’s, you’re that much closer to that RV or that being able to retire from that job you don’t like or spending more time with your kids or, or whatever it might be. Yeah. I really liked that because you know, some of these tax strategies we talk about definitely take an intentional and consistent effort. This isn’t a lot of these things aren’t just, you make a decision at one point in time and you magically pay less in taxes. It’s how do we intentionally do this over time? And so keeping it connected to that ‘why’ will keep our clients invested in the process. That process will take time, sometimes it’ll cost them additional money depending on the complexity involved. But yeah, I liked that of tying it back to that ‘why’ over and over again.


Yeah. No, and that’s what I was going to add to it. You’ve pretty much just said, so there’s no reason to like harp on it, but ultimately if you’re doing it right and you’re doing it well, it requires a little bit of work. To squeeze the most benefit out of these tax savings and tax minimization strategies. It’s not just as simple as saying like, ‘oh, I want to pay less taxes. Okay, great. There’s this much, you know, now I’m paying X amount less per year.’ It takes a little bit of work and a little bit of coordination. And so the best way to get somebody to stick to it or to want to do it, is to give them the motivation or the fuel to follow through, to do it. Maybe when they don’t feel like it to have another meeting with the CPA, you and the CPA. And so if they’re not just looking at it in terms of like the dollars that it saves, but how it ultimately accelerates or funds, what they’ve now told you is important to them. You’re going to be met with a lot less resistance on the actual follow-through and implementation and everything else that it takes to put the strategy in place. Yeah.


Yeah. Before the show you were talking about how taxes has been this really consistent thing you’ve seen from advisors as far as what really sets them apart. As far as when they get the most seminar attendees, the most listens or most reads of their content that taxes, this really underlying theme of where they consistently get reactions from people. And you can see that in headlines or on social media, taxes come up all the time. You might be thinking, Hey, well, all the information is out there. How is this really going to help me? But to your point earlier, people who are doing this well are still in the minority. And part of doing tax planning well is getting people to see that emotional connection of how it helps them accomplish their other goals, because most people don’t have on their bucket list, ‘pay less in taxes’. Like that’s not the overarching driving force in their life, but we can take these headlines that you see all the time, turn them into repeatable processes we can use with our clients and then get our clients excited about ’em, by tying it to this emotional piece.


Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, that’s exactly right. And, and to your point, like somebody’s bucket list item may not say pay less in taxes, but oftentimes if you ask somebody like, if you look at their like financial let’s call it objectives or financial goals, their money desires, like almost everybody will say, ‘I want to pay less in taxes’, right? So like it’s not the bucket list item, but it is something that people still ultimately want is to pay less in taxes. Just like everybody would want higher investment returns for less risk, right? Like give me the most possible return with the least amount of risk possible. That’s what everybody wants ultimately, right? Is, Hey, I want to get like the best returns, returns from the market, but I don’t want to take on the risk of the market. We know everybody wants that.

Well, everybody also wants to pay less taxes because there’s the, you know, the form on the tax return where you can pay more. You can pay more if you want to pay more. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anybody that’s ever filled that out. So everybody wants to pay less. So you’re now you’re also giving people, your clients or prospective clients, you’re giving them what they want, ultimately like on the surface anyway, as far as paying less taxes, and then you can turn that into the emotional, or we’ll call it an emotional conversation, but you can link it to their vision or their goals to make it more emotional. That then like transforms the conversation from, ‘I want to pay less taxes around dollar signs to why they’re actually doing it.’


Yeah. I completely agree. I have yet to meet that person who wants to personally pay more in taxes.


Yeah. I mean, I’m still, I’m still looking too!


You can certainly meet people who want other people to pay. But they don’t pay more.


Yeah. They don’t want to pay more.


Yeah. But I think this conversation of getting to the why is, is really important for that consistent action because you’re totally right. Everybody wants to pay less in taxes, but getting them from, ‘Hey, I’d like to pay less in taxes to let’s take action on it.’ I think that’s where that ‘why’ comes in, in a big way.


That’s right. Well, yeah.


I really appreciate that insight from the, from the kind of the behavioral side of things. Let’s change gears just a little bit here and talk about one of the things you had mentioned as we were getting ready for the show was the psychology of selling. This was really intriguing to me how you looked at this. So can you talk a little bit about how you work with people on that?

The Psychology of Selling [13:03]


Yeah, so it usually presents itself in a couple of different ways. There’s a good side and a bad side. And so let’s, let’s think about it like this. You have a portfolio that’s well, we’re in the midst of a pretty long bull run at this point. So a lot of people, most people have gains that they built up over the years, right? So, you’ve got this client, they’ve got gains that are built up in their portfolio and now they’re going to sell. So you sell for a couple of different reasons, but let’s look at first, somebody who wants to sell because they want to, they want to raise cash to make a purchase or to fund their lifestyle, or they’re going to spend it in some sort of way. What the psychology of selling, what happens is ‘they go in, they say, okay, I need to raise cash so that I can pay for this.


I’m going to sell out of this position.’ And then one of the things you can do as a behavioral mechanism to make sure that it’s something that they want to do, that it’s not an emotional decision. And that it’s something that stays in line with their plan and the vision of where you want them to go and where they want to go. As you can raise the end. In fact, let me say this first and I’ll add that, but you can essentially highlight the tax implication of making that decision. So I’m going to tell you, let’s say for example, I’m going to take out $20,000. Well, point out that, ‘Hey, that’s going to be a $3000, $4,000 tax bill in order to make that because we have to sell some positions that have gains.’ What you’ve done is you’ve created a speed bump, if you will. Along the way where you’re at least separating them from the decision and making them think like, how badly do I really want this $20,000 to go buy whatever it is that I want to buy. Not saying you shouldn’t let people spend money by any means, but it’s always good to have a mechanism like a speed bump in place to separate yourself, to give yourself, to remove the emotion. Ask, ‘is this really something that I want to be doing?’ So, and what I was going to say is betterment. One of the robo-advisors I think Wealthfront does too. They actually, in their interface on their, on their platform. When somebody goes to sell before, they’d let him sell out whether it’s to spend money or whatever they’re going to do, they don’t ask what you’re using it for, but they highlight, ‘Hey, if you do this, here is here’s what it’s going to cost you in taxes.’

And if nothing else, it makes you think twice before you make that decision. So that’s one way that you can use it as a mechanism or a speed bump for good, to help people separate themselves and separate the emotion from the decision. The other side of that though, I guess we call it the negative side, the bad side, the drawback, which is when you have clients that have an account, that’s grown, it’s built up some gains in it, but you want to rebalance whether it’s like per your approach, your policy statement, the rules that you base it off of, it’s time to rebalance their portfolio. But they’re hesitant because they’ve got these positions that have done well and there’s gains, and in order to rebalance and get back to the target allocation, you’re going to have to realize some of the gains to do it. So what they see is, Hey, if I sell, if we do this right, it’s going to cost me. If we use the same example, it’s $2,500. Is it worth that? Is it worth it? So it’s in that instance, the taxes sort of serve as a barrier to doing what you believe from an investment standpoint is the right thing to do. So there’s a few things that you can do that I’ve learned and that I’ve used in order to kind of help mitigate that the psychological barrier of selling when you don’t want to do it. Despite the fact that from an investment perspective, you think it’s the best thing to do. One thing this isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s one of those things I think people tend to forget and they look back on it and go, oh yeah, that’s a good idea. You can always spread out the tax implications.

So maybe you don’t do it all in one year. You do part of it this year, part of it next year, and part of it the third year. Maybe do half this year and then the other half in January of next year. So that way you’re spreading it out into two different tax years. The other thing you can do is actually go through and quantify the cost of inaction on the portfolio. For example, when there’s a tax cost to selling, which is preventing them from actually rebalancing, they’re looking at it saying, ‘Hey, that’s a $2,500 decision.’ But they don’t see as the added risk that’s now in the portfolio because the equity parts out of whack, and it’s a little bit more aggressive than the target allocation says it’s supposed to be. So try to quantify what the added risk means in dollar terms to compare it to the tax cost.

So you say, ‘Hey, if we have this bad market, if we’re allocated this much in equities, as opposed to this much, and the market drops well, that’s going to cost you $5,000.’ So now you’re looking at as apples to apples and quantifying both saying, ‘Hey, I know you, all you see is this tax cost of 2,500 and that’s preventing you from doing it. Here’s the potential cost of inaction of not rebalancing the portfolio and what that looks like in a market decline.’ So now you’re getting them to look at it as far as apples to apples and quantifying both. And then the third thing is essentially refocus on life, refocus on the goals and refocus on the why. And Hey, I see where this looks like – I’m going to try to keep using this $2,500 example, by the way. I mean, I’m just going to pull it out of nowhere – but zoom out, stop focusing on this tax cost, but zoom out and say, ‘Hey, where is it that you… remind me, what is it that’s important to you? Where do you want to go? Well, you want to retire in five years. Okay, great. I get that. You see this as a cost of rebalancing, but you want to retire in five years. Here’s the portfolio that gives you the best opportunity with the highest return and the least amount of risk to do that, to hit your goal, but not rebalancing. You’re now putting at further risk or you’re spreading out your range of returns and the range of outcomes for your retirement, where it might be six, or it might end up having to be six or seven years. Now, when you thought it was only going to be five.’ So again, it’s all about reframing it and redirecting it in that example, right back to the why that we talked about in the beginning and letting the why and the emotion behind the why compete with the tax price tag that they’re seeing from the rebalancing decision.


Yeah. I really like how you described that. I mean, clearly some real intentionality went into developing that process. It sounds like there’s probably some trial and error and how that originally got explained to clients, but you’ve got such a great way of describing that. There was a couple of things that came to mind for me, as well, as you were talking about that, other things that this example would be great for framing for clients to keep pulling back the curtain for ‘em on how some of these things work. One of them, what we like to talk about the dishwasher rule of making sure your clients understand the things you’re doing for them to add value, because you might have clients who say, ‘Hey, this is why I hire you. You take care of that stuff, but you should be taking the time, at least at some level to let your clients know what goes into these decisions.’ So they know that they’re really getting value from working with you. And this isn’t just arbitrary. There’s some real intentionality behind the timing and the decisions being made. This is also a great example of how you can frame the conversation and really help clients understand why asset location is so important and start talking about, ‘Hey, it might sound like some extra work to have funds in these different types of accounts. And that we’re talking about doing Roth conversions versus your traditional IRA or whatever it might be, but giving them specific examples of like how you call it a speed bump and their decision-making, but giving them these examples of even if this is, Hey, 10 years from now, you talked about wanting to build, to buy an RV and drive across the country. When that happens and looking at their current situation, maybe they’ve only got taxable dollars that they’re going to have to pull from. So when that happens, if we don’t do anything proactively, you’re going to pay tax on the full amount, but, and then you can start giving them examples of, Hey, here’s different ways that you can save your money, you can make contributions so that when we get to that, we’re maximizing our opportunity to not leave quite such a tip to the IRS.


Yeah, no, I mean, I love that. I think that’s exactly right. And you bring up another point that we’ve talked about on the show and, and like done basically tried to do some research into as well, which is like, as far as like the human side or the human side of advice is the power of conveying your value, conveying your points, conveying that the decisions that you’re making through the power of a story, because the stories tend to they emotionalize information – I stole that, by the way, I thought it was good – but stories, emotionalizes, information that can emotionalize dollar signs. So, even a story, for example, of how you did something similar for a client, that’s just like them, that helped them get to where they wanted to go faster. Or they got them to where they wanted to go in a way that they couldn’t have done otherwise just telling the story, bypasses the logical analytical side of the brain. And so now they’re thinking of it in terms of like, oh, that’s the benefit of doing it? And they’ve done it for other people like me. So it’s again, it’s just another way of taking what can be, I hate to say this, I’m afraid I’m going to offend you, but sort of dry, like taxes can be a little bit dry.

That’s a fake laugh. I can tell. But, but it takes what it’s like. Again, I’m just going to say like very numbers focused sort of dry topic, and you bring it to life through the power of story, to the power of tying it to what they’re doing. Like you said, in your example, tying it to the RV that they can’t stop talking about and the trips that they want to take.


No, Brandon, you can’t offend me by calling the tax code boring or dry or any of those things. I totally get it. That’s one of the reasons that we spend so much time talking about this is because it’s not something people naturally gravitate towards, even within CPAs. I mean, not every CPA does taxes. This isn’t something that everyone’s like, ‘Hey, let me spend my nights reading the tax code.’ But it impacts all of us, and there’s so much opportunity if we’re proactive to make a difference on the eventual outcome of our lifetime tax bill.


Yeah, which as you said, can amount to be. I can’t remember you said this before the show, or if you mentioned when, your honor, but you said it can, it can come out to be a six or seven figure bill. Yeah. Yeah.


I think that was, that was before the show, but yeah, Retirement Tax Services, the way we define retirement tax is that six or seven figure bill, the IRS is going to ask you to pay over the course of your retirement. So, whether you are currently retired or about to retire or you’re young in your career, and retirement is a long ways off that retirement tax bill is coming, but there are things that you can do to kind of sand off the rough edges.


Well, I’ll use this as a moment to explain what our mutual friend, friend of the show, Sten Morgan’s talked about a little bit before, too, which is when you, you mentioned the six or seven figure tax bill. I think one of the powerful things that he’s talked about, that if you look at it from a, ‘how do you get someone to actually move and change their behavior and implement and do it consistently? Well, if you give somebody a tax strategy, that’s going to save them $10,000 this year, like $10,000. That’s a good number. It’s a big number. It means it’s relative. Like some people may be, some people may not be, but it’s a pretty big number, no matter how you slice it. In other words, if I came to anybody and said, Hey, here’s a $10,000 check. I don’t know anybody that would say no.


But, the point being is, it’s not enough to like really fire you up to really get you going. For some people, it is don’t get me wrong. I know for a lot of the clients advisors work with, it’s not necessarily. So the point there being, if you’ve got somebody that you’re saving $10,000 a year, but they could be a client for 30 years and you can do this, you can effectively do something similar, use a strategy like this every year for 30 years. Now you’re talking about 10,000 times 30, which is a $300,000 savings. And $300,000 tends to get people a little bit more interested. It will ignite a little bit of movement, a lot faster than $10,000. So it’s especially relevant. If you’ve got somebody that there are not yet a client or prospective client, you’re kind of talking through the things you can do, the ways you can help them.


You want to, you ultimately want to convert them into a lifelong client. Somebody you can work with for a long time, like that’s going to have a little bit more power moving power, I guess we’ll call it then a $10,000 savings. So, so you’re basically just quantifying and multiplying and saying, Hey, here’s the benefit? Here’s the benefit multiplied by our lifetime together. And that’s just one aspect of it by the way. But the likelihood of moving, the likelihood of doing something is a lot greater. If you’re giving some, if you’re going to pay somebody $10,000 to do it, then if you’re going to pay them $300,000 to do it.

Action Items [24:57]


It. Yeah. And really that’s a great segue. We always like to make sure that we have clear action items from these episodes. We want to make sure we’re taking knowledge and turning it into value. And the only way you can do that is through taking action. So, I’ll just go ahead and take that one right away from you of the, the really the first action item is to make sure that when you’re recommending tax planning strategies that you’re quantifying and multiplying, that you’re really making it clear to clients what the benefit to them is going to be over time, because that’s when we can really get ahead with the IRS is we look at multiple years at a time, not just single year savings. So, Brendan from our conversation today, what other action items would you recommend that people really take to heart from this conversation?


Yeah. I mean, I think it’s something that I have to constantly remind myself and practice and work on and even like, go back. When I think about conversations that I’m having a meetings that I’m having is just remembering. It’s what we talked about the very beginning, but always like tying it back to connecting and linking to the why behind why you’re doing something to get out of the part of your brain that thinks about numbers and processes, numbers to get other, your clients out of that brain and into the why that they’re doing it and linking it to that. Like once you do that, that you’ll see that your conversations will take a different tone. The meaning behind what you’re doing, the meaning behind the tax planning takes a completely different tone. And it’s nothing groundbreaking. We all know that if you have your why and your purpose behind what you’re doing, like it ultimately gives you more fuel, fire and passion to do it. It’s just sometimes when we get so into, like, if you’re doing really good tax planning, it’s again, if it’s a little bit dry and granular, it’s easy to get bogged down in that. And it’s important to zoom out and remember the real why behind why you’re doing it.


Yeah. Yeah. I liked that. And the last action item I’ll throw out just for consistency sake, make sure you’re getting your client’s tax returns and reviewing them. That’s really where you’re going to get the detailed insight to help identify opportunities for them, and then to make sure that these are getting reported correctly so that you don’t end up like the advisor Brendan mentioned at the beginning, who just ignores all the taxes, make sure that when you’re doing these things, you’re following it through to making sure it gets reported to the IRS, because if it doesn’t get reported, it may as well not have happened.


So I feel pretty confident that the, the guy in the story at the beginning probably didn’t consistently routinely gather his client’s tax returns. Just going out on a limb.


Yeah, not a chance. Brendan. I really appreciate you coming on the show. This has been great. Thanks for being here!


Yeah. Thanks again for having me. It’s been great and really appreciate what you’re doing!


Thanks for listening everybody! Until next time, good luck out there, and remember to tip your servers, 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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