Ep. 11 - A Guided Tour Through Our Financial Planning Process

John Bever |

Have you thought about working with a financial planner, but you’re just not sure what to expect?  Have you thought you might benefit from creating a financial plan, but you just don’t know what the process might be like or if it would even be helpful?  Wonder no more.  In this episode you’ll be given a guided tour through the financial planning process at Phase 3 Advisory Services.

Join hosts John Bever and Jim Uren as they reveal each step of the financial planning process that they follow with every client.  From your initial phone call to the creation of your written action plan, you’ll discover what to expect at every step along the way.  You’ll learn how we conduct our first meeting, the questions we tend to ask and the information we gather to help create your personalized financial plan.  You’ll also learn the enormous benefits of having a personalized financial plan, the importance of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and the importance of plan implementation and review.

After listening to this episode, you will be able to:

  • Determine how the financial planning process might help you work toward your financial goals.
  • Schedule your initial conversation with a financial planner without fear of the unknown.
  • Understand what to expect at every step of the financial planning process.
  • Identify the benefits of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
  • Boost your motivation to help you work toward a strong financial future.

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:05 - Introduction to Retirement Planning

00:01:19 - Importance of Working with a Financial Planner

00:05:44 - Health Benefits of Financial Planning

00:07:39 - What to Expect in a Discovery Meeting

00:13:01 - Sample Questions in a Discovery Meeting

00:13:45 - Financial Considerations in Retirement

00:15:10 - Financial Planning Process

00:19:18 - Importance of Data Gathering

00:24:41 - Financial Plan Presentation

00:26:19 - Importance of Review

00:26:42 - Reviewing Financial Data

00:27:58 - Client-Centric Approach

00:28:51 - Tools for Financial Planning

00:29:34 - Tax Optimization in Retirement

00:30:00 - Gratitude Segment

Discussed on the episode

Gladstone JJ, Hundtofte CS (2023). A lack of financial planning predicts increased mortality risk: Evidence from cohort studies in the United Kingdom and United States.  PLOS ONE 18(9)

The Standard of Excellence in Financial Planning from the CFP Board of Standards

Common Issued Addressed in the Financial Planning Process

Income and Cash Flow

Potential Income Tax Reduction Strategies

Investment Risk Assessment

Investment Account Management – Rollovers, Conversions, Loans, Withdrawals

Investment Allocation

Retirement Planning

College Planning

Debt Management

Inflation Assumptions

Property and Casualty Coverage

Survivor Protection

Disability Income

Health Insurance and Medicare

Additional Company Benefits

Long Term Care Planning

Estate Documents and Estate Taxes

Home Purchasing and Financing

Rental Real Estate

Escrows and Short Term Savings

Coordination with other Professionals - CPAs, Attorneys,

RSUs and EE stock options

Sale of your Business


Show Transcript

Jim Uren: This is The Year You Retire podcast for people who want their first year of retirement to be right on the money. Your hosts are me, Jim Uren and John Bever, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals with Phase 3 Advisory Services. Retirement is one of the happiest times of life, but getting the most out of it requires you to be properly prepared.

Listen along as we explore the financial topics, tips, and strategies that will help you make your first year of retirement your best year yet. Now let's get planning.

John Bever: Are you wondering what happens when you sit down with a financial planner? Have you had experience with a former financial planner or advisor? Are you wondering what to expect? In this episode, you will learn the steps you will take to build your financial plan. You will hear sample questions so you know what to expect if you meet with a financial planner from Phase 3.

You will also find out about some of the software tools we use. Continue listening to learn the steps you will take when meeting with a financial planner. Learn what information you may need to pull together and some questions you may be asked. This will help you in your quest to find the right financial planner for you.

Hey, Jim, thanks for joining us today. Really looking forward to this session on this topic of financial planning near and dear to our hearts. Anything that you're excited about.

Jim Uren: Yes, I'm very excited for this episode as well because this is a big question for people. This is a big step and a lot of people particularly if you've never worked with a financial advisor.  It's not like buying something physical, right?  Where you can kind of look at it from a distance.

John Bever: Right.

Jim Uren: This is something more personal and I think this will be really helpful to kind of peel back the onion and reveal, what is it that you can expect when you come into our office, when you meet with a financial advisor? Probably fairly similar to a lot of other advisors, everyone's a little unique, but at least this will give you an idea of what you might expect.  So very excited.

John Bever: Yeah. And I'm excited to inform our audience of the importance of working with a financial planner. There is a difference between a financial planner and an advisor. We're going to talk a little bit about that.

Now I've been in the industry since 1983 and I absolutely love it. We have served hundreds and hundreds of people helping them define and reach their financial goals.  And we've actually seen many plans go full cycle. Not quite cradle to the grave, but when we start the financial plan, see it go full cycle to the next generation.

And I tell you, it is really very rewarding to watch the happiness people experience in reaching their goals. And now we actually have many third generation clients, which is a blast working with these younger families starting off.

Now, there may also be a health benefit when you work with a financial planner.  I've noticed for many years now, how long our clients live.  And on average, quite a bit beyond life expectancy.  So far, our oldest client has made it to 99 years and eight months. Now we're still waiting for our first centenarian.  It hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure that it will at some point in time.

Jim Uren: Very exciting. It is wild to just see folks get close to that age that we've often planned for.

Now, John, it does seem like there are a lot of advisors out there and yet, most Americans just are not on track for retirement. What's going on?

John Bever:  Yeah, well, according to research reported by Statista in November 2023, about one third of Americans have worked with a financial advisor of some kind.  And 57% have indicated they do not have an advisor.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that around 300,000 advisors are functioning in the U. S. and that's the word advisor.  And I have actually seen other estimates that are over 500,000 when you include insurance agents and people that work in trust departments. So let's say somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000.

But there is a difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner. To hold oneself out as a financial planner, you must be associated with a registered investment advisory firm or RIA. And of course, Phase 3 has been an RIA firm since its founding in 1984.

The recognized designation for financial planners is the CFP® certification or CERTIFIED FINANICAL PLANNER™ professional. And there are only 97,000 CFP® practitioners in the U.S. So approximately maybe one out of four advisors is actually a CFP® practitioner.  And at Phase 3, we require our planners to either have the CFP® mark or be in the process of obtaining the mark.

And there are four requirements for becoming a certified financial planning professional. Completion and mastery of coursework from a CFP® board accredited program. Number two, passing the comprehensive CFP® exam.  It's a one-day exam. Pass rate by the way in the last test, Jim, was 64%.

And then somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 hours of industry experience, depending on how that experience is actually carried out.  Whether it's an apprenticeship or just an industry association. And then lastly, to agree to the ethics requirement and passing a background check.

And CFP® professionals are held to high standards for working with you to build your financial plan. CFP® professionals act as fiduciaries and our advice is built on your best interests.

Jim Uren: Absolutely. We can't support the CFP® designation enough. It's been very helpful for us just educationally. And we think it's very helpful for our clients.

Now, John, I'm interested because you mentioned possible health benefits. What are you referring to?

John Bever: Okay. Well, here is a question. We always like to give an audience question in the beginning of our podcast. And it's a simple question.

Can working with a financial planner increase your life expectancy? Yes or no?

Well, the answer is yes. If you put off planning for your financial future, you know, that's not just bad for your wallet. It can also affect how long you live. You know, I've talked about this for several years, but there's a new study that just recently came out, a decades long study led by Joe Gladstone, Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Colorado Leeds School of Business.

And they found that people who plan for their future financial needs are less likely to die prematurely than those who live in the present. I always get a kick out of that dying prematurely. What that means is that they live longer than life expectancy.

The study published September 27th, 2023 in the journal Plos One, analyzed data from thousands of people in two cohorts of older adults living in both the U.S. and England and results were compared with government mortality tables and they controlled for factors including age, gender, income, education, health, life expectancy, all those typical things.

Participants from the U.S. were evaluated over 22 years, and on average, participants lived 9% longer than expected. The study also found health and longevity benefits of financial planning were the strongest among people with the fewest financial resources.

Now, perhaps that's because of the reduction in stress.  You know, the less money people have, less resources, they may be more concerned and more worried about retirement. We do tend to fear what we don't know.

Jim Uren: Well, that certainly is a good reason to keep listening. So, uh, to reduce the concern that one might have with meeting with a financial planner, what can someone expect, John, let's say when they contact our office?

John Bever: Well, the first thing is that if you call during business hours, you will get a live person on the phone unless we happen to all be in meetings. There's no auto attendant or confusing menu tree to route your call.  And then you can set up a discovery meeting for us to meet each other. And different planning organizations and offices operate differently, but that's the way that we have chosen to operate.

So if you decide to continue with the process, then we will work with you together to build your financial plan. And this will address your concerns, answer your questions, and provide alternative solutions so you can choose what is right for you.

And if you work with a CFP® professional, we're all supposed to abide by this general track that we're going to talk you through.  Each one will implement it slightly differently. So we're going to talk not only about what's general in the industry, but how we implement this.

So, for example, if you are nearing retirement, here are some of the questions that we’ll answer:

Do I have enough money to reach my goals? That seems to be the biggest one.  Am I going to run out of money? 

Are my goals realistic? 

Am I off track? And if so, how can I get on track?

Many times I hear the question, I want to get my financial house in order, but I'm not sure how to do that.

We'll also evaluate what pension option you should use.

And we'll answer the question what senior health insurance option is best for me?

Another one, how should I cover my health insurance gap if I retire before the Medicare age of 65?

And along with that, what is the right Social Security claiming strategy for me?

What are some of the better ways to generate income from my investments?

Or how do I plan for the required minimum distributions from my IRAs?

Do I need life insurance in retirement? And if so, how much?

What are my options for paying for end of life care?

Can I afford a second home?

Can we do the snowbird thing?

How can I best help with education costs for grandchildren?

So these are very common questions. And then there are some questions that are a little less common, but we've heard a lot of them.  So it's very interesting doing this financial planning process because there's always something new to explore.

We'll cover issues with people, things that they haven't thought of, such as proper beneficiary designations, adequate home, auto, and liability insurance coverage, and estate documents.

You know, in the last couple of years, one of the things that we've been covering is making sure that there's adequate property replacement on homes because there has been such a dramatic increase in the cost of replacement.

So we cover a lot of topics. And if you're planning to leave a financial legacy to the next generation, we'll also answer what assets are the most efficient to pass on.

We’ll also stress test your plan in several ways. We talked a little bit about that stress test in the previous podcast we just did, so take a look at that.

We use several software programs to analyze your situation and that helps in the confidence level that people can have in the financial plan that's done.

Jim Uren: So let's go back to that initial discovery meeting when someone calls and they want to get together. What happens at that meeting, John, what can they expect?

John Bever: Well, at that discovery meeting, the most important thing we will discuss is what is most important to you, your values. and your priorities. We'll discuss your vision of your retirement year, hobbies, volunteering, grandchildren, travel, care for aging parents, whatever your vision is. And actually, we have a fun picture game we often play when we meet to kind of help with these definitions.

We'll also find out why you contacted us. Do you have a specific concern or just a general desire to be sure you are on track? We won't necessarily answer your questions at this time, but those questions that you're asking will help us build the right plan for your unique situation.

And I've also had several discovery meetings that were actually second opinion meetings.  People had already gotten some answers, but they just wanted to be sure or something didn't feel right. And they wanted to have a second opinion.

Jim Uren: So explain a little bit more than what one can expect at this discovery meeting.

John Bever:  Well, we're going to spend a few minutes together getting to know each other.  And, then after that, we're going to discuss your goals at a high level. The details will follow after we have the big picture. We want to get a sense of where you're at and where you want to go. And then from there, you'll share the resources that you have to reach your goals.

And don't worry about bringing in all that information at the discovery meeting. Some people do, but really this is a discussion. So we're going to cover your vocational journey over your lifetime. This is where we often discover hidden accounts, pensions, and other benefits from previous employers, things that people might've forgotten about. And this also helps us when we review your Social Security history.  But really what this is, is this is a dialogue.

Jim Uren: And John, I think it's important too, for people to understand this discovery meeting, we do not charge a fee for this discovery meeting, nor is there any obligation. If the, if the person wants to meet with us and decide we're not a good fit, there's no obligation.  They can move on from there.

Is that correct?

John Bever:  Yes, absolutely correct. We've always operated that way. We anticipate operating that way into the future because people don't want to pay for something they don't know what they're going to get yet. So we have to talk about their situation and what they're going to get in this process before we quote a fee.

Jim Uren: That's right, because we, it's important to us that you make sure that we're a good fit for you. It's important you work with a good fit advisor.

John, what are some of the questions that someone might get asked at this discovery meeting?

John Bever:  Well, one of the first ones is, do you think you're on track? We want to get a sense for where you think you're actually at and how do you feel about retiring.

I'm just thinking about a recent case in the last couple of years where actually the gentleman was actually fairly nervous about retiring. He really enjoyed his job and he wasn't sure what it was going to be like at the point that he retired.

 We'll also ask you what are the most important things that you want to do in the next five years, not just the long term goals, but also short term, and how much do you need for your basic living expenses?

How have you prepared for end of life care? And how do you want to use your income in retirement? So this really gets into some of the goal planning.

Do you have charitable goals? Gift giving to family members or others? Do you want to buy a second home? Maybe improve the home that you're in. Maybe you need to change some things for getting older.  Home relocation, vacation, travel, entertainment.

Car replacement is a big one that people do need to use some of their income for in retirement. You know, we're living quite a while in retirement now. And so it's not unusual that people will need to replace, uh, three or four vehicles, uh, during their lifetime in retirement.

We'll also talk about the toys you might want to have in retirement.  Either the ones you have that cost you some money.  (You know, that word for a boat, it's a hole in the water you put money into.)

And then also the bucket list, if you have one, grandchildren can be a big spending category.  And maybe even your parents, if you're providing care for your own parents. Some people want to start up a side gig and, uh, these days with people getting married a little bit older, even paying for a child's wedding.

What you're really doing in this process is we're finding out how much each goal is going to cost. It's one reason why we talk about the goal is to find out what your values are, but the second thing is determining what the cost of that goal will be. And then we match your resources to your goals.

Jim Uren: Yes, it's really important that at that meeting, we really want to get to know you.  And of course, a big part of that meeting also is the opposite, right? We want to give you the opportunity to ask us questions that you may have about us as an individual advisor, about our firm, et cetera. So it's a great opportunity for us to get together at no cost, no obligation, and to see if we might be a good fit together.

Now, John, you also mentioned some of the elements of a plan. There's a lot, right? We can't even cover them all, but we are going to put a fairly exhaustive list in the show notes for this episode. If you would, as a listener, would like to see what that might look like and the various things we often cover in a plan, or can cover in a plan, depending on the situation.  In order to do that, all you got to do is go to the show notes for this episode. You can do that at phase3advisory.com/podcast and choose this episode. That's phase3advisory.com/podcast.

So John, after we've had the discovery meeting and we feel like this might be a good fit, can you give us just an overall, what's the whole process for a financial plan?

John Bever:  Yeah. So I'm going to tell you our process and this does abide by the CFP® guidelines. And if you work with a CFP® professional for a financial plan, they'll cover these steps. We each may call them something a little bit different, but here are the steps.

First of all, a discovery meeting to explore your values, goals, and resources. We've talked a little bit about this. It gives you a chance to interview us and then you'll decide how you want to proceed somewhat on the timing. You might have some very urgent needs that need to be addressed right away or just a time frame over a couple of years to get to that point of retirement.

We'll decide also is it appropriate to be in person or even remote video. We do a lot of remote video these days.  And then after that discovery meeting we'll quote you a fee based on your unique situation. We'll then get into data gathering. And you'll fill out a few forms and provide some specific numbers, and we'll look at specific goals.

And from there, we will move into a working plan session, where we'll reveal your current status, initial findings, and play out your specific what if scenarios with you. We'll work together to determine the elements that actually need to be in your financial plan.

Then we'll present the financial plan in a final plan session.  This will give you your optimal plan, along with alternative action steps that you can take. Those action steps then will be put into motion. And lastly, we'll engage in regular review. If you choose to have Phase 3 manager investments, typically your financial planning reviews are at no additional cost.

So that's the process. It can be as short as a two session process.  In complex situations, it actually might take a whole year, but all these steps will be followed. And again, the time it takes is really dependent on your unique circumstances.

Jim Uren: Excellent. So that was the overall picture. Let's delve in.  Let's say, what's the very next step? What happens after that discovery meeting? Someone says, yeah, this, I need this financial plan. Where do we go from here, John?

John Bever: Yep. So we move on to data gathering. Now, some people come to the discovery meeting with their box of financial info or send it to us previously.  Others wait until after that first session, it really doesn't matter. Either way, those documents usually will prompt additional questions on our part and the need for clarifications. And we'll provide you with a list of documents and statements that we'll need in order to review and to use for data input into our software.

And you will also complete a survey on your risk tolerance. And we've also set up a secure digital vault for you to upload your information into if you're comfortable doing that. You can also fax the information and some people just send us copies.

So we use this to also clarify your goals. We'll talk about your goals, but as we go through these documents, it may prompt additional questions.  After the discovery meeting, when you have had a chance to process the discussion, you also might add additional goals that you hadn't thought of or want to add some specific details.

And we'll also talk about your ideal spending level budget goals versus acceptable goals. So people oftentimes think of it in two ways, saying, well, you know, I'd at least like to be able to do X, but if I could do Y and Z, that would just be nirvana for us.  So we'll talk about those things. And to build a full financial plan actually requires quite a bit of data in order to give you the best advice. But data gathering is that next step.

Jim Uren: And we will send you a list of everything that we need as John mentioned.

John, can you give us just some examples of some of the documents that it's important for us to review in order to render the best advice possible to somebody?

John Bever: Right. So this is not a comprehensive list, but it's a common list.  Pension information, other company benefits and compensation information like stock plans or deferred comp, your recent pay stubs, Social Security statements, investment account statements from retirement plans, health savings accounts, brokerage accounts, TreasuryDirect, a lot of people are opening up TreasuryDirect accounts these days.

And then your mortgage and other loan statements, a list of expenses or budget if you have one. If you don't have one, don't worry, we'll walk you through a process to get to that information. Your most recent tax return is very helpful. Property tax bills, insurance coverage pages, the estate docs (that would be wills and trusts), and also any information relating to any dependents like education expenses or group health family coverage for children that may still be covered on your group health plans.

But we've designed our questions and we have a few forms to walk you through this process.

Jim Uren: And it is a little bit of work, obviously on, on someone's part, because it is gathering a lot of information and getting it to us. And it sounds like a lot, but you know, why do we need all this information, John?

John Bever:  Well, the reason is, the more info, the more accurate the info, the more effective the process will be.

Your financial plan is only as good as the data that is entered. So we want to get as accurate on that as possible. You know the old phrase, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. We don't want to be putting garbage information into the financial plan. We want it to be as specific as possible.

And like I said, you can fax or upload, bring this in, bring in your originals, we'll scan them.  You know, however you want to do it. Really, what is ever easiest for you.

And I tell you, it's not unusual that a client discovers something in this process, an account they forgot about, incorrect spellings of names, missing beneficiaries. And you know, in this digital age, Jim, we find people are looking at this information less, not more.  Less because it's just automatic.  It's electronic. They either don't open the email or they put it into the folder and then that's it.

So one of the things we're doing in this process is we're looking for the hidden gems. We've discovered lost or forgotten stock certificates, accounts that are still registered with perhaps a deceased parent's name, unclaimed funds held by the states.  In Illinois, that's actually called ICASH.  So it's actually kind of a fun process for us because we're on a hunt.

Jim Uren: Yes. And of course, people are often coming to us because they're looking for specific advice, action steps they can take. One of the side benefits of this process for a lot of people is just really a great educational experience. They learn a lot about their situation and about the planning process.

John, is there anything specific to a plan for someone, like the focus of this podcast, for the year you retire?

John Bever: Yeah, so in the year you retire, we do focus heavily on lifetime income taxes, not just the next couple of years, but what your lifetime tax projection looks like.

Stress testing your lifetime income plan and your health insurance options. Unfortunately, it can be quite confusing with the health insurance options, so we help sort that out. Also, how best to claim Social Security. Choosing your pension option. If you're going to be the recipient of a pension, usually you have several options to choose from.  And then lastly, the design of your investment portfolio.

Jim Uren: Excellent. So we first initially get together at a discovery meeting – again in person or Zoom or phone. We then move forward. The client starts to gather a lot of the data, gets that to us, and we then get ready for what we call the working plan session.  What is involved in that working plan session?  What, what can they expect, John?

John Bever: Right. So from data gathering, we then populate our financial planning software programs in order to prepare for this working plan session. And we then meet to see the results of the data. 

And we also get to play what if games.  Clients usually ask, well, what if we do this? What if we change this?  What if we increase our spending? What if we decrease our spending? What if we move? It's really a very eye opening session.

And as I mentioned, it's actually a lot of fun because this is where people do some dream building. They might not have allowed themselves to dream before because they were afraid of what the cost might be.  So here the costs start to become evident to them. And it's interesting to see how some people actually add in goals at this working plan session.

And we also see the relief come across people's faces, even if the results aren't that great. I remember one where we were doing a second opinion, met with the client and they wanted to get together because they just had this gnawing feeling that maybe their plan wasn't on track, even though they had met with another advisor.

So we basically from start to finish, redid a plan for them and the results were quite a bit different from what the other advisor had put together. And it actually showed that they needed to delay their retirement several years.

And I was expecting them to be quite discouraged. And instead they said, “This is what we sensed, but we just didn't know how to evaluate it. Thank you.” They thanked us very much for giving them a very accurate picture of what their retirement might be like. And they're several years into retirement now and just having a blast because they don't have to worry about what they're spending.

Jim Uren: Very good. So we have that discovery meeting. We gathered the data and we do this working plan session we just described.  From there then we move on to the financial plan presentation with action steps. Tell us, what does this step look like, John? 

John Bever: Right.  So after the working plan session, then we can actually get down to a couple of scenarios.

So we need to look at the solutions that are going to help you meet your goals. And we may present a couple of possible scenarios. We'll show you the cost versus benefit on each one of these options.

And we also, in that meeting, show you the stress test where we stress test your plan in several ways; Extended lifespan, that we have talked about in the previous podcast.  A higher inflation rate for expenses, but a lower rate for government benefits. That's another way that we stress test the plan. And also a Monte Carlo analysis, which addresses the sequence of returns. If you want to learn more about sequence of returns, listen to the previous podcast.

And it really answers, how much money do I need? What's the appropriate amount of money for me to go into retirement with. And then from this, then we'll determine the final action steps and who is responsible for each step. This is where our team is so helpful. Our financial planning assistants will help you complete your steps and remind you of things that still need to be done.

And you know what? The best plan in the world is useless unless it's actually followed through on and completed.

Jim Uren: Yes. And as you said, John, that's why we want every person to leave that meeting with an action plan. This is what needs to happen. We'll even tell you what we think is the most important and what might you be able to delay a little bit.  But that way, you know, exactly what needs to happen.

And so this brings us to the final step in the official financial planning process. Obviously there's a ton of value in that financial plan, but it's not a set it and forget it.  The next step, John, is the, the review.

John Bever: Yeah.  We constantly review. So remember, we have a discovery meeting and then data gathering. We have a working plan session and then a final plan session and then action steps.

So the review is reviewing those action steps and finding how many steps were completed and what else needs to be done. It's also a mini-financial plan all over again. We'll see, is there any information that's changed?  Any new data we need to input?  And we'll run that working plan session right there at that review.  Obviously it goes a lot faster because most of the data is in there and it's fun to see the things that have been accomplished in the last year.

So that's the process and it's interesting again to note that CFP® guidelines include this ongoing review as part of the financial planning process.

Jim Uren: And that's because things do change. Sometimes people lose their jobs. Sometimes people get a promotion and they've got a lot more revenue coming in. I'm working with both types of scenarios right now with clients. And so things do change. And so we need to change the financial plan.

But the nice thing is once we've already created the plan, it's relatively easy to make some of these changes and to be able to give that client the feedback they need to make some of the decisions they need to make.

And I appreciated how you said, John, that we will kind of cover some of the pros and cons.  Because some of the advice we give, it's obvious, you should do A.  But there's a lot of other things that there's sometimes A, B or C are all acceptable options. And our job is just to help you to see the pros and the cons of each one so that you can choose the option that is the best fit for you.

And I think that's what's helpful to a lot of clients.  They're still in the driver's seat. They're still driving the bus.  But we're there to hopefully be a good sounding board and a good advisor to help them see what might be coming down the road and how they want to handle that.

The other benefit that we have as financial advisors is, of course, not just our knowledge, but we have a lot of tools at our disposal. And we put a lot of money into these tools that we can then use, obviously to benefit our clients.  Whether it's this financial planning software that we use, and we use more than one type of software.  We also have a very specific high-end tax analysis software where we can do tax and cash flow projections. We've got tools for analyzing investments. We've got tools to help you pick the optimal Social Security strategy. You know, we've got lots of spreadsheets and financial calculators. We've got a lot of tools at our disposal that really help with that.

So, John, what can we expect in our next episode?

John Bever: Well, we're going to talk about tax optimization, and this can actually provide a very large benefit in retirement. It's one of the things that you can actually partly control. You know, we can't control rates or returns. We can't control the economy, but we can control some of the numbers that go on that tax return.

So in fact, I've just finished analyses for a couple of clients. Same type of situations. They're retiring in the next couple of years. And in both cases with our planning, they're saving over a $100,000 in income taxes over their lifetime with careful planning. Now, in this case, it's mostly due to Roth conversions.  So be sure to tune in and watch for our next podcast. We're going to cover tax optimization in retirement.

And feel free to give our office a call, send us an email. If you want to go ahead and set up a discovery call, all it takes is just you picking up the phone or sending a quick email, we'll handle the process from there for you.

Now we've almost reached the end of this podcast, Jim, but not quite because we always have a gratitude segment. So Jim, what are you thankful for?

Jim Uren: Well, before I jump into that, I do just want to let people know if you don't want to miss that next episode or a future episode, make sure you follow or subscribe to this podcast on whatever platform you're listening to.

So I just want to say that I am thankful today for podcasts. So it's been fun to do this one. And I hope we have been able to share a lot of knowledge with people.  But I can't tell you how much I learn from podcasts every week, even as an advisor. Now some of the podcasts I listen to and you listen to John are pretty technical and a little boring at times.  But you know, whether it's that or a faith based podcast, my life has been enhanced by being able to plug something in my ears while I'm unloading the dishwasher or going on a walk.  Very, very helpful.  Thankful for podcasting.

How about you John?

John Bever: Well, for me, um, it would be lifelong friends. So I've had a couple of situations come up in the last couple of days that have just made me aware of what a blessing it is to have some of these lifelong friends that go back not just decades, but a couple of them that go all the way back to kindergarten.

So lifelong friends would be my thankful today.

Jim Uren: Wonderful.  Well, thank you all for listening to this episode of The Year You Retire podcast.  For show notes, additional resources, and a transcript of this episode, go to our website at phase3advisory.com/podcast.  That’s phase3advisory.com/podcast.  And be sure to listen to the following contact and disclosure information. Thank you.

Disclosure: The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily the opinions of Phase 3 Advisory Services or Osaic Wealth and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities or services mentioned herein.  Unless otherwise specified, show guests are not securities licensed or affiliated with Phase 3 Advisory Services or Osaic Wealth.   Investing is subject to risks, including loss of principal invested. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

No strategy can assure profit nor protect against loss. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should only be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.  Securities offered through Osaic Wealth, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC.  Additional investment. and insurance advisory services offered through Phase 3 Advisory Services Limited, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Osaic Wealth is separately owned and other entities and or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Osaic Wealth. Phase 3 Advisory Services is located at 1110 West Lake Cook Road, Suite 265 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089. Our phone number is 847-520-5545. For additional information, visit our website at phase3advisory.com.