Ep 31: Details In A Tax-Smart Retirement Distribution Plan

Ep 31: Details In A Tax-Smart Retirement Distribution Plan

The Smart Take:

You’re nearing retirement and seem to have enough. Now how do you go about recreating your paycheck and distributing money from your savings and investments and to do so in a tax-smart way?

Listen to Kevin describe the process True Wealth goes through to make sure these important distribution details are handled to help you stay on your retirement track and pay no more than your fair share in tax. And pay special note to the end, where he shares a recent story of a highly intelligent and successful retired client that had his own retirement spending spreadsheet — albeit one that overstated by several years as to how long his money would last. While Billy Joel proclaimed “Only the good die young,” we don’t think this to be a good retirement strategy!

Prefer to read? See below for the transcript of the show.

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The Host:

Kevin Kroskey – AboutContact

Walter Storholt:                Welcome to Retire Smarter with Kevin Kroskey. Find answers to your toughest questions and get educated about the financial world. It’s time to retire smarter. Hello and welcome to retire smarter. Once again, I’m Walter Storholt alongside Kevin Kroskey. This is the podcast for you if you’re looking to learn a little bit more about retiring and about financial planning and what’s going on throughout the financial landscape. And we’ve got a great show on the way for you today. Let’s bring in the voice of the program, the man of the hour. Each and every time we talk to him, I feel a little bit smarter, he is Kevin Kroskey, president and wealth advisor of True Wealth Design. Hey Kevin, how you doing this week?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Well, I’m doing a heck of a lot better now that I heard that intro, Walter. Thank you for the little ego boost. That’s great.

Walter Storholt:                We were talking a little sports before the show, so it got me back into my sports broadcaster, intro announcer mode. So I thought I’d spice it up a little bit this week.

Kevin Kroskey:                  I had somebody that we have a business relationship with, they called me very, in all capitals in the email, very low maintenance. And I replied, I was like, “Thank you. I’m going to go home and tell my wife that.”

Walter Storholt:                They called you low maintenance. That’s nice.

Kevin Kroskey:                  I took that as a compliment. I thought it was a good thing.

Walter Storholt:                Yeah. That is a good thing. I think low maintenance in almost every sense of the phrase ends up being a positive, so that’s fantastic. We like low maintenance pretty much everything, including relationships is nice. Well, speaking of a low maintenance, that may not necessarily be the subject of our conversation today, in fact. We’re talking about maintenance, aren’t we Kevin? As we get ready for the fourth quarter of your financial planning.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Here at true wealth, we have a bit of a seasonality to our business and come November and December we really shut down most other meetings and we focus on certain client meetings for tax investment in what we call a distribution planning review. So, a big long non-marketing word, but it goes into some of the details, particularly for our retirees when we’re talking about the distribution planning. But there’s definitely some details that are important and sometimes it just helps to understand what goes into this stuff. I don’t know about you Walter, but I’ve had a lot of instances where something maybe seems conceptually simple or if not simple, maybe not as complex as when I actually roll up my sleeves and get in there and do it. Have you ever had that experience in life?

Walter Storholt:                Oh absolutely. Like I think I’ll paint the door last weekend and it’ll be a smart idea to take the door off the hinges and paint it in the garage and then try and put it back up. Bad idea. Paint the door while it’s hanging on the hinges. The work’s already done for you. Learned my lesson after I rolled my sleeves up and it went that obscure route.

Kevin Kroskey:                  I had a similar one recently. I was staining my daughter’s play set, you know, it’d been a few years. You’ve got the cedar play set. Like, oh this is a two-day weekend thing and it’s nice out, I’ll be outside. And you know, 15 hours later, many back massages with this percussion massager and a lot of Advil, I finally got the darn thing done.

Walter Storholt:                Oh my gosh.

Kevin Kroskey:                  And then my daughter was happy about it, but she was also complaining, “Daddy, when can I use the play set?” Because I was hate the darn thing.

Walter Storholt:                I lost a beautiful weekend to play on the play set. You know? I can’t get that back.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yeah. Well, it was two weekends. So she could play in sections over time. But anyway, we got it done. So you know, life has a lot of those things. I know I’ve had a lot of growing experiences where you just get some perspective and you get in there and say, “Wow, this is, when I really start thinking this through. It’s a little bit more complicated.” So, we’ll go through that today. I think it’ll just, not to complicate things, but just to help people understand really what goes into these things. Particularly we’ll focus on retirement when you are going through and doing this distribution plan, what you need to consider, where you can go wrong. And I had a conversation, I had a meeting with a client yesterday. Very, very smart, very, very successful client. And he’s going to provide some fodder for a bit of a story today where even smart people can miss some things. And I think it’ll help illustrate some key points.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So one thing I want to mention before we get into the talk today, I said distribution planning. A lot of people may hear words like income planning or something along those lines. You know, it’s a bit of you say tomato, I say tomato in a way. But I think there’s a key difference. And there’s a couple things that are going through my brain right now that I want to share. But when you hear income planning, a lot of times that’s code word for insurance people that like to sell annuities and particularly like indexed annuities that have these income riders. You know, who doesn’t want income in retirement? We need it, right? Anything that’s not going to be met by our social security or our pension, we’re going to have to go ahead and make up that shortfall. We’re going to have to replace our paycheck.

Kevin Kroskey:                  But it’s very, very prevalent, particularly by these insurance salespeople. And they don’t have to call themselves insurance people. They call themselves financial advisors even though you know, maybe the only tool that they have in the toolbox is a hammer. And that hammer as it relates to a financial product is an indexed annuity. And guess what, you know, everybody that they talk to including you looks like a nail to them. So just be mindful of that. You certainly want to go ahead and understand the advisor that you may be working with or considering and working with. But you know, it is income. I just don’t like using the word income because it’s really become a code word for these insurance salespeople, these financial advisors that are really just calling themselves that, but they have the hammer, the index annuity or something of the sort. And that’s really not what we do, as evidence by a few of the annuity podcast where I think, I don’t know what you said, Walter, or something to the effect that we’re going to beat up on variable annuities today or indexed annuities.

Kevin Kroskey:                  But I did that with a lot of love and a lot of evidence, if you will. So when I say distribution planning, it’s the same thing in a way. You know, you have your expenses, you have your social security, your pension, deferred compensation, any sort of income sources that you’re going to have. And then certainly you have to make up any shortfall that those income sources are not going to meet in order to live your lifestyle and meet your expenses. So that’s the basics of the distribution planning. Now we have a lot of tools in the tool belt to go ahead and meet any shortfall. And there’s also some really big tax considerations that we have to be mindful about. So that’s distribution planning, maybe doesn’t sound as sexy or as simple or maybe frankly as good as saying income planning. But when you really start peeling back the onion and at least looking at what’s going on in the industry and who’s using what terms, that’s why I see things a little bit differently.

Walter Storholt:                Based on the feedback from listeners, from your clients over the years, Kevin, I think the nuance and detail is appreciated though. It’s all about the method and the math behind the reasoning for why you do all of the planning that you do and why you’ve developed all of your different philosophies for proper and sound financial planning. And so it’s just another illustration of that. So I think it’s good to illustrate those differences, however small they might be. Even if it’s just something as simple as a wording difference. It’s the thought that goes into it and behind it.

Walter Storholt:                So, let’s talk fourth quarter planning then and why you make this adjustment in your business and how you start planning a little bit differently as we reach the fourth quarter. My first question, and then you can take it from there, would just be why the fourth quarter? Why is the end of the year, if tax day isn’t until April 15th is it still related to taxes? I mean, why is the fourth quarter of the time to make this transition and start doing the planning you’re going to outline for us today?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Couple reasons. Say if you have a business owner who has a business, it’s very common in the business world that you will have a budget. I would say it’s less common in our personal finance world, even though a lot of our clients don’t really have a budget per se. Frankly they’ve been able to, maybe they did earlier in their careers when they were just getting started and money was a lot tighter. But as they advanced and their income grew. And maybe their expenses grew, but not as fast as their income growth, they have the luxury of not really having to worry about a personal budget if they were spending too much.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So I can say personally I had to watch money incredibly tight when I started the business. Cash flow is king and I didn’t have much of it. So I had to pay really, really close attention to just my cash flow, both from a business standpoint and how it related to my personal. But on the business side in general, you know, you’ll often have, “Here’s our budget for the year.” And then as the year progresses you’ll have, “Well here’s our actual,” where we over or under budget. And simplistically, when you do that in the fourth quarter, I mean you’re able to look back on many months out of the year. So you know, if we’re looking in November and December, we have 10 or 11 months under our belt. So we can see are we on track? Are we over? Are we under? Or what have you.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So the benefit of hindsight is one. But then from a tax standpoint, when you get into March and April and you’re filing your tax return, you’re looking in the rear view mirror. And maybe you’re picking up an additional deduction or something of the sort. But the book’s already been closed on the prior tax year that you’re now preparing your tax return for and doing your compliance work. So there’s no forward looking planning when you’re doing the tax return. It’s just that hey, you’re looking backwards and trying to do maybe a little something. But there’s not anything major that you can do. Planning, it’s an I-N-G word. It’s talking about doing and looking forward. And it’s not an E-D, or looking in the past. You know, my wife is a composition major. Hopefully what I just said made sense to her and anybody else that was listening. So those are the two reasons.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Certainly we’re looking basically what’s happened throughout the year from a distribution planning standpoint. You know, hey, are you on track? Are you spending more? Are you spending less? How’s that matching up? And then we’re looking at taxes. Are there any tax moves that we need to do before year end? These could be things like, “Hey look, we’re in a lower tax bracket this year.” We’ve done prior podcasts on this new tax regime that we’re in called the Tax Cuts and Job Act. So that was passed very late 2017. And that’s the law of the land that’s currently on the books at least until 2025. So come 2026 the tax rates are going to revert back to the higher rates than we have back in 2017. So on these prior episodes, we talked about how it’s a bit of a windfall and how paying tax at a lower rate sooner than maybe what you would otherwise have done will actually help avoid what’s likely to be higher tax rates in the future. And in fact, that’s current law.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, for example, maybe you’re in a 12% tax bracket and we say, “Hey, 12% it’s really low.” Even if that just reverts back to what it was in 2017, you’d be paying 15%. “Let’s go ahead and move some money out of your IRA and move it into the Roth IRA, which is tax free forever and we’ll pay a low 12% rate today.” So we’re not going to get into all the different tax moves. We’ve talked about that in the past. Certainly we may do additional episodes in the future. But these are the sorts of things that we’re doing. Whether it’s a Roth conversion, maybe we’re realizing some capital gains from a taxable account, but doing it in a way that maybe we’re not going to pay any federal tax for our clients that are charitably inclined.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Maybe we’re going to go ahead and bunch some charitable deduction so we can go ahead and itemize and not take the standard deduction. Or maybe they’re in their 70s and they have to take these required minimum distributions out of their IRAs. But rather than go ahead and just give cash to a charity, we’ll say, “Hey, let’s give that RMD or a portion of it to charity.” And that’s actually going to save us both on our federal as well as our state income taxes. So those are just a quick handful of things that are fairly common that we’re looking at and doing for our clients. There’s several more, there’s a tax checklist that we go through that has about 20, 25 different items. But those are some of the more common ones that we’re looking at. So that’s why we’re doing in the fourth quarter.

Kevin Kroskey:                  There’s certain client segment that we’re working with, we just space out their meetings. But we’re doing big picture stuff in the middle of the year. We’re doing this fourth quarter tax investment and distribution planning review. And then come tax time next year we’ll actually do the tax compliance work as well. So, it spaces it out, gives a us a bit of a seasonality to our business and allows us to manage our business pretty effectively as well. But it makes sense from the client standpoint too. So that’s what we’re doing right now and that’s what we’re doing for the current year. But at that same time we’re also setting the stage for next year.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So we’re looking at your financial plan that we updated in the middle of the year when we did the big picture meeting. And we’re looking at your expenses for 2020. We’re looking at your projected income. Is any of that changing? You know, maybe you’re turning 65 now and your pension is going to start where you didn’t commence it prior to that. Or maybe you’re getting to the point where now you’re going to be filing social security and you’re going to have that coming in at least for part of the year. And so you’re not going to need as much money from your investments. Or maybe you are getting into your 70s and you have to start taking the money out of your IRAs and have these required distributions. And so that’s coming out of your investments, but it has to come out and it has to hit your tax return.

Kevin Kroskey:                  All of these things are fairly fluid. Sometimes you’re going to have, you know, this year is going to be pretty similar to next year. Other times you’re going to have inflection points from some of those things I just mentioned, but perhaps also from the expense side. Maybe you’re going to put a down payment on that second home. Or maybe there’s a wedding for your son or daughter or you’re going to take that trip of a lifetime. And this big one-time lumpy expense is going to need to be incorporated. It’s life, right? I mean, you’re going to have some expenses that are there each and every year. Some things that are pretty simple, other things that are going to change and potentially change a good bit. So we need to go ahead and look at that, consider that, project that. And then again, we come back to we have expenses, we have our income sources, and then we’re probably going to have a shortfall. So how are we going to meet that shortfall? And again, that’s our distribution planning.

Kevin Kroskey:                  You know, are we going to pull money from the IRA? Are we going to pull money from the Roth IRA? Are we going to pull money from your taxable account that’s maybe we’re going to realize a capital gain or something like that. These are all things that having a tax smart distribution plan is going to add a lot of value over time. And I’ll illustrate that with the story about the client meeting I had just yesterday. But when you go through that too, it’s a bit of an iterative approach. You know, you can see like, “Hey, it looks like we’re in a low tax bracket. Let me go ahead and realize some more money coming out of the IRA. Well that’s going to be taxable. So now my tax bill is going up. So I got you know, of course I’ve got to pay my taxes and that’s an expense item. So let me go ahead and I got a bump it up a little bit more.”

Kevin Kroskey:                  And so, it’s not uncommon that you have this base case. But then you’re going through this distribution planning, what’s going to make sense considering the tax ramifications and then you’re going back and forth and homing in on what’s going to make the most sense for the client. All these, the tax incineration matter. But we had another case that I was helping another advisor here with yesterday. And they wanted to do something tax wise that made all the sense in the world. And then I said, “Well how are you going to pay that tax?” And they looked at me and they said, “That’s a good question.” So, cash flow is king, right? You need your money to go ahead and meet your expenses, make up that shortfall. And there could be some really great tax things that we can do. But there could be some cash flow considerations that we have to work around as well.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, to belabor these points and go through we’re looking at that current year, we’re looking at that projected verse actual, we’re making sure that the spending that you’re actually doing is consistent with what’s in your financial plan. Because if those two don’t match up, your financial plan isn’t worth a whole heck of a lot. We’re looking at any tax moves that we should make before year end to keep more money in your pocket and less to Uncle Sam. And then we’re setting the stage for next year as well.

Walter Storholt:                Well, it makes a lot of sense when you detail it out that way, Kevin. That there’s going to be so many great opportunities for not only looking back over the year and seeing what needs to be done before the end of the year ramps up, but looking ahead as well at future opportunities. And good that this gets done every year to make sure that we’re in good shape for that distribution planning that you outlined for us earlier. You mentioned at the beginning of the podcast you are going to have some stories of course for us to illustrate these points. I’m curious to see what this looks like in a real person situation or that real life application.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yeah. Great. So I had a meeting yesterday with a longtime client, we’ll call him Joe. And his wife Linda was unable to go ahead and be on this meeting. But usually we meet with both spouses, but this was a bit of an exception. Linda had an unexpected doctor’s appointment. So, it was meeting with Joe just to provide some context Joe’s in his 60s, he’s been retired for a little while. He was on the executive team. So one of the key people at one of Akron, where we’re located in Akron, Ohio, largest employers. Incredibly smart, incredibly motivated person, engineering background. So as a lot of engineers that we serve, which we do have a lot of, they love their spreadsheets. And Joe was no different. So, Joe had his own spreadsheet, we’re running our own. We have much more sophisticated software.

Kevin Kroskey:                  And quick tangent to this. Software, it should make the job easier. But it’s not a substitution for actually understanding what goes into it. I feel like a lot of people that I meet, particularly when we’re hiring a younger certified financial planner or even talking with some other people, but they feel like it’s, “Oh, it’s a black box and you just put this stuff in and it spits out this magic answer.” That is not what software is or should do. I mean it should make the job easier, but you still have to understand it. Because I always like to say you have to be able to interpret it and then apply it to a certain client or even manipulate it in a way that’s going to get you what you need.

Kevin Kroskey:                  One of the things that I’m proud of, we use one of the largest, actually the largest market share in terms of financial planning software in our industry. And they’ve had this thing where if you find an error in the software, calculation error, they would send you a $50 Amazon gift card. And I’ve gotten three of those over the years.

Walter Storholt:                Oh nice, okay.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So that’s my nerding out pride there. But you have to understand it. I’ve seen a lot of people just, you know, it’s a black box and it’s garbage in, garbage out sort of thing. So for any of those-

Walter Storholt:                It is a good lesson, Kevin, though. I mean you just bring up a great point. Because we develop so much trust in computers and automation and we fall asleep at the wheel sometimes. A totally different situation and it involved probably some human input certainly. But just to illustrate the point some more. When we bought our house last year, I was looking over the closing documents. I guess probably the day before closing. You’re going through all of those, or maybe it was two days before. In any event, whatever they call that final closing, closing statement or estimate after everything’s supposed to be finalized and shows you what it’s going to look like on the day of signing.

Walter Storholt:                And I was reviewing things and I noticed there were two things in the closing report that we’d already paid for out of our own pocket that they were then trying to add on to the balance of the loan and into the closing transactions. And so I had to correct those things. But it was for the appraisal and for something else and it was like $1,000 worth of stuff in there that we had already written a check for. And I don’t think it would have been caught had we not been able to just call that out ourselves and review that document. So that extra human eye and actually knowing what’s going into all of those computations is extremely important. So, neat that you’ve caught the mistake in the computer a couple of times, so to speak.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yes. And you know actually, Walter, I’ve had the same experience with you. I had three real estate transactions in a year. We sold our last house and bought our current house and then we bought an office building that we’ve been in since 2012. And two out of the three had mistakes on the settlement statement. And I pointed one out to the commercial loan officer and he’s like, “No, that’s right.” And I’m like, “No, it’s not right. Let me walk you through this Mister 20 year commercial loan officer and show you why this $5,000 mistake and I’m not paying for it.” So yeah, details matter for sure.

Kevin Kroskey:                  And a quick aside as well, one of the things I’ve found in  doing this podcast for the last year, year and a half, you have a lot of  do it yourself-ers that are out there, that have reached out to us, had questions or things like that. And I’ve seen a lot of people do their own financial plans or projections. And that’s great. I mean, I’m all for education. But I would also caution people, I mean, you should be humble if you’re just trying to do this on a weekend or just reading a little bit here or there and then you pull some spreadsheet or some projection tool off a website. Be humble.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Hopefully you’re only going to retire once. And if you’re making some mistakes about assumptions that are driving the results, I mean there’s a big, big just opportunity cost that hey, you don’t want to have to unretire or have a big change in your lifestyle in retirement. So I mean, I can do my own tax work, I know a lot about taxes, but I still hire a CPA. So just a public service announcement, I suppose, going out there.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So back to Joe though. So again, Joe’s got his spreadsheet. And I told Joe, I’m like, “Look, I don’t want to review your spreadsheet anymore.” I mean, I know how this financial planning software works inside and out. Heck, I’ve helped the developers over the years and got those $50 gift cards. And it’s robust. And then Joe’s like, “Well just take a look at it. Just help me understand.” And then all of a sudden we’re looking at things. And he’s got all these circular references and, “Well that … Oh, that’s a calculation error there.” So anyways, very quickly Joe was realizing okay, this wasn’t probably the best use of my time.

Kevin Kroskey:                  But one of the things that he did have, and he had some good things. He had his monthly budget, he had his yearly budget, he had for 2019, he had his budget versus actual, which is great. I mean I can use that information to go ahead and get some more detail than even some other information that we have just for total spending. You know, he had it broken down pretty well. He had a conservative assumption for his investment growth. So you know, that’s also not necessarily a bad thing to have. He had his social security that was in there. He had a future home sale and downsizing and was reflecting some of the cost differential there. So he was, again, smart guy, incredibly successful in his career and best of intentions here and spent a lot of time on this stuff. And basically he had his money going out to a certain year and being able to spend a certain amount of income until that time.

Kevin Kroskey:                  And when I recreated similar expenses, I showed him, well you’re off by about five years. So I don’t know if dying early is a good strategy to have, but that’s probably what you’re going to have to do if you actually go down this plan of spending and staying in this house and spending the amount of money that you are. And of course things got really quiet for about a minute. And he’s like, “Well help me understand.” And I said, “Well, when you look at your taxes alone,” and I just did some quick off the cuff calculations, we were in the middle of the meeting. And I said, “You know, you have this withholding coming out from your pension, but you’re basically not accounting for taxes above and beyond that. And sure you have some Roth money, you have some money sitting down in your bank account and that’s already been taxed. But a lot of your money is IRA money.” Which most of the people that are listening to this are probably going to be in a similar boat.

Kevin Kroskey:                  You put all that money, you get the tax deduction going in, it grows tax deferred, your employer gives you a match and then you end up with accumulating the majority of your money there. And he was just really completely ignoring the taxation of both his social security, which is a whole other basket of worms and really complex. But then also on his IRA. And when it all shook out, he was basically under projecting his tax expense by about $7,000 per year for the next few years. And then assuming that current law does in fact stay on the books and tax rates go higher in 2026, well he was going to be about 10 or $11,000 under. So you do that each and every year and you’re in your 60s and you’re looking out over a couple of decades, that means your money’s not going to last as long. Right, Walter? I mean you’re going to have several years-

Walter Storholt:                Problems, you got problems.

Kevin Kroskey:                  For sure. You got problems. Thank you for that beautiful simplification. And Joe had some problems. And so again, this is why we do this stuff. This is just one example. I could give so many others. When you start layering in some of the complexities of tax planning and moving money from IRAs to Roth IRAs and is that really going to increase your after tax wealth over time and allow you to spend more? All this stuff really is synthesized. But for Joe, smart guy, super successful, a lot of people if they knew Joe would really look up to him and admire what he’s been able to do in his life. Sharp, sharp guy, you know, engineering, detailed background. Sits down several hours on this spreadsheet. And this has been over a period of years that he’s been crafting this beauty. And well, he was only off by about five years in projecting how long his money was going to last.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, honestly … And Joe and I are friends. We’ve been working together a long time. We have some fun. And I was like, “Well, it’s good Joe. I mean it’s good I found this out so now you don’t have to move in with me because I don’t think my wife would really allow you to do that.” So you add a little bit of humor to the situation. But I’m sure he was appreciative of it for sure. And I’d imagine Joe is going to keep doing his spreadsheet, he’s going to try to make it better. But you know, I’m going to keep doing it the way that we do it and the way that we know that works.

Walter Storholt:                He’s fallen more into the trust but verify mode of things, it sounds like.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yeah, I like that mode a lot. I mean, the joke that I make though is when people come to us with these spreadsheets, the spending information is great. Because we can go ahead and we can check that. We can look at somebody’s tax return and we can see like, well, here’s how much money he had coming in. Here’s the income taxes you paid for federal, for state, for local, if you have them. Here’s the payroll taxes that you paid for social security and for Medicare. And so your savings went over here to your 401k, your cash balances increased by this amount. And so here’s all the other money that you spent. Or at least is unaccounted for. You know, did you do any one time expenses? Did you do some home improvements? Did you pay for a wedding or something like that?

Kevin Kroskey:                  But basically as I rattle this stuff off, my point is we can really hone in on what somebody’s spending was in a year. And so if in this case Joe had his monthly budget and we’re able to go ahead and reconcile that and we have better input into his plan. He just didn’t have a good tool to go ahead and really … nor the wisdom, quite frankly, to go ahead and do the financial planning. I mean knowledge is one thing, wisdom is something else that we really haven’t talked about. But when you have these different experiences and working and guiding people over the years to make a successful transition in retirement and make sure that they stay on track, I would say that’s really where you get wisdom from over time. And really can decipher what matters, what doesn’t, how to communicate this to people, how to help them understand it. All those things that I think really a good financial advisor should do for his or her client.

Walter Storholt:                Yeah, so important to understand and have those expectations of what’s the relationship going to look like? What value are you getting out of the relationship with your financial advisor? Because that definition is so broad. It’s important to see the level of detail that’s going into the service that you’re getting. And that’s why I enjoy hearing about how you take care of your clients, Kevin. So that we can get to learn a little bit more about what that top-level service looks like to look through all the nooks and crannies of a financial plan. Find all the areas of improvement that are needed and then make the proper adjustments to get the right plan in place to achieve people’s goals and dreams as they get to and through their retirement years.

Walter Storholt:                So neat to always see that in action. And I do invite you if you have questions about anything we’ve talked about on today’s show and if you want to talk to Kevin about putting together your own financial plan, getting a review of that plan. If you want to talk with an experienced advisor on the True Wealth Team, you can do that by going to truewealthdesign.com. That’s truewealthdesign.com. And we’ll put a link in the description of today’s show to that site as well. And click on the are we right for you button to schedule a 15 minute call with the team. You can also call directly at 855-TWD-PLAN. That’s (855) 893-7526. Kevin, any other stones we need to unturn before we wrap up today’s episode?

Kevin Kroskey:                  You know, just an emphasis on what you said. I mean, these little details, sometimes it doesn’t seem like they, “Oh, okay. Hey, there’s a little bit off in spending here.” Or, “Hey, my taxes are a little off there.” You just, you start compounding these little errors over every single year on a multitude of decades and you just have a very different retirement plan or you get very much off track. And this stuff is, it’s a lot easier for these insurance people masquerading as financial advisors to say, “Well, here I’m going to sell you this annuity and you’re going to have an income stream.” And you know, there’s all kinds of issues with that, that we’ve illustrated in past podcasts. Or you have somebody that’s more so just selling investments and they say, “Oh yeah, we do financial planning.” But it’s more of that black box, garbage in, garbage out.

Kevin Kroskey:                  You know, really the financial planning and all these little details, these are things that we can control. We can’t control what the investment markets are going to do. We know what the tax rates are, we can figure out what your spending is. We can figure out how to make smart planning decisions around all of those things. So if we can focus on what we can control and add a lot of value there, then you’re less relying on investment returns. Your money’s going to last longer, you’re going to be able to retire earlier. You know, it’s a pound of steak until the tomato steak gets buried deep in the ground. But most people don’t do this. And to me, it’s been something that I just self-generated. But I had to have these answers in order if I was going to do a good financial plan for a client.

Kevin Kroskey:                  So that’s how where we ended up. But for any of those that are talking with or working with an advisor. And we’ve just heard so many times and it’s usually when somebody has an experience of working with somebody before they come here and they have that comparison that they’re like, “Wow, this is really different and I’m getting so much more than what I got before.” And that puts a big smile on our face. I mean, we like to be, you know, you have to get massive value from working with us, otherwise you shouldn’t be a client. And when you have a comparison, it makes it a lot easier to see those sorts of, you know, just the differences what you’re getting versus what you’re paying. And I’m happy, I’m very happy when we have people sharing those stories.

Walter Storholt:                Absolutely. Always great to hear those stories. And if you have any feedback for us here on the Retire Smarter Podcast, we do invite you to reach out with that feedback. If you have a suggestion for a topic that you’d like to hear more about or have any questions about any of the episodes that you hear, we’re always open to hearing from you and getting that feedback. You can find different ways to contact us on the website. Again at truewealthdesign.com or by calling that number, 855-TWD-PLAN. Kevin, thanks for all the help on today’s episode. Looking forward to another good show with you around the corner.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Thank you, Walter.

Walter Storholt:                Have a good one. That’s Kevin Kroskey, I’m Walter Storholt. Thanks for taking the time to join us this week. We’ll look forward to talking to you next time right back here, on Retire Smarter.

Speaker 4:                           Information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax or legal advice. Information is obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, but their accurateness and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All performance reference is historical and not an indication of future results. Benchmark indices are hypothetical and do not include any investment fees.