Ep 23: What Is Financial Life Planning?

Ep 23: What Is Financial Life Planning?

The Smart Take:

Financial life planning is being purposeful in continually moving your life in the direction you desire and then matching your finances to support it. Said another way, it is financial planning done right. Listen to Kevin share a story of a client evaluate trade-offs and find a work-life balance that is better for them. He also shares a story of how he and his wife made big life changes after their first child was born … changes that would require Kevin to work several more years before they will reach financial independence. Whether you are in the heart of your working years or at retirement, this is one episode you won’t want to miss.

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

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The Host:

Kevin Kroskey – AboutContact

Introduction:                     00:03                     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.

Walter Storholt:                00:15                     Welcome to another edition of Retire Smarter Walter Storholt here alongside Kevin Kroskey, President and Wealth Advisor at True Wealth Design, serving you throughout Northeast Ohio with offices in Akron and Canfield as well. You can find us online at TrueWealthDesign.Com this is the show for you if you’ve got questions about your financial life or if you just want to get a little smarter when it comes to your retirement planning. Kevin, great to have you along with us once again for this edition of the show. What’s going on in your world?


Kevin Kroskey:                  00:41                     Oh, likewise, Walter, actually, Walter, I just got out of a client meeting ours I should say, prospective client meeting, and they actually asked about your Walter. They really believe in you that they’re like, Walter, who’s your cohost? Well, they said, who is your cohost again? And I said Walter, Walter Storholt. And so then they were, they were intrigued. They were asking about you and then they were like, I couldn’t believe that guy’s a millennial.

Walter Storholt:                01:05                     Since I was a little kid I’ve been told I have an old soul, so maybe I fit in well.

Kevin Kroskey:                  01:09                     Yeah, so just your voice, the way that sounds and way that they pictured you, I imagine.

Walter Storholt:                01:15                     They picture me as a very hunky, muscular, you know, kind of guy. Right? Isn’t that how all radio and podcast people look?

Kevin Kroskey:                  01:20                     Not where I was going to go with that, Walter. But if that’s what you want to think, that’s great man. We all have to feel good about ourselves, right?

Walter Storholt:                01:30                     They can envision it until they make me. Right? Then reality will come crashing home.

Kevin Kroskey:                  01:35                     It’s just like the bald man. You know, when people, if they don’t see my picture, I don’t want them to envision Fabio or something like that. Then they see me and no, he’s bald.

Walter Storholt:                01:45                     Well, I’m working on the appeal here, so we’ve got, you know, if it’s a few months from now when we meet, maybe I can meet expectations. We’ll just, we’ll have to see how the whole dieting and exercise thing goes. Otherwise, you know, if they’ve got Fabio in mind, they may be disappointed in both of us. Kevin, I’m not sure,

Kevin Kroskey:                  01:59                     Walter. I see as a little spinoff. We can maybe get some pictures. Well, we’ll have some mass accountability here if we share our goals and you know, very straightforwardly share where we’re currently at and it could be a nice little segment of the podcast. So let’s talk about that.

Walter Storholt:                02:16                     All right, sounds good. Maybe we’ll debut that here on a future one. We’ll make it happen. I’d love it. I’m an open book, so let’s go for it. I’m excited about that. We’ve got a great show on the way today. As you can tell, I quickly changed subjects there to get away from that conversation. We’re going to be talking about what is Financial Life Planning now, every time I feel like, you know, we start off with this basic word Kevin retirement planning and then it morphs into financial planning and then we hear income planning and now we’re adding more words. We’re calling something here, Financial Life Planning. So I want you to break this down for us today. What is this? Why are we adding in this extra word into this equation? What are we going to take away from today’s show?

Kevin Kroskey:                  02:56                     Yeah, sure. So you know, and I hear these words and I think our industry does a terrible job or maybe a great job confusing people intentionally. You know, you have people that are, there’s some sort of professionals designation like all of the advisors that True Wealth or Certified Financial Planners, roughly about 20% of the industry that is licensed financial people are Certified Financial Planners. So that’s one way to kind of, you know, hone in on, you know, who is really a professional. You have other people that use the term financial advisor, investment consultant. You know, I heard once of a story that a guy was selling cars on a Tuesday, got hired by one of the big banks on a Friday and all of a sudden was the Senior Vice President of Investments. So titles are one thing. But I was listening to a podcast that was in Pittsburgh for a family reunion over the weekend and what my five-year-old was calling a “family my union.”

Kevin Kroskey:                  03:50                     I must have asked her, “where are we going to Aubrey?” And she repeated it like 10 times and I just couldn’t get enough of it. But on the way I was, everybody’s kind of zonked out in the back of the vehicle. I’m in the front driving, so you know, I have two daughters and my wife was in the back too. And so it’s like I’m upfront and driving all the daisies in the back. And so I just put on a podcast and was listening to podcasts and I was hearing this guy describe what a wealth manager is and he’s a wealth manager and we use wealth advisor. But honestly, I mean, to me it’s all marketing. They’ll say, well, wealth manager deals more with more affluent people and taxes and charitable giving and this and that. And I don’t really care what you call it.

Kevin Kroskey:                  04:30                     It’s more about, you know, who you are and what you do. I personally like the term Financial Life Planning because to me what that means is its financial planning done right. And life is what hopefully what you want it to be. You know, you want to think about, you know, here’s where I’m at, here’s where I would like to go. You know? And it’s not just about money, it’s about, you know, time, money’s part of it, relationships, experiences, family, your work, life satisfaction. It’s all of that stuff that we get out of life. And then you think about really where you want to go and then you start breaking it down into maybe shorter-term goals. You know, it’s kind of take that bite of the elephant about really what you want your life to be like, but take those small incremental steps on where to get there.

Kevin Kroskey:                  05:17                     And as it relates to the money side of the equation, you know, you have to figure out, you know, kind of what’s feasible. You know, you can’t just say, well, you know, I’m going to sail on a yacht, you know, 24/7 365 if you don’t have those kinds of means or what have you. You know, you really have to think about kind of where you’re at, what’s possible, you know, what might be a stretch goal, you know, what’s feasible, things like that. And then after you figure out what you want your life to look like, all those things, you know, your time, your relationships, your work, your health, all those sorts of things, certain of those goals, certain of those life goals are going to have money attached to them. You know this is the Retire Smarter podcast and so is this one phase of life.

Kevin Kroskey:                  05:59                     But it’s not just a thing. You know, you have all these different life goals within that phase of your life. And that’s how I always think about it. So it’s, I guess as you look at your advisor, regardless of what he or she calls him or herself, it’s really where this technical ability of financial planning is going to meet this emotional IQ of being able to listen, to understand and to advise and then to match up the financial aspects of things to the life that you want to design to the life that you want to achieve. And to me, that’s Financial Life Planning, that’s financial planning done right.

Walter Storholt:                06:35                     So it’s taking the money element and adding to it all those different sorts of lifestyle emotional conversations goals, plans, future ideas, kind of making them all kind of wrapped into one umbrella.

Kevin Kroskey:                  06:49                     You got it. And then over the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot of meetings. I’m kind of in my busy season for client meetings right now. And some people engage in this more than others, you know, frankly some clients, Oh, maybe they engage less in that emotional side, maybe less in that goal-oriented side of things. And it’s like maybe they have a life that, Hey, I’m completely content where I’m at. I’m not looking to stretch, I’m not looking to do this. I’m just looking to maintain. And that’s great. And if they’ve consciously decided to be there, that’s fantastic. And then it comes down to more of, well, how do we make sure that you’re able to be there and to maintain where you’re at. And that’s where you get into the financial side of the planning. Sometimes people, frankly, I don’t think that they’ve really kind of connected it and it’s more like, I think maybe we all go through this in life with different periods, but it’s like you get on a hamster wheel and you’re running, but you’re really not sure where you’re going, sort of thing.

Kevin Kroskey:                  07:46                     And so some people I would say maybe fall into that bucket and maybe more often than others. And so, you know, we try to connect with them, but you know, if it takes two to kind of tango, it’s not our life we’re designing. We’re just there as the guide and trying to, you know, really connect with the client to listen to them about where they want to go. And sometimes we may need to give a little nudge, but you know, sometimes you try to give a nudge and you’re not going anywhere. And so that’s another, I guess, a trait of a client. But then you have some that are just really, you know, engaged in that, I call it a Financial Life Planning process. That life design process about really what’s important to them. You know, if they’re out of balance, how do they get back in balance and what have you.

Kevin Kroskey:                  08:28                     And for me, I mean I love the technical side is why I got into this business and it’s what attracted me, but I really, really enjoy connecting on an emotional level. And when you can get somebody and nudge them or just show them it’s possible to do some of these things maybe they didn’t think it was possible before about this better financial life about this life design. That’s really where I personally get that great, warm, fuzzy feeling about really helping somebody and making a massive positive impact in their life. So, you know, I’ve been fortunate to have a few really exceptional experiences over the last couple of weeks. This is why this topic was top of mind for me. And I thought I would share a couple of stories today about some things that have transpired over the last couple of weeks.

Walter Storholt:                09:11                     Oh, we’d love to hear it. What kinds of stories do you have for us?

Kevin Kroskey:                  09:14                     So we have a few here, so we’ll see. So I, of course, I always change these names just to give some shield to our clients. Some people I think have done an exceptional job in life and in other ways. But you know, confidentiality, of course, is a cornerstone of our business. But the first client that’ll talk about this, call him Steve and Michelle and Steve works in oncology. He’s, you know, busy makes a good income. The work has changed a lot for him over the years. And his wife, Michelle, also a physician, works in family medicine. And so we’ve been working together probably since 2012 or so. So we’re probably seven years into our relationship now and they’re nearing 50 years old at this point in time.

Kevin Kroskey:                  10:09                     They have a, you know, three kids, a couple of pets helped their parents overall incredibly busy lives and so early in our relationship it was more about kind of getting things in order is more about the kind of the technical and the financial side. But really as, as they started seeing maybe what was possible and as the stresses of their positions and of their life, in general, may become at a heightened point. The conversation at our meeting shifted a lot more towards kind of the emotional side towards the life design side. And really they said, look, you know, when can we be financially independent? They had some goals are very important to them. They have a nice lifestyle. They wanted to be able to maintain that. They wanted to be able to have a high degree of confidence that they’re going to be able to maintain it even after, you know, they stopped working.

Kevin Kroskey:                  11:02                     Michelle who was really getting burnt out, you know, kind of working every single day, seeing more and more and more and more patients and just had a lot more work falling onto her plate. And just the amount of patient care that she was having to do is really burning her out. You know, they have three kids and education is really important to them and you know, are private schools and they wanted to make sure that they’re able to find a college and they’re incredibly, incredibly charitable and give a lot to their faith-based organizations. And so we got really clear on some of these things that were really important to them, what they wanted to maintain. And then the great thing is after we were able to come to that meeting of the minds about communicating really what they wanted out of life, then to do the mathematical and the technical part of financial planning, it’s probably easy for me.

Kevin Kroskey:                  11:52                     It’s probably easy for, you know, a fair amount of people that do what I do every single day. But it’s one of those things where when you’re not, you know, like Steve and Michelle, you know, they’re so busy as it is, they certainly have the knowledge or the intellect, I should say the aptitude to go out and learn this stuff. But they’re going out and they’re practicing in oncology, they’re practicing in family medicine and then they’re delegating things like their investments, their planning, their taxes and what have you to a firm like ours. And you know, for them it just, it makes a lot of sense. But it was easy to go through that and just start formulating this and now we have, you know, we had a plan, it was kind of fuzzy, it was more about showing, Hey, here’s kind of a range of outcomes.

Kevin Kroskey:                  12:34                     Here’s what we see as kind of possible. And then as those pressures of life and work, we’re changing. Some of the things that came out of it for them was, you know, they really wanted Steve not to work as much as what he was. Yeah. And some of the politics that he was having to deal with were really weighing on him. And you know, he’s taken it home with them as well. And so he couldn’t be your present for his family and as happy as maybe he otherwise could have been, he wasn’t having the time to take care of his own health. And here he is, you know, in a helping profession as a physician in the healthcare industry, which is, you know, isn’t exactly congruent with, you know, who he is as a person. So he’s actually gone down from working full time to working four days a week or what they call basically 0.8 full-time equivalent.

Kevin Kroskey:                  13:23                     So, you know, rather than being one full-time equivalent, he’s working four days a week, you know, there are five days in a workweek for the, I guess the normal workweek. So take one away, you get 0.8 and so he’s been doing this for a while now. You know, certainly working in oncology, he was making a pretty healthy income. He took a 20% pay cut to do it, but he’s also been very stringent on, Hey, I am really only working 0.8. We’ve had some other clients that have have been in similar situations to Steve and when they’ve taken that reduction, the hospital’s still kind of working him as if he were like a 1.0 rather than a 0.8 so to say. So in their own words, you know, they’re just happier. You know, Michelle’s also gotten out of patient care and she’s working in another area of medicine right now within her specialty, but not seeing patients nearly as much as what she used to.

Kevin Kroskey:                  14:14                     And she just feels like she has a much better balance overall. They’re getting out together and having more date nights, getting able to just really be present when they’re at home with the kids in the family and they have a plan that you know, they should be financially independent. Well, at least for Steve, like he shouldn’t have to work past about 55. Michelle, now that she’s in this new role, she feels like, Hey, you know, I’m in a good spot. I don’t mind working longer so Steve can get out sooner. You know, he’s, he’s been working, you know, way more than what I have over the prior years anyway. And we feel like that’s a good tradeoff for our family. And it was just awesome to see this form over the years of our relationship. You know, we got to meet them, got to get to know them a little bit.

Kevin Kroskey:                  14:58                     Really, I think, got to understand them probably a couple of years in after we spent a fair amount of time with them. But as things evolved in their life, you can just see they’re happier, they’re not as stressed and they did the hard work. You know, I was kind of that, that coach or that guide and you know, asking the right questions is certainly listening to their responses, but it was really about, you know when they came in, life was so busy. It’s like, okay, let’s focus on the present. Let’s focus on us and what we want out of our future. And I’m happy to play the part that I did to whatever extent that I did to get them on this path when they’re just happier. And so it’s about money, but it’s about so much more than money because all this other stuff that we had to figure out first is so much more important. That’s really what life is about. And then we just need to match the money to the things that you don’t have money attached to them as goals.

Walter Storholt:                15:50                     When you walked through the stories, I’m always amazed at just how not complex from an understanding standpoint it is, but just how complex from a sophistication standpoint, these relationships and these conversations become. I don’t know if the average person, even somebody who has, you know, made a lot of money in their lifetime, who has done a great job of, you know, building wealth throughout their life, maybe realizes just how deep a relationship with a financial advisor should go. I mean, it should get to this stage where you’re talking about all these different little moving parts. And I’m amazed by that because so many people, I think just you know, I don’t know. They may be because they’re often getting pushed just a particular product or maybe that message of this is the magic bullet for your finances, whether it be gold or annuities or whatever the case may be. This is just such a totally different end of the spectrum of really diving deep into these things. Talking about the emotional side in addition to the financial side and, and it seems like you still are able to make it easy to understand as you go through the process, Kevin, but there’s just so much sophistication behind it that I think there’s a lot of strength in the fact that you go so deep with everybody.

Kevin Kroskey:                  17:00                     Yeah. I would say to you that you, well, we go deep with the people that want to go deep. You know, you have to meet somebody where they’re at. Two things I would say, and thank you for the compliment, Walter. I mean, I do appreciate that. But you know, on the technical side, you know, these are two physicians that have all kinds of different benefit programs, have all kinds of different opportunities and compensation. And there’s actually, there’s a lot of complexity. I mean, we have meeting summaries for all of our meetings and a lot of times they’re, you know, maybe on the order of three, no more than about five pages, their financial life, I mean the theirs is seven pages and I think the length really correlates with amount of complexity pretty highly for our clients. And so there’s a lot that’s going on financially, but until we understand the purpose, you know, I mean, I can make smart decisions financially in a vacuum, but I don’t know if they’re the right decisions for their life.

Kevin Kroskey:                  17:48                     And so it really is kind of like this order of operations that you should follow this top-down approach. You know, where you’re, you’re looking up into the air and saying, Hey, you know, really what I, where do I want to go? Where do we want to go? What do we want our relationship to look like? What do we want our family to look like? And then, you know, you start kind of approaching the runway and start getting closer to landing the plane, but you can’t start on the tarmac. You know, you just don’t start there. You can, I suppose, and sometimes we have to because maybe we’re not, you know, having that engaged emotional conversation and, or somebody doesn’t want to go that route. It’s just not who they are. And that’s fine. But when you can tie those both together, the technical and the emotional, I mean, I think that’s really where you can move the needle in terms of making a massive positive impact on somebody’s life.

Kevin Kroskey:                  18:38                     So that’s one and then two, ill relate to this. I was in  Pittsburgh for a family reunion over the weekend and my family, we were all staying in this a hotel room and it was kind of like a two-room kind of suite where all the sleeping rooms are on one. And then there was like a little living area in the other one. So we had a family of four. So we kind of need that to maintain our own sanity. But I get up early and so I, it was getting up 3:30/4:00 in the morning and I would have some coffee. I would work out, I would put some TV on while I drink my coffee. And you know, there’s not much on TV at like four in the morning. Thank God for DVR one I’m at home that I was watching just some show, it was called “The Doctors” or something and it, you know, it’s one of those probably daytime talk shows.

Kevin Kroskey:                  19:20                     I think I’ve seen that before. Also probably late-night rerun type thing. You got to, he got it. And, but one of the things and this was true and they were talking about our relationships, and I can’t remember the exact preface, but to paraphrase what they were saying is, you know when you’re in a relationship you have to be whole for yourself before you come into the relationship to give yourself to somebody else. It’s not like you can be a, you know, a half of a person and then you come in and somebody else kind of completes you.

Walter Storholt:                19:50                     My folks always hated “you complete me” mentality.

Kevin Kroskey:                  19:53                     Right? But it’s a nice little sound bite and or a for Jerry Maguire.  Whenever you’re having the emotional connection I think you have to be there yourself.

Kevin Kroskey:                  20:02                     You have to be self-aware, you have to be in tune with yourself. And then I think that’s a prerequisite to do it with somebody else. Everybody’s path is different, but I think you have to be emotionally intelligent yourself. And from what I know on a cursory level, I mean that is something that you can train in terms of emotional IQ and what have you. But when I look at the development of any advisor, you know, you have to learn the technical side first and then the softer side if you will, tends to come with experience, tends to come with age a little bit more with life experience as well. So, you really need to be there yourself to be that “whole-brain” advisor if you will, like to be the most effective. There’s a lot of people that are great technically, they’re never going to connect with you emotionally.

Kevin Kroskey:                  20:48                     There a lot of people that are good emotionally that may not be able to do the technical work, it really is tough to find them both or if you have one or the other, you really do need a team, I think to get the most out of this type of relationship. And I think that’s what it is. You know, again, it’s financial planning done right. Financial Life Planning, wealth advisor, financial advisor, investment consultant, whatever the heck you want to call it. You know, usually, our clients are coming to us because they want planning help, but if we can help them move the needle in the direction of getting more out of life, I mean that’s just the win all the way around.

Walter Storholt:                21:18                     So a great story about Steve and Michelle. Any other stories you want to share as we talk about family life planning on today’s show or Financial Life Planning?

Kevin Kroskey:                  21:27                     Yeah, I’ll tell you, I’ll share something about myself. So I’m 40, I’ll be 43 this year. My wife’s 45. Yes, I do remind her that age disparity from time to time. Had our daughter Aubrey in 2013. And my business was I don’t know, probably about eight years old at that time. Worked a lot, many, many, many hours over those years to get the business off the ground and get it sustaining. And when we had Aubrey, it was kind of this inflection point of life where my wife was planning on going back to work and she was going to try to work four days a week. And literally, when the time came and her maturity leave was up, you know, we looked around at some different places. We consider bringing in a nanny, I looked at Goddard school and those kinds of places as well.

Kevin Kroskey:                  22:12                     And it was one of the most beautiful things because my wife is incredibly independent and we both had fairly difficult childhoods that in some ways we had to overcome to make it where we are today. And part of that independence was part of her survival instinct quite frankly. And when we had Aubrey, it was so beautiful just to watch her change and just, she just couldn’t do it. And she just cried anytime that we came out of like a Goddard school or considered somebody else being there when she wasn’t going to be there. And it was a side of my wife that I’d never seen before and it was an incredibly beautiful side. And thankfully at the time that, you know, we’re in a financial position where she didn’t have to go back to work. And so, you know, we made this life change and she didn’t go back to work.

Kevin Kroskey:                  22:56                     And at the same time, this is, you know, 2013 I had been really burning it at both ends for a while. Not uncommon to work 60 65 you know, sometimes a little bit more hours per week and you know, we’d become successful in the business and you know, we’re starting to build something that was going to last and helping a lot of people and building up our team. And at the same time when winters rolled around, I was having a difficult time sleeping and I was, you know, wasn’t sure what was going on and I was kind of presuming it was like the seasonal affective disorder or something and you know, seeing the sun and during the winter months in Ohio, he just doesn’t really happen with some regularity. And so whenever my wife did not go back to work here we have my daughter and we were just doing some life planning for ourselves.

Kevin Kroskey:                  23:41                     And I was like, look, you know, I don’t care if I grow the business, say the next few years when my daughter’s here. And I said I want to make sure that I start getting more balance back in my life. I’m still going to work a lot, but I don’t want to do it to the extent I am today. I want to be happy. I didn’t feel like I was exactly being healthy and health is a big important thing to me. I’ve always taken care of myself, try to eat right and exercise. And I felt that you know, I wasn’t able to maintain it to the same level that I had them before. And so what we started doing in 2013 is, you know, it started with one month in January, we rented a place down South and I said, you know, let me just try to work remotely and then try to work less and let’s see what happens.

Kevin Kroskey:                  24:23                     And the first year we tested it out and I said, okay, I think I can do this. And I said I think we can take care of our clients. I think, you know, I’m certainly okay, you know, working longer. And I kind of looked at it as saying, Hey, if we buy, you know, like a townhouse down in Florida and I go down there and work for three months out of the year and there was a cost to it. But the cost was in terms of my mind was I was going to have to work, you know, a few extra years before I was financially independent and I’m probably going to work for many, many years, probably be many, many beyond what I have to work because I love what I do. But that was a life planning decision for us where, you know, my wife didn’t go back to work and wanted to stay home with our daughter.

Kevin Kroskey:                  25:01                     And shortly thereafter we said, well, you know, Hey, if you don’t have to go back to work and you know, I have my own business and I have responsibilities, but I think I can meet those responsibilities at the same time that we are having some flexibility in our life. It’s not about the money, it’s about return on life. And to us, that was a good trade and I was completely content having to work maybe an extra five years to become financially independent and have that flexibility and have some more balance in my life. And I didn’t care if the business grew over that, that period of time. And you’re looking back on it, the business doubled over that period of time. We got all kinds of benefits in the business because of it that I didn’t foresee at the time. But most importantly we got to spend a lot of great time together when I’m down there and my wife comments that she feels like I’m more present.

Kevin Kroskey:                  25:49                     I’m certainly working less. I’m working like 50 hours a week, which feels like a vacation comparatively. But that was something that was really important for us and you know, we made that decision in our late thirties so it doesn’t matter. You know, if your, like the client story I shared earlier if you’re in your forties and now fifties or like me, you know, my wife, we were in our thirties when we were doing this Financial Life Planning. You know, if you’re a baby boomer, which a lot of our clients are, most of them are, if you’re listening to this, you probably are, you know, maybe a little bit more difficult if you’re at the tail end of the career and you need to work a little bit more and make a little bit more before you are financially independent. You may not be able to make a big move or go down to you know, 0.8 or four days a week or something like that.

Kevin Kroskey:                  26:33                     Sometimes you, you do have to kind of put your head down and cross the finish line and get to that point of financial independence. But I guess what I would say is knowing is powerful. Have to put that plan together. You have to, you’ll evaluate the tradeoff, see what’s feasible and more importantly, you’ve got to first define what do you want your life to be like. And then it can all start falling into place. But it doesn’t matter if you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s or in retirement, same thing. I mean, you may be financially independent, but you still have to figure out, you know, Hey, what do I want life to be like? And Oh, by the way, I have all this time and all this freedom now to go ahead and craft what I want life to really be like. And that’s really exciting. But that can also be very scary if you don’t know what you’re going into and if you’re not intentional about it.

Walter Storholt:                27:19                     It also sounds like maybe to put a bow on the conversation here, Kevin, that this isn’t a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Either, you know, the life in the money, one of them doesn’t necessarily kind of come first. They work together or they kind of happen at the same time to dictate each other. You know, if you want your life to be this way, well we’ve got to make these financial decisions or Hey, your financial situation is this. Thus opening up some possibilities on the life planning side. Maybe some things you didn’t even have in your mindset were possible before. And so they kind of work in concert with one another.

Kevin Kroskey:                  27:51                     They do, and I completely agree with what you said, Walter. The thing that I would add is that you know, beyond a certain point of income, of wealth, you know your needs are met and as you grow beyond that, if you’re fortunate enough to grow beyond that, then a lot of your spending does become more discretionary. And it also affords you the luxury of maybe engaging in a little bit more life planning. There’s a lot more possible I would say. So everybody has to make sure that their needs are met. That’s step one. And if we can’t get past step one then we’ve got to focus on step one. But if we can get past that and then you can have a lot more kind of what-ifs and really maybe imagine a lot more. The catch 22 is it’s like most of our clients spent their entire lives, you know, being responsible, living below their means, working hard saving and maybe their lifestyle increased some over the years.

Kevin Kroskey:                  28:46                     But you know, it didn’t increase a ton. And here is the end of their career and they end up with more money than they ever thought possible. But they still have that very humble mindset that I personally find so attractive and want to make sure that I always am able to maintain as well. But it’s not like just a switch flips and say, okay, Hey, Hey, you know, Hey Kevin and his team say, I can do a heck of a lot more. I’m going to go do heck a lot more. Know you are, your spending behaviors became ingrained over the prior 30 or 40 years while you are being responsible and living below your means. And just because you’re there now, it’s not like you just flip a switch on the side of your head and say, okay, I’m going to go into spend mode and, and really start exploring my Financial Life Planning and, and spending some discretionary money.

Kevin Kroskey:                  29:28                     So, there’s so much that kind of comes out of this and it really gets back to that emotionally intelligent side. Certainly, there are smart financial decisions that need to be made, but a lot of times it is really kind of connecting with somebody and then helping them move the needle in terms of their overall satisfaction and you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You kind of take a bite of the elephant one day at a time, but if you do that consistently and you look back, I think you’re going to be pretty happy with the journey.

Walter Storholt:                29:52                     Well, as you’ve heard, Kevin’s clients have been through this kind of planning, this in-depth conversation and making sure that you’re going through Financial Life Planning before and you see the work and the detail that’s involved there, but also the benefits on the back end too of having that confidence to achieve those goals and dreams that you’ve had in retirement. It’s all part of that Financial Life Planning. If you want to have that kind of conversation with an advisor and would like to reach out to Kevin Kroskey, you can certainly do. So give a call to the team at (855) TWD-PLAN. That’s (855) 893-7526 or you can go online TrueWealthDesign.com click on the “are we right for you” button and you can schedule a 15-minute call with an experienced advisor on the True Wealth team. Again, that’s TrueWealthDesign.Com and click on the “are we right for you” button or you can also find out all sorts of great additional information they are on True Wealth Design.

Walter Storholt:                30:45                     Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite apps. Listen to shows right there on the website and lots of other great resources there as well. We’ll put a link to True Wealth Design in the description of today’s show so you can easily access it no matter what app you’re using to listen to today’s program. Well, Kevin, that’s really helpful. Thank you for taking us down this road of Financial Life Planning. It’s a great discussion, enjoyed hearing the stories of folks that you’ve helped as well, and we’ll look forward to another great podcast next time around.

Kevin Kroskey:                  31:12                     Sounds great, Walter. Thank you. I appreciate it.

As always. That’s Kevin Kroskey. I’m Walter Storholt. We’ll talk to you next time. Right-back here on Retire Smarter.

Disclaimer:                          31:26                     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.