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Financial Symmetry: Balancing Today with Retirement

When considering retirement, do you wonder what financial opportunities you may be missing? Busy lives take over and years pass without taking advantage. In this retirement podcast, the Financial Symmetry advisors unveil financial opportunities, to help you balance enjoying today so you are ready to retire later. By day, they are fiduciary fee-only financial advisors who answer questions about tax savings, investment decisions, and how to save more. If you’ve been putting off your financial to-do list or are just not sure what you’ve been missing, subscribe to the show and learn more at www.financialsymmetry.com. Financial Symmetry is a Raleigh Financial Advisor. Proudly serving clients in the Triangle of North Carolina for over 20 years.
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Now displaying: January, 2022
Jan 31, 2022

Tis the season to prepare your taxes!

Video recap: https://youtu.be/mWYWaKeP6-o

Whether you do your own taxes or you are gathering information for your tax preparer, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t miss a thing. Listen to this episode to ensure that you think about everything you need to do to prepare this year’s tax documents.

Don’t miss the obvious

As you start your tax preparation journey by gathering documents and ensuring that you have everything in order, you may end up forgetting the obvious. Did you move in 2021? You’ll need to report the sale of your prior home if that was the case. 

Also, if you use tax preparation software, be careful with the autofill feature. If you have used it before, your tax software will automatically fill in the information that you used last year. It is important to type in the correct address so that you don’t miss any communication with the IRS. 

Gather all the pertinent information

If you changed jobs in 2021 you may have multiple W2s. Make sure that you have them all together before you start your tax preparations. You’ll also want to look out for the forms if you made any 401K or Roth rollovers. 

For the 2021 tax season, you’ll need to look out for the usual documents like W2s, 1099s, 1098s, or K1s, but you’ll also need to be watching out for the letter from the IRS if you received an advanced child tax credit. If you did receive an advance on your child tax credit, you may or may not receive any more or you may have to pay some of it back depending on your income in 2021. 

Once you have your list of docs how do you get ready?

Once you have all of your documents ready, then it is time to start thinking outside the box. Do you have your receipts or transaction history for charitable donations? What about real estate and property tax forms? Do you have a record of how much you spent on child or dependent care? Make sure to have a record of any crypto transactions and business and rental expenses. 

Having this information together will decrease the legwork when the time comes to file your taxes.

Kickstart better record keeping

Not all financial advisors focus on tax preparation, but at Financial Symmetry, we see tax season as an opportunity to generate ideas to improve your financial situation. Whether it is through improving your tax situation or taking advantage of missed opportunities, tax preparation is something we focus on to enhance your today and enrich your tomorrow. 

Our clients have the opportunity to use the document vault in our Client Center portal as a type of digital file cabinet. Keeping documents together like this takes away some of the anxiety surrounding tax season. 

Once you get everything you need together, take a step back and reflect. If you haven’t been keeping the best records now is a good time to implement a system to help you stay organized. 

Listen in to hear how we can help you prepare for the upcoming tax season and beyond as Financial Symmetry clients. You’ll also hear why it doesn’t always make sense to file early. Learn why sometimes filing for an extension could be a better option. 

Outline of This Episode

  • Did you move in 2021? [2:21]
  • Did you receive the child tax credit in 2021? [5:52]
  • Once you have your list how do you get ready? [9:48]
  • You don't always have to file as soon as you can [13:27]

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Jan 17, 2022

The biggest financial threat to your wealth is not the market; it is your brain.

Video clip with Money Egg example: https://youtu.be/PJ4Zryp2w8Y

Human behavior surrounding money varies greatly and can be fascinating to study. Allison Berger has been studying financial behavior in more detail over the past year in the Certified Financial Transitionist coursework.

On this episode of Financial Symmetry, we delve deeper into the common money scripts that drive financial behavior. Our conversation is inspired from the book Wired for Wealth by Brad Klontz, Ted Klontz, and Rick Kahler.

When you listen you’ll learn what a money script is and how it can impact your financial wellbeing.  You will also learn 5 steps you can take to help you improve your money mindset.

What is a money script?

Markets go up and down but one fact holds true: the money scripts you play in your head will determine your financial well-being. The things we do surrounding money are defined by the money scripts we learned in childhood.

Money scripts come from the explicit or implicit messages we received about money as children as we were trying to make sense of the world. Usually, these ideas are partial truths based on our parents' teachings and actions around money. We have internalized these money scripts and unconsciously follow them as adults as the logical response to what we saw as children. 

Here are common examples of money scripts: money doesn’t grow on trees, money can’t buy happiness, rich people are shallow, money is the root of all evil. 

Money scripts can keep you poor

Your money scripts can become roadblocks in your thinking about money, so it is important to think about how they may be affecting your life. At their worst, money scripts can contribute to financial disorders like financial infidelity, compulsive buying, pathological gambling, compulsive hoarding, financial dependence, and financial enabling. 

These are examples of money scripts that will keep you poor: your self-worth equals your net worth, it's ok to keep financial secrets from your partner, if you are good your financial needs will be taken care of. 

These negative money scripts can be linked with overspending, compulsive shopping, or workaholism. As people edge closer to retirement the more they tend to stick with the money scripts that have led them through life. However, retirees may need to embrace new ideas to be able to reach their financial goals. If you are struggling with your money mindset, try reaching out to an objective third party for help. 

Money scripts may keep you poor in spirit 

Money should be saved, not spent. You can never have enough financial security. Money that I did not earn is not really mine to spend. These are a few examples of money scripts that can cause people to underspend. Scripts like these can lead to hoarding wealth and workaholism. 

A financial plan can help you break free from your money scripts. Without a financial plan in place, you don't know how much you can safely spend. A financial plan will ensure that you look at the details and the reality of your spending situation. You want to make the most of your money and your life especially as you transition into retirement.

5 Steps to change your money mindset 

You can change your mindset surrounding money and the book recommends 5 steps to overcome your limiting financial beliefs. 

  1. Face your fear. Accept that you have beliefs about money that are not currently serving you. Identify your present reality to see how your money scripts have contributed to your financial situation. 
  2. Visit your past. Ask yourself these questions to help you dig a bit deeper into your money scripts to discover where they stem from. What was your first money memory? What is a positive money memory? What money experience was painful to you?
  3. Understand your present. What is your current financial situation? What is your current reality? Explore your financial situation deeply to understand it fully.
  4. Envision your future. What does your future hold? What would you want your life to look like if you had 30 days to live? What are your goals?
  5. Transform your life. Redefine your priorities and your core values. In light of these changes, what are your new financial goals? What lifestyle or behavioral changes are necessary to take action? 

These are not quick, easy steps to take. They require a bit of soul searching to get to the heart of your issues with money. However, if you find yourself with a money mindset that is not serving your goals you’ll want to do what you can to solve your problems. 

If you think that you may need help changing your money mindset, reach out to us to see if we can help you. Head over to FinancialSymmetry.com and click talk to an advisor. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:30] What is a money script
  • [7:01] How can you move away from your money script
  • [10:42] The money scripts that keep you poor
  • [14:22] The money scripts that promote wealth accumulation
  • [17:15] How to change your money mindset
  • [22:15] The progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Jan 3, 2022

At the start of every year, people are more motivated to get off on the right financial foot. This might mean contacting a financial advisor for the first time.

Video recap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEB2z530-Zc

So we put together a list of 5 questions we hear from those looking to hire a financial advisor.

If you are considering working with a financial advisor this year, you may want to use these questions to help you understand how the financial advising process works so that you can feel comfortable choosing the right advisor for you. Listen in to hear the most frequently asked questions and our answers.

Is your financial advisor a fiduciary?

Thankfully, the word fiduciary has gotten more publicity lately, so more people understand what it means. A fiduciary is a financial advisor that puts their clients’ best interests first. It is important to ensure that your advisor is a fiduciary so that you know that they will put your well-being ahead of the myriad conflicts of interests that can arise in this industry. 

How often will you review my situation?

The first question most clients have is how often we will review their finances. This usually depends on the client’s situation, but we usually review a specific financial area for every client each quarter. The specific areas that we focus on regularly are taxes, estate documents and financial plans, and of course, portfolios. 

We also have an automated system that checks each client’s portfolio every day. Our clients feel comfortable with these automated daily inspections. Our Client Center is another way that Financial Symmetry clients can assess their portfolios at their convenience. 

When and how is your fee charged?

At Financial Symmetry, we are fee-only financial advisors and completely open about what we charge. All of our fee information is available on our website. Our wealth management clients are charged quarterly whereas other clients choose to work on an hourly basis. Make sure you understand the fee structure of any financial advisor that you choose to work with.

How often do we meet?

Typically, in-person client meetings are held once a year, but of course, Covid changed everything. Communication can be had through phone calls, emails, or video conferencing. The frequency of meetings depends on the complexity of the situation.

Who is my primary point of contact?

Every advising firm has a different setup and who you meet with initially may not end up being your primary source of information that you work with. At Financial Symmetry, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a team of 2 advisors plus one other staff member. Listen in to hear why we work this way.

If you are thinking of hiring a financial advisor, make sure to add these 5 questions to your list of questions.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:27] Are you a fiduciary?
  • [2:38] How often do you review my financial situation?
  • [5:50] When and how is the fee charged?
  • [9:10] How often will we meet?
  • [10:58] Can I contact you if I have questions?
  • [13:55] Who is my primary point of contact?

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

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