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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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Financial Symmetry: Balancing Today with Retirement
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Now displaying: Page 1
Nov 28, 2022

 

What if one of these ten tax tools could be the tax opportunity that you’ve been missing? If you are looking to increase your wealth over your lifetime you’ll want to ensure that you have the best tax planning strategies in place for long-term success. 

Paying more taxes now to lower your lifetime tax rate may seem unconventional, but if you are serious about building wealth, this could be the kind of strategy to use. Listen in to hear our top ten tax planning strategies with our resident tax expert, Will Holt. 

As life changes, your opportunities for tax saving change which is why it is important to stay on top of these changes. Make sure to check out all of our episodes to hear details on many of these tax-saving strategies and more. Subscribe now to never miss an episode.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:12] Bunching multiple years of charitable giving together can be tax efficient
  • [5:38] How to use highly appreciated stock as a gifting tool
  • [6:32] Using qualified charitable distributions
  • [10:22] Long-term financial planning is critical to long-term tax success
  • [13:19] How to take advantage of tax loss harvesting
  • [18:53] Use your retirement accounts 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Will

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Nov 14, 2022

So many conversations today are tied to the news. Hard to not find someone talking about the troubled economy, inflation, and the tumbling stock market.

How should you change your investments in light of all these issues? You may be wondering if you are invested too aggressively, or you might even be considering pulling out of the market and waiting out the storm. 

Before you rush in to change your investment tactics, listen to this episode to compare our 10 investing principles to your investing blueprint. 

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📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

📰 DOWNLOAD the General Investing Principles Guide

🎥 See other videos of podcast recaps here

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

 

Oct 31, 2022

None of us know how long we will live, so it is important to prepare for the inevitable. Unfortunately, all that we have earned in this life won’t transfer into the next, so it is important that we have our wishes laid out appropriately.

🎥Watch the video here

An estate plan is a critical component of the retirement planning journey.

Estate attorney, Adam Tarsitano joins the Financial Symmetry podcast again today to discuss spooky estate planning tales from the crypt that he has seen in his experience.

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📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

📰 DOWNLOAD the ESTATE PLANNING CHECKLIST

🎥 See other videos of podcast recaps here

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

Oct 17, 2022

Have scary markets made you second guess your retirement plan?

For those of you who are near, or already in retirement, you may feel like this year is a part of some retirement horror story.

🎥Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/bPmWBKTM-yg

Which reminded us of a common retirement tale from one of Halloween’s favorite fictitious characters, Michael Myers.

After 40+ years of scaring audiences, the Halloween movie franchise is coming to an end. Now that Michael has reached 65, we thought it fitting to envision that everyone’s favorite murderer is finally done chasing victims and is ready to settle down into retirement.

Has he prepared well enough or did he chase returns the way he chased his victims? Listen in to hear the retirement horror story of Micheal Myers.

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📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

📰 DOWNLOAD the free EBOOK Your Game Plan for Market Volatility ebook

🎥 See other videos of podcast recaps here

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

 

Oct 3, 2022

Have you ever been offered a non-qualified deferred compensation plan as part of your benefits package?

In this episode, you’ll learn who non-qualified deferred compensation plans were created for, what they are, the pros and cons, and their potential for helping you reduce your lifetime tax bill. 

Find out if this additional savings tool could be a difference maker for your retirement withdrawal strategy. 

*****

📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

📰 DOWNLOAD the free EBOOK Your Game Plan for Market Volatility ebook

🎥 See latest video of podcast recap here

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

Sep 19, 2022

We all have visions of our ideal retirement, and none of them include a terminal illness. However, sometimes life has other plans.

Today, we discuss the top concerns that are often overlooked for those facing a terminal diagnosis. 

This is a difficult, yet important, subject to address. Investment strategies, tax strategies, and estate planning may not be at the forefront of your mind during this challenging time period, however, doing the legwork now will set your loved ones up for success after your passing.

You won’t want to miss this episode if you or a loved one has recently experienced a terminal diagnosis. 

*****

📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

📰 See the full show notes here [including a Terminal Illness Checklist]

🎥 See latest video of podcast recap here

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

 

Sep 5, 2022

Retirement rules of thumb can give you a false sense of security. 

▶️ Watch a short recap on Youtube

Today you’ll learn why you should second guess these 4 commonly referenced retirement rules.

In this episode, we'll discuss:

  • what these rules are
  • where they came from
  • why they aren’t the best prescriptions for success in retirement
  • what you should do instead of relying on these common retirement norms

Our expanded pre-retirement checklist is packed with common questions asked by our clients. Our new guide answers the 4 questions you should ask about Social Security, includes common tax planning tools used by retirees, and examines how your investing may change in retirement.

Download this newly revised and expanded checklist to help you best prepare for your retirement. 

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📗 Download the expanded Retire On Purpose Guide

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

 

Aug 22, 2022

What if you could take action now so that you have significantly more tax-free savings to utilize in retirement?

▶️ Watch a Short video recap

On this episode of Financial Symmetry, we’ll take a look at an often misunderstood tax planning opportunity. 

The Roth conversion is a tool that can benefit you throughout different stages of your retirement saving journey. Today you’ll learn how to take advantage of Roth conversions during various periods of life. Listen in to learn the opportunities and pitfalls of Roth conversions. 

*****

📗 Download the expanded Retire On Purpose Guide

🎯 Subscribe to not miss future episodes here

📬 Tips each month to help you reach your Ideal Retirement. Subscribe to the Financial Symmetry newsletter!

Aug 8, 2022

Have you ever wondered how your retirement preparations compare with others?

Short video recap: https://youtu.be/mNYvWKgO3MM

This is a common question that we hear as financial advisors. On this episode, we’ll take a look at data from a recent study about the 4 types of retirement journeys that people take. You’ll also hear about the risks and opportunities that stem from these 4 retirement paths. 

People’s circumstances, attitudes, and ambitions can greatly affect their retirement experience. So, if you are on the cusp of retirement you may be wondering what type of retirement you will have. You can think of retirement as a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Each path has its own opportunities and lessons to learn. Which retirement adventure will you choose?

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:01] Retirement is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book
  • [3:13] The regretful strugglers
  • [7:34] Challenged yet hopeful
  • [11:34] Relaxed traditionalists
  • [16:19] The purposeful pathfinders
  • [21:41] Choose your own progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Allison

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Jul 25, 2022

Which retirement stage are you in? Spoiler alert: the stages begin before you are retired. You'll also be surprised by some of the stats we uncover as we dissect findings in the latest Age Wave study on retirement. 

Video Recap: https://youtu.be/8YeA6nSCenY

We've had the pleasure of working with hundreds of families as they have planned and transitioned into retirement. Let’s dive in to this episode to explore how you can maximize these 4 phases of retirement through financial planning.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:44] The anticipation stage
  • [7:20] Liberation/disorientation stage
  • [13:45] The reinvention stage
  • [17:44] The reflection and resolution stage
  • [25:08] Today’s progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

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Jul 11, 2022

How do you deal with a major financial transitions?

Video recap: https://youtu.be/2tWrduVAS14

When this happens there can be many choices that you need to make. Without the right decision-making framework, navigating these choices can lead to analysis paralysis. 

Allison Berger joins me today to share some of what she has learned while studying for the CFT designation (Certified Financial Transitionist). The coursework for this professional title combines financial planning with cutting-edge research in neurology, sociology, and psychology. With her newfound knowledge, Allison will help us learn how to navigate the technical and personal side of major life decisions.

Listen in to learn how to build a framework that can help you navigate major financial decisions. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:44] What is the CFT designation?
  • [2:32] The two sides of money
  • [8:23] The 4 stages of money
  • [17:50] Questions to ask during transitions
  • [19:29] The progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Jun 27, 2022

In a bear market, it can be easy to panic and forget that investor behavior drives results more than choosing the right investments. People tend to be their own worst enemy during these trying times. That’s why it is important to learn from those that have gone before you. 

Video Recap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VePid5UlQ1Y

Your Playbook to Market Volatility: https://www.financialsymmetry.com/staying-the-course-even-during-volatile-markets/

Check out this episode to discover the 4 typical investors that we encounter during market declines. As you listen consider who you have been like in the past. Which one are you feeling like now? Which one do you want to be in the future?

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:56] Nervous Ned
  • [7:02] Told-you-so Tabatha
  • [10:44] Defiant Dan
  • [13:07] Anchoring Andy
  • [15:06] Steady Sandy
  • [18:10] Progress principles

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Jun 13, 2022

Most of us believe we’ll always have more time with our spouse, but when that time is cut short, we’re often left with too many questions and not enough answers.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/2jFmLDB3Xks

On today’s show, we tackle the emotionally challenging subject of losing a spouse.

Between planning a funeral, notifying people, and taking calls, it’s hard to find time to grieve, much less think about the financial consequences and tax changes you have to deal with in the coming weeks. Part of our responsibility during this difficult time is to walk you through the steps of navigating the administrative part of handling a loved one’s resources.

Listen to this episode to learn about the tax changes to consider when dealing with the death of a spouse.

Read more in the show notes here: https://www.financialsymmetry.com/tax-changes-to-consider-after-the-death-of-a-spouse-ep-166/

May 30, 2022

Do you have an estate plan?

Is it up to date?

Was it prepared by an estate planning professional?

Video link: https://youtu.be/c7XO462BOcg

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, this episode is for you. 

On the show this week, we welcome Adam Tarsitano, an estate planning attorney in Raleigh, NC, to discuss why it is so important to have a professionally prepared estate plan in place.

Listen in to hear the difference between a professional estate plan and a DIY estate plan and what could happen to your assets if the state decides what to do with them.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] The goal of an estate plan is an orderly transfer of assets
  • [4:26] Why it is important to set up a trust for minor children
  • [13:57] Make sure to use full names
  • [16:30] Make sure your goals are the same every few years
  • [19:27] What is the default?
  • [23:20] Progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Cameron

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May 16, 2022

Stocks are now in a bear market. Rising interest rates mean bonds are having a horrible year. Inflation reached a 40-year high.  Headlines like these makes it tough to have confidence in your investment strategy.

Youtube video: https://youtu.be/dNb2jmLW_OU

This is why today, we are reviewing how to create a retirement plan that provides peace of mind through an investment roller coaster. If you are worried about the future of your money, our goal this week is to provide you a game plan for volatile markets.

Press play to listen in or check out the video with the slideshow on our YouTube channel.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:42] The current economic situation
  • [6:25] What history can teach us
  • [13:20] Is this time different?
  • [14:50] What should you do?
  • [19:05] The media can cause you to think you can time the market
  • [22:30] Tax-loss harvesting can help you save on taxes
  • [24:22] Today’s progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

May 2, 2022

If you recently filed your tax return you may have noticed some unexpected surprises.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/G9q8k5fRNdQ

Since tax planning and preparation is an important part of what we do at Financial Symmetry, we wanted to make you all aware of the top 10 tax surprises that we see in our office. Listen in to hear if you are familiar with any of these tax prep surprises. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:58] Inheritances
  • [6:55] Credit card reward points
  • [7:56] Advanced child tax credit
  • [10:30] Cryptocurrencies and NFTs
  • [13:20] 1099K through Venmo or other cash apps
  • [14:58] Underwithholding on W4s
  • [16:39] It got lost in the mail
  • [18:38] Double taxation on backdoor Roth
  • [22:18] What to do if you receive a K1

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Allison

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Apr 18, 2022

Deciding to retire is just the beginning of your retirement decision-making. From tax planning to Social Security decisions, finding the best strategies for you requires regular analysis.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/TleOZ8CwYXw

Today’s question comes from a client who recently read an article from Rethinking 65 titled Why Trying to Quantify Roth Conversions Is Futile. After reading the article the client wanted to know if they should take advantage of Roth conversions. As we explore this question today, you’ll learn how you can decide whether Roth conversions would be a good fit for your retirement situation.

Outline of This Episode

  • Cameron’s thoughts on the article [1:42]
  • When to take the income [3:48]
  • Look at other areas of your life when considering a Roth conversion [7:48]
  • Longevity risks that come with retirement [13:38]
  • How taking Roth conversions could affect Social Security [16:58]
  • Today’s progress principle [22:20]

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Cameron

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Apr 4, 2022

Many people that listen to retirement podcasts and read financial articles are fantastic savers. If that sounds like you, congratulations!

Video recap: https://youtu.be/pUvfv1815fw

You have done the hard work to accumulate plenty of assets and be on track to reach your financial retirement goals.

However, after a lifetime of accumulation, you may discover that you have a hard time letting go of your assets. I recently came across an article in Barron’s magazine called Retirees Aren’t Spending Enough of Their Nest Eggs. Here's Why. On this episode of Financial Symmetry, Allison Berger and I will discuss the reasons that some retirees are reluctant to spend their savings and explore strategies that you can use to ensure that you have a successful transition into retirement.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:33] Retirees aren’t spending enough of their nest eggs and here’s why
  • [3:30] Why is there a reluctance to spend in retirement?
  • [6:53] Tactics to spend
  • [10:20] Create a retirement paycheck
  • [12:26] Delay taking Social Security
  • [14:48] Understand the tax tools available to you
  • [19:31] Estate planning is not only about documents
  • [22:05] Today’s progress principle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Mar 21, 2022

Financial planning is a powerful tool that can help you not only anticipate risks and opportunities but also help you envision your future to ensure that you can retire the way you want to retire.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/hKJRvl-_RlM

As Howard Marks says, “You can’t predict but you can prepare.”

As you prepare for retirement it is helpful to stay up to date with the latest retirement trends. This is why we're excited to share our takeaways from the JP Morgan Guide to Retirement with you. You may be curious about how you are doing compared to others in your demographic and guides like this one can help you more deeply understand where you stand in your retirement planning journey.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:10] Increased longevity is changing retirement 
  • [5:33] How will you spend your 3rd act?
  • [9:30] Time is a limited resource
  • [13:50] How are retirees spending their money
  • [20:21] The benefits of diversified sources of savings

Resources & People Mentioned

 

Mar 7, 2022
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we're discussing retirement considerations for women that can help them #BreakTheBias surrounding women and money. 

Video recap: https://youtu.be/4FjSIJw8a6A

Listen in to discover how you can accelerate women’s equality by overcoming or breaking through these biases. 

Bias #1 - Women are afraid of investing

This first bias is simply untrue. Actually, women are more likely to take calculated risks than men. Women are also more likely to hold an appropriate amount of investments when compared with their cash savings. 

Men and women are equally fearful at the beginning of their investing journeys. However, since women are more cautious about things that they are unfamiliar with they often become more educated about investing so that they feel more comfortable. 

In the long term, women’s investments often outperform those of men. This could be due to women having more intentionality, self-control, and a higher savings rate than men. Since women are often playing catch up with their investing, they are usually excited to get started. Investment and retirement planning is especially important for women since there are so many preconceived notions that surround women and money. 

Bias #2 - Overcoming compensation bias

On average, women make about $0.84 to a man’s dollar. This is often due to the way compensation is structured. Women often ask for less, negotiate less, or don’t negotiate at all. This means that women have less to contribute to their retirement savings. 

Knowledge is the power to overcome this bias. To improve your salary it is important to understand the average salaries for your area of the country and, specifically, for your field. Use websites like Glassdoor or Salary.com to help you research. Don’t be ashamed to discuss this topic with friends, family, and colleagues to learn more. 

Once you’ve done your research, consider your next salary negotiation. Set a range that works well for you and shoot for the top of that range. Remember that you are selling yourself, so consider the value that you have added to your role. Come up with a list of your accomplishments. Listen in to hear all the tips that this bright group of women brings to the table. With a bit of preparation, you may be pleasantly surprised by your next salary negotiation. 

Bias #3 - Women are big spenders

We’ve all heard this myth perpetuated; however, spending doesn’t have a gender. Either partner in a relationship can be the big spender, but since women are often the ones buying for the family, it can seem like they spend more than men. 

Budgets are an important part of the financial health of any relationship so that both partners understand how much they can safely spend. Typically, one partner is more of a saver and the other is more of a spender, but the ideal is to strike a balance between the two. 

Since women have been shut out of the financial conversation for so long, they often don’t know where to begin the conversation. Here at Financial Symmetry, we encourage both partners to come to the table, even if it takes an extra conversation to understand and address all of the issues or concerns. 

As you approach International Women’s Day, consider whether any of these financial biases have come up in your life. You can research more biases surrounding women by using the hashtag #BreakTheBias. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:39] Are women really afraid of investing?
  • [5:15] Addressing compensation bias
  • [9:18] Women are big spenders
  • [14:56] The progress principles

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Allison, Grace, Haley, and Darian

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

Feb 28, 2022

From data breaches to text messages, emails, and phone calls, scammers are always looking for new ways to commit fraud.

Video recap: https://youtu.be/_PwxMMqnjNk

Fraud can devastate retirement plans, so it is important to stay one step ahead of scammers and keep your guard up to protect yourself and your retirement. 

On this episode, we discuss types of scams to be on the lookout for and how you can protect yourself from the conmen that are constantly devising new ways to ruin people’s lives. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:12] Elder fraud is an egregious form of fraud
  • [6:47] Victim shaming can make things worse
  • [9:43] Be cautious about new romantic relationships
  • [10:58] Ways that you can protect yourself from scams
  • [18:38] Is a credit freeze a good idea if you have been a victim of fraud?
  • [19:56] The progress principles

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Allison and Will

Feb 14, 2022

Do you have concentrated stocks in your portfolio?

Video recap: https://youtu.be/g5oDev7Ns84

You may have inherited stocks from a loved one or maybe you receive stock options as part of your pay structure or a compensation package. Whatever the reason you have concentrated stocks, if you own more than you think you should of one company, it is important to understand what you could do with it. You may be surprised to hear all of the options that you have available, so listen in to hear what your choices are. 

What is a concentrated stock?

You may be wondering if any of the stocks that you own would be considered concentrated stocks. Deciding whether you own any is easy. You don’t need to look at the percentage of the stock in your portfolio. It doesn’t matter if that stock is 5%, 10%, or even 50% of your portfolio. What matters is what would happen if that stock went to zero. If that would affect your financial life then you do own a concentrated stock.

You may argue that the richest people in the world gained their wealth through concentrated stocks, but you don’t hear about all those that have lost their wealth from putting all their eggs in one basket.

Individual stocks are volatile. Over a 40 year time period, 40% of individual stocks experienced negative absolute returns. The reason we choose to have a balanced portfolio is to balance the winners with the losers. 

Why do we hold onto concentrated stocks?

There are different reasons that people choose to hold on to stocks for longer than they should. If the stock is from their employer, they may have a bit of bias thinking that they know their company and it will outperform the rest. Some people got into a position early and rode the wave. Others feel an emotional attachment to the stock and are hesitant to let it go. 

Whatever the reason you may be hanging on, it is important to analyze your holdings to see if they fit into your overall financial plan. If not, it is time to find a strategy to divest from your position. 

Strategies to mitigate the risks of owning concentrated stocks

Coming up with a strategy that fits into your overall financial plan requires some thought. The easiest thing to do when you aren’t sure of the right choice is to do nothing, but that, of course, is the worst thing you can do. 

There are 4 options available to you when you own concentrated stocks: sell, hedge, diversify, or transfer the wealth.

  • If you need the money, then you may want to sell all or a portion of your stocks. Listen in to hear all the options available to you if you choose to sell your position. 
  • Hedging will limit the downside, but it can be very expensive. 
  • An exchange fund can help to diversify your portfolio which will help you lessen the risk. 
  • You can gift family and friends up to $16,000 per year before you have to report it to the IRS. 
  • You may also want to consider setting up a donor-advised fund if you are charitably inclined. 

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it fits into your overall financial strategy

This episode has some advanced strategies to consider, so if you are wondering what you should do with your concentrated stocks you may want to listen twice or take notes as you listen so that you can discover what to do with your concentrated positions and how it could fit into your overall financial plan. 

If you still think you need help coming up with a strategy, reach out to us so that we can help you come up with a financial plan that is right for you. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:58] What is concentrated stock? 
  • [5:11] Why do we hold onto concentrated stocks?
  • [6:47] Strategies to mitigate your risks
  • [15:43] What you can do with your stock if you are charitably inclined

Resources & People Mentioned

  • Episode 59 - Tax Solutions for Charitable Giving

Connect With Chad and Mike

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Stitcher <> Google Play

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

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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

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