Episode 6: How to Start Taking Real Action in Retirement Planning

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to the Build Your Life Podcast with Financial Expert John Browning.

When it comes to your Retirement Plan, when is it time to stop thinking about it and start doing it? On this episode, learn about leading a purposeful life and how to truly appraise your life--starting today!  Listen in and let's get going!

For more information, visit www.GuardianRockWealth.com to learn more about what John can do for you.

 

Welcome to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Building your life is a relaxed and unedited conversation with financial expert John Browning. Hey, John, welcome today. How are you doing? Doing great about yourself, you know, tremendous. It is a Glorious Day and always exciting to talk with you for another episode and today, John, what I want to do is pick your brain a little bit about taking action and cre how do you, how do you help people create a successful plan of action, because I know that's work I've gotten stopped many times, not just in financial planning but in other areas, is we think we know what we want to do, we set an objective, but we never get around to actually doing anything. So what are some of the first steps, John, in creating a plan of action for your client? Well, we have kind of a five step process and in some of those steps may seem obvious and simple, and really they are, but people just tend not to do them unless they're purposeful about it and...

...and the whole idea of living life on purpose and and planning on purpose is something that I'm I'm a big proponent of. So really the first thing we start with is this idea that you have to realize and get comfortable with the fact that a good plan starts with an honest appraisal of you by you and and an independent third party with your best interest in mind. And the reason you need that third party, that independent third party, preferably not your mother, brother, sister, any any of those folks that you love. We all love those guys right, like any professional sports player will tell you, they got to where they are because of consistent coaching and consistent execution. We're unable to see, and this is the reason I don't look at my own portfolio either. I mean, I look at it, but I have somebody else look at it as well. My partner looks at it. He's he's he'll kick me in the tail and say, Hey, you're being emotional here.

You, you, you didn't adjust this because you really like this thing and you need to need to trim this position. And he keeps me in check because he's independent and he's just an independent third party and I'm my opic, you know. I only see what's in front of my face. We don't right. That's that's just in and also the fact that I think we need to realize again and I mentioned this before. Is that real life gets in the way of consistent execution of a financial plan? Ye, is it? So the third party, I always say that they have an uninvolved perspective. Going back to you don't want it to be your mom or your father in law there involved at some level. So having that third that advisor who's uninvolved, that I have a great perspective right. And the other thing that I love about having an uninvolved third perspective, I said a coach of financial coach, let's say. There's a phrase that I learned a long time ago in dealing with business owners is and it works with financial advising. To we are imagine that you're standing inside of an old empty coke bottle and you're looking out that coke bottle but you're trying to read the label of the coke bottle.

That's really hard to do right, and so that third parties on the outside of the coke bottle, they can read it just fine. And so in this situation it's really challenging for me to plan my own finances because of the emotions involved and I don't have all the knowledge, whereas you can look at it and probably in a shorter period of time. Go Oh yeah, well, here are the three questions I need to ask you, or here's the positions we need to be in, because you do it all the every day. So it's it's understanding that it's not a weakness to have a financial advisor. In fact, it's a great strength and it helps us take action, because we are all just naturally we procrastinate, especially when it comes around planning our finances in our future. Right, that's right. Yeah, let's talk a little bit about how to how can a client prepare before they come and meet with you? What would be, well, being an ideal situation, and then maybe what's our more realistic situation? Well, so the ideal situation is that they come to the meeting with with all of their financial documents...

...in here and and you you've got a list of those, because you're asking. I'm like, I don't know what all that would mean, right, and it's yeah, we have a list of those we can send to them, and I love but when they ask for it, I try and send it anyway. But if they ask for it, then I know that they're they're serious about, you know, making a plan. But it's it's really sort of everything right. It's not just your your investments, but it's also your liabilities, your you're checking count statement, you know, that tells me you know what kind of Emergency Fund you've got, the savings account, checking account, that type of thing. And also, like to you own a home, we want to we want to get an idea of what that mortgage is, what the mortgage payment is. So you need to know what your cash flow is like, as well as all your bills and in credit card statements, that type of thing. And then what you're of course, if you own that home, will what's that home worth? So we get an idea of what your net worth might be if we were to calculate it today...

...right, not what it's going to be after we finish this financial plan, because we're going to get you to a better place, but all of all of those pieces of paper that maybe you don't think about every day. Car Payments, all those things. It's helpful to have and a lot of people get overwhelmed and I say just you don't just bring it in and put it, just throw it in a box. Over over the next month or so, just as the mail comes in or as you print out the statements, or whatever. So email them to me, whatever you need to do to make it easy for you, because when I look at it, it takes me right, roughly takes me about ten minutes generally to go through that because I look at them all the time. Right. You know what you're looking for. I know what I'm looking for. I only need certain information. There's always TMI, as my thirteen year old tells me, too much it too much information on those statements. But really only need a few key things. So it doesn't take me long to go through there and get a really solid picture of where we are now. Yeah, well, and that's really important, John, because people don't always understand how it all plays together.

But if they have a mortgage and they have, let's say, two car payments and they're paying a high interest rate on that, but they have, let'say, a Home Equity Line of credit that's at a lower rate or something like that, right, you could look at that and go, you know, want it might make more sense to take a loan over here on your house to pay off the cars, to save money. That frees up seventy five a month and let's pay that off and then let's put that thing you're the master of that chess game that most of us we don't even think about how a car payment affects the money that we could be investing. We always say, well, I don't have enough money to invest. Not always the case when you have somebody like you who can look at it and go, I understand all the pieces on the board and how to maybe move them around. Is that? Is that something that you do as people bring these documents in? Is that part of the equation? No, absolutely. One client comes to mind right now where they're trying to make a decision on his wife has lost her job and and she's got this for three P and you know kind of I've looked through that and I've kind of explained to them that for...

...three bees are and for one case, and there's also sorts of different retirement plans, but they're all fin phenomenal investments and I would encourage people to participate in those. Often you can get matching contributions from your employers, but once you have moved away from that job, not just leaving it, there is sort of dangling in the wheel. But when, because because often you can, often they have fairly high fees buried in there that you you never see and you'd never see unless you're somebody like me and they get into that type of thing. I'm getting off topic here. Sorry about that, but that plays into it. And then we have a bring in their again, their credit card statements and all of that, and debt management becomes a big part of what we do, but not even debt management as much as it is really getting into the why the debt is there. Because dead, I say dead, is like a fire right it can it can warm you, it can be very useful and, frankly, most of us need debt at some...

...point in our lives. You can also get completely out of control and it can burn you and it can destroy things. So when we're talking about managing the debt aspect of somebody's financial plan, we're also looking at the psychology of that person and how they manage that debt and we do try and coach them and and work that whole debt payoff into the financial plan. That's good and that's important that you dig into that person, because I've known some people that we've helped them, you know, through but it counseling things get out of debt, only to find out guess what, three months later they're back in debt and you're like, wait a minute, but that's a personality thing, right. So you have to understand that as a financial advisor, and since you work for so many people, you can probably going back to what we talked about in the last episode, I think the snowflake theory. You need to know what that snowflake looks like so you can best help them plan their future. And Debt and you know, car payments and things, is all part of life, but it all works together and that's that's why it's so...

...important to talk with somebody like you who gets it and who puts all the pieces together, so that we can just bring all the all of our pieces and statements and say here, figure it out, and in a short period of time you can say, okay, here's what's going on, here's what I see. Let's talk about that. Where you wanting to go? Here's how we get there, right, and you just it's a step by step process that people walk with you through, and the cool thing about it it's step by step and that indicates that there's action involved, and that's really what we've been talking about in this episode. Is is how do you plan for action and take action, and it's got to be a relief when somebody says good, that means done. John's taking care of that. We're going to be in a great spot and we'll connect with you, John in what a few months. I mean, how often do you meet with your clients, as at an annual review or what? What do you typically do? We what we like to do is we like to meet quarterly with our clients. Some clients don't like that, so we then move to semi annually and and there are a few clients that we struggle even to be any but if we...

...can't meet annually with the client, we're probably going apart ways even you know, hey, that's how we get paid and make a living. It is so important that sort of that last stage of the plan where you set up a system to communicate regularly, even if the meeting is fifteen minutes long, to understand what's going on in that clients life. Or if nothing's going on and everything's flowing along splendidly, that's that's fine, but we still need to know that and and know if the plan is still on track. Quarterly is good. If it gets to be a monthly thing. That's probably often the reason for that is is you start to you start to judge your investments based on too short a time period and and people can get emotional and get get concerned. And a semi annually it works for for many of our clients and and that's a really good time period as well. Just look at about every six months. It really depends on the client and again it goes back to...

...the idea of the snowflake theory and the idea that we're all different and we have different situations. And it also goes back to the idea that when I hear that financial advisors, or call them the robot advisors or whatever, put people into a quote unquote model portfolio, put all their clients as one size fits all. Right, just really disagree with that theory. One size doesn't fit all. Here all extremely different and enaging each individual client as they are, portfolio as it should be man is for them, is very important and that's why that regular meeting schedule is also important, because their lives change differently than my life does, certainly right, and differently than our other clients lives. Wow, that's going and with quarterly meetings I can definitely see how you play into it. Of Hey, we get John, we just had another child. We think we need to buy a minivan now, and you could play into that to go. Well, you can, but do you have...

...to buy a new one? Maybe we could buy you know, and just counsel and wisdom that you bring to the table that really helps people impact their lives as they're building their portfolio. So just really want to encourage people to reach out to you, John. You know he does his his website, or just pick up the phone and call him. He'll and actually answer the phone and talk with you too, and make sure you ask for a copy of his book. It's a phenomenal book how to build a life and not just a portfolio. So, John Browning, thank you, as always, a pleasure talking with you. Appreciate the the insides and the wisdom and the time that you give us today. Thank you, always a pleasure. So thanks for listening to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Be Sure to subscribe to this podcast so each new episode will be sent to you automatically when it is released. Have a terrific day,.

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