Do you ever feel like listening to a 20 minute podcast takes too long? We now offer transcripts to all our podcasts. Enjoy!
Steve: All right. Welcome to Plan For Life Now. This is a … Oh, hold on. You, you go ahead and talk. I’m going to figure out which episode we’re on.
Steve: No, we’re not testing.
Dave: Oh, we’re not testing?
Steve: No, I’m saying you talk. You carry on.
Dave: Oh, I thought it wasn’t working.
Steve: No, it’s working.
Dave: Oh, I just want to not edit this. This is, oh my gosh, behind the scenes stuff.
Steve: I just want to-
Dave: Plan For Life Now podcast, because usually before we start, I test this by saying test.
Dave: That’s how old I am. I still test things like I was doing when radio was invented, by saying the word test. Okay?
Steve: Okay. And we are episode-
Dave: Is it working now?
Steve: It was working all along.
Steve: I was just looking for which episode we are on episode number 55.
Dave: All right.
Steve: And it’s actually appropriate. Our topic for today was, we want to talk in detail about a meeting that we had with one of our clients. He’s been a long time client, and we talked to him. He said, “Oh, I love the podcast. I listen. What are you up to now? Episode 55?
Steve: He was right.
Dave: He listens.
Steve: We’re on episode-
Dave: All of you who listen … It’s interesting. You either never listen to our podcast, or you really are into it and listen to it a lot and know and remember way more than I remember.
Dave: While I’m broadcasting the podcast with you, so we appreciate that.
Steve: Okay, so let’s, let’s set up this discussion here. So like we said, we want to talk about this particular client. His approach to his overall financial plan, his situation, and why we think probably everybody could learn a little bit of something from his approach to how, how he tackles his finances.
Dave: Right. And we’re not using his real name. Obviously. We’re calling him Bob.
Steve: So here.
Steve: We independently came up with the idea of calling him Bob.
Dave: You and I both thought Bob.
Steve: I just thought Bob, you know, It make sense, right?
Steve: So, okay.
Dave: But Bob.
Steve: Okay. So let, let’s tell the whole story, because we … Really to tell this story properly, we’ve got to go back to the beginning of when we met Bob. So we met Bob back in 2010, right? So longtime client. Bob came into our office in [Tysons 00:03:10] and Bob said, “Guys, could you, could you come down to my car with me and help me get some stuff? I’ve got a few things in the car for you guys to get.”
Dave: Right, which I think the first and last time we’ve ever gone to the client’s car to get items. You and I have only carried items once. It was that time with Bob
Steve: From a car? Yeah.
Dave: From a car.
Steve: Yeah. So we went down to Bob’s car. You know, keep in mind, Dave and I are dressed in shirts and ties, you know, look very professional, and Bob had boxes and paperwork in his car.
Steve: I’m not talking one box, I’m not talking a shoe box, I’m talking those big file boxes that you have. And he, they were full of paperwork. So we’re loaded up with these boxes, carrying them upstairs. As Dave likes to say, we looked like we were the FBI.
Dave: Right. It looks like we’re raiding Michael Cohen’s office.
Steve: Right. ,We had busted some white collar criminal and we were going to do a little forensic accounting for him. But Bob had a lot of different accounts in a lot of different places. And we’ve many times before talked about this phenomenon, and we’ve, we’ve called it junk drawer financial planning. And the term junk drawer financial planning basically means you’ve got a lot of different accounts spread out in a lot of different places. And these people tend to be very good savers. They’re very good at putting money away, but they just kind of have everything all over the place.
Steve: It’s, it’s not consolidated. There’s no coordinated plan. They save something, they forget about it. You know, it’s like the squirrel that buries nuts all over the place, and you’re not quite sure where all the nuts are.
Dave: And Bob was the poster boy of junk drawer.
Steve: Absolutely. But let me reiterate, you know, this is someone who knew he needed to save, was a very good saver, had put away money regularly and religiously. So that is, you know, that’s of course first and foremost when it comes to to financial planning and investing is, saving money regularly.
Steve: And he certainly …
Dave: He’s great at that.
Steve: … captured that easily. So you know, clearly we’ve had a relationship with Bob here for the last, you know, going on 10 years or so. But we met with him just recently, and we met for about two hours. It was a pretty long meeting. And Bob had a lot of different questions, but in particular, why we wanted to highlight this meeting and this interaction here was the way that he approaches his finances and what other people might take away from this.
Steve: So first and foremost, I just said we met for two meet two hours, right. It was a pretty long meeting. Bob had a lot of questions, and Bob’s approach to things is he cuts out articles from newspapers.
Steve: And, and says, “You know what, I want to ask Dave and Steve about this.”
Dave: Right. It could be periodicals, could be newspapers. It could be an AARP newsletter, it could be … Whatever he finds about financial retirement planning, he cuts it out, saves it for our meeting, and then we go through.
Steve: Yeah, and I mean some people, and we’ve got other clients who do similar things, and they’ll call about it. They’ll drop it in the mail, you know, whatever, email about it. You know, Bob’s approach happens to be, okay, I’m going to collect this stuff up, but I want to ask about it because I don’t understand this. You know, I, he knows enough, but he’s, I don’t think I’m going to hurt his feelings and say he’s not a financial expert. Most people who don’t do this aren’t. But he knows enough to say, “Okay, I should be asking these questions.”
Steve: And they were a lot of really good questions. I mean, it was about, you know, making Roth contributions about, you know, different types of index funds. It was about withdrawals and about beneficiaries. These are all things that you should be educating yourself about. You know, you should have at least a passing knowledge of these various things. The other really, I don’t want to say good approach, but the good thing about Bob’s situation is he’s had a lot of health issues recently. Last six months. You know, he told us some stories about, you know, he’s had prostate cancer. It’s, you know, prostate cancer, nowadays it seems like the treatment is kind of a wait and see thing. My uncle has this.
Dave: And the recovery and being in remission from prostate cancer is super good. Similar to breast cancer.
Steve: Yeah, it’s very high.
Dave: No, it’s not 100% curable, but similar to breast cancer, the male version might be prostate cancer. When you look at, you know, recovery and going out with your life.
Steve: So he’s had prostate cancer for five and a half years, but kind of in a wait and see mode, had to take a more aggressive treatment approach here this year. And he had a small stroke event and then some other complications related to all of this.
Dave: Right. You’re going to get back to that part of the story. I’m going to go back to 2010 when we met him.
Dave: Gathered all his information. Do what you do with every client, find out what they have, what they don’t have, go through their investments. And what do we think the best financial planners, retirement planners do? Also go through their insurance. And he had no longterm care insurance, and like most people we meet, not a lot of knowledge of what this is. I believe he attended, after that first meeting, one of my longterm care seminars. Don’t remember. I think he did. But anyway, bottom line is, in 2010 also, we ended up doing the longterm care insurance on him as well.
Dave: Now … this was all before the health issues that you just mentioned.
Steve: Yeah. But that, that’s a good point because you know, when we’re sitting down and we’re walking through the office, and we’ve got these file boxes of all different investments and all over the place, we’re taking a look at his overall situation. You know, I, I’m not an accountant, I’m not an attorney. We’re not giving tax and legal advice. What we’re looking at, investments, we’re looking at insurance, we’re looking at the taxable impact of things. We’re looking at beneficiary designations. You know, how those should be structured. You know, so we have to look at that overall portfolio.
Dave: Right. So I think that plays a role in what’s going on now, the fact that he has longterm care insurance. Hasn’t had it for awhile. Then, this is what happens. Now, later in life, remember it was 2010 when we met on … when he had prostate. I’m trying to remember what year that was.
Steve: Five and a half years, he’s had it.
Steve: So he’s, he’s had it for a couple of, you know, for awhile since we’ve known him. But like I said, it was kind of a wait and see approach, and then this year had to get a little bit more aggressive on that.
Steve: But the, the whole point in talking about this, and the point Dave brought up before we went on the air here, is just for single people or people who are not married or widowed or whatever, having this relationship with a financial advisor, where you have this trusted contact, where you can tell your family members, whoever’s going to take care of your, your money. I’m thinking of another one of our clients who recently had her nephew added as an authorized individual on her accounts, because she said, “You know what? If I’m in the hospital and there are bills that need to be paid, I can’t call you, if I’m in a coma. Who’s going to call?” Well, somebody has to be able to do that. In this case, Bob, you know, we were discussing all this. And he said, “Well, I really got to get my stuff together to make sure the trustee for my estate knows who you guys are, knows about this longterm care insurance.”
Steve: And I mean you-
Dave: Think about Bob had a stroke, and thank goodness, his recovery to that stroke has been great. And as far as faculties … and besides just the fact that we’re talking, we talk clinically, like financial advisors do. Bob’s a really good guy. He’s one of, he’s a great person. Every time we meet him, we always fist bump. That’s what we do with him. I don’t know where that started, but that’s what we do whenever we meet him, for some reason. And I just like the guy and I, like I said, I’m just glad that you’re with us, you know?
Dave: But the reality is, what if that stroke went the other way?
Dave: And now you’re somewhat, even somewhat incapacitated. Think about how that trust factor, you know, retirement planning and all the intricacies of what we do that aren’t just growing your money is hard enough for couples. When we have our married couples. But for single people, and now something happens to you, that relationship is even … It’s even more important.
Dave: And that’s why the trust factor, and unlike anything else … I mean a lot of you listening are our clients, and you’ve been our clients for years, a trust factor is only built over time, but having that with your financial advisor is so incredibly important for people who are … We use the word retired, but I’ll just say as you’re getting older and more things happen to your health.
Steve: Yeah, I mean this is something I was thinking about with another client that I was dealing with recently, is, is meeting with their children. This was a separate client of mine that I was meeting with. They’re 89 and 87 years old, and they said, you know, at some point we’re not going to be around, right? Health’s okay now, but we’re not going to be around forever. Would you mind meeting with our kids now, so that we’ve got an, they have an understanding of what are the assets, what taxes are going to be due. What, you know, how’s that gonna work?
Steve: So I went ahead and did this and met with these, these, the kids, to give them … And I say kids, the kids are 65 and 70, or maybe not 70. But the kids are a little older. But to give them an understanding for, okay, this is how it’s going to work. This is what Mom and Dad have. Here are the assets.
Steve: Now, most of our clients aren’t quite that old, right? So most of our clients are-
Dave: No, we have … When we have clients who bring their kids, they’re usually closer to your age. You know, around 40 or 30’s as a general rule. Maybe you’d be the median age, between 35 and 40 is usually when we have these kids who come. But wow. I mean that makes total sense. You know, if you trust your children enough, you know, to, to hear what you have. Some people don’t want their kids to know what they have and I totally get that.
Dave: But if it’s not that type of scenario, and you trust them, it sure is nice for them to know. To see these, you know, us and to see what you have, to understand how it’s invested. And then, you know, when inevitably you pass away, they are … way more well-versed, not only what you have, but in the investment side of things in general.
Dave: Which is going to help them when they inherit that money a lot.
Steve: Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, just, you know, our takeaway after Dave and I were driving home from this meeting. You know, we were talking about, you know, gosh he, he has the right idea. He stays on top of things. He’s planning for, you know, what, if something happens to me. Got to make sure that the right people have the right contact information. Obviously, he’s planned for the long term care, you know, which could really wipe somebody out if they haven’t planned for that.
Steve: All right. So, you know, I think the larger point in this whole podcast is, you know, thinking through, you know, well, how am I going to handle my finances? You know, not only now when I’m alive and well and ,still thinking clearly, but later on down the line when maybe my mental faculties aren’t there as much. Am I going to have a family member involved? You know, do I need to have some sort of corporate trustee involved?
Steve: We’ve come across cases where, you know, someone’s father left a pretty nice inheritance, but he knew that his daughter and his daughter’s husband like to spend money. So he put it in spendthrift provisions on that trust. Doesn’t allow them to take out big lumps of money. And they can still take out money to support themselves, but you know, it doesn’t go beyond that.
Steve: So I mean, these are the kinds of things that you, kind of next-level things that you need to be thinking about, you know, with your financial plan as you age.
Dave: Yeah. My takeaway is, people come initially to a financial advisor, and a lot of times their, the one, number one thing on their mind is, I want to grow my money the best I can. And I’m assuming you’re going to pick the best investments for me, based on what I want. And that’s why I think people come.
Dave: But when you really look at over a long period of time, the best financial advisors provide, to the best as they can, that. You know, you want to get as good investment return as you can, but for the fee, you know, there’s so much more involved. There’s so many intricacies, and this is just another one of them.
Dave: The, the, the reality that as you get older, a lot of this financial stuff gets more complicated. And you, most people as they get older, dealing with all that complication, is more difficult without a health event happening to you, let alone a health event occurring. And more and more as medical science is better at keeping us alive through everything, you’re not dying from those medical events. But they might, they hurt your ability to work the right way on your financial plan.
Dave: And this is why I feel like financial advisors who do the kind of work we do, which is working with older people, are becoming, you know, more and more important, as all of this stuff is sort of working together as we move into the pretty soon 2020s and beyond.
Steve: All right, thanks for listening. We will check in again with you next month.