Investments

11 Tax Tips for Tax Time

By Dean Barber

February 11, 2021

11 Tax Tips for Tax Time


Key Points – 11 Tax Tips for Tax Time:

  • 11 tax tips for now and in the future
  • Required minimum distribution planning
  • Social Security planning
  • Asset Allocation and Asset Location
  • 23 minute read | 39 minutes to listen

Watch 11 Tax Tips for Tax Time

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year, it’s tax time! Well, maybe not. Join Dean Barber and JoAnn Huber, CPA and CFP®, as they discuss 11 tax tips for tax time. Believe it or not, what you’re doing during tax season is reporting history. The question really is: What can you do to reduce your tax bill in the future?

Listen to 11 Tax Tips for Tax Time

Webinar: Tax Reduction Strategies 

Podcast: IRAs versus Roth IRAs Pt. 1

Podcast: IRAs versus Roth IRAs Pt. 2 Complimentary Consultation


11 Tax Tips for Tax Time

Dean Barber: Thanks so much for joining us here on America’s Wealth Management Show. I’m your host Dean Barber. Bud Kasper is out on a little hiatus, having a minor medical procedure done, some surgery.

JoAnn Huber: I think he’d much rather be here.

Tax Time is Around the Corner

Dean Barber: I think he would be. And so filling in for Bud is the one and only JoAnn Huber, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CPA, and JoAnn, it’s tax time. So, we’re lucky to have you in here for the next hour. What we want to talk about today is tax tips for tax time. And, of course, this is that time of year that everybody but the crazy CPA’s dread. You guys love it because it’s your favorite thing in the-

JoAnn Huber: We might dread it more than you guys think. Too much of a good thing is bad.

Dean Barber: I know that you guys are all pretty much wiped out by the time tax season is over.

JoAnn Huber: That’s true.

Recent Tax Code Changes

Dean Barber: And there’s been a lot of changes to the tax code over the last 18 months. And my guess is with a new Administration, we’re going to have many more changes to the tax code over the next 18 months.

JoAnn Huber: I would guess you’re right. I think right now they’re focused on a few other things like vaccines and an impeachment trial, but that will come.

Dean Barber: Yeah. Correct. So when we start talking about these tax tips for tax time, I want to set the stage by reminding everybody that as long as you live in the United States and have money or make money, taxes will be a fact of your life. So this is a recurring theme.

And the biggest part about the recurring theme of taxes is that if you know that they’re going to be a fact of life forever, as long as you have money or make money, you need to do advanced planning. While what we’re doing now is reporting history, they call it tax compliance, right, following the law, filing your taxes, that’s your tax compliance, but we’re reporting history right now.

Dean Barber: So, while people gather all of their documents to report history, we thought it would be interesting to put together a list of what we believe are the top 11 things you need to be doing while you’re gathering those documents to file your taxes for 2020. 

Tax Tip #1: Beneficiaries

So JoAnn, number one on our list, because we’ve seen nightmares occur in this particular scenario, it’s simple, and it sounds crazy that this is something that we should do in tax time, but check your beneficiaries. Why is that critical?

JoAnn Huber: Often, people think the beneficiaries are set, and then they have a parent pass away. And all of a sudden, find out that there wasn’t a beneficiary listed, or it was the wrong person. And even though they thought that retirement account would go to children, it might go to an ex-spouse, might have nobody listed, and then you have to go through probate.

So there are all kinds of problems that might occur if you’re not reviewing those beneficiary forms. It’s like checking the batteries in the smoke alarm. You need to do it every so often. And so tax time is a great time to check those beneficiaries and make sure you have the person receiving it that you want to receive it when you pass away.

The Beneficiary Form Reigns Supreme

Dean Barber: It’s interesting because I’ve been part of Ed Slot’s Elite IRA Advisor Group now for 15 plus years, and we get together and study as a group at least four days a year of pretty intense study. And every single time we get together, JoAnn, we are reviewing court cases of people’s IRAs or 401(k)s that had the wrong beneficiary or no beneficiary and the lawsuits that are going on.

And you know what it always comes back to? Whatever was on the beneficiary form is the rule of the land. And that’s just what it is. We had a scenario recently where a gentleman passed on, and his ex-wife was still on the beneficiary form of the IRA. And the child of that couple is now trying to say, no, that’s my money. Dad wanted that money to go to me. Well, it’s not on the beneficiary form; it was in the divorce decree. Well, the divorce decree isn’t the law of the land when it comes to a retirement account. It is the beneficiary form.

JoAnn Huber: Right. Many people will also think that if they have a trust, that will supersede the beneficiary form, which is not how it works. That beneficiary form is the ruling document for how that account gets transferred.

Make Sure Your Parent’s Beneficiary Forms Are in Order

Dean Barber: So that must be accurate. Now it may not affect you personally, but it’s going to affect your beneficiaries or whoever your ultimate beneficiaries are. Still, your parents, their beneficiary forms need to be checked as well.

JoAnn Huber: Right. So, if you have a parent that you’re concerned about it, sit down with them and say, you know what, let’s go through all of your different accounts. And it’s a perfect time to do that too because then you’re aware, especially if you’re going to be the estate administrator, the trustee, or executor, to go through and see what they have. And so you can get an idea of the different assets they have, where they’re held, how they’re titled, and who the beneficiaries are. It’s really good to review that on an annual basis and make sure things are up to date.

Tax Tip #2: Account Titling

Dean Barber: Right. And while you’re doing that, item number two is to check the titling of your accounts. In other words, do you have joint tenants with the right of survivorship? Do you have tenants in common? Is it titled in a trust? Is it titled as a transfer on death or a pay on death? How are the accounts titled, and are they titled correctly? That’s a big one on the checklist, JoAnn.

JoAnn Huber: It is. Because if you look at the brokerage accounts, it will go to the surviving spouse if you have a joint account. But if it’s an individual account, it’s going to go on that beneficiary form. And if you want it to be in a trust, titling should be the name of the trust. So, it’s essential to make sure that what you want is how it’s titled.

Understand Your Situation

Dean Barber: So there are all kinds of things that we’re going to go through here on today’s show. But I want to make everybody aware right now that JoAnn and I have an on-demand Tax Reduction Strategies webinar. Just click here to watch. While you’re out there, I want to encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Let’s visit about your overall financial plan and especially your tax plan. We have CPAs, estate planning attorneys, insurance experts, et cetera. But the consultation gets you asking, “Okay, what do I want my financial life to look like, and what am I doing about it? Are there strategies I can employ now to help me get to where I want to be?”

JoAnn Huber: Another thing to think about when we’re looking at that, you’ve talked about the financial plan, and when we’re looking at those different assets, it’s crucial to see how they play into that. So we’re going to look at things like, are you saving in the right location? And let’s talk about that next.

Dean Barber: Yeah. You’re talking about testing your 401(k) or your IRA contributions. That’s great.

Tax Tip #3: Traditional or Roth Contributions?

Dean Barber: Now, item number 3 on our checklist here is to test your 401(k) and IRA contributions to determine if you should be doing traditional contributions or Roth contributions. Why is that important, JoAnn?

JoAnn Huber: Well, it’s going to impact your taxes both this year and in the future. Whatever you put that money into is going to have a tax impact when it comes out. And so it goes back to the old saying that we’ve said over and over again, about when you put money in, you need to know what it’s going to cost you to get it out.

If you’re in a higher tax rate now, it might be better to be saving traditional; if you’re in a lower rate, go with a Roth. And so you need to look at how is it going to impact you today? And then when you hit retirement. What’s that cash flow, and what are the tax costs going to be?

Dean Barber: To me, this is one of the most significant decisions and an area where we see people making the most mistakes are, they’re not contributing to the right 401(k) or IRAs because they now have options that can be a Roth, or it can be traditional. 

Learn More About Roth vs. Traditional

We don’t have time to get into the details of the Roth vs. traditional here today. But we do have episodes one and two of The Guided Retirement Show, where JoAnn and I dig deep into Roth IRA versus traditional IRA and Roth, 401(k) versus traditional 401(k). All of that is on your favorite podcast app, YouTube, or right here.

JoAnn Huber: Yeah. And we also have an article coming out in a couple of weeks where we dive into that and discuss it in more detail.

Dean Barber: But it is critical.

Tax Tip #4: Required Minimum Distributions

Dean Barber: All right, so item number 4, let’s continue to move here. We have 11 items on our checklist, and we’re going to get a little more in-depth on some of these. So, item number 4 is your required minimum distributions, and many of you listening are already getting required minimum distributions because you’re beyond the age of 72.

Those of you that are not 72 yet should be looking forward and planning for those required minimum distributions.

When Ed Slott wrote his book, The Retirement Savings Time Bomb and How to Defuse It, he was talking specifically about what happens when required minimum distributions start, and you have too much money in those traditional IRAs or traditional 401(k) and how to get around it. So planning for that requirement of distributions, JoAnn, is huge.

Charitable Distributions & Social Security

JoAnn Huber: Right, and that ties right into where you save. So you need to know where you save and then what’s the required minimum distribution going to look like. I think an important thing for those who are already retired this year and have those required minimum distributions is, should you be looking at qualified charitable distributions?

For those approaching retirement, five to 10 years out, you need to question, “What impact is that going to have on my plan? Is it going to cause more of my Social Security to be taxable? Is it going to cause qualified dividends and long-term capital gains to be taxable?” So we want to be looking at what impact that RMD will have on your other income sources and the tax agent.

The RMD Age and the QCD Age, Thanks for the Confusion

Dean Barber: Right, and it’s not just this year, it’s in the future. By the way, just so we are clear on the qualified charitable distribution, you don’t have to be RMD age. They screwed that up when they changed the rules, JoAnn. They left the QCD at seventy and a half, and they moved the RMD to age 72.

JoAnn Huber: Well, I think people should be thankful that they have an extra year and a half. They can take advantage of the qualified charitable distribution. It’s beneficial for most people because, with the higher standard deduction amount we have, people don’t itemize it often. It’s a way to give to charity out of an IRA without including that in taxable income.

Dean Barber: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think that if you’re going to give to charity, the QCD, once you’re over age seventy and a half is the right thing, but you can’t do it in the year that you turn seventy and a half. You have to be seventy and a half or older when you do the QCD, or it doesn’t work.

JoAnn Huber: Right. It’s all in those roles and let’s make it as complicated as we can.

Planning Ahead for RMDs

Dean Barber: Yeah, all right. So we got those RMDs. We’re going to plan for those and plan for those into the future. Don’t just think about it in a given year.

JoAnn Huber: I think it’s essential too that this allows you to look at the overall financial plan and say, am I on track? People listening to the show today might be saying these are not going to save me any taxes when I file my return this year, and that’s not what we’re all about. We’re looking at the long-term tax savings. So we need to look at things and say, “what do I need to be doing today that’s going to save me taxes over my lifetime?”

Tax Reduction Strategies Webinar

Dean Barber: Well, and that’s what our Tax Reduction Strategies webinar is all about. It’s on-demand right here. While you’re out there, I’d love for you to go ahead and schedule a complimentary consultation, and let’s have a visit, whether it’s by phone, virtual meeting, or it’s in-person. Let’s talk about your overall financial situation; what are your goals? What are your objectives? 

We can talk to you about our Guided Retirement System™. We designed it to help you not just get to retirement but through retirement and tackle all the tough areas. Areas such as taxes, estate planning, risk management, investment management, goal setting, intermediate-term goals, long-term goals, and your short-term goals.

Tax Tip #5: Consolidate Your Accounts

Diversification Doesn’t Mean Multiple Accounts

Now, JoAnn, when you’re gathering up all these documents, you still see people coming in with a mountain of documents where they’ve got accounts scattered all over the place. For some reason, people heard the term diversify and think that diversifying means having accounts at multiple locations. I have to have IRAs, multiple locations. That’s not diversification, folks. That’s not what it’s talking about.

JoAnn Huber: Or they’re trying to keep the postal service in business.

Dean Barber: I don’t know what they’re doing, you know? They’re chopping down a few more trees and adding to the recycle bin.

Simplify Your Financial Situation

But the thing is, it’s complicating their life. It’s taking more time to keep track of all of those accounts and different things. So a tax tip we have is to consolidate those accounts. Simplify your financial life. So if you have five different bank accounts, do you need those five accounts? Or would you be okay with one or two? 

If you have IRAs and retirement plans spread out, you worked for three or four different employers and have plans there. Can you now go through and put them into one IRA for you and one for a spouse if you’re married and try to simplify things and make it easier both now and then when you pass away for your beneficiaries?

Dean Barber: Well, I think one of the dangers of having so many accounts spread across so many different financial institutions is that it’s challenging to understand your asset allocation.

JoAnn Huber: True, and if you have different advisors for all of those. Is there any communication going on? Are you just repeating the same allocation or something very similar? So you don’t have that diversification that you thought you had.

Sneak Peek at Tax Tip #7

Dean Barber: Yeah. Checking your asset allocation while you’re getting all your stuff together for taxes is item number 7 on our checklist. That’s pretty, self-explanatory checking the asset allocation. What’s not so self-explanatory, JoAnn is something called checking your asset location. It ties into tax diversification, but asset location is critical. 

JoAnn Huber: The important thing is to do something.

Tax Prep Versus Tax Planning

Dean Barber: When you are doing tax planning, it isn’t right now during tax prep season.

JoAnn Huber: No, we’re just trying to get through because it’s such a compressed timeframe to get the returns filed.

Dean Barber: Wouldn’t you say the most critical work you do for your clients is after April 15th and before December 31st?

JoAnn Huber: Absolutely, because that’s where we make a difference and save the taxes.

Dean Barber: That’s where you start to make that long-term plan. JoAnn, you want to make me live my one best financial life, just reduce the amount of taxes that I have to pay. Can you do that?

JoAnn Huber: You and so many others have that desire.

Dean Barber: I don’t mind paying what I have to pay, what I’m legally obligated to pay, but I don’t want to pay any more than I’m legally bound to pay. Yet, so many people pay more than they’re legally obligated to pay because they’re missing opportunities and lack a long-term tax strategy. 

When we say that you’re paying more than what you’re legally obligated to pay doesn’t mean that your tax return preparation was improper all the time. Now, sometimes it does, but most of the time, that’s not the case. It’s just that you missed opportunities throughout the year because you didn’t plan ahead.

Dean Barber: That’s why we’re talking about the tax tips for tax time, and that is really what our Tax Reduction Strategies Webinar is all about. You can get that on-demand right here. A ton more information than what we’re able to bring out here on America’s Wealth Management Show. While you’re there, make sure and schedule your complimentary consultation so that we can help you live your one best financial life. 

Tax Tip #6 Asset Location

Dean Barber: We’re talking about these tax tips for tax time with JoAnn and a little bit about asset location. From a CPA’s perspective, what does that mean?

JoAnn Huber: What it means to me is you’ve got to make sure that you’re investing in the right assets in the proper account. For example, if you have a taxable account, you might not want to invest in bonds where you’re going to be generating a lot of interest income because that’s all going to be taxed as ordinary income. 

You might want to be looking at investing in stocks. When you sell those, you’re going to get, hopefully, long-term capital gains. Or they’re going to generate dividends that hopefully are the qualified dividends because both the long-term capital gains and the qualified dividends have preferential tax rates. It’s all about looking at where you need to be saving, so you can minimize the tax you have to pay on that income. 

There is No Rule of Thumb for Asset Location

Dean Barber: It’s critical, right? And there’s not a rule of thumb for this, right?

JoAnn Huber: No, there’s not.

Dean Barber: It’s one of those things where each person is in a different situation. They’re in a different earnings level today, different income level today. They have other financial goals and different spending goals. You have to look at each individual’s situation. And for you to understand that, for you as the CPA to do your job, they have to have a comprehensive financial plan completed for you to be able to say, “This is where your asset location should be.”

JoAnn Huber: Right. And that’s where we have to go back. That financial plan is the foundation for everything we do. Most people don’t understand how important it is because it tells us what they want to do and how we will get there. Taxes is where we go through to improve the plan, but it’s not the plan.

Dean Barber: Asset location, definitely, over the long haul, will have an impact on how many taxes or how much tax you pay throughout your life.

Where Are You Saving and How Are You Saving?

JoAnn Huber: Right. It ties into so many of the other things we’ve already discussed: where are you saving, and how should you save? Another thing with the asset location is it goes back to the income stream because so often, people will be getting interest or dividends, and they’ll be reinvesting. Then, when they’re retired and they have to take money out of the IRA, now they’re almost paying double tax because they’re paying tax on what they earned on their investments, plus what they take out living expenses.

Dean Barber: You and I have seen that too many times. People just don’t think about it because this is how I do it.

JoAnn Huber: You always reinvest.

Dean Barber: Sometimes, it just requires somebody looking at it from an outside objective point of view and looking at it through the lens of a CPA, through the lens of a certified financial planner, to catch the things that are right in front of you. And once they’re pointed out, it’s like, “Oh, okay, that makes a lot of sense.”

JoAnn Huber: It makes sense.

Dean Barber: If I could go back and redo the last five or ten years, look at all the money I’d have. Well, Let’s talk about how much you’re going to have in the future because you’re making those adjustments.

Tax Tip #7: Asset Allocation

Dean Barber: No, not tax tip six again, asset allocation. Asset allocation is essential to check because risk is ever-present in every type of asset you own. I don’t care if it’s in real estate, bank accounts, bonds, stocks, international stocks, et cetera. Wherever it’s at, every asset class has risk, just different types of risk. And how your money is allocated will determine, to a large degree, the success or failure of your long-term investment strategy.

Everybody has something that I like to call the goldilocks portfolio, the portfolio that’s just right for you. There is an allocation with the proper asset allocation based on your tolerance for risk, your need for a return, your time horizon, et cetera, for your needs. If you want to find out more about that, check out the article that my brother Shane wrote called, What Should I Invest My Money In? Asset allocation is critical.

Tax Tip #8: Check Your Social Security Statement

JoAnn Huber: Social Security is a fixed income source that most people will have once they hit retirement. So, it’s important to check your Social Security statement and make sure that it’s accurate. Especially this year, there has been a lot of unemployment fraud. It’s important to go through and check your Social Security statement and make sure that it’s accurate.

Dean Barber: By the way, if you don’t know where to find it online, it’s ssa.gov to find your Social Security statement online. One of the things that get missed, JoAnn, that you and I see an awful lot is a misunderstanding about spousal benefits for Social Security. 

Spousal Benefits

They may have had one of the other spouses stayed home for an extended period. They didn’t have as high earnings. So, they may look at it and say, “Well, my Social Security benefits can be minimal. What’s the point of even worrying about it?” Well, what you may not know is that the spouse of the higher income earner will get a minimum of their benefit or 50% of the higher income earner’s benefit. But some reductions come into play there if you start it early. 

There’s a point at which it stops growing. It maxes out at age 66. Then, a few months, depending upon what year you were born, they’ve made that pretty complicated too, but understanding what those future Social Security benefits will be is a big part of your overall plan.

How Does Social Security Fit in Your Overall Plan?

JoAnn Huber: That spousal benefit also applies if you’re divorced. If you were married for over ten years, you could still qualify for that spousal benefit. So it’s essential to look at your Social Security earnings and understand how it fits in with your plan. How do you maximize the benefits you’re receiving and keeping from Social Security?

Dean Barber: Yeah, we’ve said, and we haven’t talked about Social Security planning for quite a few months, but we’ve done many shows on Social Security. One of the key things about Social Security is that we should view it as the foundation of your retirement income strategy. There are several different strategies on how to claim your Social Security best. There are north of 600 various iterations for the average couple on how you claim your Social Security. The difference between the best and the worst frequently results in significant additional lifetime income.

JoAnn Huber: It is a big decision and one that needs to be made as part of a full financial plan because if you’re looking at it as a standalone, you’re maybe not going to make the best decision for yourself.

Social Security Has Preferential Tax Treatment Unless You Disqualify Yourself

Dean Barber: Well, and Social Security always has preferential tax treatment.

JoAnn Huber: Until you somehow disqualify it from that preferential treatment.

Dean Barber: But at the very least, 15% of your Social Security is going to be tax-free, right.

JoAnn Huber: Right.

Dean Barber: At the very least. But you could get much more of it tax-free if you know what you’re doing.

JoAnn Huber: Right. So it’s essential to look at that and say, “What can we do to reduce the taxation of Social Security?” It’s also important to tell people that even if it’s 85%, that’s not a bad thing. It just means you did a good job saving during your working years and you have more income.

Bonus Tax Tip – Roth Conversions and Social Security

Dean Barber: We didn’t put this one on our checklist, JoAnn, but I think it is worth mentioning right now. If you’re considering doing Roth conversions, understand the impact on your Social Security’s taxability, especially if you’re already getting Social Security benefits. That’s a big one.

JoAnn Huber: Yes, it is. That’s where it all goes back to you looking at all the income sources and what impact does it have on everything else.

Dean Barber: The exciting thing, if you haven’t noticed, is that our tax tips for tax time aren’t necessarily about reporting history. They’re about creating a new future for you, and it all ties to your overall financial plan. 

Get a complimentary consultation here with one a CFP®. We can do a phone call, a virtual meeting, or we’re happy to meet in person if you’re comfortable doing that. We’ve got a few more things that we’re going to touch on here on our checklist. We’re going to talk about adjusting withholdings, planning your income streams, and finally, updating your plan. 

Tax Tip #9 Adjusting Your Withholding or Quarterly Estimates

Dean Barber: JoAnn, here’s one that we’re going to move on now to number 9 on our checklist of 11 tax tips for tax time, adjusting your withholding or adjusting your quarterly estimates.

JoAnn Huber:  When you get your tax return done if you have a big refund or you owe a lot, the way you can adjust that as looking at your withholding or the estimated tax payments you’re making. And so nobody wants to get a huge refund or pay a lot, and so it’s just a great time to go through and review that and make changes as necessary.

Dean Barber: Something that I’ve seen in that particular subject, JoAnn, that I don’t like is that if somebody is working with a CPA or EA or just someone doing the tax preparation, and they don’t know that person’s whole financial picture. 

A Quick Example

Let’s say that somebody had something extraordinary that happened in the prior year that caused them to have to pay extra money. I’ve seen so many times where people will come in. They go, “I’m making these estimated payments, and they’re huge. They’re killing me.” 

I’m like, “Why are you making those estimated payments?” 

“Well, because my CPA told me too well.”

“Okay. Does your CPA know your financial situation changed this year and what happened last year is going to occur again this year?”

“Well, we didn’t talk about that.”

 I’m like, “Oh my god. So we’re just going to give the government an interest-free loan for the next 12 months.”

What if You Have More Income?

JoAnn Huber: Right. And then, on the flip side, if you have some event that causes more income and you don’t adjust, you might end up paying penalties in interest because taxes aren’t due on April 15th. They’re due throughout the year. And if you don’t pay in enough, they’re going to penalize you and say, pay us a little bit extra.

Dean Barber: Sometimes, those withholdings or the quarterly estimates need to be adjusted throughout the year. That’s where the open dialogue between your certified financial planner and your CPA with yourself in the same room, all three together, can make this more accurate and avoid overpayment or avoid underpayment and then penalties.

JoAnn Huber: On the other hand, you have to remember that for very few people, the withholding will create either tax savings or tax costs. It’s just what amount you’re going to owe or get back at the end of the year. We’ve talked about other things that are a lot more important to focus on than the withholding.

Tax Tip #10: Plan Your Income Stream

Dean Barber: I agree with you. So number 10 is to plan your income stream for current and future years. Why would you do that while you’re getting all your stuff ready for taxes, JoAnn?

JoAnn Huber: Because it’s going to impact what your taxes will look like for the rest of your life. And so it’s nice to say, okay, I know this is what I have because you’re going through and reviewing everything. And you can say is this year indicative of what the future’s going to look like? If you’re still working, retirement’s going to look different. 

If you’re retired, maybe things will be the same, but you’re in the go-go years where you’re going to be spending more. And so we’re looking to say, what income are you going to need? The next piece that comes to the tax piece is how are you going to fund that? What bucket do you take it out of to do that? 

And so it’s crucial because, in my opinion, that’s where the real tax savings start coming, when we start looking at the income and planning how we’re going to get that to people.

It’s All Related

Dean Barber: So item number 10, plan your income stream for current and future years goes back to item number 3, which is testing your 401k and IRA contributions. Should they be traditional, or should they be Roth? And it goes back to number 6, which is the asset location also ties into number 8, which is Social Security.

JoAnn Huber: And it ties to number 4 as well.

Dean Barber: Yeah, it does. It sure does your required minimum distributions because that will come out at some point in time. Right?

Tax Tip #11: Update Your Financial Plan Regularly

JoAnn Huber: Right. Everything in your financial plan goes together. Everything discussed, you need to put all of it together to help create that financial plan, which ties right into our last point. The most important point of all of our tips is to make sure you’re updating your financial plan and checking your progress each year.

Dean Barber: In the years you and I have worked together, how many times have we completed a financial plan, and the person was already there, they were financially independent? And, what’s more, they didn’t even know it.

JoAnn Huber: Too many times.

Dean Barber: Or they’ve already saved enough, they enjoy their job, but still think they have to continue to pile money in to meet their long-term objectives. They don’t need to save anymore, and they could start to experience things now instead of delaying them into the future.

JoAnn Huber: Right. That’s why the plan is so important. We have met with people who suddenly know they’re okay and maybe they don’t love their job, but they’re going to work because they want to, not because they have to—their enjoyment level increases.

It’s All About the Financial Plan

Dean Barber: It sure does. Well, the financial plan is designed to create three things, clarity, confidence, and control. And when you experience those three things regarding your finances for immediate, intermediate, and long-term objectives, the clarity, confidence, and control, you live a better life. That’s why we say, “We want you to live your one best financial life.”

I want you to understand how we provide all of that. With our CPAs, estate planning attorneys, risk management experts, and financial planners acting as your quarterback, to bring all of those experts together. Schedule a complimentary consultation right here to get started. If you’re not ready to meet yet, that’s fine too. There are tons of videos, white papers, articles that we’ve written in our insights section.

JoAnn Huber: I think one thing to keep in mind is that the tax plan is a key component of that full financial plan.

Dean Barber: Well, here’s the thing. I think people think that financial planning is separate from tax planning, but they’re integrated in a way that most people will never understand.

JoAnn Huber: You really can’t do either one of them without the other if you’re going to be doing it right.

Dean Barber: I agree. That’s why we’re here together. Right. That’s why we do what we do. 


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Investment advisory services offered through Barber Financial Group, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Barber Financial Group an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Barber Financial Group does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.