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Episode 44 Transcript
TAX SERIES 8 OF 8
Hello future millionaires and welcome back to the get rich slow podcast. We are your hosts. I’m Adrian Shermer and I’ve got Rob Delavan and Lance Johnson here. Hello, gentlemen.
Rob Delavan 00:12
Lance Johnson 00:14
And continuing our eight part series, I can’t believe we’ve made it to the end already with Sue Hort, our resident tax expert, thank you so much, Sue.
Rob Delavan 00:24
So, why don’t you tell us I would love to hear from you, especially since it’s last in this series. For now, I know we’re going to have you back again, but recent success story in your world?
Well, I think the success and this is something we’re going to talk about in today’s podcast is the joining of ROI tax and ROI financial, to share our clients together and I recently had a couple of different clients that have met with Lance and are getting started on the whole process and they said, Sue we’re just getting to know Lance. But most of all, we trust you and if you say he’s the guy to go with, then we’re gonna go with him and I really appreciate their trust in me, but then that’s when I can turn around and share my trust in Lance and how hard he’s going to work to help them increase their assets and plan for their future. So, yeah, I think the partnership is quite a success.
Rob Delavan 01:43
Yeah, well that’s powerful
Lance Johnson 01:46
And I like to add some to that is, just because clients have trust with Sue, it still means that I have to earn their trust. So, I let them know upfront that you can have 20 years and Sue has earned that trust, it doesn’t mean that I’ve yet to earn it and so I think it’s a dangerous thing for financial advisors, or professionals to just assume I have trust, I think you should go at every new client, putting your best foot forward, fiduciary responsibility, given them choices and options and that’s how you earn trust with that client and so then I make Sue look like the genius that she is.
My 15 minutes.
Rob Delavan 02:39
I love it, awesome, well, that’s definitely going to be fun to build on in this conversation. So, thank you both for sharing that, upcoming events for us we have under www/ROI-FA.com/events, everything coming up monthly and by monthly and so forth for clients for the different referral partnerships that we have and the fun stuff. So, that’s all there and then, of course, we have the ROI/FA.com website for all things, ROI financial, Delavan-realty.com is my own website for our real estate side to connect with us. We have directorsmortgage.com and search Adrian Shermer on that and you’ll get to all things Adrian, with lending and so forth and then last and certainly not least, Sue, www.ROI-tax.com, there we go.
In this episode, we are going to be speaking with Sue Hort. Of course, she’s with ROI tax and we’re going to answer some questions in regard to why it’s so important that your CPA and your financial advisor work hand in hand and I know we’ve got an audience that spreads pretty wide, it’s actually pretty fun. We’ve been picking people up all over the country. So, for some folks, it’s not going to be this group. But it is important that that level of communication is open and we’re gonna talk about why it matters, why they should be partners in working towards your financial goals and your future and once again, this is part eight of eight. So, after this, we’re going to roll into a bit more of the real estate side, but this will help wrap us up on the tax end of things.
Rob Delavan 04:30
And in the last episode number seven, we did talk about the year-end tax planning process and I think that covers us there. So, Sue, thank you again for being here. We’re looking forward to this culmination. It’s always fun and let’s start with question one. So, the benefits of your CPA and financial advisor working hand in hand. I guarantee we’re gonna get a little Mr. Johnson here, too.
Well, let me tell from my perspective, I think the importance is that you’ve got two trained professionals that can help you on both sides of the coin. So, you want to invest your assets and make the most of them and you pick your financial advisor, so that they can do that with you and help you stretch and reach those goals and dreams, as Lance always says and if you’re rolling along and making money, then you get to tax time and you have to pay a big bill. It shouldn’t be a surprise and I have people come in my office that are like, why am I paying so much? I said, well, you made a lot of capital gains, look here, they sold stocks and we don’t want surprises. The financial advisor and the CPA, working hand in hand can do what’s best for the client, make them money and minimize taxes and that’s the big advantage to working together is you’re both on the same team for that client and they want those two professionals, but they want them to work together for their best interest and that’s why it’s so important. Lance, speak from your perspective.
Lance Johnson 06:37
Well, I like it as there’s checks and balance. So, you know, I often describe what the financial advisor is trying to look at the present and really trying to move people forward in what I call an academic way. So, we predict different assumptions and with those assumptions, there’s a future net worth, which the net worth to me is one of the best indicators, because it takes real estate tax efficiency, rate to return, cost associated, inflows, outflows the net worth year over year is one of the best indicators. So, what we’re trying to do is build assumptions that say, this is what it’s going to look like, based on these assumptions in the future and the question is, are we measuring up on that? So now, there’s this double edged side or double coin which is, should we be more tax efficient now or should we be more tax efficient in the future? It’s kind of an age old question, right? It’s a chicken or the egg scenario and so I think you have to kind of look at both of those things and then the past occurs. So, Sue takes a look at the last year and she’s getting everything ready and say, oh, by the way, you owe taxes and in their surprise, so, she often is looking at the current year and the past years and making sure that there’s no police officer that’s going to pull you over and put you in jail and I’m looking at the present and the future and saying, God, these are the tradeoffs of tax efficiency now in the future, not knowing what rates of return and tax changes and laws are going to be and so because we come at it at a different point of view, it’s awesome when we can be in front of the clients and say, here’s some of the things that you the client, we just want to educate you about being smart with your money and so therefore, here are the two points of view we’re going to give you, you ultimately have to make the ultimate decision about your money and I think having those two professionals kind of gives them the ease of mind and I think that’s where the hand in hand comes in.
Rob Delavan 08:56
So there was a article on money.USnews.com. If you search that up, we’ll put it in the show notes, comments below and it basically said that there’s a natural fit, which is what you guys are talking about understanding the flow of money, particularly in the retention of assets against and they use the term excess taxation. So, you guys both talked about that is that’s kind of an interesting way to put it like excess taxation and it seems as if retention of assets is the financial side, obviously, excess taxation, Sue is where you come in. I haven’t heard of the usage of the term that way. It almost connotes there’s like a rolling you said oh, okay, well, the financial advisor said just looking at from one direction and taxes looking at the other and you said, Lance, there’s not one perfect way. But it’s like they decide on a rolling scale oh, are they going to be you know, it’s this wide, for those of you watching the video, it’s this big, you got to be somewhere in here versus here versus so forth. I mean, is that accurate, do I understand that correctly?
I think excess taxation means to me, I think, if I look at someone’s last year tax return, which is what I always do first with a new client, I look for where can I find them places that we can reduce their taxes and I think the excess taxation means there isn’t just one way to attack a tax return you put all the information in and then you say, okay, could I do a IRA? Could I do as SEP-IRA? Could I do various things? Are there more expenses that I could put in itemized deductions? What about my business? Is there something I’m leaving off? That’s always the question that people have for me, what else can I do? And so excess taxation would be if you just put in the information and never asked any questions or never sought for the best, taxing of it, which means, of course, the least amount of taxing on the other hand that’s why you work with a financial advisor. Lance is all about Roth conversions because if you do that, now you have your money earning tax free later and it’s after tax money. So, sometimes, if you have a year where taxes are low, you do more Roth conversions, so that you’re paying tax now. So, maybe it’s more now, but less late, is the goal. So, Lance, I’m sure you might have something to add to that.
Lance Johnson 12:14
So real quickly, way back when Money Magazine was really popular, super popular, when it first came out, they every year would do an a little presentation or right before tax time and they would solicit a 100 CPA’s across the nation and they give a tax scenario and they would publish, you have to agree to this, you would do the tax return and you would publish your results of what they owe or got a refund and how much you would charge for that tax return and then they would have 10 auditors from the IRS give the exact same to come up with what the IRS says the right tax return would be. Now, out of those 100, only two came within $1,500 of a quote unquote, the right tax bill and the rest of them range from 1500 discrepancy to $50,000 difference and what they charge and I thought it was such a like, I’m not sure I would want to swing that bat. So, they did this for years and then there was a lot of complaints about it.
They obviously damaged Money magazine would damage that person nationally. So, when you talk about xx taxation, there’s a discrepancy amongst every professional about what your tax returns would be and what the IRS so that’s one second. I look at it when Sue looks at, I have an opportunity to do an IRA contribution or a Roth IRA contribution, which one do you do? Well, it depends on the taxes, the assets and stuff like that. There’s a decision that needs to be made, the age and who they are and whether they’re aggressive with their investments, are they going to they’re going to put it into Google or are they going to put it into an AT&T stock and that might dictate whether you do one or the other. So, there’s that and then there’s things like the Roth conversion. This gets back to this last I think it’s a tragedy that people don’t do year tax planning before a year at. So, it’s hard to have a Roth conversion strategy, if you have to do it in the calendar year and the 401K so what happens with Sue and I sit on these meetings is she does a wonderful job of lowering taxes.
But we have these conversations with some clients between April and August. Now they’re behind on their taxes. We tried to scramble to figure out the few things that they could be doing and now we’re nine months into this year where they can make changes. But if we did year taxes and you knew that bill, they would make more changes before year end. Rob, we used us example, one year, yep and then we lowered your tax build quite a bit and then the next year, we were starting in your planning in January, so that you had a full year of being able to deal with cash flow. We just ended up making more changes quicker. So, instead of taking three tax years to improve the client’s situation, we were able to take two tax years and it’s really only 14 months versus 30 months to [Inaudible 16:04] a year in tax plan. I just can’t say enough about it, that going hand in hand with Sue, the more we can do more year-end tax planning with tax clients, the happier they’re going to be with her services and to be praying, the less stress they’re going to be about their tax return, because we’ve already determined it.
Rob Delavan 16:34
Okay, so question number two, this is a fun one. Can you tell us the story Sue, of how ROI tax and ROI financial came together and how is this going to benefit your clients immensely and I’m sure there’s going to be some comments from all parties involved here, this will be fun.
Well, one day at our BNI meeting, the Business Network International that we belong to I was talking to Mr. Rob Delavan himself and I was lamenting, what is my exit strategy for retirement, there just aren’t enough people becoming CPAs. I don’t know who’s going to want to buy this firm, what am I going to do and Mr. Rob Delavan said to me, Sue, you’re a unicorn, there’s only one of you, the way you do business is incredible. But I want to introduce you to someone who could really benefit from your tax firm and you could benefit from his knowledge as well and that’s how I became introduced to Lance Johnson, with ROI financial and we talked and then we talked again, and, it took us a couple of years to get into a groove and now we’re in the same office and doing the clients and it’s all about that Lance had a vision and I could fit in that vision and it could benefit me and it could benefit him and it could benefit our clients and so here we are, we took my firm, made it into a partnership with some professionals, Lance and Rob and drive a county and now we’re in the same place and we’re offering tax services, but then I’m able to share with my clients and offered them to Lance for his services and here we are…
Rob Delavan 18:56
And the rest is history, now I will say Lance, didn’t you and I before we started this entire have a full heads of hair.
Lance Johnson 19:13
Well, I mean, in all honesty, though, financial advisors and CPA’s I think they think from different sides of the brain in some cases and then our points of view are different. I often say that if we’re working with a client, I’m sitting in the front seat, looking at the road ahead, trying to help clients navigate potholes and Sue’s sitting in the back making sure that the police officers, we are not going too fast and we’re not taking too much risk with taxes and keep us very compliant and then we’re sitting in the car discussing which direction we should go in north south east west. So, that’s how I describe it. It just so happens that in the past, we were in separate cars, now we’re in the same car with the client and here’s one thing I know about Sue and I, we care about clients. I mean, we do, there’s a fiduciary responsibility to put our best foot forward, it’s just always trying to help clients make better decisions about their money, nobody else can make that decision, but them, we can just encourage them to do certain things and make sure we steer clear from any potholes in the past or present so that’s the issue. It takes a long time for a financial adviser and a CPA to get together and the best thing we ever did was move into the same office, because our business is complement, when she’s super busy, we have some access time and when I’m super busy, she has access time and so if we utilize our time, efficiently with staff, one plus one can actually equal three instead of one and a half and I think that’s starting to happen.
Rob Delavan 21:08
The other thing that’s incredible too that I’ve experienced and we talked about this happening, but happening, in reality has been so much higher level is, for example, I’m running a real estate firm and a property management company and some other real estate stuff, the benefit to having, to be able to say, hey, Sue, hey, Lance, this is the situation we’re dealing with and of course, caveat, especially from a compliance standpoint, everyone’s situation is completely uniquely different, I mean, literally is uniquely as different as everybody has their own fingerprint. Everybody has their own financial questions and answers that are correct or not, or so forth and myself, Adrian, on the lending side, I mean, we can have these conversations in real time, Adrian and I get to get in and out of that car, if you will. And, like, hey, I can ride with you guys for a few miles during this [Mixed Voices 22:14]. We just took off but that’s the concept and that analogy I mean, it could almost be seen as you know, kind of hockey, like, hey, we’re all in the in the car together, it’s a bunch of clowns in a in a Volkswagen. But there’s something to be said for, hey, this lending scenario on this property versus this scenario, cash on this property, what’s that look like Lance? What’s that look like Sue? If we save the money over here and God forbid, actually invest the difference, instead of just say, we’re going to invest the difference, what does the projection look like with but when you actually start crunching the numbers and I mean, the power of that is, is something that I knew that it was going to happen. As it actually happens, it’s so cool, it is so cool to be able to just, have those resources at our fingertips for the benefit of our clients.
Lance Johnson 23:21
I think one scenario though, is use a good analogy where everybody’s situation is different. So, they have a unique thumbprint or facial expression. Yet we all have two eyes, one nose one mouth and what you realize that the concepts are all the same for everybody like so Adrian, you and myself all have and Sue all have some common scenarios want to minimize taxes now in the future? We want to have a good retirement; we’re going to have investments while retirement plans. There’s cash flow issues, there’s paying down debt, there’s utilizing business write offs. That’s the eyes, the nose, and the face. Some of us have hairline some of us don’t, there’s some uniqueness. But there are a lot of similarities and I think it’s helping clients gravitate to the same strategies. What do you do with the markets at the height of the market? There’s a set of things you need to do. What do you do to take advantage of the market? What do you do on the bottom of the market? There are certain things you could do that take advantage of that market. The question is, do clients out there have a game plan and that’s the issue. Most of them don’t have a game plan. That’s like designing a house and building a house with no blueprints or plans. Do you ever do that as a real estate agent? The answer is never ever, why should anybody do financial planning, without blueprints to their future? They never should do that and you’re house is only a small pittance to what your overall net worth is over time and so we’re just trying to teach people same concepts that you utilize every day in your real estate life.
Rob Delavan 25:20
So, last question, what do you see for the future of ROI tax in ROI financial and your clients?
Okay, so the sky is the limit, really because of the fact that now we’re joined. Now, I have resources and we can hire some other CPAs and start to take off and maybe have other locations in other cities that hire CPAs, to free me up to do some different things and consult more with lenses clients and vice versa. So, I just see a lot of opportunity for growth and for our clients to be able to experience better synergy to have the opportunity to minimize taxes but increase their wealth at the same time. So, I’m very excited about the future.
Rob Delavan 26:29
There’s a article coming out, I want to say it’s April 2022. In entrepreneur fortune Bloomberg, I think News week, also that talks about this and national article and I mean, it’s incredible opportunity to share this concept. Lance speak to that, because that was all about just forward thinking this concept that we’ve been talking about this entire podcast.
Lance Johnson 26:58
So, there’s articles coming out and I had a chance to talk about ROI financial, which everybody wants to talk about a concept that I would, I don’t know if I’ll see it in my lifetime, but it’s worth pursuing. But use the example of these big companies like Costco, you know, one of my favorite companies to shop at and it’s just interesting, because you can get a Kirkland brand, you can get great goose and it’s similar and you can get a high price and a low cost, all in one stop and they promote other businesses within their business. The question is, could we create that same scenario working with regulation, to create the same one stop shop in the financial world? Now banks are trying to do it and insurance companies are trying to do it but the concept is, could you do it over real estate, financial and so forth? And I just think it’s worth pursuing, it’s just the ideas kind of cool and where I see the collaboration going with ROI tax and financial, it’s just one small cog that will build and in the future, I think, a happier ROI tax client, that is not yet a financial client, is they become a financial client and they do year-end tax planning.
If 95% of Sue’s old clients do year-end tax planning, you will have a happier client, a client that is informed on decisions in a timely fashion, not after the year, but during the year they’re in, they’ll have less surprises like, oh, my God, I made $300,000 I have to pay more taxes? Well, of course you do but and those years that you have high energies, maybe that’s the time to buy a vehicle or building something and then when your incomes lower, you do Roth conversions. But if you’re trying to make those decisions after the year, all you’re doing is setting yourself up for disappointment and so if we can get those clients to do more year-end tax planning, that clients are going to be happier and Sue’s gonna be happier, because I can tell you what we’re going to plan for. Most of those clients will get a slight refund and they already know their tax bill and the urgency of the tax, getting it done I mean, Sue has to do her business in 12 weeks. That’s huge but if all of them we’re gonna get a slight refocus, we did all the work at the fourth quarter things are a lot easier to do. It’s not being bottlenecked by the CPAs because we already did the work and we spread the work over time. So, you have a happier client, a happier CPA and they’re probably more inclined to work with the financial advisor, which will help them build wealth by not paying as much in tax. I just see it as a win-win situation and I hope any ROI tax client who hears this, that is not doing year-end tax planning, please engage sue in that service and you will have a happier client.
Rob Delavan 28:43
The one other piece here, Adrian, the clients that do year-end tax planning in the real time tax planning of the future, right, let’s call them the future clients, although we’re doing it today with a lot of them. Adrian, what kind of borrower are they?
It’s a slam dunk. I mean, a lot of times they have layered and complicated income situations. But it’s twofold because we can get the documentation really easily; we can go to one stop source. There’s a lot of times as I need new documents, the clients that are in the situation, we just have it uploaded through a portal, they don’t even have to get their hands messy and there’s certain situations where they genuinely don’t know what’s going on and I know that that sounds bad on paper, but it’s not there were so relaxed about the whole process. Well, I’d speak to my CPA, I know it’s dialed or speak to my financial planner, it’s all in there, they’re much easier to qualify, really, because everything’s in the right columns and I’ve seen some pretty squirrely stuff. I mean, Sue, I’ve gone to you a few times and said this is right, can you really do this and it’s like, well, let’s just hope they don’t get audited but we send to the right place and we just know that everything’s really dialed in and we just have less underwriting problems, less red flags, it’s a lot simpler.
Lance Johnson 31:42
I think year-end tax planning, what it does is, like, if you have small business owners like that would be the first thing. It forces the business owners to get their books in order by November, December. So, there’s not as much work in October, November, they get into so if they’re looking for our house in November, December, you’re gonna want a profit and a loss and if they are forced to year end taxes, it’s just gonna force them to keep updates for the books, half the battle that Sue and I deal with is small business owners, you know, less than a million dollars of income, that still are trying to keep their costs down and grow the staff and the business and so they’ll try to do the books themselves or whatever and we’re always trying to get updated financials. By doing that ahead of time, that taxes you’re more likely to get their books in order so we can do the right tax planning and it just makes it much simpler for you too and so, again, I go back to this if we love our clients, if there was one thing I would encourage every client to do urine tax planning, puts them in a better position in so many different ways. I just can’t stress it enough and that’s what I hope the future of ROI tax and financial is we do some of that work before year end instead of after year end.
Rob Delavan 33:09
Love it, so thank you so much for being here. Sue, [Mixed Voices 33:27] hey, you heard it here, she might come back, Adrian take us home here.
Oh, wow, impressive, www.ROI-tax.com is where you can find information about Sue. I hope though, that this, like all our episodes, this is universal information that we’re offering. I know we’ve done a great deal of back rubbing here, we all love each other. But there’s good reason because we’ve flushed out professionals that we respect within our field and that’s how they end up on this podcast. So, don’t think for a minute that this is only applies to the group that you hear in front of your ears. We definitely want this to spread out and for everyone anywhere to be able to glean some benefit and hopefully, if you can’t use us, you can find a team local to you that’ll be able to achieve the same level of balance and just that teamwork, so final episode eight and an eight part series. Next week, we’ll be moving you guys on to a bit more of some more real estate stuff and look at what the market is doing right now. I know that the world is crazy. I feel like I say that every year but it continues to evolve on a weekly basis. We’ve got our fingers on the pulse and we want to spread that information to you from all sides of the industry, financial planning, real estate and lending and please share this episode and please comment back we’ve received tremendous amount of feedback. It’s really helping guide what we produce for content for you guys next. We want to make sure that we get ahead of it, do the research and provide you accurate information and great sources to draw information from.
Rob Delavan 34:55
Thank you all for listening.
We’ll catch you next time.