Helping Your Clients Achieve Sustainable Income for Life
Mar 27, 2012
“People have to have sustainable income for life. If they haven’t done their planning, there is a good chance they won’t meet their goals. “ -Dwain Tataryn, Mueller Financial Services, Inc.
It should come as no surprise that many CPAs and other financial services professionals feel strongly about retirement. Clients are living longer, facing new challenges and risks. And, more importantly, they’re worried. They need an answer to the all-important question, “Will my income be sustainable in retirement?”
According to 1st Global’s Director of Distribution/Planning David Vaikness, 1st Global’s Sustainable Income Solutions™ (SIS) process provides a framework to answer that question. Through a five-step process, an advisor can guide clients toward their personal vision of retirement, identify the unique risks that they face, and provide outcome-based solutions to hedge against those risks.
According to Vaikness, these solutions, divided into three areas, Income Solution, Risk Management Solution and Growth Solution, are used to provide for the client a mental accounting for all of the parts of the financial plan. It helps them gain a better understanding of how the arrangement of their investable assets can impact their ability to live the retirement they envision.
“Advisors are using SIS with their clients–sometimes in rather surprising ways. The following success stories from four champion partners of thriving CPA firms showcase a wide variety of benefits, demonstrating just how versatile this process really is,” he adds.
Director of Financial Services Denise Ferrari, CFP®, Axis Wealth Management, LLC, Simi Valley, Calif., took a look at her current book of business. She found that clients with retirement accounts already in place could benefit from the SIS process. Here is just one of her examples:
“What we found at our firm is that SIS helps us define for clients what they want to do when they retire and how they want that retirement to be funded. Then the process allows us to go back and look at the client's complete retirement plan,” said Ferrari.
“When we started retirement planning four or five years ago, it seemed sort of piecemeal. As we have gone through updates with our clients as their situations change, we have been able to design great plans using SIS’s five-step process. Now we are able to determine how we are going to fund our clients’ retirements over the next five years, the next five years after that, then the next 10 years and beyond. Now, they know there is a plan that works and they are going to be okay. That’s a big part of why we do this.”
For many clients, retirement is like a puzzle. The clients see pieces but may not see how these pieces fit together. Overwhelmed and confused, clients may very well walk away. Dwain Tataryn, CPA, CFP®, Mueller Financial Services, Inc., Elgin, Ill., had a client just like that but was able to turn the situation around.
“We had a client who our firm was at risk of losing. Our financial advisor had done a good job laying out many pieces of his retirement plan through real estate investments, annuities, etc., but all of a sudden we found the client wasn’t happy. What we realized was the client saw these things as transactional and not pieces of a whole plan. He needed something that would give him comfort that a plan was in place. Perception is reality and we hadn’t done a good job in addressing his perception,” said Tataryn.
“So, we started talking about it, and after a few meetings with him, we got to the root of what he really wanted based on his financial needs. We then put together a visual presentation using the SIS process to show how his ‘must-haves’ and even some of his ‘like-to-haves ‘would be covered. This holistic picture gave the client a good feeling, and gave us a good feeling about meeting his needs.”
Much of the financial planning software used today is very extensive in the level of output it provides. This can often be overwhelming for a client. The tools developed with SIS are different. The Risk Assessment and Recommendation reports focus on the risks to a financial plan rather than investment returns, and they do so in a way that’s easier for clients to understand. Chuck Lanier, ChFC, CLU, president at Fuller, Frost and Lanier Wealth Management, LLC, Augusta, Ga., used these tools to give one of his clients a real peace of mind.
“I’ve used financial planning software for years, and many times it gives too much information for clients to comprehend. SIS gives us what I refer to as a ‘deliverable,’ a series of 12 pages that clients can easily understand. It shows them where they stand financially and what we may need to do next,” said Chuck.
“We met with one client in her retirement years whose husband had recently died. He left her with a 401(k) and some other assets, but she was unclear in what she should be spending, or not spending, to make the money last. After understanding what her needs were, we used the SIS program to show her that she was going to be fine financially. Not only that, we were able to help her realign her investments so she wasn’t taking as much risk as she was previously. It’s a great example of time well spent for all of our clients to have us look over their shoulders and then let them know they are going to be all right.”
Chris Boynton, CPA, CFP®, Arxis Wealth Management, LLC, Simi Valley, Calif., realized that his clients weren’t the only ones benefiting from SIS. He found that the process impacted him as well in how he met with clients, and even how he thought about retirement planning within his firm.
“We use the SIS process a lot, and not just with SIS cases. What we do is walk through the process with our clients to give them the bigger picture and better feel of the total financial planning that we do. So, even before starting an SIS case, we’re asking different questions and broaching different topics, possibly things they don’t want to hear at the moment. But, it’s always done in a non-threatening way where they realize we are simply looking out for them.” Boynton said.
“It’s also helped us think about comprehensive financial planning for our own retirement,” he added.
For more information on SIS, download our client-approved white paper: The Period of One’s Life Formerly Called “Retirement:” Sustainable Income Solutions™ and the Ideal of Choice, A Modern Framework.
For more information about offering wealth management services as a CPA firm and how strategic business partnerships with accomplished partners can impact your growth plans, contact 1st Global at (877) 959-8400 or LearnMore@1stGlobal.com.
This article and its content have been provided by 1st Global. With more than 400 firms affiliated with 1st Global, it is one of the largest wealth management services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions. 1st Global delivers the required capabilities essential for wealth management excellence including progressive ongoing education, which places the firm in a unique position to offer wealth management knowledge.
1st Global was founded by CPAs on the belief that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. Each affiliated firm is provided with education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management.
1st Global Capital Corp. is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Drive, Suite 1200 in Dallas, Texas, 75251, (214) 294-5000. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at www.1stGlobal.com.