January 6, 2022

Financial Advisor Overview

At Fiat Wealth Management (a Fiduciary Advisor), we’ve noticed that people don’t know what they want in retirement.

No one ever said that retirement would be easy, but it can be an enriching time in your life. If you're nearing retirement age or are already retired, it's crucial to think about what you want to do with your newfound freedom. Here are a few things to consider when planning for retirement.

There are numerous investment phases in one's life (we will explain more about these in other articles). Still, one stage, distribution, brings about complexities that need addressing when you first start. A sequence of returns risk (bad market timing), longevity risk (living too long), and taxes (trying to mitigate them) are just a few topics we will help you address. There are solutions to all these risks, but they come at a cost. This is where an excellent fiduciary advisor can help you out - by helping you navigate your options and make the best choices for your unique situation.

Where We Start

The truth is that none of those, as mentioned above, complexities matter until we first find out who it is we are sitting down with and learning about your story and how you got to where you are today. We first take on the role of a psychologist by first seeking to understand who it is we are trying to help. To accomplish this, we try to find the answers to questions that can sometimes be challenging for a retiree. Again, this is how we distinguish ourselves as fiduciary advisors…we care about your store, your hopes, dreams, and desires not only for your future but also for the future of those you love.

Once we understand someone's story, it becomes much easier to design a blueprint and help them stick to it. That said, here are some key points that we always keep in mind when meeting with clients:

"Tell me about your best financial decision. What about your worst decision? "How much money do you need to live on in retirement? How much money would you like to leave to each of your children in a perfect world? If you could afford to give money away through gifting to an organization you care about, would you? If so, how much would you be willing to give?

Fiduciary Advisor

Does your current advisor address these types of questions with you regularly? If they are not a fiduciary advisor, then the answer to this is probably not…or at least not enough. So how does a fiduciary advisor differ from a traditional advisor? The terms often get used interchangeably because there are some similarities. Both look after a client's money; both can trade on the client's behalf and receive some form of compensation for their work.

The key difference between the two types of advisors is that a fiduciary advisor must act in their client's best interest. This is not to say other advisors do not work on the client's behalf, but other advisors may recommend types of investments that, though they may not be bad for their clients, are not the absolute options for their client's unique needs.

Your fiduciary advisor should be asking you many questions to get to know you better. After all, they will be responsible for helping you make some crucial decisions about your future. Some of the questions may seem personal, but your advisor needs to understand your unique situation thoroughly.

What Does Success Look Like for You?

The definition of success looks different for every person. For most families we work with in retirement, their success isn't necessarily dictated by getting another return on their investments in the stock market. Instead, success is more often dictated by developing a plan and keeping the pile of money safe. This can look like protecting it from the next stock market downturn, higher tax rates in the future, or even inflation.

Now, What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

It's essential to have a very clear understanding of the services offered by a financial advisor. At Fiat Wealth Management, we are considered comprehensive fiduciary advisors. With a focus on retirement, having access to investment advice often isn't enough for the types of families we work with who require a more comprehensive approach.

As a comprehensive financial advisor, it's our job first to get a clear understanding of what our client wants and then to turn around and organize a team of professionals to make that happen. We serve as a "General Contractor" for the families we work with by coordinating investment planning, tax planning (including proactive tax planning), estate planning, and finally the distribution planning.

It's vital to work with an advisor overseeing all the different aspects of financial advice because of the overlaps. Distribution planning especially requires seamless coordination with tax planning.

What Makes the Fiduciary Advisors at Fiat Wealth Management Different?At Fiat Wealth Management, we believe that it's not about how much money you want to spend in retirement that matters. It's where you pull it from that will impact your tax bill. The financial services industry has failed most retirees by advising them to defer the tax bill on most of their retirement savings.

That decision to defer taxes has left most families we initially meet a heavy overweight in Qualified monies and with little to no money at all in the After-tax or Tax-Free retirement buckets. In the distribution phase of life, it's very advantageous to have diversity across these three tax buckets because it gives us more options and flexibility when we put together a distribution plan (income plan). Our goal in working with retirees is to mitigate their tax bills in retirement by putting together the most tax-efficient paycheck possible.

Our onboarding process in working with new families at Fiat Wealth Management is intentional. As stated earlier, we must get a clear idea of the outcomes people seek in retirement before implementing any planning. Ultimately, the most significant value we offer to families is helping them become more intentional with their hard-earned money at retirement. We understand how overwhelming it can be to know how much money you want to spend in retirement, how much you want to gift potentially, and how much you want to leave for a legacy. These factors will ultimately dictate how we need to start positioning those dollars not only from an investment perspective but also from a tax perspective.

One of my favorite things about working at Fiat Wealth Management is showing families that they can retire with a blueprint for their future. Our specialty and our focus are teaching people how to spend their money. What we do for families is give them the peace of mind to focus on what matters most to them in retirement.

That might be traveling the world, spending more time with their family and friends, or even starting a new business.

From there, we work backward to make sure they have enough money saved and that it is positioned in the right way, so they don't outlive their money. That's where our team of specialists comes in, from tax professionals to investment.

If you're looking for some guidance on retirement planning, give us a call! Our fiduciary advisors would be more than happy to chat with you about your specific situation. We look forward to hearing from you!

-Your Fiat Wealth Management Team

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Every Day is Saturday

Our job begins where most advisors stop—saving money is great, but how do you spend it without risk in retirement? Welcome to Every Day is Saturday with Brad Gotto and Matt Stahl, partners and private wealth managers at Fiat Wealth Management.

In this podcast we help guide you to think about your money in a practical sense and make the boring and complex financial decisions, fun, informative and educational. Join us on this journey where Brad and Matt will explore different strategies on how to spend your money without guilt and have peace of mind knowing you are spending it the optimal way in retirement.

You’ve saved money for a lifetime. Now it’s time to spend it.

In Spending Money and Having Fun, Retirement Income Certified Professional Brad Gotto teaches you how to be smart about spending so you can stop worrying and live the life you want. Old habits are hard to break, but Brad helps you embrace the counterintuitive and build new habits to support your next chapter. You’ll learn how to:

  • Change your mindset around spending

  • Create boundaries that buy you freedom

  • Gain peace of mind with concepts that take the guesswork out of your financial requirements