IRS.gov :: https://www.irs.gov/
U.S. Debt Clock :: http://usdebtclock.org
Census Bureau :: http://www.census.gov/
Congressional Budget Office :: http://www.cbo.gov/
Federal Reserve :: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
IRA – Required Minimum Distribution Calculator :: http://apps.finra.org/Calcs/1/RMD
Medicare :: http://socialsecurity.gov/pgm/links_medicare.htm
Social Security Administration :: http://socialsecurity.gov/
Our advice is very holistic in nature, as our Team has both the financial experience but additionally, the tax expertise. Many advisors have a tax message, while their materials have a disclaimer that they are not authorized to give tax advice and direct you to consult a tax professional.
Because of Ms. Walser’s tax credentials, she is uniquely qualified and directs all of her advice from the perspective of minimizing a client’s total taxation for the rest of their lives - moves that are usually in direct conflict with traditional advice given by most CPAs. We challenge the status quo because it must be challenged! We do not follow outdated, outmoded, and obsolete conventional financial wisdom because it will lead to failure for most Americans. Ms. Walser’s book, Wealth Unbroken (available at Amazon), does a thorough job of spelling out exactly why this is the case.
Our practice is holistic in nature and involves many planning aspects. Many comprehensive financial plans fail because of a lack of proper implementation. One great example is a perfectly written Trust that is of no legal effect because it was never funded – meaning assets were never legally transferred to the Trust.
We have found that implementing the plan correctly is crucial to the success of the plan itself and because we do help implement the plan on behalf of our clients’ we are paid in various ways apart from planning fees alone. Planning fees are determined based on the needs of each client.
This is an excellent question that Ms. Walser wrote extensively about in a ‘Getting Real With Rebecca’ blog post. Read that blog entry here for a more in depth exploration of this topic.
Yes, as a Certified Financial Planner® Ms. Walser has made a commitment to always do what is in the clients’ best interest and our clients’ interests always come first.
Being a fiduciary, however, does not mean fee only compensation as a flat fee percentage does not equate to conflict free compensation. One recent example was a fee only national advisor, who has built a national media campaign around their fee only compensation, who went on TV after an extremely rough market quarter and declared that the bull market would last for 2 to 3 more years. In reflecting on why such a national advisor would make such a brave prediction, given that there has never been a bull market last longer than 10 years in American history and we were over 9 years into the 2009 bull market when this advisor made this prediction, it became clear that the advisor was trying to prevent his clients from jumping out of the market or moving to cash – a position that typically pays no fee to the advisor at all. In other words, even if an advisor is only paid a flat percentage fee based on the value of the portfolio, that does not mean the advisor will give conflict free advice. The client may have the need to avoid a large market correction based on where they are in their investment life cycle, but getting out of the market or moving to cash or cash equivalents means the advisor gets paid nothing and that is a move that we have seen advisors historically, consistently and quite vehenemently discourage their clients from making.
In America, we are all paid for the work we do and that does not create a conflict of interest in itself. Changing advice for compensation reasons is what creates a conflict and that possibility exists for the bad actors in the financial services industry on both the flat fee side and the commission side. Do not be manipulated into believing that you must pay a never-ending percentage fee every year in order to have a conflict free advisor. Look at the plan – does it accomplish your goals, does it cover all the bases, does it align with your NON-NEGOTIABLE number, does it have contingency plans for the unexpected, does it meet your gut-check, those are the important questions that must be answered. Build a relationship with an advisor you trust and do not be manipulated by the industry’s attempt to push you in one direction or the other.
Most people do not realize that there is a rule in the financial services world that you cannot offer products outside your employer’s offerings. Meaning, as a client as a large brokerage house or captive insurer, you are not able to offer clients financial asset classes that are not offered through your employer, even if that would be the best option for the client. It is a prohibition against ‘selling away.’ So, while the industry is trying to convince everyone that fee only advisors are automatically better, they never mention this little secret.
An independent advisor is not subject to this rule as they are able to represent hundreds of companies’ offerings. We leverage this open market ability to our clients’ best interests and we know which offerings will best meet our clients’ objectives.
Ms. Walser began practicing finance after earning her undergraduate degree in finance at the top of her class, summa cum laude, in 1996. She went to law school after practicing in financial services for over a decade. After practicing law exclusively, she combined her financial and legal expertise by establishing a national, comprehensive wealth advisory which address the unique financial challenges facing Americans building wealth in the ever-changing taxable years ahead.
There are many strategies that we offer to help achieve each clients' unique needs and goals. Our unique strategies have something that fits most clients overall, ultimate plan.
This is a good question. Ms. Walser does run a busy practice and it will only continue to grow. However, the practice is busy because the Team is successful in their work and clients recognize the value the Team brings. You, as a prospective client, should only want to work with a successful and growing advisory as there is usually a reason behind any advisor who isn’t.
We are committed to performing for our clients and will continue to build our Team as we continue to build our practice. Our busy schedules NEVER compromise our work. We look forward to successfully growing alongside with our clients.
CPAs have been trained to accept your historical earnings and expenses every year, AFTER they have occurred, and then calculate the lowest legal tax bill. This often leads the CPA to suggest tax deferrals, such as IRAs or 401k contributions which will have the impact of lowering your tax bill in the current period. However, as our tax rates are nearly the lowest they have been in 3 decades, it is time to start asking ourselves, 'will we pay more now, or pay more later?'
If you know about the coming demographic changes that the country will experience en-masse beginning in 2022, and you understand the unprecedented debt situation which America has never faced before, then you are much better prepared to answer the question of where taxes are headed going forward. Armed with that knowledge, you could very easily decide that it is in your best interests to stop the deferral madness, as short-sided for this year, and instead take advantage of these lowest tax rates in years by actually paying as much of your total outstanding taxes due now, at these historically low rates.
CPAs are not bad, they are just doing what they have been trained to do – lower your tax bill by as much as possible in the current period and deal with the future when it arrives. As a tax strategist, Ms. Walser is only interested in maximizing your total wealth by minimizing your total taxes over more than any one singular period.
We challenge convention because it fails most Americans. The annuities of today are NOT the contracts of your parents and grandparents. For example, you no longer lose all of your cash value if you die pre-maturely as there is a death benefit. In any case where it would be appropriate to utilize such an asset class, we usually use no-fee products that offer some tremendous benefits including tax free long-term care and safe growth, and cost less than the annual money management fees charged by a money manager.
New research from a Yale Finance professor was just published in January 2018 making the mathematical case for using indexed annuities in lieu of fixed income bonds, given the low rate environment, which our practice would be happy to share with you. For these reasons and more, it is not appropriate to disregard this financial asset class for the reputation rumors of old.
Depending on whether a client needs to generate a lifetime guaranteed income since they are not getting a pension from corporate America or if they do not have an income need but just want off the roller coaster of the market by protecting what they have already built and earning safe returns going forward, there is always a give and take. In return for receiving guaranteed lifetime income or market based returns without ANY risk of loss, the client will have somewhat reduced liquidity over a period of years – usually the first seven to ten years. However, mathematically, by walking through the worst case liquidity cost, one can see how these products achieve major goals, which are not otherwise achievable, at extremely reasonable rates.
If such an asset class would be appropriate in a client’s situation, then a specific cost analysis will be provided while working through our process.
Life insurance has been leveraged since very ancient times, where communities pooled resources for widows and children of wars. In America, life insurance has been protected in the tax code since its inception and is the most highly favored asset class under the tax code.. the ‘golden child’ of asset classes as Ms. Walser describes it.
Because of this extremely favorable tax classification, life insurance has been leveraged by those in the know to build lifetime tax free access used as your own bank (liquid savings), college funding for children and grandchildren, housing funds, and full retirement replacement vehicles. The opportunities are endless and the lifetime benefits are an incredible planning tool. Life, when used just for death planning, is sort of really missing the boat.
This is a common misconception because when you utilize a permanent life policy that builds cash value, the premium can seem high. But, in most cases, once you realize that most of the cost is going to overfund the cash value, while a small percentage is going to pay for the actual insurance, you will see that the cash value is really what you are funding and not the cost of the insurance itself. This can be misleading, so do not let this prevent you from leveraging this asset class without making sure you understand what is really happening within the policy.
As a financial and tax expert, planning for a secure retirement, is one of our practice’s strengths. Because we ensure that your income and asset plan will not be derailed by future taxation, which will cause most plans to fail in the coming years, we are best positioned to help clients confidently achieve their retirement goals. This kind of plan takes strategic tax planning over a 5 to 7 year period, possibly even 10 years on the long side, but at the end, our goal is a future tax rate of literally 0% for the rest of your life (as long as there is no pension. With a pension, our goal is under 10% or less forever) from forever taxed – what you have now – to never taxed again – our goal when we complete the plan.
All of this is done within the context of meeting guaranteed income levels and/or protecting your assets from extreme market volatility.
We greatly enjoy helping our clients to prepare for retirement successfully.
Yes – we love putting plans together for your children or grandchildren. As you may have read, we are not fans of the market based, but tax-advantaged 529 plan or state pre-paid plans that only lock in certain aspects of the college expense.
The best example are those that built college funds exclusively in the 529 when their college student was set to begin school in the Fall of 2009. Since we had the market low of the Great Recession in March 2009, pulling money out in August of 2009 to pay for school would be the worst possible scenario because, in order to recover from the market losses, we are not able to TOUCH those funds until our losses are recovered. Since it took OVER 4 years for the market to recover from the last recession, you may not be able to touch the account for the entire time your child is in their 4 year undergraduate program. A totally unworkable solution by any standard. For more information about this, read our Blog about the 529 Plan. As you can see, a market based program that must be accessed at a specific time no matter what the status of the account, just doesn’t work. If the market crashes right before they are due to go to school, all that hard work you did to save and provide for them can be ruined….
Fortunately, there are other tax advantaged programs that do not have that market risk of loss at exactly the wrong time and we love working those numbers for a plan.
We meet potential clients in various ways. We work best with clients who believe as we believe and there must be a need or desire to work together. If you believe you have all your bases covered, then we hope you do. A second opinion is always best in those cases, however, as conventional advice continues to fail America in droves and droves.
The first step is just a conversation to see if there is a mutual fit regarding needs and capabilities. From there, we map our specific goals by timeframe and develop a plan to address gaps and deficiencies. Once we have a high level plan, a second meeting will determine if we mutually want to work together. For those we move forward with, the implementation phase will begin where the granularity of the plan will be spelled out explicitly and agreed upon, along with timeframes to properly set expectations.
For certain clients of high annual earnings, there are advanced tax strategies that may be applicable to legally reduce the current period tax due. Once you are a client, we will always look to see if you qualify for these strategies.
We do not offer these tax strategies for non-clients as a separate, stand alone service. They are offered only to existing clients.
We actually LOVE the market as the greatest wealth creator and supporter of American capitalism and distributing that wealth throughout America. However, we understand that as a client’s Investment Life Cycle begins to change for the 10 year period while they transition from Accumulation to Decumulation & Spending, that the inherent risk of losing their nest egg is much different than when they had plenty of time left to make up for extreme market losses. Therefore, for clients that are at, near, or 10 years from retirement, we begin to identity their NON-NEGOTIABLE number – the number they are absolutely NOT willing to lose a penny from. That amount MUST be removed from the risk of the market at this stage of their life, after all, it is non-negotiable to them.
As a holistic planner and overall tax strategist, we develop the plan and implement it. Your CPA, or our referral to those CPAs we work with, will continue to prepare the proper tax forms for our implemented strategies. Our practice does not prepare or produce tax forms.