Life with Perspective

This is life with Perspective. The Scottsdale Plaza Resort provided a beautiful setting for our new company photos. The resort gave us a day rate on a room, which allowed us a private place to change outfits and cool off in the air conditioning. Photographer Jose Cureno did a great job of bringing our team together. It was a fun morning, topped off with a delicious lunch at JD’s Restaurant on site.

These are some cell phone shots from the day. Keep an eye out for the official Perspective team photos coming soon. Huge thanks to all who helped make this a great experience.

Life with Perspective is Sweet

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  • Life with Perspective
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By |2022-04-20T09:08:28-07:00April 25th, 2022|Advisors|

Tiny Habits Lead to Big Wins

Lupe Camargo

Photography by Mark Skalny

Does anyone else feel like January came and went in the blink of an eye? If you’re asking yourself why you haven’t given thought to your 2022 goals yet, you’re not alone. But remember, tiny habits often lead to big wins.

Maybe before we can be ready to tackle the coming year, we need to take time to reflect on what happened in 2021. The insights gained from this exercise can fuel you for the journey ahead.

Start with your successes. What were your big wins last year? Perhaps you saved more, spent less, or just as important, learned a valuable lesson.

One lesson many of us have learned during the pandemic is that simplicity can bring peace, happiness, and stronger connection to our loved ones. Learning to be happy with less is priceless.

Stop, reflect, and write down at least three wins of 2021. Feeling successful, fuels the momentum for more success. Isn’t it more inspiring to begin with the feeling that your further ahead, rather than feeling like you’re falling behind?

Next, identify areas where there are opportunities to do better in 2022. Perhaps you started to build momentum that you want to continue into the new year. If not, then identify small things to help you start that momentum.

B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., a Stanford professor and habit expert, discusses and shares small steps that can start building momentum toward your goals in his book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything. He points out that practicing tiny habits – ones that take two minutes or less – doesn’t rely on motivation or willpower. One push up is better than no push up. Start with one.

Another valuable lesson Fogg shares (one I learned last year) is that change is easiest when you’re feeling good and hardest when you’re feeling bad.

So celebrate the wins of last year; and give yourself many opportunities to feel successful today by doing tiny things that will eventually lead to big successes in 2022.

By |2022-02-11T12:26:36-07:00February 14th, 2022|Advisors|

Early IRA Withdrawals

Larriva-WEBAs you approach retirement, conventional wisdom is to spend down taxable assets and delay IRA & 401k withdrawals until the Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) begin at age 72. This can be an effective strategy. Yet, in many situations, it may be better to start early IRA withdrawals.

Counter-Intuitive Advice and Early IRA Withdrawals

When does this counter-intuitive strategy make the most sense? It’s relative to your marginal income tax-brackets over a seven- to 10-year period.

For example, a married couple both age 62 can earn up to combined income $106,150 (gross) before the $25,100 standard deduction and still be in only the 12 percent marginal federal tax bracket. If they have $800,000 in IRA/401ks, they can withdrawal some of that money and still be in a low marginal bracket.

If that couple waits until age 72, those retirement assets with 7 percent growth may double to about $1.6 million, and RMDs would start at $62,800 per year. That RMD income along with $57,000 per year for Social Security would put them in a 25 percent marginal tax bracket in the future. (See table.)

Another trap is related to future Medicare premiums (Part B), which typically begin at age 65. The more income you have in retirement, the more you will pay in Medicare premiums. If your adjusted gross income plus municipal bond interest is more than $176,000 for a married couple, then monthly Medicare can increase from about $148 monthly per person up to $505. Paying attention to the nuances in Medicare rules could save a couple up to $8,500 per year.

early IRA withdrawalsDetermining the best time for retirement distributions can be complicated. It’s smart to come up with a plan before you hand in your resignation. Your Perspective advisor will crunch the numbers and help you create the optimal strategy.

By |2021-08-16T13:12:45-07:00September 6th, 2021|Advisors, Health Care, Retirement, Taxes|

Tech Talk with Mike McCann

 

Tech Talk with Mike McCann and Lauren WilkinsonTech Talk with Mike McCann, Founder and President, Perspective Financial Services: hosted by Schwab Advisor Services

McCann was invited to participate in Schwab Advisor Services’ “Tech Talk.” The collection of videos was created to help Schwab’s advisor clients improve their efficiency and services. It features independent advisors like McCann, who have led the way in leveraging technology in their practices and are willing to share their insights. He was interviewed by Lauren Wilkinson, vice president of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab.

 

Following is an abbreviated transcript of the video “Tech Talk with Mike McCann.”

LAUREN WILKINSON:  Hi, I’m Lauren Wilkinson, Vice President of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab. I’m pleased to be joined today by Mike McCann, with Perspective Financial Services. Mike, welcome. Can you start by just sharing, where did you get started when you were choosing to expand your technology focus?

MIKE McCANN:  Sure. The first thing is we look at our overall business model and what it is that we provide for our clients. We are very relationship-based. The relationship with our clients is always critical, and it always will be.

We looked at two parts. The first was to look at technology that would allow us to automate some of the regular everyday activities – things like rebalancing trades, for example – that would then allow us more time to spend with our clients. That’s the efficiency piece.

After that was implemented, we looked at, how do we expand the relationship with our clients, such that they’re able to interact with more people in the firm? Our technology is largely based around the CRM as the hub with financial planning software. That allows us to get the entire relationship of our client and be able to see that at a quick glance, which is much more critical than simply focusing on the portfolios for our clients.

LAUREN:  Well, that’s great to hear. And I know for many people we’ve all become a lot more comfortable using technology to stay connected and work remotely due to COVID. So can you share how your firm’s adoption of technology has helped you during this most recent environment?

MIKE:  Sure. It really allowed us to be well prepared for this, not having any idea something like this could come down, of course.

COVID came with a massive market correction, a big crash, as everybody knows. And that required a lot of personal time with our clients, addressing what was happening, answering questions, talking through concerns. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve gone through a big correction, but it was perhaps the most dramatic one in our firm’s history.

By having all of our routine activities – such as trading, rebalancing, downloads and things of that nature – taken care of through automation and technology, we didn’t have to worry about how to transition that as we were moving from the office to our homes. That automation continued to give us the time we needed to speak with our clients.

Then came your routine activities. You know, at first all we thought maybe this is a two-week shutdown or something. But no, of course not. So we needed to be able to do things like move money. People needed wires. They needed money journaled between accounts. That gave us an opportunity to explore more with our non-digital clients, to get them to start using Schwab Alliance to approve things like journals so that we didn’t have to wait for mail time or try to produce mail coming from multiple different homes.

During the quarantine, we were able to implement the video call, to have the screen-sharing and face-to-face contact with clients that wouldn’t ordinarily try this. And we found some really good success. It brought down walls, if you will, that might normally be associated with just a phone call. Instead, here you are, perhaps, in your kitchen talking to a client. It just creates a more personal conversation.

LAUREN:  Well, thanks for sharing that. And for other firms who are looking to expand their technology presence, what advice would you have for them?

MIKE:  Start with something that’s quick, low-cost and easy to implement. You don’t need to start with the big thing. Start with the small things. And something like I mentioned earlier with moving money, get them into the Schwab Alliance and get them approving a transaction. Take it a step further, whether it’s a new client or an existing client needing a new account, instead of doing the mail, open the account digitally. They may be uncomfortable with it at first, but just ask them to make an exception this time if they can. They might be surprised as to how easy it is.

Go with the assumption that the client wants to do something digitally. Clients now realize they can’t come into your office. They probably don’t want to come into your office. They realize that the mail is a little bit slower than it used to be. So let them know this is a plus. You’re able to serve them on a digital basis and make things go a little bit quicker and easier.

Yes, it’s different. It’s perhaps a little bit uncomfortable at first, but the expression I’ve heard in the past is “dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Think of this as a time to invest for the future. We will get through COVID, of course, but at some point something else in your firm, or personally, or perhaps in the community will come up that will cause another disruption down the road. By putting these things into place, you’ll be ready for it.

LAUREN:  Thank you for sharing this, Mike.  It’s been great to connect with you again, and I really appreciate all the best practices you’ve been able to share.

MIKE: It’s been my pleasure.  Thanks for having me.

 

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By |2020-09-09T11:17:49-07:00September 14th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|