THE CONCEPT OF RETIREMENT HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY over the past couple decades. Unlike my dad, who retired 25 years ago and never worked another day in his life, today’s retirees don’t retire. They start giving back and do work they want to do, not what they have to do.

Has your retirement planning changed with the times?

Effective planning starts with understanding a client’s story and what their money is for. Are you asking the right questions? Are you helping your clients find “meaning” and not just “money?” Mitch Anthony and I discuss these ideas and a few more in this episode of Between Now and Success.

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Mitch Anthony: What are the possibilities in front of you right now?

Mitch Anthony: What are the possibilities in front of you right now?

Mitch Anthony

  • Popular keynote speaker
  • Columnist for Financial Advisor magazine and Journal of Financial Planning
  • Host of the daily radio feature, The Daily Dose, heard on over 100 radio stations nationwide.
  • Author or coauthor of many groundbreaking books for advisors and consumers, including perennial bestseller StorySelling for Financial Advisors

Show Notes

  • Mitch says, “The mistake that financial advisors make not just in the retirement conversation but in all money conversations is they fail to understand the context within which they’re planning.” He goes on, “We can crunch all the numbers and we can be incredibly proficient mathematically and completely miss the point. The point being what? To me, the ultimate question in financial planning is what’s the money for?”
  • Not mincing words, “Financial advisors, by and large use cookie-cutter systems for gathering facts and numbers and try to put plans together without understanding the singularity of the situation. That’s probably my overarching critique of the industry and so that’s why I’ve spent most of my career working on discovery tools – how do you understand a person’s story? At the end of the day, I need to know aspects of your story in order to plan for them. The numbers are there to serve the story, not vice versa.”
  • How do you start a conversation with a new client? Mitch says to “Start a client conversation with some money history. Start with ‘where’d you grow up’ and ‘what was it like growing up.’ And here’s another good question you can ask, “What was money like growing up?”
  • Mitch says he’s identified 67 life transitions that we could possibly go through. Do you have solutions to help clients through them?
  • Mitch doesn’t like the word “goals” because “there’s something about it that feels like you’re asking me to commit to something before I’m ready.” Instead, he says use the word “possibilities.” What are the “possibilities” in front of you right now? Love it.
  • Dealing with clients who are dying? Mitch says, “People who are afraid of dying are people either who feel they’ve wasted their life, or people who know they’ve lived it wrong way.” He goes on to say, “At the end of the day it comes down to, how am I going to live today? I’m not going to worry about the day I die, I’m going to worry about how I live today.” Wise words.
  • What are the two questions every potential retiring person needs to answer? “Number one, what are you doing with your time? Number two, how are we going to pay for it?” Say to your client, “I need to have you answer the time question first, because how you apply yourself with your time is going to directly affect the price tag.” Once we know the price, we can figure out how we’re going to pay for it.

Resources & Other Links


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Steve Sanduski, CFP® is the CEO and co-founder of ROL Advisor, founder of Belay Advisor, host of the Between Now and Success Podcast, a New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker.

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