What does Lindsey do with clients?

This morning, I want to share a little bit more about what exactly do I do with clients and how can I be of help to you guys?

So I just kind of want to walk you through the process that I go through with each and every client that I meet with. So I’m going to share my screen and walk you through a little whiteboard activity and all write. Hopefully this all goes well and technology cooperates. But this is part of the conversation that I have with my clients.

And so I wanted to make sure that you guys all understood and knew what it is that I do and how I help clients.

Ok, so first and foremost, when I’m sitting down with the client, they understand that we’re probably going to go through what’s called a financial needs analysis. And during the course of this conversation, we’re going to talk about what their goals are.

The future is regarding their finances and really just what their goals are in general in the future, because pretty much any goal that you come up with is going to have a financial impact of some sort. And so we want to make sure that we come with a financial plan to get them to their goals. But part of it is finding out where they are now and then building a roadmap to where they want to be.

So we always talk about the fact that when you’re working with a client, there’s a giant circle and the circle represents their total income into the household. So all the income from any streams that they have, this circle represents all that income.

And for most individuals here in America, most households in America, you can take this circle and you can cut it in half. And on this side of the line, you’re going to have their household expenses. So these are things like their water bill, their power bill, you know, day to day mortgage, all that stuff goes in there.

Right. Then we’re going to cut this other half in half because at the top of this, most Americans pay today. Half of their remaining have reported their total income in taxes. So that is what goes in that box then. On the bottom part of this, this is where most Americans have a significant amount of debt. And so this image here really depicts what a typical American household looks like today of their total income.

One half of it goes to covering their household expenses. The other half is divided between debt and taxes. Now, very rarely, we’ll find that some people have this little bitty sliver here of this wonderful stuff that we call savings. Let’s get right this on here so you can see this, so this is pretty much what your typical American household looks like as far as what do they spend their income on?

Ok, well, what we do is we take a look at this whole picture and yes, we’re going to go through and we’re going to try and help them identify opportunities where household expenses can be reduced or maybe take some things off their plate.

Most likely, though, a lot of Americans aren’t going to be able to do this successfully. So that is rarely a conversation we get into, unless there’s just something that’s extremely glaring that stands out, for example, that would be over who the client actually at the end of last year. And he told me that his monthly liquor budget was a thousand dollars a month. And I was like, whoa, really?

Like, that’s the highest amount I’ve ever heard in that category. And then he explained to me why they weren’t paying for cable at home. So any time he wants to watch a game, he goes to a bar and while he’s at the bar, he has a couple of drinks, he eats some food, whatever.

And so his monthly alcohol bill, which also included some food and beverages at the bar, total up to over a thousand dollars a month. So through the course of conversations with him, we’re able to lower some of his household expenses. They pay for Caillou, which is a huge trade off, but his barbell is way lower. So to each their own. But that’s just an example of how we would go about reducing household expenses.

If something is just incredibly out of whack, the next thing that we really try and do is we always start off with an education for our clients to do so. After we go through and we identify what are your goals, where, you know, where do we need to be in the future?

Now, I’m going to start talking about and making sure that they’re financially educated. And so the first step of that is I share with all of my clients this book called How Money Works. And I know it seems really elementary. Oh, I know how money works. Well, if you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t you’ve never really been taught because only twenty one out of the 50 states in America actually teach high schoolers financial literacy of any sort.

And it’s probably not even a course on its own. It’s probably wrapped up in a home economics class, maybe a math class, something like that. But it’s not a core curriculum item. So at what way? We actually developed this book and a whole financial literacy package to go along with this. So as a part of this, I teach them money concepts and financial literacy concepts. But this book is a huge part of it. And as you can see, it’s written comic book style so that a 10 year old could understand this and read it.

For most adults, it’s about a 45 minute to an hour long read. So goes by really quickly. And then throughout the process, they’re learning and being educated along the way. So now we’re talking about, OK, what do we do with the this side of the circle? How do we make this savings amount bigger for clients or the few things that we do? So, one, through our education process, you’re going to find some ways to reduce the number of taxes that you’re paying and also take a look at some of your debts.

So in essence, what we’re helping them do is make this savings bucket quite a bit bigger and we’re doing so in in ways that they’re common in the financial industry. -What does Lindsey do with clients-

But again, not many people are educated in personal finance, and so they probably aren’t even aware of some of the things that we can cover. But this is where we’ll get into discussions about how to leverage tax advantage, tax deferred type of savings and investment plans, and then also looking at debt reduction plans as well.

So a common outcome from a client meeting with me is going to be number one. We’re going to sit down, identify their goals, figure out where they are now with personal finances, where they want to be in the future and how to bridge that gap.

The second thing that they’re going to walk away from just in an initial meeting with me is they’re going to walk away with a budget spreadsheet. So if they’re not keeping track of a budget, which a lot of people are not, they’ll walk away from a first meeting with me having a budget in hand. And they will also have a net worth statement. I think those things are really important and really critical in looking at clients.

And then from there, we’ll develop this plan or a plan similar to this that works for them and their household in order to achieve their financial goals. So I just wanted to make you all aware that those are the types of services they offer. It is important for you to know that I do not charge planning fees so every single person I meet with sit down with them and I have the initial consultation meeting with them for absolutely free. I don’t charge them for meeting with me at any point during the process.

The only way that I actually make an income off of working with clients is if they purchase a product or service with me. That’s it. So please leverage me and make myself make me available to your clients as a resource if they don’t have a financial professional that they’re working with. I’d be more than happy to help them out with that. Thanks so much.

-What does Lindsey do with clients-

Lindsey Monahan

This & That

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