Over 60% of Americans will make New Year resolutions for 2020. Some of the most popular resolutions for 2020 are losing weight, reading more, spending more time with family, and flying less to help prevent emissions into the environment. While I typically do not have a “resolution” for the New Year, I will build a plan and goals for the next 12 months.
What are the goals for financial advisors, lawyers, and accountants for 2020? A quick web search will provide hundreds of tips to improve and grow your practice. These tips include: investing and utilizing new technology, exploring new markets and approaches, and generally thinking outside the box. Overall these tips can be helpful, but ultimately the focus of every advisor should start with growing a deeper relationship with clients and finding out how to help them meet their goals. A deep relationship with your clients will further their commitment to you, your practice, and the plan.
One way to go deeper with clients is to start talking about charitable giving. According to the 2018 U.S. Trust study of high net-worth philanthropy, over 50% of clients do not have a charitable giving strategy. Serve clients this year by stewarding their passions and discussing charitable giving.
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. Advisors have the unique opportunity to advise clients about where their money should go and, in turn, where their clients’ hearts will be invested. If your clients do not already have a giving plan, check out this free resource from The Signatry.
As you talk to your clients about their plan for 2020, here are a few things to keep in mind and to start the conversation:
- Nearly all major U.S. Indexes will finish 2019 at record highs. This means that clients have appreciated assets in their portfolios, and there will be charitable strategies to use these assets.
- The SECURE Act was recently signed into law and is effective Jan. 1, 2020. This is the largest change to individual retirement accounts since 1997. Talk with your clients about beneficiary designations because the “stretch” IRA is dead.
- Interest rates are historically low, and real estate values continue to climb. If a client is looking to sell real estate, this is another good opportunity to give before a sale to avoid taxes and get more to charity.
- The presidential election is in November! Elections tend to unsettle the markets, and there is a potential for change and uncertainty – which are not good for planning. Therefore, plan and implement charitable plans now!
In 2020, set a goal to help clients meet their financial goals and steward their charitable passions. This means asking the deeper questions to find out what causes they care about and find creative ways to align their financial plan to meet those passions. Give me a call if you need help to find creative solutions!