Mistakes are Expensive: A New Generation Embraces Financial Planning at the Mid-Stage

Financial planning has evolved beyond investing assets. The old model limited comprehensive planning to a wealthy few with high levels of manageable assets. For many people, their first engagement with a financial advisor was when they needed to create a retirement income plan.

The new fee-only model allows financial advisors with experience and knowledge to assist across the landscape of financial life. And a new generation with very different goals is taking advantage of all the elements to create plans that work for them.

  • Retire early, create “work optional,” or work part-time
  • Save for kids’ college
  • Enjoy life now – and save for the future
  • Invest in a second home or rental property

This generation has created high income and realizes they do not have to wait another 20 or 30 years to have the lifestyle they truly want. They understand that financial planning is all about tools, tactics, and strategies that can be deployed in tandem to help them keep more of what they make and actively grow their wealth.

It’s about understanding the options, making the right choices for a highly individual path forward, and solving problems.

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Cash Flow Planning When You’re Thinking About Retirement

Pre-retirement planning is one of the most challenging stages of your financial journey. You’re still fully engaged in your career, but you’re also looking ahead to a not-distant future when your life and your source of income will radically change.

Retirement means you’ll be making choices about where you want to live, what your retired life will look like, if it will include work, travel, charity, a hobby – all the things you always wished you had time for will now be yours to choose from.

But you’re also going to need to ensure you have enough saved to fund the retirement you want, and that the income stream you’ll be able to generate from all your sources of income in retirement is tax-efficient.

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More Money More Problems? Complex Compensation Requires a Different Kind of Advisor

The benefit of becoming a high earner is apparent: more money. You can go beyond creating financial security for yourself and your family and start making choices that may have been out of reach. Not having to worry about covering the basics can also provide you with a measure of peace of mind. It can help you operate from a mindset of abundance, and not scarcity, which can free you to actualize your financial and personal goals.

But before you get to that state of satori, you need to get all the money you’ve earned into your financial plan in a reasonably efficient way, while minimizing the taxes you’ll pay across your lifetime, and creating a diversified financial plan.

And if that’s not complicated enough, being a high earner very often means your compensation is unpredictable, lumpy, or you’re no longer a W2 wage earner. Whether you have deferred compensation, restricted stock, stock options, an annual bonus, or you own your own business, high income levels can equate to situations in which you have very complex compensation.

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GMB Ep #120: A CFO’s Perspective on Managing Cash, M&A, ESOPs, & the Changing Business Environment

 

Have you ever heard the saying that revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is reality? Today’s guest, Robert E. Bendetti, is the CFO at Life Cycle Engineering. He holds a master’s degree in accounting and financial management and an MBA specializing in small business management and entrepreneurship, as well as being a certified public accountant. Throughout the episode, we cover several key concepts that help business owners grow their businesses and adapt to ever changing markets.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:21] Background – Robert shares his background and the company’s operations.

[05:20] Cash Flow Management – Robert emphasizes the importance of cash flow management and gives his perspective as a CFO on appropriate cash management for small enterprises.

[08:48] Cash Conversion Cycle – Robert discusses approaches to optimize the cash conversion cycle, emphasizing the importance of timely invoicing, collection challenges, and the smoothness of the payment process.

[11:50] Tips – Robert shares an approach for reducing turnaround time and illustrates a simple mechanism to increase collection rates.

[20:29] Profitability – Robert points out how to convert cash to profit, describing what balance sheet and income statement items need to be monitored.

[23:25] Paying Yourself vs. Reinvesting – Robert outlines how to decide whether to invest additional funds to boost profitability and future growth or pay yourself.

[31:41] Transition – Robert addresses what individuals approaching retirement or transition should consider 18 months before leaving a firm.

[40:25] Employee Stock Ownership Plan – Robert dives deep into ESOP and related topics.

[51:31] Global CFO Council – As President and Founder of Global CFO Council, Robert mentions what he hopes to accomplish through the organization.

 

Resources

Value Your Business Like it’s Your Retirement Plan, Because it is.

Building a successful business can take decades. While working to grow, it’s common to use all available assets above the salary you pay yourself to fund future expansion. Where does that leave you on the retirement side of things? For most business owners, the retirement plan is some form of exit and monetization of your investment.

As you get close to a transition, valuing the business is paramount. The value comes first, and then the sale, and only then do many business owners think about how the sale proceeds will fund retirement.

There’s a better way. Start with the amount of money you need to live the retired life you want. That’s your benchmark of the value you want to get for your business. Then work from there to create the value you need.

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