The first few months of the year, clients welcome a new year and new resolutions.
This is especially true when it comes to finances and our taxes. It seems like everyone wants the same thing: to earn more and to keep more of what we earned. However, the skill isn’t found in making tax resolutions for the new year; it’s found in creating ways to fulfill your new-year tax resolutions.
To help motivate your clients, here’s a list of four easy ways to help them stick to their tax resolutions.
1. Realistic Resolutions
Yes, there is definitely a time and place for the epic speech of “Get Out There and Dream Big,” but what may be even more important for your clients is to stay grounded and set realistic resolutions for this tax year.
Advize your clients to avoid the trap of trying to keep up with everyone around them, and instead create goals and resolutions for the new year that are specific to their situation and realistically attainable. They don’t have to dream small, but just make sure their dreams are their own.
2. Savings Won’t be Built in a Day
Remind your clients that patience is key. It’s easy to get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, or when their results aren’t as earth shattering as they were expecting. For most of us, our financial goals and tax resolutions are going to take time to mature and succeed. Don’t get in a rush. Stay positive and persevere.
For example, if their tax resolutions include starting a Roth IRA, they need to understand that they won’t complete their retirement savings in the first two months of the year. It will take a steady pace of contributions to grow their savings. And, that’s perfectly OK.
3. Help Your Clients Create a Plan
No matter what your client’s goals are for this new year, success begins with a solid plan of action. Wishing for success won’t fulfill your resolutions and your goals. Work with your clients to write them down, with a way to keep track of their victories and failures, and create a weekly, monthly or quarterly plan to help them continue their progress. Work backwards from the goal of their resolution to help them determine where they need to begin and what each step should look like.
4. Revisit and Repair
Lastly, your clients can’t simple set their resolutions on cruise control. These goals need care and attention. Revisit these goals and resolutions with your clients every few months or so – depending on what they are. Doing this will help your clients keep track of your resolutions and the steps needed for a successful outcome.
Helping your clients go back to evaluate their tax resolutions will also help you find any changes or repairs that you need to make. Financial lives are very fluid, and adjustments are almost always necessary.
Good luck this year!