Building Your ”Financial House”

For the veteran financial advisor, Eric L. Scott, who received the 2015 Advisor of the Year award from Retirement Advisor Magazine, says the 2008 crisis caused little turbulence.  Scott said that his firm only received three concerned phone calls from clients that year.  But it took a lot of financial planning, and education to build a sound investment structure for his clients that could withstand the volatility.

Because of the way we build the financial house, our clients understand this and know we are here to help protect their income.  No matter what happens to the economy, and the financial markets, they are going to feel safe and secure.  Scott is an investment advisor representative, and Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow (LUTCF), and a national Social Security Advisor (SSA), and is passionate about his clients’ “financial house,” a structure built on solid income planning.

Scott is President of the Saint George, Utah-based firm, Eric Scott Financial, but goes beyond the traditional role of financial advisor.  His firm hosts several classes a year on topics such as Social Security, IRA/401(k)s and Scott himself teaches a class entitled “Financial Crossroads,” based on his book “The Five Crossroads”, a rundown of what people need to know so that they can retire with the lifestyle they want in addition to a sense of security.

Scott’s firm typically advises clients who are between the ages of 50 and 75, and usually hold a minimum of $250,000 in assets.  Scott says “Less than that, and it can be difficult to invest and get the retirement they want”.

The financial house comes up often when Scott talks with people about getting their financial house in order this is his firm’s top priority.  

“The financial industry, I don’t believe, is doing enough income planning to help people retire safely.  In this planning you have to look at their social security, pensions, investments, and their taxes,” Scott said.  He started in the business in 1983, when he began selling insurance. That particular job taught him how much clients need a holistic approach to money management which looks at everything, not just at insurance, stocks or cash.

Scott said he believes that we are here to help people create their perfect retirement – it does not happen by chance – and Eric Scott Financial aims to help them do just that.  Whether it is by working with clients, teaching classes, writing books or making media appearances as an expert, Scott often engages his client based advisory board to consider whether they are doing enough to plan for the future.

The financial house was the subject of Scott’s first book, “The Five Crossroads: Unlocking the Secrets to Your Retirement Journey.” Scott, also wrote a second book, “Shattering IRA Misconceptions” and is working on his third book about Social Security.  Scott also hosts a radio show on a local station 890 KDXU, “The Financial Crossroads.” He’s also known to make guest appearances on other radio programs.
Despite all, Scott said his greatest success is “listening to and educating people so they can make sound financial decisions to live their dreams.” It is a hard-earned success that took years to achieve, he noted, adding that his greatest failure was not listening enough when he started out in this business.

The financial house starts with the foundation, which has four cornerstones representing: - Auto, home, health, long term care, life and some additional areas built into each cornerstone.  “After we put together an income plan we make sure we look at other options for all areas in the cornerstone,” Scott said, which is why having enough assets for a stable retirement is key.

Some people simply lack the funds to stay away from Medicaid.  Another consideration is the health cornerstone dealing with long-term care.  Because inflation generally is twice the rate of other areas such as gas or food,” Scott said. Taking that inflation into account, and dealing with tax concerns that could arise from the loss of a spouse, are high priorities for the firm.  When clients have a sound income plan, they have sense of security that comes with it.  Eric Scott Financial then looks at building the walls, these are low-volatility investments, and last comes the roof, which is made of higher-risk investments.  Each of these fazes complete their financial house.  “No matter what happens, the foundation should be strong enough to withstand any market convulsions,” Scott said.

Focusing on all areas of the financial house which comes down to the final analysis, helping people. Scott said he was taught long ago, “Do the right thing and business will take care of itself.” When he started out he realized that doing the right thing also meant doing more than just selling, planning is the key.

Scott said, “I found out that I could not help people financially without having a sound business structure … you need to look at income planning, investments, taxes, health care … so people can enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.”

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