Creative Genius Podcast

Season 8 Episode 6

How’s Your Fiscal Fitness? (Walter Russell)

How’s Your Fiscal Fitness? (Walter Russell)

To stay physically healthy you need to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get periodic check-ups. The same is true for your financial health, whether for your personal finances or those of your business. In addition to monitoring your accounts and monthly P&L statement, you need to keep abreast of changes in tax and estate law at the state and federal levels. You also need a strategy for growing and protecting your wealth, so that you can enjoy the lifestyle you want when you retire or sell your business.

In this episode, Gail talks with Walter Russell of Russell and Associates in New Albany, Ohio. Walter has more than 20 years in the financial industry, working with many of the top financial organizations, including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Ameriprise Financial, LPL Financial, and Kestra Financial. A certified financial planner (CFP), Walter now operates his own financial planning and investments firm.

Gail asked Walter what kinds of financial matters small business owners should be concerned about. He said one of the first things he asks small business owners is, if you pass away, who owns your business? Most don’t know and haven’t even thought about it. He advised setting up a trust and designating who the ownership passes to and who the beneficiaries of the trust should be.

Unless Congress passes other legislation before then, a number of recent changes in the federal tax laws will take effect in the coming years that will increase taxes for individuals and reduce tax protections for heirs and beneficiaries. Due to the substantial size of the national debt, Congress will likely be looking to increase various sorts of taxes in the coming years to increase federal revenues and pay down the deficit. Many states will be doing so, too.

Walter said the three most important things individuals and business owners can do to grow and protect their wealth are:

  • Start financial planning as early as possible. The earlier you start the longer you have for your investments to accrue and compound. Also, have a “Just In Case” plan so your loved ones know how to access your financial accounts should something happen to you.
  • Discuss with your accountant and tax attorney what are your options for minimizing your tax liability—now, in retirement, and for your estate. This is especially crucial for business owners who are subject to the self-employment tax.
  • Set up a Roth IRA and contribute the maximum amount each year. Assets from a Roth IRA are tax-free when withdrawn in retirement.

In their conversation, Walter also talked about what financial strategies individuals should adopt at each life stage, from their 30s to their 60s, and what questions to ask when choosing a CFP to work with. For these and other valuable tips, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on you’re favorite podcast platform, read the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

For more information about Walter and his firm, go to the company website at You’ll also find there Russell’s blog, which contains lots of useful information about financial matters, planning and taxes.

To download Walter Russell’s Just In Case Book, click the button below:

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