“Take a holistic approach to financial planning.” - Pete Bush
“Pay attention to the big events happening around you.” - Bill Bush
Pete Bush, CFP®, is the CEO and partner of Horizon Financial Group, a full-service financial planning, investment advisory, and retirement planning firm. Focused on bringing confidence and clarity to his clientele, Pete has worked in the industry since 1991, serving clients who include business executives, retirees, and professional athletes.
Bill Bush is a Chartered Retirement Plan SpecialistSM, Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor®, and the Media Manager for Horizon. He produces Horizon’s podcast series and co-hosts Inside the Plan with the 401(k) Brothers. Before Horizon, Bill was a CEO in the healthcare industry and had a lengthy career in television broadcasting, business development, and marketing operations.
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later.
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Are you leaving millions on the table?
Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.
Enjoy the interview!
[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.
I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time and your hard earned money wasted.
Of the quote unquote "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
I should know. I said "no" to a seven-figure offer. And "yes" to mastering the art and the science of a liquidity event. [00:01:00] Two years later, I said "yes" to a different buyer with a nine figure deal.
Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing the skills that built your business are the same ones to sell it.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and the 9-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the best deal instead of any deal.
At the end of this episode, take a moment and hear from business owners like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.
Pete Bush is the CEO and Partner of Horizon Financial Group, a full service, financial planning, investment advisory, and retirement planning firm. Focused on bringing confidence and clarity to his clientele, Pete has worked in the industry since 1991, serving clients who include business executives, retirees, and professional athletes.
Bill Bush [00:02:00] is a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist, Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor, and the media manager for horizon. He produces Horizons podcast series and cohosts. Inside the plan With The 401k Brothers. Before horizon bill was a CEO in the healthcare industry and had a lengthy career in television broadcasting, business development and marketing operations.
Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast, and wow. We have a dynamic duo lined up for you today. Fellow podcasters, thought leaders, authors, success, people, you name it all in one. I'm gonna stop right there.
You'll hear it directly from our guests themselves. So, Bill, Pete, welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast. An absolute pleasure to have you with us and for both of you. I'm gonna ask this question. There's always a story behind the story. So, what's your story? What got each of you to where you are today?
[00:02:55] Bill Bush: Thank you Jeff, first of all Jeffrey, for having us on. And It's great pleasure to be on your podcast, [00:03:00] and I'll start it with this so we have a picture that hangs in the Office of Horizon Financial Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is a picture of a 40 acre a farm with a farmhouse on it, and that is where we grew up in some of our formative years.
And the phrase that we have around that is, how did we get here from there? And so that's one of those things we've kind of grasped onto. You know, we started very humble beginnings. Pete is actually the first one that got into the financial services business 30 some odd years ago. I took a track in different track, was in broadcast journalism.
We had moved to Baton Rouge, went to LSU, graduated in broadcast journalism, minored in business administration. Went off and became a sportscaster. Then got into healthcare and healthcare administration, and my two brothers who had a great business built down in Baton Rouge came and recruited me out of that about seven years ago.
[00:03:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: Keeping it all in the family. You gotta love that. And Pete, I'm wondering with yourself, you know, we'll [00:04:00] hear your story behind the story, but what brought you into the business in the first place?
[00:04:03] Pete Bush: Bill talked LSU. I was playing baseball at LSU and there was an alumni that kind of was hanging around the program and that I got to know. And he told me as a 21 year old, he said, when you get finished playing baseball, he goes, come see me. He goes, I think you'd be really good at this.
And what this was, come to find out, he was an investment manager and financial planning guy. And I had no idea what that was because as Bill just alluded to, we grew up on a 40 acre farm out in the sticks with no money. So, I had never really seen much money other than maybe a few bucks that you know, we would scrounge up doing chores to go buy baseball cards with. I think, do you succeed or get to some level in spite of where you started or because of it? And I think a lot of it is because of it. We were driven, we were smart and took everything very seriously as far as learning and certainly had some good role models there with our parents.
And that, led me to open that opportunity. And I got into it. I didn't know if I would like it or knew [00:05:00] much about it. Turns out I fell in love with it, man, and that was 31 years ago. And I love helping people. That always pressed some dopamine button in me when somebody would thank me for helping them and I got addicted to it.
[00:05:10] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, you gotta love that story. And I've gotta ask you this because going through the book, and for our listeners, we'll have this in the show notes, The Runway Decade: Building a Pre-Retirement Flight Plan in Your Fifties and truth be told, both of you could have focused really on anything, but instead you've chosen this very specific path.
And what's the story behind the story on that one? What had you even think to start doing this?
[00:05:36] Bill Bush: Well, it actually came during the lockdown. And we were really looking at the end of the year in 2020 like where do we really do well with? Who are the folks, the clients that that we do well, most of them are in their fifties, and they were business owners in their fifties or C-suite individuals in their fifties.
We took that notion of gosh, they have a good message for that type of cohort, and we are in our fifties ourselves. Then I got to thinking about all [00:06:00] the possibilities that life can throw at you in your fifties. And this runway image started coming up with gosh, it seems like I just turned 50, but here I'm 55, 56, and it's halfway over, almost my fifties. Gosh, things really build momentum in this decade, and I'll be retiring before you know it. And gosh, what do I need to do to get ready for this?
[00:06:22] Jeffrey Feldberg: Oh wow. You know what? Like a typical business owner, you found a particular problem, a painful problem in this particular situation, and then boom, you came up with a solution to it. But let me ask both of you this, and we'll go into the book and your thesis with it and what's going on. But it's clear, and we're talking a little bit offline about this.
I mean, there's some business owners who are probably saying, oh, it's too late for me. I never planned, and why start now? You know, that ship has sailed, but it's never too late. But where do we go wrong as business owners in the first place? Because I'm sure that particular narrative, that story you're seeing time and time again, what do you think's going on with that?[00:07:00]
[00:07:00] Pete Bush: Well, I think business owners fail to realize something that you talk about a lot, which is the sheer concentration of wealth into this one normally illiquid asset that there's multiple ways to have liquidity events and Exit strategy and all that, and every single one of 'em I guess they're not all complex.
One of 'em is very simple, but it's not the best one, right? There's opportunities, that are complex. And I think for us it's in working with business owners is that you see that they have the problems that money and success actually create so our main role, I think is.
And looking holistically at somebody's wealth picture is making sure that they are taking this thing that has become complex because it's become successful. And really coming back to simplicity, coming back to who they are and what they're trying to accomplish. Legacies they may be trying to achieve and things like that.
And then that gives them the path, it shows them the path. And that's really who we're trying to be a hero to is the [00:08:00] people that have built successful business owners. I would call 'them business leaders sometimes they may not be owners, but they are leading and running businesses.
I feel like that's who this book is best set up to serve.
[00:08:10] Jeffrey Feldberg: And perhaps we can dispel one myth and there's many myths that we'll go through and dispel, but the one myth that so many business owners believe is to have some kind of retirement plan, number one, can't even imagine that life without the business. Don't know what that would be like.
Not so sure. I want to be in that position. Or I can even imagine what that's like. But when it comes to retirement, when it comes to wealth, when it comes to Wealth planning, once I sell the business, once I actually have some wealth, some liquid Wealth, then I'll look to go and invest and plan and do all those other things.
And for our listeners who are resonating with that, they're saying, Hey, yeah, Jeffrey, that is, that's me. You nailed it. What's the real narrative that they should be saying to themselves of why it's never too early to start, even if you don't have all those zeros in the bank account?
[00:08:55] Bill Bush: Yeah, I think it's diversification, kinda what Pete alluded to. You have this one big asset, but [00:09:00] at the same time, there's no harm and no damage and put away dollars no matter how small, early on. And really concentrating on that because when you do get to that point where you need to turn on a stream of income, you wanna have multiple pools and sources to draw from that.
[00:09:15] Jeffrey Feldberg: Sure. And it brings up a great question, Bill, with what you're saying. As wealth advisors, as financial planners, as just helping other business owners out there to put a proper plan in place. It doesn't happen overnight and doesn't start producing that passive income overnight either.
How long does it typically take? And I know you're gonna say well, Jeffrey, depends on the individual and what that plan is gonna look like in their asset allocation and what they want to do. Back of the envelope, what should we be thinking about here?
[00:09:43] Pete Bush: Yeah, you're talking post Exit. I think that first of all entrepreneurs are really bad at retiring and not doing anything. We do encourage people to pump the brakes, take some time, digest what just happened call that a short-term income plan, which [00:10:00] is largely, just living outta cash, or as being able to set up things in phase, what I would call phases of retirement or phases of the next steps maybe even up to a year or more where they don't really think about getting into something new because you see some mistakes made. We have, certainly have, I know probably you have in your podcast of situations where somebody, had that eager button to get back into something new with some of their, frankly found capital or liquidated capital and didn't think that all the way through or maybe weren't ready for it.
So I would say it does take a little bit of time to settle in to what's next? And we are fortunate too in our practice to work with some professional athletes that retire. It's one of the things that they say, and one of 'em put it so, well, is like, since they were five years old, their feet digging into the grass or the dirt became so, natural that they didn't even think about it.
Whereas a non-athlete, you know, it'd be kind of weird to wear cleats and run around in the grass and dirt. [00:11:00] And it's finding that comfort level beyond their careers. And I think it's a good analogy for business owners. So I would say short term income plan for sure, to bridge the gap. And then long term income plan kicks in maybe the next couple of phases.
[00:11:14] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well said. And it reminds me as you're talking about that Pete with the astronauts and Neil Armstrong who got to the moon and then when he came back and it's the what next? You know, I just did what everyone thought was the impossible. Made it possible. And now that I'm back, what do I do? And we take that moonshot.
And then life after the fact if you haven't planned for it. And we talk a lot about that in the post Exit life, in our mindset process here at Deep Wealth that happily ever after is often elusive when you don't plan for that so let me throw for both of you, Pete and Bill, this scenario. Someone gets the book and they'll go through the book, learn all about that, educate themselves on this, but then they actually begin to work with you.
What does your system look like if they're not really prepared? They haven't put together any kind of planning [00:12:00] beforehand. How did your system work? Where do we start? Can you walk us through that?
[00:12:03] Bill Bush: Yeah, well, actually in the last chapter of the book, we outlined what that looks like a little bit so as we bring folks through the readers, through the different chapters of book you get to the end, it's can you do this on your own? Should you seek out advice and what type of advice is out there?
And then we tee up the way we do things and we have a system that Pete developed actually called the Confident Wealth Experience. And that is outlined in the book some of the steps of that. We don't go into great detail on that, but Pete could probably give you a little more color on the thinking process behind coming up with that, cuz it's really unique.
[00:12:36] Pete Bush: Yeah, I think the goal is confidence. And that means different things to different people. Our foundational belief at Horizon is that financially confident people make the world better. And there's a lot of reasons for that to go into, but, the process is built around building maintaining, or in some cases restoring confidence that's been taken away for whatever reason.
The first part of the process coming around the right side of the [00:13:00] wheel, so, to speak, is, I call it Financial Planning 101, but it's very holistic. It's gathered data. Give feedback and analysis and make recommendations. A lot of times advisors stop right there and you're on your own to go forward.
The coming around the other side of the wheel I feel is really differentiated and that's the Advisor link advantage is the next step coming up. The other side of the wheel is really where we're taking all the professionals that are gonna add value into your wealth picture, whether it's tax, legal, insurance, risk management whatever case may be. Then the next step's kind of a finger on the pulse is the competent wealth monitor. That's something that I think people resonate with. Yeah we don't want grass to grow. We don't wanna have to totally weed the thing back out, just stay in this regular cadence and then ongoing in our process is just the ongoing communications and education and different events and things that we hold host to to stay on top of things and have people stay connected and on top of their game.
[00:13:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Pete, you mentioned something interesting, [00:14:00] which is often overlooked by a lot of business owners, and I know I've been there myself, and it is not such an easy place to come back to, and that is for whatever reason, you lose confidence. And let's face it, as business owners, we're focused on the business.
Investing the markets aren't necessarily what we're wired for or really even understand. And if we're really open, if we're being vulnerable with ourselves, hey, that kind of feels scary to me. I don't know if I can trust it. Hey, I know my business. I trust that I can invest my money in there. I know I have some control over that, but the markets is anyone's guess.
So, someone who doesn't have that comfort level. How do you get them to get you know, over that and get that comfort level in there and to really begin that proper planning process, which will serve them well, really for the rest of their career and lives.
[00:14:46] Pete Bush: I think that confidence comes from knowing where you stand in relation to your financial goals.
The reason a lot of people aren't confident is overwhelming. Majority of people don't have financial goals. So, you go to measure, how am I doing? And you look [00:15:00] outside of yourself to other business owners or people in your rotary group or whoever in your social clubs, and you try to compare yourself to that.
You know that old thing about, you're comparing your insides to their outsides, and that doesn't always go well either. It doesn't tell you anything. Certainly and so I think that's the key differentiator is once someone sets financial goals, and like you said, whether it's, pre-exit, post-Exit whatever, in your Wealth building journey, is that once you have those goals established and you're just periodically the finger on the pulse, the confident Wealth monitor is seeing how, where do you stand in relation to what you said you want? That gives you confidence, right? And I think that's for somebody that has never done that. Step one is you gotta sit down, you gotta think through what is it that you actually want, and set some goals around it.
[00:15:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, Pete. Well Said. And in the book, you really, from chapter one, hey, where are you going? so,, the old, what gets measured? What gets done? Do you even know where you're going? Or you like that proverbial [00:16:00] ship without a rudder and wherever life takes you, that's where you're gonna be heading. And I like how you walk us through, okay, now that you know, or you have some idea of where you're going, let's talk about the obstacles.
Where are you now? Hey, are you even gonna get there? And then right at the midpoint, and I love your play on words and your relaying to the movie that we all know and love, enter the matrix. And it is not just a play on words because you actually have a system behind that. The financial matrix.
So, walk us through that. What's going on with the financial matrix?
[00:16:28] Bill Bush: The financial matrix is basically every topic or imaginable entity that a dollar could touch, right? And so there's seven main categories there, and it takes you through in some subcategories and below. And while this isn't an overarching system, it does touch most what everybody is involved with in their life.
So, that's cash flow and budgeting would be the first one. A lot of subcategories underneath that investment planning. Then retirement planning, what does it mean? Like on [00:17:00] withdrawal strategies, social security, Medicare come into play in that, you know, business Exit planning. Of course there's a huge part of that for some of your listeners.
Then it's income tax planning, reviewing cost basis, tax loss, harvestings, things like that. Risk management and insurance, that basically comes down to, Hey, what happens if you don't wake up tomorrow? What's going on with the rest of the family? And those really depending on you.
And then beyond, that's estate planning, charitable giving is another category. And then the seventh one is assistance to others. And what type of impact do you hope to leave once you're, no longer on the planet? Underneath those seven categories, a lot of different other things.
And we think of this analogy, if you took a USB cable and could plug it into your brain and the other end of that cable was on the matrix, what would really fire up and light up as you being confident about and really knowing your handle well? And then what wouldn't light up, right? And where are the problem areas and where do we need to [00:18:00] focus?
So, I think it's a good way to look at it holistically and revealing way, it does kinda offer Hey I think I got that covered, but I might not have this covered.
[00:18:09] Pete Bush: Yeah, and you've used, Bill's used the analogy of, are you green, yellow, or red on these boxes? And we've never met anybody that was a hundred percent green. Even people that had done a lot of planning, even a lot of thinking, or maybe it could be a good culprit, there might be estate planning.
Somebody might look at that and go, Yeah, we did that seven, eight years ago, and then they go pull their will out, and it was actually 15 years ago, right? People just, they lose track of time and like, oh no, we have our wheels. It's all set. But life's changed. Wealth grew, business grew, everything changed since the last time we did that.
So, I think that's a good way to look at the matrix, is, what's it flashing? What's it telling you? And sometimes you may need to get an outside set of eyes on that.
[00:18:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, Peter and Bill, I really like what you do with Financial Matrix because when you look at each of the seven areas that you spoke about I mean you really cover it day to day. The presence today, right now, cash flow, [00:19:00] but then you take it all the way through ultimately to legacy. What do you wanna be known for, what are you gonna be doing?
And that covers it. And as you're going through that, really what popped to mind for me, if you look at step number four of our nine-step roadmap which is due diligence, and this is where we're doing an internal audit. We're preparing before we have some kind of liquidity event or some kind of Exit and tax planning comes up, which is one of your areas as well.
And so for our listeners, just so,, they can get a fresh take on this. Can you share with them why tax planning well before any Exit and the old Japanese saying, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today. And tax planning certainly follows that analogy. Can you share for them how important it is to start as soon as possible with tax planning and why?
[00:19:47] Pete Bush: Well, Yeah, I mean, first off, I would say that if you gave somebody the chance to earn another dollar or save a dollar in taxes, they will say, I'd rather save a dollar in taxes. For whatever reason, that one feels better. But the truth of it [00:20:00] is, especially because it has ramifications about your business, when you go to Exit, things that may give you set you up tax wise better while you're accumulating and building may actually be a detriment when you go to Exit the business. And I think we talk about this in the chapter on are you even gonna get there with your health?
Which is that, health and wealth have these very common things. They both benefit from early detection. If you can find issues or problems or structures the way, maybe the type of tax structure you've chosen to operate within. Those things affect you down the line as you go to have options coming out.
It would be better to have done that earlier, versus switching, at a last minute or whatever. So there's lots of components to tax and we're not CPAs, but we swim around in that world a little bit as we interact with clients that are going through these, but early detection of an audit, you mentioned that word, I think is a [00:21:00] great way to look at it.
Hey, are we in the right tax structure? Should we, What are our plans going forward? Should we do something different right now that's gonna affect us down the line?
[00:21:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And you know the other word that you use that is so relevant and you don't see a lot out there. You use holistic. Let's take a holistic view of all of this and it's really tied together and I think the health analogy is a great one. I mean, most people take their car to get the oil change at least once a year.
But we don't do that for ourselves, for our business, for our planning. And when it comes to that, I'm gonna rely on Pareto's law and it may change a little bit here and there, but I'm gonna guess that probably from the business owners that you're speaking with, 80% of the mistakes or the flaws or the issues that you're seeing are probably coming from 20% of the same root cause.
What would be some of the same problems from one business owner to the next that you're seeing time and time again that we should know about?
[00:21:52] Bill Bush: Well, I think a couple obstacles in general that show up or are disorganization. And another one would be [00:22:00] just not knowing the numbers, if you will. And then procrastination. We often meet with business owners that say, I've been meaning to call you for three years. Three years ago, that's a long, long time.
And so it's getting in front of those things and being intentional. I think more than anything that some folks kind of fail at.
[00:22:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah. And Pete, any thoughts on that as well? I mean, Bill, that's so poignant in terms of what you're sharing. What, Pete, what would you be seeing?
[00:22:22] Pete Bush: Yeah I think it's maybe people not involving or engaging teamwork with all the types of advisors around them that they might need. Typically, they may have the CPA and they probably have corporate attorney. They got their group benefits people, whatever. But sometimes there's that blind spot, certain parts of the business that maybe they may have a consultant within their industry that they're working with, and I think that's pretty much a common thing that we see is that they haven't gone out and had somebody that was in a position to do like the full 360.
Because a lot of professionals stay in their lane. [00:23:00] The tax guy say no, there's all kind of different tax people, all kind of different attorneys, all kind of different financial advisors. But I do think that seeking out someone that can tie up all the loose pictures that we feel like our Advisor link advantage does that.
It's like, let's everybody look at this business through the same lens and communicate what they see, so, that we can make any adjustments while we still have time.
[00:23:22] Bill Bush: And I think another thing we do mention in the book is you can't read the label from inside the jar, so, doing it yourself is very you know, risky and a blind spot as Pete would say.
[00:23:32] Jeffrey Feldberg: So true. And we talk a lot about this at Deep Wealth, you know, you can pick an example. I'll choose one example. You can choose many, as an example. Someone is going to perhaps sign up with a fitness trainer or a fitness coach who's gonna help them because they recognize, hey, you know what? Yeah, sure.
I could perhaps learn it on my own, but why spend the time and the effort and do it wrong? I'll have someone who's gonna hold me accountable and who's going to really get me there a whole lot quicker. Why aren't we doing the same [00:24:00] thing for ourselves, particularly when it comes to our finances? And that's actually a terrific segue.
Because as you go through each of the chapters in the books, we talked about the financial matrix. Then in chapter six you're talking about what's working, what's not working, and you know, going through the financial matrix, to me, it reminded me of a business that has some KPIs, some key performance indicators.
So, we're setting up our KPIs for the business. And that's a financial matrix. And now that we've done that, we then with chapter six, okay, we're measuring those KPIs, what's working, what's not working? And perhaps for chapter seven ways to get there, okay, it's not quite working this way, we're not measuring up all it looks like we're behind.
Let's talk about how we can change that, what we can do. And then what I want to ask you is really number eight and number nine, and perhaps I'll combine them and you can break them out. We'll see where that goes. Creating your action checklist. And then, the road diverges, so creating that action checklist.
And Bill, it may have been you that referenced earlier. Well, I get the call. Yeah. You wanted to phone me. It's been three years [00:25:00] I've been meaning to phone you. How do we overcome some of that inertia? Yeah I know I gotta get that checklist going. I know I gotta get this plan in motion, but I'm busy. I'll get to it a little bit later today or when I have some more time.
What's going on there?
[00:25:12] Bill Bush: I think first of all, we do make some tools available for the reader of the book to download at runwaydecade.com, and one of those is an action checklist. It's kinda like the what doesn't get written down, isn't really measured, and that's not really real if it's just in your nogging and not on a page or a spreadsheet somewhere, so we really challenge the reader and business folks as to let's get that out of there and really put it down in writing and so have a list that you can go back with the timeframe and maybe an accountability partner. That's a huge step, is someone that can maybe help you knock off these things that you know now you need to do by having looked at the matrix and really giving yourself a really good inventory of where you are.
So, there's some tools there that we like to [00:26:00] use with our clients and in our planning process that I think might be valuable.
[00:26:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Let me ask you this. As I'm working with you and I'm with Horizon, I'm with one of you or the team, and you're walking me through this process, so certainly you're gonna be my accountability there, and you're gonna be holding me to things and scheduling meetings, but how does that work?
So, once you get to know me, you get to know my tolerance for risk. You come up with some kind of asset allocation, you're planning everything out, you're getting all that together. What does it look like from that point forward? Because I would imagine in some ways, coming up with a plan. Not that it's easy, but it's probably the easier part of it than implementing it, staying with it, and ensuring that we're not letting things slip.
So, how does that work when I'm working with you? When I have your system? When I have one of you or your team members with me on my site to help get me through this.
[00:26:51] Pete Bush: Yeah, I think the last step in the wheel there that I was describing earlier in the Confident Wealth Experience is the confident care system. Part of [00:27:00] that is the ongoing right service and support, regular cadence of meetings and calls and updates and things of that nature. But there's also especially true to the entrepreneurs that we work with there's also something called the opportunity evaluator, And that's something where as new opportunities come up, we're sitting there copilot with that outside set of eyes to help them think through things.
So, you're right. As the old adage says, the plan of battle, which we would call this the financial plan the battle plan is only good until it meets the field of battle.
And then you adjust and adapt and, what is the economy doing? What is going on in your life changes. It's a very a great financial plan is a living dynamic ongoing plan.
The static paper that it might get printed on in the moment when you're first getting ready to launch is a good reference point to go back to.
But it's also only as good as the day that you put it together. So, we know that as life changes and as things come at you you're gonna have to [00:28:00] adapt and so we try to sit there as a co-pilot ready at the wheel so to speak.
[00:28:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: And I would imagine, and we'll talk about this because chapter 10 is a terrific segue for that, is the famous rhetorical question that we have at Deep Wealth. When you're planning either to grow your business or to have some kind of liquidity event or an Exit, how in the world do you master something that you've never done before?
Because when it comes to an Exit as an example, the skills that built the business aren't the same ones to Exit it. And I would say the same thing with financial planning. Just because you built a successful business doesn't mean that you have the skills to do the financial planning and put that plan together.
And so, chapter 10, you talk about the value and price of advice and then brackets or going it alone, which really gets to that rhetorical question. For the benefit of our listeners, can you share for them what you've seen when you've had the privilege and the honor of working with business owners, so walk them through your system versus, I imagine when you're called in to pick up the pieces, A business owner who probably thought, Hey, you know what?
I know better than these guys. I'm really good at what I do. [00:29:00] I'll figure it out. I'm smart. I'll just get this going. Can you give us a bit of a before and after and a comparison?
[00:29:06] Pete Bush: Yeah, you want me to take that one bill?
[00:29:07] Bill Bush: Yeah, go ahead.
[00:29:09] Pete Bush: We use the analogy in the book about, went whitewater raft and it's actually the only time I've ever been but we got up there and we went down the river with boulders and everything, so, in Colorado. And what we were going down for the first time turned out to be the only time the guide that was at the back of the boat steering and telling us where to push and wind the row had been down that mountain hundreds of times and I know for sure had we been going down there ourselves just trying to figure it out. Hey, here's the boat, here's yours, take it away. We wouldn't have made it down. Didn't want people way. So we see that similarity in, again, you said earlier, the time to plant a tree was 25 years ago.
The people that I think successful people in general do three things that others that struggle or end up having to pick up the pieces, as you [00:30:00] said do that, those others don't. And that's they seek advice, they make a plan, and then they just take action on the plan and they adjust the sail to the winds as the winds come from there, but they have a plan to go back to. And so you take those three things and action is something that everybody takes because they're either gonna decide themselves or they have to do something to move forward. It's these other two. It's seeking advice and planning.
That really get skipped over. And the people that do those they have a proper set of expectations. I think you probably have seen this in your work, that there's some pretty unrealistic expectations around what life is like after an Exit, or how much money I'm gonna get, or how about I get money and then I didn't really think through the tax thing all that much and I have a lot less money than I thought I was gonna have net of taxes.
And so I seeking advice, making a plan. Taking action on the plan actually helps you form up realistic expectations for the future.
[00:30:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Pete, let me run something by both [00:31:00] yourself and Bill, because what you just said is so poignant out there and when business owners in particular aren't planning for the future. I think one of the things that, I'm sure you see this all the time when someone comes to you and they're not prepared.
And they don't know what their cash flow is going to be. They don't know what their daily expenses are going to be. They're used to a business throwing off some profits, some income. They're probably putting through, hopefully accountant approved expenses through the business that are legitimate.
We'll leave it at that. And so they're not really getting a picture of what it's like life after the business, regardless of how big the exit's gonna be, life is going to change. I'm just wondering, do you have any stories or insights that you can share of how different it is and why you need that planning so you're not left, hopefully never in this situation where, oh my goodness, I just exited my business and I now realize I needed a higher number to Exit to support my lifestyle. I can't put A to B in terms of making all the ends meet. Any insights you can share with that?
[00:31:59] Pete Bush: Yeah, I [00:32:00] just think that the examples that we would have along those lines are people that do just what you just described is that they even have lifestyle creep post Exit and that they were so, busy working on the business and timewise they were taking the vacations here and there, and they were doing all that, but there's something about the mental side of this number that they were able to sell the business for that is still stuck in their mind of 40 million dollars. I have 120 million, whatever it might be. That lifestyle creeps to start to eat in that because it feels like it's, more money than you could probably ever spend in your lifetime. Depending on the number certainly the capability of spending it depending on how, what it is you want.
So, you'll see second homes and beach house. I mean, again, some of this could be well within reasonI I don't think it's any specific thing that somebody wants because you want what you want. Right? And you've earned it, you put in the time. [00:33:00] But I do believe that's where planning comes in that setting expectations of instead of looking at as a certain sum of money, is looking at that block of money as a certain amount of income that it can generate.
And to the extent that amount of income that it can generate is sufficient for you to do the things you want to do then, and not looking at the corpus of the money necessarily, then I think you have a good basis for a plan.
[00:33:26] Bill Bush: Yeah, and I think to that point, it's, you know, early in the book we talk about, being at that retirement party and visualizing that, but it's also visualizing, Hey, who am I gonna hang around with in retirement? What am I gonna be doing? Where am I gonna be living? Who am I gonna be potentially supporting?
So all of those things. When you start to dream turns out they all in their own way have some sort of price tag so if you're not getting a handle on what that could potentially be, then you're really up for some unpleasant surprises, maybe so I think that's where planning can get [00:34:00] in front of a lot of that and frame up the expectations a lot better.
[00:34:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: That's so important, and as business owners, we do this in the business, we ask the what if questions. What if this happened to the business? How would I respond? What would we do? And not that we can think of everything. By and large though, I would imagine probably 80 to 90% will think of ahead of time so, when it happens.
Okay. Not exactly how we planned, but we've dealt with this. We've thought about this. We have a plan. But to your point, both of you Bill and Pete with what you're just sharing post Exit. When you don't plan, when you don't know what it's really going to be like, what those demands are going to be, the situations that you're in, you're really flying by the seat of your pants.
Literally not a great position to be, particularly if you have all those zeros in the bank account and you have taxes that are gonna be upcoming, perhaps you're not aware of. And it really is a terrific segue into the next question on your website, you have some terrific resources and for listeners, we'll put a link there.
One of the resources that you have is your risk assessment tool. And every [00:35:00] person's gonna be different. They're going, one, one risk for one person's gonna be different than another risk for another person. But where this comes into play, when you're talking about capital preservation, not looking to, hit a home run and bet the farm and do all those crazy things.
After all, this is your after your Exit. This is really all you have Now. You want to preserve it and then grow it. Generally speaking, are there some broad categories where most business owners, most people would fit into from a risk assessment side?
[00:35:29] Pete Bush: Well, I think depending on the type of business owner and the type of business they had, certainly some are more aggressive than others. I mean, sometimes you have second generation, third generation, not many of those, but second generation members of a family that are going through the Exit, meaning they bought it initially from their parents and now it's theirs to figure out what to do with. They tend to be a little more conservative. And so, that risk scale, when you go through that quiz, you don't see too many people in the nineties in the 90 percent score in there, [00:36:00] you typically are seeing people somewhere in the 60 to 70 range.
I would say if somebody was, maybe a first generation business owner, the business escalated very quickly. They were aggressive in how they built it and marketed it, and they had a quick Exit, which there've been some of those, over time it wasn't a slow, stodgy growth, it was quick.
Tend to have a little more aggressive mindset about what's next. And they tend to be younger too when that happens. So, I would definitely say that the older and the second generation would score lower on the risk assessment.
[00:36:33] Bill Bush: And I think another thing that a tool like that does, it answers the question, do you know, do you even know what your risk profile is? If you have investments, it really matching up with how you really think and so that is the purpose of some of those tools just to help reveal these honor inner thoughts, if you will.
And a good tool there just to answer that question. Do you know?
[00:36:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah. And again, it's the old what gets measured, what gets done, so you see where you are in that risk [00:37:00] profile. That's gonna be everything. Okay. What's the asset allocation? So, what does that mean in terms of if you're fortunate enough to have profitable investments, what are they gonna be throwing off?
What are your taxes gonna be? Are you gonna have enough cash flow? It all really stems from there. And really tell me if I'm on or off base with this, because my takeaway, when all is said, done, having gone through the book again, the runway decade, and for our listeners, really encourage you to pick it up, read the book.
My main takeaway was it's never too late. Whether I'm 50 or 55 or 25, I still have a whole runway ahead of me. It's never too late to start to plan. And if I haven't planned or if I've had some decades of planning, I can always make it better. Am I on base with that, what would you each say to that?
[00:37:44] Bill Bush: I'd say you're right on base because one of the quotes we have in the book is something to the effect of no matter what you did in the past did or didn't do, that's behind you. You can't really affect that right now. It can affect change going forward and we know, you know, a 50 year old today is likely [00:38:00] to live, on average, another 35 years or so. That's still a lot of time, still a lot of life, and plenty of time to make some progress for sure.
[00:38:09] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, and you know, II love, it's right at the beginning of the book. It really for me set the tone and pace, and I'm gonna quote this directly, and you're really speaking to the reader. This book is dedicated to you, not you right now as you're reading this. You at your retirement party, older you, future you.
There are a lot of wonderful people counting on that version of you. And on behalf of all of them, we tip our hat from making this a priority. Wow. No pressure there, right guys?
[00:38:36] Pete Bush: Yeah. Yeah. It was interesting when they were asking us who to dedicate, you typically dedicate books to family and mentors and all these people. And I was like, oh, really? It's the reader. It's actually the future version of the person that picks up this book. And I would say that when we meet with people for the first time and they're bringing their papers and their data gathering forms and all that stuff, and whether they have regret about where they are now or whether they feel [00:39:00] really good about where they are now.
That's not, when they lay that down in front of us, that's not who they are. That's who they were. Who they are is this moment going forward. And there's a lot of benefit in just looking at it as yeah, it may have been a slow start or I had kids to take care of, or I had this or that, or got some low starting business.
But the thing about the runway decade is there's no time to waste so you are on this, you are in this decade. You are of a certain age. There is no time to waste from here, so you gotta get started.
[00:39:32] Bill Bush: Yeah, I mean, think about having a window seat, and you're about to take off and early on it's kind of slowly rolling down the runway and you look outside and all of a sudden these reflectors are zipping by, right? That's months and weeks, months, and potentially years that you really need to make some, take some action.
[00:39:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Sure, I'd love that analogy, ties right into the book and time does fly and there's no better time than the present. Absolutely love that. I'm gonna ask each of you probably a tough question because you're gonna say well, [00:40:00] Jeffrey, it's like asking me to pick my favorite person or my favorite child, or my favorite loved one.
And then from there we will go into a wrap up of the episode. If there was one takeaway that a listener can have, they'll go through the book, they'll read the book. For each of you, what do you think would be that one important takeaway from the book? If you had to choose just one, and I know there's so, many in there, it's packed with all these incredible strategies, but if you had to pick one, what would that be?
[00:40:22] Pete Bush: For me, it would be that this book will help you know how to think about the future. And it's not gonna tell you what to do. It'll give you some ideas. And frame up some concepts, but the biggest problem people have about planning anything in general, but especially financial planning, cuz there's so many components to it, is how do I even think about this thing?
And I think that's what they will get out of going through. This is a framework to think about the future.
[00:40:52] Bill Bush: Yeah, I think on my end it would be just what we mentioned already is it's time to take action or maybe even change your [00:41:00] course slightly. You may have planned fairly well, but hey, up until now, but here's what's left of your time and let's make the most of it so I would hope that the reader really gets that sense of Hey, let's take a good inventory, but let's also take action.
Don't just read the book and move on. And life remains the same as it was before. . There's some good opportunities ahead of you in your fifties.
[00:41:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely, and we'll take to that as a challenge. To the listeners, pick up the book and read the first chapter in the book. Don't leave this when the book arrives, when it's in your hands. Before you do anything else, before you go to your next email or meeting or phone call.
Whatever it is, read the first chapter in the book and make that a habit. Before you know it, you'll have all 10 behind you and you'll be the better person for it. so, I'm gonna ask a question as we begin to wrap things up here. My goodness, we can just go on in each of the chapters and the different strategies that are there.
But that said, it's my favorite question to ask, and I have the privilege and honor of asking every guest on the Deep Wealth podcast, and it's a bit of a thought experiment. so I'd like you to think about the movie Back to the [00:42:00] Future.
In the movie, you have that magical DeLorean car that will take you to any point in time. So, here's the fun part, Bill and Pete, imagine now it's tomorrow morning and each of you, you look outside your window and not only is the DeLorean car there, but the door is open and is waiting for you to hop on in so each of you hop on in and you can now go to any point in your life, whether Bill for you, it's you as a young child, or Pete for you as a teenager, whatever point in time it would be.
What would you be telling your younger self in terms of life wisdom or life lessons or, hey, do this, but don't do that. And I'll ask one of you to go at a time and whoever goes second will have a little bit of an advantage there. You'll have a chance to hear at the other side and to think it through, but whoever would like to throw their hat in the ring first and go first.
Would love to hear your insights on that one.
[00:42:50] Pete Bush: Well build eight aids before Beauty.
[00:42:52] Bill Bush: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that. And by the way, the Back to the Future reference hits home to me. We actually took a trip to [00:43:00] Europe over the summer and there's this thing called Back to the Future, the musical, which we saw in London, and it's coming to the US very soon.
So, a lot of fun, but here's what I think I would do. I would go back to my last semester of college, which happened to be 1987. There was a thing called Black Monday that happened that last semester of my fall semester of college, and I think I would tell myself just to pay attention. You know, to events like that and be intentional about my financial self I really didn't have the wherewithal to even know where to start back then.
And again, we alluded to how we were raised and meager beginnings, but coming out into the world with a college education at that time and looking for opportunities like what would've happened that semester and then teeing up my career, just savings rates matter. Being intentional about it and taking action.
I think those would be the good things, I would say to myself.
[00:43:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, Sage advice. [00:44:00] Terrific. Wisdom and insights. Pete. No pressure. No pressure at all. What say you?
[00:44:04] Pete Bush: Well, Bill's answer was supposed to help me make it easier, but I think it made it harder. I'll take the business version of this and go back to early in my career. If I were, of course, into the future where I'm at now, armed with what I know now the industry itself was not focused on holistic planning at that time. It was very product driven. And I think that if I were able to take back like Bill's scorebook take it back and build the model from the very beginning around holistic planning advice. It would've been a differentiator at the time. I would've been able to help so, many more people in different ways that I wasn't able to just being a product person.
But having evolved to that and knowing and seeing the difference that it makes in people's lives, not in their lives, but their people in the ripple effect into the other people's lives surround them. I think that's what I would've done. I would've had a different model [00:45:00] from the very beginning, and I figured it took me probably 10 years in the business for it to morph and figure out.
And from there it's been wonderful, but I think I would've started a little sooner on that.
[00:45:11] Jeffrey Feldberg: Oh, Pete, you know what? Better late than never, and spoken like a true person with passion for what you're doing and just wanting to pay it forward even earlier. Really respect that.
[00:45:20] Pete Bush: Thank you.
[00:45:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Gentlemen, as we begin to wrap this up, and again for listeners, everything's in the show notes. It'll be a point and click.
If a listener would like to get in touch with you, ask a question, maybe even wanna work with you and see what's involved with that. Where would be the best place online for someone to reach both of you, either one of you? What would that look like?
[00:45:38] Bill Bush: Yeah, there's a couple ways to do that. We're Horizon Financial Groups so if you go to www.horizonfg.com, you can find us there. My email's bbush[at]horizonfg[dot]com. Also wanna mention the Runway Decade website. Which is all the resources we talked about before has a lot to do with the book.
There are videos on there. There's also our podcast where we're talking to [00:46:00] interesting people in their fifties, and then there's a contact box at the bottom of that website as well.
[00:46:04] Pete Bush: Same thing, horizon Financial Group, pbush[at]horizonfg[dot]com, and you know, absolutely willing to answer questions by email or reach out to us in the ways that Bill described.
[00:46:16] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. For listeners, it does not get any easier than that. You got their direct emails, come on, pick them up on their offer. Reach out, get a copy of the book, read it, reach out, ask some questions. Gentlemen, it's official. This is a wrap. I wanna thank you so much for taking part of your day and spending it here with the Deep Wealth Podcast.
And as we like to say, as always, please continue to say healthy and safe.
[00:46:38] Bill Bush: Thank you so, much, Jeffrey. We appreciate it.
[00:46:41] Pete Bush: Thank you so much.
[00:46:42] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
[00:46:45] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.
[00:46:55] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful [00:47:00] liquidity
[00:47:00] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.
[00:47:06] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.
[00:47:22] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.
[00:47:44] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended.
[00:47:55] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very [00:48:00] practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.
[00:48:08] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:48:26] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
It's five-star, A-plus.
[00:48:53] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
Deep Wealth is an accurate name [00:49:00] for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[00:49:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
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