Archives For Todd Burkhalter

For The Record!!! I haven’t lost my mind but I have lost my car; on purpose! It’s no secret that my Jackie and I have made a semi-radical shift by moving into Midtown Atlanta from the suburbs of Johns Creek. Some of the unintended consequences of a downsized super urban lifestyle may surprise you.

For example, the subject of this article, ditching my vehicle. An audacious move by most native Atlantan standards….. well at least for my suburban Atlantan friends. Atlanta is quite a car town; frankly a status symbol by which most cast some level of judgment upon you and your status in society.

 

Uber for productivity no name

 

For in-towners or as we say ITP (for Non-Atlantans, that means “Inside The Perimeter” which encompasses the city) not having a vehicle to maintain and pay to park is quite normal. This new Midtown lifestyle has made me want to follow suit. So, after a few weeks of experimenting I have completely made the shift to being “car-less”. Below are some of the details about my move into this new era of a Mass-Transit/Uber combination and increased productivity.

Utilizing Mass Transit in Atlanta means using MARTA , our light rail system that operates within the Metro Area only. A train station conveniently located just behind our building means being able to hop on a train and avoid traffic all the way to the perimeter of the city or slightly beyond. From there, I simply request an Uber or Lyft service to carry me through the remainder of my journeys. Have you tried Uber? Give it a try for Free by using my Invite Code: n9sns

This combination allows someone else to do the driving and navigating while I safely return calls, e-mails, texts, social media messages and more. Not to mention the absolutely freeing feeling of being unencumbered.

 

Allowing someone else to drive has literally doubled my productivity!

Time

Utilizing the travel time to enhance the service to our Drive Planning Members or Team Members is extremely valuable. Likely an hour or more is gained each day on the days that I travel to our offices located in Sandy Springs or Johns Creek; both in the northern parts of Atlanta. These tasks being completed during travel time allows me new freedom at the end of each day in not having to do them once I’ve arrived at home.

Cost

Living in town has presented itself with some additional expenses that OTP (Outside The Perimeter) friends do not have to endure. One small cost is simply Parking your vehicle. In my case, that meant $50 per month at home plus each time you go somewhere.

In addition, there is the actual cost of ownership of a vehicle. Fortunately, I did not have a car note, but there are still gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs that are always present. For me…. Not anymore.

Stress

Road Rage or any kind of rage quite frankly has never been my thing. I tend to operate at a pretty stress free level. I know who my creator is and that he loves me, I have a great wife and family; generally feeling grateful for most things. Therefore, I wasn’t a stressful driver. Moving into Midtown and opening an office here meant that I didn’t drive near as much anymore (only a couple days per week) but when I did it was usually a time where I still wanted to be productive. You can read about my drive time in a recent article, Making the Most of Traffic. Even with a stress free nature and making the most of the time it has felt good to turn the driving over to someone else.
I will conclude by saying, I will miss the occasional rush of accelerating through an open winding road, the great suspension and handling of my Infiniti G35x! The lifestyle of walking to my new Drive Planning – Midtown office, increased pace and productivity has improved me as a person. So, for now I’ll stick with this new “car-less” commuter role until it’s time for another change. Thankfully, I’ve learned that change almost always means growth and that we certainly always need growth.

 

What are your thoughts? Could you go “car-less”? Connect with me for a conversation on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Stay Tuned for more information on my upcoming book for Financial Professionals. Advisor’s Edge: The Sharp Edge of The Skilled Advisor – How to create the financial practice you’ve always desired.

Avoid these 2 common financial mistakes to live a more stress free life.

 

These two common financial mistakes lead to a greater sense of uncertainty and a more stressful life. The Life You Can Afford to Live is designed to provide you with tools to lead the best life possible. So, naturally we wouldn’t want you to miss two of the most common mistakes that we see people make in their financial life.

 

2 Financial Mistakes

 

Most often when someone speaks with authority on a subject its because they’ve had personal experience within the subject matter. Certainly true in this instance. I am bringing you this message from a point of I’ve been there and didn’t enjoy it and didn’t even get a t-shirt. Fortunately, my experience with this was early in my business life therefore the results weren’t catastrophic. However, the stress and tension that resulted taught me valuable lessons.

 

My goal is to provide you with enough information for you to know when to ask for help. We certainly can’t get to specific in this format but you should be able to glean enough that you know whether to raise your hand or not. Our team stresses these points throughout our process so we are well equipped to answer any questions that may surface.

 

The 2 Common Financial Mistakes to Avoid

 

1. Not Creating Contractual Wealth

Contractual Wealth is when someone else has a legal obligation to you. Contractual wealth also means that you have recourse if they do not fulfill their contractual obligation. This type of wealth provides you with a higher level of certainty and predictability. Certainty and predictability provide you with a more stress-free financial life.

Before sharing examples of Contractual Wealth building tools lets look at its counterpart, Statement Wealth. Statement Wealth is the most common form of saving and investing. Likely due to ease or someone lacking in knowledge of alternate investment options. The premise of Statement Wealth is that you save or invest into vehicles in which you have little control over the outcome as well as any recourse should it not have your desired result. Common examples are 401(k)/IRA Plans, Stock Portfolios, Mutual Funds, ETF Investments and Savings Accounts.

Some examples of Contractual Wealth include:

Secured Bonds – Mortgages – Rental Real Estate – Commercial Real Estate – Annuities – Life Insurance – Reverse Mortgages – Private Lending with Collateral – Asset Care Plans – Business Ownership – Grantor Retained Annuities

 

Click here for a quick 2 minute video explanation of Statement Wealth vs Contractual Wealth

 

2.  Not Creating Tax Free Income

Mark Twain once said, “the only certain things in life are death and taxes”. So true, but one thing Twain failed to mention is that Tax Rates are always changing. You certainly can’t ever count on paying the same tax rate. In an effort to reduce or even eliminate the risk of Higher Tax Rates we want everyone to take a more intentional approach towards creating Tax Free Buckets of money. The ease and allure of Tax deferral is great and we want you to have some funds in that environment, but not solely.

 

Particularly Tax Free money helps you to manage how and where you withdraw money from during retirement. Thus, creating the aforementioned predictability and certainty that reduces stress in the Golden Years.

Some examples of Tax Free Investments include:

Real Estate – Municipal Bonds – Life Insurance – Roth IRA – Roth 401(k) – SLIRPS – Some Captive Strategies

 

Hopefully, this will give you the ability to AVOID these two common financial mistakes. I’ll close with a couple of questions.

Have you addressed these two financial mistakes in your own plans?

Would you like help in avoiding these pitfalls?

 

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Waiting

May 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

Waiting

 

Why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? These questions may be haunting to you. Haunting particularly if you aren’t one who makes decisions easily. For the indecisive person they are waiting on well….. almost everything. Indecision or the mere unsettled nature of waiting creates tension, stress and holds you back from the life you desire.

“He who knows others is wise: he who knows himself is enlightened”

                                    –  Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

Understanding your ability or inability to make decisions is hyper-critical to one’s success in business and life.  Early in the Discovery Phase of Drive Planning’s #BeIntentional process are efforts to gain a deeper understanding of you and where your strengths lie. One method of self-discovery is understanding someone’s Kolbe A Index. This measurement seeks to find your strengths in four categories; Fact Finder, Follow Through, Quick Start and Implementer. You can learn more about this from a previous blog post, How To Find Your Superpower.

For now, let’s get back to the person who is playing the waiting game. Referencing the Kolbe A Index, I have found that most often times those who struggle with taking the step tend to score high in the Fact Finder category of the Kolbe Testing. To generalize, a high Fact Finder is always seeking more information prior to deciding. Even when intuitively they know it is a decision that is likely in their best interest.

Not surprisingly to me; the most successful people are great decision makers and do not always need all the facts to support their decision. This “Quick Start” wiring is the makeup of most of the CEO’s and business leaders in America.

The brilliant Seth Godin recently wrote, Facts are not the antidote to doubt. A brilliant blog post citing that indecision is almost always rooted in fear. He continues by stating, enrollment or engagement is the way to earn trust and ultimately move forward.

So, my encouragement to anyone who is waiting to move forward is that you begin with a deep understanding of your personal DNA or simply how you are wired. This journey in self-discovery may help you to identify areas where you are operating out of fear. It may help you to realize that there are areas where you may not have all the facts but you need to trust by engaging.

 

Maxwell Getting Started

 

My goal, along with each of the Drive Planning Team members, is to help you go further faster. If there is a decision you need to make or something that you know that you should do; allow us to encourage you to have faith or possibly assist you with understanding your best next step.