Category Archives: income

My Monkey Mind- Women in Commerce, Marijuana and Shades of Nancy Botwin

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My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

Yesterday my Monkey Mind connected Nancy Botwin (a fictional character), ways to improve financial lives by making more money, and women in commerce in the legal pot industry in Colorado.  I am not posting about whether or not legalized marijuana is appropriate, only about where my Monkey Mind took me recently.

Colorado has legalized the growing and sale of recreational marijuana, with limitations.  I lived in Colorado for most of my adult life and have family and friends there.  Recently I was staying with my  adult son and he opened the freezer, took out a small bag of marijuana, and asked if I wanted some.  Then we laughed.  Pot has never been my deal or his. The bag has been there for six months.  The humorous part was he was having this conversation with his mother and all of a sudden that which was forbidden and usually hidden, was now OK (limited amounts of course) and out for all to see.

He and I have our mother and son bonding over cable TV shows like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Nip Tuck, and my all-time favorite, Weeds.  If you don’t know, Weeds is the  fictional story of Nancy Botwin, a widow with two children and a big need for big income.  She is not a perfect person and her decision to deal weed is one of love, violence,  greed, corruption, survival, decisions, sex, and commerce.  It is also the story of a woman in an industry run by men and a mother’s concern for providing for her children.  Quite an interesting combination.

The last episodes show how over time she made the jump from being a criminal dealing drugs to a woman of commerce with a chain of very successful stores selling pot edibles.  How did this happen?  The story line put her in a world where weed had been legalized.  I loved the ending since it showed Nancy as the owner of a very large, very legal, and  very legitimate business.  My son didn’t share my enthusiasm.  I suspect he was looking for the crazy violence prone Nancy to rise again.  Instead it was a story of  closure and commerce .

This week I did a posting titled Three Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.  One of these ways to make more.  I am always fascinated by how we as women find ways to make more for ourselves and our families.  So, when CBS This Morning did a segment on women in Colorado who are in the  legalized marijuana industry, are making money, reaching out to each other, and getting a piece of the action, I thought of Nancy Botwin and the idea of making more money.

In the  CBS video, a woman is shown in a commercial  kitchen  preparing pot goodies.  She is not a Food Network star or a well-known chef, the way most women in kitchens come to us via our television.  I doubt that she is highly paid or wealthy…yet.  She is a woman doing commerce in the legalized pot industry in Colorado. I thought, finally a way for women who can cook and/or grow things and also run a business to make a real living. This is big business and one where women are already finding a way to connect with other women to define the industry and benefit financially from their efforts. The segment can be viewed at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/making-the-marijuana-business-women-friendly

I remember that after I viewed the final season of Weeds, I mentioned to my husband that maybe I should get into the pot business some day when it is legalized more widely.  He laughed and reminded me that most plants I care for die and that although I make amazing cookies, my long-term ability to whip up delicious pot treats doesn’t exist.  So I will just watch from the sideline as those pioneering Colorado women lead the way.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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To order my book, please click here

Turning Down the Money, Really?

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It never occurred to me that a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement account could choose not to take the money. As a financial advisor and insurance agent, I found that most people were more concerned about having resources than giving them away. However, I did learn that sometimes beneficiaries may not want or need the money. In these cases the beneficiary can choose to decline payment and allow the money to move on to the next-in-line beneficiary or beneficiaries.

There are a variety of reasons why one beneficiary may wish to defer to other named beneficiaries. Please click here to learn more about disclaiming benefit in a retirement account.

Until next time. Debra Hadsall

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To order my book, please click here

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Women and Divorce, When Emotions Collide with Finances

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  It is one of those marketing opportunities for businesses to encourage us to show our love and affection for the special person in our life by buying gifts, going out to dinner, or doing something celebratory.  It usually involves a couple.  I don’t think Valentine’s Day was designed for singles.  In fact, lots of folks find Valentine’s Day to be less than fun and charming.  Relationships evolve and change, marriage is not as popular as it once was, and for those who do marry,  the divorce rate remains high.

I wasn’t thinking much about Valentine’s Day when I read the article Divorcing Women, Five Signs You Might Need a New Attorney. Please click here.  The article reminds us about the importance of shifting from seeing a divorce purely from an emotional aspect to a practical one.  We need to be conscious and focused when working on the details of how things will work and be settled.

Thinking about how Valentine’s Day isn’t fun for many who are going through divorce and reading the article reminded me of a woman who called me asking for help.  I had a listing in the phone book under financial services and women.  This had an unexpected result.  I often received phone calls from women looking for social services (such as battered women’s shelters), wanting counseling about family matters, looking for help in starting businesses, and a variety of other topics.  This woman  was concerned about how her marriage was ending and she couldn’t understand why someone didn’t make her husband stay.  She and her husband had children.  He had business interests and had been quietly moving the assets with the intent of hiding them from her.  She didn’t work outside the home.  It seemed to her that there was someone else in his life, but she was only guessing.  When I explained to her that she needed to seek legal advice, she told me it wasn’t a problem, her husband had a lawyer and she could talk to him.  I explained that she needed a lawyer to represent her, someone whose interest was in protecting her, not in protecting her husband who seemed to be doing a good job of that already.  It was a heartbreaking conversation.  She wondered why nobody seemed to care about keeping families together and was there  someone who could help fix this.  I suggested seeking out counseling from clergy or a licensed therapist..  That option was rejected.  I took a deep breath and told her that she should talk to a lawyer because he or she would understand the situation without emotion and help her to negotiate as an equal in the situation.  Separating emotions from finances is always difficult, but really challenging when it involves the dissolution of a marriage, children, and denial.

It has been many years since that telephone conversation.  I am hoping  the caller found an attorney who could help her navigate the circumstances of the end of her marriage and move on to a happier time.  It would have been hard for her to see a better future on that day we talked, but I am hoping that tomorrow she will be having a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration with someone special.

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Until next time

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

To order my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, please click here.

A Post Office with Banking, Bill Paying, and Small Loans?

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I was attracted to a post in the Huffington Post which acknowledges that many Americans are not having their basic banking needs met by the existing services.  A few years back I probably wouldn’t have even noticed an article about the subject.  Yes, I have seen payday loan advertisements, been at the local super market where people cash paychecks, or even seen check cashing businesses in the strip mall.  However, they were just part of the background scenery. Everyone in my life knows her or his way around banks, mortgage companies, brokerages,  and all that the financial world offers.  Of course they offer it to us because it is profitable.

My perspective changed when I moved to a small town located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.  The people with money are visitors, business owners, and those who own resort properties.  The local workforce includes a high percentage of low-income people or those living at poverty level.  No longer was I living in the suburbs where having a checking account with a debit card is a fact of life for high school students.  I found myself standing in line at the post office with lots of people who were getting money orders to pay bills and send money to family members.  Sometimes it actually looked more like a bank than a place to send and receive mail.  That’s why this concept of basic and uncomplicated banking services at the post office seemed logical to me.

Over time I learned a lot about why the low-income people around me avoided traditional banking systems.  One reason is that often they were undocumented and want to remain invisible.  Even if the person does have legal status, often he or she was brought up in a family where the parents were undocumented.  The children simply emulate what the parents did and the cycle of using cash, money orders, and expensive loans is perpetuated. People living in poverty or on very low incomes see banks as scary places which they don’t trust.  Even those of us who are middle-income and above often have that same feeling.  Things have just gotten very complicated.

According to the article,  collectively those households which use alternative banking products spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees. That represents a huge cost for people with lower than average incomes.

Please click here to read the entire article.  The concept of tying simple and affordable banking services to the local post office is being done elsewhere successfully.  There is a very good chance that those people currently using alternative banking methods would be more trustful of a place they have visited throughout their lives, the post office, than they would be of banks which really don’t want them there anyway.  There are benefits to the U.S. Postal System too!

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

financialFreedom_bookwww.ffptalk.com

To order my book, please click here.

Beyond Football, One Man’s Values and Goals Change

John Moffitt walks away from NFL, 1 million

This is the title of an article which was posted in November 2013, about a Denver Broncos player.  I captured the link for later blog postings.  All this Super Bowl hype has me thinking later has now come.

My blogs are really targeted to women. Writing about a sport in which women can’t actively participate (as in being on the field as a player) isn’t at the top of my list.  I recognize that many women enjoy professional sports just as much as their spouses, children, families, and friends do. I will admit that even this year I have actually watched a lot of football because teams from my home town (the Kansas City area) and where I lived for most of my adult life (the Denver area) had great seasons.  Of course, in the end, Denver earned their way to the Super Bowl, so I am getting lots of Facebook communications from my Colorado friends.  Yes, I will be watching the Super Bowl this year, for the first time in a long time.

Thinking about the current elevated attention on football made me more conscious of the extraordinary amount of money which is involved in the sport, the enhanced concerns by the  football league about the potential long-term health problems for players, and the high value much of our society holds for professional athletes.  Clearly there is a lot of hero-worship going on in the business of professional football.  It isn’t routine for a player to simply walk away from the sport, and in this case, from a team which translated Super Bowl potential in November 2013 into a Super Bowl invitation in January 2014.

The story about John Moffitt (click here to read) is a profound and positive example of how a person’s values and goals can change and evolve.  This is one man’s story of recognizing those changes and making some unconventional decisions to live his life the way he feels is appropriate.  A professional football  player opting out to protect his health and align his career with his values is not the normal news story in professional sports.

It is wonderful to learn from the examples of others about grounding a life based on personal values and establishing, or re-establishing, goals to live in support of those values.

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When I watch the Broncos play and listen to the sportscasters introduce the players and their stats, I will be thinking about John Moffitt and wondering what new goals he has set for his life, and what stats he has decided are now most important to him.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

financialFreedom_book

www.ffptalk.com

To order my book please click here.

Culture of Threes-#3

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This posting relates to what I refer to as our Culture of Threes. As explained in previous posts, when an idea or concept comes to me three times from totally different sources, I have learned to pay attention, process the information, and then act. 

The Culture of Threes happened to me recently concerning my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

1

My Number 1 post was about the Financial Freedom Party for Women and how financial education for women meets party plans and the financial industry asks, “Like Tupperware parties?”  Please go back to my previous post for all the details.

2

Number 2 was about a fictional character in a novel who encounters mystery with a backdrop of relationships, relationship selling, and Tupperware.  The book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

3

Number 3 appeared when I turned on the TV one morning.

I have never watched the CBS This Morning Show, just glanced at it while channel surfing.  I was about to switch channels and then saw Gayle King talking.  I decided to watch CBS since I hadn’t seen Gayle (a journalist and media personality in her own right, but best known as being Oprah’s best friend) in action for a while.  I always say that Oprah and Gayle made having “girlfriends” cool again.  Gayle intrigues me and I always appreciate her viewpoint.

Rick Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands, was being interviewed.  What a nice way to start the day with such a positive story.   This was a huge contrast to all the other reporting which centered around the challenges of the day such the government shutdown, health care reform, and the debt ceiling. 

Tupperware has been around my life over the years and I have products in my kitchen that I purchased a long time ago.  This is a pretty big deal since I come from that generation of professional women who thought parties to sell products were kind of unsophisticated and not for us.  The irony of this attitude is that later in life I became a distributor for several direct sales companies and also created a new business model for marketing traditional products such as investments and life insurance through my Financial Freedom Party for Women®  Had I not learned so much about the value of parties in business to the clients and the company, I would not have had the ability to modify the concept and transfer it to the financial services industry.

Embracing a party concept for my financial services business came out my observation that a whole bunch of women showed up at my neighbor’s home for a Pampered Chef party and then proceeded to buy “a lot”.  This all happened on short notice with only a couple of days planning by the hostess who simply invited her friends.  Yes, she had a lot of friends.  Even so, this was quite a change from what I and a small team of women brokers encountered when we planned ahead for financial seminars and found few women would show.  Obviously we (and the industry) were doing something wrong.  Things needed to change.

So that morning on CBS it was really refreshing to hear how Tupperware has re-branded the company and recognized that with 90% of their market outside the United States, they needed to change and adapt their product line.  Tupperware acknowledged that the U.S. market is all about bargain shopping and price.  With the advent of inexpensive plastic storage containers, U.S. customers were not as abundant.  This 65-year-old business re-invented itself and offers an entrepreneurial opportunity internationally and current has 2.8 million representatives, most of them women.  A nice story about success brought on by understanding the market and creating change.

At the core of the party plan process is not only products, but women who understand relationship selling.  In a busy world where we can buy products and services on-line, party plans understand the importance that we women place on having a little special attention and understanding what we are buying.

I have always admired how direct selling and network marketing businesses remember that the connection between the customer and the product is most effective when it is through some sort of relationship.  This concept transferred effectively for me when using the Financial Freedom Party for Women® to meet women, teach them financial basics, and sell them investment and insurance solutions.

For me, hearing this short segment on Tupperware and the women (and their families and friends) it serves, was a nice and positive way to start the day.  I was surprised and pleased to hear the statistic concerning women  in Indonesia who are making $100,000. You can hear more by clicking here.

Being a financial services professional who is advocating a party concept for teaching women about money management and seeing it as a marketing tool for the financial services industry is not easy. Many people in the industry are more entertained by the concept of the Freedom Party for Women® than they are impressed.  Watching the Tupperware story re-inspires me that what worked for me in my business and for my clients, can work for many more.

That completes my Culture of Threes story about the Freedom Party for Women®, women, money, products, success, business models, relationships, party plans and of course—Tupperware.  I am listening and paying attention!

If you wish to purchase copies of the Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition at www.amazon.com. please Just click here.

Until Next Time.

financialFreedom_book

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Culture of Threes – #2

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This posting relates to what I refer to as our Culture of Threes. As explained in previous posts, when an idea or concept comes to me three times from totally different sources, I have learned to pay attention, process the information, and then act. 

The Culture of Threes happened to me recently concerning my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

1

My Number 1 post was about the Financial Freedom Party for Women and how financial education for women meets party plans and the financial industry asks, “Like Tupperware parties?”  Please go back to my previous post for all the details.

2

This post is about Number 2.  It starts with a fictional character in a novel who encounters mystery with a backdrop of relationships, relationship selling, and Tupperware.  The book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.                        .

This is a nice mystery book and it was picked last month by one of our book club members as a reading selection.  I hadn’t heard of it before.  If I wasn’t in a book club, it is highly unlikely I would have read it.

I was reading the book quickly (it is fun and easy to read) and enjoying the story, the characters, and the setting (Australia).  My mind had shifted from business stuff, like my Financial Freedom Party for Women, to playtime.  I was so wrapped up in the husband’s secret part of the plot that it took me a while to understand that part of the story revolved around the career choice of one of the main characters.  Instead of being a traditional professional in a career we all understand, she was a successful sales representative and manager in a direct selling and network marketing company.  Yes, part of her story was about her relationships, relationship selling, product knowledge, business management, coaching, and income production as an independent representative of….Tupperware.  It wasn’t until I finished the book that I realized this is the first time I have read a novel where a character’s successful career and resulting income involved direct sales, network marketing, and party plans.  A nice experience and a good reminder that women, relationship selling, great products, and party plan selling are a nice fit.   This made me smile and re-enforced my commitment to legitimizing the use of my Financial Freedom Party for Women to an industry which is traditional and male dominated.   

More next time about my third(Number 3) recent encounter with the power of party plans with relationship selling as successful business model which is attractive to women consumers and businesses.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Speaking Out for Financial Education for Young People

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As a financial advisor, I learned that most people are never taught the fundamentals of financial management. Some only learn from television or the Internet, which can be both good and bad.  Sometimes applying a broadcast approach to something which needs to be personalized isn’t helpful.

I know I learned basics from my parents, but the advanced topics like creating wealth through investing or really understanding life insurance, health insurance, and legal protection were concepts I learned along the way or through my college education because I majored in business and minored in economics.  Really, until I became a registered representative and learned how to teach others about financial management, I didn’t grasp the big picture.  When you teach others and market/sell products to them that help them meet their goals, you have to learn a lot first.  Of course the number of people in this country who chose to be advisors or brokers is just a small part of the overall population.  So who is teaching the rest of the population, particularly young people?

Recently I read a post about how we have lots of room to improve our education of youth about financial management.  Please click here to read the article.

Over the years , my friend Emily and I were asked to provide financial education to teens who attended our church.  Emily and I are more skilled in working with business leaders and executives, so we reached out to find materials appropriate for youth.  The materials we found at the National Endowment for Financial Education were absolutely the best.  They start with basics like where does my money go…or why is my first pay check so much smaller than what I expected…to insurance investing, goals, etc.  Everything we all need to know and understand, no matter our age.  To learn more please click here.  Currently I am using selected parts of these materials in a life skills mentoring program in a local high school.  Sometimes we need to teach young people in the manner they have been comfortable with in day-to-day living, sound bites.  Doing the whole book isn’t an option, but short sessions on topics works great.

The reason I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women and the corresponding book, and co-authored (with my friend Emily), First You Dream, A Financial Management Workbook, was to encourage learning and empower consumers.  As an advisor it was much easier to work with a potential client who understood the basics and felt more confident in her or his decisions.

As the saying goes, “you can be part of the problem or part of the solution”.  Getting to the solution requires us to acknowledge that it is a shared responsibility when it comes to financial management education for young people.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Welfare a Career Choice–Not Really

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There has been a Facebook posting going around recently which says:

 WELFARE ISN’T A CAREER PATH

I hit the LIKE button because there is so much wisdom in so few words. 

Those of us who haven’t experienced welfare as the family business have to kind of step back and see why young folks might envision long time public assistance as the way to make a living.

Children and youth are highly influenced by their environments, parents, or whoever is responsible for raising and educating them.  So, if a young person comes from a family who accepts public assistance as the norm, how will she or he change without learning alternatives and seeing different behavior modeled?  I believe some of this learning needs to be about finances.  How can no earned income and low-income folks do better if they don’t learn the basics?

Over the last few years, I have been part of a team of women who are lucky enough to do life skills mentoring with a small group of young women who are in high school.  Some of the students come from home situations which involve parents who work many hours at low paying jobs, or who rely on some level of public assistance.  Geographically, they live in an area which has pockets of poverty and an overall cultural acceptance of pregnancy in teens. 

We feel lucky.  These students are smart and willing to learn.  This year we included an enhanced focus on teaching sound bite pieces of financial information.  Topics were as basic as understanding a checking account, using a debit card, or how the little print on credit card applications needs to be carefully understood.  The students read short quotes from my book, Financial Freedom for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, and from other writings.  One afternoon we bravely did a short segment on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  As with adults, some were interested and some weren’t.

We learned that the concept of saving (except for  purchase of an iphone) was pretty much a foreign idea in general, and that retirement savings and even being able to retire at all were totally unheard of in their community. And for now in this economy, it’s pretty difficult to show how interest can work for you (make your savings grow) instead of against you (credit card debt & student loans). As always, tiny bites work well for everyone.

At the end of the school year we offered to give each student a copy of my book at no cost.  We suggested not asking for one if it was just going to get pitched into the trash (always a possibility with anyone and financial books).  Big surprise, they all signed up to get copies.  It was exciting to know that this group of students has access to basic financial information which teaches about a life choice of creating income and the value of investing.  Will they all read and learn, hard to tell.  At least we took a chance on each other. 

I’m hoping that someday my Facebook page will show postings from one or more of these young women which read something like this:

  MC910215909 I OPENED A ROTH IRA

  MC910215909 I BECAME A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

  MC910215909 TODAY I BOUGHT LIFE INSURANCE

Then I will hit the LIKE button again and again!

Until next time.

 

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

 

 

Before the Kardashians

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Today, while channel surfing, I was lucky enough to land on the HBO channel which was showing a documentary about Gloria Steinem.  Lucky because most of the attention on other channels was focused on current media favorites, the Kardashians.

I used to assume that most women know about Gloria Steinem, Ms. Magazine, Bella Abzug, and others in the women’s movement which gained momentum in the 1970s.  Whatever you may have felt, or still feel about this time of great change, the results of the efforts of Gloria Steinem and others around her have had a significant impact on the personal, professional, and financial lives of women.

Recently I have begun to wonder if the young women of today are being taught about powerful and successful women who have helped us to arrive at where we are today.  Have they heard the names of Gloria Steinem and Oprah Winfrey as often as they experience minute-by-minute reporting on the Kardashians?

Gloria Steinem is now in her late 70s and it is understandable that not all young women have studied much about her, yet.  However, I just assumed that everyone who is old enough to watch television or surf the internet would know about Oprah Winfrey.  Not true.  Recently I was visiting with a group of young women who are in high school.  I discovered they really don’t know who Oprah is, what she has accomplished, or even how rich she is.That is interesting since rich is usually something teens care about. This lack of awareness of Oprah was a big surprise.  Fortunately I have listened to Oprah’s story often enough to recite it to them.  After that, I started bringing a few copies of O Magazine so the students could learn more.  In another conversation, I discovered that each of them could immediately identify Kim Kardashian and knew all about the man in her life, Kanye West.  Major reality check for me!

It is exciting that the blogosphere allows the writer to reach out to people of many generations all over the world.  If you are reading this and find that you are clueless as to who Gloria Steinem is, or what she stands for, please just “google her” or even watch her story on HBO.  Perhaps you have only a passing understanding of Oprah Winfrey’s life and accomplishments. Once again, a quick google will teach you a lot. 

I am grateful we are no longer living in the times when Gloria and Oprah were starting out and leading their own special brand of change for women, but I do know it is important to understand the past to appreciate today!

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com