In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women ®, A Little Book about Money for Women, I teach the basics of financial management. Most of us never learn basic concepts and then become frustrated when we aren’t reaching our goals, assuming we even set goals.
Life has become more complicated with each consumer expected to be an expert on all things financial. In talking to women over the years, a common concern is about wanting to change and do better, but not knowing where to start. Haven’t we all had (or still have) that conversation with ourselves?
It isn’t magic to create a new lifestyle, but it does take some introspection and then action. A good place to start is with what I call 3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life. They are things we think about, but often haven’t written them down and then figured out which ones will benefit us the best. So, you can start in the beginning by thinking about any or all which apply to you.
Do Better with What You Have
Simply write these titles on a piece of paper and make notes over the next couple of weeks about how you can focus on the one which will have the most impact on your life. Start small, but start. Talk it over with your spouse, partner, friends or anyone else you feel can give you positive feedback or be a support system.
Until next time.
To order my book, please click here
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.
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.
To order my book please click here.
I just finished reading the book “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Junior. The title says it is about “The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune”.
Any book with the words fortune and spending just calls to my financial education mind. It would seem that a book about wealth would be all about what we call “living the good life”. I learned that the title refers to the empty properties Huguette continued to maintain even though she didn’t live in them. Interesting.
This book is about a woman and her story which revolves around extreme wealth, business, family owned businesses, decision-making, relationships, trust and distrust, and how money can be both a blessing and a curse.
Personally, it took me a long time to learn to deal with money in an unemotional manner. The main character, struggled with that for a really long time as she was born in 1906 and died in 2011. She dealt with a lot of emotions and they often guided her decisions. For Huguette, these decisions usually involved large sums of money. The world changed radically during her lifetime and she also outlived her close relatives. Some of the change was more than Huguette wished to deal with, so she created a lifestyle which was strange and unconventional to most ordinary (and even wealthy) people. Her needs for security and safety as a wealthy person played a big part in how she spent money. As an elderly woman it appeared that those who were caring for her may have taken advantage of her financially, even though the medical professionals found her competent.
It is hard to imagine the majestic homes her father created with his wealth and the mind-set of Huguette who was born into such a lifestyle and never knew anything different. Still, I was struck by the similarity between the decisions she had to make about businesses, advisors, and income management, and those made by the rest of as we manage our personal finances or make lifestyle and financial decisions about the senior citizens our lives.
Was Huguette happy living what most would see as “the good life”? It is hard to tell. That is the mystery which remains in her interesting life story.
Until next time.
Debra J. Hadsall
When I was a financial advisor, I learned that the time between Thanksgiving and January 1st was going to be a slow time for me in terms of working with new clients. Yes, existing clients were often on vacation and using that time to catch up with me and to check in about their accounts and plans. The rest of the world seemed to be waiting until the first of the new year to really think about their goals, dreams, and how their finances could be changed or improved to meet them.
Every year about this time I would print out a new list which showed the maximum contributions allowed in various types of retirement accounts. In reality, most people don’t contribute the maximum and often they just look at the list and give up. So, just remember, these are the maximums. You can contribute less and work towards your goals.
To see the list for 2014, please click here. Good information to know and to discuss with your advisor or with the person who is knowledgeable about your company or organizational retirement plans.
Please share with others. As I often say, don’t always assume everyone knows what you know or takes the time to access
Until next time.
I clearly have shopping on my mind. Really, who doesn’t? First we have 24×7 advertising and reporting on “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, and an incredible amount of supersized holiday shopping media blitzes everywhere. It is, after all, the biggest marketing cycle of the year. It seems to start before Thanksgiving and doesn’t end until those “after holiday sales” in January. For those of us who gave up shopping until we dropped, it doesn’t matter. We get exhausted just observing others go through it. Then there are always the financial and emotional aspects of all this shopping. Sometimes a different take on the whole experience can help us regroup and refocus.
Recently I re-posted one of my articles about shopping. It was a start, but some of the most useful and thoughtful guidance I have received came from a sermon. It became an important part of how I deal with the craziness of the intense comsumerism of the holidays. It is a message based on the Christian celebration of Christmas. The sermon (or message) is called “Shopping for the Glory of God”. I came to experience this sermon over and over because it became part of the work my friend Emily Mann and I did with creator of this message, Rev. Dr. Marti Zimmerman. The three of us together collaborated on what developed into a book called First You Dream, A Financial Management Workbook. The sermon is one of six in the workbook and they all focus on money, consumerism, and faith. I personally typed all those sermons for the manuscript, so I am pretty well acquainted with them!
I hope you will take a few minutes to experience the power of Marti’s s words and an alternative view of shopping for Christmas and holidays. Just click here.
Until next time.
Debra J. Hadsall
I like watching Breaking Bad. I was on to this program from the beginning, when critics just promised something good and it hadn’t gained such widespread fame.
If you don’t know much about the TV show Breaking Bad, you can just google it. At the core it is a complicated, gritty, sad, happy, and intense story of how one man, Walter White, decided to make a change in his life so he could provide financially for his family because he had been diagnosed with cancer. His choices were drastic and the impact, both negative and positive, significant
Whey am I blogging about this? Well, it has to do with money, goals, dreams, and choices.
I understand the value of insurance for a variety of purposes, including life insurance which creates an instant estate to provide for those left behind. Of course buying life insurance requires some awareness of the value of purchasing it, and must be done while someone is healthy enough to qualify. Life insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business if they took on someone like Walt after he had been diagnosed.
I have met with many clients over the year and helped them make life insurance purchase decisions and then placed them in an appropriate product. It sounds pretty boring when explained this way, so I was simply inspired by an article I read in a professional website. It draws a parallel between Walter White (a TV character of course, not a real person), his late life career choice, and how different things could have been with some insurance planning and purchase.
Please click here to learn more. A great way of tying things together and the Breaking Bad franchise presents the last episode this evening.
Until Next Time
What do you really want?
As a financial advisor, this is a question I spent a lot of time asking my financial services clients. The answer to this question is really where all things start in our personal, professional, spiritual, and financial lives. However, in our sound bite world most people seem to skip the first part of the process and jump over to making decisions and taking action, not always based on a foundation of understanding first “what I really want”.
What Do You Really Want is also the title of a book which is targeted to teens and written by Beverly K. Bachel. I didn’t know anything about this wonderful book until it was shared with me by one of a woman who works on a volunteer project we lead. Our activities involve some wonderfully talented young women who may not have always had the opportunities we had. So, the volunteers simply spend some time with the students and teach life skills. For the high school students who are seniors, Ms. Bachel’s books seems perfect. It formalizes the topics we have discussed over the last three years and gives them an easy way to roadmap their lives…based on their hopes, dreams, and goals. It encourages them to focus on what they want, not necessarily what their friends, families, or boyfriends want for them.
As I started planning how to compress all this wonderful information to make it meaningful in a lunchtime setting, I was struck by how valuable it is for not only teens, but for all of us. Parts of it mirror conversations and processes which are in my Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women.
I encourage you to check out Ms. Bachel’s book ( mine too!) and consider sharing it/them with the young people in your life. Not only will they learn things and have a process to record them, you will probably learn a lot about yourself as you lead them through the book (s).
Until Next Time
The TV show is Nashville. The character is the young, ambitious, super competitive and talented country music star Juliette Barnes. Juliette is scrambling to figure out how to come up with big bucks to pay a cheating, lying, and thieving former manager/boyfriend who is going to splash a sex tape of them all over the internet if she doesn’t pay up. First he wanted only $2 million which she must have had in her emergency fund and that wasn’t a big problem. Then he wanted an additional $8 million, bringing the price for keeping that tape private to $10 million. I told you he was a lying and thieving kind of guy. On top of that, voting for Country Music Awards is underway and for the first time Juliette has been nominated. So, she does what everyone else does when looking for ways to pay. She asks for advice.
Juliette’s personal assistant to Juliette. “ Your accountant said to come up with the $10 million in cash you would have to liquidate some of your securities; several stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.”
I just get excited with TV shows which bring up anything which remotely encourages viewers to learn and understand financial management. I am especially pleased at the mention of those words “securities, stocks, bonds, mutual funds”. I have visions of thousands of young viewers googling these words to learn what Juliette has that they need to learn about and “buy”. Awesome.
I am assuming that the accountant in this situation first talked to Juliette’s financial advisor(s) and collaborated with them on how to best offer Juliette a solution to her $8 million problem. Accountants understand where the money came from, how to keep track of it, and all the tax implications. They understand cash flow and lots of other important accounting things. Financial folks understand how to help clients create that pot of money, like the one Juliette is contemplating spending.
In the end Juliette became more attached to her integrity and her money than she was to her image. The money story ends there, but it is a TV show and the issue of the blackmail gets resolved in a high drama way.
Until next time.
My favorite book of quotes about women and money is called The Financially Confident Woman, 9 Habits That Build Your Financial Security, by Mary Hunt. This is a little book, it is probably 4″x6″ in size with about 120 or so quotes. This version is no longer in print. I guard my remaining copy like the treasure it is.
My Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, includes some of the quotes from Ms. Hunt’s book. When leading Financial Freedom Parties for Women, I learned that a few lines in a quote could be an effective way to interest women in financial management concepts. The quotes are fun and allow us to be introspective and serve as the starting point for meaningful conversations about money.
So here, is one of my favorites.
Just like diets, budgets don’t work. The successful alternative to a budget is a plan, a blueprint for your financial future. I love the concept of a plan. With plans cities are built, battles are won, and chaos is turned to order.
Until next time.
Debra J. Hadsall
I picked up one of the local free papers and enjoyed reading the editor’s note called “Slave to the Grind”. That got my attention, having been there a time or two. Haven’t we all?
This is a great real life story of values, finances, work, family,and a Personal Legend (a concept mentioned in my last post). We learn so much from the successes of others.
I also appreciate the re-publishing of the newspaper article about my Financial Freedom Party (FFP) for Women.
Please click here to read the “Slave to the Grind” article by Ray Quiroga.
The original article about FFP can be read here.
Until next time.