(WEBINAR) – Money Mindfulness & Your Financial Plan

Transcript & Timestamps

0:05 okay so uh thank you all for joining us, this is a webinar on money

0:10 mindfulness uh stop sabotaging your

0:12 financial Wellness I’m very happy that

0:14 you all were able to make it out today

0:16 um just to remind everybody this will be

0:18 recorded so you don’t have to worry

0:19 about taking notes or

0:21um anything like that uh so we’ll get

0:23this out to you and also there’ll be a

0:25post survey and if you could fill that

0:28out for us we’d be very very

0:29appreciative there’s also a free gift

0:31that we’re sending out to everyone who

0:33attended today so all that information

0:35will be in the follow-up email so um

0:37there will be some real good reasons for

0:39you to go ahead and read through that

0:40and get those materials so I’ll go ahead

0:43and start with Dan

0:46well thank you so much and I appreciate

0:49everybody being here I wanted just to

0:51set the stage on on why we uh worked

0:54with uh Megan in order to put the

0:56webinar on today and what we found is

0:59that ethos ESG is an organization whose

1:01mission is to really provide data so

1:04that investors can make better decisions

1:06and really try to impact the world uh in

1:09ways that that support the causes that

1:11they care about we have found that many

1:13of the people that come to our website

1:15and and look at that data to make

1:18decisions you know are also looking for

1:20more holistic financial help around

1:23financial planning College preparation

1:25retirement planning and we have just

1:28wonderful Financial professionals that

1:30we work with at ethos and Megan is one

1:33of those individuals so we said you know

1:35we should really start putting on uh

1:37some webinars in order to provide more

1:40education and try to make those

1:41connections uh to other kinds of

1:44financial professionals that can really

1:45be helpful people like Megan so we

1:48really appreciate you being here Megan

1:50and doing this uh and everybody’s

1:52attention and I’ll I’ll throw it back

1:54over to you

1:55okay all right thank you

1:57um so we’ve already had a few minutes to

2:00um take the little survey with the

2:01little QR code at the bottom left-hand


2:04um so everyone at this moment now knows

2:06their impact Persona if you haven’t go

2:09ahead and pause this recording If you’re

2:11receiving this afterwards so that you

2:13can take that Persona quiz it’ll be

2:15helpful a little bit during the the rest

2:17of the webinar so


2:20I’ll go ahead and start so who am I

2:25well why you know why should you be even

2:27listening to me in the first place well

2:29I’ve been working in financial planning

2:31counseling and wellness for about the

2:33last 13 years uh the last two have been

2:36in my own uh financial planning firm in

2:39that all of that time I got my licenses

2:41as an accredited financial counselor a

2:43certified financial planner an enrolled

2:45agent I got a Bachelor of Science in

2:47accounting I got a master of science in

2:50financial planning

2:51I know everything and anything you can

2:53think of but um everything I’m going to

2:55talk about today I didn’t learn from any

2:57of that training or any of that

2:59schooling or or anything like that this

3:02this really came about because after I

3:05did all of that Education and Training

3:06and advanced school work

3:09um the only thing that was really left

3:10as a variable was me so this is just

3:14kind of a a collection of everything

3:16I’ve kind of learned outside of the

3:18literal you know facts pen and paper

3:21financial analysis and bring a human

3:23perspective to finances and financial



3:32in finances is you as a person right so

3:35who are you really you just took that

3:38impact Persona quiz that might give you

3:40a little bit of insight

3:42um but is that impact Persona really a

3:45reflection of you it is is it some how

3:48you want to see yourself that way or is

3:50it something that you actually are doing

3:52and are completing

3:54um if someone were to write your

3:55obituary would anything from your impact

3:58Persona be reflected in that and really

4:01if there’s a disconnect between what you

4:04would like to give or how you’d like to

4:07see yourself in the world and what is

4:08actually happening are you going to

4:10change your behavior or are you going to

4:11change your expectations

4:14um and how can you actually be mindful

4:15that there is a disconnect right

4:18so what is mindfulness

4:22so mindfulness

4:24it can be very easy to judge to compare

4:27yourself to your peers and actually it’s

4:29a natural human phenomenon we’re always

4:31categorizing we’re always trying to

4:33derive meaning from the world around us

4:35mindfulness is about acknowledging these

4:37categories without judgment so that we

4:40can examine ourselves and our

4:41surroundings without that baggage that

4:43just comes with how we live our lives

4:47and money mindfulness is actually

4:49somewhat particular so it’s not just the

4:53budget that would be the easiest thing

4:54to to delve into when we talk about

4:57money mindfulness the first thing that

4:59everyone talks about is a budget

5:01um but it’s actually very different from

5:03a budget the core and money mindfulness

5:05is to bring awareness without judgment

5:07so we can examine the why as well as the

5:10what a budget is very good at measuring

5:12the what but not necessarily why you’re

5:14making those purchases these whys tend

5:18to come across as manuscripts or things

5:20that we tell ourselves from the way that

5:22we are raised or just the way that we’ve

5:24observed the world

5:26um these scripts can appear like things

5:28that seem practical or seem common sense

5:32um or just common common things that are

5:34said rich people are greedy my money

5:37problems will go away once I make a

5:38little bit more money

5:40um two people who are experiencing

5:42poverty might have very different

5:44scripts uh the first person might um you

5:48know decide that they better spend it

5:50now before it’s gone before it’s spent

5:51in a way that’s maybe not ideal

5:54um the second person in the same

5:56situation might not want to spend

5:58anything at all because they don’t know

6:00when the next amount of money might be

6:02coming and keeping that money in savings

6:04feels much safer whereas that first

6:06person their safety would be to spend it

6:09because at least they get to spend it in

6:10that time but those scripts are the

6:13things that are going to be informing

6:15your purchases

6:18excuse me let me get a small water break

6:24so the reason can be different with


6:27you really just have to take the time to

6:29sit and reflect

6:31um for myself the reasons I always find

6:34that I end up spending money it comes

6:36down to convenience uh cultural

6:38expectations or unexpected events and


6:43um I like to joke it’s it’s usually

6:45because either I want to they want to or

6:48fate wants to

6:49um but it’s some sort of pressure

6:50internal or external that’s that’s

6:52usually informing this purchase

6:55um but one of the best things my

6:57therapist ever said

7:00you can’t change something fully until

7:02you have named it fully the facts of

7:04what happened how it impacted you the

7:07others and the way it felt down deep

7:08down inside

7:10and how can you change your money

7:11scripts if you don’t know what scripts

7:13are playing or one of my favorite

7:15science fiction authors uh he puts it is

7:18how can you change something if you

7:20can’t rock it to crack something needs

7:22to understand something so fully that

7:25it’s almost intuitive that it can almost

7:28become a part of your identity you will

7:29understand it that well

7:32um so fully understanding or gronking

7:34your thoughts about money is the first

7:36step to changing your scripts

7:38identifying what message is playing

7:41um and whether or not you want those

7:42messages to continue

7:44um do you want do you want that

7:46narrative to stay the same or are you

7:49going to change your behavior or

7:50expectations is there anything important

7:53that’s not getting named

7:56and so how does this relate to financial

7:59Wellness well first let’s actually

8:01describe what Financial Wellness is

8:03because many people disagree or there’s

8:06not really one quite great standard

8:08saying this is financially well this is

8:10not financially well

8:13um so it can be hard to Define because

8:14Wellness can vary from person to person

8:17so according to the Consumer Financial

8:20Protection Bureau those were considered

8:22financially well were able to say such

8:25statements as I could handle a major

8:28unexpected expense I feel secure about

8:31my financial future I can enjoy life

8:33because of the way I’m managing my money

8:36giving a gift for a wedding birthday

8:39baby shower would not put a strain on my


8:43and my finances do not control my life I

8:46would say that that statement is

8:47probably the one of the more profound


8:50um Financial Wellness is is having

8:52Independence and freedom in my opinion

8:54but we’ll talk about that a little bit

8:56more as well as we get further into the

8:57uh presentation but money can eliminate


9:02um but it can’t necessarily grant us

9:03security or Wellness so this can be this

9:07can be the definition but it won’t be

9:09the definition for everybody

9:11um and it’s kind of important to know

9:12the difference between a good financial

9:14plan and financial Wellness because

9:16you’ll end up in a situation like

9:18Scrooge Scrooge had a wonderful and a

9:21financial plan a very efficient

9:22financial plan but he had terrible

9:24Financial Wellness

9:26um so it is very dependent on the person

9:28but also you get to derive these own

9:31definitions as well

9:33um so aside from the statements that I

9:35just mentioned

9:37um I personally feel that Financial

9:39Wellness is when your actions and

9:41intentions align especially monetarily

9:44uh your finances are a reflection of you

9:46and how you would behave

9:49um so would I mean would you set the

9:51ocean on fire or poison drinking water

9:53and if you wouldn’t why would you offer

9:56to have your money do that for you

9:58um and so for me Financial Wellness has

10:01us added

10:02um component because we often aren’t

10:05understanding fully of the um

10:08consequences of some of the actions that

10:10we do because it doesn’t touch us so

10:11quickly so to understand both of our

10:14actions in the money scripts that we

10:16have and also the way that their money

10:18acts outside of us is the key to having

10:22good Financial Wellness

10:26so how is this money mindfulness and

10:30financial Wellness actually related

10:31because Financial Wellness as I said is

10:34about security Freedom of Choice those

10:36things are easy enough

10:38um but how do you bring mindfulness into

10:41that mix

10:42um mindfulness can take a look at these

10:44same Financial Concepts and just change

10:47the way we think about it


10:50so you know

10:53for mindfulness the focus is not on

10:55dollars and cents but time and


10:58uh in finance what does that mean really

11:01I mean you’re not going to find a line

11:03in your net worth about time or

11:04opportunity right so how do you bring

11:06that into a financial plan


11:11so the first thing that I always like to

11:13look at is how do you value your time

11:15time and opportunity are two of the

11:17greatest things that can that can

11:19contribute to a good financial plan that

11:21mindfulness does address

11:24um so valuing your time

11:26the way that I find to be most effective

11:28and everyone can kind of relate to is to

11:31think about your least favorite chore

11:34something that you absolutely hate doing

11:37um something that you would just pay

11:38just to get off your plate and whatever

11:41that amount you would pay if you can

11:43figure out what that rate is is a dollar

11:45per hour that’s usually a good sense of

11:48how much you value your time it’s a good

11:50sense of how much you’re willing to

11:52Outsource or or what’s what’s worth it

11:54or not based on your personal

11:58um valuation of what what is important

12:01to you really and that’s what it comes

12:02down to what is actually important to


12:05um but the problem that we face is that

12:07people feel guilty Outsourcing these

12:09things because it’s something we are

12:11capable of doing ourselves

12:13but when we’re just paying for


12:16but actually paying for convenience does

12:18have a return on investment

12:21um we’re actually being able to buy our

12:22time back and doing it for things that

12:25we don’t necessarily want to do so being

12:27able to see what is worth buying your

12:30time back for is essential to getting to

12:33that Financial wellness and feeling that


12:37now the other part other than

12:39um excuse me

12:44so other than the value of your time

12:46would be the value of opportunity and

12:49your opportunity cost

12:51so it’s really hard to measure

12:53opportunity and potential

12:56um and we can do very quick calculations

12:58that are there are going to be estimates

12:59and I’m very happy to do and uh to

13:03figure out someone’s number it’s a

13:04little bit more complicated than the

13:05other calculations we’re going to go

13:07over today but just as an example

13:10um so for me with my risk tolerance and

13:12the way that I invest and the rate of

13:15return that I get on average I can turn

13:17a dollar into 13 and 11 Cents by the

13:20time I reach we’ll call it retirement I

13:23don’t call it retirement but when I

13:24reach the point where I no longer want

13:26to be working


13:29and so when I make a purchase I can

13:31actually in that moment decide is it

13:34worth this thing that I’m buying now or

13:36is it worth that money saved and

13:38potential opportunity that I can use it

13:40for later so in for instance if you know

13:43it’s a hundred dollar item do I really

13:45want to pay a hundred dollars for this

13:47item or do I want thirteen hundred

13:49dollars in my retirement account I get

13:51to make that decision every single day

13:53for every purchase and being mindful in

13:57all of those little micro decisions

13:59um but here’s the thing you would think

14:02you’re going to make a certain decision

14:03the same way the whole time like you’d

14:05always save it that’s what you’re

14:06supposed to do but you’ll be surprised

14:09when you get to make those decisions

14:11each and every time you get to say how

14:13it it ends you know you get to actually

14:16choose and sometimes you would be

14:18surprised by the result because I tell

14:21you what sometimes a snack is going to

14:24keep me out of jail you know so

14:26sometimes that’s going to be totally

14:28worth the 1300 in my bank account or

14:30whatever it happens to be but the thing

14:33is you get to make that choice over and

14:35over again you know what you’re

14:37sacrificing in the future and the

14:39opportunity cost that you’re making by

14:42spending right now instead of in the


14:45um and those little decisions will add

14:47up to make sure that you’re either on

14:49the track to being financially well or


14:57so how do you know when you’re

14:59financially well so after all of these

15:02conversations I’ve had and yes it could

15:04be a certain number in your bank account

15:05or it could it could be some some some

15:09sort of line line item on some double

15:13edge or the double um some accounting

15:16paperwork whatever it happens to be some

15:17tax form uh but the four main topics

15:21that I see come up over and over again

15:23when it comes to financial wellness and

15:25the feeling of security are really just

15:27four numbers and I call it the freedom

15:30number the respite number the grief

15:32number and the emergency number

15:34they’re very simple calculations

15:37but the first one your emergency number

15:39this is how long you could survive

15:42adversity so it’s really just the amount

15:45of your emergency savings or cash and

15:47cash equivalents divided by your annual

15:49expenses to get that number and the the

15:52nice thing about these numbers that

15:54we’re calculating today is they all come

15:55down to time which is actually the most

15:58precious resource that you possibly

16:00could have so Financial Wellness is

16:02great but we’re talking about the most

16:04prized item that a person has their time

16:07so these calculations always put it in

16:10that perspective and that truly brings

16:12the mindfulness out so if you’re

16:15satisfied with your emergency number you

16:17feel like you have enough time to

16:20weather adversity or an emergency that

16:22is the first step to full Financial


16:28another aspect is your grief number now

16:31this is the one that’s the most

16:33neglected because no one wants to think

16:34about their death

16:36um and I get it you know it’s it’s not a

16:38fantastic subject and

16:41um it just comes with a lot of anxiety

16:43and apprehension and you know it’s just

16:47yes not everyone’s favorite topic but

16:49here’s the thing if you ignore it you’re

16:53just giving the problem to somebody else

16:56so the grief number is about

16:59understanding what you’re leaving should

17:01you die suddenly or unexpectedly are you

17:05allowing your family time to breathe

17:07because there’s some sort of resource

17:08that will allow them to you know put

17:12their job on hold or put some of the

17:14responsibilities aside so that they can

17:16have the emotional capacity and time to

17:19breathe for you

17:20um is that something you’re allowing

17:21them and it is up to you how much time

17:24you think that should be or whether or

17:26not they should want to at all

17:28um maybe you you know some people want

17:30to their family to move on and you know

17:33it’s everyone’s personal decision but

17:35ultimately this is one of the core

17:37components of financial Wellness knowing

17:40that your family could grieve for you in

17:43the amount of time that you want them to

17:49so your respite number or your

17:52retirement number I could say it’s your

17:54retirement number but I don’t like the

17:56concept of retirement so much where it

17:58feels like you’re giving up this is more

18:00like your respite number where you just

18:02get to rest where you get to spend 100

18:05of your time just doing self-care it

18:08doesn’t matter how old you are doesn’t

18:09matter you know where in your life you

18:11are but just this is the amount of of uh

18:15time that you have that you can actually

18:16just spend doing what you want to do and

18:19working on you and not having to work in

18:22some other job or earn any other money

18:25um and usually at the end of your life

18:27so that would be coinciding with

18:29retirement but this could be any amount

18:31of respite no matter your age

18:34and then on top of your respite number a

18:37slightly larger one is your freedom

18:39number so this is how long you could

18:41live without even needing to earn


18:44um so uh if your net worth actually or

18:48your the amount of time that you

18:49calculate in this calculation

18:52um if your time is longer than your life

18:55expectancy you have Financial Freedom

18:57you don’t need to earn any more

18:59ultimately I feel that if you’re

19:01satisfied with this number you’ve

19:03totally made it you’ve you’ve put

19:05yourself in a position where you can

19:08choose what you want to do when you want

19:10to do it self-care not volunteering not

19:13dedicating your your life to however you

19:16want your impact Persona right

19:19um if you were had Financial Freedom you

19:21could be you could be doing your impact

19:22Persona all day long

19:24um and so ultimately I feel that these

19:26four numbers these four simple division

19:29calculations are that the key to

19:31financial Wellness there are some other

19:34ones the Consumer Financial Protection

19:36Bureau actually does a very good

19:37Financial Wellness summary and there’s

19:40some also

19:41um other non-profits that have some

19:43great uh we’ll call them quizzes as well

19:46but ultimately I feel that with these

19:49four calculations

19:50um if you’re satisfied with the numbers

19:52these are going to be the things that

19:54make sure that you’re going to end up

19:55being financially well

19:59and so ultimately only you are the one

20:02who can be satisfied with your

20:03calculations I can prescribe some

20:07you know uh Caps or averages or that

20:11sort of thing but ultimately and

20:13especially with mindfulness you are the

20:16author of what is good and what is bad

20:18or right or wrong or however you want to

20:21describe it

20:22um you get to make these decisions but

20:24you just need to be more informed on

20:26first uh how these decisions are making

20:29your life and building the life that you

20:32want to create daily and presently and

20:34also how that actually affects your


20:37um but knowing that can’t necessarily be

20:40automatic right we have all of these

20:43um other things uh competing for our

20:45time so taking the time to truly reflect

20:48and understand why we’re making

20:50purchases but we’re making these

20:52purchases uh as a sacrifice to or what

20:56the opportunity cost might be and if

20:59we’re not satisfied with these numbers

21:01what are we going to do to get your

21:03goals to align with what you want are

21:06you going to change Behavior or are you

21:08going to change your expectations it’s

21:10usually one or the other that does have

21:12to give if you do want to see and read

21:15the benefits of these change


21:32so I know this was a shorter

21:34presentation that was

21:36um uh

21:39changed from a TED talk to make a more

21:43um friendly webinar

21:45um so I am happy to take questions or I

21:48know some people came in late so if you

21:50wanted to ask any questions about the

21:52beginning of the presentation I’ll be

21:54happy to go over that as well

21:56um but if you’d like to continue the

21:58conversation I welcome you to connect

22:00with me on LinkedIn I’m happy to meet

22:02one on one uh this is the kind of stuff

22:05that we do every day with our employee

22:06benefit wellness program and because of

22:09that program we’re able to give away

22:11this kind of education and information

22:13for free it’s one of the benefits of

22:16that whole program that we’re able to

22:17kind of spread the wealth and give this

22:20to people who truly need it

22:22um that being said if you’d love to see

22:24more we’re happy to help you bring these

22:25programs into your company culture or

22:28even to you personally and we do use all

22:31this stuff in our financial planning and

22:33comprehensive planning programs as well

22:36um so I want to leave you with one

22:38closing thought before we go


22:42at the beginning of today’s webinar it’s

22:44very likely that you didn’t come in and

22:47think oh this presentation is going to

22:49change my life it’s going to change the

22:51way that I think and that sort of thing

22:53uh that’s okay though because naturally

22:55as humans the way we categorize and on

22:58all of that you can’t you can’t be

23:00prepared for every situation all the

23:02time if you were a Time Lord perhaps but

23:04we’re just people so we have to come

23:07with certain expectations and usually

23:09those expectations get met

23:11but I would love if this presentation

23:14did change your life so I this this is

23:17the one thought that I would like like

23:18to leave you with

23:20everyone here and everyone in general

23:23has two minutes to live


23:28and every time you take a breath you

23:30reset the clock

23:32so please remember to breathe

23:35so I’m going to go ahead and end this

23:36recording here and then take questions

23:38for everyone who wants to get a little

23:39bit into the weeds