Episode 4 – Do You See Yourself as a Victor or Victim?

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Today, Matt Halloran and Danielle Howard talk discuss what it means to be a victor over your financial life rather than a victim. Using her characteristically insightful and empathetic approach, Danielle shares how you can step into your next best financial self and why it’s especially important for retirees to make this shift.

Join Danielle in this exploration. You’ll walk away with a new view of retirement and what it means to take control of your financial life.

[00:00:02] Welcome to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement Podcast Danielle Howard a certified financial planner shares insight into the financial tools techniques and temperaments needed to make the most of your retirement dollars and relationships. Danielle bridges the gap between Wall Street and Main Street bringing complex financial topics down to earth. Danielle will educate and inspire you as you define and refine your version of prosperity. Hello and welcome to another podcast with Danielle Howard. As we were wrapping up the last podcast when we talked about turning over a new leaf we had this amazing beginning of the conversation and I said you know what. We just got to get this recorded. Danielle what what were we talking about what was was at one point that we really wanted to make sure we teased out even more. We got into the idea. What does it mean to be a victor with your financial life versus a victim. Now that’s a that’s a very heavy duty statement there. You had a great example of something that’s common or something that’s getting a lot of publicity. Tell us about that. Might get a little upset with people may get a little upset with me. But I was watching Roseanne the other night and I know this is a very highly rated TV show and everybody’s watching it and so many people relate to it because it is it’s touching on the fact that people are struggling. And I guess to what I see in that final sitcom Yes there’s some good laughs and and yes there’s a lot of relatable moments.

[00:01:50] But the idea that people are a victim or victims of their situations and their circumstances. And I saw this in the recession also I saw when you know the market pulled back in and life was not fair with a lot of people. There was a lot of painful painful things that happened whether it was people losing millions of dollars to you now. Various multi-level marketing scheme Ponzi scheme with Bernie Madoff. Or maybe it was just yeah it was. You could have lost a home because you are over leveraged or you lost half of your retirement account because the market pulled back and you actually cashed out. Yes lots of really really tough stuff happened and I don’t want to minimize the pain and the challenge of tough stuff happens. I’ve had some very challenging things happen in my own life but it’s what we do with it that really that really matters. And you know Victor Frankl talked about you know between stimulus and response there is that space and in that space is our power to choose our response. And in that response lies our growth and freedom and inheres in the concentration camps and we know that you know that’s about as challenging of his situation as he probably ever experience. And if he had that perspective of growth and of freedom in that time I think we’re challenged in facing our circumstances and our financial situations. And knowing that we can become victors out of that instead of just sitting back and becoming a victim and blaming the government and blaming our financial adviser or blaming our spouse or blaming somebody else but that we can step into what can I do differently where I am right now.

[00:04:03] The past is the past. The future is not known. So all we have is the present and to take a look at financially. What do you have. And how do you want to optimize it. How do you want to empower yourself. How do you want to educate yourself. How do you want to step into your best next financial self. I’m excited. I think we did have an opportunity to learn from the recession. We have an opportunity to learn from what happened yesterday. We all make financial mistakes and in our future podcasts I’ll talk about financial forgiveness and some of the weeds that hold us back but I would really encourage listeners to say where am I right now. What do I need to do today to really understand why it’s important that I do my money differently. I want to bring on board to help me do that. Help me understand what financial tools I have and how to best how to best use them for what’s important in my life. You’re changing the conversation to what’s important in life instead of what is my rate of return and you had quote quoted somebody about the return on life would you mind continue because you’re moving me in that direction so I’m just going to kind of follow the waves here. Mitch Anthony is financial thought leader and he encourages and Israeli speaking about the new rent retire mentality. He talks about the return on life versus the return on investment and especially for retirees.

[00:05:52] As we look at what this new season of of life is going to pack for us how do you spend the next 20 possibly 30 or more years doing the things that bring meaning and purpose and fulfillment in your life instead of just withdrawing to a life of leisure which that’s important. It’s it’s it’s great that we have this now time and an ability to explore maybe travel a little bit more. That’s awesome. But there’s a lot of research out there that showing that if all you’re doing is golfing every day are seeking that self fulfillment and not self actualisation that you’re missing out on our opportunity and that there is less intrinsic feeling of value and that there’s so much more for you. And are the narratives that we hear from the financial services world and from media in general is that it’s all about having more or finding just happiness and that that’s a whole other podcast which is true happiness. Sure. So one thing leads to another in our conversations that I love it. And I appreciate the opportunity to speak into it. Research is showing that when somebody retires and they all they do is look at how to play every day that divorce rates are going up suicide rates are going up alcoholism is going up and we’re facing a potential epidemic with our retirees with this group of people who are shifting gears and unless we can help people really define what is important how do they want to maintain their physical health their spiritual health their relational health their financial health to support them and living a life of meaning and purpose that we’ve we’ve got some challenges ahead of us.

[00:08:11] I was reading a specific statistic that was talking about how more people are feeling depressed and disconnected and lonely especially when it comes to their retirement or requirement as you say years their focus does have to change. Would you mind. Now this is really showing a little bit of your secret sauce here. Would you mind telling our listeners how you begin that conversation and foster that conversation so that they feel comfortable and in a safe area to talk about what you’re talking about. Their hopes their dreams their lives their needs their their sorrows and the things that they need to work through. It’s a very special place that I go with my clients. It’s definitely not your traditional you know bring me your piles of paperwork and show me where your assets. We don’t start there. We start with the first question I ask people is What does financial health mean to you. And that opens up all sorts of conversations because it’s not something that people traditionally will get asked from a starting point with a financial adviser. And from there you know we talk about family and we talk about who they are and their financial history you know their life history. I want to know the whole person. This does take more time. This is why I don’t take on a lot of of new clients and I think that our industry is starting to see the value in that there’s a lot of financial thought leaders that are out there that are saying you know we need to be doing this differently. I can’t tell somebody that they need to save more for retirement if I don’t first understand what is important about that retirement who do they want to be spending their time with.

[00:10:09] What do they want to be doing. What do their days look like. And I can’t facilitate a conversation around what to do with your home equity or what to do with that cash value life insurance policy until I really understand what’s important to you. We take the time to unpack that with people in what an interesting direction that must take. Can you help us with I mean because again you’re you’re asking people questions that they’ve never been asked before would you mind giving us an example or maybe a quick story of a client that you had worked with when you might have been maybe even a little resistant to the conversation but ended up really embracing your approach here. And what that did for them. Well let’s say that naming names will just go with a gentleman that really enjoyed doing his trading. He he was very much a day trader. He really appreciated that the technology that was out there and doing his own his own trading and had done very well with it but they weren’t seeking for me to do the investment side of life with them we were just you know having a conversation about their whole financial life in general and in context. And the wife was packing. She was very much engaged in her community and her church. She loved that area of service and of giving and we started talking about why. But why did this gentleman. What did he enjoy. Why did he enjoy making money in the market. And he said I enjoy growing my financial resources so that my family can do the things that are important to them.

[00:12:12] It gives my wife the freedom to spend time with her church friends to be able to cook food and take it over to Sanjay and pack. You know when all he was provided freedom basically they were big givers so it allowed. He was able to grow their financial resources in order for them to be more philanthropic. And one of his intentions for his heirs was to set them up so that they could be bigger givers and his wife sat there and the aha moment that came over her face just like I had no idea. That’s why you like to stay down in front of the computer. And even for him to be self reflective on that and because he did enjoy the the mental challenge that digging and the doing the research he was an engineer. So he loved to pull apart the investment strategies and really look at the companies. So it was insightful for him that was very very powerful for the wife to hear. This is why you why you do that. And I think it was a new conversation that they they hadn’t had before. Wow. That’s a fantastic conversation. And you talked about that in the last podcast was uncovering that. Why in having the patients as a professional to have that conversation to follow where that conversation goes really does make you unique and different. No it isn’t a one time conversation as we work with our clients. It’s a continuum it’s a very relational component of what we do. And I know that I can’t work with everybody.

[00:14:03] So this is also what we’re bringing to bear with my online course that will be released fairly soon that we’re able to ask these questions and get people to look a little bit deeper and to have a Facebook page to share some thoughts and ideas and to start cultivating these conversations and to look at money differently especially as you move into these retirement rewire my ears and having your money be the wind beneath your wings to help you fly to places that bring you joy. Awesome. Any closing thoughts on this. We talked about the return on life the victor versus victim mentality and changing the conversation. What other sort of questions. I know you have the course coming up but are there any questions that you can leave our listeners with today to get them to start mulling over. So when they come in and see you there may be a few yards closer to the finish line. Start with that. Why start with that. Why do I want to have a healthy financial life. And what does that look like for me. What conversation could I have today that is going to be that small bite the elephant that is going to you know lead me to a deeper more connected relationship with the financial choices I’m going to be making. And again it isn’t about taking huge bites and chip making a 180 degree shift with your financial life.

[00:15:40] It is a slow and steady process of introspection of self reflection of really being willing to take the initiative and taking the chance to enter it into something that may be a little scary for you that maybe something a little new a little different and to step into it just be willing to say OK I’m going I’m going to take one baby step and say it’s going to be having a conversation with somebody who has impacted by my financial decisions about you know why is it important that we even have this conversation. And sometimes it sounds to me that you have to ask that question why over and over and over again. And you said unpack having the client or you know whoever you’re having this conversation with unpackaged deeper and deeper and more and more because then we get to the real philosophical underpinnings of what’s going on. Is that fair sure. You know and to say that the philosophical underpinnings that is that that’s the foundation that is going to support you in making the other decisions about how are you asset allocated and how are you taking the social security down the road. And why do you want to make a change in your 401k and how do you want to be using your required minimum distribution to give a charitable contribution. You know the all of the financial tools that you have are going to support those philosophical underpinnings and unless you drill down on those first you’re not going to be as successful or as intentional about how you use the financial tools you have. And with that. Danielle thank you so much for taking us on another journey today. You’re welcome Matt. And if you have not subscribe to the podcast make sure you subscribe it that way you can share it and also anytime Danielle comes up with the new podcast a new idea and a new direction for you to think about. It will show up directly on your listening device.

[00:17:56] We’ll see you on the other side of the mic very soon. Thank you for listening to the Wealth Done Differentlt Retirement Podcast. Click the subscribe button below to be notified when new episodes become available. The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guest and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Wealth By Design LLC. The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice always seek the advice of your financial adviser or other qualified service provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning. Danielle Howard certified financial planner is an investment adviser representative of Cambridge Investment Research Advisors a registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc. A broker dealer member FINRA SIPC Cambridge and Wealth By Design LLC are not affiliate.

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