Uncertainty is the name of the game. As Kris, and many other say, change will be the only constant that we will experience in life, so how will you embrace that?
As we reflect back on 2020, which was FULL – there are things that we could tally up that were more than just obstacles – a full on obstacle course like the Tough Mudder, a surprise at every turn. Sure, with the flip of the calendar, it doesn’t mean everything goes away. In fact, we still are climbing up the hill and I know many of you are still feeling exhausted.
Our guest on today’s podcast Kris Petersen, Executive Coach, Trainer and Speaker who spent her career working in the financial industry will share why emotional intelligence is so important to that aspect of moving forward. At the beginning of the year we hear so many terms like resolutions and goals that we should be focused on but how, how when everything feels so stuck do we move?
In order to move, we have to know where we are, we have to understand what happened before – what we will learn from and what we will continue to do, and most importantly we need to define what is important to us – what are our values and vision for what we want. Defining our values and beliefs are different than goals – they work as our compass when well stuff hits the fan. Kris and her team have a great tool to help you discover your five top values on their website I’ll link below. Once you have established your values it’s easier to define what is important and what is not – what we truly have control over.
We don’t have control over uncertainty, however we can plan for some of the turns in life and for the other’s we need to arm ourselves with resilience. These two topics I discuss frequently in my Money Matters workshop. Life will change, 2020 taught us that by just ripping out the carpet and letting all the ugly and gross dust bunnies show. You do have a choice, we want to empower you toward making a choice – you can look at life and try to control it or you can understand that the uncontrollable will happen, and how to better flow with it by planning for it.
Kris delivers countless nuggets of knowledge in the podcast to help you see through uncertainty and into a bit more clarity. A couple take-a-ways that I had from our conversation:
Goals are different than dreams – well defined goals will get you to achieving that dream.
Be honest with yourself – when you set goals do you have the time, money, and support to do what you want to. If not how will you get it?
Get a trainer if you don’t have one. Having a difficult time understanding how to talk about money with yourself, your partner, or other influential people in your life? Talk to an advisor that is trained and willing to dig past the surface to work with you on the emotional aspects of money.
Plan for uncertainty instead of trying to control it.
This podcast is for you if you are ready to take steps into 2021 that mean you are building a healthy and impactful foundation in your life and with your wealth. As a reminder, I believe wealth is interchangeable with money. Your wealth is not determined by a dollar amount rather you being able to reach the space in life where you feel grounded and are able to enjoy life the way you have dreamed of. However, to Kris’ point, dreams are not achieved without the small goals to get there!
more information on kris peterson:
You can find more information about defining your values through the resources from Kris’ company think2perform: www.think2perfom.com
You can also listen to Kris’ podcast
Connect with Kris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kris-petersen/
See below for full transcript.
How do your behaviors and emotions truly impact your finances. And when we start to think about entering a new year, where there are topics of resolutions and goals, and we’re coming off of a very heavy year, like 20,20, how do we manage the emotions and our emotional intelligence to best serve our goals and what is important to us? Well, on today’s podcast, we welcome Kris Petersen from Think2Perform a consulting firm that focuses on helping leaders identify their emotional intelligence. These specific leads developed the behavioral financial advisor designation. One that helps advisors truly dig deeper with their clients past the rate of return type, identify what are the why’s behind, what we actually want to be able to achieve. What are the goals that we want? What will we feel on the other side of things? Kris has some great insight on what you should be thinking about as an investor or as an advisor to help define what those goals are that you want to be able to achieve in 2021 tune in listen with those ear buds on, as we welcome Kris Petersen to this episode of Thrive For[e]ward. So your, your amazing resume is like I feel like I could sit here for the entire hour and talk about all of your achievements that you have done, but let’s talk about your passion and what has led you to the space that you are in now and how some of those stops along the journey got you to where you are now helping individuals like myself.
That’s a great question. So my curiosity has always been around, how do I make things better? How do I make it better or business? How do I make a better in life? How do I actually help others be better? And I didn’t really realize that until probably I was in my forties. Early in my career, I took a path that seemed easy. I was a teller in high school. So I went into banking when I graduated from college actually was a
personal banker during college, really enjoyed that sort of interaction with people, but didn’t really click on, you know, what I was really passionate about. Because sometimes in life, if you’re not intentional, it just sorta kind of goes right. And you, along the way you realize, Oh, I do like this, or I don’t like that. So one of my first jobs out of college was a bank examiner.
And I realized pretty early on, that was not my calling. I feel like that’s a special person that takes to do that job. And I love those people when I was in leadership. I hired a lot of those people, but it wasn’t my deal. So as I was able to sort of try new things and realize what I liked and didn’t like, it, it became really clear that I’m kind of an entrepreneurial spirit who likes to work and lead people. And when I say lead people, it’s not about me as a leader. It’s about me helping them be their best self. And when I retired from my corporate job, about 10 years ago, I joined a firm that is focused on helping leaders be more effective. And it’s really the IQ or emotional competency, part of being a leader, which is most important twice as important as your IQ. And so for me, the passion I have this book is really around helping people do more than they ever thought they could do. And seeing that just joy in their face and their voice gives me satisfaction. So that’s kind of my, my path, my journey in life so far, you never know what’s next. Well,
I love that you, you spoke about intention because I talk about that a lot on the podcast or with clients and just focusing into what our purpose is and what, what we, what we like to do, what we don’t like to do. What sets our souls on fire because at the end of the day, happiness comes from the spaces that we are most intentional in. I think people can disagree with that, but I think when we’re most intentional is when we happen, happen to be the most happy in our lives. Let’s talk a little bit about you and I had coffee. Geez. I can’t even remember. I think I was pregnant with my second daughter when we were, we had coffee to talk about the behavioral advisor designation on that. You’ve kind of developed the whole curriculum about why is that important? Why did you see that it was so important to develop something
like that. And what does that mean for an end investor to work with an advisor that is thinking about behaviors rather than just rates of return of a portfolio and how much it’s growing or not growing because you don’t, we can’t guarantee anything. You know,
Exactly. As I said, my background was in financial services. My last corporate role was leading the financial planning and advice division or a service for a very large financial services firm in America. And what I started to realize is the best advisors were focusing on behavior versus technical returns, technical returns, financial planning is kind of like table stakes, consumers assume, you know what you’re doing, but the real difference is in how you help clients make choices around how they use their money and helping them understand what’s really important to them. And then how can they make more choices in their life that are aligned with values so values and what they want to achieve with their money is what an advisor can actually focus on to help a client achieve what they really want to get out of life. A lot of times I saw advisors who were just strictly focusing on the money part of it and not really getting into how do you use the money to enjoy your life?
There’s a whole, a world that needs to be explored with the client around that. And to some degree clients don’t expect it because advisors have taught them not to even think about it that way. Yeah. And so we created some training as a result of some research I did with the firm I’m with right now, I was at this large firm and I hired them to do some research around why do advisors that have clients outperform them the market? What is the behavior of those advisors versus advisors who look just like them from a technical numbers standpoint, but their clients underperform the market. What’s the difference there? And so based on the research results, we create a training and the results of the research were really number one is integrity. Those advisors who are really focused on helping the client make the right choices and actually having the clients do that or more successful when it came to return, then those clients whose advisors just said, you know, at the end of the day, it’s their money and they can do what they want with it.
The advisors who were successful were so committed to their process and helping that client live their fullest life, that if the client wasn’t taking action on what they recommended after a certain point in time, they’d fire the client because they said, you’re wasting your money. I’m here to help you achieve what you want in life and with your money. And if you’re not going to do it, I don’t want to work with you. So based on that, we said, okay, let’s create some training that helps an advisor do this with their clients. And the training we do really focuses on the advisor themselves. First, we have a model that says you can’t give away that, which you don’t have. So you have to understand what this means and feel it and see the results of what you’re doing. And then we teach them, okay, how do you do that with clients and the clients that have advisors that do this are so happy. They are more, they’re referring their friends more often. They’re, they’re seeing the difference. They’re making choices that are in alignment with their values. And they’re just ultimately happier and have a greater peace of mind as a result of it.
Yeah. I mean, I, your process aligns with me. It’s like, I’m just shaking my head. I’m like, yes, yes, yes. These are all things that, as I’ve grown into my career, these are when I managed, when I was a people manager, I coached people on how to do this. And a lot of times advisors set in their ways just kind of rolled their eyes at me and said, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. I’m not going to do that. And then the younger advisors would just eat it up and they had better retention from clients not leaving them. Right. and, and all their overall experience. They stayed with our company because they knew that there was some sort of value that they could provide their clients beyond just rates of return, because those fluctuate. And when you have to sit down with a client and it’s a bad year, which happens right.
Almost every other year or sometime in the year, right within the calendar year, you know, in 2020 March versus, you know, the end of the year, a lot of different conversations happened between that time. And you know, it was only nine months or so and so much happened within 2020 to be able to have those conversations, that if you just focus on return rather than what clients can do with it, then you’re, you’re pigeonholing yourself into one space. I also think from a client perspective clients, you hit the nail on the head that clients don’t expect their advisors to talk about that stuff. Cause I’ve kind of, I’ve realized too, as I’ve gone through clients are like, wait, you want to talk to me about like what I want to do with my money. I’m like, well, yeah. W why wouldn’t I want to, I mean, I, I don’t care where you spend your money, but I want to understand that we’re getting you to the place that you want to go.
Like if you, if you want to be able to donate or a, you want to be able to make an impact. A lot of the questions I ask my clients are at the end of the day, what impact do you want to make when you’re not here anymore? So what, what legacy do you want to leave behind? And that doesn’t mean what dollar amount you want to leave either. Right? I think as we set goals and are intentional at the beginning of a new year, which is when your podcast will air, we will be in 2021. And you know, this magical calendar will turn. And everybody’s like, Ooh, 20, 21. He knew year after a year that has brought us you know, so much I would say it’s almost like the carpet was lifted up to be able to examine what was underneath, right. And when we set goals, I wonder, what are the behaviors we should consider both as advisors, but also as an clients, when when we think about that, that overarching conversation in the new year of setting resolutions and goals for a new year, how should we consider approaching those conversations?
There’s so many things that I could share about this, and I’m going to focus in on a couple avenues. The first one is I think we can agree that there is nothing more certain than uncertainty, and that’s a motto we have. And I would say, as an advisor, working with clients, that’s what you should be helping clients understand. Is it the one thing we’re certain is that it’s uncertain and what am I going to do to help you plan for that uncertainty so that if something bad happens, the impact to is minimal. And so given the
uncertainty and especially coming out of 2020, there’s still a lot of uncertainty. And there’s a lot of angst around that because we, as humans want to control, we ultimately want to, you know, make sure we get what we want out of our lives. And we feel like we control things.
And in a time like this, we don’t. So I suggest you focus on things that you can control, right? So as you’re planning for 2021, I was just talking with a colleague this morning as we were working through one of our client’s annual plans and what we’re doing with them. And the thought occurred to me that given the time we’ve had to sit back in 2020 and have less options of how we spend our time and where we go. For me, I know personally, I’ve had to think about things differently. I’ve had to look at what’s really important to me. What makes me happy? Is it more money? Is it more things? Is it being in nature, which I was able to do a lot more this year is having quality conversations with those that are really important to me, what is it it’s different for all of us.
And so I would say, give yourself time to reflect on 2020, like what went really well? What did you notice about how you felt in this timeframe? What was really important to you? What still is really important to you? And then think about one or two things that you really want to make happen in 2021. If you have too many goals, you’re not going to be able to achieve those goals. And then when you can settle in on a couple of things that are really drive you and kind of give you passion, ask yourself these three questions. Do I have the time to do it? Do I have the money to do it? And do I have the support to do it? Meaning the people around you? And if you answer no to any of those questions, you’re probably not going to be able to achieve that goal. So give yourself time to reflect really cue on. What’s the most important thing you want to achieve one or two things in 2021, and then give yourself the time to be honest with yourself and say, do I, do I have what I need to make that happen? And if you really want to make it happen, then how do you find those things to make it happen? Right.
Right. And maybe, and maybe that’s, you know, in order to do some of those things, maybe it’s, you need to reach out to somebody to be able to help you get to that space.
Exactly, exactly. Or maybe there’s things in your life. And we think about this at work. I constantly tell my clients, what are you doing at work? That takes a lot of time that isn’t giving you a lot of value, because we want to spend our time on things that actually drive value in a personally and professionally and not just check the box. We can get into our brains love habits. And so we can get into the habit of just doing the same thing and over again. And for some of us, we get joy out of checking the box on a list. You know, person, that’s a real joy, but I always have to say, is that really going to give me what I need to get to where I want to go? And it’s no different with clients and their money. You know, what, what is it that you want to do this year? What is it that’s really most important to you? And let’s think about it. You know, a dream is different than a goal. Dreams are great, but they’re not a goal
More about that. What’s the difference between a dream and a goal to you.
So a goal is something very specific and a smart goal. You can actually it’s time bound. It’s understandable. It’s clear. You know, I want to lose weight next year. Is that a smart goal? No. I want to lose 10 pounds by June 30th of next year. That’s more of a smart goal. I got a specific amount by a certain timeframe. A dream is just like, Oh, I would love to someday on a home, on a beach somewhere. Okay. That’s great. But how’s that going to happen? Yeah. And maybe there’s goals that have to happen to get you there.
Yes. Maybe there are small goals that get to that dream, right? Like, okay. So if I need this too much money to buy this house in the future, then I know I need to do this every year. And Nope, Nope. Private plug for planning, but that’s what a financial plan absolutely helps you get to. Right? If those are our goals that you want to do in the longterm, then being able to break or dream in the longterm, the goals that you need to do to get to that space.
Exactly. And it’s not some stop dreaming. You should always dream, but give yourself some concrete goals that are actually attainable.
How about those clients managing some of those emotions that go with some of the financial goals that maybe they want to be able to achieve? You know, we think about the nervous investor or the investor that’s trying to time the market or any of those aspects. Those are our two big ones that I think have visited us over the last couple of years. What, how do we manage our emotions when it comes to financial goals that we might,
He gets back to that planning for the certainty of uncertainty. So, so many advisors make the mistake of teaching their clients, that they’re going to help them beat the market or get a great return. And that is kind of a fallacy it’s not even possible. I mean, if you happen to do that a few years, great, but do you not, it’s not a sustainable value proposition, correct. Kind of a value proposition is helping someone realize that the market is uncertain. The economy is uncertain. Your health is uncertain. What can we do to make sure that if something changes in any of those situations and it’s negative, that you’re not impacted, you know, adversely in those situations. And so that’s the kind of concept that you can start on to help somebody feel like they have some control because they’ve made, they’ve made choices as best they can given the uncertainty.
So that basis is where it starts. And then you can acknowledge that they might have fear. I still have fear when the market’s tanking and I’ve been in this business for how many years, and I want to sell out, but I know that that’s not the right thing to do sometimes. You know, my advisor will say, okay, you want to sell out because he’s just playing the game with me. He knows that I’m not going to do it. You tell me
when you’re going to buy it back in and then you can sell out.
Yes. Because it’s not just timing in the market once. It’s timing it twice. Right?
No. And it’s the long run. It’s if you look at historically, it’s gone up and down and up and down and up and down. And so you just have to stay focused on what you think, control your saving, you know, behavior, you’re spending behavior. You can’t control the long run on this. You can, how risk, how much risk you take in market timing is not something that the average person has any success in. Typically you don’t hear about the sad stories you hear about the person that, you know, made a few bucks on a stock, but you don’t hear about all the other money they’ve lost.
Yeah. Cause nobody wants to talk about that aspect of things, right? We only want to talk about our wins and the glossy shiny things that make, make us look good,
Stay on your, your, your, the way you think the way your brain works is you feel, and you want to react, especially when you have high emotions. So nervousness, super happiness. I remember when Alan Greenspan said irrational, exuberance, Martin will never go down. That’s people feeling super, super positive, and they want to react and want to buy when it’s high. So you have to understand, and that’s what your brain wants you to do. And so you’re fighting your own physical mechanics.
How does, how does one? So I know there’s two different investors when it comes to emotional aspects of things, right? We have somebody that likes to do it themselves, and we have somebody that really relies on somebody else to make those decisions. What are some of the things? If people are individual investors, I have clients who, who manage their own portfolios, but utilize me for planning. How do they manage emotions versus well, we can also talk about how clients who have an advisor, how should they be using their advisor to manage their emotions in times of volatility?
Well, I think the advisor who can help the client recenter and get back to we, but we were prepared for the certainty of uncertainty. There’s one of those times we talked about it’s okay to have those feelings, but it’s what you do in reaction to those feelings. And at times when I’ve been really good, we’ve talked
about, we’re not going to, we’re not going to react. We’re going to ride it out. Right. And so getting them back to what you’ve already talked about, what you’ve already agreed to, and that you have everything in place. I think the advisor that does, that has the advantage with the client and the client’s going to benefit drastically. You’ve seen the Vanguard study that shows the value of an advisor is 300 basis points or three percentage points. Half of that behavioral coaching, which is what I’m talking about here is helping you not react and feel these scared things, anxious feelings.
And so the individual investor has to be self aware enough in the moment to know that that’s why they feel the way they do and is probably more likely to react than an advisor client relationship because they don’t have that other person saying, Hey, we, we agreed to do this. And these are one of those times we talked about, and yes, you can feel anxious, but we have to, we need to ride this out and we need to make sure that we’ve got everything covered, which we already do. And so I think an individual investors may have to be able to do that for themselves, not as likely that’s going to happen. Yeah.
So leaning into even an individual that can help them in that space provide a little bit more. It’s almost like, I mean, you use, when you, when you want to work out and you can’t hold yourself accountable, you hire somebody like a personal trainer, right.
I, I tell clients that all the time, like, I’m, I’m not here to beat the market for you. I’m not here to give you the best stock advice or pick the best stock return for you. Of course I want your portfolio to grow in the way that you want it to. But I’m here to help you achieve the goals that you want and help you to discover what it is that you want to achieve in your life. I almost sometimes call myself a life planner instead of a financial planner because the financial piece is just a part of it. We, we talk about so many other aspects of how their goals play into things. Cause I, I truly believe money touches every aspect of our lives, our relationships our health and wellness you know, finances, if we don’t have them in order create levels of stress and anxiety.
And I mean, I even ride recently a study last year about white men committing suicide because of financial not understanding where they are from a financial aspect or kind of falling into that space of having to feel like they have to provide for everybody. And then they aren’t making enough. Right. Right. How do, how do people have conversations with those that are important in their lives beyond maybe just their advisor when it comes to money? Is I feel like there are a lot of people that struggle within their household to have conversations with their partner or other people in their lives. Maybe their parents, if they’re trying to help their parents with their money, how do we talk about money back?
It’s a really good question. It’s a very sensitive topic. It’s the cause of a lot of divorces, you know, and it’s it. Everybody has a different relationship to money. To some degree, I believe it’s starts with how you were raised and how much money was in the household and how your parents treated money. And I think that it’s, it’s something that is not comfortable for everybody to talk about. And so most of the time I suggest hire a third party, hire an advisor. They can have this sort of objective conversation with each of you and you the couple to be together as a couple, because it’s really important that you have the same sort of values and goals as a couple around your money. If it’s different, there’s, it’s more complicated. And there had been a lot of situations I’ve heard of where, you know, one person is a spender and one’s a saber. And in those scenarios, it becomes really hard and the conversation can get so heated because usually they wait too long to have the conversation. And then there’s so much emotion involved. It’s just like hiring a therapist, right. For other issues in your life. And I believe that if you have an advisor at the center looking out for what the couple wants as a couple, what the couple’s goals are, that that can be a much easier way to deal with the differences in relationships with money.
Yeah, absolutely. I think I’ve, I’ve, I think I’ve acted as a therapist more I’ve joked with clients before that I’m going to put therapists on the outside of the door. And I believe in therapy, I think that’s one thing that’s that does drive for me, the conversations I have with my clients, I believe in therapy, I believe in mental health, I believe in these conversations needing to occur so that relationships don’t lead to divorce so that we can uncover some of the things that maybe have happened in our lives before. I mean a lot, oftentimes I run into two spenders as well, instead of two savers or one of the other. And so how do you get them into that space of understanding, or one person is carrying the income and the other person is spending, and there’s not that conversation. So now there’s also animosity of like, I’m making all this money, but you’re spending all of the money. Right. And so being able to literally sit down and have those conversations around what works best.
And why, why is it, you know, that, that way there’s usually more to the story than just they want to spend the money.
Yeah. I mean, I think about it sometimes some of the things that I’ve sorted through with clients, especially when you start to think about what their money story was if they like to spend, maybe it’s because there wasn’t any money at home. And so they don’t feel like they deserve the ability to accumulate. Right. and, and so then they just go get rid of it instead by spending it on things that won’t actually be there especially emotional spending. And I think I’ve seen a lot of that in in this year where we’ve been and as we’re talking right now, it’s December of 2020. And so when your episode airs, it’ll be a new year, but it’s not like once we hit January 1st, all of a sudden this like magical wand is going to be waived and we’re going to be in a completely new year. There are definitely things that are going to carry over. We’re not through COVID yet. We’re not through economic shock downs and kids learning from home and all of those different things are going to carry into the new year. So how do we manage levels of stress without having to go to some of those behaviors that might not be healthy for us from a financial standpoint, how do you see stress playing into money?
Stress is a big part of what happens with money like retail therapy, right? Alcohol consumption is up drastically, right?
Yeah. My husband sells alcohol. It legitimately is it’s, he’s had the best sales year of his career and that doesn’t make him feel
No, and drugs are the same way. So people are self-medicating right in whatever way that is. And the people who are self-aware in the moment, which is not a large percent of the population have an advantage here. So if you can understand your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the moment, then you have choice and you can reflect on, is this really the best thing for me when I, when I go out and buy another whatever online, because that’s what I’m doing right now. Do I really need that? Is that really going to give me joy? Or can I just sit back and think about what is it that would really give me joy? What do I really like doing, given my choices right now, granted, they’re not as many as, as we would like, but I think if you are really honest with yourself, you can find something other than what your automatic reaction is.
And so being self-aware in the moment is not something we’re born with really cause we’re born to be self-aware after the fact, we’re born to feel an act versus feel, think act. And so you can do this little exercise for yourself. It’s called the freeze exercise. You can do it multiple times a day. And all it’s doing is allowing you to change that natural path in your brain from feel, act, to feel, think apps, and you answer these three questions. How am I, what am I thinking? What am I doing? And what am I feeling? What are my thoughts? What is the emotion I’m feeling? And what is my physical body doing right now? And it helps you become more self-aware in the moment. And if you have that ability to know what you’re thinking, feeling doing in the moment you have choice, when all we’re doing is feeling an acting, we don’t have choice.
No, that’s beautiful. I mean, I think about that too. I, I ha maybe that’s kind of what I’ve had clients do, like the Amazon. So like we need things right away and, and people have, you know, been putting stuff in carts or I’ve clients who are like that Instagram ad. I, I, I bought up before I even left bed this morning. And I’m like, but why? Right. Can, you can put stuff in carts and leave it there. Right? So like, if it’s just the action of hitting, I would like this at some point in life. Like for me, what I do is because I’m human, I like things. And sometimes I get emotional and I would like to buy something to help put a bandaid on that. Instead, I usually go out to my bike and I bike it off. Cause I have a Peloton at home.
So that helps what, what get released some of those emotions. Right. And do the thing that provides me joy instead of the thing that I’m going to buy as a temporary bandaid. But I I’ll put it in the cart. I’ll do the action of putting it in the cart, but I won’t run. I won’t check out and I’ll leave it there for a week, two weeks, sometimes forever. And my husband goes, do you still need this? It’s in the Amazon cart? Like, can we get rid of it? Is this something that you want, should it be adding it to a Kristmas list? What should you be doing? And, and then I go, yeah, you know what, I don’t, I don’t actually really need that.
But if we take the time,
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don’t know. My kids have like 19 water bottles. How many water bottles do you need? Right. I got one right here, but they have 20.
Exactly. but try to just reflect, that’s the biggest thing, stop yourself and reflect.
Well, and I think about too some of the aspects that we have seen from a mental health capacity in 2020, and like what we’ve learned from 2020 should be an example of going forward. For those of us who’ve been in the industry and have been talking about like, well, let’s plan for these what ifs in life. We never thought that 2020 was literally going to bring us almost everything at once, right. Because we’re experiencing these huge life transitions for experiencing them together. And then we have our own life transitions sprinkled on top. What are some of the biggest impacts of life transitions to our money? How do we manage that?
Given the COVID experience of 2020? Yeah. well obviously one thing is we don’t, the markets are kind of crazy right now. I mean, in one sense, it’s really high. And I given my financial background and my finance undergrad doesn’t really make a lot of sense. No, it does not. Okay. Let’s just be clear that it’s uncertain. I think also, you know, the way we work is different right now, and I think it’s really challenged. The old style of you gotta be in the office, you have to show your face all the time that leads to do. I really need to live in the city. Do I really need to be spending that much on real estate? Do I need to be that close to you know, EV my office and then when I’m reading and what I’m seeing is people are leaving the major metropolitan areas to go live in areas that are more appealing from a work-life balance standpoint and provide them with what they really value outdoors, you know, a simpler way of life outside of, of their job.
And more time with their family. Maybe some of them won’t want more time with their family after the constructor. But I think some people are saying it’s a, it’s a, a healthier lifestyle. If I move to a place that is, is less tense and that changes money, that’s a lot of history around money. Maybe we’ll allow people to retire earlier or, you know, live what they think they’re going to do in retirement during their life. So
they’re not saving it all for retirement because you can be anywhere now seem to be able to do your job for a lot of positions, not every position, but a lot of positions. And so I think people are rethinking life. Like, how do I want to live? Do I absolutely have to be near my employer? And a lot of the times the answer is no. So I think you’re going to see as an advisor, more interesting goals or a way to think about money being used more so during their life versus waiting till the very end, you know, when they move into retirement.
Yeah. And I think that’s possible. I talk a lot of times about like, what do you, don’t just wait till one period. And I think that there’s a generational thought process too. I’m not sure if you, if you see that difference between, you know, boomers gen X the millennials and gen Z who are now in the workforce. Right. I think a lot of times we think gen Z, aren’t still in high school, but many of them are entering into the workforce and for the first time, and kind of in that same mentality that the millennials entered the workforce, which was during the last great recession. Right. So how do we see those generational differences with some of those, you know, new things that are happening? Because if you look at baby boomers, they were like, Nope, save, save, save, save, save, I’ll experience all the fun in retirement right now, if you’re a baby boomer, I’m not like just putting you in a lump sum. Cause I know that there are other people that like don’t always fall into the generational assumptions either, but that’s a little bit different than maybe those younger millennials and gen Z who are like, no, I saw how hard it was for my parents. I don’t want to do that. I want to experience life right now. How do we manage those with healthy financial behaviors? Right. Because I also think we don’t want to encourage everybody to say like, go live the best life that you have, but do it financially responsible.
Right. I think everything’s in moderation. Right? So the, we do, we do a lot of work around values with our clients. And what we’ve noticed in the research is that the millennial group is very similar to the boomers and a couple of their values family as a value and achievement as a value, but the definitions they use are different. So family for a boomer is taking care of their elderly parents and, and doing things for their family and family for a millennial is around having your, your parents as advisors. So that’s more like you ha I have a friendship advising relationship with your, with your parents. And that’s different. The achievement is also different achievement for a baby boomer as achieving career. You know, sort of aspirational career steps for a millennial is achievement is experiences in life. So in order for them to be able to fulfill on that value, they’re going to have to work, but they’re probably going to look at it differently. They’re not going to wait until that very end and experience things along the way. I think it shows up in how they choose to spend their money too. I mean, they, they don’t buy homes. Typically. They aren’t that big on, you know, cars. They spend a lot on convenience services. And so I think you’re going to have to look at it differently as an advisor from the traditional way. We look at it today because they’re going to inherit the wealth of the baby boomers for those that do have wealth to transfer. And a lot of baby boomers, aren’t going to be able to retire. There’s going to have to be working. I don’t think the millennials look at retirement the same way. I think they kind of think about continuing to work, but they’re also really focused on having meaningful work that worked for money it’s worked for, I want to make an impact and it’s more of a social impact kind of thing. And so thinking differently about how do you plan for what they want to do over the course of their time might be little mini goals, you know, in addition to some bigger goals. But it will, it will force us to think differently about how we help help that generation plan.
Yeah. I mean, I I’ve, I have quite the variety of clients that I now have access to being able to be that person for them. And it is, it’s definitely very different conversations and it requires some creativity and ability to pivot in your, in your thinking and your thought process while also having conversations with your, you know, your baby boomer clients around generational wealth transfer and when they are transferring, what does that conversation look like for how they want that to be utilized? Right? Because those values are a little bit different, even though they are the same. And I hear a lot of times, well, my kids aren’t saving any money and they’re not, you know, like they’re not, they’re spending all this money and they’re not saving any of it when the reality is I actually see a lot of millennials who are saving money just in a different way than, than maybe than, than others might. I also see millennials graduating with crippling crippling student loan debt. Right. That’s been for a while. Yeah. Which is a lot different. I mean, on average, I’m seeing anywhere from 80 to $200,000 in student loan debt, which how can you buy a home when you have that responsibility? Is, is the questions that I pose when we look at things in a bigger picture, right? I mean, they literally are trying to be responsible and pay the debt off that they were encouraged to go to school for, and now they can’t buy a house
Kind of look at the amount, the percentage that are moving back in with their parents, especially during COVID. I think it was like 52% during COVID. So it went up drastically that wasn’t even an option when I was younger. I plus I didn’t want to so it was a different thing then.
Yeah. I mean, I graduated college in the great recession and I did move home with my parents. Cause I literally graduated in, well, it was in a transition. I graduated in December of 2007 and then 2008, 2009 was happening. And I lived at home for a period of time. My parents also needed help. And so it was, it
was the ability to be able to balance that aspect of things. My grandfather lived with us, we had multi generational home and he was aging. And so it allowed for me to be able to spend time with him. And I’ll never forget those years of, of doing that either. It w it was something that
We may go back to that if you look at the European countries, there’s a lot of those that, I mean, assume that that’s how it works, right? Multi-Generations live together. You take the care of your elders, you don’t put them in a nursing home. I think, you know, what we see happening with COVID might sort of change how that, that infrastructure is and how we think about aging in general.
Yeah. I mean, I, my great grandmother lived with my, my grandfather and my mom, and then my grandfather lived with us. And so it’s and my father has Alzheimer’s and my parents literally live five minutes away from us. So they don’t live with us, but we moved them close enough so that they can still have their independence and we can help them. You know, if a faucet breaks or can’t open the garage door, or these are all things my husband’s had to go over and fix. And that was a very different experience for him marrying into a family that I mean, he is incredibly close his parents and we help them all the time. They’re a little bit more self-sufficient and don’t have as many things going on that need, that need help. Because they have other, you know, my parents have other obstacles that they’re up against. So, and I think that, you know, 20, 20, we talk about the aspect of, of work, but I also think the aspect of health. Right. and if we’ve seen anything it’s not to take your health for granted. And, and when we talk about financial planning, health is a big part of your financial plan. And I don’t think people always think about it that way. Right. But how do you, how do you think health plays a part in your finances and how has 2020 kind of shown that light against it as well?
Health becomes a bigger and bigger value as you age. So as your health is not a given you focus on it more. And I think the things that you can control about your health are your nutrition. You know, how much you exercise, how well you’re getting sleep, those kinds of things. That’s the areas that we want to spend time on. If you don’t have your health and you aren’t living or controlling what you can to encourage, you know, your own health, then I think what happens is you’re putting stress on your money because the less healthy you are, the more you’re going to be seeing physicians and other health experts, which cost money. And so when you have stress on your house, stress on your financials, your stress goes out, your physical stress goes up, which causes your health to go down.
Stress is not good for your health, not good for your body. And ultimately, if you can focus on the things you can control, which are eating healthy, doing some sort of regular exercise and getting rest, rest is so important. Yes, you have a higher likelihood of, of being healthy for a longer period of time. Now, genetics plays a role in that other things in the environment, but you can’t really control that. Getting back to what do you control? That’s where we want to spend our energy. Ultimately, if you can do those things, then, then you’ve minimized what you can around the negative aspects of health. We don’t know when we’re going to die. There are things you can do to make sure that your loved ones don’t, aren’t devastated should that happen, or that you get disabled or something happens to you. And those are the getting back to the certainty of uncertainty. That’s the sort of uncertain things that you can put something around to minimize the impact. Yeah.
There are some things we can plan for and some things that we can’t plan for, but we should absolutely put the effort into the things that we can control, like planning for those things. You know, you don’t want to talk about experiencing a level of disability or death. I, I tell people all the time, like I get to talk about the stuff that you don’t want to talk about, but my job is to make sure that you are covered in terms of anything like that happening. And it’s not necessarily a product, it’s a plan of action. So if this happens, then what, so, so you talked about the stress level, then that alleviates the stress level. If you know, okay, if this happens, then I know this will happen because we’ve talked about it right now. I’m not saying that we can, you know, like if, if you were diagnosed with cancer, I can’t say that, like, I can help you process through that, but I can say, now we know that this is how we’ll be able to pay for it. Or these are the people that are going to help take care of you during that time period. And having those types of conversations. I think you put a, you put a bow on it, you started at one space of uncertainty and controlling the things that we can control. And we think about our, our health and happiness and our wealth. It’s also what can we can control as well. Exactly. Anything else that you would like to leave our audience with caress?
I would just say focus on the things that matter most to you, and that you have an ability to be intentional and take action on is where we focus our mind is where things happen. And so if there’s something you want to make happen, that’s where you need to focus your time.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. If people want to understand more, I know, think to perform produces elements of education. Are there any resources the end investors or advisors can follow along with? And if so, where?
Yeah, you can go to our website, which is Think2Perform.com. It’s T H I N K, number two, perform.com. We have a podcast, we have some articles out there. So and we also have a values exercise, which is really interesting too. Like it gets into your top five values so that you can have those top of mind. And then every time you’re in a situation where you’re just not sure what to do, you can reflect on those top five values and you’ll know the answer.
That’s just wonderful. Well, thank you, Kris, for your time today, I’m grateful for you carving out space to be able to share your wisdom with our audience. So thank you very much. It means the world to me.
Thanks, Shannon. I appreciate you too.