In this episode of Your Business, Your Wealth, Paul and Cory welcome Rhonda Noordyk to the show. Rhonda is the CEO of The Women’s Financial Wellness Center, an organization aimed at providing recently divorced women with fully-independent, relationship-based coaching and resources to help them make confident financial decisions. Paul, Cory and Rhonda discuss the importance of financial transparency and vulnerability in couples’ relationships. They share strategies and exercises that married men and women can complete to gain better financial confidence. Finally, Rhonda speaks to some of the potential consequences of spouses who fail to have these financial conversations.
WHAT WAS COVERED
- 02:43 – Introducing today’s guest, Rhonda Noordyk. Today’s topic: Financial wellness for Women, Men and Couples
- 04:51 – Cory’s theory about women in finance
- 05:53 – Rhonda speaks to the inspiration behind starting her own business
- 11:36 – Paul questions why many couples split up financial responsibility
- 16:20 – The importance of empowering women with financial confidence and knowledge
- 16:51 – The car dealership example
- 20:02 – Why married women should be planning ahead for their financial futures
- 22:55 – Paul interrupts the podcast to provide the audience with a special offer
- 24:39 – Cleaning up an estate
- 26:08 – The financial impact most women experience post-divorce or death of a spouse
- 28:09 – An effective way for husbands to get their wives involved in important financial conversations
- 31:00 – The mindset shift that women who are widowed or divorced need to experience
- 33:00 – How men and women should broach the topic of finances before getting married
- 34:07 – An exercise in financial vulnerability
- 37:42 – Paul leaves the audience with some actionable advice
- 39:04 – Paul encourages same-sex couples to have these same financial conversations
- 40:24 – Cory urges podcast listeners to share this episode and leave a review
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT – ORIGINAL TEXT
Full Episode Transcription
Paul Adams: Hello, and welcome to Your Business, Your Wealth. My name is Paul Adams. I am the founder and CEO, no longer President. But you know who is president of Sound Financial Group? He’s here. His name is Cory the Shepherd. Shepherd is his last name. I don’t know, I can’t put anything in between those two that would be cute in quotes. Cory, as always, I love you, brother. I’m glad you’re here. I love you almost as I love all of our loyal listeners. Almost, you’re close. I just want everybody listening to know, you’re… Cory’s a close second to you, and I’ve known him for years, but you guys are willing to listen to us on a weekly basis, share it with your friends, you write kind reviews, and you send us notes about where you like the content. I love you more. Okay.
Cory Shepherd: This is the most amazing… That’s the longest intro for someone who’s been on the podcast for the last two years. And I’m wondering…
Paul Adams: Do you think I need to did not introduce you anymore from now on?
Cory Shepherd: No. No, I think you can introduce me. Although the… No longer… I don’t how long I’m gonna be president before you’re no longer the president.
Paul Adams: I know, yeah.
Cory Shepherd: You’ll get there eventually.
Paul Adams: What you guys don’t know is we keep trimming out when I accidentally say I’m still president of the company. I guess it’s something I shouldn’t let go of, or didn’t… I haven’t let go of emotionally yet, but we’re gonna get there together. Anyway, I’m so glad you all are here with us today. We have a topic that I think is all too often not covered and not talked about. And that’s why we do this show, we do this show so that you can get yourself away from all of the financial entertainers, you can get yourself away from the financial media that wants to either get you greedy about stuff or get you scared about something else. And make sure you stay through the next commercial break, so that you can get some good, independent thinking, deep knowledge, and different perspectives about money that will serve you and your financial future, helping you design and build a good life. And today we have Rhonda Noordyk with us, and Rhonda runs another podcast called Conversations for Divorced Women. Did I get it right, Rhonda?
Rhonda Noordyk: Divorced Conversations for Women. [laughter]
Paul Adams: Dang it. Yeah, we just went back to back on a bunch of information, I blew it. But she also has The Women’s Center for Financial Wellness, and has a way that she works with women going through divorce or maybe going through the passing of their spouse in an untimely death that… How do they rebuild their confidence, not just around money, but in other areas of their life. Spent 10 years in the financial services industry, and then in 2014 kinda realized, for some of the same reasons why we became a fully independent IRA, is some of the compliance departments, all that, allow you not to say what is accurate, what is true or what needs to be said in a moment to serve somebody. And what we wanted to be able to do is have Rhonda on to just really talk about what’s going on for women when they’re making financial decisions, what happens when that spouse that was making some of the financial decisions is no longer there due to a divorce or a death, and what they can do to step up into some of their own power in making financial decisions, maybe even if you’re never going to be divorced.
Paul Adams: Now, men, I do not want you to not listen to this podcast. “Well, we’re gonna be talking about womens stuff. I guess I’ll skip it.” I’m gonna tell you right now, if you haven’t already jumped to the next one, you’re a tool if you miss this.
Paul Adams: I’ve never said that to my audience. As I mentioned earlier, I still love you deeply, but you need to tune in because better understanding that insecurity and the amount of trust that you have in your household with your wife is an important one for you to stay engaged in for the rest of this podcast. So with that, officially, Cory and I would love to welcome Rhonda to the show. So glad you could be here.
Rhonda Noordyk: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Paul Adams: You’re welcome.
Cory Shepherd: So Rhonda, I wanna jump right in and echo what Paul just said in a different way, ’cause I have this theory that I’d like you to check for me and our audience. So I think that if a woman has not been heavily involved in the family finances and she gets divorced or widowed that the experience that she’s going through of now handling the money is… Not the other parts, but the money, is relatively the same whether it’s from divorce or from being widowed. So, my thinking, and what I’ve researched in your work, is that it’s not just for a woman who is just divorced or just for a woman who is recently widowed, it’s any woman out there, period, or that wants to be married or is married or was married. It’s a universal conversation, and for any of the men that care about them. So there’s not a single person listening that can think that this doesn’t relate to them in some way. Am I right? And for you and your work, Is that who you’re after is a pretty wide audience of women out there?
Rhonda Noordyk: Yeah, absolutely. Certainly, the financial confidence is something that I think we all need to be talking about. Right? To be honest, really the main reason that I started my business back in 2014 was because, originally, I wanted to be able to help all women, like anybody who wanted to have those conversations, I wanted to help them. The challenge that I was having was we would do these really great educational workshops, there’d be standing room only, women would love what I had to say to them and would be engaged, and then they would go home and their husband would say, “You know what? We got a guy, don’t worry about it.” And she wouldn’t continue to have that conversation. And so what I found was that they were being disempowered on the back end. So then I thought, “Okay, well now I’m gonna determine what the secret sauce is to help them.” And I went and got additional training in women’s leadership to be a certified women’s leadership coach to bring in assertive communication principles. I thought, “Oh, this is gonna be it.” So then we started to do that. But the problem with that was still they weren’t necessarily willing to walk in those assertive conversations. And so when their husband would say, “Well, we’ve got a guy”, she might push it a little bit, but she’d get resistance and then she would stop. So I thought, “Okay, well… ” Clearly, I was seeing women that were going through divorce or lost a spouse, and they were open.
Rhonda Noordyk: And they said, “Okay, Rhonda, I need help. And I’m coachable.” And so now… We have statistic after statistic of women that don’t wanna engage those conversations, they’re forced to now. And so now that’s really the game changer and the difference. As I was thinking about what you were saying, Cory, and it’s like, “Okay, I know that there’s certainly a lot of men that are listening to this podcast.” For me, I believe that the reason that I’ve been able to, as a married woman, continue to walk in confidence, is because my husband’s confident. My husband is confident. He is okay, he trusts me, he believes in me, he doesn’t have to be in charge all the time. There isn’t a big ego that he’s bringing to the table where he feels like, “I gotta belittle Rhonda and I gotta keep her quiet because I lack the confidence in myself.” And very rarely do I ever have a conversation about that. Like, normally I’m talking about the women’s confidence. I thought, “No, this is actually a different dynamic here.”
Cory Shepherd: Wow.
Paul Adams: And the first thing…
Cory Shepherd: I didn’t…
Paul Adams: I mean, one…
Rhonda Noordyk: Can we drop the microphone? [chuckle]
Cory Shepherd: Yeah.
Paul Adams: Yeah. So I’d say it’s been great having you, Rhonda. Well, the thing that shows up for me is how easy it is, as a husband, especially in a domain where I’m an expert. And it doesn’t need to be that, it could be physical fitness or the things that I’m particularly good at in our household, is like, my wife came to me and said, “Hey, there’s this new personal trainer I’d really like us to maybe consider seeing as a family.” Or a martial arts studio she ran across, which I have some background in that. It would be very easy for me to dismiss it and not realize that I’m dismissing… So like I’m starting to get something in this conversation I did not intend would come out, and I’m sure Cory didn’t, is that the importance in me that any time my wife brings anything up like that, she’s invested some time into in checking, I’m going to just go at least a level or two deeper with her automatically now. Because it might take a little bit of time, but I don’t want to create that experience for my wife that so many people that came to your workshops prior to you opening up the Women’s Center for Financial Wellness, that I can imagine that’s very disempowering to a lot of the spouses. And I’m about positive I’ve done that to my wife at some point. So for that, already, thank you for being here.
Rhonda Noordyk: Well, and you know what? You’re welcome. And I think that ultimately you have, and I saw this even when I was in the financial industry, good-hearted men, who there isn’t the awareness that they’re doing those things, whatever it is. And so the more awareness that we can bring to that, the better. And it doesn’t mean that necessarily there’s gonna be immediate changes overnight, but that’s where I started to see. I found a voice in those situations professionally as well as personally. And so I think the awareness piece of it. And you know what? Men are great at being able to say, “Hey, listen, now I’m aware of it.” Which I believe we, as women, have that responsibility to create those opportunities for awareness, and the men are gonna have to do with it what they want.
Paul Adams: Yeah.
Cory Shepherd: Well, and I think there’s a big difference between… I’ll draw a distinction between enjoying the content and being involved in the decision. No surprise, me doing what I do, and my wife being in medicine, she’s not naturally inclined to talk about matters financial as much as I am, as far as just enjoying the concept. But early in our marriage I made some bad situations happen where I just was assuming like, “Hey honey, we’re gonna do this, this, and this, and then it’d be great. Okay, bye.” And she’s like, “Hold on a second. Wait, I don’t know what you just said. I wanna be involved in the decision.” That’s where I drew that distinction. Even if one person enjoys that topic more, there’s still a way for both to be involved in the decision-making and understanding what’s going on. And I think that’s important. I’m hearing that from what you said.
Rhonda Noordyk: Yeah.
Paul Adams: Which, just to put in perspective if anybody’s a new listener today, Cory’s wife is not in medicine, she’s a physician working right now on her specialty in pediatrics at North West Memorial in Chicago. So, super accomplished lady and sharp as a whip. So since we’re bouncing theories off of you Rhonda, while we’re at it, let me do one. And that is that we’ve noticed over time, Cory and I, that when we’re working with a household there’s all kinds of things so it’s just normal that we split up. We do it in our own households. These things ebb and flow like, “Okay you’re gonna take care of the kids during the day. I’m gonna go earn an income.” Or, “We’re both gonna go earn an income, but I’ll drop the kids off in the morning, you pick them up in the afternoon.” Usually, both spouses are not… If there’s a housekeeper, both spouses are not reaching out to the housekeeper, it’s like one person… There’s all these areas that we do the old divide and conquer to get everything handled. “I’ll go to the baseball game. You go to the taekwondo match”, that kind of stuff. And those all work pretty well, but in this area around money, oftentimes, there is not a divide and conquer, not a, “Let’s both be in the conversation.” In fact, it’s like abdication I think too often.
Paul Adams: At least in our experience, it’s like 90% of the time if the man is given the option he will do the meetings without his wife. And we allow that, but only after they’ve gone through our initial coaching with both spouses. Because the last thing we want is for something tragic to occur and it’s the first time that she’s getting you to know us, and we let them know that up front. That’s more of a lifestyle thing for us. That sounds like such a horrible experience for us to have. We’re just gonna protect ourselves against it, and thereby protect the client. But what nobody does, ever, is says to their spouse, “Hey, you raise the kids. I mean, I’m okay with kids, but a lot of fluids come out of these little suckers. [chuckle] And they’re kind of rude, and I have to tell… They’re evil. You gotta tell them, “Say thank you.” I bet I’ve told my three children, “Say thank you”, between me and my wife, probably 100,000 times, and not one of them is even 10 years old yet. “What in the world is the matter with these… ”
Paul Adams: No, of course I love them and I parent, I don’t do this. But imagine if I looked at my wife and said, “Okay, listen, I really like teenagers. I’m not a super big fan of all these very short teenagers that people have. So if you would, you just take care of this and then I’ll engage with it when they’re teenagers.” That’s the equivalent of what many spouses are doing in saying, “You handle all these long-term financial decisions, and then let me know when it worked out.” And my question is, Why?
Rhonda Noordyk: I think part of it is the divide and conquer. I do think that is a real thing. Nobody sits around and sings Kumbaya about the finances. They just say, “Great, you got that handled.” Yeah, you do. No.
Paul Adams: Just Cory and I whenever we’re together in person.
Cory Shepherd: Fire circle on a Friday night.
Paul Adams: Drum circle. Drum circle. Yeah.
Cory Shepherd: But Rhonda, even the divide and conquer, you can divide up paying bills and one could take on that work, but really what it means more often is one person’s paying bills and the other one has no idea what the house is actually spending on half the things they’re spending on.
Paul Adams: Yes.
Rhonda Noordyk: Right.
Cory Shepherd: And that’s where it’s like divide and never talk about.
Rhonda Noordyk: That’s a new branded concept right there.
Paul Adams: Divide and hope for the best. Maybe that’d be another podcast we could do. [chuckle]
Rhonda Noordyk: So, and I know that we have… Paul and I have chatted about this before, but Prudential actually did do a longitudinal study. They did one in the early 2000s, and then they did another one on 2010. Basically, what they were looking at was at women’s attitudes and beliefs about money and their involvement in making long-term decisions. The data was showing same. They feel very confident in doing the day-to-day stuff. We know that women are making 80% of the purchases, so they’re making purchases, they’re handling the bills, blah, blah, blah. But once we get outside of that target center and we look at insurance or we look at savings or we look at estate planning or whatever, women are putting their head in the sand. And if I had to summarize from all…
Paul Adams: Wait. I don’t wanna… Only because you said that quickly, and I really want people to hear that. What are those areas that literally… So, longitudinal study, if anybody’s not familiar with it, it’s a fancy word. But it means you’re studying the same group of people over a period of time. And so, say that again. Where were the women putting their head in the sand in this study? You named three areas really fast. I just wanna make sure our audience can hear it.
Rhonda Noordyk: Yeah, so they’re putting their head in the sand as it relates to things outside of the day-to-day stuff, outside of the budget. Okay? So, it’s insurance, it’s savings, and it’s legacy planning. Those long-term… What do you want our estate plan to look like? And basically, the summary of that study was, “Okay, well, what ultimately provides confidence for women?” It’s knowledge, understanding the concepts, the terminology. But then also the experience. And I feel like early on in my career in the financial industry I was doing a good job of the knowledge piece. The problem was the experience was coming back… That’s where the work at home begins. That’s where women have to have that experience to build their confidence. And I’ll give you an example. A couple of years ago, it was time to retire the soccer mom van. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, this thing’s got 200,000 miles. I’m done with it already.” And so, I decided that we were… Tim and I decided we were gonna go car shopping and get a vehicle. Well, he was super busy and I’m like, “Listen, I have some time today. Why don’t I just buzz over there?” Well, what I do in those situations is I put myself in a situation where I’m a single woman, I’m walking into the dealership.
Rhonda Noordyk: What’s my experience? What am I looking at? What… And I test drive the vehicle. I’m like, “Okay, I found the one.” So, we come back later that day to meet with the finance team, do all the paperwork, whatever, blah blah blah. And Tim looks at the guy, the finance manager behind the desk, and says, “Hey, I got a question for you.” He says, “How often do you have women come in here purchasing vehicles when the husband doesn’t actually even know what we’re purchasing?” And he thinks this is hilarious. He gets a kick out of it. And the guy behind the counter just goes white, like, “Oh my gosh, now I did something wrong.”
Rhonda Noordyk: And Tim’s like, “Oh, no, no, no, I’m just kind of curious.” So, we sign all the paper work.
Cory Shepherd: That’s the answer right there.
Rhonda Noordyk: Right? Right?
Cory Shepherd: Yeah.
Rhonda Noordyk: Exactly. It was like, “Aww!” You know. And so, we get out to the vehicle and he’s like… I give him the keys and he drives home. He’s like, “Oh, good choice.” But here’s the thing, if my husband had not afforded me the confidence and opportunity to gain the experience to have the confidence I need, I now know that if something happened to him, god forbid, I could step into that role and say, “I bought a vehicle before. I’m comfortable going to the dealership.” So, I think there’s this opportunity for the men to afford their wives the opportunity to learn and grow with a safety net. Like, hey, if something totally went south I knew that I could call him. But at the same time, I also now know that if something does happen to him, I have that experience that I can draw on. And I think that’s where the confidence comes in.
Paul Adams: And the thing that I think about a lot. We have an application process, so if somebody wants to consider becoming a client of ours, we share with them our philosophy, or we may redub the un-retirement talk…
Cory Shepherd: Oooh.
Paul Adams: That we give our clients. Yeah, that’s the first time Cory’s heard that.
Cory Shepherd: Yeah, I’ve never… [chuckle]
Paul Adams: I just tell Cory new things on the podcast. [chuckle]
Cory Shepherd: I just… That’s why I come on the podcast, to hear more about our new business initiatives. But I love it.
Paul Adams: So, the idea that everybody knows… In fact, everybody’s working toward, “I put money in my 401k, I’m saving money, I’m dah dah dah ” They do those things. But then when we ask, “How much capital at work is gonna be required for you to be financially independent?” it’s part of our application, only one in 20 people have an answer, and almost always that answer is the number we use in a case study in that philosophy conversation that we gave them prior to them applying. So, the thing that I think about is, people are not preparing for what is nearly inevitable, in this case, retirement. Not even knowing how much the number ought to be, they’re just doing some action toward it. Almost certainly, for the women listening, you are gonna outlive your husband. Almost certainly. Second, husbands, your wives are almost certainly gonna outlive you, and we’ve had a chance to work with some of those widows. And I know that you think you’re doing the right thing. I know you think you’re caring for them and handling stuff that they don’t have to handle… But right now, you know you…
Paul Adams: Talking to a woman who’s been through her entire careers in her early 60s, lost her husband untimely, and she’s like, “I have no idea,” and it was like, “Okay, here’s what a mutual fund is. Here’s how your car insurance works.” Now, it was… And she’s not a fool. It’s just a whole domain she’s never touched. She’s picked up on it quickly. But to your point Rhonda. If you’re ever without him, I would say odds are, you’re gonna be without him one day. Just statistically speaking, women live longer. End of story. One day, every woman listening to this podcast, even happily married and married for the rest of their husband’s life, their husband will not be married to them the rest of their life. You’ll have to deal with the finances alone one day. You don’t wanna be learning it at 75.
Cory Shepherd: Right. I’ve had a couple of conversations with husbands in that 50-60 range and they agree in all likelihood, she will outlive them and I say, “Well, when would you like her to start practicing all this? When YouTube can journey it together or when she has no choice but to dive into the deep end head first?” And that, “Oh, oh… ”
Rhonda Noordyk: Well, and I was just thinking about something. Oh my gosh, that’s awesome!” [chuckle] And I know you are too, ’cause I can see your expression.
Paul Adams: Yeah. [chuckle] I’ll hold. Let it rip, Rhonda.
Cory Shepherd: It happens every 30 seconds for Paul but it’s okay.
Rhonda Noordyk: What’s interesting is, ’cause I know a lot of your listeners are business owners, right, and we think about the transition of a business, whether it’s five years or whatever the duration is of that, we would never say, “Hey, you know what, we’re just gonna kind of wing it and we’re gonna let whoever is taking over just jump in,” right? We would plan. And I think this is no different. If we can look, not that we wanna just think of our relationship as a business transaction, but for the people that are getting divorced, it’s a business transaction. And if you’re thinking about legacy planning, let’s look at it to say, “Hey listen, how much time do we think that we need to maybe help them acquire the knowledge and the skills and the tools that they need?” It’s not just, “Hey, call Paul, call Cory,” right? There’s more to it, right? And so looking at it from that framework may help them to say, “Yeah, I would never do that, I would never just leave my business and hope that the new owner can just flounder and figure it out.
Paul Adams: Yes, well, and with that, let’s take a super short commercial break so that everybody listening can learn how they can get deeper engaged with Sound Financial Group if you choose and we’ll be right back with that little insight that Rhonda saw on my face, as soon as we return.
Paul Adams: Hey everybody, I had to interrupt our show for just a moment to share with you something new. We’ve designed a new white paper that we think is gonna add new value in the way that you think about money. It’s three biggest mistakes we see people make and six ways to fix them. Now, for some of you, you might not want the white paper, you might be ready to have a conversation with us, and that is okay. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s email@example.com. Find us on the web at yourbusinessyourwealth.com, and anytime on any of our social media platform, send us a message and we can get you this white paper. But in the meanwhile, if you want to just skip over the white paper, have a philosophy conversation with us, we’re happy to do that with you. Just let us know, philosophy conversation in the subject line, and if you want this white paper, just put white paper in there and we’ll immediately get out to you this white paper on the three biggest mistakes that we see people make, and the six things that you can do to fix them. And now back to our show.
Paul Adams: Welcome back to Your Business, Your Wealth. So Rhonda, earlier, which I love that last insight about like run the finances of the marriage and partnership like you would run a business, not to make it…
Cory Shepherd: Like your business, like you’re running it right now. Like all our business opponents wanna…
Paul Adams: Yeah, it’s like the Adam’s family enterprise.
Cory Shepherd: Yeah.
Paul Adams: The Shepherd family enterprise. It is an enterprise and there’s systems that should be in place. Well, if we’re stuck thinking that our spouse is gonna be left with this, it’s not that different then for any of us that have ever tried to clean up in a state of somebody. It’s like, just even when it’s properly planned, like a will and a trust and… It’s like a parent passing away, and you’ve gotta clean out stuff, all that. Well, here’s the thing, that’s easier than your spouse dying. You know why? ‘Cause you don’t have to continue to run those finances. It’s like, “Yeah, I don’t really need to worry about my passed away father’s credit report if bills come and I don’t see them ’cause he’s passed, it’s fine. His Experian report can take a hit, mine can’t.” And so, when we lose our spouse, we’ve gotta continue to run those financial affairs moving forward.
Paul Adams: So if you’ve ever had the difficulty of cleaning up in a state when somebody’s passed, even if it’s planned well, it’s still a lot of work, the same thing except it’s gotta keep going for you. So all the more important about you will one day, as a woman listening to the show this week, will have to deal with money in all likelihood. I’m talking, it’s something like 70% plus likelihood you’re gonna outlive your spouse, and as a result… And/or there could be a divorce. I don’t like that there’s divorces, it just tears my heart apart to see women go through that that we work with, and the men, we also help men in some of those, but gosh, darn it, is tough. And to stack on top of it, you’ve got this learning curve, and what do most women do if they don’t get connected with somebody like you Rhonda post-divorce or post-death as it relates to long-term planning?
Rhonda Noordyk: They’re usually in the same spot or worse a decade later, and now they’ve lost the time on their side.
Paul Adams: So they will let that problem cook for a decade until it becomes a big enough breakdown that it’s like, “Now I have to jump on this grenade?”
Rhonda Noordyk: Yeah.
Paul Adams: Wow. Just curious, what’s the impetus event that has most women find you, whether it’s due to the death or divorce, that suddenly creates the wake up call for them? What do you think is the thought that goes through their mind, or the conversation they have somewhere where they say, “I need some kind of help differently than what I thought of in the past?”
Rhonda Noordyk: Well like anything, we either move toward the things that bring us pleasure, or we move away from the things that bring us pain, and the pain has gotten so great that they now have decided to reach out. Sometimes it is an awareness that, “Oh my gosh, maybe there is somebody that could actually help me.” The challenging part is, if they come and they’ve got… Their house is almost in foreclosure, or things are really, really bad, like, “Hey, I can’t even meet my day-to-day expenses.” There’s only so much that I’m gonna be able to do to help them. Right? There’s only so much that we’re gonna be able to do to help them at that point. So it gets really, really challenging. And there’s nothing that pains me more than having to tell somebody, “There’s not a whole lot I’m gonna be able to do to help you.”
Paul Adams: Well, and let me play a little fun with you here, just a little rapid fire. Thinking about the different kinds of people that could be listening to Your Business, Your Wealth right now, I’m thinking men, married men, married women, divorced women, getting divorced women, widows, that’s kind of the ones I’m thinking of right now that are probably listening as we speak. If you’re a married man, and when Cory Shepherd, your advisor and coach says to you, “I’d really like your wife to be in these meetings,” and they say, “Well she doesn’t really enjoy that, she doesn’t like being there,” short of, for lack of a better word of saying it, coercing them to show up to the Zoom meeting with Cory, what’s an encouraging way, or an effective way where the husband can communicate to their spouse why they would want to be involved in these consistent conversations around money?
Rhonda Noordyk: So I think the first thing really is the invitation for them like, “Hey, I really would like for you to be part of the conversation.” Right? I think that’s one simple way, so that women feel like they are part of the conversation, that they can be included in these conversations.
Paul Adams: And how often [28:10] ____ do our chuckle-headed guys say, “You need to be there, this is important. We’re not taking that subtle moment to produce the invitation of it would be important to me, personally, the person that loves you, who sleeps under the same roof with you every single night. It would be meaningful for me to have you there. I wanna do this with you as a team.” That’s… I don’t know why I… I’ve only been at it two decades Rhonda, I’ll figure it out one of these days.
Cory Shepherd: I just had a pause. Epiphany phase happened, in case you’re listening without the audio. What you both just made me think of is, Rhonda, your car example, I just realized, between me and Paul going out on our own to get a car for our families, or Danielle and Kristen each going out, I have much more money on either Danielle or Kristen picking the better car to fit the whole family and our needs on their own, the me or Paul, ’cause we might get excited about, “Oh, this has this thing we want.” So… But if we…
Paul Adams: I found a car called The Tank the other day. I thought it was great for kids, bullet proof.
Cory Shepherd: I thought that all armor was important, but no, ease of cargo is much more important, yeah. So…
Paul Adams: I didn’t know you need a car seat in that thing. It’s got armor. Why do you need a car seat?
Cory Shepherd: So translate that to the finances, for the husband to invite them into, “Hey, I think with the two of you together, you’re gonna get much more out of this, of what you want, because what you don’t want is to produce a situation that’s not satisfactory for both of you and your whole family.” And I think the talents of the other spouse in that equation really add a huge amount of value to that, even if they’re not into the technical side of things. And they can probably be in the technical side of things, they just need a chance to learn it if they hadn’t yet. So go on, we have some more examples.
Paul Adams: That’s correct. So let’s take the… Those women that are widowed and/or divorced. What do you think is, if they’re listening now, what’s the mindset shift that’s gonna help them start to take some of this control back and not wait another decade, or even another year of not knowing about their long-term financial future?
Rhonda Noordyk: So with that, I would say let go of the shame. I think there’s a lot of shame around, “I wish I would have had more conversation I wish I would have asked more questions.”
Paul Adams: The shoulding. “I should have done this, I should have done that.” They just should all over the place.
Rhonda Noordyk: Yeah, definitely the shame is a big part of it, and I always say, “You know what, we can’t do anything about that. That was the dynamics in that situation. What we can obviously do is how you move forward with it.” And again, I think it’s a process, but once women can let go of some of that shame around not taking more of an initiative, it opens them up to actually be able to think clearly and gather information. And I think it’s just having the… Understanding themselves as well. So for example, I always recommend that women take the StrengthsFinder, and the men too, but you know the StrengthsFinder, right?
Paul Adams: Mm-hmm.
Rhonda Noordyk: Simple Gallup poll assessment, what are of the 34 different strengths, what are your top five? And what we identify then is that, you know what, there may be somebody in there that’s a learner. Great, if you’re a learner, you’re naturally gonna gravitate toward wanting to know more. Right? So tap into that. If you’re not a learner, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn, it just means that if you find yourself struggling a little bit more to learn new concepts that it’s okay. And then how can you tap into some of the other strengths to really kind of walk that, letting go of the shame and embracing the strengths that you bring to the table, unique strengths specifically to you that you can tap into as you move forward?
Paul Adams: Okay, last one. A guy who’s listening, who is unmarried, could be divorced, could just be single, and now is going to get married, how to make that a… Or is going to get married someday. How to make that part of the conversation that it’s… Before getting married, you figure out, “Are we gonna have kids? Are we not gonna have kids? Where do we wanna live?” You talk about all that stuff too often, they don’t talk about money. How would you have, either the single woman or the single man put on the table early that at some point we need to be talking about all this financial stuff from credit scores to, “Whose house are we gonna move into and how do we… Are we gonna rent the other house? Are we gonna… ” To get all of that on the table, how would you recommend that either the woman or the man surface that in the relationship prior to get married?
Rhonda Noordyk: So it’s always so much deeper than the money itself, right? So I know that when Tim and I got married 20 years ago, we had gone through… Our church was offering an opportunity for people to come and have a conversation right around money.
Paul Adams: We did that too, yeah.
Rhonda Noordyk: And so that certainly was great and that helped us get on the same page. The other aspect of that, I think, is diving a little bit deeper and willing to be vulnerable. And what I mean by that is David Bach has a book called “Smart Women Finish Rich,” and in that book he takes people through an exercise and basically says, “Well, if… ” And you could do this with your spouse, partner, friend, if you don’t have somebody on the horizon, but what you do is you tee up, “What about money is important to you?” And then you take that answer and you say, “Well… ” ‘Cause every study we read says, “Well, security is important to women.” Well, okay, but what does that mean? It’s so much deeper than just security. So if we say, “Hey… ” So what Tim and I did was we were in the car, I said, “Okay, we’re gonna do this exercise, ’cause I’m encouraging my clients to do it, and so guess what, we get to do it.”
Rhonda Noordyk: I was thinking, “Oh yeah, okay, well I’m gonna do it, but we’ll see if this really actually works,” right? And I was skeptical. [chuckle] So what happened was, I said, “Okay, I’m gonna ask you a question and then we’ll just dive deeper.” So I said, “What about money is important to you?” And he says, “Responsibility or whatever.” “Okay, well what about responsibility?” Anyways, I keep asking the question and you replace that money with whatever their answer was.
Paul Adams: Yeah.
Rhonda Noordyk: And about five questions in, how you know that you’ve tapped into the core of what’s important is you get either an emotional response or you think, “Okay, that’s it.” You just had the sense of peace, like that’s it, right? And what I found for him was, five questions in, all of a sudden I get an emotional response from it. And we’re driving our kids to the water park or whatever, and I look over, I was like, “No way! Serious.” And for him, it was very spiritual in a sense that I just… “I want to know that at the end of my life, God’s gonna say, ‘Good job. Well done.'”
Paul Adams: “Well done, good faithful servant.”
Rhonda Noordyk: That’s right, that’s right. And so I was like, “Wow, okay, so now I know what motivates him. He wants to be able to set up philanthropy, giving, whatever.” I knew that early on. Then on the flip side, ’cause women are so… Well, in my case it’s like all these layers, super complicated, whatever. So he just keeps asking questions. 15 questions later, I said, “I wanna know that I’ve used all of the gifts, talents to the best of my ability and I have no regrets at the end.” So what started out as a conversation around money now became… And if we would have stopped, well Rhonda just really wants security. I think we’re missing the mark.
Cory Shepherd: Yeah.
Rhonda Noordyk: And so we’ve gotta take the time to have those emotional conversations around money and invest in having some of those uncomfortable conversations, but once we know what motivates the other person, we now know… My husband supports my business. Why? Because he understands what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, and then when I work super long hours, when you first start your business and you’re working 15 hours and it’s kind of crazy and he’s having to pick up the slack, he gets it. And on the flip side, the same thing. So that would be my suggestion is just find a quiet spot and have some of those conversations. It doesn’t have to be creepy or overly serious, but just do that exercise and see kind of where that takes to you.
Paul Adams: Rhonda, from Cory and I, just thank you again, that was…
Cory Shepherd: Yeah, thank you so much.
Paul Adams: Incredible and valuable and I know our audience is gonna take away something different today. And for all of our listeners, we always like ending on what is something you can do with all of this today. What can you do differently? And I think Rhonda gave us such a gift here at the end, and that was, what is important about money to you? And then just replace, what is money to you? What is important about money to you? What does it mean to you? And then when they give that answer where the keyword is responsibility, go a level deeper, and then go a level deeper. Remember, men especially who are listening, she said it was 15 times he had to ask to get to the bottom of it. I think especially with your spouses, making sure that you’re understanding what money means to them so that we’re not doing the chuckle-headed thing that I know many clients have done, they surrender around it and they say, “Well, she just doesn’t… She’s just not interested. She’s just not gonna do it.” It’s like, you should probably ease into it.
Cory Shepherd: No, you just haven’t found why she’s interested.
Paul Adams: Yes, or what’s important to her.
Cory Shepherd: She is, yeah.
Paul Adams: Or that… Yeah, she’s interested in something there, and almost certainly, money is this most malleable tool that can be used to produce the futures to design the future that you want. And you know what? Your spouse does want that. If you’re in… And the thing that I didn’t say at the beginning that I wish I had is for those of you listening who are in same-sex couples, the thing is, I would hope you could relate ’cause we see it in our same-sex couple clients that there’s different dynamics on either side, there’s almost always one that says, “I don’t wanna deal with it,” and there’s one that says, “This is my domain and I’m after it.” And what I’ll share with you is, using some of the same conversations we’ve used today will assist you in bringing your spouse to the table and being able to build that future together. In-between meetings, you might… If you’re the one listening to this podcast, you’re probably the one that’s gonna do all the work between the meetings, but you don’t have to drag your spouse to this conversation, kicking and screaming. Just find out what’s important to them. Go 15 questions deep if you need to.
Paul Adams: I think it’s helpful to be on a highway driving to a water park like Rhonda was, like they can’t get away. Just keep asking and you’ll eventually get to what’s important to them, and then you can lead from what’s important to them and bring them to the financial conversation, because one day in all likelihood, for all of you listening, your spouse will be dealing with the finances on their own, and you can set them up to win, not just for the life with you, but for the life they’re gonna have for the rest of their life. Cory, anything else you wanna send him off with today?
Cory Shepherd: Just that this is one to share, this is one to share with people because they could produce a conversation that’s never been had between spouses before. And one way to share that is to leave us a review, an honest review on the podcast so that we can get that message out there to more people. It helps attract other listeners. If you send us an honest review, send in a screenshot via email, you can get a copy of Paul’s book, my book, or “Clockwork” by Michael Michalowicz, our featured review today.
Cory Shepherd: It’s a great one. One of the best usernames I’ve ever seen, golfandguns, [chuckle] golfandguns says, “Really enjoy the Scott Adams podcast, very interesting information and much broader than just Dilbert.” It can be as short as that, just signifying what you got out of the episode, and that would help us a whole lot in getting this message out there and help so many people in getting this content that we don’t think they’re getting anywhere else, which is why we’re making it.
Paul Adams: And I will say, I know I’ve talked about it the last few episodes, but do write the review, because that review makes all the difference in the world. We just had a client reach out a few weeks ago, had their initial conversation with Cory, they’re beginning to work with me. We will be saving them tens of thousands of dollars in fees and taxes just this year. And this is not like a couple making $2 million a year. This is a very normal couple business owner, good six-figure income, $300,000-$400,000 a year. Those folks are having this money erased off their balance sheet not knowing it. And most of you listening might be there.
Paul Adams: We’re hoping that by you listening to the podcast, you’re getting that. You can always reach out to us. We’re happy to have a philosophy conversation with you. But simply writing the review, these people found it, just the podcast, didn’t know about us ahead of time, never got an e-mail from us. And it’s things like you writing the review that gets this podcast on somebody else’s radar that makes a difference for them just in listening, which we know many of you do, you listen, you apply these things, and we love that you do that. But for the people that need our support and help, we’re always happy to have that philosophy conversation we get to see on the ground, the kind of differences being made by all of you as listeners sending a text to your friend, writing a review, posting in social media. And what we hope that this episode has done for you, and we hope it’ll do to everybody else that you introduce to it is that it’ll help you design and build a good life.
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