107 – Ande Frazier – Financially Free

In Ep. 107, Tim interviews Ande Frazier – CEO of myWorth LLC, and author of the upcoming book “Fin(anci)ally Free: 11 Conversations to Have With Yourself About Life, Money, and Worth”.  They talk about Ande’s mission to fix the way financial media speaks to women about their finances, and how the book is meant to start conversations about WHY we have the financial habits and goals we do.  She also talks about how improving women’s sense of self-worth can improve their financial situation and more!

Show Notes

MyWorth LLC

Ande Frazier | MyWorth CEO | Money Educator | Financial Wellness

Financially Free: 11 Conversations to Have With Yourself About Life, Money, & Worth

Ande Frazier – Financially Free – Transcript

Tim Mullooly: Welcome back to Living With Money. This is Tim Mullooly. On today’s episode, I am joined by Ande Frazier. Ande is the CEO and editor in chief of myWorth LLC, and she’s the author of the upcoming book Fin(anci)ally Free! 11 Conversations to Have With Yourself About Life, Money & Worth, which is coming out next month, March of 2020. So, Ande, thanks for coming on the show.

Ande Frazier: Thanks for having me, Tim.

Tim Mullooly: So before we dive into myWorth and the upcoming book, let’s start with a brief background about you personally. If you can think back, what was your relationship like with money when you were growing up, and what might be your earliest memory of learning about money or using money?

Ande Frazier: So I grew up in Georgia. My dad was a Southern Baptist minister while I was growing up. He made a career change during my senior year in high school. But I grew up where my mom didn’t really work and she stayed at home, and so money certainly was tight in our household. And I think that the way that I remember money being, I didn’t remember money being an issue until I was in middle school. And my first kind of memory where I really defined that money meant something more than just a way to buy something was when I entered a new school and I got picked on by a lot of the other kids in the school, especially girls. And what they picked on me for was that I didn’t have the right clothes or the right shoes or the right things, book bag, that they had.

And I remember thinking, gosh, not having these things meant to them that I wasn’t good enough to be their friend. And what it did for me is it created kind of a conversation that kind of felt like shame around money that, why are they judging me and my ability to be their friend based on how much money my parents had or didn’t have? And so that really stuck with me and certainly, I think, impacted my desire to be in the financial industry later on. And it was something, growing up we were very frugal family, but we definitely talked about money probably more often and frequently than I think other families generally do.

And so that certainly had an impact on me. My dad ended up going into the financial business during my senior year in high school. He authored a book for clergy and ministers on taxation. And so that certainly then really opened up to having a lot more deeper and open conversations about money once he made that switch, because as he was working with clients, he would share with us things that he was learning and things that he was hearing and seeing. And so I think our family’s always had a pretty open conversation around money, which is fortunate.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah, definitely. I was going to say, although kids can be kind of harsh with bullying and stuff like that, I feel like that was definitely beneficial that you guys had that open conversation about money because not a lot of families do. You hear it was kind of hush hush. People were growing up, so that’s definitely a beneficial for you. And like you said, that impacted your decision to go into the industry. So before becoming the CEO and editor in chief of myWorth LLC, could you kind of walk us through your career in the financial services industry? How did you get started?

Ande Frazier: Well, my dad was very instrumental in encouraging me to come into the business. I think that that experience really made me curious about how people were judging other people based on whether they had money or not. So I always had kind of a curiosity around money. And when I was in college, my dad had been in the financial business just a few years at that point. And he talked with me about the benefits of coming into the industry, that I could really forge my own path, I could help people. And some of the questions and things that I had been curious about were opportunities for me to have deep conversations with potential clients. And so he was really a catalyst for me thinking about this as a career. I originally wanted to be in the fashion business, so this certainly was a diversion in a different direction.

But he knew that I had a lot of questions and that I had loved helping people and I enjoyed building relationships with people, which is certainly a big part of what you do when you’re working with people individually as clients. And so I started off my career in the industry working with him in his practice and working with clients. And then I evolved into starting to do development and educating and working with other financial advisors, helping them to not only come into the business but also expand their practice and be thinking differently about how they work with clients. And I loved doing that. I love seeing people grow and develop. And so I was able to do that a little bit throughout my career.

And then most recently, I’ve been more on the corporate side. Prior to launching myWorth, I was running a multimillion dollar financial technology company that built software for advisors. And so I’d always really enjoyed working with advisors, and launching myWorth gave me the opportunity to go back and work with consumers and everyday people, especially women. And I have really enjoyed kind of going back and being more boots on the ground, eyeball to eyeball, really connecting with people to hear about what their concerns are and what they’re struggling with and what are their challenges and opportunities around money. So it’s been a really enjoyable experience.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. That’s great to feel that personal connection, getting back to working one on one with people and watching them progress through their financial lives too. So can you explain to the listeners what myWorth LLC is and what the main goal of the company is, what kind of services and content that you guys provide?

Ande Frazier: Absolutely. So myWorth is a media-driven community, and what I mean by media driven is that we produce content, whether it be in the form of Instagram stories or post, Facebook live events, real live events, blogs and other posts that we distribute information. It’s usually educational and very informative storytelling around money, specifically geared for women. And we really want to give out information and education but also learn from our community. We want the women to get involved with us. And tell us about what are they looking to accomplish, what do they need to hear more from, how can we provide them real content that is meaningful and action oriented so that they can make well-informed decisions and get into action around forging their own financial journey. And so we’re a content media company, and our goal is to both listen and also learn and give back in different resources and information that we can.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. That’s awesome. And for the listeners out there, of course, I’ll link in the show notes to myWorth where you can go check out all the content that we’re talking about. But I feel like that’s really great that especially you want to hear some of the personal stories of the people in the community and get people sharing their own stories. I feel like that helps people connect and really embrace the lessons and financial tips and everything that’s being talked about in the content.

Ande Frazier: Absolutely. And I think one of the things that I found is that unfortunately the financial industry in and of itself had been really good at kind of telling people what to do with their money, but I don’t know that we have always been great about listening to what people really need and want. And so it was a real commitment for me, when I launched this, that I wanted to listen as much as we told so that we could really hear what’s important and make sure that our content was curated and distributed in a way that provided real meaning and value to the people that are receiving it.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. On your website, andefrazier.com, I’ll link to that as well, I read that you said the traditional approaches to speaking to women about money are broken. What about those approaches do you think are broken? And if they’re broken, how can we go about fixing them?

Ande Frazier: Well, I think there’s a lot of challenges that women have. I mean, certainly your listeners have been hearing or at least seeing or reading about at some point around the wage gap issue that women have. And when you think about the issues around wage gap, plus women tend to take time off to care give, whether it be for a young child or an older relative or parent, there’s a lot of complexities to women’s financial situations that are unique to them. And so I think that a lot of our approaches are to tell them what to do and not to listen.

So as I mentioned, it was really important to me that we listen as much as we told. And when we do kind of give information, we come at it from an empathetic viewpoint rather than a sympathetic viewpoint. And this was a real aha moment for me. When I started reviewing a lot of the literature and the information that was out there from the financial industry to women, I noticed that a lot of it was a very sympathetic tone, where it was kind of like, “I feel bad for you, and here’s what you should do.” Rather than being empathetic, saying, “I know how this is. I’m in this with you, and here’s how we can get through it together.”

And just that subtle switch and languaging was a real important aspect that we implemented at myWorth. I think language is another thing that I saw being problematic, meaning that there was so much jargon and complexity, and it can be very overwhelming if you’re just trying to get a handle on the basics. And so kind of approaching it from giving common sense language, giving stories, really kind of coming to a level to where everybody can understand what they’re having to deal with in bite-size increments was really important. And so those were some of the things that I noticed immediately that we could make an impact on.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Definitely. I agree with you in terms of jargon. We here at our firm, we try and avoid doing that as much as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to … you slip into using terms that are common to us here as advisors and planners but aren’t common phrases to the everyday person. I also feel like a lot of posts and personal finance articles kind of just gloss over whether they’re speaking to men or women. And I feel like it obviously has a slight tilt towards just speaking to men. So do you feel like writing articles that are specifically geared towards women would be beneficial?

Ande Frazier: Yes. And one of the things that we found when we were researching before we launched myWorth is that women were making financial decisions typically as a result of an inciting incident, meaning there was something that happened in their life, whether it be a change in their relationship, a change in their family status or their job status, an event like the death of a loved one or a loved one becoming disabled or having an illness. Something was triggering that moment for them to where they were now having to do research or make some decisions around money.

And very often when you’re in the throes of an inciting incident, whether it be a good thing or a bad thing, maybe you want to launch a business and it’s a great opportunity, it’s just so challenging to then start to be educated and learn about all the things you have to deal with financially while you’re also in the midst of a life-changing event. And so one of the things that we definitely wanted to do is to make sure that when we gave information out that we tried to wrap it inside of, this is typically where these decisions come about, it’s in the midst of this kind of life event. And not bifurcate that apart because so many financial decisions are really life decisions. They are things that you’re doing in the midst of a life event or moment.

Money’s a part of our lives. We make five or six financial decisions a day, as innocuous as they may seem. And so to try to separate it and think we can make these financial decisions in a siloed way, I think really is not realistic. And so it was one of the things that I definitely wanted to make sure that we do. And when we write articles that speak directly towards women, putting them in the framework of a life moment was really where we started to see women become really interested. Whether it be a divorce or I’m sending a kid to college or I want to adopt a child or whatever it was, they seem to really connect with that content in a different way than if we just posted an article about maxing out your retirement plan.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense to intertwine it with those very important life events as well. So I also read on your website that it’s not women’s finances that determine their self-worth, it’s women’s sense of self-worth that determine their finances. Can you kind of break down that statement for the listeners and what you ultimately mean by that?

Ande Frazier: Well, it goes back to a little bit about my first memory of money. One of the things that I found is that there was a lot of reluctance from some women to take some steps towards learning about their money, and that came from kind of looking at how they felt about themselves. There’s certainly on social media we’re seeing it everywhere where there’s this kind of judgment about do you have wealth, do you not have wealth? What does it mean? There’s a lot of collapsing that we do around judgment and shame, and our self-worth can be tied into that as it relates to money. And I think that they really do kind of go more hand in hand than we’d like to have them be. I think it’s very important for women to have a strong sense of self-worth, and that shouldn’t be correlated to their net worth. It should be that they know who they are independent of that.

Having said that, I think it’s important to recognize that, if you do have some struggles with determining and seeing your own value and your own self-worth, that can sometimes limit your kind of taking action towards learning about money. It’s sometimes women feel like, “Well, I don’t know enough,” or, “There’s too much for me to learn,” and that can certainly impact their ability to take action and move forward. And so what we’re truly trying to do is to say it’s small, simple steps and your self-worth doesn’t have to be defined by the amount of money you have in your bank account. And we need to start recognizing when we’re making judgments about other people based on whether they have money or not, and what is our own self-talk when it comes to money and how is that combined with what we think about ourselves separately from money. And so it’s just a really interesting conversation to start having.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. I feel like you don’t want to kind of talk yourself out of being able to learn about your finances because you’re just not going to learn at all. So I feel like having that conversation and building up your own self-worth and determining that you’re worthy of knowing about your finances and growing your money ultimately is the right place to start. So I agree with you on that one. I wanted to talk about the book. So the book is called Fin(anci)ally Free: 11 Conversations to Have With Yourself About Life, Money & Worth. Ultimately, what made you want to sit down and write this book?

Ande Frazier: Well, I can tell you that I never really had being an author on my bucket list. But I just found that one of the things I was really committed to and I sat down and started writing is I didn’t want this to be another how-to book. I feel like there’s so many how-to books out there. And what I wanted to do is take a step back and write a book that would tickle somebody’s curiosity and start to have them ask some important questions of themselves and even maybe family members that there’s financial engagements with, and to start really having this conversation with themselves about money before they actually go to the how-to section.

So many people I dealt with, when I worked with clients or when I consulted with advisors on different client cases, I found that there was a lot of people that were like, “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it,” or, “This is what I think I should be doing.” And they’re doing it and there’s no real why. There’s no understanding behind their own mindset around money. And without that, there’s a real potential for them to not stay consistent and persistent with the how-tos for very long. They break down or something happens and then it falls apart.

So for me, it was really important to not have another how-to book out there. It doesn’t mean I might not do one in the future. It just meant for this one, I wanted this to be one where I give you some things to think about and I give you some ideas to explore, but ultimately, I want you to start having these conversations with yourself and with others and for you to get an action and follow the path that’s right for you.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. I think I agree with that. Having those why conversations and figuring out why these things are important to you is definitely should be the first step, and I feel like it gets skipped over a lot of times, like you’re saying. It’s like trying to work towards a goal without actually knowing what the goal is. Yeah. I feel like that’s a really good place to start. If you could have readers take away just one big thing from reading this book, what would you want that one thing to be?

Ande Frazier: I think the bottom line is, is that one step at a time. You don’t have to figure everything out immediately. I know there’s a lot of different things that we talk about in the book. And as much as I wanted to kind of keep it very common sense, very as basic as possible in terms of getting people started, I think it’s just important to take one initial step forward because so many people stay in the framework of procrastinating. And we know that there is such value to not doing that, and procrastinating is making a decision. It’s making a decision to not do something. And very often what happens when you procrastinate is you end up having to be reactive around your financial decision making rather than proactive. And so for me, if there’s one thing anybody could take away, it’s I don’t have to do everything at once, but what’s one thing that I can do to take a step in the right direction towards forging my own path and understanding what’s happening in my financial world?

Tim Mullooly: I think that’s spot on, because if you try and take it all on at once, it can be very overwhelming. So just breaking it down into like, “All right. What’s one thing that I can do to get the ball rolling?” As opposed to, “All right. I have 100 things that I need to deal with right now.” It’s like just take a deep breath in and take one of those things at a time. Like the title says, there’s 11 conversations in this book. Without giving too much away, can you give the readers a little bit of a preview into a couple of those 11 conversation topics that you featured in the book?

Ande Frazier: Yeah. So we have it kind of divided up into two parts. We have core conversations, which really focus on looking at your values and your emotions and the goal setting and how do we set goals and values that are really personal to us and how we align our money around that. I talk a little bit about, in that part one, how to find your right money mentor, which I think we may touch on in a few minutes. And then about the importance of going back in time and identifying what your money beliefs were and the things that you picked up in your childhood and what impact that they’re making around your financial decision making today. I think everybody doesn’t like to necessarily go back to their childhood, but everything that I have learned says that a lot of some of the way we approach money today is influenced by what happened to us or what we learned about money or what we observed around money as a child.

And so I think it would be remiss if we didn’t go back and take a look at that because a lot of it is subconsciously affecting our decision making today. And so I wanted to spend some time talking about that and then I end that section looking at, what does an adult relationship to money actually look like? And it really sets up the kind of the next part, which is part two, conversations to build your worth. And so I talked a little bit about just some basic things around savings and growth and cashflow and debt and protecting what you’ve built. And then I finish out that part two by touching on some very specific types of life events, if you will, that people ask me a lot of questions around.

How do you have a conversation with your significant other about money? So there’s a chapter on love and money. There’s a chapter on creating a new legacy. How do you create kind of a groundwork for your family’s future when you’re looking at the next generation or beyond? And then we end up talking at the end around, how do you plan for unexpected events and how do you handle expected events? And so it was really a way for us to be able to kind of touch on some very specific things that we hear from our audience and that I hear from the thousands of women that I’ve had an opportunity to connect with over the years about what they’re really looking for and what conversations are important to them.

Tim Mullooly: One thing that I wanted to go back to, you mentioned in the first part about money habits that you’ve learned, things that influence you and you in your childhood. Do you think that it’s important to do that and then potentially have people unlearn what they learned in childhood if they’re bad habits, or just identify what those habits are so they know how they react to certain money situations moving forward?

Ande Frazier: It could be really a combination of both. I think identifying what those habits or what those beliefs were and then asking yourself like, “Is this really true?” Sometimes we see things and we make up a story about it, and it may or may not be true. And so I think identifying it and asking and kind of diving into, is this really true today? Is this really have some relevance? And then decide, there may be some things that you learned in childhood that were extremely helpful and there may be some things that have really caused you to kind of go off track with regards to your money that you might want to change.

One of the things that I found so incredibly fascinating when I talk to people is, even inside of the same family unit, you might find two siblings that grew up in the same environment, learned the same or saw the same things in terms of their family’s behavior around money, and yet the two people will make very different decisions with regards to how they want to take that information and make decisions as adults.

And so I think it’s such an interesting conversation to have with yourself about if you saw your parents being extremely frugal and maybe they never allowed for you to spend money on just a whim, you might grow up and you might make a decision, “Hey, when I get money, I’m going to buy whatever I want,” or, “Hey, when I grow up, I’m going to be frugal like my parents.” So one event could really diverge into two separate decisions that you might make. And so I think recognizing that, what did you make that moment mean, what did you make that experience mean, and how is it playing out good or bad in your life so that you can make a conscious decision on whether it’s something you want to change or whether it’s something that’s actually working for you.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. I think that it’s really interesting to make people go back and actually evaluate all of those things they learned throughout childhood. It could be potentially therapeutic for people to kind of realize where those money habits came from all those years ago. The book I’ve read has said to have a no nonsense conversational tone to it. So I wanted to ask you about both of those. Why did you feel that it was important to use the conversational writing style as opposed to another non-conversational type book? And also, why did you choose to have that kind of frank, no nonsense tone to it?

Ande Frazier: So this was something that was really fascinating when I was writing the book because I really wanted to try to create a balance between being a friend that was there to say, “Hey, cheering you on, you can do this,” and also coming at it from I do feel like I’m an expert in talking about these issues. And so how do you also have some tough love conversation? So I wanted to kind of give some tough love wrapped in a blanket with some warm cocoa kind of feel to the book. And so I wanted to make sure that it would be an easy read for anybody, and that even if you were already engaged in looking at your finances, you would still learn something. It’s not just for the person who’s never dived into this conversation. I think there’s a lot of value for people to have these conversations.

And even if they’ve started to execute on plans, I would venture to guess many of them haven’t taken the time to go back and evaluate their mindset or their beliefs or their behavior around money, and behavior is really where action comes to fruition. A lot people’s breakdowns occur is when they are triggered to go off track or their behavior doesn’t align with what they said that they wanted in their goals and their values. And so regardless of where you are in planning for your future financially, I think you’ll get some value out of this.

So I wanted it to be something that would be an easy read, but also something that would be encouraging and we’re in this together and you could do it coupled with let’s not wait, let’s get started. Let’s get into action. Let’s take a step forward, and here’s some things for you to be thinking about. And I even envisioned groups getting together and using this book as a point of a conversation starter, where I’m not really telling you exactly what to do here. I’m just giving you some really good things to be thinking about and asking you questions. And there’s some great exercises in the books that you can take part in that allow you to really do some self-discovery of your own into your whole relationship to money.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. And like you said, it’s not a how-to book. So I think that could definitely happen where you just bring these conversation pieces to a group and everyone has their own input on it because everyone’s going to have different views on these different conversations. You had mentioned it before, so I wanted to bring it up now, the chapter in the book that focuses on finding the right money mentor. Can you explain to the listeners just what exactly a money mentor is and what kind of impact finding the right money mentor can have on someone’s finances?

Ande Frazier: Yes. So there’s been kind of a trend I think in the last two years where we’ve seen a lot of financial gurus or financial influencers kind of pop up where they’re giving advice about money. And it may even come from a point of view of, I lost my business or went bankrupt and I got myself out of debt. Let me show you how to do it too. And kind of those kinds of ideas. And for me, as somebody who has been a part of the financial industry for 25 plus years, I really know the value of a good professional.

And that when you’re talking about making really important decisions for yourself and for your family and for future generations, you want to get it right. You want to be able to get advice from somebody who has done the research, who has the education and credentials to really be able to speak to what they’re talking about.

And I worry that we’ve kind of gotten off track and where a lot of people are relying on bloggers to get their financial advice. And these bloggers may not be licensed or have any formal education that really allows them to be able to speak intelligently and in depth about what these decisions are. And there’s no accountability there. If they’re not licensed, if you follow their advice and something goes wrong, hey, there’s no accountability on their part. And so I think we have to be very careful about that. And I also see so many people who want to do it themselves. And I think there’s some unbelievable things that you can do to get started on your own and to do some things yourself. But I also think there’s a lot of value in working with a professional who can ask you specific questions that are only relevant to you or that might be very unique for you, that might be different from your friends or from your coworkers. And they can really make recommendations that are right for you.

So many people, I think, they hear something and think it applies to everybody, and that’s not always the case. And so finding the right financial advocate is what I really talk about here. I think it’s really important. And you want to find someone who asks you questions and who is willing to kind of get in the weeds with you about what’s important to you, that you can confide in and get real because we know that money is conflated with life issues. And so you want somebody that could really embrace that perspective and be there for you to kind of address some things that are really important to you and not just give you the magic formula of how to make money in the market.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. I like that approach. And especially having someone who knows your specific situation. Because like you said, the bloggers online, while they might be putting out what worked for them or what works for the masses, so to speak, it might not necessarily work for that specific person. So having someone that knows specifically what you’re going through, what your goals are, they can give you tailored advice and tailored insight to what you actually need.

Ande Frazier: Yeah. In the book, I’ve given some questions that you can ask a potential financial professional that you might be considering to work with. And so I think these questions also give you the ability to go in, and they’re not questions that I think are normally asked when you’re vetting somebody. And so I wanted to give the reader some questions they could ask for. I gave them also a list of what are some of them were typical credentials to be looking for and what they mean and how they might apply to your situation because I do think that somebody who’s taken the time to get educated and get designations and certifications and licenses has an advantage over somebody who has not taken that time, who doesn’t have oversight. And so it’s really important to work with somebody that can understand and help you really make good decisions so that you’re not in trouble with the IRS or anyone else for that matter.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. Exactly. And even on top of that too, there are so many different titles and designations out there. So understanding what each of them mean and finding out which ones are important to you or that you need to work with. Like if you have tax questions, you want to look for a CPA. And someone who has a different designation might not necessarily be the right person to work with, so it’s important to know what designations and titles and what they mean.

Ande Frazier: Yeah. I didn’t want to make it be multiple, multiple pages long, but I tried to pick more of the highlight ones of things to look for and some that have some specific … there’s the chartered special needs consultant designation, and it’s someone who’s taken the time to really understand how to work with families who have special needs, who need to have those addressed. And I think that’s a very unique category. And if you have that issue in your family, it would behoove yourself to work with somebody that has that type of designation. It may be in addition or over others. And so I think that looking and understanding what to look for is so important, and there’s so much confusion out there. I wanted to at least touch on it and give some guidance.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Absolutely. So another thing that we touched on a little bit earlier, setting goals and planning for known events versus unknown events. I feel like financial planning, obviously, there are certain known events that will happen in your life that you can plan for. But I feel like the tricky part is planning for the unknown events. How can someone go about planning for unknown events, or where do they start with that?

Ande Frazier: I think this is such an interesting question because in financial planning sometimes you’ll say, “Well, this could happen,” and some people will make a decision of, “I don’t think it’s going to happen to me,” or, “That’s not likely.” And so they’ll kind they’ll roll the dice to take the gris there of not putting in place proper protection, for example, because they think, “Well, it’s not going to happen.” And then it does happen and then it’s really egregious, I guess you could say.

And so one of the things that I ask people is, we don’t know what will happen. We can’t predict it. We have no clue. But what I want to do is help you to be thinking through, if these things do happen, what would the financial impact be to you and your family. And first, after you identify that or kind of take a look at that, then you could ask, are there things that I could do that would mitigate or even eliminate the financial impact to my family? And how does that work inside of the other strategic decisions that I’m making? Because if you think about having the loss of a job, well, that can certainly have a financial impact to your family.

So how do you avoid that? You may not be able to avoid it, but what you certainly can do is make sure you have enough money saved in your liberty fund to get you through six months so that you can find the next right job for yourself rather than having to take the first job that comes to you. So it’s about looking at, what is the financial impact if this does happen, and what can we do to start to mitigate that? And in many cases, people think it’s an expensive proposition, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially when you start to look at things from a strategic kind of macro standpoint, you can actually really mitigate a lot of things and it not be something that impacts your ability to save and grow money.

Tim Mullooly: Like you said, a lot of people sometimes take that approach of that would never happen to me. But in terms of financial planning, you really do never know. So it is important to at least walk through what might happen if it does happen to you. Are the chances likely? Probably not, but what if it does happen? And so I think that I agree with you. Those are important exercises to go through. And it might seem expensive the time potentially, but if that unknown event ends up happening, it could end up costing you more money if you don’t plan for it ahead of time.

Ande Frazier: Absolutely. It can be devastating, I mean, to families. And I think that I really believe that protection is something that, protecting yourself, whether it be in the form of insurance or preplanning or thinking through some of these ideas, having advanced directives and things, are all things I would classify inside of that protection category. I think that we have to recognize that we can’t go back and fix a mistake in that area after the fact. We can’t go get fire insurance on our home after the fire happens. And so we can’t go back and write documents after an event happens. And so taking the time to be aware of what those events could mean to you financially and otherwise and then make a very conscious-focused decision from there I think is really, really critical.

I found a lot of people don’t even think about some of these things. So sometimes I sit down with people and I’ll say, “What do you think could get in the way of you achieving your goals?” And there are things that they don’t even say that don’t even occur to them that, as someone who’s in the business and who’s seen people go through these types of unplanned events, it gives me an opportunity to talk with them about it perhaps for the very first time. And so I think that’s another thing to be thinking about is sometimes I may not even be on your radar, but because you are dealing or working with somebody who has seen it happen and knows what devastation it can wreck on your money and your finances and your self-worth at the end of the day, it’s important to have somebody that can bring these things to light. And then you can make a decision about whether or not you want to do something about it or not, knowing the risk.

Tim Mullooly: Yeah. Exactly. It’s just important to walk through all of those potential scenarios ahead of time. Definitely agree. So I like to ask all authors when they have a book coming out, for you personally, what do you think has been your favorite part of the book writing process? I know you said in the beginning writing a book wasn’t necessarily on your bucket list. So what has been your favorite part of this whole process for you?

Ande Frazier: Well, it’s my favorite and also the scary part. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. Whenever you write a book and you’re putting it out there, especially in the day of where anybody can say anything on the internet, there’s always a risk that somebody is going to read it and have a comment. And I think, for me, my intention is to start a conversation, is to have people read this book and start a conversation. At the end of the day, I think I’ve done a really good job at giving people conversation starters and some things for them to think about.

And if only one person reads the book and then gets into action and as a result of this book takes an action that moves them forward and takes care of something and puts them in a better position and gets them to start having dynamic and important conversations with their loved ones, then it will be well worth it. And so for me, the favorite part about it is putting something out there and sharing and being vulnerable and saying we’re in this all together, all of us are dealing. I deal with the same issues that my readers will deal with. And it’s about starting a conversation and being brave enough and courageous enough to kind of ignite a spark hopefully in someone.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, that’s very exciting. And again, for the listeners, the book comes out in March, so I’ll link in the show notes to that. Over the span of your professional career, what would you say has been the most impactful financial lesson that you personally have ever learned?

Ande Frazier: Gosh, there’s been so many really interesting lessons that I’ve learned. I think that probably the biggest thing is to not wait to be able to have these thoughts and conversations and to be thinking about this. I think when you’re young and you’re right out of school and you’re starting maybe your first job and you’re getting a paycheck for maybe the first time, a real significant paycheck if you’ve worked. And what does that impact? And so for me, I think it’s about really having this be a conversation that you’re having earlier and earlier.

And so probably the most impactful financial lesson is the earlier that you can start to have these conversations, the better off you’ll be. And so if you have listeners out there that have young children, one of the things that I found to be most interesting in some of my research is that children model behavior. It’s not about putting money in a piggy bank, it’s about watching to see how their parents talk about money, how they reconcile decision making, all of that stuff can start very early. And so the earlier the better that we start to have some of these conversations and start to get into action because we all know that over time good habits can really provide a lot more freedom and choice later on.

Tim Mullooly: Right. Yeah. And that kind of goes back to the very first question about your earliest memory with money. It went back to being a kid. And so we know how early these lessons and financial habits sink in for people. So definitely, I agree, the earlier the better in that case. Last question that I have for you here before we wrap up, whether it’s something that you learned or that you heard through your personal life or something that you heard in your professional career, what would you say has been the best piece of advice overall that someone has ever given to you?

Ande Frazier: I can’t recall it off hand. There’s a poem out there around, I think it’s called, the starfish poem, where there’s this young girl that’s on the beach and she is picking up starfish that she stays and she throws them back into the ocean. And I think it’s a gentleman that comes up and ask her why is she doing that. And she said she wants to get the starfish back in the ocean. And he says, there’s too many starfish. It won’t make a difference. And she throws the starfish into the ocean. She goes, “Well, it made a difference to that one.”

And that poem, I had a very good friend that always used to wear starfish, and she told me that the reason she did that is because of that poem. And reading that, I think that’s probably the best piece of advice, is that when you make a difference to just one person you meet, whether it be the person you buy your coffee from or the person that you’re in a relationship with or somebody that you may just be passing on the street, if you’re making difference to that one person, that’s the most valuable currency that there is. The impact that you have on one person, one starfish at a time.

Tim Mullooly: I love that and I totally agree. That’s a great point to pass on here to the listeners. And, Ande, that was all the questions that I had for you. Thanks again for coming on the show, talking about myWorth and talking about your upcoming book. I really appreciate it.

Ande Frazier: Thanks for having me, Tim.

Tim Mullooly: So for the listeners out there, again, I’ll link in the show notes, livingwithmoney.com, to everything that we talked about here today. Thanks for tuning into this episode of Living With Money, and we’ll catch you on the next one.

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