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On the Regular Version …
I’m joined by Bill Nelson, a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Financial Therapist.
We dive into the world of money and marriage and meanings.
Learn more about Bill here – https://pacesetterplanning.com/
On the Xtended Version …
Pam and I discuss our take our takeaways from the conversation with Bill. It’s all about the meanings of things – not the things.
Enjoy the show!
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Corey Allan (00:02.134)
Well, there are lots of different main issues that we face in married life, sex, family, children, and then we've got that nasty old topic of money that can happen in our marriages that a lot of people fight about. And so Bill Nelson is joining me as a certified financial planner and a certified financial therapist, which is one I've never heard of before. And so we were talking just prior to.
which you're saying it just has blended the mental health field and the money field with a little bit of a different uniqueness, right?
Bill Nelson (00:35.732)
Yeah, that's exactly right. You know, I think about a decade ago, a group of financial planners got in, people in the mental health space got together and realized that, you know, financial planners are not really good about talking to, with people about the emotional side of money. And mental health practitioners are often not very comfortable talking about money with people because let's face it, very few people are comfortable talking about money. And so a group of people got together and created some curriculums and things to help people in both fields navigate those conversations in a way that works.
Corey Allan (00:54.174)
Corey Allan (01:02.678)
And that's so vital because I have the phrase, Bill, that we don't fight about things, we fight about the meanings attached to things. And if you talk about something that is loaded with meaning, it's money, right? So since you've been doing this as your profession for a while now, what are some of the main things you come across that just regularly trips up couples, trips up people in marriage?
Bill Nelson (01:10.968)
Bill Nelson (01:15.224)
You better believe it, that's right.
Corey Allan (01:30.614)
Even even those that are further into it because it seems like this is something I mean Pam and I are 30 years in and we can still have I mean even just last night we had a hey We need to talk about this aspect of how money is leaving our home versus coming in our home You know, there's still this tension that can come about it. So what do you keep seeing?
Bill Nelson (01:49.384)
Yeah, it's a great question. So there's a few different things, right? Oftentimes, when we think about money fights in marriage, the stereotypical one that everybody brings up is actually what I think you just were alluding to, which is spending versus saving fights, right? There is a growing body of research out there that shows that we tend to attract our financial opposites. So I mean, you know, so I mean, first and foremost, if you are fighting about money in that way, the first thing to know is, it's really normal, right? More people fight about saving and spending decisions than don't fight about it.
Corey Allan (02:01.304)
Corey Allan (02:07.532)
Corey Allan (02:18.05)
Bill Nelson (02:20.128)
But the thing is like oftentimes when I the more I have conversations with couples about money the more I find that there's different types of money fights that can blend in Right that come from different sources, right? oftentimes one member of the couple is much more inclined to be hands-on with the money and want to manage everything and move the money around and Sometimes they're really good about looping their spouse in with what's going on and sometimes they're not so good about it
Corey Allan (02:43.913)
Bill Nelson (02:45.472)
One of the most common ones that I see that I think is the least understood among the conversations that I've had has to do with differences between valuing financial security versus financial freedom, right? How much risk do you feel comfortable taking, right? If you save $500 this month, right, what do you want to do with it, right? Oftentimes one person likes that feeling of security of either paying down debt or having
Corey Allan (03:06.57)
Bill Nelson (03:15.188)
sitting nice and safe, earning a little bit of interest. And oftentimes the other spouse might wanna wheel and deal with it a little bit, right? Put it into the market, try to make it grow. And that tension, I find, is more and more, the more I look for that, the type of differences among couples, the more common I'm finding them to be.
Corey Allan (03:23.03)
Corey Allan (03:35.03)
Okay, and that's interesting because I think even within those degrees, if you will, aren't there probably variances in those degrees even more in the sense of, you know, because if you wrap up or sum up Pam and I's journey, we would fit that category likely of.
It has meant security for her, but it's not necessarily just immediate security. It's also long-term because we were, you know, being Gen Xers, we're raised in that hole. You can't count on social security. You better make it on your own, set up your own scenario, self-sufficiency, whatever it might be. And so she's had that thought process, I think, as an arc to the entirety of our marriage, I've had the thought process of money is a means to go do and get things.
Bill Nelson (04:00.749)
Bill Nelson (04:06.956)
Bill Nelson (04:23.191)
Corey Allan (04:23.774)
actually reverse that to get things and do things because I will absolutely go get things. I mean, I'm shiny, shiny guy. So it's, there's this tension that plays out. And what we've noticed is even as we are aligning better, there's still an element of nuance within those categories. We still fight that come up.
Bill Nelson (04:26.628)
Bill Nelson (04:29.997)
Bill Nelson (04:45.195)
Bill Nelson (04:50.336)
Absolutely, right? Because with all of those types of differences, right, that we're talking about, it's not that one person is right or wrong. It's that you need both of all of these things, but the question is how, in what order, what are we focusing on right now versus what are we focusing on later on down the road, right? Spoiler alert, you need to be spending some money over the course of your life, and you also need to be saving some money, right? Both people are right.
Corey Allan (05:03.249)
Corey Allan (05:12.107)
Bill Nelson (05:14.508)
And I find that oftentimes couples will be inclined to gravitate toward one extreme or the other, right? Unless they have some sort of process in place for putting some boundaries around those things. But yeah, it's a very common problem to have with all of those different areas, right? From the security standpoint, like you need to have some money in the bank account before you start doing a lot of investing, right? If you're investing without some sort of financial foundation built for your family, the second something goes wrong,
Corey Allan (05:36.619)
Bill Nelson (05:43.942)
everything's gonna come cumberling down like a house of cards. But at the same time, you know, I often am talking people into doing more investing who have seen some bad things in the stock market happen in the past. And the reality is, right, if you're younger than, let's say 60, the biggest financial risk from my perspective that you're gonna face in your lifetime has nothing to do with the stock market, it's inflation, right, how much more expensive stuff is gonna be 40 years from now. And
Corey Allan (06:12.534)
Bill Nelson (06:13.144)
The reality is that without some investing component, you're not gonna have a way to deal with that.
Corey Allan (06:17.986)
Right, unless you just continue working and have something that's continually growing as far as the income that you're making, and that's what's gonna keep you above the curve, if you will. Okay, and so you alluded to this idea of having the conversations and having some boundaries surrounding it, because what is it that makes it so difficult for a couple then when we are trying to get into meanings that I can easily take the stance of, but my meaning is right?
Bill Nelson (06:20.484)
Bill Nelson (06:25.016)
Bill Nelson (06:29.665)
Yeah, that's right.
Bill Nelson (06:47.348)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, it's a really good question. And I think without some sort of North star so to speak to guide your financial decision-making it can be really hard to get out of that perspective And so I often encourage couples to think about money conversations like they're behind the wheel of a car If you spend too much time looking backwards in the rear-view mirror while you're driving your car on the road ahead
Corey Allan (06:59.957)
Bill Nelson (07:15.276)
That's how problems happen, right? And oftentimes money fights are grounded in either what's happened in the past and where we've come from and differences with how we were raised and things like that. And likewise, if you spend too much time looking inside the car at the dashboard and the passenger seat, that's also how bad things happen. What we wanna be doing is we want, you know, it's important to look at the dashboard of a car, right? There's important information there. You should be looking at it from time to time. The rear mirror is in the car for a reason, right? You want to be looking backwards periodically as you're driving.
Corey Allan (07:16.555)
Corey Allan (07:35.448)
Bill Nelson (07:44.908)
but most of your time should be spent looking at the road ahead. Where do we want your money to take you down the road? Because oftentimes, when I have conversations with couples, the vision for what we want our money to do for us in the long run usually is either the same or very similar.
But it's when we back that into what the credit card looks like today and what the bank account balance looks like today It's when we kind of move from where we want our money to take us to where we are today that the problems can pop up
Corey Allan (08:16.138)
And is that because a lot of times we can get caught up in this scenario of, yeah, we have the same vision, but the culmination of that vision is 20, 30, 40 years away. So the $500 I want to spend right now.
Bill Nelson (08:29.173)
Corey Allan (08:34.122)
when that's still way off in the distance, isn't as consequential in my mind as it may be theirs because no, but that exponentially, if we put that $500 to workforce right now exponentially, it becomes $10,000 in 40 years or whatever. And it's all those things that get so tricky because we get caught in all the different aspects of your car like you're describing and just focus on one too much.
Bill Nelson (08:44.484)
Bill Nelson (08:48.502)
Bill Nelson (08:57.9)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think it's definitely partly that. Delayed gratification in the financial planning world is a reality sometimes, unfortunately. And that can be hard to inspire people to take immediate action today. But
Corey Allan (09:09.078)
Bill Nelson (09:16.508)
I mean, oftentimes it just has to do with our money backgrounds and money values as well, right? If two people have come together and they're envisioning living their lives together, right? Oftentimes that future vision is similar, right? That's what brought them together in the first place, or at the very least, that's what kept them together going forward.
But most of the time our money backgrounds are very different. And so as a result, the way that we view money often is really different from the way our spouse views money. To give you a kind of extreme example of this, a few years ago, I was working with a couple who, I mean, they were good matches for each other, they wanted the same things, like they had a good marriage, but the husband grew up in a country.
that experience, I'm not gonna name the specific country, but a country that very famously experienced hyperinflation right after the Cold War, when he was growing up, he was about 30 years old. And...
in the present day, he was the one managing all the bank accounts and it was driving the wife nuts because he wouldn't leave any money in the checking account. Literally, the paycheck would come in and he had no problem spending a bunch of money. It wasn't that he was just saving everything, but anything that wasn't saved immediately went and was invested elsewhere. Bare bones, emergency fund, no cash on hand, and they were overdrafting their checking account. Not because they didn't have the money, but because...
Corey Allan (10:35.564)
Corey Allan (10:44.235)
Cause they're playing a game with it a different way. Cause that's what he always had to do to keep it hidden or not, you know, so it's not accessible from other forces. Yeah.
Bill Nelson (10:49.148)
Exactly. And in kind of going through the conversation with him, what we realized was, you know, when he was growing up, watching his parents make financial decisions.
in a hyperinflationary environment, money that sat in the bank account today was worthless a month from now, right? Because stuff was just so much more expensive. And so what he internalized from that was, if I have money today, I'm going to spend it today. Like I'm not going to be afraid to spend a bunch of money because we don't know what stuff is going to cost tomorrow. And anything that's not saved needs to be invested. And
Corey Allan (11:10.067)
Bill Nelson (11:26.02)
Now, was that a right or wrong perspective? I mean, we had some conversations about what we can expect the US economy to be to look like, and being that extreme with the way that we're managing our money might not be necessary in today's world. But at the very least, having that conversation helped the wife understand where he was coming from. It wasn't that he was... Exactly.
Corey Allan (11:44.542)
Right, it gives you the foundation of the story, right? It's not like it's justifying it, but it is a good reason.
Bill Nelson (11:51.612)
Exactly. And so once we kind of got to the understanding of how their views on money, like where they came from and how they're manifesting today, then we were able to kind of help them navigate those things.
Corey Allan (12:03.918)
Okay, because again, this is just one of those things that I just hear one of my professors in grad school.
did a little segment on this subject and he made a comment that one of the things he would tell his clients to go do, I'm curious your thought of this Bill, is go home and get some cash, you know, get some, not a substantial amount, but whatever cash you may have on hand that it's actually more than just like $5, you know, but and fan it out like a deck of cards in your hand and have a conversation with it. Like actually talk to the money because it was trying to recognize.
Bill Nelson (12:19.687)
Great, I'm ready.
Bill Nelson (12:27.629)
Corey Allan (12:39.078)
it, there's more to it than just the actual bill or the paper or, you know, there's a, cause it's a whole lot more involved and it's, I think he's pointing at some of what you're describing is this is the meanings and the story that we attach to this item as it pertains to our life. Cause it is an inevitability. We have to have it. It is a part of life. You know, every civilization has some sort of currency of something.
Bill Nelson (12:43.172)
Bill Nelson (12:48.129)
Bill Nelson (13:02.893)
Bill Nelson (13:06.98)
Corey Allan (13:07.65)
where we put value on it. But what we don't realize is it's more than just whatever the denoted value is.
Bill Nelson (13:14.388)
Yeah, absolutely. And I'm definitely gonna try that exercise. So I'll report back on how that goes. But if you don't wanna go to the bank and take out a big wad of bills to start talking to it, what I challenge you to do instead is, because I'm totally gonna do that, but I understand why some people might not. Why is money important to you? Ask yourself that question. And if you pause the episode and answer it and then tune back in.
Corey Allan (13:19.242)
Corey Allan (13:31.15)
Alright, I got you.
Bill Nelson (13:42.452)
98% of the time when I ask a couple Why is money important to you to get back to what we were talking about before? One person will say freedom and one person will say security or a synonym for those for those words And those words are meaningless. I want to know more than that like what What does freedom mean to you? Right if we could snap our fingers and deliver all the freedom you needed today
Corey Allan (13:52.972)
Bill Nelson (14:07.732)
What would that look like? How would things change? What would you do? And go deeper and deeper and deeper like that. And that one, you know, you'll know when you get to the point where you're ready to stop poking and kind of going further down the rabbit hole when you get to a kind of a pretty powerful statement that you know we go from money to this bigger, deeper thing.
Corey Allan (14:25.726)
Right, right. Because then you're talking about, because this is what, uh, you familiar with the book, psychology of money. Yeah, that's a fantastic read. If anybody that's listening in the nation hasn't read it, uh, that, that would be the one I recommend most as a therapist when money comes up as part of the process. Hey, you, one of the ones to start with is there and then get with people that live in that world more like yourself. Um, but I loved his, for his definition when you're talking about wealth.
Bill Nelson (14:30.9)
I am, yes. Yes, it is.
Bill Nelson (14:40.96)
Yeah, it's a great book.
Bill Nelson (14:47.848)
Corey Allan (14:53.846)
versus rich because even those terms have differing values. And Pam and I have adopted that mindset of wealth, meaning we can do, what's the phrase? We can do whatever we want as long as we want, as often as we want or whatever it might be, because it's not like this whole, we have to hit X number of millions of dollars. Instead it's like, wait, what's our lifestyle? Because that's where it comes into so many different factors, right? Because even if you think about the stuff I heard the other day of,
Bill Nelson (14:57.284)
Bill Nelson (15:08.809)
Bill Nelson (15:14.413)
Bill Nelson (15:18.516)
Corey Allan (15:23.27)
If you make over $54,000 a year worldwide, you are in the top 1%. Which, okay, that can be leveraged in all kinds of political ways, whatever kind of stance you want to take, whatever agenda you've got, you can use that stat because it doesn't factor what's the cost of living, what's inflation, what's everything else. Yeah, situational matters in that. And so if you can recognize just...
Bill Nelson (15:36.972)
Bill Nelson (15:44.169)
Correct. Context is everything. Yes, that is exactly right.
Corey Allan (15:52.138)
I think that's what you're getting at and that's the role you play a lot is, how do you help people navigate through what you're really fighting about isn't what you think you're fighting about?
Bill Nelson (16:02.585)
Money is a vehicle in which fights manifest that are about something deeper. Or about something that you're missing, right? It's very rarely just about the money.
Corey Allan (16:09.45)
Corey Allan (16:14.506)
Well, and that's the same kind of concept that with the 12 years we've been doing the show on the whole concept of sex. It's the same thing. You're not fighting about the act of sex as often as you might think you are. You're fighting about something a lot deeper. OK, so are there some things? I'm just curious because this is one of the stuff that Pam comes across. Are there some things you get out there in the social media world that are just myths? You know, the TikTok tax advice is what Pam calls it.
Bill Nelson (16:20.194)
Bill Nelson (16:43.037)
Corey Allan (16:43.81)
So what's the TikTok financial planning advice that you get clients come in and say, Hey, Bill, we want to do this. And you're like, what are you talking about?
Bill Nelson (16:51.7)
Yeah, I have, I'm very fortunate to have trained my clients to stay off TikTok for financial advice, which has worked very well for me. There are a few things though, that have come up in recent years. The life insurance space in particular is filled with all sorts of gimmicky ways that people position life insurance products in a way that makes them sound like things that they're not, which are life insurance products, right? The goal of life insurance,
Corey Allan (16:58.486)
Corey Allan (17:14.082)
Bill Nelson (17:21.512)
is to not use it. Right, life insurance is something that you want to have and many people need to have, but you don't want to use. So, and so if you find yourself being pitched or having or talking about life insurance in a way that.
It's gonna do all these magical things and generate tax-free income for you and I mean odds are you're paying 10 to 20 times more For life insurance than you actually need to and you are trying to use something that should not be used unless there is a emergency So
Corey Allan (17:51.766)
Right, right. Yeah, it is so interesting, because you have to realize, isn't this one of those things where everybody's got an agenda, and some of them aren't helpful and clean and good.
Bill Nelson (18:02.26)
100%. The financial planning world has a very well earned reputation for being kind of in the same ballpark as Congress and used car salesmen in terms of favorability ratings out there. It's not good company and it's no small reason why I decided to go out of my own back in the day is because I was I started in the company in a major in the industry to major company and stayed there long enough to know that I liked working with these kinds of questions but wanted to do it.
Corey Allan (18:17.569)
That's not good company.
Corey Allan (18:32.15)
Oh no, I totally get it. I mean, that's that whole idea because this is the same kind of thing where we have a lot of an overlap when you can really get in close with people and you see the impact. Now that's that second paycheck. That's what Pam, that's a phrase she uses too, of you know you're really helping somebody for the long run. And then also generationally, when you give somebody some peace of mind, some hope.
Bill Nelson (18:43.404)
Bill Nelson (18:54.282)
Corey Allan (18:59.614)
a strategy, a plan, you know, somebody that helps weather a storm, all of that, knowing I'm not alone when the stock market makes, takes the inevitable correction or some gamble I had didn't pay off. I mean, I got, I got heavy into crypto, I'll own it. And it was horrible. And now it's like, yep. Uh, but uh, Pam wasn't totally after me on that. She's like, okay, really wish it would have gone differently, but okay.
Bill Nelson (19:12.747)
Bill Nelson (19:15.959)
Bill Nelson (19:26.979)
You know what the interesting thing about crypto is? If I was to map out the past six or seven years and put an X on a timeline, so to speak, and put an X on the timeline whenever anybody asked me about investing in crypto and left a blank space where I wasn't having those conversations, and you put the graph of Bitcoin's price on top of that.
Corey Allan (19:49.739)
Bill Nelson (19:51.58)
Nobody asked me about Bitcoin when it's doing terribly. Right? Everybody asked me about it when it's at the top of the kind of most recent valuation of it and
Corey Allan (19:54.574)
I'm going to go ahead and turn it off.
Bill Nelson (20:01.108)
We know from an investing standpoint, the goal is to buy things when they're low and sell things when they're hot. Exactly. And yet, the way that I mean, I don't know, I'm not going to blame this all on TikTok, but really just the financial media in general, right, the way that we talk about making investing decisions, right, we're not looking at what has a good long term potential, but maybe hasn't done so lately, we're looking at what the hot thing is today. And the reality is, by the time you get in the hot thing that we're dealing with today.
Corey Allan (20:04.414)
Right, it's the worst time to get in. Yep.
Bill Nelson (20:29.28)
Sometimes not always but sometimes it's too late. Correct. Yeah. That's right.
Corey Allan (20:30.562)
Right, but you've probably missed it at that point. Right, because yeah, the people that caught it early on, fantastic for them, but man, that's the same thing with the people that caught Amazon early on or Tesla early on, you know, whatever it might have been, it's like, yeah, I don't see it, but some people did and they got a payoff for that.
Bill Nelson (20:38.104)
Bill Nelson (20:49.8)
Yeah, 100%. There is a difference between taking, investing risk and speculating. And there is nothing wrong with doing a little speculating as long as you're in a position to do so and you understand that it's speculating.
Corey Allan (20:58.297)
That's a good distinction.
Corey Allan (21:07.998)
And it's also one of those like you're describing. It has a bigger meaning involved rather than it's the get rich quick that we all can fall victim to so easily that this will satisfy all my ills, right? That if I can just attain this, that'll solve it.
Bill Nelson (21:15.448)
Bill Nelson (21:20.404)
Yeah. And sometimes, right, I'm particularly for people who are really inclined to want to be hands on and try to make some moves to make their money grow. Sometimes I find if we create a little sandbox and we put $1,000, $5,000 in it and say, OK, we'll deal on this account as much as you want if it goes to zero, if you completely mess up the strategy here, it's not going to.
Corey Allan (21:38.87)
Bill Nelson (21:49.032)
make or break us, right? Oftentimes I find like if we kind of set that system up, then that person is much more likely to wanna lean in and make the rest of their money work toward those deep family values.
Corey Allan (21:59.146)
Oh, absolutely. I mean, we have friends that do the same kind of thing with casinos, right? That that's one of the, it's an, it's an, it's an evening of entertainment is the way they look at it. And they have a set amount that they're willing to risk. And once that's gone, it's gone. And if they make more than that, they pay them, you know, they pull out what they put in and then they're just playing with house money and it becomes an enjoyable entertainment.
Bill Nelson (22:08.384)
Bill Nelson (22:15.532)
Yeah, 100%. Yeah, and on the flip side, I do a lot of work with couples who are trying to figure out whether they should combine money, how much they should combine, things like that. And I had a case where a woman that I was meeting with had a best friend whose marriage failed, the husband drained the accounts and left with everything. And she said, look, I...
I'm not comfortable combining everything. I am willing to combine most things, but I need to have my $20,000 separate savings account just in case. And if I have that, I'm willing to lean in and combine everything else.
We said, okay, great, like that is what you need to be able to use the rest of your resources to work toward your family's goals in the context of their situation. That was a reasonable amount to set aside. And so we did it and the end result was really good.
Corey Allan (22:57.527)
Corey Allan (23:10.41)
Yeah, and because that's talking about the deeper meanings here. That's talking about what is it that helps me still hold on to the value I have ascribed to this particular aspect of my life. And then I can have some more freedom or comfort or whatever. And the other areas where it's not in line completely with what I like, but I'm okay. Well, man, thank you so much for.
Bill Nelson (23:13.06)
Bill Nelson (23:32.652)
Corey Allan (23:37.146)
walking alongside couples with this bill. So how can people find you if they want a little bit more information?
Bill Nelson (23:42.392)
Yeah, absolutely. So I'm not on TikTok as of today anyway. I am on Instagram. My company is Pace Center Planning. So it's at Pace Center Planning on Instagram, Pace Center Planning.com. I'm there as well. I published a book last year called Marriage Centered Money Get on the Same Financial Page and Achieve Your Life Goals Together, which is the marriage centered money because it's the exact opposite of money centered marriage is the way I like to think about that. And you can get that at marriage centered money.com as well.
Corey Allan (23:46.274)
Corey Allan (24:11.546)
Well, man, thank you so much for just, I mean, we need people in the world that walk alongside people with these hot button trigger laden issues and money is definitely one of them.
Bill Nelson (24:26.248)
Yes, it is. And thank you for talking about all the stuff that you talk about on here as well. I can't, when I was writing my book, I came across a study that it was from, I think somewhere in London that they surveyed 15,000 people and asked them questions on the street about their details about their sex life and details about their salary. And they found that
People were seven times more likely to answer the questions about their sex life than their salary, which was mind-blowing to me so But there's something about those two topics. We just we haven't gotten comfortable talking about in a productive way I find and so
Corey Allan (24:56.278)
Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, it is one of those things that's kind of historically been one of those secret things. It's this it's this underground aspect of life that I can't bring it to the surface, but it's almost like when you do, there's a different level of freedom that comes along with it, I guess.
Bill Nelson (25:20.192)
100% completely agree. I mean, so much about the way we talk about money and marriages and the negative, right? Money is one of the leading causes of arguments and things. But my whole premise of the work that I do is that it doesn't have to be that way, right? If we flip it around and we learn how to manage money effectively together, how to talk about money effectively together, can actually make your marriage stronger.
Corey Allan (25:26.891)
Corey Allan (25:40.97)
Yeah, because it's hopefully not going anywhere. So other than up in the long run, right? OK. Well, Bill, thanks so much, man. And all the best on the work, all right?
Bill Nelson (25:43.84)
That's right. That's right.
Bill Nelson (25:52.449)
Yeah, thanks for having me.
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