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Embracing Emotions for Financial Wellness with David Frank

Episode cover image of Embracing Emotions for Financial Wellness with David Frank

 “Give yourself permission to have feelings. Give yourself permission to show up, get intimidated, and then avoid it for a week. Don’t expect yourself to come to anything new, including money and finances, and be like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to sit down. I’m going to nail it. I’m going to do it all perfectly from the get go, and it’s going to be done.’ It’s an emotional roller coaster at times of ‘Things are going great!’ to ‘Things aren’t going so great.’”

~David Frank

Meet David Frank

David Frank is the financial planner for therapists. Through the firm he founded, Turning Point Financial Life Planning, he helps therapists navigate every element of their financial lives: from understanding your practice P&L and building a personal budget to managing student loan debt and investing for retirement… and everything in between.

But don’t let his love of the tax code and spreadsheets scare you off! You’re just as likely to find him with his nose buried in one of Pema Chödrön’s books as reading up on the latest financial planning techniques.

In this Episode...

How do you handle emotions that come up around money? As guest David Frank and Linzy discuss, instead of avoiding or combatting the emotions that come up around money, working with our emotions can strengthen our financial success. David, a financial planner who works with therapists, shares that focusing on our emotional responses to money and using those emotions as a way to strengthen our financial plans can be beneficial.

David shares that people who connect financial goals to specific emotions and outcomes are more likely to be successful with their planning. By accepting our emotions and tailoring our financial goals to specific outcomes, we can find success in our financial planning. Having a plan, some accountability, and a willingness to be open to the emotional aspects of the journey can go a long way toward successful financial planning.  

Connect with David

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Episode Transcript

David [00:00:01] Give yourself permission to have feelings. Give yourself permission to show up and get intimidated and just, like, avoid it for a week. Don’t expect yourself to come to anything new, right, including money and finance, and be like, okay, I’m just going to sit down. I’m going to nail it. I’m going to do it all perfectly from the get go and it’s going to be done. It’s an emotional roller coaster at times of like, things are going great. Things aren’t going so great. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s guest is David Frank. David is a financial planner who focuses specifically on therapists through the firm that he’s founded, Turning Point Financial Life. He helps therapists navigate all the elements of their financial life from understanding profit and loss to building a personal budget, to managing student loan debt and investing for retirement and everything in between. But he says, don’t let his love of tax code and spreadsheets scare you off. You’re just as likely to find him with his nose buried in one of Pema Chodron’s books as reading up on the latest financial planning techniques. And I think you’re really going to notice that balance in my conversation with David today. Today, we get into talking about, first of all, emotions and financial planning. What is the relationship between those things? And we talked about how people, at the end of the day, we are emotional. And so really working with that when we are planning for our financial future goes a long way. Being connected with our values. Really helpful insights from him. And he talks about some research that supports that. We talk about what to do if you feel like you’re behind, you know, which is something that I hear a lot from folks coming into Money Skills for Therapists when it comes to saving for retirement that they feel behind, they need to catch up. David and I talk about that story and what to do if you find yourself in that place and how to get started with investing. Good investment strategy. David suggests a really concrete investing strategy to use, whether you’re already investing or just getting started. David gives some very specific advice on how to go about picking what to invest in. Here’s my conversation with David Frank. So, David, welcome to the podcast. 


David [00:02:40] Thank you. I’m excited to be here. 


Linzy [00:02:42] Yeah, I’m excited to have you here. So, David, you are a financial planner who specifically serves therapists. 


David [00:02:51] It’s true. Yep, exactly right. 


Linzy [00:02:53] So for folks who are listening right now, I notice sometimes it can be hard sometimes to identify the terms like difference, like financial planner versus financial advisor versus like investment advisor. Can you tell folks a little bit about what you do specifically? 


David [00:03:06] Yeah, that’s a great point. And it’s such a point of confusion in terms of understanding titles in the financial services industry. And unlike the world of therapy, there is really no standards and there’s not a lot of regulation around who can use what term. So when I say I’m a financial planner, what that means to me is sort of it’s in the name really. It’s like it’s creating a plan for your finances and that incorporates everything from understanding and planning for the finances of your practice as well as your personal finances, and making sure that the whole piece, everything works together. And investing and planning for retirement and using retirement plans is definitely part of financial planning, but it’s not the exclusive focus of financial planning. So when you would compare a financial planner to maybe something like a wealth manager or an investment advisor or a financial advisor, typically financial planners are going to be a little bit more holistic and want to look at things beyond just your investment account, where more traditionally the financial services industry has been just about investments. So very narrowly focused on just that one thing and helping you just do that one thing. 


Linzy [00:04:19] Right. So you’re looking at the whole picture more when you’re looking at some of the financial health and financial future. 


David [00:04:26] Yeah, exactly. And actually, there’s a- I also wrote a blog piece a couple months back talking about some of these different titles and how to determine what type of help you might need. There’s even things like financial therapists or financial coaches out there. So they all- we all sort of like do different things and the titles are very fluid. So I think you really, when you see someone that you might consider working with, I think looking at their website, just understand what they talk about and what their focus is and even maybe have a conversation with them to really understand. Okay, I understand this is the title that you’re using a financial planner, a financial coach or whatever. But tell me like, what is it that you actually do and like, what does the process look like? And that will be a lot more informative than just relying on the title alone because people use the titles inconsistently. 


Linzy [00:05:12] Sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I think also, you know, asking what they do is good to know in general as you think about what you need. Right. Like I know a few years ago, my partner and I were looking to work with an out-of-pocket financial planner and we sat down with someone and he’s like, Well, I’ll just put your numbers in the computer. And I was like, Sorry, what? That’s what you do. Like not a great sales pitch. Hopefully he did more than that. But I realized, like he’s just going to do financial modeling and it’s like, Well, I could do financial modeling. I could see that this person wasn’t going to give me any kind of like strategy or guidance that I needed. And so that was also helpful to realize, like, okay, what you do is actually your approach is not the approach I’m looking for. Yeah. Move on to the next person who is going to meet you more where you need to be. 


David [00:05:53] Yeah. And on that note, I would also say, this stuff is intimidating. Like money and finance. Like it’s intimidating. Yes. And so I think for a lot of us, I include myself in this. I’m reluctant to ask a question sometimes because I don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Yeah. And I think like that is- don’t be afraid to ask questions. And they’re literally like the expression says, like there is no such thing as a stupid question. Feel free. Like ask questions. Ask- especially important when working with financial folks is understanding how you pay them or how are they compensated. So you really just like understand, like feel. Don’t let yourself be intimidated. Let yourself ask questions and be, you know, make sure that you’re that you’re comfortable with the person that you’re talking to. 


Linzy [00:06:40] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I do think what I noticed with therapists and health practitioners is sometimes we can be intimidated because we’re used to being good at things. So when we’re not good at something, you’re kind of like, I don’t want to ask the question that makes me look stupid because I’m not used to being stupid. I’m used to being very good at things. Yeah. And so it can be easy to defer and not speak up, which can lead to a really disempowering relationship with somebody who’s trying to help you or should be trying to help you. 


David [00:07:06] Yeah. And I’d also say just sort of progress rather than perfection here. Like, if you find yourself intimidated and you didn’t ask the question that you really wanted to ask in the meeting, just follow up with an email. No big deal. Yeah, you know, but yeah, just like keep coming back to it. But I totally agree. And I think one of the best life skills is to get comfortable feeling just being a non-expert. So being a beginner and just getting comfortable with like, whoa, this is something I don’t know anything about. This is a little intimidating. And you know what? Especially for those for all the mental health professionals out there listening, like you can tell yourself. I’ve gone to graduate school or maybe beyond. I’ve passed licensing exams. Like I am smart, I can figure things out. There’s tons of evidence to support that. And this finance and money stuff, it’s intimidating and sure, there are nuances to figure out, but it isn’t rocket science like you absolutely can figure this out. It’s just going to take a little bit of time and effort. 


Linzy [00:08:00] Yeah, well, and that comes into a piece that, you know, I think about when it comes to financial planning is like that’s an example, I think, of emotions coming up as part of our expenses of even trying to get help, which is like having that shame come up or defeat or, you know, being very self-critical. So I’m curious, you know, what have you noticed about that role of emotions when it comes to financial planning, the work that you’re doing with people? 


David [00:08:23] Yeah. So, I mean, it really all comes back to emotions. Like I think like when I saw my first therapist years and years ago, like as a client or as a patient, you know, he sort of walked me through. It is like, well, what else beyond emotion is there? Like, we take actions with the hope of achieving a certain, like emotional state, right? And like, that was like a really I was like, wait, I can’t be that. It can’t just be all emotions. But it is. Like that’s what being alive and being a human being is. And I think there’s often a tendency, mostly by folks in my profession, the financial services profession, to be like, this is money. It is about spreadsheets and numbers and investment accounts and emotions like that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. But in fact, emotions are everywhere in money, you know, just like fear, like pride, like status, like there’s so many things tied up there, like everything comes up. And so I think there’s a number of ways in which emotions are important when it comes to financial planning. But I think first and foremost, while there’s a number of stories I can tell there, but I think first and foremost is just accepting it and just being willing to hold space and just give yourself permission to have feelings, give yourself permission to show up and get intimidated and just like avoid it for a week. Like, that’s okay. You know, like, don’t expect yourself to come to something, anything new, right, including money and finance, and be like, Okay, I’m just going to sit down. I’m going to nail it. I’m going to do it all perfectly from the get-go. And it’s just going to be, it’s going to be done. Like it is- it’s an emotional roller coaster at times of like, things are going great, things aren’t going so great. And I think the practice is making a wider variety or wider range of emotional experiences around money be okay. I think that’s super, super empowering. 


Linzy [00:10:07] Absolutely. I mean, there’s so many pieces there. I’m like, want to pull out so many pieces of what you just said. But you know, that piece around emotion and money is really powerful because I do think that, yeah, it’s easy to take in the message. That emotion when it comes to money is a liability or a distraction or it’s like you need to get past your feelings right in order to really understand money. But as you say, like, what else is there in life, right? Like, what are we seeking as humans? You know, we’re seeking to have experiences of enjoying being alive. And what is that experience? It’s having positive emotions, right? Or having emotions of growth and those kinds of things. And so- but that’s a really helpful grounding as we’re thinking about this, because it is so true. I think so often what therapists and health practitioners and just kind of more emotionally oriented people, what we tend to experience sometimes when you sit down across from somebody who’s so in that logical brain and so in that spreadsheet is like, not only do you not understand what they’re saying, but it doesn’t mean anything. Right? Like there’s no richness to it or depth. And like, this is something that, you know, the more over the years that I’ve been supporting therapists around money, I’ve started talking about this more and more of like, that’s kind of the point, right? Like, the point is to generate meaning in your life or generate connection or like, go after- give yourself more of what you want. And money’s a tool to do that. But when you just look at black and white numbers, you know, if you don’t have a vision for what those numbers actually mean or understanding what those numbers can do, yes, they are meaningless. And that’s not very motivating. Right. Like, it’s not very motivating to put aside a thousand bucks a month for retirement when you’re like, okay, so then I’ll have that number. Okay.


David [00:11:42] Yeah. So what. 


Linzy [00:11:44] What’s the difference between that number and this other number? So there is a flatness that can happen when we don’t think about the emotional part. 


David [00:11:50] Yeah. So, So yeah, you’re right on. And I want to share this. It’s a story, but it’s a study that was done. And it was a study that was written up in the Journal of Financial Planning, which is a thing. And it was about helping folks save more for whatever. For their future retirement or other future plans. And so what they did is they recruited a bunch of people that wanted to save more money. I think they did a couple hundred people were in the study and then they split them into two groups and one group they just gave a bunch of financial education, just like the cold, hard facts. Like here’s what the different account types, like, here’s how interest rates work, here’s how money grows over time, just to like hear all the tactical tools here, like the technical pieces you need to understand to save more. So that was group one was just financial education. Group number two, they didn’t get any financial education at all. And in fact, they were told to bring in a sentimental object, like some object that has sentimental meaning to them. And then what they did in the group is like they were asked to reflect on what values that like why was that sentimental object so important to them? What values were behind that? What did it say about them as a person? And then they tied their savings goals, their desire to say, let’s say, save $1,000 per month for retirement. They connected those saving goals to their values and to what was important to them as a person. Yeah. And then they even literally kind of made a vision because they kind of like drew like graphical representations of what that goal looked like. And so now you’ve got something, you’ve got sort of a tangible financial goal of $1,000 of savings per month connected not only to sort of what your goal looks like, but also how it connects back to the values and what’s really important to you. But again, keep in mind, this group didn’t get any guidance whatsoever on the technical skills of money. And so then they said, okay, great. So they set the two groups on their way, and then I forget how long the time period they looked at, but maybe was like six months or a year or something. They looked at the two groups and saw how their savings behavior changed and both groups saved more money, which was great. But one group saved dramatically more, in fact, three times more than the other group. If you want to guess which group was which, you already know. Yeah, yeah. I think, you know, it was the sentimental. 


Linzy [00:14:03] The sentimental. Yeah. Their values. 


David [00:14:05] Yeah. Like, so connecting all those pieces because like, when you’re that connected and sort of when the goals are not just dry numbers on a spreadsheet or on a page, but it’s really connected to what’s important to you. Then you just sort of, you figure it out, right? Like they didn’t get the financial education piece but like, Man, this is important to me. And I understand. I’ve been really clear about why this is important to me. So now I’m going to make the thing happen. And I mean, three times more. I mean, this isn’t a small effect like this is pretty dramatic. But I think it makes sense because all of this stuff, like it’s work. Like, Yes, you know, like it’s not easy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s extra work. Extra work. But it’s just, you know, it’s it’s hard. Yeah. And, you know, it’s- I think there’s a lot of analogies we can sort of draw between diet and exercise and personal finance or even taking care of the finances of your practice. Like, it’s just tough. There’s going to be times where you just don’t feel like doing it. 


Linzy [00:15:00] Yes. 


David [00:15:00] And that’s going to come sooner or later or it’s something that’s going to go kind of quote unquote, wrong or a little off track. There’s going to be a challenge. And I think the more we can connect back to what really matters to us as a human being, the better suited we are to overcome those obstacles that inevitably will show up 100%. 


Linzy [00:15:20] Yeah, and that’s a topic that I’ve also found more and more organically as I work with folks comes up is is values, right? Like what actually matters to you? And I’m not surprised that the emotional group saved more. Of course, that’s also my like you know, therapist in there. But of course, of course, you know, it’s that deeper stuff that makes the difference. But part of what I think about, too, is there is also for savings, for instance, what can be experienced as sacrifice. Right. You have to make a decision like, I’m going to do this. And because I’m doing this, I can’t do this other thing. So it has to be worth it. There has to be a reason that it’s worth it to, you know, put aside that thousand dollars for that instead of buying some flashy thing that you like would give you that really lovely dopamine hit, you know, four times, actually. Yeah. Just knowing intellectually, like, oh, well, because of the interest rates, this money will grow to this much by the time I’m 60. Like, that doesn’t really mean a lot. And I think a lot of us, too, don’t necessarily- we can’t make a strong connection with that future self as much as we want to. Right? Like I know one of my colleagues, Annie Wright, has a course, a mini course inside my course, where she talks about being able to think about your future self, and especially for people who come from like trauma backgrounds where you didn’t have that sense of solidity, where every day was survival. It’s really hard to think about your future self. And she has folks do the exercise of like doing one of those face aging things. Yeah, you could actually see yourself as you’re older, and I know especially too for people with ADHD, I’ve heard them share that it’s really hard to conceptualize your future self. Right. Like to believe in that future, but it really does have that long-term impact. So I can see how staying connected to now, why is this not just important in the future? Why is this important now? Like, how does this reflect who I am would be a powerful motivator to stay on track rather than an abstract number. That doesn’t really mean anything. 


David [00:17:04] Yeah, man, it’s so. I mean, you hit on a key point, which is like it’s difficult to think about our future self. And I think I think I’ve read some research that just like the default way of thinking about your future self is as a stranger. 


Linzy [00:17:15] Yes. 


David [00:17:16] So it’s just like, why would I, why would I give my money away to a stranger? That doesn’t sound like a smart thing to do, right? 


Linzy [00:17:22] Don’t even know them. 


David [00:17:23] I love the like the A.I. tool to like age yourself. For some reason, like, those visual cues are super powerful. Yeah. So like, yeah, creating even like, a vision board for what you want your retirement to look like. Maybe include that aged AI image of yourself just to really connect with the person that you’re going to be in the future. Yes. And just like realize you want to take care of that person, too. 


Linzy [00:17:45] Mm hmm. Because something that makes me think about, too, is also making sure that you are giving yourself positive experiences, nurturing experiences, fun experiences now, too. Yeah, right. Because that’s also something about retirement. And, you know, I’m sure you probably have stories that can come to mind. I know. I certainly do. Where sometimes people work so hard, they work so hard. They save so hard because it’s like when we retire, we’re going to live the dream. We’re going to spend half the year in Florida and like, you know, people who really often like from working class backgrounds where they sacrificed so much during their life and then they die six months after retirement or die even before they retire. Right. And I can think of many stories like that where you don’t get to have the happy ending that you’ve sacrificed so much to have. Yeah, right. And so, you know, I think about that, too, in terms of when we think about financial planning and at retirement in the future is like I think so often people think that it has to be all or nothing like that. They have to sacrifice everything today to live till tomorrow or they tell themself a story, you know, of like everything’s going to be better tomorrow. And when I think about what you’re talking about of like values, connecting with what’s really important to you, letting that guide your savings, I also think like how powerful, but also let your money do those things for you today. Yeah, because we don’t know. We don’t know what the future is going to bring. But you know what’s important to you today, right? 


David [00:19:01] Yeah. Like so many things in life, the saving stuff is is about balancing. It’s not all or nothing. And it’s so easy for so many of us. I include myself in this. But to fall into all-or-nothing thinking, total black and white, super binary. I don’t know why I like that. Maybe that’s just easy for our brain to like understand and just like, Oh, I get it. It’s this. It’s in this box. Yes. And yes, it’s about balancing. It’s about, you know, saving up for like a trip or something in the next six months or 12 months and saving for retirement at the same time. Yes, it gets tricky. But you’re right. I mean, yeah, I mean, there’s like a number of sad stories that come to mind that, you know, it’s just like people that worked so hard to get to retirement and then they never got there. And again, like that is unlikely to happen, but it can happen. So, yeah, just sort of eyes wide open and balancing. 


Linzy [00:19:49] Yes. Yeah, I think about it like, you know, a therapy term we would use for that is like a both and. It’s a both and. Like it’s important both to enjoy your money today, let it do great things for today. And to save for your future. Right. For that that future version of you who might be hard to connect with, but who’s- they’re going to be you, just older, right? And so trying to connect with why it’s really important to be saving this money, what you want to give that person. And with this, David, like, you know something that you do and that you help folks with, which I do not do at all, is investing. Right. And what I notice is as folks build a better relation with money, like when they do the work that they do with me, which is building out that foundation, getting money working, being like, okay, this is my regular paycheck amount. Taxes are covered. Often folks start saving up money for retirement, feeling like they’re also making up for lost time. Right? So I work with lots of folks who feel like they’re making up for lost time. It’s like, I should have done this when I was 22. Now I’m 41. Shit. Okay, here we go. And getting into the investing world, it can be very intimidating, right? Yeah. For folks who are stepping into that, maybe for the first time, what’s the best way to start with investing? 


David [00:20:59] Yeah, so I think the world of investing is overwhelming and there is just so much, frankly, garbage information that is out there in terms of what to do with your money, whether it’s investing in the latest cryptocurrency or like the next new, you know, hot stock or hot tech company or whatever. There’s always so many people out there like throwing these these ideas. And, you know, it’s not to say that you can’t make a lot of money by investing in the right, you know, investing in Bitcoin at the right time, like ten years ago. Yeah, that that was a great outcome. But it’s very difficult and you might even say impossible. It’s just sort of predict what the next big thing is going to be. And there is a ton of academic research about around this like finances, its own academic discipline. And there’s a lot of really smart people, certainly smarter than me, that have been looking at, well, how do you invest prudently? Like what is the right thing to do? You know, this has been going on for decades. And the research is really is very clear that picking individual stocks or picking individual cryptocurrencies or, you know, investing in wine or art, all of these things are very unlikely to achieve big, you know, good outcomes over the long term. They might do okay for- you might get one pick, right? It might do okay for a couple of years, but especially when we think about saving for things like retirement, which for most of us is, you know, decades away, we need our investments to consistently increase over time. And so the best way to do that is to have a portfolio. And portfolio is just a fancy word for the investments that you have, invest in a highly diversified and kind of what I would call a passive way. And that means – and we’ll talk about tactically how to do this in a second – but what it means is that you’re not picking individual stocks, you’re not buying Bitcoin, you’re not day trading or any stuff like that. You’re just buying consistently over time. Like every time you issue that paycheck to yourself or however you run your finances. You say like, okay, I’m going to take a percentage of this. I’m going to put it in that mutual fund, which is highly diversified and passively managed. And I know because it is those things, it’s going to have low internal costs and it means that so I know I’m not giving my money to the managers of that fund. I’m giving some money, but not a lot of money to them. And costs like that matter a lot when you’re investing over the long term and you know that what’s going to happen is that you’re basically you hold the market as a whole kind of so you’ve basically invested in the entire stock market. And what’s going to happen is that there’s going to be some companies that, you know, kill it, like knock it out of the park that become, you know, the Googles and whatever. All those big tech companies you’re going to own that’s going to be in your portfolio. And when those 10x, 100x in value, you’re going to see some of that. There’s also going to be a lot of companies that go bankrupt or do really poorly. But overall, it’s going to be okay because you’re highly diversified and the market is going to do what the market does, which is – at least over the last 100-plus years – there’s a lot of ups and downs, like a lot of ups and downs. So be ready for that. Like, that is going to happen. It will not consistently increase in value each time, but when you kind of zoom out and look at decades, you’ll see that while there’s a lot of zigzags, a lot of ups and downs, what tends to happen is that the market goes up over time. And so when the market goes up over time, when you’ve invested in sort of a passive low-cost, highly diversified way, you participate in the overall growth of the market. And I think that’s what yields the best outcomes. 


Linzy [00:24:29] Yeah. And it’s very- it’s really not sexy. 


David [00:24:32] It is not. 


Linzy [00:24:33] Just to be like, I’m just going to put my money into literally everything. Just see how everything does. Yeah. And this is where I think, you know, sometimes people will fall into this thing of, you know, trying to outsmart the market. Right? Like trying to pick something, pick the next winner. Right. Is like, I can see why, you know, from almost like a control perspective of feeling like we can be effective. Yeah. We want to be able to do better than average, right? We want to be able to do something that has a big impact. And I do think with investing like business, there can be this get-rich-quick mentality that we can fall into thinking that we can do the right thing and everything’s going to be different. We’re going to like have it made. We’re going to be able to retire at 40 years old because we made one good choice. And as you say, statistically, that’s not how it works. Yeah, right. It might work like that for people who picked Bitcoin, but for every Bitcoin there’s, you know, 100 cryptocurrencies that went nowhere. Exactly. Or that people just lost all their money, you know, with all these markets, like so that kind of highly speculative investment, it has to be money that you, you don’t actually need. Yeah, right. You’re basically gambling at that point. 


David [00:25:38] Yeah it is. I think there is a distinction between gambling and investing, and gambling is like putting it all in red and just like spinning the wheel and seeing what happens. 


Linzy [00:25:45] Yes. 


David [00:25:45] And I think a lot of people think that’s what investing is. And I think you’re you’re right. It’s not sexy. It’s almost counterintuitive. I think Warren Buffett, who’s, you know, this famous investor, I think he said that I think he said this someone smart said this, that we sort of practice benign neglect, which is just like you invest in a diversified way. And then when the market drops, you know, it’s like, oh, the market drops like what’s the right thing to do? The right thing is nothing. 


Linzy [00:26:10] Nothing. 


David [00:26:10] And that’s so difficult because it just feels like things change and we’re like, I’ve got to do something right. Like there’s something I got to do. Yes. And what I always say is, like, therapists should make some of the best investors in the world. And the reason I say that is because the work of investing is not picking winners like you mentioned. It’s rather sitting with your emotions and getting comfortable with a range of emotional experiences around what your portfolio is doing and then doing nothing like this. 99 times out of 100, something happens and the right action is nothing. And you know, I also want to say just like that, that concept of making up for lost time, that’s something that I hear a lot and it sometimes is connected to the question of what should I invest in? Like I hear people say sometimes, like I hear you diversified investing, using target date funds from someone like Vanguard. I hear you that that kind of makes sense. But I mean, I really have to I have to make up for lost time. So, like, I, you know, I need to do something different. 


Linzy [00:27:09] Mm hmm. 


David [00:27:09] And for better or for worse, at least in my opinion. And I think my opinion is backed up by, like, tons of academic research. There isn’t anything. There isn’t anything you can do. I mean, you can kind of pull some levers in terms of like, how much risk you’re willing to take. What sort of the blend of like stock market or equity investing versus fixed income. Yeah. Like all that. But it’s- you can’t really make up for lost time. It’s sort of a philosophical statement almost. But, you know, Yeah, I think trying to make up for lost time can hurt people sometimes because they absolutely there’s like this piece of like desperation almost. It’s like, oh, I got to do this. And yeah, that oftentimes doesn’t work out very well. 


Linzy [00:27:50] No. And it’s a painful story, too, is what I notice when often people are carrying this story of making up for lost time is it’s like in that story there’s like, I failed. I didn’t do it right. And then, as you say, like, that’s where we can become desperate. Or I find, you know, in the work that I help people do, that’s where people can become really hard on themselves and they want to like they’re like, well, I didn’t get to my finances all year, so now I need to sit down for 6 hours and do my finances. Like they’re basically punishing themselves. 


David [00:28:18] Exactly. 


Linzy [00:28:18] That’s not actually how building a sustainable relationship works, right? And what I’m thinking with investing too, it’s like there can be grief totally for the fact that you lost some gains, right? That you didn’t invest when you were 20 and maybe the money, the interest you could have made between 20 and 35 would have been great. But you don’t have it, right. So as you say, like there’s that piece of like sitting with the emotion being like, that really sucks. I wish that I’d been different. Right? You know, like, we’re allowed to feel that way. But the solution isn’t to do something drastic. The solution, I think, is to be even steadier. Right. And even more committed to like, okay, you know, this is my my target. This is why it’s important to me. Like that value piece you talked about earlier, you know, and that’s, you know, something I’m curious about. If people do find themselves in the position where they work with a financial planner and they realize that to get where they need to be for retirement, they’re going to have to put aside quite a lot of money. Yeah, you know, what do you see? You know, thinking back to that values example used earlier, what are some of the ways that you’ve seen people really be able to succeed, maybe using some of that kind of like emotional piece we talked about earlier, the meaning or the values? 


David [00:29:23] I think connecting with values is really important. And I take folks through what I call a life planning process where we get. Really, we paint this vision of your near-term future, not just retirement, but the near-term future of what you’re wanting to create. So like looking into that, you know, connecting into those values, doing things like a vision board or like just having statements that you literally put somewhere like on the fridge door or on the bathroom mirror where you’re just like, continue to remind yourself of what you’re moving towards and why it’s important for you. And the other thing sort of links back to something that you said that this is about developing the relationship. It’s not about fixing everything overnight. It’s about I mean, I think there’s a piece of, you know, like the book Radical acceptance of just like accepting things, how they are like and just accepting that, like, the past can’t be any other way. Like the past is the past and just sort of like letting go of that and accepting that and then sort of you don’t need to like, quote unquote, fix everything overnight. Like if you’re spending too much money, it’s like, okay, well, let’s just like develop a practice of like coming back to it. Like, I sort of talk about having money dates with your software, like every week or so. You’ve got a scheduled time. It’s on the calendar. That you treat it with as much respect as you get sort of a client appointment. You’re just like, This is my time to sit down at money and look at things and then just begin to think like, okay, how can we change things? And, you know, sometimes there are, you know, painful changes that need to be made. And like, like that’s tough, you know, maybe the mortgage is really actually unaffordable. Like, you know, like, I think that’s like the biggest one that I see. Like, sometimes it’s like the housing the housing that we’re in actually doesn’t work with our overall financial plan. And so we need to change that. And that’s painful or can be. But also don’t don’t jump into action like too soon, don’t catastrophize, just sort of be like, okay, let’s just keep back and revisit, keep revisiting it and thinking like, okay, here’s what my numbers are. I kind of know what needs to happen. I need to keep moving in this direction. Doesn’t need to happen overnight because nothing really happens overnight anyway. So just like how do I keep moving myself closer and closer and Yeah, and just. And just have someone like a financial planner in your life. Or maybe it’s, you know, or a friend or an accountability buddy or something like that. Like having someone else in the conversation with you I think is really powerful. That’s why I have my own financial planner because like, yeah, I could do it myself, but like I need someone who doesn’t live between my two years to be like in this conversation because it be like I get emotional about this stuff too, and sometimes I catastrophize, you know, things happen and it’s like having an outside party who is not as hooked into the emotions, who can be like, okay, we’re going to take a deep breath, look at the reality of the situation and think about what we can do to get closer to where we want to be. 


Linzy [00:32:02] Yeah, like I’m hearing, you know, a kind of a sustained being with, you’re talking about like, yeah, it’s building of that tolerance to keep being with it. It’s not about being with the problem once and making some drastic move and then it’s fixed and you don’t have to do it again. Like, Yes, you know, our relationship with money is an ongoing relationship. Yes. And so it’s that like, yeah, coming back to it, being curious like something curiosity is something I always encourage because I was a trauma therapist, is the type of therapy I used to do. And so curiosity can be really good at disarming anxiety and getting our problem-solving brain back online. Right. And being curious is like, okay, well, like what if this, what if that, how can that get me closer to where I want to be? What if I did sell my house? What if we did move into a condo? Would actually be a relief in some ways. Yeah, right. And again, I feel like that grief piece comes up again of like, sometimes we do have to grieve. Grieve that like our situation is unsustainable. Grieve that we have to make a certain decision to create more sustainability. That means we have to let something go. But therapists are good at that. Yeah, we do the feelings professionally. So what I’m hearing from you is like we have the capacity to do that. 


David [00:33:06] Absolutely. Yeah. What I always say is like finances, both in your practice and your personal finances. It’s not a project to complete, like it’s a practice to develop because it like it’s never for better or for worse. Like it never it never ends. Yes. It’s just something that we have to incorporate as part of our lives. 


Linzy [00:33:22] Absolutely. Yeah. David, for folks who want to get more into your world or learn more about you, where can they find you? 


David [00:33:29] Yeah, the best place to find me is just on my website. The name of my firm is Turning Point, so the website is turningpointHQ.com. So HQ like abbreviation for headquarters, TurningpointHQ.com. I’ve got like a bunch of blogs, free resources and guides on there. And more information about what working with me one-on-one would look like. 


Linzy [00:33:46] Wonderful. Thank you so much. I really I really enjoyed this conversation today and I think our listeners are really going to appreciate it. 


David [00:33:51] This was a lot of fun. Thanks for having me. 


Linzy [00:34:06] Feel like David was really speaking my language. In terms of just the value of being able to be with your money. Feel the feelings like let that happen and then come back to it and keep working on it. That emotional piece, as you mentioned, is unavoidable, right? Inevitably, we’re going to have emotions about our money. And I really loved his point that at the end of the day, humans are emotional. Like, why do we do the things that we do to have certain emotional experiences? Right. So that is part of our relationship with money. So being connected to that and noticing, okay, your money right now is giving you negative hard feelings, maybe. What are the emotions you want your money to give you and how can your money support you? And like, living those values that gives you certain emotional experiences is a very clarifying and grounding way to think about what our money can do for us. You can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. If you want more from me and if you want some support from a free resource for me with the emotional part of money which David and I talked about today quite a bit, you can check out my free mini training, The Secret to Getting Unstuck in Your Finances. This is a mini course that supports you in being with your emotions around money, identifying what’s there for you, and looking at how to start to shift your emotional relationship to money. This is really the first step I find with being able to learn financial skills is work on the emotional piece. See what’s there. Start to shift your emotions around money. So that’s secret to getting unstuck in your finances money training. I will put the link to it in the show notes, but you can find it at workshops.Moneyskillsfortherapists.com/gettingunstuck. Or click on the link to show notes to get that getting unstuck in your finances mini training today. Thanks for listening. 

Picture of Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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