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A Woman’s Advice for Women Investors
James Lange, CPA/Attorney
Guest: Barbara Stanny, Author
|Click to hear MP3 of this show|
- Introduction of Special Guest, Barbara Stanny
- Barbara’s Story
- Three Levels of Financial Development for Women
- Women Are All About Relationships
- It’s Never Too Late to Take Control
Nicole DeMartino: Hello and welcome to The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks. I’m your host, Nicole DeMartino and of course I am here with James Lange, CPA/Attorney and attorney and best selling author of Retire Secure. And as you have been hearing me over the past couple of weeks, Jim is about to bring out his third book, “The Roth Revolution, Pay Taxes Once and Never Again.” This book, I’ve read it, it’s excellent, it’s already getting some fantastic testimonials and it can really change your life. It can certainly change the lives of your family so you are definitely going to want to check it out. And if you want to get a glimpse of it before it heads off the press, I want you to go to our website, which is www.retiresecure.com. We have a block there titled The Roth Revolution, if you sign up under that, which is just giving us your email address, I’m going to reply back to you with a table of contents and a free chapter so you can see what you are in for and I know you are going to really like it. Plus, you’ll get some updates on the book and when it’s going to come out and how you’ll be able to order that. So I wanted to let you know again that’s retiresecure.com and so today, I have to say, I’m so excited about today’s show and Jim knows I’ve been excited because today, we have Barbara Stanny joining us. Barbara, are you there?
Barbara Stanny: Oh yeah.
Nicole DeMartino: Thank you, wonderful, welcome to The Lange Money Hour
Barbara Stanny: Thank you for having me.
Nicole DeMartino: Absolutely, well I’m personally thrilled to have you here because I’ve spent a little over 13 years in the financial industry and the last five, I would say, I have focused on working with women, myself, here in the Pittsburgh area and addressing their challenges and their unique needs and I’ve, on many occasions looked to your wisdom and I’ve shared that with the ladies here, so in a way, I am just so excited to be talking to you in person. So, I wanted to personally thank you for what you do and all the help that you give us.
Barbara Stanny: Well, thank you. That was so nice of you to say. It made my day.
Nicole DeMartino: Well good, I mean it and today’s my birthday, so this is the best birthday present I could have received.
Barbara Stanny: Happy Birthday!
James Lange: I didn’t know that either, Happy Birthday!
Nicole DeMartino: Thank you. I want to tell our listeners a little bit about Barbara before we get started, then we are going to turn it over to her, she’s going to tell us her story. And I love this, a little bit about – Barbara is a woman on a mission, that’s the first thing you’ll see on her website. She’s an accomplished author, I believe she has five books out, is that correct?
Barbara Stanny: Yes.
Nicole DeMartino: Ok, all of which you can see and read on her website, www.barbarastanny.com, she is also a nationally recognized motivational speaker, in addition, Barbara’s famous workshop series, in addition to that, she travels around the country, and we’ll talk a little bit more about the retreat that she has coming up at the end of September here shortly. But she’s been on Good Morning America, The View, Extra, The O’Reilly Report. CNN, CNBC, Fox New, PBS, you name it, she’s been on it. Again, she’s a true inspiration to people, and not just women, people everywhere turn to her. So we are so delighted to have her join us today and again, if you want more information, www.barbarastanny.com. So I’m going to turn this over to Jim, because I know he wants to get the conversation started just as much as I do.
James Lange: Well, Barbara, Nicole said and all your information is, you are a woman on a mission, and it seems that your personal story is very commingled with your work.
Barbara Stanny: Oh, yea.
James Lange: So I thought, perhaps, if we actually started with your story, how you got involved in this and then we can get into some of the other pieces of advice, but I think that it will give people a perspective on where you’re coming from and then we can take it from there.
Barbara Stanny: I grew up in a wealthy family, my father was the R of H&R Block. And the only advice he ever gave me about money was, don’t worry. As under that, was the unspoken assumption that there will always be someone to take care of you. In other words, a man. And that was fine with me because I didn’t understand money, I just wanted to spend it. And I actually married a man who was a lawyer, then he went to work for Block and then he became a financial planner. So he was perfect, right?
Nicole DeMartino: Right.
Barbara Stanny: Well, he managed everything, but what I found out very early in our 15 year marriage was that he was a compulsive gambler. And over the course of that 15 years, he lost almost all my trust fund.
Nicole DeMartino: Oh my.
Barbara Stanny: And the insane part is, I knew he was doing it. And I was so terrified, so intimidated by anything financial, I just closed my eyes and went into denial. And it wasn’t until one day, I went to the bank, the ATM, I went to take out something like $60, and I put my card in and the screen kept saying, sorry, no money. Which doesn’t say sorry, no money, but that’s much better than insufficient funds. You know, I stood there looking at that over and over again, no money? This is never supposed to happen to me. And that was the moment I came out of denial. And that was the moment I knew I had a problem. So I decided to get rid of the problem. And I got a divorce. But I still decided that money is not my thing.
James Lange: But you still didn’t have any money.
Barbara Stanny: I had some real estate that he couldn’t get to that popped in monthly income. So, here’s what happened, I had this monthly income come in, no problem, I just don’t want to deal with money. It’s so confusing. And I got tax bills for over a million dollars for back taxes my ex didn’t pay, bills he got us in and my signature was on everything. And my husband was no dummy, he left the country. I asked my father to lend me the money and he refused. And I can tell you, after years of therapy, that was the best thing he could have done. But, at the time, I was furious, I was terrified. That was the moment I knew I had to get smart. I had three daughters, one was just a baby. I was not going to raise those girls in the street. And that is when it all started. I was a freelancer, I was ready for the San Francisco Business Times, freelance journalist. And I got hired as a freelance project to interview women who had money. And when I went to those interviews, I heard how these woman went from being ignorant to being smart. And it’s like, oh, that’s how you do it? No one ever explained it to me. No one ever explained the process. I had no role model. And in a very short time, I not only got smart enough to figure out my own money, and I’ve been managing it very well with a financial advisor, but I went and wrote my first book, “Prince Charming How Women Get Smart About Money”. And since then, I’ve been on the lecture circuit and I was really successful and the book has done really well, but I couldn’t make money. So I went out and I interviewed women who made six figures and before I even finished writing “Secrets of Six-Figure Women”, I was making three times what I ever had. And then I wrote my last book, “Overcoming Underearning”, in which I interviewed hundreds of women who had been my workshops, Overcoming Underearning, and many of them brought their workbooks home to their husbands or their boyfriends, so I interviewed men for that too. So my focus is on, really, revolutionizing women’s relationship with money through making more and managing it best.
James Lange: Barbara, as I am listening to you now, I was reading your material, I noticed similarities to, what I consider the greatest and most successful business book of all time, which is, “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill. Now Napoleon Hill interviewed the most successful business people in his day, Henry Ford, Charles Schwab, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilbur Wright, William Jennings Bryan, John Rockefeller, Thomas Edison and I can go on and on. And he noticed certain commonalities about these very, very successful, of course back then, it was all men, and he wrote a book describing these commonalities, presumably, his readers could say, OK, here’s what all these guys, who were terribly successful had in common, and if I try to emulate some of these traits, perhaps I could be more successful. Could you, in a nutshell, summarize your twenty years of work and give some of our readers a couple of these types of thought or pieces of advice that you might have noticed in terms of similarities and commonalities among these people. And I assume that most of these people were women so this just wouldn’t be for anybody, but a little more suited for woman.
Barbara Stanny: Let me tell you, I’ve found, first of all, I love being in the company of “Think and Grow Rich”, that’s awesome. Nobody’s ever compared my book to that book so I’ll take it. But the interesting thing is, I wrote this for ME because I used them as role models. And when I learned how they got smart, I got smart. And when I learned how they made more money, I make more money. And I have helped thousands and thousands, but there’s a lot of commonalities, but the biggest one for me is, what I call, there is a combination of what I call the outer work of wealth, the inner work of wealth and the higher work of wealth. What got me stuck is, I was very focused on the outer of work of wealth. You know, figuring out the difference between a stock and a bond and diversifying and all these words. But it’s just like, I couldn’t get myself going, my eyes would glaze over, my brain would fog up, I just couldn’t get it. And it wasn’t until I started doing what I call the inner work of wealth, which is dealing with my attitude, my feelings, my thoughts and my decisions and my early messages around money. Then I really started making progress. And I saw one of the things that differentiates men from women is that, by and large, men were raised to be financially successful. By and large, women were raised to be financially dependent. The problem is, no one taught either one of us how to manage our money or make more of it. So women have these psychological, sociological blocks that many men don’t have and when I started dealing with mine, and what I have noticed when people get stuck, when you do the inner work combined with the outer work, it like clears the way. And then there’s what I call the higher work of wealth. And this is very much what I have seen with successful women. Once a woman reaches financial stability, she has her debts paid off, she has enough to meet her needs. There are three levels of financial development, I’m going to backtrack. There’s survival, stability and affluence. Once a woman reaches financial stability, she is not that motivated by money. Men are very motivated by perks and profits and prestige, but not women. What motivates women is the chance to help others. And so one of my soap boxes, one of my beefs with the financial industry, they try to motivate women through scary stuff, through grim statistics and scary scenarios, but what really motivates women, to really take responsibility for their money is being able to use their money to help others. This is what I call the higher work.
James Lange: Well, it’s interesting that you say that because in reading your materials, you don’t say things like buy IBM or sell AT&T. You don’t even really talk about, necessarily things that I do which is save for retirement plans, put money in IRAs, do Roth IRA conversions, opt for the Roth 401(k) instead of the regular and you seem to be putting it more in terms of psychological frames of mind and surprisingly enough, I read a lot of the reviews of your books on Amazon and I expected, with all due respect, for people to say oh, all this psycho babble, why doesn’t she just give us some good solid investment advice, but actually, they were pretty glowing.
Barbara Stanny: Here’s the thing, Jim.
James Lange: And you’re changing people’s lives, and it was really interesting to me.
Barbara Stanny: Here’s is the thing. I send people, I send my women to people like you. Because I believe that, see, I really believe in working with financial advisors. I notice that the women that I interview that had the highest net worth, were not the ones that necessarily made the most money, or inherited the most, or married the most, but they were the ones that worked with financial professionals, usually a team of them. But here’s the problem. If you look back the past twenty years, every year we come out with a new research about women and money. And for twenty years it says the same thing. Women know we need to get smart. We know we need to do more with our money, but we aren’t doing it. Women are not protecting themselves financially. And that’s where I wanted to intervene. That’s where I wanted to make the difference. I wanted to motivate because research shows us that women do not get serious about managing money until they hit a crises, until they lose a job, lose a spouse or on the brink of retirement, which as you know, Jim, is the worst time to start. So I wanted to motivate women, I wanted to get them excited about money, I wanted them to open up their brain and enjoy it so they could work with people like you. Because I hear from my financial advisor or friend how difficult it is for them to work with, for example, new widows or woman that are scared and won’t do anything. Does that make sense?
James Lange: Yes, it does. So Prince Charming isn’t coming around the corner? By this you mean that really, you are on your own and you better take care of business?
Barbara Stanny: Here’s what I mean. We can have our Prince, we just need to change the job description. He’s no longer our rescuer, our savior, he is our partner. And I say the same thing about financial professionals, they make lousy Prince Charmings. You want them as your partner, but you best, what I want to motivate women to do, I want to inspire them. What I want to help them do is to participate in financial decisions from a place of knowledge and not fear, ignorance or habits which is how most women have made financial decisions.
James Lange: Well, it’s interesting, you know. I have well over 1,000 clients and I usually see couples together, with husbands and wives. And usually, and maybe it’s the type of people that are attracted to the kind of thing that I talk about, and I don’t talk about psychological stuff. I talk about Roth IRAs and Roth IRA conversions and the best estate plans, etc. and usually, I tend to attract a lot of engineer type, quantitative type, a lot of college professors, mid-level managers and often I do have women who, they are there, but they defer to their husbands more than I would like. But then, I also notice that they are listening and are concerned, but they seem to say, well, whatever he says is OK, even if, and it’s interesting you said that you knew that what your husband was doing wasn’t right. Sometimes, you know I work with some stubborn engineers and telling them things that I would do differently, and I can see that their wives are agreeing with me, knowing that, with all due respect, that I know more than their wonderful husband, the engineers, but she kind of still says, well, whatever he says.
Barbara Stanny: Yep. That is the conditioning that we’ve had. It is also a reflection of a lack of confidence and we don’t trust ourselves. I’m more interested in making a (inaudible) so that women will walk in your office and they will one, understand what you are saying and then have the guts and the strength and confidence to say, this is what I believe.
James Lange: Well, I would love that too, because usually we come to results that I’m pretty happy with, but sometimes, sometimes we don’t and sometimes, frankly, people don’t do what I recommend even though to me, it’s kind of obvious, and I see the wife kind of agreeing with me, but she kind of goes along with him and a lot of times, with the risk of sounding sexist, but just actuarily, men are going to die sooner. Most of my clients are relatively affluent, so there’s usually at least enough money until the first death so that the real benefits of some of the advice that I’m giving is not necessarily just when husband and wife are alive, but usually after one is gone and that one is, more times than not, the husband. So it’s going to be the women who presumably, ultimately benefits from good advice or frankly, suffers from bad advice.
Barbara Stanny: I’m going to tell you something that I realize very early that women’s difficulty with money, the difficulty you are seeing for them to grasp, or even when they grasp it, to speak out, to speak up, to own it. Women’s difficulty with money has nothing to do with money. I say in all my books it’s not about money. And I would love to hear Nicole’s take on this. This is not about money, this is about power! Because I believe that financial responsibility, financial smarts, financial success is a rite of passage into our power. And this is what women are uncomfortable with.
Nicole DeMartino: You know, I’ve stood up in front of a lot of groups of women and everything you are saying, Barbara, is so true. And you know you said something about you don’t want to talk about the fear, and you don’t want to put fear in their face, but I think it’s already there.
Barbara Stanny: No, I don’t want to use fear to motivate them. I want to use excitement.
Nicole DeMartino: But I think that’s what is paralyzing them because they know they already make, what is it, 25% less than a man, I think still, in 2010. I think for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 76 cents, or something like that. They know that they are living longer, they know that most women are out of the workforce for child bearing and rearing and also, now that we have the long term care epidemic. There’s a lot of people having to stay home and take care of mom or dad because the daughter is getting stuck with that task. All of these things are overwhelming. And these would say to themselves, how am I going to overcome this and my answer was always go talk to someone, take action and be proactive. You know what I mean? Those are challenges and those are constants and you know…
Barbara Stanny: Here’s the thing, Nicole, I found that I was one of those of those women who knew I had to do something, but until I was 46 years old, I didn’t do anything. Now, I’m not alone in this. Our research shows us that our women, over 50% of the women, are intimidated by money, and they even know they need to do more, they’re not doing it. And this is the woman I want to speak to and this is the woman I don’t believe the financial industry has really looked inside women’s head and see why, how can we do this differently.
Nicole DeMartino: I agree with that.
James Lange: So Prince Charming might have already come, but you’re saying how to deal with it. Because it is really frustrating for me when I see a woman and I can tell that she wants to do, either what I’m recommending, or something other than what her husband is recommending and it’s really frustrating and I never really thought about it the way you are saying it. It’s really not necessarily a question of money, it’s a question of power.
Barbara Stanny: It’s a question of power. It is a question of power. She is afraid to step up to the plate and into her power because it would upset the apple cart. And it would. Now, what I have found is that unbeknownst to women, most men love this. And what happens, see there is this other side, some men don’t. Because of the way we have been inculturated I’ll never forget, one of my early books, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming”, I had a man come up to me, this is in Southern California, I had a man come up to me and say I’m not going to buy your book for my wife. And I thought, you chauvinist. And he said, I’m afraid if she sees how bad I’ve done, she will leave me. And those words stuck with me and I thought, you know, when women start becoming financially educated and financially responsible, this lifts the burden from men and women. If we can do this jointly, it’s so much better. And some men, it’s very threatening. And the conversations need to be had. I mean, you could do so much, Jim, if you felt comfortable to facilitate the conversations and let her ask, ask her what she thinks. Ask her to speak up and then facilitate the conversation so he hears her and she hears him.
James Lange: Well, it almost sounds like you have a separate market for financial advisors.
Barbara Stanny: I have to tell you, financial advisors aren’t real open to, what they call the touchy-feely stuff, which is too bad.
Nicole DeMartino: That is too bad.
James Lange: Well, the thing is, I think that there is, I myself am not open to what I’ll call bad touchy-feely and unfortunately, there are people in the touchy-feely world who don’t have a lot to offer, necessarily. I don’t think that that’s true of what you are saying.
Barbara Stanny: My background, I have a masters in counseling psychology so I, for women, we have really under rated, we have not paid attention to the emotional psychological. Let me tell you. I remember, I had a friend who worked for Harris Associates, and they took a poll and they were working with this company and they were taking a poll and they were doing focus groups around money, women and couples and money. This is five years ago, maybe eight years ago, and one day he called me and he said you know, and he had just come from a focus group, and he said, you know, like this was new information, money is a really emotional topic for women. And I said, you think?
Nicole DeMartino: What an epiphany, there!
Barbara Stanny: But it was for him! It was!
Nicole DeMartino: Yes, exactly. Well, you know what, Barbara, we need to take a quick break.
Barbara Stanny: Sure.
Nicole DeMartino: So we are going to take a quick break. We’re here with Jim Lange, Barbara Stanny. We are talking about women and money and you are listening to The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks.
Nicole DeMartino: Welcome back to The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks. This is Nicole DeMartino. I’m here with Jim Lange and Barbara Stanny, and we are talking about women and money and we’re having a great conversation. Before we get into it, and I bet this is something that Barbara would actually agree with, we do monthly workshops, educational workshops, and that’s a great place to start. If you’re looking to take action of your own money and what we are doing, this will be the last workshop in the South Hills this year, is going to be September 25 at the Crowne Plaza, Pittsburgh South. Now that is right across from South Hills Village. We do two sessions, one at 9:30 am, we do it again at 1:00 pm. Jim is your presenter. He gives you two hours, that’s an excellent workshop. You can talk to him in person, you can ask your questions. We’re going to go over Roth conversions, Roth IRAs, we’re going to talk estate planning. All attendees do get Jim’s book, “Retire Secure”, and most importantly you do leave with a certificate, it’s a $500 value, to meet with Jim, himself, in our office, for an IRA strategy review and you will get an objective viewpoint. It is so valuable so please come out. If you want to, this is actually the location that gets most crowded actually, our South Hills workshop, give us a call. You can make your reservation, 1-800-748-1571. You can also go on retiresecure.com or our 24 hour reservation line, 1-800-748-1571. So come on out and see us.
Barbara Stanny: I think this is a great thing you are doing.
Nicole DeMartino: Well, thank you.
Barbara Stanny: Because one of the ways that I learned, that I got over my fear and resistance, which was big, is I went to any class I could find that was free, I went. And even if I didn’t understand one thing, there was usually one thing that I picked up. So I say that this is a wonderful service that you are offering people.
James Lange: I actually have a specific question and maybe you could advise some of the women that would go to the workshop, or encourage women to go to the workshop for this reason, and I’ll get a tiny bit technical, but I think that, frankly, I have to to really get to the essence of this. The estate plan that most attorneys draft is very, very common and some people call it the Unified Credit Shelter Trust and some people call it the Exemption Equivalent Trust and some people call it the B trust, but what is very typical, and I would say that the majority of attorneys, particularly when the tax law was exemption, meaning the amount that you are allowed to die with without any estate tax when it was $600,000, typically drafted these trusts. And basically, what it says is, all the money, up to a certain point, goes into the trust. So rather, let’s assume, let’s take the old paradigm where the husband dies first, and maybe a lot of the financial wealth of the couple is in the husband’s name, rather than leaving it to their spouse, to their wives, the money goes into a trust instead. And the terms of the trust are the wife can get the income and the wife can get the principal for health, maintenance and support and often the local bank was the trustee and when you ask couples, what do you want to do, they typically say, I want to provide for each other. But then the attorneys would draft these trusts and there’s a formula in the trust that basically say the amount that goes into this trust and then they have language that you can’t understand, but it ultimately is the amount of the exemption amount. This year, if you died, all your money would go into this trust, leaving the spouse with zero. Next year, who knows what it will be, but let’s say $1,000,000, or if they change it to $3.5M, so you have all of this money going into the trust, where the surviving spouse is probably, in my opinion, particularly for a Leave-it-to-Beaver marriage, that is, you both have the same children, would be a much better beneficiary. So, I sometimes see this. Sometimes people come in and I point out, oh, gee this really isn’t so wonderful for the surviving spouse because if you die, rather than her being able to do what she wants, or travel or buy a vacation home, or help the grandkids with their education or do whatever they want, she’s just going to be limited to income and health, maintenance and support, I really prefer this flexible plan. And then I try to tell them about the plan that I consider the ideal estate plan. And I sometimes see the women wanting this plan because they don’t want to be restricted. But then, the husband, in his infinite wisdom, says no, no, it’s OK the way it is. And it’s really not. And I see the women not happy. What can …. Privately, I’ll ask you what I can do, but what should a woman do in that story?
Barbara Stanny: Can I tell you a story?
James Lange: Tell me the story.
Barbara Stanny: My father died six years ago. About two years before he died, and my father was the R of H&R Block, alright, he made his living helping people with their finances, correct?
James Lange: And he built a phenomenal…
Barbara Stanny: Phenomenal! And he built up a fortune. About two years before he died, he was very ill, I went to my mother and I said, mom, do you know what dad has planned for you? And she goes, oh, yes, he’s taken care of everything. I said oh good, then tell me what he has planned. And she had no idea. And I said well let’s go in, he was in the study, let’s go in and ask him. I was so nervous, my mom was so nervous, my dad was so nervous when we came in. This is not something people want to talk about. And it was very clear that my dad did not have much time left. People are very scared of facing their mortality and it wasn’t easy. Well, what turned out, is that my dad had something very similar to what you are talking about. I don’t know what’s the exact thing, but the end result was that he did not leave a lot of money to my mother. And he left a lot of it to charity and my mother was shocked. So what I did, and I have two other sisters, but I was the only one who said, mom, you are going to get your own estate planner, you are going to get your own tax accountant, you are going to get your own investment advisor, because my dad had none of those. My dad did everything himself. And this was very, very scary for her. One of the best things we did, I found a couple names of estate planners and I flew to her town and took her to these appointments. If you can enroll adult children in this, it would be great. If you could get the woman to talk, if she could talk about it, it would be great. If you could absolutely educate her. Slowly, slowly. What happened with my mother is that we took her to this estate planner, like yourself, who’s fabulous, fabulous. And he is really patient. And he really educated her. And then we brought my dad in, who was not happy about this at all, not happy. But I will tell you, he went along and we really encouraged my mother. When my father died, all my mother had to do was breath because everything, everything was taken care of and she understood it and she knew it.
James Lange: Now did he change stuff? As a result of this?
Barbara Stanny: Oh yes! Oh yes! Big time, big time.
James Lange: Yes, because what I find is, people will often even say that it is my goal to take care of my spouse, and that’s even more important than the kids and more important than taxes and everything else, but a lot of times, the standard estate plan, if you will, doesn’t provide for that. They just provide for income for the spouse.
Barbara Stanny: It’s true! And I have to agree with you and I’m not an estate planner, but I work with them and I work with people like my mother a lot. And I just, my job is to encourage women, as scary as it is, and it is scary for women, to encourage them to get support. What my mother did was, we had her talk to other wives, other woman, her friends, who stepped up to the plate, and did what she is doing. She found very sensitive advisors and I can tell you, you, Jim, are very sensitive. What I would encourage you is to get her to talk more and bring out her opinion more.
James Lange: Let’s say for discussion sake that, by the way, one rule that I do have, I do offer free consultations (for PA residents only) for people who come to my workshop, but if they are married, I say that you have bring your spouse. So if the husband says, oh no, my wife will go along with anything I want. I say, if that’s true, than you can bring her. I literally, will not meet with him unless she’s in a retirement home or she is disabled, and even then, I will make house calls.
Barbara Stanny: See, what I have found is that women are very scared of this whole thing called finances. Because when you are like me, our brains fog up and all that, but when you nudge them and when you educate them, little by little, they really get into it. And they get excited because every women says to me, as my mother said to me, the
James Lange: Well, can I ask you a specific question then?
Barbara Stanny: Sure.
James Lange: Let’s say that a woman has come to one of my workshops, and I think that a lot of times that is one of their first, let’s say, more sophisticated, real financial workshops and they really got the real thing with Roth IRAs and Roth conversions and estate planning and particularly, this flexible estate plan, which is usually a big, big change from what they have. Now, what I’m trying to do is obviously trying to help them and also, frankly, I want them to be a client. I don’t want them to walk away and say, well, gee, Jim, that was great information, but I’m just going to go back to my old plan. Which, frankly, some people, particularly men, are more comfortable to leave things alone. What would you say to that woman who has been to the workshop, has, and the other thing is, we give away the book at the workshop. That’s the best seller, with Charles Schwab, Jane Bryant Quinn and all the other, not all, but many of the famous financial authors who give glowing testimonials. So it’s the real thing. The women kind of knows that, yeah, I’m right, but her husband is being resistant and I kind of sense this. How would, what advice would you have for those women? Should they just say, no dear, I’m not cooking you another meal until we get this done, or? I’m trying to keep it clean.
Barbara Stanny: What needs to happen first, the woman needs incentive to speak up and potentially rock the boat. She needs incentive. Too, what women want, what women care about is relationships. Women are all about relationships. Men are all about performance, or they’re all about the end results, not women. We’re all about relationships. So one of the things that’s important for women, and I’ve been through, like seven, financial advisors until I found the one, the one I’m still using for 10 years. But she really took time to build a relationship with me. Because women are very scared of this and they distrust people in the financial industry, often. So..
James Lange: As they should, frankly. I mean, there’s a lot of not so good financial advisors out there.
Barbara Stanny: Yes, there’s a lot of not so good doctors out there. There’s a lot of not so good massage therapists. I mean, in every… but the thing is, you need to take time to build a relationship with her. The way you build a relationship with a woman is not to tell her what you think, but to listen to how she feels. And then as you build the relationship, and she feels heard and understood. The thing that motivates her, as I said in the beginning, is knowing she can help others. Knowing she can use the money that you save her, that you get for her, to help her children, to give to causes she believes, to really make other people’s lives better. Knowing that she can use this money, that if she really has a very compassionate talk to her husband. See, there’s nothing more intimate between a husband and wife, because the sex is the easy part, is discussing money. It’s very, very intimate. And use those discussions to build intimacy, because you’re on the same team. Where often it happens when they have this discussion, they see themselves on opposing teams. But if you, or someone in your office could facilitate discussions, where they see themselves on the same team, or they learn how to listen to each other, where they are gentle because there is a certain fragility and vulnerability in talking about changing things around money. And if you can use that to bring them closer and the women understand that she can make this change, she will have more money to help her kids, to help the causes she feels passionate about, then it becomes a very different conversation.
James Lange: And then…
Barbara Stanny: Does that make sense to you?
James Lange: Well, it does and what I’m taking away from this is, frankly, usually, I try to listen, as a rule. In fact, that’s one of the hardest things for me to do is because I have all this information and I have the answers and I am bursting to give it to them. Oh, if you just do this, and this, and this and this. But I’m trained to do and what I constantly do, although, frankly, I have to remind myself, is to listen and let the client be heard. And what you are saying is, it’s upon me to not just listen to the husband, but to literally to draw some of the opinions from the woman, even if she doesn’t come out openly when talking.
Barbara Stanny: Exactly. So when you hear her, or she gives some body language or something, a look on her face, that she seems to agree, it’s very valid to turn to her and say, well, what do you think of this. And ask her pertinent questions. See, because I’m not about woman and, Nicole, tell me if I’m wrong, but we woman like choices.
Nicole DeMartino: Absolutely.
Barbara Stanny: And one of the things we women like, we women are so busy, we have so many things on our plate, that we want to know that there’s somebody who will take care of us, who will make life easier for us. If you can show her her choices, listen to her concerns about everything, show her how something will make her life easier, how you will make her life easier, how this will make her life easier, how it will allow her to help others and live life on her terms, you could have a powerful conversation, but the thing with women, you can’t be too impatient. Women make great clients. They have much better loyalty than men, they are quicker to refer their friends and family, they know they need help, but they take time. And the more affluent the woman is, the more time she needs to think about things. When she says I’ll think about it, she really means that. I’ll think about it. And then she’ll have to talk to her husband, or her friends or her other people. You know, we’re very social animals.
Nicole DeMartino: You know, one point I want to make before the end of the show. I know we still have some time left, but it’s buried in the story about your mom and the estate planning, when I would stand up and talk to groups of women, one part of the talk was about, it’s never too late to take this control.
Barbara Stanny: Beautiful, beautiful.
Nicole DeMartino: And you know, I would work with financial advisors and say they saw some younger, 20 year old women coming in, and they’d, oh, they’re young, they don’t have any money, but that’s when I got most excited. I mean, women 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, it is never… Are you agreeing with me?
Barbara Stanny: Listen, my mother was in her late 70s and she didn’t know anything about money. And my mom is completely involved now. We have family meetings, the advisor comes and talks to us. Yes, you are so right. It is never too late. It’s best to start when you are young, but it’s never, ever too late.
Nicole DeMartino: Absolutely. And as a young woman, the best thing I ever did was, I had a mentor in my office, on my first job, and I was 22 years old. She told me to get a financial plan and I said, Nancy, I don’t have any money and she said, that’s OK, we’ll start small and one day you will. And, you know, if anyone is listening, pass that word along. It’s really, it is powerful and I’m so thankful that, because I had that early education. Now, I was in the industry, not everybody is, I’m very fortunate because now, I know that no matter what happens, I can take care of myself and I will be OK. And it is powerful.
Barbara Stanny: It is very powerful.
Nicole DeMartino: It’s very powerful, but you have to get over that because woman aren’t used to acting like men.
Barbara Stanny: And nor should we.
Nicole DeMartino: That’s true. That’s right.
Barbara Stanny: Nor should we. I’ll tell you what I tell women who really want to learn about money, is to do it in groups. There’s a lot of study groups, book clubs, forming now. I know, they use my book. They meet and they talk, together, and they educate themselves. You know a book club, but this is only about finances. Study groups about finances. That really helps. If you could have in your seminars, a time, like in the seminar that I give, that I have for financial advisors, we have time where women can talk about their fears and their concerns and their emotions. You don’t have to be a psychologist, but you just need to hear them and respond to them, not dismiss them. Women are very used to being dismissed.
Nicole DeMartino: Yes, they are, and the one thing that always bothered me about the workshops were, women carry a lot of shame around, as far as money is concerned, where men do not. And if they’ve made mistakes, or they haven’t done things right, they don’t even want to tell you because that will be shameful.
Barbara Stanny: I do a lot of work with successful executives and affluent women and when I talk, I always advise women to seek financial advisors, seek financial advice, but what I hear from women, particularly successful women, is how embarrassed they are. They said, you know, I handle billions of dollars for my company, I have a mortgage broker, but my own finances are a mess. And there is a lot of shame, a lot of embarrassment which keeps them from coming to you for the help they need.
Nicole DeMartino: That’s right. Well, you know what, we are going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. You are listening to Jim Lange and Barbara Stanny on The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks.
Nicole DeMartino: Welcome back from the commercial break, the last segment of our show, here with Barbara Stanny and Jim Lange, we’re having a wonderful, candid conversation about women and money and we’re really, I’m even getting more motivated so hopefully our listeners out there are getting motivated and there getting motivated to come to our workshop. Jim is holding a workshop, this is open to everyone and, since the show is about women, ladies, come and join us. Grab a friend, come and join us. Spend the morning or early afternoon with us September 25 at the Crowne Plaza, Pittsburgh South, that’s right across from South Hills Village. We start at 9:30 am. You’re going to get 2 hours of Jim’s best information that can truly change your life. Whether you are married or not. Come and join us. We do it again at 1:00 pm. Everybody gets a copy of Jim’s best selling book, “Retire Secure”, which is a great resource to have in your library and you also get a certificate to meet with Jim, a complimentary meeting, IRA strategy review and if you want to make a reservation, and let me remind you, this is the one that really gets packed, our South Hills is the most popular, 1-800-748-1571. That actually answers 24 hours a day and, or, if you want to call me, you can call me. I’m Nicold, I’m in the office, you can always call the office or jump on retiresecure.com. Again, the reservation line is 1-800-748-1571. Let’s make the most of these last few minutes here with Barbara.
James Lange: Well, Barbara, I did have a question. So let’s say I’m one of the women in the audience and my goal, I consider myself an educator, and I’ve tried to present some good information and I’d say for me, the greatest epiphany isn’t for a lot of women it really isn’t about money, it’s about power, but let’s say that I’ve got some good information from you and I’m interested in some more information. I know that you have, let’s say, 5 books out there and if I was a listener, and let’s just say for discussion sake, I wasn’t going to go out and buy all 5 because I have limited time and resources, is there one book that you would recommend or would there be a different book for a different type of person? Could you please make a recommendation and then, whether somebody should get it at Amazon or at your website.
Barbara Stanny: Yes, they should get it at Amazon. I don’t sell books directly. We just send them to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you’re interested, if want to learn how to better manage money and to understand the process and what’s keeping you stuck, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming”, that’s the book for you. If you’re wanting to know how to make more money and you feel like you are just not making the money you deserve, “Overcoming Underearning” is the book for you. If you feel like you’re somewhat successful, but you know you could go higher, “Secrets of Six-Figure Women”. And then, if you know you’re successful and you want to go higher and you want to make more money, but you know that success if about far more than making money, then I’m giving a retreat on September 23 called the Sacred Success Retreat. And this comes, I base this on, I interviewed women who made millions and I want to know how they did it so I could do it too. And what I’ve learned has been eye-opening for me and I put it together in this seminar and I’m writing a book on the same subject “Sacred Success” and if you’re interested you can go to my website, www.barbarastanny.com and look under events.
James Lange: That sounds very helpful. Does this have, you know I have a client who wrote a book that I think was somewhat revolutionary, it’s called “Women Don’t Ask” and I think…
Barbara Stanny: Great, Babcock?
James Lange: Yes, Linda Babcock.
Barbara Stanny: Oh my God, great book. I love it. I called her. That’s your client, that’s impressive. Tell her I’m a big fan.
James Lange: I will. I will make a mention of it.
Barbara Stanny: Now that’s a must read.
James Lange: Yes, and by the way, the thing that I like about you and the thing that I like about her, I mean, she’s no flake, she’s a PhD, Carnegie Mellon Professor who has multiple scholarly journals and is very well respected in her field. I don’t know if there’s any overlap in your Underacheiving book
Barbara Stanny: It’s not underachieving, it underearning.
James Lange: Underearning, sorry about that.
Barbara Stanny: Underearners are high achievers.
Nicole DeMartino: Definitely not underachieving.
James Lange: OK, sorry.
Nicole DeMartino: We don’t want to do that.
Barbara Stanny: You can make six figures and be an underearner.
James Lange: OK.
Nicole DeMartino: That’s true.
James Lange: Can you go through that real quickly again because I was writing some of them down and you had, which book for which purpose?
Barbara Stanny: OK, and I also forgot to mention that I have a booklet that you would love, Jim, it’s called “How to Find a Financial Advisor That You Can Trust”, and I suggest you give these out, they are very inexpensive, I suggest you give these out to women in your seminars. And I will tell you why. Because the question I am asked most often in the 15 years I’ve been doing this, from women, because I’m such a big fan of working with financial professionals, is how do I find one I can trust? Because you know, there’s snake oil salesman among the best of you and there’s people like you who are terrific. And so, if there is anyone who wants to know how to find one, how to ask the right questions, how to do your research, this is a great booklet and you can only get that on my website. But if you’re having trouble getting smart or smarter about money, Prince Charming is for you, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming”. It really deals with the inner work, the outer work and the higher work of managing money and understanding it. If you’re not making money you desire or deserve, despite all your efforts to do otherwise, the “Overcoming Underearning” is exactly the book you need. And it’s the most powerful book I’ve written and it’s definitely the best book on underearning cause there are very few books out there on that subject. And then the third book, “Secrets of Six-Figure Women”, if you’ve achieved much, but you know you are just on the brink, you know you could go higher, you know there is more out there, “Secrets of Six-Figure Women” is just, it will blow your mind. I interviewed 154 women who made anywhere from $100,000 to $7,000,000 and the process it took them to get there, now I had never made over $50,000 in my whole life until I interviewed these women and I started making over $100,000 before I finished writing the book.
James Lange: See, that sounds Napoleon Hill-like to me.
Barbara Stanny: Oh, I’d never compared that to him, but, yes. I only write, I only teach what I need to learn. And that’s why I’m moving on to Sacred Success. I’ve taught Overcoming Underearning for 10 years. I’m done with that now. I have other people to teach it. I am moving on to the process, because the process that it takes for a woman to reach financial stability is very different, for when once you reach a stability to get to and maintain affluence.
Nicole DeMartino: You are a woman on a mission. I have to tell you, and I love it.
Barbara Stanny: Oh, Nicole, I want to support you because I can tell you really get this stuff, you really get women, you really have a lot to say to them.
Nicole DeMartino: I really care. I really care about women.
Barbara Stanny: I know, I feel it.
Nicole DeMartino: I do.
Barbara Stanny: I don’t say that just because you’re a woman, but I really get it.
Nicole DeMartino: Well, thank you, I appreciate that. And we’re at the end of our hour now and we have to say goodbye, but this has just been fabulous, I’ve enjoyed it. I know Jim, Jim has too. If anybody out there, you want to learn more, you can go to Barbara’s website, www.barbarastanny.com, you can get her books there, you can look up her retreat and that’s www.barbarastanny.com. If you want more information about us at the Lange Financial Group, you can jump on our website at www.retiresecure.com and hopefully, we will see you at the September 25 workshop at the Crowne Plaza, South Hills and I think that is all for myself and Jim, you’ve been listening to The Lange Money Hour: Where Smart Money Talks.
James Lange, CPA
Jim is a nationally-recognized tax, retirement and estate planning CPA with a thriving registered investment advisory practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the President and Founder of The Roth IRA Institute™ and the bestselling author of Retire Secure! Pay Taxes Later (first and second editions) and The Roth Revolution: Pay Taxes Once and Never Again. He offers well-researched, time-tested recommendations focusing on the unique needs of individuals with appreciable assets in their IRAs and 401(k) plans. His plans include tax-savvy advice, and intricate beneficiary designations for IRAs and other retirement plans. Jim’s advice and recommendations have received national attention from syndicated columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, his recommendations frequently appear in The Wall Street Journal, and his articles have been published in Financial Planning, Kiplinger’s Retirement Reports and The Tax Adviser (AICPA). Both of Jim’s books have been acclaimed by over 60 industry experts including Charles Schwab, Roger Ibbotson, Natalie Choate, Ed Slott, and Bob Keebler.