In this episode learn what jobs money can do for you, why it's important to outline those jobs, and how we can ultimately get to our money goals.
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Transcript:[MICHAEL:] Hey, humans. I’m Michael Liersch, and this is the About Money podcast presented by Wells Fargo. I’m a behavioral scientist with a PhD in cognitive Psychology who loves openly discussing money to help humans better understand their money behaviors.
By understanding our money behaviors, we all have the opportunity to make better money decisions. This season, we’re going to talk about jobs money can do for us. Jobs, you might ask? Yes. Money does many jobs for us.
Such as helping us with our family, lifestyle, the community, aging, travel, investing, and more.
We have a great lineup of guests for you, so let’s get into it.
In this episode, we’re going to speak with Eve Varner, Head of Advice Enablement, and Rob Miles, Head of Practice Management and Leadership Development at Wells Fargo.
You may be asking yourself, what does that mean?
Well, Eve and Rob focus on how money can work for humans to get them to where they want to go.
Eve and her team specifically focus on the tools, technologies, and processes that help humans outline their financial strategy.
And Rob and his team work with advisors and management at Wells Fargo to ensure that they’re up to speed on all of the cutting-edge methods to help clients and customers reach their financial goals.
I’m so excited to speak with both Eve and Rob, because they can help us answer the question that we’re asking in this episode; what are the jobs money can do for me?
To answer this question, we’re going to discuss what we mean by a job money can do for me, why it’s important to outline those jobs, and how we can ultimately get to where we want to go with our money.
Rob and Eve, welcome to the Wells Fargo About Money Podcast.[Eve:] Thank you, I am so happy to be here. [Rob:] Thanks, Michael.
I’m really excited for this conversation and looking forward to it.[Michael:] So let’s dive right into it, so when we talk about jobs money can do for us, and I mentioned this at the top of the episode, can you tell us a bit about what that means and maybe even give us a few examples of quote unquote, money jobs.
And Rob, let’s start with you and then we can turn it to Eve, but I’d like to get your perspective on what a money job is.[Rob:] Yeah, Michael, let’s make this simple, so at the end of the day, you know, we’re all thinking about ourselves, our families, I might ask people to think about what is it that you actually want to accomplish?
You know, that could be a short-term thought process or a very long-term goal.
Let me give you a couple of examples, so someday, let’s say you may want to own a home or maybe you want to do that you know, relatively soon or maybe you’re thinking of doing it, a retirement home, 10-15-20 years from now, it’s still something that you want to accomplish with your money.
Another example if you think about the pandemic that we’re in, is transitioning to a new lifestyle or a new way of living.
Downsizing, switching careers, moving up your retirement date, whatever that is, tons of people are sort of thinking through that and that’s a job that they want their money to do for them and regardless of whatever you’re, the job you’re looking to accomplish, you have to prioritize them.
With the money you have today, and the money you are going to have in the future if you will, whether you’re going to save or you’re going to put aside and you’re going to allocate toward that job.[Michael:] I have to hop in here, Rob.
Because prioritization I know isn’t a human thing that we are excited about doing so we’ll get into prioritization in just a moment but Eve, let’s hear from you.
So Rob talks about these jobs, you know, using the exact words you want to let’s say, assign to those jobs.
Rob, I love that idea, owning a home, you know, in the pandemic as an example, like transition to a new way of living or working.
Eve, what would you add that that, I’m curious.[Eve:] I would say too, in general, I think the more we can think about money as a means to an end or a tool just to get stuff done, the more authentic we can be with ourselves about the why associated with the money.
So an accumulation of wealth or just a pile of cash isn’t inherently useful or meaningful until we can connect it to like a personal purpose or a job.
So for me, I’m about to have two kids in college, and obviously I’m going to want my money or the job my money to do to pay for that education.
But as I think about it a little more deeply, right, it’s more than that for me.
It’s about making sure that they can leave college debt free and be set up for a future in a way that I wasn’t able to be.
So there’s an emotional connection there to the job that we want that money to do.
At the same time, I’m super focused on the here and now, and like most people I know, I need my money to work for me to keep the lights on, provide for the day to day in my lifestyle.
So I have a lot of jobs working at the same time that I want my money to do and it can get pretty complicated.[Michael:] I can hear that in your voice, and I feel the same way too, Eve.
And a lot of our listeners I know can relate.
We have all these jobs floating around, how do we get more concrete about then, assigning those jobs to the money?[Eve:] That’s really a question about what’s important to me.
And when I, and that’s a really personal question, right?
So, what’s important to me the way I prioritize my jobs is going to be different to you, Michael, and different to Rob.
Having said that, and our research shows this, those money jobs tend to fall into four buckets; one of my jobs is really focused around the day to day and cash flows and liquidity and just keeping the lights on.
Then there are other jobs which are really more about maintaining my lifestyle so think about that in terms of the choices where I want to live, the car I’m going to drive, even how far I’m going to travel.
There’s that third bucket that’s really focused on preserving wealth and then lastly, there’s a bucket which is about growing our wealth, so saving, investing.
So again, four general buckets but the specifics are going to be really personal and they’re going to change over time as life happens and my priorities change.[Michael:] So that’s super helpful and if I know, oh, I’m spending a lot on my day to day or even in that lifestyle bucket and I’m not really saving and investing for my future, what advice would you provide there? [Eve:] I think the key is to be authentic and recognize that we’re going to have multiple competing goals at all time, right, so let’s, let’s be real.
I’m always going to want to have that day to day expenditure whether it’s the new car, the big house or the big TV, right?
But I’m also thinking about saving for the future and I have kids and all of the things that we just shouldn’t think about retirement, I’m going to have multiple goals, some are going to be short-term, some are going to be long-term, let’s recognize that and plan for them all in kind of a portfolio type of approach.[Michael:] So when I have these portfolio of goals or jobs that I want to get done, they’re going to be evolving, even the ones that I have listed in terms of priorities, maybe in terms of to your point, the TV, the house, the car, the level let’s say of them that I want.
Small, big, large.
Which can help me then say, well how much do I have left for saving, for investing, for growing my wealth?
And then I can really make those tradeoffs more explicit if I’m super authentic about it and really write all of those jobs down.
Am I hearing you correctly, Eve?[Eve:] Yeah, and I think you said the key word or maybe it’s two words, tradeoff, right?
We’re going to be making tradeoffs with these goals, it isn’t set it and forget it, it’s this is a continuous journey and we’re going to be continuing to make tradeoffs with life changes and I think if we’re prepared to do that, when we’ll be able to balance those goals and ultimately achieve them.[Michael:] So Rob, let’s turn it to you.
So would you say there’s a magic number of jobs that we should articulate?
You know, what would be your recommendation there, Rob?[Rob:] Well so first of all, Michael, I think earlier you know, we were talking about, you know, personal jobs and for me I have four children, right?
So you guys, I know you have one Michael, Eve you have two, so if anyone’s looking for an extra job or two, give me a buzz.
But to your point, Michael, I think there is, the short answer is no.
There is no magic number.
And I think what I would encourage people to think about is to really almost slow down to go faster.
So just slow down, pause, and go through a deliberate process, either with an advisor or someone you love but really take some time to articulate the jobs we’re talking about.
That’s the only way you can ensure you don’t miss one or that you’re out of alignment maybe with a spouse or a partner or a family member that you do your planning with.
There’s also, everyone’s living a different life and a different stage of life, and so you may go back and forth and I think, Eve, you said something earlier I want to point out.
This is not set it and forget it.
And so it might be a deliberate exercise to start but you have to revisit it because life comes at us, life changes.
We need to make those incremental decisions that happen and react to them and be okay with that, the job might shift around over time.[Michael:] So it’s interesting you put that that way, Rob, because I think of myself back in, you know, quote unquote, the olden days, I’m 45 now but if you think back when I was 18, I literally was, the job I wanted to do was pay for college.
And then when you fast forward to today, now I have Amelia, who’s 12, you know, we’re saving and investing for college, I really appreciate you sharing that with us because Eve, to your point, it helps to stay authentic and it helps us realize things are going to change over time.
We have to be dynamic about them.
Maybe there’s a marriage, maybe there’s a divorce, maybe there’s a death in the family that all create these dynamics too.
So I do have to ask you, and Eve, maybe I’ll start with you first, if this is such a powerful tool to just articulate what we want to accomplish with our money and then start assigning buckets or pools of money to those jobs, what’s holding people back from doing this, Eve?
What’s your thought?[Eve:] In order to sit down and make a list of the jobs you want your money to do, I think you have to be okay with talking about money in general.
And that’s really difficult for some of us, right?
It’s difficult to talk about money with our partners, whether it’s our friends or our family, so that next level of just sitting down and writing the list of jobs we want our money to do, it takes it to a different place.
So I think that’s where we have to start, let’s get really comfortable talking about money and then let’s think about what we want the jobs that money to do for us are.
Right, so it’s a process but I think you know, I’d love to have something really profound about how we get started, but I think it’s just a, it’s a just do it.
Right, let’s write it down, let’s get started.[Michael:] Rob, what are your thoughts?
Do you have any additional insight for us?[Rob:] Well to the point here, I don’t think procrastination in the financial parts of our lives is a surprise to many of us.
Right, it’s something we do push off, something I think many people are, you know, afraid of or have fear about.
So I think you mentioned earlier Eve, just do it.
First step is always the hardest, the second and third become easier, but again, from all the experiences we’ve seen, it benefits families greatly to sort of slow down, take this, go through a process like this and articulate these jobs.[Michael:] I think that feels, it’s not that it’s easier said than done, but it’s really great advice, but for some reason, we all find as many excuses as possible not to– [Eve:] Absolutely. [Michael:] — talk about money.
And so when you think about then, a key action to get started today, talking about money, Eve, or articulating the jobs you want your money to do for you, can you give our listeners one thing you would say people should do to get started?[Eve:] I think it’s just tactical, it’s get a piece of paper and a pen, and start thinking about the things in your life that you want to accomplish, the things in your life that you want to see your family do, and the things you’d like to see happen for you and your family and write those things down.
Right? Take a look at that list and try to prioritize it, think about what the tradeoffs are there in that list and for extra credit, put a time frame around them.[Michael:] So Eve, I just wrote mine down.
Are you ready for it?[Eve:] Yes. [Michael:] So I’m just showing our listeners how easy it is, while you’re talking, I said, Amelia becomes a financially independent human, Rachel is okay if something happens to me, I can put food on the table for myself in collaboration with Rachel for our broader family.
How about that?[Eve:] Excellent.
And then your extra credit, right, is put a time frame on those.[Michael:] So Rob, what’s your one very practical piece of advice to get started today articulating those jobs? [Rob:] My advice would be; if you have a spouse or partner to compare lists.
So your list there, would Rachel agree?
Now the things you gave, I know she would, but as you go down a list of jobs, sometimes people might not agree.[Michael:] Rob, really quickly, I do want to ask this; the person you’re going to compare lists with, is going to disagree because you know, there are songs about it, opposites attract, so what would you, advice would you give there is someone’s really concerned with sharing that list with that partner or that spouse or their collaborator? [Rob:] Yeah, I mean it goes back to your earlier theme here, fear is there, sometimes a misplaced fear but to your point, most people don’t always agree, opposites do attract.
But what we’ve seen is that it’s a very healthy conversation and it doesn’t have to be a conflict conversation, it can be more of an oh, I didn’t realize that was so important to you, let’s go a little deeper into that.
Or, I thought that we had agreed that was later in life but that’s something you want to do earlier, wow, it’s important to know.
You know, in a personal example, I joke I have four kids, and years ago we were thinking of moving and I was sort of dragging my feet and my wife made that her number one job or goal.
And I didn’t realize how important it was to her and ultimately we did move, and ultimately as we have four teenagers in this house, it was a really good move because we didn’t have room in the smaller house we bought when we first got married.
So the point is that that can be a positive conversation, Michael.[Michael:] Okay.
So with that, I want to close out our episode by just asking both of you, can you just share with everyone else why you’re so passionate about this topic?[Eve:] I think at the end of the day, when you really think about it, it’s less about money and more about life, right?
So, when I think about what we do every day, what my team does every day, the decisions we make at work, we have an opportunity to impact people’s lives in a very positive way.
We get to help them make decisions about not what their money’s going to do, but what that money’s going to do for them and for their families and for the betterment of their society and their neighbors and their partners.[Michael:] Rob? [Rob:] So Michael, I think you and I talked about this, I call it the nobility of advice.
I think all of us, especially due to the pandemic, realize how valuable the physical health is in our lives and with our families.
But when it comes to financial health, it’s on the same level in my mind.[Michael:] Well thank you both so much for being willing to share your perspectives with us.
I feel so grateful to have both of you as a part of the advice and planning team, working on behalf, Eve, to your point, of our clients, each and every day, to help them make better money decisions.
So, many thanks for joining the About Money Podcast.
Our listeners I’m sure, are writing their lists right now, of the jobs they want their money to do for them.
And then thinking about who they might share that with.
That’s if for this episode of the About Money Podcast.
Please email us with the topics that you while like us to address, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you really liked the episode, share it with family, friends, and anyone who listens to podcasts.
About Money is produced by Wells Fargo.
You can learn more about ways to work with us at WellsFargo.com/AboutMoney.
I’m Michael Liersch, asking you to talk about money today.
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