Frequently Asked Questions

What is money coaching?

Money coaching is a collaborative exercise. Similar to other coaching, I will offer guidance and support, but you must be fully involved in the process as well. This isn’t about me just telling you what to do.

At the first coaching session(s) we’ll discuss your goals, your personality, and your past money history. I won’t judge you; we’ve all made mistakes. We’ll focus on the future, not the past.

Finances can be overwhelming. The way money is woven into most areas of our lives can make it feel more complicated than it needs to be. It can also be hard to get ahead without any structure, plan, or support.  Together we’ll create an individualized, holistic plan to get you from where you are, to where you want to be. With the simple steps, guidelines, and accountability I can provide, you can improve your money situation.

Do I need a money coach?
  • Does your future look peaceful and secure?
  • Do you have a plan for each dollar that enters and exits your life?
  • Does your spending match your values?
  • Do you have people you can discuss finances with in a non-biased and non-judgmental manner?
  • Do you and your partner manage your money well together?
  • Are you setting your kids up to be responsible with money?

    If you answered no to any of the questions, a money coach can help you.

What does working together look like?

I’ve set up my business to offer as much flexibility as possible. Evening and weekend appointments are available to work around your busy schedule. We’ll decide how often to meet depending on your individual needs. I may be able to visit you in your home or work in some instances. We can even also work at a distance, via phone or skype and email.

What will we talk about?

Almost everything! We won’t just talk about investments and insurance; if it’s important to you we’ll discuss it. This might include your childhood money education, your retirement dreams, your spending habits, teaching your kids about money, and whatever else comes up.

What is a financial plan?

A comprehensive financial plan looks at every part of your life. We analyze your current situation, determine your goals, and create a plan to meet them.

For a much longer version, see this page. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Do I need a financial plan?
  • Would your family be okay financially if you died tomorrow?
  • Are you accomplishing your goals?
  • Are you going to be able to retire?
  • Do you have an investment philosophy?
  • Do you know where all your money is? Does your partner (or adult children)?
  • Is your insurance coverage adequate but not excessive?
  • Are you debt free or is it all carefully considered debt?

If you aren’t sure about the answers, a financial plan can help you answer them.

How long does it take?

Appointments are usually 45 to 60 minutes long. As far as the length of our coaching arrangement, that depends on you. I’ll be honest, this is often a long process with lots of talking about your life. If you want to just hand over your financial information and have me prepare a plan, I’m probably not the planner for you. To give you the best possible service I need to have a thorough understanding of your life and priorities, money-related and not.

I hate dealing with money. Can you help more?

We all have different strengths and priorities. I don’t do my own car maintenance; I hire it out. You may hire out cleaning or yardwork. Finances are no different. It’s all about how you chose to spend your valuable time. Call me to discuss your needs.

Are you trying to sell me something?

Just financial security and peace of mind!

Seriously though, you are buying my time, expertise, personalized support, and ability to put together a useful financial plan.

I also can sell you life insurance and related products. I am an advocate of proper insurance coverage so I will recommend what I feel meets your needs. You don’t have to buy it from me if you don’t want to.

I’ve opted to not sell mutual funds to avoid the conflict of interest involved. It  is very important to me to be able to suggest the best solution for you, rather than only the products that my sponsoring company sells.

For any legal needs or complicated tax situations, I’ll refer you to lawyers and/or accountants. 

How do you get paid then?

The same as other personal services, you pay me hourly or for a product (financial plan or coaching package). 

I do also get paid commissions if you purchase an insurance product through me. This is how the life insurance industry is currently arranged. You don’t pay me directly for my time in selecting and helping you apply for the right policy, but this additional work does deserve compensation.

In both cases, I am working in your best interests. I won’t recommend anything that I don’t think is right for your situation.

Isn’t it in your own best interests to give me bad advice so I keep needing your help?

Apart from that being unethical, my goal is to get you to the point you are comfortable managing your own finances. My time is limited and a good referral from a successful client allows me to help more people. However I am happy to keep helping you as long as you like.

I get free advice from my bank. What’s wrong with that?

It is unlikely any business is truly giving you something for free. The cost of your bank’s financial adviser is paid for out of your bank fees, interest charges, and is taken from your investments as various charges and commission. If you are interested in investment options there are lower cost methods which I can explain (but cannot sell).

Additionally, your bank adviser is obligated to recommend the products sold at that bank, so they may not be able to best meet your needs, regardless of how ethical they are. Unfortunately the financial industry is set up so it is very hard to be independent and qualified at the same time. Few people go this route. Many well-intentioned people work for banks, but they are usually prevented from giving you unbiased assessment of your situation. And they often don’t have comprehensive financial education.

I don’t receive any income from any financial institution and only work in your best interest. I have taken multiple financial planning and risk management courses, have obtained the FPSC Level 1® Certification in Financial Planning, and am committed to maintaining high ethical standards.

Why don’t I just read a book or check out the internet for money advice?

I can’t argue that some books are great. I have no intention to duplicate what others have already done, so I currently don’t plan to write any books.

However a book can’t ask you questions, can’t adjust to tax changes or your own complex situation. They are static. And they are only as good as the effort you put into following their instructions. Book have a place, but if you want a more guided, tailored approach, a holistic financial plan is better. That’s what I provide.

If you want to curl up with a blanket and beverage, grab a book. If you want someone to text you about your spending, I’m much better.

The internet has similar problems, but also has the big issue of being available to anyone. Sure, some excellent, credentialed, knowledgeable people are putting stuff on the internet, but then there are the others. When is the last time you found wrong info on the internet? Yesterday? I have committed to always put your interests ahead of my own. If I’m not competent on a particular subject, I have to tell you that. When’s the last time a random internet person did that?

I have barely any money. Is there any point in getting an adviser?

Even if you have very little money I can still help you with ways to improve your income, lower your expenses, and have your money work harder for you. Contact me and we’ll discuss your needs and I’ll see what I can do for you.