Andi Wrenn’s mission is to reach as many service members and their families as possible to help coach them through their finances to achieve their biggest life goals. As a military spouse, she’s truly walked the walk, and works to help people understand the unique financial challenges they might face while involved with the military. More than that, she approaches each conversation with a mind to marriage and family counseling, which allows her to view financial coaching in a more comprehensive way.

Andi has an educational background rooted in both financial planning and counseling, which is unusual within the financial planning profession. Listening to this episode, you’ll be blown away by Andi’s approach to financial planning and how she incorporates counseling and coaching into her work with clients.

There’s so much that financial planners from all walks of life can learn from her, from how to balance dissenting opinions between a couple during a financial planning meeting to how to listen in a way that builds trust and creates a positive client relationship.

hannah's signature

 

What You’ll Learn:

      • What unique financial dilemmas military members and their families face
      • How to listen and build trust with clients
      • How family and marriage counseling can tie into financial planning
      • Why getting a variety of experience is beneficial
      • How to balance a couple’s differing financial views
      • The best way to incorporate coaching into your financial planning
      • How to encourage a couple who are a financial planning client to listen to one another and find middle ground

 

Zeiders Enterprises

 

Show Transcript

Ep112 Transcript


Hannah: Thanks for joining us today Andi.

Andi: I’m glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Hannah: I’ve talked to you in the past and I love what you do around the military. Can you tell the listeners kind of what is your role and how are you involved with the military?

Andi: Well, my current role is as provider network manager for the personal financial counselor program at Zeider’s Enterprises. And we provide financial education and counseling to service members and their families. So I recruit, hire, train, support financial professionals that work in the field with service members and their families.

Hannah: And how did you get into a role like that?

Andi: I started with the whole idea of working in the whole money realm because I was raised and heavily influenced by grandparents who grew up in the Great Depression. And, I hated that. And I paid off my own debt, my college debt and things like that as fast as I possibly could. I became a government contractor working with military program after college and I really enjoyed the financial aspects of being a business owner contracting with the government.

Andi: Then I married somebody in the military and my job was not as easy to move from one location to another, so I started writing on our military installation about ways to save monies for a newsletter on the military installation. And, then during deployments, I helped military spouses who stayed home while their spouse was deployed to pay off their debt, to get their money organized, and to save for their future.

Andi: That really is kind of what led me to when I saw this scholarship that came up to become a financial professional to apply for that. As networker at heart, once I got my financial certification, I started networking with other people who received the scholarship and the government decided to start a new program and I got to be one of the lucky people that helped develop that program and then I managed a program placing and supervising interns that got this scholarship to become financial professionals.

Hannah: So you were just helping … This was before the days of blogging, right?

Andi: Oh yeah.

Hannah: It sounds like you were putting information out there because people needed to hear about personal finance.

Andi: Right. I think the biggest thing is when my husband was a commander in the military and I had mentioned that I paid cash for my house and people are like, “What?” You know what I mean? We started talking about it, and I started talking to people about what we did to become debt free and to pay off our debt and to buy a house paying cash and how that money freed us up to do other things that we wanted to do financially and somebody said, “Oh, you should write an article on that.”

Andi: So I started writing for our base. So that was really fun.

Hannah: I just love how it came out of this truly authentic place where you’re like, “No, I’m just wired this way, so therefore I do it.”

Andi: Right. It’s organic.

Hannah: Yeah.

Andi: And the role that I’m in now, I was working with the government contract with that internship program and I had met somebody who worked at Zeider’s and they said they were working on a government contract to put a bid in for a contract and said, “What do you like to do?” And I said, “I like to do this, this, this, and this.” And they made my role as a network manager.

Andi: I have a group of financial professionals. Some of them work full-time. Some of them work the occasional weekend. Others are, maybe they’re retired or they have their own business and they want to do three to six months a year. They might work full time for three months at a time, and then go back to their own business and do that during the rest of the year or be retired.

Andi: So it’s a good way for planners to keep busy. It’s a good way for planners who are getting started in their businesses and kind of getting that ramped up, they have a regular paycheck, but they’re working with their own … building their own clientele as well.

Hannah: And so, how many financial planners are in this network?

Andi: Over 700.

Hannah: Whoa. Your placements, are they all in the United States, or I mean, there’s military bases all around the world.

Andi: There are military installations-

Hannah: Do you place around the world?

Andi: Yes. We have Asia, Europe, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean, anywhere there are service members.

Hannah: What does planning look like for them?

Andi: We don’t do a comprehensive financial plan where we tell people where to put their money in and what to do with their money. What we do is we educate them. You might teach a class on what does investing mean, what is their retirement plan, and all the pieces of that.

Andi: How do they pay down debt? Different types of savings and all kinds of things related to personal finance and we do all of that. And any need that they have so that they can learn to fish rather than we just do it for them and then they have no idea how they came about that plan.

Andi: A lot of times people say it starts with that budget, that getting to know the cash flow. What’s coming in, what’s going out, and naming every dollar. What are we gonna do with the money we have to spend each paycheck and what are some of the things that are gonna come up?

Andi: We help people in all areas of life so that if they’re going through a divorce or if a service member died, we work with the military spouse who’s lost their income earner. And new recruits. We help them. Maybe they have never even heard about budgeting or they came from a place where they didn’t talk about money in their family. Financial professional can teach a class then meet with them one on one and help them set a path to be financially successful and be able to retire the way they want to eventually.

Hannah: Do they have to go through this program, or is it a purely volunteer?

Andi: There are requirements for the military at certain points in their career that they’re supposed to have specific financial education and touch points. Basically, that’s gonna be when you come into the military, everybody will have a financial class. Now, sometimes it’s the military installation people that teach that, because every military installation is supposed to have at least one financial professional.

Andi: And, National Guard and Reserve, because we augment the installation program, we also have National Guard and Reserve programs that we work with. Everybody’s job might be a little bit different. So sometimes, our personal financial counselor is working as that representative on the base teaching those classes to the people who come in to the military. Sometimes they’re just augmenting that and doing whatever work they need.

Andi: Like maybe they’re doing financial counseling when people need help. So, somebody else taught the class and they do the one on ones to help people. It can vary quite a bit and that’s the nice thing, I think, that people don’t get stuck in a rut so to speak.

Hannah: Always that variety.

Andi: Yeah. There’s something new everyday. It’s the same but it’s different.

Hannah: Now, you call them financial counselors? Is that I’m hearing?

Andi: Yeah, that’s what the contract is. It’s personal financial counselors.

Hannah: Okay, so is it essentially the same thing as the planners, or there are distinctions that you see?

Andi: For the most part, I would say it is generally the same. I know that a lot of our CFPs that we have had come from selling backgrounds and that’s one thing that we don’t do. We sell their own financial health and fitness, but we don’t sell products. The only things that we really educate people on are government approved resources and programs.

Andi: If we’re talking about their retirement system, their thrift savings plan, which is like a 401K, those kind of things, that’s what we’re teaching people about. But we’re not saying, “Oh, in the thrift savings plan, you should be in this fund.”

Hannah: Okay, so that’s how you kind of draw that?

Andi: Yeah. We educate them on all the different funds there are and all the different ways they can look at it. We talk about risk. We talk about what they’re comfortable with doing, because personal finance is personal. You can’t apply one thing to everybody. It’s very exciting.

Hannah: For these classes, do they build relationships with those members, or is it more of a like, there’s a classroom and people just king of like file in and out of that?

Andi: Well, that can depend on the specific people. So if somebody goes to a class and they go, “Oh my god, I’m so excited. I wanna learn how to do this.” They can sit down with that professional, if they’re working on a military installation or working full time, they can sit down with that professional on a regular basis if they want to get through all the hurdles that they need to get through.

Andi: They may go to the class and they go, “I don’t need to know this, and you never see them.” Or they may only talk to somebody one time. If somebody’s having a financial crisis, for example, they can come in, work through that issue, or process, and that might be the only time that we talk to them.

Hannah: And so a lot of the topics you said are just kind of real basic like the budgeting, what is investing, things like that. What are the other things that you help service members with?

Andi: You have your, of course your basics. Money management, credit and debt, saving for the future, investing, and sometimes we get people who wanna talk about more advanced investing and that’s something that’s usually done more one on one because we don’t have a lot of people that, once they get to that point, it might be time for them to work with a financial planner and we might educate people on, how do you find a good financial planner?

Andi: Let’s look at the FINRA Broker information. And, checking into, what do you need to know about these kind of policies and things like that. So we talk about insurance. We talk about just everything under the sun. Anything related to military. I think there were in one program, for a military program, I was helping to work on some curriculum and they had 26 different presentations and I think the hardest one that I worked on was estate planning because that can be a lot of legal ease.

Andi: You know what I mean? And you have to be really careful about how you talk about estate planning when you’re not an attorney. We do referrals so they can work with somebody who’s more appropriate for a topic, if that’s the situation.

Hannah: So, these financial counselors, do they have to have their CFP or their designations that they have to have or what does that education piece for them look like?

Andi: All right, so the requirements for the government contract are a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. They need to be a US citizen. And they have to have one of three designations. Chartered financial consultant, certified financial planner, or accredited financial counselor.

Hannah: And, then can you walk through, how are those designations different from each other?

Andi: I think all three of those are national designations and that’s probably, I’m not gonna say this is what the government says, but that’s probably why those are selected because we get a lot of people that are maybe CFPs … sorry, CPAs, or other designations that might be state regulated and because we’re not selling, some of those things, people that have just a series 66 or seven, or whatever, we’re not selling anything, so those are not a requirement for the program.

Andi: The chartered financial consultant, a lot of times those are people on the insurance industry. For many of the people that I know, it’s like one class beyond CFP typically, because most of the CHFC folks that I know, they’re continuing education as long as it’s approved by CFP, it counts for CHFC continuing education.

Andi: The accredited financial counselor, again, does not work as much on the telling people what to do with their money, and advising in that sense, but they work in all areas of personal finance, but they have a counseling class so that you’re learning a little bit more of how to work with that, in that counseling kind of mode where you’re helping people to … We’re bringing out what we need to know and what they need to hear themself say regarding their financial situation.

Andi: A lot of times people will say, “Oh, this is my problem.” When it’s really Y is their problem, not X. A lot of times that kind of comes out. That’s the nice thing about the different certifications. And then of course certified financial planner, I would say most of your listeners know what that is. And, that ranges from your fee only to your person who’s managing a UM and all that fun stuff.

Andi: The nice thing I like about having a network of financial professionals that come from three different designations and backgrounds and experiences and all these fun things is that they can build on each other. So when I have a class and I do interactive classes as many times as I can throughout the year to get people to engage and help each other become successful working with service members and their families. They all bring that different aspect.

Andi: “Oh, I specialize in this,” so when I’m teaching a class on how to get out there and meet people at that walk around counseling class, they go, “Oh, this really worked for me.” Or if I’m teaching a class on insurance, which I have coming up, then I have people how have lots of different insurance backgrounds. Maybe they came from this field or that field and they can share what they know, their knowledge with each other.

Andi: That’s what I love about our continuing education program for our service members, well, for the people serving the service members.

Hannah: These financial counselors, are they young out of school, mid career, second career? What do they look like?

Andi: I have everything. I have, and this is my smallest group right now are the people who are just getting started in the field. They just got out of college and they’re looking for something to do. A lot of times because of their earning their CFP, they may not have those hours that they need to be certified yet, so, a lot of them might get that accredited financial counselor because it takes less hours and a lot of the studying materials are similar so if they pass one test, they can pass the other, right?

Andi: Then they can work full time toward their CFP hours as well. And then, we have military spouses. They move all over the world. They are fantastic to have because they know the life. They experience it everyday. They’ve been through moving over seas or moving from one place to another and finding out you have to move in six weeks. Oh my gosh.

Andi: And, for them, it’s a portable career because we need a financial professional at most military installations. They’re gonna come in handy whether they volunteer, or they do this as a paid position. Unfortunately, we don’t have any volunteer programs for us, but most installations do have programs where military spouses can volunteer, so they can keep their experience up if there isn’t a full time job, or they don’t wanna take a full time job at that time.

Andi: We have service members who’ve left military service, and maybe they were something, a lot of the branches have command financial specialists, which did that kind of work in a unit on a military installation. I have some of those folks that they just really enjoy the money part and when they got out of the military they decided to become accredited and get that certification.

Andi: So I do talk to service members a lot that, “Hey, I heard about your program, or I met with your personal financial counselor,” and they all direct them to me ’cause I recruit people and I say, “Hey, yeah. You working on your certification? Here’s what you need to do. As soon as you’re done, let me know.”

Andi: So I’ve had people who came straight from the military to working for us on a military installation. And that’s great. Then I have people who had a successful career and they’re ready to do less, but they just don’t wanna run their own business anymore, or they don’t wanna work for this company selling anymore, and they’re in that 56 to, I have an 80 something. I have a couple 80 year olds that they can make a 40 year old look bad, run circles around them.

Andi: I have the whole gamut really. And, nobody’s better than anybody else really, and that’s the nice thing, like I said, about bringing our team together. Everybody really learns from each other. Younger people, maybe they have new ideas or they went through school recently and there’s some different things they can share.

Andi: Older people, they may have that how do you work with clients and gain their trust a little bit more. You never know. They’ve seen a lot of things.

Hannah: It’s that whole wiser together concept.

Andi: When I’m ready to retire from my position, I’d like to be a personal financial counselor and go to some of those places that I haven’t been before, I was a military spouse and, we didn’t get to go anywhere fun. We had boring places to go.

Andi: So I’d like to go to some of those fun places if the opportunity arises. But, you know, there’s places all over the country that I haven’t been to yet that I’d love to experience too. They can send me anywhere.

Hannah: Going back to your story. When you were going through that internship program, you got that scholarship, what did you imagine your path was gonna be?

Andi: My goal when I started this program was to be able to help as many people as possible. When I started, I worked two days on the Air Force installation and two days on the Army installation, and I did different things at both places. At one place, I did more one on one counseling sessions, where I worked with people one on one, and then I did some presentations too.

Andi: So, I would do a presentation. People’d say, “Oh, I want to meet with you.” And so we’d sit down and talk.

Andi: On the other location, I did a lot of one on one as well, but, I also wrote for the base newspaper, so I would write an article and hopefully kind of say, “Hey, we have a class coming up on this topic.” And then that would hopefully drive people to the class. It was very exciting to be able to know that my article was reaching two different installations.

Andi: That’s kind of cool. When I went into working with the internship program, I was excited because my enthusiasm and my knowledge and my ideas on how to help people work with people would help interns do a better job out in the field and they would reach more people.

Andi: Well, then jumps from 150 to 700 people, I’m hoping that classes that I teach encourage our people to work with as many service members as possible.

Hannah: Well, I just love that exponential impact that you can have on things.

Andi: I just try to help people be as successful as they can out in the field. That’s my job. That’s what I feel my job is.

Hannah: What have you learned about financial planning and financial advice as you’ve had … How many years are you into this now?

Andi: 10 years with just this contract.

Hannah: And really a lifetime of caring about personal finance. What have you, especially about the financial planning profession. What have you learned, or what have you discovered over the years about it?

Andi: What I have learned is that people come from different places. They all have a different mindset and one of the reasons that I got a degree in marriage and family therapy was because I found that everybody brings their values and their relationship issues, go hand in hand with financial issues.

Andi: When you’re working with couples or individuals, they came from what they were raised to believe, and what they experienced growing up, and having a 15 minute conversation with somebody who had no idea about compound interest and knowing that that can change their whole life trajectory, is incredible.

Andi: Having that positive conversation and listening to what they have to say even if it means reading between the lines of what your client is saying, is so important. That being a good listener and being authentic, and being honest with our clients truly impacts their life forever.

Andi: I’ve heard so many stories, heard so many stories about somebody who was in the military and they had this one person that told them about this and that’s why they’re here today. I have financial professionals that were in the service. And they’re like, “I became a financial professional because commander such and such or sergeant such and such told me that if I did this, I would be set up for life and I would be able to retire and not have to work when I’m older.

Andi: Things like that have had a big impact on my life and my career.

Hannah: So you knew, you saw how hand in hand this personal finance and relationships?

Andi: Right, I knew I could either go more towards the investment side, but I really felt I was more on the people side. Now it does help me very much with management, I will tell you that right now. Being able to talk to people and communicate with people and listen to employees, is a huge impact and I know that I had thought about working full time on an Air Force base and one of the requirements for being the financial professional or working in the Airman and Family Readiness Center was to have a social services degree, because you’re working with people.

Andi: That also helped me decide that getting my degree, and I started out in a counseling program, but I decided that marriage and family therapy fit me better. I like working with couples. I like talking to people about premarital counseling, and talking about their money before they get married. And then, if somebody gets divorced, I’m happy to help them with that. I also did the, in North Carolina they have a family financial mediation program, so I did that training as well.

Andi: You can help people get divorced too if you need to. Amicably.

Hannah: Both sides of the coin.

Andi: That’s right. Before, during, and after.

Hannah: When you did that marriage and family therapy degree, did they ever bring up finances? Did they ever talk about that in the course work?

Andi: Well, I do. But, we got to do … You know, when you’re working on program and writing papers and things like that, you get a focus, that’s what I really liked about this. I got to focus on the areas that I was interested in. So in one class I did, I talked about the deployment affects on children, on youth.

Andi: In another class I talked about the financial stressors on military families. I got to write papers on these things that I was seeing every day when I was working with people. So that was really encouraging too, ’cause then I really got to expand on what I knew and do some research on it. That was really beneficial.

Hannah: What are those financial stressors that someone who isn’t in the military might not realize, especially for the planner who’s listening to this who might have military clients? What do they need to know?

Andi: Well, a lot of times, I think people get involved with a financial planner at the end or after their military career, so they might miss some of the things that have happened down the road.

Andi: I’ll just give you an example. My husband was in the military for 27 years. He moved 20 times. Now, that’s not the norm for people. There are some people who move twice in 27 years, it depends on their career field and that kind of thing. But, there are people that move every two to four years and it makes it difficult on a family if a military spouse has a hard time getting a job.

Andi: I began as a teacher, and for me, when we moved, after I married my service member, for me, when we moved to the new state, it was gonna cost me so much money to get my certification approved for that state, it was ridiculous. So that’s one of the reasons that I just continued doing the contract work that I was doing and I kind of left teaching behind.

Andi: That moving on a regular basis is difficult. So that’s one of the nice things that I think our program does is military spouses can keep this on their resume no matter where they live. So if they’re working full time, it’s on their resume. If they’re just doing weekend work with National Guard and Reserve, it’s on their resume still.

Andi: It stays on their resume for their entire career if they want it to. But, when you’re living on one income, that’s just not the norm anymore. You see most families are having to have two income families just to make the house payments ’cause education costs have just gone up so much that paying your college debt is ridiculous compared to what it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Andi: It’s more important now for people, if they wanna buy a home, if they want to invest for their retirement to have a dual income household. That’s a big stressor. So many times, if somebody moves, it may take them six months to get hired at their new location, and then they have to move in two and a half years and start it all over again.

Andi: Another thing is during deployment, that’s a really difficult time for a lot of people to have the burden of the whole household responsibility while somebody’s deployed and for National Guard and Reserve for example, maybe they work a full-time position that pays more than the military, so while their deployed, they have a lower income, the family has a lower income, plus, the bread earner is gone and you don’t have that second person to help with family life, chores, fixing stuff.

Andi: Sometimes people are the fixers. I was the fixer at my house. Everybody has a honey do list when their spouse comes home from deployment though. But I loved, that was one of the things when I was just volunteering to help people during deployments. I loved it when somebody said, “Oh my gosh, I told my husband how much money we had in the bank and they were like, “Oh my gosh.””

Andi: They would be so excited and it takes the burden off of that person who’s deployed, who’s working about money if they’re working with a financial professional and they’re getting the help that they need to be successful during that deployment. They can worry about the mission, they don’t have to worry about the money and the family back at home.

Andi: There are special tax things related to military life that are important for the service member to know about, so that’s some of the things that we talk about and teach.

Hannah: For somebody’s who’s listening to this and is just like, “I’m really interested in being better at that counseling side,” what can they do to help themselves be better with clients?

Andi: I think practicing helps a lot. Find somebody to work with and just practice your listening skills. I just taught a class on listening skills a few months ago, how to be an effective listener.

Andi: There are classes out there on that. There are YouTube videos out there on that, and I’m sure there’s podcasts out there on that. But, learning to be a better listener and practicing in your everyday life, listen to your spouse, listen to your family, listen to your friends, and, I like to talk about being mindful as well, because if you’re not all the way there and able to listen, you’re not gonna hear what they have to say, what they really have to say.

Andi: It’s important to clear your own mind before you go to sit down with a client so that you can hear what they have to say and let them know that you’re listening.

Hannah: Were you always just kind of naturally wired that way or has that been more of a learned skill?

Andi: I was probably wired that way, but I’ve practiced to become a better listener and I think even people who do it on a regular basis still need to practice and to be mindful of that and be aware of what they’re doing. You know, you always hear about people saying, that professional is sitting there thinking of what they’re answer is gonna be while the person’s talking instead of listening to them.

Andi: Being able to pause and say, let the person know, “Hey, I might pause, just ’cause I wanna take in what you had to say before I answer.” And letting them know up front that that’s what you’re gonna do.

Hannah: So few people are actually listened to today. And so, when anybody does it, it’s kind of a shocking and very meaningful experience. If a financial planner or counselor is one to do that, that’s really powerful.

Andi: It really helps to build trust, if somebody feels like they’re listened to. That’s an immediate trust builder. And that’s what you want your client to do, trust you.

Hannah: Speaking to the new financial planners who are, maybe even still in school or in just in the first year or two of their career, what can they do to be a better planner? I mean, I know we’ve talked about listening. But what else can they do?

Andi: I think getting a variety of experience can be really beneficial to them. If you just say, “Hey, I only wanna do this.” That’s great, become professional at that, but, bring in some of this and that. So, maybe volunteering for a program that serves low income people or meeting with people who work with high net worth clients to find out about what they’re business is like.

Andi: When I go to FPA meetings, I don’t wanna just sit there and listen to the continuing education and not talk to anybody. I want to talk to the people who are there and learn about them and about their businesses, and gain that knowledge, so I can see, “Well, what is the next thing I wanna learn?” So kind of being inquisitive and really broadening your experience as much as you can.

Hannah: And that can be, I mean, there’s so many different sides to financial planning.

Andi: I say we learn every day, right? When I’m interviewing somebody, and I talk about or I ask them, how do you keep up with the latest issues and trends? Well, for the most part, our issues and trends, people are reading, they’re online, they’re watching videos, webinars, they’re reading blogs and so forth, and articles, but there are just so many things people can do to get their continuing education and to continually learn.

Andi: And there’s so many things to learn. You just have to focus and I try to learn as much as I can so I can teach people about those subject matter, those subject areas as well. Things that might come up for service members and their families especially. But I also do work outside the military. I meet with clients as well, usually couples, to help them be successful and say married and be happy about their finances and their decisions together.

Hannah: Good financial planning can help save marriages.

Andi: It can. It makes a huge difference. When I work with couples personally, I’m so excited when they call me and say, “Hey, I just wanna let you know, we paid this debt off,” or, “We changed our retirement savings.” Or whatever they did.

Andi: Because, it’s about their goals and their priorities and once they get on the same page, it makes a huge difference. And I think one of the things that I learned in my masters in marriage and family therapy that was very beneficial to me, is I can not put my values and my beliefs on my client. What’s right for them, is right for them.

Andi: If they believe this is the way things should be done, and this the decision that’s right for them financially, then, I need to help them be as successful as they can with that. I can’t say, “Hey, I’m gonna save 15 percent, and you should do it too. It has to be, cause I have lots of financial friends that are like, “I can’t believe you paid cash for your house.”

Andi: And I’m like, “Well, it was the right thing for me, because we were able to put our kids through college without having to take out any loans and help them the way we wanted to because we had all our income was freed up to do that.” If we didn’t have any car payments or house payments, it was a wonderful thing to have that freedom to do what we wanted to with our money.

Hannah: Somebody’s saying, “That’s not what’s best for us,” it kind of reframes what does it mean for a financial planner to be an expert.

Andi: Right. We have to … Everybody’s an expert in their own money. They know how they spend it. They know how they save it. They know how they don’t track it. I’m sorry, tracking is my biggest thing. If people just kept track of everything that they spent, then they would know what their priorities are.

Andi: And that’s one of the things that I love doing with people first, is saying, “All right, track your spending for two weeks. Come see me, then in two weeks we’re gonna check your full month of spending.” And, people go, “Oh, I didn’t spend that money because I didn’t want to write it down.”

Andi: And I’m like, “It’s not about me. I don’t care what you spend your money on, but that’s your priority. If you’re telling me your priorities are this, this, and this, but on paper, you’ve spent money on this, this, and this, these other three things that you say aren’t your priorities, if that’s what you’re spending the majority of your money on, then that is your priority.”

Andi: So then, that helps them to define their goals and to refrain their money spending.

Hannah: And that’s what we wanna do. We want to help people be better, have a better relationship with their money.

Andi: Yes. Definitely.

Hannah: What are your tips for planners who are like, “Oh couples are just so challenging”?

Andi: That’s a good question Hannah. Oh. When you’re working with couples, I think it’s really helpful to listen to them both and let them both have an opportunity to speak and to share without judgment from the other partner. And to lay the groundwork that, “Hey, in this meeting today, we’re gonna talk about what each of you have as financial goals, and I don’t want you to make any ugly faces or go, “Oh, that’s a stupid idea.” Put each other down. I want it to be an opportunity for us to work together to come up with as many ideas as we can of how we can be successful, each of you, and then let’s see which ones of those you go, “Oh hey, that’s a good idea. I think we should do that.” And then you can have a list of things that will work for both of you to make that financial plan come together and to be successful.”

Andi: Starting with that brainstorming where you don’t knock any idea down, then you move to that area where you start selecting things that, “Hey, I really liked you said this,” and giving the people the support saying that, “Hey, that was a really good idea,” and, “Hey, I liked how you complimented your husband.” Or, “I like how you supported your wife.”

Hannah: Well, and they’re on the same team, right?

Andi: Right.

Hannah: I think so many times couples get … They feel like they’re fighting each other, and it’s like, “No, no, no. You guys are on the same team going hopefully in the same direction.”

Andi: Yeah. Yeah. And not every couple’s perfect ’cause my husband and I, we’re a really good example. He was crazy when it came to spending at Christmas time, especially. He grew up in a family where the grandparents spent tons of money, they charged it up, they paid from February to December for their Christmas that previous year, and the room was filled with presents and toys and things like that.

Andi: And I came from a background where I didn’t have a lot of money and I was raised by these people who were depression era that gave me those influences that said, “Don’t spend unless you need to. Be wise with your spending. Save money. Buy on clearance. Whatever. It’s gotta be on sale.”

Andi: When we got married, that first year was a little bit of a head butter ’cause it was like, “No, we’re not gonna spend that much money on Christmas.” So each year, we got better and better and before he died, he passed away three years ago, and before he passed away, I was like, “Oh my god, I created a monster because now he’s more of a tightwad than I was, I think.”

Andi: We gotta find a balance. You gotta find a balance so that both people in the relationship are learning from each other and you mesh and make one financial life together so that you’re not butting heads with two different financial values and lives.

Hannah: Was there anything else, Andi, or any other thoughts that you have from our conversation?

Andi: Let me see. Well, do you think anybody would be interested in learning how to connect if they had any questions about possible career field in this? Cause I’m always helpful if I can help people to jump into this working with military life?

Hannah: Yeah, well, and I know before we got on here, you said that there were a number of job openings, so if somebody’s looking for a job, it could be a great way to connect.

Andi: All right. It’s zeiders.com. So www.zeiders.com and you’ll see the job openings for certified personal financial counselor. There’s are tons of locations. We’re looking for local people, whenever possible. And if somebody is one of those people who, maybe they can go anywhere, hey, you’re just out of college, you can go move anywhere, you don’t have anything tying you down, then you would apply for that nationwide opening.

Andi: Or if you wanna work weekend work while you’re working in your current role, that’s that nationwide opening. And then, my email address is awrenn@zeiders.com. Awrenn@zeiders.com. Z e I d e r s. And, I am always open to talking with new people and helping them decide if it’s the right career move for them, or how they can be involved if they wanna be involved in any way.

 

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