I typically focus our blog posts to be educational, so that you get value for your time. I share stories and more, but really try to focus on providing knowledge. While, this article is about me and why I love being a financial coach, it is really to serve the purpose of ensuring you know who I am and what I’m about. 

This is Part 3 of Questions with Financial Coach Lea. Here is a link to Part 1, and here is a link to Part 2

I had my spouse pick a few questions for me to answer. My hope is by having him choose questions for me to answer there is a wider variety and perhaps a little more thought provoking than simple questions I would ask myself. So, let’s dive right in. 

As a financial coach, what belief systems do you use within your courses? 

Values and belief systems are very important to me and MPower Co as a whole. It’s important that we are consistent with our messaging. We have on our website a list of values (such as, confidentiality, positivity, transparency, understanding, and more) for the company, and I certainly live by those within my courses. As an extension of our company wide values, there are three things that I think I always come back to as a financial coach: 

  1. Being unassuming. No two people are the same.  Our life experiences and circumstances are different. What we want out of life, our goals, are different. So, when I write my courses and coach individuals, I work to be unassuming. 

My courses and coaching are meant to meet people where they are today and support them with their goals. I do not write my courses as a step-by-step plan, and my financial coaching is individualized based on what the needs of my clients are. 

  1. Small steps can make huge differences. As a financial coach, it is not my job to overhaul someone’s entire life. It is to encourage them to find the good and what is working well, and build upon that. Encouraging people to make small, incremental changes, is what can really add up to huge wins in the long run. It’s about helping people figure out why they are resisting change that can positively impact their life, and empowering them to make appropriate changes that they believe in.
  1. We are more powerful than money. I get that if you have little money, more money can make your life better. However, after a point it isn’t money that makes our lives better. It’s our outlook, resiliency, and overall sense of well-being that really gives us the power to live richer. Taking the weight of needing more money off of our shoulders, and focusing on things like contentment, relationships, and experiences, can improve our lives more than an extra dollar in our bank account. This is why we incorporate positive psychology into our work at MPower Co. 

What are you Looking Forward to in 2022? 

This question feels a lot like asking what my goals are for 2022, because I always look forward to checking things off of my goal list. I honestly think we are in the middle of life, where we’ve reached a lot of our major goals. We’ve built a family life that we love, we are in good places professionally, we have more than we need. 

We are really starting to think about this next phase of life, while our kids are growing and what we really want out of it. We are kind of in a personal soul searching state right now, and I think that we always talk about having to have a set goal. 

So, I’m looking forward to having a 2022, where we have space to appreciate reaching most of our major goals and figuring out what is really next for us and our family. Of course highlights in 2022 that I’m looking forward to are a couple of trips we have planned, working with people on their financial and overall well-being, and being appreciative for where we are today. 

What Financial Mistakes Have You Made?

Well, I know why Mark picked this question; he wanted to make it clear, I’m human. I honestly don’t think I’ve made any financial mistakes. I’ve clearly learned, but I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to go back. It’s all part of the process, and I’m not about to guilt myself for something I maybe could have done differently. I did the best I could with the information I had at the time. 

I now understand the phrase “buy term, and invest the difference,” much more clearly. In college I worked for a life insurance company. I bought into their story on whole life insurance. I was concerned that at some point I might be uninsurable. I bought into their pitch that this was an important part of a wealth picture. I basically bought into the fear tactics. I likely also hung on to that policy for too long, because well… pride. 

Last year, I realized we were at a place in our life (even with small kids) that I could give up that whole life insurance, and our family would be ok. We switched my life insurance to a term policy and it is much, much cheaper for our family and is better aligned with our needs. We have invested the cash value of the policy we surrendered. 

I think better thing to focus on is the fact that we’ve done so much right. We have worked to live in a way that gets all of the major things right. We live well within our means, automate investing, monitor our credit, and more, so if we bought an expensive fridge that didn’t last or other things like that they were little blips, not big issues in our overall financial well-being. 

How Do You Stay Current on Financial Topics? 

It’s tough! There is so much information available to us, especially in the finance area. There are fads and new get-rich-schemes, so I think the best way is to read, watch documentaries, and live what the research says. 

I really focus on filtering what I read to reputable resources and I’m not a fan of getting into the newest, flashiest information. I’m a believer that the more complex something is, the less likely it is to work for me and others. 

What is One Piece of Advice You Can Share? 

I’m going to go with a piece of advice from Dr. Thia, MPower Co’s Director of Education. She’s my mom, and I really get most of my wisdom from her. 

Growing up the expectation was very clear – “do your best.” It was not to be perfect or to always do what was expected. I’ve gotten to live a pretty great life, knowing that all I’m doing each day is my best. If I’m rested, my best is much better than on days I’m not. 

If I could lift the pressure of perfection off of other’s shoulders, we could all live a better life, and that is what I’m all about! 

Bonus Question: What Brings You Joy? 

My children bring me joy when they say silly things or act silly. Traveling brings me joy. I have this genuine sense that I’ve had the opportunity to build the life that I’ve always wanted, and it brings me joy to share what I know with others. I love being a financial coach, or I wouldn’t be in this line of work. 

Did You Like this Article on Financial Coach Lea? 

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