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Asset Allocation, Annuities and Wisdom at Work

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First up this week was Steve from Seattle. Hearing the stories of others, Steve is starting to wonder if his current asset allocation is a bit too risky as he prepares for retirement in the near future.

Next was Ralph from the Bay Area. Also approaching retirement, Ralph is debating whether or not he should add an annuity to his portfolio. Good idea or bad?

When I first walked through the doors of CBS News several years ago, one thing was immediately clear: it’s an interesting mix of the old school and the new school. On one hand you have countless employees who have been in the building for 30 plus years. On the other hand, you have fresh college graduates looking to make it in journalism.

And yet somehow we all come together and make it work. One big team with a crazy assortment of players.

And according to our latest guest, Chip Conley, it’s these well balanced and diverse teams that hold the keys to success. Hence his latest book, Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder.

At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant.

He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn't write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son.

Conley quickly discovered that while he'd been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner's mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the "Modern Elder."

In a world that places emphasis on the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the "digital natives" nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback.

At a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess - like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach - never expire.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

We Need To Talk College with Beth Kobliner

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October marks the beginning of the college financial aid application season. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA, became available for the 2018-2019 school year on October 1.

Having the college talk with your kids can certainly be a tricky and complicated situation. To help you guys out, we’re joined by bestselling author and financial literacy advocate, Beth Kobliner.

Beth’s latest project, We Need To Talk College, focuses on choosing the right college and figuring out how to pay for it.

The project focuses on four main areas:

  • Starting the conversation: Here’s where the journey begins. Starting to talk about your worries and excitement when your kid is in 9th grade gives your family time to prepare for big changes ahead. So gather around the kitchen table, or cozy up on the couch, and start talking.

  • Shopping for schools: It can be overwhelming—trying to separate higher ed hype from the truth, navigating the application process, and figuring out what your kid will actually get for all that money. Here’s how to become a super smart college shopper and create a shortlist of schools that fit your kid’s needs and your budget.

  • Paying for college: College costs have soared—but a degree is more valuable than ever. Here you’ll find all the resources you need to understand financial aid, talk to your kid about the money side of higher ed, and keep track of your progress toward paying for college.

  • Making the final choice: You’ve come a long way from that first college conversation. Now that the acceptance and award letters are in, it’s time for you and your kid to make a final decision. It can feel like a leap of faith, but never fear: Here’s where you learn how to choose a college that checks all the boxes, without losing your mind.

When you complete these four steps, it’s time to celebrate, because you did it! You have a kid on the way to college!

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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Active vs Passive Investing

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By now you probably know that I consider myself a passive investor. That said, is there ever a time when it makes sense to be an active investor so you can squeeze out a greater percentage on that return? That's the question from Ben in Indiana on the latest BONUS call.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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Retirement Accounts and Insurance 101 with Policygenius

You’ve saved for years and years as you prepared for retirement. Now that the day is finally here, which retirement accounts should you access first? That’s the question facing Tim from New York as we kickoff the latest show.

I love people and organizations who take complex financial issues and make them easier for the user.

Few things are more complex than the insurance industry. And few organizations have managed to make it easy for the user to navigate the insurance landscape.

One such organization is Policygenius, a website that offers users an easy way to compare and buy various products such as life, auto, disability, and homeowners policies.

Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by Jennifer Fitzgerald, the founder and CEO of Policygenius.

For Fitzgerald, the business started with a simple question…”Why is buying insurance such a frustrating experience?”

As consultants to the top insurance companies, Fitzgerald and her partner suspected that this consumer problem was behind a lot of things they observed. It’s why life insurance ownership is at a 50-year low. It’s why health and disability under-insurance is behind most personal bankruptcies and home foreclosures. And it’s why they started Policygenius.

Their mission is simple: “To get people the insurance coverage they need and make them feel good about it.”

That means they thoughtfully built their business for every type of insurance consumer who may come their way:

  • Detail-oriented? They building the best insurance content library out there

  • More of a big picture person? Their Insurance Checkup is the best (and only) big picture tool around

  • Convenience shopper? They’re building a one-stop shop. If you need life insurance and pet insurance, you shouldn’t have to go to a bunch of different sites.

  • Skeptic? They’re an independent site and not affiliated with any insurers. They’ll provide you with choice and the information you need to make the right decision.

It’s a rare treat to be joined by somebody who is truly excited about the insurance industry!

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Becoming the Ultimate Sales Machine with Ryan Serhant

I love real estate, and I know I’m not alone because we’re constantly getting questions from you guys about mortgages, the housing market, interest rates, etc.

Maybe some of you like real estate so much that you’re fans of the Bravo television show, Million Dollar Listing New York.

Today we’re joined by Ryan Serhant, one of three real estate agents featured on the hit show, who’s out with his first book, Sell It Like Serhant: How to Sell More, Earn More, and Become the Ultimate Sales Machine.

Think of it as a lively and practical guide to sell anything and up your business game from one of the top realtors in the world.

Serhant was a shy, jobless hand model when he entered the real estate business in 2008, just as the financial crisis was kicking off. Just nine years later, he has emerged as one of the top realtors in the world and an authority on the art of selling.

In this book Serhant shares the secrets behind how to close more deals than anyone else, expand your business, and keep clients coming back to you, including:

  • The Seven Stages of Selling

  • Getting FKD: How to Be a Time Manager, Not a Time Stealer.

  • Negotiating Like A BOSS

  • "The One Who...": Everyone Needs a Hook

  • Pulling the Indecisive Client Forward

Serhant provides useful lessons, lively stories, and examples that illustrate how anyone can employ his principles to increase profits and achieve success.

Whatever your business or expertise, Sell It Like Serhant will help transform you into a master at sales.

Ready, set, GO!

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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Retirement Plan Checkup

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It's one thing to have a retirement plan in place, but once it's established, you need to tweak and modify it as the years go by, hence the need for regular financial checkups. That's the case today with Jeff who first called me five years ago.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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Annuities, Retirement Plan + The Work-Life Balance with Ben Feder

This week we’re just answering email questions. The year is quickly slipping away and the inbox is still severely backed up, so it’s time to get cracking!

Questions included my favorite topic of annuities, retirement planning, reducing taxes, mortgages and more!

Have a money question? Email me here.

Many of us recently wrapped up our summer vacations. I was able to take a nice two week break. I was hoping for three but wasn’t able to pull it off.

Our guest today, Ben Feder, encountered no such obstacle when he decided to take six months off. Yes, six months! Okay, that’s not quite a vacation, it’s more of a sabbatical.

And as he outlines in his recent book, Take Off Your Shoes: One Man's Journey from the Boardroom to Bali and Back, it was the classic struggle of achieving that highly sought after work-life balance that led to Feder calling a timeout on his professional life.

Described as the The Eat, Pray, Love for busy executives, Take Off Your Shoes invites the reader to join a journey of self-rediscovery.

A hard-charging CEO of a large enterprise, Feder discovers that he is losing the very things that sustained him over his years of business success. Unsettled by his insight and determined to rebuild family relationships and rejuvenate his sense of purpose, he risks his career on a life-altering physical and emotional journey.

Together with his wife and children, Feder sets off for an exotic island on a self-prescribed sabbatical year. That experience transforms them all.

The writing is honest and moving, baring the author’s innermost struggles and fears, and enticing the reader to share his quest. As Feder navigates the thrills and pitfalls of his time away, he draws us into the examinations of values and priorities we all encounter in adult life.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Wisdom at Work with Chip Conley


When I first walked through the doors of CBS News several years ago, one thing was immediately clear: it’s an interesting mix of the old school and the new school. On one hand you have countless employees who have been in the building for 30 plus years. On the other hand, you have fresh college graduates looking to make it in journalism.

And yet somehow we all come together and make it work. One big team with a crazy assortment of players.

And according to our latest guest, Chip Conley, it’s these well balanced and diverse teams that hold the keys to success. Hence his latest book, Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder.

At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant.

He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn't write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son.

Conley quickly discovered that while he'd been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner's mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the "Modern Elder."

In a world that places emphasis on the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the "digital natives" nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback.

At a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess - like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach - never expire.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

https://twitter.com/jillonmoney

https://www.facebook.com/JillonMoney

https://www.instagram.com/jillonmoney/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillonmoney/ 

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/jill-... 

https://apple.co/2pmVi50

Protecting Your Retirement Plan

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You've done a great job with your retirement plan and a great job of saving. But now you're thinking about worst case scenarios. What happens if there's another recession? Will I lose everything? Is my current allocation too aggressive? That's the scenario on the latest bonus call with Bob from Philadelphia.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

https://twitter.com/jillonmoney

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Real Estate + The Financial Crisis Ten Years Later

Saving for retirement while also trying to save for a house downpayment. That’s the dilemma facing Erin from Salt Lake City as we kicked off the latest radio show. Is there a happy medium? Or should she focus all her efforts on getting that downpayment in place?

Next up was Joe from Chicago with another real estate question. This one involves finding a way to keep an piece of existing property in the family.

Where has the time gone? It was ten years ago this month that the U.S. financial system was brought to its knees.

To help us retrace the events of that period, we’re joined today by Gretchen Morgenson, investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

As the financial crisis was unfolding, Morgenson was working for the New York Times, and subsequently co-authored Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.

There’s no one more qualified to walk us down memory lane and remind us of just how bad things actually were. In case you’ve forgotten, consider this timeline:

  • 9/15/2008: Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. On the same day, Bank of America announced its intent to purchase Merrill Lynch for $50 billion.

  • 9/16/2008: The Federal Reserve Board authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lend up to $85 billion to AIG under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act.

  • 9/16/2008: The net asset value of shares in the Reserve Primary Money Fund fell below $1 per share, primarily due to losses on Lehman Brothers commercial paper and medium-term notes. When the Reserve fund “broke the buck,” it caused panic among investors who considered money market accounts nearly the equivalent of bank savings accounts.

  • 9/19/2008: To guard against a run on money market funds, the Treasury Department announced that it would insure up to $50 billion in money-market fund investments at companies that paid a fee to participate in the program. The year long initiative guaranteed that the funds' values would not fall below the $1 a share.

  • 9/20/2008: The Treasury Department submitted draft legislation to Congress for authority to purchase troubled assets (the first version of TARP).

  • 9/21/2008: The Federal Reserve Board approved applications of investment banking companies Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to become bank holding companies.

All this in just one week!! An incredible moment in the history of this country, and it was only ten years ago.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.