Subscriber Swap Saturday: Good Financial Cents

by Kevin on April 4, 2009

This is the eighteenth edition of Subscriber Swap Saturday.

For the uninitiated, every Saturday I do an interview with another blogger. That blogger also interviews me and posts that interview on their website.We then tell our readers — hey, I think this guy is interesting, you should subscribe to his blog for a week.

This week I’m interviewing Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents. I highly encourage all of my readers to subscribe to his blog and see if you like what you find! Read more about Subscriber Swap Saturday at the link above. His questions for me are up at his blog as well.

Jeff is an Illinois Certified Financial Planner(TM) and co-founder of Alliance Investment Planning Group. Jeff is also the author of Good Financial Cents, a financial planning and investment blog. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS feed or E-mail.

Question (No Debt Plan): Which came first, blogging or being a financial planner? Has doing one helped the other grow?

Answer (Good Financial Cents): Financial planner for sure. Got started in 2001 and just started blogging in 2008. Each has helped one another. Being a financial planner has given me plenty of financial planning topics to discuss with many more to come. Blogging has help me market myself and my practice across more channels than ever before.

Q: What did serving in Iraq teach you about personal finance and American culture?

That young people can be a position to make a lot of money and have no real way to spend it and still squander it away. I saw many of my fellow soldiers return worse off financially than before they left.

Americans take so much for granted. To call some of the living in conditions in Baghdad a slum is being kind.

Q: There are primarily two sides of the fence in personal finance: cut down costs through frugality or earn more income somehow. What side of the fence do you land on, and what do you recommend to your clients?

That is a tough question for me because I have an entrepreneurial spirit.  When I first started my career, I lived the frugal way by sharing rent with friends and driving my paid off 1998 Chevy Lumina.   I worked hard, made more and and have saved even more along the way.   Frugality is key for those that are content with their current living situation.   For me, I knew that my Chevy Lumina was not the car for me, so I’ve worked hard growing my business and always looking for ways to diversify my income.   Blogging has started to generate a little extra income and after we build our home, I plan on looking more into dabbling into real estate.

For my clients, I always suggest they save ample enough, but not so much so that they are not enjoying their life.   I have a widow for a client that her husband’s goal was to have a million dollars saved at retirement.   The husband worked long hours and very hard is whole life, scraping and saving to get to his goal.   He finally reached that goal by the age of 60 and finally retired and one year later passed away.   Saving is one thing, but you have to enjoy your life while you are here and find that happy balance.

Q: What is the weirdest thing a client has ever brought to your attention about their finances?

Probably the weirdest thing was a client who told me that each time he received a paycheck, he would take $100 and put it into a safe in his basement.   At first, I didn’t think it was that weird until I realized he had been doing it over the course of two decades.   I wish you could have seen my jaw drop when I found out how much money he had.  And then I got sick when I realized how much money he had lost by at least not investing it in a bank and drawing some sort of interest. 

Q: When I talk to friends and co-workers I get a lot of pushback on delayed gratification. “You could die tomorrow!”, they say. I’m sure you see this from your clients as well. How do you respond?

Just refer to my client’s story above.   Me and my wife do a tremendous job of saving.  We just reached our goal 8 months of expenses in our emergency fund, no credit card debt, maxed out our IRA’s and we treat ourselves to boot.  We’ve found that happy balance that allows us to save for tomorrow, but also enjoy today.

Q: How do you manage your family finances? Do you do all the legwork or is your wife involved?

My wife loves to have her hand in the finances so she is the “bookkeeper”. She handles most of the bill pay via online banking. I do most of the investment decisions, but still keep her in the loop of some of my moves.

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Thanks for taking time out of your busy career to interview, Jeff. You’re doing something I think I may end up doing in the future — being a certified financial planner and helping folks not only through blogging, but one-on-one. An inspiration! (And wow, that client story is crazy!)

Bloggers — interested in being featured? Check out the schedule. I’ve got openings coming up in May.

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Subscriber Swap Saturday With No Debt Plan | Good Financial Cents
April 13, 2009 at 7:51 am

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