When Mom Never Asked Dad About the Finances

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When Mom Never Asked Dad About the Finances


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October 23, 2018

This post was sponsored by Regions Bank. All opinions are my own.

Making financial decisions can be tough with or without the right tools. As young professionals juggle many financial priorities, it's important to realize the gravity of our decisions and the influence those around us have on us, whether that be found in a role-model or through a family member.

There is no doubt that your childhood and upbringing have a massive influence on how you manage your finances in adulthood. These range from small items to how you handle traditions during the holidays to whether or not you decide to take grand scale type vacations. My "boss" behavior was dramatically impacted with an event that changed my life forever and what got me into the business of becoming a financial advisor.

While attending Boston College, I had always planned to do a double major in finance and accounting. My real goal was to become an investment banker in New York City, and I had visions of grandeur of joining a high-end outfit such as Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan. However, in 1989 a tragedy happened, and my father suddenly passed away which forever sent me into a path that shaped the financial manager that I am today.

My mother was a 5th grade teacher. My father a traveling salesman. Teachers are probably the most overworked and underpaid profession that I know of in society today. I watched my mother go above and beyond her duties as a teacher. She spent endless nights putting together bulletin boards, running after school plays, and handling elements of the Parents Teacher Association. All of this work for a salary earned that was subpar compared to most other professions. The one saving grace of being a teacher is being able to earn a pension. If you work long enough and accrue a certain amount of years, you do benefit from being able to have a nice fixed pension when you retire.

When my father passed away, we learned for the first time that my Mom never asked Dad any questions about the finances. We just lived in that kind of household. Maybe you did as well. Mom's checks were used for things like groceries, clothes, etc., and she just assumed that Dad took care of the rest. Unfortunately, my father did a terrible job of financial planning. He had no 401(k). He had no IRA's. He had no life insurance. Worst of all, all on his own and without my Mom's knowledge he managed to rack up more than $100,000 of credit card debt. As the financial picture began to be painted, we quickly realized that nothing was going to be left behind for my Mom.

As you can imagine, this event was a devastating and life altering part of my life. First there was sorrow. Then anger. Then, figuring out how I could dedicate my life to making sure this would never happen to another family again in my life. This had spurred me to take a job as a financial advisor in 1991. The passing of my father and the subsequent knowledge of how he handled the family finances shaped my behavior to build the empire that I manage today. It molded me to be the top financial advisor in the country that I am today.

Fortunately, my Mom decided to work more than 30 years as a teacher and she earned a lifetime pension. It turns out between the pension and Social Security she actually makes more in retirement than she made when she was a teacher. Now, I get to teach people every day how to become the CEO of their family finances and learn to breathe easier® about life!

If you're ready to lead a "boss" life personally, professionally or philanthropically, then Real Talk by Regions Bank's upcoming panel is the event for you! Making Moves While Giving Back, a Real Talk with Regions Bank series event, will feature a motivating panel discussion that dives deep into how the financial decisions you make today can accelerate or delay you from accomplishing the goals you've set out for yourself while also highlighting the financial wins and setbacks that have shaped the lives of the panelists. To learn more about my financial journey and connect with other like-minded young professionals, join us at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta on November 1st, 2018 from 5:00-7:30! RSVP here!

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®

CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc.

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

If you would like to receive more information on making smart money moves for your future, be sure to contact us today!


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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. https://Bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

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