Getting Clear on Living Intentionally with Jim Crider | EU 7545 min read

July 26, 2021

Mama, what do you really want your life to look like? I know that you may have a difficult time answering this question, you may have an idea of what you imagine it to look like, but then you don’t feel like it’s possible. And because your vision isn’t clear enough, you just go about […]

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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Mama, what do you really want your life to look like?

I know that you may have a difficult time answering this question, you may have an idea of what you imagine it to look like, but then you don’t feel like it’s possible. And because your vision isn’t clear enough, you just go about your life doing what you think should be done as per society’s norm.

What do you think would happen if you were to start being really intentional and truly understood what it is that is important to you and your family, and have very clear goals for the life you want to live? Maybe you want to cut down on your working hours and start spending more time with your kids, or maybe you just want to be able to go on a family vacation once a year.

Getting really clear on this and having a great financial planner can help you on this road. My guest today is a Certified Financial Planner who helps families seek early financial independence for the purpose of the freedom to spend significant time with the people they care about and the ability to pursue what is important to them.

Meet Jim Crider

Jim Crider, is a husband, dad of 3 boys, outdoor adventurer, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM. He is the CEO of Intentional Living FP, a financial planning company designed specifically to guide clients as they navigate the path to early financial independence for the purpose of spending time with the people they care about and pursuing their passions.

Visit his website. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Claim your free assessment for Financial Planning For Families Desiring Early Financial Independence

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In This Podcast


  • A common mistake families make when it comes to financial planning
  • How do you plan with intention?
  • When should you meet with a financial planner?
  • How do you find a good financial planner?

A common mistake families make when it comes to financial planning

When each person in the family does not fully understand what is actually important to them:

  • Who they are,
  • What they hope to be, and
  • What they hope to accomplish in life

If you are married, it is also important for each spouse to know these things about themselves and one another so that they can be aligned.

That’s foundational. If you don’t know what you’re actually planning for, and I’m not talking about goals … I’m talking about who, at your core, do you hope to be? What do you want to be known for? … Once you fully understand that about yourself and about your spouse and you are aligned, then and only then can you actually move forward on a healthy framework, to actually implement taking proper actions. (Jim Crider)

How do you plan with intention?

Understand who you are, what you want to be known for, and who you want to become, because money is a tool, and once you know the answers to the previous questions you are able to utilize the power of money as a tool to make those answers realities.

A series of questions to ask yourself first off:

  • If money was no longer a concern in your life, how would you spend your time?
  • You find out you only have five to ten years left to live; how would you spend your remaining time?
  • If you find out you only have 24-hours left to live, think about this; who did you not get to become? What did you not get to experience?

When should you meet with a financial planner?

When and how should you decide to work with a financial planner? There is a myth that you need to have a lot of money to work with a financial adviser, and sometimes traditionally this is true, however not for all cases.

  1. Will: do you have the desire to manage your own money?
  2. Skill: do you have the skill to manage your own money?
  3. Time: do you have the time to review your portfolio, get ahead on tax, and set out a proper budget?

If you can say yes to all three of those … then my goodness, go for it and do it on your own, that’s fantastic! But if there’s one of those three that you can’t honestly say “yes” to, then that would be that you should look to [outsourcing] part of that. (Jim Crider)

Outsourcing this assistance can look different for each person depending on what you want to use your money for, and what you want to achieve with it.

  • Values,
  • Goals,
  • Decisions,
  • Actions

How do you find a good financial planner?

Once you have decided that you would like to work with and hire a financial planner, what aspects or qualities should you keep an eye out for in them?

  1. You want someone who is academically on top of things. Look for someone who is CFP certified.
  2. Is this person a generalist, or do they work with people like me?
  3. Find someone who is a guide to you on your journey and is not simply preaching facts or programs at you.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

My job when it’s all said and done is to help you live the life that you want to live. And your money is just a way to support that. And yes, I’m going to help you make really smart, intentional financial decisions, but ultimately it all comes back to supporting who are you? Who do you hope to be? And how can we generate purposeful moments and memories for you and your family? That’s what we’re here to do.
Hey girl. Imagine a life where you feel supported, connected and understood. I get it. Being a mom is hard, especially when you’re spinning so many plates. We exhaust ourselves trying to create the perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your family without the stress perfectionism brings. On this podcast, I provide practical and relatable life experiences. I teach women quick and easy to use strategies to help them reclaim their identity, re-ignite their marriage and enjoy their children. If you’re ready to be challenged, then pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper because it’s about to go down. I’m Veronica Cisneros, a licensed marriage and family therapist and this is the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast.

Hey ladies, welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. Today’s guest is a husband, dad of three boys, outdoor adventurer, and a certified financial planner. He is the CEO of Intentional Living FP, a financial planning company designed specifically to guide clients as they navigate the path to early financial independence for the purpose of spending time with the people they care about and pursuing their passions. So please help me by welcoming Jim Crider. Hey Jim.
Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Absolutely. So I’m super excited to have you on for a couple reasons. Like I told you earlier, good amount of my audience are women well, like about 99.9% of the audience is women. And I want to go ahead and get a male’s perspective. So we had a few financial planners on the episode in the past, but you being the father of three and a husband, want to go on and get a male’s perspective of why financial planning is so important, especially for the family. So can you please share with us your story and how you became, or how you even got into becoming a financial planner?
Gosh. Okay, that’s a phenomenal question. Yes, I guess I’ll just tell you how it came about now I’ll answer the question as well as how that serves women and families. So quite a few years back, I was working at a company. I was directing sales. I’m a horrible salesperson, but I was leading sales at a company and found out that the boss was doing pretty shady stuff and I wasn’t going to stand for that. So I left and that led to a sustained period of unemployment. Fortunately my wife and I, we were pretty young newlyweds at that point. So we were pretty frugal and thrifty, but being unemployed for a sustained period of time can lead to some financial hardship.

During that period, I just really started thinking about the implications of finances and how money is really the number one cause of divorce in the US. It’s one of the top causes of suicide and personal stress and I just started thinking that I would love to be able to help people actually have healthy conversations around their money and use their money for what’s important to them in life. I didn’t know what that meant or what that would look like. I didn’t know what a CFP or certified financial planner is. All I knew is wow, I would love to help families actually have healthy money conversations and use their money for them with what’s important to them. And that’s what I pursued and I just sort of went at it from there.
What I notice a lot in couples is one person is totally frugal and the other one’s like, dude, I work hard for this money. I’m going to spend it like. I’m going to spend it. It’s going to happen. And you’re right, it is one of the leading causes of suicide and also a leading cause of divorce. Finances are extremely important. What would you say are the most common mistakes families make when it comes to financial planning?
The initial mistake is each person in the family, not fully understanding What’s actually important to them, who they are, who they hope to be and what they hope to accomplish in life. So not fully understanding that in and of yourself And then understanding that about, if you’re married, understanding about your spouse and then becoming aligned together. That’s foundational. If you don’t know what you’re actually planning for and I’m not talking about goals, like I hope to retire at 48 and have a house in Jacksonville. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about, at your core, who do you hope to be? What do you want to be known for? What do you want your legacy to be? Once you fully understand that, again, about you and about your spells spouse and you’re all aligned, then, and only then can you actually move forward on a healthy framework and a healthy foundation to actually implement taking proper actions?

So that’s the number one mistake. It’s not starting from there. If we can start trying to slap good, healthy financial decisions on that, but without starting from that basis, it’s going to lead to a lot of resentment and unhealthy hard money conversations. You know, if we say like, “Hey, we need to stop spending so much money or we need to invest more or do these things and address the symptoms,” rather than becoming aligned, then it’s going to be very difficult to continue to make intentional and good actions over a prolonged period of time.
How do we do that? I love everything you just shared because I agree, that is extremely important. How do we start? What would be the first step?
The first step is, so I take all my clients through a process of, anyone I want to work with, anyone I work with, it is emphatic that we establish up front, that my job is ultimately to help you live the life that you want to live and your money is nothing more than a tool or a resource that is there to help you do that. So upfront, I want to understand who are you, what do you want to be known for, who do you hope to be? I want each person to be known in that and then only from there, can we move forward. So to establish that we go through a series of questions. These are things that I actually, I assign as homework to the couples before we actually, before you touch on money conversations, we go through these questions. So the first question we go through actually is let’s say Veronica, money was no longer a concern in your life. You had all that you needed to do whatever you want to do. How would you spend your time? What would the life look like? Let yourself go completely.
Okay. I’m going to do it. I’m really doing it. I would, gosh, okay, so there’s a cross. There’s two things. I absolutely love to work. I’m like in it. It’s happening. And at the same time, I also love like, the first thing I thought of is, okay, so I’m on an island and the kids are laughing and you know where I’m at. I’m at the river, like I’m totally at the river, we were just there, at the river. The kids are having fun. We’re all by ourselves and we’re playing with the kids and we’re playing baseball with the kids and we’re just having a good time. I’m not on my phone. I’m not checking emails. We’re just there. So how I would answer that is being intentional, being present and intentional and away.
No, that’s everything you just described to me, obviously, there are goals associated with that. You know, you described tangible things that we can pursue, but the way you described it paints a deeper picture of really what you hope to do with your life and the people you want to be with. So that’s where we start. And again, goals are really important. I want to understand who are you? So that’s the first question and we’ll really dig in there. And again, if obviously we want to allow this to be a safe space for spouses to share and come out and make themselves be fully known. These are conversations that aren’t regularly had.

And the next question, so there’s three questions, so the next question is, let’s say Veronica, you went to the doctor tomorrow for routine checkup and they pulled you aside and said, “Hey it actually turns out that you only have five to 10 years left to live.” Now, obviously the bad news is that there is a finite time, but the good news is that your life between now and then won’t be affected. How would you spend your time? What would you do with that time you have left?
Oh gosh. Entering a hundred percent, honestly. So I go straight to being with my kids. And again, it goes back to that business component of not only continuing with, not only being on this path of teaching my daughters how to be independent, teaching my daughters how to go after their dreams without any fears. So there would still be that business component. And I say that because it’s, I know a lot of people will go straight to, “Oh I’d be on an island and screw work. I’m no longer working.” It’s not how I see it. In 10 years it’s like, I definitely want to make an imprint, not only on my kids, but my mission has been to help women, help women step outside of their comfort zone. I have three girls.

So for me, it’s like, I’m not only going to say it. I’m going to do it. So it would be, well, I really have to meet with frickin Oprah. And now I only have 10 years. So it’s like, okay, my dream was to be interviewed by Oprah and that’s going to happen and my kids are going to be witness to it in a part of it. So maybe instead of them going to, they’re in private school, so maybe instead of them going to private school, like their ass is going to be with me on the road and they’re going to be a part of that. They’re going to provide me with ideas there. I’m going to go ahead and challenge them and help them discover what their dreams are, what their goals are. Because if I’m only going to have 10 years, Leo be 28, Aubrey will be 20 and Brooklyn will be, oh I’m sorry, Aubrey will be 24 and Brooklyn will be 20. So it’s like shit, I’m probably not going to see them do everything, but at least I can provide them with the foundation and the mindset to help them get it done. So, yes, I’ll be a part of helping them build their legacy while creating my own. Oh my God. I want to cry, Jim. Okay, I love this. Keep going. I love this.
That’s beautiful. And I obviously, as you can see there, it’s fun to think about what all we do, if we had unlimited money. But because things become much more real and close to home when we think about the finality of time. And the odd thing is all of us have a finite amount of time. It just doesn’t become, we’re not aware of that until we’re actually given a, this is it. So the last question there is, let’s say instead of going to the doctor and finding out you have 10 years left to live, tomorrow, you go to the doctor and they let you know that, “Hey, Veronica, you actually, you have 24 hours left to live.”
Oh sit. Thanks a lot to Jim.
Having that now sink in, the question is not, what do you do for your last day? I’m sure we can all have beautiful and exciting things to do there. But the question is rather thinking about what we have left and what we’re going to, what are the things Veronica that you are going to miss out on? Who did you not get to become? What did you not get to do? The things you did not get to experience.
Oh gosh. So the biggest part of me, ah, the biggest part of me wants to say, like I did it. I did it. My goal as a kid was to be a therapist and own my own private practice. And I surpassed that. I didn’t even think it was possible. I just got my eyelashes done, Jim. I’m not supposed to cry. But it’s like, it kind of goes back to this question. It falls in line with the question you just asked, would your younger self be proud of what you’ve accomplished as an adult? And when I looked at that, I ended up buying one of his paintings this weekend. We do family day every Sunday and it was like, my honest answer was, yes, absolutely. Sorry. I curse here on this one, but it was like, absolutely.

So if I only had 24 hours to live, it was like, damn, I would celebrate it. I feel like I’m doing that now little by little, because that has taken me to work, but it’s like, I feel like I would celebrate. And even my relationship with my kids, my relationship with my husband, he’s sexy as hell, but my relationship with my husband, like I did it. I don’t want to go. So God, if you’re listening, not till like I’m 130 with Botox and all the injections. But if I only had 24 hours to live, it’s like I have a financial planner, it’s like, yes, I did it. That’s where I would go. I don’t know if I answered your question.
No, that’s fair. Ultimately there is to understand, like, so for instance I was once walking through a client through these questions and we got there. I work specifically with young families. All my clients, are between early thirties to mid forties. That’s who I work with. All these people have young kids like me. I’m 31, my wife and I, we have three boys all within three years of age. They’re three, one and five months old. So I can relate to where they’re at and a common answer there is like, gosh, I didn’t get to see my kids grow up. That’s a huge regret. And obviously money can play a role in that. We all want to leave, you know, there’s this intuitive desire to lead your kids better off than you started and to give them a foot up and not make them entitled, but allow them to pursue what’s important to them.

So there’s certainly financial components there, but a very common thing is like, gosh, I didn’t get to experience my kids and in part the things along the way that I hope to give them. It’s like, oh my gosh, that’s so important to you. What can we do about it now? And I’m not even talking about money. I’m talking about leaving legacy. Is there something we could do today? Can you start a journal, writing down? Hey, I’m so proud of you. Today you did this and I want you to do this. And here’s how you can implement this in your life. Because again, ultimately, like I said upfront my job when it’s all said and done is to help you live the life that you want to live and your money is just a way to support that. And yes, I’m going to help you make really smart, intentional financial decisions, but ultimately it all comes back to supporting who are you? Who do you hope to be? And how can we curate purposeful moments and memories for you and your family? That’s what we’re here to do.
I love that. I love your approach because I know when I met with my financial planner, he’s cool as shit, but initially it was like, I felt like I had to probably read some like book that I didn’t even know was out nor was it assigned to me. But I had felt like, okay, I have to read a book and I didn’t start even looking into financial planning until my bookkeeper goes, “Okay, Veronica, let’s talk about your money because it’s starting look like Mexican cartel. So let’s figure this out.” But I didn’t know about that. I didn’t know anything about that. I grew up very, very poor, financial planning didn’t exist, you had $20 in your hand and whole bunch of credit card debt, but you had just enough to invite people over for [inaudible 00:17:27]. Like that’s —
That was the plan.
That was the plan and anything after that, we’ll see where it goes. So now with everything, the way it’s set up, it’s like, okay, now I have a better understanding and I’ve had to ask really difficult questions and I’ve had to, while I with my financial planner, raise my head and say, “I don’t know what the hell you just said. You’re talking about margins and the K one and I don’t know what any of that is. So break it down for me, Charlie brown status.” And it did, it felt intimidating. I’m like, I felt there was this other part of me like, okay, wait a minute. Like, I have a master’s degree, I’m educated, but none of that mattered. None of that mattered.
Yes. I would say the vast majority, if not all of my clients are far smarter than I am. I just happened to spend a whole lot of time studying this one niche, odd thing that I’m really fascinated by. But now I definitely get that. Can I tell you a funny, a quick story?
So I love what I do, like to a fault. I am the only person I’ve ever come across that after I passed my CFP, which is a ton, hundreds of hours of study, I just went through and re-read my books for fun. I enjoy this stuff. Well, a few years ago, my wife, her name is Kendra, so while Kendra, she was still working at the time, we only had one son, but she desperately wanted to be able to stay at home with our boys. We had one and the second was on the way and she just, gosh, I wish there was a way I could stay at home and not need to work, but every night she had to hear me talk about how much I love my work and tell stories about awesome tax strategies I was learning about or ways I was able to help clients.

One night we’re having dinner, we already had the kids down to bed and we’re having dinner and she just stopped me and said, “Jim, I just don’t get it. How do you possibly like your work so much?” And I sort of stopped and it made me wonder. I said, “Well, babe, what do you think that I do if it’s that miserable? What do you picture?” So well, it just sounds really bad, both as a client, but also as a job. Like, I don’t see how you get excited to go and do this every day. Well, what do you think that I do? So she went and she sat back and she started thinking about it and she said, “Well, when I think of a financial planner, I picture going to an office, that’s a whole bunch of mahogany wood and big leather back chairs and an old guy wearing a pinstripe suit and big cufflinks, some of those big white collars, and he basically just interrogates me for two hours. He’s asking me why I’m spending so much money on makeup and clothes and how much money I’m going to spend on utilities when I’m 73 and what I want my rate of return and my risk tolerance from neutral fund portfolio to be, and all this jargon that I have no clue what he’s saying. I feel dumb so I just sit here and pretend to act like I know what he’s talking about and after two hours of being interrogated, he says, all right, Kendra, you may or may not be able to retire in 35 years. Here’s two inches of paperwork to show you the charts and graphs that could support this. Let’s do it again another year.”

She said, “That sounds like a really bad experience.” As a client, I would feel intimidated and I don’t feel like there would be much value to me. And as a job, as you being the guy behind the desk, that just seems really a dull way to spend 8, 9, 10 hours a day.” And I just paused. That’s fair. That does sound pretty rough. So, well, what would it look like if you actually could go to someone and talk to them about your finances? What would be a good experience for you? She sat back and she sort of thought for a minute. She said, “Well, I really wish that you and I, we had someone that you and I could go to together and we could talk to them about what we hope our life to look like. Is there a way for me to be able to stop working so I can be at home with the kids?”

And those are away from you to be able to leave a corporate job and start your own business, so we have more time as a family. And what would it look like for you if have to work till you’re 65.?That’d be able to have the optionality to not have to work at 45 and what would it look like to send the kids to private school versus public school? How do you save for college? And my gosh, could we get a house and [inaudible 00:21:39]? Is that possible? I just want someone to talk to, someone to talk to about what we hope to experience and accomplish in life. And of course the things I’m afraid of happening, how do we steer away from those, or at least mitigate them? That would be amazing. And I just sort of sat there and had a big grin.

And she said, “But that doesn’t sound like a bunch of facts and figures. I didn’t describe mutual funds. I just talked about life. So I guess I wouldn’t call that a financial planner. I’d call that a life planner.” I said, “Babe, you just described perfectly what I do. That is it. I want to help people understand what they truly want to accomplish in life. And then how do we just simply align their daily decisions, those big decisions that come up? How do we align these things that way they’re actually purposely and intentionally doing the things in their life that’s important to them both now and down the line?” So that’s what I get to do. That is why I love my job. It’s so amazing.
I love that. That takes all of the fear out of our first meeting. So when do we start, when does a family meet with a financial planner? Because another myth is, well, you don’t meet with the financial planner until you’re financially stable, or you have good amount of money. When do you actually meet with a financial planner?
That’s a very fair question. And I would say traditionally, that’s true. I’ve worked at a couple of firms where basically, and that’s what most firms are like, if you want to have good financial planning, I would say you traditionally, you need a million dollars or whatever to justify the financial advisor taking you as a client. Fortunately things have become more accessible. So how do you decide if you should work with somebody? I would say there’s three tenets here. There is do you have the desire to manage your own money? That’s the first question.

The next question is skill. Do you have the skill to manage your own financial life? And then finally, do you have the time, do you actually want to make time to review your investment portfolio, understand updated tax strategies, as Congress constantly meets and updates things? If you can say yes to all three of those, I have the will, I have the skill and I have the time, then my goodness, go for it. Do it on your own. That’s fantastic. But my thought is, if there’s one of those three that you can’t honestly say yes to, then that should be a time that you should look to maybe outsource part of that. Now, obviously that can look at different ways. That can look like working with someone like me, who’s my job is to live anywhere and everywhere that your life and your money intersect. Or my goodness, if all you need is like, I need help setting up an IRA that’s invested appropriately, you can go pay a robot to do that pretty efficiently.

But if for instance, like changing oil in a car is not very difficult. So I have the skill, I guess I could have the time, but frankly, I don’t have the will. I don’t want to get up on Saturday morning and go lay on my driveway. So going through that, those questions, that’s how I decide what I’m going to do with myself versus outsource. That’s why I would challenge people to think through is, is it time to outsource this? So, yes, it’s not a matter of, I have a million dollars or I’m the CEO of a company that just IPO-ed, but rather, hey, do I have the ability, the time, the desire to actually help navigate where I am currently and where I hope to be?
Nice, nice. I don’t know what IPO means. What is that?
IPO, is initial public offering. So a company, if they’re previously a privately owned company and they want to become publicly owned.
Oh okay. I’m like, okay, I have no idea what you just said.
I think that was like financial planner curse word. All right. So another question, you mentioned a lot about values and it sounds like it all circles around family values, it all circles around more time. What would be the ideal setup for a family? Like if you, as a financial planner, if you could set it up, what would be the ideal setup? Because you mentioned buying houses, car or retiring, or maybe a wife not working, what would you say is an ideal setup for a family across the board? And I know that’s a hard question.
Yes. So obviously each person’s different. That’s my job is to understand what’s important to them specifically.
Let’s say a family, let’s say like both of you. A family has kids, owner, one of them is an owner or whatever. What would you say is that like, it’s not what’s important, but what would be an ideal setup? There you go.
Yes. Well, so fortunately I work with families pretty much just like me, which makes my job a lot easier. I understand conversations that are being had behind closed doors. I understand the decisions that are going to need to be made. So I’m a really good prototype of the people I work with. So taking myself and really the average of my clients. Yes, I guess ideal setup. I’ll describe me. So again, I’m 31, I want to not have to work by the time I’m 45. Now, if I won the lottery today, I’d keep doing this, but I just want total optionality at 45. The thing is, the reason I want that, so that’s a goal is not have to work at 45, but if I focus solely on a goal while neglecting the underlying ‘why’ the value there, I can really easily get off track.

So the goal is retire at 45, but the reason, the value there is, so I have more time to spend with the people that I love. And that in that situation, but when I’m 45, my kids will be mid-teens. I want to be able to spend a lot of time with my kids before they have families of their own. That’s why I want to retire at 45. So keeping that mind, that’s the down the line, but recognizing that the purpose there, so I’ll have time with my family, well, between 31 and 45, I want to make sure that I’m also having good moments and memories and time with my family currently. So this can be across the board. You can work, you can be a workaholic for 10 years and then retire really quick or it can be someone more like me. I’m building my company in a way that allows them to make enough income, to be able to retire early, but also where I can read to my kids every night before bed.

And I do not take clients meetings before 9:00 AM because every morning I’m there to get my kids ready in the morning and we’re eating breakfast, we’re playing monster trucks. That’s important to me. Yes, my wife and I, we love to go on trips together. and as a family. We do want to have a house in Jackson Hole or Telluride. Yes, we certainly have goals, but ultimately it all centers and comes back to the family. Like the reason I want a house in Telluride is because I want a place for our family to be able to gather and create moments of nourish together. And that is a central location. So again, it all comes back to yes, goals, but why do you have these goals? Once you’re very clear on the value, you can then establish goals themselves. Once you are articulate about those goals, then you can more easily make decisions and once you have purposely made decisions, then you can take intentional actions. So it stems from there, values, then goals, then decisions and actions.
Nice. Okay, so being able to identify all of those.
Yes. And it’s a flow chart. Again, it’s anchored in your values and then goals and then finally decisions and actions. I heard someone say years ago, when your vision is clear, your decisions are easy. So that’s where we begin, becoming very clear what’s important to you. That way when it comes time to make decisions, big decisions or small decisions, they’re much easier to make. Now it doesn’t mean that’s not work to require sacrifice or hard work, but you’ll be able to make them with much more conviction because you know where you want to go with that.
Awesome. I love that you, like all of it still circles back to, what do you really want? What do you really want your life to look like? And I think, I don’t think, I know a lot of people have a difficult time answering that question. They’ll have an idea of what they imagine it to look like, but then not feel like it’s possible. So they’ll revert back to whatever society says where we should all be at a particular age, but being able to really peel back that onion and discover what is it that I really want. And when I say family time, what do I mean by that? You know, because you can have all of the family time in the world, be a stay-at-home dad, but are you intentional? Are you really present or you’re on the phone the whole time or watching sports? I love that that’s your primary focus? I already asked, when should we start? What would you say most of us, most families are missing?
Gosh, I feel like I’m just beating the same drum, but it comes back to a healthy understanding of what’s truly important to you. And you just said a second ago, not what’s important as a culture or what’s important to your neighbors or what’s important to Instagram or whatever, but what is actually important to you and your family? You must begin with that. And yes, there’s certainly the technical, like everything I’ve said probably makes it sound like I’m pie in the sky sort of out there kind of guy. Like I love the facts and figures and the numbers. So yes, it’s really important to make sure, are you doing the things? Are you actually taking actions that align with what you say is important? Like everyone here probably would at least want the optionality to not have to work by the time they’re 45 or 50, but it also takes the work.

So yes. What are people missing? Well, one is the clarity of what’s important to them, but also just the ability to reconcile their actions with what they want. And there’s the simple day in day out; obviously like don’t spend more than you’re making, budget properly, have good cash flow, build up your net worth, those sort of things. And then every once in a while, probably every three or so years, you’re going to come across a really big financial decision that’s going to massively dictate where you end up down the line and just the ability to actually purposely make those decisions in a way that is well-informed with the current market scenarios and tax situations like, gosh, I do this full time and that’s a lot to keep up with. So I can imagine not doing this and being able to keep up with all of those things as well.
Okay. So looking for a financial planner you’re saying, making sure that they’re, I don’t want to say, well, I’m not going to answer the question for you, because that’s where I’m like Veronica, bring it back. How do we look for a financial planner? How do we look for a really good financial planner? What do we need? What are the characteristics? What are the traits?
Yes. So we’ll start with the simple things, so the one obviously is my opinion. One, you want someone who is academically and the numbers wise on top of things. And I believe what’s called a certified financial planner or the CFP is the credential that you should look for to indicate that this person at least has the technical chops. So that’s step one. Are they certified financial planner or CFP? That’s something that I would assign as value. Two, is this person a generalist or they work with people like me? Obviously, there’s a place for generalist, but if you’re going to go and have someone work on your knee, I’m sure you want someone who has a knee doctor. You’re not going to go talk to your, I don’t know, like an ophthalmologist. You want some new focuses on that. They see it day in, day out.

So what type of person are you working with? I have a mentor who only works with dentists. Like that guy, he gets it. So find someone who not only is credentially smart and well off in that sense, but also they have the at-bats, the reps with working with people like you. Finally you want to find someone who is not going to just preach at you and tell you, “Hey, here’s what you have to do. Here’s your plan. We’ll see you in a year,” like my wife described. I would really advocate for finding someone who is not there just to tell you what to do, but rather to act as a guide. In all of this, you’re the hero of your story. You’re doing these things. We’re here to help you do. What’s important to you. My job is simply to serve as a guide to help you make those decisions along the way. So find someone who’s going to be there to do that. They are helping you make good, healthy decisions with your money as a guide, as an informer, and as somebody who can come along and navigate that along the way.
Awesome. So we’re definitely looking for that CFP credential and then the other part is, do you trust them? Do you feel like they understand you and what you want versus trying to make choices for you?
Okay. Awesome. Kind of goes in line with the therapist; make sure they’re licensed and then make sure it lines up. And you know, another aspect, when you’re looking for a therapist, you’re looking for somebody who challenges you. How would a financial planner challenge us?
Oh gosh, well, it’s this odd dichotomy. So my job is not to tell my clients what they should or should not do, what should be important to them, what they should accomplish, but rather to understand that fully. But once that’s been made known, it then becomes my job to help them make decisions that help them align their actions with what they said. So if you tell me, “Hey, Jim, I really want to be able to —“
I want some mental help.
Yes, I want to be able to go and make memories of my kids over the next three years while they’re in that perfect age before they’re like crazy teenagers and all that stuff. Like this is the time. Okay, I’m going to tell you to do that. Right now I have four client couples that are expecting their first kid. All of them told me it’s important, that their marriage is really important and they’re worried about the time stress that’s going to come when they have kids, which I can relate to. So all four of these families, I actually made it homework. “Hey, you have eight months before that baby comes. In the next eight months, I expect you to book a babymoon, report to me where you’re going, and go do it. So you told me this is important. I’m going to hold you accountable to what you said is important to you.” So I have this, the job is if someone didn’t tell me or someone told me that’s not important to them, hey, fantastic. Let’s just keep going along. But the moment you say something’s important that I’m going to help you make good decisions so you’re actually doing those things.
I love that. I love that because we will make goals, but then we don’t follow through. So the fact that you’re challenging them is cool. Do you want the babymoon? Let’s do it. The babymoon. I’ve never heard of that. We didn’t have a babymoon. I like totally missed out. Like what the hell?
Yes. I think it’s a new thing. And, gosh, I wish Kendra and I I would have done that, but —
I know. That’s great. I’m owed, three, Willie, I know you’re listening, I’m owed three babymoons. All right. So two questions I often ask those that I interview; the first one is what are you personally, so I’m going to bring it back to you, Jim. I had my therapy session with you now. It’s your turn. All right, what are you doing right now to live the life you want to live?
Oh man. I’m forcing myself to make hard decisions and sacrificing everything, in life requires a decision. There’s trade-offs in everything. So I am doing everything I can to make sure that the decisions I make are actually giving up the things that aren’t important to me so I can go big on the things that are. So what am I doing to be able to live life that I want to live? I’m making time for like, yes, I want to grow my business, but again, like I said earlier, I’m not going to take a client meeting in the morning when I want to be spending time playing monster trucks with my boys. I’m going out on a limb. My wife, she stays at home with our kids. So we’re sacrificing a year of income or a year and a half of income to build a business. That way down the line, I have a way of building a lifestyle that we want. So there’s sacrifice, but understanding like, “Hey, there’s decisions to be made and trails to had. Let’s do this purposely over time.” I feel like that was relatively vague, is that?
No, no. Yes, it did. You said it. I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and pursuing something I absolutely love and I’m working with my wife, so it doesn’t impact my home either. So yes, you did. All right. And then the second question, what advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected, with your line of business, so with your expertise. You’re being interviewed by a therapist. So I’m asking really tough questions.
So, I have a wife that is, I mean, she’s not stressed, but obviously, when you’re taking care of three boys, three young boys, there’s some stress that comes along there. So what advice would I give to a mom who is, what was the question again?
What advice would you give to a mom who’s feeling stressed and disconnected.
Oh gosh. Hmm. I know it’s tough. I’m not a mom. I’m a dad. I know it’s hard, but try to step back, pause, breathe.
If you were talking to your wife, what would you tell her?
Hey, babe, make room for yourself. You’re loved, you’re important, you’re needed. You’re not just needed as a mom and as a punching bag and as a milk machine and as a sandwich maker for the kids. You’re needed as a provider, a listener, as a leader, as an inspiration for this family. So I want you to make sure that you’re being taken care of because you’re inspiring, you’re leading, you’re loving, you’re providing as an example to his family. And the only way you can do that fully is by you being who you need to be and doing the things that are important to you. So yes, don’t go and selfishly give up and run on the kids. I’m not saying that. I’m like, we want to see you. Like, we want to see mom thrive because that’s going to allow our kids to see what they’re able to do. So make room, breathe, go be, go to the gym. Make time for yourself and then come back and fully be who you are when you’re with the kids in the family. And it’s then that you can actually be the mom and the wife that we need and we want you to be.
Aw, beautiful. Beautiful. I hope you’re giving her time to do all of that stuff, Jim. I’m going to check on that.
Of course I do. She wants to be at home. Like get out of here, babe. You need your own time.
Heck yes. Heck yes. All right, Jim, where can my audience find you?
So you can find my website, is intentionallivingfp.com. So you can go there, gosh, my calendar is available. If you want to put 15 minutes on my calendar. If you have a one-off question about a 401k that I can try to answer for you, or if you want to just take 15 minutes and say, “Hey, that sounded interesting,” I’d be glad to spend a few with you on the phone or Zoom. So you can go there or if you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m Jim Crider, TX, as in Texas. I’m glad to have you follow there as well.
Awesome. So if my audience wants to hire you as a financial planner, do you have to be in the same state?
No, I have clients across the US and all over the place.
Nice. All right. So the freebie is that 15 minutes? 15 minutes with you? Nice.
Let’s do it. And I frankly like, anyone who wants to, you reach out to me, if we talk for 15 minutes, it’s like, heck yes, that sounds great. We’ll go through. I will give you everything I can that I believe you should do. I’ll give you the whole plan. I’ll do it for free. I’m not going to charge you. Let’s go for it. And at that point, if you say this is great, and I actually want something to guide me ongoingly, then yes, we can work together. But like, I want to empower you to actually do these things and I’m not going to hold your wallet hostage before I give you any advice. I’ll do everything I can to help you out upfront.
Awesome. Ladies, contact him. Contact him immediately, again, just to get an idea of where you’re at and where you can be. Jim, awesome. Thank you so much for being on this has been amazing. I felt like I owe you money for a therapy session.
Thank you, Veronica. I appreciate it.

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

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