S3E10: What's Involved in Preparing for the Unexpected Financially w/ Nicole, CFP

Episode 10 July 03, 2024 00:40:04
S3E10: What's Involved in Preparing for the Unexpected Financially w/ Nicole, CFP
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S3E10: What's Involved in Preparing for the Unexpected Financially w/ Nicole, CFP

Jul 03 2024 | 00:40:04

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Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this insightful episode, we welcome back Nicole, a certified financial planner, to tackle one of the biggest fears for single mothers by choice - facing unexpected job loss, job interruptions, or health crises. Nicole shares invaluable strategies on partnering with financial planners, negotiating job offers, and preparing for both the unexpected and the future. We delve into the importance of having an emergency fund, life insurance, and disability insurance, as well as the often overlooked concept of FU money. Listen in as we discuss real-life experiences, the emotional aspects of financial planning, and how to build a solid support system or 'village' to help you navigate through life’s ups and downs. Don't miss out on these crucial insights that can empower you to secure a stable financial future! Reach out to Nicole at 2nd StoryWealth.com or call 215-714-7144 to start building your financial resilience today.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to start to finish motherhood, a podcast for those thinking or already single mothers by choice. Just looking for practical advice for navigating life's relationships. When you decide to have children on your own, it doesn't mean that you're completely alone. I'm Aisha Jenkins, and I'm partnering with you every step of your journey. Hi, everybody. I have Nicole, a certified financial planner, who's back with us today to talk about a topic that we're seeing happen a lot across different industries. And it has to deal with what might be considered one of our biggest fears as single mothers by choice. Having a job loss, a job interruption, or perhaps dealing with a health crisis that can impact your ability to work. And so I've asked Nicole to come here today to kind of talk us through some ways that you can partner with a certified financial planner. During this time, we're going to cover things like what you should look for when you negotiate a job offer, things that you want to check into as you feel yourself going into a health crisis, things that you want to look into as you are considering departing from a job or if you're being laid off from a job. So, for each of these, when we talk about having a village as a single mother by choice, you have village members who are there with you from the beginning. You have village members who are there to support you on the day to day. You have village members who come and go during milestone events. And you also have village members that you can tag in as needed, almost as a retainer. These are going to be professional people, like having a therapist that you trust, having a strong medical team who advocates for you, having a good, trusted financial planner, having someone that you can go to or an organization for legal advice. So these are just different parts of the village that we don't talk about as often. And we want to make sure that we have a line on where we might be able to find these people should these events occur. Is not a catastrophe. It is a time where you're hit with something suddenly, and you really do want to take a step back, pause, breathe, and really think through your next move, because, as you know, you are thinking about yourself, your kids, and your future. So for this episode, what are some things that you want to prepare for, and how do you navigate that situation? And so Nicole and I are girlfriends. We are black women, and we've had some experiences with the ups and downs of jobs, careers, and things of that nature. And so what I wanted to do with this episode was kind of go through facing the fair, the fear head on. But then also some ways that we can prepare for the unexpected. And then on the flip side of that is that even as we're preparing for the unexpected, there's still things that we wanna have on our radar, like life insurance, estate planning, and college planning. So how do we balance the two sides of life happening and then also preparing for the future? Nicole? I really wanted to wait until we came into this episode to talk a little bit more about what you did when you found yourself at a crossroads. And then how did you prepare to go through that? And then what did you learn in terms of being able to buffer to weather any future storms? [00:03:51] Speaker B: Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me back. It's so good to see you again and be in company with you and your audience. I really appreciate it. Money is incredibly emotional, and especially when you're going through a life change, right? That life change could be a myriad of things. The unexpected could mean now you're expecting a baby, you have a job change, or you've had a loss of a parent, like will. Life, that is the certainty of things. How do we handle it when life actually happens? [00:04:26] Speaker A: Okay, so for a single mothers, by choice, if you're about to have a baby or welcome a baby into your home, we pretty much know that's happening, right? So let's talk about things that we don't have as much control over in this economy. Things are just crazy everywhere. So what do you do if you're facing a layoff? Right. We've had some moms in our community encounter layoffs if you're facing a health crisis. So we're seeing a lot of mental health crises happen in the current state of the world. So let's talk about those two things that I've seen quite a lot happening. We have the emotions around money. [00:05:03] Speaker B: Unfortunately, we are seeing a bit more from a layoff perspective. That is happening not only here in this country, but it's happening across the globe. Right. Especially as we think about how small the world actually is. And so many of us are working internationally these days. So what do we do to think about? How do we prepare for that? I think you talked about it at the top of the conversation is that we really want to make sure that we have an emergency fund. It's not step one in your financial planning process, but it is one of those really important things that this is the reason why we have an emergency fund, right? An emergency fund, essentially is designed for in case lifes. We really want to have at least three to six months of your salary or your expected salary. Some say expenses. I prefer salary only because we know that your expenses are just a portion of what you're spending. We also know life also wants to get a little Starbucks here and there, or you want to still spend time with the kids. There's still other things that you want to do in life just outside of your expenses. But three to six months of your salary kind of prepared, set aside in the event that you do need to take some time away from work or you are laid off, or you're presented with a situation where you have a job change or a career change. Okay. [00:06:33] Speaker A: All right, so that's good. Three to six months. And so you said something at the be, at the opening. You said that it's not the first thing. [00:06:41] Speaker B: No, it's not. So really, your first step from a financial planning perspective is to always start with cash flow. Right. We always want to be mindful of the income that's coming in. What are your expenses that are going out so that we have a clear understanding of how much is actually left over to put towards any additional goals that we may have. And so you talked about it, right? It might be college funding, it might be, you know, spending more for retirement. It could be travel, it could be a number of different things. Everybody's goals are going to be very different. And. But we want to understand your kind of, step one is to review your cash flow. What is your net worth? So your net worth is also what you own. So your assets minus who you owe. Right. So your, your debt or your liabilities. And that is your net worth. And so my job as a financial planner is also to ensure that that net worth continues to increase year over year as we partner together. So that's really kind of step one. [00:07:41] Speaker A: So step one is ensuring your net worth, and then step two is the emergency, your emergency, your emergency plan. And then the other one is. So what's third? Because in my head, I'm thinking third is going to be those. The life insurance is going to be big, the medical insurance and then college planning. So I'm thinking, is that called a particular category of financial responsibility? [00:08:10] Speaker B: I don't know if there's a particular category, but I. We definitely want to make sure, especially if you're partnering with a financial advisor or just in general, that you have insurance, life insurance and disability, even umbrella insurance. And we can touch on that briefly if your audience is unfamiliar outside of your employer, because for this exact reason. Right. Life will happen. And you may have a job change. And so now your cheapest insurance is to get when you're younger. And so it's better to have your own private insurance outside of your employer. One, so that you have your own insurance. You're not relying on an employer. Two, if and when you do change employers, that insurance stays with your employer. You don't really carry it with you. And then three, and probably most importantly, right, your insurance that you get with your employer is a group plan. They generally will give you a minimum of 50,000 or up to two to three times your salary. Right. And so that may or may not be enough for your family, especially if you have a growing family. And so it's also important that we are not only having our own insurance for the portability reasons, but that's, we're actually fully insured in the case that we will need insurance. [00:09:31] Speaker A: Okay. All right. So thank you for that. All right. So that is a job crisis. What if you happen to encounter a health crisis? And so I know some of the questions that we get is should I get disability insurance and life insurance? So in terms of, and I think you said that you do do insurance vehicles. So what's the difference? Because we talked about job crisis and get the insurance so that it goes with you. You've got the personal security, but then if you're in a health crisis, what should you prepare for and how might you prepare? [00:10:08] Speaker B: Yeah, that's a really great question. So there's two ways to look at health crisis. If it is physical or if it is emotional. Right. And so one of the things is to make sure that you have a medical plan. And so whether that's through your employer or that you have your own private insurance, because if you are in a medical crisis or there's something happening, you are going to have a lot of medical expenses and you want to make sure that you have some level of medical insurance if it is more mental. So I actually had my own scenario, which I think we'll talk through. That also is covered through your health insurance. So you have access to therapy, you have access through a psychiatrist through your medical insurance. However, I think the other thing to think through and where disability comes in is we are likely to experience some form of disability in our lifetime. And what happens is we're caught off guard because it's an emergency. And so we weren't really prepared or we're young and we're healthy. And so we're not thinking that, you know, of course I might get physically injured, but will we go through a mental health crisis, especially as black women, particularly in corporate environments, that number has grown significantly, especially post Covid. And so it's also really important that you have disability. And so disability is provided through your employer. But I always recommend that you have a disability plan outside of your employer for the exact same reasons you would have life insurance outside of your employer. So what happens with disability insurance is it not only covers if something happens, if you get injured or there's a physical issue, but it also covers mental. You can still use your disability policy for that. Their short term disability, which usually covers a shorter period of time, call it three to six months, that will cover usually six to twelve months. It is generally my guidance that you have both, because you just don't know what will happen. You don't know what your needs are going to be. And you want to make sure that you have insurance to step in to cover any financial situation that you may need in the off chance that something may happen. [00:12:23] Speaker A: Yeah, I think I heard. You know, sometimes we know we should get life insurance, but you're more likely to experience a disability rather than a loss of life. Right now, what role does fu money play in these scenarios where it's not exactly a job crisis, but it is in the middle of a job crisis and a health crisis? [00:12:52] Speaker B: Yeah, I had some fu money, and I'm so glad that I did, girl. So, listen, I do encourage my clients to have effeminate. So essentially what it is is it's another little bucket of money, right? And we can decide on how we want to save and or invest that money or not. That money is designed for you to have the freedom and ability to do whatever your heart desires when your heart desires it. Right. [00:13:23] Speaker A: I actually wanted to look up the urban dictionary definition of f you money. Yes. It's the exact amount of money required in order to tell an individual or organization to go yourself without facing repercussions. Carry on. [00:13:39] Speaker B: Well, I would say, I was going. [00:13:41] Speaker A: To say it more politely. [00:13:45] Speaker B: But yes. Should you decide that it's, you know, today is my last day, or should you decide, you know, today's my last day of my marriage? We as women need to have the ability to pick up and move on if and so what we chose to do so. So I wholeheartedly believe in fu, buddy, and we have a strategy around that, too. [00:14:13] Speaker A: Do tell. [00:14:16] Speaker B: Well, listen, you know, this is my second marriage, just in all candidness, right. And I believe I got it right this time. But, you know, you learn from your mistakes. My first marriage, I believed in love and everything was going to work out and be amazing this time around. Get a prenup and have fu money just in case. I'm still going to be all right. [00:14:41] Speaker A: I think our grandmothers would call it something. They would always be like, bim girl, always have some money tucked in. I think our generation calls it f you money. But thank you for taking us through a job crisis, a health crisis where fu money falls within that spectrum. But let's talk about a job transition, right? So there are two things that can happen with a job transition, right? You get a job, it's hopefully a better paying job. You might get a sign on bonus. You might experience some additional kind of windfall in your life. And so let's talk about what happens during those transitions. You get a new job. What are some things you should look for in the benefits plan and things of that nature? [00:15:23] Speaker B: So if you're getting a new job, one of the things you want to do even before you get that job is to make sure that you are negotiating your salary. Statistically, we as women, and specifically we as black women, we do not negotiate our salary. And so that could look like a lot of different things. It could mean your base stays the same, but maybe you get more in stock options, maybe you get more time off, maybe you get a tech package, whatever the scenario may be, but you negotiate your time off. If that should come with some kind of windfall. My recommendation to clients is generally don't do anything with a windfall initially. Money is really emotional, especially if you're getting a windfall. Most of us in life don't experience a windfall. So it's a very abnormal feeling. You don't always know what to do with that. My recommendation is generally don't do anything until we can come up with a plan. There may be some taxability issues that come up with a windfall. How many times do you see somebody on what's that show, I won the lottery or whatever it is? What? They went out, they spent a bunch of money before they even got their check, and they didn't know the IR's was coming for 40% of that. We want to make sure that we're being thoughtful, we're being strategic. Most of us don't get a windfall. And so let's be really, really thoughtful about how you want to position yourself with the lump sum of money that you will receive. [00:16:51] Speaker A: And so what are some other things you should be looking for in your benefits package that a financial planner would want to help you navigate? [00:17:01] Speaker B: Yeah. So we talked a lot about medical already. We talked a bit about life insurance and disability. All of that kind of generally is standard inside of your medical package. Some of the other things to think through is making sure that you are taking full advantage of your four hundred one k at least up to the match, and then decide how much you want to contribute. You want to make sure if in HSA, which is a health savings account, or an FSA, which is a flexible savings account, that's a whole other episode. But just briefly, it allows you to save for medical expenses completely tax free outside of that. So kind of going back to, if you have a job, change those carry with you. So a health savings account will carry with you. And so it can help step in and pay for some of the medical expenses that you may incurred, even if it's paying for therapy or paying for a psychiatrist. So making sure that you fully understand the difference being between a health savings account and a flexible savings account. And then also one of the things that is often missed inside of a medical plan or cafeteria plan, essentially it's called, is something called legal aid. Essentially, you pay next to nothing for legal aid, but allows you to have the ability to have access to a lawyer. So if you think about what a consultation would cost you, just to call a lawyer and say, I got a quick question, this thing happened. You have complete access to an attorney, and they generally can give you guidance. They can review contracts for you. They can, you know, work on your will or some of the other state planning documents for you. So it's a really, really good benefit that would save you a ton of money. Should you find yourself in a situation where you need that anyone has legal aid as an option, make sure you have it, make sure you choose it. And especially if you have a contract that you want to have reviewed, even if it's for your home, they can review any contracts for you. And you want to just make sure that you fully understand that before you sign it. [00:19:12] Speaker A: Okay. All right. So what I took from you is that during the transition period of getting a new job, you want to make sure that you really go through your benefits package. You want to negotiate your salary first, and then if you've got a relationship with the financial planner, then you're talking through the difference or the benefits of an HSA and FSA. So pretty much understanding your entire total compensation package. Do you calculate things as a quantitative or qualitative assessment? [00:19:46] Speaker B: Both, because everybody values different things. It could mean that if I have little ones, more time off might be valuable. To me, it could mean that your medical benefits are not. And so it's going to want make me cost more money out of my own pocket to pay for some of the things that I need based on my medical situation. It just varies. Everybody's situation is always going to be different, but we absolutely will quantify it in terms of how much are you actually receiving from a compensation perspective? And then how do you feel about that? Right. Does that align with your value system? Does that align with what you were hoping for? Does that make sense for what your next step would look like? [00:20:32] Speaker A: If you're fortunate enough to be in a position where you have two job offers on the table, then you're running kind of like the same calculations, one for one, the other for the other, and then comparing apples to apples. [00:20:46] Speaker B: Yes, absolutely. Very common. [00:20:49] Speaker A: Okay. All right, so before I leave the career transitions, what role does a financial planner play during this transition? Right. Because you could be in a situation where you're just like, I don't have enough money, right. It's just like life insurance, or it's just like contributing to your 401k. It's like, I don't have enough money to do that, but it's almost a situation of Pennywise dollar foolish. Right. So what role does a financial planner or having a financial planner during these transitions play? What are you telling your clients during this time? Income. So definitely looking for the job. But then it's also like, what do I do with my retirement in the meantime? What do I do with the college plan in the meantime? So things like that. [00:21:34] Speaker B: So you, you hit it right on the head, I think just even a broader scope. Right. When you think about parting with a financial advisor, you definitely want to know that, hey, you know, I'm taking kind of the stress and worry from a financial perspective, off my shoulders and putting it on somebody else. You know, our role is to partner with you to understand what your specific goals are, make sure that we have a clear outline and a roadmap to help you achieve those goals. And so during life transitions is actually one of the best times to hire someone because, again, money is emotional. And so make sure that you have sound guidance to make the decisions that are going to impact the next course of your life, to make sure that you have somebody that is completely, you know, biased to your situation and can provide you with all of the options that you may not be thinking about. I think the other thing to think about, too, is peace of mind, is however much that's worth to you, one of the values of partnering with any kind of expertise, whether it's a lawyer, whether it's a doctor, is that you have guidance and the peace of mind and saving you the time of being able to do those things yourself. Right. Oftentimes people look at a financial advisor specifically in terms of how much money you're going to make me, and that's the value that they kind of put into it. But I'd actually argue I probably make more value and helping people save from making very costly mistakes because we don't know what we don't know. And again, that's why you pay for the guidance. Right. Is because you don't want to make a mistake during these life transitions. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you felt like, I should have, could have, would have, and had you partnered with someone, you would have had the sound information. So, you know, I do think oftentimes, you know, investments is my specialty. I love getting in the weeds. I'm an investment nerd. I love that. That's where I completely geek out. But I will say that the protection piece is just as critical than making money. Right. I think, you know, Warren Buffett has a really great saying of, like, it's not how much you make, but how much you keep. And that kind of speaks to exactly what we're talking about. Right. It's like you can make all the money in the world, but if we don't make good decisions and we don't have sound guidance, then we might wind. [00:24:00] Speaker A: Up making costing mistakes as single mothers, single parents by choice. We're always talking about our village. Right. What does your village look like? And I think it's at these critical moments where you have the time to assess your village and what you actually need. So I jot it down. Village can include family and friends because you're definitely going to need them to weather some of the storms. A therapist? Definitely. I think both you and I can attest to being big proponents of just having those safe spaces to vent and talk things through. Because not just money is emotional, some of these transitions can be emotional as well. And then financial planning. Right. Planner. Having a relationship with the financial planner. So as you are going through a downturn, which could be a job loss or a layoff, but also an upturn, which could be you get a job that has a sign on bonus, that has stock options, you know, so you want to be prepared. It's kind of like a diversified stock portfolio, being able to weather both ends of the spectrum. And then legal counseling. Right. And so thinking of those. Those people you pull in, you tag them in as needed, but having those relationships already in place kind of makes it easier to weather some storms. And I don't know about you, but I've weathered a storm or two. [00:25:18] Speaker B: And if you're comfortable, I'm happy to share my own transition story. Yes, please do. [00:25:24] Speaker A: Because I think one of the other things I wanted to hit on in this conversation is we sometimes when we find ourselves at these crossroads in our career, we pivot. Right. And people are like, just start your own business, girl. Start your own business. And it's just like, pop the price. [00:25:43] Speaker B: Right. [00:25:43] Speaker A: I do want to talk about the nuances and the reality of doing that. It can be an option, but it has to be the right option for you. [00:25:52] Speaker B: Absolutely. My story is probably not from a perspective of I spent most of my career, over 20 years of my career in financial services in corporate America. You know, I was kind of raised with the belief of, go to school, get the good job, and then you retire from the job, and then you live your life. And so I thought that's what I was supposed to do. And, you know, I think one of the things that's particularly challenging about that is the expectation not only that we put on ourselves, but that is expected of us. I'm probably not unique in that. I worked really long hours. I worked really, really hard, and was overlooked for promotion after promotion or the person that they gave the promotion to. They asked you to train to. [00:26:42] Speaker A: Right, right. [00:26:43] Speaker B: You sat him next to me and asked me to train this man, not to mention. Right. We talked about negotiating your salary. I know you paid this person significantly more than I do, and those things take a toll on you. I got to a place that I was so stressed out that this is in the heels of COVID where I was in a leadership role, and I was responsible for a team of other people that were all kind of faced with the realities of COVID And I was dealing with my own struggles of being stressed and worried about my own health, my own family. There were things that were happening across the world that I'm sure everybody is aware of. And then you're also listening to nine other people tell you their stories of what's happening, and they're stressed, and those things get to you, and then the business is just like business as usual. How about that widget? And it's like you start to think like, wow, I'm not, like a person. Even though my role is to be a people leader, I think I have always had a big servant heart. And I led with that. And I think that's why my heart was broke a little bit, because I'm sitting here in the midst of 2020, 2021, when we are losing lives and people are stressed. Anxiety levels are really high. And seeing this and then having to go back and say, well, where's the widget? You know, where's the thing you didn't produce or whatever. So my anxiety kept getting higher and higher, and I started having panic attacks, and I had never experienced that before in my life. And it got to a place where I just couldn't function, so I needed to step away. And thank goodness, right? The things that I'm sharing with your audience are lived experiences that I checked my medical benefits before I knew that I had good medical benefits so that I can go to a therapist, I can go to a psychiatrist. I knew how much it would cost out of pocket. I knew that I could take time off if I needed to. And I also used my legal aid and was able to check in and say, like, here's what I'm facing and here's my situation, and can you talk me through what my options are? So, in short, I took a month off and thought, you know, in pure black women fashion, I just need a month. I'll be fine. I'll be back. The next month came around, was like, oh, no, I'm not quite ready. Cut to. It was six months, and I just. I was not in a good mental place, and I knew that. And I'm so grateful that I made the decision to pause and think and say, I have to prioritize myself, prioritize my health. Thank God I had fu. Money. Thank God I had an emergency fund that I was able to step away and just think about, what does next steps look like for me, you know? And I probably, as many people in that time, was thinking about what brings me joy, what do I really enjoy? What kind of impact am I leaving in this world? Like, if, you know, Covid got to me and I tapped out of here, would people say that I really added value? And at that particular time, I'm like, I'm adding value to corporate, but I don't feel like I'm doing what I'm called to do. But I also knew that I was not in an emotional or mental place to start a business. [00:30:20] Speaker A: Before we get there, I tell people, like, when you are in a trauma situation and you come out, you don't just exit. Right? It's just like when you do the big chop on your hair, the next hair that grows out of your scalp is still going to be slightly traumatized, gonna be springy, is not going to have any curl definition. It takes a few weeks. It takes a few inches of length for that actual beautiful coif curls of afro hair to come through, for you to shine through. So you actually, as much as sometimes we want to go around the emotions involved in trauma, workplace trauma, life trauma, what have you. You got to kind of go through. And so that's why it's important to have that support network in that village to walk you through until you can run. [00:31:14] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I'm so grateful. I had an amazing, amazing village. I went to therapy regularly. I went on walks. I did a lot of nothing. [00:31:26] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:31:27] Speaker B: Praying and meditation. [00:31:29] Speaker A: No, I built a whole garden. I grew a food forest. I put together a gazebo, put together a greenhouse, raise these kids. I'm like, you know, so whatever. [00:31:43] Speaker B: Yeah. And like I said, you know what? Like, rest is important. And I did, and I rested, and, you know, I knew it was like, it was time. I was ready to get back to work, but I wasn't in a position where I was going to be anybody's boss again. I was not there, but I knew that I enjoyed and I loved financial planning, and I knew that I wanted to get back to doing that level of work. And it is very rewarding to be able to work with clients and help them reach their goals and understand, like, we started from here and now we've achieved. And so I was like, I missed that. I need to go back to that. But I wasn't ready to start my own. So, anyway, so I went to a small firm and I took a huge pay cut. And when I say huge, I mean huge. And fortunately, I was financially prepared to do so. But I also would encourage your audience. Also think about, like, sometimes your next move isn't necessarily a promotion. Sometimes you need to take a side step or a lateral or even go down. [00:32:45] Speaker A: I'm out of crossroads to decide what my next steps are going to be. One of the interviewees said, when you're at these crossroads, ask yourself the question, what's the job after the job? Yep. [00:32:59] Speaker B: Yep. Right. [00:33:00] Speaker A: When you get to a certain age, it's not so much about the job. It is about the job after the job. But that's not the only thing that matters. You start to think about impact. You start to think about legacy. You start to think about those little people who are watching you navigate this storm, this crossroads in your life. [00:33:17] Speaker B: And what was most important to me was I can show up at a job and do the work that I love, that will have an impact, but be present and available for myself and my family. That, to me, was the highest level of priority. And to your point, like, I wasn't worried about anybody's opinion or anybody's thought around what I was doing. It made sense to me. It made sense to the people that needed to know. And so I did that. And I thought I'd be there for a year or two because I knew in the back of my mind I wanted to start my own business, but I knew I wasn't ready. So I. I looked at it as, like, just training ground to say, okay, well, what is going well here, and what can I learn and what are some opportunities? So, outside of the pay cut, I was gaining all of this knowledge and kind of inside scoop and how to run a shop. Well, unbeknownst to me, I got laid off December, like, December 1 or second or something like that. You know, the way they described it was I was the most recent hire. We'll leave it at that. [00:34:31] Speaker A: All right, so let's talk a little bit about some of the misconceptions of starting your own business and what you learned about yourself, about this whole fantasy we have about owning our own business. It can be great, but let's talk about some of the things that are not talked about. You become an entrepreneur. [00:34:51] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, listen, entrepreneurship. So I have learned in this new journey that I'm on, is not for the fainted heart. So, again, you need a village. Like, you need people that you can count on. I'm so grateful to my village. I'm so grateful to my friends that already have walked this road that I can say, how'd you do this? And how'd you do that? Because, you know, if you've been in leadership for any particular period of time, you're very well equipped to run a business. You are all things. You are whatever your specialty is, but you are now the accountant and the tech person and your admin, and you are the cleanup. You are all the things. You don't have those people to do these things for you anymore. And so you need to skill up as well. And so you need to make sure that you have the wherewithal to not only say, I'm going to take it all on, but I also. There's areas that I'm just nothing strong in, and I'm going to have to skill up until I can outsource or hire. That's just an inflection point that you're going to have to take on. I think the other misconception is that you're just going to make money and you can write everything off. That is not how that works. We need to have some level of money or something set aside so you can still maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills while your business is up and running. I was very blessed and very fortunate. But even in the run of being able to support amazing black women with their financial planning, it's still not what I was making even after my pay cut. Right. So it's going to take a while. And I would say, you know, whatever your j curve is, if it's two to three years or five years, be prepared that your income is going to look vastly different. You also want to think about, well, how am I going to financially prepare? How am I also going to provide health benefits for myself? Because my previous employer, you know, provided health benefits. So now I've lost my health benefits, my income has drastically dropped. And so if something happens to me, whether it's, you know, I pass or I'm injured, I'm really going to be in a tough thought. And so as you're preparing to start your own business, these are the things that you want to prioritize and think about who's going to be your support system. Because this is not an easy journey. It's a rewarding journey. You do want to make sure that you've got some savings to support yourself through this and that you have the ability and the willingness and the wherewithal to skill up until you can outsource or hire. [00:37:31] Speaker A: I love that. So, as we come to a close, the tagline for start to finish, motherhood is partnering with you every step of your journey. But pretty much don't do it alone. As you start to go through these life transitions, as smCs, we know that we need to have an estate plan in place. But what we might not know is how to effectively weather some of these storms, storm or wonderful windfall. You still want to be able to toe the line, and there are certain partners that you want to make sure are parts of your village. So, you know, I'm here to partner with you on your motherhood journey. Nicole is here to partner with you on your estate planning journey. Make sure that you have the right partners for where you are in your life. And Nicole, just for the sake, because you're a friend to the podcast, where can the audience find you if they have additional questions? If they want to book services with you, where can they find you? [00:38:28] Speaker B: You can find [email protected] the tagline on there is that we are providing financial planning for independent women, like all y'all. So secondstory wealth.com I'm on all the socials at second story wealth. Or if you just want to give me a call and talk through, my phone number is 2157-147-1440 Nicole, I know. [00:38:53] Speaker A: When I started out this season, I had a totally different vision for this episode. I hope that you're willing to come back in season four and let's actually talk about what this episode was supposed to be about. The INS and outs of estate planning. You and I would have partnered together as part of my village as I navigate this crossroads for myself. So Nicole, thank you for always showing up. And until next time, thank you, friend. [00:39:20] Speaker B: I appreciate you. [00:39:27] Speaker A: Thanks for listening to start to finish motherhood with Aisha. If you want to keep the conversation going, follow start to finish motherhood on instagram or email [email protected]. dot if you love this episode, please share it with anyone who's thinking of becoming a single mother by choice, anyone who's already parenting as a single mother by choice and just looking for advice on navigating it all, or a friend or family member who's looking to support someone else's single mother by choice journey. Until next time. Bye now.

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