PODCAST EPISODE 182: If You Want To Build Wealth, You Have To Talk About Money


We’re talking about, talking about money. That’s right, in this episode Paul and Cory have a conversation over the idea that if you want to build wealth, the first step is that you have to talk about money. Many people refuse to talk about money and live their life according to what looks like wealth, however, real wealth is not in your life but on your balance sheet. Listen in to discover how talking about money can position you to build wealth.


  • 00:00 – Show starts.
  • 00:34 – Paul welcomes.
  • 4:01 – Why building wealth is hard.
  • 7:00 – Financial advice columns.
  • 11:38 – A message from Sound Financial Group (Commercial).
  • 12:38- Back from commercial.
  • 12:40 – What are the things you should be talking about with your money.
  • 15:10 – It’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement.
  • 19:32 – Fighting society with your financial aims.
  • 22:42 – What you can do to start talking about money.
  • 26:26 – Show ends, thank you for listening



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Article 1: I’m 59, and my husband and I earn $500,000 a year – but have credit card debt and nothing saved for retirement

Article 2: ‘It’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement’, says self-made millionaire who retired at 34.

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Contains a sample of “King” by Zayde Wølf courtesy of Lyric House.

Full Episode Transcription


Paul 0:01

Welcome to your business your wealth, where your hosts Paul Adams and Corey Shepherd teach founders and entrepreneurs how to build wealth beyond their business balance sheets.

Hello and welcome to your business, your wealth. My name is Paul Adams. I am joining all of you from a beautiful place up in the mountains Washington state called Winthrop at this awesome co-work facility called drop zone. And I am joined all the way from the other side of the country in Chicago,

Cory 0:51

by way across the country, I guess.

Paul 0:54

Corey, never hesitate to interrupt me if he has a good line Shepherd

Cory 1:00

We’ve rehearsed that one so many times it took like 10 takes to get that timing so perfect. And I’m just excited to have your lighting. Be not as good as mine for one. You’re welcome.

Unknown Speaker 1:14

Yep, I forgot the light.

Cory 1:16

I had introduced you, as Paul Adams always give me a chance to look. Or why don’t you give me a chance to look good.

Paul 1:24

Corey Shepard, somebody’s got to give you the chance. Okay, so, today, today, we’re gonna talk about why you need to talk about the thing that nobody wants to talk about.

Cory 1:38

Or watch.

Unknown Speaker 1:39

And if you’re with us, you talk about it a little bit. If you’re with us, that makes one of us.

Paul 1:45

There you go. No, but it’s this idea of talking about money. You know, people look at talking about money as though it’s rude. Many of you were raised in a household where it wasn’t okay to talk about money.

Cory 1:58

I would say like, that’s it. culture.

Paul 2:00

Yeah, like people would say like, Don’t talk politics. Don’t talk religion, don’t talk money. And we spend our entire day talking about one of the two big three taboo topics.

Cory 2:13

I would say we talk about two of the big taboo topics.

Paul 2:16

It’s Corey Shepard. Cory, whatever your middle name is shepherd, I would throw it in if I could think of it off top my head. But this is the thing. Let’s do that again.

Cory 2:31

What are you talking about? We’re not we don’t need to cut it. Okay. We’re not making this a political episode. But we hear sound financial, not with clients, but

Unknown Speaker 2:39

behind. Oh, oh, you were talking about politics?

Unknown Speaker 2:42

Yeah. Ah,

Unknown Speaker 2:44

well, much better. Okay. I’m good with that. We don’t.

Cory 2:48

I wouldn’t do that to Jordan. Here. I just want to

Paul 2:50

I just want to talk to all of you listening really quick. Thank you for letting us sometimes just totally be ourselves with you and joke around. And even let’s have our dumb jokes fly. I’ve got a just a bucket full of dad jokes I drop Korea cuts by half

Unknown Speaker 3:07

too soon. Yes.

Paul 3:09

So, uh, but so we talk about money for a living here at sound Financial Group. And what we realized is for most of you, that is not something you do all the time. And yet it’s something that we’re all going to depend on one day, one day. If you live long enough, odds are you’re going to one day have to rely on your money on your balance sheet to produce your income. So that you don’t have to work or if nobody will employ you one day when you’re old. You still have somebody to pay your bills. That’s like the most that’s like the uninspiring version. Okay? Because it’s not meant to be this episode could be inspirational. That’ll be accidental. Well, we really want to do is warn people from the major problem of not talking about their money.

Cory 4:02

And that’s, you know, the person living a big lifestyle never has to talk about money, but someone living well inside their means, needs to have conversations to explain why they’re doing what they’re doing that’s different than everyone else. That’s why building wealth is, is hard. And I’ve, I feel it all the time. You know, we, we like to entertain and eat good food and go out and try good food. And a lot of our friends know that about us. But we’ve already been out to eat twice in a week. And to get that third invite, and I’m feeling like, Okay, this is starting to conflict with my financial aims for the future. But plenty on food that week. But I either now have to have an extended conversation around my aims for money. And why do I don’t want to accept that invite now or I can just say yes and spend more than we plan.

Paul 4:52

It’s very hard. It is and that is the thing that is that people don’t want to and even as I hear You say, Cory, what I feel like people steer away from is they don’t want to say that it’s hard. In fact, what people oftentimes is like, well, that’s impossible. And I’ll never forget, I was walking. I remember where I was walking, I was downtown Bellevue and is on the phone with somebody. And I was talking to them about kind of this movement of people living radically within their means. And even though they might make half a million dollars a year, they’re actually living off of 10 grand a month. And I cannot tell you and having that conversation with a slew of people, but I just remember this one. And the instant response, which has been the case across the board, even talking about how people choose to do this as possible there is no there’s no way to raise the kid in Bellevue, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Florida, pick a major metro area Chicago. And there’s no way to do that with two kids in school or there’s no way to do that with teenagers. No way to and I’ve stopped them. said the average income in this country is about 45,000 a year average.

Cory 6:07

That means lots of people are doing it. Less than that.

Paul 6:12

Yeah, it’s not only not impossible, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s not only not impossible, but it’s only those of us that have already breached the top 5% of income. That with the tremendous amount of abundance of resources that we have, that we then deem it’s impossible to live off of less, while 90% of society does it every day, just in the United States, not counting all the ways that people live off much less internationally. But how do we do that? How do people manage to choose to live off of less Cory would, would you step us through that that article that we found with the couple making half a million dollars a year? Yeah. This one is This is why we’re talking to all of you about this today.

Cory 7:04

So the links will be in the show notes. And this is a, we’re doing our version of a financial advice column today by looking up some columns that people have asked for some advice. And the headline of this one is I’m 59. And my husband and I earn 500,000 a year, but have credit card debt and nothing saved for retirement. What should we do? And reading this article, it’s brutal. They have your husband’s 65 and a lawyer and a partner in his firm. So I’m guessing the bulk of the income is from his practice. Oh, yeah. And she says she’s fortunate to be a stay at home mom, so he’s earning that 500,000. I do like how she puts it that but that we are together like, yeah, they’re both doing the work to make that that happen. And they’ve got three kids. They had three kids, one, went through an extensive mental health. an addiction issue and eventually took his own life which is devastating, but another one that that they put through college. So they’ve spent a lot of money on their their children, and they own a home that’s paid for worth around 1.4 million. And they they don’t know what to do they say I’m mortified to speak to a financial advisor, any any advice, because they’ve been making that 500,000 a year. I’m assuming that they have the nice house, they probably have some other nice toys, as well. Everything on the outside is showing amazing results. And no one is asking them about what they’re doing. They’re just enjoying what they’re they’re doing. No one’s forcing them to talk about money. And I think that’s a big part of the problem.

Paul 8:53

It it is and much as you mentioned, kind of the outside of that situation. It looks really good. Like I know their kids have gone through some stuff. But they said really good colleges, I know that they were able to really help their son a lot out a lot before he passed. This is how this person’s lifestyle may occur to their neighbors, or their good friends. Because what you can be rest assured about is they’re not talking about their money with people. Because as an example, if you were just talking about yet in your mid 50s, like, Hey, we have nothing in retirement, and we make half a million dollars a year, somebody would say you should change something. So we know we’re not talking about because just talking about that would have had you accidentally set aside six figures and because their decade

Cory 9:41

and not only are they not setting aside close to six figures, they’re also spending more than 500,000 a year if they’re building up that that credit card debt mm hmm plus plus they may have some student loans or other you know, other financing would be my my guess but yeah, clearly There’s not,

Paul 10:02

isn’t money set aside and saved? And so this is the message for all of you that are already clients of sound financial group that really have you think about here. These people looked great on the outside. For years people been friends with them 1520 years. For all we know, given where the article later says they live, one of their friends could already be a client of our firm. And when we talk about, Hey, who are the people in your world that should at least have a chance to hear this. Almost every time we have that conversation with a client, they will say well, so and so has it all handled. They’ve got it all headed. They’ve got a couple nice cars in the driveway. They’ve got a beautiful home, they take some great vacations, I know they’re able to help their kids out a lot. I’m sure they’ve got it all handled. He’s a successful attorney. And each time I hear that you know what I think about this person’s balance sheet. Now not knowing this person not having had this article in front of me at the time, but the awareness of yet everybody probably thinks they look good and that has nothing at all to do with whether or not they’re going to be able to build definite financial independence to fund a work optional lifestyle. Now, we’re gonna go to break here in a moment. But what we’re going to talk about we come back from break is what are the things you should be talking about with money that facilitates wealth building? And how do you introduce that talking about money to people who’ve never heard you talk about money before? Coming back right after this. Paul Adams here at sound Financial Group. Are you curious what you can accomplish with our help? You’re here enjoying the show? Our philosophy is helping you increase your effectiveness with money. And now we have a way to help you take another step on your financial journey. We have designed a financial inquiry call for you and the thousands of other listeners of your Your Business your wealth. This is a complimentary 15 minute conversation, where one of our team members will ask you some key questions. understand your concerns, and if appropriate schedule a time for further conversation with an advisor. If you look at the episode description, you’ll see a link to schedule a call at a time this least invasive for you. And even if now’s not the right time for us to work together, we’ll point you toward resources to help you in your financial journey. We always look forward to connecting with our listeners, and we look forward to talking with you soon.

Cory 12:36

Welcome back to your business, your wealth, we’re talking about talking about money and

Unknown Speaker 12:46

talking about money.

Cory 12:48

So the problem with this article and why we want to meet the people that you care about is the advice that most people are getting because in this article The first advice that they that they get is well, and they bring a financial planner in, in their area. They say like, here’s where you can put money in the 401k. And these retirement accounts and this is the problem is not that he couldn’t find his 401k enrollment packet like they’d been putting money places, that’s been spending, but something deeper is going on around their mindset,

Paul 13:25

that I think that’s key what you just said. The problem is not that they can’t find a place to put their money. They’re putting all their money somewhere. Right? But there’s something in the mindset in their structures a family, something else is off. Has nothing to do with buy this product, put in your retirement plan, how to pay off your credit card debts. That’s not it. I think

Cory 13:51

they’re doing what they’re doing. Every moment of their lives so far, they’ve just been doing what they’ve been doing in that moment. That never slowed down to say What do I really want now? And want into the

Unknown Speaker 14:04

future? Mm hmm.

Cory 14:07


Paul 14:08

that’s the key is if we’re gonna make some kind of current situation and I want to say sacrifice, let’s just talk about being a delay, or implementation of the financial strategy in our financial life will mean there is not as much margin to go on a vacation to France, let’s say. Or to do that, or for that matter, like helping your kids out when times are tough, like that family did. Well, they they clearly didn’t say we got to help our kid out. So we should probably downsize our home. Oh, we’re going to pay for college. So we should probably stop eating dinners out or taking the international vacations. They just kept doing all of it. And I wish I could give her name but I can’t remember right before we go to our next story, I will find this Cory so I can give her proper credit. You can afford anything You just cannot afford everything.

Cory 15:02


Paul 15:03

So why don’t you take us to our other example and I will I will find who that is proper credit.

Cory 15:09

So this brings us to the other side of the the equation Why? building wealth is hard. And it’s an article titled, it’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement says self made millionaire who retired at 34. And this person is talking about hacking your finances, the ordering water instead of cocktails, which I literally went to I think we talked about it on this on this show, a graduation finance session with my wife and all the doctors in our medical school class. And one of the things that that financial firm advised is drink water when you go out. We’ll help you pay your student loans down, Master.

Unknown Speaker 15:57

I’m not saying it won’t

Cory 16:00

Yeah, that’s the math is sound, I guess. But, but the what he’s talking about and this relates to the, you know, he also, I love this line eating 69 cent ramen and skipping skimping on $8 avocado toast isn’t a bad idea. If you’re a broke college student once you graduate and hit your 30s However, it’s hard to frugal your way to early retirement. Because the reality is 69 cents versus $8. Even if that’s three, four times a week, doesn’t add up to a life changing amount. A couple hundred bucks a month isn’t a life changing amount. And that’s why the latte factor was big in the late 90s, early 2000s. It’s not really a winning strategy at this higher income level once you’re above 5% income. A latte factor doesn’t matter. Yes, if your incomes 40,000 a year or 20,000 a year. That is a significant percentage.

Paul 16:56

Well, I want to lovingly disagree with you here. Just Just a little bit. It’s not that the latte factor makes no difference, it just doesn’t make a difference the way the financial writers would like to say so much like your white paper about money and math not being the same. I think it’s the same thing here is that the financial side of saving a little bit of money on a latte makes little to no difference against, say, a quarter million dollars in student loan debt, or against the $8 million, or in that couples case, like 12,000,012 and a half million dollars, they would have to have in capital at work, to be able to replace half a million dollars of income. And they’ve currently closed the gap of not even a little bit, that your latte makes no difference in where it makes a difference is the skill. Because if I can just drive past Starbucks, even though I have the desire for it, and say I’m going to go ahead and make one at home today. Not every day, but today I’m gonna resist and do that because that then gives me the fortitude to then say, I’m not going to go get the newest car, I’m going to buy used car. So use those small purchases and the control around it and even the conversation around it to build the skills that we need for the bigger items. The bigger house, a bigger car.

Cory 18:16

Totally it’s it’s not the 200 a month itself. It’s the ripple factor. And this another book, one of my new favorite books, your money or your life by Vicki Robin got me thinking about that? Because it used to say, Oh, well, I’m buying a $40 appliance, some little thing on Amazon mean 40 bucks as below my paygrade I just need to make that decision as quickly as possible and move on. Except then I’m speeding up the rate at which I make $40 and under decisions or $100 and under decisions and that compounds by actually stop and force if I if my new rule is I have to do a ton of research before I buy a thing like that and figure out the best one that I’m gonna love the most. I’ll be happier with a purchase. But more importantly,

Paul 19:04

it slows me down from planning things, and all the skills mindsets, what goes on your gut the conversations you have, which I want to circle back to how you talk about my all of that is building a skill set that then applies to the next home purchase that then applies next car purchase that then applies to the next commercial building that we purchase. Like whatever thing that we do. Now, all of that is coming into it, including how we talk about money. So, Cory, if let’s say, a bunch of friends are going to Hawaii, and that’s not part of your financial strategy. What is the rest of society tell you you should tell your friend if you don’t want to spend the money to go to Hawaii?

Cory 19:47

Well, I think first they would say you tell your friend YOLO and put it on plastic. That’s actually never what Number two as well. And this is where, like, make up some crazy ass, like, you’re actually gonna make something up. It’s a weird excuse. I can’t even think of one but it’ll leave your friend with a bad taste in their mouth. it’ll it’ll be something where they’re like, they just, I don’t know why they didn’t want to come with us. And we’ll actually build distance

Paul 20:21

between that and it’ll be like, well, I can’t afford it.

Unknown Speaker 20:26

I just can’t afford to do that. Say I could never

Cory 20:29

even I have a hedge I, the quickest way to get me to do something is tell me I can’t afford it. And I’ll show show you. So that’s hard for me to say as an example.

Paul 20:38

I know. And that’s how deeply programmed we are by this idea before the second any of us say to somebody, Oh, I can’t afford that. Then we are in their field of play. If you ask Can you afford something? You’re already asking the wrong question. I because now we are on there. Feel the place. society’s field of play the people that want to get us to spend our money with them feel the play. Whereas if I say, well, that would break strategy for my family and I, what’s the next question you have to ask or

Cory 21:14

what strategy? What strategy? What are you talking about?

Paul 21:18

You know, whenever anybody says that I can welcome them to our field of play. And I can show them where I’ve drawn the chalk lines, what’s in bounds and out of bounds, and I control that with no extra effort. I can simply say that would break strategy for you. But guess what all of us have to do. If we’re going to be aware of what would break strategy. We have to talk about money. You’re gonna have to set a strategy for the future, you and your spouse are gonna figure out what it is you want your future life to look like. And then figure out what that’s gonna cost. And then figure out how you’re going to build your business or build your career to fulfill on any of that. You see, so often the reason people do Running around to 40 things didn’t have a strategy. It could be anything from they’re just busy at work and not enough time outside of work to make it fly. It could be things like family tragedy that has them so heavily distracted and attempt to save their son’s life. That that, that can wear on you, there’s no question. Being able to build financial independence to the point of that second article, it’s hard. That does not mean you cannot do it. But it does mean that you set a strategy and figure out what you want out of your future life. And that you’re going to have to start talking about what that is or the people that you most care about. And you’re gonna have to start taking some actions.

Cory 22:42

So we’re already in the what can you do from this session portion of our of our day, you know, number one, inviting people into your strategy. And here’s the secret. If you’re you have any agitation about certain kinds of spending or Not wanting to go outside of your strategy, your friends are probably feeling the same thing. So if you just once, invite them into that strategy, they know they’ve got that ally where you can help each other out, you might be surprised to find the friend that you can just tell each other, hey, we just like spent time together. We don’t need to go out to all the fancy place, we can just get a couple bottles of wine and sit in our backyard and feel like we’re kings and queens of the world. And would that be an amazing thing to discover? And one

Paul 23:31

thing to just be able to say, hey, my family and I are working on really setting aside saving more money planning for our future, etc. Send them the article from this that’s in the show notes about this couple that had nothing despite making good income for a long time. I said we don’t want to be these people. So why don’t you come over and we’ll spend some time together our house is going up to a $400 dinner. That will make a difference in the courts point you will win people to your way of thinking you win them to your costs. Instead of We keep running around playing society’s game and in the case of that attorney and his wife these are not certainly not stupid people. They’ve just been distracted. And you know, notion for Australia.

Cory 24:15

I was just thinking that that those friends that you love so much that you can just sit in the backyard with a couple $12 bottles of wine and enjoy it when it is time to go out to those $400 dinner. So who do you think you want to go with probably those same, probably the same people.

Paul 24:32

And if they’ve been doing the same thing, they’ll have the ability to do it. And then this is the last thing why we want to encourage all of you to talk about money. That is because the people you most care about right now. You don’t want to not be able to be with you for the rest of your life. Many of you are in that stage right now. Where you’re building a business, you’re building a career, you have a family, you’re growing that family with other people who you care a great deal about. We all have the time loss for the people. We spend time around With maybe for very intense and emotional years, and then we we part ways and you maybe see them 10 years later, it’s like, Man, I wish we were in similar circumstances or live near each other in the country so that we could spend more time together because I just really missed them. That will happen again to everybody listening in some way. You’ll spend 40 years building your career, growing your family, going through tragedies with some of your closest friends, sometimes theirs and sometimes yours. And then you’re gonna step off into old age Do you’ve been doing things like listening this podcast? And you’re going to get ready to step up build age, and you’re gonna invite your friends like, Hey, you want to come to Hawaii? We’re going to celebrate our retirement by just taking a month starting our retirement and why. And your friends gonna say what your What do you mean you’re able to retire? Oh, yeah. We’ve been working with this financial advisory firm for years. They meet with us by zoom. They’ve got a podcast written a bunch of books we’ve read over the years. Yeah. So, we didn’t do that. So now it’s not friends, you spent four years in college, you’re not around anymore. These are the people you did life with for decades, that now you can’t spend time around anymore because they can’t afford to be where you are. They can’t afford to be not working because they didn’t build financial independence. They can afford to be on vacations, and beautiful trips with all the excess time because they didn’t set aside time or planned for it. And maybe you weren’t talking about it enough. So this talk about money is not just about you and your family, but it will make a difference for you and your family. But much to Coreys point, it can also make a tremendous difference for those people around you in your life. That money comes up in conversations and your willingness and commitment to being responsible to your financial future. You see that his initial article that Cory spoke about, has this couple. They spent money everywhere. They chose to, and they spent it for today’s couple. But one day, the future culture then has to,

Unknown Speaker 27:08

yeah, the future Ted will come. In the future.

Paul 27:11

Ted’s gonna show up. And he says, Hey, did you set aside enough money for me because I can’t work. And if any of you’ve ever owed money to somebody, or had somebody owe money to you, and you have to have the uncomfortable conversation about the fact there’s nobody to pay the money, there’s no money to pay the debt. That’s what we’ll be like getting updated 65 and not having enough. So we want to encourage all of you, it doesn’t need to be us, but we’re happy to have a conversation with you. That takes them some time. And be in a conversation you and your spouse, with an advisor, having conversations about the future, how much money it’s going to take and what kind of life that you want to live. Because you’re not talking about it, you’re likely to go into a future that you wouldn’t have chosen. And we hope that this episode, like all our episodes, have been a contribution to you being able to design and build a good life.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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