MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
5 Money Lies That Reveal Our True Relationship with Money
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 03:33 PM
My solemn belief right off the bat is that when it comes to money and specifically our relationship with money, we do the best we can.
Raising Your Kids With Good Financial Values
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 03:22 PM

Thanks to my friend and client Eddie Mac for passing on this excellent article about raising your kids with a good set of values around money.

Will Having More Money Make You Happier?
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 06:04 PM
The Best Way to Save Money on College Costs
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, May 10, 2012 @ 02:42 PM

One of my clients recently let me know that she and her husband were taking their kids on another international trip - this time to enroll them in college. I sent her the link to Maya Frost's blog about studying abroad. Maya's book The New Global Student, will give you creative ways to cut college costs while at the same time scratching your wanderlust itch.

The following article written by Maya Frost, appeared in the Spiritus newsletter in Jan 2010.

Your Money or Your Life – One Man’s Journey
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Apr 06, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

I never believed that a parent can’t have a favorite child – then again, I’m not a parent. But as a financial planner, I will admit that I do have favorite clients – my ‘Your Money or Your Life’ clients. We speak the same language; we understand the idea of having a healthy relationship with money, we get the concept of money equaling life energy and we value, value. We are inherently frugal and we are huge advocates of setting goals, such as becoming FI.

With the re-issue of the book in 2008, I have seen an influx of clients either having read the book for the first time, or re-aquainting themselves with the philosophy and for that I am grateful to Vicki Robin for the opportunity to have contributed to the latest edition.

The Journey of Financial Independence Begins With a Single Step
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Mar 15, 2012 @ 05:10 PM

For any person on the journey to financial independence (FI), one of the most daunting tasks to contemplate, as well as figure out, is how much is enough? 

How Much is Enough & The Nature of Fulfillment

Financial Independence at Fifty, a Your Money or Your Life Success Story
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @ 08:52 AM

The following is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Diane Williams who along with her husband became FI (financially independent) after reading the book Your Money or Your Life. Their story is both inspiring and exciting and I would encourage anyone who wants to know more about how they achieved FI at age 50 to contact Diane.

Holistic Financial Planning for the Soul
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Feb 02, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

For years, great thinkers and spiritual leaders, past and present, have written about money and spirituality. Often illustrated are step-by-step instructions on how to tap into and access your spiritual power to manifest abundance into your life.

Books such as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer and Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain are just a few examples that open your mind to a new way of manifesting abundance into your life.

Your Money or Your Life - a Personal Finance Book to Bank on in 2012
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 05:59 PM

Men Who Under-Earn and the Women Who Love Them
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Oct 27, 2011 @ 02:32 PM

I used to think it was mostly a west coast thing. What I’m referring to is the rapidly growing number of couples that are putting quality of life ahead of their standard of living - those who are downsizing and simplifying. In many cases, the men are encouraging and supporting their wife/life partner to be the breadwinner in the family, while they often stay at home to care for the kids and run the household, or work from home part-time.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the culture very much encourages self-empowerment, this trend is exploding. There are classes and workshops that focus and teach women how they can best cope and support the men in their lives that are (and this was the wonderfully delicious euphemistic term used to market an upcoming workshop), under-earners.

It’s a Leap of Faith

From my vantage point as a holistic financial planner, I often meet the men that have voluntarily simplified their lives. Many describe making the change as a leap of faith. And for full disclosure, when I meet with couples where this idea or concept is on the table, I do everything in my power to see how this can work and make it happen for them.

When I meet people that truly desire to reinvent themselves, but the only major obstacle standing in the way is money - I can’t wait to get started on a financial plan with them. Because my first priority is having my clients be successful, having a personal financial plan in place is the only way to proceed.

Transition to Success

Of course, talking about this type of personal transformation, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the book Your Money or Your Life which very often provides the catalyst and self-confidence necessary to make major life changes. It’s when you begin to challenge all the core assumptions in your life, especially the ones about how much you ‘should’ make or the type of work you ‘should’ be doing that life really gets interesting.

The vast majority of men I meet that are contemplating this downsizing and simplifying life choice are currently in high stress, high income careers or jobs that feel more like they’re making a ‘dying’ instead of making a ‘living’. Many guys are literally just burned out from striving and never arriving as every time they were close to reaching the finish line, someone moved the goalpost yet again. Men making this downshift in terms of career change risk the wrath of not only society, since this is still very much out of the norm, but often friends and extended family make their opinions of your choice that much more of a challenge.

Women Leading From the Heart

Swimming upstream is much more challenging than going with the flow. Men that begin reflecting on their life choices often notice the creative juices really start bubbling to the surface.  They may feel empowered and inspired to “quit their day job”, they might take personal mini sabbaticals in order to regroup or rest, they often reinvent themselves by taking a gig that’s low stress and easy on the mind and soul.

But we still live with sexism so with these unorthodox choices comes the dubious distinction of possibly being dubbed lazy, under-earner, girlie men, slacker or a poor provider for the family. But down the road, when the investment made in yourself and your family by taking some time off to just slow down enough so you could think clearly manifests into a happier, healthier and more prosperous you, it’s then that all the naysayers will tell you how smart a move that was back then to take some time off.

For all the men I have helped and encouraged to make this move, the X factor that has made the difference between a successful or unsuccessful reinvention is the unconditional love they have received from their wife/life partner during this transition.

It’s what teamwork is all about. A wife helps her partner to become a happier man, him becoming happier helps her love him even more. The more love, the more abundance they attract into their lives, and on and on it goes…

Mark Twain said it best: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. “Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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