Myth: Everyone is saving for the future but me.

June 6, 2018

Matt Goren and Michael Thomas, Co-Hosts of NPR’s Nothing Funny About Money radio show.

In this episode, Kathleen asks Matt and Michael about the danger in comparing your financial behaviors to others. As three financial educators who believe that money is more than numbers, listen in as the emotional side of saving and spending is explored. Learn tips for letting go of money shame and living a more authentic and value-driven financial life. 

What You Need To Know: 

Stop comparing your financial habits to others. Outward appearances may look different than reality. How you use money needs to align with your values, not your neighbors’ values. If Tom next door wants to work longer hours to afford a sports car, then that is his prerogative. You may want to work less and take the bus to work. Both are valid and acceptable. 

Context matters. You may feel bad you are not saving money at the same rate as your friends, but maybe their situation is different. One of your friends has a home, but did they pay for it or was it a gift from grandma? Get curious and break money silence. These details may really change how you feel about yourself. 

Invest time in identifying what makes you happy. If you have lost sight of the experiences and things that make you happy in life, take a short timeout. Observe your spending and saving habits. Ask yourself, what motivates you to use money in this way. What has the best return on investment in terms of joy? Your relationship with money is just that – your relationship. It really doesn’t matter what others are doing, as long as you are taking care of yourself financially. 


Matt J. Goren, Ph. D. is the co-host of Nothing Funny About Money, an adjunct professor of personal finance in the financial planning program at the University of Georgia, and a community counselor at the Aspire Clinic. His work focuses on the interplay of emotion and money management, particularly for low-income and young people. 

Michael G. Thomas Jr. is an accredited financial counselor and 4th-year Ph.D. Financial Planning Candidate at the University of Georgia. He has co-created and facilitated financial literacy programs for kids and adults as well as given a TED talk on the importance of financial empathy. Michael co-hosts an NPR affiliated radio show, Nothing Funny About Money. 

Check out their podcast, Nothing Funny About Money at


Myth: There is no connection between your health and your wealth

May 23, 2018

Komal Minhas, KoMedia, Founder and Dream, Girl Producer and Co-Founder

One of the greatest causes of stress for people can be money. A vicious cycle can occur – money issues cause stress, stress can lead to serious health issues, and health issues can result in more financial struggles. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Komal Minhas about how through personal experience she learned the importance of self-care, and that health and wealth are truly connected.

Take aways:

  1. Work addiction is a problem that can cause serious illness and even death. While it is important to work hard, it is vital to pace yourself and learn to take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
  2. Self-care involves more than going for a massage or getting a manicure. It includes being mindful and deciding what steps you need to take to be the healthiest person you can be.
  3. Financial health is an important part of self-care. If you avoid finances, take a look at what is the underlying reason, and then make a plan to address it. Because the only way to be truly wealthy is to be healthy!

Komal Minhas is an Indo-Canadian entrepreneur, content creator, and investor. She’s the founder of KoMedia, a media production and investment company that focuses on telling women’s stories worldwide. In 2014, Komal became producer and co-founder of Dream, Girl, a documentary that tells the stories of ambitious female entrepreneurs. In May 2016, Dream, Girl premiered at the White House as part of the United State of Women Summit, and shortly after Komal was named one of Oprah’s Super Soul 100, a list featuring extraordinary individuals who live life intentionally. These days, Komal spends her time speaking, writing, and creating inspiring content with her team in Ottawa, Canada.

Special Offer: Check out Komal’s new series of articles that explore real, sustainable, lasting self-care on Instagram @Komalminhas.


Getting a prenup means we will divorce

May 9, 2018

Amanda D. Singer, San Diego Family Mediation Center 

Does the idea of a prenup worry you that you have set the scene for a divorce or raise trust issues? While many believe that signing a prenup predicts divorce, it is actually a great way to break money silence before you walk down the aisle. Listen in as Kathleen interviews Amanda about how to bust this myth wide open and start communicating about money before you say “I do.” 

Take aways: 

  1. All couples have a prenup even if you don’t craft one. States determine how assets will be split should a couple divorce. By drafting a prenup with your partner you are actually taking control and deciding for yourselves how you want your assets to be divided, if and when you do break up. 
  1. Prenups are no longer just for the ultra-wealthy. Historically, prenuptial agreements were a way of affluent families protecting themselves from gold diggers. Today more millennials with dual careers and business start-ups, and people entering their second marriages are signing these documents. 
  1. The prenup process opens up the lines of communication. If you identify your respective money mindsets, discuss similarities and differences in your family money messages, and agree how to financially operate as a couple, you actually are less likely to divorce. Yes, you sign a legal document but the experience is much richer than you might think.


Amanda Singer, Esq., MDR, CDFA is a professional family mediator and co-owner of San Diego Family Mediation Center. She is also a licensed attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She works to help families improve communication, solve problems and reach agreements while staying out of court. Amanda is on the board of Academy of Professional Family Mediators and is the co-chair of this year's conference. She earned her JD from Chapman University School of Law while completing her Master's Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus at Pepperdine University School of Law. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Brandies University and has completed her courses as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. San Diego Family Mediation Center works with families dealing with various family issues, including divorce mediation, premarital mediation, blended families and parenting plans. 

For more information, visit and check out the book, Prenups for Lovers



Myth: Financial planning is all about the numbers

April 25, 2018

Traditional financial planning focused on producing a plan with lots of numbers, charts, and graphs. This can leave clients feeling that finance is complex and hard to understand. For some clients, especially women, the perceived judgment by financial professionals gets in the way of them taking care of themselves financially. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Stephanie, an advisor dedicated to busting the myth that planning is all about the numbers and showing her clients that they can be empowered by working with a client-centric professional. 

Take aways:

  1. Financial planning is the intersection between money and life. Knowing your numbers is important, but it is only one piece of your financial puzzle. Find an advisor who will help you identify your values and goals, then craft a financial and investment plan to assist you in living the life you desire. 
  1. You don’t have to have all the answers. You do, however, have to know the questions to ask when looking for a financial advisor. Consider what you want an advisor to help you with and then be clear about these goals when interviewing potential advisors. Take time, interview several professionals, and then hire the financial advisor who is the best fit for you. 
  1. Spend less than you make. Living within your means can be challenging because we live in a consumer-driven society. Practice mindful spending and examine your spending habits. Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover unexpected finances and develop a spending plan to keep you on track. 


Stephanie McCullough is passionate about helping women make wise financial decisions so they can control their future. In 2011, she started Sofia Financial after 13 years working as a financial advisor because she saw the needs of women not being met by traditional firms. The women who come to Stephanie are concerned about getting ready for retirement, wondering about how best to manage their financial risks, and, in general, worried about making smart decisions with their money. 

Special Offer: Sign up for Sofia Financial’s quarterly newsletter and blog at Mention the Breaking Money Silence podcast and receive a complimentary 30-minute telephone call to chat about your personal situation.


Myth: My kids are too young to teach them about money

April 11, 2018

Justin Pullaro, Co-Founder, Small Change

When is it the ‘right time’ to start teaching our kids about money? How do you teach them about finance in ways that they will understand? In today’s episode, Kathleen interviews Justin Pullaro, Co-Founder of Small Change, to find out the best age to start money conversations with your children and how to make it fun and engaging. Listen to discover tips and tools for empowering your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews about finance. 

Take Aways: 

  • There is a lack of financial literacy resources for parents of young children. As a father of four, Justin decided to fill that gap and started his firm Small Change to offer parents and their children resources and information on how to incorporate money talk into their every day lives.
  • Practice financial literacy immersion. Justin offers ways to incorporate small actions that promote a healthy relationship with money that don't require a lot of time and energy. By immersing your children at a young age in money conversations, you are communicating both verbally and with your actions that financial responsibility is an important life skill.
  • You don’t have to be a financial expert. You can learn alongside your children and don’t have to know everything about finances to be able to teach them about money. Small change offers videos and tools to help you empower yourself and the young people in your life to break money silence in your family.


A financial planner for more than 14 years, Justin Pullaro has helped families bring financial balance to their busy lives. He is also the co-founder of Small Change, a new financial education company helping families talk about money through short parent-focused videos and tangible tools for kids. 

Special Offer: Breaking Money Silence podcast listeners will receive a 15% discount on Small Change resources. Click on this link to activate the discount on your entire order:


Myth: Women have lower financial IQ than men.

March 28, 2018

Adrienne Penta, Executive Director Center for Women & Wealth, Brown Brothers Harriman

While the audio quality of this episode is less than ideal, the information is valuable so we decided to publish it. Thank you for your patience with the sound.

Adrienne Penta is truly a breaking money silence revolutionary! In this episode, Kathleen and Adrienne debunk the myth that women are less financially literate than men. Using statistics and her wealth of knowledge on the topic, Adrienne shows women and their advisors how to bust this falsehood and instead work at having a collaborative, and authentic advisor-client relationship.

Take Aways: 

  1. Gender does not determine your financial IQ. Men and women pass financial literacy tests at the same rate; however, women are more likely to feel as if they don’t know enough about investing or managing money. The real issue is not literacy. It is a financial confidence gap that many (not all) women feel that is the problem to be solved. As Adrienne says, “We need to close the confidence gap.”
  2. Advisors can’t read your mind. As a client, it is important to speak up and let your advisor know what is working and is not working in the relationship. While this may be uncomfortable at first, it is the only way a professional will know that they are missing the mark when meeting with you.
  3. Collaborative meeting agendas help. One way to aid in advisor-client communication is to work on meeting agendas together. One week before the appointment, the advisor can send a tentative agenda to the client asking for feedback. The client then has an opportunity to add to the agenda or let the advisor know if there is something that feels more important to discuss. This simple step takes very little but has a big return on investment for both parties involved. 

In this podcast, Adrienne mentioned a book she loves called “The Confidence Code.” As promised here is the link to that resources. Also if you would like to subscribe to the Center’s Women and Wealth Magazine, click here. 


Adrienne Penta is the Executive Director of the Center for Women & Wealth (CW&W) at Brown Brothers Harriman. She is passionate about helping advisors and the women they serve engage in the creation of integrated, holistic wealth plans that help them accomplish their goals. CW&W seeks to create a dynamic and inclusive environment where women can engage in conversations about wealth, family and leadership. For more information about the Center for Women & Wealth,


Myth: To be a true artist you must starve.

February 28, 2018

Erin Bagwell, Dream, Girl Director; Feminist Wednesday Founder

Do you really need to be a starving artist as you pursue your life’s passion? Many artists do allow the everyday pressures of simply making ends meet limit their growth and affect their money mindset. Kathleen interviews Erin Bagwell, director of the film Dream, Girl, about the myth that to be a true artist you must be poor and starving. 


  1. Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, but practice helps. Make time to practice engaging in money talks with a trusted friend or colleague. In time, these discussions will get easier.
  2. Find a tribe to support you and cheer you on as you change your money mindset from scarcity to abundance. Research shows that if you surround yourself with people who are committed to making and managing their money and letting go of under-earning tendencies, you are more likely to move up the socioeconomic ladder.
  3. Set aside a time each week to focus on your finances. If this is difficult for you to do, find an accountability partner such as a coach, a bookkeeper or another business owner. By making financial management a priority you will continue to learn and grow. 


Erin Bagwell is the founder of Feminist Wednesday, a feminist storytelling blog and the director of Dream, Girl a documentary film showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs. Dream, Girl premiered May 2016 at the White House and through her work with the film was named on Oprah's SuperSoul100. Dream, Girl is now available for public screenings and was the number one feminist film to watch by the Huffington Post. 

Special offer: Check out Erin’s eBook, Creative Money, it can be purchased here.


Myth: Your business will get you to retirement by itself

February 7, 2018

Josh Patrick, Stage 2 Planning Partners

Owning and running your own business has many aspects to it including if you want to sell your business in the future. Many business owners don’t realistically plan their exit strategy and believe that working hard in the business will reap financial rewards sufficient to fund their retirement. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Josh about the steps business owners need to take now to build a sustainable business that is saleable tomorrow. 

Take Aways:

  1. Be honest about your business. Is your business a lifestyle business (one that supports you financially now but is not saleable in the future) or a sustainable business that can be sold and run smoothly with you.
  2. Determine your short and long-term business goals. If you want to build a business that is saleable, you need to delegate, set up good operating systems, and have a strategic plan for your exit.
  3. Working with a consultant can help. Entrepreneurs are emotionally involved in their creation and often suffer from “shiny little light” syndrome (going from one idea to the next too quickly). Working with a consultant is a great way to learn the behaviors you need to succeed in business and set yourself up for a lucrative liquidity event. 


Josh Patrick is the owner of Stage 2 Planning Partners and is a serial entrepreneur who is obsessed with what makes a private business economically and personally sustainable. He has been a blogger for the NY Times,,, The Huffington Post and Open at American Express. He hosts the podcast, The Sustainable Business and is a regular blogger and Facebook Live presenter. For more information about his work visit or

Look for Josh’s Upcoming Book:

Check out for the latest on Josh’s new book, Sustainable: A Fable About Creating a Personally and Economically Sustainable Business, which was published in January 2018. Join his Facebook group and receive tips, tools as well as access to special promotional book offers.


Myth: For the average America, mutual funds are the only place to invest your savings

January 24, 2018

Janice Shade, Invest in Vermont, Milk Money -

Janice Shade firmly believes that you have more investment options than many people are aware of and that crowdfunding is the wave of the future. Listen to this episode, as Kathleen interviews Janice about how you can invest in small, local businesses and see a return on investment right in your backyard. (Note: The contents of this episode should not be considered investment advice.)

 Take Aways: 

  1. Investing in a local venture still has risk. Look at your risk comfort level and carve out 5-10% of your funds to invest in local companies. Don’t put all of your eggs in a local basket until you are savvier about investing in local companies or ventures. Diversification is always a good investment strategy.
  2. Just because you love a product or company doesn’t mean it is a good investment choice for you. It’s a great first indicator that you and others love the products or a company. But be sure to do your due diligence and look at the company’s business plan and history before investing. Find out more about the company’s leadership, mission statement, and short and long-term business plan before making a decision.
  3. The rubber hits the road when you look at the numbers of the company. Review the company’s profit and loss statement and consult with your financial advisor to help you assess the financial health of each enterprise. Here are some questions to consider asking the owner:
    • How does your company make money?
    • How much of your products or services do you think you are going to sell each year?
    • What are the costs associated with making your product or providing your service?
    • What are the other costs of running your business?

Numbers don’t lie and owners should be able to answer these basic financial inquires if they want you to invest in their business.


Janice Shade is the co-founder of Milk Money, a pioneering "invest local" crowdfunding platform that supports Vermont’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. She is also a founding board member of the National Coalition for Community Capital and is seen as a national thought leader in this burgeoning movement. Her entrepreneurial experiences are the basis of an upcoming book that explores the impact of traditional capital markets on social entrepreneurism and provides a vision for how "Main St. investors" can be a positive force for change in their communities. 

Janice received a B.S. in Finance from Boston University and an MBA in Corporate Strategy from Yale School of Management. She is an avid skier and hiker, and enthusiastic soccer/ballet Sherpa. She lives in Jericho, VT, with her husband, two daughters, and dog.



Myth: I’ll know when I’ll need help managing my finances when I’m old.

January 10, 2018

Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, M.D. CFP®, Director of Financial Planning, Life Planning Partners    

People tend to be in denial about needing help managing their finances and everyday life routines as they get older. The consequences of not talking about and planning for the aging process with your family can be emotionally and financially devastating. The good news is financial planners like Carolyn McClanahan know the risks are high and work with their clients and other advisors to make sure these conversations are occurring. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Carolyn about this myth and how you and your family members can bust through it before it’s too late. 

Take Aways: 

  1. Consider creating a Financial Care Taking Plan. This plan answers the question, “Who will take care of your finances if you become unable to do so?” Take time to consider how financial decisions will be made if you get into an accident, have a medical crisis, or experience some cognitive decline that prevents you paying bills, managing your investments, and making sure your assets are protected. Let family members know where accounts are and consider adding them to these accounts in case of emergency.
  2. Decide on the best living situation as you age. Talk with your family and your healthcare professional about your options. If you want to continue to live in your home as you age, find out what type of home healthcare is available, the cost of the care, and what home improvements (ex. adding hand railing in the bathrooms or making the home wheelchair accessible) Also explore assisted-living housing options in your area in case staying in your house no longer becomes feasible.
  3. Determine when you will stop driving. Driving is one of the hotter topics family members have to deal with as their parents or spouse age. Be proactive and design a transportation plan for getting around if you no longer can drive. Many families use car services, taxis, and Ubers in addition to enlisting relatives to help out. It helps to designate a family member now, when you are capable of driving, to let you know when it is time to get off the road.
  4. Communicate your healthcare wishes. Make sure you craft an estate plan with an estate attorney’s help that includes a healthcare proxy. This is a fancy word for designating a person to make healthcare decisions if you are not medically or emotionally capable of doing so. Ask yourself, “Who will help you make or to make the healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself?” Once you have decided on a health care proxy, communicate your preferences for your end-of-life care. While this is a topic that may be hard to focus on now when you are healthy, letting your family know your wishes is a gift that will reduce stress and be comforting as they prepare to say goodbye. 

In addition to Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life, check out this book, Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott as it is one of Carolyn’s favorites. 


Dr. McClanahan is a physician turned financial planner who speaks regularly on the interplay between health and financial issues, particularly regarding aging, chronic illness, end-of-life, long-term care, healthcare reform, and healthcare costs. She is also co-founder of WHealthcare Planning, the gold standard in aging planning software, and writes for Forbes and Financial Planning Magazine.  Dr. McClanahan is quoted regularly in the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNBC. She has also been featured on NPR.