Welcome to A Wealthy Life, a podcast by author and wealth strategist Vicki Wusche.
This brand new series is filled with practical tips, insights and a touch of humour covering all things wealth, money, and financial education, helping you to rethink your relationship with money and time.
If you have started to realise that time is worth more than money – and even more so if you haven’t, then A Wealthy Life is the podcast for you.
If you’re a business owner, contractor or leader of industry – are you tired of missing out on family life? Do you wish you were the one in charge of how you spend your time? Then A Wealthy Life is the podcast for you.
Do you just want to feel more comfortable around money and investments, and know that you are financially resilient no matter what this decade dreams up next? Then A Wealthy Life is DEFINITELY the podcast for you.
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Do you feel you are living your life according to what you truly want it to be life? Or are you just going along doing what you think you should?
In this episode I am going to get you thinking about if you are living the life you want.
I am going to talk through three case studies using my own experience as a consultant to many people who want to better manage their finances to create their ideal lifestyle, and I am going to help you figure out if your career, your circumstances and your income are worthwhile relative to your happiness.
It’s so easy to get stuck on a path just because we think it’s the right thing to do, or because we burden ourselves with excuses, but nobody ever achieved their wealthy life by settling, and neither will you.
(10:54) How to put family first AND provide for ourselves
(12:41) Three case studies
(19:37) Find your golden goose
(23:46) The best way to prioritise others is to start with yourself
(27:55) What are you passionate about?
Has this podcast started you thinking about what A Wealthy Life might look and feel like for you? Why not spend another 3 minutes and take my online audit called Readiness to Retire Wealthy based on the five principles discussed in The Wealthy Retirement Plan book and episodes of this podcast? The assessment provides you with a personal score and report to help you take back control of your financial future – something business owners and employees both forget – but for different reasons.
The De-Job Yourself Manual: Break your reliance on a monthly wage
The Values Manual: Understand what your values are and how they can be key to a successful business
The Goal Setting Manual: Create meaningful and practical goals then achieve them
Episode 20 Transcript – Family First
Hello. My name is Vicky Wusche and welcome to A Wealthy Life; a podcast that I hope will inspire you, motivate you, maybe educate you, help you work on your mindset, your money maths particularly, and also this concept that we don’t have to wait to live the life that we want. It can be our choosing now.
A lot of what we do is based on myth
And a lot of what we do is myth-based. Our history, our parents, the things that they tell us; it’s not necessarily relevant in this new century that we are living in. And also, routine. But I also think training through school; this idea of our social avatars, if you like, what we are meant to be like, rather than what we want to be like.
And this episode is poignant in a couple of ways. So first off, it’s called “Family First – the Challenge,” and it’s going to be published on the 14th of July, which would’ve been my dad’s birthday. And he meant a great deal to me. But I’m not going to dwell on him, or the fact that he’s no longer around with us anymore, but on what I’ve learned from him. Not what I’ve learned from him blindly to do, but what I’ve learned from him that I can observe and that I can question and that I can–I don’t want to say do better–do differently, do more relevantly.
And maybe in this, it’s not going to be musings–it’s going to be very structured, of course–but I want to provoke you into thinking about what you do and why you do what you do. I started talking about this last week about, are you asking the right questions? And, I am going to come to that podcast in a minute, but there’s just, there’s so many other things that I wanted to get out.
And I really wanted to do this one about family today as it’s my dad’s birthday. So, my observations are that historically and still in this present day, men work too long: too many years, all the way up to the 65-70; wherever they decide to stop working or are forced to stop working. Too long in the day in that the way our lives have changed means that there is a lot of travel to work.
I remember one of my clients, Ross–and I hope I’ll get him on the show at some point in the future–when he first came to me, he wanted to give up work. He drove–he travelled–nearly two hours on the train to work each way and then worked his full day at work. But then also worked on the train, coming back and was missing his family.
And I think that’s really interesting. I mean, I remember my dad would go to work and then in the evening he’d have to–because he ran his own business, he was a tailor–in the evenings he’d have to go and do, if you like, the supporting roles of running his business. So, he would have to take the material to the people in London that were actually going to sew the jackets and sew the trousers.
But during the day he had to be present in the shop. And when you run your own business, you’re frequently Jack of many trades; you’re the accounts department, the sales department, the marketing department. Frequently, you’re the production and operations department. You might even be the transport department.
And if you’re an employee, particularly now with all the challenges that we’ve had at the first half of this decade–or the first part of this decade–you are still having a lot of pressure on you, even as an employee. Now this podcast, isn’t going to be just about men because the other side of the coin is that when women are in work, then they are frequently working as many hours or they’re underpaid and under-supported in lesser roles. I don’t think they’re lesser roles, but what I’m saying is that some employers will not treat women in the same way that they treat men. And we know that; that’s nothing–I’m not saying anything controversial or anything that’s not been said before.
We know that there are women holding down jobs where their male counterparts are earning more money from them. And it’s because we can accidentally or deliberately get pregnant. And then there is a cost to the business. And that means that there is a risk in employing a female. And equally, once they’ve had children or we’ve had children as women, then those children go sick. It’s frequently the woman that takes the time off work to then step in and look after a sick child.
So, there’s this sort of feeling that we can’t be relied on. But I feel that that is very, very short-sighted. That actually the skills, the attributes, the qualities, the culture that women bring to a business are extremely valued. And I think that if you look at the way businesses have shifted in terms of their culture over the last few decades, you can really see that there is a lack of the feminine, if you like, or the female, in business; that it had got very hard-nosed.
Planning for longer life expectancy
And then I think we can take this a step further. So not only is there this pressure from school and this expectation that what you’ll do is you’ll go to work Monday to Friday, nine to five. And then also that what you’ll do is you’ll work this many years until you’re 65, 70 whatever.
But there’s other pressures that then come on you, probably passed down from grandparents and parents, which is this … is it a desire or is it a pressure or an expectation that you will help your children? It depends on your family, which one of those words resonates with you. I know that I have a desire to help my children, but I feel that the way that my desire to help my children manifests would be different than just buying them a house or giving them money.
And I think that there is this expectation–and again, you could probably see this in historical terms. So, not a hundred years ago, but less than a hundred years ago, life expectancy was much shorter. It wasn’t expected that most people lived much past 50-60, and therefore any sort of inheritance was passed down quite quickly to their children, which would probably have been around 20 to 30 years old, depending on when they had children.
And then, this has progressed forward, but now we’ve got life expectancy easily into the 80s, potentially into the 90s. And therefore, the children are now in their 50s, their 60s and their children are in their 20s. And in the case of when my mother passed, she actually had great-grandchildren.
So, the whole idea of inheritance as a way to pass down generational wealth and support to the younger generation is evaporating as medical care changes, and we start to become more healthy–which is great–and live longer–which is wonderful. Then how do we help the younger generations if we are not going to just die and leave them our money? We’ve got to find another way of doing it.
And I speak to countless parents. So, the first point was I speak to countless individuals who work too long, feel the pressure and want to give up work because they’re missing their families. I speak to women who don’t feel valued. Frequently relationships will break up and then the female of the relationship who’s been looking after the children would be left behind financially.
How to put family first AND provide for ourselves
And then we’ve got the situation, and we’ve got parents speaking to me and their opening words are: “I want to put 2,000–or sorry–20,000 pounds into an account so that my children can buy a house,” or “I want to buy my children a house.” And, we’re stuck on that loop. And I wrote a whole book about that; it’s the green one, if ever you’ve seen it: Property for the Next Generation in which I talk about the story of my daughter, Kimberley, wanting me to buy her a house.
So, she came to me when she was like, well, I’d say 18-20, something like that, and said, “mum, you buy houses, don’t you?” And I said, “yes.” And she said, “oh, will you buy me one?” And when I finished laughing hysterically, I pointed out that that wasn’t how it worked and that I bought houses that were a business opportunity, not just, you know, things that I freely just passed around all over the place.
And showed her how to create an Excel spreadsheet of her own, work out how much a house was–or a property that she wanted to buy was–and what the deposit would be and spoke to her all about that; we created the spreadsheet, and lo and behold–I think it was about three or four years later–that was it, she’d done it. And all we did at the time was lend her 6,000 pounds to clear her car payment so that she had no outstanding loans or anything on her credit history, which would be taken off against the mortgage.
So, we did help her get on the ladder, but we helped her get on the ladder through education. She did then pay back the 6,000 pounds. So technically she’s now onto her second property and, you know, very happy in her family home. And she’s had no money from us to do it. And yet she understands more than maybe many young people who are just given a house or given a lump of money.
So, I think that’s, that’s really interesting. So, we’ve got the impact of work. We’ve got the impact of inheritance and dilemmas on how to pass down money, how to work together generationally or cross-generationally–or do I mean trans-generationally? I don’t know what word, I mean… I need multi-generationally, there you go. I’ll make up a word: multi-generationally, so that we can support others within our family. But then we’ve also got this idea of where do we prioritize self in all of this. Many of the female clients that I speak to frequently are waiting to prioritize themselves.
Three case studies
And so, what I really want to do is I just want to talk about three of my clients: Ross, Annabel and Alice. And I just wanted to share their stories very loosely so that you would just understand what the issues are and whether these are resonating with you; whether you see them as a challenge, or you don’t see them as a problem.
And then at the end of this, we can have that conversation. How do we put family first and yet still ensure that we provide for ourselves? Because one of the primary things that I mentioned in my book, The Wealthy Retirement Plan: A Revolutionary Guide to Living the Rest of Your Life in Style is that you are going to live a lot longer than you think, and a lot longer than you can afford. And while we’ve got all of these pressures on us to work–you’re going to work all the way to 65–you may not have enough money and then you can’t enjoy yourself afterwards. Or you can plan properly, retire when you want–whatever that means for you–and enjoy the latter years that you’ve got.
Because if you think about it, if you properly start work, say, when you’re around 20, you’ve got 20-60 to work–40 years. But equally, depending on your health and, exponentially medical interventions are getting better, and pretty much, unless you get yourself completely rolled over by a–you know, one of those tarmac rolling machines in, in the road–they can fix you. It’s incredible if you watch these medical programs quite what they can fix these days. So, you could have from 60 to 100–another 40 years–of not working in which you can enjoy yourself. Certainly, you’ll be fit and able for at least the first 20, maybe even 25 years of that, but then you’re going to need support.
And how are you going to prepare for the level of support that you might need in the future? And do all of that while still keeping yourself sane and not on this treadmill, or this merry-go-round or whatever it is? So, let’s start breaking that down.
So, I mentioned Ross a little bit earlier. So, he is a very classic avatar. So, these are avatars that I have in my head. They are amalgamations of plenty of customers that I have spoken to, plenty of clients I’ve spoken to. And Ross is very classically a senior male employee. He works long hours. He works away from home. And even though we have a bit more working from home now, there is still a lot of demand for him to work in an office and to work away from the family.
This is offset by the fact that he earns an exceptionally good wage, which is wonderful. There are sometimes bonuses involved, sometimes shares in the company involved, but the bottom line is that as a family generally–and if you think back to Episode One, where my Ross avatar would be the financial provider–he’s actually providing for his family in terms of finances.
But I think if you were to have a conversation with the family, and maybe get a person like Ross on their own and ask them how they feel, they would actually be saying that they are missing their family time. They’re missing their children growing up. Yes, they get their holiday and they go away and they have a holiday.
But these days, they’re either exhausted when they’re on holiday and really just want to sit down and relax, or because of technology, they’re probably still being pestered. And even if they’re out of the country, they may be checking emails or receiving phone calls or WhatsApp messages from colleagues. And I know that shouldn’t happen, but it does.
And now “Ross Part Two” could also be someone who is running their own business. And so, that would be for example, Lucy. So, Lucy runs her own business as an avatar, and she’s doing very well in her business. She’s been very successful. She is cash rich in the business. But she knows that she needs to have another source of income because she doesn’t want to be doing this all the time.
She has put her children first. Now, she’s put her career first, but what she hasn’t put first is herself. And what she wants to do is just have that choice that she can change. She doesn’t necessarily want to give up the business. She doesn’t want to sell it, particularly. She doesn’t even want to move from being five days a week to three days a week. She just wants to know that there is another source of income that if she chose to, she could sell or step back from the business or anything else.
And then there are Alison and Annabelle. So, the difference between them is that Annabelle is younger. Annabelle is younger, she is typically a single mother and she is typically looking after her children while holding down a full-time job. So, she’s very actively working, working with young children, got a lot of pressure on her. And again, thinking of those first two episodes, she’s being both the financial provider and the nurturer in the family. But because of her circumstances, whatever they are–and they’ve been different for a number of different clients–she’s in quite a good financial position.
So, she has a property–a residential property–with a very low mortgage on it, and she’s got some cash behind her. And what she wants to do now is look at how she can leverage the resources that she’s got so that she can take off some of the pressure from herself. Because at the moment, as a single parent, particularly of young children, she is having to go to work because she has to provide the food, she has to keep the lights on and the heating on. But at the same time, she’s juggling with how she can hold down a job. And this is about a job; this isn’t necessarily someone who’s got a career they’re passionate about. They might love what they do, but it’s not about that. This is the need for them to go to work.
It’s almost as if Annabelle is the female version of Ross, except that Ross has a partner that is there to support the children. Whereas Annabelle is the avatar that is doing it all on her own. And Annabelle’s a female avatar rather than a male, because typically my experience is that the clients that come to me that are single parents are female single parents and have the children living with them.
So, there’s a lot of pressure on her to be both financial provider and nurturer. And so, what she’s looking to do is explore her resources and see where she can find points that she can leverage so that she can treat, create an alternate source of income for herself so that she can take some of the pressure off.
If she could know that there was 1,000 or 2,000 pounds a month coming in, for example, from property investments, then she could then just take a breath. She wouldn’t necessarily change what she’s doing, because she is driven and she’s putting her family first, but she could just take a breath knowing that actually there’s another source of income and it’s okay. And that release of pressure is incredible, it has been really joyful for me to see it in the ladies that I have worked with and helped.
Then there is Alice. And Alice is very much like Annabelle in that she is a single female. She’s probably come out the other side and is more of a divorce situation for her because she’s older and she still has children. But the difference with Alice–and I don’t know that this is necessarily to do with age or anything else–but she doesn’t put herself forward at all until the point that her children have grown up. So, the difference between Annabel and Alice is that Annabelle is recognizing that she needs to do something now; her children are young and it’s almost as if she’s on a treadmill and running ever so slightly, too fast. She’s ever so slightly exhausted. She’s ever so slightly tired. And quite frankly, as someone who has looked after children as a single parent, I can imagine how exhausted that person is.
Alice has waited until her family has grown up before she’s then decided to say, “right, this is what I want for my life,” which could trigger the divorce or may already–the divorce may already have happened and she’s still single at this point. But it’s now a case of someone who has got, if you like, less years in which to make bigger plans, but it also means that they are very determined to make plans for their future.
They’re approaching retirement age. The children are taken care of. And even though they’ve still got this dilemma of how can they support their children, we had a conversation where it was around: instead of giving your money directly to them now, which means you no longer have the money, they’ll do whatever they’re doing, but it won’t help you any in the future. And then let’s be honest, when push comes to shove, you’ll either go into a council care home, or you’re going to have to draw back the money from the children to support you. And the kids are going to have to pay to put you into a care home and support you.
Find your golden goose
Why not invest the money? So, in a sense, let’s buy you a golden goose that makes repeated eggs. You can then have the eggs to support you while you are alive and you have needs. And in the early years, you can have your fun. You can, I don’t know, take up golf, go traveling, whatever interests you. Whatever you always wished you’d had time to do and you couldn’t because of your family commitments, just go for it and love life.
And then when you need more care, as you’re older, the eggs will be there for you ready, and support you. And then when you do finally move on, you will then pass on everything that you would’ve passed on to your children in the first place, plus more because you will have your goose; your goose will have created the golden eggs. And there will be probably more golden eggs or maybe more goose… geese, more geese. I’m get lost in my own metaphor there. You get more geese laying even more eggs as you move forward with your plans.
So, it’s interesting, isn’t it? That whatever, whoever I’m speaking to you about; whether it’s the man who’s a senior employee working hard; whether it’s the male or female that runs their business, that wants an alternative source of income so that they’ve got options; whether it’s the young single mother; whether it’s the older mother or divorcee–I haven’t had any divorced dads that I’m aware of–or whether it’s just a retired couple suddenly going–or a nearing retiring couple–suddenly deciding “what are we going to do? How are we going to plan for the future?” it’s all about still at the bottom of it. The challenge of family first.
And aren’t you part of the family too? Shouldn’t you put you first? And what we don’t want to do is go forward and create a new problem that we’ve never experienced before. Particularly as we’ve got a Baby Boomer generation coming up to their fifties, their sixties, their seventies; a situation where what we’ve got is generational debt, because our children and potentially even our grandchildren are having to step in to support us as we get older and have increased care needs.
And isn’t it better if we could look at what we’ve got–and I mean, I spoke to you in the last episode about this idea of counting your money, knowing where your money is, but I was doing it in reference to getting the facts so that your logic can outweigh any emotional stress that’s coming down the line. Now what I’m suggesting to you is that again, always–and I’m sorry if it sounds like I bang on this drum so many times, I haven’t mentioned the word spreadsheet, I think, in two episodes now, other than just mentioning it then–but it’s still about if you are aware of your finances. Where your money is, what your money’s doing; but now, this time, instead of worrying–or not worrying–thinking about the money as a way, not to worry about the drama.
The best way to prioritise others is to start with yourself
Now think about the money and actually think, “what does the future hold? How do I want my life to pan out? If I’ve got grandchildren, do I want to spend time with them? If I’ve got children, do I want to spend time with them? If I’ve got elderly parents, am I supporting them? Do I want to spend more time with them?”
I was just talking to one client and her mum’s going to be 70 and they’re going out to Dubai. And so, she’s got to make sure that she’s got the money, that she can be part of that; which I think is fantastic. But those are the plans that you want to be making, plans around family. But it still starts with money because if you don’t manage your money, if you don’t know what your money is doing, then you can’t make plans in the same way to be with your family as if you took control and you prioritized yourself.
Maybe that sounds a hard thing to think of. And I know that from day one, when my marriage broke up and I was on my own and I had two children aged one and three, I knew at that point that the only way that I could enable my children to survive—or to thrive, to support them, to cope with everything–was if I put myself first.
And I did that in two ways. I became very methodical about my money, counting it, measuring it, watching where it was, putting it so that it would grow, even if all it did was generate that extra 60 pounds a year, which paid for our summer holiday fun. I made my money work. And the other thing I did was I did stuff for my own mental wellbeing. I supported my own mindset. I didn’t know about mindset then, which is so funny to now relay the story to you in a way that implies that I knew that I was taking care of my mindset, which I didn’t, because I didn’t have that language. But actually, I was; I went to university and I went with the sole intention of keeping my mind occupied. I hadn’t done well at school. I’d left school feeling that I wasn’t clever. And I wanted to go to university to see how clever I was, what opportunities would open to me in a new light, in the new life that I was creating as I went forward.
So, my family was first. My daughters were first, but I was in there. I was a priority too. I did not subjugate myself to bring my children up and then suddenly wake up, I don’t know in my fifties or my sixties, and suddenly go, “oh, my children have left. What am I going to do now?” And, I think it’s very easy if we harp back to episodes one and two, to get so into those roles that are historical, are myth-based, are probably both bred into us and drilled into us through school and society and norms and everything else, that we think that we have to do it this way.
And I want to just summarize this episode by saying “family first” is a challenge because we are doing it the old-fashioned way, and we don’t have to do it that way. We can find a new way of doing it. And COVID really gave us one example of how we can do that: why are we all commuting to work? Or, rather you, I’m not. Why are you all commuting to work and to offices and to businesses when actually what COVID has taught us is that some work that we do is not location-dependent. And then we can save money on the petrol, we can save money on rented accommodation, we can work more flexibly. And also, if you’re not then spending an hour or two traveling to work, you’re at home to see your children after school, you’re at home to see your children come home from school.
Even if you then go back to work for another half an hour, you know, you are more present than you’ve ever been because you are doing things differently. And if we did things differently because of a pandemic, why can’t we just choose to do things differently? Family first, and you are part of that family; don’t subjugate your needs and your wishes to the detriment of you, and then wake up years later going you wish you’d done it differently. That’s, I think, what I’m trying to provoke for you here. It doesn’t have to be the way that we do it. We can look at how we want to spend our time.
What are you passionate about?
And I think if I just summarize with this thought: we are sent to school in order to get qualifications, in order to maybe get more qualifications, in order to get a job in order to get money, in order to maybe pay back the debt of getting those qualifications. And if not the debt of those qualifications, pay back the debt of buying stuff that we may or may not really have wanted, but we thought we ought to have like a car or a house or whatever.
And in actual fact, what if we went to school, and the question we were asked is not :what GCSEs are you going to take?” Not “what A-levels are you going to take?” But, “what excites you? What passions have you got? Where and what experiences would you like to have?” And then can’t, we just work a way to helping young people experience those things. “I’d like to work with children. I’d like to work with animals. I’d like to travel. I’m interested in medicine. I love maths. I love science,” whatever it is, “I’m fascinated by the stars. I really want to do something about pollution. I want to do something about poverty.”
What if we started at school by igniting the spark in young people? And from igniting the spark in young people, then enabling them to go on a journey that supports their knowledge development and their connections and their experiences so that they can not live their lives in a rut, like maybe some people do. Do you feel you’re living your life in a rut? Have you been in a rut? Do you want to get out of a rut? And that rut can be both work and obligation.
So, “family first” is a challenge. You are an important part of your family and you need to prioritize yourself. You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. I’d love to have a conversation with you about what new ways you might like to do things. I really hope that this episode has… I think this time, what we’ve done is we’ve aerated the compost. How’s that for a metaphor? There’ve been all these layers that we’ve been laying down, and if we don’t shake it up a bit, add a bit of air in there, mix it up a little, we’re not going to get great compost at the other end.
So, we’ve been aerating the compost heap with the idea that we’re going to create fertilizer that we are going to use to help our wealthy lives grow. If you think I’ve completely lost the pop, possibly I have, but maybe I haven’t. Above all, I thank you for your time listening to this episode, my name’s Vicky Wusche, and I hope that I have inspired you, made you think a little and put some “Whoosh” into your life. Very best wishes, and I’ll see you on the next episode.
You’ve been listening to Vicki Wusche – wealth strategist, author, and property investor. With a name like Wusche, spelt W-U-S-C-H-E, I’m easy to find on all the usual social media channels. Do come and connect. Been loving the podcast? Then join the listener Fan Club, where I will share extra insights and host webinars. Links to this and more of my story are both in the show notes and on my website: vickiwusche.com. See you on the next episode!
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