Tommy is 60 and he’s run his own business for more than 30 years. He loves his work and doesn’t plan to stop. Caroline, his wife, is 56 and is retiring from a stressful job in a few months. Together, they’ve amassed over $6M. She’s ready to spend it but Tommy can’t stop saving and investing.

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I learned that, if I want to plan something with Tommy, I should bring it up as a memory instead of money.

–Caroline

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Transcript

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Caroline: [00:00:02] Every time he sit there and say, “God, I wish I’d win the lottery.” And I’m like, “Well, we have, and we still wish we could win the lottery.”

Tommy: [00:00:12] Each month I’m putting money away. That’s how my mind works. It’s like that’s how you get by shit. Yet I realize there are times that I do feel like I control things too much, and that’s probably a huge downfall for me. And it’s stupid. She’s not doing anything wrong, but this is how I react to myself. I get worked up over stupid ass stuff.

Ramit Sethi: [00:00:38] Okay. And do you want that relationship the way it is now, or do you want to change it?

Tommy: [00:00:43] I want to change it, but I worry. I worry that if I’m not in control, then–

Ramit Sethi: [00:00:48] Well, I didn’t ask about the plan. I just asked if you want to change it.

Tommy: [00:00:56] Yeah, a little bit.

Caroline: [00:00:57] And that’s probably my biggest fear about retiring is that I’m not going to have my own money anymore. We’re not going to spend any money now because he feels we don’t have the double income. And by the time we can’t spend money when we’re older, I won’t want to travel as much. And we’re saving for a time to live to 100 is what we’re doing. We’re totally saving for time to live to 100. I want to do stuff now.

Ramit Sethi: [00:01:23] [Narration]

Meet Tommy and Caroline. Tommy’s 60. Caroline’s 56. This is their second marriage both of them. And they’ve been married for six years. The reason they came to me is that Tommy is having trouble spending and because Caroline is just about to retire from a very stressful job, this has become a very pressing topic. What are they going to do when he continues to work and she’s retired? She wants to travel. She wants to spend some of that money. He does not.

Now, for everybody listening and watching on YouTube, I want to encourage you to treat this episode like a crystal ball. You have the chance to see into your future and to see what it might look like if you accumulate a bunch of money, but you don’t necessarily know how to spend it. So for those of you listening to the I Will Teach You to Be Rich Podcast, or for those of you watching it on YouTube, I welcome you to this episode of Tommy and Caroline.

Tommy: [00:02:30] [Interview]

I need to chill because I think we’re in a really good position. Caroline’s retiring this March, and I’m so excited for her because she’s got a super stressful job. I know we can make it work yet I freak out too much. I freak out when I see all these Amazon purchases and I question why it’s happening. 

Perfect example. Caroline decides to buy a pair of headphones that we already have wired pair of headphones. And I know it’s stupid because it’s probably a $20 or $30 purchase, but my mind just says, “Hey, we already have it.” I need to let go of that shit. I know I do because she’s doing nothing wrong, nothing. But I get worked up on that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:03:29] When you say, Tommy, that you freak out, tell me exactly what happened. 

Tommy: [00:03:36] Nothing was said to her. But I inside internalized it by saying, why does she do that? There’s no reason for that. I wouldn’t have done that. So why does she do that? And it’s stupid. She’s not doing anything wrong. But this is how I react to myself. I get worked up over stupid ass stuff.

Ramit Sethi: [00:03:58] Okay. Caroline, do you remember that headphone situation?

Caroline: [00:04:02] Well. Yeah, I could tell because he rolls his eyes or he tries to control the situation. He’ll say, “We don’t need it.” It’s a good thing I did buy him because we would be in bad shape right now if I did buy because the ones that he had didn’t work.

Ramit Sethi: [00:04:17] That’s one. What else?

Tommy: [00:04:21] What was something that you just bought that’s, oh, okay, she’s probably going to get mad at me on this. She was telling me on a walk that she just purchased a cool dress that she really liked for an upcoming wedding. I don’t know when that wedding would be, but it’d be a cool dress. Yet she also confided by saying, “Yeah. I don’t know if I’ll really be able to wear it or fit into it, or maybe it won’t work for this particular wedding.” And it just blows my mind. Why would you buy something when you don’t know for sure that it’s doable?

Caroline: [00:05:02] It is $600. 

Ramit Sethi: [00:05:04] And where did that money come from? Which account?

Caroline: [00:05:06] My account.

Ramit Sethi: [00:05:07] Your personal account?

Caroline: [00:05:08] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:05:09] Okay. How long have you been married for?

Caroline: [00:05:12] Five years.

Tommy: [00:05:13] Seven years.

Caroline: [00:05:14] Well known each other for seven. Married five.

Ramit Sethi: [00:05:17] Okay. All right. Do you guys want to get your story straight on how long you’ve been married?

Caroline: [00:05:24] Well, we met in 2013. We got married in 2017.

Tommy: [00:05:27] That’s nine years.

Caroline: [00:05:29] No. Well, 2017.

Tommy: [00:05:32] We’ve known each other for nine years. We’ve been married since 2017.

Caroline: [00:05:35] Isn’t that five? Am I doing my math wrong?

Tommy: [00:05:38] It’s five and a half. So almost six years.

Ramit Sethi: [00:05:39] When we got married, it was my opportunity. I was like, “Listen, babe, let’s start fresh. Let’s just do our wedding anniversary and birthdays. We can’t do the first date and the first time our parents met.” It was just too much. I said, “Let’s just start fresh.” So maybe that’s what’s going on here. All right. So you’ve been married somewhere in the neighborhood of less than 10 years, whatever the number is.

Caroline: [00:06:05] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:06:06] Okay. Is this a first marriage for both? Second?

Tommy: [00:06:10] Second for both of us.

Ramit Sethi: [00:06:11] Second for both. Okay, great.

[Narration]

Notice a few things already. When Tommy describes himself as freaking out, I ask him to get really specific with his behavior. A lot of people use the word freaking out to describe all kinds of things. Some people use it to describe losing their temper and screaming at their partners. Other people use the same phrase for the very mundane like they sit in their heads and they wonder, hmm, is that worth it? 

I really do not like the phrase “freaking out.” In my opinion, it is never descriptive, and I find that people who use this phrase tend to start to treat it almost like a comfort blanket. They’ll just shrug and say, “I started to freak out. I can’t help it. I don’t know. That’s just me. I freak out.” No, we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to use inflammatory phrases and then laugh it off as just this quirky little thing. Hahahaha, I just freak out.

No, we’re going to get specific with the attitudes and behaviors that we use when it comes to money. And then we’re going to specifically dig to see if we can rebuild those habits so they can start to serve you. 

[Interview]

So when you initially got married, when was the first time you talked about money in a serious way?

Tommy: [00:07:29] Caroline, I’d say the first time we talked about it was we discussed that it’d be beneficial to us to have a joint account and each one of us have our own separate accounts to the accounts that we had. And that way it wouldn’t be, “Oh, I’m going to nitpick your spending and vice versa.” But then again, I hardly ever spend anything. And I think so far that’s worked out really well.

Ramit Sethi: [00:08:00] Caroline, what do you recall about the first time you talked seriously about money?

Caroline: [00:08:03] Yeah, same thing. We were going to do a joint account and we were going to contribute a certain amount of money. And then if we could afford trips, we’d take trips or stuff like that. So yeah, we definitely had our separate, which I would definitely need. 

And that’s probably my biggest fear about retiring is that I’m not going to have my own money anymore. I’m going to have to rely on going into I guess our money, but it’s more Tom contributing than me contributing. So yeah, it’s going to be uncomfortable, probably.

Ramit Sethi: [00:08:39] And how far off is retirement for you?

Caroline: [00:08:41] March 31st.

Ramit Sethi: [00:08:43] In a few months? Okay. Wow. Early congratulations. That’s cool.

Caroline: [00:08:47] Yes. Thank you.

Ramit Sethi: [00:08:48] All right. So when you describe your feelings about retirement, are they positive or negative?

Caroline: [00:08:57] I’m negative only in the sense that I planned on working longer. It’s just my job’s too stressful. I work for a company that was bought and they got rid of people and made other people do more than they normally have to do, and it’s just too stressful. I can’t do it anymore. Yeah.

Ramit Sethi: [00:09:14] Got you. All right. How would you describe the two of you in terms of money? Caroline, if you had to describe Tommy in a word or two when it comes to money, what words come to mind for you?

Caroline: [00:09:28] Conservative.

Ramit Sethi: [00:09:30] What else?

Caroline: [00:09:31] I don’t want to be mean. I think he’s cheap. If we look at boats and we bought a boat for our lake house, I knew it had to be reasonable. There was no way like, there’s some boats out there that are $60,000 to $100,000, there was no way. Even though we probably could afford it, there’s no way. It’s not even an option.

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:06] How much did your boat end up costing?

Caroline: [00:10:09] We bought a used boat for $18,000.

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:11] Okay. I don’t know anything about boats. In the grand scheme is cheap, expensive, for your area and your place of living?

Caroline: [00:10:22] I’d say it’s cheap. Yeah.

Tommy: [00:10:23] All right. Here’s something I want to throw by you or me.

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:27] Okay.

Tommy: [00:10:27] Here’s a perfect example of how my mind works. I’m always competing with myself. We got gas. I filled up the car the other day. I was so pissed at myself. A couple of miles down the road I could have gotten it for $0.12 less per gallon.

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:47] Tommy, this cannot be really happening right now.

Tommy: [00:10:49] Another incidence–

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:50] Come on. Did it involve strawberries? Tell me–

Tommy: [00:10:54] We’re getting Yellowstone. Okay, we want to get the fifth season of Yellowstone.

Ramit Sethi: [00:10:58] It’s a good shot.

Tommy: [00:10:58] I went ahead and bought it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:11:00] You bought the HD version?

Tommy: [00:11:04] No. Hell, no.

Ramit Sethi: [00:11:05] Okay. I never do that either. That’s a waste of money. I’m never going to do it.

Tommy: [00:11:07] And then I find out my son said, “Hey, Daddy. Oh, you already have it on YouTube TV. Why don’t you ask me?” I’m pissed at myself.

Caroline: [00:11:19] For $40, it’s not even worth it.

Tommy: [00:11:22] How come you didn’t say something? How come I didn’t check it out? I thought I did. It’s not funny.

Ramit Sethi: [00:11:30] How much sleep did you lose over that one, Tommy?

Tommy: [00:11:34] I probably did. I know it’s stupid, but that’s how I deal with stupid shit like that.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:11:44] Tommy is doing this interesting thing here where he’s pre-apologizing. Have you noticed it? It’s like walking into the room after you’ve done something and going over the top with your apologies. I know I shouldn’t have done that. I’m terrible. I just can’t do anything right. I’m sorry. One apology is good. Two is better. 10 starts to feel disingenuous. 

I want you to be aware of this because it might be a real acknowledgment of contrition or it might be a strategy. Sometimes it’s actually an unconscious strategy that people use, but it is a strategy nonetheless. Personally, I find Tommy really likable, but I’m starting to get a little suspicious of the number of times he’s apologized in just the first few minutes of talking. But really, I have no idea. It’s just a guess right now. Let’s pay attention to what he says and how he says it.

[Interview]

Tommy: [00:12:37] And the other thing that may seem wacked, but I just have this feeling I’m going to live a long time, to at least 100. And I’m not saying this as bragging. I just feel I’m going to live a long time. I want to make sure that I don’t have to be a burden to anyone. Never do I want my kids or anyone to worry about me.

Ramit Sethi: [00:12:58] How many kids do you have, Tommy?

Tommy: [00:13:00] Three.

Ramit Sethi: [00:13:01] All right. How old are they?

Tommy: [00:13:02] Oh, they’re old. They’re 34, 33, and 30.

Ramit Sethi: [00:13:07] All right. And how are they doing?

Tommy: [00:13:08] They’re all successful. They’re all fine.

Ramit Sethi: [00:13:10] Okay, great. Do you anticipate them needing your financial help in their lives?

Tommy: [00:13:18] No.

Ramit Sethi: [00:13:19] Tommy, we spoke on the money coaching call. That was a lot of fun. So you raised your hand and we had a conversation in our money coaching group. Tommy, do you recall the conversation that we had?

Tommy: [00:13:32] That I don’t believe a lot of what you had to say in terms of convincing me that we are good financially. And that’s if I wanted to, I remember talking about I want to take a trip to New Zealand.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:13:53] All right. You got to hear this clip. I was doing a Q&A with my money coaching group members and I saw Tommy’s question and I knew I had to take it. Listening in. 

[Playback from Q&A Session] 

All right, Tommy, if you are here, Tommy, please unmute, because I really want to talk to you about this question. It’s so good. 
Tommy says I just turned 60. My wife is retiring this April. I’ve been self-employed for over 34 years. I will continue to work because I enjoy it. My wife has worked her ass off and she wants to spend. I would love to know how much I need to budget each month so I can chill. Can you help me?? Two question marks. Okay. Tommy, please, are you on this call?

Tommy: [00:14:32] I’m here.

Ramit Sethi: [00:14:33] Oh, okay. Tommy, my man. First of all, I love that you put save in all caps. It must really be on your mind. Why do you like to save?

Tommy: [00:14:44] I don’t know. It’s competitive. It’s like the more I save, the better I’ll be and more prepared. My financial guy says we’re good. And I don’t believe him. He shows me facts that each year it’s going to be worth more.

Ramit Sethi: [00:15:08] You see it here. You see the math here. You trust your guy. But here you don’t really believe it. Is that correct?

Tommy: [00:15:17] Hell, no.

Caroline: [00:15:17] But I did notice you said this thing about my wife has worked her ass off and she wants to spend. And what does she want to spend on?

Tommy: [00:15:25] She does not spend a lot. She really doesn’t. She’s very good. But I just–

Ramit Sethi: [00:15:30] Oh, wait. Not spending a lot means you’re good. Did I catch that?

Tommy: [00:15:36] Well, no, she really– I know, I know. But what if she starts doing that?

Ramit Sethi: [00:15:42] Keep going. What if she starts doing it? And then what happens? Like, what if she starts spending a little bit, and then she trips and falls and start spending $50,000 a month? Any concern about that happening?

Tommy: [00:15:58] Oh, yeah. No, not that much.

Ramit Sethi: [00:16:01] How much then?

Tommy: [00:16:04] I don’t know. I’m embarrassed to say that I got to keep saving.

Ramit Sethi: [00:16:07] I talked to so many people who are in this same situation and they have $500,000, 5 million, 13 million, and they still cannot bring themselves to spend.

Tommy: [00:16:20] I told my group I’d like to go to New Zealand.

Ramit Sethi: [00:16:22] Oh, what’s there?

Tommy: [00:16:26] The world’s highest bungee jump.

Ramit Sethi: [00:16:29] Oh, my. Okay. Amazing. That is terrifying to me. You are healthy. You have the money, you have the time because you work and you seem to have a flexible schedule. Is there anything stopping you from doing these things?

Tommy: [00:16:47] I can’t afford it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:16:49] The fact of the matter is you’re 60 years old, you’re healthy, you want to go bungee jumping in New Zealand and you can afford it with the money that you probably have in your checking account or savings account. Or if not, after two months, you would be able to afford it. What would that feel like if you did that?

Tommy: [00:17:04] I think it’d be cool.

Ramit Sethi: [00:17:07] Have you ever done something like that?

Tommy: [00:17:09] No. The worst I analyze everything.

Ramit Sethi: [00:17:14] Just a quick question again. You’re 60 years old. Do you have to wait until next winter to go?

Tommy: [00:17:21] Yeah, because I need to save up.

Ramit Sethi: [00:17:26] Okay. How much is in all your accounts? Are we talking, like $10? $10,000? $100,000? Just a ballpark, if I were to open up all your accounts together.

Tommy: [00:17:35] Was 3 million.

Ramit Sethi: [00:17:37] 3 million plus the house, 2 million. Plus the cash flow. I’m not sure you need to save up 500 bucks a month for a year. Anybody agree with me? Could you just go and then pay yourself back?

Tommy: [00:17:52] No, because you had to work for it. You got to save it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:17:55] Tommy. Tommy, listen to me closely. There is no virtue in living a smaller life than you have to. You already have the money, you have the health, you have a loving partner. You have kids. You won. It’s time to cash it in. 

[Narration]

That was a live Q&A from my money coaching program where I show you new ways to apply my material to your finances and I answer your money questions right there on the spot. You can join at iwt.com/moneycoaching. That’s iwt.com/moneycoaching. Now, back to my conversation with Tommy and Caroline.

Tommy: [00:18:32] [Interview]

Each month I’m putting money away because that’s how my mind works. It’s like that’s how you get to buy shit. You don’t just say, okay, I’m going to buy it. I got to make sure that I have the money, and if I don’t, I’m going to save up for it. I’m going to earmark this amount of money, and that’s how I’m going to do it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:18:57] Sounds pretty reasonable the way you say it. But I also remember I had to pull teeth to get you to talk about New Zealand. And then when you finally said, “Oh, that would be cool,” it was like, “Yeah, we’ll go on that a year from now or 18 months or some long time from now.” That sound familiar?

Tommy: [00:19:18] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:19:19] I was like, “Why don’t you just go next month? In fact, why don’t you go next week?”

Tommy: [00:19:24] I can’t afford it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:19:25] Oh, you can’t? I guess I’m looking at these numbers in your conscious spending plan with all those zeros. Oh, that must be a very expensive trip to New Zealand. My gosh.

Tommy: [00:19:35] We’re going to live a long time. We got to take care of that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:19:39] Not that long. You’ve got a lot of zeros in this conscious spending plan. What’s up with that nod, Caroline? Do you think so, too?

Caroline: [00:19:48] Well, we talk about a place in Florida, and I knew if we would get a place, it had to be reasonable. So we do some Airbnbs and this one place that we stayed at, the condos were going for $200,000. I thought, oh, he might entertain that. Yeah. Yeah. And there was on water. So I said something to him and he said, sure. Boom. He changed his mind completely. He was like, “I don’t think we need to spend the money.”

Ramit Sethi: [00:20:18] So how do you two come to agreements on spending money? How does it go?

Tommy: [00:20:26] Ideally, we come to a solution–

Ramit Sethi: [00:20:31] No. I don’t want to know ideally. I want to know real. Give me a scenario. 

[Narration]

That was a mistake on my part. I violated my own rule, which is, ask a vague question, get a vague answer. And that’s exactly what started to happen. If I hear people going into vague language, “Ideally we do this, or we usually do that,” I never let them continue. I don’t care about their answer because it’s always fake. In vague language when we are talking about ourselves vaguely, we’re perfect. We always try to work out. We try to eat right. We try to manage our money.

In real life, we haven’t opened up a sub-savings account in five years because our kid keeps waking up at 5 AM and we lost the password and if we roll it all back, it’s because my mom didn’t love me, because I got to be on my math test in fourth grade. Those are the details that I’m looking for because those are the details that actually matter. So remember, ask a vague question, get a vague answer.

[Interview] 

Give me a scenario.

Caroline: [00:21:39] But we don’t have the condo, I’ll tell you that. I get told no. And I say, “What about my money?”

Tommy: [00:21:48] I’ve told her, I said, we’re going to travel. I’m not going to wait. That’s why I want to go to New Zealand next year. She’s thinking, hmm, is this going to happen? I’ve already put it in the works with the travel agent. So it’s going to happen. Not sure what month is going to be January or February of 2024, because I got to save up for it. But I’m sure I will have enough saved up for it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:22:12] How much do you need to save up for that trip?

Tommy: [00:22:17] I’m thinking probably about $20,000.

Ramit Sethi: [00:22:24] Okay. How long is the trip going to be?

Tommy: [00:22:26] A month. I’m already putting money aside.

Ramit Sethi: [00:22:30] Okay. Caroline, do you agree with that?

Caroline: [00:22:34] Yeah, I would think that would be a good amount of money for a month. When you rent something for a month, it’s more reasonable than a hotel for a month or whatever.

Ramit Sethi: [00:22:44] Okay. You’re about to be retired. Tommy says he doesn’t want to retire for a long time. What’s that going to mean for the two of you?

Caroline: [00:22:52] Meaning about spending money?

Ramit Sethi: [00:22:56] Yeah. Or traveling, spending money, that kind of thing.

Tommy: [00:22:59] I want to keep at the same income level I’m at, which is pretty low. And I do that for tax reasons. So I don’t want to be pulling a boatload out of our savings. And I would like to keep it at that. I’m not working just because oh, I’m nervous. I really enjoy what I do. It’s a lot of fun. And I think I’m pretty good at it. And it excites me. I think guys who retire early die early, and I’m not going to do that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:23:31] Okay. Caroline, what does it mean for you that one is going to be retired and one is not?

Caroline: [00:23:37] It means, like he just said, that we’re not going to have as much income. And I worry because we’re young, I want to do stuff now. I don’t want to do anything because we feel like we don’t have money. And then when we’re 75 because he’s going to live to 100, we’re going to do stuff. And I’m like, “I don’t see it that way at all.” I had a mother that did everything. She always was going and going and going. Then she got sick and she didn’t do anything. She ended up still giving us money because later on in her life she didn’t do much. 

My greatest fear is that we’re not going to spend any money now because he feels like we don’t have a double income and by the time we can spend money as when we’re older, I won’t want to travel as much. And we’re saving for Tommy to live to 100 is what we’re doing. We’re totally saving for Tommy to live to 100.

Ramit Sethi: [00:24:30] I see. Tommy, what do you think about what Caroline said? She had some pretty important things there.

Tommy: [00:24:37] I believe we need to be on the same page. And then I do believe it’s pretty smooth because Caroline’s going to speak her mind and she knows that I’m going to speak my mind. Yet I realize there are times that I do feel I control things too much. And that’s probably a huge downfall for me. 

But huge attribute because I own my own business and I guess I’ve had to go with that mindset that the buck stops with me. If things screw up, it’s my fault and hopefully, they go well, and collectively, we’ll do well. But I know I control shit way too much.

Ramit Sethi: [00:25:28] All right. Do you want to change that or no?

Caroline: [00:25:32] Yeah.

Tommy: [00:25:36] Yes. Put it this way. I love playing sports. And when I’m on a team sport, I am never, ever the coach or the manager because I love when other guys are telling me what to do. I love it. It’s like for once, I don’t have to worry about this or that. It’s just I got to worry about how well I perform.

Ramit Sethi: [00:25:58] Okay. So you like being the individual contributor when it comes to sports, at work, you’re the person in charge. The buck stops with you. But it sounds like you have also adopted that mentality when it comes to money in your relationship. Would that be fair?

Tommy: [00:26:17] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:26:18] And do you want that relationship the way it is now, or do you want to change it?

Tommy: [00:26:24] I want to change it, but I worry. I worry that if I’m not in control, then–

Ramit Sethi: [00:26:29] I didn’t ask about the but. I just asked if you want to change it.

Tommy: [00:26:36] Yeah, a little bit.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:26:38] You really should watch Tommy’s facial expressions as I ask these questions. He’s quite expressive, and it tells you a lot. Check out the YouTube video. You could say no. I’m not trying to lead you with a cry. If you don’t want to change it, tell me.

Tommy: [00:26:51] Then I will answer a little bit. I feel moving forward, this is a big thing about how we spend our money. And I get worried about it. Even our financial guy has said, hey, you’re good. You guys are good. Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how much we can spend each month. That’s what I want to feel comfortable with. Because if I know that, then I can chill. I can relax.

[Interview]

Ramit Sethi: [00:27:25] So you believe that if you have a certain number in front of you, that suddenly you’re going to relax about money?

Tommy: [00:27:33] Yes.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:27:33] Okay. Here’s a little pop quiz for you. If you were in my chair, how would you approach the rest of your conversation with Tommy and Caroline? What route would you take? Think about it. Some people are tempted to emphasize the numbers. Tommy, you’re a millionaire. But what if I told you Tommy already knows that and he hasn’t actually changed anything because of it? What else would you do? 

See, one of the things I’m trying to do here is to get as many of the details out of couples that I speak to, but I’m also evaluating the details that they give me. Most of it, candidly, is noise. Some of it is interesting, but it’s a route with a dead end or a bad end. You’ll sometimes hear me wave couples off of a certain conversation route they’re going, and if I can tell, it’s not going to be good. Other times I will hear something, and it’s really important, but it’s not as important as the burning issue. 

I’ll give you an example from this conversation right now. Tommy has mentioned his finance guy. Now, I haven’t gone down that route intentionally, but I’m willing to bet he’s paying somebody a 1% AUM fee, which is a total waste of money, especially at their net worth.

Now, ordinarily, I would spend time talking about that, but I don’t want to do that. Just like for any soccer referees out there, the advantage clause, just let it go. Same thing here. I can see this mistake happening, but there are bigger things that I need to talk about. 

And frankly, if I were to bring up that AUM fee, he’s probably paying a financial advisor, Tommy would welcome it because he wants to do anything except tackle the real issue here. The real issue, the burning pain, that is what I’m always looking for. Because if we can solve that, the $30,000 question or in their case, the $10 million question, then the rest of their concerns are mere trivialities. 

So this is what I mean by focusing on the big wins. There’s usually one main issue that is more important and meaningful than all the next nine issues combined. We want to search for it and take as long as we need to do to find it. But when we find it, we want to go full head-on to confront that issue. 

[Interview]

You mentioned that you never want to be a burden on your family. I can understand that completely. And you mentioned that you don’t want to have to worry. You want to know that there’s enough.

Tommy: [00:30:14] Right.

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:15] How much is enough? Look at that smile. I like this. Have you talked about this before? I’m going to go out on a limb here.

Tommy: [00:30:28] I don’t know. $12,000 a month.

Caroline: [00:30:31] Well, but–

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:31] Is that enough?

Caroline: [00:30:35] Not really.

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:36] How much is enough?

Caroline: [00:30:38] I would think $15,000 a month.

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:41] Okay, Tommy.

Tommy: [00:30:44] If we can afford it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:49] Well, I’m not asking if you can afford it. I’m just asking how much is enough?

Tommy: [00:30:54] I don’t know.

Ramit Sethi: [00:30:55] How much should the two of you make together? How much do the two of you make right now every month together? Gross?

Tommy: [00:31:03] Mine’s tricky because I’m self-employed.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:07] So how much do you pay yourself nets?

Tommy: [00:31:12] $3,750 every two weeks.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:16] Hold on. Every time people give me these weird.

Caroline: [00:31:19] It’s like $7,500.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:21] $7,500 a month gross.

Tommy: [00:31:23] No, net.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:25] Oh, that’s net. Okay.

Tommy: [00:31:27] So gross, I think was about $7,300 every two weeks.

Caroline: [00:31:30] But it would be higher. The gross would be higher.

Tommy: [00:31:33] The accounts take out to the 401K, to do other things.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:38] That’s why I like to see gross. But whatever. All right. You basically make like $10,000, $12,000 a month gross. But you could pay yourself more. You could pay yourself less. You choose to pay yourself that much. Right?

Tommy: [00:31:51] Right.

Ramit Sethi: [00:31:51] All right, fine. And Caroline, you make approximately $7,000 a month. Fair enough?

Caroline: [00:32:01] Yeah, probably. Mine’s going into 401K and medical bill.

Tommy: [00:32:06] Not gross. You make more than that. You’re about $160,000 a year.

Ramit Sethi: [00:32:12] As you two dig through your paystubs and stuff, I just want to point out, for everyone watching and listening, here we have a multimillionaire couple who doesn’t even know how much they make. It’s fucking awesome.

Caroline: [00:32:23] It is because I don’t look at the bank account. He should look at the bank account.

Tommy: [00:32:28] I do look at the bank account.

Caroline: [00:32:29] Yeah. It’s like $13,000 a month. Yeah, I probably make $13,000 a month. I did 160 divided by 12.

Ramit Sethi: [00:32:39] Whatever. It doesn’t matter to me. You all make a lot of money. Fine with me. Your income is about to disappear, Caroline. Fine. And, Tommy, you can basically pay yourself whatever you want to pay yourself. You choose to pay yourself that much. Could you pay yourself more theoretically? You have the cash flow for it?

Tommy: [00:32:58] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:32:58] Yeah. So, Tommy, can I ask you a couple of questions? So you’re 60 years old?

Tommy: [00:33:03] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:33:04] You’re a multimillionaire. Successful entrepreneur. Do you accept those things?

Tommy: [00:33:11] Yeah. The multimillionaire. No.

Ramit Sethi: [00:33:14] I’m looking at the numbers. There’s multiple commas, let’s put it that way. You are a multi-millionaire.

Tommy: [00:33:20] If you look at it that way. Yes, I guess.

Ramit Sethi: [00:33:22] Yeah, the way is like facts. Okay. So you are a multi-millionaire, successful entrepreneur. How long have you been running your business?

Tommy: [00:33:30] A little over 30 years.

Ramit Sethi: [00:33:31] Fantastic. All right. How many businesses do we know that even last that long? That’s amazing. Okay. You’re telling me that in 30 years and millions of dollars of accumulation, you have never been able to figure out how much money you can safely spend every month?

Tommy: [00:33:52] We’ve been told about, figure on $12,000 a month and you should be fine.

Ramit Sethi: [00:34:03] Okay. And do you accept that number?

Tommy: [00:34:07] I think so. I think we can do that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:34:11] You told me a second ago I need to know the number because then I’m just going to hand over financial control to Caroline. Well, you know the number.

Tommy: [00:34:19] I don’t know if that’s the right number. I think it is.

Ramit Sethi: [00:34:21] I see. I see. I see. Okay.

Tommy: [00:34:23] I’ve never been in a position like this. It doesn’t seem real. I’m proud of what we’ve done. We’ve saved a shitload. And we’ve done it, I want to say the hard way. It’s like making smart choices, not overspending on stupid shit, and knowing our means.

Ramit Sethi: [00:34:46] Okay. And if we go back to you, you saved a lot. You’re proud of what you did. You never thought you’d be in this position. And therefore, to think about spending more means what?

Tommy: [00:35:05] Man, if you don’t follow the course, Tommy, you’re going to fuck it up. So you better keep saving. I’m just being honest.

Ramit Sethi: [00:35:11] I appreciate it. I think that’s real. What got you here could work. It would work with the mentality of where you were at 30 years old when you started this business. And at that point, probably you were actually about 30 years old when you started this business. Hustling, trying to get your first client, etc… Every entrepreneur goes to that stage. I get that. But every entrepreneur is, in a way, trying to get to where you are. And what a shame if you still act the exact same way you did when you were 30 years old just starting out.

Tommy: [00:35:56] I guess I don’t look at it as being a shame. It’s like I got to keep hustling. I got to keep having that edge. I got to keep doing this.

Ramit Sethi: [00:36:05] Can you hustle and still, enjoy some of the benefits of what you’ve worked for?

Tommy: [00:36:16] I know I should enjoy it more and Caroline pushes me to do that and I know I’m kind of a dick.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:36:28] Tommy is showing you what happens to successful people who wrap frugality and saving into their identity. When they finally succeed it is virtually impossible for them to change their identity. And you will see that successful people like this display a complete inability to get off the hamster wheel. Because when you’ve always lived for the future, telling yourself that someday you’ll spend your money, you have actually let the skill of spending money meaningfully deteriorate. 

Now, if you are listening or you’re watching this, Tommy’s actually giving you a huge gift. He’s giving you the gift of a crystal ball into your future. Many of you, especially the ones who have read my book and joined my earning program and money coaching, you’re going to end up with a lot of money. But if you don’t learn how to meaningfully save as well as spend it, it’s very likely you will end up with more money than you can use and no real ability or willingness to spend it.

[Interview]

Tommy: [00:37:39] Caroline will tell you this, two things that I love to spend money on and I don’t. She said, traveling. I do. But when it comes to sporting events and concerts, I don’t care. I will go to as many as possible and I’ll try to get the best seats if I can and I love doing that. That’s my indulgence.

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:02] Okay. You don’t worry that you’re spending too much on it?

Tommy: [00:38:07] No, because I feel I deserve it.

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:10] Oh, you deserve it. Where did that come from?

Tommy: [00:38:14] Of cause I work hard. To me, that’s pretty minor. Just saying, “Hey, I’m going to spend it on concerts and sporting events.”

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:27] Okay. Good answer. What else is the best case for you? Concerts. Do you want to go to one every year, quarter? What are we talking about?

Tommy: [00:38:35] Oh, shit. At least I’d like to go once a month, minimum.

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:37] Wow. Okay. What kind of seats you want to get there?

Tommy: [00:38:42] Ooh, that’d be cool to have really good seats.

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:45] You ever done that?

Tommy: [00:38:47] Yeah.

Ramit Sethi: [00:38:48] I got you. So, concerts. Maybe once in a while get some great seats. Go every month. Fantastic. What else?

Tommy: [00:38:55] Sporting events. I know so little about soccer, but I think it’d be cool to check out the World Cup.

Ramit Sethi: [00:39:05] That’d be cool. Sounds good to me. Do you think we might be able to apply that to some other parts of your life?

Tommy: [00:39:12] Caroline’s laughing. I know. I guess I should. 

Ramit Sethi: [00:39:15] Caroline, what does it mean to you to hear Tommy sharing these things? Any surprises?

Caroline: [00:39:21] No. Eventually, like your 401K, they make you take it out. So then I’m thinking, okay, when they make us take it out, Tommy’s probably going to put it in another savings account. He’s not going to spend it. I can just hear it. I’m hearing it from him now.

Ramit Sethi: [00:39:37] I know what retired men do. Optimizers like you, Tommy. I know it because I talk to them and they take their RMD, they’re required to take it out and then they literally put it right back in. They invest it again. I go, “What the fuck are you doing?” And they go, “Whoa, I don’t even know what to spend it on.”

And this is where it goes from funny to haunting. They go, “What would I spend it on anyway?” And I go, “Let me get this straight.” I don’t say this to them because I’m not trying to psychologically devastate a 72-year-old man. 

But I go, let me get this straight. You worked your ass off for basically 45-plus years to accumulate a bunch of money provided for your family. You did all that. But along the way, you forgot what you actually wanted to spend it on. Maybe you never even built the muscle of knowing how to spend it meaningfully. What’s the point of all that money?

Caroline: [00:40:36] I agree.

Tommy: [00:40:38] I sort of agree.

Ramit Sethi: [00:40:39] How about the way that the two of you deal with money together? Best case.

Tommy: [00:40:47] Not me bitching. That would be the best-case scenario. Not me worrying about stuff because I slowly am believing that we do have enough, so I can just relax more.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:05] That’s good. Maybe another 30 years, then you’ll believe it. What do you think?

Tommy: [00:41:10] I think 10 years. I think I’ll be good.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:15] So what changes ten years from now that you don’t already have?

Tommy: [00:41:19] I’ll have more.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:21] You’ll have millions more.

Caroline: [00:41:23] [inaudible] compound.

Tommy: [00:41:25] Yeah, but I think it’ll help. It’ll help us.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:28] Have the two of you ever considered– this is a legitimate question. Is there a point at which the two of you have invested too much money? Has that question ever come up between the two of you?

Tommy: [00:41:41] No.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:42] That’s what I thought.

Caroline: [00:41:44] Yeah. Never.

Ramit Sethi: [00:41:45] Because that’s not a question that middle-class people ever really confront. It is, you save. You invest. You scrap and scrape it all together. And hopefully, by the time you retire, you’ve got enough to live a comfortable life and maybe travel. Fair?

Caroline: [00:42:05] Fair.

Ramit Sethi: [00:42:05] That’s the archetype for how we live in America. In the middle class. First of all, I’m looking at that very nice tree behind you, Tommy. Now, I don’t know if that’s a middle-class tree or not, but I’m going to tell you something. I bought my first Christmas tree this year with my wife. We went to the little tree lot. We got a little tree. I’m talking three feet tall. 
So we have no idea. Does this tree cost, like $10 or $150? We have no clue. So we get the tree and then we’re like, “Oh, man, we’ve got to get some lights for this thing.” We go to Target. We get the light. We don’t know how many lights to get. So we get one strand and then we come home and we have to wrap and we’re in a budget way. Let’s just stretch this strand out. It doesn’t even go to the top. 

And I’m looking at your tree. I’m going, “That is a very nice tree.” A lot of ornaments. Probably took you 20 years to collect that, plus the fact that I’m looking at many millions of dollars in your bank account. I’m going, maybe some of the old middle-class rules don’t apply to you, too. Have you considered that?

Tommy: [00:43:07] Hell no.

Ramit Sethi: [00:43:08] All right. Is it time to consider that now?

Tommy: [00:43:12] I don’t know.

Ramit Sethi: [00:43:14] Maybe you’re talking to a guy who grew up middle class and now some of the rules don’t apply to him as they used to. Maybe this is a good conversation for us all to have. What do you think?

Tommy: [00:43:23] Maybe a little bit. I should chill a little bit more.

Ramit Sethi: [00:43:28] That’s what you told me you wanted to do on this call. I’m giving you the option here, Tommy.

Tommy: [00:43:36] Caroline’s like, “Yeah, keep talking Tommy.”

Ramit Sethi: [00:43:38] Yeah, she’s loving it. Go ahead, Caroline.

Caroline: [00:43:40] Definitely. I don’t want to be upset about money.

Ramit Sethi: [00:43:44] All right, let’s talk about it. There is a point where when you accumulate enough, it actually starts not making sense for you to continue saving and investing at the rate you were. 

Now, this really only applies to people with a considerable amount of money. The vast majority of people, they need to save more and they need to invest more. And it’s very difficult for a lot of people, especially with housing costs, all that stuff. 

In your case, you’re mentioning to me, Tommy, that you still put a ton of money in your 401K. Caroline, same thing for you, and all that is great. I love a good 401K. I love all these tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

But the fact of the matter is, Caroline, you’re about to retire. Tommy, you’re 60. And when I look at how much money you’ve got and the fact that you’re going to continue working, etc, etc, I start to ask myself, what if you took, let’s just say, $5,000 a month, just a round number, and instead of putting it in 401K or whatever savings vehicle, you just used it for cash flow and you use it for traveling and used it to not have to go two miles down the road for cheaper gas and you used it for whatever it is you wanted to use it for. What would happen?

Tommy: [00:45:10] I’d have to work harder.

Ramit Sethi: [00:45:12] Okay. Because?

Tommy: [00:45:13] I get more jobs.

Ramit Sethi: [00:45:14] Because what?

Tommy: [00:45:17] Because I need to keep invest– I need to go invest in the 401K and other things. 

Ramit Sethi: [00:45:17] Why?

Tommy: [00:45:32] Because it’s like, I don’t believe I’ll have enough or we’ll have enough. I got to keep doing that.

Caroline: [00:45:38] Yeah. [inaudible] good answer.

Ramit Sethi: [00:45:42] And Caroline, you disagree?

Caroline: [00:45:44] I totally disagree. Like I said, my mom, not to use her as an example, it’s probably not the best example, but she didn’t have that much money, not anywhere close to what we have. And she still gave money to her kids when she passed. 

And the same thing with my dad. He didn’t have a whole lot of money. And everyone, Tommy’s kids will tell him, “Dad, go have fun. Go spend your money. We don’t want any money.”

Ramit Sethi: [00:46:13] What do you say to that, Tommy?

Tommy: [00:46:16] I tell them to mind their own business and let me chill.

Ramit Sethi: [00:46:23] I told the same thing to my parents. Did you know that?

Tommy: [00:46:27] What?

Ramit Sethi: [00:46:28] I sat down with them because my dad was telling me, he called me and he told me some deal he got on something and I said, “Dad, you don’t have to go for all the deals anymore. You have enough.” And he and my mom, they didn’t believe it. And so I sat down with them and I made their finances really simple, even though my dad is he’s quite savvy with money, but being savvy with money versus knowing if you have enough, those are two very, very different skills. Very different. 

I said, “We don’t want any money. We want you to spend every last cent.” And I even put them on a travel budget, but not the kind you think. It’s a budget where you have to spend this much every single month. And that actually has taken a little bit of work, but it’s proven to be a different way of looking at money. What do you think about that?

Tommy: [00:47:29] I think your dad should be instructing me right now.

Ramit Sethi: [00:47:34] Probably true.
 
[Narration]

This is a very interesting and advanced topic. And this is really only applicable for people who have enough money but have an inability or unwillingness to spend it. In this case, we do a bit of a reverse budget. In many ways, it’s what the conscious spending plan is for. That’s why if you download the free conscious spending plan, I put the link in the show notes, you will start to automatically build this skill of spending money in areas that are meaningful to you. I’ll give you an example. 

Let’s say that you want to become a better photographer. Okay, great. In your conscious spending plan, specifically the fourth category, guilt-free spending, you can allocate 200 bucks a month for photography classes or equipment, whatever you want. And you can look at your conscious spending plan and you can see what is important to you. Now guess what? Maybe you try it for six months. You go, I’m not into this. Let me put it aside. Cool. 

You just change your conscious spending plan and you shift it to something else. Your conscious spending plan and your calendar really reflect your season of life. And that concept of a season of life is really important. 

When I was in my 20s, I was very aggressive at saving and investing, and even though my income was relatively low to what it would become, just as almost everybody’s income in their 20s is low compared to what it will become, I wanted to get my habits right. I was aggressively investing a larger percentage of income because I wanted those habits and I wanted that compounding to kick in.

I was also spending a lot going out. Taco Tuesdays. I was living in San Francisco, New York. I was having a great time. Now I couldn’t do it all. There were things I couldn’t afford then that I can afford now. But I was spending as consciously as I could have. Looking back, I think I could have done things a little differently. I would have probably spent more on having fun, but at least I gave it some thought. 

If you get to the point where you have more money than you actually need, this happens to a surprising number of people, it’s just not talked about in the press, you start to encounter some very unconventional decisions that you may have to make. For example, for the vast majority of people, to be able to max out their 401K is a dream, to be able to max out X, Y, Z account is a dream. 

There may actually be a point where you go, I’m not going to max it out. Money has higher utility to me now than to save it for retirement later. So again, this applies to less than 3% of people. But on this podcast, I like to show you all gamuts whether you’re $800,000 in debt or you have over $10 Million in net worth, I want you to know how to play the game of money no matter what level you are at.

[Interview]

Tommy: [00:50:28] I’ll tell you a scenario in that you’re going to yell at me, but I feel justified. This past summer, Caroline’s son and girlfriend came up, and of course, Caroline said, “Let’s go to the best, most expensive restaurant” which we love. We both love. And I’m, “Why can’t we just grill here and just chill?” And long story short, it was at least 500 bucks for all of us to eat, drink.

Ramit Sethi: [00:51:11] How often do you see these kids?

Caroline: [00:51:13] Once a year.

Tommy: [00:51:15] Well, now we see more than that. But this occasion was once a year.

Ramit Sethi: [00:51:20] Was it worth it, Tommy?

Tommy: [00:51:24] It was fun. It really was fun.

Ramit Sethi: [00:51:28] Do you think 10 years from now, when you have millions more just purely based on compound interest, do you think you would feel differently about that type of meal?

Tommy: [00:51:41] I guess I look at it this way. I wouldn’t have expected my parents to do that, and nor would Caroline expect her parents to do that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:51:51] Did either of your parents have millions of dollars?

Caroline: [00:51:54] No.

Tommy: [00:51:55] No.

Ramit Sethi: [00:51:56] Did either of your parents have their own business that they ran for 30 years to this level of success and Caroline’s income as well?

Caroline: [00:52:06] Never.

Tommy: [00:52:07] No.

Ramit Sethi: [00:52:08] It’s hard to take an identity that’s not our parents, because in a way, deep down, it might even feel like we’re rejecting what they taught us. They would never take us to eat at a place that’s $125 a person. I get that. And you don’t have to do it every day. It doesn’t sound like you’re doing that. But if you had the ability to ask your parents, “Mom, dad, if you had the money, would you have taken us out to a nice meal once a year?” What do you think they would say?

Tommy: [00:52:40] Yeah, I think he would.

Ramit Sethi: [00:52:41] You have the means. What’s really more important than the amount spent on this one-time dinner is the fact that you have kids coming home,  still a great relationship with them. To me, that’s way more meaningful than how much you’re spending. You can go to a pizza place for 20 bucks. It doesn’t matter to me. But the fact that you all chose to go to this place and you created a memorable dinner, to me, that’s way more meaningful than the amount you spent. 

And I actually think that the two of you have earned the right to focus more on meaning than on money. Most of us go our whole lives only thinking about money. By necessity, we got to save. We have got to buy clothes for the kids. We don’t have enough. But you won that game. You won. And you can keep playing. Tommy, you never heard me once say anything about, “I need you to retire tomorrow.” That’s your decision.

You won that game of money, and now you get the chance to focus on meaning. And if you don’t do that and you just keep playing the same game for the next 10 or 20 or 30 years, you’re leaving so much on the field. That’s how I look at it.

Tommy: [00:54:03] That’s a good analogy. I like that.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [00:54:06] Meaning over money. Think about that phrase. It’s not something that would have resonated with me at 20. At 20, I was willing to work unlimited hours. I wanted to grow everything, grow my skills, grow my friend group, grow my net worth. Meaning over money would not have made sense to me in that season of life. 

And there’s another example I want to give you. If you take someone who is struggling to pay their bills– this concept also makes no sense. It’s just words. Meaning over money does not make sense, nor is it relevant to someone who’s struggling to just pay their bills. But I’m not talking to those two groups right now. I’m talking to Tommy and Caroline, who are multimillionaires. And Tommy’s in his 60s. 

It is a tragedy to live a smaller life than you have to. And for someone worth millions of dollars to even think about the price of $500 he has once a year with his kids, that is too small for Tommy. Excuse me for being direct, but that is the truth. Focus on the menu. Focus on the ambiance. Focus on the stories you shared over dinner. Focus on anything. But not the price. You are too successful to fixate on the price of one dinner. 

Yes. There are situations where the price of something is totally and completely irrelevant. And this is one of them.

[Interview]

Let’s open up that conscious spending plan. All right. Fantastic. Okay, before you look at all that, Caroline, just ballpark. Just looking at me without looking at the spreadsheet. How much money do you think you both have?

Caroline: [00:55:54] Okay, so I don’t look at our cars and house as income. So I would say we have probably 3 million.

Ramit Sethi: [00:56:02] Okay. All right. And how does that make you feel?

Caroline: [00:56:07] I think that’s a good amount.

Ramit Sethi: [00:56:09] Okay. Great. All right. And your understanding of how much income you make per month total, ballpark it for me.

Caroline: [00:56:20] Okay. So I made last year $165,000.

Ramit Sethi: [00:56:24] Mm-hmm. And Tom?

Tommy: [00:56:29] I’m going to say. $180,000 or $200,000.

Ramit Sethi: [00:56:38] Let’s say $200,000. And then we got the house which generated 60K, fair? Or even 100K, let’s say. Let’s gross it up.

Tommy: [00:56:47] Okay.

Ramit Sethi: [00:56:48] All right. So that’s $465,000. Last year’s gross. How’s that sound ballpark?

Tommy: [00:56:58] Sounds like a lot.

Caroline: [00:56:59] Yeah, it does.

Ramit Sethi: [00:57:01] It does when you add it all up. Three numbers.

Tommy: [00:57:07] Yeah. 

Ramit Sethi: [00:57:08] Do you guys see something? Look at this discomfort on your faces, by the way. I love it. What do both of you think you make together? Let me guess, $180,000 to $200,000. Is that what you thought you make?

Caroline: [00:57:20] I know I made $165,000 but I didn’t know what he did.

Tommy: [00:57:22] I thought it was maybe $300,000 total.

Ramit Sethi: [00:57:24] And do you know why there’s such a disparity?

Tommy: [00:57:29] I have no clue.

Ramit Sethi: [00:57:31] What are the reasons that I like people to give me their gross number is that when you take the net, you’re actually taking out like 20K here, 20K there for your 401K and all these other things, and you just don’t count that mentally. That’s one of the reasons the two of you have been so successful at investing. Because you’re just taking out 20K at a time and throwing it into your 401k and letting it compound. 

Amazing for investing growth. Horrible for understanding how much you’re actually making every year. So when you hear $465,000 hey, look, maybe I’m off by 30K, who the hell knows? But I mean in the ballpark. Would you say that’s fair? I mean the ballpark.

Tommy: [00:58:10] I guess so.

Ramit Sethi: [00:58:12] All right. I’m right in the ballpark. That’s a lot of money. $465,000. Even if it’s $430,000. That’s a lot. In fact, it’s over $130,000 more than you thought you were making. So it’s important to be fluent in the basic language of finance. Now, Caroline, you mentioned earlier that you don’t see the house as income. I agree, but I do see it as part of your net worth because it’s paid off. Would you agree with that?

Caroline: [00:58:42] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [00:58:43] So you have 2.7 million. No plans to liquidate it. Fine. But it is there and it’s worth 2.7 million. Fair?

Caroline: [00:58:51] Fair.

Ramit Sethi: [00:58:51] All right. All right. Very good. How about your investments?

Caroline: [00:58:55] They’re worth 3.5.

Ramit Sethi: [00:58:58] That’s a lot. What do you feel about that, Tommy?

Tommy: [00:59:04] We did good. I think we did really good. I’m proud of that.

Ramit Sethi: [00:59:08] That’s awesome. Solid work. All right. Your savings, how much is in there?

Tommy: [00:59:16] In our bank, I think about $14,000.

Ramit Sethi: [00:59:19] Yeah, that’s what I see. Why is that number so low?

Tommy: [00:59:23] Low? That’s the way it should be. Why would I want to put money that’s earning nothing in savings?

Ramit Sethi: [00:59:31] You’re a classic optimizer, Tommy. You’re always optimizing. But if you only have $14,000 in your savings account, which for a multimillionaire is low, then guess what it means? What are the ramifications of that?

Tommy: [00:59:47] It means I’m doing good.

Ramit Sethi: [00:59:48] No.

Tommy: [00:59:48] I’m putting money in a good source making interest.

Ramit Sethi: [00:59:52] No. Wrong. Tommy, you have to wait over one year and three months to take a fucking trip to New Zealand when you have a net worth of over $6 million. It makes no sense.

Tommy: [01:00:04] You got to save for stuff. You can’t just like. Boom.

Ramit Sethi: [01:00:07] Yes, you can. Okay, let’s flip this. Take me, if I want to take a trip to New Zealand. Do you think I’m going to wait 15 months to save up money to go to New Zealand?

Tommy: [01:00:24] I’m going to say no.

Ramit Sethi: [01:00:26] Why?

Tommy: [01:00:28] You’re way more of an optimist than I am when it comes to money.

Ramit Sethi: [01:00:37] Okay. What’s the implication? Like, neither of us is running out of money any time soon.

Tommy: [01:00:43] I’m doing it a smarter way than you are.

Ramit Sethi: [01:00:50] I like the confidence. Okay. Maybe you are. Who knows?

Caroline: [01:00:56] He is still ever saving, is it?

Ramit Sethi: [01:00:57] Maybe not though. Definitely not.

Tommy: [01:01:01] Yeah, that’s a smart way of doing it. Saving. Because you know what? Here’s a great way of looking at it. If I do it my way, it’s like, “I am set now. I don’t have to worry because I put that money aside and we can both totally relax and we have a lot of money.” It’s like, “I don’t care what we spend now because I saved it.”

Ramit Sethi: [01:01:25] I agree with that philosophy. All of it. When you go on your vacation, I don’t want you worrying about eating out, ordering an extra drink, taking a little tour. I don’t want any of that. I want you to be able to be comfortable. My question is, you casually mention that oops, I forgot to include $5,000 a month in net income from this property you’ve got. Fine. We added it. No big deal. Where is that money going? Couldn’t that money be applied directly to the trip so you would, quote, have enough within four months?

Tommy: [01:02:05] Yeah, I guess. I know I act like I’m uncomfortable because I am. Because what if I need that money for work? It’s been staying in the company.

Ramit Sethi: [01:02:18] I know, but, Tommy, you know, and I know every entrepreneur knows they need to also take some of that money out of their business, or it will just get sucked up.

Tommy: [01:02:28] Yeah. Let me do it my way for a little bit. Okay?

Ramit Sethi: [01:02:38] Maybe 10 more years.

Caroline: [01:02:39] Yeah, right.

Tommy: [01:02:41] No, this is helping because the one thing so far, is not so far. A lot has hit me. Your comment about looking back and saying, hey, the memory of going out to eat, the memory of doing something with the kids, that’s huge. That’s everything to me. I love that.

Ramit Sethi: [01:03:07] Let’s create a little bit more of those. The fortunate thing is you’ve actually got the right ingredients here. You have the money, you have a pretty high income. You’ve been consistently investing for decades. And so everything overall looks great. I am very happy to be able to work with this kind of ingredients. The tricky part here is the psychology, and for everybody watching and listening, you can hear that it is real.

You can have millions of dollars. Tommy, you have it. And it’s still often hard to really feel like it’s enough. To really feel you hit where you need to be. All right. You have zero debt. Again, you have only $14,000 in savings. I just want to point out, it’s a little bit irregular. It’s not that big of a deal because we could fill that up with $150,000 like that. But. Okay. What’s your total net worth, Tommy? Could you say that number out loud for me, please?

Tommy: [01:04:05] I believe it’s a little over 6 million.

Ramit Sethi: [01:04:09] Caroline, what do you think about that number? Can you say it out loud for me?

Caroline: [01:04:14] 6 million.

Ramit Sethi: [01:04:16] Yeah.

Caroline: [01:04:21] What’s funny is, every time you sit there and say, “God, I wish I’d win the lottery.” And I’m like, “Well, we have and we still wish we could win the lottery.” It’s goofy.

Ramit Sethi: [01:04:38] Maybe it’s not about the actual dollar amount. But it’s also about the way you feel about money. And maybe we can use some of the money to help you connect that feeling. And build the skill of spending it. How about that? I know how your finance guy, I know where he came up with that $144,000 or $12,000 a month. He basically took 3.5 million. How much you’ve got invested. And he calculated 4% of that. That’s a 4% safe withdrawal rate. And that’s what that got you. 

Now, that number that’s where it came from. Tommy, you said. “I don’t know if that’s right or not.” I don’t see any glaring problems with that calculation. It’s a very simple back-of-the-napkin calculation. If your money is properly diversified and invested, it’s returning about 7% per year. I would safely calculate a 4% withdrawal rate. Some people like to be a little more conservative. They go 3.5 or three. But with many millions of dollars, you’ve got Buffer. I see no glaring problem with assuming a 4% safe withdrawal rate. How do you feel about that? You feel good?

Tommy: [01:06:07] Yeah.

Ramit Sethi: [01:06:07] All right, cool. Let’s not forget that there’s also $5,000 of net income a month. Tommy, your income, which if we were just doing this safe withdrawal rate, you too would be making $12,000 a month, probably in a tax-advantaged way. But you also have $5,000 a month plus, Tommy, whatever you’re making, which is a lot, plus you’re going to start getting Social Security and other distributions soon. That’s a lot of money.

Tommy: [01:06:47] I guess it is.

Ramit Sethi: [01:06:48] Meanwhile, your assets, your portfolio is continuing to grow over the long term. How does it make you feel to hear all this? What is the message you’re taking away?

Caroline: [01:07:04] I can get my boat.

Tommy: [01:07:07] It sounds cool, but honestly, here’s what I feel. If I go with what you just said, I become soft. It’s like I shouldn’t work as hard and it’s going to make me soft and I don’t want to do that. And I know you’re going to give me that old man story about some dude who is 72 years old, what’s he going to do with it? That makes me feel good. 

I guess I look at it this way and Caroline laughed, is because I hate being pigeonholed by age because I feel that I can do almost as much as I could when I was 40, and I strive to do that.

Ramit Sethi: [01:07:58] Yeah.

Tommy: [01:07:59] So to me, if someone said, “You don’t want to wait till you’re 70,” I’m like, “Fuck, I’ll be fine when I’m 70. I know I will.”

Ramit Sethi: [01:08:06] Well, you look like a healthy guy for sure. And I like the active guy. I like the fact that you’re like age doesn’t define me. One thing that I have learned is it’s not just ourselves. It’s not like you’re the average guy. Financially speaking, you’re not. Health-wise, you’re not.

But there’s also things that happen in terms of a family member. There’s external things that happen sometimes that we just can’t escape. Here’s my point. If you have the money, the time, and the mobility, to be able to do a few of the things on your rich life list, why not do them now? The idea that it’s going to make you soft, that might be true. Or it might just be a story you tell yourself.

Tommy: [01:08:56] That’s true. I could be just telling myself that. I have to admit, I worry about the future. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t give a shit about the past has taught me a lot. I need to live more in the present day. We can get into the psychological aspect, but I worry about the future. Will I have enough? Will I be able to do this?

Ramit Sethi: [01:09:15] What do you think we’ve been doing for the last two hours Tommy?

Tommy: [01:09:17] I know. And it helps. Trust me. I’m not throwing this the wayside.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [01:09:23] I think we have to have compassion for Tommy here. If you’ve been thinking a certain way for 30-plus years, you can understand how hard it is to change. And we’ve heard this same thing happening on multiple episodes of the podcast. We’ve heard couples come on and one of them has trouble changing, even though their own attitudes and behaviors are not serving them. 

But it is simply hard to change. That is human behavior. So I think we need to have a little bit of compassion. And it becomes even more notable because if your attitude or behavior has actually made you successful, it’s 10 times harder to change. 

Think about it. Tommy has saved diligently. He’s always minded his money carefully. That has made him successful. And now, you’re asking him to essentially change that. I wouldn’t say it’s as far as cutting off a physical limb, but it is certainly changing a part of your identity. 

And if you can think about somebody coming to you and taking a part of your identity that you treasure, you’re funny. And I go, “Don’t be funny anymore. Be like the trolls who try to come at me on Twitter. They’re not funny. Be like that.” You’d be like, “No, I’m not going to do that.” That’s what Tommy’s going through right now. But the fact is, it’s not serving him anymore.

[Interview]

Tommy: [01:10:56] I know this sounds weird, but I’m thinking, okay, by hearing from my trades, hearing from my clients, hearing from past clients, Oh, he’s not working as hard or he’s not doing that. And that would bother me. It would be like, “Oh shit, here I go. I shouldn’t have done that. Now I got to get back.”

Ramit Sethi: [01:11:18] Do you want some help on how to deal with that?

Tommy: [01:11:21] Sure.

Ramit Sethi: [01:11:23] Do you?

Tommy: [01:11:24] Yeah, I guess.

Ramit Sethi: [01:11:25] Okay, let’s say that somebody says that. What would your natural reaction be?

Tommy: [01:11:33] I’m being honest. I’d say, “Fuck you. What are you saying? Prove it.”

Ramit Sethi: [01:11:37] Yeah. Fuck you. I’m coming back, and I’m going to work twice as hard and they’ll see it. Fuck them.

Tommy: [01:11:43] Yeah. It is. And I know it’s pretty whacked.

Ramit Sethi: [01:11:47] No, it’s right on brand. It’s exactly what I expected. Part of that is what got you here. You bust your ass. No one’s going to ever see you as not putting in the work. They know you. That is your identity. I respect it. I think that sometimes identities are like layers. We can add on layers and we can remove layers and we actually have more control over those layers than we think. What if just we try on this layer for a second? They said, “Oh, Tommy used to be so responsive, he just doesn’t answer my text anymore. He’s losing his edge.” 

And your response might be something like, “Hey, I’m so sorry to hear that. You know that I love every one of my clients and I put you first. I’ve decided that I’m going to be spending more time with my family. But you’re right that it’s totally unacceptable for you not to get a response. I’m going to fix that so that you will always have one point of contact in my business who will respond to you within 24 hours. How does that feel?

Tommy: [01:13:00] That’s a good answer. Because I’m pretty good at putting together those scenarios, that was a good one.

Ramit Sethi: [01:13:10] You put your client first, you acknowledge them. You even admit that was unacceptable. But you do not apologize for putting your family first. I love doing that. That is what I do in Earnable. We workshop your business ideas together. I do it live with you. I help you understand the psychology of your customers. I even script out what you can say to them. 

So if you are interested in earning more and starting a side business, even if you don’t have an idea, we workshop that how to find a profitable idea. And every time I do this live, we have business owners in there who are already doing pretty well and they want to know how to take it to the next level. So I will put a link for the Earnable program in the show notes. I would love to see you so I can help you workshop. Just like I helped Tommy do it right there. 

If you ever have scenarios like this, I love doing this stuff, but really that gets to the core of your identity. I have no doubt you can come up with 20 answers like that on your own. You’re very good socially, I can tell. But it’s about you being able to say, I’m adding on this new layer to my identity. It’s not going to take anything away from who I was. It’s just going to add a new layer of richness to who I am. Would you be willing to explore that?

Tommy: [01:14:31] Yeah, I like that.

Ramit Sethi: [01:14:32] All right, that’s cool. Caroline, what do you think about that?

Caroline: [01:14:35] Absolutely.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [01:14:36] That’s cool. I did a couple of things there. That layer’s concept. I gave him a new framework that he can use. So if he finds himself feeling tension at having to change his identity, now he has some language that he can use to describe it. I actually would not be surprised if Tommy finds himself saying, “Oh, I’m trying on a new layer of my identity this week. Second, I gave him some specific words to use for a very real situation that he’s worried about. 

Now, remember, they came to me asking if they have enough to retire and how Tommy can feel a little more comfortable spending. How did we end up here scripting out his conversation with a hypothetical customer? Well, the answer is, as you start to unpeel the layers of what the real issue is, you discover these tiny little objections or reservations that somebody has. And from the outside, they seem so irrelevant, so small. But to that person, they are huge. They’re absolutely huge. 

And so Tommy clearly is concerned about what his customers will say if he’s off traveling around the world. Boom. Let’s acknowledge that. That’s a real concern for you. Tommy, let me show you the exact words to say. And once somebody gets one roadblock off, then another one off, hopefully, they start to see that this is possible to change. 

So my hope is that he can tackle this and then he can start to realize, oh, I can do this with one thing I can do with many others. I wondered what else Tommy and Caroline have talked about doing together.

[Interview]

Caroline: [01:16:19] Okay. Well, he’s talking about the New Zealand trip. I want to go to Italy, so maybe we can go to Italy in September.

Ramit Sethi: [01:16:28] Oh, wow.

Caroline: [01:16:28] Then we can go to New Zealand in January. February.

Ramit Sethi: [01:16:32] Okay. Talk about it. How would you decide on that decision? Have the conversation.

Caroline: [01:16:38] I’d like to plan a month in Italy. What do you think? I don’t ask for much, so it’s hard for me to even say that.

Tommy: [01:16:51] I am great with that. I want to go. Yeah.

Ramit Sethi: [01:16:58] That’s it? First of all, this is awesome. I love the discomfort, by the way. Your discomfort is my pleasure. Okay. Just so you know. Now, that’s it. That’s all you need to say before you go off and plan the whole thing.

Caroline: [01:17:13] Well, he’ll probably want to know the expense, so I’ll have to figure that out.

Ramit Sethi: [01:17:17] Why don’t you two talk about it right now?

Caroline: [01:17:20] I–

Ramit Sethi: [01:17:23] Hold on. He didn’t say that. Why do you assume he wants to know about the expense? Let him say that.

Caroline: [01:17:32] Normally, yeah. I would say to him, like, what do you think? And I’m thinking the same money that we spend in New Zealand.

Tommy: [01:17:43] That’s a lot. I don’t think we need that much for Italy.

Caroline: [01:17:47] Why will it be more expensive in New Zealand verses Italy?

Ramit Sethi: [01:17:50] Hold on, hold on, hold on. There’s so many things. I’m going to add my commentary. This is my dream job. So first of all, that’s a very nice tree you have behind you. You don’t need a tree like that. But you still got it, didn’t you?

Tommy: [01:18:05] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [01:18:06] All right. You got a lot of nice stuff. You don’t need it. I don’t need whatever. But I still got it. And I don’t think either of us are highly materialistic Tommy. But there are certain things that you mentioned yourself you want. The memories. The meaning. So instead of reacting with your instinctive reaction, which when it comes to money, is what?

Tommy: [01:18:35] I got to think it over. I got to make sure we’re good. I got to analyze it.

Ramit Sethi: [01:18:40] Yeah. Let’s give a name to that little guy on your shoulder. Who is it? What’s the person’s name?

Tommy: [01:18:47] Dickhead. I don’t know.

Ramit Sethi: [01:18:48] Okay. I did not expect that one. All right. Little dickhead is over here. What is little D wearing? What is he outfitted in?

Tommy: [01:18:59] Well, he probably looks like an accountant.

Ramit Sethi: [01:19:02] That’s a good one. Describe that for me.

Tommy: [01:19:06] A straight-laced guy saying, hey, going like this, holding it, you know, rubbing their fingers against their chin, like, are you sure?

Ramit Sethi: [01:19:16] What else is he saying?

Tommy: [01:19:17] Let’s think about this.

Ramit Sethi: [01:19:18] Keep going. What else?

Tommy: [01:19:19] Because this doesn’t make a lot of financial sense now.

Ramit Sethi: [01:19:24] Yes.

Tommy: [01:19:25] Maybe go to Italy, but maybe you don’t need to spend that much. Maybe we get a better deal.

Ramit Sethi: [01:19:32] Yes. Loves deals. This person is on Orbitz or Expedia. Oh, have you considered this? What if you took the five connections on the way to Rome? Yeah. What else does this person say?

Tommy: [01:19:43] I’m not doing that.

Caroline: [01:19:45] We won’t do that. I want to fly better.

Tommy: [01:19:46] Give me a little bit of credit on something. I said, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about this New Zealand trip and I want to go business class.” What’s her response? “Well, of course, it’s really far.” I’m thinking. What?

Ramit Sethi: [01:20:03] Okay. Okay, We’ll come back to that. I have a little coaching that might help with that conversation, but that’s a cool conversation. I’m proud of that. So little dickhead over here, dressed like an accountant and always telling you, I don’t think you’re going to need that. Let’s run the numbers. Now, who’s the other person on your other shoulder?

Tommy: [01:20:21] Mr. Chill.

Ramit Sethi: [01:20:22] Mr. Chill. What is Mr. Chill look like?

Tommy: [01:20:26] Maybe like the Big Lebowski.

Ramit Sethi: [01:20:28] Okay. Okay. Very good. And what does he say to you?

Tommy: [01:20:32] Just relax, man. You got it covered. It’s all good.

Ramit Sethi: [01:20:37] Is Mr. Chill going to let you spend your way into running out of money?

Tommy: [01:20:45] I hope not.

Ramit Sethi: [01:20:46] No, he’s your guy, so you can decide what he does. He doesn’t have to be the guy who gets you bankrupt. It’s your Mr. Chill. So you tell me, is he going to let you go that far?

Tommy: [01:21:00] No.

Ramit Sethi: [01:21:01] I don’t think so either. Mr. Chill is not Mr. Spend it all on yachts and stuff like that. Mr. Chill is more saying what?

Tommy: [01:21:12] Have fun. Have fun, man. If it means you’re going on a kick-ass trip. Have fun. Go to the best restaurants. You’re staying at some good places. You’re not worrying about how you’re going to get there because your travel agent has it all figured out.

Ramit Sethi: [01:21:31] I’m loving watching Tommy and Caroline’s face as they go through this moment. You should see. It’s dreamy, it’s aspirational. And most of all, it’s fun. This is how money is supposed to be. This is how it can be for Tommy and Caroline and for you.

I love it. I love it. And one last question. Each of them is holding something in their hand, something that really demonstrates their worldview. What is little D holding in his hand?

Tommy: [01:22:05] My first visual was probably holding like, you read about teachers when they’re really old, this big stick whacking you on the back of the head or back saying, you better think about it and. Mr. Chill’s Probably he’s got a. Brian Alaska and Amber and his hand and or pina colada, something like that.

Ramit Sethi: [01:22:30] Yeah. Yeah. I’m thinking he’s got the pina colada and he’s got a camera or a little photo book and he’s just going like, this is what you’re going to create, this kind of memories. What do you think about that?

Tommy: [01:22:47] I love that part. Yeah.

Ramit Sethi: [01:22:48] I like this a lot, especially for you, because you have these voices. Now you’ve given a name to them, you’ve given a look to them. You even know what’s in their hand. You got this guy, he’s having his drink. The other guy’s got that punitive little stick. And when you have these conversations right now, this guy, Mr. Punitive, he comes out or little dickhead, as you call him. He’s your first reaction. 

But you have the choice on who to listen to. Now, here’s the trick. They’re not going anywhere. They’re both going to be there. My advice to you is not just to get rid of one of them, because that’s not going to happen. They are with you. They are part of you. But you get to choose who to listen to. And it’s nice to have a balance. But right now, would you agree they’re a little out of balance?

Tommy: [01:23:43] Yes.

Ramit Sethi: [01:23:44] Okay. Okay. So let’s try that whole last thing again. Caroline, you mentioned that when it comes to Italy, you have a general target budget in mind. Go ahead. Bring it up. And Tommy when you react. Well, let’s see what happens.

Caroline: [01:24:07] Okay, so I want to go to Italy for a month and I’m thinking it’s going to cost us around $20,000 with all the tours and going out to eat and the nice places we will be staying at. What do you think? I’ll have a portfolio for you, but I don’t have it at hand. So maybe–

Tommy: [01:24:31] I love Italy, so I jump on that. Well, I love traveling, so I’m good with that because I can– Ramit, don’t get mad at me for thinking this, but I will be able to save for that. I’ll do that. I like saving. It’s okay.

Ramit Sethi: [01:24:53] Look, I’m not here to get mad at you. I’m here to help you listen to that voice. I really like that you said, “Yeah, I can get with that.” Sometimes, look, you’re still going to have a little bit of that accountant in your back pocket. It’s never going to go away. That’s okay. If you feel the need to have a little document where you write down, okay, I need to put aside $2,000 a month. Okay. 

But part of changing your dynamic sometimes is to start with the behavior first, and often the attitude follows. You’re figuring it out together versus I’m saying this and you’re saying that and like, why you’re multimillionaires? Why the fuck are we arguing over $10,000? It makes no sense. Let’s argue about “I want to go to this restaurant and you want to go to that.” “Okay, fine. We’ll do them both. But we’re going to do one on Tuesday and one on Thursday.” That’s a cool argument.

We don’t actually have to argue anymore. We won. In my mind, I’m not telling you to go drop 500K on anything. I don’t even want to talk about that Florida condo. I don’t think you should get it in the next 12 months. I think you should work on building up the skills of spending money first. 

Both of you should feel good. You should come up with some conventions for how you’re going to make decisions about money. Certainly, if you want to go get an Airbnb, go get it. I would hold off on anything that big, but trips like Italy, New Zealand, dinners with the kids, it’s a no-brainer. That should be getting done. That is a skill. It is time to build right now.

Tommy: [01:26:31] So what you’re saying is next September or is it this September, are we going to Italy? 

Caroline: [01:26:42] Well, it’s the one coming, 2024. Wait. 2023. Yeah, the coming September.

Tommy: [01:26:52] Yes. We should do Italy this yeah.

Caroline: [01:26:55] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, absolutely.

Ramit Sethi: [01:26:58] Yes.

Tommy: [01:27:00] Okay.

Ramit Sethi: [01:27:02] Are you cool with that, Tommy?

Tommy: [01:27:04] Sure. Why not? It will be fun.

Ramit Sethi: [01:27:07] Hey, that’s cool. There you go. That’s Mr. Chill talking.

Tommy: [01:27:10] I don’t mean this in a bad way, but this went way better than I expect because I didn’t think you were going to tell me much at all. I’m just being honest. I do have a better perspective. You didn’t tell me how you shouldn’t be saving, that type of thing. You just gave me different perspectives, and I love looking at different perspectives. I love seeing both sides and then I will decide what works best.

[Narration]

Ramit Sethi: [01:27:43] Look, I was never going to convince in one phone call a successful 60-year-old man what to do with his accumulated fortune. He’s made it this far on his own, and I’m totally fine with his needing to make the final decision himself. What I hope happened is I gave him some new ways of looking at his money. I pushed him in a way that probably nobody around him pushes him. And he had to respect some of the things I was saying because I know the numbers. 

I also gave him these frameworks that he can use little people on his shoulder, which he can reference as he naturally responds in a way that he has honed over 30 years. Now, Tommy and Caroline both sent follow-ups. Let me read him to you. 

Tommy said, “I’ve learned that it’s okay to say the following to clients, ‘I’ve decided to spend a little more time with my family. However, I will still give you the attention your project deserves, and I will continue to be available to your needs.'”

Caroline said she learned, “Each time, I want to plan something with Tommy, I should bring it up as a memory instead of money.” Wait, that’s it? We talk for that many hours and that’s the conclusion, Tommy. Your conclusion was how to talk to your clients? Okay. 

Tommy also did say, “We’re planning on spending a month in New Zealand in January or February 2024.” Okay, look, I’ll take what I can get. Okay. Sometimes, I guess if you’re 60, you’re going to do things your way. All right. In a way, I find it hilarious. We spent hours talking about money psychology, and Tommy’s conclusion was how to deal with a hypothetical problem client. 

In any case, I really appreciate Tommy and Caroline, both of you coming here, sharing your numbers, sharing the way that you talk about money. You can clearly see that there’s a lot of love there. And you can see that Tommy does want to travel more. He enjoys the memories. There’s a lot that he has to work through. 

Caroline, I know you’ve been very patient. I know that with your upcoming retirement, it’s going to become even more important for you to start living your rich life. So my hope is that the two of you can really create a language and a habit to do it together.