Manage Your Financial Life Book Interview on WGN Radio

Steve Bertrand of the Wintrust Business Lunch on WGN’s 720 featured me to discuss my book. We got into a bit of a battle on the focus being for women only. It’s practical advice for anyone but I’m really focused on women. Check out the transcript from my segment below.

Steve Bertrand: This is the Wintrust Business Lunch on 720 WGN. Nancy Doyle is in the studio. She has a book called Manage Your Financial Life: A Thoughtful Organized Approach. Now the last two words Nancy are “For Women”. And welcome.

Nancy Doyle: Thank you, glad to be here.

Steve Bertrand: I’m here to argue with you though, that it doesn’t have to be just for women because I think this is the sort of stuff that we all of us should be paying attention to.

Nancy Doyle: That’s true. The book really applies to both men and women. But for many reasons, I’ve decided to write it for women.

Steve Bertrand: Because they’re smart enough to read.

Nancy Doyle: They are. That’s true.

Steve Bertrand: So we’re talking a little bit about what has happened in my lifetime and yours as well and that we have given so much more, so many more opportunities to invest and to save and to control how those work and it’s good and bad, right? Pensions are gone but 401ks are here. So we’ve got control over how that’s invested and all of that. The downside is if we don’t pay attention to it that we individually suffer for it and the other downside I think is it’s just too much sometimes. I’ve got the health savings account here and the SEP IRA there and four or five different student loans in different directions and it’s really for as empowering as it can be, it can be overwhelming as well.

Nancy Doyle: That’s true. And the book really lays out my approach and there are four steps to the approach and I recommend that women or men if they’d like to read it follow all four steps. And it starts with getting organized. As you say, we are inundated, not only with the accounts, the choices, but also with information whether it comes in your mailbox or your inbox both electronic and paper file. So I recommend that everyone start with getting organized then analyze your financial profile, educate yourself about investing, and the last step is putting your money to work or actually investing your money.

Steve Bertrand: So when it comes to getting organized, I mean, well, I think I know where everything — actually my wife, Sharon, handles a lot of it, most of it now. But you know we think we have it all, but it just seems like things can slip by because it’s a big thing to manage like the 401(k) and I think to myself “Well, this, I have got to pay attention to.” But it’s the little nickel-and-dime things that you lose track of.

Nancy Doyle: That’s true. And I start the book recommending that people do what I call as a Financial Spring Cleaning. You don’t have to do it in the spring.

Steve Bertrand: What is that mean?

Nancy Doyle: It’s actually a great thing to do with the start of the year and just like if you go through your closet and decide what to keep, what to donate, what needs repairs, you gather up all the financial information you have in your house, all your essential legal documents, your wills, credit card accounts, bank statements, put everything in one room and then you start to sort. You have to figure out what to keep, what to shred, what to recycle and then you have to come up with a system for how to maintain it going forward.

Steve Bertrand: I was joking earlier, but really sometimes if you’re not working and I’m not next week, the week between the holidays, is one of those times when you are kind of energized to renew things and to get started and that’s why I thought it would be nice to talk to you now because that could be a good time to sort of take advantage of all of these.

Nancy Doyle: Well, I also think two when you go through your financial spring cleaning, you’ll be so surprised to find how much information you don’t need to keep. And by keeping information that you don’t need, you can’t find what you really do need.

Steve Bertrand: I’m laughing because in my house I thought we were going to clean the basement and really a lot of it is mine and I was going through this old file cabinet and I have saved my electric bills, phone bills, and everything, no kidding, from my bachelor days in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I can remember, 2000, I would keep a box for every year. There’s no reason for me to have that now except for nostalgia, right? Do you have to be kind of weird to go through all your old electric bills?

Nancy Doyle: No. As I write in the book, I still have my first passbook savings account from when I was nine years old.

Steve Bertrand: There you go, right.

Nancy Doyle: I still have the little book. I saved it.

Steve Bertrand: What do you think is the biggest mistake people… rather than mistake, what do you think is the one thing that if people are going to start the New Year and sort of renew all of this, the one step they should take?

Nancy Doyle: Well, clearly the financial spring cleaning and the other thing I discussed in the get organized part is preparing an ICE plan and an ICE file and that’s where you get together the most important documents, the essential documents, your will, your powers of attorney, and you’ll also make a list of all your various financial accounts and the contact information. Having it in one place really is helpful but in an event of an emergency, it really makes a big difference.

Steve Bertrand: Right, two things that helps people who might look forward in your absence.

Nancy Doyle: Exactly.

Steve Bertrand: But in your time of stress too, it’s good to know that it’s there and you know where it is.

Nancy Doyle: And also if you think about it during times of stress, somebody may need to access your accounts for you. And with privacy laws, the way they are, that can be difficult.

Steve Bertrand: Nancy Doyle, the name of the book, Manage Your Financial Life. It’s nice to meet you. I hope you’ll come back.

Nancy Doyle: Yes. Thanks so much and I hope that people will pick up a copy of my book. It’s a great way to start the New Year. It’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores and you can also come to my website which is ManageYourFinancialLife.com.

Steve Bertrand: Great! Thanks, Nancy.

Nancy Doyle: Thanks so much, Steve.

Steve Bertrand: This is the Wintrust Business Lunch on 720 WGN.

Check out the audio here: WGN Radio Wintrust Business Lunch

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