October 2016
[Mental Menopause]
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MoneyZen Newsletter
In this monthly newsletter, I strive to bring you inspiration and information to help you simplify your finances and simplify your life.

Warmly, Manisha

As the Director of Wealth Strategies for
Women at Buckingham and The BAM ALLIANCE, I work with individuals and
families to help them find financial calm
and confidence. Watch the video to the right to learn more!

Looking for a trusted financial advisor? I can help. Click here to learn more about the Buckingham team or reach out to me directly at MoneyZen to be put in touch with a fee-only, fiduciary advisor in The Buckingham Family.
"Your experience of life is based on what you: think, say, do, and feel. Whenever your life seems out of alignment, more often than not it is because at least one of these elements is not flowing in the same direction as the others."

- Recent wisdom from one of my YoYoYogi teachers
Last month a friend shared with me a video from Wayne Dyer / Hay House called "The Shift." It is a two-hour "docu/drama" about the ways in which people often "shift" their life's purpose "from ambition to meaning" as they age. (For a quick review of high points watch minutes 17:00 - 18:00 & 1:10 - 1:20 plus last 5 to 10 minutes).

The bottom line is that for many (but not all) people, we start off life with one set of driving values and over time those values can, well, "shift." This is not new news. The term "mid-life crisis" has been around for ages. More on that in a moment.

For now, let me shift (pun intended!) to menopause. A few weeks ago I had coffee with two girlfriends in their 50s. They were sharing with me their thoughts about and experiences with going through this transition. Of course, every woman's experience with menopause is different. But we at least acknowledge this is a natural part of a woman's life journey and thus can talk about it and plan for it. (This is not to imply we speak about and help women nearly enough with this stage of life... but that's a whole 'nother topic).

My point is that for many (but not all) people of both genders, a similarly dramatic shift can occur in our heads - ergo my term "mental menopause" - and yet most dialogue about it stays in the joking stage about mid-life crises and the attendant fast cars, trophy wives, and out of the blue life left turns. These things do happen in mid-life, of course, but what's missing is a broader discussion about WHY these things occur, what search for meaning is driving these seemingly out of character actions and what could be done to better prepare for or manage them.

In this video Wayne Dyer cites some research showing the most common life drivers for men and women before and after "The Shift:"
  • WOMEN (before):  Family, independence, career, fitting in, attractiveness
  • WOMEN (after):  My own personal growth, sense of self-esteem, spirituality, happiness, forgiveness
  • MEN (before):  Wealth, sense of adventure, achievement, pleasure, being respected
  • MEN (after):  Spirituality, personal peace - less anxiety/stress, family, God's will - sense of purpose, honesty - about emotions/feelings
One of the things I've learned in my role as Director of Wealth Strategies for Women at Buckingham & The BAM Alliance is that it's impossible to make accurate generalizations about all "women" or "men." As I look at the above list, I identified with 3 out of 5 of the male "before" traits and 4 out of 5 of the male "after" traits -- mathematically making me 70% male :). So think of these characteristics as "mindsets" rather than anatomically defined!

Why am I sharing this information with you & what on earth does it have to do with your personal finances?
  1. ME: This framework (along with the quote from my yoga class!) really helped me understand why I personally have felt out of alignment in my life for the past few years... i.e. I'm not falling apart or in crisis - I'm simply shifting; I'm in "mental menopause"!
  2. YOU: The more you can share with your trusted financial advisor what your core values are, where you are in life, and what (if anything) is changing, the more they can help you make sure your financial life is structured in a way to support the life you want to have.
In my case, I practice what I preach (and I have a wonderful Buckingham advisor myself) and so I'm in the amazingly liberating position to understand clearly how I can use my heard earned money to support the shifts I want to make in my life. My hope with this month's message is that if/when the time comes that your driving values shift, you'll know it's a natural process (that doesn't have to turn into a "mid-life crisis") and that you can find some surprising support from an unlikely place - your financial advisor - for making the necessary life adjustments. (If you are thinking, "Ok, Manisha, you so don't know my financial advisor - I would NEVER share these kinds of thoughts with him/her".... that is a great signal that it's time for you to consider switching to an advisor who operates in the world I now orbit in -- the one of holistic financial life planning -- so you can get the help and support you deserve on life's journey).

- To Your MoneyZen, Manisha

Interesting articles that caught my eye this month...

"Sheryl Sandberg: Women Are Leaning In—But They Face Pushback" - Wall Street Journal

"I Saw My Husband's 401(k) Balance & It Was a Huge Wake-up Call About The Way I Save Money" - Yahoo Finance

"Sorry, I'm Not Sorry!" DDB CEO Wendy Clark to women executives on being underestimated - Fortune

"There's No Such Thing As Free Financial Advice" - CNBC

"White House Women Want To Be In The Room Where It Happens" - Washington Post

The Circle of Gratitutde
Manisha loves Carl Richards’ drawings because she firmly believes that the best investment ideas should be simple enough to explain on a cocktail napkin! BehaviorGap.com illustrations used with permission.
About Manisha

Manisha Thakor, CFA, CFP®, and her Buckingham colleagues provide evidence-based wealth management to families across the country. An ardent advocate of financial literacy for women, Manisha is passionate about providing the financial wisdom that women and families need to redefine their relationship with money. 

Manisha is the co-author of two critically acclaimed personal finance books: On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance and Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey. Her work has been featured in a range of national media outlets, including CNN, PBS, NPR, The Today Show, Rachel Ray, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Real Simple, Women’s Day, Glamour, Essence and MORE magazine.

Manisha earned her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in 1992 and her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she joyfully revels in the amazing coffee/foodie scene and stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

About MoneyZen

Manisha's "MoneyZen" work is an outgrowth of her quest to identify simple, joyful methods that we can all use to feel calmer and more balanced in our relationship to money. Despite the abundance of educational resources on personal finance, many struggle to find financial sanity, security and serenity because they're overwhelmed and confused. We need fresh wisdom to break out of the cycle of despair and create lives of abundance. Enter: MoneyZen.

  Connect with Manisha
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