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Book Club featuring Jamie Hopkins

George Grombacher January 6, 2023

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Book Club featuring Jamie Hopkins

On this edition of the Book Club, Jamie Hopkins talks about his newest book, Find Your Freedom: Financial Planning for a Life on Purpose.

Jamie is the Managing Partner of Wealth Solutions the Carson Group.

For your copy of Find Your Freedom, click HERE

You can learn more about Jamie at JamieHopkins.com, CarsonGroup.com, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Jamie Hoplins

Jamie Hopkins

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:00

Unknown Speaker 0:15
what’s up? This is George G and the time is right. welcome today’s guests strung apart for Jamie Hopkins. Jamie, are you ready to do this? No, I’m as ready as I can be. George, good to see you. Excellent. excited to have you back on. Jamie is an attorney. He’s an LLM, a CFP ChFC A CLU and Ric p is the managing partner of wealth solutions at Carson Group. He’s the co author of find your freedom, financial planning for a life on purpose. Jamie, excited to have you back on the show. Tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work. And what motivated you to put pen to paper and write the book. Yeah, it’s good to be back on and we’re saying it’s maybe been close to four years since I’ve been on. So a lots happened in that time, including a book but some other fun things, too.

Unknown Speaker 1:01
Yeah. So refresh your memory about the personal life and give us the motivation for the book.

Unknown Speaker 1:09
Yeah, so personal life. I know you’re up there right now. But I live outside Philadelphia. And I’ve got three kids, I had to probably last time I was on here because I have a three year old. And down here in Maryland right now with my family. And my mom and dad lived down here outside Baltimore. And that’s where I grew up. So come back here for the holiday season. And yeah, I’ve been back into running again, I don’t know, depending on when we talked last time, I might have been falling out of it or still in it, but kind of back into running and as probably setting some running goals again for this next year, I think is on the docket. Yeah, those are most of the personal stuff. You know, I’m trying to try to take it a little easy for like the next five days to come out into next year refreshed. I feel like I’ve got a lot lot slated for next year. Looking forward. So I’m trying to just recover a little bit for a pretty fun and exciting opportunity here front of me.

Unknown Speaker 2:06
I love it. So setting running goals, that sounds like a actual literal, literal thing that’s going to happen. But then also figurative because you are a busy guy. So when you talk about setting running goals, what does that mean? Yeah, so that that’s the literal one, I do a lot of goal setting. So I do about four pages of goals every year. So I do like work goals, which is just like how do I improve the company that I’m with? So I did it American college, I did it I do it a Carson every year. And that’s like my impact at the company level. I do six goals then for me personally at work. So like what are things that professionally I want to accomplish. And then I do like personal non work goals. So just things to better myself. And then I do family goals and family goals are things like make sure that you know, I take each of the kids on like a day trip, just me and them or we go on a vacation, something like that. So I’ve savings goals in there too. That’s where I put the family ones like 529 plans, things like that. So I try to set six across those four what I call domains. And because I do think that while life’s one big thing, I think that it’s easy to get kind of sucked into one and lose focus of another. And that’s what happened to me one year, I set goals and I realized that they were like all personal business development goals, and nothing was personal, nothing was family, nothing was for the better, their greater good of the place that I worked for. So I kind of readjusted after that. But I probably want to run two marathons this next year. And that might be at the end for marathon running, I might be down to two left in my body and call it Oh, fair enough. I appreciate that. And thank you for sharing that gets.

Unknown Speaker 3:55
You know, it took me until I was 35 years old to actually write down my goals. I talked about him forever. And I think we all intellectually know that we’re supposed to have goals and how important that is, but to actually do it. I’m now going on 10 years of doing that. So it’s always interesting to learn somebody’s process and how they think about it. In terms of the book,

Unknown Speaker 4:16
was the book just inside of you tried to come out? Did somebody say let’s let’s let’s write a book. How did that come to be?

Unknown Speaker 4:24
Yeah, so to some degree, this is either my second or seventh or eighth book, I guess you could break it down in any of those categories.

Unknown Speaker 4:34
But I wrote requirement before which is a retirement income planning book. And then it did a second edition of that. And then this one when I got to Carson Judd macro who was our CMO at the time and Aaron shape and our president wanted me to write a financial planning book around like the way Carson does planning. Well, the reality is like I didn’t know the way that Carson did planning when I showed up the first day right like I had a general idea. I mean

Unknown Speaker 5:00
No, no, it’s like a fiduciary era. So there’s some basics of what you probably do. But that’s developed a lot. I mean, that’s been a big part of my role. And Aaron Woods role, since I’ve been there is developing more of a, what we call the proven process or the planning promise at Carson. And so I think it took us three years to like, really figure out what a more repeatable planning process is going to be, you know, we started with a lot of the CFP planning process and kind of develop the version of our own. So that’s kind of where it started. And then I outlined the book in 2020. And then I think in 2021, started writing a lot of it, and I got about halfway done, and this hurts writers, and I scrapped about half of a book. I mean, I didn’t keep anything from it, I wrote half of a book, and just realize like, it was really boring, like really boring. I mean, good. I’ve written three textbooks, right, I have a insurance law textbook, retirement plans textbook and estate planning textbook. And so it was kind of reading like a textbook, like I was writing a fine, you know, maybe I could use that for a financial planning course. But like, it was pretty boring. And so we kind of scrapped it, and it probably took four months or so then re outlined it. And at that point, just a lot had changed. You know, I’ve learned more and more from Ron, and part of his message, and my message started to come together. And I think that’s happened at Carson over the last four years. So, but we actually started with the individual and like none of the planning stuff. And that was the really the big change, which is it’s about life, it’s about happiness, how you spend your time goal setting, as we just talked about, like how do you set effective goals? And how do you stick to them? And, you know, what are the things that make you happy, and there are better ways to spend your time. And it’s all about defining what freedom means to you. And that’s the entire first half of the book, really, you could have just broken this into two books. I mean, it’s like 320 pages. So there, you could say Book One is defined freedom, Book Two is a financial planning book. And we put those two together. And part of the message was, if you can’t define who you are, and who you want to be, like all the financial planning, mumbo jumbo that comes behind it is a waste of time, right? Like I mean, you can come up with a super efficient plan and still have a miserable person. And I don’t know that we achieved anything. So it’s really starts with that end in mind, which is some level of freedom and happiness. And then we can get to the planning promise and how to get there. I love it. So funny, that you’re going through this outline and 2020 You spend all this time on it, you’re like, Ah, I’ve created a very, very, very sterile, you know, manual on how to put a financial together, nobody’s gonna want to read this. Yeah, you know, I had spreadsheets in there, it was pretty good, you know?

Unknown Speaker 7:50
Add this up. And you know, I started doing stuff like that, and calculation examples and is just wrong. Like all of it was wrong. Now we’ve, you know, we’ve probably rebuilt some of that stuff into our advisor training materials that we have internally, but that we actually ended up separating those two projects. So we finished the consumer book first. And then we went back and redid the advisor training afterwards. And but yeah, it was it was bad. So, you know, it’s okay to admit that sometimes, right? You’re just on the wrong path. And I think it is a good lesson because like I struggled with like, do I really just walk away like I put all this work in like, I can just finish it up? Right? Like, it’ll be okay. And it was the right choice to scrap that.

Unknown Speaker 8:33
Got it? So

Unknown Speaker 8:36
how much how much roughly speaking, like, how much time did it take you from when you decided to scrap the first iteration of it to where we are today? Yeah, well, I know. I don’t remember when I decided to scrap it exactly. But it probably would have been in the summer. And then I didn’t write anything for like three months then. And I sat back down. Right after Thanksgiving. It was a week after Thanksgiving. I remember all this because I got COVID at the Philly marathon, got pretty sick for about 10 days. And, you know, during my COVID lockdown period inside of my house, I started writing this version of the book. So I was sitting there, you know, why strapping off food at the door? And I was like, yeah, it’s probably time to start writing again, you know, like, can’t go anywhere. I’m tired of Netflix and ad shows to watch. So probably should start right. And I finished up that draft of that 320 ish pages around. So what I did December and January. And I think that first week of February, we got like the first edited manuscript to Harriman house to publisher. So, yeah, like did took about, you know, I guess that’s about two and a half months. And I’m a pretty fast writer. Once I start writing, it’s more so that process of what I tell people is I do a lot of the writing in my head, like ahead of time, right. So by the time I start putting

Unknown Speaker 10:00
My fingers to a keyboard, I might have written most of it, it’s just up here in my head. So it’s getting it down. And then you know, editing it and improving upon it. But yeah, that’s kind of my process, I used to do almost all my writing, when I ran, I would go run, and I’d write almost a whole article, like opening sentences all the way through structure, and then just go put it down. I’m not as good at that anymore. I think I’ve got too many things on my mind. So I’m not as great at putting everything down. But I still try to set the structure the messages, I want to convey the story. And then I’ll go write it and put it down. So that’s kind of part of my process from writing. And what I’ve learned, you know, and it doesn’t work for everybody. What I’ve learned, though, is, you know, figure out the big picture story and messages you’re trying to convey, and then just, you know, get it down. And I think it’s, often it’s more important to get it down on to something. So people are like, Hey, how’d you write all that and like, a couple hours, like, secure act 2.0. Past and I just stayed up to 2am. And I read through the whole retirement side of it, the 200 something pages, and, you know, I just I wrote like 28 pages, and, you know, then we can go back and work on it and massage it and reformat it and draw it back up. But then it’s there, like there’s something to work from. And to me that I’ve always found that it’s an easier process. It’s not everybody’s, but I’ve always found that as a workable one for me, if I tried to get things perfect, I’d never get it down. Yeah, yeah, I think that that’s, I think that that is true, and certainly fair. So

Unknown Speaker 11:31
helping people to live life on purpose, define what freedom means. Talk about goal setting. And that that’s the first half of the book, that makes a lot of sense. Because that’s not easy to do. And as you are working through it, and trying to figure out, okay, how do I, how do I articulate this? How do I help people create that vision and organize it, like you’ve done in your head and then teach somebody else to do it?

Unknown Speaker 12:04
How long did it take? What

Unknown Speaker 12:07
was that hard to do? Was Was that hard to to put into a book?

Unknown Speaker 12:15
It is, because it’s also, you know, it’s probably perfectly imperfect, like everything else in life. You know, I don’t, I don’t believe that if in five years, I’ll look back and say the first half of that books, the perfect way to lay it out, and the perfect way to design it, and explain it to people. I think that with most things, there’s hopefully parts of it that resonate with you, and that you can use. You know, I think that Ron has taught me a lot, I learned a lot from other people. But you know, I think I told you, I was gonna tell a story here that I haven’t told yet, either around the book, which is, I put a lot of my personal stories into it. And I don’t view this as like my memoir yet. And like, you know, all my personal stuff in there. But I did use more personal stories than I have before. And some that I haven’t put down that kind of pen to paper yet. And the interesting thing is, I did kind of tell people, I was going to do this, but I didn’t really run it by people. And it’s probably a good lesson to learn is, you know, I know this to be true that people don’t like all those things shared and, you know, like, my family’s like, kind of not super happy about sharing some of the stuff in there. And it’s not like, you know, family, dirty laundry, but it’s just, you know, by the I think I, you know, you tell stories to tell a specific purpose. And they’re like, Well, why didn’t you tell this story to and it’s like, Well, I wasn’t telling that story. So it wasn’t in there. And it’s just been an interesting dynamic of like talking to people who also lived through those experiences. And then like, my sister’s a year and a half apart from me, and it’s interesting how different we remember or view certain things to like, or I just like how experiences shaped us differently, right, like, I talk about this whole idea of gifting in the book a lot. And, you know, I’m not a huge fan of gifts, and I have my version of it. But then like, you can also see how that’s passed generationally down in a very positive way too. And so like, the same experience creates two very different outcomes for people where one goes through the experience and has a great experience with it and loves it. Another one goes through the same experience and forks off to the right and has a negative experience with it. And it’s kind of this like, beautiful aspect of, you know, to your point, like, the books not going to be perfect for everybody because some people are going to read and say, well, that doesn’t resonate with me and others are going to read and say, Hey, that that that’s me, right? Like I have that grief every year when I buy presents and I feel like I overspend and I wish I didn’t do it again next year. And I do it again. And other people say, you know, Christmas my favorite time, I don’t care how much money I spend because I’m given presents to my kids and family members. And they’re the same experiences which is, you know, feeling them very differently. So, my families, you know, read the book too, and some of them really like it it’s some of them have had that one like well, why did you talk about that? Because, you know, that’s super positive for mom and grandma and

Unknown Speaker 15:00
And my aunt and like, I’m like that, but it wasn’t for me like my truth on it’s a little bit different it’s so it’s been an interesting conversation especially because like it kind of came out like a month before Christmas and that’s really the aspect that they they have taken issue with be upon is the whole gifting they’re they’re calling me Scrooge and kind of making fun of me because I’m like, wow, I don’t really like gifts. And they’re like, last Christmas Scrooge. And I’m like, Yeah, I get it.

Unknown Speaker 15:25

Unknown Speaker 15:27
I just just different. Yeah. So it’s, it has been really fascinating. And

Unknown Speaker 15:31
so I think that that’s most things, people experience things differently. And also to give people the like Grace, and you know, that it takes to go through something and understand that their experience and emotions and feelings around something that you also experience might be vastly different. And I think that’s a great lesson, in general in life, not just this, but a really good one, to kind of hold through probably throughout every experience you have. I think that that’s really well said. And certainly money and everything around money is so personal to each of us and evidence that your own family experienced your you’ve had different perceptions of common and and, and shared experiences.

Unknown Speaker 16:22
So I really appreciate you sharing that.

Unknown Speaker 16:25
So when somebody picks up the book, when somebody gets their copy of financial freedom, financial planning for a life on purpose, what are you hoping that that that they take away? What are you hoping that they get out of it?

Unknown Speaker 16:38
Yeah, so I’ve had two things that I want people to get out of it. So the first one is that, you know, you actually take the time to define what freedom means to you. And it’s such a great question, just like ask somebody, you know, somebody you don’t even know, just clearly what does freedom mean to you? And like, everybody answers it a little bit differently. And it’s such a beautiful thing. So I think that’s the first part is like, just spend some time and think about that, what does it really mean to and so there’s a lot of exercises to kind of get you there in the first half of the book. But I think if you take that away from the book, you’ve defined that and you have some notion of what that means from you, and it becomes part of your truth and the life you’re living by design. That’s a fantastic outcome. The second part of the book, even though it is a pretty concise planning process, kind of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs style, building up your basis to develop financial freedom, which allows us to most likely be free elsewhere in life is that everybody is worthy of financial freedom and financial planning. And that’s really the second part. Ultimately, the details of planning come down to your situation, it comes down to the facts and circumstances and what you want to achieve for your own freedom. If you want to live in a van and travel around the country as a single person and stay in, you know, parks like that takes a very different financial plan than somebody who wants to create generational wealth and build companies and nonprofits. So those plans are not going to be the same, right? But the process of planning based on what freedom means to does become true and everybody is worthy of that. And so those are the two things right? Spend time about what what freedom means to you, and that you’re worthy of being financially free and worthy of financial planning.

Unknown Speaker 18:20
I love it.

Unknown Speaker 18:22
How much is the book? What the paperback?

Unknown Speaker 18:26
Should Know? 20 bucks 20 bucks, man, I don’t care. I mean, right there pretty sure it’s 9099 that, but it’s on Audible and Kindle. And like ebook Barnes and Noble target, I went into a bookstore and bought it too I did do a video of me buying it but as I felt pretty lame, so I never posted it but

Unknown Speaker 18:49
you got to post it man.

Unknown Speaker 18:52
I felt so awkward. I felt awkward doing it at the store. So you know I had to go in and find it first and then go back and kind of feel myself going and I just couldn’t I couldn’t do it. I I know that I’m supposed to do those things on social media I just couldn’t physically

Unknown Speaker 19:07
cannot This is a bridge too far.

Unknown Speaker 19:10
For for 20 bucks or whatever. Just think about that as an opportunity that get to go through and actually define for yourself what freedom means. And then to have the the the process the steps the framework for realizing that in your life. That’s that’s immensely valuable. So I think that that’s super exciting. And yeah, I appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker 19:39
Jamie, thank you so much for coming back on the show. Thank you for writing the book

Unknown Speaker 19:44
twice for scrapping the first version in service of of of creating what what it is that you’ve created. So

Unknown Speaker 19:54
Thanks, George. Tell us the same thing. The second one’s better. We hit Wall Street Journal best selling

Unknown Speaker 20:00
Alert. And I’m gonna do something interesting with the book at some point to just worthy of mentioning. So I’m going to actually pick 100 random addresses and just send the book to it like people I don’t know. And it’s just like, hey, I hope that you’re on your path to freedom. And like, that’s the basically the message I’m going to write in there. And I think it’s really interesting. And I almost kind of I thought about that not when I developed the book but almost if it becomes like this gift thing where people give it to somebody and say, like, you know, a message about what freedom means to them and and pass it on. I think it’s going to be the I’d love for something like that, that would be cooler than people reading a book is that it became this message about defining freedom out there for you. Yeah, I think that’s an amazing idea.

Unknown Speaker 20:42
Love it.

Unknown Speaker 20:44
Well, Jamie, again, thank you so much for coming back on where can people get their copy of financial freedom financial planning for a life on purpose? And where can people learn more about you in general? Thanks, George. So you can grab the book on Amazon, it’s on you know, every channel on there. You can get it at Barnes and Noble target pretty much anywhere that you want to buy a book. And then me easiest way. My website is Jamie hopkins.com. Carson group.com is the firm’s website. And then I’m mostly active on Twitter at retirement risks is my handle on there and I still use Twitter and respond LinkedIn to but less responsive on there. Excellent. Well, if you enjoy this as much as I did to Jim, your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, pick up your copy of find your freedom financial planning for a life on purpose. Wherever you buy your books. Go to Jamie hopkins.com jmiehopkis.com. Check out Carson group.com and find Jamie on Twitter at retirement risk is at risk or risks with an s because there are more than one risks. There you go. Yeah, more than one. I love it. Thanks again, Jamie.

Unknown Speaker 21:58
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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