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Financial Prosperity with Elliot Kallen

George Grombacher September 14, 2023

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Financial Prosperity with Elliot Kallen

LifeBlood: We talked about financial prosperity, what it is and how to get it, the importance of creating a vision for your future, knowing how you want to spend your time, having an open dialogue with your loved ones, and keeping all your plates spinning, with Elliot Kallen, Financial Advisor, author and nonprofit professional.      

Listen to learn the dangers of not having a plan for your retirement!

You can learn more about Elliot at ProsperityFinancialGroup.com, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Elliot Kallen

Elliot Kallen

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:02
Elliot Kellen is the founder of prosperity Financial Group, their firm that’s helped 1000s of individuals, busy professionals, entrepreneurs and retirees, manage their money and achieve financial independence is a nonprofit passionate about the nonprofit world, He is the author of the best selling book driven. Welcome, Elliot. Great to be here. George, thank you, excited to have you on. Tell us a bit about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do

Elliot Kallen 0:31
love to I’ve been doing this now for 30 years here in Northern California, we help people make money. That’s the key, we have a saying that we help you. If it’s money, it’s personal. And so we do quite a bit with assets, liabilities, and creating wealth as well as help people sleep better at night because they know we’re taking care of them. And that’s the business of what we do, which is really good. Then there’s the passion of what we do. Passionate, what we do is taking this to a whole new level, I started the nonprofit charity there, George, which is just great. We’d help teens with stress and depression, with a goal of stopping suicide. We now touch five to 10,000 families every single month. So you got the what I do, which I love what I do, making people money, helping them with that. The book that we mentioned that you mentioned, thankfully, thank you is on stress and depression, actually, is our leadership and entrepreneurship. I’ve got so many balls in the air sometimes George, get myself confused. And we work on that. So we’re out there talking to people all the time. And that’s so many issues. It’s wonderful.

george grombacher 1:42
How do you keep everything straight?

Elliot Kallen 1:45
That’s a really good question. And what we do, I get asked that, too, you can see already got discombobulated for a split second, when my phone rang. Apologies on that. It’s it’s a six day a week venture, what I do, it’s not five, you cannot do what I do in five days a week, it’s just physically impossible. So I come in a lot of Saturday or Sunday mornings, when nobody’s here, and I just put into good four or five hours, I usually promised my wife that I’ll be home by 10 or 11 in the morning. And so I sometimes started five on Saturday, and we get it done. But you know, when you’re helping teams out, and you’re running a nonprofit that has some very odd hours, and sometimes that phone rings that one of the mornings, from a parent that says help. So it’s a little bit different than managing your money, and doing other things that we’re doing right now. But it is it’s incredibly rewarding. And then helping people with their retirement or with a family’s finances. It’s just as rewarding.

george grombacher 2:42
What is what is prosperity?

Elliot Kallen 2:45
We are an independent registered investment advisory firm that makes us feel only in our world. We are fiduciaries and we are money managers at the end of the day.

george grombacher 2:56
That was a bad question. What is what is what does it mean to be prosperous?

Elliot Kallen 3:00
Oh, that’s a better question. That’s a way better question. And that is much more subjective. Because your level of being prosperous, or having prosperity is different than mine. So you know, when I was a kid, in my 20s, my mother said, if you put away $2,000 A year into your IRA, that’s what they took then, and it grows at 8%. And you do it oh, wait till age 65, you will have $1 million. And that’s all you’ll ever need. Of course, I live in Northern California. And in a lot of ways, that’s the starting number, not the finishing number. That’s not gonna get you very far what you’re doing so prospers to me prosperous, or having prosperity. And that’s different than wealth and riches are different terms. But having them George means I could do what I want to do. Basically, when when I want to do it. That doesn’t mean I decided I need to go every weekend to the Ritz Carlton or four seasons somewhere in the world. That’s gonna take a lot more money than what most people have. But it does mean that if next year I want to go and see Eastern Europe, and go to Croatia and Hungary, I have the means to be able to do that. If I want to play golf four days a week and join a country club, I have the means to do that. That doesn’t mean I have to join Augusta or I have to fly first class on everything I do. It just means going to places and doing things that within reason, make good sense and make me happier and enrich my spouse in my life.

george grombacher 4:28
I appreciate that. It is a subjective thing. Prosperity, success, wealth, all these things. When when you’re meeting with people do most people have a sense of what that means to them.

Elliot Kallen 4:42
They have a number that makes sense to them. I need $3 million in retirement, but it doesn’t really it’s just a number out of thin air. It could have been two or 4 million. So they think okay, that’s a good number. And the reality though, George, when you do a plan for somebody in retirement, you need to include actual financial goals in life, the average senior in retirement, watches TV four hours a day. And that’s a really bad thing. That’s bad. I had people call me up and yell at me, because they watched too much CNN. So I know they’re yelling at me from the left, they watch too much Fox, are you yelling at me from the right, or they’re both yelling over the same thing, by the way. But they’re watching too much TV. And I have to remind him, turn off the TV. TV in retirement is not a plan. And so we want to get some plans. And maybe number one plan for most retirees is they want to travel, they want to play more golf, they want to spend more time with the grandchildren, they want to create some sort of estate legacy for them, and maybe donate to a charity. That means maybe they want to do with life insurance, trust, and donate a wing of a hospital. So many wonderful things you could do, if you just plan for it, and talk it out.

george grombacher 5:55
So your mom wasn’t wrong, save $2,000 a year, so get started early, good 8%. A million dollars back then isn’t what it is today, obviously. But that’s still pretty sound advice.

Elliot Kallen 6:10
It is the key is maximize. If you do any one thing that’s going to have a huge impact your retirement is max out on every possible retirement plan at your fingertips. Profit sharing your 401k, your SEP IRA, your IRA or Roth IRA, whatever these are, that are available to you maximum out if you’re doing that, and you do that for 1015 20 years, you’re gonna have a ton of money.

george grombacher 6:35
And so people pull this number out, they say, I’m gonna need 3 million bucks or 5 million bucks. Do they really want $5 million? Or what is it that they’re really looking for?

Elliot Kallen 6:48
Want What $5 million does for that $5 million, let them sleep better at night. Because not worrying about money. It lets them travel, when they want to it lets them buy a house or car for the children or the grandchildren. It lets them do what’s important to them. And it is different for everybody. You know, when you have grandchildren, Georgia, maybe the most important thing for your for you is I want to take care of their college education. For somebody else like me, no, I don’t want to take care of my grandchildren’s college education. I took care that with my own kids, let them do that. What I’ll do is I’ll help them out when a car when it turns 16. So everybody’s different. And other ones will say you know, I don’t even want to do that. But I want to be I want to be that parent, takes all of my grandchildren and brings them to national parks all around the country. So they get to see the best of America. All different things.

george grombacher 7:40
So when you’re helping people plan when when when you’re helping families sit down and say, Okay, let’s let’s let’s get organized. Let’s talk about what’s important to you. Are there main areas that you’re focused on principles?

Elliot Kallen 7:53
First thing is what’s important to you is a great question, George, what’s important about retirement what’s, how do you see it? And if you see it as someone that’s travel, let me give you a better example here, Georgia 10 years ago, I sat down with my wife. And I said, you know, I advise people all the time of what to do in retirement, to make sure you have enough hobbies. And so I said, let’s come up with what’s important to us in our retirement. And we came up at travel was number one, I lived in Europe at one point, I love going to Europe, like travel the world. Second thing is we have a wine cellar a wall, actually we own a wine tasting room. I’ve got 1000 bottles of Big Red Cabernet in there and some other varietals. So drinking great wine is fun. buying wine is a lot of fun on that. And I’m a bit of an amateur chef, always working hard to improve by product there. So it looks better, looks more like a key more food at work and things like that. I also play golf, we talked about golf, and we realized we liked golf. We don’t love golf. So golf is not a real passion for us. So if I didn’t do golf for some reason ever again, I’d probably find something to replace it with. But we would if we get to travel, and food and entertainment, we’re going to be happy people, because that’s important to us. I love seeing my grandchildren. I love spending time with them. I love spending time with my children. All that’s great. Right? I just want to make sure that my wife and I, you know, retirement, our golden years are doing the things that are what’s most important to us, which is travel, food and wine,

george grombacher 9:28
travel food and wine. I think that that’s pretty solid. So as long as she’s on the same page with you.

Elliot Kallen 9:33
Yeah, we had we had a great talk about it. You know, we and we had a long talk about golf because we belong to a country club. And we had a long talk about how really important is golf to us. Not that we want to give it up and it didn’t hit the top three. So the other part is when you sub break down travel, or you break down food. What does that mean to you? So you George, you want to see every national park in the country before you die. To me I want to see every country in Europe before I die. So maybe it’s not that extreme that before you die in either one of them. But those are very different goals. And we travel. And so you want to plan that out too, because me going to countries in Europe will cost significantly more than you go into all the national parks.

george grombacher 10:19
I appreciate that. So, either you think about this stuff, or you’re flying by the seat of your pants, and you’re watching four hours a day of Fox and getting pissed off and calling your financial advisor and bugging him. So how some people, if you tell them, what do you really want to do in retirement, it’s probably easy. Some people just probably look at you with a blank look.

Elliot Kallen 10:41
And that’s the question. That’s our job as planners to help them in retirement. What is important you I just had a couple of my office this morning. They’re in their 70s. She wants to go to Europe. She loves Europe. And she’s originally from Peru. So she, South America, and Europe doesn’t have big things. He would like to see more places in the United States, and maybe go to the Philippines, maybe go to Vietnam, and the Philippines. Now they both want to travel. But they have very different ideas of travelers. And the first hour of our meeting was like marital counseling. What can you live with going with her to Peru more often? Can you live? We’re going to see the New England fall foliage. And when she said, Well, it’s so expensive to go to all these places in the United States to compare with most of the world. And I said, Well, you don’t have to stay at the Marriott and Hilton. In order for you don’t have to, you could stay at b&b ease. You can stay the Airbnb, you just have to plan it better. But we we’ve done lots of Airbnb, ZZ, and bed and breakfasts in New England. And they’re way more affordable and more fun sometimes.

george grombacher 11:48
I appreciate that. I do we just build up. It sounds like I don’t want to put words or thoughts in her mind. But sometimes it’s probably pretty human just to build up barriers, just for the sake of doing it. Because we’re not sure we’re scared. It’s abstract.

Elliot Kallen 12:04
You also have that you have that second marriage. And sometimes they’ve been she was single, 1516 years before the second marriage, or between marriages. She’s got a lot of independence there that happens with venture, they get a lot of independence, and compromises a lot tougher for some people. I love my wife. But what if I don’t want to compromise? It’s pretty hard to have a great marriage. If it’s always what I want to do.

george grombacher 12:26
No doubt about that. Yeah. Speaking of what you want to do, you you wrote a book, oh, come.

Elliot Kallen 12:33
I’ve written I’ve written another one. There’s one behind me. I wrote before this. And that was just kind of the story of what we do. It’s really just a short part of the book. But this one, I wanted to write a book that was about entrepreneurship and leadership. Some people as you know, George, or the sucker Berg’s of the world, and they basically have straight lines in life, they graduated college or got a master’s and, and they have a straight line, they do very well financially, their families, okay, their business is good. Money’s not going to be an issue. You know, they’re not Zuckerberg with 15 houses, but they’re, they’re comfortable in their life, I’ve got a very good friend, or 300 plus million dollars, super comfortable in his life, very straight line, not a perfectly straight line, but very straight line. And for me, I think I’m more than norm I have this line, that line that line, that line, I’m sometimes going backwards, forwards, zigzagging around. Life for me has not been a straight line, I don’t come from money. I Dad worked very hard to become a blue collar guy and leave his family’s money when he died. And what I learned is perseverance, and determination. I watched it in him. I learned about it from my mother. And for me, every time I got hit in the head was an opportunity for both perseverance, fortitude, determination, and stepping forward again. So getting a bloody nose as an entrepreneur, for me, was a way of life. Now I’ve obviously come out the other side in a big way. But it was, I think there are a lot of people who can feel empathize with what my life has been, because their life hasn’t been straight, either maybe have a business failure, it is to business failures, couple of jobs, jobs being fired at maybe their divorce. Maybe their child was sick, or something happened along the way, health wise to some member of the family, or even more personal than that, and a tragic way. That’s who I wrote it for the people that are perfect. I’m probably boring them. The people that aren’t, I’m a pretty interesting guy.

george grombacher 14:33
I appreciate that. How many people out there are perfect, Elliot, how do

Elliot Kallen 14:39
you know sometimes when you’re not perfect? Like me, when you’ve got zigzags in your life? Sometimes those things go backwards and forwards. And then other people tell you about their life and you begin to wonder, wow, is it me and then you realize the exception to the rule are the perfect people, not the rule. Let’s call it 1% rule. US, Americans are perfect. And then the other group are normal.

george grombacher 15:03
The rest of us regular people. Normal folks,

Elliot Kallen 15:08
you froze on me, my friend.

george grombacher 15:11
So it’s fascinating. Do you? Do you enjoy writing?

Elliot Kallen 15:18
Yeah, I do. I love writing, I came in a lot of Saturdays and wrote, I’ve got an editor or publisher, someone that helps me take my, when I’m talking to a whole fashioned tape recorder, she’s really good at interpreting that thing. Now, you wanted to be on Chapter Two, you just wrote stuff for chapter seven. So we’re gonna separate that out just really good about that. So she’s in LA, got somebody in LA, and somebody in Texas outside of Dallas. And they’ve been really helpful. So we’re hoping the gentleman I wrote this with you, we talked about 20,000 words in a book, the two of us are hoping to take this on the road and speak to companies and speak to entrepreneur groups about life, and fortitude.

george grombacher 16:01
I appreciate that. So do you make time every day to? Do you employ time blocking? How do you how do you segment out work, make sure you get everything done,

Elliot Kallen 16:11
I do a lot of time blocking. That’s a great characteristic. I’m as guilty as anybody else is the challenge of time management, especially when you’re CEO, three organizations, time management is a big thing. So it is a challenge every single day. And you know, if you look at your life, if you think about you, most people, their their spouses, their husbands or wives, then they are parents, to their children. Sometimes they’re the children of aging parents. So that’s another job. But they’re, they have kids, or their parents, and then their business owners. Right, and you’ve got those three, and you cannot do all three effectively the same day. It’s physically impossible. And so one of those is gonna be out of whack every day. So if you get that parental thing back in whack, because i Hey, I gotta step up my game as a dad or mom, then suddenly, I’m not paying enough attention to my job. And so I’m really booming at work. Man, I can be really crappy husband, because I’m working 20 hours a day. And so you are out of whack every day. I talk about that in my book, that it’s okay to be out of whack every day. It’s not okay to be out of whack with the same things every day. Because then you’re gonna be an absentee one of those jobs will be an absentee job.

george grombacher 17:27
Yeah, I have always resisted the idea of of work life balance, because the idea of 5050 or 3333 33 is silly to me. But I really liked the idea that you’ve just laid out like, it doesn’t need to be perfect every day. But it can’t be wrong every single day day after the next

Elliot Kallen 17:43
know you’re going to be divorced. Like I’m divorced. So that’s one of my zigs backwards, Zags backwards. And it’s really the matter. The reason for being divorces irrelevant. The fact is that I’m a hard worker, I work hard. I’m very committed father, I thought I was committed husband, but I was working long hours. And even though that’s not the reason for the divorce, when I look back on it, I have to admit that to myself, that if I could, I would have worked. And my daughter said something interesting. She was about 10 years old. I’ve been divorced already about three years at that point. And she said, you know, Dad, you are much better father, because you’re divorced. And I thought, I stopped. I said, Wow, Alexa, that is such an amazing line. You just said, Why did you say that? And she said, Dad, I know you. If you were still married to mom, you just be working all the time. Now. You come and pick us up on the days you have us which was about 50% 60% of time. And you don’t put us at daycare. You pick us up at three we do homework, we do soccer. We do ice hockey, we’re not late for anything. You’re at our games on weekends. That’s your unbelievably committed dad. And I think it’s because you’re divorced.

george grombacher 18:58
It’s not a straight line.

Elliot Kallen 18:59
So nowadays, I don’t know if she’s right. I think there’s some truth to what she said. No, no, there’s not over centuries. But I think there is truth.

george grombacher 19:07
Yeah, no, I think that I think that there’s a lot of wisdom in that. Well, Elliot, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? We’re gonna get a copy of driven.

Elliot Kallen 19:17
Yeah, great. And it just came out. You know, something that’s out since July 4, is the Amazon bestseller. I’m waiting to get my own copy. I’d mail it if I had McGeorge. Maybe next week. I’ll have them but they can get it on Amazon Alexa, just type the word driven GRI ve en by Elliot Callen que ll en in there, it’ll pop up. I think it’s 995 for a paperback. It’s pretty affordable when it’s something like that. And they can reach me at Elliot E L L IoT at prosperity financial group.com

george grombacher 19:53
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did show, Elliot your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ad Use, go to prosperity financial group.com check out other great resources shoot me an email Elliot at financial prosperity, financial group.com and then pick up your copy of driven on Amazon. I’ll link all of those in the notes of the show. Thanks again, Elliot. Thank you. Till next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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