Upcoming FREE Classes in 2019: (note the change in hours (5:30 - 7:00) with the investing seminar starting on April 3rd)
30 in 30 / Transforming into the New Version of YOU / How to create a life worth living using a financial education and an understanding of YOU / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Monday, April 1st
30 in 30 / Retirement Seminar Class #1 / How to take the necessary steps needed to create a successful and happy retirement / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, April 2nd
30 in 30 /Investing Seminar Class #1 / The Beginning: How to become the wise and efficient investor in a very unforgiving and sometimes cruel world / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5.30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, April 3rd
30 in 30 / Investing Wisely as an Employee at the University of Northern Iowa / A clear understanding of the 403(b) plan will help the individual make wise choices with their savings / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, April 4th
30 in 30 / How to Make a Budget/ Creating a budget helps the individual design the future of their dreams / Instructor: Megan Redmond / UNI Library Room 287 / 11:30 - 12:30 / Friday, April 5th
30 in 30 /Understanding Taxes and How to Reduce Them / Gathering the knowledge about the world of taxes will help you identify ways to reduce them / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI ScholarSpace Room / 3:00 - 4:30 / Saturday, April 6th
30 in 30 / Women and Money (Men Allowed) / A panel discussion on how women can take control of their money AND their life / Instructor: Patty Rausa / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 3:00 - 4:30 / Sunday, April 7th
30 in 30 / The Smart Way to Buy a Vehicle / Gathering the knowledge on buying a vehicle wisely can reduce the costs AND the stress / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:30 - 8:00 / Monday, April 8th
30 in 30 / Retirement Seminar Class #2 / How to get the portfolio right leading into and through retirement and beyond /Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, April 9th
30 in 30 / Investing Seminar Class #2 / Identify where you are with your portfolio and where you want to go with your investments / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, April 10th
30 in 30 / How to Reduce the Affects of Advertising on your Life / A materialistic life can lead to high levels of debt, stress, and servitude; reject it! / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 5:30 - 6:30 / Thursday, April 11th
30 in 30 / How to Manage Student Loan Debt in a Responsible Way / There are smart ways and not so smart ways to handle student loans / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library Room 287 / 10:00 - 11:30 / Friday, April 12th
30 in 30 /IPERS and Investing in a 403(b)/457 Part I/ Understanding defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans when looking at retirement planning / Instructor: Casey Redmond / Upper Iowa on University Avenue / 2:00 - 3:30 / Saturday, April 13th
30 in 30 / Investing Seminar Part I / Acquiring the Investment Knowledge That Helps YOU Become Your Own Financial Advisor Session I / Instructor: Mike Finley / West Des Moines Public Library Main Branch, Community Room / 1:00 - 4:00 / Saturday, April 13th
30 in 30 / Investing Seminar Part II / Acquiring the Investment Knowledge That Helps YOU Become Your Own Financial Advisor Session II / Instructor: Mike Finley / Johnston Public Library, East Meeting Room / 1:00 - 4:00 / Sunday, April 14th
30 in 30 / IPERS and Investing in a 403(b)/457 Part II / Understanding defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans when looking at retirement planning / Instructor: Casey Redmond / Upper Iowa on University Avenue / 2:00 - 3:30 / Sunday, April 14th
30 in 30 / The Smart Way to Buy a Home / Make this BIG decision with as much knowledge as you can BEFORE buying / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Monday, April 15th
30 in 30 / Retirement Seminar Class #3 / How to withdraw out of your portfolio in retirement in a cost and tax efficient way / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, April 16th
30 in 30 / Investing Seminar Class #3 / Asset Allocation Part I: How to put together a low cost all index fund portfolio that leads to higher returns over time = high returns / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, April 17th
30 in 30 / HSA (Health Savings Account) and Other Work Benefits / Understanding the benefits that come with a job is a must for those who want to make wise decisions / Instructor: Casey Redmond / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 5:30 - 6:30 / Thursday, April 18th
30 in 30 / How to Manage Credit Wisely/ Understanding how the credit world works will help you improve your credit score BIG time / Instructor: Megan Redmond / UNI Library Room 287 / 11:30 - 12:30 / Friday, April 19th
30 in 30 / How to Maneuver Around the Vanguard Website / How to move around the Vanguard website to better under your investment portfolio / Instructor: Mike Finley / Upper Iowa on University Avenue / 3:00 - 4:30 / Saturday, April 20th
30 in 30 / Financial Freedom for a Family (kids are welcome)/ How to create an environment where finances become a family affair / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 3:00 - 4:30 / Sunday, April 21st
30 in 30 / Insurance and YOU / The wide world of insurance is BIG and it pays to understand it BEFORE buying any policy / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Monday, April 22nd
30 in 30 / Retirement Seminar Class #4 / How to make the most of fixed income and insurance long into retirement / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, April 23rd
30 in 30 / Investing Seminar Class #4 / Asset Allocation Part II: How to sustain and grow a low cost index portfolio for decades / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, April 24th
30 in 30 / Advertising and YOU/ Learn how to avoid a materialistic life that can lead you down a path of destructive debt, stress and unhappiness / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, April 25th
30 in 30 / How to Get Started Right with the First Job/ Getting started right can put your life on a course to reach Financial Freedom / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library Room 287 / 11:30 - 12:30 / Friday, April 26th
30 in 30 / College Planning / How to Save for College/ Having a plan will help you reduce or eliminate debt after your college years are all over / Instructor: Casey Redmond / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 3:00 - 4:30 / Saturday, April 27th
30 in 30 / How to Invest in a Company Retirement Plan/ This one decision could make the difference between a comfortable retirement and one that isn't / Instructors: Chase Murphy and Travis Martinek / West Des Moines Library / 12:30 - 4:30 / Saturday, April 27th
30 in 30 / Smart Strategies When Filing for Medicare/ Learning how to make smart decisions with Medicare takes knowledge and the right resources once you reach age 65 / Instructor: Mike Dunlop / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 3:00 - 4:30 / Sunday, April 28th
30 in 30 / Understanding the Difference Between a Fee-Based vs. a Fee Only Financial Advisor/ One type of advisor works for others and one works for YOU / Instructors: Chase Murphy and Travis Martinek / West Des Moines Library / 2:30 - 4:30 / Sunday, April 28th
30 in 30 / Finding the Right Financial Advisor/ There are thousands of financial advisors you should avoid and a handful you should consider when needed / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Monday, April 29th
30 in 30 /Retirement Seminar Class #5/ Social Security 101: How to make the right decisions at the right time using long term strategies / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday April 30th
Investing Seminar Class #5/ How to invest wisely in Real Estate and how to make the tax code work for you instead of against you / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, May 1st
Retirement Seminar Class #6 / Medicare 101: How to make the right decisions as it relates to the Medicare Program / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, May 7th
Investing Seminar Class #6 / How to invest wisely without letting emotions and/or crooks in the backdoor / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, May 8th
Retirement Seminar Class #7/ How to handle Real Estate and Taxes in retirement and beyond / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, May 14th
Investing Seminar Class #7 / How to select the right financial advisor who has the most knowledge AND who works solely for you / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, May 15th
Retirement Seminar Class #8 / Final Recap: The path forward is more than just financial, it is also psychological / Instructor: Mike Finley / Cedar Falls Library / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, May 21st
Investing Seminar Class #8 / Final Recap: How to pull it altogether so your portfolio lasts longer than you do / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, May 22nd
Change equals growth and growth is what we need to expand beyond where we are right now. This requires action and for some people, it's doable and for others, well, they find themselves "paralyzed" and unable to change. What causes this "paralysis?" It is fear most of the time and that emotion can cost you dearly over a lifetime. Fear of failure. Fear of looking "stupid." Fear of being embarrassed. It can even be fear of falling on your face while your detractors laugh at you. Yet, many people overcome their fears and take the needed action that is required for the growth of self. They stand up to those fears and push them aside. How can you be one of those people?
Take one small step forward today. Not tomorrow. Not one day. TODAY you change. TODAY you do something, no matter how small, that moves you closer to the person you want to be. Don't worry about the future, focus on the present moment. Push your fears aside and tell that person in the mirror that change is required to grow. Find people who will support you and distance yourself from those who will not. Surround yourself with the right people and the right environment as you move closer to your dreams (write them down into short and long-term goals, make them specific, and check them off as you achieve them). Change your world by changing YOU. YOU are the answer!C
Spring 2018 Schedule
[caption id="attachment_4128" align="alignnone" width="232"] The Spring 2018 Schedule[/caption]
At some point you have to come to terms with the real change agent in your life. It is not your parents. It is not your spouse. It is not your boss. It is not some politician or government entity. It is YOU. When you stop looking "out there" for someone to fix your problems, you can start looking within, and that is where the truth lies. It is that person in the mirror that will ultimately decide your fate. What you think will lead to what you do and that will ultimately tell us what direction your life takes going forward.
Mahatma Gandhi told us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was right way back then and he is right today. Stop looking for someone else to change your life. YOU change your life. Once you make that shift within your mind, behaviors start to change, and habits are created. Instead of seeing problems, you find solutions. Instead of criticizing, you praise. You take full responsibility for your life because you understand who is in charge of it as you look in the mirror and say, "I AM the answer!"
External rewards will not and have not brought the kind of meaning and happiness that the average person seeks. External rewards? A trophy, a powerful position, a new car, fame, the newest bit of technology, and yes, even money, are not and never have been the solutions to reaching a high level of personal fulfillment. Those external rewards are fools gold for those who chase them. Spending a life seeking pleasure at every turn will ultimately lead to an empty existence. There is a solution to finding happiness and it can be achieved by those who are ready and willing to seek it out. Look within for the answers to life's deep questions.
The answer to a fulfilling and happy life will be found intrinsically based on who you become. Here I am talking about an internal reward based on what you do to make the world a better place. This leads to giving. Helping others and providing service to your fellow man, woman, child and four-legged friend can change your life and the lives of others. What can you do and how can you help? This will shine the light that will glow brightly within you, pushing aside those external rewards that quickly lose meaning. This state of being can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to seek the truth hidden in the noise we call life. Make that YOU.
How does a person create a great life for themselves and the people they love when they find themselves stuck in a life that does not appear to feed their soul? That is a big whopper of a question and the answers could be endless based on who you speak to on the subject. Here is where you should not go to find the answers: The media, entertainers, sports "heroes," and sometimes your close circle of friends and family. Here is what I have learned along my journey of life. Be yourself and that means not letting others "guide" you toward being something they want you to be. Living life trying to please others will never take you to the place you want to go. Find your passion. This will be much easier once you are being true to yourself.
Once you find your passion, identify ways to live it on a daily basis as best you can in and around the life you are currently living. Basically, find what you love and do more of it whenever possible and that might very well be separate from your everyday life. Who knows, you might just make a living doing what you love. The more time you spend doing what you love, the closer you will get to finding meaning in life. Happiness will follow as you walk your unique path in life becoming the best version of YOU. Here is the bottom line: Find your path, get on it, stay on it even when life is difficult, don't let others knock you off, if they do, get back on it, and finally, circle back and help others find their path. Enlightenment to follow!
Action is what defines the successful from those who end up not accomplishing their dreams. Without action, education is simply information. Education is a wonderful thing, but it if is not followed by action, there is minimal benefit to the individual. So, why do some people take action and others do not? Here are some reasons: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, fear of sticking out from the crowd and maybe the biggest one of all, fear of leaving the "safe" world that your thoughts and actions currently reside. It is easy to play it safe and seek safety in this world of uncertainty, but that does not translate into a life well lived. This leads to the next question. How does a person turn into someone who does take action?
You reach a point in your life when sitting still and doing nothing is not going to cut it any longer. Basically, you are at the end of your rope and the thought of change is greater than the thought of doing nothing. This can be different for every person, but the idea is pretty simple. You are ready to take that step into the unknown because it is more important to you than what is currently happening in your life. This means you are ready to take the call to adventure (see Joseph Campbell's description of the hero's journey for a more detailed look into this issue). Pick up that phone that is ringing, calling you to this "new you." Your future awaits as you die a metaphorical death so the new version of you can be created. Enlightenment to follow!
It is important to know when you have enough, otherwise you could very easily find yourself chasing after more and more and more in this world of endless gratification. This idea of enough is not a new one, but many people fail to fully grasp its importance. It was discussed in detail in the book Your Money or Your Life and my first book, Financial Happine$$. The question is, "How many people get it?" When I gaze out into the world, I see millions of people chasing illusions presented to them by people who have a great deal to gain by selling a product or service. Enough is about finding meaning in life that goes far beyond money and stuff!
Identifying when you have enough in your life allows you to stop chasing after more of what you don't need. It really is that simple. You can then pause and reconsider what exactly you want to do with your time, energy and yes, even your money. The man or woman who has enough is profoundly changed. They redirect their life toward other pursuits that brings meaning and fulfillment their way. They get it! Here is the good news: When the individual is "ready" they can stop chasing after more stuff that isn't really that important (and never was) and start identifying those things that are truly important. Financial Happine$$ to follow!