Cris Kalivas: Becoming Financially Literate and Planning For Your Future

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Episode Description

Taking control of your finances doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. But if you want to be financially secure, it's necessary. That's true no matter who you are or what the state of your finances may be. It's especially true when you're navigating a challenging lifecycle event, like divorce or the death of a spouse.

Cris Kalivas has been guiding her clients at every stage of life to make better financial decisions for decades. With her down-to-earth attitude and step-by-step approach, Cris makes personal finance understandable and manageable.

If you've ever wanted to get a handle on your personal finances, this is the podcast episode for you.

Show Notes

About Cris

“Cris” Kalivas has been in the financial industry since 1987. She started out in the municipal bond business, underwriting new bond issues and participating in investment banking. Cris was the Head National Underwriter bidding on national syndicates underwriting hundreds of millions of dollars of debt for municipalities across the country.

While working as an underwriter Cris noticed a large population of friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances who appeared lost at the slightest mention of financial terms. That gave birth to her desire to bring financial literacy to everyone. Cris quickly changed careers and achieved her CFP® designation to begin serving others through financial planning.

Cris holds a BA in Public Administration from Drake University and in addition to the professional designation of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) she also has a CDFA® (CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST) designation.

Cris is married to her high school sweetheart, Nick. They have four awesome kids, and she considers them to be her greatest accomplishment.

Where to Connect with Cris

You can find Cris on LinkedIn at Christine (Smith) Kalivas, on Facebook at Fortune Financial Group - Illinois, on her YouTube channel at Fortune Financial Group and you can read her blog at Women Who Build Wealth Know.  You can also email Cris directly at [email protected] or Schedule a Free Consultation.


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Becoming Financially Literate and Planning For Your Future


spouse, people, client, debt, cris, work, student loans, pay, financial literacy, financial, month, divorce, life, understand, mortgage, care, starbucks, dies, kids, money


Cris Kalivas, Karen Covy

Karen Covy  00:03

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so that we can understand what keeps us stuck, and more importantly, how do we get unstuck? I'm your host, Karen Covy, a divorce coach and recovering lawyer. And with me today is a very special guest.

Today, we are hosting Cris Kalivas. She's been in the financial industry since 1987. She started out in the municipal bond business, underwriting new bond issues and participating in investment banking. Cris was the Head National Underwriter bidding on national syndicates, underwriting hundreds of millions of dollars of debt for municipalities across the country. While working as an underwriter, Cris noticed a large population of friends, families, neighbors and acquaintances who appeared lost at the slightest mention of financial terms. And that gave birth to Cris's desire to bring financial literacy to everyone. Cris then quickly changed careers and achieved her CFP designation to begin serving others through financial planning. Cris holds a BA in Public Administration from Drake University. And in addition to the professional designation of a Certified Financial Planner, she also has a CDFA. So, she's a certified divorce financial analyst as well. Cris is married to her high school sweetheart, Nick, and they have four awesome kids, and she considers them to be her greatest accomplishment. Cris, welcome to the show.

Cris Kalivas

Hi, Karen. Thanks for having me.

Karen Covey

You and I have known each other for a while. And I know that your passion is financial literacy. So, let's start. What I'd like to do though, is start with a little bit of your back story. You started out in the bond industry, and then in investment banking, and then you move to the financial planning world. What made you make that change?

Cris Kalivas  02:01

Well, Karen, I always say my life has been in seasons. So, my first season was the bond trading, right. So, I traded. I loved that. I loved the excitement of being on a trading floor. And then I had a family. And guess what, it's hard to get into the city by 6:00 a.m., 6:30 a.m., with little ones at home. And so, I stayed at home for a little while with my kids. And I call that my second season. But that's where I really learned life, learned financial. So, I had the financial experience. And now, I had the financial life walking it. Had a couple things happen in life. I had a really sick child. And so, we had that expense of hospital costs and testing and treatments. And then my father passed away, and left my mom not understanding any of her finances. We sat in the office of her estate attorney, and she was a deer in headlights, and I got in the car. And I said, “Mom, did you understand any of that?” And she said, “None of it.” And I thought, why isn't there anybody here for her? Why didn't anybody explain this to her. And then lastly, my husband lost his job. The company he worked for, the CEO, did some illegal trading. And the company went down in two hours, the FBI came in and said, “Do you have two hours to leave?” And locked the doors. And so, we had these three life experiences happen. And they all had financial lessons to them. We survived them all. We had people asking us, “How did you survive?” So, I thought, I need to go help people now. I need to take this background experience, and then this life experience, and make a business out of it or go out and help people. So, life happens. It happens to all of us, and how are they then going to survive and make it and be best prepared if something happens. So, that's why I love financial literacy, because I loved it.

Karen Covy

Oh, my gosh, what a story. It seems like you had personal experience, and definitely personal reasons that drove you into this business. But can you tell me and our listeners, what does financial literacy mean to you? What does it mean to say, I have some level of competence in this area or what is it that you're trying to achieve with your clients?

Cris Kalivas

So, it's just really basic. How many times do you hear from people, “Oh, I don't understand that I was never good in math.” I say if you can add, subtract, multiply or divide, you can do all finances, all financial planning, all finances. So, it's really just taking the core areas. Let's start with insurance. You need to understand, why do I need to have insurance? What is my risk if I don't have insurance?

Karen Covy  05:00

Let me interrupt you here for a second. There's a lot of kind of insurances, right? What kind of insurance should people think about? What matters? What don't they need, do they need as an individual?

Cris Kalivas  05:13

All of them. All the above. Let's start with health insurance. You need health insurance. People say I'm healthy, it doesn't matter. You can get hit by a truck and go to the hospital, and you need health insurance. I mean, you could have an appendix rupture. I mean, you will need health insurance. Number one, you need health insurance. Car insurance now is pretty much mandated. But you do need home insurance, you need to have fire. It all happens. Life insurance, if you have a mortgage, you need life insurance. You have other people that you'll leave behind with your debts. So, you need these kinds of risk amounts. Everybody's different, so not everybody needs the same kind or same amount. I'm not asking people to be insurance experts, but at least to understand this is a need, and I need to seek out an expert. So, who do I go? I know that it's a need. And I know that I should talk to somebody about what my risk is right now. And obviously, it changes in life, right? So, if you have children, you're going to need more. If you're single, maybe you don't need as much. But it's all those different life cycles, all those different times in life, it changes.

The next pillar is income tax. Again, I'm not asking you to be an accountant. But you need to understand, well, number one, I have to pay them. That is a lot.

Karen Covy  06:40

That's a good point.

Cris Kalivas  06:43

But maybe some real basic things like if I put money in my 401(k) at work, that lowers my tax liability. Simple math, I make $100,000. I put in 20,000 into my 401(k), I'm only taxed on 80,000. That's simple math. Don't just say, “Oh, I've got this benefit at work, and I don't know what to do with it.” No, learn what that means to you.

Karen Covy  07:09

I'd like to stop you right there for a second. I hate to interrupt, but so many people are so put off or terrified by the idea of like, I don't really know how that works. And it's too much for me, what would you say if somebody came? Do you want to see like, I don't even know, there's just it's all these numbers. It's all these programs? I don't know how it all works. You know, I just want to I do.

Cris Kalivas  07:32

Yeah, I get that a lot. We just start at the basics, really. We start with number one, what do you want? So, I try and throw it back on them. Well, yeah. Do you want to retire someday? Well, yeah. Well, what do you think you're going to do in retirement? Well, I'm going to move to Florida, and I'm going to buy a house on the beach. Okay, guess what? That takes money. So, you need to start saving for that now. And we show them not to get on another trail, but a compound interest, right? Like, if you start doing it when you're 25, you actually might get that house on the beach by the time you're 65, if you start at 25. But if you wait till you're 45, you probably will be in a condo in the middle of the state. It just depends. Then, that might be fine for you but those are the kinds of things we try and lay out: what are your dreams? What are your accomplishments, and then let's find a pathway to get there. That affects all these components like your 401(k). So, it's not hard, I try and talk to them and say, “It's really basic. So, take away the fear right away of, oh, these are numbers, and I don't understand them. If you can add and subtract, you can do this. So, here's how it works.” It's such basic math. It just as I just mentioned, 100,000 minus 20 equals 80,000. I mean, that's what we're talking about. It's kind of just getting over that hump of saying, “It's numbers, and I don't get them.”

Karen Covy  09:06

Yeah, that makes sense. So, I kind of interrupted you, you're talking about the pillars of financial literacy. We talked about insurance. We talked about income tax a little bit. What else do you consider to be a pillar of financial literacy?

Cris Kalivas  09:19

So, another one is going to be investments. So, again, people say, “Oh, I don't understand that. It’s numbers again. I don't get it.” But again, try and bring it back home, bringing it to what they understand and say, well, what do you do for a living? Well, I work at Pepsi. Okay, great. What do you do for Pepsi? Well, I had a client who was in procurement at Pepsi. They get the cans, right? And I said, “So, tell me about that. What are you seeing in your world at Pepsi? What is the value?” “Oh, well, there's a new thing they're doing in China with the aluminum cans.” Okay, that's great. Let's look for that company. Let's look for something because you know that, you understand that. Let's invest in something you understand. I have a client who walks in and says, “My weakness is Starbucks. Don't tell me not to buy Starbucks every morning, because I just want to buy Starbucks.” “Okay, great. Well, let's buy Starbucks stock then because you know their product, you love it.” So, it's bringing it to what they understand. And let's talk about: well, what about Starbucks? Their biggest growth area right now is in China. Are you okay with that? What do you like about them? Who do you think their competitors are? And we try and bring it to what they understand and invest in what they understand and what they know. And once they understand the products, we do mostly funds. Once they understand them, they kind of get into it and they take ownership in it. Because all of a sudden, I'm like, “Well, you're an owner now of Starbucks. So, each time you go, you're technically getting a little bit of profit. I mean, a little, tiny, tiny bit.” But they treat it different now that they're an owner of that company. And that's a lot of pride, too.

Karen Covy  11:18

Makes a lot of sense. Getting even more basic, in order to be able to invest, you have to have money to do that. So, is part of financial literacy for you also budgeting and making sure that you're spending less than you're bringing in, those kinds of things.

Cris Kalivas  11:39

Yeah, for sure. Karen, I really insist on my clients, budgeting. And I always tell them, number one, it's so easy now. 10, 20 years ago, it was kind of cumbersome if you had an online program, and you had to save all your receipts and enter them all, and nobody did it. But now, there's so many apps that are so easy. You can link them up to your credit cards or your bank accounts, and literally drag and drop into categories. Mostly, I tell them, I don't care so much how much you spend a month on restaurants or groceries or clothing. I really don't care. But at the end of the month, I want a percentage of savings. So, if you want to spend $500 a month at the gym, that's your thing. Who cares? I'm not going to judge you on that. As long as you're saving the percentage that we agreed upon was needed. So, if clothes are your thing, okay, again, I could care less, as long as you're saving every month and paying your other bills that you have to pay, your mortgage or electrical, your gas, those main items of your budget, but you've got to save. And then the rest of it, I don't care what you do with them.

Part of that also is debt. We're always going to really push zero debt. Mortgage is different. But the kids that have student loans, credit card debts, those are toxic to long-term financial health. And so, we really work on getting debt out of your budget. We don't want that as a line item. We want to pay that off. Actually, before you're saving, I want that gone. And then we're going to saving.

Karen Covy  13:32

So, if I'm hearing you right then in terms of financial, getting your finances in order, financial wellness, let's call them okay, you would tell people if they've got a lot of let's say credit card debt or student loan debt, is it more important then, to pay all that off first before you invest or do you do both at the same time?

Cris Kalivas  13:56

So, we follow kind of a baby steps approach. So, you start out with $1,000 in savings. That's an emergency fund, right? You need to have some kind of savings in case you need new tires or life comes, Murphy comes calling we say. So, you get that $1,000 of savings.

And then baby step number two is paying off your debts, not your mortgage, but your student loans, your credit cards. We line them all up. We do what we call a snowball debt plan, and we lined them all up on size of debt, not on interest rate. I know this is counterintuitive, but we do it on size smallest to largest, and we put the monthly payment for each of them and each month to pay the minimum payment. Any extra money goes to that first smallest debt.

Karen Covy

Why that way?

Cris Kalivas

Because money is 90% behavioral. Behaviorally, we have found, the studies show us, that if you pay off a debt, even if it was small, that gives you a win, that makes you feel good. So, you stay with it. If your biggest credit card debt has the highest interest rate, people always say, “Well, no, I need to pay this one, it's the biggest one. It’s the highest interest rate.” I get it. You're never going to pay it off. It's so big, and you're going to give up.

It's like weight loss. You need to give yourself little wins. If you want to lose 50 pounds, and you don't have any win or any gratification until the all 50 are gone, you'll give up. So, we want to do the smallest one first. And then as soon as that smallest one is extinguished, we take that payment and we roll that into the next second one. So, you don't get a break, because you paid off one of your debts, you just roll it into the next one. So, the next one now you're paying maybe double the amount, but you're going to pay it off faster. So, we show that it's just like a snowball. As the snow is rolling in the snow, it gets bigger, the payment gets bigger. So, by the time you're on that last big one, you've got a lot of money rolling into it, you feel good, because you've paid off a lot of debt, you've got a lot of momentum behind you, and you are in this last one, and you're going to get it done and you do. So, we do the $1,000 savings, we pay off all the debt first, then we save three to six months in an emergency fund. So, we beef up that emergency fund, and we start investing.

Karen Covy  16:35

What would you say to a person either they're a younger person. I mean, student loans these days are like, oftentimes crazy, right? They can be way big. They can be the size of a mortgage. Right? So, what do you say to young person who's got this ginormous debt, or the parent who took the loan for the student. So, now, the parent has essentially a second mortgage. What do you say to them about paying it off and investing in and so forth?

Cris Kalivas  17:07

We got to get this to take care of. We got to get rid of it. That is still the first thing we get rid of. Unless they're in a public service job, where there is a program for forgiveness. I do have a client who has $350,000 in student loans. She specifically entered the Army National Guard, and she is going to pay it off that way and slowly pays it off. And she's hoping for forgiveness after 10 years. But we do tell them they've got to pay it off. Unfortunately, student loans are never forgiven. Other than this public school. They're never in bankruptcy. Student loans are not withdrawn. So, you have to pay them. I'm sorry, you're in this bad situation. You got to get rid of them because you can't retire with student loans. Right? I mean, you can, but how are you going to pay them? So, we got to get rid of this. And it might mean you need to take a second job. I mean, I've had those hard conversations, where you need to take a second job, you need to get rid of this. And honestly, it's the best advice for them. It's taking that weight off their shoulders. I try and tell them, imagine how wonderful you're going to feel when this is gone. Freedom that you won't have to make this. I've seen student loan payments of $800, $900 a month. So, let's get rid of this. It's awful. But get rid of it. And then you can live life. You are going to really experience financial freedom if you get rid of this.

Karen Covy  18:49

Cris, this is such important advice. I really hope people are listening to it especially because in my world, I work with people who are going through divorce, and you do as well, right? And so, so many parents, like they're divorcing, and they're taking on huge debt for their kids to get the kids through college, and that's a great thing to want to help your kids. But when you're divorcing and money is getting tighter, I don't know that people understand the ramifications of that.

Cris Kalivas  19:25

No, they don't. I have I have so many clients who took out those Parent Plus loans, and they want to retire but they've got $100,000 in debt, student loans, and they're 60. So, I counsel folks now that are sending their kids to school, do not take those out. There are other ways that we can work on to finance college, than for you to take it out. We can work on some other things. There's other ways you. Don't take that onto yourself.

Karen Covy  20:02

Yeah, it's a huge responsibility.

Cris Kalivas  20:06

Sometimes the kids drop out. I have one client whose kids dropped out. They’re in the basement, they don't have a job. And guess what? The parents are paying $100,000 in loans for the kid who didn't even get the good degree.

Karen Covy  20:17

Oh, wow.

Cris Kalivas  20:19

Yeah, don't do this.

Karen Covy  20:22

I can tell how passionate you are about this. I think that's what makes you such a great financial advisor. I know, you're also in the divorce space and I wanted to ask a question about that. Because so many clients, I know, you know, they come to you. And in a marriage, you often divide and conquer, right? I take care of this, he takes care of that. And for a lot of people, one of the jobs they divide is taking care of the bills and managing the money. And that usually goes to one person. Now, I don't want to be stereotypical and say it's usually the man that handles the money. But a lot of the time in our society, it still is, right? Right, wrong or indifferent. This isn't a judgment. It's just a statement, right? And so, there's one spouse who does all the money stuff, and the other one doesn't have a clue. How do you handle that? What do you tell people?

Cris Kalivas  21:21

Karen, it's funny you say that because I had a friend just come up to me the other day. And she asked me to work with her daughter who was just graduating from college and said, “Could you sit down with her, help her with a budget, pay off her student loans, look at the new benefits that she has at work? Just help her out.” I said, “Sure.” And she said, “Bob and I are fine. We're with Merrill Lynch.” I said, “Okay, that's great.” I said, “How's it working with Merrill Lynch?” She goes, “Oh, I don't know. Bob does it all. I don't have any idea.” And I'm like, “Jen, you have to have a seat at the table.” And that's what I tell them is you just have a seat at the table. I'm not telling you to do the work. But be present, be there when they're paying the bills, know what bills you have to pay, what bills you do pay as a family. And when they're getting divorced, I run into this as well, a lot of my clients don't have any idea what bills they have. They don't understand if they have any debt. They don't even know how many credit cards they have. They don't know anything.

Karen Covy  22:29

I have friends, relatives, acquaintances who are dying, right? Okay. Now, that is arguably even worse, if you're the spouse who wasn't handling the money, and all of a sudden, the spouse who was handling the money dies. You're up the creek without a paddle. You don't know anything.

Cris Kalivas  22:59

Yes. You need to sit down. We actually have a guidebook, if you will. And it's the old-fashioned paper, and it has all the accounts, all the bills, and the professionals’ names. The accountant, what is the guy's name, or gal’s name and number. Do we have an estate attorney? Who is it? Where are they? Have you met them? Be sure that you have met them so that when/if your spouse dies, you're not introducing yourself to them.

Karen Covy  23:31

Yeah. I mean, it's all so important people. I know we have a hard time thinking about death. You don't want to deal with it, you don't want to think about it, and on and on. And that's fine. But if you care at all about your family, you're not going to want to leave them in a position where they--I mean, I've been in positions working with friends and family members who a parent dies, like a single parent dies, they don't even know what bills are due every month. You've literally got to sit there and get the mail for six months in order to figure out what's going on financially with them. And these days, it's even worse, because if somebody is doing things digitally, and you don't know where their banks are, and you don't have their passwords. What in heaven's name are you going to do?

Cris Kalivas  24:32

Right, right. And it always happens that people, especially as they're older, have several banks, or they have maybe an annuity they bought when they were 25, or they have random accounts at places because they never rolled them over or consolidated them or did anything with it. They kind of were like, “Oh, yeah, I know, I have this thing,” and then they die. Then, nobody knew about it. So, yes, it's so important to have a seat at the table. As I said, we have this guidebook, this document where they fill all that in, and it's old-fashioned paper, because you need to have a paper because I have a client, it was all in their computer and their password was their fingerprint. It was new digital one. That opened up and unlocked their computer. Well, I mean, if you don't have the finger, don't bother unlocking it.

Karen Covy  25:35

That reminds me of The Da Vinci Code, when they have the eyeball, and they had all the eyeball out of the dead body.

Cris Kalivas  25:42

Right. And that's what we're moving towards. People don't know other people's computer passwords and codes, just get it on a piece of paper, put it in your safe deposit box, or somewhere in the house that people can at least pull it out and revisit it, maybe in January of every year, delete, change, whatever. But they need to understand the basics and don't get lazy. It's so easy to get lazy. I do myself. I mean, every once awhile, my husband and I need to sit together and update everything. But just don't be lazy. Just be sure that you understand, like I said, and have met the professionals. You know who to go to, even if you didn't do it, if something happens.

Karen Covy  26:29

Yeah. At the very least, that's such good advice to have a list of here's the things that we have, here are the professionals that we're working with regarding banking, taxes, insurance, and you may have multiple insurance people for different kinds of insurance, right? But you just have everything somewhere that if something happens, and it doesn't matter if it's a death, or a divorce, or you're just needing money for something, and you've got to try to start putting things together. This is information that everybody needs.

Cris Kalivas  27:09

Yeah. I would just add one last thing in the case of divorce, Karen, is understand how your spouse is paid. So many companies these days pay their employees in options. Now, I'm not asking you to understand the options, or anything, but I frequently these days, get couples that are getting divorced. So, I get one side. And I'll say, “Does your spouse have any stock options?” Because it's a publicly traded company or something that I'm familiar with. And they'll look at me quizzically like, I have no idea, or he's not the CEO. No. Most employees, if you're above a certain pay grade, are now getting stock options. Again, you don't need to understand them, or you don't need to know the value, but at least know that they exist so that we can find them. Because that's something really easy to kind of forget about or sneak under. Maybe you can't exercise them. Maybe they're not vested yet. But they're still there. And so, you need to understand, just have a conversation with your spouse's, how are you paid? Is it salary bonus? Is it commission? It's surprising that so many spouses don't have that conversation, don't understand basic payments.

Karen Covy  28:35

Yeah. So, I see that all the time with the people that I work with. I mean, it's not just here's a paycheck. I mean, for some people, yeah, it is. But for other people, it’s not just stock options, but it's salary, it's bonus. It's deferred compensation. There's all different methods of compensation. And the higher up the food chain you get, the more diversified your income program, or whatever is going to be. And so, it's important, at least so important for people to know how their spouse is paid, and where do they go to get information in the event that something untoward happens.

Cris Kalivas  29:24

Yeah, that's a great point. That might be go under the professionals list, like put the HR reps name and number of the spouse’s company so that you know where to go.

Karen Covy  29:35

All of that to ties into a state planning. I mean, we're kind of back into the death scenario. Because if heaven forbid, if your spouse were to pass away unexpectedly, which happens, right? And so, you're going to go to HR and they might not want to talk to you, right? Do you have or does your spouse have a will? Are you the executor? What if your spouse isn't dead? What if your spouse had an accident, and they just can't communicate, and they're in a coma. I mean, all these things are terrible, and nobody wants to think about them, which is why we don't and we put it off but the more pieces that you have in place for your own life, for your own financial benefit. And it's not just you, it’s your kids, it’s your spouse. I mean, it's everybody. If your spouse is in a hospital bed and can't talk, he or she isn't going to want the whole family to go down the toilet and end up on the street because they're not able to do the things they used to do for a while.

Cris Kalivas  30:44

Right, exactly. And they're so simple: power of attorney, medical power of attorney. I mean, I don't encourage this but I tell people at a minimum, get one online. There's a lot of places: Mama Bear Legal Forms, Legal Zoom. Just get something that you can take. I actually had a client whose son was over the age. He was 20 and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. And guess what? They didn't have any kind of forms that showed that the doctor could talk to the mother. And so, they couldn't. And finally, the mom was able to convince like, please tell me something. What's going on? Should I come? Should I not? So, finally, they got a kind of nurse who got on the phone and said a few things. But that's a parent's nightmare to think a doctor won't tell me because my child is 20, that I have no medical power. I have no say. So, again, just get a simple one online. They're not expensive, just something to start.

Karen Covy  31:55

Yeah. I mean, it sounds like it's even more than financial literacy. It's just having basic information and knowledge so that if something happens in a variety of different situations, you're not left out in the cold, you're not panicked, you're not clueless, you have some power. And unfortunately, the time to think about those things, isn't after they happen.

Cris Kalivas  32:25

Right. When I look at a client, it's all assessing risk. So, what are your risks? Estate planning ties into that, right? Because if you have someone that has been struck by a car, and they paid the bills, and you don't have any kind of power of attorney to write the check, well, that's a risk. Because now, your name is still on the mortgage, but you couldn't write the check or something. So, it's that risk assessment that we look at that it's going to cost you money, and keep you from your financial goals of buying that house on the water in Florida when you retire. So, that's all the stuff that we want to look at and make sure that people are aware. We just want to mitigate any risks that are out there so that you can invest and grow your money instead of losing it to something silly that you couldn't prevent.

Karen Covy  33:21

Yeah, that makes so much sense. When clients come to you about and let's say they're not very financially literate, how do you counsel somebody to start to make decisions? Because this podcast is all about making decisions. What would you say to somebody to help them make the decision to start, to maybe start getting more involved in their own financial life?

Cris Kalivas  33:50

Yeah, it's hard, Karen because they have to internalize it to make a decision. I can't tell them what to do. But what I try and do is personalize it for them. So, I try and say, “Okay. Here's the path right now that you're on if you make no decision because making no decision obviously is a decision. Right? So, if you just continue the route, this is where it's going to take you.” Okay. We know the savings rate or you're not paying off this debt or whatever it is. You're not investing. This is what this will be in 20 years, this is what it'll be in 40 years. This is what it looks like. Here are the different routes you can go and the decision and this is what they look like. So, you choose but these are the different scenarios that you're looking at and just try and make it personal for them somehow.

Karen Covy  34:44

I really love that. It's about saying here's the path you're on and here's how this one plays out because with someone with your experience, you've seen this happen. It's like me and divorce. Like I can tell you that the path that you're on is likely, not 100%, there's no guarantees in life. But this path is going to lead you to where you want to be, and this path is probably not going to lead you to where you want to be. Right? It’s so important. This has been such a great conversation. I could keep going and going and going. We kind of got to wrap things up here. So, if you could, tell people where they can find you.

Cris Kalivas  35:27

Yeah. So, I'm on social media. If you go to Instagram, it's Fortune Financial Group, Illinois. That's the handle there. Same one is for Facebook. I'm on LinkedIn. And if anybody wants to contact me personally, it's [email protected], is my email.

Karen Covy  35:46

Thank you so much for sharing all of your nuggets of wisdom, Cris. This has been really, really, really helpful. And for those of you who are out there, if you're listening, if you're watching and you like what you hear, please subscribe to the podcast, give us a thumbs up on the YouTube channel, subscribe to the YouTube channel, and I look forward to talking with you again later. Bye for now.

Cris Kalivas  36:07

Thanks, Karen.

Karen Covy

You're welcome.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


divorce financial planning, divorce tips, off the fence podcast

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