Discover How to Organize Your Financial Life with Nancy Doyle

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Episode Description

Are your finances a cluttered mess? You're not alone!  Nancy Doyle, an experienced financial professional and author,  shares her knowledge and expertise to help you organize and understand your finances so you can regain control of your financial life.

Nancy talks about how to get your financial house in order, create an "ICE" file, and take inventory of all your financial documents. She also discusses the simple things you can do to empower yourself when it comes to your finances so that you're ready for whatever life might throw your way.

Nancy also breaks down the basics of investing.  She shares her framework for investing and discusses the challenges of choosing a financial advisor who aligns with your needs and aspirations.

Finally, Nancy shares some valuable resources and words of wisdom that will help you stay on top of your financial game. Join us on this journey to financial clarity and control. Nancy's insights are not to be missed!

Show Notes

About Nancy
Nancy is an experienced family office investment professional and author of Manage Your Financial Life - A Thoughtful, Organized Approach for Women and Manage Your Financial Life - Just Starting Out. In her consulting practice, she focuses on financial wellness and engagement for women and millennials, as well as family wealth topics. Nancy is an impactful speaker covering a variety of financial literacy topics in a relatable, easy-to-understand fashion and has been a guest on TV, podcasts, and radio programs. A graduate of Georgetown University, Nancy received her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, is a Certified Financial Therapist-Level I™ Practitioner (CFT-I™), and a Professional Member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity & Organizing.)

Where to Connect with Nancy

You can learn more about Nancy on her website at Nancy Doyle  and find helpful financial resources on her blog, Manage Your Financial Life.   You can find Nancy on X (formerly Twitter) at Nancy Doyle and on Instagram at Nancy Doyle.  The best way to reach Nancy is via email at [email protected].  You can also purchase Nancy’s book,  Manage Your Financial Life.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Nancy

  • Nancy is the author of "Manage Your Financial Life", a book aimed at helping women become more engaged with their finances.
  •  A major obstacle for many women is feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Nancy recommends taking an inventory of all accounts and important documents as a first step. This is part of creating an "in case of emergency" file and plan.
  •  Nancy advises doing a "financial spring cleaning" to gather documents, update passwords and beneficiary info, and simplify finances. This can help reduce stress and boost confidence.
  •  Creating a net worth statement, income/cash flow statement, and analyzing your spending are also recommended to gain clarity on your full financial picture.
  •  On investing, Nancy suggests starting early and keeping it simple. Use large brokerages for guidance, diversify with low-cost mutual funds/ETFs, and consolidate retirement accounts.
  •  Hiring a fiduciary financial advisor can work well for those less comfortable managing investments themselves. Make sure they offer financial planning services too.
  •  The most important thing is to just start somewhere - today is a great day to begin getting your finances organized and becoming more financially literate. Nancy's book provides an excellent roadmap.

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Discover How to Organize Your Financial Life with Nancy Doyle

Nancy Doyle


Finance, ICE plan, investing


Karen Covy,  Nancy Doyle

Karen Covy Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. With me today is Nancy Doyle, and Nancy is an experienced family office investment professional and the author of Manage your Life your Financial Life a thoughtful, organized approach for women. And manage your financial life just starting out. In her consulting practice, she focuses on financial wellness and engagement for women and millennials, as well as family wealth topics.


Nancy is an impactful speaker who talks about a variety of financial literacy topics in a relatable, easy to understand fashion and has been a guest on TV, podcasts and radio programs. A graduate of Georgetown University, Nancy received her MBA from the University of Michigan raw school of business. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, is a certified financial therapist, level one practitioner and a professional member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing. That's a lot, Nancy. Welcome to the show.

Nancy Doyle Guest 01:39

Thank you, Karen, glad to be here.

Karen Covy Host01:41

I am super, super honored to have someone with your credentials talking with me today, and the topic that we're talking about is so, so important. It's one that scares a lot of people, right Finances. Either you love it or you're terrified of it. One of the two. It seems like you're in one of the camps. I want to start out by diving into the book that you wrote, Manage your Financial Life, which I have a copy of here. I mentioned this to you before we started talking. This is such a helpful book and so important for people who really want to understand the finances but might fall into that. I'm terrified to look at this category right now. If we could start. What made you write the book? Why this book? Why now?

Nancy Doyle Guest 02:31

Well, thank you, Karen. It really was not originally part of my plan. I was having lunch with a college roommate and she asked me to explain some financial jargon. I explained the jargon and she said to me Nancy, you should write a book. She said do you have a way of communicating that's easy to understand? I realized over the years because of what I do, so many women have reached out to me with questions about their personal finances and they're not as engaged as they want to be. Oftentimes they're going through transitions in their life that have a financial impact. If you think about it most big transitions getting married, buying a home, starting a business, changing careers, divorce, widowhood they all have financial implications. That's a time that people often realize I'm not as engaged as I want to be.

Karen Covy Host03:24

I think that's so important. It's a message that I really want everyone to hear is that you can get this knowledge at any time, but doing it before you're in a crisis probably makes a whole lot of sense, right.

Nancy Doyle Guest 03:37

Absolutely. I say in the book that it's so important to get your financial house in order before life throws a curveball, because that's not when you want to be running around trying to find important information and figure out where the money is or the accounts. That's not the time. You want to do this in advance 100%.

Karen Covy Host03:57

What are some of the obstacles that stand in the way of women becoming more engaged in their finances?

Nancy Doyle Guest 04:03

I think the primary obstacle is that people feel overwhelmed. If you think about it, our financial lives are complex. Compared to our parents and our grandparents, we have many more ways to save and invest. We also have different ways to transact with one another. As a result, all of us have more accounts than you probably thought you would have. In addition, those accounts also have a lot of information associated with them. You're managing a lot. I think that feeling of being overwhelmed is very pronounced. My background is in the family office world. A family office exists to manage, preserve and grow the assets of a wealthy family. An important part of it is they're taking a consolidated view of the holdings of the financials. That consolidated, holistic view is important. I believe that a family office approach shouldn't just be for the wealthy. We all should manage our finances that way. It's so important to take that holistic view.

Karen Covy Host05:06

Well, say more about that. Can you explain? What do you mean when you say take a holistic view of your finances? What does that mean?

Nancy Doyle Guest 05:13

Well, for example, as I said earlier, most of us have multiple accounts. You need to take an inventory of your financial accounts and in the book I talk about something called the in case of emergency file and plan, and perhaps we could walk through that now, because it's really helpful for people. The in case of emergency file is going through and gathering up your important legal docs vital docs. Take a picture of your passport, your driver's license, all your key information. Put it in a safe place. The in case of emergency plan is like a roadmap to your financial life. So you make a list of all your financial accounts, make a list of all the people that help you manage your financial life your accountant, your attorney, your financial advisor and then you also need to include things like if you have a safety deposit box, where are the keys? If you pay bills automatically online, what account do you use to pay them? Which bills are taken care of automatically?


You need to get your financial house in order to help you manage all these accounts and this feeling of being overwhelmed. That's also the perfect time to review your beneficiary designations on your retirement and insurance accounts and also make sure that you are up to date on your passwords. If you have a partner, you need to make sure you both know what you're doing. And last, it's important to let your key person know where all this information is. And your key person is really the executor of your estate, or maybe you have a sibling or one of your adult children, someone who could step in and help you manage your affairs. Going through this exercise, as you mentioned earlier, is helpful to do an advance of an emergency, but it also you're on your way to having that holistic, consolidated view of your financials, and that, I think, trips a lot of people up. They feel disorganized, they don't know where to start. But going through the exercise of the ICE file and plan goes a long way to helping you feel more in control and more confident.

Karen Covy Host07:24

I mean, what would you say? Because what you have said, you have just said a mouthful right now there's a lot of things. So how would you counsel somebody or coach them if they were like, if they're already looking like a deer in the headlights and saying, wait a minute, my legal docs, my passwords, my, my person, my will, my power of attorney like they're already their eyes are starting to glaze over. What would you say to them about how to start putting this together?

Nancy Doyle Guest 07:55

And you raise a good point. This does sound like a lot and I recommend that people start the process slowly so you don't feel overwhelmed. The reason why I combine the two is oftentimes all of this information is in your home. You just don't know where it is. So, unfortunately, you have to start looking through and organizing the documents, files you have at home and on your computer. People can't find things, whether it's a virtual document or a paper document. So, if you can start in the book, I talk about a financial spring cleaning and it's just like when you go through your closet. You take everything out and you decide what you need to keep, what you can get rid of and what you need to shred, and by going through this exercise you realize you have a lot more information that you really need.


You can get rid of a lot of things and that will also help managing your financial life be much easier because you'll have less information. So it's really kind of like taking an inventory of what you have and why you're going through this exercise. I do think it's important to grab those legal docs and those vital docs because you probably have them in a file somewhere in your office and just put all that together in a safe place so someone knows where it is.

Karen Covy Host09:12

And I think that last sentence that you said so easily is the one so many people overlook.


You can be super organized, but if nobody else on the planet knows that organizational system or knows where to find information, it's not helpful.


So I think what people really would be wise to hear is they've got to start the spring cleaning, which I love that concept.

Nancy Doyle Guest 09:43

It just feels good, the whole idea of a spring cleaning throw out the junk, get everything organized, make it look pretty and then put it in a place and make sure someone knows where it is. Because, to your point, there are lots of different kinds of life cycles that could happen. And if God forbid, something happens and you're in an accident or you're incapacitated and nobody knows where to find how you do things or where to pay the bills or your password, if no one can open your computer to start looking at this, it's going to be a problem and it could have financial consequences for you and your family down the road right, absolutely, and for years I've used a password manager service, which I think they're terrific because what also happens sometimes, if you have a partner, you may be logging into a bank account or a credit card account and you're in a hurry, you can't remember the password, so you reset it and you don't tell your partner.

Nancy Doyle Guest 10:45

Later the partner tries to log in and the password has been reset and what happens is, when you use a password manager, it automatically resets on your phone, on your device, however you manage your financial life, so that, to me, has been a real time saver. And also all your passwords are organized in one place and it's secure. You remember one master password and that's all you need to tap into the system. So I've been a big fan of those.

Karen Covy Host11:14

I have as well. I mean I've used LastPass for years, and years and years. I don't know. Are there other password managers that people could look into?

Nancy Doyle Guest 11:22

I've used Dashlane, but I think Dashlane and LastPass are two of the most popular ones. I do recommend, though people never save your passwords in your browser. If people say, oh, this saves time, and they always do, you want to save this? No, don't please, because if you lose your laptop or someone steals it, it's much easier for them to access your account.

Karen Covy Host11:42

Right, and I would think too that the master password to the password manager. You want to keep that, maybe on a piece of paper somewhere.

Nancy Doyle Guest 11:50

Exactly, and your key person. If you let them know the master password, you know, it makes things a lot easier and it could just be that you're on the other side of the world and somebody needs to get into one of your financial accounts or do something for you. You know, it's just it's helpful to have that backup and let someone knows where it is. So but keep that in mind 100%, yeah.

Karen Covy Host12:15

And if you're in the life cycle change of divorce then that person might not be your spouse. It might be your sister, your brother, your best friend or somebody else, and you know. So you also want to make sure that you know. You've got all of your passwords secure for you, if you are going through a divorce, that your spouse can't just look at whatever they want to look at.

Nancy Doyle Guest 12:41

Exactly. And another thing that's important for those going through a divorce is, as you're doing the financial spring cleaning and the ICE file and plan or in case of emergency file and plan you've got to review your beneficiary designations. I know more than one person who shared with me that they were the executor for a sibling's estate and retirement assets went to a former spouse because that person never updated their beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts. And that's why this spring cleaning is so important to make sure you know things happen. You know life happens, things change. You need to make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date.

Karen Covy Host1413:22

Yeah, especially for women going through a divorce, I think this exercise will also give them confidence to enter the next chapter of their life, because if women especially, they haven't been involved in the day-to-day managing of household finances, they need to educate themselves on what they have and how they're going to manage their financial life going forward. And if you start with files and files and files and you don't know what's what or how it works, you really need to have things organized in a row and it's really not that hard Once you dive in. So many people who've gone through this exercise have confided in me that, first of all, it was not as difficult as they thought it was going to be. Secondly, that they or their partner did not know some of the most important contact information and passwords. And they admitted. They said I'm so glad I went through this, because now we both are knowledgeable. And especially if you're entering life on your own post-divorce, it's even more important.

Karen Covy Host14:23

So when people are doing this exercise and trying to get everything together, do they need to do it all at one time?

Nancy Doyle Guest 14:29

No, no, and in fact I think it's better that they don't, because I think you can be overwhelmed. I think set aside and actually people say financial spring cleaning. I think it's nice to do it, perhaps in the winter, if the weather isn't great, you don't want to be outside. Put a couple of dates on your calendar, maybe divide it into three sessions so that you're not overwhelmed, because it can be daunting, just like cleaning out a house or cleaning out your closet. You may not get through it in one day and what I recommend is people designate an area of a room so they can work, they can leave it, they can close the door and come back to it. The key thing is you don't want to start and never finish, because it's not going to help you unless you go through the exercise and everyone's financial life is unique. So, karen, the way you organize your finances may be different than the way I do. There's no standard way. It's whatever makes sense to you and how you manage your financial life.

Karen Covy Host15:28

That makes a lot of sense to me. So let's say, somebody has taken your advice, they've done their financial spring cleaning, they've got their ice plan, they're all organized. I know in the book you talk about the three financial statements that everyone should put together kind of their next step, and that it's a net worth statement. What is it? Net worth, net income and cash flow. Yes, what are those? Can you say a little bit more about that and why they matter?

Nancy Doyle Guest 15:59

Well, I think you could really combine the net income and the cash flow statement into one, and it really is looking at your take home pay after taxes and then all of the expenses that you incur every month. And why it's. A helpful exercise is if you look at where your money is going and a lot of people say, well, Nancy, if I develop a budget, I know where my money is going. I think it's more helpful to look at your spending. Go to your bank, download activity for maybe two or three months and then take a close look and say, okay, where's my money actually going? Every month, use that as a basis to fill out your income statement and say, okay, how much am I really spending going out with friends? No judgment, it's. This is what I spend my money on, because it's a priority. Maybe you have a hobby, maybe you like to travel Again, no judgment, it's whatever your priorities are and use that input to figure out your income that you take home. You take home pay after taxes and all of your expenses every month to see how much is left over to put towards saving and paying down debt. And financial planners talk about the 50, 30, 20 rule, which is roughly. You want to have no more than 50% of your take home pay going toward the essentials rent, mortgage, food, insurance no more than 30% for the fund going out with friends, hobbies, travel which means that you should have 20% to put towards saving and paying down debt. Now, very few people actually hit 50, 30, 20. But what's helpful about this exercise? When you go through it, you can see where your money is going and if you want to make some changes. Some people say, oh, Nancy, if I just didn't have my latte every day, all my financial problems would be solved. Well, maybe it's not the latte, maybe it is the latte, but once you've done the income statement, you can look at your cash flow and the difference between income statement and cash flow is that piece of paying down debt.


If you're using your credit cards to buy things, you are effectively hurting your net worth because you're increasing your debts. So that's why everyone needs to think about OK, what's your income? What are your expenses? How am I managing debt? Am I paying down debt or am I building up my credit card account? Because those things affect your net worth and your net worth. When I use that term net worth people think, oh, that's only for very wealthy people. Well, everyone has a net worth, and all it is the difference between what you have, or your assets, and what you owe or your debts. That's all it is. So if you increase the credit card balance, you're increasing your debts. Your net worth goes down. If you put money into your retirement, you're increasing your assets, so your net worth goes up. So I think thinking about things in terms of net worth really goes a long way to help you manage your financial life more effectively and more successfully.

Karen Covy Host19:16

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense and I think your strategy and your plan of you take this step by step you start with the spring cleaning, you make your ice file and then you create these documents makes so much sense. And I know there's a lot of fear associated with doing that, especially if you're the person who hasn't historically done the finances in the family. You think you can't right. What would you say to somebody? How can they muster the courage to do this?

Nancy Doyle Guest 19:50

That is a very common feeling, Karen. People will say well, I've never been good at math, so I can't manage my finances. Well, if you think about it, to manage your financial life you need addition, subtraction, multiplication and maybe some division. You learn those all by the fourth grade. So everyone has the math skills they need to manage their financial life. And I think a bigger part of it is people are afraid of the unknown. They don't want to look at their spending and say it's like when you come home for a vacation you don't want to get on the scale because you think, oh, I ate out so much. But once you get started you realize it's not that intimidating and it doesn't have to be complicated.


Going back to what we talked about earlier, I think most people have a lot of financial accounts, maybe multiple credit cards, and I think getting your financial house in order one of the biggest benefits is it enables you to simplify your financial life, and if you simplify your financial life you'll be less stressed. I also think you'll be more effective. And the other thing too is if you're partnered, if you simplify your financial life, chances are you'll have a better relationship, because oftentimes couples fight about finances. That's very common. It's usually because they're overwhelmed, they're not on the same page, and if you can simplify your finances, I think it's easier to manage. You'll be more knowledgeable about where your money's going and how it's invested, because you're looking at a holistic view of your investments, and you'll sleep better at night.

Karen Covy Host21:34

Yeah, that is wonderful, wonderful advice. I know I've worked with clients who, in the divorce process, you kind of have to do something similar than what you're describing not to the extent that you're describing but you've got to make a budget, you've got to make a balance sheet, which is essentially your net worth statement. You've got to fill out these forms for the divorce lawyer, for the court, for yourself, so that you know how do you divide things up. You can't divide things up if you don't know what you have Exactly.


So, putting this together and I've had clients who have done the budgeting portion of this OK, how much money are we bringing in, how much money are we going out? And the results are often eye-opening Because on some level, the person knows, yeah, we're probably spending more than we earn. Yeah, things aren't, the numbers aren't really going the direction that I want them to go, but they don't know where their money is going. To your point, it's like, oh well, it's the latte. Well, maybe it is the latte or maybe it's something else that you're spending $500 a month on car washes, $10,000 a month on a vacation, and you do that a couple times a year, like the things that you don't think about can add up

Nancy Doyle Guest 23:02

Absolutely, and I think that, going through those life transitions, those are times when people take a good look at their finances.

And that's why, with budgeting, some people say, oh, I'm going to sit down with a paper and pencil and figure out how much I'm going to spend on all these items, but if you don't start with looking at how you actually spend your money, I don't think that budget's going to be successful.


Some people say to me Nancy, well, if I only spend 15% of my take home pay on the non-essentials, I'll have all this money to save and invest. Well, first of all, you're not going to be happy and, secondly, that's not a realistic budget and you likely won't stick with it. I think, coming back to what we've talked about before, it's the fear of the unknown. Once you sit down, whether you're looking at your spending or your assets, whether you're going through a divorce or you just want to be more engaged, the hardest part is getting started. I absolutely agree with you, but I just want to remind everyone that the benefits are so worth it, because you will not only be more successful financially, but you will be happier and you'll be able to make decisions with confidence, especially if you're starting a new chapter of your life.

Karen Covy Host24:05

That's so important, because so many times people think about all of the negative they think about. This is going to be hard. This is going to be overwhelming. It's going to take me so much time. I don't know if I'll understand it. They think of all of the negatives, but keeping in mind the positives will help pull you through. Is this going to be? I mean, I think it is relatively easy once you get into it but is it going to be fun? Probably not, unless you're an accountant and you like this stuff, but it's going to, yeah, or you a financial person. You guys think this is fun. I don't know. God bless, but for most people, if you think about what you're going to gain, what's the benefit? And you've opened my eyes to a benefit that I hadn't even thought about, which is a better relationship with your spouse and a better, more confidence in yourself.

Nancy Doyle Guest 25:03

Yes, yes, and we talk about money and attitudes and beliefs about money. You know behavioral finance, which, as a certified financial therapist, that's something that I absolutely recognize the impact of those factors on money relationships. And some people say, well, Nancy, is that a component of managing my financial life? It's not. It permeates everything. And your beliefs about money and your attitudes about money are often rooted in childhood and your parents have a profound impact on your later views and beliefs about money.


So, if you have a partner, I think it's important to sit down with him or her and talk about. This is how I was raised. This is how our family handled money, good or bad, so you can have a better understanding of your partner. And also, again, you know how, when you clean out your closet or you finish a task, you just feel lighter. And I think, whether you're an individual or a couple. And last point is, if you are embarking on life solo, whether you're divorced or widowed, think about asking your key person for help. Maybe one of your siblings is financially savvy, or one of your adult children and you decided they're the person who's going to be executor or help you manage your financial affairs. Ask them if they'd be willing to help you get started. That's a great way to bring them up to speed too.

Karen Covy Host26:33

Yeah, that's great advice and something that a lot of us, I think, hesitate to do because, A we don't wanna look stupid and, B we don't know what to. It's just hard to ask for help. But it makes so much sense in this context and many other contexts as well. But I'd like to go a little deeper with you now, because so we've talked about some of the basics clean, do your spring cleaning, make your ice file, get yourself all organized, make your statements. What about the person who then says, okay, I got this, I wanna learn investing, I wanna know what to invest in, why to invest and the ways to invest. Like? To me this just seems like so overwhelming. There's to your point earlier on, there's so many things that we can put our money in, so can you speak a little bit to that you know what people can do if they wanna get into investing. Like, where do you start?

Nancy Doyle Guest 27:34

That's a great question, because so many people say I don't, or they say I don't have a lot of assets, so I am too small. I shouldn't be focused on this. It's so important to get started early, because time is your friend when it comes to investing, and I talk about that in the book. The longer you wait to start investing, the less money you'll have when it's time to retire. I think it's important for people to realize when it comes to investing, as you said earlier, and this is how the third section of my book is called Educate, and it's divided into three sections. The first is what you can invest in. These are the asset classes stocks, bonds, money market. The second is the ways you can invest. You can buy stocks directly or you can invest in a mutual fund or maybe an exchange traded fund. The last part is why you're investing. Is it for retirement, is it for your children's education, or is it for other things? So if you think about that framework, I think it helps people. That's a good place to begin Now.


I'm a big believer in people can do a lot of this themselves.


Once you've gotten your financial house in order, you know what you have, and I do strongly encourage people not to have multiple retirement accounts. It's easier if you have one retirement account, say at work, and then a rollover IRA. If you have multiple retirement accounts from prior jobs, it's just easier to manage if it's all in one place. And then I recommend reaching out to some of the larger brokerage firms, whether it's a Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab, td Ameritrade. They have resources to help you get started and there are tools that you can use that will help you decide how to invest your money, or what it's called an asset allocation how much you put in each asset class. There are low-cost mutual funds and ETFs that provide great diversification. You can invest in the S&P 500, which is the 500 largest stocks in the US. You can buy an aggregate bond fund to get exposure to different asset classes without having to pick individual stocks or bonds. So, even though our financial lives are complex, new developments make it very easy for people to get started.

Karen Covy Host30:02

Okay, so I'm gonna ask you a totally unfair question, right? So let's say there's this person. They're like okay, I wanna invest. What about the person who says you know what? This is just too much for me. I just wanna hire somebody and let them take care of it. So I'll just pick a financial advisor and let them do it for me. Which is better, having the financial advisor letting them handle everything or trying to manage some of it yourself?

Nancy Doyle Guest 30:32

It's completely an individual choice and it's interesting because, you know, I have a financial background and I also do some things on my own and I also have a financial advisor, so I think both approaches work. Here's one of the main differences is, some people, as you said, are not comfortable managing their own money, and so therefore, you can work with a financial advisor. It's important that you choose someone who is a fiduciary. Now, as a CFA and a CFT, I'm a fiduciary in two ways, and that means the person has to always put your interests first, whereas a traditional broker and the old days had a suitability standard. Is this suitable for you, Karen, or I'm gonna recommend something as a fiduciary that's in your best interest? There's no conflicts of interest.


That's important to make sure, if you're working with a financial professional, that he or she is a fiduciary. So that's the first question you can ask. So you can ask them are you  absolutely? And if they're evasive or they don't answer you, they're probably not a fiduciary. So, first and foremost, find a fiduciary. Secondly, if you're paying for financial advisors time and expertise, make sure that he or she is also offering other services, maybe helping you with some financial planning or helping you determine what your goals are, how much you think you need to retire, to plan for retirement, maybe help you save your kid's education. Whatever your financial goals are, if you're paying a financial advisor, you really should be able to also talk with him and her about setting goals, meeting your objectives. What level of risk are you comfortable with? So a lot of those added features should be part of their relationship.

Karen Covy Host32:26

And, if I understood you correctly, what you're saying is that the decision of whether to have a financial advisor or do this on your own it's not an either, or it can be a both and Well.

Nancy Doyle Guest 32:38

For most people it probably is going to be either or, but it all depends on your situation. But the number one thing is to make sure to talk with friends and family, get referrals, see if you know someone who's worked with them professionally not just that they know them socially, or someone's brother-in-law or sister. Make sure that you talk with someone who's worked with them professionally, make sure you understand whether or not they are fiduciary. And, last, make sure this is someone you can communicate with.


So often I speak with groups of women do a lot of speaking and inevitably every time someone raises their hand and says Nancy, I have a question I'm too afraid to ask my financial advisor because I don't want to look stupid. And my response is the only stupid question is the one you don't ask the people we work with, whether they're in your role, karen, or an accountant, attorney, financial advisor they are paid to answer our questions. How would you feel if someone came to you and said well, karen, I didn't want to ask this question because I didn't want to look stupid. You want your clients to ask the questions because they're important. So if you're not comfortable communicating with this person, they're probably not the right fit.

Karen Covy Host33:59

Yeah, and it sounds like along with that comfort and communication also goes some non-judgmental aspect, that if you feel like your advisor is making you feel stupid for asking the question or that they're like, oh, you're spending money on that, exactly, that doesn't seem to be conducive to a good relationship.

Nancy Doyle Guest 34:23

No, and in my work with women, my consulting work, there is absolutely no judgment, and oftentimes people seek me out because they're in a situation where they don't like the way their financial life looks and they want to make changes. They want to be proactive, and so I am not here to judge, because there is no judgment. Everyone has a unique financial life. Everyone has different priorities. My job is to help them move in the direction that they want to move in, and if you feel like you're being judged or you can't be honest or upfront with any professional, they're probably not the right fit for you.

Karen Covy Host35:01

That is wonderful advice and all of the advice in your book is so amazing. I would highly, highly, highly recommend anybody out there listening or watching to get a copy of it. Nancy, where can people find the book?

Nancy Doyle Guest 35:17

Well, the book's available at independent bookstores and on Amazon, and also there's a link on my website.

Karen Covy Host35:24

Awesome. And we will also link to the show notes in the show notes to the book. So if anybody is listening, you can just click on the show notes and get to Amazon from there, get to the book from there. Ok, final question, one last totally unfair question but if you had one piece of financial advice to give a woman who didn't know anything about her financial situation, but wanted to learn and wanted to become more engaged, what would you say to her?

Nancy Doyle Guest 35:56

It's funny If you look at the back of the book. My last words on the are let's get started. It's time to get started, and you know what? Start today. Today's the perfect day to get started Because, yes, it's intimidating, yes, it's overwhelming, but you'll be so thankful that you did.

Karen Covy Host36:16

Such great advice, Nancy. Where can people find you if they want to follow up or learn more about the work you do?

Nancy Doyle Guest 36:22

Sure, thank you. My website is, which links to my blog manageyourfinanciallifecom, and on Twitter I'm at Nancy Finance and my email is Nancy@nancydowellcom.

Karen Covy Host36:37

Nancy, thank you so much for being here, for sharing all of your words of wisdom, and for those of you out there who are listening or who are watching, if you like what you heard, if you want more of it, please give us a thumbs up, like subscribe, and by all means share, and I'll talk to you again next time.

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, off the fence podcast

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