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My Personal Finance Dream Team

Chip Munn was a recent Adulting Is Easy podcast guest. We discussed a chapter from his book, The Retirement Remix: A Modern Solution to an Old School Problem, about assembling your personal finance dream team. I couldn’t help but reflect upon the people in my life that are contributing to my success: my own dream team.

  • My Spouse: Aric and I share the same dreams and goals for our life. We are committed in our goal to retire earlier than most, and we work together constantly toward this goal. Sometimes we work together, and sometimes we divide and conquer. I can’t imagine working towards my goals without the support of a partner, and I can’t imagine that partner being anyone else.

  • My Parents: I would not have much if any success without the support of my parents. They made sure I didn’t need student loans. They helped me buy my first home and even my second with low-interest loans. They paid for our wedding. Aric’s family also ensured he didn’t need student loans and provided him with low (almost no) rent housing early in his adult life. Our families definitely ensured we started off our adult lives on the right financial foot, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

  • Insurance Agent: I brought my friend and real estate agent, Crystal Callahan-Estes, on the podcast to discuss auto insurance, which is just one of our insurance needs in which she’s been a huge help. A big part of protecting personal finances involves mitigating risk, and having a professional, flexible insurance agent that crafts your insurance solutions to your changing reality is a must.

  • Real Estate Agent: I am not a real estate agent, even though I have quite the passion for it. My friend John is our real estate agent, and he is one of the most patient people I’ve even met in my life, no matter how sideways a contract goes. He easily tolerates our crazy ideas and is always rooting for our success.

  • Lawyer: When we became landlords, we knew we would need a lawyer on our team if we ever needed help with an eviction or if we had any questions. Suffice it to say 2020 (when I’m writing this) proved that need and more. The advice we’ve received this year has been valuable.

  • Accountant: I did my own taxes for a few years, with the help of my mom. Once I became a landlord, I started getting help. Now that we’re married with a business, we just can’t handle the complexity ourselves, and we frankly don’t want to. We leave our taxes to the experts so we can spend time on other pursuits.

  • Accountability Partner: My friend Amber shares a passion for real estate with me. She’s also passionate about learning, growing, and developing. We tell each other what we’re reading, and which deals we’re analyzing. She runs ideas for her business by me and I run renovation ideas by her. It’s invaluable to have someone to share triumphs and struggles with. It’s also invaluable to have someone ask the hard questions and hold you accountable.

  • Mentors: A handful of my former friends, colleagues, and bosses have become mentors of mine. I can’t say enough how great it is to know I have people to call when I need advice. Whether I want coaching on a specific situation or I’m reflecting generally on my career, the peace of mind I have from knowing I have experienced people to talk to cannot be overstated.

  • Massage Therapist: Chip didn’t mention this one in his book, but I include our massage therapist, DJ, on my dream team. Aric and I both suffer from chronic injuries and our once-monthly massages help our minds and bodies cope with the stress that often accompanies our ambitious projects.

  • Mechanic/Driver: Another team member that is specific to my list is Jason, who runs his own mechanic shop and driving service. We appreciate having a friend that can diagnose and repair issues with our vehicles. We also value knowing we have a driver we can call for trips to the airport, dates, or nights on the town. I simply must include this trusted mechanic and driver who always charges fair prices.

  • Other Friends and Family: Quite a few of our specifically mentioned team members are our friends as well. We have a wonderful circle of people in our lives. They are our cheerleaders and celebrate our successes with us. We are eternally grateful for our friends and family.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” This is true on sports teams, in business, and in our personal lives. Leave insurance, accounting, law, and real estate to the experts. Engage with the people closest to you. Once you assemble the right team, you will find yourself able to focus and devote time to the things that you enjoy or those that will move the needle in your development the most.

Noticeably absent from this list is a financial advisor or planner. I’m currently working through a graduate certificate in personal financial planning, and once I finish that we will continue the search for this member of the team.

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