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wealthtech on deck podcast - Lena Haas and Ken Dychtwald

Creating a Meaningful and Fulfilling Retirement with Lena Haas and Ken Dychtwald

Retirement is no longer considered an endpoint but rather a gateway to a new chapter brimming with purpose. Gone are the days when it was synonymous with endless leisure and idle relaxation. Today’s retirees and pre-retirees are embracing a paradigm shift where health, family, purpose, and finances are the cornerstones for a thriving retirement.

In this episode, Jack Sharry talks with Lena Haas, General Partner and Head of Wealth Management Advice and Solutions at Edward Jones, and Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO of Age Wave. Lena is passionate about helping individuals make smart financial decisions that better their lives. She aims to help millions of clients and their families understand lifelong behaviors for financial success, develop and follow a personal plan, and invest their hard-earned money for the most impact. Ken Dychtwald is a renowned psychologist, gerontologist, researcher, speaker, and best-selling author. He has received the distinguished American Society on Aging Award twice for outstanding national leadership.

Lena and Ken talk to Jack about the new research Edward Jones has released, Resilient Choices — Trade-Offs, Adjustments, and Course Corrections to Thrive in Retirement. This study examines the key findings around how Americans overwhelmingly see course corrections as essential to thriving retirement as they move from full-time work and consider what Edward Jones calls the pillars of the new retirement — health, family, purpose, and finances.

What Lena has to say

“Retirees and pre-retirees are looking at what it means to be successful in retirement and in life differently. For them, success is not about having lots of time for leisure. It’s truly about thriving across the all the four pillars of health, family, purpose, and finances. “

– Lena Haas, Head of Wealth Management Advice and Solutions, Edward Jones

Read the full transcript

Jack Sharry: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us on this week’s edition of WealthTech on Deck. Edward Jones has been making significant investments on a variety of fronts in their quest to deliver relevant, actionable financial advice in what they call the new retirement. They are building and coordinating lots of capabilities to be delivered through their 19,000+ financial advisors to their millions of clients. As I read the industry press, Edward Jones is investing billions in building a strong team around research, technology, and infrastructure, planning and product development, operations, service, and training, all with the objective of enhancing the advisor client experience and financial outcomes. In my year end Financial Advisor Magazine column, I identified Edward Jones along with Morgan Stanley, Empower, and Franklin Templeton as firms who are doing so many smart things that one may well emerge as the next Amazon of financial advice. Today we speak with Lena Haas and Ken Dychtwald about the new research Edwards Jones has released. It is available to all on their website, you can go there right now and check it out. The research is called Resilient Choices: Trade Offs, Adjustments, and Course Corrections to Thrive in Retirement. Lena Haas leads the wealth management advice and solutions at Edward Jones and she serves on the enterprise leadership team. Ken Dychtwald is a widely acclaimed gerontologist, psychologist, researcher, keynote speaker, and author. He is co founder and chief executive of Age Wave, which along with the Harris poll conducted the research that we will explore today on our podcast. So today we will discuss the Resilient Choices research report. This study examines the key findings around how Americans overwhelmingly see course corrections as essential to thriving as they move from full time work and consider what Edward Jones calls the four pillars of the new retirement, health, family, purpose, and finances. Lena and Ken, very excited to have you on the show. Welcome.

Lena Haas: Hi, Jack. It’s great to be here.

Ken Dychtwald: Great to see you again, Jack.

Jack Sharry: Lena, before we get into the research findings, let’s start with you telling us about your role at Edward Jones so we know who’s doing the talking.

Lena Haas: Yeah. Thanks, Jack. So I lead area we call wealth management advice and solutions. And what we do is equip our branch teams with the advice, with the financial planning, with products, with services so that they can serve our clients and their families in a deeper way and make positive impact on their lives.

Jack Sharry: Great. So, you’re essentially head of product and platform that the 19,000 Edward Jones advisors or so make available to clients, right?

Lena Haas: That’s right, as well as the actual advice and leadership. Yeah.

Jack Sharry: Terrific. Terrific. So Ken, welcome back. Good to have you back on our show. Ken is one of our most popular podcast guests, he and Ken Cella, a colleague of Lena’s, were on earlier. They topped the list, in fact, so great to have you back. While I know most of our listeners know you, Ken, and your background, please provide an update if you would, on your work and specifically what you’ve been doing with our friends at Edward Jones.

Ken Dychtwald: Well, thanks. So 49 years ago, I became interested in the aging of the world’s population and have spent, I guess nearly five decades trying to figure out what happens as more and more of us live longer lives and the center of gravity of our cultures shifts from young to middle aged and older. Along the way, I’ve given talks to several million people. I’ve written 19 books, including three new ones during COVID, also a filmmaker. But I’ve had the good fortune of working with about half of the Fortune 500 along with my teammates at Age Wave. But with Edward Jones, we’ve had just the wildest, grandest ride trying to figure out kind of during and post COVID, what are people worried about? What are they hoping for? What do they want their financial advisors to be? What do they want in their lives? And how are they going to make it through retirement so that they can be thriving?

Jack Sharry: That’s great. So, Lena let’s start with the Edward Jones-Age Wave research headline, which is Americans overwhelmingly see course corrections as essential to thriving in retirement. So if you’d be kind enough to fill us in, what did you learn from the research regarding course corrections? How does that relate to the four pillars of the new retirement, which is health, family, purpose, and finances? Please fill us in.

Lena Haas: Yeah, Jack, I would be happy to. So this research very much reaffirmed that the four most important ingredients to living well in retirement, are indeed the four pillars: health, family, purpose, and finances. And what our study shows is that today’s retirees and pre retirees, when they feel that they’re getting derailed across any of those four pillars, they are willing to take action. They have huge appetite for making trade offs, making adjustments, getting educated about the right course corrections. In fact, vast majority, over 90% of those participating in the study said that having the preparation and the flexibility and the willingness to adopt are the key ingredients for success in retirement. So, Jack, what I thought I’d do is I’d share with you some of the most impactful and most frequent course corrections that we see retirees make across those four pillars.

Jack Sharry: Please, tell us.

Lena Haas: Yeah, so when it comes to health, I was actually really excited that people do make course corrections. Sometimes there’s this big gap in terms of we know what’s good for us, but we don’t do it. So what we saw is that people identify most impactful course correction as increasing physical activity, reducing your stress, and also introducing meditation into your life. And vast majority, 68%, said that they’ve challenged themselves mentally, and then over half saying that they actually started living more active life, that they introduced different kinds of, you know, fitness routines into their lives. And many of those who do report that, that made a really positive impact on how they feel in retirement. Now, when it comes to family, there were some really interesting findings here. What we saw is that consistently, number one course correction is making time to spend with family, with loved ones. And that’s kind of intuitive. But what was really surprising to me is that 59% actually said that what improved their well being in retirement is not just spending time with those they love. But limiting the amount of time they spend with those who detract from their well being and kind of “oh, no,” you know, some toxic family…

Jack Sharry: I have no idea what you’re talking about, Lena. This is… I’m not familiar with this concept. You mean we should avoid people that are a pain in the… Sorry, go ahead, please.

Lena Haas: It’s fascinating that by impact of being purposeful with who they spend time with, right, the country now, it’s almost as impactful as being deliberate and spending more time with family members.

Jack Sharry: Yes.

Lena Haas: What we also heard people say is that it’s really important to set up boundaries upfront with family members about how much they can support them financially. That people may, in fact, want to contribute and support financially, but they’re not sort of the family ATM, right? Not the family… And having those clear expectations up front is really important.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. I love this.

Lena Haas: Now on the purpose front, these were findings that I personally was just thrilled to see, because there are many paths to finding a personal purpose. But what we saw that people who volunteer, and it doesn’t have to be extensive, full time, it could be just a few hours in the community or for the causes that they’re passionate about. They are experiencing greater sense of well being across all of the four pillars. And you know, if we ever needed proof that doing good for others is good for yourself, this is it right there. As far as other impactful course corrections in the purpose area, it’s experimenting with new things, whether it’s being adventurous on the trip that you take, or expanding the social circles that you’re engaged in. And it’s also finding more time for spirituality. And then last but not least, finances. And one of the key takeaways is that even small course corrections in the financial category actually make a very significant impact. There’s a little bit of the myth out there that you know, if I haven’t, you know, started on exactly the right course in terms of savings when you know, I graduated out of college, there isn’t much else I could do. And it’s just not true. And we’ve seen many retirees really take steps to understand their debt, to reduce their debt, and eliminate high interest debt. We’ve seen people really think about the rate of savings and then when again later in life, it makes a huge difference, and something that jumped off the page at me was the way that people are talking about being frugal. And you know, traditionally, kind of in the past, frugality has a little bit of a negative connotation, perhaps. It’s associated with being cheap. But current retirees and pre retirees are redefining that. To them, frugality is about being smart, being responsible, being intentional with how they choose to spend their money. And so being frugal is now an extremely popular course correction, with 76% of retirees cutting back on spending in a very purposeful way.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. I have 100 questions, but I’m gonna have Ken amplify what you’ve been sharing, Lena. We’ll come back to some questions on that. I think one observation, maybe, Ken, you might want to comment on this, is that whole concept of intentionality, of living the life, that retired life, that future life in the way that you want to. I think that seems to be an outcome of COVID. But that’s me guessing. Can you see it in the research, am I on the right track?

Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, let me first say, and this is a little bit sort of wild to say. But when you do these called thought leadership studies, and you release all the information for free to the public, you’re partly measured in terms of media impressions, and in the first week that this study was made available, at, I think it’s www.edwardjones/new-retirement.com. Free to everyone. We got over a billion media impressions the first week. So we hit some nerves. Some of the things that were most captivating to me and to build on your question, a lot of people going through a bit of a wake up call coming, coming out of COVID. Financially, spiritually, family wise, like, yikes, am I on the right track? And maybe I don’t have enough money saved. And also, we saw people saying that they viewed retirement in a kind of a hopeful way, as a whole new chapter in life, whereas they felt that their parents and grandparents saw it as just kind of a wind down. They also want their financial advisors to have a bigger toolbox. I was thinking that when the Apollo missions were going up, I initially went to school be a physicist long time ago, and I was captivated by the Apollo missions. They were the most planned expeditions in history, yet 97% of the time, the rockets were off course. And so it was a continual exercise in course correction. All too often, financial planning, we think once and done, you know, we sit down, we make a plan, you’ll be fine. Well, then what happens if one of your kids goes through a difficult time? What happens if you’re caregiving your mom? What happens, if, for example, in my case, I just bought my brother’s home, so he doesn’t have to worry about mortgage payments? What happens if someone you love gets sick? And so, in a way, the game becomes not only a widened toolbox, but also helping people be resilient in the face of change. The other thing we noticed was that, as Lena pointed out, there was a huge appetite and willingness to shift, to make some adjustments. And that wasn’t the case for our parents’ or grandparents’ generation. So they want someone to talk to, someone they can trust. There probably has never been a better time to be in the financial advisory business if you’re willing to be holistic. Because people have realized, I’m a little confused here. Should I keep the house? Should I sell the house? Should I work longer? Should I have a housemate? And to have somebody kind of create scenarios is what people are hoping for. A couple of more things, we were stunned to see that millennials who are often portrayed, as you know, the selfie generation, had a deep level of respect for their parents. And they were worried about their parents’ well being. And they were taking lessons from their parents and thinking, okay, how do I talk to a financial advisor, even though I may be 30, because I don’t want to find myself as nervous as my parents are at this stage in their lives. And last, Lena, of course, who’s got her MBA from Harvard, and is one of the most highly educated empowered women out there, we’ve had lots of discussions because by and large women are struggling, coming out of COVID, financially. Only 42% of women have any investments, that 82 cents on $1 pay gap, if you roll it out over a lifetime, becomes $411,000. And very often the financial industry has been jargoned and oriented towards men. You know, it’s about bears and bulls and making killings. And women want to be paid respectful attention to and we felt that that’s an area, it was a real wake up call.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. Good. I actually missed that. That is fascinating and not surprising. So, Lena…

Lena Haas: I can add to that. That was the story that, Ken, you shared on women, what I found also really fascinating is that when you look at course corrections in the area of health, and family, and purpose, women actually make course corrections at a higher rate than men. But when it comes to financial course corrections, they’re behind. And in the financial category, the specific area, where they make least amount of course corrections is investing. And women work with financial advisors not as often as men do. So it just really speaks to a good opportunity to help women in terms of educating them on what kind of investing course corrections make a big difference, partnering with them, helping them, inspiring that confidence to make changes.

Jack Sharry: Yes, yes.

Ken Dychtwald: Let me add something, Jack, from previous research. We learned that when men have a financial advisor they really think is great, they keep it to themselves. It’s their secret. When women have a financial advisor they like, they share it with all their lady friends. So women are better business builders for financial advisory companies than men are.

Jack Sharry: I love that. That is fascinating. So, Lena, one of the things that keeps standing out to me is Edward Jones is a essentially an investment management planning, all the stuff we know it to be. Yet you’re going far afield from what has been traditional. Far more holistic, you’re looking at things like purpose, and you’re looking at health and family. Oh, and the finances get mentioned. But it’s after all that other stuff. So one of things I found interesting in the research, as you shared it earlier with a group of folks that haven’t had the privilege of being on a webinar to hear about this research. The headline that really caught my attention was navigating cannonballs, curveballs, and windfalls in the new retirement. And it sounds like all of that holistic approach is going to be vital to dealing with just life. So, tell us more about that.

Lena Haas: Yes, and dealing was just live as a great way to describe it. This idea of curveballs, cannon balls, and windfalls really resonated with our participants. And so curveballs and cannon balls, are just life’s challenging events. Curveballs are relatively minor ones. And cannon balls are some of the truly major derailleurs. So some events that are cannonballs: death of a spouse, so widowhood, followed closely by death of a loved family member, by very serious health setback, or by critical financial setbacks. But then curveballs are actually interesting. How… a curveball is really depends on one’s level of preparedness, and whether somebody has a plan. So for an example, an unexpected home repair expense might be a fairly minor curveball for somebody with ample emergency fund and thought out strategy. But it could also become a cannonball for somebody who doesn’t have any savings, and then has to go into debt, perhaps. So what we really see is that curveballs and cannonballs, they happen. Three quarters of retirees reported experiencing those events. But what I thought was really, really cool, is that 80% also reported experiencing at least one windfall. And windfall is a positive, unexpected, good fortune. Sometimes folks refer to it as a blessing. And so that, that was really, really good to see. I also thought it was fascinating that for some people, retirement itself can also be a cannonball. And, you know, Ken, you referred to this idea that, you know, things happen, retirement is not a static journey. And what we see is that three out of ten retirees say that they actually had to retire unexpectedly, whether it’s because of their own health situation, because they had to become a caregiver for a family member, or perhaps unexpected loss of job. And so it’s really important then to work with the financial advisor, Jack, like you said, in this very holistic way, that first of all advisors spend the time to really understand clients’ needs, what’s important to them, what’s important to their families across all the four pillars, not just financial. And then, you know, Ken, like you said, go through some of the scenarios, your original plan says you’re going to retire in so many years at a perfect lake house. But what if different circumstances happen? Let’s model for that so if this occurs, there’s much less emotion and there’s an action plan.

Jack Sharry: Lena, we’re going to talk in a moment about how you’re applying all this research, because I’m fascinated by the thoughtfulness that’s going into how to frame it. And we’ll talk in a little bit about how you and your colleagues like Ken Cella and many others at Jones are that apply this. We’ll get to that because I think it’s pretty important with what you all are building and doing, so. But, Ken, before we do that, if you would, you have such a keen eye for the consumer, what they want and need, through your research and your experience. And things evolved, as we know, and certainly over the past few years with COVID and all, the consumers has changed, it seems to me and I’d love to get your thoughts on, and what your advice is at large to the industry around creating a more productive and satisfying client and advisor experience, they really go hand in hand. So what are your observations on all this change we’ve been through that Jones has done such a good job in researching and understanding. What’s your take on all this?

Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s a few things I’ve noticed. I was thinking this morning before our discussion that there was a book written, I don’t know, 100 years ago called The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn. And he talked about sometimes paradigms shift. And I remember when I first started having a little bit of money, I had a stockbroker and an insurance agent. And then they called themselves financial advisors, but they were still stockbrokers and insurance agents. What we’re seeing here is that people are saying, that’s not what we’re looking for. We want someone who knows who we are. If we have a special needs child, we want our advisor to know that. If we have a loved one who’s not well and we’re helping them out, we want our advisor to know that. And we want our advisor, not necessarily to be our therapist, but to be a guide, to help us navigate this journey, and to have our back. And, with hats off to Edward Jones, most financial companies have said we’re holistic, but that means stocks and bonds and annuities. Edward Jones says, no, holistic purpose, family, finances, and health. And, man, have we gotten a favorable reaction from the world on that one? And people are saying, yes, I want an advisor who thinks about my whole life, not just my money. Because the money matters, but so does my family, and so does my purpose, and even finding a new purpose. And so does my health. And so the Edward Jones organization is in the process right now under Lena’s vision and guidance of rethinking their role to have a little bit of a wider toolbox, and to be more responsive to people’s needs for a trustworthy, holistic advisor.

Jack Sharry: Ken, that’s great. And Lena, I have to say, I’ve been, I’m a student of our business, I pay close attention to who’s doing what. I’ve been, I guess the best way to say it, I’ve been blown away by the gargantuan task Edward Jones has taken on. This is no small thing. It’s one thing to do the research, you’ve done it well. Ken and Harris has done a fabulous job in terms of understanding the issues at hand. But then you got to go do stuff, you got to go build stuff, you got to go recruit, you got to go train, you got to do a lot of stuff. And I know, as part of the executive team, you work diligently with your colleagues to sort all that out and then get a very large organization all heading in the same direction. So fill us in a little bit. How’s that going? Lots going on, lots of moving parts, lots of change, lots of really transformational change, talk about cannonballs and curveballs and all the rest. There’s a lot going on. So fill us in, how’s it going? It’s a huge task to get digital and human advice to work together. And you’re really responsible for a lot of that infrastructure in terms of making all that work to better serve the advisor, to better serve the client. So, fill us in. How’s it going?

Lena Haas: Yeah, Jack, that’s exactly right. It’s a deliberate and huge undertaking. We are on a multi year journey that’s really transformative. It’s all geared towards how we serve our clients, Ken, like you said, more completely across all of the four pillars. Leveraging the deep and very trusted personal relationships that they already have. But then equipping them to listen, to ask the right questions, to develop really comprehensive planning tailored to the specific needs of the client and their family, and then have the breadth of solutions to actually put that plan into action. And this investment is large, deliberate, and it’s because we know that our opportunity is to reach 42 million families in North America. And we have a very strong commitment to grow the impact that we’re making, to them, to their families, to the communities that they’re in, to society at large. It’s very, very deeply connected both to the purpose of each of our financial advisors, which is why we’re hearing great enthusiasm on the things that we have already released. And it’s connected to the purpose of our firm. So we are right in the middle of this process. We have a pretty strong roadmap for this year and for the next in terms of building out for the advice, building out financial planning tools, connecting that all with broadened products, broadened services, so that our financial advisors can truly focus on understanding the needs and developing the holistic plans and technology that scale the process, the solutions are there for them.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. So an earlier episode with Ken Cella, he talked a lot about EQ, emotional quotient. That’s that listening that’s connecting, along with the four pillars that we talked about earlier, of purpose and health and wealth and family. But he’s taking that with his sales force in terms of their approach. And I gathered from his comments on our podcast, which I recommend to our listeners, if you’ve not heard it, it’s going very well. And, Lena, you’re… on the other side, you’re building the tools, the wherewithal, the capabilities to have a more seamless experience, because it’s not just about improving outcomes, certainly what the objective at hand is, but also have the experience… So talk a little bit about that. How’s that going? Because you’re really connecting a lot of very important dots. And it’s having been involved with a little bit of this stuff, it’s hard. It’s hard work. So how’s that coming along? What’s the prognosis? How’s that playing out over the next couple years?

Lena Haas: Yeah, so the tools and the processes we’re delivering have been really resonating with financial advisors. And I’ll give you an example, one of the things that’s been really impactful is having families have the right transparent conversations, and how does the advisor provide that space? So as an example, we have a tool called Values Prioritizer. And if husband and wife, for instance, are planning together, an advisor encourages each person to go through the Value prioritizer separately. And these are questions like, you know, if you have an unexpected bonus, what would you do? Would you save it towards kids’ education? Would you pay off your mortgage? Would you go on an amazing vacation, right? So it really goes to those core values.

Jack Sharry: Sure, sure.

Lena Haas: And so husband and wife fills them out separately. And then financial advisor brings both of them together. And oftentimes, it’s really fascinating in terms of what people learn about each other, right. And so it’s really deep financial planning that helps clients and their families be honest with each other, learn about each other, and then develop the plan that actually works, because it’s rooted on those fundamentals and those values.

Jack Sharry: Lena, thank you, that’s important work. I was unaware of that. I try to pay close attention to what you all are doing, but that’s fascinating. And I think well needed and consistent not only with the research, but the whole ethos of the firm. I think that’s fascinating. So, Ken, you’ve been around with lots of big name firms in our industry, you’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. My observation is that Edward Jones, one of the reasons I identified them as one of the firms that could be the next Amazon of financial advice, was the sorts of things we’re hearing from Lena and we heard from Ken earlier, the firm seems to be doing a lot of smart stuff, shall we say? What’s your take? What’s… you’ve been around a lot of good firms, they seem to be a real leader in this regard.

Ken Dychtwald: Well, I don’t actually work for Edward Jones, so I can speak my mind.

Jack Sharry: Sure.

Ken Dychtwald: You know, we’re an outside consulting services firm. Honest truth, it’s been really eerie to work with so many different firms over my career, we’ve worked with half the Fortune 500. And to realize that these are like really nice people. I mean, I’ve met now thousands of people working for Edward Jones, and they want to know who you are, they want to know what matters to you, they tell you what their purpose is in life. They tell you how they’re connected to the company and how they want the company to make an impact on the communities, you know they’re in 68% of all the communities of America. So I’ve met a lot of Wall Street firms and they’re pretty much concerned about shareholder value principally. When I deal with Edward Jones, I feel like wow, these are kind, thoughtful, purpose driven individuals. And now they’ve been around for 100 years. They’re in the middle of attempting to transform themselves to be the industry leader for what’s going to be needed in the years to come not only for today’s retirees and pre retirees, but for younger generations as well. And that takes a certain amount of nerve.

Jack Sharry: Yeah.

Ken Dychtwald: And I’m watching this big old, 100 year old, successful company, kind of change its ways and I’ve also been behind the scenes. So I know some of the technology, some of the resources, some of the guide material, some of the training that’s about to get unleashed within Edward Jones, and there’s nothing that compares to it in the industry. So last year, I gave the keynote with Ken Cella, Lena was with us, for SIFMA. And at the end of that session, Ken shared a little bit about what Edward Jones is going to be doing. And pretty well everybody came up to him in the end of the room and said, yikes, how are we going to keep up with that? And so I think it’s industry transformative, what’s going on as well.

Jack Sharry: I would agree. I have the same assessment. So, as we look to wrap up, Lena and Ken, this has been fascinating. Really appreciate you sharing your insights, any key takeaways you’d like to share before we bid one another adieu? Lena?

Lena Haas: Yeah, well, I’ll share maybe three takeaways. So it’s very clear from the responses that we’ve gotten that retirees and pre retirees are looking at what it means to be successful in retirement and in life differently. They are more active, they are more engaged than their parents. And for them success is not, and Ken you referenced this earlier a little bit, it’s not about, you know, having lots of time for leisure, it’s truly about thriving across the all the four pillars of health, family, purpose, and finances. Also, you know, one of my favorite findings from the study is that as people get older, they actually tell us that they feel more happy, they feel more resilient, and they feel less anxious. This is contrary to so many headlines that kind of say that young people have all the fun and retirees may be sad and lonely. Life in the second chapter is actually quite good. And I just found that wonderful. And overall, I was really struck by how resilient retirees and pre retirees are, and how they are willing to take action. They are willing to understand what’s going on, make trade offs, actively better their lives, but they’re also asking for help. They’re asking for, you know, that trusted guidance along the way. And this is really our opportunity to be that trusted source of advice and guidance, and help clients and their families live an active, engaged, purposeful life. And so the study really confirmed that that transformation that we… is needed. It’s needed by people across North America.

Jack Sharry: Yeah, that’s great. That’s wonderful. Ken, how about you? What key takeaways do you have to share with our audience?

Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, I have, they’re similar but a little bit different than Lena’s. Number one, I was troubled that so many people have not really learned the basics of personal finance management. We looked it up, and over 40 states have sex education as something that has to be taught in high school in their state, but only about 20 states have financial education. And we kind of see people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, manifesting in the absence of having been well trained. So that’s concerning. However, I was made hopeful by the fact that folks are thinking, okay, I can do some workarounds. I might take a housemate, I might relocate, I might work a bit longer in this longer retirement. And last, people don’t want to have a crummy time of their later years. You know, Lena said it better than me, but people are thinking, I want to thrive when I’m 60 and 70 and 80 and 90. You know, they look around and they see Oprah at 69. And they see people running for president at 80 and they see you know, Warren Buffett still giving out good advice at 92. And, you know, Springsteen sold out the whole world at 73. And they’re thinking, you know what, I want to I want to make something of myself and I want someone I can trust and talk to about my future years. Finance matters, but holistically, I’d like to have a trusted advisor. Like I said, I don’t think there’s ever been a more right time for people who can step up and be holistic and helpful as tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of people are trying to make sense of their futures.

Jack Sharry: So, Lena and Ken, thank you. This has really been a wonderful conversation. Really appreciate you sharing the insights of the survey, but also some of the personal anecdotes and stories. It’s been really wonderful to, to listen to and to learn from. So my favorite question on our podcast is the one I’m about to ask you both. And Lena, if you’d kick it off. What do you do outside of work that you’re excited or passionate about, that people might find interesting or surprising? Lena?

Lena Haas: Well, Jack, I love art. And I’m passionate about art myself. But I’m also very passionate about having children experience art early on, both creating and learning about it has such a huge effect on their development. And so it’s really, really important that children across all backgrounds, all communities, have that access and experience with art. And so I’m actively engaged in that cause in the St. Louis area.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. That’s wonderful. Ken, how about you? You shared a, trying to remember our last time around, you always have so much going on. But I think it was fitness during COVID was part of it at least. Do tell us.

Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, real simple. I’ve sort of taken some lessons from the Edward Jones work, I’ve sort of doubled down on trying to be a really great husband and dad and brother. And I’ve been trying to take some of the toxic folks out of my life. Shh, don’t tell them. Second, I have also, you know, I’m 73 now, so I was always the youngest kid in the room, and now I’m usually the oldest guy in the room. I have decided that I’m going to take some my own medicine, and I really doubled down on my fitness regime. I’ve lost 20 pounds in the last few months. And I’ve decided that I’m going to try to go the distance as a role model. And last, I have about 25 people that I mentor, there’s a whole lot, my youngest is 10. And my oldest is about 50. And I find that I’m at a stage in my life where I’ve learned a couple of tricks along the way. And I get a lot of pleasure out of helping younger people kind of figure out some of the maneuvers so that they can make their lives work better.

Jack Sharry: That’s great. I’m a big art aficionado as well, Lena. And our grandchildren, that’s when they come visit, I happen to be in Vermont as we do the show, we take them to a pottery studio, we take them painting, so we do all that plus, we love art ourselves. And, Ken, much of what you just described is what we try to do in our lives as well. So I think there’s a thing going on here about living a full and complete and wonderful life. So…

Ken Dychtwald: Jack, before we sign off, Lena and I have a question for you. You’ve looked at this study, what do you think is the most interesting thing we discovered?

Jack Sharry: I always like to have the truth come out of these things. Often studies are “ho hum,” just sort of like “eh,” another study. And the one that really caught me was the curveballs, cannonballs. That’s life. That’s how it is. And then out of that you need to be resilient, which has been my observation. So I’m 71, I hang out with people my age. And this is what we talk about. All the stuff you talk about, you know, health, purpose, family, and finances. That is what we talk about. So what I found fascinating about the study, is how it was so spot on. And I’m also fascinated, because it’s one thing to have a study and then you can promote it, it’s what you do, right? But I like that you’re actually applying it. That you’re incorporating it, you’re weaving it into the fabric of the culture, not just a thing to do or a thing to check. Lena, you’ve got, I’m sure, lots of check marks that you got to make sure happen. Same with Ken, same with your other colleagues that are responsible, different parts of the organization. But I love about what Jones is doing is they’re making it real, that’s a big job. You’re taking on a giant job. But that’s what I find most interesting is that it resonates as true. And it’s actionable. It’s something that can be incorporated, and you’re going about doing it in a very thoughtful, diligent, ongoing way. Because it’ll take years, it won’t happen overnight. And you seem to have that patience as well, which I think is also important. Lena and Ken, this has been wonderful. I really have enjoyed our conversation, really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Edward Jones organization, Ken, the good work you’ve done with Jones in terms of helping them see the light as to how they can help their clients do a good job, you really form a wonderful partnership. So my hat’s off to you all at Jones and at Age Wave for doing such a great job. For our audience, if you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share what we’re doing here at WealthTech on Deck. We’re available wherever you get your podcasts. Again, Lena and Ken, thanks so much. This has been a wonderful experience. Thank you.

Ken Dychtwald: Thank you.

Lena Haas: Thank you so much for having us.