What Widows Need To Know About Their Financial Future with Kathleen Rehl

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Let me get into your story what tell me What happened Um some of your background uh in in Education in financial services How did you get started I thought it Might be fun To read you a poem that I wrote it's um My resume in poetry form so is that okay If I read that poem it's a retire sooner First so absolutely all right story of My origin from my heart Once upon a time in a Faraway land Called Wisconsin A baby girl was born in the midst of a Blustery blizzard her parents named Their child Kathleen that's me and this Is my story Childhood on Family Farms constant Chores caring for Animals crops and Catastrophes squabbling parents money Short receiving valedictorian Scholarship being family's first college Grad ooh was that your Escape Public Schools teaching Wiggly first Graders and Sassy teens studying for PhD Same time defending my thesis opening New doors with that Golden Key Oh I thought you loved being a school Teacher hello University faculty status Diving into academic teaching Fast Track Tenuring changing abruptly pivoting Leaving Ivory Tower colleagues How could you go New challenges and non-profits

Urging folks to Open Hearts and wallets Raising money for Charities learning new Skills making a difference was that the Game changer Real financial advisors Flourishing 18-year business as cfp Helping folks with money focusing on Surviving spouses after husband's death Publishing moving forward on your own a Financial guidebook for widows well what Came next Encore career launched selling RFA Business speaking writing researching Empowering widows crisscrossing country For 300 presentations Then you retired Now refired not vintage retirement Centering on five F words Family Fun Focus purpose Friends and fitness body mind spirit and Money Creating a lasting Legacy Being a writer and non-profit Ambassador Fantastic chapter I love that I particularly love the f Words did you forget one of the f words Family Fun Focus purpose friends and Fitness Five again coming from a house of four Young boys you're gonna hear another f Word from time to time Jake don't say that okay so let's get to That's I think it's the first poem I've Heard

When it comes to kind of your uh your Trajectory over time and it's a really Cool way to do it so thank you set the Pace that way I think it's very I love That well God so you really did I love That you grew up on a farm first of all In Wisconsin and uh it is constant Chores there's constant work never done Everything's easier after you leave the Farm isn't it yes And what kind of what kind of farm was It was a dairy farm or what it was The first friend I lived on it was Really with my my uncle and my dad was Working with him and they had conflicts After a couple of years and left and Then I was in Madison for a while and Then we moved back to a farm And it was only about a hundred acres And part of that was woods and dad was a Letter carrier for the Post Office my Mom worked as a secretary in town at the University so it was they had their day Jobs But it was the farm Um and it was Uh they raised when they first started Out they had a few Hogs and cattle and Even chickens but we got rid of the Chickens there's too much work and the Pigs we ate them all and The um the cattle Um Dad got into a it was a land grant Bank

Program where he didn't have to Grow corn so much and it was a good deal For him financially and we kept a few Cattle on the that we raised beef cattle But it wasn't dairy cattle that we Raised and we had some horses and a Donkey and lots of dogs and cats Yeah it sounds sounds a little bit like Where I grew up it's uh there's always Something there's always something to do But I knew I was not going to have that Be my lifestyle so when when my Boyfriend is a senior proposed marriage He said no you you can go off to college And get your teacher's degree and then We'll get married after afterwards and Come back and we'll take care of my Sheep and I just thought to myself never Never I'm not gonna wind up living on a on on This kind of a farm forever forever I'm Going to go off and do something Different so you're a teacher and then You became a professor correct what was What were you teaching and then what Were you professing it was education People say you'll get a PhD well it's Probably an economics or business no it Was education I'm a teacher at heart So it was education so when I Was a professor I was working with Mainly young women who were going to be Teachers also and so you were teaching Teachers okay yes

Um and then when did So then you ended up in the financial Business how did you do that and then How did you end up Like how did the focus become Widows and how much of your practice was That and tell me that story all right College professor And age Um I took my first position beef About 30. I had marched through with About 30 years old and I got tenure and Um my colleagues thought I was nuts when I left Because once you get 10 years like ooh You're set for life they can never get Rid of you but it was just like I was Restless it's like there was there's More to be done I can do more and I had taken a job with a national Healthcare Foundation in Washington DC That's where I was living at the time And I really Didn't know a lot about the job when They took it they hired me kind of on a Lark because they figured that I could Do it and and they'd fired the guy Before me Kathleen will figure it out Yeah right so it was it was fundraising Basically and I was doing annual fund And that kind of thing and then I

Discovered this field called Planned Giving where people were making large Gifts through their Estate Planning and Through trusts and And I started going to conferences and Learning more about them and that's Where I really cut my teeth on this Financial stuff And my boss said you know I think It would be good if you get another Credential so that you could interface With these donors because I was working With their attorneys with their CPAs With their financial advisors With their wealth management Professionals and I wanted to speak the Same language and I discovered oh There's this certified financial planner Program out there so I started taking it And going very very slowly through the Program And so by the time and and that did it Helped me to bring in more gifts for the Organization and I was Really intrigued by the whole thing and My boss expected me to bring all of the Gifts To that Foundation that I was working With so I was working with Rich docs and They were making these setting up we set Up charitable Ranger trusts and gift Annuities and all kinds of other planned Gifts and he expected me to bring the Gifts in but yet I was talking to these

People and they were interested in the Symphony they were interested in the Colleges where they graduated from in The the medical schools that they had Attended and they wanted to make those Part of the gifts so I thought you know I really need to sit on the same side of The table as the donor not the Foundation And I guess that means I need to be a Financial planner yeah so I segwayed you Know I left that job and started my own Business it was going to be just a small Boutique business because So out of the agency you never worked For a big Financial Services firm no you Got your cfp and said hey I'm gonna go Start my own firm yes and that was the Day when this to get a cfp they counted My work as a development officer as Experience they don't count that anymore You got to go you know put your your Dues in working for another firm I Interviewed I interviewed with with some Brokerage firms and I when I found out What I was gonna you know I couldn't Share articles saved from the Wall Street Journal without approval and and I had to push certain products and And it was and that's not the way I want To work it just so I decided I Established my own Ria And I was independent and the goal was

Just going to be to get one client a Month and my husband and I led a very Simplified lifestyle So I didn't have to make big bucks and So then when I opened my shop And now where where were you were you in Florida at the time What state were you In I by that point I was in Ohio and I Was married to Um a man who was a Lutheran Pastor he Worked for Capital University in Development work also so he wasn't a Parish pastor at that point but he knew A lot about all these planned gifts and I learned a lot from him so he was Encouraging me to to do this work also How old were you when you got married Well I know I started my business when I Was about 50 so late 40s when I married This man this was it was Not my first my my prior marriage had Ended in divorce And so this was the next marriage got it And All right so we're because he moved in Circles with Lutheran clergy And because I was doing some Consulting Work for A major Lutheran organization I had contact with Pastors they all knew me in that circles And so I at that point I decided to Specialize because there was an article That came out that said you got to have

I think it was uh it was a white paper Forgotten the Nick guy who did it but Bob varies touted this you got to have a Niche to survive otherwise you're gonna You're just not gonna make it so I said Okay better get me a niche it's going to Be working with pastors So because as you know clergy have some Very very unique kinds of plants I've Got there they're tax-free housing Allowance they can get their 403 b money Out in retirement totally tax-free if They structure it correctly There was just oh all kinds I could help Them negotiate their compensation Package there was just all kinds of Things I could do you became a financial Expert for clergy yes wow that's never I've never heard of anybody doing that Niche that's why um mutual funds Magazine which is now they went out of Business but I think it was 1999 they Named me in the top 100 planners in the Whole country go figure because my Specialty was in Clergy planning and charitable giving Wow and I started at that point that When I took new clients on I said I will give you a 10 discount on What my fee because I charged a fee for My like a retainer for the whole year Here's what your fee is going to be Hourly like okay like a flat fee flat Fee for the this covers the whole year

It covers tax and at that time I did tax I did their taxes even you know estate Planning Investments um budgeting Um Clergy planning kinds of things Everything that touched money okay so I'll give you 10 percent Reduction in what that fee is if you Will give that amount to you or are Currently giving it to your favorite Church or charitable organization Nobody turned down that offer right and So I got him started right on charitable Giving from the get-go All right so I did that for a number of Years specializing in clergy And I got up to the point that I think I had We had about 70 clients I I never took On another Cfp although I had requests to come on Board but I was just me but I had a Wonderful parent planner that she was About three quarters time and then we Had another person that would come in For some special if we needed some Special help like getting ready to do a Workshop and I needed to have materials Put together So did it all loved it and then it was 2006. it was December That Um my husband and I got his diagnosis That he had

Cancer what was your what is your what Is your late husband's name Tom So you guys were in your 50s No he's he was quite a bit older than me So he at that point Um I was 59 years old 59 and he was late 60s Early 70s and Tom was diagnosed with Liver cancer And it was given a short amount of time To live and February 12th two days before Valentine's Day when he was in my arms He died so it was a couple months after That diagnosis that he died And then five weeks after that my Widowed mother died And just a less than a couple years Before that my daddy had died So you had a ton of of of loss and then I can't my cat died Come on So everything is like whoa and I Experienced firsthand this widow's fog That I often times talk about that yeah You talk about widow's fog or widow's Brain tell me what is that and is it and I would let me let me count this by Saying isn't this for is it only for Widows or is this for widowers as well Or is it really focused more on women The writing that I did back then I spoke More about widows And the the research that we did uh

Several years ago was focused on mainly On widows But Now it's it's More correct to talk about surviving Spouses widows and widowers but I have Found that there are differences because And after I I went through my initial Grief period and got back going I Changed the structure of my practice so The only new clients I accepted were People who were widowed or who were Working towards looking that at that Time ahead when one of the spouses would Be gone So I the clients that I worked with the Differences that I saw Um The the guys were more about suck it up And be strong and and I can handle it And the women not not so much so in fact I when I remarried much much later I Married a widower and we talked about The differences how we both handled that Initial grief phase and my current Husband is named Charlie and I asked Charlie okay so after Anna was gone did Did you get together with other guys and And talk over a cup of Tea or and and cry on each other's Shoulder and and Listen to stories and and be there to Help handle the mail and everything and

He said heck no he said He would get together maybe with Somebody just to slap each other on the Back and have a beer and then go out and Work with tools in the shed for a while But Wouldn't would not talk about his Feelings about losing Anna at all so Guys are It's going to be less tea more beer Um but but what about though tell me About the fog tell me about the brain Fog and how long did you have this Um all kinds of emotions Um Swirling around there's you know denial You know he can't he can't really be Gone and I would literally I would sit In my house and I'd look at the door That he used to walk through and and I Could just imagine him walking through That door and saying oh you know come on We got work to do what's everybody Sitting around for Um where were you married to Tom we were Coming up On our 20th anniversary because we had Started talking about what we wanted to Do to celebrate our 20th anniversary Where we were going to go when we Decided we were going to take a cruise But that never happened Um anger you know angry angry at myself You know why didn't I see the signs

Earlier why didn't I do this do that you Know or angry why did you leave me why Loneliness you know Tom and I were just Super super close we did everything he Had been retired but he helped me in the Business he loved taking the initial Phone calls when people would would Phone in and want to talk about the Business and he loved talking with him He loved lining up the seminars I didn't Think I would could continue my business But not without Tom yeah yeah I was Afraid Um just All these these mixture of all kinds of Emotions going on And I stepped back from the business for Just a very short time and my clients Were great and they take how much time You want it's just fine But I jumped back in like within a week I was back in the office in my office The office was in the house I had a very Homey practice it was it was we built The house specifically for this the Whole back end was glass from floor to Ceiling and it looked out over a Beautiful Lake because for a lot of People finances is Um Challenging it's It's upsetting it's it Bothersome so I wanted a peaceful Environmental environment yeah so this This beautiful

Office was was in there and I got in There and I could get going and I could Get lost in that because I understood The work that made sense the money you Know the plans that all made sense it Was at the end of the day after the Clients left when the house was so empty When all this would come crashing in on Me and I would just Usually go to bed crying my eyes out Until I got up the next day and went Into the office and Went back to work yeah Um my My initial grief like that that was Really really hard that that first month And then mom died And so I'm dealing with that too but I'm Slugging along and thanks my wonderful Pair planner her name is Kathy Um she really she picked up the reins And did a lot of extra things and she Was just there with me I had several Widowed lady friends one one gal she'd Come over sometimes in the evening and Just bring her crocheting and she'd just Sit on the couch across from me and just Crochet And I just sit there and work on writing Thank you cards to the people who sent Sympathy notes but it was just her Presence being there helped yeah Kathleen what do you say to someone Who's lost their husband

It's such a it's such a tough time for Them What do you how do you articulate your Sympathy what do you say yeah I don't say I'm so sorry for your loss Because that is Just a saying everybody says because They don't know what else to say and it Doesn't mean anything So if it's if it's a husband that I knew Um I might say it was a this actually Happened it was a client of mine and and He died Um and the first time his wife was was Back with me I said you know I'm I'm Really going to miss Harry Because every time he'd come through That door He'd have a joke to share share and I Just knew that we were all going to Laugh at this joke I mean he was such a Funny guy he was such a lighthearted guy But he loved you so much and that's why You don't need to worry about your Finances going forward because the two Of you put things in place you know he Really loved you So I might say something like that if I Didn't know the husband because Sometimes that would happen too it would Be through professional connections or Whatever I might say something like Unfortunately I never had a chance to Meet Harry

What would you like others to remember Him most for And to give her an opportunity to start Sharing the stories I think that helps a Widow in her healing to talk about the Stories to talk about her husband to Talk about the memory stick you know He's gone but he's still alive and like Tom He will also live in my heart I mean He's he's always in fact Tom is with me Right now I'm I'm wearing um a legacy ring I hope You can see this There are several diamonds in it My my wedding ring my ring from Tom was In the safe for many years because I Couldn't decide what to do with it when Mother died I inherited nine tiny little Diamonds that ruin a chip she never had A solitaire because Dad was a poor Farmer And when my grandmother died my mother Had inherited her diamonds so I had Tom Simon by grandmother's diamond and These little chips oh it is pretty it's It's hard it's a little hard to see yeah But it's pretty yeah my my uh so I work With the Jeweler and designed that and This is my legacy ring and I wear it on Special occasions like doing podcasts Like this and I feel like Tom's with me and Mom's with me and Grandma's with me wow that's amazing

Well the so so tell me this oh one more Thing Wes yeah Um what to say and if if folks want to Know I mean I got a whole lot more Suggestions on my website there's this Impactful empathy book Empathy yeah people can download that For free and there's all kinds of things To say and not to say like one of the Worst things that people said to me was God needed another Angel and so Tom had To go up and be that other Angel no I Wanted the angel right here with me or One guy one guy said to me This was a couple months after Tom died And he said Kathleen don't don't Worry too much Um You're still young and you're attractive You'll find another man to marry What not to say yes Whole collection of things how to say Things and what not to say and Suggestions about Remembering on anniversary dates I still Remember it was a year after Tom's death My kids didn't call me Nobody contacted me except my financial Planner and I had my own financial Planner because you can't be your own Medical doctor so you can't do your own Financial plans and my planner called me And said you know Kathleen I'm thinking About you today and I know

Wherever Tom is he's so proud of you Right now all the progress you've made This last year Um that's powerful yeah That is powerful well tell me about That progress that you would coach One of your clients about Kathleen you Mentioned so we talked about this really Difficult period of time it's pain it's Lost it's lonely you're crying yourself To sleep And that lasts I'm sure for a long time And I don't know how long that lasted For you or how long it typically lasts I Don't know if there's a typical And then what about when do you start Making decisions and should you not what Tell me about that time frame that's a Very difficult period of time yeah and First of all I'll say every widow's Situation is unique and I never try and Say oh I understand I get it I was a Widow before I know exactly what path You're walking on because I don't it's It's Unique but I've found that the Women that I advise There were about three stages that they Would go through there was that initial Period Um that when when grief is just really Really raw and On average that's going to take several Months

Maybe like six months or so on average And The kinds of things that Um She needs to do I refer to it as it's a A term from Susan Bradley's Financial Transitionist Institute she calls it About a Decision free zone not a no decision Zone but just a decision free where you Don't you make decisions on some things That have to be taken care of but a lot Of the other things that don't need Immediate attention for example If there are life insurance benefits to Be collected We're going to file for those and get Those benefits but not decide right away Where to invest them because she doesn't Know what her future life's going to Look like or what her needs are so you Get the procedure and you park them in a High interest bearing money market Account where it's safe and secure and Just let it be let it be Um so those immediate things that have To be you know uh getting the death Certificates and Um Funeral arrangements and Memorial those Those immediate kinds of things but the Rest of the stuff you defer And then you get through that that Main

Shock activities yeah shocking off face And in that widow's fog or as I had some Of my um little friends they called it Widow's brain period Then you move into the second phase Which is I call it growth I like Alliteration so there's grief is the First one and growth is the second one And this is where she's ready to do more Traditional financial planning kinds of Things and I've had Some some widows that aren't ready to Move into that face like for they're in That deep grief for a whole year Um it it may depend on like the Circumstances of death I had I'll give You two cases of widows there Are clients of mine and husbands died in The same year The first Widow was in her she and her Husband were in her 50s He had taken early retirement she worked At a big exec executive kind of position Loved her job she was going to work Longer more secure financial future for Both of them Health Care coverage good Things like that She went off to work one morning and she Got a phone call A couple hours later come to the Hospital right away And by the time she got there her Husband was dead he had gone out to play Tennis with buddies doubles that morning

And he dropped dead on the tennis court Of a massive heart attack and they Didn't have any clue that he had Yeah before Later in that year another widow she was In her she and her husband were in their Late 80s they always said that Bob was Living on borrowed time And he had Um a heart condition also but they knew About it and he died quietly in his Sleep one night Well because she she knew I mean this Was going to happen it was inevitable She was more more ready for it She's older than that younger Widow but That younger Widow it took about nine Months before she was ready to move into Stage two whereas the older Widow was Ready to move into stage two by six Months So understood so shock then growth and Then what is the the next phase and and By the way in the growth you're doing The more traditional finally you know You're investing that insurance money You're looking at updating the estate Plans deciding if she's going to stay in Her house or move to a different house And looking at retirement plans Then the the third stage is An agree I like G I like um Grace Or transformation as some people like to Call it

And not all all widows go through the oh In that stage that's when maybe she's Ready to talk about some um Advanced Estate planning there may be uh Philanthropy involved if if she is Charitably inclined there may be uh Family Matters there might be a business Maybe she's starting a new business Maybe there's Um a new marriage right Not all women go through all three Stages Some for unfortunately there are some None of my clients are this way but they Never move out of stage one that deep Heavy grief And these are are women who were joined At the hip with their spouse they just Did everything together they were are Probably older women and some of these Women Pass on they die within two years of Their husband's death and you've seen Sometimes we read reports how it's like Within hours they the spouse dies even Though they were in separate floors on The hospital but they they just they die Some women make it to stage two and They're very happy to be in stage two It's a safe it's a comfortable place It's just fine for them to be but for The ones that make it onto stage three That's like a whole new life a whole new Beginning

Um it's it's a wonderful and that may be A year later oh that that comes that Great beautiful years multiple it was I Had recorded it in my journal and I I Wrote I Am much more than a widow I am An independent woman and I and I have Moved forward it was about five years For me five years yeah to get to that This is a long long journey that stage Well there's a couple of questions I Have one I know that widows change Financial advisors at a high percentage Rate Six seventy percent what why is that Well there I have checked to see if There have been an actual Empirical evidence-based study on this And there hasn't been so I can give you Empirical evidence Based on my experience as a financial Planner because I got a lot of new Widows that came to me And it was An example was like Aunt who came to my Office and She said that her husband had died and They had a financial planner she said She met him when they first started Working With this planner many many years ago But that was the last time she ever saw Him oh it never met never met again why Because her husband kind of her husband Got over his hot tips on the golf course

With this financial planner And he'd come home and he'd say this is What we're doing sometimes and sometimes He'd just go ahead and do it so she Really didn't have a relationship with This this guy so after her husband dies His office calls and schedules Appointments says she needs to come in And sign some paperwork Okay she she'd never even been to his Office before so it was hard for her but She figured out how to get there and she Got there And she said the first thing he said When I walked in to the office was that I should be happy because I was beating The market She said that's the last thing I wanted To know he said he didn't say anything About my husband he sounds like the Stock broker in this Charles Schwab Commercials like the bad broker they Make fun of yeah He he He called him my late spouse my deceased Spouse she said I don't think he even Knew his name But She's just she started crying and he Grabs a tissue and tosses it at her and He says don't they're there don't don't Cry your pretty little eyes out we're Going to take care of everything for you It's going to all be okay

And she said she just lost it at that Point and she got up and she left And his office called the next day and Wanted to reschedule the appointment Because she hadn't signed the paperwork She said she saw the paperwork but she Didn't understand it and she wasn't Going to sign something she didn't Understand So she told him she was busy she had a Hair appointment And she talked to her friend Betty who Was also widowed and she said oh you got To go talk to Kathleen that's my advisor And I think I think Kathleen can probably help you The way she's helped me so I'm here Kathleen and and I want to know am I Going to be all right financially And you restart because that's a new Person that you have to learn and and You stayed with her through that that Whole journey yep we and we spent the Like the first few times it was talking About her husband that's all we did and Then we did things very very slowly I Pulled out that chart And and I I use that chart that you know Grief to growth to Grace and and said You're right here you're on the grief End and we're going to work through this Together And then I asked her I said what are

Your concerns right now And all of her questions everyone I we I Wrote him down I was like she said what Do I do with his car Okay Do I do I still have to pay the bills There are bills that come in just for Him do I have to pay those bills can I Still help my granddaughter can I help Her with her College expenses My son is talking to me about moving Moving in with him and I don't know if That would be the right so everything She wanted we wrote every single thing Down And I and then I went we went back over The list again and I said all right is There anything else Wrote it down I said we're going to be Able to take care of all of these things And more that's all we did And she just like I said I'm gonna I'm gonna be a thinking Partner along with you I'm not going to Tell you what to do And they're Wonder no wonder people love Working with you so much I get it I I want to work with you I'm I'm retired I dropped all my licenses What is re-fired by the way again what Is re-fired Retirement people say oh you were so Smart to think of that term I didn't Think of it it was in the year I think

It was 2000 a book came out about Retirement For people aged 50 and above and the way I found out about that book was There was a workshop that was being done For clergy who were planning to retire Soon and my husband was eligible to do That workshop and I went with him So it was it was a book that was used by Lutheran clergy around the whole country So it wasn't used by financial planners At all it never caught on with financial Planners but in that he was encouraging People not to just retire and fall off The ledge and enjoy fine dining and golf For the rest of their life but to do Meaningful things to you know to have a Purpose and they were also encouraging Lutheran pastors who were retiring then To go on and do intra Ministry positions In these little tiny churches that were Short-handed on clergy so it was through The The clergy that I've the connection that I found this book when I read it and I Thought oh man they're right on and then Shortly after that Mitch Anthony came Out with his book about Um the new retirementality yeah and I Liked that what's that's an old book now But the idea that Because I kind of thought no I don't Know if I'm ever going to retire never Really

So then it was I took that retirement Name and then I decided all right I want To do this with my clients but I want us To focus on what are your values and Once you stop working for pay You know how are you going to live out These values and Sparkle turn on and so I figured out for Myself I went through Ken Ken Rouse had A book that he wrote many many years ago And it was a values inventory and there Were Oh maybe 20 some values and you're Supposed to pick out the top ones for You and I did that And I and I then I modified that and Over the years I've continued to modify It more so at the point that I decided To leave my Encore career which I Started after I sold my business I did That for six years and we can talk about That too but when I closed down the Encore career so then I said all right I'm not really retired I'm not going to Be that Golf and fine dining person what Is it that lights my what was your Number one value what was your top value Family Family Yeah families forever So what do you do now uh tell me about Your so you you had a financial business You sold it your writer speaker Yeah after the for the financial

Business I was you know pretty much just Financial planning clients then I had an Invitation by a major Uh Financial firm uh protective life They wanted me to do Presentations at national conferences For financial planners on working well With widows not on their products at all I had total freedom on what I wanted to Do So they tried to me around to a lot of Conferences plus a lot of conferences Just brought me in on their own Financial planners brought me in to be a Speaker for their some of their client Events to work with Women who were widowed already or who Were looking to that time ahead there Was some foundations that had me come in And do sessions So Um I kept a track of it and it was like Over I did over 300 of those Presentations but then I had to stop and Wes I had to stop because Every time I and I had a it was it was a Great presentation it was it was Emotional people would cry during it They were really connected I had to stop because every time I gave That presentation Tom died all over Again Oh so emotionally just as brutal yes and I'd planned to wind that down

Right beef and the way it worked out Perfect with the pandemic because I was Ended right before the months before the Pandemic closed everything down anyway So now I I speak occasionally I'm Speaking in Denver at a conference Um next month That's pretty rare to be speaking in per Per On purpose there get your word out right Kathleen so I'll do some of these Podcasts and webinars because I can just Sit in my own house and talk to you guys Isn't it it's me podcasting so much Easier yeah so much better yeah Um so and then and then what about hope I think you've got this very patient Uh methodology about you and It sounds like it can take again years And years and years and years but what Would you tell our audience about Widowhood and and and hope of the future Because I do see it yeah and it's just Really really hard for people to go Through it and I again we've all seen it And it's It's just not easy yeah I can look back Now And if say if I was talking to Kathleen Because I had just turned 60 and I'm 75 Now 15 years ago If I would have said to her honey it's Going to be okay You're gonna you're gonna wind up being

A stronger person you've got new Adventures ahead of you things are Unfolding that are just unbelievable It's going to be a good life I would I Would never say that to a new Widow now So but but that's the way and my husband Tom before he died I can remember a conversation with him And I said I I just I want to go with You I I I I don't want to stay I want to Go and he said you can't do that and he Said I've accomplished he was a very Spiritual man you need to know he said I've accomplished everything I was Supposed to do in this lifetime but you Have not you've got more work to do and In fact for you to do this work I have To leave And I said what the heck are you talking About what do you mean what what is this Work I'm supposed to do he said I don't Know what it is but you'll figure it out After I'm Gone And and if you've done that yes yes this Is the whole for me change is important And new and and the things that I'm Doing now like helping congregations and Foundations establish and grow their Endowment funds I'm I'm leading a Session on this Saturday for a group of Folks who are coming at let's say we Called it what to do before you kick the Bucket Effective estate and Legacy planning

It's got a cute title yes you have to You have to have humor in here and and Helping people with Legacy writing which I began doing myself writing a lot of Poetry and and short stories and getting Some of these published which is is sort Of fun and I set up a um a charitable Plan myself it's a testamentary Charitable remainder trust it's pretty Esoteric in fact that's what I'm talking About with advisors in Denver next month And will be funded with retirement Assets from my IRA after my death and as You know with the new secure Tax Act There have been some major changes on Required minimum withdrawals from for Beneficiaries and they used to be we Used to be able to stretch out those Beneficiaries now it's all 10 years 10 Years right or so how does this Charitable major trust help with that That's interesting all right the a Million dollars from my IRA will go into This trust it will pay out for a period Of 20 years six percent income to my son Who does not have a pension program when He retires and he has limited retirement Funds right now So it'll be a pension for him every year For 20 years the IRA gets LED left to The trust trust you're right and because It's instead of having instead of having To pay it out over 10 yes the trust Provision say can be paid out on

Whatever you choose which is right I Chose 20 20 years it could have been Lifetime for him Um as and and if he dies prematurely It'll go for my grandson so it saves a Heck of a lot of taxes it's it's just Like I I could do a whole session just On that but it's just highly beneficial And then the proceeds eventually that Are left go to benefit three non-profit Organizations that I believe in Foreign but but just logistically here On because the the IRA rules are much More stringent now yes the to some Extent that will give him an income the Downside to that though Kathleen is that If he wanted to go pull Three hundred thousand dollars out of The IRA he can't do that Purposely because there have been some Incidences in the past where Um he had inherited his late father's Retirement account and All that money was withdrawn paying a Very high that kicked him into a higher Tax bracket and it's gone right now so I Want this money to be there he's going To get some money outright but somebody Every year will will be there for him Okay I think so and you're speaking about That what so you're going to be in Denver uh what in October November uh Just it's the middle of October

Yes and I've written if if like if you Go to my website Um Jonathan Clements he used to be the Um Wall Street Journal the money Columnist he's got his own site humble Dollar right now he had asked me to Write a piece on that it's called giving Twice and I've written a couple of Pieces on it and I'm thinking about Submitting it to I've talked to Michael Kitsis and he's interested in maybe Doing something with this too so I like I like staying connected with the Profession somewhat so I do that Encouraging others to make uh charitable Gifts for philanthropy to make this World a better place that gives me great Sense of purpose and I I wake up every Morning just like okay what are we gonna Do today it's like today oh I'm talking To Wes you're as excited as you've ever Been I mean it's really you're really Very inspirational and this is exactly What I thought this is a heavy topic but You approach this with such optimism and You have so much passion for it that it It makes makes this really difficult Topic I think a lot more palatable and It's very informative to our folks and I Have to I have to also say this this Wonderful man Charlie came into my life 11 years ago and we finally said oh what The heck I was not going to get married At all and he was very patient with me

Three years ago I said okay how long You've been married to Charlie we Celebrated our third anniversary last Month and he's a retired nuclear Engineer he's one of the smartest guys I've ever met and he's very very Supportive of my work and it's just a Wonderful family man and we Blended our Families beautifully together and Um I love him a lot so see I get to love Two men I get to love Charlie and I get To love Tom it's a beaut it is a it's a Beautiful story and it's a beautiful way To wrap up today so Kathleen thank you So much how what is your main website That folks can find you it's my name Just kathleen.com and that's r-e-h-l Kathleen R-e-h-l.com yeah yeah well you're you're A blessing and it is wonderful for you To spend time with us here on the retire Sooner podcast and I and I learned a lot And I think we have some I think anybody That is in this situation that is a Widower a widow a widow and or a widower I think that there's obviously some of This applies to them as well that There's some real hope here There's no Flip of a switch there's no magic Elixir That this goes away overnight but kind Of just your just how clear you are on That path kind of I think really Inspires a lot of Hope

Well thank you and I thank you for the Gifts that you've given me today because This has been fun to talk with you oh And folks could also go out and take a Look at my book If they want to get a little bit more of Kathleen's philosophy then there's Beautiful art and original paintings and Photography in the book so start start By looking at the art moving forward on Your own uh Kathleen real thank you so Much and Um thank you for being here on the show Thank you Wes

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