228: Money Talk – Retirement, Investing, and More!

Show Notes:

Hi, fellow SLPs! In today’s episode, Hallie welcomes Mel Abraham, a CPA by education, entrepreneur, financial expert/advisor to businesses and individuals, and an author of the upcoming book Building Your Money Machine: How to Get Your Money to Work Harder for You Than You Did for It. Together, we explore strategies for financial wellness and wealth building tailored specifically for Speech-Language Pathologists. Gain practical advice on managing debt, making smart investments, and planning for a comfortable retirement, all while maintaining financial peace in your daily life. Learn about the power of compounding interest, the benefits of index funds and ETFs, and how to start contributing to your retirement accounts with confidence. With Mel’s guidance combined with our helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to securing a prosperous financial future stress-free.

About my guest: Mel is a CPA by education but an entrepreneur by exhilaration, and author of the #1 Bestseller, The Entrepreneur's Solution: The Modern Millionaire's Path to More Profit, Fans & Freedom. As the founder of The Affluence Blueprint™, The Legacy Factor™, and Thoughtpreneur™ Academy, he has been obsessed with helping people and entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life and build the lifestyle that they want.

The power of the principles and frameworks he teaches became immensely clear after finding a cancerous tumor in his bladder larger than a baseball in June 2019. His cancer journey followed by people's financial struggles through the pandemic highlighted the immediate and urgent need for others to get access to these powerful principles. This personal journey, combined with the financial upheavals many faced during the pandemic, became the seeds for his soon-to-be-released book (Hay House Publishing – June 11, 2024), Build Your Money Machine: How to Get Your Money to Work Harder For You Than You Did For it!.

As a frequent guest on some of the top shows and podcasts where he shares his thought leadership around achievement, financial freedom, affluence, and building businesses of impact. He’s been called an Affluence Mentor™ and the “thought leader to thought leaders” and advised some of the top thought leaders of our time in their business, money matters, content creation, positioning, and market influence.

Mel has built, bought, and sold numerous multimillion-dollar businesses for himself as well as his clients. He’s a globally recognized thought leader, business advisor, CPA, and financial expert sharing stages with a long list of Fortune 500 Companies as well as beacons in the business and personal development industry, from Arianna Huffington and Chalene Johnson to Brendon Burchard, Ed Mylett, Amy Porterfield, Ben Newman, and Tony Robbins.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Financial literacy is crucial for SLPs, regardless of their income level, to achieve financial freedom and reduce stress.
  • Building wealth requires discipline and consistency, not necessarily a large income.
  • It’s important to be proactive and intentional in managing finances.
  • Debt management is key to financial wellness, with strategies such as using a free Excel tool for tracking debt repayment and automating payments to streamline the process.
  • Investing in diversified, low-fee portfolios like index funds and ETFs is recommended for SLPs to grow their retirement savings effectively.
  • Starting retirement planning early is essential to take advantage of compounding interest and to ensure a comfortable retirement.

RESOURCES:

Mel Abraham

Buy Mel's New Book: Building Your Money Machine: How to Get Your Money to Work Harder for You Than You Did for It

Follow Mel on Instagram

Follow Mel on Twitter

Listen to Mel's Podcast

Watch Mel on YouTube

Mel's Debt Breakthrough Calculator

Mel's Facebook

Find Mel on LinkedIn

Learn more about Hallie Sherman  and SLP Elevate: 

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TRANSCRIPT:

00:00:00 Hallie: Hey there, SLP. You are listening to this podcast, so I know that you love to listen to podcasts. And if that is the case, then I know that you are gonna love my secret private podcast, Secondary Secrets for SLPs. It's six short episodes will have you walking away, feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to take on those challenging secondary speech students. So if you work with grades four through 12 and are in a planning rut or wanting some fresh new ideas to keep your students motivated, make sure you head to speechtimefun.com/secondarysecrets. You're not going to find this podcast in your iTunes podcast search browser. You can only get access by going to that link. So head to it now. 

00:00:52 Hallie: It is six short episodes that you can listen to it in under an hour, like totally Netflix binge-worthy. I made this just for you and I know you are going to love it. SLPs have been telling me already that it has changed their way for working with their older speech students. So head on over again to speechtimefun.com/secondarysecrets or use the link in the show notes and I can't wait to hear what you think. Now let's head on to this week's episode of SLP Coffee Talk.

00:01:29 Hallie: Welcome to SLP Coffee Talk, the podcast designed exclusively for speech-language pathologists who work with older students, grades 4 through 12. I am your host, Hallie Sherman, your SLP behind Speech Time Fun, the Speech Retreat Conference, and the SLP Elevate membership. And I'm thrilled to bring you conversations, strategies, and insights that will give you the jolt of inspiration that you need. Whether you're tuning in during your morning commute, on a break in between sessions, or even during a well-deserved relaxation time. I am here for you each and every week. Let's do this SLPs.

00:02:09 Hallie: Hey, hey, and welcome to another episode of SLP Coffee Talk. Today, I have a spin for you. We're not going to be talking about speech stuff. Today, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite things in the world, money. I have, here Mel Abraham, welcome to the show. 

00:02:27 Mel: It's so good to be here. 

00:02:29 Hallie: Tell everyone listening a little bit about you, since they might not be familiar with you and your expertise. 

00:02:35 Mel: My name's Mel Abraham. I'm a CPA by education, but primarily have been an entrepreneur and an advisor to businesses and to individuals to help them figure out, how do they build their wealth, how do they create a life that is full of meaning, full of financial freedom, and less stress around the money game? And so that's really kind of where I have played for decades now. 

00:03:00 Hallie: Amazing, amazing. And for those that might be like, okay, how is this relating to speech? How does this pertain to me? One thing that all SLPs are considering and trying to think about is their retirement and maybe ways to prepare the most for that so that they can maybe retire early or retire comfortably. What are some advice and things that people can be doing now depending on if they're brand new into the field or even veterans and nearing retirement? 

00:03:30 Mel: So here's the interesting thing. Financial stressors are probably one of the biggest things that impact our lives. They impact relationships, they impact our productivity, they impact our focus, they impact everything. They're extreme stressors of life. And so as much as we talk about just retirement, we also need to think about it in terms of just our everyday life. I don't know about retirement. I don't know if it's gonna be enough. That uncertainty is causing stress today. Or if we're, you know, there's statistics that have come out that have shown that even people that are making over a hundred thousand dollars a year, 47.1% of them are still living check to check. Why is that? 

00:04:16 Mel: So those kinds of stresses can affect our relationships. They can affect our health. They can affect our ability to work. And so what I'd love to do is as we talk about retirement, great. Let's also talk about, present time. How do we navigate this? So you can be at peace with this journey that you're on because like it or not, there is a financial aspect to our life's journey. You know? 

00:04:42 Hallie: So, so true. So what are some advice or tips that you would give to someone saying, okay, well, how do I become at peace with it on an everyday basis? 

00:04:49 Mel: Well, so this can be tough for some people because, I'm going to say, it's a matter of now starting to sit back and say, how do I grab a hold of the steering wheel? How do I actually get in the game to be part of the financial journey? Instead of just sitting back and saying, well, I'm putting money into my 403(b), my 401(k), my IRAs, my, you know, the tensions going to be there and just closing our eyes and hoping that it all works out in the end. But being actually a proactive participant in your financial journey. So what that looks like is not being a financial expert. So let's just be clear about that. But to at least have an understanding of what you have, where your money's coming from and where it's going. 

00:05:38 Mel: When it comes to wealth, look, it's money in and it's money out, and it's money that stays. That's what we're dealing with. So we need to have our arms around it. And that means taking a look at the numbers. Do we truly understand how much money we make and where our money's going after we make it? And if we don't, that's the first step is to just really get clear on where the money goes. Because the reality is, is that it doesn't take a lot to build wealth. It just takes, it takes discipline, it takes consistency, and it takes a process of following that for a period of time. $50 a week over 30 years can build $300,000. Okay? $800 a month. Okay? So you take that to $200 a week, $800 a month can be $1.2 million. So it doesn't take a lot to get you to a point where you have a lot. We got to understand it and get in the game. 

00:06:43 Mel: And one of the things that I tell people do is this, is that, and I get it, that people think, well, you're talking about a budget. Here's what I think. We need what I call a cash resource plan. Imagine this for a moment. You're a business owner. You hire 20 employees. You bring them into that. First day, you bring them all in on the same day in a conference room. You look at them and you say, here's the deal. I don't have job titles for you. I don't have job descriptions for you. I don't have goals. I don't have any tasks. I don't have any direction for you, but I want to double my business in the next two years. I mean, the likelihood of that happening is slim. The challenge is this. That's what most people do with their money. The money comes in, the money goes out and you sit back and go, I don't know where it went.

00:07:33 Mel: What we really need to do is give a job description for every dollar that we make before we make it. Some is going to go towards the pension, some's going to go towards our mortgage or our rent, some's going to go towards a car, some's going to go towards food, but we know it in advance. And so then when we do it that way, it's not a restriction, it's actually permission. And now we know upfront that, hey, $10 of this check or $100 of this check is going to go towards my future. The rest is going to go towards this. I have a down payment for a home that I want to save for. That's going to go there. But we do it deliberately. We do it intentionally. And that's really probably the biggest thing is that, can you get intentional about what you do with your money? Because when you do, now we're in control. 

00:08:20 Hallie: So true. I love that analogy. And people probably aren't wondering. A lot of SLPs, we have extreme student debt. What is your advice on whether, should you be paying it off faster, paying it off, minimum amount each, what is your advice on surviving that? 

00:08:38 Mel: So what we need to think about here is that I don't want to do things in isolation. Let's just talk about the… what I call the hierarchy, what I call the wealth priority ladder, what do we need to do first? Now, student loan debt is a burden in this country. It's a trance T at the levels that, that I see out there and how it's just burying people, they can't, I mean, you're supposed to get out of college and they go, go sore, go sore. And they go, hold on, hold on, let me put a weight around your neck. And it's coming home to roost because the freeze on the payments has gone away. 

00:09:13 Mel: So, but, here's the first thing that I would look at, is that, if we look at allocating our dollars in a certain recipe to maximize and optimize our wealth, it starts with this, what I call a comfort fund, not an emergency fund, not anything else. A comfort fund. That is something that allows you to take care of things without going into further debt if, God forbid, the transmission goes out or you need your medical deductibles or something. So I typically tell our clients $1,500 or one month's expenses. Now that may take a little bit for people to do. It may not. If I literally, if I went back behind me into my tech closet and grabbed, don't tell my wife, and grabbed half the tech that I'm not using, I could sell it on Facebook marketplace and probably bring in 1500 bucks. Okay. 

00:10:08 Mel: And the whole purpose of this is just to give you breathing room in case something unexpected happens for a moment. Now, once we're done with that, we start to look at the debt and we start to look at this idea of what people call, emergency fund. I call it a piece of mind fund. When it comes to the debt, the first debt that I want to tackle if we have it is in all life, they're going to be your consumer debt. The stuff that I put on credit cards, that is for lifestyle and consumables. Because what that is, is that, is money I spent today or I borrowed today to live a life today that I couldn't afford. So I borrowed from my future. I brought it back and I want to get that paid off. Then I can start to look at, okay, if I have the consumer debt, start to get paid off, let's look at the student loan debt. 

00:10:57 Mel: Because the student loan debt isn't going anywhere. We're going to have to take care of it. But the thing that I want to make sure we're doing is we're not living on credit cards to pay the student loan debt off. So all we're doing is swapping one debt for the other. I want to make sure that we stop that. If people need help with trying to figure out how to do this debt, I have a, I'll, we'll give them access to a tool. It's totally free. Literally what you're going to do is, you're going to take, it's an Excel spreadsheet. Look, I'm an accountant. I'm a nerd. [Collins Rose]. So you'll put your debt in. You'll put the balances, you'll put the payments, you'll put the interest rate. And then you, it will actually help you. 

00:11:39 Mel: You, you'll go in and decide, do I want to pay the highest interest first? Do I want to pay the lowest balance first? And it'll schedule out the payments. It'll tell you what to pay on what. It'll allow you to do that. If you go to melabraham.com/nodebt, you get it. It's going to give you a recipe, at least a plan that you can follow to pay the debt. And we'll put the student loan debt in there at the same time. And now you'll be able to have a plan that is a process and a plan to follow with some strategy behind it to pay the debt off. It still may take a bit. Now, if you're in a position where you might get a bonus or something like that, or you have a windfall comes in, then we might lump some against some of the debt. But if we don't have that opportunity, then we need to have some consistency in a payment plan. 

00:12:35 Mel: And then once I have that set and I know what the payment plan is, the easiest thing to do, the best thing to do is to put it on automatic, is to set the payments up. So, they automatically get paid without you having to push a button, without you having to write a check. I don't know if people write checks anymore, without you having to go online or anything. So the more we can take friction out of our investing or financial management, the better off we'll be. And the more we can put friction in our buying decisions, the better off we'll be. So we will spend less. We'll invest more when we do that.

00:13:16 Mel: The challenge is that marketers know that if they can remove friction from buying, you'll buy more. Hence, credit cards, swipe, tap the phone, they take all of the friction out of the buying decision and make it easy. For some reason, we don't do that with our investing and so investing falls behind because it's not easy. I'll log in over the weekend and you never get to it. So put everything on automatic, take all the friction out of it.

00:13:46 Hallie: That's great advice and thank you for sharing that tool. I know it's gonna be super, super helpful for all those wanting to come up with a better system, a better plan so that they're not feeling that overwhelmed. We have so many other things going on. The last thing we need to do is worrying about, like, will my bills get paid? So thank you. That is so, so helpful. What if someone listening is wanting to know more about investing or putting money away? What are some advice and tips that you can share with those listening? 

00:14:14 Mel: From an investing, so here's the other thing to be aware of, depending on the kind of retirement plan you have. So if you're in an actual pension, you'll have a pension committee that takes care of the investments and all that stuff. I sit on a pension committee for a company right now that we're managing a $50 million fund. But if you're not in a pension plan or you're in a pension plan but you're supplementing it with a 403(b), a 457, a 401(k) or something like that, then you're saddled with the responsibility of making investment decisions. They put it in your lap. And so now the first step is that you're putting money in the plan. The second step is you have to invest it. And some people forget to invest it and it's just sitting in cash. And then they wonder why it's not growing because we didn't put it to work. We need to put it to work. 

00:15:07 Mel: Most of your plans are going to have, you're not going to be investing in individual stocks. You're going to be investing in something called index funds, ETFs or mutual funds. My suggestion for most people, and I don't know everyone's circumstance, so just general recommendations, is that I want you in a diversified portfolio. Meaning that you're not investing in a single stock, which they don't allow. And that allows you to get in the game, one. Second is I want you to do it at the lowest cost possible. The more the fees are, the less money that's coming to you. It's going to someone else.

00:15:46 Mel: Mutual funds usually have higher fees and ETFs and index funds. If they have ETF and index funds, you should be able to get in with low fees, like 0.4%. I mean, it's very minimal fees and expenses to get in. So we want diversification, we want low fees, and then I want simplification. Like up here on the screen, I'm watching the stock market. So I see the charts. I see what's going on. That's not you. You don't want to do it. You shouldn't be doing it. So how do we do this where we don't have to worry about that? 

00:16:22 Mel: Well, the way to do it, quite frankly, is to sit back and say, let me just buy the whole stock market and I'm not making an investment recommendation here, but VTSAX is a ticker symbol of the total, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund. That means that you're actually buying a piece of every single company on the stock market. Some go up, some don't move, some go down. But on average, that goes up 8% to 10% in the long term a year. So you know that that's going to happen. And at least you can be assured that typically if we look at the chart, it goes up. That's one of the easy things to do. 

00:17:02 Mel: Now you can do an S&P 500, which is the top 500 companies in the stock market. You can get nuanced like that, but the easiest thing is to simplify. Well, when you first start out, and my guess is if you look at your options in the plan, you're going to see funds that have dates on them. And it might sit back and say, I don't know, Vanguard 2055. That is a special kind of fund that is called a target date fund. And the date on there is the date that you would supposedly need the money or want access to the money. So instead of picking VTSAX and all these other things, you could literally just say, I plan on retiring in 2055. So I'm going to pick a 2055 Fund. And the people that manage that fund will put together the pie the way it should be to make sure that you don't have too much risk or too little risk.

00:18:12 Mel: And the beautiful thing with it is that they will adjust the pie as you get closer to 2055. Because as you get closer to retirement, you want your portfolio to be more conservative. You don't want to take as much risk because if you happen to retire in 2007 and then the market drops 50% in 2008 and you weren't in a conservative portfolio, you got hurt. And now you're retired and you got no income. Okay. And this is something that happened to my dad, not in 2008. It happened in the eighties. And so the target day fund will adjust the portfolio to be more and more conservative as it gets closer. So if the market goes down close to retirement, will yours go down? Yes, but it will not go down at the same extent as others that have a lot more in the market. 

00:19:04 Mel: So if it were me, low fees, okay. Make sure it's diversified. And if I didn't want to go through looking at all these different funds, I would just go to a target date fund and allow them to do the management of it from there. And as you grow, and as you get more understanding, you can adjust it and be more proactive. But I'd rather you be in a target date fund than not in anything at all. 

00:19:32 Hallie: So helpful. And I'm going to put the disclaimer, if you switch different schools and districts, make sure your funds go with you. Cause I'm from–

00:19:40 Mel: Yeah. 

00:19:41 Hallie: I found money that I forgot to transfer over like 15 years later. So. 

00:19:47 Mel: Oh. This is really a good point because so often we leave behind our retirement accounts and all that stuff and we don't know what's happening over there. Now it could be this wonderful thing 15 years later. You go, found the money, it's a treasure chest. But it could have been eroded at fees. It could, and what you might be able to do depending on the situation is you could literally roll it from that one school's plan to your new school's plan. And so it will stay in that, you just roll it directly. Sometimes you can't and you'll have to roll it directly into an IRA or something. 

00:20:23 Hallie: I realized that a little, a lot later. So I wish I, thought of it initially. So if anyone, I know you guys sometimes are switching district to district, something to think about. Some of my audience also have their own private practices or are considering starting one. What advice would you give to someone who doesn't have a school district pension or 403(b) plan, tips on starting some sort of plan for themselves to make sure they're covered and safe?

00:20:50 Mel: So here's the first thing, if we're starting something, obviously you're gonna want a little bit of liquidity on your side just to sustain yourself until you get what, either momentum or some critical mass to the business. That basically means cash. Having cash available in a, what I would do is put it in a high-yield cash account, high-yield savings account. You can get five, 5.5% in there. It's fully insured. It's fully liquid. There are no fees or expenses against it. So you have that liquidity and that gives you a little bit of runway as you build the business. 

00:21:24 Mel: Now, once you, as you start to build the business, there's a couple of different places you can go. At the beginning, you might sit back and say, we're not making a lot, so I don't, I can't put a lot away. And if that's truly the case, then I would look at just a regular IRA or a Roth IRA. In the Roth IRA, the difference is that the regular IRA you get a tax deduction for, the Roth IRA you don't. The regular IRA, when you take the money out, when you retire, it's 100% taxable. The Roth IRA, when you take the money out, it's completely tax free. 

00:22:00 Mel: If you are just starting out and you're a low tax bracket, the Roth IRA is far more valuable because you'll put money in, you won't get a tax deduction for it, and you can put up to $7,000 in this year, and you won't get a tax deduction for it, but it will grow tax free forever. And now when you take it out, you never pay tax on it because in effect, you paid it at the beginning because you didn't get a tax deduction. Watch how this works. Now, we're not all Peter Thiel. A, Peter Thiel in the 90s bought a bunch of his shares of PayPal in his Roth account for $2,000. Today, that Roth account is worth $5 billion, with a B, and he'll never pay tax on it. Totally legal. It's not even on the fridge. 

00:22:52 Mel: If we went and bought in a Roth account Amazon, Google early on and just let it ride, Apple. We'd be in the same position. That's what the Roth accounts for. It's a beautifully positioned powerful account. Now the government knows this, so they limit you. You can only put $7,000 in it. If you have too high of an income, you're not eligible. So they won't let you. But the very beginning, if you're just starting out, you probably don't have too high of an income. So you're eligible for it. You're not in a high tax bracket. So the benefit of the tax deduction isn't as good. So I would put… start out with 7,000 in a Roth IRA. If you're not eligible, then put it in a regular IRA. 

00:23:34 Mel: When the business is off the ground, if it is just you, I would look to a what's called a solo 401(k). Meaning it's just me, I have no employees, and I'm going to put money into a 401(k). Then instead of 7,000 being the limit, 23,000 is the limit. Unless you're over 50, then it's 30,500 this year. It'll change every year. But you can put up to $23,000 away in a 401(k). And because these are now what they call prototype plans, it's not a lot of costs to set up. It's not a lot of costs to administer. So you can save a lot of tax, put money away in that. As you start your practice, that's probably the two things that I would look at is that I'm either going to be an IRA, Roth IRA, or a regular IRA.

00:24:22 Mel: As we have enough revenue and growth I might then transition to a solo 401(k) and do that. As it really grows, then you can add on what's called a profit-sharing element to the 401(k). Now all of a sudden you can put on, almost 70,000 away. It's done, right? You know. Now here's a slight nuance if you did the 401(k), that I don't want to get overly complex here. But remember I said that the Roth IRA? If you make too much money, you're not eligible. But you can set up a solo 401(k) that you can contribute to and the contributions are Roth contributions. Now, you don't get a tax deduction for it, but a Roth contribution to a 401(k) doesn't look at the income limits. 

00:25:15 Mel: So you bypass the income limits and not only do you bypass the income limits, instead of 7,000 being the limit, you can put, actually 23,000 into a Roth. So if you're going to open up a solo 401(k), make sure it has the option to do a Roth contribution also. And now you have the ability, like I'm just talking to a client right now, who, we need her to put 10,000 into the regular part of the 401(k) to keep her taxes down in the lower bracket, and then everything else goes into the Roth side of it. 

00:25:48 Hallie: Wow. So helpful. So helpful. So whether you guys are in a school and putting money into a 403(b) or whatever system that your districts or agencies that you're working for has, whether you're looking to start a private practice or have a private practice on the side, these are different options that you can look into so that you can just prepare for the future, prepare for whatever. That's all we want is to make sure that our futures are safe and secure and that all the hard work we're doing now is gonna pay off. 

00:26:20 Mel: I think that's the absolute. If we can do the things today to give us the peace of mind tomorrow, then we're good. We're good. And to not feel, I don't really understand that. I don't want to ask questions. You know, no, ask the questions, open up the dialogue, open up the conversation. If an advisor doesn't want to have the conversation with you or looks down upon you, get rid of the advisor. Simple as that. They're there to educate you. They're there to help you. This isn't your profession. So if they expect you to understand, then they're the wrong advisor, frankly. 

00:26:56 Hallie: And I know we have many listeners that are either in graduate school or brand new into the field. When, and I know the answer, I want to hear you say it. When should they start investing for the future? 

00:27:07 Mel: Oh my God. I love this. There's four things that will drive your wealth. Okay. The first is your income. And a lot of people think that that's the key. It's not. We certainly want our income to go up. The second is your savings rate? How much of the income are we putting away? That's actually the most important thing. That's the most impactful thing. So we want to push the percentage of income up as much as possible. The third is the returns that we get on the investments that we invest in. We really don't have a lot of control on that, except for the choice of doing that. The fourth is time. Time is the one element we actually don't control. We only control the present moment. 

00:27:48 Mel: And I have people that say to me, Hey Mel, is today a good time to invest? And I said, did you invest yesterday? No, then today's a good time. You invest a year ago? No, then today's a good time. Here's what happens. When we start to invest, so I'm gonna warn you of what you're gonna see. When you first start out, you're gonna be in what I call the wealth flatline. You're gonna be putting money into the 403, you're gonna put money in 401(k) or the IRA. And you're going to put money away and you say, Mel says, just keep doing this. And you do it for five, six, seven years. And you look at it and go, I made 67 bucks. This is stupid. He's an idiot, you know? 

00:28:29 Mel: And so why am I doing this? And you stop. The problem is this. There's a section of your wealth creation that's the flat line. You don't make a lot. But what's happening, it's like the spring. You're compressing the spring, compressing the spring, compressing the spring. And on the other side of that wealth flat line is the acceleration zone. And all of a sudden, your money's earning more than you're going to earn. It's a hockey stick. And so the thing that we need to do is eat up the wealth flatline. And the only way you eat up the wealth flatline is time. So we got to get in as early as possible, use up the time, and allow the money to work for us instead of us working for the money. That's what we're trying to do. 

00:29:21 Mel: So now is always a good time to invest. If you're not in, we get in. And it's not about the amount. You might sit back and say, well, I'm just trying to pay bills and all I could put in is 10 bucks. Here's what I believe. Truly, I don't think anyone's got money issues. I get it. Some people might look at me and go, you ain't seen my checking account? I got money issues. No, those aren't money issues. Those are money symptoms. They're symptoms of choices, decisions, and behaviors from the past. And that your ability to create wealth and financial freedom is a behavior more than a money issue. And so if we know that, if I change my decisions, if I change my habits, if I change my choices, and I just change my behaviors, I get different results. 

00:30:11 Mel: So as much as it might be confronting, it is empowering too. And that's why even if you came to me and say, all I can put away is $10. Great. Then we're putting away $10 because what you're doing is exercising the behavior, exercising the muscle. You're getting into a habit because that $10 will turn to 15 to 20 to a hundred to a thousand and beyond. But if we turn around and say, well, when I make more, I'll do more. You won't. Life gets in the way. Get in the habit, even if it's five, $10, and just get in the game, get on the wealth flatline and start burning the time. 

00:30:54 Hallie: You heard it here first, guys. I started right, my CF, my first year, I was like, let me just open up this account. I have no idea what I'm doing and I did the least amount possible just so I felt like I was making some sort of contribution and I just got into the habit of it. And this way it just became what I knew, so. Thank you so, so much Mel. Where can everyone learn more about you and everything you have to share and teach others? 

00:31:20 Mel: Yeah, thank you so much. One is I'm on Instagram, I'm all on the social channels. So YouTube, I do a regular weekly, twice weekly show where I'm answering questions and are doing things like this. On YouTube and Instagram is Mel Abraham 9. No idea who the other eight are, we'll find them, hunt them down. And then I do have a book that's coming out called Building Your Money Machine: How To Get Your Money To Work Harder For You Than You Did For It. That you can get access to by just going to yourmoneymachinebook.com and also we'll give you access to some of the tools and everything there. Those are probably the biggest places that you can find me, but if you just search my name, I'm all over the internet. I can't hide. 

00:32:03 Hallie: I love it. Thank you so, so much, Mel. Thank you for sharing your expertise with SLPs everywhere and grad students, like I said. Those… whether or not you work in a school, private practice, thinking about either setting, everyone can benefit from being more aware, more educated and make better decisions. So thank you so, so much, Mel. 

00:32:25 Mel: Thank you for having me on.

00:32:31 Hallie: Thanks so much for tuning in to another episode of SLP Coffee Talk. It means the world to me that you're tuning in each and every week and getting the jolt of inspiration you need. You can find all of the links and information mentioned in this episode at my website, speechtimefun.com. Don't forget to follow the show so you don't miss any future episodes. And while you're there, it would mean the world to me if you would take a few seconds and leave me an honest review. See you next week with another episode full of fun and inspiration from one SLP to another. Have fun, guys!