“Our upbringing guides our views on money,” explained Jonathan Satovsky, CFA, Chief Financial Coach, and President of Satovsky Asset Management. In Jonathan’s case his parents divorced and remarried; his dad remarried twice. He saw his mother financially vulnerable throughout his young life so he focused on being financially strong and independent as a result of watching his mother struggle. The result could have been different, but Jonathan chose to overcome financial vulnerability and grow money as opposed to succumbing to life circumstances that would make him a victim and financially dependent.
What Jonathan does with married people is teach them the Philosophy of Money, how to view money’s place in their lives, and to develop a sustainable relationship to money. He serves as a financial and wealth planner. Sometimes he has to be a Financial Therapist to change the way his married clients look at money. He helps people realize the genesis of their relationship with money so that he can guide them to a healthy relationship to the dollar.
What Jonathan does with divorcing people is to serve as a Financial Mediator. He is typically hired by attorneys representing divorcing clients who have large enough settlements in which someone on a certified financial level can help with all aspects of the financial settlement to include tax implications and growth strategies. Part of the mediation might be a discussion about bankruptcy and how it can be employed to shift the current debt situation so that a better path to wealth can be established.
In interviewing other financial professionals like Caroline Pak, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst in Seattle, I learned that dividing financial assets evenly, depending on the nature of the asset, could land one spouse in a negative tax position once the asset(s) is transferred to that spouse’s name. Rule of thumb: dividing assets evenly could end up being a very uneven tax consequence for one spouse. This is why engaging a financial analyst at the time of settlement is wise. Listen to Caroline’s episode on September 8, 2021
I had another interview on May 12, 2021 with two psychologists, Drs. Megan McCoy and Alex Melcumian, who only provide therapy about money. They introduced the term Financial Infidelity. We can be financially unfaithful to ourselves by the way we treat money, or we can be financially unfaithful to our spouses by the way we spend money. Money has an emotional component to it. We fear losing money; we fear not making enough money to survive; and we fear another’s control over how we spend money. Money and fear go together.
Our relationship to money can change at any time. We have to be aware that there needs to be a change, and be willing to get help from professionals who can turn our lives around to enjoy financial freedom, and to develop a healthy relationship to money. We all need money to live. Let’s live with the discipline it takes to be in control of our financial lives.