Navigating conversations around divorce and finances can often feel like you’re attempting to dress a Pitbull up in a skirt. Until, of course, you sit down with a woman like Bonnie A. Sewell, CFP®, CDFA®, AIF®, CEPA® – CEO of American Capital Planning, LLC. Bonnie – along with her infectious smile, her dedication to helping women, and her wisdom that extends beyond textbooks – brings a unique kind of strength, intellect and compassion to the financial world.
American Capital Planning, LLC is a female-owned, fiduciary, and fee-only wealth management company located in Leesburg, Virginia outside of DC. Much of Bonnie’s work at American Capital Planning is around teaching women who are going through a divorce and other life transitions about how to be fluent in their own money and confident in their financial lives.
According to Bonnie, if you pay attention, most conversations go back to finances. This is no different in the wake of Covid-19, where families may be thinking about daycare expenses. With so many daycares closed, families have been able to keep the money (upwards of $2,000) typically spent on childcare. Emboldened by the apparent cost-savings, Bonnie suspects that there will be a lot of families questioning whether it’d make more sense to have mothers step out of the workforce to care for their children. I loved how Bonnie, who is well-versed on these sorts of financial decisions, advises women to do the math! While it may look like a financial windfall, there are longer-term implications. Many of which could end up financially impacting just the woman.
What I find so intriguing about Bonnie is that even with all her accolades (she is a Certified Financial Planner, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF®, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, CDFA™ and a Certified Exit Planning Advisor, CEPA®) – she understands advising is not only about the money; it’s about everything that happens around the money.
This is evident through American Capital Planning and its belief that wealth extends far beyond economics. Assuming your basics are taken care of, the company describes “True Wealth” through five tentpoles, including:
- Great health: For most of us, we decide what we eat, how often we move, who we hang out with, etc. Therefore, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to control our health and wellbeing.
- Freedom of Choice: Constructing a life that has meaning to you through your daily choices.
- Purpose: It’s important to have a reason to get up in the morning. And if it does not work, find something else to do that drives you.
- Something to Give: It’s a big world and there’s enough for everyone; however, it’s often not evenly distributed. So, how can you give back?
- Inner Peace: Seeking inner peace will allow you to do all the other tentpoles better.
Bonnie is careful to not overtly tell people how to live their lives, but as she reminds us, “this is not a dress rehearsal.” Bonnie leads her personal life with the same sort of intentionality she advises clients to do. I encourage you to listen to the episode and take the below three steps to help you tap into true wealth!
- Choose a True Wealth tentpole and map out a 1 year, 6-month and 3-month plan to help you realize that component of wealth. Find an accountability buddy to help you stay committed to this wealth area for the next year.
- If you’re married, ask yourself – “If my partner were to file for divorce tomorrow, what areas of my life would be the most impacted?” Yes, you’d lose a lover and friend but also consider your finances, your friendships, and other aspects of your day to day life. If you find you’d be in a precarious situation, consider reaching out to a financial advisor in your area.
- Reflect on what the Coronavirus has taught you in relation to your finances. What lessons will you take into the rest of the year?
Today in the In the Suite guest chair we welcome Bonnie A. Sewell, CFP®, CDFA®, AIF®, CEPA® – CEO of American Capital Planning, LLC. American Capital Planning, LLC is a female-owned, fiduciary, and fee-only wealth management company located in Leesburg, Virginia outside of DC. Much of Bonnie’s work at American Capital Planning is around giving back and teaching women who are going through divorce and other life transitions about how to be fluent in their own money and confident in their financial lives. According to Bonnie, if you pay attention, most conversations go back to money. Instead of fearing finances, Bonnie encourages us to take a thoughtful approach to good decision making while asking tough questions head-on.
In this episode, we discuss everything from the impact of Covid-19 on divorces to the long-term implications of women leaving the workforce. Bonnie also offers a ton of free resources designed to challenge our current view of the world, even what we see and read on social media.
Join this informative conversation to hear more about:
- How Bonnie predicts Coronavirus will affect the divorce rate (10:56)
- The American Capital Planning virtual workshops available to support those navigating a divorce (14:00)
- The first call to make as you’re navigating a divorce (15:50)
- The nuanced approach American Capital Planning takes in advising women (21:20)
- The type of source that matters when making important decisions (29:00)
- The problems people are trying to solve in the pandemic (33:00)
- What Bonnie would advise any woman considering cutting daycare to do (37:34)
- Why intentionality matters in finances and in life (41:40)
- The tried and true advice Bonnie gives clients (49:41)
- The definition of ‘True Wealth’ (51:20)
- The secret weapon that Bonnie turns to for strength (59:40)
Referenced Material: Events and Organizations
- The Girl Link: https://www.thegirllink.com/
- Second Saturday Divorce Workshop (Virtual During COVID-19): http://www.secondsaturdaynova.com/ (Fee: WAIVED)
- George C Marshall Organization | Virtual Visionary Leadership Speaker Series: https://www.georgecmarshall.org/vvlss
Referenced Material: True Wealth & Book Recommendation
- True Wealth Slide by Bonnie Sewell, CFP®, CDFA®, AIF®,CEPA from American Capital Planning
- The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Businesses, Industries, and Our Lives (Exponential Technology Series) by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086T54GFM/
Referenced Material: Sources Mentioned During the Show
- Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/
- Associated Press News: https://apnews.com/
- The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/
- Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- The United States Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS): https://www.irs.gov/
- Medicare: https://www.medicare.gov/
- Rent the Runway: https://www.renttherunway.com/
- Dandapani on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DandapaniLLC