Women Winning Divorce with Heather B. Quick, Esq.

#101 The Value Of Developing Financial Confidence During Divorce With Sarah Charles

Episode Summary

This week on Women Winning Divorce, we are joined by Sarah Charles, Founder and Managing Principal of Sanctuary Financial Planning. Sarah and Heather discuss the value of building financial confidence during the divorce process and how to effectively plan for the future.

Episode Notes

About Our Guest

As a champion of women’s financial empowerment and an advocate for increasing women’s confidence when it comes to investing, I teach women of all ages stages and wages to eliminate money shame and develop financial confidence so they can prepare for their financial future with conviction. 

 

I spent over two decades at top advisory firms advising clients and advancing innovative approaches to client service before launching Sanctuary Financial Planning with my husband Jim in 2023. Today, I am committed to shining a spotlight on hourly planning in order to democratize the planning process and increase access to independent objective financial advice. I am a passionate storyteller known for connecting authentically with stakeholders, a mission-driven thought leader on developing female leaders, and a Swiftie.

 

 

Notable Links:

 

Official website: https://sanctuaryfinancialplanning.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanctuaryfp_sarah?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA%3D%3D

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-k-charles/

 

 

 

 

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"Women Winning Divorce" is a radio show and podcast hosted by Heather Quick: Attorney, Entrepreneur, Author and Founder of Florida Women’s Law Group, the only divorce firm for women, by women. Each week Heather sits down with innovative professionals and leaders who are focused on how you can be your best self, before, during or after divorce. 

In these conversations, we are looking at how women can win at life.  With our guests, we enjoy the opportunity to explore ways all women can win and enhance their life, no matter where they are in their journey, because divorce is just point in life, not the end and not what defines you, rather it can be a catalyst for growth. 

Come join the conversation on social media, and join our Facebook group, Women Winning Divorce and send comments and suggestions, we want to bring you content that helps move your life forward.

 

 

 

Thank you for listening. Please share the podcast with your friends and colleagues. Send your questions, comments, and feedback to marketing@4womenlaw.com
 

Women Winning Divorce is supported by Florida Women’s Law Group

 

Disclaimer: This podcast is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for legal services.  The information provided on this podcast is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not rely on what you hear on this podcast as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, please contact a lawyer.  The views and opinions expressed by the hosts and guests are solely those of the individuals and do not represent the views or opinions of the firms or organizations with which they are affiliated or the views or opinions of this podcast’s advertisers.  This podcast is available for private, non-commercial use only.  Any editing, reproduction, or redistribution of this podcast for commercial use or monetary gain without the expressed, written consent of the podcast’s creator is prohibited.

 

 

Episode Transcription

 

Heather Quick: [00:00:00] Welcome to Women Winning Divorce. I am your host, Heather Quick. I am an attorney, entrepreneur, author, and founder of Florida Women's Law Group, the only divorce firm for women, by women. I love thinking big, thinking outside the box, creating creative solutions for women, and empowering women to win in all aspects of their life.

Our approach at Florida Women's Law Group is to provide women with a strategy to not only achieve their objectives, but win at life. I believe that what may show up as adversity is simply an opportunity to change and improve your life. In each episode, I sit down with innovative professionals and leaders who are focused on how you can be your best self before, during, and after divorce.

In these conversations, we are looking at how women can win at life. I have the unique opportunity to meet women when they are at a transition period of life. But that is only the beginning to becoming your best self and winning at life, on [00:01:00] your terms. With our guests, we enjoy the opportunity to explore ways all women can win and enhance their life, no matter where they are in their journey.

Because divorce is just a point in life, not the end and not what defines you.

Welcome to this week's episode of Women Winning Divorce. I'm Heather Quick, owner and attorney at Florida Women's Law Group. In today's episode, Sarah Charles is going to be joining me. Sarah is the founder and managing principal of Sanctuary Financial Planning in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thanks for joining us.

She's a champion of women's financial empowerment and an advocate for increasing women's confidence when it comes to investing. Her firm is focused on teaching women of all ages, stages, and wages to eliminate money shame and develop financial confidence so they can prepare for their financial future with conviction.

Sarah has spent over two decades at top advisory firms, advising clients and advancing innovative approaches to client service [00:02:00] before launching Sanctuary Financial Planning with her husband, Jim in 2023. Sarah can help you divide and protect and build what you have together and protect what's yours in the event of divorce.

Welcome to the show, Sarah. 

Sarah Charles: Hey, Heather. So glad to be here. 

Heather Quick: Well, it is great to have you. And it's so important to talk about finances, particularly as it relates to divorce because so much comes up and there is so much fear and shame, uh, that is associated with sure. You see that all 

Sarah Charles: the time. Absolutely.

And I've, I've lived through it in my own divorce. 

Heather Quick: Well, and I think it's so important that we talk about it to maybe help women going through this, you know, Talk about it and rebuild themselves when that's necessary So I'm so happy to have you on and talk about developing financial confidence during divorce today.

Sarah Charles: Yes 

Heather Quick: So tell us a bit about how you got to where you [00:03:00] are. Please Sarah Sure, 

Sarah Charles: I graduated from Duke with a degree in economics, and then like almost no economics major, I enrolled in an acting program at NYU because I thought I wanted to be an actress for a hot minute, and that didn't last long. I had a brief stint as an event planner, but eventually landed at Goldman Sachs in 1999, and that started me on my financial service.

Financial services journey. So I've been in finance for almost 25 years. I guess this is my 25th year. And how long 

Heather Quick: were you with the Goldman Sachs and like, how was that experience? How did that help you, you know, build on what 

Sarah Charles: you do now? Yep, I was at Goldman for five years, and so I've worn a lot of hats.

I was at Goldman for five years. That led to a stint at a private equity [00:04:00] firm, which led to a stint at a hedge fund before I wound up at a registered investment advisor. I've been on the operations side. I've been on the Marketing side. And in 2010, I transitioned into the role of actually working as an advisor, advising clients.

So it's a lot of experience and all of it has shaped how I got to where I am today. 

Heather Quick: Well, that is great. And tell us a little bit about. You know, what you do now, what is financial planning and how do you help people, um, you know, solve their problems and plan for 

Sarah Charles: their future? So, I describe financial planning as a framework for navigating all of your financial decision making.

And I think if you were to have a hundred different advisors in a room and you were to say, what is financial planning to you? They're going to give you a hundred [00:05:00] different answers. Everybody. Has a slightly different interpretation, but I like to think of it, like I said, as a framework for navigating all your financial decisions and helping answer what I think is the most common question that people have, which is this idea of, am I going to be okay?

Right? Well, my, will my money last my lifetime. 

Heather Quick: And now, how does that when you're working with, I say, you know, female breadwinners, you know, how, how do those conversations, you know, 

Sarah Charles: evolve

Heather Quick: and, and, you know, really, what can you bring to the table for those women that can help build that trust? 

Sarah Charles: Well, there's a few things.

One, I have been through a divorce and I'm very candid about what I call my money story, right? My past [00:06:00] relationship with money, the mistakes I've made, all the lessons I've learned along the way, and so I'm very candid about my own experiences and share those stories with the women I work with. I also really like to focus on the emotional.

Aspects of financial planning as much as the numerical. So sure, we all, we all want to know how much do I have today and is it enough to get me to where I'm going in the future? Let's pause and take a look back. Let's look at what's our past relationship with money. What has influenced us? What are the things we learned when we were younger?

And how does that inform where we are today? So we can examine that and. Make sure it's not keeping you from where you want to be in the future. I think that's so important. And 

Heather Quick: there is the numbers, but there. Also exists the [00:07:00] emotions around money that I think that's amazing that you really can help women with that because they're probably ones who would be more open potentially to talk about the emotions related to it and especially a woman going through a divorce or just finishing a divorce.

There's going to be a lot of both sides of that conversation. I'm sure. 

Sarah Charles: Oh, absolutely. And statistically, 90 to 95 percent of women will eventually become their family's primary financial decision maker if they're not already there now. And that's a huge part of my why Heather. That's a huge part of why I chose to become an advisor, why I do the work I do because I want to see women step into that role.

With confidence and conviction. And unfortunately, I've met and worked with a lot of women who aren't prepared. I wasn't prepared. I, you know, here [00:08:00] I am an economics major working in financial services and I had completely abdicated most financial responsibility to my first husband. I sat on the sidelines of my own financial life.

And then we separate physically and we. Start to separate financially and it's like, whoa, there's this massive wake up call that I gotta, I gotta take ownership. I gotta take charge. How did I, how did I let myself get so far removed from something that's so important? I think that's 

Heather Quick: so valuable that you share that because it happens and sometimes it just happens just as part of who takes on different roles within the household, but yet the finances are something so important to stay in the loop and to begin to educate yourself, particularly you might become the sole financial decision maker.

Not because of a [00:09:00] divorce, but because of a death and, and which is I know where, you know, the 90 to 95 percent comes from because women tend to outlive men. And so you, you want to do it sooner rather than later and educate yourself. And also, you know, something that I've learned as a business owner, but to become an educated consumer of the financial service, to understand what's out there so that you can.

You know, help make decisions and you're not just letting someone make them for you without your goals and future in mind. 

Sarah Charles: Yes, and I could spend the next hour talking about how broken the financial services industry is and how challenging it is for people to access independent, objective financial advice.

They don't know what questions to ask. They don't know what's out there. And so a big part of what I do [00:10:00] now is around 

Heather Quick: education. And I think that's so important and because that's where you got to start, right? Because you can't have a conversation if that foundation is not there as, as far as the understanding.

And what do you think? Do you think too often? Or I don't know. I'd like to know. Do you think too often women will absorb the information, but maybe not ask questions in this particular area for 

Sarah Charles: whatever reason? I do, and I've come up with a, I've come up with what I call FUQs, which stands for Frequently Unasked Questions, and it's the questions where Afraid to ask embarrassed to ask or don't know to ask and I do think there is there's a big lack of knowledge.

Like, we don't have that foundational knowledge when it comes to fundamentals of financial literacy. I don't know about you when I was in school, they taught me how to dissect a [00:11:00] frog. And what the periodic table of elements was all about, but no one taught me how to build a budget or what compound interest was.

So, 

Heather Quick: I know, I think that's a little backwards because, you know, I don't really, I haven't come across the need to dissect the frog. I've got to 

Sarah Charles: be here by, you know, and I've got to, I've 

Heather Quick: got my basic anatomy. I know what I need to know. Right? Nobody's letting me in. Cut on anybody, nor do I want to. But um, I do think that a balance sheet, some compound interests and and things like that, balancing the checkbook are, should be part of the core.

Yeah. And so that's why I think we think, well, one, we don't know what we don't know, right. That's in both our areas, but for whatever reason, right? Like if I was going to be operating on and they're like talking about my appendix and I didn't know about it, I'd be like, well, where is that? I wanna know a little bit more.

But sometimes we. Are brave enough maybe to ask about the finance because we're like, oh, they think we should know this whereas it's never been in part of the core curriculum anywhere. [00:12:00]

Sarah Charles: Yeah, I always talk about spark plugs. I'm never going to change my own spark plugs, but I want to know enough that if the mechanic says, hey, it's time to change your spark plugs.

I can ask some thoughtful, informed questions before handing over my credit card and being charged. Well, I'm impressed there because 

Heather Quick: I don't know much about or anything or anything about smart plugs, but that's okay. We've checked off smart plugs from dissection and financials. So we are going to take a quick break.

You guys, our listeners can ponder on these various topics, but we're going to get into more financials and the kind of questions that we get. Should be asking and to help our listeners with that. So listeners, we will be right back after a short break. Thank 

Sarah Charles: you.

Heather Quick: Alrighty. Welcome back listeners today. We are joined by Sarah Charles to talk about gaining confidence in finances, particularly as you are preparing for and or going through a divorce. Now, Sarah, before we, uh, before our break, [00:13:00] we talked a little bit about your background, but also just some general.

Emotions, feelings that you've seen, um, you know, when dealing with your clients and talking about financial planning and really like the lack of basic education for most individuals out there in regards to financial planning. Um, but now I want to talk about, like, what does that mean for our listeners?

And, and let's talk about maybe some basic key terms, concepts that are important for our listeners. Because, you know what, if you didn't get it in high school, which we know you really didn't, most likely, but, um, especially if you're in our age group, you know, maybe they're doing a little better now, I'm not sure.

But, either way, if you're listening, let's talk about some of the Some of the main key terms that, um, you know, you would want our listeners to 

Sarah Charles: know. Yeah. So I think it's super important to understand what you have. So [00:14:00] getting organized is really essential. Understanding what accounts do you have, who owns them, where are they located?

Same thing for credit cards. Do you understand your investments? Do you understand what your money is in? Is it in stocks? Is it in bonds? Is it mutual funds? Is it in private equity, real estate? I'm actually creating a curriculum right now that I'm calling the fearless girl's guide to finance, and it creates a pretty basic framework of who, what, where.

When, why, how and breaking down all of these complex financial topics into a framework. That's makes sense to people and where we can sort of isolate a particular area understanding [00:15:00] again, what you have, where it's held, how it's invested, and you don't have to know the answers to all the questions, but just.

Start to document it, start to put it down on paper or, you know, in a spreadsheet in a way so you can get your arms around it with professional guidance and help. Right? Maybe it's something where you need someone to come in and help you make sense of it all. But the 1st place to start is just get it organized.

Heather Quick: And that's great advice because very often. And I think particularly, you know, obviously, the longer you live and work and. Or married, you know, things can add up, like something as simple as life insurance policies. You know, we find sometimes when we're helping folks through divorce, they have multiple.

And it's like, but you know where they are, what the value, a lot of them are term. But yet, if something were to happen, you need to know where these are. And that [00:16:00] organization, uh, of the financial picture. It can be, I mean, that's overwhelming for a lot of our clients because like they have to, we have to have full financial disclosure and it's, it's quite overwhelming for many of our clients.

Sarah Charles: Absolutely, and, you know, just to share part of my story, I never paid attention to tax returns. My ex handled it. He said, sign here. I signed. I never knew if we owed if we were getting a refund. And then the 1st year we were separated. I got this massive refund. Like, enough money that I could afford to actually put central air conditioning in the little home I had been living in.

And I just kind of assumed that I would get that that same refund every year. So the next year, when I owed money, it was like, wait, what? Like, and so I think all this to say, when we talk about the value of advice, this is 1 of [00:17:00] the things. I really mean by it. We don't know what we don't know. And if we need our appendix out, we go to a doctor.

We don't try to do it ourselves, you know, and so bringing in trusted professionals to fill in the knowledge gaps and help you navigate what is one of the most stressful and challenging events you're ever going to live through is so critical.

Heather Quick: Absolutely. Now tell me a little bit about. You know, owning a business and what that means for your financial landscape, like. How did this change your personal financial 

Sarah Charles: strategies? So I'm a relatively new entrepreneur, Heather, and it's been an interesting, it's been an interesting experience. So one of the things I was I was very determined about [00:18:00] after my divorce was I was determined to have my own money.

This was advice my mother gave me when I was younger. I would say it's the best advice I ever ignored. My mother said, Sarah, keep some money for yourself. A woman should always have her own money. And I said, okay, and then promptly went and put everything I had in a joint checking account. One of the things I learned and one of the things I really preach is this idea of financial independence.

Well, walking away from the security and stability of corporate America and starting a business with my spouse means everything is ours. And so it's been a real shift from the financial independence I have carved out over the last decade to financial partnership. And it works, but it's been, um, it's been humbling.

It's been humbling to, to make that transition. I'm sure. And 

Heather Quick: [00:19:00] I think, you know, um, I think that would be very normal. And, you know, obviously, you know, starting your own business, that is, um, that's why, you know, and it's worth it. If when you make it work, it's just can, you know, be difficult at first. And of course, now we have to discuss since the name of the show.

Is women winning divorce and, you know, do you have any tips for our listeners or clients that are either seeking or going through doors because you've got so much different experience, your own experience, but then years in financial planning, working with, you know, women on the other side, but you have both sides.

So I know you have some great tips and things that would be helpful for our 

Sarah Charles: listeners. I do. And there's two that, there's two that come right to the top of my mind. The first is trust yourself, trust yourself to get through this process. Going through a divorce can be [00:20:00] unthinkable, it can be overwhelming, it can be terrifying, and it can be all of those things, even if you were the one who initiated it.

Divorce is not always a bad thing. Getting out of a relationship that's not serving you well is not always a bad, you know, that's not a bad thing, but trust yourself to get through it and then create your community. I think when we say it takes a village, it does take a village and it. Can take a village to get you through a divorce.

And that community is not just the team of professionals who are guiding you through with their expertise, but that means your family, your friends, your faith community, your work community, whatever that looks like, but allow that support system to hold you. At a time when you need it most that is 

Heather Quick: that is great advice because the team is important and, 

Sarah Charles: you know, just 

Heather Quick: like you were talking about.

It's it's the [00:21:00] financial planning. It's the, it's the tax, um, you know, expertise and insight as well as the legal side. But there there's so many things and rely on the other folks because it's not something that most people should go through without all of those experts. Now, there are the frequently unasked questions that you've had, but are there certain things you do find yourself explaining more often or repeatedly with your clients that you could share for our listeners?

Sarah Charles: I think a big one is there's a real fear of failure. A lot of women don't take any action because they don't want to make a mistake. And so I like to debunk this myth and at the end of the day, human beings On the whole are not hardwired to be good at investing. We suffer [00:22:00] from a trifecta of behavior bias and biology that really keeps us from having a successful investment experience.

And so I always like for clients to understand. You are not meant to be good at this and that's okay. It shouldn't keep you from from taking action. 

Heather Quick: That's fascinating. I have never heard that though. You got it. You got to dig in on that a little bit for me. 

Sarah Charles: Okay. 

Heather Quick: The bias and 

Sarah Charles: biology. Behavior bias and biology.

Heather Quick: Okay. Please, please go into that a little bit deeper because that's fascinating to me. Yeah. 

Sarah Charles: So if you think about one of the fundamental rules of investing, it is sell high and buy low. And yet when the stock market is down, when stocks are on sale on sale, most people don't feel really good about buying them, right?

It's I don't have a ton of [00:23:00] clients who call me up when the market's down 20 percent and say, oh, great. This is an awesome opportunity to put money to work. And that's because we suffer from a lot of. Cognitive and emotional biases, but there's one in particular that really trips us up in investing. And that's the idea of loss aversion.

We feel our losses twice as deeply as we feel any pleasure from our gains. And then when you factor in that financial losses are processed in the same part of the brain as mortal danger, that becomes. A pretty simple recipe for turning humans into their own worst enemy when it comes to investing. Wow.

And, you know, I think 

Heather Quick: that's so helpful. Thank you for explaining that because then we don't feel the shame like, Oh, there's something wrong with us. Right. And that's why it's good to have someone else help [00:24:00] navigate this for you to protect you from some of these biological responses that might make you go, I don't care, you know.

Yeah. Sell it all. Right? 

Sarah Charles: Right. And then you factor in that investing is positioned as some kind of game to be won or lost by the financial media. Right? Heather, you too can be a winner at the game of investing if you just pick the right stock or choose the right manager or get in and out of the market at exactly the right time.

And so there is a real fear like, Oh gosh, this is something that I can mess up. And right. That is. You know, that's that's actually not investing. That's trading, which is more like gambling. And yeah, gambling is a game to be won or lost, but if you take an academic approach to investing and you look at it prudently, it's not something to be won or lost.

[00:25:00] It's just a process that takes time and so and patience. Yeah, and so, and that's another concept. I, I spend a lot of time talking about is the idea of risk and that not all risk is created equal. There's smart risk. There's not so smart risk. And while our natural risk aversion is what has. Um,

Heather Quick: now building on that, because we're talking about the risk, what do you find is the biggest misunderstanding or misconception when it comes to asset management and, you know, how does this differ when we 

Sarah Charles: have, you know, individuals who have more complex assets? [00:26:00] I think the biggest misconception is that it needs to be complicated.

Um, it doesn't. I'm a big believer in letting the market work for you, owning a portfolio of low cost, globally diversified ETFs or mutual funds, um, set an allocation that makes sense for what you're trying to accomplish and put a plan in place to guide you. And that's really all you need. It's, it's actually, it's kind of like the little black dress of investing, right?

It's simple. It's elegant. It's timeless. And so I don't think there needs to be a lot of complexity and there doesn't need to be a lot of action taking in order to see results. Over time, and I think that 

Heather Quick: is important what you said, though, and that's why you're a financial planner. So important because to achieve what you want to achieve, like, it has to start with, you know, where you are and [00:27:00] what your outcomes are.

Right? Oh, yeah. 

Sarah Charles: And 1 of the 1st things that I ask all clients to do is to draft a statement of financial purpose. I, I want you to have a why, because that is something you can anchor to. When times get tough or markets get scary, um, and it might change because life changes and, and that's okay. But I always want people to have a why behind their decision making, because then the decisions they make reflect what is truly most important to them.

And it's not reflecting some external source. 

Heather Quick: I like that. I like that. I 

Sarah Charles: think that's really important. Now, when advising a client who's 

Heather Quick: going through a divorce, are there specific strategies that you would recommend that may pertain more to them than, let's say, you know, a non divorcing client? 

Sarah Charles: Well, I am [00:28:00] a big believer in premarital agreements, although when someone's going through a divorce, it's a little late for that advice.

Yes. Um, I do think it's important not to make any big financial 12 months. Make, do any short term blocking and tackling that you have to do to separate financially, get accounts set up, relist your beneficiaries, but don't make any big decisions because again, going through a divorce is so emotional and so traumatic for so many people.

Just give yourself time to get through that before you start really imagining what you want your financial future to look like. I think that's important because the, you know, very often, um, going through a divorce, there's depends, right? We have, you know, human being so they go through 

Heather Quick: so many feelings, but sometimes like, well, I need to do this now.

I [00:29:00] need to go buy a place and I need to have X, Y, Z and I tend to caution them because like, well, we always own a house and now we're selling it and I shouldn't rent. And I understand that, but it's like, well, maybe give yourself a little grace and some time 

Sarah Charles: to figure out who. 

Heather Quick: You are who you want to be and that once you get a little bit away from the end of the divorce can provide 

Sarah Charles: you with some clarity and sometimes you might feel really 

Heather Quick: differently about where you want to be, um, in the future, you 

Sarah Charles: know, like for house is a good example.

It's a, it's a great example and I love the idea of just silencing the shoulds for a little while there's so much growth and change and self exploration that happens after divorce. At least there was for me and. You can't, you don't have clarity when you're in that [00:30:00] messy middle and you're going through it and you need to allow yourself to come out on the other side and and get through some healing before you go ahead and start writing the next chapter.

Yeah, and 

Heather Quick: I think, especially when it. Links to finances, because, you know, so you may make rash decisions that 

Sarah Charles: then, um, you will regret or, 

Heather Quick: you know, you could lose money, things like that. Um, so I 

Sarah Charles: think that is, additionally, they're all 

Heather Quick: kind of big decisions that we usually ask our client, like, or counsel them, just give yourself 12 months to, you know, settle in on the new you and the new, um, circumstances of your life.

But, you know, where do you find your clients having the biggest hurdles 

Sarah Charles: or obstacles? I think there's a lot of fear, which is totally human and totally normal. And [00:31:00] I guess I've also seen people who

try to replicate what they had. They want to maintain something that looks and feels similar to the life. That they're leaving, and if that's, if that's what you want to do, I can't tell you not to, but I, I don't think you're, I don't think you're giving yourself the opportunity to explore the new, what's next.

Heather Quick: Well, and obviously that makes sense because of the fear, right? And the fear of the unknown and what is that going to look like versus what was comfortable. But, you know, then I think that they just, they do get stuck and then it's hard to. Really grow. 

Sarah Charles: Oh, yeah. Inertia is real and [00:32:00] I see it with clients going through divorce and clients not going through divorce.

People like to stay where they are. Absolutely. It's true. It's true. Um, and sometimes it's unless it's the 

Heather Quick: forces beyond your control. Sometimes are what people need to. Cause them to take some movement. Now, 

Sarah Charles: do you, as the financial counsel and in your role, find 

Heather Quick: yourself talking to a lot of clients about 

Sarah Charles: prenuptial agreements or ways to protect assets, especially if you're the breadwinner?

I do. When it comes up, I absolutely talk about it. And again, I always share my own experience and my own story. So, when my first husband and I got engaged, my dad gave me a book called prenups are for lovers, which was written by an attorney out of New York. And I took it and I said, thanks. And then I stuck it in my sock drawer and never looked at it again.

And I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, like. I have no [00:33:00] assets. I'm 20 something years old. And, you know, and of course I was idealistic and we're going to live forever and ever. And when Jim and I met and we started dating, it was very early on. And he said, you know, if I ever get married, I want a prenup. And I was like, absolutely.

Because I had learned how important it is to protect what is yours. And I don't think that getting a prenuptial agreement is somehow a Means you assume your marriage is going to end. You know, I don't buy homeowners insurance because I assume my house is going to burn down. I buy homeowners insurance to protect myself against a wide range of outcomes that might not be favorable to me.

And so, particularly, I feel like it comes up a lot with people who are either marrying later in life, or maybe it's a 2nd marriage, but they're coming into it much more established. Yes. [00:34:00] I just think it's so important. And I wish it didn't have the stigma of being again, like, Hey, you're getting a prenup.

Well, that means you're going to get divorced. I think just the opposite. I think when you can communicate openly and honestly about money with someone, that is a sign of a really deep connection and real trust and real love. I agree. And I, um, 

Heather Quick: I've had this conversation before on the podcast with probably a financial planner and, you know, talking about that, because as you related to it, everybody has a money story, and we all have beliefs, feelings about money that come really, I think, from our family of origin.

The opportunity doesn't present itself when you get married, should, but you know, they're to talk about these things. So the very fact that you engage in a [00:35:00] conversation, I agree with you, it begins to build a much better foundation for moving forward, because being married in and of itself. There is a combination of assets, whether you keep your own, but like houses and as life goes on things, you 

Sarah Charles: know, come together.

Yeah, and the older we get, the more complicated life becomes. Um, I think there's so much value in building and developing financial intimacy. Between partners. And again, that's that honest conversation about all the things you would talk about when you're working through your, your prenuptial agreement.

Absolutely. 

Heather Quick: Well, that was a great topic and I'm glad we, we delved into that. And so I'm excited to go deeper in the next segment, but first we are going to take a quick break. So our listeners can visit their favorite [00:36:00] social site to follow at four women law. We have more to come with Sarah Charles. We'll be right 

Sarah Charles: back.

Heather Quick: Welcome back from our break listeners. We are almost out of time with Sarah Charles and our conversation surrounding financial confidence in divorce. And Sarah and I talked about like the basics of asset management and some things that really hold people back and. You know, the real issues like fear and even biology that create resistance at times to stay invested.

But, 

Sarah Charles: um, we have more to still cover. And 

Heather Quick: 1 of the things that I wanted to ask you, but we ran out of time before the last break were, are there any trends you're seeing for high net worth or complex 

Sarah Charles: asset clients? I think, Heather, that there are always investment trends and investment fads. Right now, [00:37:00] there's a lot of focus on cryptocurrency and especially Bitcoin with the new ETFs that were just approved.

There's a lot of buzz around the Mag7, which are the seven big technology stocks that are driving a lot of market performance. Uh, third season? Talk around AI and what's the impact on on investments. And I will go back to my earlier comment, which is we take a little black dress approach to investing and, you know, approach it in a way that is simple, timeless and elegant.

However, I always like to offer up a basic framework to help people make their decisions and evaluate, well, is this the right thing for me to do? And it's four questions. So ask yourself one. Do I already own this? Right? In the example of Bitcoin, [00:38:00] I don't own any Bitcoin. So maybe I do want to buy a Bitcoin spot ETF.

Actually, I don't. But, um, but if I think about some of these tech stocks, right? It's like, oh, everyone's talking about Apple and Microsoft and video. Well, you know, I own an S and P 500 fund and all those stocks are already in that fund. So, ask yourself, you know, do I already own this? Why should I expect a return?

And in the case of stocks, we generally expect a return because we assume the company is going to innovate and grow and increase its return to shareholders. What are the costs for buying and holding this investment and most importantly, how does it align with my goals and the things that I'm trying to accomplish with my resources?

And I think using that as a framework, it can help people sift through some of the shiny trends that are out there and stay focused on what's tried [00:39:00] and true and what aligns with their why. I think that's really 

Heather Quick: important. And I think. That's why I had the relationship you have with your financial planner so that you can talk through these things with them.

And you know if they're the type of person it's like I gotta, I gotta experiment, try something. It's like, okay, well Then, you know, do the, do the cryptocurrency, but not in a way that's going to affect your whole portfolio and potentially have negative consequences. It's just a probably much riskier, but 

Sarah Charles: so, you know, let's keep that, like you said, within your goals.

Um, 

Heather Quick: now, what does your relationship with a client's attorney typically look like? Are there certain types of information you might provide to a divorce attorney when. You know, you're working with a client and of course, you know, everybody's in agreement because, you know, they want, they want to share resources 

Sarah Charles: to help our clients.

I love to [00:40:00] see it be a collaborative team effort and I think 1 of the most important roles that an advisor can play during the divorce is. By helping with scenario analysis to determine if a proposed settlement will make financial sense. Ultimately, everyone on the team has their area of expertise, and I think teams function best when people are working together.

Heather Quick: Now, what are some situations that might get alarming and really in need of financial expertise 

Sarah Charles: during the divorce process? Well, certainly, when you say alarming, I immediately think of financial abuse or, um, financial infidelity, where someone's hiding assets, and then you need to bring in a forensic accountant to start digging through the paperwork.

But then, there's also working with people who are just really in the dark and [00:41:00] unaware and. Feeling overwhelmed by stepping into the role of financial decision maker for the 1st time. And then there's some of the basic tactical practical, you know, how do you divide up assets? I don't know what the laws are in Florida, but in North Carolina, we're an equitable distribution state.

And so settlements have to be equitable. Yes, and that's the same in Florida. So it is similar and understanding. There's 2 ways to think about it. It's what's the numeric value, right? But also not all assets are created equally. And if you want to keep the house and forego money in an investment account, well, what does that look like in liquidity?

Taxes long term appreciation, so it helps to have people again, guide you through that process so that you're not making decisions that are purely based on, [00:42:00] you know, what your heart is telling you, but you can make up with additional perspective. 

Heather Quick: I like that. Now, what are two or three things you find yourself saying to all of your clients who are going through a divorce?

Sarah Charles: One, you will get through it. It does not always feel like it, but you will get through it. Two, there's a price on your mental well being and I hate to see people get so focused on a financial outcome that they are willing to sacrifice their own emotional well being I'm a big fan of collaborative divorce, and even if people aren't doing collaborative, you know, how civil and amicable can you make it?

Whenever possible, 

Heather Quick: I'm not sure if, and this was interesting as I've interviewed more attorneys throughout the country, uh, you know, I just assume mediation was [00:43:00] required. It's required in Florida for all divorces, um, but not every state requires it. So even if it's not a fully collaborative in the definition, it.

We have a collaborative process, which can make a, you know, the majority of the cases settle, and it can make for such a better amicable and, um, you know, really can help complete your divorce, give you that closure in a process that you got to participate in versus a judge making all of those decisions for you.

And that can be hard because, you know, there's, it's just to not have the control over your finances and your family and making 

Sarah Charles: those decisions. For the people who I know and work with where their divorce is in litigation, it's such a drain, not just financially, but emotionally, and it takes so much focus and so much energy.

And I remember again, going through my own divorce and going through the process of, you know, figuring out a settlement [00:44:00] agreement. And at the end of the day, um, I decided that I wanted to put it behind me. And so I was. Willing to negotiate and that leads to my 3rd point, which is I'm pretty sure that every single person who has ever gone through a divorce probably feels like they've left something on the table.

I suspect that most people say, oh, my ex got the better end of the bargain. I gave something up. I know I did, and I'm sure if you asked my ex, he'd probably say he did. So, you know, just know that. I think that's a normal, I'm 

Heather Quick: glad you normalized that feeling in that both sides probably feel like that.

Sarah Charles: Right, but it comes back to what's, what's the greatest priority. And for me, I always believe the greatest priority has got to be emotional well being. Absolutely, and 

Heather Quick: closure and, you know, independence. And that's why, um. 

Sarah Charles: You know, just as when I 

Heather Quick: say [00:45:00] women winning divorce because you won because you got your independence and you got closure and it was done and sometimes.

Okay. So you didn't have this, but yet you've really won because you're moved on with your life and you didn't get stuck in that, you know, uh, just that cycle and, and, and it can go on for quite 

Sarah Charles: some time. It can. And you don't 

Heather Quick: realize that the, you're in it and then so far gone, you're like, why, how did I get so far gone and stuck on what are probably in the whole grand scheme of things?

And not always, but very often. A minor or a, a, a smaller issue and maybe just one thing and, and yet so much importance gets attached to it that it can make it very difficult for some people just to see the bigger picture and get themselves closure. 

Sarah Charles: Agree 100 percent with that, Heather. Now, um, how 

Heather Quick: is working with men and women different and [00:46:00] have you altered your approach if at all when you 

Sarah Charles: work with women?

I think probably the biggest difference is. More of my female clients lack confidence, and so there's a big component of education and helping them develop that confidence, whether it's, you know, teaching them the fundamentals of, hey, what's the difference between a stock and a bond or helping them rethink risk?

I do tell. Anyone who I work with that, as I shared, human beings aren't hardwired to be good at this. So give yourself some grace and I do like to tell my female clients that they actually have investing superpowers. So humans aren't really good at investing, but some of the things that women think hold them back, like taking time to do research and ask questions or.

Staying invested once they make a decision that actually serves them well, and there's a number of [00:47:00] studies that document women's outperformance over men when it comes to investing. And I feel like that little nugget of information really gives people a nice little boost that is. I like that. I like that.

Well, as we are nearing the end of our show, because it's been 

Heather Quick: great. Um, talking with you, you would share with our listeners and me, um, you know, what you've learned from working with women and families throughout your career that you could share. 

Sarah Charles: I have witnessed the benefit of what it means to have access to independent, objective financial advice, and I see the impact it has on confidence and clarity and decision making.

And I love nothing more than to see a female client who I met when she was at the beginning of her divorce process, and then to talk to her a year or 2 or 3 years later and see how much. [00:48:00] She has grown and how much she has benefited from having us be there to support her on this journey. Well, that is awesome.

Heather Quick: And we really appreciate that. And for all our listeners, we are going to 

Sarah Charles: have all of Sarah's 

Heather Quick: information listed in our show notes. And lastly, though, before we leave, though, the name of your company and website, Sarah, if you could share that for our listeners once again. 

Sarah Charles: Sure we are Sanctuary Financial Planning, and the website is www.sanctuaryfinancialplanning.com.

Thank 

Heather Quick: you so much for being here today, Sarah. This information has been very valuable. 

Sarah Charles: Thanks for having me, Heather. I enjoyed it. 

Heather Quick: Absolutely. Well, we have reached the end of our show today, and we really appreciate having Sarah join us to discuss all things financially related within a divorce. Well, not all things, but we covered a lot.

We did. And listeners, if you [00:49:00] or someone you know is going through a divorce or speaking about a divorce, please reach out to us at floridawomenslawgroup. com or join our Facebook group, Women Winning Divorce. Links will be in the episode description, and please. If you like the show and know someone who may like it, we ask that you share it and give us a five star review so others can find our show.

Thank you so much. Thank you for joining me for this episode of Women Winning Divorce. My goal is to elevate your life and the way you are thinking so that you are best equipped to win at life. If you enjoy the show, please subscribe so you automatically get my new shows every week. And I would love to hear from you personally.

Come join the conversation on social and join our Facebook group, Women Winning Divorce. We welcome your comments and suggestions. We want to bring you content that helps move your life forward. Women Winning Divorce is the place for an elevated conversation on how women can thrive during times of adversity in order to [00:50:00] live their best life.