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Episode 47: When She Has The Money

In the latest episode of "The Family Biz Show," hosted by Michael Palumbos, guests Jamie Traeger-Muney and Evan Muney delve into the dynamics of financially diverse couples, particularly where the woman holds more wealth. Jamie, a clinical psychologist, discusses her journey into the field, triggered by the silence around money discussions among her affluent clients. She emphasizes the importance of open conversations about wealth, drawing from her personal experience in a family business and a family foundation.

Evan Muney shares his insights from working in Jamie's family business and his interest in their joint study on wealthy couples with a financial disparity favoring the woman. The study aims to explore the unique challenges these couples face, emphasizing the necessity for open dialogues as societal attitudes towards wealth are changing.

The episode highlights the three Cs crucial for navigating financially diverse relationships: Courage to initiate difficult conversations, Curiosity to understand each other's perspectives, and Communication to discuss wealth openly. Jamie and Evan stress the importance of aligning values and actions within a relationship and across generations, suggesting that values-based discussions can strengthen family bonds and facilitate wealth management.

Listeners are encouraged to participate in Jamie and Evan's ongoing study to contribute to a broader understanding of how financially diverse couples can foster healthy, communicative relationships amidst the complexities of wealth disparity.

Episode 47 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos: Welcome everybody to the family biz show I am your host Michael Columbus from family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York.

 

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Michael Palumbos: how's everybody doing, we have a great show for you today we're going to be talking about when she has the money, the three c's of financially diverse couples and we are super blessed to be joined by Jamie and Evan trager mooney and welcome to both of you.

 

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Evan Muney: Thank you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Great to be here, as we always do on the show what i'd love to start with is if each of you could just kind of.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Give us your journey, how did you end up in this work and doing what you're doing today, I know you know, very few people start their career saying ooh I can't wait to do work with family enterprises, but maybe it did, and tell us about it we'd love to hear how you got here.

 

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Evan Muney: Jamie go ahead.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Okay, so um I am a clinical psychologist by training and when I first got license and started out in the San Francisco Bay area I lived in a fairly affluent area, and I was amazed by.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Not what my clients were talking about, but what my clients weren't talking about and what they weren't talking about was money and unless they didn't have enough, then they would talk about it, but if they had enough or they had more than enough, you know.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: That it was just crickets and I think that it's really important that we are able to talk about all aspects of ourselves and i'm always sort of suspicious when certain conversations aren't being had so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know that that was kind of the professional side of what got me interested in this field, but to back up I i'm second generation in a family business.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Part of a family foundation grew up with a lot of conversations about money, my father grew up lower middle class, and you know was really as he called it hungry.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: To make his fortune and did a lot of open talking to us about money, so I guess that also stood in contrast.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Contrast because we always talked about it, but then I got into the therapy office where my clients would talk ad nauseam about sex, but they weren't talking about money.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So I decided to really focus on the emotional impact of money wealth and privilege.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And it's you know I can set my my watch by a first session with a client 20 minutes in they'll inevitably say to me i'm so happy that I found you I have nowhere else to talk about these things.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So I always know that i'm onto something when i'm creating an open space for people to have the ability to really sort through often ambivalent feelings about about their wealth great.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Now I appreciate that, so you are one of the few that really dove right in that field, you may not have even known like you said when you started that that's where this was going, but you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Put your fingers on the pulse of something you know, interesting and followed it good for you love it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Thank you Evan tell.

 

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Evan Muney: me well in in parallel i've Jamie and I have been married now almost 30 years and i've always watched and admired her career and her career path.

 

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Evan Muney: With a lot of interest, and not only with interest on her career path, but she mentioned her family, enterprise and it turns out that I ended up working in her family business with with my father in law with jamie's Father for well over eight years and.

 

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Evan Muney: understood.

 

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Evan Muney: I could say more more about jamie's family business than Jamie herself, but one of the things I always admired was the family's openness to talk about wealth and money issues.

 

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Evan Muney: And they always did it from a values based place there was it was it was talking about money in a context of what is this money for how does it impact us.

 

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Evan Muney: What can we do with it, and so on, we can get into the details of that and some of the values that are important to us, but.

 

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Evan Muney: More recently i've only started working with Jamie in the last year or so and that's in particular because she began a study of.

 

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Evan Muney: Not just wealthy couples, but she began doing some research and study of wealthy couples, where the the woman in the couple comes to the relationship with more money and I thought that was particularly interesting because it was my lived experience.

 

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Evan Muney: I am experience our lived experience exactly yes.

 

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Evan Muney: And, and as part of that study of speaking to and doing research about couples like this that are in those circumstances i'll have Jamie explain.

 

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Evan Muney: Some of the unique challenges of finding people willing to talk to us about that.

 

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Evan Muney: But one thing, in particular, that we do find that's pretty common is that men in particular are reluctant to talk to other people about it.

 

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Evan Muney: There are certain things that come up for men are typically come up for men and they're more comfortable talking to another man who's also.

 

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Evan Muney: Come come into has similar circumstances, so I think that's where i've come in and been useful is talking to the men were part of this study and that's my my recent joining of of Jamie and her work great.

 

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Michael Palumbos: thank Neil, thank you both and in Jamie this isn't your first study this is like.

 

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Michael Palumbos: done many studies, through the years, and so this is just a different twist in a different twist but just a different take and a different you know study that you're doing right now, and I think that's really important because it's not talked about a lot today.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so what you're doing is meaningful so let's let's set the frame the foundation for this conversation, you know it's when she has the money exploring the unique experiences of financially diverse couples.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Well let's let's talk about that a little bit where did that come from me, you guys lived it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But where did you know where where did it come that you said you know the light went off and said I, we need to study this more can you set that up for us.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: sure you know it really came from jake us Jay and and his now wife and Jackie Mel and joni Brockman and her partner wrote.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: reflections on fiscal and equals and they talked about their experience of being in partnerships, where the woman comes in, with more money than her husband from an inheritance and they spoke very openly and honestly about it.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And it was very important for Jay you know it was really their reflections it wasn't a study it was two couples sitting down and talking about it with research and we all know and love Jay how he how he does things in this brilliant mind so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But he it was very important for him that this study get expanded and that we're really as we move, you know from wealth.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: 1.0 to wealth 2.0 and now going into wealth 3.0 and what one of the things that's important in this which to three point out.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: is having more research based interventions that we can bring to families, so this was a topic that was very near and dear to jay's heart he knew that it was near and dear to our hearts and.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I feel like i'm carrying were carrying on that legacy and J is very much a part of being an elder in the study, as is Dennis jaffe.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Great you've mentioned something that I want to make sure that our listeners heard you said well 3.0 but then you said well 1.0 and 2.0 set that up so that people understand what that means, if you don't mind.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Sure it's a concept that Jim read men came up with and.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: did a lot of lovely kind of retrospective of the field and he started, you know well.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: One point I was pretty.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: unique dimensional didn't have this qualitative aspect that that I really specialized, and it was much more about the quantitative side of well.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: moving into wealth 2.0 where we started to have people like myself, I was the first psychologists ever I know in the United States, I think, in the world, but I i'm not positive that.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: To be hired by a bank to work with their clients so and that was a real shift, and you know, Jim has a wonderful clip.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Right, when I got hired someone from wells fargo was asked to be interviewed on squawk box, along with Jimmy grubman and the guy could not understand the concept at all, he basically said so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: What do you do as a wealth psychologists like are you teaching the clients, how to kill their parents, so you get your inheritance earlier, I mean this is like on squawk box it's not Saturday night live.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And in the back, you know they didn't realize this, but they had green screens so in the back where you know.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: They had yachts showing and Rolex watches, so it was very, very dismissive and even you know the next day.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: My boss's boss at wells fargo road we have well psychologists, with about 30 question marks in the subject line so you know we were often running on that and now we're moving as the fields develop.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And you and I were talking before this that something like ppi that's been around we think since 2009 so you know that also tracks, the development of the field, but as the field develops we're now moving into.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Well 3.0 and one of the main tenants, as I said, is that it would be based in research, it would be more comprehensive and it's training and more regimented as the field matures.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right so like some wealth, one point O is just the the financial aspect of it it's money as a thing, where wealth two point O is more.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Wealth as a thing, but the emotional side of wealth and the psychological impact that that has is that for layman's terms is that the simplistic way to say that.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Yes, but it's really a progression along across time okay one point was you know how we used to do things.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: God, then you know I started to work at wells fargo in 2007 so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: That was some of the beginning of those shifts that a bank would even be willing and open, I mean when I worked at wells fargo we had to go up against compliance they didn't like us to use the word relationship, they were worried that that was going to be a problematic word.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So you know the field has progressed so much because a lot of the Multi family offices platforms have wealth psychologists have somebody who's specializing in family dynamics that's become very much the status quo now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So, as the field matures and develops, we are becoming more robust.

 

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Evan Muney: Okay, if I in the air.

 

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Evan Muney: Here, if I can just as a layman one of the things that I picked up and Jamie will correct me if i'm wrong here, but one of the main differences i've learned between wealth 2.0 and three point O is also a shift.

 

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Evan Muney: In the attitude towards how to work with people and talk about the wealth.

 

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Evan Muney: In that 2.0 there were these common themes that people assumed was common knowledge and correct like.

 

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Evan Muney: The phrase shirts the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations and that every culture has a similar saying like that, and it was always approaching dealing with wealth and relationships with wealth and to wealth and.

 

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Evan Muney: People with wealth in relationships from a negative standpoint and how do we treat the sickness, as opposed to three point O, which is taking a positive look at what works and that's, hence the research based.

 

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Evan Muney: Work and we look at best practices and there are many, many examples of couples who have healthy relationships with each other and with their money, and if we can find.

 

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Evan Muney: More and more of those examples and utilize those as positive examples of ways to learn and mirror and mimic the positive aspects and the positive behaviors that's the best way to move forward.

 

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Michael Palumbos: awesome thank you both of you that, because a lot of times you know when we start these conversations we get you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: dig we dig into what we know and what we feel comfortable with, but the people listening don't always understand the background, so I really appreciate you taking the time to set this up properly.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So let's let's dive in and what we're you know talking about is that there are a variety of values and approaches when it comes to money and family enterprises.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And that you guys have identified basically the three c's when it comes to navigating you know this territory of you know whether you want to call it, we call it financially diverse couples, which I think is so much nicer than financially on equals right.

 

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It we're just.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: An example of moving from to point out its.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Fiscal and equals already comes in, with an a priori, you know by us versus and actually diverse means everybody has something to.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Bring to that relate to the relationship.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it um So where do you want it, you know we're talking about doing this, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Kevin these conversations with love and compassion and you've identified the three c's So do you want to set that up and walk us through.

 

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Michael Palumbos: How you guys came to these you know things, how many people have you so far, how many interviews or how many how much research has been done so far as you're doing this, I think that's probably good for us to know.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: yeah I think that's a great place to start because we are hitting up against the challenge of the taboo.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: that many people.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: it's very it's been very challenging to get to get participants at you know across the board, the participants that we've had we've interviewed about 20 people, the participants that we've spoken to I think have gotten a lot of value.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: From it and you know, mostly because it's the first opportunity they really openly had to talk about this it's a completely confidential study we scrub everything.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But you know the interviews are one on one but via zoom so they have that opportunity to to look at their experiences and their done individually it's not the couple together but i've been surprised how many people.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And it's both the wives and the has been.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: who have said well i'm happy to do it, but I can't even ask my partner, because this is too much of a hot topic for us this is too.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: We can't even talk about it but and they've been married for a long time, so you know more and more it's just like that silence that I saw in my therapy room.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: When people don't want to confront something, can you imagine living in a marriage, where there's such a big topic that you can't even address that you might not want to even participate in a study, but the study is really.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: geared to understanding the lived experience, so that we can develop programming and support for couples, we know that it's an issue you know I know what from my practice, I know I hear it from my colleagues, all the time.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: We know that women are gaining control of more and more assets and that, as this large wealth transfer happens, women will have even greater percentage of.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: control, so you know it's a little bit of a conundrum So these are kind of the preliminary things that we're starting to see in the in the in the research Evan do you want to talk about the start to introduce the three c's.

 

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Evan Muney: Sure, but also, I just also want to add about in particular about reluctance of couples to speak about this, the study is really set up.

 

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Evan Muney: To look at best practices of couples in the relationship with each other and what works.

 

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Evan Muney: I think one of the things that we that we don't address by design, but the, but that is a source of the reluctance of people to talk about it is.

 

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Evan Muney: Culture, overall, the negativity and the stigma that is being attached, especially in the last several years towards people with wealth towards the wealthy.

 

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Evan Muney: And people are very afraid to come out to come out of the closet, even though this study is completely confidential no names or reveal people want to keep their heads down and it's it's frustrating, and yet understandable.

 

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Evan Muney: But I think that that's a major major issue that.

 

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Evan Muney: That, I think, will continue to to come up against and hopefully we'll be able to to overcome as well and get more and more people to be willing to speak to us about it.

 

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Evan Muney: As far as the three c's.

 

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Evan Muney: Jamie as.

 

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Evan Muney: As she's noted, as a clinical psychologist and comes at it from a very.

 

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Evan Muney: psychological point of view when family systems and so on.

 

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Evan Muney: And my background is more in well i've got a business background, but i've also got a passion for Middle East studies and what i've been working in the last 10 years now, is conflict resolution in the Middle East.

 

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Evan Muney: And one of the things that that i've been looking at is the best practices and ways and methods of dealing with conflict so it's interesting that the three c's are very much jamie's baby and it's jamie's concept and I I use different words for some of the concepts.

 

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Evan Muney: So I actually think Jamie it probably makes more sense for you to introduce the three c's and talk about them.

 

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Evan Muney: As much as you like, and then I can go into sort of the perspective i'm coming to it within the things that i've learned in in my work in conflict resolution and and working with building shared i'm working on a societal level but it works for interpersonal level as well, I think.

 

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Evan Muney: So.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And you know Evan pointed out, we what we walked our dogs before this, so we are talking about this that while he's three c's come out of our research they're really broadly applicable in the field.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know I don't think these are unique to financially diverse couples, where the woman's inherited money and comes in, with more I think you know, and I would even go so far as saying, these are probably broadly applicable in.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: relationships in general, so the first one is courage, courage to start to have the conversation when you know that there is a difference and it might be challenging.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I see it all the time, with my clients, you know.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Whether they're before getting married or after getting married it it's just a subject they don't want to talk about they sort of dance around it oftentimes it doesn't really even come up until.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: there's conversation about a prenup and then really things are laid on the table, because there's a legal agreement of.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: How much so oftentimes that's that's the first time the woman is seen really what she stands to inherit our.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: has had the transparency given to her so having the courage to bring up a conversation, knowing that it might be challenging that and and not only to bring it up, but to continue to have these conversations you know i've had conversations, as I said earlier.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I had a conversation with a client who was talking to me in a whisper outside of her bedroom and she made it at a very early time.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: because she didn't think our husband would be home, but she was so uncomfortable talking about things, because he was in the next bedroom.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So you know it's it's really taking that courageous step of saying, I want to be able to talk about all aspects of our relationship.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The second one is curiosity it's a way to come into a conversation in a in a way that open continues to open up the conversation, so I would contrast curiosity to certainty.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: If you come into a conversation and you're certain that you're right, and you know how it is, and this is how it has to be that shuts down a conversation.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But if I see you're nodding.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So I love I love this because I.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know when i'm talking with my family who I will tell you know and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: When we love each other, we do a really great job of being together when we're together it's like we were just together yesterday, even it's if it's been six months.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But having the courage to be curious is really tough inside of our family and and I and i'm trying really hard to do that just within the the you know the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The two or three generations that we have, because we have Columbus family vacation that we've been doing for 22 years.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And some of us many of us would like to see that continue, even after my parents are gone, but without having the courage to have some difficult conversations, because when you get to 20 plus people.

 

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Michael Palumbos: guess what you're not all the same right, and so you need to start being curious rather than I love what you said you know being curious rather than certain.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: yeah and i'll give you a really easy thing that you can start to train yourself to and even talk to your family about.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Shifting out one easy word makes a world of difference so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: When you listen to somebody and then you want to say something different, what do you often say you say Oh, I hear you but and then you go on with your opinion so when our brain hears but it automatically gets defensive because but symbolizes that now you're going to say something different.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So if you just change that certain that simple word to, and so I hear that you're really interested to go to Mexico for the family vacation and i'm wondering.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Next year, can we do something a little bit more, you know a little bit closer to where we live, so it leaves you know you're always looking for, how can I.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: continue to open up and you can watch to see how people are engaging because when certainty starts to creep in when curiosity diminishes.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: People start to shut down, you can see it, you know versus when you say something, and they stay engaged says those Those are some easy tricks.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And then the third thing is communication, which is really the umbrella to that to all of this is that we need to be having.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: more transparent, open conversations about money at the end of the day, money is a neutral form of barter that's all it is, but we have made it out to be something.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: We do size it and we make it so large and and we don't talk about it so when we can be in communication and stay in communication, because we remain curious you know, even if.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: If Evan were to say something and I did I disagree with it again it's that opportunity to come to curiosity way, I think that you said this or my understanding it correctly, can you help me understand more.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: As opposed to I can't believe you said that, how can you think that which sometimes also happens in our House.

 

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Evan Muney: happens ever um I think.

 

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Evan Muney: Jamie laid laid those three c's out beautifully one example, we were discussing the two of us earlier is.

 

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Evan Muney: I guess it's a parallel when you've got cultural differences in a couple in a relationship.

 

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Evan Muney: Especially with children, you start to talk about how you're going to raise the kids and if it's say two different religions and one.

 

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Evan Muney: spouse wants to raise the kids within their faith.

 

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Evan Muney: And the other says fine and they're okay with that, but then, a few years go by, and then the they want to have a certain that the other spouse wants to have a certain celebration, that they had growing up.

 

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Evan Muney: And maybe the other spouse is threatened by that and rather than asking the spouse, why is that important to you, they shut down or they get confrontational or they get certain and that I think is so critical and it's something also that i'm that I see.

 

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Evan Muney: In parallel, when when people in conflict societal conflicts, also a Community conflicts and we're seeing it more and more today and.

 

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Evan Muney: In in everyday society, unfortunately, when we're certain that the other side is simply wrong we're not willing to listen, but it's not just about listening it's also about exploring and this gets to the curiosity.

 

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Evan Muney: it's exploring why, why is this important to you and and it may be that the person advocating for something might not even be sure themselves why.

 

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Evan Muney: But if their spouse or if their partner is has the courage and the curiosity, to ask and help explore that together so get at the underlying values.

 

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Evan Muney: And that's one of the things that I see in societal conflicts is what we call competing values, no one is wrong, and no one is right or maybe, no one is wrong and everyone is right, what happens when both of you are right, but the value values themselves are competing.

 

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Evan Muney: What do you do, and you need to not shy away from that, but you need to actually dig into it and dig in dig into it, obviously with curiosity and with openness.

 

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Evan Muney: And, with respect, but until you do that you're not going to get at the underlying values that are important to each of the people involved so when you're in a relationship in particular.

 

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Evan Muney: Clearly you're there because you love each other and you value each other and you want to be able to respect and understand and value the other person's values, but unless you're able to talk about those things.

 

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Evan Muney: And if it's about money, then you talk about say what it was the way that you were brought up.

 

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Evan Muney: So perhaps the the spouse, in this case, where she has the money the the husband made might have come from a family that didn't have much money growing up, and one of the values may have been, for example.

 

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Evan Muney: making sure that they were not wasteful whatsoever, and that was critically important so maybe when it comes time for the for the for buying presents say at holiday time with the children there's a lesson to be learned and some values to be explored together.

 

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Evan Muney: Because now all of a sudden you've got a family that has wealth and the husband is not used to spending that money on what he may see as frivolous gifts.

 

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Evan Muney: And the wife may say, but this is what i've always done, and I want to shower or maybe the grandparents are coming and saying they want to be able to shower their love by by providing very nice gifts.

 

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Evan Muney: And unless you can have that conversation it's going to potentially and probably lead to conflict at the release bad feelings and potentially resentment and bigger problems down the road.

 

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Evan Muney: love it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Thank you Evan you know you said something that I just want to in early we talked about though we're talking about couples, that this is applicable in just about any relationship, and as soon as you're talking about gifts.

 

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Michael Palumbos: My you know, the first what went through my head is a conversation I had with my mother.

 

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Michael Palumbos: mom it was very important to her at birthdays and holidays and whatnot when it was gift giving time and her opinion to write a check.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And to you know, make sure that you know, everybody was equal and you know I went to her one time, you know, several times, I said just so you know you know we're okay.

 

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Michael Palumbos: We don't need the money you know and but I never had a conversation with there I just was making a statement.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And then read jays book cycle of the gift and you know, taking you know what you're talking about and open up that conversation, he said hey my mind's important to you because it's not important to me to receive them I just based on where we're at in life right now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And she said in the story went back to sitting at the dinner table with her parents when she was a little girl that her father had you know they would have you know they were.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Irish Catholics, so there was a you know, a ham steak that was you know filled the plate, and they would cut it into four so that each person had.

 

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Michael Palumbos: A quarter of that him steak and that her father would then fill his stomach with as much bread, as he could butter and eat the bread.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so you know they were never in a position where they could give and so, for her it was just this coming to fruition and being able to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know to be able to share what she had because she wasn't always able to share her family would didn't come from a place where they could share, and as soon as I.

 

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Michael Palumbos: heard that I was able to say that's really cool that's good for you mom and i'm Okay, and you know what we will use this gift wisely and and do some things that maybe we wouldn't have done otherwise and that made that conversation different.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I love it, I think you both are very sorry go ahead.

 

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Evan Muney: No, I just said, good so great example I love the story too so go ahead.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: yeah I think you're broke bringing up such important points, and I want to.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: also say that so frequent way because we don't talk openly about money we don't even know where those drives come from I.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: am curious, for your mom did it take her a little bit of time to really think about well Where does this come from that I want that I want to be able to give the checks, you know so often and that that's really what happens with couples is.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know, maybe you're using the same language you know, like, for example, I worked with a couple that was.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: About to break up right before they got married because they they were having trouble planning their honeymoon.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And you know, the wife said, well, I want to stay at a nice hotel and she's thinking this and he said, well, I want to stay in a nice hotel.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: he's thinking down here they're using the same words but Nice, you know means something very different and they don't even understand.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Where in their history that definition of what a nice hotel is because they never explored these month stories.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: There there's you know, most of us operate from such an unconscious level around our money stories our money scripts.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And unless we start to peel back you know we say peel back the onion I don't like that I like peel back the artichoke because you get to that delicious art.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know, as opposed to something stinky, but if you peel back the layers and understanding and then infuse it with this beautiful story like your mother did about what she's able to provide to you versus what she was able to have growing up.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: it's so much everybody so much richer for it.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: me go back to your your three c's that word, you know implanting that word courageous or being you know, having the courage to open these conversations up is super important and the the curiosity.

 

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Michael Palumbos: To to be wondering what's going on for the other person rather than I know what's happening for me right.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But sometimes we done.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: that's what i'm trying to say also yeah.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Money we don't even understand what's happening for ourselves because we haven't done that inner exploration.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So you know, we know that money is the number one thing that couples fight about and not couples with rates amount of wealth couples across the board so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So, clearly there is that need for for courage to bring up those conversations, but courage, also to look inside ourselves as Evan said about what's the why that's really underneath.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The giving it wasn't just the giving up the chat but that the reasoning behind it, that really made it beautiful for all of you yeah.

 

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Evan Muney: I and and made it Okay, for her to keep doing it because you, you had underlying feelings that I don't know if it was resentment, or you were bugged by it, but you just you didn't like it seemingly the way you described it, and it got in the way of your relationship with your own mother.

 

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Evan Muney: And by talking about it and understanding her why you're able to actually build your relationship and become even closer you appreciate her that much more.

 

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Evan Muney: So, as I said, I think it's a fabulous example.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Just to say one more thing sorry we know what happens when you don't take that courageous act because we've seen it so frequently when you know and Jay writes about it in in the book and keeping Susan when.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: gift giving becomes a transaction somebody you know does end of the year gifting it becomes a transaction there isn't a conversation about it.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And there might be resentment on the side of the receiver and then there becomes resentment on the side of the giver because.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The receiver doesn't react and the giver you know feels like what I just sent you know.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: X amount of money to you and i'm not getting a response, so this vacuum opens up of not knowing, and we always fill a vacuum with our own ideas we don't necessarily.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: fill a vacuum, with the truth, but what we think so, you know in in not knowing what your mother was meaning by send you a check you filled it in with your.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: As Evan said with whatever your own ideas work, but when you checked in with her, it was something completely different, which made it Nice, then for you to receive that money right.

 

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Michael Palumbos: There, and so i'll fill in the gap for people that are made might be curious what I was feeling I remember when I had to look up to see zero.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I remember being broke, and I remember you know you know we even though dad had done well, we were still you know dad was first generation of creating wealth.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And as the oldest child I didn't see that and did everything you know, on my own and so to me receiving the gift was kind of like a you still need this and i'm like I don't need it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And you want.

 

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Evan Muney: A little bit yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: No, but we had to get you had to dig into it to figure it out um I love this conversation I want to talk more about the curiosity piece, because I think.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's so crucial for people again in this diverse couples financially diverse couples conversation it's being curious about the why I think is so important.

 

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Michael Palumbos: My my wife and I have a deal that we've put together and we've had to do a lot of work, you want to talk about we were financially diverse.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Not dramatically, but just you know, and there was times in times throughout our marriage, where she was making more than me in a time when I was making more than her.

 

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Michael Palumbos: she's Jewish i'm Catholic and a second married so she has three you know, three kids I have forsaken talked about a lots of diversity and a lots of different things it caused lots of friction through that period of time and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What we realized is that we're not always emotionally mature and when I what I mean by that is that you know I look at emotional maturity and being able to say.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I know what i'm feeling and I know why i'm feeling yet, and there was times when you know when both of us have been feeling something, and you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: 10 years ago we might have been reactive to what we were feeling rather than saying hey i'm feeling something right now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I need to be curious about my own feelings and I need to figure out what's going on, for me, before I can you know, have an emotionally mature conversation with you, so the curiosity needs to go both ways.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: and

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: To say I can't talk about this right now sorry good.

 

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Evan Muney: I was just gonna say I think you're absolutely right, I count myself incredibly lucky that my wife is who she is in addition to also being a psychologist so I could actually.

 

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Evan Muney: Use Jamie and engage with Jamie in order to help me understand my own issues and feelings, whatever they were but in most cases and not always but then, if we're specifically talking about the issues that are brought up by by the.

 

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Evan Muney: By the wealth, especially as a man with traditional roles of the man wanting to be the breadwinner seeing himself as needing to be the breadwinner or having a providing for the family and so on, these are issues that are not easy to talk about from a man's perspective and.

 

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Evan Muney: And the fact is, unfortunately, even psychologists even therapists don't know how to necessarily don't know how to don't necessarily know.

 

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Evan Muney: How to work with their own clients about that so having those resources and that's one of the reasons for this study again to go back to that.

 

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Evan Muney: Is we want to do this to help people professionals, be better prepared to to be a resource for people to talk about that so you're I think you're absolutely right that.

 

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Evan Muney: emotional, we can call it emotional maturity, or simply just being human there are going to be times when we're when we're just not as in touch with our own feelings, as we, as we are, at other times and things get emotional and they get heated.

 

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Evan Muney: And having the ability to having the maturity to step back and talk about it, if it's with friends if it's with.

 

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Evan Muney: with colleagues or with professionals or with your spouse it's critical to be able to do that and that I think is both the courage and the curiosity it's really all three in one.

 

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Evan Muney: But it's just so important to be able to explore those feelings and I don't know we don't have a whole lot of time left, if you want to get into some of the the the more common things that perhaps are brought up in these fiscally unequal relationships, maybe we can talk about that, but.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Financially diverse.

 

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Evan Muney: Financially diverse did I just say an equal i'm sorry.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So let's do that and tell me, you know let's, how do we use our time, you know most efficiently one, I think.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, letting people know what other people have been feeling and thinking I think would be helpful to for some listeners one to, I think.

 

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Michael Palumbos: How many more people would you like to be interviewing so that people know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What that looks like maybe to talk about you know if they were to connect with you how to connect with you and how that works, I would think that would be really helpful for a lot of people.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So Evan do you, mind you know hitting some of what you've been hearing from if I understood this conversation you've been talking to more of the men as you're doing it so from what are you hearing from from the men in the in these relationships.

 

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Evan Muney: Well, I think one of the themes that i've seen in in the relationships, where the men feel satisfied and the relationship has has stayed together.

 

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Evan Muney: Is that the men have found their own sense of self worth whether it's through business or some other passion.

 

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Evan Muney: And it's also for me I I i'm not earning more money than then Jamie will will bring to this i'll never earn as much money as Jamie through her family business.

 

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Evan Muney: will bring to our relationship, but i'm passionate about other things and i've engaged in those other things, and I feel fulfilled.

 

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Evan Muney: In that way, and i'm able to talk to Jamie and feel like, as we say, diversity and diverse couple, so I.

 

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Evan Muney: What one of the things i'm seeing in the men that i've spoken with who seem.

 

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Evan Muney: Happy in the relationship, despite the financial diversity is that they have found something that they are passionate about and that they care about and that they're engaged with and that their self worth is not just tied up in earning more money.

 

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Evan Muney: Another thing of.

 

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Evan Muney: I guess it's obvious, but the ability to talk to their spouse about.

 

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Evan Muney: Planning and doing one of the one of the main sources of friction can often be something that you brought up the palumbo the palumbo family Columbus family vacation So what can often happen and Jim grubman talks about this and in his writings as well, is that.

 

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Evan Muney: it's sort of a given that the family of wealth determines where the where the the nuclear family is going on vacation because, of course, they get they get not much nicer places to go to and it's.

 

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Evan Muney: it's more whatever it is it's basically often too often assumed that the vacations are going to be with the with her family.

 

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Evan Muney: and

 

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Evan Muney: The the couples who are able to talk about how they engaged with each other in a positive way.

 

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Evan Muney: and made it work and were able to communicate what what the feelings were.

 

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Evan Muney: When that happened we're able to get over and and come to and I don't actually like use the word compromise because compromise, I find implies.

 

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Evan Muney: Either one or both sides are giving up on values and I don't think that we should ever have to give up on values which we can give up on what's important to us.

 

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Evan Muney: But core values I don't think we want to give up on give up on, so I don't like to use the word compromise, I like to.

 

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Evan Muney: say we find an accommodation, we find a solution that works for everyone, and I find that and i've seen from the people i've talked to from the men i've talked to that if they're able to.

 

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Evan Muney: To speak to their spouse about why what they're feeling what issues are coming up, and they can usually lean on examples that aren't as perhaps hot.

 

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Evan Muney: Or, as emotional that were they were literally you ask a person can you give me an example of a time when.

 

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Evan Muney: When you were successful at having this type of conversation, and that can help them visualize having a conversation about something perhaps that's more difficult, so those are a couple examples I hope that answered your question.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And that helps get us on the right path, I think what I heard is, you know that pursuit of happiness that pursuit of passion that you know, making sure that both members of the couple.

 

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Michael Palumbos: We respect and support you know the other person's passions and feelings of self worth that's great I love that.

 

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Evan Muney: yeah and again it so much of what society tells us, I think, is that our self worth is tied up with how much money we're bringing in.

 

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Evan Muney: And, and I do think we need to get beyond that.

 

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Evan Muney: And it's not easy.

 

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Evan Muney: Society is constantly telling us and beating us over the head with it, but we do need to get beyond that and I think that supportive spouses on both sides, from both sides.

 

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Evan Muney: can help each other do that, and one of the things and I think Jamie in her work, which we didn't talk about specifically but.

 

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Evan Muney: Having a mission for your money talking about why about the money, what is it about that what is it we can do with the money or why do we, why do we want to do what we're doing with the money.

 

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Evan Muney: can help us understand the value of the money, but not for money sake but for what it is we're doing so philanthropy is an important lesson which is a critical lesson I think we'll all agree, for children to be raised with, especially with a family of wealth.

 

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Evan Muney: Then we're talking about philanthropy and just because the woman's family, the wife's family has brought that money to the table does not necessarily mean that she's the only one that has value there, everyone can contribute when it comes to.

 

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Evan Muney: doing the research having a passion for certain causes and helping distribute that wealth, so there are all kinds of ways that we can find value, even when it's talking about the money, even though it was one spouse that whose family perhaps brought that money i'm sure.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Thank you Jamie do you want to talk about you know the what you heard from the woman's perspective.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Sure um I think that very similar things to what Evans saying.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I think what's interesting with the women is to see how.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: unformed their own relationship with money is prior to getting married so they don't have a distinct, for the most part, a distinct sense of themself in relationship to their wealth.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Because they're young and they get married maybe at a young age, so they go into the relationship and they're trying to develop this their own identity around wealth, I mean I think it's something that, just like we're seeing with.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Racial identity development ethnic identity development, we need to start thinking about how do we help people with their own wealth identity development.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: How do we, what are the phases are coming to terms with your identity as a wealth holder, a lot of times, especially we're talking about inheritors so there's a lot of shame there's a lot of violation there's a lot of hiding so those aren't.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: A good basis to open up with courage curiosity and communication those haven't been demonstrated and.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: They don't have a good model for that so that's what i'm seeing a lot from the women is that they're having to do this sort of dual identity, development and oftentimes.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Especially if the husband then works in the family business that maybe the husband has more of that financial acumen and certainly the business acumen.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Then the wife does so, you know that there's the sort of.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Maybe balancing that one partner might actually bring the financial wealth, but the other partner has more of.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The ability to manage it, you know I certainly see that in my relationship with Evan where he you know when we're having now my siblings and I own the family business.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And sometimes they want their partners aren't as interested in being in these meetings.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But I really Evan is very interested in I really rely on Evan because I know that he knows the family business so much better than I do.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So you know I don't want to just have that responsibility, I would rather bring him in because I trust him because you know I know that he's wise in these areas.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: I want to also speak into you asked a question earlier about how many people would we like to interview.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: We really you know, the only there's two studies that have really happened around us, one is js reflection so Those are two couples having a conversation.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And then we did a beta study with Michelle mckay souza who looked at, for her dissertation she interviewed six couples.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: So we have very, very small sample size, so our goal, I mean my our dream goal is to have 50 couples that we that we interview we've already interviewed I think about 25 people, but we don't have that many were both members of the couple have agreed to be interviewed.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But again, the more data points that we have, the more information that we have the stronger the conclusions that we draw the better the programming that we develop can be so.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know we're not turning people away and sometimes people say well how much of a difference, do I have to have between you know my wealth and his wealth it doesn't.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: What we're really looking for is is there an emotional sense, as it does there cause an issue that you're you're talking about or not about.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: that's more important than the the sheer numbers couples don't have to both be interviewed and we're also looking at divorced couples as well you know and Michelle study she only looked at married couples, but I think that skews things a bit you know, we want to know what happens.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: When couples don't make it, what are the breakdown so communication, how can we support people, so you know we're already seeing you know i'm sure it'll come as no surprise to you we're seeing.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: How even just the prenup conversation is handle can make a huge difference in developing a solid foundation upon which that marriage can be base so if people are interested.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: They can come to the website, which are business as wealth legacy group and the the website as well legacy group dot O rg and there's a section on research.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And it's the financially diverse research, you can get more information about that and I don't know if you then you can attach a link for people.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: With the recording my code, but that would be great and there's a way to contact us directly you're welcome to contact either Evan or myself we're happy to give people more information.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The study that the nuts and the bolts and bolts of it is a 30 minute online questionnaire and then an hour long interview.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Okay.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And that's that's really the extent of the commitment.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Well, I will do my best to share this with some people that I think would be perfect, for your study.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You happy so appreciate that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and happy to do that, let me ask you a question, you know there's one there's a few people that come to mind where it's it's not there is wealth, going to be passed it hasn't happened yet.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But the wife still probably makes four times what the husband makes just income wise and how is that does that fit for what you're.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah perfect.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: yeah and a lot of times the money hasn't been passed.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And a lot of times you know, one of the things when Evan and I looked at was how have we been able to maintain such a strong healthy relationship almost over almost 30 years.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Is that even though.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: If you looked at the balance sheet we We grew up with with differences.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: The lifestyle and the values that we were brought up with were very similar and we have Oh, you know, first of all, we got together, we were very young, we met when we were 21.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And we always been a couple that you know there's really no taboo subjects that we don't talk about you know it's not always easy conversations.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But we're very open and for us i'm not saying this is the way that to have a successful marriage, but for us, we decided very early on that we would just combine.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Our money and that it would always be our money and we've we've thought about it as our money, and I think that and we don't make big decisions without the other person.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know, we try to, I hope, be respectful of Evans family, you know a lot of times we also do a family trip every year.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: But we've we've traveled many times with with Evans family we've traveled with the with the other end was you know be trying to be as inclusive as possible, I think, have also been things that have helped us.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You both have mentioned values several times and I don't want to I don't want that to go unnoticed and want people to hear this.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Is there a tool, or something you know, a way that people could actually dive in you know, to say what are my core values, because I think just that, if a husband and wife each took that you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: test, or whatever you know assessment to dig into that and just had a conversation about those things that might open up the doors or a tool, or an assessment that you like.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Yes, there's there's a couple Dennis jaffe has a set of values cards.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Has a set of values cards, you know you can do something as simple I think there's list online where you just have a printout page and what I what I do with couples, as I have them.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know, build kind of a pyramid of what's your top value what you know, the second and third what's the fourth, fifth and six.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And then look to see what am I individual values, so we would look at our individual values, where we similar where we're different, but then also to create what what.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Our value as a family what it, you know the trager muni what do we stand for, as a as a family, what do we hope that we brought our children up with what do we hope when.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: hopefully not too distant future, will have grandchildren, you know what are our hopes to to share those values whip and.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know the more that we can conquer ties what those values are and then true against our behavior So are we walking our talk, are we have is it our actions consonant with the values that we hold dear.

 

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Evan Muney: Sure, and I just want to have one thing in particular when we're talking about raising children.

 

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Evan Muney: And I mentioned it already philanthropy even on a small scale it doesn't matter how much money the family has it is so critical to be able to instill positive values.

 

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Evan Muney: Not just about giving giving is obviously one big part of philanthropy but but a sense of responsibility, a sense of being responsible for for money for oneself when you're talking to children.

 

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Evan Muney: It develops empathy and so many other good things there's I can't think of anything that that is a better one stop.

 

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Evan Muney: tool for raising children in a healthy way.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i'll go ahead.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: and say this from the man who's the who's the CEO of five nonprofits so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Fair enough.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know your research stemmed from a paper that Jay wrote years ago.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I have a passion around jays paper, the grandparent grandchild philanthropy project.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so I would you know I give that paper out regularly and would love to do some more additional research around.

 

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Michael Palumbos: How that impact of working with the grandparents, because sometimes the parents don't always have the time.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But so where the grandparents in their third act can take some of that time to pass some of that knowledge and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know and work with the grandchildren in a much different way than the parents might be able to and there's a huge family connection there's a values connection and i've done this with two families, thus far, one is really done a great job with that the other one is just starting.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And i'm really excited to dig into that side of things so jays paper I would highly recommend that as well, so thank you Evan.

 

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Michael Palumbos: philanthropy to me, is a sandbox.

 

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Michael Palumbos: For many, many things entrepreneurship values, you know connectedness it just really, really important Thank you.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: and Michael if you want another resource, you know you spoke about earlier research that I was involved in.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: And I was involved in the hundred year study with Dennis jaffe and Dennis and I and it's about a cent co authored a book.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Looking I specifically wrote the the section of how, what are the best practices, we learned from families that are able to carry their wealth across four generations as it relates to philanthropy so you know, maybe that's also a book that you can link I can send you the link of that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that'd be great what's the title of the book.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: You know, you should I should know the title yes right.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: We get the right title social impact and hundred your family businesses have family values drive sustainability through philanthropy impact investing and corporate social responsibility.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it love it love it love it yes send me a link to that will get those links onto the website.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Evan Jamie you guys are wonderful this is been such a great conversation, and I hope that each of you that are listening you go out to their website and take a dig into deeper conversations.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You have the courage to be curious and communicate with your spouse around these areas, and if you happen to be.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, a financially diverse couple willing to be part of Jamie and Evans study.

 

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Michael Palumbos: They would greatly appreciate it matter of fact, you know, the world would appreciate it, because there's other people that are having these conversations and the tools are out there for the therapist and the psychologist and the family, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: numbers have to deal with these things, so thank you both for your time today really, really, really appreciate the work that you're doing.

 

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Michael Palumbos: My name is Michael Columbus with family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York, and we look forward to having you on another episode of the family business show take care, everybody.

 

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Jamie Traeger-Muney: Thank you, Michael.

 

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Evan Muney: Thank you.

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