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The You Can’t Take it With You Podcast

Did you know that our own Jim Dunlop is now a podcast host? The You Can’t Take it With You podcast launched this week with the inaugural episode in which Jim shares:

    • How and why he decided to host a podcast
    • How Advent Partners came about
    • The inspiration behind his focus on generosity in financial planning
    • Practical ideas for incorporating philanthropy into financial strategies
    • How to teach future generations about generosity and responsible financial management
    • Simple steps to start giving back, regardless of your financial situation

    Head on over to the podcast website (or any podcast app) to give it a listen or read the transcript of the episode below. And do not forget to like and subscribe. If you are interested in being a guest, contact Jim directly!

    In this episode:

    How does financial security enable more meaningful acts of benevolence, and what role does purposeful planning play in financial strategies?

    According to Jim Dunlop, a seasoned wealth advisor with more than 20 years of experience, achieving financial security is more than just building wealth; it’s about planning with a purpose. He highlights that financial abundance is not just for securing one’s future but also for empowering generosity and community engagement to make a positive impact on the world.

    In this episode of You Can’t Take it With You, Jim Dunlop is interviewed by Chad Franzen of Rise25 about the deeper significance of financial planning. They discuss integrating personal values into wealth management, practical philanthropy methods, and stories of clients who’ve made significant contributions through strategic financial planning.

    Resources mentioned in this episode:

    Sponsor for this episode:

    This episode is brought to you by Advent Partners — a financial planning partner dedicated to helping you make informed decisions that simplify your financial journey. 

    Our seasoned team of professionals is committed to guiding you toward your financial goals. We offer tailored solutions based on your specific needs, from standalone financial planning to integrated financial management.

    Whether you are planning for the future, investing for growth, or navigating financial hurdles, Advent Partners is here to provide insights, recommendations, and a clear financial roadmap.

    To learn more about Advent Partners and how we can guide your financial success, visit AdventPartnersFP.com.

    Episode Transcript

    Welcome to the You Can’t Take it With You show where we feature stories around generosity designed to inspire and encourage others to do meaningful things in their communities. Now, here’s your host, Jim Dunlop.

    Jim Dunlop: Hi Jim Dunlop here, Wealth Advisor and host of the show where I sit down with people interested in sharing stories around generosity as well as practical ideas on how to make generous things happen. This episode is brought to you by Advent Partners, a financial planning partner dedicated to helping you make informed decisions that simplify your financial journey. Advent’s seasoned team of professionals is committed to guiding you towards your financial goals. We offer tailored solutions based on your specific needs from standalone financial planning, and investment management, Integrated Financial Management. Whether you are planning for the future, investing for growth, or navigating financial hurdles, Advent Partners is here to provide insights, recommendations, and a clear financial roadmap. So to learn more about Advent Partners, and how they can guide your financial success Visit readyforgood.com. I have Chad Franzen here of Rise25, who has done 1000s of interviews with successful entrepreneurs and CEOs. We have flipped the script, and he’ll be interviewing me, Chad, welcome to the show. 

    Chad Franzen: Hey, thanks so much, Jim. Great to be here. How are you today?

    Jim Dunlop: I am well. 

    Chad Franzen: Hey, this is your first podcast recording. So I’m looking forward to talking with you. Hey, tell me as we get started here, how did you come up with the idea for this podcast. 

    Jim Dunlop: Um, so I’ve been a financial planner for 20 years. And the idea of you can’t take it with you resonates with me personally. And we have a lot of time, we spend a lot of time having that conversation with clients. And so part of the financial planning process is getting people to a place where they recognize that they have enough and in fact, they’ve saved more than enough. And, and when that’s happened, that puts them in a place of abundance. And oftentimes, the next logical step is how do we share this if we’re not going to spend this all? And I think the two natural extensions of that are what can we do for our families and the people we love and care about, and what can we do for organizations and things that that speak to our hearts. And so a lot of times philanthropic things start to happen in those conversations. And so sometimes I kind of point out to clients, look, you know, you’ve saved this money, you have this great income, you’re in a great place, you’ve worked hard to get here, and you’re doing all the things for yourself that you want to do, and you still going to have a lot of money left over when you’re all done because of your hard work. And you can’t take it with you, when you’re when you’re done on this, none of us get out of this life alive. And so what do you want to see happen? What meaningful things do you want to happen either during your life, or if at the end of your life, when you’re no longer here, and there’s money leftover? What should happen? And those are conversations that we like to have with clients, because it means they’re in a good place, and that we can also start, you know, getting them to think beyond themselves. And oftentimes they’re heavily motivated to do that already.

    Chad Franzen: What are some of your goals, then for the podcast?

    Jim Dunlop: I think our primary goal is to be able to tell stories and inspire people. And I think, you know, you can turn on the news and see very wealthy people giving away billions of dollars. And that can seem a little overwhelming. But I also think we can do meaningful things in our communities with just sometimes just a little bit. And, and so I want to lift up those kinds of stories as we go along. And, and, you know, use the resources that I have in terms of people I know who have done really good things in their community, and get them to share a little bit about what they’ve done and why they’ve done it. And then also from a financial planning standpoint of how they did it. Because sometimes, there’s real easy ideas here. But sometimes they can be a little more complicated when you’re putting together a charitable plan. But you know, we think those are things that we want to inspire others to think beyond themselves and to share in their communities in a meaningful way. 

    Chad Franzen: Do you think most people have the initial desire to think beyond themselves? Or is it just something that kind of is there’s a light bulb that needs to go off in their head?

    Jim Dunlop: I think it’s both, but I think it’s more of the first thing and I say that because the people we work with pretty upfront about the idea of generosity in our work and that we think it’s an important part of the planning process. And so, it’s not that way for everybody but a lot of people are already motivated to give and sometimes they’re not sure if they have enough to do that and they want that reassurance or they’re not sure how to make that happen. And we try to have those conversations every day with our clients. You know, I had one this morning. And so you know, what’s important to them, but not sure how they would go about making it happen. And so today, we’re in that particular situation that I just planted some seeds of some things they could start to think about to realize a larger idea that’s important to them. 

    Chad Franzen: Well, it sounds like you have some great goals. If you could just kind of everybody loves a good origin story. Could you tell me how Advent Partners kind of came about? 

    Jim Dunlop: Yeah, so I’ve been a financial planner for 20 years. And I started, when I started this, I started with a company called Thrivent. And they’re a financial services company that works primarily with Christians. And so in coming up through Thrivent, that was, our clients tended to be very generous. And so about three years ago, Thrivent took a group of us from around the country and helped us or asked us to help launch an independent wealth management platform, just officially noticed that Private Advisor Network, at that point, we were asked to build our own brand. And so we became Advent Partners. And the client of one of my clients came up with the idea when we were asking our clients what we should call ourselves. And the Advent resonated with us, because in the Christian faith, Advent is a time of preparation and planning. And that’s what we do. And so we kind of liked that, that that visual, and that idea. And so, we like to plan and prepare and help people prepare. And so that is how Advent Partners got its name and got started. So being part of the thriving family for about 20 years, but started this thing, about three years, three and a half years ago. 

    Chad Franzen: Okay, very nice. Good story. So what’s, you know, going back 20 years? What inspired you to even get into it? From the start? Was there some sort of experience from your childhood? What inspired you? Or what kind of brought you down this road?

    Jim Dunlop: Yeah, I mean, I think I think there’s, there’s a couple of parts to this one is I had, when I graduated college, I went and work for a nonprofit organization doing philanthropic fundraising, for an organization I really cared about the organization was a group of summer church camps, one of which were I’ve worked at, and that my wife, and I did that for a couple of years. And I really liked the mission but felt like that really wasn’t what I was meant to do with my life. And, and so, but I really liked the idea of helping people be generous and realized I could do that as a financial advisor. And so that’s how I got into this. But I think, the idea around where I got started, and where I, or what maybe motivated me, and probably goes back to my mom and dad. And they were one of the things I’ll give my dad a lot of credit for, in particular, is he talked about money a lot in a constructive way. And I think he was always preparing us for life. But my dad and mom and my dad has been very public about his own his own story, and is in my mom’s story, which was, you know, when they first got started, and they’re raising young kids that my mom stayed at home, my dad was working, and they didn’t always feel like they had enough money. And they shifted their thinking when I was very little and started tithing. And it’s the biblical concept of tithing and taking a chunk of their income from very early on. And that was the first thing they did every month was give money to the church. And it used to be, they would pay all their bills or whatever was left over after they did all the things they needed to and wanted to, they would give to the church. But then when they started taking 10% of their income and just giving it to the church, and when they made that giving a priority and that for them it was a spiritual calling to give. When they did that, that they never, they were never short. They never ran out of money. And that story; I’ve heard it from the time I was young, and I’ve heard it many times because my parents do share that story or especially my dad who’s who was not but is now a pastor. And I think that had a pretty strong effect on me as a young kid. And I knew that my parents, when they got their money, the first thing they did with it, anything they received was give it away. And when I got an allowance, or when I earned money, the expectation was that I would give some of it back, or give it away, I would save some, and then I could spend the rest. And so that started at a very early age, this idea of giving, and it’s has stuck with me, you know, really my whole life well here into adulthood. 

    Chad Franzen: That’s great. So when your parents made the decision to give that money to the church, did they feel like they would have? Were they a little bit nervous, like, oh, we might run out? If we start doing that. And then they were, I don’t know if surprise is the right word like, okay. It’s been proven that this works.

    Jim Dunlop: Yeah, it is. And I think some of it’s a faith, you have to go out on faith and do it. And I think some of it is to that, what do you prioritize the things that are most important in your life, and for my parents giving was, from a financial standpoint, giving was very important to them, it was maybe the most important thing for them financially, everything else kind of falls in line. And, you know, I learned at a very early age, you don’t spend money if you don’t have it. And so I, it took me a long time to recognize why I love doing what I do so much, but it’s because I had a great foundation of my parents have always been very, very good with money, and disciplined. And, you know, my dad, before he became a pastor ended up having a very successful career. And he and my mom did well for themselves. And, and, but sacrificed a lot to go into ministry, but has always still on a good job of being a good steward of financial resources they have, and I really admire that. And I think they’ve had a very fulfilled life because of that. 

    Chad Franzen: He had, that’s awesome. Hey, let’s talk about maybe an example of a client or a customer that has worked with Advent Partners. Sometime in the recent past, we’ll start right at the beginning of your relationship with them and kind of kind of go through the it’s lifespan so far anyway. So if you could just think of a client that you’ve had, and tell me kind of how they found Advent Partners, and how you guys got started working together? 

    Jim Dunlop: Well, and that, I think, is, and I’ve told her and shared with a few times anonymously, but is her financial advisor had left the firm she was working with, and she was looking for a new advisor at that point, unexpectedly, I think, and we got connected, and hit it off right away, and started to recognize that she had done some good work and good planning and, but probably had never had that conversation of she realized she knew that she and her husband had worked hard, she was widowed. And they worked hard and saved plenty, in fact, had been more than enough. They had inherited some money along the way. And, and so and they had their children, their adult children are all successful. And I think the thing that was gnawing at her was she had a lot of grandkids, successful adult children and trying to figure out how to teach them to be generous, and no advisor had talked to her before about, hey, why don’t you give some money away, or what organizations are really important to you that we ought to be thinking about? And so, you know, we started a really month-long conversation that took place in an office, she did some thinking then one of the things she really kept struggling with was, I give a lot of money away. And I’m going to keep doing that, because it’s really important to me, but one of the things that was really weighing on her was How was she going to teach her grandchildren to be generous, and even her adult children, she thought she had done a good job of raising them, but she’s looking at these grandkids who were now young adults and thinking, you know, how do I impart them, the importance of that, that giving back to the communities into the causes that are really important to you, particularly when you have abundance? How do I do that? And so we talked back and forth. And, and finally, she said to me, she said, you know, we looked at a couple ideas and talked back and forth. And she said I really wish I could, you know, help them understand the causes that are important to them and how to do something about it. And so we had set up a simple structure for her in this case, which was a donor advised fund, and she had some stock that had highly appreciated and grown very much. And if she were to sell that stock, she would have a lot to gain. But instead we put this stock in her donor advised fund, and so the stock got sold but she got a full deduction on the value of this the stock, and then she’d have to pay tax on that game because it was sold inside her donor advised fund. And then that money was sitting there invested. And she has full access to give that away to any charitable causes she wants. So that your Christmas wish she had all her grandchildren there. And she had them all write down on a piece of paper organization that was really important to them. And they all did this. And then she told them after they did that, that, hey, I’m going to we’re going to make a gift from my, my fund to this organization. Because this is what I know, this is really important to you, and I want to respect it. But I also want you to understand how important it is to me for you to give back. And so each of her, I think she’s 12 or 13 grandkids, went around the room and shared the organization, why it was important to them song picked the Alma Mater that they graduated from the College, they felt really strong as some picked, like the local animal shelter, some picked a church they went to, but everybody picked something that was important to them. And then they had a conversation about this sharing, and it was an awful lot of fun. And, and grandma could have bought them any gift she wanted for Christmas, because she had enough. But instead, I think everybody that became a Christmas tradition and their family, but I think it inspired her grandkids. But you know, her own grandkids in turn ended up inspiring her with the things that they were passionate about, and caring. And it’s kind of a neat story. And I’ve told it, I’ve shared it with a number of our different clients, because we’ve had a number of people who like to set up things like this. And I think, you know, this is just a little example of somebody who, you know, has this idea, how do I? How do we teach future generations to in my family to be generous? I worried that they won’t be what can we do? And so this is something that I think has had a pretty profound impact on her family and then the communities around them as well. 

    Chad Franzen: Is there a way an effective way to explain that to maybe, maybe younger people, so they’re not feeling like they’re forced, and then I just have a give away some of this money? You know, so they’re not feeling like they’re forced to do it. But yeah, they choose to do it just like the you know, the older, somebody from an older generation. 

    Jim Dunlop: I, you know, I think in that case, there were no requirements on her grandchildren, I will say that this fund after her death lived on and the grandkids actually had the opportunity to continue to make grants out of it each year as a result that she set up. And but before her death, but, you know, that was kind of a neat thing there. But I think too, I think you raise a great question of, you know, it’s easy if I’m 75 years old, and I’ve saved enough money, and I have enough that I have extra to give away. But I think with anything, when I encourage somebody, a younger client to start saving for retirement or saving for college or being philanthropic, I would say start small and whatever way you can, I have yet to meet a new parent that can’t put at least $25 a month away and a 529 for college and I’d say, you know, or hey, you can put 25 you can give $25 a month to Share a Cause without too much personal sacrifice, I think. And maybe you do that automat put it on autopilot, ever come out of your bank account every month. And then maybe after a little while, crank the volume up it you know, I said 25 of months do 35 A month or 40 or 50. And, and, and you know, I think whether it’s saving for college or retirement or being generous, start small, get in the habit of doing it. And it’s not too difficult to crank that that knob just a little bit higher every so often. In terms of being generous.

    Chad Franzen: So let’s say you can, let’s say you can afford, you know, $30 a month for something. But then you think you know, $30 a month is not going to really help them. It’s just not enough to really help this company or this organization or whatever. What are the reasons to still do it? And what are the benefits that you might get just from giving, regardless of how much it affects the other person that is receiving it?

    Jim Dunlop: It’s a great question. I think about it a couple of different ways. I think most good organizations have strong missions. Any gift is helpful. And if you were giving to a very large organization, you think ‘is your gift making a difference?’. A) they’re either not doing a good job of communicating or B) maybe it isn’t making a difference and if that’s the case, ‘I know of a number of organizations just in this community that feed hungry and homeless people in my own community. And I know that $30 a month goes a long way, that’s several meals for children in a month.’ You know, those are practical things. And so I think, you know, if you feel like your gifts are not being magnified, or your gifts are not being or you, you don’t feel like they’re doing anything, then fine, you know, look for the organizations, particularly in your own community that that can have that, that possibility to make a difference. And so I think, you know, for me that that would be maybe some feedback that I would have. But I would also, I would also say that if you know, if you’re not sure, start wherever you can add it and build from there.

    Chad Franzen: Okay, that’s great. Last question for you. You know, as I mentioned, this is the first episode, what can people expect maybe from future episodes? And who do you think would benefit most from listening to it?

    Jim Dunlop: Yeah, well, I’d like to think anybody would have said, but I think specifically people who are wrestling with, what should they be doing? What can they be doing? And? I, share, I think, I think sometimes we tend to overcomplicate it, and say, you know, I want to get involved in my community, or I want to roll up my sleeves, but I’m not sure where or how. And I think we want to hope that that we’re going to give people ideas of things that they can do, as they go along. We want to, I want this to be easy, simple ideas, maybe there’s some complexity to some of them. But things that anybody can do to make a difference. I that’s what we’re hoping to inspire people on. And we want to get them thinking in that direction. And so, or, or people who are already generous themselves, and just want to be uplifted and inspired by the good things that other people are doing, I think, I think those are the good news stories that that we need to spend more time focused on. There are a lot of terrible things happening in the world. There’s a lot of needs that need to be filled. And there’s a lot of people quietly doing really great things behind the scenes to take care of one another. And I think we can lift those stories up and inspire people. I think that would be a really cool thing. 

    Chad Franzen: Yeah, that’ll be great. I will certainly look forward to hearing future episodes. Hey, thanks so much for having me today. Jim, it’s been great to talk to you. 

    Jim Dunlop: Yeah. All right. Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity to visit with you. 

    Chad Franzen: So long everybody. 


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    Thanks for joining us to hear stories of generosity that remind us that You Can’t Take it With You. Visit our site at canttakeitwithyou.com for more details on today’s episode, and to subscribe to future shows.

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