By Mandy Froelich of Black Hills Financial Planning

As middle- and high-school kids, we all understood that someday, we would each need to enter the world as “adults” (whatever that meant) and take on responsibilities such as paying bills, buying car insurance, and planning for retirement.

Public schools prepared us for these important responsibilities by teaching us how to make webpages with Dreamweaver and save 20% of our paychecks. But then, wham! Just like that, we were out on our own and reality sunk in. I don’t know about you, but as a doe-eyed, fresh-out-of-South-Dakota 18-year-old living in Phoenix, Arizona, working as a vegan chef on $12.50/hour, I couldn’t afford to save 20% of my paycheck. Affording rent was stressful enough.

Lessons taught in school quickly vanished – like they have for most of us. Which leads us to now. Fast-forward to the present, and you’re now probably like most Americans who are more than $15,000 in credit card debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and stressing about the upcoming bills. I understand; I lived in this cycle for years. In fact, witnessing my parents’ journey and then experiencing my own financial ups-and-downs is what inspired me to really pursue and understand the creation of abundance.

Abundance is more than money – it is the having and attracting of opportunities, items, things, conversations, etc… and can look incredibly different to every person. From my viewpoint, money is just energy. And we rely on this energy which is exchanged in different ways at a variety of different pre-determined values. What you do to earn money is different than someone else, and we are all constantly deciding the value and rate at which abundance speeds toward us.

Most of us were taught to have poor relationships with money. Stereotypes like, “Rich people are mean and greedy” have strengthened this internal bias, resulting in self-fulfilling behavior to “never have enough.” If you have the attitude that you can’t attract money and will always struggle, you will! If you feel like there is a possibility you can learn how to attract more money, stabilize your finances, and create a life you love, you will. Your attitude and your relationship to the resource directly relates to your ability to attract, keep, and use money wisely.

Once you address your attitude toward money, tracking your financial spending habits (and perhaps even being grateful to spend money as you watch it transform other businesses and the people who own them), it’s time to act. That’s where I come in. As a financial and business planner, I am committed to helping my clients loosen the noose that debt creates. I do this by teaching foundational planning.

There are four components to foundational financial planning:

  1. Debt Elimination
  2. Estate Planning
  3. Retirement Planning
  4. Long-Term Care

The “foundation” that I help my clients build is akin to the foundation of a house. It needs to be solid and sturdy, yet flexible and all encompassing. The first pillar is always debt elimination, and this is because debt is a major problem for the majority of American families.

Debt looms over our shoulders, making us feel heavy and more irritable. It places a heavy burden on marriages, contributing to two-thirds of divorces. Debt also inhibits our ability to create and actualize on inspired visions, such as investing in new businesses or building a community garden.

All in all, debt is not good. And although I’m not a super religious person, I do think Romans 13:8 explains it best:

“But God tells the Christian, “Don’t owe anyone anything. Don’t go into debt; don’t be in debt.” The service you owe to another will prevent you from serving God. The money you must pay out to bills will prevent you from giving to the work of the Lord.”

Romans 13:8

Truly, for us to individually and collectively actualize on our potential, we need to free up our time through the creation of prosperity and abundance. Our purpose isn’t to sit at a desk and push buttons on a computer. While there is nothing wrong with this type of work, I know that for most of us, it’s not enough. Rather, as creative, empowered, and inspired beings – confronted with the current injustices and economic disparity as it is, we feel propelled to act and create change. That said, cultivating financial independence is of the utmost importance.

That brings us to the #1 way to eliminate debt in the United States. When I tackle the first pillar with my clients, I ask them to get vulnerable and lay out everything when it comes to their daily, monthly, and yearly spending. I want to know – what are your current debts? What do you spend your money on? What are your long-term goals? What is your current financial plan? Once we can figure out the numbers and what they currently are, then we can develop a plan.

“For us to individually and collectively actualize on our potential, we need to free up our time through the creation of prosperity and abundance.”

Mandy Froelich, Black Hills Financial Planning

That plan, and I know this might make some of you shudder, relies on whole life insurance. Now, hear me out. When I first heard about this, I was skeptical too. At first, the concept of utilizing whole life insurance might seem weird – but, in fact, it is one of the greatest investments you can make if you are serious about eliminating debt, developing a cash flow that you can borrow from tax-free, guarantee accident and death benefits, and plan for needs later in life – such as long-term care and skilled nursing care.

Some of the greatest and most inspirational figures sell whole life insurance, such as Ed Mylett. It’s because they know the best environment to leverage money so you can get out of debt quickly. You know why getting out of debt is so important? Because two-thirds of the money that flows into the average American household goes toward interest and taxes on debt. That doesn’t leave a lot of money to live on – or save.

When you work with Black Hills Financial Planning, the discussion of whole life insurance will be a tenant of our discussion. However, the structure of what we create for you will entirely depend on you, your family, your collective goals, your current financial health, your future goals, and so much more. We employ a holistic perspective in helping individuals of all ages and backgrounds quickly, legally, and safely get out of debt in under 9 years or less.

For example, one client of mine went from a plan that would have them out of debt in 14 years to paying off all of their debt in two. And in 20 years, they’ll have $186,760 in liquidity and death benefits. How’s that for not bad?!

For me, my clients are like my family. I am there to stand with them through thick-and-thin. Calling all the current debt collectors to inform them of our planning – taking the bullet on these difficult-to-have conversations? You got it. Answering a phone call at 9 p.m. to answer a question? I’m there.  

There is no obligation to work with me even if you receive an illustration of the financial plan my team and I can put in place for you. All I ask is for an opportunity to earn your trust and compare your current planning to the plan I can help build. If you want to learn more but aren’t quite ready for a consult, join an upcoming webinar! Learn more here.

Mandy Froelich