Life Planning

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® the topic this week we talked about Life Planning with Michael Rivera.  Michael's primary occupation as a Financial Advisor is helping people plan financially for their future.

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® the topic this week we talked about Life Planning with Michael Rivera.  Michael’s primary occupation as a Financial Advisor is helping people plan financially for their future. Whether it be for retirement, personally, professionally, business, or just simply their entire financial picture. He assist them in creating a plan, implementing it, managing it, and seeing them achieve it.

Michael opens up by talking about why and how he got into financial planning and being a financial advisor. He talked about how his Dad is really good at what he does, but is not good when it comes to financially planning for the future. This drove Michael to want to help people who struggle with figuring out how to handle their finances and overall life goals.

Round table then starts talking about Linkedin. Michael says that two of his financial positions came from linkedin and his whole journey of starting to help people with financial planning started after he would give tips and information in linkedin posts. Michael also shares that his favorite sport is golf and that he attended Clemson University.

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Michael explains the process of how he helps people when it comes to life planning, he says its broken up into sections. The first sections is he asks clients ” what is your intention for creating this plan”? If they don’t have a good why to what they plan to achieve then theirs nothing that he can do for them. For the rest of the sections they take action steps to and come up with strategic plans on how they are going to achieve their life goals. In helping all of these people with planning their life, Michael realized that he has a lot more freedom when it comes to his work life and gives him a lot more free time.

Thanks to Michael for sharing his time and knowledge about how to financial plan and overall plan life goals.

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Damon Pistulka  00:02 

All right. Thanks everyone. Damon Pistulka here with the exit your way round table with me today. I’ve got Michael Rivera. Michael, welcome to the roundtable. 


Michael Rivera  00:15 

Thanks, David, I really appreciate you having me on and I look forward to a fun and insightful conversation. 


Damon Pistulka  00:21 

Yeah, yeah. Well, cool. Michael, it’s, it’s, it’s good to finally get you get you on here. You know, it’s, we’ve we connected a while back on LinkedIn and kind of exchanged things back and forth. And and it’s, it’s good to get to know you a little bit better in the calls before this. And then, and then in prep for this, and today, it’s gonna be fun, too. So tell me a little bit about yourself. I mean, you know, what were you worried about? So you out in the country, your background, kind of what, what, what brought you kind of where you are now? 



Yes, so so I’m Michael Rivera, I live in a small town called Orangeburg, South Carolina, someone in the middle of the state, between the capital Colombia and the big port city of Charleston. During the day, I am a financial advisor, and I help people have total clarity and confidence in their financial future. And in doing that, for four plus years, I found out that people were more than just numbers on a piece of paper, and they needed help in other areas. So I started my own side business called True Life planners, where I’m a life planner, and I help people to plan all the other areas of their life. So that way, it’s working cohesively together and they’re experiencing what they truly desire. 


Damon Pistulka  01:45 

Yeah, yeah. That’s cool. So did you grew up in the area there you close to where you grew up? Or how did how did that work for you? 



Yeah. So So I moved down to South Carolina when I was about four. So I just say I’m from South Carolina, I grew up in the same town, a little small town outside of it grew up here as well. So pretty much been here all my life. But nice. Now, I’ve worked all over the all over the state being an advisor. I travel all over. I have friends all over the state. So pretty much, you know, just been around here for for all my life. 


Damon Pistulka  02:22 

Wow, that’s cool. That’s cool. And, you know, I grown up in the Midwest, I’m not there anymore. And I know a lot of people like where I live are transplants. So do you find that there are a lot of transplants where you live? Or because it’s a smaller town? It’s a lot of people that are that have been there their whole life or what do you really find? Yeah, you 



know, I mean, I guess in my smaller town, it’s normally majority of that people are kind of been here, you know, their family. Stay around here. 


Damon Pistulka  02:53 

That’s cool. 



There’s a large population, especially in the bigger cities like Columbia and Charleston, especially down in the low country. A lot of people come from New York and in New Jersey to retire down here. Yeah. You know, a lot of my clients, I’d say the vast majority are transplants from up north or even Yeah, as well. Yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  03:17 

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve known I known that way. Actually. It’s older people that live in the northeast that they move to, well, flat. Most people think of Florida, but really South Carolina and Georgia and Florida. It’s all nice, nice for retiring, so that’s cool. Yeah, yeah. So when you you’ve been in financial planning for a while now. So what what really intrigued you and made you want to go into financial plan? 



That’s a great question. I get it all the time. And my answer is, you know, I always knew I wanted to do business. My dad’s an acupuncturist. I did not want to go in the medical field at all. Yes. You know, I grew up in his small practice and seeing a small business run. And he had a friend who was an advisor, and we were on a trip. It was a father son trip, and I said, his name was Tim. I said, What do you do for a living? And he told me, he was a financial adviser I said, sounds pretty interesting, man, like, yeah, more. So he kind of took me under his wing while I was in college and taught me the business and you know, just being in a small business atmosphere and saw, you know, my dad, he’s really good at what he does. But when it comes to finances and planning and things like that, that is his forte. Oh, yeah. Did you know I would, I would love to help people do that. Because Yeah, I’m good with numbers. I love to help people and I’m a people person. So that just really is kind of how I got into business just wanting to help people in those areas because everybody’s good at something. And yeah, people aren’t good at everything. You know. Not good at everything. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m good at what I’m good at. But I need help in other areas. So I found out what I was good at and just wanted to help people basically. 


Damon Pistulka  05:09 

Yeah, yeah. So now when, when you, when you’re doing that, I guess what, what really makes when you go, wow, this is why I do this, what what are the, what is that moment that makes you realize that 



now, this is why I do this, you know, it’s, it’s really for me, when when I sit down with a new client, it’s and the first thing is, you know, immediately they kind of think I’m gonna get down to the nitty gritty, and I don’t it probably the first 30 minutes to an hour, is just simply getting to know them. And I just enjoy that getting to know that person and then finding out what they want in life and, and then seeing how I can help them do that financially. It just gives me a lot of joy to be able to say, Hey, you know, let me analyze what you have. And if it’s good, we’ll keep it the way it is. But if it’s not, then you know, let’s find something better. And once we find something better for them, and I explained it to them completely, and you just see that that light bulb moment and that smile on their face, and it’s just, you know, they have that clarity, they have that confidence. Yes. And I just, I always tell them, Hey, you know, I’m not here to be transactional, I want to build a relationship with you every step of the way. And, you know, I’m gonna be here for you I want to be have that relationship be friends and things and, and just, you know, when they get that, that satisfaction, and they know that I’m committed to them as a person, then it’s just that that gives me the ultimate joy. And it just, it makes me feel fulfilled, and I help them achieve something pretty much. 


Damon Pistulka  06:45 

Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. That’s and that’s, that’s good, because I can I can hear it in your voice. And I can imagine the sense of a satisfaction for you. Because you know, you’re helping people in the sense of relief from them, that someone really is going to help them with this because it is difficult. Yeah. That’s cool. That’s cool. So let’s, let’s kick back to a little bit of LinkedIn stuff. So how long have you been, you know, active on LinkedIn? What what do you what do you think are good and bad points about 


Michael Rivera  07:22 

LinkedIn for many years, and 



I’ve only been active on LinkedIn for about a year, it was August of last year, before then it was just a resume, like everybody else, you know, and thankfully, my last two financial advisory positions came from LinkedIn. Yeah, but you know, I’m in a specialized industry as specific certifications and licenses that they look for. So, yeah, before that, but, you know, we used to have this content that, you know, just pre populated it, throw it up there. Yeah, it really wasn’t helpful for people. So, you know, last August, I started looking at other people’s content. I’m just gonna share my story, share your experiences, little tips and things like that. And I just started doing that. And it just kept building and building and building. And then I just saw that there’s this massive opportunity to connect with people all over the world and create these awesome relationships. And it’s just been, it’s just been the ultimate blessing, you know, from from one year, August was a year, and I look back and I said, wow, you know, I’ve come this far, I had had less than 500 connections last year. Oh, wow. I’m, like, you know, I have 15,000 followers, and wow, grateful for everybody. Because they’re just, you know, everybody’s helpful mode majority of people I’d say 99% on the dinner, genuine, real people who want to help you. And I truly believe that not just had awesome experience. 


Damon Pistulka  08:51 

That’s cool. That’s cool. So when you’re on LinkedIn, what are the what are the kinds of content that really draw you in that you like? Yeah, I 



like the ones that I really like. I like to see the ones about, like, recruiting and helping people with jobs and things like that. Yeah. Financial, of course, but just you know, the real life stuff, you know, people who are straight to the point, you know, they don’t beat around the bush. They’re not they’re pushing their product. I mean, I have Yeah, with somebody promoting their business, everybody do that. But they’re really out there saying, hey, this worked for me. This didn’t work for me. I’m going to share it and let you get some value from it. That’s the kind of content Yeah, like, Don’t beat around the bush. 


Damon Pistulka  09:35 

Yeah, yeah. I think I think now we see a lot of it. I really, really like what you said, where you see people helping others try to find a job because I, you know, now especially with COVID. And how many people out of work that’s a it’s a real, it’s a real pain for a lot of people. But when you add on the things like as I talked to Curtis Tompkins A while ago. About the applicant tracking systems and formatting resumes. And it’s funny, I was talking to rob Bowman about it, who as project helped me grow yesterday about again, and he was explaining to me some of the intricate details of it, and how he’s going to produce a video that’s going to explain it a bit better. And he was going through with me, and I’m like, man, there is, you know, you can have the perfect resume, you can be the right fit for a job, and never even get considered. And I think that and that’s, it’s got a frustrated ton of people because it’s adding it is added in. And I understand on the hiring side, right. Okay. And, you know, Kelly Robinson, I think she just posted something about this yesterday, or, you know, or we were talking a while ago to she said, you know, you can get thousands of resumes now, for a single position. And you just can’t, you can’t go through them, and you just can’t go through that many. And so I understand the applicant tracking systems, they need to try to find who’s the best for it. But it adds another layer for the job seeker that I think is adds a lot of difficulty, that it almost makes it necessary for you to hire somebody to help you do what you need to do. It’s just, it is challenging this challenging, but I do I do really like I’m with you 100% and that the sharing and and things that you’ll find people helping other people with on LinkedIn is really the that’s the attraction for me too. 



Yeah, and you know, I just saw, I think it was a day or two ago, I wrote put on there a good post, you know, and I learned something from it. And I’m very good at applications and interviews and things like that. But he said something about, put your resume in, you know, Microsoft Word or text file. And, and, you know, the sad thing was, is that I told him this session. I’m so glad you said this, because a lot of people are out there saying use PDF. Yes. And that’s in a lot of people are getting, you know, there’s resumes you’re never getting through for that. Yes. I’m so happy put this out there because I learned something new. And I can only imagine what everybody knows. 


Damon Pistulka  12:12 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that is that was a good one. Because I Well, I think back two years ago, when I was looking for work, it was it was a PDF. Scott said, you know, he didn’t want he didn’t want anybody messing with your resume, you know, exactly. That that is that is pretty cool. And I did see that one too. So when you’re, when you’re in South Carolina, and you’re thinking of sports, what’s the sport that comes to mind for you? 



Well, you know, obviously, of course, football, football is the sport but if you’re if you’re gonna go out and play it, you know, for me, it’s, it’s golf. I love golf. I don’t do it as much as I should. But it’s a fun time. You didn’t get to do with other people. And and also you get to talk a lot of business too. Yeah. So Tom all the way around. Yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  13:04 

Well in the in in the southeast that it golf is a it’s reasonably affordable and be you can play it most of the year. That’s the nice thing. And and there’s a lot of good courses. 



Oh, yeah. tons. There’s, I can’t remember the number. There’s hundreds of golf courses and stuff. Very popular around here. 


Damon Pistulka  13:27 

Yeah. Yeah. So let’s let’s back up. You said football now. I would still make sure that everybody knows this is college football territory. We’re not talking about pro football. So what’s your college football team? 



So my college football team is is the great university of Clemson. I have I have been a Clemson fan since for almost 15 years. So I’m not I’m not one of those who recently liked Clemson I saw a lot of the 


Michael Rivera  13:59 

we’re doing well. 


Damon Pistulka  14:03 

Yeah. Yeah. It’s always good man. When you see when you see him come out strong last years and stuff when you do see the Fairweather fans, and that’s good. And so I don’t know if you know Nick Dorsey, but Nick Dorsey and I’ve been Seahawks fans. He’s been long a long time lifelong fans. I’ve been. I’ve been I’ve been up here 20 years now and then the season ticket holder for 15 or something like that. But you know we did with the Seahawks do we saw that when we won the Super Bowl last time it was like you know Fairweather fans like crazy but we sat through the years rear like four and 12 and that that kind of stuff just is crazy. Crazy stuff. So But anyway, yeah. This is the wonderful thing of live and being in my in laws, their phone actually rings in the house, yet There we go. We’re back off on that. I was gonna say somebody’s number and all that stuff. So funny. So funny. I think that I think that the last time I heard a voice an answering machine go out here. 



Oh yeah, my mom still has her home phone. I just I just had the cell phone, you know? 


Michael Rivera  15:35 

She just won’t get rid of it. Yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  15:37 

Yeah, it’s good stuff. Good stuff. But anyway, so. So, uh, Clemson. Now? What’s the season look like this year? Are you guys playing inter inter league or whatever you call it in Division? Or what are you guys doing? Yeah, they’re playing 



11 games total? 10. Yeah. 10 conference games, and then one non conference, but of course, they wanted that to be against South Carolina. Yeah, but South Carolina was the only team that voted for that in the sec. Everybody voted against it. So we’re playing a small school called the Citadel which is uh, oh, yeah. Military. Yep. School in Charleston. Yeah, but they’re also playing Notre Dame, which is going to be part of the ACC for this year. So yeah, supposed to be Saturday. We’ll see what happens. 


Damon Pistulka  16:30 

You know, who knows what it’ll look like? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool. That’s, that’s cool. It’s always a good time down there. Now, there’s another sport down there that I that I, you know, I was indoctrinated into when I when I live in Tennessee for a while, and that’s NASCAR. I mean, you’re right. I mean, you’re in South Carolina, North Carolina. Maybe a little bigger. But, but you’re in the middle of that 



as well. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I’ve never been to know a big NASCAR guy. But I do know people who go to any race they can get their hands on. Yeah, there. Yeah, go kart strip. And I just I like to see who wins. But I don’t know if I can sit there for a couple hours watching and go round and round. 


Damon Pistulka  17:13 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s like anything. It’s like people will say that about golf and other things, too. It’s like, how do you ever play golf? And, you know, until you play it, hell, I’ve got friends watch it on TV. So that’s still hard for me. Yeah, I 


Michael Rivera  17:28 

don’t get much joy. out there. Yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  17:33 

Yeah, that’s for sure. Well, the other thing I was going to ask you about, so in life planning, you know, we’re talking you know, your day job, financial planner, that’s, that’s pretty cut and dried. People understand that. So what what are you doing with somebody in the life planning part of it? 



So basically, what I’ve done is, you know, and this is something I did in my own life is, you know, I took every component of my life, you know, professionally, personally, spiritually, whatever you want to call it. Hell, yeah. Like that. And I took a step back, and I said, but what do I want to experience? And how do I want to experience it? You know, a lot of people go about their lives, and they, they had their their one person at work, and then no one person at home. I said, You know, I don’t want to be that I want to be the same person. Oh, no, I’m and I get it. Sometimes you have to be professional. And I understand that. But, you know, I just simply wanted to make sure that everything I’m doing that work is coexisting, and working cohesively with everything at home, and vice versa, you know, yeah, get me to that ultimate goal. So, yes, and I love to help people do this same thing, because time after time, you know, I’ve been there. I went to work, and I throw that smile on my face when I’m not happy. Yeah. And yeah, and I go through my day, and then I get home. And I’m just like, I’m so glad I could take this tie off and just be myself. And I said, Why can’t it just be my Can I be myself at work? And, you know, my clients love it when I’m just, you know, my actual self, and I’m sitting there, you know, we’re joking around. And 


Michael Rivera  19:19 




everybody should be able to say, I want to be this person all the time and experience life the way that I prefer it. So that’s basically why I got into. 


Damon Pistulka  19:32 

Yeah, yeah. So when you’re helping people go through this process, is there an assessment that you’re gonna do with them? Or how does it kind of work? 



Yes. So basically, what I like to do is, you know, we split it up into sections. The very first section is, what is your intention with creating this life plan? Why do you want it? Why do you want a life plan and that’s the First thing, you know, if you don’t have a good, why, then there’s really nothing we can do at that point. And once you get that point, then you want to have a live for every single section. And the thing about it is, you know, for myself, you know, I have my family, my two, you know, businesses, my health and just, you know, my intellectual stuff, you know, like reading, things like that, and, you know, growth and things of that nature. And I just, you know, you go through all those areas, and make sure that every little piece that you’re doing in each of those areas, is getting you to that ultimate intention of why you want to experience life this particular way. You know, my great, one of my great mentors is my, my girlfriend’s father, and he said, you know, never do something that you don’t prefer to do. And so that’s why I just tried to, you know, show people, hey, you can experience life the way that you want to prefer. And, you know, you can be, you know, sometimes you’re going to run into situations where you have to do stuff that you don’t want to do. But majority of the time, you can find ways to do things, the way you want to do is kind of nice to people. And so basically, you know, we just go through finding out why they want their life to be a particular way. And then we break it down into small chunks, and we can deal with it that way. And then we have to create those action steps. You know, each section has to have an action step to how we’re going to do what we want to do. 


Damon Pistulka  21:34 

Yeah, yeah. 



Create a plan on how to follow through with it. And say no to ongoing things. financial planning. 


Michael Rivera  21:44 

Yeah, things are gonna change.  


Damon Pistulka  21:47 



Michael Rivera  21:50 

Only. It’s not going to go.  


Damon Pistulka  22:04 



Michael Rivera  22:06 

You just roll. Do your best. And make sure we’re taking. 


Damon Pistulka  22:25 

Yep. Yep. I don’t know what that is. If that’s on my end, or urine, Michael. Oh, there we go. I think I think we’re back now. There we go. But I was on there he is. Oh, there he is. All right. Yes, he is. Yeah, I see me for the road. Yeah, I was gonna give me hell about that. Because the phone ring and in the back for sure. He is very good at this. And I’m very hackish. And I admit it, and I laugh at it. Because, well, people that know me know that. I just do it. Because I think you know, it’s fun. And I like to talk to people so not that we’re gonna be good at it. You know, it’s like, you never know what we’re gonna be talking about. That’s for sure. So I could you know, the thing I was thinking, as you’re telling me about your planning, and how you do this is that I can I can hear you and Thane talk to each other once in a while. Because, you know, some of this stuff comes out, you know, I can I can hear some of the same words in that same way. I can tell you why you guys enjoy each other. 



Oh, yeah, you know, we connected a long time ago, we kind of just hit it off like that. And, you know, we get along so great, because we just have that similar mindset. And it’s like, we’ve known each other for years. It’s just crazy, you know? Yeah, he just, he just is a great guy. He’s always happy to help. And he just has a really good mindset about things and a lot of wisdom to provide, you know, 


Damon Pistulka  23:54 

that’s super dude, man, I enjoy the hell out of him, man. And, you know, as you know, that the just, it’s, it’s, it’s good. And they’re there. Again, I bring this up, because it’s such a great example of the two of you meeting like you did on LinkedIn, and then talking and then and now working together and helping people. And so you guys actually are doing something together? If I’m if I’m not mistaken, right? 



Yeah, yes. So we have started, it’s still in the early stages, but a mastermind group, basically, you know, we we understand, hey, you know, he’s doing his own thing. And I’m doing my own thing. Yeah. It gets lonely out there sometimes. Yeah. So yeah, me and him kind of came together and said, hey, how can we help each other out by sharing our experiences? So we, we created this mastermind group and we’re looking to grow that to get more people who want to help others succeed and be fully committed, you know? Yeah, a lot of people join these groups and then you know, some show up some don’t, but it’s just basically you know, if you want to help other people grow and become And keep each other accountable, basically. And so that’s what we’ve created. And we’re looking to grow that as quickly as possible and help the right kind of people with it. 


Damon Pistulka  25:11 

Yeah, yeah. And that’s, that’s good. I mean that cuz you’re you are 100%, right that if you’re if you’re a solopreneur, it is a slog when you’re, you’re or even like, like yourself, if you’re working in a company, but you’re, you’re independent, you’re independent person in your company. It’s not like you got a team that you’re working with every day, and those kind of things. It’s tough. And sometimes those kind of mentor peer groups are very, very vital to be able to keep your mind right. And like you said, accountability helps a lot. That’s for sure. That’s for sure. So the, the, the one that one of the things that I was gonna ask you, so what, when you’re helping others with life planning, what are one of the things that you realized? that you want to do? 



Yeah, you know, one of the things that I realized is, you know, I just, I want more that freedom, you know, you know, especially during this time, when I found out is that most of my business used to be in person, and I enjoy that, don’t get me wrong. But during this time, I’ve done everything virtually. And it just really allowed me to have a lot more freedom in my life. And I had a ton of freedom, because I was basically my, basically my own boss, yeah, financial advisor. But, you know, I was driving an hour and a half each way to appointments, you know, yeah. So now I can, you know, work from home and be on video, and I have gotten so many new clients who I will probably honestly never meet in person, and guess what they are okay with that. They say, it’s much easier for me to hop on a call, then for us to set the time. Get ready. And you know, make sure that, you know, you can meet their you know, maybe they have to clean your house. I don’t know. But yeah, you know, I just I’ve learned that, you know, when people show me what they want to experience, I say, Oh, you know, I’ve never thought of that that way. And a lot of times, people that I work with are saying, hey, I want to have a full online virtual business. So that way I can work from wherever in the world. And, you know, I said, Wow, that’s, that’s very cool. I would love that. So, so that’s, you know, one of the things that I kind of took away from this, and hey, you know, I can, I can do what I do normally, but I can do it basically from anywhere. And yeah, as me a lot more free time. 


Damon Pistulka  27:45 

Yeah, yeah, I think, well, I don’t think I know a lot of people have, this is the COVID has brought that realization to people is that, yeah, we all create foreign enjoy the personal interaction. And we also have seen how remote work can give us that freedom. I mean, in our company, we started at the beginning of 2019 implementing remote work, because we had people living all over. And, and really, by the middle of 2019, we’re doing most of our work remote. And now we, we, obviously, because of COVID, we do it 100% right now, but I don’t know that we’ll go much, you know, we’ll go see people once a quarter or once a month or something like that, depending upon what we need to do. But it really does allow you the freedom, you know, and a given example is I, I were considering living in Mexico part of the year, just because we can, you know, your phone rings, just like you’re setting your place now or my house now. And, and the internet works, that’s fine. We could do this stuff from wherever we want to. which is, which is really as you said, it’s, it’s freeing because even if you work 12 hours, but you were in a place that you really wanted to be a lot better when you’re not. 



Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And, you know, that’s, that’s one of the things me and my girlfriend wanted to do as well. You know, her father and her siblings live in Hawaii. And we love Carolina. And so we’ve kind of wanted to our one of our goals is to do kind of that same thing. And live part of the time in Hawaii and just simply, you know, I love what I do, and I love my work. But you know, it’s nice that I can get off a call and go in the kitchen. We’ve been talking to my girlfriend or get a drink of my own water, my own food, you know, and yeah, I have two cats, and I get to just hang out with them all day long and help people at the same time. I mean, you can’t get better than that. 


Damon Pistulka  29:43 

Yeah, that’s that’s cool. That’s cool. Yeah, that’s it is I know there’s a lot of and this is for the people out there too. As much as anyone. There’s a lot of frustration. Now. There’s a lot of frustration in this. You know, we’re stuck at home. We got the kids at home trying to learn a lot of instances or maybe not, but all these different challenges but you brought up one thing that I think is always helps the ground and always helps me to feel better is like, you know that you don’t get this time forever. And, and even as bad as COVID is, and, and a loss of life and all that there are good things out of it. You mentioned one of them that you’d be in with your girlfriend, you’re at home with your cats, and you’re in and, you know, I had several months this year with my, with my adult kids, because they kind of move back in with us. And it was nice. It would I gotta say it was nice, because you’ve got great family around you and the people, you know, as much as you can appreciate that little bit, because yeah, they’re gonna drive you crazy, like they always have but but remember that this is a special time. 



Oh, yeah, yeah, I definitely agree that, you know, one of the, like you said, the key takeaway is that it really has shown us what is really important in life, you know, the work and you know, the cars, the houses, and none of that really matters. You know, it’s the family and the people that you care about. And yeah, you know, getting that time, you know, is there’s nothing better than I think this time really has made us all take a step back and realize it’s really important. 


Damon Pistulka  31:21 

Yeah, well, and like you said, they make us realize what’s really important. And I think the remote work has allowed them to realize they can work and enjoy their life a bit more or differently. And and I think it’s great. I think it’s great, you know, the I really wondering, you know, what this, what we’re going to look like a year from now, because people aren’t going to want to go back. It’s kind of like, it’s kind of like once you once you experience something for this long are you really want to want to go to want to crawl on that train on that bus in that car, drive that hour to work and back. And how are you going to feel about that after three months of doing that again? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. 



Yeah. You know, and I think that, you know, especially my industry, the financial industry, they’re going to, you know, and they are right now, they’ve already gotten a big wake up call, you know, it’s, it’s, I’m a lot of advisors, you have two categories, you have the ones that are enjoying it like me. And then you have the ones who are so upset. They were so distraught, they wanted to get back in the office. I mean, our offices are still closed, some advisors can go in there, but I’m like, Hey, I don’t I don’t need to go to the office. Yeah, nothing to do there. I have my own office at my house, I can literally do everything I need from here. And I don’t have to drive an hour and a half to the office and sit in traffic, you know. Yeah. So, you know, it’s just I think that people are going to be one way or the other. And I think it’s gonna be for the better, honestly. 


Damon Pistulka  33:06 

Yeah, yeah. Well, Iris says that, that he wouldn’t say here that I’ve heard here, and I see now, he’s gonna bust my chops again, because I’m not putting up the comments, like, like, I should be. But this is a good thing. And I know there’s a lot of people like this. I know Nick Dorsey was talking about Tuesday when he was on his live about going back to work. And, and being back in the corporate offices where he works are at carvana. And he was he was like, Man, I’m like one of a few, a whole floor. And yeah, and maybe that is I want to be as introverts will stay. Armen extroverts will go back. I don’t know. Who knows, you know. But, 



yeah, who knows, you know, I mean, I like to get out sometimes, you know, I’m kind of a mixed between the two. I do enjoy the personal interaction, but I definitely see the benefit of the remote origin of free. Yeah. So I’m kind of 5050 you know, 


Damon Pistulka  34:10 

oh, I hope they come back. Yeah, exactly. I hope they come back with some sort of happy medium because, you know, me, me been coming from business management and thinking about that, and leadership and stuff. I think it would be really nice. If we were in the US come up with more of a, a flex schedule where, and I don’t mean it in the way that we’ve used in the past. But I mean, it’s like, I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays in office this week, and maybe it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the office next week. So I so so I so I can essentially from the business owner standpoint or the business standpoint, I can reduce my commercials, square footage and my commercial lease base, which saves a ton of money. And maybe we have a flex day, every couple of weeks where we’ve got, you know, most of the people come in for a few hours to do a team meetings, whatever we got to do, I just think that there’s a huge opportunity now, for businesses that are really embracing this, to come up with a new work, life balance, that, that really allows people to, to enjoy a lot more time, while actually given more for the, for the business. You know, because they, you know, in my situation here in Seattle, there, there are people that are literally commuting three to four hours a day. And if you took two days a week of that away, that’s a lot of time. And it’s noticeable time noticeable in, in, in, in getting things done in time with your family and time with computers, other preparation time, and I think it’d be really welcomed by a lot of people. So 


Michael Rivera  35:53 

100 percent agree with that. 


Damon Pistulka  35:55 

Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’ll be interesting to see. So you’re, since you’re in financial planning, are you a market guy? I mean, you watch the markets a lot. How does that work? I 



mean, so, you know, my, my business is primarily long term retirement planning and wealth accumulation. One thing I’ve learned is, you can never time the market. Oh, yeah. You know, some lucky and I, kudos to them. You guys rock. But, yeah, my thing is, this is, you know, always think about, you know, the long term, at least, you know, 510 20 years from now, and stay to your course, you know, do what you feel is right, you know, one of one of my mentors has said before, you know, pass the sleep test, you know, if at night, you feel like, okay, I can have this much money in the market, and I can wake up and you can all be gone, and I’ll be okay. If you can’t, then maybe you need to change something. Yeah, it’s all about you 


Michael Rivera  36:55 

know, your preference. 



People ask me all the time, well, what do you think which strategy is better? And I said, Well, I can show you strategies all day long, all day long. But it’s your money, you need to do what you feel is right, I’m going to show you the best of the best. But you know, I’m not gonna sit here and say you have to do this, because it’s what you feel comfortable with? Yeah, I have all the models, I have all of the quote, you know, allocations that people should have. But none of that matters if you don’t feel okay with it. And I, you know, yeah. So that’s what I always say to people is, you know, and the thing about the market people, the news always makes it worse than it really is. They always talk about the Dow, which is that’s 30 stocks, you might not have none of those, you might have one. Yeah, you gotta get what you have. I’ve seen it time and time again, the markets down in some of these portfolios up, you know, yeah. You never know, you never know, always focus on what you have in your plan, basically. 


Damon Pistulka  37:55 

Yeah. And what my father has traded for years, and he always says that, that, you know, the first thing you do when you trade for a living is you turn off CNBC. You know, because they have to make news. And that’s, that’s the thing that most financials, now they have to make news, they have to keep the eyeballs on the screen. And as you said, it’s, it is a long term play it is finding the the companies that are doing things right, and that but it is an interesting time because I I have looked at i don’t i don’t really follow the market like you I’m in it for the long term. So I don’t, but it is interesting how that how the Times have changed and that for sure. 



Yeah, yeah, it’s exciting time to be alive. You know, 


Michael Rivera  38:49 

it’s crazy. You 



know, everything was in the, in the crapper, Martin, and it came back up. And then the last two weeks. I mean, we 


Michael Rivera  38:57 

knew this was coming, people were going to take profits off the day.  


Damon Pistulka  38:59 

Yeah. Yeah.  


Michael Rivera  39:01 

Why wouldn’t they?  


Damon Pistulka  39:01 

Yeah. Yeah.  


Michael Rivera  39:03 




it’s just to see that’s the thing the markets gonna do this, it’s going to do that. You just gotta focus on the long term. Just focus on your plan. And people get emotional. That’s the thing people get super emotional in the market. And if you can take that emotion part out of it, and then you’re gonna do well. Yeah, yeah. 


Damon Pistulka  39:22 

Yeah, good stuff. Good stuff. Well, Michael, it’s been great talking to you, man. I tell you, it’s good to get to know you better. I really, I really appreciate your grounded the grounded feel from talking with you. And I’m sure that helps helps your clients an awful lot. And just to give them the satisfaction that someone is there that’s with them and really help them through this. So if somebody wants to talk to you, what’s the best way to get ahold of you? 



Yes. So the best way is either through LinkedIn, Michael, a Rivera on LinkedIn, In for financial advising I can be reached at Rivera ri ve r A dot Michael at principal calm for life planning my website is true life planners calm but I always just feel free LinkedIn I’m always on there active participants that you can message me they’re 


Damon Pistulka  40:22 

very good very good and we’ll have Michael’s contact information at least his website stuff and his LinkedIn profile in the comments for this video so you can find him there as well but Michael, thanks a lot for stopping by and talking today and pardon my rambling once in a while you know hell I’m old I get off on tangents that I think you I think it’s really interesting how you’re helping people in the way that you’ve combined the life planning with the with the financial planning, I think you’re really helping people with their and their entire self, for lack of better words. Really, really cool, man. 



Thank you. Thank you last. I’m super grateful that you were having me on today. I really appreciate the conversation. I enjoyed it very thoroughly. 


Damon Pistulka  41:09 

All right. Take it easy, everyone, Michael awesome having you. Thanks a lot. Thank you. 

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