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Thayer Cheatham Willis

Episode 48: Navigating the Emotions and Challenges of Wealth, with Thayer Cheatham Willis

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Lynn S. Evans, and I am the host of Power Of The Purse podcast. There was a time in my life not too long ago, when I believed three things about money. One, women are not supposed to talk about, or be included in any conversations about money. Two, women don’t have the natural ability to understand anything about money. And three, men know best how to manage money. And those truths I made up about money guided me for years, until I realized, money was not a foreign language or some other obscure academic exercise and, it was something I could not only understand, but teach to other women.

Too many times, I’ve heard stories from women who ought to know better but didn’t, until they were forced to because of divorce, widowhood, job loss, or the approach of retirement. This podcast will add another chapter to a rich history of successful women who, when faced with some personal challenges, found the ability to step beyond them. We’ll examine some of the truths that they made up about money from their life experiences, and how that shaped the paths they chose. My mission is to help women have a healthy, positive relationship with money. With that in mind, my guest today is Thayer Cheatham Willis.

She is an internationally acclaimed author, educator, speaker, and leading authority in the area of wealth counseling. She’s been a licensed practicing psychotherapist since 1990 and her primary focus is on facilitating the work of inheritors and their families as they cope with the psychological challenges of wealth. A child of wealth herself, born into the founding family of the multi-national Georgia Pacific corporation, she brings to her field a unique insider’s perspective on contending with family dynamics as they relate to the mental and emotional challenges of wealth. Accredited with an MA from the University of Oregon and an MSW from Portland State University, Thayer is a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in wealth-related issues.

She offers 26 years of experience in a field she helped pioneer and dominates, as one of the most prominent foremost authorities. Working privately with a global client base, she has helped over 1,000 inheritors and their families in eight countries and four continents resolve wealth-related family conflicts. She is the author of Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide For Inheritors. And she’s also written Beyond Gold: True Wealth For Inheritors, which focuses on how individuals can be responsible for the financial wealth in their lives. She is also the president of Willis Management, Inc. So, welcome Thayer.

Thank you Lynn. I’m happy to be here and happy to talk about your topic.

Well that’s good, because we’ve got a lot to cover here today. And as I said to you before we actually started recording, I read your book many years ago, as part of my homework with a group called…the Heritage Institute out of Portland, Oregon. Which, I guess is in your backyard.


It was a fascinating, unbelievable, eye-opening experience to read this book, because I think like most middle-income Americans, my idea was that once you create wealth, you have resolved all the problems in your life. You know, AKA, the lottery winner who all of a sudden, their lives are fine. When in fact, they’re not. But, I say that only because I have seen lottery winners come here to me, to help them with the personal finance aspect of it, and it is really a very interesting challenge.

There is a misconception that once you create wealth, you have resolved all the problems in your… Click To Tweet

So let’s jump right into this, because I really would love to talk to you more about some of the things that you’ve discovered as a child of wealth. I know that when you were born, you didn’t have the same kind of struggles that, let’s say, other people would have, but you had different struggles. So, what would you say was the most important struggle you had as a child of wealth, that you think most of us have probably never experienced?

It wasn’t when I was a child, when I was a child I believe I had a relatively normal upbringing, and I went to good schools. And yes, I did have riding lessons and tennis lessons, and music lessons, piano lessons; and I got to do those things, but it wasn’t that much out of the ordinary. And, our family had some nice friends and there was a social life that all seems even normal as I look back on it. What I think became… When it became noticeable to me that I was in different circumstances, was really after I went away to college, and then out of college. I got out in the world and didn’t have the same pressure on me to work that many of my peers had, of course. And I was able to travel and to follow my interests, and follow my dreams, which my father wanted for me.

And, later around the age of late 20s, 30s, was when I started to really be interested in actually working. And I have often felt like my father meant for that to be a great gift to me and it was. All of that freedom and things that I got to do. Also, it meant that I got a very late start on making a career. And I had to kind of make my own way because I wasn’t motivated by the need to make money. I was motivated by wanting to have purposeful work.

Yeah. And I think that as we talked before, that part of the… Well let’s call them challenges, of children of wealth, is to find purpose in life. Because, there is no real need to have to work. So it’s not a question of ‘I have to pay back school loans, I have to buy the car, I have to do this stuff.’ But there’s… That’s a motivating factor for many middle-income Americans. But I think the other issue is, once you’ve got yourself to that point, where you realize you don’t need to work in order to put a roof over your head, or to buy that car, then how do you find the motivation to want to do something that’s meaningful?

First of all, I need to say that I take issue somewhat with the way you phrased that, where you said that people who grow up in wealthy families don’t have the need to work. Yes, you do not need to get the financial resources if your family is willing to give those to you, that’s true. However, I believe that we all have the need to work. And, that it does take us through the developmental stages that Eric Erikson describes for instance, the psychological development that we all need. And, the stage that we come into in our 20s and 30s, those are the building years. And we all need to do that. And if people are adrift and not working, and just being dilettantes and really never applying themselves and acquiring competence, and stick-to-itiveness and the actual benefits of having to put up with the struggle of making a career work, then we miss a very significant step in maturity.

So, I would say that we all need to work. However, you are correct in that some young adults from wealthy families don’t need to work to get money to pay rent and to pay for food, and to pay for even all kinds of other niceties and luxuries. So, it may be splitting hairs, but yeah. So, I just… I like to help illuminate the situation that young people both older children, young adults, as we all grow up, the situation that people are in when it is a wealthy family. Because, I know that many outsiders assume that they’re on easy street. And they have it made. That really, they don’t really have to do anything. And you know, you could say, well yeah, they don’t really have to do anything. However, how many people do you know who haven’t done anything with their lives are happy?

They’re not, for sure.

Yeah. Yeah, they’re not.

But I think that, that… The point that we’re both talking about here is, that in the absence of a need to have an income, is there something else that motivates people to say, I want to do something meaningful; I want to have a career; I don’t need the career in order to have money, but I know that I need it in the sense that I want to have some sense of personal value?

Yes, exactly.

That I’ve done something that’s worth talking about.

Exactly, and I feel that I was very fortunate that it occurred to me, and I think probably it’s because of the kind of people that I was around, my family and my family’s friends; that it occurred to me, I noticed that those who are helping others in some way, it seemed to lead to happiness pretty reliably. And so, I got very interested in helping others and I tried out some teaching and other ways that I could do that and eventually found my way into the work that I do now. I think that really for me it was just wanting to have a meaningful life, and knowing that I was not going to get that on a silver platter. I sometimes say we can inherit all kinds of assets in life. In fact, everybody inherits some kinds of assets from parents. And for some people it’s great intellect, and for others it’s athletic ability, and for others it is amazing good looks, or it could be financial resources. It could be the quality of resourcefulness.

We all inherit some kind of things from our parents. And for those people who inherit financial wealth, there is the challenge of, what am I going to do with this? How do I make this meaningful in my life?

Did you see much… I guess a role model type thing, from your mother? Only because she was of the same sex as you. Did you see her doing anything in the world of charity? Charitable work?

Yes. In fact, that’s really what I was thinking of when I said that I was so fortunate to have been exposed to people who were helping others. My mother was a very good example. She did do charity work, and she even stuck her neck out and did some things that were not really just, right in her own community. She at one point went to Africa and volunteered in Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s hospital, and none of her friends had done that. And it really changed her life. She was very moved by what she was able to do there, and what she was exposed to. And came and talked to our class at school. I have friends today still, I mean, I live in the same area that I grew up in, and so I know some of those people from so long ago. And, I’ve had people mention to me how much that meant when she came to our fifth grade class and talked about her experience of helping people in that situation.

So yeah, I was exposed to that. And I know that, that made a tremendous difference. A lot of times I have the opportunity to teach parenting skills in wealthy families. Because, many parents are searching for, you know, I really want to do a good job of this. And I’m not sure that I know exactly what the nuances are of having these kids who are in very wealthy circumstances, and maybe the parents weren’t familiar with that. So, what I always tell them is that example is the most powerful teacher that they have. I tell them, as a friend told me long ago; the most important values in life are caught, not taught. So, when I look back to my mother, who was so willing, and worked so hard to help others; of course that influenced me. And I was fortunate to have that kind of example.

Do you have any siblings?

I do. I have a brother and a sister.

Where are you in the birth order?

I’m the oldest.

Okay. So, were your sister and brother raised at a time where their upbringing was the same as yours? Or did they come into this world so to speak, at different times in your parents’ creation of wealth?

No, you’re right that, that does sometimes happen. That didn’t happen in our family. My father and his team at Georgia Pacific had already created a lot of success before I came along. And then my brother and sister were really…we were all raised in the same circumstances.

Did your siblings do anything like your mother did?

Well, in their own ways, yes. They have their causes that they care about, and that they work for. So yes. They both took something from that.



Yeah, it’s great. I mean, that’s an incredible thing that your mother did.

Well it is.

Even today, it’s crazy. I mean, crazy good. But, the kind of thing that you would just think, wow, that took a lot of guts to do something like that.

Well it did. It did. And, she… It meant a lot to her. It was something she wanted to do and I don’t think she specifically did it for her children. I don’t think that was the motivation at all. However, we had a front row seat to how she lived her life, as all children do have with parents. It certainly taught me the power of example. And we all know this, that example is more powerful than anything we say to our children. And so it taught me that.

When you look at all of the different, let’s call them circumstances or situations, that occur with children of wealth… And I’m not saying that, certainly not all of the children of wealth end up like this, but there seems to be, from what I got out of reading your book, a higher divorce rate. A more, what would they say? A more serial divorce rate. And, a sense of… and certainly there’s a lot more addiction. There’s a values proposition that maybe needs some shoring up. But those were three things that really popped out for me when I read the book. And that was written well over ten years ago.


Or like 15 years ago almost. But, how has that changed in the time that you’ve been a psychotherapist? Have you seen any of that lessening or increasing?

I don’t really have a very good vantage point for that because the people who I meet are the ones who are motivated to get help. So they’re the people who are motivated to grow. Often they have stumbled. I’ve often thought the population that I see is really a very specific, small percentage of people who have financial wealth. They’re people who want help. I would say though, that about the challenges that you brought up, that marriage and divorce rate and many marriages and addictions, and also really, I would add being a dilettante. And not really sticking with anything that really could become an area of expertise.


All of that comes from having no financial consequences to whatever you do. I mean, some people will hang in there in a marriage, and work really hard to work out problems and to make it work, because the financial consequences of splitting up are tough. Very devastating at times. And, that certainly applies to work as well. I mean if someone gives your co-worker a promotion that you thought you should have gotten, well you can say, “Well, I’m not putting up with this.” And you can just leave. Well, most people can’t do that. Yeah, so a lot of it has to do with having no financial consequences to sticking in there and making things work out when you can just shrug it off and bail.

What happens when there are no financial consequences to what you do? Click To Tweet

Yeah. That was another point I wanted to talk to you about because, I know that you have said, especially in the book, something about how important getting an education is to everybody who’s in this situation. So that it gives them a… at least a… what’s the word? I cannot think of the word. At least it’s a starting off point. To say, I’m going in some direction. I’m going to be a teacher, I’m gonna be a dentist, I’m going to be something. But then I think about, what about the Ivy League schools where so many people of wealth donate very large amounts of money to either their alma mater or to some other school that they would have aspired to if they could’ve gotten in? And then they send their children there. And it’s an assumed acceptance that the children will be able to go to the XYZ school because Mom and Dad have given 10 million dollars for a new building.

Is that really just buying into the same sad story that there’s no great incentive for these children to want to be on the dean’s list? Or to do anything like that, because it makes no difference. They’re still going to get passed. They’re still gonna get a degree, so what difference does it make?

That’s a very good point you’re making because, what is so valuable is helping your kids get into the position, whatever it is. Whether it is in college or before that, on a sports team, or it could be in any arena or any kind of context. Where you let your kid get into a position where they need to apply themselves and make it on their merit. And the worst thing parents can do for children is to buy their way into a school, or any kind of a position on a team or any kind of a privilege. I mean, I know that some wealthy parents think that they’re doing their kid a favor. They’re actually doing exactly the opposite. That it’s much better to let these kids fail and skin their psychological knees, and have to pick themselves up and figure out how to go on. Which is…you know, that’s what the vast majority of people benefit from. And if you’re going to cushion a kid’s world so much and so repeatedly that they never, ever develop that inner strength…then you’re doing them a great disservice.

Yeah. I was thinking of that with my own father, who was a great athlete, a great natural athlete. He really excelled at just about every one of the sports that he ever tried his hand in. But when it got to going to college, he really was not the great academic star, because he didn’t really need to apply himself for that. And my grandfather, who was probably affluent in those terms, made it too easy for him. Kind of bought his way into schools and things like that. Within a semester, my father had flunked out, which was a horrible sense of defeat for him, who was this competitive athlete who did so well in that arena. But, when somebody wanted him to do something in another place, it didn’t quite work out so well.

Yes. Absolutely.

Yeah, and I felt… Always felt very bad for him that, that was how he started his adult life. And he always seemed to have this sense of anger. And I could never quite understand what that was from, but I really think that’s it.

And you know, the sad underlying current in that story is that your grandfather did not mean any harm. He didn’t mean to do any harm to your father. He thought he was helping.


And actually it would have been much better help, it would have been more effective help if he had let your dad make his own way.

Yes. And my father always wanted to own a bookstore. That was his dream, but that’s not what he ended up doing because it was a family business. And therefore the son was assumed to take the business, which he really hated and didn’t want anything to do with it. So it was just amazing when I think about what you wrote in the second and third generations after that. I often say, “Gee, I wish they still had that business, because I would love to go back and take it over.”


But even as you said to me earlier, it wasn’t expected the girls in the family would even have these aspirations.

Oh yes, that’s true. I mean, I’ve even had those thoughts about Georgia Pacific; it never in a million years would have occurred to me to have anything to do with Georgia Pacific because of the kind of family I grew up in with all these Southern gentlemen. They took care of their sisters and their wives and their daughters. And none of us were expected to work, and so… But later I thought, well you know, I could have run Georgia Pacific.

Yeah, there you go. That’s my point. Yeah. That’s the fun part. Yeah, but you know, different times. It’s exactly what you said. That wasn’t even something that women were allowed to even think about at that time. You said your father and his partners and everybody were from the South. From Georgia? How’d they get up there to Oregon? Is that because of the…that’s where the wood was?

Yes, very good. That’s correct. They actually grew up in Virginia, and my father’s oldest sister married a man in Augusta, Georgia who had a lumber business. And my father’s oldest brother went to work for him, and within a year, my aunt’s husband said to my uncle… I’m sorry, this is probably a little hard to follow…

No, I get it. I get it.

He said, “You are so good at this. I want you to start your own company.” And so, he did. He started this little business, the Georgia Hardwood Lumber company in a one-room building in 1927. And he made some very good decisions and he had some amazing luck. And it was able to grow right through the Depression and then my father joined him and another brother joined him, and they began to build their team. And, they expanded first to New York, and then they set their sights on the Pacific. Because, as you said, that’s where the wood was, and came out here and built the business out here, even much bigger.

Have you ever wanted to go back to the South, or is that really…

Oh yeah.


Yes, I love the South. And I actually have a lot of relatives still in Virginia and Georgia. And I love visiting them.

All right.

Yeah. I love it there.

That’s nice. So you have a place in Oregon, and you also have relatives that are in Virginia. That’s very nice.

Oh, it’s great. Yes.

So you’re bicoastal, as my husband would say.

You could say that.

Yes. One other term I wanted to talk to you about because it’s been used in such a derogatory way in the last, let’s say four years, and that is… It’s kind of like shorthand for people who are of wealth, called the 1 percent. And, I find that, that term is such a derogatory term. Which is so contradictory to our culture, which is a capitalist society. The idea is that you want to create wealth, and we are all programmed to get the best education, to get the opportunities, to be able to create wealth, and then we are punished socially by being in that 1 percent.

So, how do you resolve that in your own way? I mean, it’s just not a nice thing.

Well I agree, and it’s an attitude that’s been developing over time, and you see it in a lot of different ways. Like you mentioned, this “1 percent” has negative connotations. I mean, it doesn’t to me actually, but I know that it does in general. And I think if somebody is smart enough, and hardworking enough, and lucky enough, and all of what it takes to create a financial fortune, I think that’s great. I mean, I don’t really understand what’s negative about that.

I don’t either.

Well unless they did it in a negative… A dishonest way, but that’s… Most of the people I meet… I mean actually, I’m not aware of any dishonesty among my clients. Honestly. I mean, they’re very open with me, because our work is quite intimate. And so, yeah. The people I work with have either been hardworking themselves, or they come from their father or grandfather, or several generations back; somebody was, you know, very hardworking and caught a big wave. And was able to ride it well. And I think that is to be admired.

I do too. I don’t quite understand why those of us who have succeeded in business need to apologize, you know?

No, I agree. I agree.

Okay. So, one other thing I wanted to ask you before I switch this around to your experiences with money. I know you said that you have a lot of people who come to see you who are ready to take on the challenges of their wealth, and make a difference in the way that they are approaching their lives. So, let’s say that somebody comes to you and says, “Thayer, I need to get some things straightened out in my life, because I’m really uncomfortable with the way things are going.” That’s a generic term I’m using but, what do you do to help them? How do you help them get out of where they are?

It varies of course, depending on what it is they need. What it is they say they want to accomplish, which of course is one of my first questions. I collect a little bit of personal history from them and I help them identify their strengths and their values. And we do delve into that quite a lot, and I certainly find out from them what their challenges are, and we get to work. And sometimes it will involve other family members, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes they need to do a lot of work on their own attitudes and behaviors, so that varies a lot. I mean, someone asked me, what are the most common challenges that people come to you with? I can answer that; really it’s usually family relationships. It’s usually family-of-origin relationships. And a lot of times among my clients, it is where family members have been tied together legally and financially. Perhaps before the wealth creator died, there was no training and no experience in how to work together.

So they get thrown into these situations where they are forced to work together, and perhaps they have very different values and very different priorities; different characters and it can be very, very difficult in a way that I’m sure a lot of outsiders wouldn’t really appreciate. I mean, it can be devastating and time-consuming and stressful.

Yeah. Yeah. And so, does it depend primarily on which generation you’re dealing with? Whether it’s the first, the wealth creator, the first generation afterwards, the second or third generation? I mean, traditionally what I’ve been taught is it’s three and out. And that’s just, by the third generation whatever the wealth was that was created is either spent down or the business is destroyed. Is that traditional for what you’ve been seeing?

Well that’s true, and there’s a third factor, and that can be that the offspring have many children, and the wealth gets sliced up in some many different pie pieces that the pieces keep getting smaller and smaller. So, that’s another way that happens. It doesn’t have to be that way. The statistic is that 80 percent of wealth is lost by the third generation. That’s the statistic. However, there is that 20 percent. And I believe that if you want to be in that 20 percent, you can be. However, it’s a lot of work. That’s sort of ironic, you know, people think well how could there be work associated with having financial wealth? Wouldn’t it be just the opposite? But no, in order to handle it well, it is a tremendous amount of work. And, whether it is working through family relationships that are difficult and that are perhaps…people are conflicting with each other and whatever role you have, you have to manage that. It can be the challenges of investing well.

80 percent of wealth is lost by the third generation. Click To Tweet

I mean, there are professionals who will help, but you have to pick the professionals well.

That’s true, and you don’t want Bernie Madoffs in your life.

Right. Exactly. So actually, that’s great that you mentioned that because, that brings me to a big theme in my work, which is that, I like to make sure that all of the young family members, really the parents can start this when they’re children, and then I usually get into it more when they’re late teens or 20s, 30s. They all need to develop financial literacy. I teach that really in the way that anybody who is young would benefit from. So, not specifically only what wealthy people would want to know. I mean, we start with what is saving? Spending? Giving money away? How do people do that wisely?

And, getting some experience working, getting some experience in business. Finding out what business is. Community service. Understanding how your attitudes affect your behaviors and how your behaviors affect people around you. I actually consider that also to be financial literacy. Especially when you’re dealing with financial wealth. And, getting to understand what the different advisors, family advisors do. The CPA, the attorney, the investment manager…what do all these people do? And, how do they get paid? And I send people out to interview them and find out, well what do you do for me? What do you do for my family? This financial literacy is really important, and the beginnings of it as I’ve started to say…

The beginning financial literacy is all to do with what everybody would benefit from knowing. I usually send my young family members to the local community college to take Accounting 101. Because accounting is the language of business. And they need to know that.

Accounting is the language of business. Click To Tweet

Wow, that’s great.

Yes. I do.


I don’t care if they say, “Oh, but I’m an artist; I don’t want to take accounting.” I say, “No, yes, you need to take it. Go take it anyway.” It doesn’t matter. At a community college they make it user-friendly, you don’t need to be afraid. They will make it so you can succeed at it.

That’s great. I love it. Financial literacy has always been my mantra, because I think so many people just push it off to the side. They don’t think it’s important, or they let somebody else handle it. Financial literacy is so fundamentally important to one’s success.

Financial literacy is fundamentally important to one’s success. Click To Tweet



Oh, it absolutely is fundamentally important.

Yeah, I commend you for that. Yay.

I teach a lot of vocabulary and the idea of that is by learning these words that the advisors are likely to use in meetings, you will be able to keep track with them. And you won’t get distracted by the mention of asset allocation, and you’re sitting there thinking, oh no, what is that? And then you get lost, and then you decide that these meetings are boring. Or you get intimidated, and you don’t want to go to the meeting anymore. None of that works. So, it’s much better to learn the vocabulary that these professionals are going to be using.

That’s brilliant. You’re speaking to the choir here, I love it. I love it.

I can tell. I can tell. But, so it’s so basic. And I really don’t understand why they don’t seriously teach financial literacy in all of the schools in the public school system.

As they say, from your lips to God’s ears, because I really think that is so important, and nobody else seems to understand it.

It’s so basic.

I couldn’t agree with you more. I would love to see more people graduate from high school with a fundamental knowledge of the terminology of money.


Just to understand what… Like you said, asset allocation sounds like a crazy thing to a lot of people, but how about things like just, what is interest? What’s compound interest? How does that work? Those kinds of things I think are so important to people.

Exactly. Exactly.

So we beat that one down.

Yeah, we completely agree on that.

Let me switch this around to your experience with money. So what’s your first memory around money?

Oh my goodness. My parents made my life pretty easy for me regarding money. And, I wasn’t a big spender, so it was not too big of a challenge. My father would provide money for what I needed and then I got the idea that I would like to work. And I discovered that I loved that. I actually… One of my early memories is the difference in how I felt about my paycheck and how I felt about the money my father gave me.

Wow. That’s great. So, how did you feel about the difference… What was the difference in your feelings between the two?

Well, I appreciated the money that my father gave me of course, and I understood you need to have money to pay for food and the things that we all want to have. I understood that. But when I got my paycheck, I felt really proud.


And I felt like I had done something important. One of my first jobs was writing some short memorial biographies for the World Forestry Center. I could write. I always could write. That was one of the first ways it occurred to me to make money, so I did that. I remember getting those paychecks and just being very proud of having earned that money.

Mm-hmm. Did you have anything like an allowance?

Well, I did when I was growing up. But then as a young adult, my father would… I actually don’t really remember too much about how this would happen. I think he just gave me money when I needed it. And then when I started working, I didn’t need as much. So…yeah.

What are the events that have happened in your life that you would describe as defining moments?

Well, one of them was an experience I had when I was around 30 where, long story short, I decided to give up all of my spoiled brat behaviors and become more of a functioning adult. And, I was in a program where there were some other people who were… I mean, there were some teachers who were teaching this kind of personal growth. And I was with a group. And it just became a huge turning point in my life, when I saw that I could behave differently and it would work better.

Were you married at the time?

No. Although, I had been, and I was in the wake of a divorce and I was in a lot of pain. I really didn’t understand why I had so much trouble with relationships. But, a lot of it was because everything had to be exactly the way I wanted it. Exactly the way I wanted it.


And I didn’t have any ability to… I hadn’t developed much ability to compromise, to work with people you know, to have give and take. Which is what it takes in relationships. But I didn’t. I had gotten away with having to have everything the way I wanted it.

Mm-hmm. Yep. The spoiled brat thing, right?

Yeah. The spoiled brat thing. So, that was a defining moment when it occurred to me to give that up. And that was thanks to my teacher at this place, so that was great.

So, then you got married at some point, again?

Yes, and my husband and I have two precious children. They’re in their 20s now. And I am thrilled that I got to have marriage and family after all. And so that’s great. I would say, of course, that is a defining moment. The fact that I have gotten to have a family, and I mean, I have loved it. I still do, I mean it’s a little different when they get older, but when they were little of course, that was the part I really loved.

Yeah. That’s when they couldn’t talk back to you. Yeah, that was pretty good.

Right. The golden years. The golden years between about, what? Five and 12, you know?


Oh my goodness, it’s so fun.

I have a friend who said to me once… She said, “I think we should flush them down the toilet between 12 and 20 and then bring them back up again.”

Yes, I understand.

Good. That was profound, too. All right, so, I’m just thinking that we probably are gonna run out of time here. Is there any other thing you’d like to share with my listeners that we haven’t covered?

Oh my goodness, you’ve done a great job of asking questions and if I were to highlight the most important areas that people who have financial wealth can work in, I would say identifying and clarifying their values, tuning up communication skills, which we can all improve, of course, and, relationship skills as well. I mean, all of the relationship skills. This is really important. And having financial wealth certainly is no kind of path that you get to get away with, with poor behaviors. It sounds maybe counterintuitive that I put such a focus on work but really the work of communicating well and relating well, and having those relationships and helping others, and the work that goes into that, is what makes our lives meaningful.

I mean, earlier I was talking about how we all inherit some kinds of things from our parents, and the one thing no one inherits is a meaningful life. And, we all have to work for that.

That’s great. That’s profound. I like that. That’s a good one.

Yeah. It’s true.


It’s true.

Okay. My thanks to my guest, Thayer Cheatham Willis. And to all of you in my Power Of The Purse community, I hope today’s podcast was helpful in enriching your understanding of money and how it can help you achieve your life goals. If you’d like to spend 15 minutes on a call with me and ask me questions about your personal finances, please go to my website, PowerofthePursepodcast.com, select the “Contact” tab, and find a time that works for you. Thanks again Thayer for sharing your time and your knowledge. And tell all my listeners here how they can get a hold of you if they’d like to.

Oh thank you. The best way probably is through my website, which is just my name, ThayerWillis.com. And, if you want to contact me by phone, my phone number is there as well. And usually email is great.

Okay. Until the next time, thanks for listening. And remember, money is not the enemy, your ignorance of it is. Thank you and until the next time, goodbye.

How to contact Thayer:

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