Jamie Hopkins, Managing Partner, Wealth Solutions
Marques Ogden thinks back on 2013, when he was living in Raleigh, North Caroliona. He had no financial planning knowledge. He had no resources. He had no money. He had no savings.
“My entire days were full of stress and anxiety,” Ogden said. “I was just in a state of constant panic. What am I going to get done? How am I going to pay the bills?”
Ogden, a former NFL football player, noted that when he left the NFL his biggest issue was paying his bills consistently because he didn’t have money coming in.
“When you leave the NFL the checks stop, but the bills don’t,” Ogden said. “If you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to leave the game, it becomes stressful because those bills keep coming, things keep coming out of your account, but the money you were putting in is no longer there.”
Ogden is passionate about telling current NFL players to build a plan to exit with financial resources, so they don’t befall the same fate.
Another thing he’s passionate about is having a financial plan to relieve his money worries. Since working with a financial advisor, Ogden says he’s no longer worried about how things are going to get paid or if he’s going to be able to retire.
“I tell people all the time that financial planning allows you to create focus,” Ogden said.
Ogden’s father worked in finance his entire life. So, he knew to create a budget while he was in the NFL that accounted for his rent, his car, his gas, and his food.
“I remember doing an interview with CNN Money and I actually had a picture from 2003 of my budget,” Ogden explained.
At that time, he was bringing in – after taxes – about $40,000 a month. His bills totaled only $3,000 a month. He knew he wanted to have some assets, so at the end of his rookie year he bought himself a home.
“I was always planning and budgeting because our father made us aware of that at a young age,” Ogden said.
But the good habits wouldn’t last. When Ogden left the NFL, he found himself stressed about money. Until he started his third career with a successful business and built out his financial plan.
Creating the Blueprint
You can’t build a house with just a vision. The same is true with your finances. Ogden, who is a speaker and runs an executive coaching business, said that his financial plan has helped free up his time to focus on business. And at the core of that was identifying where he is now and where he’s trying to go and developing a blueprint to get there.
Ogden notes that you create a blueprint of life, identifying where you are now financially, and where you’re trying to go.
“Are you trying to buy a home? Are you trying to start a retirement fund? To start a kids’ college fund?” Ogden posed. He noted that his financial plan has helped him and his family with all of these things. For example, now he and his wife own their own home and they just started a college fund for their 7-year-old daughter.
Getting the Family Involved
One of the top three reasons people divorce is because of money. MarketWatch reported that 41% of Gen-Xers and 29% of boomers say they divorced because of disagreements about money.1
That’s why, for the Ogdens, financial planning and passing on financial wisdom is a family affair.
After the pair went through so many money trials in the years spanning from 2013 to 2018, they made financial planning a family structure.
“Family structure is so important,” Ogden said. “You need to be talking to your family and your spouse about what do we need to have in what account, and what type of liquidity do we want to have in the accounts? How are we going to start planning for Farrah? How are we going to make sure Ava has what she needs?”
When Ogden and his wife, Bonnie, first got together, they merged their bank accounts so they could get the full picture of where they are and created a strategic plan.
“If you want to have a successful marriage around finances, you better create accountability around a shared vision,” Ogden advises.
It’s also important for Ogden to pass on financial wisdom to his two daughters.
Ogden’s 7-year-old daughter Farrah has a piggy bank and a bank account and is now starting to understand the value of a dollar.
His 18-year-old daughter Ava is working two jobs. The recent high-school graduate has been accepted into New York University and before she heads off in the fall has already established checking and savings accounts.
“When she gets money from her check and puts 15-20 percent away for rainy days and some goes into her checking that she can spend on shoes, clothes or whatever,” Ogden says.
He said that her savings is set up such that she can’t touch it—no debit cards are linked to it and if she wants to take out money, she has to go to the physical bank.
He and his wife have also set up a savings account like that—no cards, no way to transfer into checking accounts, and they’d have to go to a branch to make a withdrawal if they wanted to use that money.
“We set it up that way,” Ogden notes. The reason? “When you have money that’s available to you, a lot of times you’re going to spend it. So you need to start creating different [ways] so your money is not always right there.”
Getting to Financial Freedom
Ogden and his wife looked at where they were when they first got together, and examined where they wanted to be when they hit age 40 or 50. They knew they wanted to build things up so they could have financial freedom to do what they wanted to do.
“To me, financial freedom is when you can stop trading time for money,” Ogden said. “Like Warren Buffet says, you need to make money while you sleep. If you’re up every day trading time for money, you’ll never get wealthy.”
He is a firm believer in creating multiple avenues for income generation to have more money in the bank.
“Financial freedom is all about you having the ability to do what you want to do, when you want to do it,” Ogden said. It’s about “Creating that structure where you can actually have life on your terms and not trying to trade time for money.”
Planning is Uncomfortable. Do It Anyway
Becoming conscious about money is uncomfortable. Nobody really likes to do it, Ogden said.
“You have to do what you hate, to get what you want,” Ogden said.
But sitting down with your family and a financial advisor so you can get a clear picture of what everybody is thinking and to create a clear vision and strategic plan is critical to relieving stress.
Because the one thing we all hate? Being worried about money. And if a little discomfort is what it takes to not have that stress, then it’s worth it.
“If you have that vision together, everybody can work towards that,” Ogden said. “When you have a good [financial] setup, it creates a foundation that won’t crumble.”
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1 MarketWatch, “This common behavior is the No. 1 predictor of whether you’ll get divorced,” 1/10/18.https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-common-behavior-is-the-no-1-predictor-of-whether-youll-get-divorced-2018-01-10
Jamie is not affiliated or registered with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Any information provided by Jamie is in no way related to Cetera Advisor Networks LLC or its registered representatives.