February 23, 2024

Pivoting hard when you think you might lose your job

In this week's episode, Dame, Kristen, and Pete explore how to make preemptive financial moves, if you think you're about to lose your job.

Episode Transcript

Peter Dunn: [00:00:00] I can't tell you how glad I am to be here with you today after what was a harrowing, harrowing moment of my life about 164 hours ago. Let me set the scene. But before I do, let me bring in. The two people that are the reason you listen slash watch this show. Kristen Elenia is Damian Denhollow. Good day.

Almost died last week, but, but not an officially like an official almost death, like a near miss none of that. It was more of the prospect of at any moment. Things could have gone hairy and the show would have officially been called Kristen and Co. Dame, let me set the message for you here, okay? Mm hmm.

The message. Yes, sir. Whatever. Driving to Memphis, as my daughter once tried to convince us, it's called Memphis without the H. Just Memphis. She has the confidence of a middle aged man, sometimes. And when she was nine years old, she tried to convince [00:01:00] us that it is in fact Memphis, Tennessee. And that went on for six months.

Anyway, we're driving to Memphis. Theodore, his soccer coach and I, last Friday afternoon. Now you're driving from Indiana, to Indianapolis specifically, to Memphis. You don't really feel as though a blizzard is going to nearly take your life. Especially when, when you leave, there's literally nothing happening meteorologically.

So you get on the drive, you make it to Effingham, Illinois. And you see, well, you don't see the giant cross that's in Effingham, Illinois. Because it's white out conditions somehow, some way. I don't know what a squall is, although I think it could be a small chicken. There is a squall Dame. There is a massive, massive amount of snow that just happened.

Like, like bad B movie dump fake snow onto a scene. [00:02:00] And it's such a ridiculous Mount Dame that it's unbelievable in nature. Are you tracking so far? Yeah, I am in very intrigued. So we take the left, if you will head South and Effingham to, I think you're on 57 heading towards Memphis and it gets worse and worse and worse.

There's it's now down to one lane. There's probably four inches of five inches of depth of snow. There's. No salt trucks, no anything, blowing wind, whiteout conditions. Damn. For about four hours, we saw at least 60 slide offs. Wow. Two cars in front of me. Dare I say a sandwich for you. I saw a person lose the back end and go head into the retaining wall.

Popping out their airbags and then spilling their door open. And the person's like this, then on the other [00:03:00] side is see a semi come down through the median, through the ditch, save it by keeping it in the lane, but then jackknifing against a rock wall and the ditch, therefore making passing North.

Impossible. So this is going on for hours and hours, and I'm just trying to get to Memphis, right? Why? So 11 year old boys can kick a soccer ball against each other. And we made it. And I'm here with you today. Hello. At

Damian Dunn: what point did you say Memphis can wait?

Peter Dunn: Amazing question. Fair question. It wasn't an option, Dame.

You couldn't pull over to the shoulder. Or because there was no shoulder and you would get hit, you couldn't go off an exit because you're in the middle of nowhere, like it was just getting worse and worse. You [00:04:00] just had to get through it. And the weird thing was, you know, this is a giant tournament in Memphis where a lot of people from both Indiana and Illinois and Missouri and all these different places are going to as you get there on Friday night into Saturday morning, literally every single person.

Is telling the same story because it all sort of happened to everyone. And then the crazy thing was you were starting to figure out the timeline of the storm. Oh, I was there 30 minutes before you, or I was there 30 minutes after you. It was, but I'm alive. May I also say, I mentioned on the show, possibly last week, I ended up getting a different car.

Yes. Yeah. It's all wheel drive. It's all wheel drive. And that's where I felt the Lord smiled on my household. It's a great

Damian Dunn: financial decision, Peter.

Peter Dunn: Probably not. You know how I know you don't mean that? Why? Because you called me

Damian Dunn: Peter. Peter, yeah. No, I was speaking for the Lord.

Peter Dunn: Kristen, how's your [00:05:00] life?

Kristen Ahlenius: It's good.

A little busy, but we're, we're doing well.

Peter Dunn: Is social energy on a scale of one to ten? where is it right now?

Kristen Ahlenius: Very depleted because I hosted a party last weekend. So this is more of like a recovery weekend

Peter Dunn: last weekend. That must have been a heck of a party for it to deplete you for a week. Was it Memphis?

Kristen Ahlenius: No, just did a brisket on the Traeger, had a bunch of people over for the NASCAR race that got delayed. So then we watched Purdue lose and just an afternoon of a lot of fun and a lot of friends.

Peter Dunn: So Dane, where's your social tank? I'm in a pretty

Damian Dunn: good spot right now. I see the, the end of, of swim season just over the the next horizon.

So we're going to have a little bit of at home time or more at home time for the family. So it's a, a sprint to the finish for us.

Peter Dunn: Chris asks a really interesting question in the live chat. What kind of party depletes [00:06:00] a person for an entire weekly? Kristen. Did you have too many ranch waters?

Like, what's

Kristen Ahlenius: going on there? I, I did not. Gentlemen, I actually didn't drink at all. It's just that I have a lot of, I like to be like the perfect toast. And so making sure everyone is like, making sure everyone is like taken care of. Like, do you have anything to drink? Like I'm like cleaning up the kitchen.

And so it just like, there's, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure everyone has a good time, I

Peter Dunn: guess. Dame. I think it's time to test whether she really is the perfect host by asking a series of questions that we believe makes a perfect host. So I can, may I begin, I'll, I'll help you understand the spirit of this Dame.

Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Kristen, were there pigs in a blanket?

Kristen Ahlenius: No. That's what you eat with?

Peter Dunn: Yeah. There was a brisket. Was there barbecue meatballs? With grape jelly, Midwest style ,

Kristen Ahlenius: no.

Damian Dunn: Dame [00:07:00] W were, was there a crock pot full of small smoky winners with barbecue sauce? Little s smokey? No,

Peter Dunn: it

Kristen Ahlenius: was brisket vibes. It was brisket, tacos, brisket, sandwiches, brisket, nachos.

It was like every variety of brisket was

Peter Dunn: available. I'm sensing a party. That's true. Not the perfect toast. No one. Try again. Sorry.

Kristen Ahlenius: No, no one that attended the party raises hogs.

Peter Dunn: So don't ever invite me to a party if there's not going to be swine to dine.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yeah, I'll, I'll revoke your future

Peter Dunn: invitations. Lee says hello.

I saw Lee last night at a soiree, a business slash celebration function situation. And can I, can I tell an, I don't have time for this today, unfortunately, like we've got to go cause I have to do a thing at the hour, but I have to tell this story and it's in Lee has witnessed it. awkward moment last night.

Awkward moment. So [00:08:00] first of all, I'm at a concert venue last night. It's a concert venue, business party thing. So I'm in this concert venue and I'm thinking to myself, of course, with Kristen's face, she's making right now. Like how uncomfortable am I at a concert? Were you sick? Yeah, no, no. I mean, there was The concert, there was a concert and then I left at the, in the middle of the first song.

Cause I'm, I, you know, music and me and live and, and so Dame I'm there and they're playing on this very large screen, a video tribute to, to, to why we're there. And as part of that tribute, I was actually interviewed to, to talk about what, what, what was happening along with a bunch of other business leaders and whatnot.

And it's a very well done video. So it pops up on. The giant screen, Dame, my, my head looked like Barry Bonds, his head when he was allegedly taking at some point in time, my head got giant. I look like a, a Macy's Thanksgiving [00:09:00] parade float balloon. There was various people interviewed my head. It looked like.

Like remember when Rosie O'Donnell's head seemed like it was very large? My head looked giant. It was like Barry Bonds, Rosie O'Donnell, somehow started a family and I was their love child and that was the size of my head last night.

Damian Dunn: Could I potentially convince you for Halloween this year just to walk around with like little Ropes hanging off of your body at different places and say you're an escaped Macy's Day float

Peter Dunn: We're week six That's amazing. I didn't laugh like super loud, but that's very funny and it deserves a You I'll try

Damian Dunn: and do a little bit better, but six weeks in a row We'll start

Peter Dunn: game. I'm like, I'm not in a place where I'm, I'm really loving my, I'm loving my body right now. Dad, we don't want shame anything.

However, that was humbling. Like my head looked Chris, I, I don't know. It looked, you were to go to like the [00:10:00] state fair and they've got like the world's largest gourd or like a pumpkin situation going on. I look like I at least got a white ribbon on my head for the size of my, my neck

Kristen Ahlenius: gourd. Oh no. Like reserve grand champion.


Damian Dunn: Yes. Not even, not even grand champion. That's reserve

Peter Dunn: reserve. Grand champion. Second place. Second place, I think it's called reserve grand champion. Yeah Our society's going

Damian Dunn: the wrong direction. I'm gonna need a screenshot a still of that video Game and then

Peter Dunn: here's the I'm used to seeing myself on screen or hearing my voice on this I'm like, I'm kind of over it.

I don't care. There's something about it last night I think my social energy was low or I said a long day. I was like I was just, I was just like, it's like, Oh, get this guy away. Okay. Let's start the show in three. Oh, I'm not ready. Oh my gosh. [00:11:00] I really have to get going here. Kristen arranged an interview with a person I have to interview at the top of the hour.

So we got to get it. All right. Three, two, one. This week on the Pete the Planner show, we answer your money questions. Here's how the show works. You email us, askpete at pete the planner. com that's askpete at pete the planner. com. And you know what? As of like three weeks ago, I'm actually checking that email.

It's not to say that that email hadn't been checked. It's just, I hadn't personally been checking that email. I had someone doing it. Speaking of someone, I have two of those. One is Kristen Alenius, the other is Damian Dunn. On the count of three, they will say hello together, but the way the audio mixes for the show, you won't hear one of them.

That's the funny part. One, two, three. Hello. Oh, Dame delayed. Hi guys. So we have got topics today ranging from daily pay, huh? To to emails. That were sent to Ask Pete at PeteThePlanner. com That oddly enough, I didn't read. Okay, so, let's begin. Kristen, we got an interesting question from [00:12:00] our colleague, Chad Force this week.

It's Chad Meadows. Formerly the drummer of an all girl band in college. Indeed, true. Also drummer for Achilles last stand, which is a l s a l s. Good name for a band. Anyway. So Chad sent us a question this week and it was really to you and I was trying to work through a situation for a client. What are your thoughts on earned pay benefits?

Essentially payday advances is. On hours already worked. I'm not a big fan, but want to make sure we're aligned and I'm not missing anything. I might be equating it too closely to payday loans. Kristen, do you feel like you can give a simple explanation of this? I

Kristen Ahlenius: think so. I want to make sure I also understand it.

And so, as I understand it, the employee, potentially hourly employee, we'll just use that example, they work on a Monday, they could then get those wages on a Tuesday [00:13:00] after their Monday shift, as opposed to waiting to payday,

Peter Dunn: correct? That's the way I interpret it. Okay. And I still think there's something called daily pay, which is your debit card, if you will.

Gets filled up with those days wages at the conclusion of the shift. And then of course, there's payday advance, which is for, in many cases, wages that have not yet been earned. So it's like an IOU on time. Dan, maybe let's start with the IOU on time. You can form your own opinion, but I think it's kind of going to go this way.

We don't love it for the person, and we don't love The company's offer it, I

Damian Dunn: don't know. Very, very

Peter Dunn: convincing. Well, I just, I asked you a question and I didn't want to make you force you to agree with me. So I tried to go with a little,

Damian Dunn: I think that arrangement sets a [00:14:00] very tough road for somebody to try and do any significant financial planning personal financial planning going forward where you have access to your wages.

That's and future wages ahead of time because you just seems like you have a never ending a new amount of cash in your checking account available to you to spend. However, you so choose. Now, I completely get it when people feel like they are behind on bills and they want to make that make that right and spend that money.

On things that they owe or get some food or whatever that is. However, when you'd have that money available to you and you know there's going to be more money tomorrow, it can nudge people in the wrong direction. It allows them to potentially spend money in ways where they should be spending it or saving it elsewhere.

And it's, it's a, it's a. Bad temptation for to dangle in front of

Peter Dunn: some people. Christine, I think we need to do a quick privilege check here. We probably should have started the segment here. Yeah, we're going to be talking about folks that are paycheck to paycheck. They have some cashflow [00:15:00] issues and the, the theoretically, I guess Kristen would have lower wages, hourly wages.

And so since none of the three of us are in that situation, we want to talk about this observationally and not judgmentally. Is that a reasonable disclaimer?

Kristen Ahlenius: I think that that was perfect. So can I ask the two of you a question as an observer? So first, a little bit of backstory. So there's a very big financial institution that offers essentially advances on future paychecks.

Peter Dunn: Lehman Brothers. Is it Lehman Brothers? It is. Bear Stearns. He's a genius.

Kristen Ahlenius: Oh. So, but I, and I've observed a lot of those situations where people will pull from their future check and the incentive for that institution to do that was because then they would turn around when people continued to get further and further behind and then they'd be like, Oh, well actually we can offer you a personal loan.

And I felt like that [00:16:00] setup was very predatory. Is that SoFi? SoFi. No. And I, I thought that that set up was, was predatory in a lot of cases. Where's, what's the angle for the employer offering this?

Peter Dunn: I have a, I have a theory on it. Who is it? I want to know. I don't know if I should say on the air. Slack it to me.

I'll say it on the air. Oh,

Kristen Ahlenius: well it's, then I might as well say it on the air. It's Navy Fed. Navy fed, Navy federal

Peter Dunn: credit union. Oh, okay. So now where I'm going, okay.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yeah. If you have an active duty checking account, at least they used to, they used to let you pull from a future paycheck cause they knew the money was coming.

And then people would come to me with personal loans because they continue to get further and further behind. And so I understood from a business perspective, not an ethical perspective, why they would do that. I don't get the employer's angle here.

Peter Dunn: Alright, so Dame, I have it. First of all, that's we're not going, allegedly, we're just saying sort of, this is our our observations, anecdotal observations around [00:17:00] what just happened.

That's terrible. Dame, here's my theory on this, Kristen, just grimaced. It's okay. It's fine. It's fine, it's fine. Dame my theory on this is employers love to offer benefits that people use. And therefore they are deemed popular benefits that people are appreciative of. I know in the midst of what business we've conducted in the last several years, that sometimes employers are making these financial wellness benefits like daily pay part of their roster because Of this because people love it and people use it, but that doesn't mean it's a it doesn't mean it's a good thing, right?

Yeah, absolutely.

Damian Dunn: I i'm i'm struggling i'm trying to think of another Example of a benefit that is offered to individuals that they really probably shouldn't use If at all possible, I don't know. It seems like this is really an odd one and I don't I don't get it.

Peter Dunn: On YouTube Live right now, [00:18:00] Robert no last name, it's like Jack A or Prince, noted, tipped employees get paid every day at end of shift and make it work.

Kristen, what say ye? Have you ever worked in food service? I mean, clearly you're the queen of hosting parties, doesn't serve little smokies, but do you have you ever been in food service?

Kristen Ahlenius: I've not worked as a tipped employee. I've worked like in that space, but I wasn't, I was making an hourly wage.

Peter Dunn: So what about this tipping idea?

Does it work or is it just, you know?

Kristen Ahlenius: I that's hard because it's based on your your observed experiences and I have a lot of friends who have worked in this space who feel like they have to take that next shift because they're financially working like they are. Their bills need to be paid by that shift, and I don't know, could just be my anecdotal experience, but I think that saying that people make it work, maybe some people do, maybe some people don't.

Damian Dunn: I fell [00:19:00] down a TikTok hole one evening. Oh no. And, and watched somebody who is a server budget their month it was a week actually. Based off of the tips they received and what bills needed to be paid. It was really kind of fascinating to watch them go through and try and plan out their life based on the money they did or didn't earn because the expenses didn't change.

Peter Dunn: So with less than a minute left and the fact that we've not answered the question the question is what do we think about when a person has earned the wage and to have it pay out? I don't think it's the greatest thing in the world, but I also don't. You're not borrowing against anything. It's more of just a, a cashflow budgeting issue.

So do you have a, do you have a massive, massive issue with it? Despite it not being our preference. Does anyone have like a no way? No, no. Okay. So probably not the best way to do it, but also not the worst thing. I, what I would want is it to not become a pattern. And what I think the three of us know is it will absolutely become a pattern.

And that's why we [00:20:00] have some pause. And with pause, let's pause the show. We'll be back in just a bit. Taking your questions. Ask pete@petetheplanner.com. Think I've ever done an outro with.com. Alright, which one are we doing? Which one we wanna doing first? Here. You wanna do the Ian? Yeah. Old friend Ian.

Let's, let's bring him back. Let, let's hit it now. 'cause I, I, I talked too much early. Yeah, go ahead. Two, back on the Pete the planner show dam. Okay, we get questions from time to time emailed at askpeteatpetetheplanet. com. And here is one from our old friend, Ian in Chicago. Greetings, Kristen and co hello again, and I hope 2024 is treating y'all.

Well, timeout grid, not born in Chicago. No, I said y'all I have a bit of [00:21:00] a money question that I've been considering this past week that I thought might make good for a good conversation on show. My organization just went through a sudden round of layoffs and while I'm safe for now, my team and I were notified that our positions will be terminated at the end of October.

Unless new revenue is found timeout.

Damian Dunn: Oh, aggressive,

Peter Dunn: but I'm so sorry. That is a, that is disconcerting information. And I, I am, I'm expressing empathy to you, but Dame, I do need to take a weird left turn here. The phrase. Unless new revenue is found, it's really hitting me in a weird spot.

Damian Dunn: Are they just expecting folks to go around and pull up couch cushions in the office and see what they can dig up or what?

Peter Dunn: I don't know. As someone who's in charge of a sales team and has a meeting in like an hour I'm gonna be like Have we found any new revenue? Anyway, continuing admitting that that's a while away. I've been thinking about how to sure up my finances ahead of October in case I cannot find a new role before that deadline and or additional funding to fund.

My team isn't found for my team running through all [00:22:00] the options, example, front loading my 401k. So I maxed that out before Q4 cutting expenses like streaming services, paying down credit card debt, continuing to repay myself for the car and increased liquid savings versus paying down more debt. I'm curious if you have.

either a list of other money moves that would be the gold standard for someone in this position or list of some pitfalls. I've been never been through a future. You know what? Let's just, let's just stop there. I just in iron style. It is, he is the James Patterson of emailers. It's very long. It's like the grapes of wrath.

And also Kristen, have you ever heard someone give? Two more glaringly different examples like front loading a 401k to max it out and cutting streaming services on the opposite side. I,

Kristen Ahlenius: I haven't, but it makes me really proud of, of Ian. I think that that's phenomenal that you're willing to make the little sacrifices as you go and also make the contributions that future you [00:23:00] deserves.

So go Ian. He

Peter Dunn: did list in point number five and we didn't even make it to point number one. While this was a long email, it was a full 50 words less than my one last March progress. You know, it's hilarious because we didn't even get there.

Damian Dunn: That's that's pizza's attention span for some of these emails.

Just Dame

Peter Dunn: just swelled an entire infusion family. I did. That was great. We hit mute and clear your throat, baby. We know we can't, we can't rivet answers to people. Kristin, where do you begin with this?

Kristen Ahlenius: I perhaps am a little more on the conservative side here, knowing, first of all, I do not, if you came to me and you were like, so Kristin, you're going to be fired in October but we'd like you to stay until then.

And I don't. I, I, I really like you guys, but like, I don't know if that is something that I could do to be like, I'm [00:24:00] hoping that I'm still going to be around, but I might not be. I think that's a hard thing. I

Damian Dunn: absolutely agree. Ian, the first thing, the first money move Ian needs to make is start interviewing for new jobs.

Peter Dunn: I'd say budget for thick resume paper. Back in the early 2000s, which is the last time I think I interviewed for anything other than random things. I, I had such nice resume paper that it had a. thick watermark to it that you couldn't even see my bad qualifications because the watermark to the paper was so, so defined.

And I was like, wow, what do the people still do that? Or they, I guess there's PDFs now, right? I

Kristen Ahlenius: think there's technology now.

Peter Dunn: Yeah. A thousand percent start looking for a gig. Yeah,

Damian Dunn: I don't know how that's not the answer. And maybe he is maybe, maybe it's already going down, but I [00:25:00] don't know what the second answer would be.

Honestly, I just start looking. Okay.

Peter Dunn: Well, okay. Hey, help me with this. He's talking about front load, the 401k, which I appreciate. And I, and of course I didn't make it far enough in his email to know if he had a cash position. Does he does? Yeah, I was going to say just stack cash instead of front load in the 401k.

But how much cash did he say?

Damian Dunn: Yeah. Seven in an emergency fund and 10 in a cd

Peter Dunn: more cash. Yeah, more cash.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yeah, because the reality is, is that if Ian decides to stay around and they can find more revenue or if Ian goes to a different job, you can always be more aggressive with those 401k. Contributions toward the end of the year, but if we lose income, we lose our ability to stash cash.

And I don't know. I don't know. I think at one point we knew how much money it took to sustain Ian's house, but I don't think that we have it in this email. So that's not helpful [00:26:00]

Peter Dunn: here over the years. We. We've read enough of these emails and in the course of you all's work You've read enough emails where you just grow to trust the person.

Mm hmm. And I think in this circumstance It is fair to say I ultimately trust Ian to make a good decision Right. I mean, there's, there's different ways to look at this, but I think he might be getting a little too cute with the front loading the 401k thing, given he's only got 17, 000 in an emergency fund.

Damian Dunn: Would your level of trust change, Pete, if, if Ian hears this or writes us back and says, you know, I'm just going to stick it out. I'm not going to interview for any other jobs. I'm not going to look. I'm going to ride this ship down or I'm going to make it through. But would your opinion of level of trust change at that point?

Peter Dunn: That's an interesting question. Are you saying that like I wouldn't trust his judgment to be realistic enough to look for a backup? Yeah, [00:27:00] what do you have your forward knowledge on this? Do you think that's the thing? Are you just playing?

Damian Dunn: No, I'm just curious because I he I as much as we know about Ian and we know thousands of words about Ian at this point

It just strikes me as odd that he wouldn't have thought of looking for A second job at this point, or a backup job.

Kristen Ahlenius: What if, what if this is like a really high paying position, or what if Ian's in a really niche field, or what if this company culture is, okay, maybe the revenue isn't there, but maybe this is just like the best place that Ian's ever worked.

Like, I certainly think there could be reasons beyond the financial, and October's still a long way away. I mean, maybe. to start the third quarter and starts looking for jobs. So I think that I do trust Ian's judgment because I think potentially Ian's being proactive about a decision [00:28:00] to be proactive to look for other jobs.

Peter Dunn: Can we take a weird turn on this? So

Layoffs, I understand, and I understand they can be a harbinger for what is to come, but that advanced knowledge, like how much advanced knowledge is appropriate in a circumstance like this? Is it? Look, transparency is a beautiful thing but is it?

Damian Dunn: Eight months does seem like a lot of runway. To warn somebody about future layoffs.

I, he did say that they are, they're already laying people off and if things don't change eight months is going to be a line in the sand, but man, that seems like a lot could change in eight

Peter Dunn: months. This is where this is starts to get a little gross for, for, for me of the CEO of a tech startup, right? Like I'm discussing, cause it's like, I know things, you know, and, and it's interesting because if he's not on the revenue team.

And by the way, who's on [00:29:00] the revenue team, everybody, everyone, everybody, everyone's on the revenue team. If he is not actually in a revenue producing position, then he's, what's basically being said is, Hey, if the sales team doesn't sell, sell stuff, you all lose your jobs. Like that seems like a strange dynamic.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yeah. Maybe a little bit. Yeah.

Peter Dunn: Interesting. Ian, feel free to send real details additional details and I will clear out the storage on my inbox to make room for that email. There we go. All right. Coming up after the break, another email question. I haven't read it yet. So it could be good. Could be bad.

Could be the last week of our show. Who knows? I'm Pete the Planner, and this is the Pete the Planner.

Kristen Ahlenius: Poor Ian. Ian gives us all these details, and you're like, if you'd like to give us more details, and we didn't even read Ian's details up

Peter Dunn: here. Well, he's like, he's giving us details about a Subaru. I'm like, I don't care.

Well, to us. Oh wait, Dame just shared an image. It's my giant head at this party last [00:30:00] night. Can we show this on the air? Hold on. We don't have time for this, but we must. We must. Okay all right. So we're gonna, we're gonna show this to everyone right now. That is, is streaming. This is the size of my head last night.

At this business

Damian Dunn: thing. I got really bad news for you. It's the size of your head today, too.

Kristen Ahlenius: Oh, no.

Peter Dunn: Wait, hold on. That's not it. It's not up. Okay, hold on. Everyone relax. Oh, my gosh. What a hideous creature. Okay, hold on. Relax. Hold on, everybody. What? I mean, you know me super well. That's a really large head.

Damian Dunn: That is Bad angle or something, a lighting potentially. I mean, it's look at the

Peter Dunn: size of that.

Damian Dunn: Very shadowed

Peter Dunn: on that one side. It's like Sputnik. It's like that thing landed on my head last night. Sputnik wasn't nearly that large. Beamed image. Look at the size of that melon. Is that what I look like? [00:31:00] No.

Oh my god. I mean, what? I didn't shave. My eye I'm like Well prepared. Jeez. Oh. Lauren, David says it's bulbous. It does look like It looks like a A lollipop you wouldn't buy your kid at Disney. That's how big it is. Wow. Oh my. Look at that. Okay. Let's be done with that. That was awful. Oh. Okay. Brian says it's not that bad, but it kind of, I believe Brian, it's so big.

Okay, let's go in three. Oh wait, we got to get back to, I don't know what to do. Three, two, one. We'll figure it out on the fly. Back on the Pete, the planner show, reading emails from people from the internets, answering them the best we might be able to. All right. How would [00:32:00] Kristen, did that describe what this is?

Kristen Ahlenius: I think that that felt representative of what today's show spends. Is this a privileged

Peter Dunn: one? Yes. Hello. Oh, wait, I, damn, I was reading the email. Oh,

Damian Dunn: hi. I was going to say you're in control, but you didn't seem like you're in terrible control. There you go. Try again.

Peter Dunn: First, let me acknowledge this question comes from a place of privilege.

I do like when people check the privilege at the door. I didn't even call a timeout there. I'm sorry. I feel like we're currently checking off all of the boxes. Saving in 401k. Saving in five 20 nines for our two kids. Maxing out Roth IRAs. Low rate, 15 year mortgage, no car payments. Maxing out HSA man. I kind of wish this person was single.

'cause this is attractive. It's very attractive. Like Kristen. If you're out on like a dating website or something like this, like a a match.com, a 401k match.com. It's fi financial romance. Whoa. I [00:33:00] just came up with a new business. No you didn't. No you

Kristen Ahlenius: didn't. What? Have you apparently We can't blow up the segment, but you just apparently haven't talked to Ellie this week.

Peter Dunn: Is it a thing?

Kristen Ahlenius: Not for 401ks, but for credit scores. What? Yeah. I don't want to blow up the segment. This is the segment.

Peter Dunn: But wait, wait, wait, segment blown up. There's a dating website based on credit scores.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yes. Ellie sent it to me this week and was like, have you seen this? And it was like on Instagram reels or something.

And there is now a dating service where people are matched based on their credit score. And if I recall, you have to have a minimum score to sign up.

Peter Dunn: Could it be like called like FICO or Fido? Where it's like the person's got a good score. They're a dog. Oh, that's what I would call it. FICO or Fido. com.

That was pretty quick, actually. Well, that's my job. I'm literally, the only thing I'm good at is coming up with terms of phrase within [00:34:00] three seconds. It's my only talent. Yeah. Not yours. I'm sorry. I'm kidding. Okay. Back to the email. In addition to the above, my spouse and I also feel very strongly about continuing to save in non retirement investments.

We've been saving and living like this since we were married 13 years ago. We've had a couple of small inheritances company buyouts that we've saved instead of spent when we were both working in childless for the first seven years of our mortgage marriage, we lived mostly off one salary. Now I stay at home with our two children, ages three and six, which brings me to my question.

How do you set good financial goals? My husband feels we should continue to invest in our non retirement savings, which I would be fine with, except that we have no goals for that money. Any suggestions? Do I have to read any more of this email? I feel like I'm good. Yeah, you're probably all right. Okay.

Signed. Oh, no name. No name. Okay. [00:35:00] I actually, I can't believe this is an email because Mrs. Planner and I We're talking about this last night as the future state version of this couple, right? Okay, so we okay Let me let me explain we would this is us right? I mean, this is a very similar situation here We have a specific fund very specific fund that we've been saving in That didn't have a financial goal So like the, when we first got married, I think Mrs.

Planner put like 2, 500 bucks in like a mutual bond. And then every month, literally since then at NAB, she's been putting in 50 bucks. And it's like 50 grand now, but it was literally said we were, that's because we're really old, right? But there's never been a purpose for this money. It was just literally.

to non qualified money for whatever. And so we're having this conversation here in [00:36:00] the last couple of days revolving around, okay, well now I think we have an idea for that money. And it feels weird Dame, because we never really had a goal for it. So is. It in fact good because now we're flexible or had we been saving towards something more directly, would it be more gratifying?

Do you have an opinion

Damian Dunn: on that? I think you can go either way. I, what I do know is that you need to have a very open and frank discussion. About appropriate uses for that money or agreed upon uses for that money. And maybe somebody says, you know what, I, I just want to have an additional fund for retirement.

I think that's a potential for that non qualified account, but maybe there's vacations. Maybe you've got two kids. Maybe there's going to be a wedding that has to be paid for in there. Maybe the 529 savings isn't going to be enough. And you want to have a little overrun on. For additional college costs.

The point is you have to know [00:37:00] what you are going to allow yourself to dip in there with, or within there for, so you don't dip in there for everything. And now it sounds like the other side of this equation, the non emailer doesn't want to. Dip into there for anything, but you have to be able to free yourself up to use that money, or it's just going to sit there and grow and grow and grow.

And you're going to find yourself, gosh, I don't know what in the world I want to do that with. It's, it's just, it's a, it's a bigger problem waiting to grow. If you don't address it now,

Peter Dunn: Kristen, can

Kristen Ahlenius: I bring up something that I didn't get good vibes about that may not have been the intention of the emailer, but reading between the lines a little bit gave me pause.


Peter Dunn: I am so excited for whatever comes out of your mouth next because this could turn into a controversy. This might make it to Reddit.

Kristen Ahlenius: It's probably going to feel controversial and I, this could not be representative of their situation, but the emailers, the stay at [00:38:00] home mom and their spouse, their husband works, this is going to get controversial.

And she said. Any suggestions I make my husband feels aren't necessary or realistic, but has no thoughts on what the money's for. I don't love that. It feels like, it feels like there maybe isn't the same. value placed on what she wants to do with the money. And I, maybe that's not the intention, but I don't love

Damian Dunn: it.

Can I ask another really uncomfortable question to follow that one up? Yeah. What if the name money is just in his name and it's not a joint tenants account?

Kristen Ahlenius: I really don't like that.

And, and, also because of the things that she mentions. Vacations, babysitting, eating out. Like, those feel [00:39:00] like things that would improve more of potentially her, like, social battery being a stay at home mom. And, again, we could, I could be totally off base here reading into something that's not there. But I don't love that,

Peter Dunn: man.

I don't know what to say. Interesting. Here's the thing that could both be the case and it could also not be the case. Absolutely. Right. So this isn't like a aha. This is more of like, this could be again, I, I also view, this is the, this is me 10 years ago, by the way. I mean, this, I am part of this email 10 years ago.

So it is interesting saving towards nothing does sort of save towards something as long as you have The wherewithal to identify that maybe we need to put this towards something and and I'm not trying to add mystery to my situation Dame I was talking to one of our board members a friend of mine [00:40:00] yesterday And he said I've got three summers left with the kid in the house, he's like, that is three summers of family vacations left.

Then we will never have those family vacations the way they are again. And he goes, I am assigning a great value to that. And I, I got done with that conversation. I was like, holy cow. I never thought of that in those terms. And so that's why it went back to Mrs. Planner. I was just like, You know, this chunk of money that we always just sort of laugh and open the statement and think, wow it's interesting how over 24 years money can grow with 50 deposits.

You wonder if that like starts to take on a different purpose to like satisfy experiences that will, can no longer exist after a certain timeframe. So. I don't know. I'm over shared. I'm not going on a 50, 000 vacation. Everyone calm down. [00:41:00]

Damian Dunn: How about three 15, 000

Peter Dunn: vacations? Now you're talking. All right.

Coming up after the break, biggest waste of money, the week and the news right here on the Pete, the planner show. I'm Pete, the planner. It was four additional seconds of Johnny Cougar for them right there. Kristen,

I don't want to say you're onto something. I think that, but I do think. What you've said is possible, right? I, I, yeah, it's right. One of those things, like, it's like a LSAT, like just because it's this, it doesn't mean it's that, but it's sort of like that is in the realm of possibility, but I don't think it is certain.


Kristen Ahlenius: agree. I also think that the, I think I would feel differently if the husband had sent the email, but knowing that the email came from the person who potentially feels like they're not being heard is what kind of pushed me to be like,

Peter Dunn: Also say again 10 years removed from this [00:42:00] situation.

Oh, we don't have time for this that Evolves to different conversations like you get into the default parent conversation and like what is that? What what does it mean? What are the implications? What are the the mental and emotional burden?

And again, 10 years removed from this exact situation, it's not marginal, it's a, it's a thing and it is, and it sneaks up on you because it works and then, and then you're like, holy cow, I don't actually know the kid's pants size and then you're thinking, well, that's trivial, no one cares, but it's like, yeah, that in 10 million other pieces of information that I don't know means that the burden of that goes on one person.

And how do you, how do you explain to a person that you don't know the kid's sock size is a problem for me without it sounding ridiculous, when in fact it is a problem, you know? That's where I think this actually heads.

Damian Dunn: I, I'm, [00:43:00] I'm gonna Do something here. Kristen, I hope you don't get upset at me.

Listener, if there's more that you want to share with us and just get not necessarily for radio show or anything else. If there's anything else you want to share with us and and talk through, yeah, send another email. Kristen and I'd be happy to say, I mean, Pete, maybe, I don't know if you really want pizza advice on this or not, but Kristen, I'd be happy to, to exchange some, some emails with you and see if we can, we can maybe give you some help in this, this case.

And feel free

Kristen Ahlenius: to tell me I'm wrong. I could totally

Peter Dunn: be wrong. I don't think anyone actually wants my advice. At this point. I'm okay with that. And they shouldn't seek it. That's not like, woe is me. Seek better sources. Okay. Let me see if I can, well, man, where'd my emails go? Oh, biggest waste of money a week went away.

Here it is. Okay. Sorry, everybody. In a three, two, one. [00:44:00] This week's biggest waste of money of the week right here on the Pete, the planner show is

Oh, that's not it. Oh, here it is. The Nike Zoom Pickleball shoe. Whether you're digging, dinking, or trying to barrel a ball down the line after scrolling out a split set, timeout. Granted. Dame. Pickleball fella?

Damian Dunn: I haven't played pickleball since high school in gym class.

Peter Dunn: Time out on a time out! Double time out!

Kristen, there's no way pickleball existed in the 1990s.

Kristen Ahlenius: That's what I

Peter Dunn: was thinking. Are you a liar?

Damian Dunn: No,

Peter Dunn: no, I am not. No way.

Damian Dunn: I can put you in touch with somebody that I graduated with in Indianapolis. They're still living? Yeah, they're still living. Yeah. Believe it or not.

Peter Dunn: All right, Kristen, can you Google do you have the ability to quickly Google something?

When [00:45:00] was pickleball invented? Yeah, of

Kristen Ahlenius: course I can. Keep reading.

Damian Dunn: Andrea backs me up there, by the way in our, our stream from our live listeners.

Kristen Ahlenius: 1965.

Peter Dunn: There weren't even pickles in 1965.

Damian Dunn: And if they were they weren't shaped in ball

Peter Dunn: form. Anyway, the question is dame digging dinking In trying to barrel a ball.

What in the world are these words?

Damian Dunn: I I don't remember all of them We were just teenagers trying to hit that thing as hard as we could and make welts on the people we were playing

Peter Dunn: against That I appreciate An air zoom unit helps keep you fresh when in the middle of a long rally or volley at the net ideal for getting to untouchable shots both near Far How much are Nike pickleball shoes, Kristin?

Kristen Ahlenius: $173.

Damian Dunn: Oh, geez. I'm gonna go with 135,

Peter Dunn: $120. I mean, [00:46:00] damn, I don't know about you, but I feel like I've got too many shoes for too many things, as is. To have a distinct pickleball shoe.

Damian Dunn: Yeah. Well, I mean, they may be non market, you know, certain courts may have certain requirements and you have to have a special.

Peter Dunn: Non marking soul. Is that where you're going? Yes. Beautiful. Dan, what's it look like? President

Damian Dunn: Biden canceled 1. 2 billion of student loan debt. Nearly 153, 000 people got an email from the White House yesterday, notifying them that they no longer owe the Department of Education any money because of President Joe Biden's new save repayment plan.

Program's first wave of total student loan forgiveness, which comes almost six months ahead of schedule applies to anyone who has been paying on small federal loans of 12, 000 or less for at least 10 years, the Biden administration says it has canceled a total of 138 billion in federal student loans, which the president is looking to emphasize on the campaign trail,

Peter Dunn: Kristen, you are a resident student loan expert.

[00:47:00] Thoughts.

Kristen Ahlenius: So this is, I think Pete, you actually were the one who said it back in, was that October ish, the fall of 2022 when we heard about student loan forgiveness in mass, you said, I actually think that the changes to repayment might be the real news here, I think is what you said or something to that effect.

And you nailed it. You you're exactly right. And so what we saw is student loan forgiveness for borrowers who the, the blanket rule is if you owed less than 12, 000, that you only had to pay for 10 years. So those enrolled in the new repayment plan saw student loan forgiveness or will see student loan forgiveness.

Peter Dunn: Dame, the funny thing about Kristen saying, I was right. Is actually the most on brand thing about me is that I don't actually remember saying that, which is that that in itself is why I look, I will take credit for anything that I'm giving credit for, especially when I don't remember, we asked this question every time we do a story like this.

[00:48:00] Is this more about the headlines, or is this more about forgiveness?

Damian Dunn: I mean, as soon as you can answer why the email had to come from the White House on a Department of Education thing, I think you'll figure out

Peter Dunn: what That's actually a fair point. And again, I want the student loans forgiven. That's the weird thing.

But to Dame's point, the press release came from the White House.

Damian Dunn: I don't know. I'm sure the I'm sure the White House had its own press release, but the the notification to the student or the the borrower came from the White House.

Peter Dunn: I would also like to point criticizing one side of the issue doesn't mean you love the other side of the issue.

It's just actual honest criticism

Damian Dunn: of an issue. They're politicizing something even more than it already

Peter Dunn: is. Well, are we politicizing it by saying that they're politicizing it? I'm

Damian Dunn: doing it in an appropriate way. Inappropriate? No, inappropriate.

Peter Dunn: What else is in the news?

Damian Dunn: Things travelers must navigate in 2024.


Peter Dunn: snow squalls [00:49:00] south of Effingham. Snow

Damian Dunn: squalls in Effingham. Doors blowing off planes. Pilots on mushrooms. That was a real story. That was at the end of 2023. I had to read about it. Yikes. And now higher bag fees. Sure. The first two seem a little bit more potentially fatal, but American Airlines announced it's raising the cost to check your bag from 30 to 35 booked online and 40 at the airport.

The announcement came shortly after JetBlue and Alaska Airlines made similar changes, part of an industry wide effort to juice bag prices, offset higher costs for fuel and labor. A report this week found that Global bag fee revenue was more than X billions of dollars. Pete guessing game time. How many dollars were raised for baggage fees last year?

3 billion. Christy. More than

Kristen Ahlenius: that.

Damian Dunn: 33 billion last year from baggage fees alone up 15 percent from 2022 for the first time [00:50:00] higher than pre pandemic levels. And yet. As much as airlines might make off losing your golf clubs on the way to a bachelor party in Scottsdale, baggage fees account for only 4. 1 percent of global airline revenue.

Peter Dunn: Can we go back to the mushroom story real quick? Yeah. Pilot Jeremy, who, you know, friend of the show, you think he's a fun guy?

Damian Dunn: He has been noticeably absent. I caught what you were doing there, but I, it has been noticeably absent.

Peter Dunn: Wait, you, we, this is the rule of the show, you can't laugh at me? Is this like, okay, Dame gets six weeks in a row and then I am not rewarded with laughter?

Damian Dunn: I laugh at things that probably Don't necessarily require an out loud laugh. I just decided to

Peter Dunn: ignore that one. So the dumbest part about this whole streak that you've got going on is it's only me laughing because Kristen's silent laughs, she doesn't, she just makes a face and leans back. She goes, how

Damian Dunn: dare you assume that our [00:51:00] listeners don't laugh?

Peter Dunn: I know they don't laugh. Dame. So do you think baggage fees are sort of the overdraft protection? Of the, the flying

Damian Dunn: world. Yeah. Additional revenue generation. It's, it's, it's horrible because if they really wanted to, all they had to do is just boost the price of tickets. But nobody wants to do that.

They want to be as cheap as they can up front and then gouge you with additional fees and whatever after the fact,

Peter Dunn: Kristen, I turned into a different person at the airport. Damon, I've flown together. You and I, Kristen have not flown together yet. I I get so nervous about having space in the overhead bins.

For my carry on, especially under rules like this, this will only make that worse.

Kristen Ahlenius: Yeah, and nothing makes me more frustrated than when there is a baggage fee, but then you get on the plane and they say there's not room for your bag. So they have to check them for you. And I'm like, you made me haul this through security.

You made me do all of this with this bag [00:52:00] and you were just going to take it from me anyway. That is so annoying. Wow.

Peter Dunn: Sounds like a Yelp review Should be Dane, what else is the news

Damian Dunn: with markets rising consumer confidence holding up in a wave of companies enforcing return to office mandates for many americans Seems like the perfect time to finally hang up their hats Indeed the u.

s. Recorded 2. 7 million more retirees in december than were predicted in models from economists in the st Louis federal reserve as reported by bloomberg Are you surprised by this? This is the Silver Tsunami, Pete.

Peter Dunn: Silver Tsunami. A little surprised. I would love to read that paper. I'd love to dig into the data there.

Damian Dunn: I just wanted to make sure we had time to discuss if we wanted to. Kristen,

Peter Dunn: what do you think 2. 7 million more people just threw their hands in the air and waved them like they didn't care so they could go play pickleball and hit some barrel shots down the line.

Kristen Ahlenius: I'm excited for them, but makes me a little nervous when I think about what we know about retirement readiness statistics.[00:53:00]

Peter Dunn: Yeah, Dame, that's where I go to. Isn't that you read that and you've got to go, Oh, there's one on reverse.

Damian Dunn: Yeah. One of the things that they cited was the fact that 401k balances were at very, very high levels. And we all know how that works out with sequence of returns.

Peter Dunn: Let's do this. Let's part for 167 hours.

for listening to the show. We really appreciate it. I'm sending good vibes because good vibes are all that's in the budget. I'm Pete, the planner. Have a pleasant week. How was that? I don't do it again. I feel gross. I'm gonna have to shower at the office. What the hell was that? Okay, I do have to go. Kristen being really the queen of hosting parties.

Kristen Ahlenius: I think I do a pretty good

Peter Dunn: job. Do you make the drinks for people or people make their own drinks?

Kristen Ahlenius: Very few people that I am friends with don't drink drinks that aren't in a 12 ounce can. I'd say it's a

Damian Dunn: push

Peter Dunn: light. Yeah, it's, yeah. Do [00:54:00] you run the music? Are you running the, the aux cord, so to speak?

Kristen Ahlenius: So this weekend, I would if it was like outside, but this weekend was the Purdue and then the IU game, and then there was another game after that, I think.

So it was just

Peter Dunn: TV. Seven layer nacho dip?

Kristen Ahlenius: Someone did bring like a taco yeah, beef dip.

Peter Dunn: Dame, any other questions on whether she really is the best host? I am. Do you, do people leave with like a takeaway bag? Like a little, like a, like a gift bag for children at a birthday

Kristen Ahlenius: party? No, but I tried to send them home with leftovers.

Peter Dunn: Oh. No leftover pork.

Damian Dunn: Any cookies? What kind of desserts did we have?

Kristen Ahlenius: Mini cupcakes and cookies. And, oh, and like a brownie dip with animal, so like animal crackers and pretzels.

Peter Dunn: Animal crackers and pretzels and a brownie dip? Mm hmm. That [00:55:00] sounds

Kristen Ahlenius: fun. It was delicious.

Damian Dunn: She also eats cottage cheese with Doritos.

Kristen Ahlenius: Okay. When you wake up at five in the morning to start the brisket for everyone, you get to be the best host. So,

Peter Dunn: I wake up at five in the morning to read the New York Times every day. It doesn't make me Peter Jennings. We live different lives, man. Okay. So before we go, Kristen, are you, you're flying somewhere soon with you would go with G to the thing.


Kristen Ahlenius: will be here

Damian Dunn: for just you and me. Yeah. Just you and me next week, Pete,

Peter Dunn: for two weeks. Oh man. I will be

Kristen Ahlenius: on a plane next week and then I'm on PTO the following.

Peter Dunn: All right. Well, Dame, you're only going to have to make one person laugh for the next two weeks. Just me. So congrats on week six. So I must go for the rest of you.

Stay getting [00:56:00] money.