On this show, we connect with Timurlane Cakmak, accredited financial planner at Royal Bank of Canada. Who specializes in investment and retirement planning for wealthy families and business owners. He holds his Master of management degree from the university of British Columbia in Vancouver. He’s a proud father, avid runner and lover of nature, yoga and delicious food.
Connect with Timurlane on:
LinkedIN – https://www.linkedin.com/in/timurlanecakmak/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch with Tim – timborys.com
Welcome to the Working Well podcast. I’m Tim Boris, CEO of Fresh Wellness group. This show explores the diverse aspects of workplace health and personal performance on the working well podcast. We dive into the foundations of what makes wellness work in workplaces around the. We connect with corporate leaders, executives, and industry experts who are helping make life more awesome at work and home. Join us to learn workplace wellness, best practices, personal performance tips, and access resources to jumpstart your personal and corporate programs.
Today on the Working Well podcast, it’s my honor to host Timurlane Cakmak. Timurlane is an accredited financial planner with the Royal bank of Canada. Who specializes in investment and retirement planning for wealthy families and business owners. He holds his master of management degree from the university of British Columbia in Vancouver, his chartered investment manager designation from the Canadian securities Institute and his QA FP financial planning designation from FP Canada. He’s a proud father, avid runner and lover of nature, yoga and delicious food.
Welcome Timurlane. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. And before we dive into discussing all aspects of financial wellness and particularly its impacts on people in companies, I love to hear, how has your world changed in the last 18 months? What’s been new. What’s been awesome. And, uh, what, what things are you seeing going.
Thank you so much, Tim, for having me here today. And I’m very excited for the opportunity to give back and explore these topics the last 18 months. What a loaded question we’ve seen, the good, the bad and the ugly for sure. We’ve seen people saving more than they’ve ever saved. We’ve seen people without jobs companies going on.
Uh, and in my personal life, I guess I’ve seen a little bit of little bit of my share of everything, not immune to these challenges. So, but definitely working to persevere and grow through them for sure. Fully. I think everyone’s undergone more transformation than normal. We’ll say whether it’s positive, negative, or somewhere in between.
And I think for a lot of people, it’s a mix of. Now our conversation today is really timely because November is financial literacy month in Canada. And let’s kick that off with how would you define financial literacy? Absolutely. Yes, it’s an our week is the best week of this month because this week is national financial planning week, conveniently, which falls into the national literacy for financial literacy month.
So. Yeah, literacy includes all of our ideas, thoughts, and relationship with money. So how we communicate money, our values, how we understand how we navigate. You can imagine someone who’s reading a book, they have their English literacy, how they’re able to read, write, speak, write, or with their food and exercise of literacy, how they’re able to cook and put things together.
So their nutrition and their movement, then. Uh, so on. And so financial literacy is those principles applied to financial wellbeing. Excellent. And so what, what does someone need to learn to consider themselves financially literate? Well, I even think it might even start earlier than that because financial literacy.
It’s we start with finances and it’s a very human topic. We have many human needs that come into play here are, I mean, sort of love and connection or needs for safety, security shelter. I think it’s important to make sure we remind ourselves that we’re not just ones and zeros and that it’s not just about how is the best way to accumulate as much as I can so I can spend as much as I can or whatever.
Right. So. I think, you know, before we go to literacy, I think it’s important to start with what is really wellbeing and what is really, um, What, what matters most to us about money. And then from there we can actually personalize the type of literacy that’s important to us. Right. Is it more about how do I give back?
Because then more about my business or more about my personal financial wellbeing. For some, they find money as a very spiritual topic about how they give and serve and. And for others, it’s a tool for there. Uh, just a tool, right? So those types of beliefs and values we have about money are I think the foundation of the literacy.
And I think that probably goes to, uh, we were talking a bit before we started recording about the financial IQ versus EQ. Can you explain a little bit about that and how that comes into. Yeah. Well, imagine you have IQ intelligence cautions. Let’s say you’re trying to pick a stock or decide on what investment is the right one, or how much money do I need to save?
That’s a good question. A lot of people wonder how much money do I need to save? Right. Can I cover my bills? So now there won’t be a lot of wondering, uh, how much can I spend during my retirement. Those are nice IQ questions. There’s a calculation there. And you can say, well, if I spend this much and my money grows this fast, then I can spend this much.
Ryan to save this much on the EU side. If you involves a lot more about the why, what sort of lifestyle and I working to work, what are my feelings and beliefs around money? I still see clients, even if they’re very wealthy or not so wealthy, they can have a relationship where they still have a lot of emotional charge around.
Whether it comes from their childhood or see people who are having trouble self-sabotaging themselves with, uh, money is evil type of thoughts. You have other people that think money is the only source of happiness, and they’re really caught up in accumulating it. Right? So that EQP is, is, is very much around that.
It’s more than just the calculations. It’s the emotions that make us. That’s that’s a really good point too. And because a lot of people probably have the mindset of, I just need you to accumulate more, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to greater health, happiness wellbeing. And from the, from the personal standpoint, what, what types of things are you seeing around?
How lack of financial wellness impacts people? Absolutely. Well, thankfully financial planning, Canada did an excellent study. Last year. They interviewed just over 1500 people across Canada, different jobs, different networks, different areas, and they found that for two fifths of these Canadians finances was the top source of stress.
Finances was a top source of stress for two fists to the Canadians. And they also found that the biggest impact of that stress for just about one in three Canadians was on their health things like their sleep. They have depression and anxiety, and then it cascades into things like their working relationship.
Right. So we know money is very important. And I asked myself and I asked my clients what’s, uh, what’s something that is not, uh, what’s something that’s important to you that isn’t influenced by money. Think about our kids, our, our marriage, our careers, our eventually then it passed away divorce. All these events have are very significant life events that involve a lot of money.
Perhaps the other side of the question is what is, uh, what is a significant life event that doesn’t involve money? And that would be an interesting topic in of its own. I think too. Have you had anyone come up with those? I think, I think what happens there is you start to, if you think deeper, you think more about the.
I’m going to use the word spiritual, which can be a loaded word. But what I mean by spiritual, this case is it is more about giving and when we compare money to wealth, right. Which can also be another interesting topic, money, you might be accumulating money, but like I mentioned, I think in our pre-chat I’ll see clients who have doubled their net worth now double the income.
Now they might not be doubled. They might actually have more than double the stress and might be making more than double the sacrifices. Right? Wealth. I think some of the things that differentiate wealth and maybe true wealth being about health, both in terms of financial health, but psychological, mental, emotional health.
That’s when we feel grateful, when we have a sense of now, And one of the pieces of advice I’d give to people who are at all different points in their journey, whether they’re just starting out saving or whether they’re into their retirement years and at the other half of their life, practicing gratitude more often and practicing giving more often, even if it’s like donating.
So your soup cans in your pantry or your bottles that you collect are $10 a month to a cause you care about. It’s funny how, when you practice having enough, enough to give whatever punch you at, it’s good for the soul. It’s good for you about being a deeper level. Absolutely. And from a, from a company standpoint, too, you know, a lot of the people listening to this are leaders in various organizations.
Uh, particularly in HR side and we talk about the salaries that people make up into a certain point salary matters. But then after that, it’s actually quite a lot further down the list than most people would think in terms of the engagement, the wellbeing, the happiness and loyalty of, of an organization.
And, and that’s something that. Yeah, we know a lot more about now, but I think a lot, quite a few people still forget that, that they’re just so caught up in trying to hit that next salary band or get that raise. And they’re not thinking about what am I willing to give up for that? What is that going to, is that going to cost me in other areas that I might care about more?
And, uh, I’ve had some great conversations with friends and colleagues that have actually. Turned down roles because they’re like, you know what? I’m at a point in my life where. I don’t need that. I don’t want to take that on and it’s not, it’s not something that would benefit my wellbeing. And what do you, when you, uh, when you’re working with clients, uh, what types of conversations do you have around that at various people’s phases of their.
Yeah. Well, I think you touched on a really big point too, that as we mature, uh, as we learn our own values, I think one of the foundations of financial literacy is actually self-awareness self-awareness and that’s really important when we come to make decisions as leaders, whether we’re leading the organizations or leaders, In the organizations and important corporate roles.
So I do have conversations with people on both sides, both the business owners and the high level employees. The research shows usually around 70,000 to 110,000, depending on the sector and the level of. Employment that the employee is at. That’s usually where the, the extra sense of life satisfaction and, uh, motivation from money as a pure incentive, that starts to take her off around that area.
Right. So then they need more and different people are motivated by different things. So I think that’s another part of taking that responsibility. When I see clients, I try and give them. I can give them, but I try to encourage them to take their power back. A lot of them are saying they’re my happiness comes from getting more money or moving up the ladder.
They get caught on that treadmill, which like, what are you really. Right. So I try to, I, before talking about finances was appliance, whether they’re the executive or, or the 20 five-year-olds, who usually is not the executive that I’ve seen some of the dresses done, five-year-olds they, uh, I try to encourage them to zoom out about money and talk more about life, lifestyle, life, life, uh, like goals, visions, what really gives them joy cause money.
And oftentimes. And pretty much all my conversations, they’re trying to use the money to achieve something. Right. They’re trying to achieve something in their life, their relationships. And it’s not just about the ones and zeros, right? Absolutely. What, uh, what will that money provide? How will, how will it fulfill the needs and wants and goals that you have?
Excellent. And then what are, we talked a little bit about? Her briefly mentioned it, the stages of people’s lives. If we could just maybe go through whether it’s generational or age ranges, what are some of the biggest gaps that you see that are, that are missing at various ages? Things that people. Could be doing earlier or have to think about at a certain stage.
Well, the there’s unique questions at each, at each level, right? And then financial planning, one of the ways we divide, divide the groups up. If we have an accumulation stage, which is the first one and, and these, these are going to spill over into each other, but younger life are usually focused more on acuity.
Right. And then the next stage, once you’ve actually accumulated a certain amount, whichever that not is, is again different for different people. But then we have a preservation stage where we’re trying to, we’re mostly concerned about protecting what we’ve saved so we can live office that’s. Now we’re in the middle to later years of.
And then there’s a final stage is more about distribution your, your, you can’t take it to the grave with you, I guess. So people are now thinking about what do they want to leave behind? What is the legacy that’s important to them? For some it’s just a simple, you know, they might leave their tax three saving account to their kids and their RSPs to their spouse and their home can get sold and split or whatever.
And for some people there’s, there’s more wealth than they might be making more complex plans. Right. But I think the beginning, so I can speak to your question about, you know, what are some things people could do better spend time with those questions around money. Think of it as a relationship. You know, you have a relationship with your body to take time for that, have a relationship with people and their career and so on.
So explore it and nurture it and grow. So, you know, in the accumulation stage, you’re asking yourself questions. Like some people don’t know if they have a sense of like, can I pay my bills? Can I pay my bills? That’s like 1 0 1, do I have an emergency fund? That’s a good level of an emergency fund, right?
Then from there, you might start to think about like, am I saving for my future? Am I taking advantage of the employee benefits that my employer offers? My employer doesn’t offer anything. Maybe I can start a conversation. Right. A lot of employers are very interested in learning how to attract and retain and restrain their key people.
Right. So on that, that’s a bit on the accumulation side. Should I continue on, um, yeah, those are great points. I’m just gonna, um, interject a little bit on the, on the corporate side. Yeah, I’d say these days, most companies have a benefits plan, but what that benefits plan includes can vary substantially. Uh, I, you know, most of the major benefits providers will have some aspect of financial wellness in there, whether it’s education opportunities or, you know, some companies are going to do things like RSP matching, but what are some of the, the key pieces of the puzzle?
An employer can put in place for, for employees to help with that financial literacy and wellbeing. Yeah. I think having a culture of open dialogue around wellbeing is important. So I thought organizational culture is very crucial. I think access to, if they’re able to have access to some sort of financial coaches, financial planners, uh, even counselors, they need to be able to have.
Uh, dialogue and cultures that are even healthier cultures that support people in their career development, too. Right. So they’re able to have those conversations, like what are my next steps? Employees don’t want to feel stuck that’s for sure. And more over, you know, I find people telling me feedback.
They know employees tend to respond well when they have a budget for their. I had a budget for the learning. It’s also nice when they have access to advice around the financial options. Now working within RBC, I received a very large organization, some 90,000 employees. Most of those employees are not financial planners.
A lot of people are in technology and marketing. You’re not in this situation and operations and legal, these people aren’t sure what is the best portfolio to choose? How much should they be saving? Uh, if they have the option to choose a mutual fund versus a stock shares, uh, what are the consequences?
What should I choose? Right. So if these programs are supporting the employees and having those dialogue with advisors and other mentors, I think that’s really important and broadening it. Um, the trend in the industry, 10. Over time, more and more of the pension and employee savings are really the employee’s job to initiate and more and more of the risk is moving to the employee as well.
So they’re not saying work this long and they’ll give you this much. They’re saying, you know, if you save we’ll match a little bit, she got to save quite a bit still on average, and you can choose an investment. You have lots to choose from now and whatever the value of that investment isn’t however you understand.
So given the risk back to our, of the employee, more and more. So I find, tell me, you want to say no, I was just actually, you hit a really, I guess, challenging area for a lot of companies is they have pieces of the puzzle in place. I was just on a meeting earlier today with, uh, uh, uh, HR consulting group that w and we were talking about some of these challenges.
Exactly is. Yeah. Companies say, oh, we have this, this, this, and this, but it’s up to the employees to access it. And when companies get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business, they forget to remind employees that those things are there, that they have access to them. They have access to a financial planner.
They have access to a psychologist. They have access to RSP sharing, but. The large majority of employees either forget about it or aren’t accessing it. And so one of the best things companies can do is to make sure that there are ongoing regular programs or reminders or services that come into play that help employees engage with those, those areas.
I’ve heard good things about the financial planning workshops. So I think that’s one thing that some organizations can implement. I also hear that it’s, it’s, it’s very important for the employees to take initiative to it has to come on both sides. Definitely. Sure. And I’d also add in that as well that, you know, I saw a client a couple of weeks ago.
He didn’t know he had a plan. He was actually enrolled in the plan and he said, I’m on the side or side of the story was that his father had passed away, but his father passed away about three years back. And he had found out that his father had a. Uh, however, uh, they didn’t know about it until it’s three years later and she company didn’t take much initiative and reaching out, I guess.
And, uh, but when the son went to reach out to the penny company, he found out that he had a pension there too, and he didn’t know about this. So sometimes the employer is, is, is doing part of that. Right. And it is, it really takes a lot of, a lot of consistency can just be a once a year thing. And it can’t just be, uh, uh, briefly mentioned in your onboarding and our acid creates a culture of like, why do we care?
And what is that? And, and you get caught up in the rush of all the other things that are going on. Yeah, day one, you get your onboarding package and it’s this passive portfolio of pamphlets and login details and forms you have to fill out. And after that first week, you don’t think about it much anymore.
Yeah. So there’s a huge area of, uh, room for improvement there. But yeah, like I love the fact that you said employees need to also take initiative. And when employees and companies work together, Well, that’s where we’re able to see the traction starting to happen. W w I was going to ask you about the financial workshops.
That’s a really common thing that companies will offer a lunch and learn on financial planning or retirement savings and things like that. What are, what are some of the outcomes, I guess? Trying to get employees to do. And what actions can they take to make sure that when they walk out of that workshop, they’re putting pieces of the puzzle in place.
I think it starts with the workshop. If it’s too top down then it’s, I mean, if leadership says, I think this is what’s going to be good and they put it on a training and it’s not really what the plays are after then. It’s not going to resonate as deeply as it might. If they’re engaged in the process, the employees need to be engaged.
Right. I think that’s really important because different employees are motivated by different things. Right. I’m hearing more and more too in my work that, uh, more and more people want the opportunity to actually pick some of their own individual things. They don’t just want to be able to check a box and let the guys do their own stuff.
I’ll see a lot of clients trying to move their money out of the pension into a direct investing type of self-directed brokerage account. They want to buy this and that and this and that, and that has its own pros and cons. Because then you have that kind of take even more risk and responsibility.
Definitely not for everyone, but maybe part of that workshop is a little bit explaining the pros and cons of that that might engage a certain group of the employees. I think teaching people about the value of financial advice over time. Let me talk about pitfalls regardless of age. Uh, and this one goes throughout all the ages.
I think it’s when we get afraid. And so when we get afraid, we tend to pull back avoid, or when we get greedy and we get too into the, the hype of certain areas that can burn. All right. So I think, I think we really need to have education on financial advice, education on things like, uh, how time can really work in your favor.
Some people feel a lot of people feel hopeless like that. Financial wellbeing study did talk about hopelessness is one of the big emotions people are having. And I find when you actually show someone here’s a plan. If you’ve saved a hundred dollars a week for the next X number of years, your, your retirement goal work.
And you don’t need to have a tremendous amount of, uh, interest rates. Some people think that they need some sort of enormous returns every year. Good returns are important. Reasonable fees are important and reasonable, uh, advice and service, like all those things matter, but a really huge big piece of it is like putting in enough money and giving it enough time to grow.
’cause no, none of us are perfect, but can you get those first two steps? You’re really more than half of the way. Yeah, I agree. And a lot of times people will get caught up in the. Uh, again, that day to day and the stress levels are high and, you know, bills are coming in and the stress is one of the, or the physical impact of stress.
And the psychological impact of stress is one of the biggest challenges with poor financial wellness. But people get caught up in that day-to-day and they don’t see the. The longer-term picture. And especially if there are not those automated savings plans in place. And I know for me personally, that was something I didn’t do at the start of my career that I look back and I shake my head and I’m like, wow.
I can’t even think of how much money I didn’t, wasn’t able to generate because I didn’t do that earlier in my career. And, uh, I saw a stat the other day. It was, I think it was an American stat, but it’s probably not that much different in Canada, but 61% of employees surveyed in this national survey were living paycheck to paycheck.
And they, uh, in the sense that they didn’t have more than, I think it was a month of, uh, emergency cushion and, uh, in their financial plan. And, uh, to me that, that was me for a lot of years, thankfully, not anymore, but it, it, yeah, it, it is, uh, still something that is, I think a lot of leaders in companies might forget that, and that creates a huge amount of stress.
And what was it? Uh, uh, 20, 26 or 30% of employees say they’ve taken a day off of work because of the, uh, to deal with the financial distress of their financial situation. Yeah. And that’s just of those people who completed that survey. Yeah, definitely. It’s cause some of those other people didn’t take it or we’re probably taking a break to yeah.
That’s where PR presenteeism comes in there. Employees are at work and they’re just not productive. And there’s thinking about things outside of work. And if you’re you’re, you’re brought up a great point of. Burnout. And when our minds start to get hijacked to when we’re caught up in it so much, we get more and more present focused.
We can get caught up in the worries of the future, but less and less effective at planning, planning, and executive function. As our stress goes up, we get less effective at it. So the psychology of money and wealth is if you’re overstressed, we get worse and worse with financial. And that’s one of the key things that advisors can help with is help with creating clarity and calm.
These people can’t carry every weight in their life. We have doctors, we have dentists, we have lawyers, we have professionals to support. Right. But we also can’t be complacent. We want to show up to the relationship and informed and asking the best questions possible for sure. Excellent. So what would you say are the top steps that.
People should take to make sure that they’re, they have all the boxes checked in. They’re doing the right things in their financial wellness plan. Well, start by committing to engage in the process continuously. So look at it as a dynamic, lifelong journey and a relationship with money. And then within that start, it’s start investing as soon as you.
Right. And as you start investing earlier, invest regular as well. Whether that’s monthly or weekly, if you can automate it, it starts to teach yourself that if there’s not pain to it, you start not even noticing the money’s not in your account, it’s growing somewhere else. And once you start to build up the habit, you can learn more as you think about your values and what sort of life you want personally.
And with the support of a professional to you think about what is it now. I truly want to address how much do I need to be saving? It’s not doesn’t necessarily mean save as much as I can all the time, because we need to balance between present and future mean. I mean, it’s really acknowledged our needs now are going to fluctuate sometimes when you’re having your first home and first family and not too far along in your career, money is tighter and that’s, and that’s okay.
You do what you can and you prioritize as per your priority. Uh, as this goes on too, it’s really important to make sure you’re properly diversified. If you’re not diversified, then your risk goes up. And the one-on-one of diversification is not just picking one sector or one company, but a variety of different types of companies and different types of assets, uh, from real estate gold, uh, financial companies, technology companies, and around the world to not just one.
Because you’ll find countries have cycles as well. And when Europe might be lagging behind, sometimes maybe Asia is doing better and vice versa. So we want to broaden our investment opportunities as well. And all of that fits into a broader principle of having a plan, a well thought out plan. And because people are, we have different levels of strengths in terms of our planning capacity.
And there’s so many unknown unknowns out there. It’s very helpful to work with a trusted caring advisor or financial planner or a coach that you resonate. That you resonate with that you’re willing to partner on that journey together, uh, that he can help you keep calm, clear, sighted, more peace of mind.
And, and that was one of the key findings of that study was that the vast majority of people of Canadians who are working with an accredited financial planner, they, they are much less stressed about money and feeling much more often. Yeah. And going back again to the theme of this podcast is the overall wellbeing and performance.
And when you’re not stressed about money, you. You improve your executive function. You’re able to focus on things that are going to continue improving your health, wellbeing, and performance. And, uh, yeah, I love that. So before we wrap up for today, I know we keep, keep talking about lots of different topics in there.
There are definitely. We didn’t dive into the details of, you know, investing and things like that. That’s for a whole other episode, but I really loved what you said about the, the EEQ versus the IQ, and really thinking about the why around, because until you we’ve talked about this with our coaching clients as well, Until you understand why you’re doing something.
It doesn’t really matter what you do. So getting that in place for us, I really love that. What’s the one sort of tidbit that you’d want to leave people, uh, than knowledge nugget that, uh, that people can walk away with and, and, and really. Boosts their financial wellness, wherever they are at this scale.
Well, you’ve put me on the spot and you have me looking for a quote. I think I wrote it down. I want to just check one thing here, but honestly, it’s a great question. I think the main thing is to not stop the process. And if you’ve had a huge hesitance to moving toward improving that financial relationship, or if you really think you’ve got everything figured out and you don’t need to do that, that might be an indication to spend some time there.
But if you’re really avoiding or you think you’ve got it all figured out, and maybe there’s something than. I think the quote here that I want to save as a sir Francis bacon quote that says money is a good servant, but a bad master. I have heard that one. It’s a great quote. Yes. So we need to, I think keeping that at the foresight is really important as a guide.
And I also wrote down another one. It’s another quote, sir. John Templeton. So John temperance and also another excellent investor and philanthropist, he said, be a go giver, not a go getter. I think we need to remind ourselves around why we’re here. And is it, is it just about getting, or is it about giving?
Cause when I, whether, regardless of who I’m working with, the people who focus more of their life on how can they add value? How can they give more money is less and less of a worry and more and more abundant and they’re become more and more fulfilled regardless of that spreadsheet, which is again more about that queue portion of this.
Again, what makes us more human? And that’s what we’re here to be as human beings, not just human running around doing and getting. I think there’s actually a book called the go giver. I a pretty sure I listened. I think I listened to the audio book a while ago, and if I recall it talks about the psychological impact of giving and how it is a key to happiness.
And whether it’s you giving your time, your energy, your money, um, resources to, to other people with, without any. Uh, expectation of getting something back, just the ability to do that is massive for overall health, wellbeing, and happy. I agree and I’ll check out the book because now I, now I’m intrigued.
Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Timurlane. It’s been awesome to chat and, uh, I know people will get great value from the, uh, the tips that you provided. I will provide, uh, you had some resources, some links that people can go to, to access some more information on, uh, being, becoming financially illiterate.
Financial wellbeing. And so there are some great tools that I checked out. So I’ll put those in the show notes so people can access them. So thank you again so much. And I look forward to the next time we can, uh, we can connect. Thank you so much. Happy national financial planning beach and literacy month.
And thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for listening to the working well podcast. If you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your experiences and how you’ve applied tips from the show to your daily life. So please keep us posted on your progress to stay up to date.
With new episode releases, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list by emailing email@example.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Thank you, everyone for tuning in. And once again, I’m Tim Boris with a Fresh! Wellness group. We’ll see you in the next episode.