Self-Reflection and Financial Planning


With the 2024 presidential election right around the corner, the significance of focusing on what one can control amid external uncertainties can’t be stressed enough.

In today’s episode of Retire in Texas, PAX Financial Group CEO and Co-Founder, Darryl Lyons, shares insights on navigating financial decisions and life goals through a series of thought-provoking questions. He explores the importance of questioning, drawing inspiration from biblical teachings, and encourages listeners to engage in self-reflection regarding their financial priorities.

Today’s show highlights include:

*A breakdown of the 3 essential financial questions that everyone needs to be aware of.

* Why you need to consider your ultimate objectives regarding wealth and retirement, emphasizing purpose and significance beyond mere accumulation.

* The importance of asking questions rather than seeking immediate answers, particularly regarding financial matters.

* A reflection on the evolution of retirement as a concept in direct correlation to increased prosperity and longevity

If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to comment and share it with a friend!

Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of PAX Financial Group. Thanks for tuning to retire in Texas. This information is general nature. It’s not intended to provide specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Visit PAX Financial Group dot com for more information. 

Man. Great feedback from you guys. Keep sending it. Subscribe to the podcast. And then also we put these podcasts on YouTube if you prefer to listen that way.

So, if you share it with others, it gets the word out. I’m getting incredible feedback from our community, and it encourages me to keep going. This specific podcast. First of all, let me talk to my atheist friends that are out there that listen to this podcast. I appreciate you listening. I’m going to talk about Jesus in this podcast, but I really want you to tune in and stay tuned in because I think you’re going to find the content to be relative and applicable.

So, I just appreciate you guys’ tuning in. I know you have been tuning in and listening and that encourages me, and I want to be respectful of where you’re at in your journey in life. So, here we are, you know, about to come into this election year and I’ve been spinning the last couple of podcasts really getting you equipped and ready for what that might look like.

I was at a conference recently and a guy named Mark Patterson, he’s a pastor for the National Community Church in D.C., and he asked a question I thought, it was a really good question. He said, “What’s really happening when what’s happening is actually happening?” 

“What’s really happening when what’s happening is actually happening?” 

I mean that goes into politics, the economic concerns, the moral relevancy that’s captured the minds and hearts of our youth, corruption. What’s really happening? 

So, that’s where I, I go to Jesus. And Jesus was asked over 100 questions. You know, he only answered three of them. Let me give you an example. This isn’t much of a question, but someone in the crowd asked Jesus, didn’t ask them, but it was kind of a question. But it was more of a demand, I guess. 

“Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me”. Now, this is actually a financial advice question because as an advisor, I might say, “Okay, you have an inheritance. What does the will say?” Let’s go to the will. Let’s go to the agreement. Let’s go to let’s also consider the size of the estate, because it could be subject to taxes. And then I want to know exactly what you own, because sometimes if somebody has an estate and some of it includes business assets or real estate, you know, you can’t divide those very easily. So, you have to be very careful about how you divide things. So, this is very much a financial statement, a financial question.

“Teacher,” going to Jesus, statements going to Jesus. “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” And you know, instead of Jesus answering the question or saying, “Yeah, let’s work on this together.” He says, “Man, man who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

So, Jesus, instead of going into a financial advice conversation, which of course, that’s what I would have done. He answered it with a question. Okay, so that’s what I want to talk to you about today. I want to talk about questions. I want to talk about questions. And where do you go to try to get better at asking questions and asking good questions, well you go to the best questioner of all time?

In fact, not only can you go to Jesus about questions, but also money questions, because he actually spoke about money. Jesus did his red letter spoke about money more than heaven and more than hell combined. So, we’re going to talk about questions today, not answers. Not answers to the to the question. What’s really happening when what’s happening is actually happening? We’re not going to have answers today for that. Rather, we’re going to have questions and we’re going to look in the mirror.

A lot of times in my life, I think about how to navigate decisions and to take inventory of the current state that I’m in, the business is in. Sometimes I look out the window and sometimes I look in the mirror.

Today we’re going to look in the mirror. We’re going to ask ourselves questions. So, I want you to either write these questions down when you get a chance, engage with your financial advisor to wrestle with these questions and see how it might formulate a path in your life so that way you can stay in the lane that you can control.

Because a lot of what we’re seeing from Capitol Hill, from DC, from this wave of more relevancy is, much of it’s out of our control. So, let’s ask ourselves these questions today. Let’s ask ourselves “the enough” questions. I’ll call these “the enough” questions. And there’s only three when it comes to money, how much is enough? How much is enough?

I had one client that actually was a successful business owner in the San Antonio area, and he capped his income. He said, I’m not going to make any more than this. Anything over that goes to other places. That’s not easy to do, by the way. But how much is enough for you? Because it does become a problem.

I don’t remember who said this. You can look it up. They asked him how much is enough? And they said, “Just a little more.” Or another wealthy person was asked, “How much land do you want?” He said, “Whatever touches mine.” So, we do have to ask ourselves the question, the money question: How much is enough? How much is enough?

And then the next question is, is how much is enough for the kids? So, when you do your financial plan, which at PAX every advisor will do a plan for you. And if you don’t want use PAX, your advisor should do a plan. Your plan will beg the question: how much is enough? It’ll get to the point you say, “well, maybe I have more than enough.”

And then you’re going to ask yourself the question, okay, I have enough. How much is enough for the kids? All of it. Whatever’s left over. If that’s the statement, then that’s fine. But let’s not just pretend that’s not an important decision. Let’s ask ourselves how much is enough for the kids? A subset question to that is, I get this one a lot, actually. How do I not ruin my kids? How do I not ruin them? 

You know, I’m not going to give a lot of advice but try my best to just keep this in a question format to get you to ask yourself questions. But there’s some there’s some practical things. You know, the book, The Grand Money Chasm, the one I wrote that’s just really tiny, that that talks a little bit about that in there. But when it comes to your kids, be sure to talk to them about truth and enjoy them while you’re talking to them about truth. 

And then finally, so you asked yourself the question, how much is enough? Then you’ve asked yourself the question, how much is enough for my kids? And then here’s the tough one. What the heck am I going to do with the rest?

Again, these are all amazing first world problems, but if you’re in this place, you have to answer these three questions. So, I know we’re thinking about all the noise and all the chaos and Capitol Hill, but these are the three questions that are more important than asking what’s going to happen with inflation. These are more important questions. 

How much is enough? How much is enough for the kids? And what the heck am I going to do with the rest? And actually, when you do your modeling and your financial plan and it’s called Monte Carlo analysis, it’s really cool. All the advisors do it. It looks at the probability of success. You can tweak it, mess with it, and play games with it. It’s just a beautiful technology tool. I absolutely love it. 

You’ll be able to quantify all these answers. But, getting to this third question, “what the heck am I going to do with the rest” actually is a pretty cool one because there’s some strategies that can reduce your taxable income. So, if you can get these three questions answered and you don’t need to do it overnight, you need to do it thoughtfully, you know, engaging with your spouse. If you can get these three questions answered, I think you’re going to feel a little bit more control just despite what’s happening in the world. 

Okay, I need to move at a better pace here. These are the investing questions. So, those are more of your enough questions, kind of in the planning context., these are more of the investing questions. There’s really only two.

Are there any industries you would rather not profit from? Or I’ll say it another way. I’m asking myself, are there any industries I would rather not profit from? Let me give you an example. So, a guy, this is a true story, a guy inherited a basket of stocks from his mother. And his mother died from emphysema. She was a smoker, and one of the stocks in the portfolio was Philip Morris, and he loved his mom and missed his mom dearly. Does he continue to own Philip Morris? 

How does that sit with him? Well, I mean, you already know he’s not going to own it. But just so you know, that’s where the rubber meets the road right there. Or another example, there’s again, another true story. A guy’s dad, they didn’t have much money growing up, and his dad would go to these Indian casinos and spend all day long at these Indian casinos with only $40. I’d imagine smoking, putting in quarters, nickels. Al day.

And his dad would come to his son and say, “You know, when I win the lottery, I’m going to buy you this and that. We’re going to go here and pay off all these debts.” But no relationship with his son, none. Guy was addicted to gambling and there were sacrifices to that. So, the guy said, hey, I do not want any gambling whatsoever in my portfolio. It was damaging to him.

So, are there any industries I don’t want to profit from based on my unique life story or my convictions? 

Now the second question is are there any areas that give me excited to support? Are there any areas that gets me super excited? So it doesn’t have to be simply avoiding but also embracing. Just making the world a better place.

And so sometimes it’s just thinking about the companies that are doing great things, thinking about the companies that are making the world healthier or, you know, serving areas that are maybe disenfranchised, you know, just investing in those areas. Are there any areas that get you excited about? And for those that aren’t Christians, you know, there’s, you could do this without being a Christian.

You can ask yourself, are there areas in this investing world that I really want to participate in? So, when it comes to the investing questions, there’s really only two. Are there any industries that I don’t want to profit from? And, are there any areas in the stock market or the investing world that I’m really excited to put my dollars in?

The cool thing is, is that when you do this, there’s this level of engagement that you begin to have and I’ll talk about that in another podcast. But basically, it elevates our passivity of investors to be more engaged investors. To actually pay attention to the companies and what they’re doing. And when the market goes up and down, you’re less inclined to just sell because you actually know more about the company.

So, it’s a different investing experience when you ask these two questions. And so, I think it is healthy in the context of taking away the noise of what the heck’s really happening when what’s happening is actually happening. And then more of that relevancy in the chaos and taking it to a place and saying, okay, I’m just going to do what I can and play a role where I can. And that is making sure I avoid areas that I don’t want to invest in and embrace the ones that I do.

Last question. I think this is a standalone question, but a good one. What’s my endgame? What’s my endgame with all this money stuff? I’m serious. There’s a lot of people that their goal in life is to have the most money. That’s the game. They may not even admit it, but I’ve seen it. I’ve been doing this since 1999.

I’ve seen so many people play the game of life with the framework of, if I’ve got a lot of toys and a lot of money, I won. And then you die. And then you fall into this cosmic sleep, and it’s all done. Now as Christians, that’s just not what we believe. In fact, retirement, if that is the endgame or part of the endgame, we’ve got to completely rethink this.

We’ve talked a lot about pivoting and how important pivoting is. You know, retirement didn’t even exist. You know, I want to say 50 years ago, time goes by fast, maybe longer than 50 years ago. But since we’ve had two things: prosperity and longevity, those two things. Now we have this idea of retirement. So, we we’re still young in defining what retirement looks like. Before the way they define retirement, because there was no prosperity and no longevity. It was defined. It was called death. You just died. 

But now we’ve got this endgame because of prosperity and longevity. And it’s not about comfort in a secular sense, it’s about purpose. In a Christian sense, it’s about kingdom. But regardless, regardless, it’s not intended to be a wasted life. So, the last question is, what’s your endgame?

So, I hope those questions get you thinking. Take them to your advisor. Your advisor will wrestle with these questions with you. You don’t have to answer them right away, but they’re very, very important questions for you to do life better and to do money better.

In the midst of all the noise and all the chaos, being able to focus in on what you can control will help you navigate without the anxiety that a lot of the other people are going to have.

So, hope you enjoyed today in this podcast. And remember, you think different when you think long term. Have a great day.

Disclaimer: Clicking the Like button does not constitute a testimonial for, recommendation or endorsement of our advisory firm, any associated person, or our services. Clicking the Like button is merely a mechanism to circulate our social media page. “Like” is not meant in the traditional sense. In addition, postings must refrain from recommending us or providing testimonials for our firm.

Ready to have a real conversation about securing your future?

Schedule a free no-strings-attached phone conversation.