As you approach retirement, questions begin to stack up that you may not have the answers for. Do I have enough, or will I run out of money later in life? What will happen to my spouse if I die? How do I avoid costly mistakes and maximize my resources going forward? More than anything, you want to know, “Am I going to be okay?”

These questions exist because preparing for retirement is not easy. You’re not sure which advisors to trust, you worry about being sold a product for the wrong reasons, and above all, it’s daunting to lay bare, your financial secrets to another person.

What’s up, everybody, welcome back to the Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host, Hussein Al-Baiaty, and today, I’m very excited to learn all about how to approach retirement from author, Bill Keen. In his second edition book called, Keen on Retirement: Engineering the Second Half of Your Life. Let’s get into it.

All right, everybody, I’m here with Bill Keen, and we’re going to be talking about Keen on Retirement. His new book, it’s a second edition on engineering the second half of your life. Look, I’m in my mid-30s right now, and I’m super excited about this conversation because some of these things that Bill is going to be talking about have a lot to do with how I’m thinking about the world, and I’m sure about how most of our listeners are going to be thinking about what they want to do with the second part of their life.

I’m really excited. This is Bill’s second book that we’re talking about. Bill, let’s get into this. Thank you for joining the show today. Let’s start by giving our listeners a little bit of a personal background.

Bill Keen: You bet, Hussein. It’s an honor to be on the program with you today, this is my second time on the Author Hour, and I do appreciate you all taking the time to let me share my story with you and kind of show your interest.

So, I got into the industry that I’m in, in somewhat of a fortuitous route, it started a little bit earlier than maybe most folks, with their interest in what they would want to pursue in their later years. I can remember sitting on my father’s couch when I was about 10 years old, and it was a small apartment, a very small apartment. My parents were divorced. He was struggling with holding a job, and there were some mental illness in there to an effect. And it was very kind of difficult time for me, but I remember waiting for his unemployment check to hit the mailbox.

And that was back when they actually hit the mailbox. Today, it’s a little bit different. But for whatever reason, Hussein. I internalized the stress and anxiety around lack of finances, around lack of resources, and I saw how stressed out it made my father, and I just, for whatever reason, as a young person, said to myself, I’ll do whatever I can to help him at least in that area to be secure and to try to figure all that out.

So, in just a few years later, I was informed by someone that that would be called a finance degree in college. Today, there’s actually financial planning degrees out there, and the firm I have today, Keen Wealth, we hire folks from those types of programs and universities.

But back then, it was just a finance degree. And I just had a laser-like focus to get through high school and to go into college and get a finance degree and come out of college and be able to understand how to handle my affairs, how to handle the economy, the markets, resources, money, so that I could one, support my family, but two, also help others in the process.

So, that was the original start of how I became in this industry. And that was over 30 years ago.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Wow. Isn’t it amazing how impactful the energy, the environment that we grow up in, and how, in most cases, it almost — I don’t want to say accidentally, but almost purposefully indicates what you plan on doing in the future, right? This idea of wanting to help your father and your parents and just understand that world.

Because, there’s an innate part of you that also probably believed that not only can you help, but you can master this thing that they are struggling with, right? It’s a weird combination because I experience that in my life, which we’ll talk about it a little bit later. But I’m really excited. So, you decided to write a second edition to your first book. 

Now, talk to me, when did you really start thinking about, I guess, sort of your own retirement? Because I know you wanted to do this to help others and all these kinds of things. But, when did you really start going, “You know what? I’m going to take the leap, I’m going to build a business around this, I’m going to make this shift, really help people in this way, but I really want to help myself in this regard.” When did that really take form? 

Bill Keen: Yeah, you’re asking an interesting question because, I’m 53 years old. My number two employee at the firm, the president of the firm Keen Wealth Advisors, is 40. And his name is Matt Wilson. He started with me when he was 20 years old as an intern and became an equity partner here over the last couple of years, he’s now the operating president of the firm. So, there’s a whole other podcast we could probably do on how cool his trajectory has been.

But when I think about my personal retirement, which is what I think you mentioned, it’s hard for me to think about…Now, I’m a business owner. I’m an entrepreneur that happens to have a passion for helping people with their finances, but I’ve been very fortunate to build a firm where I’ve got about 25 employees now, 10 advisors at the firm, 12 if you include me and Matt.

And I have one direct report. Which is Matt, meaning that he runs the firm, keeps me out of the weeds, and so, when I think about my personal retirement, okay, it’s something that’s going to probably be a long way down the road because I’m so fortunate that I’ve got myself surrounded by an incredible team, as an entrepreneur.

And I just absolutely love what I do. But that doesn’t mean that myself and everyone else that I talk to, I say something that kind of engenders a response at first that I say, “I believe that we all share one goal in common.” You know, it’s interesting because you paint people into a box and some people would cross their arms and look at you like, wait a second, I don’t have to agree with what you’re going to say.

But here’s what I say, that we all share. And I do think this is true. I believe that we all want to – whether we plan to retire next year or we enjoy our work, or we really dislike our work and we want to get out as soon as possible, or we plan on working forever in some form or fashion and we can talk a little bit more about what I’ve seen in retiring thousands and thousands of people.

And see what they do post-retirement to take that second half and really rock it. But I look at that and I say to myself, do I want to actually retire or do I want to keep stay active. But the one thing that we all share in common is, that we all want to know that we can retire if we want to. 

That work becomes optional at some point. And what that means is that you are, and this is an odd term for me because I was a midwestern kid, I grew up with no assets, no resources, no money, no nothing, no contacts. And a lot of our clients are that way too at our firm. We deal with salt-of-the-earth people that have started from scratch and built their wealth over time through long, hard years of work and diligence and living within their means, delayed gratification, that kind of thing.

They have a real respect for the journey of getting to a point where they have amassed a certain amount of assets so that work now has become optional for them. But that whole concept of work becoming optional is actually, you are independently wealthy. And that sounds like, “Oh no, I’m not independently wealthy, it sounds kind of like a funny term.”

But indeed, it’s true. If you have amassed enough resources to be able to have work become optional, that is a very freeing place to be, you go to a place of restriction, of having to work to a lot of choice and a lot of freedom, that you don’t have to have 50 million dollars to do that. It’s all based on how much money you need to live on and how you’ve controlled your debt over the years.

There’s some studies that have been done that show, when it comes to money actually buying happiness, we know money doesn’t buy happiness but to the point that it actually could. The studies have shown that it’s about that $75,000 a year, that’s the point where money buys happiness because you pay your bills and you get your basics covered. Beyond that, it’s just extra. But once you get to that point where you’re free from a monetary standpoint.

And now, you have choices, it’s a very powerful place to be.

Why Write a Second Edition?

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yes, I love that so much because the idea of happiness and money and all those kinds of things. It’s like, once you’re not like your father, sort of pacing back and forth, waiting and that story, really, that you told earlier. Pacing back and forth, sort of waiting for the next check to come.

When you’re not in that mode, you can enjoy actually being with your kid, right? When you’re not thinking about how am I going to take care of XY and Z. Then, you can actually think about, okay, here’s what I want to do tomorrow, the next week, I can start planning this or that. It just takes away the anxiety, if you will.

And I love that idea that you shared around that. We’re all individually wealthy, what is it that you need, how do you define what wealth is to you or success is to you in kind of shaping your world around that as supposed to looking next door or looking at the other person who, in their case, they may need 50 million dollars to live that lifestyle or that life that they want. 

You may just need a couple of hundred grand. It’s just a [different perspective in your firm, and it sounds like you built an amazing team around you to help you understand and navigate not just the money aspect of things but also, lifestyle types of things. So, that’s really powerful, man.

So, why did you decide to write a second edition to your book?

Bill Keen: Yeah, so, the first edition came out in 2019. So, toward the end of 2019, it’s been a great resource for us and for others. We still write regularly, I’m signed personalized copies and send out probably 15 or 20 a week now, still. Maybe even more.

And because it really tells a story, in the original manuscript, I tell a little story about who and where I came from, and I’ve told a little bit of that today somewhat interesting in that, once I got out of college and got into the advisory business, the brokerage business. I worked for a company called Dean Witter, and I was this kid from Kansas City that got transported out to New York City and worked in the 83rd floor of the south tower World Trade Center, just a month after that rider truck had driven into the World Trade Center into the monkey garage and detonated the bomb.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: What was that? 96? 93, right.

Bill Keen: Yup, 93, and I had been in the business a year before that and worked for a mutual fund company, and I realized that wasn’t for me, and so I ended up cold walking brokerage firms and getting hired at this firm called Dean Witter. And the training all occurred in Manhattan, and so here I was, and I say this in the book, I say, my life that first few years was like, the first half of the original Wall Street Movie. 

And the reason I say first half is because, that’s before Bud Fox actually goes bad when he gets hooked up with Gordon Gecko. And a combination of the other movie called, A The Pursuit of Happiness. The movie The Pursuit of Happiness was about Will Smith was the leading character but he did the life of Chris Gardner who started at Dean Witter about the same time I did in San Francisco with no assets, no assets, no resources, no money and made it into a very successful career.

But that’s what it looked like for me. I mean, early on, and I share a little bit about that. I have pictures in the book of me in front of the World Trade Center, me at the Dean Witter facility, me on Wall Street. There’s even a picture of me standing there with my coat over my shoulder under the Wall Street sign and cars driving down Wall Street and a truck right behind me that says, Federal Express.

Now, today, there’s no cars allowed on Wall Street anymore, been a long time. And it’s FedEx, not Federal Express. Anyway, those are some of the kind of things upfront that I go through and little bit about my history of getting to the industry. But what I really wanted to do was lay out a roadmap for how to think about engineering the second half of life.

And I say that’s my subtitle. We work with about 50 to 60% of our clients are either engineers or they’re employees of engineering firms and then, the other 40 to 50% are not, but most of them are corporate employees that have worked a long career and are looking at retirement.

But really, engineering that second half of life. Not having things happen by happenstance but having an intentional direct focus and plan on how to make things happen that you want. Each person’s very different. Not what just happens to happen.

So, the first third of the book, I go over the planning process, and the planning process is really figuring out where you’re at today and looking at your social security, your taxes, your meta care, your spending needs, and retirement. Looking at your charitable giving, your estate planning, your wills, your trust, like really thinking through those.

And I give a bunch of examples, I try to write the book with examples. I changed names of course, of cases, but it’s a look behind the curtain of what we see with all those things I just mentioned and how they’re intertwined with one another.

Then, a second portion of the book is all about the investments, and the investments are simply an engine to the plan. So, the plan is the most important thing, the investments or the engine that get the plan to the destination and then the third portion, section of the book is about really living life to the fullest, it’s more about your time in retirement. I even have a chapter on taking care of your marriage.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah.

Bill Keen: And so.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, I was going to ask about that, yeah. I love that.

Bill Keen: It goes on. So, you asked me that question, and it’s a long answer but the reason I wrote the second edition is because first off, we had COVID. COVID gave me some real fodder to add to some of the chapters on how to handle market corrections and how to deal with your emotions around market corrections. 

So, I added a chapter, some data on that and a chapter that says, how to deal with unprecedented times, and I give some real examples and experience of over 30 years in this industry, advising thousands of people going through very difficult times and I’m able to use the most recent example of COVID which we all went through together to give it some real meat.

And prior to that, yes, 102, the towers coming down in 2001, the tech bubble, the financial crisis, those things are relevant, and they’re still in the book but they’re not as fresh. And so, that fresh material, I think, can be impactful. I also wrote a chapter, an additional chapter on staying away from the next flash in the pan.

Which talks about the meme stocks, those things that you may have heard about, if you’re not, I’ll just have you read the book to figure it out. Bitcoin and some of the digital currencies, which can be okay but a lot of it is just rank speculation. How to avoid the next flash in the pan, I give some great examples on that, and I updated a chapter on Medicare and health insurance and retirement and then went through the whole thing and changed any tax law that it changed.

A lot of it had to do with the secure act and other things that had changed. So, really brought it up to speed, it only had been three years since the first one was written, but it was with what I’ve explained to you, there were some real meaningful updates that were, I think, needed.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah. And a lot’s happened in three years, right? That’s the other thing is that, now, when you want to pick something up, you want it to be like you said, it’s got to be fresh, relatable. This book is up to date in a way because you’re in a type of business, if you will, the industry is ever changing.

I mean, we’re talking day-to-day, probably hour to hour in your case. I like that you apply that mentality, also to the content and the work that you put out there because, from my perspective, it’s like, “Look, we have people to serve and people to help out, and we want them to know the most up to date information.” And so updating your book in that way is just another way to attract the right people to work with you.

It just shows like, how committed you are to that industry. I love that.

Bill Keen: It’s true. To be at the top of your game and to be a thought leader and be considered a thought leader in whatever industry you happen to be in. I think it’s important that you stay very fresh. So, the book is called, Keen on Retirement: Engineering the Second Half of Your Life.

But I’ve got a podcast myself, so I’m honored to be a guest on your podcast today. But I’ve got a podcast myself that’s been out for seven years, 172 episodes as we speak here today. It’s episode posted every two weeks, we’ve never missed one, and it’s pretty unique in the podcast world. If you look at podcasts out there, you see most don’t make it past 10 episodes, but clearly, we’re committed to it because it’s a great medium, to again, to share that thought leadership.

It too is called, Keen on Retirement. So, I’ve branded the two sources of media the same, to keep that consistency and to continue to come and as a podcast host, Hussein, you have to stay up in stride all the time. You can’t ever let your guard down, which is, it sounds like a lot of work, but when you’re producing content and you’re thinking and you’re blogging and you’re podcasting and we do a lot of webinars, we do live events, now that COVID’s over again.

A lot of people say, “Oh, isn’t that hard for you to be up in stride like that, to produce so much content and to be sharing your thinking?” And I said, it would be harder to do five presentations a year, five media appearances a year, than it would be to do a hundred. And they’re like, “How can you possibly say that?”

Well, because if you only do five, you get in the mode, you get ready, you get your thoughts down, you do the presentation and then you go dormant for three months or two months and then you got to get it all back, but when you are constantly on point, you’re always up in stride, and it becomes effortless not the other way around. Would you agree with that? I know you are supposed to be interviewing me, but I enjoy you, I appreciate your questions here. 

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that. I love momentum. Look, if you don’t have momentum in anything that you’re doing, you’re going to lose. You are going to empty the gas tank by just being idle, right? So that applies to the gym, that applies to marriage, that applies to brotherhood, friendship, everything. Like, for example, for me at least, I got to reach out to one of my siblings every day. 

I’ve got to reach out to my mama every single day. It’s just I can’t and it’s weird for her. She’s like, “Oh, you didn’t call me earlier” or “You didn’t call me yesterday” if I go a couple, you know? It’s just that my father, he taught me a lot about prayer, and he’s like — I grew up Muslim — so he’s like, “Prayer is not about how often you do it, it’s really just to keep that conduit alive,” right? 

That connection, it’s not about when you need something, it’s about – like for example, I’m in contact with you. We have a great relationship, right? We’re in constant checking in on one another. Well, one day, you didn’t hear from me for a week or so, so you got to call me and be like almost concerned, “Hey man, do you need something? Can I help you? Can I bring you something?” That relationship is valuable.

He’s like the same thing is with your maker, right? Like the Most High, when you stay in connection and when you finally say, “God, you know I need financial” or “I need help with my marriage. I need you to help me feel good,” of course, he’s going to do that for you because you’re in connection. Now, if you haven’t in a long time, not that he turns your back, but it is going to be like, “I need you to put some in the game. I need you to put some skin in, I need some more connection to keep that conduit alive when you’re at 100%.”

You know, I’m a runner, and I know if I don’t go a week without running, dude, it feels like I’m running for the first time again, right? But if I run every day even if it was for 10 minutes, the next day I feel good. I feel like my engine’s revved up, they’re ready to go, and so momentum with money, with relationships, all those things, you’re 100% right. Putting your content out there, it’s important, and when you don’t do it as often, it’s that much harder. 

But when you do it often, actually it feels like it’s natural, it’s organic, it’s a part of what you do, and so I love that you pointed out the consistency aspect of you showing up to sharpen your game. I think that’s beautiful and again, it’s not just about you, right? It’s about who you’re serving, and in your scenario, you are serving people who are — we’re talking about money, we’re talking about financial, retirement. 

These are very important things to people, and so if you show up and genuinely give of yourself to those people in these ways, there is more of a trust that I’m sure is building up and that you can attract those right clients to be able to work with long-term. 

Bill Keen: Absolutely, and I would sum up what you just said there so elegantly with one phrase and that phrase is, discipline equals freedom and – 

Hussein Al-Baiaty: A hundred percent, yes. 

Bill Keen: Do you know what I mean? When you’re disciplined, and that could be with body building, it can have with working out, even with eating, with sugar, with caffeine, you name it. 

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Prayer man, I pray five times a day. I got to keep this up, you know? It’s really, you’re 100% right. 

Bill Keen: But discipline gives you a track to run on, and it gives you freedom, which is pretty amazing because a lot of this stuff that’s powerful in the world, it is the opposite of what you might think, of what we might think as a normal man or woman but I call that also when you talk about prayer regularly, I call that keeping a short leash. I want a short leash to my maker. I don’t want to get out there with that leash getting way too long because sometimes it might be a little harder to get back. 

I don’t mean anything dramatic, but it could be but just keeping a short leash brother, you know what I’m saying? 

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah, 100%. So to a person like me, to our audience out there, they’re in the middle age and were thinking about — for me like I’m thinking about my retirement. I am thinking about, “Okay. I got to put some investments together,” but here’s the thing, man, I grew up in a culture where retirement was just basically having kids, okay? 

Like I was born in Iraq, so think about what my father was like, what my great grandfather was like, right? It’s a different culture. Now, let’s be honest, America is a melting pot. You have a variety of different cultures and people and everybody thinks about money differently, everybody thinks about retirement differently, what would you say to someone like me who has had these old ideas but also understands that I live in America, right? 

So I got to think about these things differently, but there is a weird tension between how I was raised right and what I’m learning, and what I’m learning is true to where I am today in life and that’s where I got to operate from. So in drawing this plan, what’s one thing, what are maybe one or two things that I should be thinking about and implementing a plan, and so that I can then start building it an engine from that? 

What to Think about When Making a Plan

Bill Keen: Yeah, so I think that regardless of where you are in the journey, and you could be a few years out from what someone might think a typical retirement was or if somebody like you who is saying this in your 30s, the younger you are the more powerful and the more leverage that you have because time becomes your friend if you have things set up correctly and you’re committed. 

Time is your enemy if you do not and, we’ve talked, I have a blog out there, the Keen on Retirement blog that says, why does it feel like time goes by quicker as we get older, and there is actually some science behind why it feels like time passes quicker, but we don’t need to get into that, but everybody says, “Oh my gosh, time just flies as you get older.” You either can harness time and let it work in your favor or you can be whip sod by time and look up and say, “Oh my gosh, I did not plan. I wish I would have looked back when I was Hussein’s age and made some changes.” 

So here’s what has to happen, there has to be a motivation. There has to be this thought and a visualization about what the future might look like, it requires you to stop the day-to-day to get out of the whirlwind of the day, to step back and say, “Where do I want to be? Where do I want to be 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now?” And it seems so far away, especially when you’re younger. 

It’s like, “Man, when I’m 60, well, that’s crazy. I don’t even want to think about that, that’s an eternity away.” Actually, it’s closer than you think, and so you got to give yourself leverage to do anything that takes away pleasure today to postpone the gratification. It is called delayed gratification. So you say, “I want to be able to look out there in the future at some point and not have to work if I don’t want to.” 

Like to have built up enough investments, whether it’s passive investments like real estate and real houses, things like that or what most of our clients do as they’re in the financial markets, they’re in stocks and bonds and index funds and things like that, they’ve built those up enough with IRAs and Roth IRAs and different types of accounts that they can live off of those for the rest of their life and never run out of money. 

So you have to sit down now today and say, “Is it important enough to me to even take the time to say that I want that?” For most people, it is when they think about it like intuitively, they’re like, “Yes, of course I want that, but is it worth it enough for me to sit down and think about what I want that to look like and then reverse engineer what it would take to invest today?” That seed starts to build and a lot of folks go through market volatility like we’re doing now. 

They’re seeing the stock market down in 2022, and if you don’t have the wisdom around how investment markets work, a lot of people can just think, “That’s crazy. I don’t want to invest in things that are going down. I’m either going to do one or two things. I am going to not invest at all because it just feels like too much of a gamble, or I am going to try to get rich quick with one of these ‘flash in the pans’” is what I call it in my new chapter. 

Whether it’s a meme stock like AMC or GameStop or one of those things or whether it’s a Doge Coin or one of these coins, where I am going to try to make it, like get rich quick, if you will. In my book, I list all of these different things people have tried over the years. They’ve all across the board have failed. You either do one of those two things, but you don’t end up investing for the long term because investing for the long term is the answer that we know gets us to the destination. 

It just doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to go through volatility in the markets and you have to have an understanding about the volatility, and I walk folks through that in the book, but for somebody like you, man, I would be taking some money, setting it aside, I don’t know your situation specifically but at least have a Roth IRA where money grows tax free. I would invest that in index funds like at Vanguard or one of the big custodians, Charles Schwab, a Fidelity. 

Very, very low cost, own the stock market, you don’t need any balance at your age for long term investment, and you just hope the market stays down. When you are young and you are still buying or even no matter what your age is, if you are still buying, you don’t mind the volatility of the markets because the stock prices are down, and you are buying more shares with what you are putting in regularly. 

It is when you get up closer to retirement when you start to say, “Okay, I am going to need some of this money back now.” I go through the strategy in my book to what we’ve been doing for decades, you pull some out of the stock market over end of this more fixed investments because you know you are going to need that money back sooner than the equity money, the stock money and you protect that money as you get closer to retirement or if you know you have an income, a need for it like putting down a down payment for a house or something like that. 

The inputs are not that complex, but it is just understanding that it is a long term path, it is a long game, so it doesn’t happen overnight, and there is going to be volatility and the volatility is your friend, especially when you’re young because when it’s down you are buying more shares and you just get that vision in your head that says, “I’m not going to compromise this.” I tell two stories in the book about young people. 

I say young people, they were in their early 40s and they both had 300,000 in a 401(k) and one wanted to start a restaurant and the other one just wanted to invest the money and start a side business as well. I told them both, “Don’t take out your 401(k) and pay all the taxes and penalties on it. Just leave the 401(k) there.” They both had about 300,000 in there, and that alone would have grown by the time they were 60, 65 to a point where they would be set for life. 

They just leave it alone, just do nothing. One of the folks left it alone and did his side business without side money. I said, “If you do the side business and it works, incredible. If you do it and it doesn’t work, you still haven’t compromised your long term plan.” And his business actually did, side business did work. The other one blew up his 401(k), paid all the taxes, paid all the penalties for early withdrawal, put it in a restaurant, it failed after two years and he’s back working a corporate job again and he compromised his future. 

So what I always say is man, just do what we know works long term, and then if you want to take a shot on other things, it’s okay, but just assume that money might or might not work but that the long term plan is in place and it’s not that sexy, it is not that exciting because it takes a while to do but time passes fast, and as we all know and you look up, you’re like, “Wait a second, what I thought wasn’t very much that seed has taken.” 

It was five grand, and all of a sudden 10 years later, “Look, it was, oh my god, it’s a 125. Wait a second, it’s approaching a million 18 years later.” And all you’ve been doing was just putting money in monthly, very dedicated, very disciplined, markets were down, you put more in not less. You didn’t panic, you didn’t sell everything when things were down. You understand how it works by reading materials like mine and other great books out there that talk about that wisdom. 

So I hope that gives you an idea about it. It all starts with the desire to be at a place in your life in the future where you want to be independent, and because when you’re independent, now, even more things can come, things that you haven’t even thought of will appear that you can do with your time and your resources and to give back and your family and be the best version of yourself. 

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Man, a hundred percent. I love that so much, you articulate it so well and, you know, the idea of power and leverage. My dad, like I said, didn’t graduate high school, man, but we grew up at a refugee camp and all of these things. He did teach me very valuable, beautiful lessons about time and life and what you dedicate yourself too and those kind of things. 

You know, he’s very wise, so the one thing he taught me was live today as if you are going to die tomorrow but plan for tomorrow as if you’re going to live forever, right? So like the idea of living in the moment and being intent and passionate about what you are doing, what you are working on, the people around you, but also plan, right? He always just [said] things like, “Look, I didn’t know how to do planning or financial,” and all of that. 

But that’s what you can learn, that’s what you could apply yourself. So I wasn’t here to just teach you everything, but I am here also to show you where you can go learn it. That is why I joined Scribe, that is why I wrote a book. You know, after he passed, my book was like a thank you note to him about his life and the art and all of these things, but for me man, what you’re saying resonates so deep because you are a 100% right. 

Though I am young, that is the biggest leverage I can use, right? Is now applying myself in the right areas, putting my money in the right places, all those kinds of things, and then having the machine, the engine, do the work while I feed it the appropriate amount of energy so that it can continue to do it’s thing and man, I love how you articulated all of that. I am excited to get in and devour your book because it sounds amazing. 

Like I said, I went through it, and really, I love your chapter around tending to your marriage. I think my marriage is the most beautiful thing that I feel like I’ve cultivated in my life, and I intend to just like I want to grow my bank account, I want to grow my relationship. So I love that you wove that in with your book as well because our relationships are just as important, and I think that is really powerful. 

So writing a book is a huge feat, man, but you didn’t write just one, you wrote two, and that just shows how much you’re dedicated to not only your work, your passions, but also to your clientele who need this information and I just love that man. If you want people to just take like one, maybe two things away from this book, what would they be? 

Bill Keen: I would just suggest to folks, get intentional and think about how they want their life to look. So we’re going to arrive somewhere out in the future, if we’re lucky, if we make it out into the future, let’s say in certain number of years out, and the question is, are we going to arrive somewhere randomly or are we going to arrive at a place that we have predesigned? 

We can design things, and we can design our ideal outcomes, and things might not work out exactly like we thought, but at least we are drifting, and when folks drift, when you drift, I’ve never seen someone in any area, and we hit on a little bit earlier Hussein, when we talked about the workouts and other things, rarely does anybody, if ever drift in the most inspiring direction. 

Typically when we drift, we’re drifting away from the desired result. You don’t drift and end up being 7% body fat because your workouts just got amazing because you drifted in that direction. You don’t drift in your spiritual life, you don’t drift in your financial life. There is nothing that I’ve seen when you drift, you drift in the right direction. It is typically always the opposite direction. So you might intend something for five, 10, 15, 20 years out and it’s way better than you thought it was going to be. 

That’s been my experience, it ended up being better than I thought. So I would just suggest to take the time to step out of the whirlwind of the day and think about designing the future that’s inspiring to you and your family, and my book happens to be around finances because we live in a material world and we have to pay for things, and I believe if you are in strife and anxiety around money, you will never be able to bring your best self to your kids, to your spouse, to your work, to your community. 

So you have to have some financial security around that. So stepping back, get it intentional, maybe even bringing out a vision board and writing the things down at certain ages, five, 10, 15, 20 years out. It is in the book, I put a whole exercise in there about that saying what do I see, how old will my kids be at this times, how do I want things to look, my health, my spiritual life, where do I want to be, what do I want to be surrounded by, and that, well, inspired – that’s an inspiring exercise that unfortunately very few people take the time to do, and I recommend doing that once a year.

Everything else you reverse engineer, including your finances.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yeah. I love that so much. Just an FYI, I learned something along these lines a few years back, and I do that every year. So, I take the year, and then I break it down into months, and every month, I sit down and sort of planned the weeks and from there, I plan the day. 

And so, this idea of breaking things down but starting with a big vision, long-term vision, beautiful vision, as beautiful as you can make, max it out and then slowly break it down and then that way your daily activities start to align with that future self.

I love that so much, thank you for laying it all out. Bill, I learned so much today. Again, I’m eager to just dive into your book. Get to know you, your work a little bit more in the weeks and months that come. I know, everything you’ve said is going to help me in some way, shape, or form, and I hope it helps our audience today as well. 

Thank you for coming on the show, sharing all these amazing gems and pieces of diamonds. I can’t thank you enough. So, the book is called, Keen on Retirement: Engineering the Second Half of Your Life. This is the second edition. Super excited for you. Besides checking out the book, where can people find you, Bill?

Bill Keen: Yup. So, I have Keen Wealth Advisors is my companies, my firms, LinkedIn, and Facebook titles, and I also have a personal Facebook and LinkedIn under just Bill Keen. If somebody were to Google Bill Keen, Wealth, there’s a ton of stuff that comes up. I write for Forbes and many other things as well. And the podcast is Keen on Retirement, that’s out on iTunes and Spotify and all the major channels as well.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: I love that so much. Well, I hope our audience reaches out and gets involved with your work. Again, thank you so much for coming on today.

Bill Keen: You’re welcome, Hussein. It’s been a real pleasure, man, thank you for the candid conversation my friend.

Hussein Al-Baiaty: Yes.