The 5 Benefits to Changing Your Automatic Transmission Fluid Money

One of the most commonly over looked aspects of a vehicle is the transmission. Many people tend to either ignore their transmission all together, or simply do not understand how it works. And that is fine and dandy until the day comes that things start to get ugly with it. A busted transmission is another way of saying a car that isn’t going to be running any time soon without some serious work. The transmission is the power source, and it provides proper application of the power of your vehicle. So if you want to ensure your vehicle’s transmission lasts just as long as possible (and most will last the entire vehicle’s life time if maintained properly), then you will want to get on top of changing your automatic transmission fluid.

Benefit Number One: Preventing Lock Up

Odds are you know what tetanus is, because it is commonly referred to as “lock jaw.” You would never want to have lock jaw. Not only would it be painful, but it would be inconvenient. Well, it would surprise you to know that it would be twice as inconvenient if your vehicle got lock jaw. Lock up happens when your vehicle’s transmission gets so hot that your vehicle simply shuts down. It no longer runs. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can prevent this happening to your car.

Benefit Number Two: Saving Money

Who doesn’t like saving money? Literally every person you meet does things to save money, unless they’ve got tons to throw around or are children. Usually, they amount to the same. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black (not flushing it-flushing your automatic transmission fluid can be dangerous to your vehicle, tantamount to bleeding it dry then trying to fill it back up with new blood) can help prevent most transmission problems from occurring, meaning you save the woes of a blown transmission.

Benefit Number Three: Run Cleaner

Changing your automatic transmission fluid, and using the right fluid, can make your engine run cleaner and more efficiently than it has since it was brand new. This means better fuel economy (which we’ll get to next) and better oil usage. However, using the wrong fluid, any fluid not recommended by the manufacturer for your specific make and model, can damage your transmission greatly, so be sure to check.

Benefit Number Four: Better Fuel Economy

Less work means less wear. Less wear means your transmission, and your engine, last longer. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can help you to keep your transmission running strong for a very long time, making your vehicle more fuel efficient.

Benefit Number Five: Cost Effective

What do you think costs less: a new transmission, or automatic transmission fluid? Hopefully, you went with the latter choice. A new transmission is expensive, while automatic transmission fluid is relatively cheap in comparison, making taking care of your transmission a no brainer.

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On Becoming a Trusted Financial Advisor Financial Planning

“You can get everything in life you want if you just help enough people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar, “Secrets of Closing the Sale”, 1984

What type of trusted financial advisor should you be? There is a lot of discussion in our industry around this topic. Russ Allan Prince an expert on the private wealth industry, president of the market research and consulting firm, Prince & Associates, has conducted a considerable amount of research on this topic. Among other things he found that most people want their broker to be a “wealth advisor”.

One of his studies found that investors will give more of their assets and will refer four times more people to the advisor who takes a more holistic approach to his/her practice versus the “product peddler” who takes a more narrow view of a client’s financial picture. The advisor who asks about the client’s hopes and dreams for the future and develops a strong working relationship with that client will reap the rewards on a number of fronts. The Prince survey showed that once you make this holistic connection with your member/clients and prospective member/clients you will discover member assets that you did not know existed. As a result, your member becomes more successful in their financial life, you reap the financial and psychic rewards and the credit union retains a happy member who brings in additional assets, takes advantage of other credit union products and services and refers friends and acquaintances to you and the credit union. Sound far fetched? Read the quote above again.

Let’s look more closely at the Prince survey. 4,106 brokers participated in the survey. The brokers fell into three distinct styles of managing their practice:

Wealth Manager – comprehensive holistic approach to managing their clients’ financial lives including the assets as well as the liabilities of their clients; a planning orientation to solving financial problems.

Product Specialist – in this model the broker focuses on a product niche i.e. managed accounts, fixed income, etc.

Investment Generalist – brokers provide a wide range of products to solve client financial problems. They do not use a comprehensive financial planning approach.

65.5% of the brokers surveyed fell into the investment generalist category. The next largest segment is the product specialist, 22%. The smallest group was the wealth manager (12.3%). The survey found that the brokers who took a more holistic approach to their business enjoyed the greatest increase in year over year revenue for their financial planning practice. Why? The “wealth manager” takes a comprehensive planning approach to their financial proactive and creates integrated, customized solutions for their clients. They leverage client relationships, cross-selling and providing products and services not tied to the markets. The more products and services you can offer, the less affected you will be when there is a market downturn because you will have an array of products to offer such as insurance or estate planning. In addition, the deeper your relationship with your clients, the more opportunities will develop to help those clients.

By comparison, the investment generalist and the product specialist typically do not fare as well as the wealth manager year in and year out. Typically a product they specialize in will fall out of favor due to market or regulatory conditions and their production revenue falls accordingly. In addition, they have not deepened their client relationships so consequently they do not uncover the opportunities to help their clients in other ways as does the wealth manager.

How do we become a wealth manager? Certainly having the resources necessary to help your clients is critical whether it is financial planning software, estate planning resources, or a CFP designation (or other education opportunities), it takes a commitment to expand your comfort zone and your practice. It also takes a commitment to get to know your clients. Are you asking the right questions? When was the last time you asked your clients or prospective clients the following questions?

  1. If you could relive one vacation, which one would it be? Why?
  2. Who influenced you most about your views on money?
  3. What are three checks you would like to write in retirement?
  4. On a scale of 0 to 10 how much confidence do you have in your investment plan?
  5. What’s going on in your life right now that could impact your financial future?

Our members typically will not volunteer the answers to these questions unless we become a trusted financial advisor and deepen our relationships by asking the right questions and getting the answers that will allow us to solve our members’ financial problems. Only then will we become true “wealth managers” to our member clients.

financial planning

The Millionaire Mind Money Management Plan Financial Planning

One of the most important books that I’ve read during the past year is T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. I want to review and share a savings plan that Eker shares in Chapter 14 called the Millionaire Mind Money Management Plan. Eker begins his chapter with these words:

Rich people manage their money well, Poor people mismanage their money well.

It’s an excellent chapter, and I’m going to share with you a summary of the financial management plan that will set you on the right path to building wealth. It’s important in all things resulting in success that you take action. So, no matter what you can start with, even if it’s a dollar a month, you must take action and begin to manage your money.

Some people say, “Well, when I get ahead financially, I’ll manage my money.” That’s a poor person mindset! The millionaire mind begins to manage now, because if you can manage a little, then you’ll begin to manage a lot. I was SO into this way of thinking in the past. When I turned it around and began to manage money, I started to get wealthy!

Before I share the money management plan, here are some wealth principles from the chapter and that Eker teaches at his Millionaire Mind Intensives.

  • Until you can handle what you’ve got, you won’t get any more!
  • The habit of managing your money is more important than the amount.
  • Either you control money, or it will control you.

So, how exactly do you manage your money? Here’s a great plan from the book. Remember, it’s important to start, not the amount. Start with $1 if you must; just start! Get the habit going!

Prepare 6 jars (“Jars” can be literal, or bank accounts, or categories on a spreadsheet).

Place the following amounts in each of the jars every month after taxes.

  1. Financial Freedom Account (10%)- used only for investments and buying or creating passive income streams. Money is never spent, only invested. Also, have a Financial Freedom Jar where you deposit money each day ($1, $10, loose change). Do something daily.
  2. Play Account (10%)- Use this money to nurture yourself. Use it for extra-special things in your life. The only guideline is that you must spend the money every month. Use it each month in a way that makes you feel rich!
  3. Education Account (10%) – Set aside money for your education (school, seminars,etc.) or your child’s education.
  4. Long-term Savings for Spending Account (10%)
  5. Giving (10%)
  6. Necessities Account (50%)

Start the plan and let the universe know that you are ready for more money.

financial planning

Management by Abdication Financial Planning

In my studies and travels this week I’ve had a great time meeting with old friends (I’ve noticed that they are getting older??) and seeing the old neighborhood.

Traveling for some reason just seems to set me free. Even though I still have financial troubles, relationship troubles, business troubles, traveling makes me feel good about this country, opportunity, my friends, business associates and clients.

This week I was reminded of a concept called Management by Abdication. This is a concept that I first learned about in book by called E-myth.

Before we get into that though, I want you to know right up front that I’m a salesman. If you read this, you will be compelled to act, and if you work with me, I might make a commission. How’s that for disclosure?

Just want to tell you that from the get go, so there is no confusion later.

So what is Management by Abdication?

Abdication is similar in meaning to the word assumption, but with some differences.

The example that was used in a book my Michael Gerber called E-myth talks about an overwhelmed business owner who hires an accountant and brings him on board, The business owner is so excited to have someone that will help him do the work, that he just piles on the workload onto the new accountant and just says… “handle it.”

The accountant, knowing accounting, does his thing, and accounts. Since he has had no company manual, no real direction, and no idea of what the business is all about, makes decisions on the best information that he has. The accountant certainly does want the company to do well. When he goes to ask the “boss” a question or two, the boss always answers… ” Just use your best judgment, I trust you.”

So the new accountant makes decisions based on his own biases, his own understanding, and his own goals for the company… Not that the accountant has done anything wrong, but the owner has given him responsibility without direction.

This is management by abdication. Giving someone the responsibility for something, without any goals, direction, or checkpoints for that person to follow.

Responsibility without accountability.

Have you heard about anything like this? Sure you have. We hear it all the time in politics, in big companies… But what about in our personal lives.. Are we doing this in our own lives too?

Sometimes Management by Abdication is good, sometimes not.

For example it’s good for getting groceries. Take your favorite grocery store. We abdicate all sorts of responsibilities when we go and buy food. Obviously we can’t grow fruit and vegetables, have cattle, slaughter pigs, etc. etc. to get the food that we need. So we abdicate some of that responsibility. We ASSUME that the retailer (and the supply chain) has our best interest in mind… I mean after all they don’t want to kill off their customers do they? In general terms I think Assuming that the grocery store doesn’t want to kill you is a safe assumption.

Most of them these daily abdications are safe ones… Sometimes they aren’t.

A really big area that I am seeing a lot of management by abdication is in the arena of personal financial planning.

Most of us learn our financial knowledge from our parents… Unfortunately they weren’t that great of teachers, things are totally different now, and the “pension” (which many of them are living off of now) is almost a thing of the past (except for some government employees… but that’s another conversation for another day).

So what our parents taught us… Get a good education, get a good job, save your money, and you’ll be OK…. Simply doesn’t work anymore.

I run into people my age (45 and over) that are doing all of those things, and they’re not OK financially.

So where do people turn to get this education about money and finances and retirement?

This is the problem.. They typically don’t. They abdicate this responsibility. They don’t learn the ins and outs of investing, insurance, compound interest, tax deferral, tax reduction, etc. etc. etc.

Many of them don’t even know how much money they are really going to need to retire.

So they just dump that responsibility onto a financial planner, fund manager, or the 401k manager at their work.

This is management by abdication.

Does a financial planner, fund manager, or your boss at work have your best interest at heart? I’m sure they do think about you from time to time, but what do you think their best interest is?

THEMSELVES!!

Not that there is anything wrong with thinking of ourselves first. Let’s just be honest about it. I’m interested in my best interest, and you yours.

But is it smart to abdicate the responsibility of our life savings to someone that has higher self interest that our interests?

I mean if your account goes down a little is your financial planner personally “hurt” like you are?

Why are we so willing to go to college for 4 years or more, do a job that we may or may not like for 40 years, and then turn the responsibility for our money over so easily?

Do they really know what our goals are? Have you set checkpoints, guidelines and status updates, and reviews to make sure they are doing what you need them to do?

You had quizzes in college to make sure you were on track. Your job gives you deadlines and projects to finish with a time line… Why don’t’ you give your financial plan the same sort of tracking and guidelines?

If you’re at a point in your life where you are ready to TAKE BACK RESPONSIBILITY for your money, your finances, and your retirement from whoever you’ve abdicated it to… Let me know.

I make money by helping people take back responsibility for their finances.

That’s what I do.

Let’s take responsibility back. Lets be in charge of our own lives. Lets make a difference for ourselves first.

financial planning

Think Like A Coding Manager To Land That First Medical Coding Job Money

Thinking like a coding manager can greatly improve your chances of landing that first medical coding job. Most medical coders (especially those on the job for the first time) work closely with a coding manager. This manager is responsible for making the process of coding and billing go as smoothly as possible. By understanding what a coding manager does, what responsibilities they have and most importantly, how you can make their job a lot easier, you’ll have a distinct advantage over other coders vying for the same job.

A coding manager is the link between their coders and the client, be it a physician or physician’s practice, hospital or other healthcare employer. It’s their job to make sure patient encounters are coded quickly and accurately and remain compliant. When things break down or mistakes are made, it’s usually the coding manager that gets the complaint phone call or email. It’s your job to do what you can to keep those calls and emails to a minimum! Here’s how:

Remember that coding is essentially about getting paid. Coding is part of the process that makes sure everyone is compensated for their efforts. Many new coders don’t quite understand this and it shows in their work. Those phone calls and emails the coding manager gets from the client are often about charges being billed to the wrong department or physician, errors in the date of the procedure or a service not being coded or coded twice. These types of errors can be considered “clerical” errors rather than coding errors. It’s very important to choose and apply the proper code(s) but don’t focus so much on it that you make such basic errors.

Make sure you have a working understanding of medical claims processing. If you know what a claim form looks like and what path it takes, it will give you a better understanding about what part you play in the process. Make sure you know how to keep things moving and keep claim denials and compliance issues to a minimum. Make this apparent on your resumes, cover letters and during any interview.

Be as self-sufficient as possible. Coding managers are almost always experienced coders and will be able to answer many of your questions but they’re probably too busy to hold your hand. During that job interview, give the impression that you know where to find answers and how to find them quickly. But also let them know that you are not afraid to ask the really important questions – the kind that save time, money and improve accuracy.

Have some understanding of the industry. Most coding managers have been around a while and have a good idea of how the healthcare system works, even beyond coding. Make sure you know what HIPAA is all about and how it affects your work. Also learn a bit about LCD (Local Coverage Determinations) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). This knowledge will impress the manager interviewing you that you know that coding is about more than just numbers.

Thinking like a medical coding manager may very well be the best way to land that first medical coding job.

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