All Posts By

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

Revolutionize Your Retirement Interview

By | Financial Psychology | No Comments

I am excited to be a guest on Dori Mintzer’s Revolutionize Your Retirement call next Tuesday, January 23, 2018. During this interview, Dori and I talk about breaking money silence, the harm it does to couples and families, how not talking about money especially impacts women, and how you can help yourself and your clients speak up financially.

To join the call register at  If you are unable to attend the live call, go ahead and register and you will receive the recording.

If you are concerned about finances and dislike talking about money, then join the call Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. East

Myth: I’ll know when I’ll need help managing my finances when I’m old.

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts | No Comments

Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, M.D. CFP®, Director of Financial Planning, Life Planning Partners

People tend to be in denial about needing help managing their finances and everyday life routines as they get older. The consequences of not talking about and planning for the aging process with your family can be emotionally and financially devastating. The good news is financial planners like Carolyn McClanahan know the risks are high and work with their clients and other advisors to make sure these conversations are occurring. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Carolyn about this myth and how you and your family members can bust through it before it’s too late.

Take Aways:

  1. Consider creating a Financial Care Taking Plan. This plan answers the question, “Who will take care of your finances if you become unable to do so?” Take time to consider how financial decisions will be made if you get into an accident, have a medical crisis, or experience some cognitive decline that prevents you paying bills, managing your investments, and making sure your assets are protected. Let family members know where accounts are and consider adding them to these accounts in case of emergency.
  2. Decide on the best living situation as you age. Talk with your family and your healthcare professional about your options. If you want to continue to live in your home as you age, find out what type of home healthcare is available, the cost of the care, and what home improvements (ex. adding hand railing in the bathrooms or making the home wheelchair accessible) Also explore assisted-living housing options in your area in case staying in your house no longer becomes feasible.
  3. Determine when you will stop driving. Driving is one of the hotter topics family members have to deal with as their parents or spouse age. Be proactive and design a transportation plan for getting around if you no longer can drive. Many families use car services, taxis, and Ubers in addition to enlisting relatives to help out. It helps to designate a family member now, when you are capable of driving, to let you know when it is time to get off the road.
  4. Communicate your healthcare wishes. Make sure you craft an estate plan with an estate attorney’s help that includes a healthcare proxy. This is a fancy word for designating a person to make healthcare decisions if you are not medically or emotionally capable of doing so. Ask yourself, “Who will help you make or to make the healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself?” Once you have decided on a health care proxy, communicate your preferences for your end-of-life care. While this is a topic that may be hard to focus on now when you are healthy, letting your family know your wishes is a gift that will reduce stress and be comforting as they prepare to say goodbye.

In addition to Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life, check out this book, Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott as it is one of Carolyn’s favorites.


Dr. McClanahan is a physician turned financial planner who speaks regularly on the interplay between health and financial issues, particularly regarding aging, chronic illness, end-of-life, long-term care, healthcare reform, and healthcare costs. She is also co-founder of Whealthcare Planning, the gold standard in aging planning software, and writes for Forbes and Financial Planning Magazine.  Dr. McClanahan is quoted regularly in the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNBC. She has also been featured on NPR.


Money Mom: How Can I Stop Fighting With My Boyfriend About Our Bills?

By | Couples and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

couples and moneyCharlotte Cowles, Money Mom, responded to this question from a reader and asked for my advice in the process. You see, the reader is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend and due to an unexpected change in his career, the couple is not seeing eye-to-eye about how to split expenses. The reader currently makes more than her boyfriend and when they sit down to do bills together, they end up in an argument because of different money mindsets about what should be paid and when.

It was an honor to be asked for my take on this situation and for Money Mom to include my advice in her column. I recommended that the reader break money silence with her significant other and develop a flexible strategy for addressing these concerns based on changes in their life situation. It is good advice for us all to adhere to. By checking in with each other at various points, couples can talk about spending, saving, and be sensitive to different money mindsets and anxieties either might have towards money.

How do you handle spending, saving, and splitting expenses when either your or significant other makes considerably more than the other?

You can read the article here.

How to avoid holiday spending stress.

By | Financial Psychology | No Comments

The holiday season is a time of joy, laughter and sometimes overspending. Crazy sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off a shopping frenzy across the country. The temptation to purchase is high and the pressure to give to others, even if you can’t afford it, overwhelming. Many of us realize that the holiday season could be a good time to break money silence and talk about spending and gifting expectations.

Learn more by viewing my interview with Eva McKend on Vermont’s CBS Affiliate WCAX. We discuss how to break money silence over the holidays and talk to our family, significant others, and friends about holiday spending. You may even get a gift idea or two!

What are some of the ways you can create memorable experiences in lieu of buying expensive gifts? How can you share these ideas with your loved ones this season?

Myth: Women are not interested in finances.

By | Financial Psychology, Podcasts, Women and Wealth | No Comments

Kathleen Peace, Partner and Financial Consultant, Woodgate Financial

Join Kathleen and her guest Kathleen Peace as they bust this myth wide open and show you how women are just as savvy and interested in finances as men. Find out how even women who are labeled as “gold diggers” are demonstrating their interest in money and wealth, and discover tips for challenging your thinking when it comes to this fallacy.

Key Take Aways

  • Women investors and traders actually perform better than their male counterparts due to their calm, and more methodical approach to managing and investing money.
  • Listeners should ask the women in their lives (wives, mothers, sisters or daughters) if they are interested in finance. If these women say no, then find out why not. For those who truly are disinterested, use this underlying cause as a pathway into making financial conversations more relevant to their lives and give them a positive experience of talking about money.
  • To find out more about where your money is going, track the inflows and outflows of cash in your life. Seeing where the money flows is a great place to start examining if you are using your resources in a way that is congruent with your values and goals.


Kathleen Peace, Partner and Financial Consultant, Woodgate Financial, has more than two decades of experience in the financial industry and has dedicated her career to being an ally and resource for female entrepreneurs.

After spending the first half of her working life on Bay and Wall Streets, she returned to Toronto to start a family and spend more of her professional life directly helping people. Now she combines her financial prowess and love for building community by acting as a personal CFO and champion to a group of driven, successful women.

Her specialties include corporate reorganization, planning for and effectively managing liquidity events, socially responsible investing, financial issues of divorce and estate planning.

My Money Talk with Jean Chatzky, Today Show’s Financial Expert

By | Financial Psychology, Women and Wealth | No Comments

Last week I had the honor of being a guest on Jean Chatzky’s Her Money Podcast. Jean and I discussed my new book, Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life and how women especially need to learn how to overcome their reluctance to engage in wealth conversations.

You can listen to our conversation here:

If you like the show, share it with your Facebook friends, tweet about it on Twitter, or listen with a partner or friend as a way to get the conversation going.

What is your biggest fear in talking about money? When you do break your money silence, what happens?

Breaking Money Silence Over the Holidays and Spending Less

By | Financial Psychology | No Comments

The holiday season is upon us. Everywhere you turn you are bombarded with messages to shop, overspend, and be merry. But you know that overshopping rarely makes you happy for very long. Instead, it usually leads to anxiety, fear, and a sense of dread when the credit card bills come in.

To avoid spending too much this holiday season consider breaking money silence. Money silence is the term I use to describe the societal taboo against talking openly and honestly about money. This silence is especially strong from Thanksgiving to New Years when our consumer-driven culture is in overdrive telling us that if you really love your family you will shower them with store-bought gifts. Take back control by deciding when and how you want to invest your time, energy, and financial resources this year.

One of my favorite holidays was when my family talked about money and agreed to not exchange store-bought gifts. Instead, my father rented a ski condo and my family spent three days over the holidays skiing together. We each picked one secret Santa and bought this person one gift not to exceed $30. I got ski goggles that I wore proudly all season long. What I learned that year was the material goods you receive are not what really matters. The people, experiences, and spirit of the holiday do.

Breaking money silence often leads to spending less and enjoying the people in your life a little more. Why not try it this holiday season and see what happens? You just may end up with more precious memories and more money in the bank in the New Year.

Here are a few tips for breaking money silence this holiday season.

Identify and share your holiday money mindsets.
Everyone has a money mindset that is made up of their automatic thoughts and beliefs about money and its purpose in life. Ask someone you love to share his or her money mindset with you. Use the following questions to get the dialogue started.

  • How much did your family spend on presents when you were growing up?
  • What nonfinancial activities did your family engage in?
  • What family holiday experiences did you enjoy the most and why?
  • How might you honor that tradition this year? 

Take the seasonal money messages challenge.
Challenge your family to identify as many seasonal money messages as they can in twenty-four hours. Look for these messages in advertisements, music, movies, and on social media. Write down the slogans or sayings you notice and then at the end of the day the person with the most money messages wins. Once a winner is declared, discuss how the messages about spending and gifting impact your finances and your emotions during the holidays. What would you like to do differently this year? 

Remember it is the thought (or experience) that counts.
Research shows us that shared experiences have a more positive impact on our psyche than buying stuff. Discuss with your partner, a friend or family how you might do something together instead of buying each other gifts. What would it feel like to not exchange gifts? What would you miss about getting and receiving a gift? What would you not miss? Talk it through then mindfully make a decision about how to celebrate together this year.

How will you break money silence this year? What impact do you think it will have on your spending and shopping behaviors?

What you need to know about student loans.

By | Family and Money | No Comments

Guest post by Ryan Lane, Senior Editor, American Student Assistance

“Should I consolidate my student loans?”

It seemed like a simple question to me. However, my father’s answer was surprising: “I don’t know,” he said.

How could he not know? This was my CPA father—a man who made financial decisions for a major hospital in Boston. Surely, if anyone had sound advice about student loans, it’d be him. And yet, he was as clueless as I was.

It’s not surprising that I would ask a parent for help. According to a 2014 survey, 56 percent of millennials reach out to parents or other family members for financial advice. But where can those family members turn when they lack the necessary answers, as my dad did? Ideally, financial advisors like you.

The challenge is that student loans have intricate borrowing and repayment rules. Borrowers can turn to organizations like the one I work for, the national nonprofit American Student Assistance, for neutral advice. However, parents with children struggling with student loans—or dealing with this debt themselves—may expect more personal insight from their advisers than a website to visit.

That might especially be the case this month. The grace period for many recent graduates expires in November, and that will likely have them asking their parents, “What do I do with my student loans?” Set them up for a productive conversation by sharing the following information.

Lower Payments

Federal student loans come with flexible repayment options that can help borrowers find a payment amount that fits their lives and budget. Most notable are a number of income-driven repayment plans, which share an application and base borrowers’ monthly payments on factors like their family size and salaries. Payments under these plans can be as little as $0—and these lowered amounts could prove especially useful to those just entering the workforce.

Payment Postponements

In addition to lower payments, federal student loans also let borrowers pause repayment temporarily via deferment and forbearance. Unemployed or cash-strapped new graduates often opt for these options, particularly forbearance—which can be enacted with a simple phone call.

Forbearance always increases the amount a borrower owes, though, and deferment time is limited. As a result, borrowers should use these options only when truly necessary. Income-driven repayment is often the smarter bet.

 Repayment Goals

These unique options can play an important role in repaying federal student loans. However, at the end of the day, they’re a debt like any other that borrowers must manage. For financial advisers, that means helping parents and their children figure out how to align these payments with other financial goals.

If a borrower opts to pay less now (via an income-driven plan or postponement option), it could mean paying more overall. Both options can let more interest build up on a loan. If the borrower prefers to get out from this debt faster, you can prioritize that.

In the end, understanding student loans is important, but planning how to repay them is too—and you’re uniquely qualified to help borrowers do so.

What student loan problems have your clients brought to you? Do you feel comfortable offering them solutions?

Ryan Lane is the Senior Editor, at the national nonprofit American Student Assistance. In his role, he oversees the development of articles, infographics, and course materials for the organization’s free education finance support program: Salt. Working with internal and external subject matter experts, Ryan creates content that simplifies the world of college financing and helps families successfully plan for, pay for, and repay higher education expenses. Over the past three years, he has written about student loans as a co-author of the U.S. News & World Report Blog “The Student Loan Ranger.” For more information about Ryan and the ASA, visit

Myth: Women are Financially Dependent

By | Financial Psychology, Women and Wealth | No Comments

In this brief video, I bust the myth that women are financially dependent. Part of my work with financial advisors is to dispel the notion that women are not interested in finance and defer to the men in their lives to make and manage the money. The truth is many women create their own wealth and are the primary decision-makers for many couples.

Women are an economically powerful and growing segment of the client population. Offering to help women engage in healthy financial conversations is a wonderful service that will attract and retain these affluent and powerful consumers. So let go of the idea they all women are financially dependent and start getting curious about the unique client sitting in front of you – regardless of his or her gender.

How do you engage female clients in financial conversations?

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury (KBK) is an expert in financial psychology who is passionate about training financial services professionals on how to effectively communicate with women, couples, and families. Drawing on over two decades of experience in psychology and finance, Kathleen’s keynotes and workshops will inspire, educate, and entertain your audience while offering practical tips and tools that work in the real world. Every talk is customized to meet your organization’s meeting goals and objectives and is highly interactive to keep your audience engaged in the learning process. If you want a fun, engaging and thought-provoking speaker for your event, KBK is the right one for you.

Contact us for more information.

Are millennials more honest about money than their parents?

By | Family and Money, Financial Psychology | No Comments

A new research study by The and Bankrate found that individuals from the millennial generation are breaking money silence when it comes to their salaries. Their research finds that 63% of people 18 to 36 years of age have discussed their compensation with an immediate family member, compared to 41% of baby boomers.

In my opinion, the most significant finding is that 20% of millennials talk about their salaries with coworkers, whereas only 8% of baby boomers report having this type of open and honest dialogue at work. The increase in salary transparency among the younger generation will hold employers more accountable for their compensation practices and can be especially beneficial to women who are looking to close the gender wage gap.

If talking about money makes you cringe, here are three tips to help you break money silence at work and at home.

Tip #1: Examine your money talk mindset. What are your automatic thoughts and feelings about discussing finances at work or at home? What did your parents teach you about money talk? How might these attitudes impact your ability to discuss your compensation with your family, your friends, or your coworkers? By identifying these attitudes and beliefs, you can start to embrace the ones that serve you and let go of the part of your mindset that blocks you from receiving a fair and just salary.

Tip #2: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. A money conversation is not about winning an argument. It is about moving toward mutual understanding. Approach each dialogue with a healthy dose of curiosity, and focus on putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you are at work, this translates into spending time asking your boss questions so you can understand his or her perspective. Find out how you can demonstrate your value to the company and help your boss show upper management how you contribute to the firm. Remember, bosses suffer from money silence too.

Tip #3: Progress, not perfection. Talking about money is not easy. There is a longstanding tradition in our society that says discussing finances with others is rude and unnecessary. If you take the risk to engage in a financial conversation, reward yourself for a job well done. Learn from each interaction, and let go of any need to be perfect in your money conversations. Together, we can make progress toward breaking money silence for good—one money talk at a time.

What do you think about discussing salary at work? Does it make you uncomfortable, or do you believe it is important to be fairly compensated?

You can find more information on the study here.