013: Finding Peace After Significant Loss with Megan Jones

013: Finding Peace After Significant Loss with Megan Jones

It’s one thing to lose your parent, it is another to lose your mom, dad and father-in-law in a span of 2 years, while dealing with your own health challenge. Megan Jones found herself fighting through the fallout of her mom’s dementia diagnosis, and her father’s hidden battle with metastasized lung cancer, the same cancer that would take her father-in-law just a few months later, all while struggling through the war raging within her own body. This was a fight unlike anything she had ever faced in her entire life.

Megan is the founder and president of Jones Advisory Group. She’s a financial advisor in Topeka, Kansas, a prominent public speaker in the Kansas City and Topeka areas, and the host of a weekly television and radio show, Money Matters with Megan.

Today, Megan joins the podcast to share the story of how she navigated this profound loss with the help of a powerful support system, the practical things that made all the difference, and what she sees as the most important financial advice she can give right now.

Overcomer Playlist Recommendation 

Pearls of Wisdom

  • Why the biggest thing for Megan was really being present with her parents.
  • How surviving her mother’s illness showed Megan a love that helped her learn both what she wants and doesn’t want out of life.
  • How to create activities for people going through serious illness, remind them of who you are and how much you love them, and keep them active.
  • Why toilet paper and bottled water are the best gifts you can give when someone passes away.

Tweetables

“Don't spend more than you make.” - Megan Jones Click To Tweet “God gives us hindsight for a reason, so that we can take the things that he has taught us along the way and we can grow from them.” - Megan Jones Click To Tweet Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I'm possible!” - Megan Jones Click To Tweet

 

Resources

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Connect with Arwen Becker

Transcript

[INTERVIEW]

 

Arwen Becker: Back in 2008, I found myself reading books on grief and overcoming major loss. During that time, we were preparing my bonus son, Morgan, who's now my adopted son for the impending loss of his mother to metastasized breast cancer. What I can recall from this book I was reading, A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser, was he was making a statement that loss was not to be compared. Everybody deals with different forms of loss in their life. And it's not about measuring yours against the person standing next to you because it's different. Your hurt and your situation is unique to you.

 

Many of you would hear our story of walking Morgan through the loss of his mom at age 12. And think it's the absolute worst thing that you've ever heard. But when you read Jerry's story of his loss, you would find out that his entire family was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver that killed his mom, his youngest daughter, and his wife, all in one moment.

 

If we start comparing grief or who went through the worst situation, it will appear Jerry had it worst. But as he was saying, there's many forms of loss that he never experienced, like divorce or losing a job, or walking through cancer with someone you love, like what Morgan experienced for upwards of six years of his life before his mom passed away.

 

I can still vividly remember that Sunday night. We had extended family over for dinner. It was about 5:30 pm when we got the phone call that Morgan's mom had passed away. At the time that Randy took the call, Morgan was pushing his two- and four-year-old brothers down our hallway on this Mickey Mouse airplane toy, and they were all laughing and giggling so loud. The house went from this joyful explosion in this family atmosphere to devastation in an instant.

 

And after maybe about 30 minutes or so, I can recall our four-year-old Ashton, he walked into Morgan's room, and Morgan was sitting on the floor with his dad in tears. And Ashton wandered up to him and he sat down in his lap and he said, “Are you hurt?” And Morgan replied through his tears, “Yeah, I am.” And Ashton said, “I'll get you a Band-Aid.” And for a moment, Morgan chuckled, as did all of us because life still continued on. And we all wish that a Band-Aid would just be enough to get us through major pain of loss, but only time and effort does, but we do heal if we believe the joy truly will return.

 

And my guest today walks through losing her parents and father-in-law all within a two-year timespan of each other while battling her own health challenges. She is the epitome of a woman with great faith, one who I have seen it over and over fights to keep spreading joy and life to those around her even in the midst of her own pain. Truly a beacon of hope to those facing major loss under the sound of my voice who feel like the hurt will never end. So, who is this lovely Megan Jones?

 

Well, Megan is the founder and president of Jones Advisory Group. She's a financial advisor in Topeka, Kansas, a prominent public speaker in both Kansas City and Topeka areas, and she hosts a weekly television and radio show, Money Matters with Megan, has for a lot of years. She's also on several boards including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

 

Megan graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's in business administration. She's wicked smart, but she has the best sense of humor too. I'm telling you, this woman rallied about 100 women to introduce me for a keynote by having the crowd do the wave because she knew us from Seattle where the wave originated. So, she is so funny, and I'm so thrilled to have her on the show.

 

She's born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. And Megan lives there with her husband Chris, who is the super awesome guy. She's been married for a lot of years and has two beautiful daughters, Avery and Macy. Family and faith are absolutely number one importance to her and you will hear that when she speaks. My wonderful friend, thank you so much for joining me today.

 

Megan Jones: Oh, Arwen, I adore you. I can't even tell you how excited I was when you asked me to do this. So, thank you for letting me do this with you and come into your world and share some thoughts and share some of my story.

 

Arwen Becker: Well, I appreciate anything you're willing to share, I'm willing to hear. So, before we jump in on a pretty heavy topic, I think back to the first day in which I met you. So, was it a number of years ago, we were in Dallas, and I don't exactly remember where we were, but at this place, there was a karaoke bar that had been set up. Where was it?

 

Megan Jones: Billy’s, yep.

 

Arwen Becker: Okay, so that's where we were. And I saw you get up. You were singing with somebody, I don't remember who, but I was like, “Oh my gosh, I need to know this woman,” because you got up and you slayed whatever song it was. I don't know, was it probably country? Was it a country song?

 

Megan Jones: It was a country song. I don't remember what it was, but I'm sure it was a country song.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, I loved it. You're absolutely fearless. That's what I love about you. So, I know that you brought our listeners a song that they can add to their overcomer playlist, which is actually one that's on mine. So, when you told me it was the one that you had chosen, I'm like, “Oh, good choice, girl.”

 

Megan Jones: I did.

 

Arwen Becker: I'm ready. I'm totally ready.

 

Arwen Becker: Whoo. Yes, you do.

 

Megan Jones: I will just assume that that sounded amazing on your side.

 

Arwen Becker: It was awesome. I love that song because it is so true. And that's the power of words. That's why music is so, it just moves people, but it's the words.

 

Megan Jones: Yes, and I'm so focused on the words in a lot of the songs that… I mean, that's where I get my energy from. And when we go to church, my husband, he's not a big singer, and so, he's not really crazy about the worship part of it. And that's where I really and it fills my cup up when we go in. So, we have three to four songs we sing every Sunday. And if that was the only part I got, I need that part of it. He's fine if we come in a little bit late and miss it all, but I got to have my worship song.

 

Arwen Becker: I'm so there with you. So, well, getting back to the heart of the matter, maybe you can take us back a little bit to the start of this two-year time period. How did it all begin?

 

Megan Jones: Yeah, Arwen, I wish I could time travel. And I could just go back and enjoy more of the time, but we have spent the last two years just going through heartbreak after heartbreak. And everybody has their own heartbreak and everybody reacts to it differently. Back in, gosh, maybe eight years ago, nine years ago, my mom was 65, she was diagnosed with dementia. And for those of you that have had a family member, a loved one, or even know somebody that's gone through it, it's devastating. It's an emotional loss, but it's not a one-time loss, like the loss of a loved one when they pass, it's a consistent loss. And it's over and over and over again. And so, it's your little pieces of them along the way. And so, we went through the process of just trying to figure out what exactly it was. Your brain gets tired after 65 years, and was that more of what it was?

 

We went to doctors, and once we had the diagnosis, we could really see her just struggle for words, struggle for conversation. And you go through denial and you go through thoughts of, why me and all of that. We had a really long process of getting to the point where dad couldn't stay home with her anymore. We now got story after story of finding mom walking down the street in her bathrobe and slippers with the dog bowl. Thank goodness somebody found her and brought her… we lived next door to a fire station and they dropped her off at the fire station. And I get a call at seven o'clock in the morning because the person there knew she was my mom and luckily found my number on Facebook.

 

I mean, it's things that I know people go through. It’s just kind of that process and so, we finally got to the point where we knew we just couldn't keep mom at home anymore with dad. I mean, he was drained. I saw him age, oh, gosh, Arwen, probably seven years and seven months, like it’s emotionally just exhausting and physically exhausting, too, because my mom, days and nights got mixed up, so she'd stay up all night long and then sleep all day. Well, he didn't want to sleep during the day just in case she got up. And it was just this process of trying to figure out what was best for mom. And we ended up having to put her in a facility that had a memory care unit to be able to take care of her. And she only was there for probably about eight, nine months, and then she passed away, and that was in January of 2018.

 

And dad had to deal with that, as we all did, of trying to learn a new normal. And then, within the next year, it was about 18 months later, then we lost my father to lung cancer. And that was devastating. And then, about seven months later, we’ve lost Chris's dad, my husband's father to the same terrible disease. So, we had a very hard… well, within two years and two months, we lost all three of my daughter's grandparents.

 

Everybody goes through it. I'm not alone. I'm not the only person to ever lose their parents. But my walk with it was really difficult because I have three brothers and we're very close to my family. But I was the only girl and I lived close, I actually lived next door to my parents for 15 years. And so, I was the secondary caretaker, and my dad's best friend.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah. I mean, that's something that I know in the industry that both you and I are in as financial advisors. We see so often that women really do bear the majority weight when parents become ill, and standing in that space. And for you, it didn't mean that you had any less responsibility with the business and with clients and with your daughters and everything else going on. But yet, there's something inherently, I think so much about the nurturing part of what it has just been God given to the majority of women is this desire to care for people who are hurt, vulnerable, and yet, the sacrifice of time, energy, money, resources, your income, all that kind of stuff to put a lot of those things on hold or at least strain them quite a bit during that time period is really common.

 

Megan Jones: Yeah. And my dad used me kind of as his partner just during those times because he had something he needed to go through and a problem he needed to fix or a question he had. He couldn't rely on mom to work that out with him because she at that point in time didn't have the capacity to be able to do that. And so, I kind of became my dad's, I was my dad's wife.

 

Megan Jones: I was his person. I was his sounding board and so, we developed a very… we’ve always had been very close, my dad and I, I was his little girl, and we've always had a very special relationship and us living next door while our daughters grew up. But then you look on the outside of that on the other side, and I look back and I think, how did I even make it through that much heartache? You know what I mean? Like, the fact that God let me even get up the next day and not just wither away in a corner. To this day, I don't even know how I continued to get out of bed. I don't even remember some of the time. Does that make sense?

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah. Right. Sure. Yeah, I mean, to be under that much, like you said, physical, emotional, I mean, mental strain, how that causes us to get into this space where it just becomes survival mode. And I think that part of the key that you hit on is the fact you just got up. The next day, you put your feet on the floor and you got up. It didn't mean that you had everything solved, it didn't mean that the situation had changed at all, but you just continued to get up, take another breath. God's grace is sufficient for today, not tomorrow, not next week. Believe that there was going to be the provision that you needed to be able to get through that day.

 

I know that this is the part that a lot of people really struggle with. What was that like as a daughter to have to walk your mom and your dad through that time period of getting your mom to this point where you had to put her into a facility?

 

Megan Jones: Yeah. I say to people, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy because there's not a one-size fits all of what's going to work for your family. With us, there wasn't a lot of money. My parents, they had four kids. My dad was a roofer, my mom was a stay-at-home mom. We made it, but there wasn't retirement assets to pull from. My dad lived on social security and some VA pension from the National Guard, and that was about it. And so, for us, the process of even trying to figure this out, took us down the Medicaid route. I had to not only apply but… you almost need a master's degree in paperwork to get something like this pushed through. And thank goodness that I was able to do that. Now that I'm on the other side of it, and I look back, I've been on that road, I know what Medicaid looks like, I know what taking care of a family member looks like.

 

So, my mom was an escape artist. So, she would just get out of the house and we wouldn't even know she was gone. So, we ended up buying for those childproof-turn things that go on your doorknob. You have to squeeze them to turn it. And of course, she couldn't get out because she didn't know how to work it and then it just ticked her off. The door and then there was a side window next to the door, she starts kicking it and hitting it with her hands. And so, we just knew that she was going to hurt herself. Dad had to go and hide all the knives in the house because he didn't want her to get hurt. It’s random things that we had never experienced it before. I didn't even understand to what level.

 

Arwen Becker: I just have to imagine that that's such a hard moment to come to because I haven't been through that to have to now get to this point where you're having to treat your mother like your child and that reversing of roles and putting somebody in a position where they're aware that they're losing their freedom and it just had to have been so hard.

 

Megan Jones: So, we went to the doctor one day with my mom and my dad and myself, and I thought that my dad had taken away the keys from my mom. This was when it was getting bad enough. So, we were on a vacation, my husband and I, we were in Europe, so we were very far away. I get a call when we're flying home. We fly into Denver and I just grabbed my phone and there's a message from the girls. And my parents had the girls, they were staying with them while we were on our trip. And I remember when I walked in to drop them off, the look on my mom's face was like, “Huh, what are you doing here?” And I'm like, “Mom, Chris and I are going on this trip. We're going to be gone for a week. You guys are watching the kids.” “Oh, okay.” Like, I could tell she didn't remember what was going on.

 

Well, I got this call. I answered, listened to the message, and it was my oldest daughter saying, “Mom, we’re in the hospital. Grandpa broke his back. And you need to get home right away.” Well, what had happened was my father was riding on the lawnmower, there was an angle, he got stuck, he went to go move the lawnmower and hurt his back. Luckily, it was fractured but not completely broken.

 

Anyway, my mom, because of course, she couldn't go in the ambulance with my dad to the hospital, but she had my two daughters with her and proceeded to drive around Topeka for two and a half hours because she couldn’t find the hospital. And so, Avery was calling me from the car because, I mean, she was eight, and just mortified.

 

And that's when I knew things were way more serious than what even I realized. All this had happened and the doctor told her that she couldn't drive anymore. We had to take away her keys. And I mean, you want to talk about a ticked off woman. This woman, she is powerful and she is headstrong and she's a stubborn old bird and I loved her to death, but she’s stubborn. You tell her she can't drive and it was like, it's on. She's not very happy with us.

 

So, that was hard too, and (note to Arwen: Headliner starts here 22:35ish) I know other people that have experienced this with family members, especially with dementia or Alzheimer's, it's not all of a sudden, they've changed, it’s over time, but they go through normally a period where they get very angry. And they get sometimes very nasty or resentful or hateful.

 

She actually called me one day, Arwen. She called me on the phone and she said, “He's trying to kill me.” And I said, “Mama, what are you talking about?” And she said, “This man, this man here, he's trying to kill me.” And of course, I can hear my dad in the background. He's like “Peg.” They were married for 49 years. They had this beautiful love story. Within three months of meeting, they got married, and she passed away in the year that they would have had their 50th wedding anniversary.

 

The love that they shared was just so, I mean, it just bubbled over. So, to see that relationship where she then didn't trust this man, didn't know this man, it's really heartbreaking because she didn't recognize him anymore. And it wasn't as heartbreaking for her because she didn't know the difference. But it was heartbreaking for me and my dad.

 

Arwen Becker: For him, yeah, because that was the love of his life. That was his best friend. That was his companion for nearly 50 years and to have somebody that you've so cherished, that now is looking at you, not only with confusion as to who you are, but then anger towards you and…

 

Megan Jones: Yes. Absolutely.

 

Arwen Becker: How do you then make sense of that?

 

Megan Jones: I don't know. My husband and I've been married for 21 years. We've been together for 24 and I think, I've been with him way longer than before I met him. So, most of my life, I've been with this man and I think if he didn't know me or if he didn't have that same love or trust for me that I know is there, but he didn't know it. How hard would that be for somebody?

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah. Isn't that what the basis of unconditional love is? So, I mean, I can only imagine what your dad went through and getting to that space, but having to every day choose to continue to love somebody that wasn't able to love you back in the same way, had to have just been so hard for him, yet he did it. He loved her through it.

 

Megan Jones: He did. We find ways to end up pushing through when we don't even know how to even think about attacking it or finding ways to even remotely make sense of it. We go through the whole, why me, and I know your listeners, Arwen, are going to be like, I have that, whether it's a family member that is going through this or it's a devastating financial loss or it's a health-related issue, it's “Why me? I'm a good person, I do good, I eat right, I exercise, I do all these things, and there's just no rhyme or reason for it.”

 

But what we can do and what really helped me was I had an incredible support system. My husband was incredible. I have a couple of really close girlfriends that were paramount in helping me not to lose my mind. And I know that we all have our own crosses to bear and things to go through. As I was going through this, I've also had some health issues myself and so that created some additional burden that I just had to kind of walk through it and figure out. It's real easy for women to kind of put everybody first.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

 

Megan Jones: And I'm not going to do this because the kids have soccer practice or they have their dance recital, or my husband has travel for work or whatever it looks like. It's just always putting somebody first and most the time, me taking care of me and putting my health first, well, I don't. We'll put it that way.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah. And women do that all the time. I think sometimes for me, personally, we have this little cabin in the woods, and I make all these excuses as to why I can't get away. It's like, “Oh, well, I don't want to heap that on Randy.” I mean, he's doing work too. And they need to have to take care of the kids. And yet, I'm amazed at how often he'll go, “Why don't you go to the cabin this weekend?” And yet, I'm sitting here thinking everybody needs me. Like, the life I know will fall apart if I'm not involved in every single moment of everybody's life. And it won't, I'm not that important! I have to remind myself that. And yet, that is life. I mean, we're always in this space, which I think, Megan, you do so well and that we're in this space so often where there are hard things going on personally, whether that be for you, I know, physically, you've had. Many times, where we've been on trips together where I haven't seen you most of the time because you just haven't been feeling that great.

 

But when I would see you, I never knew because you don't dwell on that, you still go. You know what? I can be joyful, I can be kind, I don't need to take my feelings or the pressure that I'm under personally and display that onto somebody else. You just are the type of woman who really will look at what do I have that I can give to other people around me and that could be just a beautiful smile, which you do very well. Beautiful smile and just an encouraging word, and a big hug when hugs were appropriate. And we used to be able to give hugs.

 

Megan Jones: Yes. I’m such a touchy-feely, want to hug you, love you, kiss you, smooch you, and it's hard for me. We were talking about this before the podcast that for people like me, very extroverted, very people oriented, this time is really difficult, not being able to communicate in the way that we're used to and to show love and the way that we're used to,

 

Arwen Becker: Right. And so, if you were looking back at that time period, and you did say some of it you can't even really remember how you got through it, but what would you say were some of those big key takeaways, the things that you learned in that process?

 

Megan Jones: Yeah, Arwen, God gives us hindsight for a reason, so that we can take the things that he has taught us along the way and we can grow from them. But then also, I don't think God wants us to not be able to share those things with other people because what I have learned, I'm hoping, as I meet with clients or as I meet with other families that we serve or friends or whomever that they can get through whatever their journey is, wherever they're going through a little bit better, because of some of the things that we learn along the way.

 

My biggest thing was really being present with my parents. And I know, it's easy to say, sometimes not as easy to do and just practice in our lives. It's like looking back now, and my kids are 14 and 16, and my husband and I are dreading the next couple of years because this is all the time we have with them, right? We've pretty much been able to spend all of our time trying to shape and mold and guide and direct and help them create who they are as a person. I don't know that there's that much left of us to be able to do that, but I'm trying to be really present with my kids so that I can enjoy this time.

 

And I think that's one thing that I took away from just everything with my parents, whether it was my mom's situation and just being there with her, my dad when he found out he had cancer. He actually had cancer while my mom was still here and he was taking care of her. We just didn't know it. He, unfortunately, was a lifelong smoker and had developed lung cancer. Well, by the time we found it, it had metastasized to his back. He actually broke his back in three places because the metastasize had weakened his bone and so, he fractured his back and then, when they went in to find everything, he had metastasized all over his brain. And so, it was only about two months from start to finish when he passed, and then kind of the same thing with Chris's father.

 

The month after my dad died, Chris's dad was diagnosed with the same type of small cell lung cancer and the thing about it though, is I was holding… I told myself I wasn't going to get this emotional with you, Arwen, but I was holding each one of their hands when they passed away. And I don't know, other people that can say that, so I was with them, loving them, looking in their eyes, telling him how much I loved him, and that is something that I will always really hold. It's a gift, and I'll hold it.

 

And so, if I could give somebody advice, just be present with those relationships and it's easy to get just caught up in the minutiae of life, right? I mean, I got to do this, I got to do that, I'm going to work late today because I have this big proposal for the morning or a seminar, or whatever it might be in your life that's taking you away from the things that are important. Because guess what? It doesn't matter that the house is not clean. Your friends and family and the people that love you do not care if there are dust bunnies in the corner or the fan looks like it's all fuzzy, like it is what it is. And so, I'm starting to let go a little bit of those type of things and just really trying to focus.

 

The other thing that I think I learned was the opportunity to understand a more complex dynamic between my parents. And I saw a love there that has taught me even more the type of things I want out of life and the type of things I don't want out of life. To see my parents, and my dad be able to love so deeply for my mom and be able to care for her in the way that I saw, that's the type of love I want. I don't want surface stuff. Surface stuff does not fill my cup up.

 

Arwen Becker: Are there any things that you think about during that time period that you wish people would have done for you, for your husband as you're walking through this? Because a lot of times when we, as individuals, see somebody who's hurting or they're going through something that we are unfamiliar with, we're nervous about doing the wrong thing. And so, a lot of us will do nothing.

 

Megan Jones: Yeah. One thing that a friend of mine did for my mom, which I thought was incredibly thoughtful, caring, and really just outside of anything that I would have ever thought, she made a mat, if you will, that was probably about three foot by three foot. And on this mat, very colorful, almost like a quilting pattern, but she put a whole bunch of things on this mat that my mom could do. So, in one little section, there was a button and a little hook, and she could hook the button on and in another section, there was a zipper, and she could zip something. So, as you or at least my mom was going through these different things, you forget how to do things or even why you're doing them, but it's just an activity that she could play. She could sit the mat on her lap and open things and button things and zip things.

 

There was one that had a little hook that she could do and a little eye hook and just things with her hands, that was more like an adult activity mat, if you will. Well, it reminded me of something that you'd have for a baby. But that was one of the best things that we could have done for her because it just kept her busy. Mom was a really big music person. So, we always had music going in her room and we developed a whole bunch of different photo albums that we just sat and looked through to try to remind her of who we were. And my mom had not spoken verbally for probably a good month and a half at the very end, she just was nonverbal.

 

And I broke down one time. I went to go see her and she was sitting in her chair and for whatever reason, I was sitting at her feet, and I leaned up and I grabbed my hands around her waist and I just sobbed just like a baby. And she didn't say anything. She just patted my head. But later, apparently, she says to one of the nurses, “That was my daughter. I'm so proud of her.” And for her to be able to say that when she hadn't spoken for months, they're in there. They're in there.

 

It's that type of thing that, that nurse did, she actually called me at home to tell me that. She didn't have to do that. She could have just let it go, but she knew our relationship and she had seen over the last seven or eight months as my mom was there. And this is the same nurse that when I walked in and we put mom in this facility, that was wonderful, by the way, I said to her, I said, “That's my mama, and I want you to treat her like she's your mama,” and she did. She loved her as her own. So, I think, in those situations, when you're going through loss, a lending ear is something that you always appreciate.

 

The food is nice when somebody passes away. Actually, one of my girlfriends brought over toilet paper and bottled water when my mom passed, and you would have thought that that was… I mean, that was the best thing anybody could have ever given us because you’re rarely leaving the house and you run out of toilet paper.

 

Arwen Becker: Totally makes sense. I never thought about that.

 

Megan Jones: And she said, when my grandmother died, everybody went to my mom's house and we ran out of toilet paper. And my mom said to me, “Anytime you ever have a friend, don't take them food, take them toilet paper.” And she did that.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, my goodness. And do you see why? It totally makes sense. See?

 

Arwen Becker: And bottled water. Everybody needs a little bit of water. Was there anything on the opposite side that was just not that helpful? I mean, anything that comes to mind?

 

Megan Jones: What I would say the only advice for things not to do is don't not call, don't not show up, even if you don't know what to say. I did have a very good girlfriend that after mom passed, she came to the funeral and she did the thing, but there was no check in, there was no… for the next six to eight months, I don't think there was really any communication about how are you doing. So, just checking in with us because we’re like community. Women just need that interaction. You take anything away, just make sure and check in with your people and bring toilet paper.

 

Arwen Becker: I think that's really important because I think a lot of people, they don't check in because they're afraid they're going to say the wrong thing. And so, they avoid it. And a lot of times, people just don't know what to say or they think, well, I'm going to give you some space, there's a lot going on and then, we start making excuses instead of really truly just asking, “You know, I was just thinking of swinging by for 15 minutes to check on you” or “Are you okay if I just come by real quick,” or it doesn't have to be long or pick up the phone or something like that. And just know, “Hey, I love you.” And you don't have to say a lot of words, just give me like you said, a big hug and hold me for a moment.

 

Megan Jones: Amen. Yes, that’s it. I don't need gifts. I don't need other things. My love language, if you will, is just touchy-feely, hold me, and listen to me.

 

Arwen Becker:  Yep, exactly. Well, so as we kind of wrap up, this is my rapid fire three questions that you get. All right. So, you're of course in the same industry that I'm in, so you might have something just magnificent, I've never heard it before, but the best piece of financial wisdom that you've been given, and then a favorite book and why, and then a favorite quote.

 

Megan Jones: Okay. So, financial wisdom, this is going to be a showstopper. Are you ready for it?

 

Arwen Becker: I am so ready.

 

Megan Jones: Here we go. Don't spend more than you make. What? Now, I know that sounds crazy. But when you look back and just the nature of the people that we work with and the nature of the world as far as Baby Boomers and Millennials, and whatever Generation X, whatever you are, people are just trying to get there or have what their parents have when they're so young. And I'm like, just save, which I know sounds crazy, but just stop putting everything on a credit card and spending more than you have, just be a good steward of the money that is placed in your life because it's really not ours anyway. So, I think just being a good steward.

 

Arwen Becker: It's never the sexy answer, right? You know what I'm saying?

 

Megan Jones: That was not even sexy. Major let down.

 

Arwen Becker: But that’s not what gets you there. Yeah, exactly. It's much more sexy to get a jeep and put it on credit and feel really cool for a moment, but when you can't pay for it, and then they’re repossessing it, not so sexy anymore.

 

Megan Jones:  Exactly. Definitely not something you want to post on your Instagram.

 

Arwen Becker: No, not. What’s a good book that you've read recently, or just in history, that's just like, this is the book?

 

Megan Jones: Okay, so I have read this book probably four times. It's The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. And I've read a lot of his different books, I think that one for me, always brings me back to home base, if you will. So, we get all crazy with all these different things in our lives that are happening, and it's just a way for me to refocus. And it's like anything, Arwen. We all know we need to eat right, we need to exercise, we need to put energy into the relationships that are important, but then we get in our lives, and guess what? The cheeseburger looks real darn good, right?

 

Arwen Becker: Sure does.

 

Megan Jones: And so, even though, we all know what we should do, we have coaches, we have a nutritionist, we have people that, yeah, a trainer for our bodies. And so that, for me is just a way to get back in line, reminding myself of what's really important in my life and my relationships with not only the people that I love, but with my Savior. So, that's important.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah, definitely. And then, what's a great quote? What's something you love to live by? I know you got something good.

 

Megan Jones: So, this is kind of the mantra that I live by, and it's from Audrey Hepburn. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I'm possible!” Right? Let it sink it for a minute.

 

Arwen Becker: Say it again. Say it again.

 

Megan Jones: Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I'm possible!”

 

Arwen Becker: I have never heard that one. I love it.

 

Megan Jones: Yeah. I think I saw this one probably, I think it was maybe three or four years ago, we had this big push within our industry and some of the groups that were in to, to come up with kind of our statement like, “What's your mantra for the year that you're going to live by?” And that one was mine at the time because I'm like, you know what, all these naysayers are people that try to push you down and say that this is an impossible thing for you to do, that's not going to work for me. And I'm not going to set a ceiling. My own limits are within my own mind. And we're just going to say that every single thing is possible. I'm possible.

 

Arwen Becker: I'm possible. Oh my gosh, I absolutely love that. Love, love, love, love that. So, how could people get a hold of you, if they want to check you out, see what's going on?

 

Megan Jones: You can go to moneymatterswithmegan.com. That's our website. And if you go there, you can listen to our radio shows, you can watch our TV segments. It's all really focused on financial planning as far as your retirement and investments. But from a personal standpoint, they can actually go there and just get in contact with us. I mean, there might be somebody listening that thinks I really need to just talk with her about my struggles and the things that I am currently going through. And I'm an open book like you are, Arwen. I'm more than ready, willing and able to talk with anybody that needs me.

 

Arwen Becker: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you so much. And you know what, honestly, for any of you that are listening, to be able to plug into some of the radio program and the shows that Megan has done, are going to help you lay the foundation that sets forth everything else because she experienced what was going on with her family. And now, having to do Medicaid and what is this all look like and the financial drain that goes into caring for somebody when they go into long-term care facility or something like that, and why can't I think of the word? Memory care. Thank you. Memory care. So, all those pieces, it's amazing how quickly our financial picture can go sideways.

 

And so, it all starts early, I mean, it really does. It's getting the foundations, not about the sexy things like we're talking about. It's about savings and having an emergency fund and making sure that you're preparing for the long term and educating, especially women. For you and I, it's just a really big piece of it because we meet with so many widowed or divorced women who are looking at their finances and going, I don't understand a lot of this stuff. Somebody else kind of handled this for me. So, making sure that we are setting the foundation, so not only you could be cared for, but more importantly, that the generations coming after can have the education that they need to be successful along the way, too. So really, really important.

 

Megan Jones: Thank you. And I'm sure you've probably seen it too. I mean, women and some of my clients would give you not only the clothes off their back, but they're going to take it from somebody else to give it to their babies and their grandbabies because that's how much they care about their family. And there's nothing wrong with doing that as long as it's not to the detriment of the things that they need to do.

 

Arwen Becker: That's exactly true. Exactly true. No doubt about it. Yep. Women will give and give and give and often to their own detriment.

 

Megan Jones: And then some more.

 

Arwen Becker: Yep, exactly. And like you said, they'll take it from the lady next to them to get it done..

 

Megan Jones: Arwen, I love you.

 

Arwen Becker: Oh, I love you. Thank you so much. You were such a blessing to me. You're such a blessing to the world around you. I know that you have continued to serve the community that you're in, in such a great way and everybody benefits from it because you have people who are feeling cared for and feeling supported. And yet, you do what a lot of people see as a very boring type of, finance, a lot of people hear that. They're like, “Oh, finance.”  But you do it in such a fun way. That's what makes you awesome to work with. And so, you're just a great friend of mine.

 

Megan Jones: I'm like, “I'm a nerd.” I'm that girl that really likes all this stuff, but I really like people too, so it's kind of a good marriage of the two.

 

Arwen Becker: And you're sweet at karaoke. So, I mean, it's all good.

 

Arwen Becker: Well, thank you so much, my dear. It's been such a pleasure.

 

Megan Jones: You’re welcome.

 

[END]

 

 

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