Category Archives: Financial

The Top Retirement Traps To Avoid (Ep. 74)

The dream of retirement has probably been sitting in the back of your mind for years. You have an idea of what you want it to look like. You’ve saved for it. You’ve talked to financial professionals. And all of that is great… but have you done any research and planning about how to avoid common retirement mistakes? In this episode of The Green Zone Podcast, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith share a list of items you may want to consider in order to avoid these “retirement traps” and help ensure you are able to live out your dream retirement. Together, they discuss:

  • Why managing your own money, instead of relying on professionals, may not be strategic
  • The need for a mix of both conservative and growth-focused investment assets
  • Mistakes to avoid when considering when to take Social Security
  • How to think about implementing a distribution strategy to help you meet your Social Security benefit goals
  • The types of retirement scams they’re seeing out there
  • And more!

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The Pros & Cons of Investing in Cash for the Long-Term (Ep. 73)

When you think about long-term investments, you probably focus on stocks, bonds, real estate, funds, and the like. But what about cash? In this episode of The Green Zone Podcast, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith cover some of the key considerations you should be making if you’re pondering the pros and cons of long-term investments in cash. Together, they discuss:

  • The reason some folks are prioritizing cash funds in their investment strategy
  • Why you must pause to evaluate your near-term and long-term goals and needs
  • How to think about a 60/40 principle with regards to your portfolio
  • The pros and cons of CDs (and what a “ladder strategy” is)
  • Taking the equity risk premium into account
  • And more!

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What You Need To Know About The New Bull Market (Ep. 72)

A new bull market is underway, but potential recession, heavy inflation, increasing interest rates, war and more are casting dark shadows. You may be more confused than ever about what is going on in the markets and economy and if you feel that way, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this episode of The Green Zone Podcast, host Jeff Green discusses:

  • What’s going on in the U.S. economy and markets
  • Why we’re in what’s considered a “skinny Bull market”
  • Which industries are leading the way
  • And more!

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Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Financial Advisor (Ep. 71)

Your financial advisor is someone you need to trust. Someone who you know has your best interests front and center. Green Zone Podcast hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith want you to find the best advisor for you and your unique financial situation. In this episode, they share some of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when vetting financial advisors and highlight a few best practices for your own search and interview process. Together they discuss:

  • The difference between Fee Based and Fee Only Financial Advisors
  • What types of backgrounds to look for in a Financial Advisor such as college degrees or other certifications
  • Why you may want to consider a Financial Advisor that has a certification such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
  • How to strategically consider the underlying costs of your investments, your returns, and your fees to find the right mix for you
  • Why financial and retirement planning is like a Rubik’s Cube
  • Ways to ensure you are getting a holistic financial and retirement plan
  • Why it’s strategic to choose a specific advisor as a person over a firm or brand name
  • And more!

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Travel Hacks You Need This Summer (Ep. 70)

Are you gearing up to travel or take a vacation in the near future? If so, you might want to brush up on a few hacks to ensure a smooth and stress-free trip. In this episode of The Green Zone Podcast, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith share their top tips for traveling that will help save you time, money and frustration – and of course, travel in style. Together they discuss:

  • Leveraging TSA PreCheck and Clear at airports
  • How to check how long airport security lines will be prior to leaving your house
  • Using Apple Air Tags to track your luggage
  • The best times to book air travel at the lowest prices
  • How to find a house or pet sitter
  • Being strategic about credit cards that give you travel points
  • And more!


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Financial Advice For My Younger Self (Ep. 69)

Do you ever think about what your life might have been like if you knew then what you know now? So many life choices might have been different when you look at things in hindsight – and that includes financial decisions. In this episode of The Green Zone Podcasts, hosts Jeff Green and Lauren Smith candidly share the financial advice they would tell their younger selves if they could. Together, they discuss how to:

  • Start saving more at a younger age by “paying yourself first”
  • Leverage credit cards wisely (and be cautious with exactly what you’re signing up for)
  • Understand what goes into your Credit Score
  • Leverage credit card and travel “points” and cashback rewards
  • Invest in your 401k and take advantage of employer contributions
  • Develop a strategy around purchasing your company’s stock
  • Establish your financial independence from a young age
  • And more!

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Why Financial Planning for Women is Different (Ep. 68)

Financial planning is not the same for everyone, and those differences are particularly distinct between men and women. Interestingly, according to Raymond James, more than 51% of the personal wealth in this country is controlled by women – and that number is growing. But women often feel less comfortable with their financial independence and even face financial challenges their male counterparts do not. In this episode, Jeff Green and Lauren Smith bring to light some of the unique considerations women may want to take into account for their financial and retirement planning, including:

  • Women tend to live longer than men, which may impact when they take Social Security
  • Women tend to earn less in their careers over their lifetime, which needs to be factored into financial and retirement plans
  • Women tend to be the primary caregivers of children and other family members, which can impact the types of financial decisions they need to make
  • Women who are widowed or go through a divorce have unique, specific needs that should be addressed quickly within a window of time
  • How working with a financial advisor versed in the unique needs of women, like Lauren Smith, can be incredibly beneficial for tailoring financial planning for women
  • And more…

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SheSpace: A Community for Bold, Ambitious Woman (Ep. 67)

March is Women’s History Month, a time when we commemorate the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women. And those big accomplishments have to start somewhere… perhaps it’s at SheSpace, a women’s co-working space and community located in Houston, Texas. Jeff Green and Lauren Smith recently sat down with Stephanie Tsuru, Co-Founder of SheSpace, to learn more about the humble beginnings and big plans for the women of SheSpace. In this conversation, they discuss:

  • Why SheSpace felt like a need in the Houston community
  • Why women need a dedicated place to learn, study, connect and flourish
  • How the co-founders got started – and the ways they’ve pivoted as they’ve grown
  • The ways in which SheSpace serves the women of Houston, including multiple levels of membership options
  • The intentional build out process for constructing the right atmosphere for the building and how they continue to evolve to meet the needs of their members
  • And more!

About Our Guest: Stephanie Tsuru, Co-Founder of SheSpace

Stephanie Tsuru comes from a long line of female trailblazers. Her grandmother, widowed at 55, remained on the family farm in northern Missouri to successfully run the operation through blizzards and droughts. This woman even had the audacity to wear pants! She raised Stephanie’s mother, a small-town farm girl, who at the age of 22, left rural America with her new husband and flew 24 hours to live in Marrakesh, Morocco. Her parents’ wanderlust lifestyle worked out nicely for Stephanie, who was later born on the outskirts of Paris. After working her way through college in a steel mill (hard hat and steel-toed boots included) she piled her belongings into her bluebird-colored car that she purchased with her steel mill earnings and drove 1,300 miles away. (No radio or phone but lots of singing.)

As her 60th birthday approached, Stephanie decided she had the energy, passion and commitment to see another adventure through. In homage to her mother and grandmother and to leave a legacy for her daughters, granddaughters and the deep pool of women in Houston, she decided the time was right for her to launch her first entrepreneurial venture, SheSpace.

Stephanie’s mantra believes in the power of SHE. We will provide a home away from home to build a community of bold, intrepid and fearless women. We will push and lift each other to create, learn, inspire, and grow to be better tomorrow than we are today.

Connect with SheSpace:

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Note: Raymond James is not affiliated with nor does it endorse the services of SheSpace.

What You Can Do In The Face Of Inflation (Ep. 66)

Inflation is here and it’s no joke. Prices are going up. Returns in the market seem to be going down. And it can be confusing to know how to set yourself up for success. In this episode of The Green Zone Podcast, Jeff Green and Lauren Smith discuss what’s going on with inflation and how each of us as individuals may want to consider approaching our finances during this time. Together they discuss:

  • Why do we have inflation?
  • The silent effects of inflation
  • What types of assets increase in cost and value during inflationary times
  • Strategies for the “average Joe” to approach financial management during a recessionary time
  • And more!

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What You Need To Know About The Secure Act 2.0 (Ep. 65)

Do you understand how the changes to the Secure Act will affect you? Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to read the 4,155-page document to find out. Instead, Jeff Green and Lauren Smith will discuss some of the key takeaways of the Secure Act 2.0 and how it may impact you in this episode of The Green Zone Podcast. Together they discuss:

  • What the Secure Act is and who it applies to
  • The updated age for RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) and how to be strategic about taking yours
  • How RMD penalties have been reduced
  • The way increased catch-up provisions can benefit you
  • Why you may want to consider a larger charitable donation this year
  • And more!


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Please Note: While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. RMD’s are generally subject to federal income tax and may be subject to state taxes. Consult your tax advisor to assess your situation. Opinions expressed those of the Jeff Green and Lauren Smith and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.