Nic Nielsen, CFP®, Father of Three Helps Others Plan for Their Future

ABOUT NICK NIELSEN, CFP®

We are pleased to share the money memories of Nic Nielsen, CFP®, financial planner and owner and operator of “Know My Plan!” In addition to planning, he offers investments and securities through LPL Financial.

Nic and his wife live Jessi in Waxhaw, North Carolina with their 3 kids – ages 2, 4, and 6. Nic notes that he is adopted. He and his wife have done the same. They adopted their children from South Korea.

For fun, Nic enjoys playing baseball. He has his whole life and played in college while attending the University of Saint Francis.

SUNDAY DINNER

Team Sammy: Share with us a little bit about growing up – your family and community.

Nic Nielsen: I grew up in Southern Indiana in a farming community. I was very close with my family. I have wonderful parents. My grandparents lived near by and we would have Sunday dinner with them just about every week.

SAVING WITH MY PARENTS

Team Sammy: Share with us your first money memories.

Nic: I remember negotiating a “matching” savings program with my parents. I grew up and learned to earn money early. I would umpire games at local baseball fields. I would also prepare the fields before the games. I would rake the diamonds, chalk them, etc. So, if I saved some of my earnings, my parents would also make a matching contribution to my savings.

I was an “all star” saver. About the only thing I would spend money on was baseball and basketball cards. Other than the bank, that was where my savings went.

DEVELOPING A THICK SKIN

Team Sammy: What was your first job?

Nic: My first informal job was as a baseball umpire. It helped me grow “thick skin” – a lot of thick skin. My first job out of college was at Fifth Third bank, in a small town in Indiana. The branch manager said they did not have any good jobs at the time but to give them a chance. They would help me out. I worked as a teller for 11 dollars and 54 cents per hour. I loved being a teller in the drive thru. It was my favorite thing.

OPEN DISCUSSION ABOUT MONEY

Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and teach you about money/personal finance? What do you remember? What, if anything stuck?

Nic: Growing up talking about money with my family wasn’t a taboo topic. Both of my parents were teachers. We talked about money, but not a great deal. I just assumed we were wealthy because I had everything I needed.

I do remember my parents never having a mortgage. They always saved up and made a point to pay cash.

Here is something I have always remembered. My dad had built several homes. The second home he built, he and my mom were a little short of cash to finish the house. So, they borrowed money against my mom’s old Honda Civic to get enough cash to finish out the home. My mom and dad are now 70 and 75. They have never had a mortgage.

BASEBALL AND BASKETBALL CARDS

Team Sammy: At what age and how did you come to realize money had value?

Nic: I learned money had value at a young age. I was around 8 years old. It started when I really got into collecting baseball and basketball cards. Collecting cards also taught me the value of buying and selling things. That is part of what attracted me to the stock market.

EDUCATION WAS A FOCUS

Team Sammy: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?

Nic: I did work in college as an umpire. I did that all through high school and college. I did not do that during the school year. My parents wanted me to focus just on school and baseball.

SAVE FOR YOURSELF

Team Sammy: One question, I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?

Nic: I would say pay yourself first. Always save for yourself first and then live on the rest. If faith is important to you and you want to tithe, tithe first, save second, and then live on the balance.

THREE GLASS JARS

Team Sammy: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?

Nic: Yes! Depending on the child, I think anywhere from 5 to 8 is a great time to start.

We have already started teaching my 6 year old about money. We give him a weekly allowance. He has three glass jars he has to put money into. One is for spending. One is for saving. And, one is for giving.

He gets 5 dollars. One dollar goes into each of the save and give jars. He is left with 3 to spend at his discretion and leisure. If we go to Target he might spend it on a Hot Wheel or a Lego. It is a start in his understanding the financial consequences of his money choices.

PERSONAL FINANCE TAUGHT AT HOME

Team Sammy: Should personal finance be taught in schools?

Nic: Should it be taught in schools? Probably. It should be taught at home. I’m not sure we necessarily need to put the pressure of teaching all those things on the school system. It does need to be taught whether it is at school, at home, or in the church. As a society we owe it to our kids to make sure they are prepared for the world they enter.

THOUGHTS FROM MIKE ON A FEW PERSONAL FINANCE TOPICS 

STUDENT DEBT

Nic: I was lucky enough I didn’t have any. My wife had a lot. Her parents weren’t able to help her. I always advise parents to put their retirement planning first and college planning second. You can always borrow for college, but you can’t borrow for retirement. Sometimes student debt isn’t avoidable. But there are things that can be done to keep it as minimal as possible. Go after scholarships; work part time jobs; attend state universities. Young people should do whatever they can during that phase of life to keep students to the minimum amount possible.

CREDIT CARDS

Nic: Managing credit cards takeS an unbelievable amount of discipline. I personally use credit cards and pay them off every month. I am aware of the studies that say people spend less by not using credit cards. I one hundred percent believe it!

FAVORITE QUOTE & MONEY QUOTE

Nic: My favorite quote: “Luck is the loser’s excuse for the winner’s position.”

My favorite money quote: “It’s not what you make, but what you keep that counts.”

FINANCIAL HEROES

Nic: I really like Rot McMurray. He is a financial advisor for financial advisors. He does a wonderful job and a great foundation to help my clients.

FAVORITE MONEY MAGAZINES, WEBSITES, RESOURCES

Nic: Kiplinger.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NIC NIELSEN

To discover more about Nic Nielsen visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/knowmyplan/

Sammy Rabbit loves championing and raising awareness on the importance of early age, youth and family financial literacy education.

One of his favorite methods to raise awareness is to share the stories of people and enterprises who want to make a difference in the lives of others, like Nic Nielsen, CFP®!

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