Capital Investment Advisors

#175 – A Monopoly on Financial Literacy with Adam Carroll: Part 1

Imagine playing Monopoly with actual money. Adam Carroll put $10,000 cash on the board and made his kids roll the dice. He wanted them to learn money’s true value before entering the real world. From virtual tokens to Apple Pay to mom and dad’s wallet, kids aren’t often exposed to the concept that there is a literal price to pay for the goods and services we need and desire. On today’s episode, he’ll explain that and his methodology for paying college tuition without incurring massive debt.

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  • Wes Moss [00:00:00]:Imagine you’re playing a game of Monopoly, but instead of play money, you’re using real dollars with ten grand in cash on the board. Well, Adam Carroll did just that to see how his kids played the game when the stakes were real. Something very foreign to most children in the world we live in is the value of money. Because of the prevalence of digital money, virtual tokens, Apple Pay, and Adam shares, how he prepared his kids for money in the real world, and his methodology when it comes to paying for college again in real dollars without being saddled with massive debt. Adam’s Ted Talk on teaching the Value of money has already racked up over 6 million views. And we get to talk with him today right here on Retire Sooner. I’m Wes Moss. The prevailing thought in America is that you’ll never have enough money and it’s almost impossible to retire early. Actually, I think the opposite is true. For more than 20 years, I’ve been researching, studying, and advising American families, including those who started late, on how to retire sooner and happiest. So my mission with the Retire Sooner podcast is to help a million people retire earlier while enjoying the adventure along the way. I’d love for you to be one of them. Let’s get started. Adam Carroll. What’s up, man? It’s so good to see you. So, Adam, I think I wanted to start with this is embarrassing for me to talk about a little bit, but I think it’s happened to a lot of parents. And I know you speak about it, you’ve written about it, but it’s maybe a much bigger problem than that people give credit towards, which is this thought around. And I have four boys, so I have a little bit of an excuse. And they’re all my oldest is 16, I have a seven year old. So if you think about video games over the last five or six years, I’ve been dealing with this for a long time.

    Adam Carrol [00:02:09]:


    Wes Moss [00:02:10]:

    And the thought around these multi hundred billion dollar companies and trillion dollar companies in some cases so I’m not naming any names, but you can figure out what companies I’m talking about. They didn’t get that way just because they didn’t stumble their way to a trillion.

    Adam Carrol [00:02:26]:


    Wes Moss [00:02:26]:

    They’re really smart.

    Adam Carrol [00:02:28]:


    Wes Moss [00:02:28]:

    And I have gotten hit, I think, like a lot of parents. And you probably know these numbers better than I do with this almost this I think of it as almost like I feel like it’s a money cyclone. What these video games do because every and the punchline is that I’ve had a couple of months where we’ve gotten hit with several thousand dollars and we didn’t even know about it. And it just feels like the biggest waste because my kids have just gotten sucked into these video games and I’ve gotten sucked into allowing to have a credit card because they’re so good. It’s like, well, they can’t even play if you don’t have a credit card ready to go, right? But I can’t be there every second. And then bing, bing, bing, bing, bing. Money’s not real. Next thing, virtual coins, whatever. And next thing you know, I’ve known families that have gotten hit for the way I look at it, for over ten grand in a month, right? It’s embarrassing. So I think that’s part of the reason I wanted to I’m so frustrated with that as a parent. I wanted to maybe talk with you about that right out of the gate.

    Adam Carrol [00:03:42]:

    Yeah, I hear you. And I think that part of the difference, certainly, that we did with our kids, anyway. They each have their own credit card. We got them a credit card when they were 14 or 15, and it required that we go into the bank with them and sign over documents. And it’s not normal. It’s not common for a teenager to get one. But as you know from going in the wayback machine, the TEDx Talk that I did years ago at the London Business School was all about when money isn’t real. The $10,000 experiment. And for too many young people today whose parents do graciously provide a credit card for them because they can’t play if they don’t have one, the kids are like, oh, cool. Well, this must be an endless supply of money, and the money isn’t real for them. It’s just coins or it’s tokens or it’s cards or it’s whatever they’re buying, and we don’t even think about it.

    Wes Moss [00:04:41]:

    By the way, I love your tell the story about the money in the ATM machine versus the ATM machine in Grand Theft Auto.

    Adam Carrol [00:04:50]:

    Oh, my gosh. So I’m sitting on a plane next to 216 year olds, and I thought I’d drop some knowledge bombs on them about how they could make six figures in a mowing business. And I just met an 18 year old kid who had done this, and I was super impressed by him. And they were like, man. And I said, 100 grand doesn’t excite you at 19 or 20. And they’re like, Well, I have $500,000 in my ATM machine. And I was like, come again? How does that and one goes in Grand Theft Auto, we’ve got, like, half a million in our ATM machine. And I’m like, this just proves my point. It’s not real. What you’re experiencing around money or what you think money is, isn’t real.

    Wes Moss [00:05:34]:

    And for the audience members that don’t know what Adam’s talking about, grand Theft Auto is, again, an ultra popular video game. And it’s an amazing game. I mean, it’s a terrible thing you can do in the game. Basically, you go around stealing cars and killing people, right. To get terrible for our youth, actually, because I’ve seen my kids play this, which, again, terrible parent. I remember asking Jake, I was like, do you think that this makes you more of a hooligan in life? Because you’re running around shooting up other cars and running people, right? And it’s so vivid. The technology is so good. It’s so vivid. And I said, do you think this makes kids like you even worse or do more worse bad things? And he goes, Actually, it makes me even more careful not to get in fights because I’m so scared of the cops.

    Adam Carrol [00:06:36]:

    Oh, interesting.

    Wes Moss [00:06:37]:

    Because Grand Theft Auto, you are getting chased the whole time.

    Adam Carrol [00:06:41]:

    Yeah, right.

    Wes Moss [00:06:43]:

    So it’s made him even more fearful of the police. So God willing, that actually help. Maybe he doesn’t get in any fights in his life.

    Adam Carrol [00:06:49]:

    Hopefully there’s a benefit to Grand Theft Auto. There you go.

    Wes Moss [00:06:53]:

    But the point here is that millions, tens of millions of kids play this, one of the most popular games in the history of the world. And one of them is Realistic ATM machine. You’ve got a half a million bucks in it.

    Adam Carrol [00:07:09]:

    Yeah, what it does too is it just sends the wrong message or meaning behind the message of like, oh, this is easy. Here’s what I have. It’s half a million dollars. Therefore I can afford the Lamborghini or the whatever car they’re driving in the show. I was doing a podcast earlier, Wes, and someone said, well, what’s the message you want to leave? And I said, I give this to college students all the time, or did when I was on the college circuit. That you can have everything you want in life. You can everything. You just can’t have it when you’re 22 and there’ll be people who want to sell it to you when you’re 22 and you’ll be paying for it when you’re 32 and 42 and 52 and 62.

    Wes Moss [00:07:53]:

    So you say this. The kids are raised in a world where money is no longer real. It’s actually an illusion, but has very real world consequences. And if you watch Adams, if you’re listening and you watch go find his Ted Talk, you’ll hear this amazing story around and maybe just briefly tell the Monopoly I had.

    Adam Carrol [00:08:19]:

    The way it kind of started, Wes, was I had been delivering talks on college campuses, had a particularly busy season, and I was finding out from these students that most of them, when asked, how much will you have in student loan debt? Their answer was, I don’t know. And I would say, well, how much does it cost to get into the dining center? Don’t really know. It was all just very sort of up in the air about all of it. And I went home and I watched my children play Monopoly. And the money that they were using, of course today it’s just tattered and torn and been in sweaty little hands and things like that. But the money was irrelevant to them. They just wanted to roll the dice and move the pieces. And they were doing things just slightly out of the ordinary, like buying each other out of jail. I didn’t know that was a thing. Loaning each other money to buy properties. And I was like, hey, I love how kind and socialistic you’re being to each other here, but this is not the point of the game, and it’s why it’s taking 6 hours to play. So I just started wondering, what if the money were real? Would they play differently? Because tangibly when you’re holding money and there’s been some research behind this, if you had a 50 or $100 bill and you’re handing that over at a restaurant or a store, a pain sensor goes off in your brain because you’re losing that money. But if you hit one click ship on Amazon or you order something in Grand Theft Auto or Roblox or wherever, then you have a pleasure sensor that goes off in your brain because it’s like, oh, look what I just got. Or I’m in positive anticipation of getting something. So I added up how much it would take to play Monopoly with cash. It was about ten grand for five of us. And then I went to the credit union that Friday and I was like, I need $9,990 in these denominations of bills.

    Wes Moss [00:10:07]:

    Just give me the Monopoly set. Can you imagine at the ATM when it asks you, what kind of bills would you like?

    Adam Carrol [00:10:12]:


    Wes Moss [00:10:12]:

    Make it the monopoly. Make it the Monopoly denomination.

    Adam Carrol [00:10:16]:

    I had, like, taken a photo of the Monopoly board, the instructions of who gets what or how many bills you need. And then I went into the teller and I was like, I need these bills, and just put it in front of them. And of course, there’s three tellers immediately around the window, like, what are you doing with this money?

    Wes Moss [00:10:33]:

    Yeah, are you being hijacked? Are you okay? What did you tell them? Do you say, oh, I’m buying a car. Do you say, I’m recreating Monopoly in real life?

    Adam Carrol [00:10:42]:

    The first thing I said, Wes, I’m going to the casino. I’ll be back in 30 minutes. Don’t worry about it. And then they were all like, oh, no, what really are you doing? And I said, I have this theory that my kids will play Monopoly differently if we use cash. And then they all wanted to know.

    Wes Moss [00:10:57]:

    What the results were, and so do our listeners. I know was your middle son that won.

    Adam Carrol [00:11:03]:

    Middle son that won. Wes very strategic kid. He always buys all the railroads, all the utilities, creates monopolies there. And then he typically buys a boardwalk and park place, and then he’ll lever up on those with houses and hotels. But this time he bought Oriental and Baltic Avenue right off the bat and just hoteled it to the extreme. I said, well, what’s the deal here, bud? Why are you buying these properties? And he said, dad, they’re just more affordable. Which I loved because he was like eight at the time. And I’m going, he’s getting it. This is amazing.

    Wes Moss [00:11:38]:

    So by the way. And then at that particular experiment, what ultimately did he end up with? At the end of the game?

    Adam Carrol [00:11:47]:

    He had, I believe it was 17 properties, which he had taken from all of us. He had $6,800 in cash in his hand. And jokingly, I say he now knows the meaning of the phrase making it rain, because he ended up doing that to his siblings. But my other two, the lessons learned there, my one son buys everything that he lands on, with no exception.

    Wes Moss [00:12:13]:

    Again, with fake money.

    Adam Carrol [00:12:15]:

    With fake money, Wes. And then when he had money in his hand, he became very conservative. Very, very conservative. My daughter, who never bought properties, saw her brothers getting cash flow and was like, oh, wait a minute. I want to play this game where I get some of this money back. And in the end, the big lesson for all of us, Wes, was that when the money is real, we treat it differently, and that when the kids have their own money, they are far more conservative than they are with our money. So we could go into Dairy Queen or Dunkin Donuts or, you know, a restaurant somewhere, and they’d say, Can I have this and this, dad, can I get this? But when it’s their money, they’re like, hey, do you want to split a Powerade? Do you want to share? I mean, literally, my son would go in and order two or three things at Dairy Queen, and now he’s like, I’ll have a Dilly bar.

    Wes Moss [00:13:08]:

    Wait, I don’t know. What’s a Dilly bar, by the way?

    Adam Carrol [00:13:10]:

    Yeah, just a little chocolate, like ice cream dipped in chocolate, but it’s the cheapest thing on the menu.

    Wes Moss [00:13:17]:

    Is your cash working for you? For years, banks have gotten away with paying next to nothing for the privilege of holding your money. Today, investors have more options as the Federal Reserve has raised and raised and raised interest rates dramatically. Why not take advantage of it? If you’re interested in finding a higher yielding solution for the safety allocation of your investment portfolio, reach out to my That’s Y-O-U So where are these kids now? I mean, they are now teenagers, right?

    Adam Carrol [00:13:55]:

    I have a 20 year old in college, an 18 year old. This is my son who won. We just dropped him off two days ago at a state school. And then my youngest is 16, who I think today is outmaking his weekly $150 mowing lawns.

    Wes Moss [00:14:13]:

    So at least he listened to you.

    Adam Carrol [00:14:15]:

    He did.

    Wes Moss [00:14:15]:

    You could do six figures in a landscaping business, which is a great segue to talk about college and the price of college. Let’s go back to this thought around physical cash versus credit card, easy spending versus a wristband, where it’s even easier. So maybe explain speaking of the fluidity of money or making it, companies are smart about making it easy to spend. The difference between cash versus a credit card versus now a wristband. How much, quote, easier is it?

    Adam Carrol [00:14:49]:

    So much easier. I mean, think about the evolution.

    Wes Moss [00:14:53]:


    Adam Carrol [00:14:53]:

    The evolution of this was when I, Wes, a teenager or even younger, and I would go to the grocery store with my parents. They would write a check. They would physically write a check at the grocery store. And I remember them saying, could we get your Social Security number? We have to write that on the check. And they would do that to the extent that I memorized my parents’Social Security number. Wes I know both of them by heart. Strange thing to know, but I know them both. Then we get further down the road and PayPal is introduced, and it’s monumental. Down the road even further.

    Wes Moss [00:15:31]:


    Adam Carrol [00:15:32]:

    Google, Pay, you know, venmo, all of that. But even today, if you’re using a credit card, whereas before you had to swipe it or you had to put it in the machine and it would read it, today we’re tapping the card, too. And even that is less friction than I’m going to insert it in the machine, and I see it doing its thing when I tap it. I would believe a psychological phenomenon of seeing, green light, green light, green light, green light. I’m good to go. Right?

    Wes Moss [00:16:00]:

    So true. They don’t make it a red light. It’s not red, and it’s a very pleasant sound.

    Adam Carrol [00:16:05]:

    It is.

    Wes Moss [00:16:06]:

    And particularly on the eye, I will say the iPhone, when you do the iPhone touch, it’s such a wonderful ding.

    Adam Carrol [00:16:12]:

    I know.

    Wes Moss [00:16:13]:

    It’s almost as though money’s come into your account.

    Adam Carrol [00:16:15]:

    Totally. And that’s, I guarantee you, there was psychological study behind that about how do we make this so it’s not oppressive. Like, even Disney World, when they went to the magic bands, they said, there are no red lights in Disney. There are only blue lights and green lights.

    Wes Moss [00:16:31]:

    Of course there’s not. Yeah, of course there’s not. All right, so the only answer, one of the answers here, and I still have little kids, and I did ultimately get a green light card so that I was able to limit the amount sure. After getting burned after a couple of months of overspending on video games. So that was helpful. And I will say that one of the stories I think I’ve told here. If you’ve heard this story, I’ll make it quick, but my son won $100 in a golf bet, and it was a far out golf bet. It was kind of like, oh, I’ll give you $100 if you hit that bird that’s 200 yards away, you hit the alligator in the head. Right, right. And he did. It happened to be a tree. This is when he was younger, he could barely even hit the ball, but he happened to hit it 150 yards straight into the middle of a tree, and he won $100, and then he saved the $100. He was so excited about it in a special hiding place. We were in a rental house up in Michigan, and he hit it so well that he forgot it when we left. We get halfway home, and at a gas station, he goes, I got this. They’re getting Twizzlers and Dilly bars, and he’s tapping his pockets. He’s like, oh, my God, I left my hundred dollars. Can we go back? I’m like, Jake, we’re 6 hours into the trip. Your $100 is gone. And he cried, and he said, I was so sad that I lost that money. And I said, Are you more sad, Jake, than you were happy when you won the money? Because he was jumping up and down. He goes, I’m way more sad. Way more sad than I was happy. Again, I think we all know that. But that was my real life. It was so stark. And this is like a little kid at the time, I think he was like, nine. So even at nine, it was so painful to lose the $100 because it was physical cash.

    Adam Carrol [00:18:30]:


    Wes Moss [00:18:30]:

    Maybe it made it more pronounced. But your advice to parents, what should they be doing for these kids to learn? I know they already have their own credit cards, but what else?

    Adam Carrol [00:18:43]:

    So you started to go down the path of college costs and all that. From the time they were, I don’t know, eight or nine years old, I would quiz them from time to time at the dinner table. How much do you think it Moss to go to USC? How much do you think it costs to go to Notre Dame? How much do you think it costs to go to blah, blah, blah? And I would just have them guess. I would pull up random schools, and I would just say, hey, cost of attendance for this school, what do you think it is? And what I wanted them to do wes to put actual numbers to my dream school is Pepperdine, because they have their own beach. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Pepperdine and then go, yeah, it’s $82,000 a year, or whatever it is. I don’t know what it is if it’s that, but it’s a lot. And I wanted them to get real concrete numbers on it because I think what most parents do is they’ll say, well, we’ll figure it out. What’s your dream school? Where do you want to go? And there’s never any actuality behind the dream. So a kid hears, yeah, if Notre Dame is your dream, let’s go to Notre Dame. But the reality of that situation could be you will graduate with $200,000 in student loans, and your life will not be the same for the next 15 or 20 years as you try and pay it off.

    Wes Moss [00:19:57]:

    Yeah, I think, Adam, there’s so much more gravity to it than we give it credit for, because you’re right. It’s kind of, oh, let’s dream about your best school, and then you talk about essentially an 18 year old takes on what is essentially a mortgage.

    Adam Carrol [00:20:15]:

    A mortgage? Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:20:17]:

    Right. With no income.

    Adam Carrol [00:20:19]:

    With no income and no context of what it takes to pay that off. I mean, for them, they’ve been living in an environment for four years that has no consequence.

    Wes Moss [00:20:28]:

    Okay, so is college worth it and or really at what level is college worth it from a payment perspective, in your opinion?

    Adam Carrol [00:20:38]:

    Yeah, this is a very thank you for putting that in my opinion, because I want to say this may not be one size fits all advice, but I always told my kids, listen, I want you to graduate debt free because graduating debt free just gives you a massive leg up in society. Once you’re done, you can afford a home, you can afford a car, you can do the things you want to do, and we will do our utmost to help you with that. But some of this hinges on you finding a school that you like that also is not crazy high expensive relative to what you’ll make leaving or what either is put away in 529 money you can get scholarships for or your grandparents may help contribute to. So I think that idea of how much is too much is you should never borrow more than what your first year’s salary is going to be. So if you’re going to be an engineer and you can make 60 or 65 grand a year starting out, then maybe go to Purdue and get a great engineering degree and come out with that amount of money, you can swing it. But this is what I’ve seen time and time again is if you’re going in for a liberal arts degree and it’s French literature as an example. I’ve heard a number of times, and I don’t know about you, but there are no French literature factories in Des Moines, Iowa. They closed a long time ago.

    Wes Moss [00:22:03]:

    It’s hard to we’ve outsourced that’s. All those factories are in Asia now.

    Adam Carrol [00:22:08]:

    They’re in Asia? Yeah. The French lit. Made in China. So those kind of majors, I feel like there wes a bit of a flight of fancy of I love this and I want to study it, but there’s no actuality to. Yeah, but you’re taking on 80 grand in loans because your parents didn’t really talk to you about money and you didn’t plan ahead. And that’s where my heart breaks for some of the stories that I hear of millennials today and gen Z that are coming out going, how do I make it? Inflation is crazy. Real estate’s gone up. So to the parents listening, one of the piece of advice I would give is your children need money in hand. They need cash, and I would provide that to them in whatever means you have available. So if they have to do chores or there’s some work around the house they’re doing to get it, I think there needs to be something not just, hey, you’re alive, here’s your $20 kind of thing. My kids needed, they were going to clean toilets and they’re going to empty the dishwasher and do the laundry and fold clothes with us and all that. And if they didn’t do it, they didn’t get the money. So it was predicated on them doing the chores. And then the second half of that is and now things are on you. The things that you want, those are on you. I’ll provide what you need. But if you want to buy a Lego kit at Target and it’s $40 and you only have 20, sorry, I’m not a bank. I’m not loaning you that money. That’s instant gratification. So that conversation might look like, well, how many more weeks do you need to save until you get to 40? And if you did that, would you be happy with having this Lego kit that you put together once and then set on a shelf? Let’s talk about that. And so what we found with our kids from eight to eleven or twelve, all the way through 14 or 15, when they stopped getting an allowance, this was kind of critical, is that we were having conversations with them around, well, how does that feel and what is it you want to buy? And do you have other things in mind that you want to buy? Because what they would get is the money they had was finite. It was limited. And so the difference is, I’ve talked to a number of parents who are sending their 18 year olds off to college, and they’re like, yeah, I gave them a credit card to cover any incidentals or emergencies. I’m like, well, that could be an emergency pizza party, just FYI, yeah, that could be rounds of drinks at the bar.

    Wes Moss [00:24:40]:

    So what is your agreement now with you’ve got an 18 year old just going you said a state school?

    Adam Carrol [00:24:48]:


    Wes Moss [00:24:48]:

    Are you saying, look, I’m going to give you a little bit per month and then the rest is on you? I guess you’re probably using your same rule of thumb, no more than a first year salary when it comes to the debt you’re going to take on, but about what are you doing for a monthly living expense?

    Adam Carrol [00:25:07]:

    Yeah, great question. From a college cost perspective, we had put away, in rough raw numbers here, we had put away like 1012, $15,000, when by the time they were probably five or six. Okay.

    Wes Moss [00:25:21]:

    Per child.

    Adam Carrol [00:25:22]:

    Per child. And that ended up a lot. That ended up becoming 35 or 40 grand over those years, and that’s enough for two and in some cases three years at these state universities. My dad and mom had also put away $10,000 by the time they were ten. So that became another 30,000. So we said, listen, if you can get out bachelor’s and Master’s if you want, within this 60 to 70 grand range, you’re free and clear. You can do what you want. From a monthly perspective, I want to say that my wife is putting $100 a month in their accounts for incidentals, which would be what we would spend on groceries for them at home, if they were at home. So it didn’t really feel like anything extra. But they work part time. One of the caveats for them in going to school was that they have an MBA before they ever leave for school. And the MBA stood for a massive bank account.

    Wes Moss [00:26:22]:

    They each had several thousand going into pre college.

    Adam Carrol [00:26:26]:

    7500 was our benchmark. That was the watermark.

    Wes Moss [00:26:29]:

    That’s a lot. It’s doable, but it’s a lot.

    Adam Carrol [00:26:31]:

    Yeah. Interestingly. Wes in the process of teaching them what we taught them, it wasn’t this insurmountable number, because by the time they were nine, they had to have $500 in an emergency fund. That was one of our rules.

    Wes Moss [00:26:46]:


    Adam Carrol [00:26:47]:

    And the reason we did that is you’ve probably seen the CNN Money study. About 64% of the American public couldn’t come up with $500 cash in the event of an emergency. That 500 became 1000 because they were like, wow, can I get to 1000? I already have 500. And then 1000 became 2000, and then 2000 became 4000. And then they had graduation funds and that so they were really good about saving and investing all the way along. But I think part of that was because we had taught them delayed gratification, and my wife is just uber frugal.

    Wes Moss [00:27:26]:

    So your wife is more frugal than you?

    Adam Carrol [00:27:28]:

    Oh, she is, yeah. She’s way frugal. And I’m not. I mean, I I love steak dinners and nice bottles of wine, and I take great lavish vacations with the FAM, but I try and do it in a way that’s measured and intentional. I’ll spend money on that. I won’t spend money on other things, like, I drive a seven year old car that has low mileage, but I’m okay with that. I don’t care.

    Wes Moss [00:27:55]:

    So much of this is about communication, and as a parent, I remember before I got to let’s call it a similar mindset as you have today around. I love having these money conversations with our kids, and I still get a little bit of a so. My wife is I don’t know if it’s because she’s Midwestern. There’s a little bit more of a still to this day. Even though I’m very open about talking about money with the boys and they’re still young, she still almost has this I can’t believe you’re talking about this to our kids. Look. Almost a little bit of an ire you know, what is she’s very private, and I’m in the financial world, so it’s totally normal for me to constantly be talking to anybody about money and what’s your income and, oh, what did you pay for that, and how much was your house and how much do you have debt? Do you have just totally. Normal conversation, so I’m pretty fluid with it. But I would imagine if Lynn still has that a little bit of a privacy bias, like, oh, there’s still little kids, I guess is that part of the problem we have in America is that it’s almost like a little bit taboo, I think, money with kids.

    Adam Carrol [00:29:17]:

    Yeah, it’s definitely still there. You had Ted Klontz on your and, you know, fascinating guys talking about money scripts and the psychology of money and all. You know, one of the things that I think we could tie in from that show, that episode, is that your wife probably had some experience as a kid where she asked a question of someone like, oh, are you guys rich? Or could be anything, and it was immediately clapped down by a parent. We don’t ask questions like that. We don’t talk about money. That’s rude. And it could be a subconscious thing that’s just like it bubbles up. We just don’t talk about it. So I think some of it is scripting. I think by and large, most parents aren’t talking to their kids about money because they themselves either, a don’t know much about it, or B, they’re embarrassed by their own situation and don’t want to reveal that to their children.

    Wes Moss [00:30:13]:

    How about the gap between and you’re a parent, you’ve got kids and you’ve taken them on nice vacations. I’ve done the same and I’ve taken them out. Know, we’ve got a hole in one plan that’s never happened in the house, but if there’s a hole in one in golf, they get to know one of them wants to go to Howes, which is a great steak place in Atlanta. So it’s like they love like, whoa, can we go to a steak dinner? So they love that, right?

    Adam Carrol [00:30:40]:


    Wes Moss [00:30:41]:

    The question, though, is this gap around what it takes to be able to make a certain amount of money that I think maybe worries me more than anything. Let’s say we can solve the equation around understanding the value of money and being relatively frugal and being mindful. But then what I think is like a grand canyon, and maybe this is just normal life as we grow up, between what it actually takes to be able to make $100,000 a year, or what does it take to make enough money to be able to go on the kind of vacation that adam took his family on? Or is that just the same regular life we’ve got to go through and we wander through that? Because I think that’s a really hard gap to fulfill. What is the process to be able to get to be at that level from an income perspective?

    Adam Carrol [00:31:41]:

    Yeah, this is actually one of the concerns I have looking downstream at some of the generations coming, I suppose you could say, is that what it retire to make the kind of money that it requires to live maybe the lifestyle that they’re accustomed to or that they’re seeing on Instagram or TikTok every day. That level of effort is more than what some young people are willing to put forward and that may be just part of growing up and what it takes to mature. And maybe every generation says the one behind it is lazy to some extent, but I think the difference too between our generation and I’m Gen X. I assume you’re somewhere in Gen Xer.

    Wes Moss [00:32:28]:

    I’m a Gen Xer. Yeah.

    Adam Carrol [00:32:29]:

    Is that we didn’t see a lot of people making six and seven figures on social media.

    Wes Moss [00:32:36]:

    Yeah, we didn’t.

    Adam Carrol [00:32:37]:

    And these young people are seeing it. When you look at the I can’t remember the name of the channel, but the kid who opens stuff on toy opening on YouTube, that kid was one of the highest paid YouTubers in the last two years. He made like $20 million. When my kids see that there is a little bit different perspective about what it requires. And I think one distinction that I make with them is we talk about if you want to make X amount of money, it’s about creating value. And if you create enough value in the system, then you’ll be paid commensurately. But if you don’t create value, then you won’t. And so I talk about that with my boys. One works at a pizza shop and the other one mowing lawns. And I’m like value. Looks like at the pizza place, smiling at everyone, calling them by name because you’re going to glance at their name on their credit card. It might look like wiping the table down or bringing refills with drinks as rapidly as possible and just being of incredible service. That’s value. And so I’m trying to teach them those little things along the way of if you want to be better financially and do better financially, just add value more and more, pursue mastery, add more value every step of the way and.

    Wes Moss [00:33:56]:

    We’Ve got to get them working. And that’s the other thing. Maybe it’s harder and harder. I feel like our grandparents were working at ten and then our parents were working at twelve and I was working at 1314. And now the world makes it a little harder to really be working at a younger age, right. And there’s just a delayed I had this wonderful boomerang. It’s a scary boomerang. I was in Pennsylvania for a lacrosse tournament this summer with my kids and Wes happened to the town of the tournament happened to be pretty close to where I had grown up. And we went out to there was like, well, here’s where we’re going to lunch and I end up at this place I want to say I’m trying to remember it’s called the Family Dog. I can’t remember what it was actually called, but it had changed names and it was actually the one restaurant that I had worked at when I was also working construction. I think it was my freshman year in college, and I didn’t work there very long, but I do remember getting a note. It was the very first day I ever worked as a server, and I had a table of eight, and I got a note at the end that said, you’re the worst waiter we’ve ever had ever.

    Adam Carrol [00:35:16]:

    Oh, no.

    Wes Moss [00:35:17]:

    Zero tip. And I remember my heart kind of sunk a little bit when I drove to the park. I’m like, oh, this is where I worked, and I was the worst server of all time. So anyway, I think it’s just the reality of working.

    Adam Carrol [00:35:31]:

    It is.

    Wes Moss [00:35:32]:

    It’s just the reality of going through the pain, and it’s hard.

    Adam Carrol [00:35:35]:

    It totally is. And the other thing I would say about that is that what I’m trying to do with my kids. And I think my dad sort of did it with me, but maybe not at the same level, is this idea that it takes two generations to create a Rockefeller type fortune, and you’re either generation one or you’re generation two. I wasn’t really fortunate enough to be generation two, but I’d like to be generation one, and I’d like my kids to be raised in a world where they understand money enough that even in their teens and 20s, they are far more savvy than the average 40 or 50 year old. And so back to your point about talking to your kids about money. How do we raise kids to be savvy around money if we’re not talking about it? So we share everything. I mean, I talk about income and what I made on a gig and how much we made on the books and the documentary, and they know all those numbers. And I would say my wife probably at the same level as yours is like, are you sure you want to share all this?

    Wes Moss [00:36:37]:

    So you’re really totally transparent.

    Adam Carrol [00:36:39]:


    Wes Moss [00:36:41]:

    I think that it’s hard for a lot of people to be that way, but I really do think it’s the right thing. I remember my dad telling me vivid to me when he made $100,000 a.

    Adam Carrol [00:36:54]:

    Year yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:36:57]:

    I don’t know how old I was, but maybe nine, maybe 1011. I can’t remember. But he had bought a veterinary practice, and he had this kind of long toil and then he was like, oh. And I remember that. And I think it was I don’t know. I don’t know what it taught me, but I do remember it, and it made me think about income and earning, and really, that actually may have helped my entrepreneurial journey, because my dad did it. He was a vet. He was a veterinarian, but he did have his own. I remember when he bought it and how big of a deal it was.

    Adam Carrol [00:37:28]:


    Wes Moss [00:37:29]:

    And then I remember when it started to go kind of well, it’s long. It was a 40 year journey.

    Adam Carrol [00:37:35]:


    Wes Moss [00:37:35]:

    But I think it’s a big part of why his kids all ended up all four of his kids. My siblings are pretty entrepreneurial.

    Adam Carrol [00:37:44]:

    All entrepreneurial.

    Wes Moss [00:37:45]:

    Awesome. Adam Carroll thank you so much, man, for being here. I’ve really been looking forward to chatting, and this certainly did not disappoint. I think our listeners are going to love it, and there’s a lot of really good takeaways here that it’s new information to people and a new perspective. So thank you so much for spending the time today, ma’am.

    Adam Carrol [00:38:06]:

    It’s a pleasure, Wes. Always.

    Mallory Boggs [00:38:09]:

    Hey, y’all, this is Mallory with the Retire Sooner team. Please be sure to rate and subscribe to this podcast and share it with a friend. If you have any questions, you can find that’s You can also follow us on Instagram and YouTube. You’ll find us under the handle Retire Sooner podcast. And now for our show’s. Disclosure this information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no guaranteed offer that investment return, yield or performance will be achieved. Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, due to factors affecting individual companies, particular industries or sectors, or general market conditions. For stocks paying dividends, dividends are not guaranteed and can increase, decrease, or be eliminated without notice. Fixed income securities involve interest rate, credit inflation and reinvestment risks and possible loss of principal. As interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities falls. Past performance is not indicative of future results when considering any investment vehicle. This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Investment decisions should not be based solely on information contained here. This information is not intended to and should not form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment tax, estate or financial planning considerations or decisions. The information contained here is strictly an opinion and it is not known whether strategies will be successful. The views and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only as of the date of production and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors such as market and other conditions.

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