Episode 57

Published on:

12th May 2023

057: Mike Piper - Turning Enough into More than Enough

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Mike Piper is a CPA from St. Louis, MO, and is the author of many finance and tax-related books. He’s quoted regularly as a Tax and Social Security expert in publications such as The Wall Street Journal , AARP , Forbes , and Morningstar , among others. He’s also the creator of the blog, ObliviousInvestor.com, where he shows his readers that investing doesn’t have to be complicated.

Today, Mike joins the show to talk about his financial journey, how fear, anxiety and mental health impact our financial decisions, and the concept of having ‘more than enough.

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Key Takeaways

00:56 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Mike Piper, who joins the show to share early financial lessons his mother imparted on him, and how he started writing about finance and taxes

12:11 – Mike speaks to his experience publishing over thirteen books and refreshing new editions

14:18 – How writing has impacted Mike’s thinking

15:57 – The genesis of Mike’s blog, Oblivious Investor

17:23 – Taking on clients for Tax and Social Security advice

18:37 – The inspiration behind Mike’s latest book, More Than Enough

21:05 – Fear, anxiety, and mental health

26:49 – Feedback Mike has gotten from his book

30:07 – Conservative assumptions in the financial planning process

32:53 – What Mike would change about the tax code if given the ability

36:24 – The audience Mike wished to reach when he wrote More Than Enough

38:33 – Blocking out the noise in finance

42:27 – One piece of financial advice to heed and one thing to completely ignore

45:45 – The last thing Mike changed his mind about and what he would do if he only had 24 hours to live

48:31 – Jonathan thanks Mike for joining the show today and lets listeners know where to connect with him

Tweetable Quotes

“It was basically an accidental business. Within a handful of months, I was getting emails from people who read the book saying, ‘This was really useful. I wish you would write a book about this other topic.’ So I did and then people bought that book. And in a little less than a year, it was pretty clear that I could just quit my job as an accountant and do that instead.” (11:07) (Mike)

“These days I would not suggest somebody go into publishing as a career because the Amazon ecosystem has changed in ways that are not favorable to writers and publishers, frankly. Of course, even back when I started, I just got lucky in terms of it becoming enough to make a living from. So even when it was a more favorable set of circumstances, it still took a lot of good luck for it to turn into a business that paid well.” (13:02) (Mike)

“I kept working with people who had a lot of anxiety about their financial circumstances. Writer Bill Bernstein says, ‘If you’ve won the game, stop playing.’ And the reality was that these were people who had clearly ‘won the game.’ Their level of spending relative to their Social Security income and the size of their portfolio is such that they’re absolutely not going to run out of money. And yet, in some cases they were still really focused on anxiety feelings regarding their money.” (19:21) (Mike)

“I haven’t gotten any negative jabs yet. I kinda expected some for exactly that reason. You’re helping the people who least need help. And, frankly, that’s a fair characterization. But, even if they’re people who least need help, they still need help with some topics, right?” (27:13) (Mike)

“That’s another message that I wanted to try to get across here. Even if you don’t feel like you have more than enough right now, it’s just the natural way that things go. Enough turns into more than enough. That’s usually how it works out.” (32:05) (Mike)

“That’s my general method of operation when writing books. Taxes are complicated. Any normal human being is not gonna fully grasp and retain the information the first time through. So, here’s how it works in detail. And then, let’s just summarize the key points as succinctly as I can. That’s my general way of doing things.” (38:04) (Mike)

Guest Resources

Mike’s Blog

Mike’s Book

Mike’s Email

Mike’s Twitter

Podcasts Mentioned:

Huberman Lab

Books Mentioned:

The Economics of Inequality

Mindful Money Resources

Monthly Coaching Membership: https://courses.mindful.money/mindful-money-membership

Website - https://mindful.money/

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About the Podcast

Mindful Money
Do you struggle with money? You’re not alone.
Money is a means, not an end. It’s a necessity of life for sure, but more money does not always guarantee a “good life”. Money enables many aspects of modern life, but as a dominant consideration it becomes destructive. 
The paradox is that more time and energy spent on personal finance does NOT create better outcomes. Unlike many other parts of life, we can’t create better outcomes by being smarter, spending more time, or putting in more effort.
Join Mindful Money author and experienced 40-year investor Jonathan DeYoe as he shares stories from artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and other advisors about how they mindfully minimize their need to think about money and get more out of life.
If you aren’t happy with your finances, feel like money takes more time that it should, or want to place your financial decisions into the broader context of your life, this show is for you. 
Each episode will draw the line between the “enough” activities that the academics tell us are additive to family outcomes, and those “little bit more” efforts that take time and sap energy, but do NOT improve outcomes.

About your host

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Jonathan DeYoe

Jonathan DeYoe is a best-selling author, speaker, financial advisor and angel investor. He is a husband, father and a practicing Buddhist. His simple underlying message brings a welcomed sense of order to financial chaos and restores a calm center to your financial life.