Financial Crossroads Podcast

Work and life involve more than making and spending money. But personal finances and values can impact career and lifestyle transitions. In this podcast series, hosted by Rand Spero, hear from people who have effectively navigated their own crossroads. What proved unexpected and what worked for them? The goal is to inspire by sharing guests’ sense of adventure and their willingness to grow.

9: Musical Marvel, 7/13/22

My guest Thomas Stumpf is a musical marvel.  He is on the faculty of Tufts University and has previously held academic positions at Boston University and the New England Conservatory.  Thomas has composed and recorded a wide range of classical pieces both as a solo performer and as a frequent collaborator with musicians around the world.

But in his forties, Thomas reached a personal crossroad when he decided to move away from an ivory tower college position to engage as a full-time music director for an church with an extraordinary musical tradition.  After 2 decades of engaging that community with inspiring musical leadership, Thomas again faced a crossroad by moving beyond his comfort level to expand his musical reach.

8: Later Life Fulfillment, 6/2/2022

These days we are hearing a lot about disgruntled people as they reach retirement age. But what about those who find a new calling?  These people continue to work past their retirement to follow their own curiosity and interest.

Phyllis Paster had a successful health care management career in the Boston area for over 25 years before she felt burned out and took an early retirement. But soon she got reenergized and developed satisfying encore careers. Phyllis started her own business “It’s About Time” which provides professional organizing services primarily to seniors. She loves bringing order to her clients’ lives. She also offers a genealogy service where she helps her clients explore their family roots and stories. Unlike the recent “resignation generation”, Phyllis has no plans to stop working.

7: Multi-Dimensional Role Model, 12/2/21

Dr. Luis De Leon teaches evolutionary biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is married with young twin girls. His own personal growth involves an inspiring story. Born in rural Panama without running water in his house, he followed his passion for science to become the first in his family to attend college at the University of Panama. Then he ventured far from home to earn a doctorate in evolutionary biology from McGill University in Montreal. Overcoming the numerous cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers in a foreign city proved challenging. Today Professor De Leon instructs and mentors diverse students in an urban environment, and provides fortunate young scholars with a “life changing” experience doing field work in Panama and the Galapagos Islands. Serving as a role model for American and Latin American students, he offers an important and necessary dimension in contemporary education.

6: Follow Your Passion, 10/29/21

Losing a high-level software development job during the 2009 recession can be devastating. Having the courage to explore your hobbies can lead to new opportunities. Following his love of grilling and food, Ivan Basch works as a “food rescuer” as the Chief Procurement Officer for Lex Eat Together, and is a board member of the non-for-profit Food Link, which rescues surplus fresh food and delivers it to community organizations.

Ivan is also a life-time Boston Red Sox fan, and a year-round tour guide for Fenway Park in Boston. Prior to following these passions, Ivan worked as the Director of Program Management for the software firm MathWorks, where he was responsible for software development and project management.

5: Elevating Careers, 10/14/21

Imagine having a full-time, high-level career and simultaneously developing a successful executive coaching practice. Joe Kwon is a global privacy attorney for the accounting firm KPMG. He is also the Connection Counselor. In this role, Joe helps busy professionals elevate their careers by teaching them how to connect to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. He is author of “Unlock your Executive Presence: Feel Like a Boss”; creator of the course “Executive Presence and the Diversity Dilemma”; and hosts a daily podcast “Executive Presence Morsels”. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Virginia, a law degree from Georgetown, and lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

4: Scale to New Heights, 9/20/21

Anwell Tsai is a self-described introvert and relentless optimist. He is a professionally trained violinist with degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Instead of following a traditional musical career, Anwell created an innovative, hands-on program for preschoolers. His company, Playful Tunes, inspired over 100,000 kids to love music. More recently, he followed a different path and founded the training company Brantio. Using software, online tools, and workshops, his company helps shy executives in biotech and pharma to better promote their ideas.

3: A Russian Immigrant’s Journey to Find a Home, 9/17/20

Irina Morrison studied and worked on three continents. She faced career and financial challenges that would have overwhelmed most people. Listen to her inspiring story.

2: Smooth Transitions to Encore Career, 9/3/20

Kevin Dorr, a successful direct sales manager, saw the need for a late career transition. Then years later, he was unexpectedly forced to face a second career transition at an age many people retire. Hear how Kevin makes decisive moves at times when other people might get stuck in an uncomfortable situation.

1: Spring Cleaning, 8/18/20

An owner of a dry cleaning business shares his pandemic responses.

Can a small business owner, Todd Feigenbaum, of a 103 year old family dry cleaning chain handle another pandemic (the first pandemic hit them in 1918)? For many customer contact businesses, all the established rules of business interactions have changed. How did he adapt and plan for the future?