Financial Autonomy, Safeguarding Assets in Toxic Relationships & Ethical Considerations for Achieving FI w/ Jannese Torres

Episode Number: 372

Episode 372: Financial Autonomy, Safeguarding Assets in Toxic Relationships & Ethical Considerations for Achieving FI w/ Jannese Torres

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Financial Autonomy, Safeguarding Assets In Toxic Relationships & Ethical Considerations For Achieving FI W/ Jannese Torres

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Jannese Torres, Latina money educator, and author of the new book Financially Lit, joins us on the Journey to Launch Podcast to talk to us about her success in entrepreneurship and reaching her financial independence goals. 

Jannese highlights the significance of financial autonomy and safeguarding assets in unhealthy relationships. She shares with us her own experience with postnuptial agreements, the benefits of maintaining separate finances, why we need to normalize discussions on prenups and toxic relationships & much more.  

In this episode we discuss: 

  • The financial implications of divorce, including the potential loss of assets and the need for a prenup or postnup 
  • Jannese’s personal experience with buying a house, highlighting the importance of aligning financial decisions with personal values.
  • The issue of wealthy outsiders taking advantage of Puerto Rico’s tax breaks while native Puerto Ricans are left behind.
  • The importance of uncovering internalized money stories and recognizing emotions that may be triggering financial fears and beliefs. 
  • & much more!


  • 0:00-12:01: Jannese reflects on her own experience with divorce, discussing the financial implications and the significance of having a postnuptial agreement. 
  • 12:01-17:41: Recognizing unhealthy dynamics and the importance of having a supportive network during challenging transitions.
  • 17:41-20:15: Jannese’s experiences with homeownership, highlighting the shift from a transactional mindset to values-based spending.
  • 20:15-28:54: The complex dynamics of moving to places like Puerto Rico for tax benefits and the ethical considerations involved.
  • 30:44- 35:40- The concept of privilege within wealth accumulation, advocating for transparency and recognition of the support received and the responsibility to uplift future generations. 
  • 35:40- 39:19: The importance of addressing money trauma and uncovering internalized money stories to understand one’s mindset about wealth.
  • 39:19-42:45: Jannese shares she feels content with her current lifestyle, which allows her to work on projects she’s passionate about, have the flexibility to travel, and define her own schedule. 

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Hey, hey, hey journeyers Welcome back to the journey to launch podcast today in the rocket seat. I have Jannese Torres she has been on the podcast before actually should have looked up your episode number two, please. We will link that in the episode show notes. But I'm really excited to have Denise on because she is an award winning Latina money expert. She became an accidental entrepreneur after losing her job. But she has created a successful Latin food bog delicious delights. And now she's helping her clients and community build online businesses that allow them to pursue financial independence and freedom. She's on a mission to educate marginalized communities on topics like entrepreneurship, investing and financial independence. And her new book, financially lit is coming out it probably we'll be out the same week this comes out. And I'm so excited for her to be on the show to be back on the show to talk about everything that's happened since she's been on which has been a lot. And so Denise, welcome back. Welcome back.

Jannese Torres 2:36

Thank you Jamila for having me. It's so good to be back.

Jamila Souffrant 2:38

I think I said this in your original interview, you know, I just love your realness. Even before you got your book deal, or before we talk about what's happened in your life, just like in the beginning of your journey, sharing and being really bold with your thoughts about being an independent woman and creating a business. And by the way, her episode that she's been on before it was episode 212. But I want to hear a little bit of your backstory. So we don't have to go all the way in that because they can go back and listen to the original episode. But just really like that two minute elevator spiel of where you came from and what you're doing now. Absolutely.

Jannese Torres 3:17

So this was not part of the plan. I like to tell people that I was not planning to be a personal finance podcaster. And now an author. Money was something that intimidated me, as a first gen kid. Latina, my parents didn't teach me anything about money other than the importance of working hard to get it. So I got the prescription of success from them, which was go to school, get a degree, get a job, hopefully they have a pension and you work there, you don't change jobs. You just work there for 45 years, and you retire. And I found myself in my late 20s feeling like I had been lied to that this was not the recipe to success. And that began my entire personal finance journey where I discovered the fire movement, I discovered entrepreneurship. And I discovered kind of an alternate life that I could have if I just decided to go the path less traveled. And it started a whole cascade effect, which has led me here to this point that I have now written a money book. Yes,

Jamila Souffrant 4:16

that will be out. But so when you are first on the podcast, I remember talking you were married. I believe you're still married. And let's just start there. Yeah,

Jannese Torres 4:26

so I again, I was kind of doing all the things that we're supposed to do in life. And that went alongside with my personal life. So I married my college boyfriend. We bought a house like we were doing all the things that like you're supposed to do. And I actually ended up selling that house because I realized I don't want to be a homeowner. It's just not fit for my personality. And I ended up getting a divorce because I realized that that marriage was absolutely toxic. And it's funny because so many of these really important life decisions that were asked to make we're being asked to make them very young before we even decide or even understand, like who we are as people, right? Like, there's this pressure to get married and find your person and buy the house and do all these things like, because if you haven't done them by 30, you're somehow like, a complete failure at life. And now, you know, approaching 40, I'm realizing, we are not equipped to be making decisions like taking on $100,000 of student loans at 18. And deciding what we want to do for the rest of our lives and who we should we should want to be with, there's just so many things that I realized we need to put into question. And so getting married was one of those things that I didn't really put a lot of thought into, is this person going to be a good partner for life? It's just like, No, I mean, we're together, we just get married. That's just what we do. And now I'm asking folks to like really get introspective about a lot of the decisions that they make, because they have a huge impact on your finances. And marriage is one of those things.

Jamila Souffrant 5:55

Yeah. And, listen, you're so right with, we ask kids what they want to be when they grew up, or declaring a major, and then all the financial responsibilities and then being committed, which I get, there's a place for some of that, depending on who the person is. And even that, I think, who you are at 18, and even 28, and even 38 changes as you collect more information, and especially with a partner. So as someone who's been with my partner, my husband, since college, it's like, there are a lot of changes that happen, you know, like, now we are 40. So meeting someone at 19. And now like, that's a lot of changes that you go through with a person and their maturity is different, or what they like or dislike. And so I think for some people, leaving something that is not good for them or just not working, it's hard, especially when I'm assuming your family's very integrate, like, it's kind of like, how do you walk away from that? Because so many people are staying, because it's comfortable, or because they're afraid of all the repercussions that come with it. Yeah,

Jannese Torres 6:59

it's so true. It's kind of like, you know, the devil, you know, versus the devil you don't. And I think a lot of people just get into a place where like, they're comfortable with the chaos. And it's not necessarily like enticing for them to go out and find out what else could be out there. Because the chaos feels like, familiar, right. And so for me, I was kind of just like, and I think this is a script that I had in my head from just watching other couples and like family members, it was like a lot of toxic relationships and like extended family. And so I was like, well, marriage is just supposed to be chaotic, like, this is just what we do. You know, you fight you make up, you accept bad behavior, and you justify it and you stay together. Because that's just what we're told. And the idea of divorce is still a very taboo topic and a lot of communities of color. You know, when you talk about things like prenups, I mean, people get so triggered, they're just like, why would you even mention that it's like you're planning to get divorced if you bring up this topic. And I think that taboo is what keeps a lot of people stuck. It keeps a lot of people complacent. And it keeps a lot of people potentially in abusive relationships. Because one of the startling statistics that I found when I was writing my book was this idea that 99% of abuse cases involve some sort of financial abuse. So you think about like how many people are stuck in relationships, because they don't have the financial means to get out? It's scary. And this is why we need to normalize these conversations. But it's not easy to dismantle your life. It's not easy to get a divorce. It's not easy to break up a family, right. And I think for me, I had to get to a place where I knew that what was currently going on was not something that I was willing to accept anymore. It just was not. Okay. And I was dealing with infidelity, I was dealing with financial infidelity and actual infidelity. Like there was just a lot of things going on that I'm like, if this was my daughter, like, would I be okay with who she has become in this relationship? Would I be okay with this person being with my kid, and you just have to ask yourself, those really hard questions that make you confront the things that you don't necessarily want to confront. But it's the same thing that you would do with your money, right? If you know something's not going right. If you continue to ignore it, it's going to get worse and that first look at really what is happening here. And realizing like where you have the power to make these changes, that's how we go from you know, broke to financial freedom and it's the same way that you get out of a toxic relationship

Jamila Souffrant 9:32

for you, what were the financial steps or implications from leaving? Yeah,

Jannese Torres 9:38

so luckily, I was in a situation where I kind of like was able to plan my exit. It wasn't a situation where my immediate safety was in jeopardy and I had to kind of just like, you know, pull the parachute out and jump. So before I even got divorced, as I was making the transition from working in corporate to working for myself as a One time entrepreneur, I met with a CFP and my CFP did a review of my finances. And one of the questions that came up was Do you have a prenup? And I said, No, it was something I was planning on doing. But you know, the chaos of like planning a wedding and just kind of fell by the wayside. And she said, Well, I'm going to need you to get a post nuptial agreement, which is like not something I even knew existed. And she's like, I need you to get that done before you transition to full time entrepreneurship, because you're building an asset here, you're building something that is subject to divorce proceedings, this business could be something that you potentially have to sell, in order to give your, you know, potential x half of the value of it. There's a lot of implications when you're building wealth in a marriage. And so I did, I did the post nuptial agreement met with an attorney got that whole thing squared away. And like 18 months later, I had to execute on that. So I was like, Thank God for you know, financial professionals who are out here looking out for you. But also, one of the things that I did in the entirety of the marriage was I kept my finances separate. Because my ex husband and I, we had completely different philosophies on money. He was like a spender. Didn't want to save retirement is just like one of those things you don't even think about always in debt, just getting into a lot of issues. And I was like, Well, I don't move like that. And I don't feel comfortable with my money kind of just disappearing, because that's how you operate. And so we always kept separate bank accounts, which I was like, very grateful for in the divorce that I didn't have to go and have my bank accounts locked up. And you know, not having access to money. Because when I got divorced because of the postnup, I didn't have to pay any alimony. I didn't have to give him anything from my retirement accounts, nothing for my business, it cost me $500 To get divorced. And I was able to move on with my life in three months versus other folks, you know, who can be going through this for years, and potentially having six, seven figures worth of financial repercussions to deal with it? Okay,

Jamila Souffrant 12:01

I have questions.

Jannese Torres 12:04

Most people usually do

Jamila Souffrant 12:07

at the time, right? So I'm assuming maybe things were just like, okay with your relationship at the time that you went with the CFP. And she told you, she gave you that advice? I think the biggest fear for some people is now approaching their partner after everything's okay. Like, we're good, why you're approaching me about a postnup. Now, how did that conversation go? And how did you get him to sign it? Because I feel like there would be some pushback from some people.

Jannese Torres 12:31

Yeah, so I think one of the big things that was helpful is the fact that we did operate with like different financial, you know, accounts and stuff like that. So there was never this feeling of like, I'm entitled to your stuff. We kept things separate. And so I think it was very natural to just kind of formalize that. And I also took the opportunity to default, the, you know, responsibility or decision on the CFP, I was like, Well, you know, she said, I'm making a risk by taking on this project, that's a business, you know, there's financial implications of that, I don't want you to be subjected to, you know, potential bankruptcy or something that could happen with my stuff. So it's in your best interest, as well as mine, to just like, let's make sure we're separating things out, God forbid something goes wrong, you're not liable for anything. And you know, vice versa. So I think it's, you just have to be rational about it and make sure that the person understands what they have to gain from it, versus it just being that stereotypical conversation of like, well, I don't want you to have anything because you know, I don't trust you, or just the things that we see in movies, where it's like, there's someone in power, who is trying to take advantage of someone with less power. That's not what it's about.

Jamila Souffrant 13:42

Right? Very smart. And using the current, you know, scenario, which was truly happening, you live in your job, you starting to build this business to frame it in that way, that, hey, I want you to be protected to and I think also is the fact that you were honest with yourself, and what the state of the relationship was that you guys had different spending alignments, because I don't know if at that moment, even though you had the post not done, you thought you'd be leaving, like, soon after, but I think just

Jannese Torres 14:10

subconsciously, maybe, yeah, I feel like now looking back, I'm like, Girl, the universe was just pushing you in the direction you needed to go in and made you do some things. But, you know, I think it's just like, you want to have these conversations when there is not that friction, because that's when things are not gonna go right. Right. But I

Jamila Souffrant 14:27

feel like so many people, like try to ignore those signs and ignore like, they want things to be so good. I was on my run this morning. I love listening to Dateline, which I probably shouldn't because it makes me think everyone is going to do something to me. But I was running and listening to the story and long story short, like the husband was cheating on her and literally was leaving and like she knew this and was just like, Well, I'm not leaving so you can do you know, you can be with me if you want and he would like leave to go with the other woman and all this stuff. He ended up doing some horrific stuff to the other Carson, and I'm just like, if she was still like, well, I thought like things could work. But like he literally told you and showed you what kind of person like he was, and you still just wanted it to be away. And so this is not like victim blaming, but I just feel like there's so many of us who want what we want, and refuse to or just aren't scared to do something different. But like if we do that, and like puts us in such a safer place, even if you don't do it immediately, but like just making certain decisions help you out in the long run.

Jannese Torres 15:28

Yeah, and I think that's when it's important to rely on your support system, right, because you can be blinded by what's going on in front of you, especially if it's like around you all the time. Like I said, it can become very normal. And sometimes you do need those outside perspectives, whether it's from your friends, your family therapist, like whoever you can get to get give you that ear to listen, somebody with an objective perspective is going to be able to hear your story and be like, Well, what you're going through is not okay. And I can't make the decision for you to get out of that. But I want you to know, that's just not okay. And you do with that what information you will. And so when I started really sharing things with my family and my close friends, but like what was going on, you know, it was just everybody's like, Girl, like, it's time to go, you know, sometimes you just kind of need to have that reinforcement, and to know that you're going to be supported through the transition, because it's very scary. You know, I had friends offered to come and work from home with me while I was going through the divorce just so I wasn't alone, my sister came down and spent a month with me. So it's just like rallying the troops, and really reminding yourself that you are not alone in this situation. And there are a lot of people that care about you, but you have to let them in on what's happening and let them support you. I think it's really important. I

Jamila Souffrant 16:42

think just to highlight the importance of if you feel like you need a postnup if you're already married, or even a prenup, just so we know how important it was that you had it. What could have happened if you did it?

Jannese Torres 16:54

Oh, gosh, I mean, everything that I've worked to build my multiple six figure investment portfolio, my business, the fact that I wrote a book like book royalties are subject to divorce, like, it's crazy how much you can be losing through this process, right? If you are a wealth building kind of person who is out here trying to build an empire, that empire is subject to division, everything that you create, after you get married is potentially you know, a marital asset. And so if you even think that you want to do stuff like you know, building a big investment portfolio, pursue financial independence, start a business, you need to be thinking about how you're going to protect those things, not just in the event of death, because obviously that's going to happen to all of us. But if you're going to get married, divorce is one of those things that can really impact you financially as well. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 17:41

So that was a big life change for you. I know, there have been other things that have changed. And I'd love to like kind of dive into that. I know the first time you're on the show, you talked about the first experience of buying a home and how it actually wasn't for you, you did not enjoy it. And we talked about like the pros and cons of that. But you did have a different experience. And so I'd love for you to dive into that. Yeah,

Jannese Torres 18:02

absolutely. So one of the things that I wanted to touch on in my book was this concept of values based spending. And we hear about that from folks like remote safety. And a lot of folks in the financial independence space, it's kind of just like, make sure that you're moving with your money in a way that's actually aligned with the life that you want to create. So the first time that I bought a house, it was very much just trying to like check off another thing on the box, you know, this narrative of like renting is a waste of money. You're being dumb, if you don't buy a house, I had all this pressure to do it. And so I said, Well, I got to do this by the time I'm 30, right, because life is over after 30. So I bought the house, completely miserable experience, I didn't enjoy it, I was broke all the time, I didn't have money to fix the things that went wrong. I ended up selling the house at a loss. And the whole journey was just a big wake up call that I was kind of living on autopilot with my money. And so I said the second time around when I do this, again, I'm going to do it on my own terms. I'm going to do it when I'm in a place financially that it makes sense for me. I'm going to buy a house in a place I actually enjoy being in which I did not do the first time and I'm going to use the opportunity to potentially create an asset as well. And so I ended up right after my divorce. It was like a gift to myself because I was able to save all my money. I bought myself a condo in Puerto Rico. So beachfront condo, about 30 minutes from the Capitol is a city that I go to like all the time when I was there anyway. And I bought it in cash in my own name. And I was like this thing is going to now represent this amazing life transition that I've had and every time I'm here I get to celebrate like everything that I've created everything that I built, and I was in a financial position to do it. I now use it as a an investment property. So it's a vacation rental when I'm not using it. My family is there right now enjoying themselves. And it's been this incredibly different experience from the first time around because I approach Do it with a completely different mindset with a completely different financial situation. And it just represents something that really is aligned with like, what matters to me versus the first time around, which is just, it's this thing you're just supposed to do as a responsible adult. Hmm.

Jamila Souffrant 20:15

Well, so for you as someone like because, you know, you're Puerto Rican. Yeah. And so buying something in Puerto Rico, I feel like there are a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs, online business owners, like making this like surge and talking about moving to Puerto Rico and all these things. And wondering like how, as a Puerto Rican native, like how that feels for you, and ethically, other things people should be considering. Because bringing this up also as a transition to talk about the location independent lifestyle, and how so many people talk about oh, move to somewhere that's low cost, or another country, maybe even third world countries where that exchange rate is, you know, you can get more bang for your buck. But it's also like, not necessarily great for the natives that are there or the people there to make a living. And so it's like, we're doing the same thing that we don't want people to do to us in our land, like almost colonizing it. So talk a bit about that. Yeah, I

Jannese Torres 21:08

have a lot of feelings about this. I'm a lot of feelings about this, because I have seen both the quality of life improvement that can come from remote work and you know, using things like geo arbitrage, I think it's it's an essential part of how I was able to pursue financial independence, because I moved from New Jersey to Florida, in that journey, and was able to save a substantial amount of money on taxes and just cost of living. So I'm not opposed to people moving to different places in the world. But I am opposed to doing it in a way that's like exploitive, right. And so one of the things that's unique about Puerto Rico, is that for people that move there, they can potentially have a huge tax savings, because it's written into the law, that you can exploit the tax laws, if you're an entrepreneur or high income earner. There's folks who've moved on to the islands in droves after Hurricane Maria. So after 2017, we had a bunch of people in the crypto industry, online entrepreneurship, etc. And what's been happening is that the island has been kind of going through this, like second colonization, where there are entire neighborhoods that have been kind of walled off from the natives, they're cutting off people's access to public beaches, these folks are taking advantage of a system that is not built to help the local natives, right, because if you're not paying taxes, you're not contributing to the infrastructure, you're not contributing to the islands progress. And it feels very much just like a situation of haves and have nots. And the thing that frustrates me about this situation is that native Puerto Ricans who live on the island cannot take advantage of these tax breaks. So if my family who lives on the island wanted to do this, they would have to move to the United States, live here for 15 years, and then go back and take advantage of those opportunities. Right. So it's, it's a system that is absolutely not built to equally give advantages to folks. And I have issues with that, especially people who like don't have a genuine connection to the island of just hearing. Well, Puerto Rico is a great tax haven, so I'm just going to move there. I don't like it. I'm not a fan. I've you know, actively called out folks in our sphere of influence that have done that. And it's something that it's frustrating. But it's not the only place in the world that it's happening. So, you know, I think it's just one of those things, we have to continue to bring awareness to and make sure that we as online entrepreneurs and like as folks who are building wealth, especially in communities of color are now not becoming the next like wave of colonizers, because that is just so problematic in so many different ways. Right?

Jamila Souffrant 23:45

Do you know of any like, changes or moves like people advocating for laws to change to help benefit the island and people there from the the windfall that people are making off of the island by moving there?

Jannese Torres 23:58

Yeah, there's a lot of protests on the island, like you'll see a lot of folks kind of taking to the streets. There's a lot of graffiti that is protesting this stuff, like folks will do sit ins, construction sites, there'll be abrogating at City Hall and with like their local representatives, so it's a big problem on the island. And one of the things too, that it's contributing is the cost of living has gone up dramatically. Because these folks are coming in with a ton of money. They want higher end real estate. So they're buying up a lot of property to establish residency, they're buying up a lot of property to also invest, and they're making it so that folks who live on the island can no longer afford housing. It's very much like similar to what's happening on the mainland United States, you know, where we had like a bunch of hedge funds, buying up single family homes, driving up the cost of housing, and now there's a shortage in place. So, you know, it's it has a lot of like long term repercussions. I think folks need to be really mindful of how they're going to plan to not be a part of the problem. If they're making this move for you.

Jamila Souffrant 24:59

You What does that look like? Because it can be very easy for you to you do own something there. But where do you bounce now living and working? I feel like a couple maybe years ago or there was I think there was talk of you online, maybe moving. But where are you now? And what is your work life balance look

Jannese Torres 25:16

like? Yeah. So you know, I've toyed back and forth with moving to the island. But honestly, for me, the infrastructure situation is not something that's very sustainable for an online business owner, for example, like, it's very common for the Internet to go out, it's very common for the electricity just to go out. And it's not even because there was a storm, it's just like, that just happens, the infrastructure on the island is very old and has not been updated. So it's one of these things where like, I cannot afford for my internet you to speak continuously going in and out, a lot of business owners that are on the island to have like two or three forms of internet service, they'll have like a hotspot, they'll have like satellite internet, they'll have like cable internet. And for me, I'm just like, it's all too complicated for me. And I don't want to put myself in a situation where I'm like, making it harder to do business for some tax breaks. Like, for me, it's just like, that's not worth it. But also, I just think I want the ability to be closer to family, you know, like, most of my family is still here in the States. And so I'm not, I'm not really comfortable in a situation where like, I'm going even further away from them. But again, you know, everybody has a right to their decision making, I just think, if you're gonna go to Puerto Rico, please don't let it just be because you want to take advantage of tax breaks, like make sure you have a plan to actually contribute to the island to like, appreciate the culture to not be just somebody who's out here, like taking advantage of a community that has been exploited for so long. Because if we become those people, like we're just kind of perpetuating things that have been done to our ancestors, and like, what was the point of all this? If that's the case?

Jamila Souffrant 26:48

Right. And that's the ugly truth, I feel like of capitalism is that, you know, I think there's different levels of it in terms of being ethical, but I don't think you can make it and become wealthy without, you can't do it without participating in, in capitalism. But there's so much wrong with capitalism, because it is archy and the haves and have nots, and I don't have a solution, what to do differently, you know, it could be more conscious and bring conversations like this to listeners to both our audience as they want to build wealth, and by any means get their family, right. But also thinking about what does it look like for if we looked out more for each other, and in a way that we all are okay, like, it doesn't have to be where we are dominating, and taking advantage of another group. But I do find that that it's hard, like it's a broken system that we almost choose to participate in, I feel like we have to in a certain sense, but there's just a real conversation that needs to be had. Well, I

Jannese Torres 27:50

think this is one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about entrepreneurship, right? Because if we think about what is fueling, fueling capitalism, it is it is entrepreneurship, but it's business. And so I think like, the more that we have people of color in positions of power, as like owners of their own companies, like we can be the change that we wish to see in the sense of, you can create a culture in your company that promotes people of color that pays people a living wage that gives parents paid maternity leave, and that fixes so many of these systemic issues. When you do it from the top down, you have the potential to create real impact. Yeah, it might be like a couple of people at the beginning, right when you're first starting out your company, but there are ripple effects of being that person who can lead change from within. And so that's why I think it's so important for us to consider, you know, how can we use the tool of entrepreneurship to change the system from within, we need money to have power in capitalism, but we can also create change with that money. And I think that's the important conversation to have.

Jamila Souffrant 28:54

I Jamila here, host of this podcast and author of the book your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. Just a few years ago, I was in a job I didn't like with a long commute. feeling stuck, I knew there had to be a different better way. Then I found the pathway to financial freedom and financial independence. Today, I have more money, options and freedom than I ever thought was possible. And in my book, Your journey to financial freedom. I'll show you how you can achieve that too. You will learn how to spend and save responsibly, all while enjoying that spicy Margarita and extra cider guacamole. To determine where you are on the journey and evaluate your spending and saving goals accordingly. Quit your job, retire early, or reach financial independence. My book your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness is out now and available on Amazon Barnes and Noble and more. You can leave and listen to the audiobook narrated by me. Go to your journey to financial to get a free bonus when you ordered The book and see all the places to buy it. Once again, go to your journey to financial

For you, I know, you know, you have a lot of great information in your book financially lit that people can pick up. But I'd love for you to pull out some of what you find. I mean, I had this experience writing my book, it's like it was my chance to synthesize and put together all the frameworks and things the way I saw finances and the journey to financial independence. Finally, like, on piece of paper, like I, you know, I got to conceptualize and write it down. And so for you, with your book, what are some of the key insights that you want to share? Or do you think it's going to be helpful for someone just even listening, and they can get a lot from right now?

Jannese Torres 30:44

Yeah, absolutely. So you'll find in the book, you know, lots of the standard advice around like budgeting and saving and investing. But one of the things that I think it gets missing a lot of personal finance books is both acknowledging your mental health and the aspect that that plays with your money, and also the emotions that come when you've made it to the other side, I don't think I hear enough people talking about like, what do we deal with all the feelings that come up, once we have built the wealth, once we have become successful, once we've quote unquote, like made it on the hood, right? Because it's easy to understand, like how that can change your life in a very finite, you know, tactical way, like, Yeah, I'm gonna have more money, I'm not gonna have to worry about things, I'm gonna be able to like, order guacamole, as you say, like, you know, or the extra guac all the time. But there's a lot of baggage that comes with you being the only one that's made it out and seeing all the people that you grew up with your community, still back there in the struggle. And what I find is that for a lot of people like myself, and like you, who we are the ones who've made it out, we have this immense sense of guilt, about what we've been able to accomplish this idea of like wealth, guilt, and it can create a lot of self sabotaging activities and like things that we do to kind of make ourselves not feel so guilty. So like giving all your money away, or like just treating everybody to the point where like you're depleting your own financial security, or just like, you start to repel money, almost because it's just like, I don't like how this feels, I don't want this, I'm not going to go pursue the salary increase, because then we're going to make even more money. And then my family is going to talk crap, because now I have a new car, and they're gonna be like, Look at you, what's your first world problems, like, there's so many things that come with it. And it's all stems from this feeling of like, the further we get along in our wealth journey, it's like the further we get away from the community that told us that this is what we should do, because this is what success is. So it's just it's kind of like this endless loop that happens. And so I dedicated an entire chapter of this book to that conversation, because there's so many feelings that come up, when you are the one who made it out.

Jamila Souffrant 32:57

I love that. And you know, talking about that, like, even just privilege, right, we all have varying levels, I think a privilege, and when I'm thinking about kind of like what our ancestors and people did before us to get us to this position. And then now, you know, for me, having children and then hopefully being in a better position, then they won't squander away, like what we have helped them build or what we built. Sometimes you'll hear people say, Oh, well, she had helped this happen for them. And it's like, isn't that the point like, isn't the point to be able to help our kids, I feel like, there are mixed messages sometimes where the guilt, and maybe you know, there's a tinge of jealousy with people who maybe didn't have the certain help that you have had, or what your children may, or nieces and nephew may have in the future. And it feels like Well, I gotta get it out the mud because like, that's when people can respect me, I feel like there's this level of, you know, the nepotism that we see you kind of like in Hollywood, where people are like, Oh, they only got that role because of that, where it's like, partly, and if the person is being a brat, and not acknowledging that privilege, you can be upset at that person. But isn't part of what we're working on all of us who have wealth is so that whether it's our children or people in our communities, that we are helping them and giving, giving them a privilege of nepotism in a way but still having them earn it. So I think there's a conversation around that, that needs to be had to.

Jannese Torres 34:19

Yeah, I think that's, that's one of those things to where, you know, it's nice for other communities to be able to say, well, you know, I built my millions, you know, I think Bill Gates is one of these guys who says, like, I'm just gonna spend all my money and it's up to my kids to like, recreate that whatever. We can't afford that, like we are already starting from the bottom, you know what I mean? So, I always tell people like, why it's so important for us to have these nuanced conversations where we are talking about like culture and the aspect that it has in your finances, is because we're all being asked to pursue the American dream, but with different budgets, right, so like Latinos get 55 cents to white man's dollar. How much do black women make compared to white men? So it's Just like we're being asked to accomplish all of these things, without the same level of access to resources, privilege opportunities, and it's just like, No, if I know that me being a Latina woman, I have basically 50% of the budget, I have a responsibility to set aside some of this money that I'm able to get so that the next generation is not starting from that place, they're starting at the same starting line as everybody else, maybe we'll get to a place, hopefully, where parity exists, and the wage gap will no longer be a thing. But until that's a real conversation, we need to do what we can to set up the next generation for even more success than we were able to achieve.

Jamila Souffrant 35:40

Right, and being confident and proud of that. I'll call out like any help that I've gotten, and, you know, share sacrifices my mom made to put me in the position like, yes, she gave me a percentage of my first down payment for my condo, you know, and feeling proud. Like, I feel like we should be proud of that, like, we should be celebrated like, yes, like, it's great thing that you worked in this company and was able to get an internship for your niece or your friend's kid because of that, because that's happening all the time, you know, on the other side? Oh, absolutely. So tell me a bit about mindset. I know, that's like a big part of your work and my work too. But it's feeling worthy of the success that we have. And I know we talked a bit about why that might not be the case, kind of that survivor's guilt of making it, what are some of the things that people can do listening, to know that they're worth it, to know that like, whatever success is coming their way, whatever they have, now, they deserve it, without feeling like they left their community behind, or they sold out, or they're no longer in touch? Well,

Jannese Torres 36:44

I think first and foremost, most of us need to be in therapy, because we definitely have like money trauma that we've experienced in some way, shape, or form, you know, the way that you feel about money is likely because of what you saw growing up in your community or from your caretakers. So I think it's important to uncover those internalized money stories, those narratives, and I have an exercise in the book to help you start to ask yourself some questions that will help you get to the root of like, why you feel a certain way about money. You know, sometimes it can be religious based, if you grew up in a household that was like, very much, you know, glorifying if you will, like the the poverty that came with like Jesus's path, and like, he didn't need anything. So like, you shouldn't need anything you shouldn't want for anything. If you want wealth that makes you a bad person, maybe you heard that, like rich people are evil, there's, like so many things that you don't even know are influencing how you feel about money. And so getting to the root of those beliefs, I think is super important. Whether you do personal development work, or you work with a therapist, I love the fact that now there's like financial trauma coaches, and just people who specialize in this, because it's a real thing. And then I think it's also just, you kind of have to continuously work on the mindset, I don't think people understand that, like, even when you've made it, there's other things that are going to come up, when you hit your first million in your investment account, you're gonna just be freaking out that it's going to disappear. And then you're going to start telling yourself, well, maybe I should make it to because twos better than one. And then 10 is better than 20, you know, like, it's just always going to be this endless loop of kind of this fear of losing it all, especially if you're the first one to be able to do this. And I think it's like being able to, like recognize those emotions almost as like characters in a play. And they don't necessarily have to be involved in your story, but you recognize that they show up at different stages, you're gonna start to understand like, what are those things that are triggering you? Where's that coming from? And you'll become more familiar with like, the emotions, you'll be able to identify them. You're like, oh, wow, there you are scarcity. There, you are telling me that there's no way I'm gonna have another six figure year in business. Because everything that I did was a fluke. It was all just luck, you know, you kind of have to remind yourself of like, all of the things that you have done to get to the place that you are, none of this is luck, y'all. Some of it is like maybe good timing, you know, but most of it is just you being intentional about what you're doing. And like you keep doing it. And so I you know, I think it's important for most of us to remind ourselves, like how far we've come give yourself that perspective and realize that, like, you did that, and nobody else can take it away from you. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 39:19

it's one of the things I really like about your content is the confidence like you exude. And for yourself now, right? So your book is out or coming out, depending on when this release is I'm pretty sure it's gonna be like, right around that time when people hear this, but in your entrepreneurship journey, right, like, I know you're on the path to financial independence. And so we talked you talked about like, some people look at 1 million, they're like, oh, I need what about 2 million or two? I should do 4 million and there is a level of what I call the block levels of what you desire to lifestyle and how much you need. So for you, where are you on your path? What is your enough point? Do you feel like you're reaching a point or not even close to where you feel like I want to slow down like I don't Want to do this? Or do you envision wanting to do this to continue to build wealth? What is your end goal?

Jannese Torres 40:05

You know, I've been asking myself a lot that question a lot, because I think there's this thing that happens when we get on social media and we start being sucked up by the comparison trap of just like, well, look at this other person who's like making $10 million a year, like, I shouldn't be doing that, you know, I'm like, in year 11, of entrepreneurship. And I had to really come back to myself and ask myself, like, Why did I do all this? Did I do all of this to create some big empire where I'm employing 50 people, and making, you know, 1015 $20 million a year? No, I just wanted to replace my salary, and be able to work whenever I want to on the things that I'm excited about, take time off, if I want to work from anywhere, and I already get to live that life every day. So I feel like I've already reached my successful definition of financial independence. Even though I don't have a million dollars in my investment accounts. I don't make seven figures a year, I have everything that I need. And more, my retirement is already set, because I did pursue Coast fire. And so that's ready to go. You know, like, if I want to just retire at traditional retirement age, that's all set, I have enough passive income streams to not work at this moment. And so it's just I get to wake up every day, define what that day is going to look like, work on the things I'm excited about travel whenever I want. And that, for me is the true definition of financial freedom. And so I've reached it.

Jamila Souffrant 41:33

Yeah, so I'm glad you're acknowledging that too. I think, realizing like where you are, and how far you've come, but also that enough point, it's not that you can't have more, it's not that you might not, you might change your mind and say, You know what, maybe I'll push a little harder in this aspect of my life. But I think it's a great place to be to feel comfortable, if things stay the same and or improve with tuck you, you won, right? Like it's either way, if things don't even if I don't make any more, if I continue at this pace, like I'm fine. And I find that that is the true benefit of the pursuit is that, you know, you you're forced to do a lot of things up front to get yourself in a financially better position, like pay off the debt, you know, use your skill sets to earn you money, and but after you, you know, kind of get through that, and you're working on yourself continuously. Because like you said, that doesn't stop, then you know, that that self reflection, that awareness is very important. So that, you know, like, are you pushing for a life, that's really not the life you want and causing more stress, and putting yourself on another hamster wheel, maybe you stepped off the corporate hamster wheel. But now you're on the financial independence or entrepreneurship hamster hamster wheel, because you don't really know what it is that you reach your sweet spot. But you just want more.

Jannese Torres 42:49

Yeah, that self reflection, I think is so important. And I had to remind myself like I've been grinding at this for years. And at some point, I need to give myself permission to like you said, step off that hamster wheel and go and like enjoy the fruits of my labor. You know, so now I'm focusing on the intangible things like my relationships, my health, curating that life outside of the accomplishments, and the accolades and the money and the titles, because those are the things that we are told we should care about. And a lot of that stuff that really matters, like your family, like your health, that stuff can fall by the wayside for a lot of people, especially in this pursuit. And I did make sacrifices, I've made plenty of sacrifices in a lot of different areas. And now I'm ready to just say, You know what, this is not that time anymore. This is the time to reflect, and to really reap the benefits of everything that I've said, I love that.

Jamila Souffrant 43:45

Denise, please tell people where they can find your new book and more about you if they want to follow you. Absolutely.

Jannese Torres 43:51

So the book financially led to the modern Latinos guide to level up your deen no and become financially boy that OSA is available wherever you purchase books, you can order it at financial elite There is also an accompanying audio book that I'm so excited for folks to tune into. And I'm also going to be going on a book tour. You can find those details again on that website. And I'm so excited to see folks in person and help everybody get financially lit.

Jamila Souffrant 44:16

So, so exciting. Congratulations on the new book. I know that was not an easy feat, but you did it and I can't wait to continue to cheer you on. So congrats.

Jannese Torres 44:26

Thank you. Thank you so much email.

Speaker 1 44:30

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