The Houston Midtown Chapter of The Society for Financial Awareness Presents MONEY MATTERS with Christopher Hensley

In January 2015, life changed dramatically for us... we decided it was time to give up on our ordinary life, follow our dreams and travel the world. Why wait until we retire?  Why wait until the kids have left home?  We decided to do it now, WITH our kids.

So this is our story... our journey as we've created a new life for ourselves. Some may say we are crazy, some simply don't understand, but the decision to give up our location dependent life to become digital nomads has ignited something within us.  We are excited.

Today we were joined by travel blogger, Karen King. We discussed traveling on a budget, traveling with kids and even how to find free room and board while traveling.


Direct download: MMEPISODE151.mp3
Category:Financial Literacy -- posted at: 1:00pm PDT

We spoke with New York Times bestselling author Philip Moeller on his newest book Get Whats Yours for Medicare. We also discussed the current election and what a Trump or Clinton presidency means to the Social Security and Medicare system.

A coauthor of the New York Times bestselling guide to Social Security Get What’s Yours authors an essential companion to explain Medicare, the nation’s other major benefit for older Americans. Learn how to maximize your health coverage and save money.

Social Security provides the bulk of most retirees’ income and Medicare guarantees them affordable health insurance. But few people know what Medicare covers and what it doesn’t, what it costs, and when to sign up. Nor do they understand which parts of Medicare are provided by the government and how these work with private insurance plans—Medicare Advantage, drug insurance, and Medicare supplement insurance.

Do you understand Medicare’s parts A, B, C, D? Which Part D drug plan is right and how do you decide? Which is better, Medigap or Medicare Advantage? What do you do if Medicare denies payment for a procedure that your doctor says you need? How do you navigate the appeals process for denied claims? If you’re still working or have a retiree health plan, how do those benefits work with Medicare? Do you know about the annual enrollment period for Medicare, or about lifetime penalties for late enrollment, or any number of other key Medicare rules?

Health costs are the biggest unknown expense for older Americans, who are turning sixty-five at the rate of 10,000 a day. Understanding and navigating Medicare is the best way to save health care dollars and use them wisely. In Get What’s Yours for Medicare, retirement expert Philip Moeller explains how to understand all these important choices and make the right decisions for your health and wealth now—and for the future.

Direct download: MMEPISODE150.mp3
Category:Retirement -- posted at: 12:22pm PDT

The Internet gave average people the ability to transmit information globally. That was a power once reserved for only the very largest media corporations and news agencies. 

Mobile journalism is an emerging form of new media storytelling where reporters use portable electronic devices with network connectivity to gather, edit and distribute news from his or her community.
We were joined by Murray Suid , Creative Director at

Murray Suid is a filmmaker and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has directed several short movies including "The J-Walker," which won the Special Jury Prize at the Marburg Film Festival. Trained in screenwriting at UCLA, he has had four feature-length scripts optioned and one-"Summer of the Flying Saucer"-produced in Ireland (2008).

Murray has written more than a dozen nonfiction books including Movie Making Illustrated (with James Morrow) and How to Be President of the USA. Last year he edited Movie Quotes to Live By, a collection of wise sayings from feature films.

He is also the cofounder of, an online magazine about using smartphones, tablets, drones, and GoPros to shoot videos. All genres are covered including documentaries, news, music videos, narrative films, instructional movies, biopics, commercials, and video blogs.

MobileMovieMaking celebrates the idea that just about anyone can learn to make movies that are worth watching for little or no money. The magazine exhibits well-made mobile movies, reviews gear, interviews filmmakers, and runs no-entry-fee contests.

Direct download: MMEpisode149.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 2:19pm PDT

Money Does NOT Have to be a Serious, Stuffy Subject The Financial Guides look like real people, talk like real people, and are real people. They have real life experience and are here to help you reach all your goals. Financial Foundations is a series of books to teach kids about money, goal setting, and living a balanced life.  

Determined to be more than just another insurance salesman, Tammy founded The Financial Guides. She set about working with clients in a totally different fashion.  Feeling that everyone needs a sound financial education she created her first class “Financial Journeys”. The goal was to provide the accurate, unbiased, basic information in simple English that we all require, but can’t easily find. 

We were joined by Tammy Johnston author of The Financial Guides Series and host of the Financial Fun Podcast.

Direct download: MMEpisode148.mp3
Category:Financial Literacy -- posted at: 12:56pm PDT

Are risk-takers born or made? Why are some more willing to go out on a limb (so to speak) than others? How do we weigh the value of opportunities large or small that may have the potential to change the course of our lives?
These are just a few of the questions that author Kayt Sukel tackles, applying the latest research in neuroscience and psychology to compelling real-world situations. Building on a portfolio of work that has appeared in such publications as Scientific American, Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and more, Sukel offers an in-depth look at risk-taking and its role in the many facets of life that resonates on a personal level. Smart, progressive, and truly enlightening, The Art of Risk blends riveting case studies and hard-hitting science to explore risk-taking and how it impacts decision-making in work, play, love

We were joined by Kayt Sukel author of the book The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution & Chance.

Direct download: MMEpisode147.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 11:49am PDT

Nearly half of all working Americans could risk losing their jobs because of technology. It’s not only blue-collar jobs at stake. Millions of educated knowledge workers—writers, paralegals, assistants, medical technicians—are threatened by accelerating advances in artificial intelligence.

The industrial revolution shifted workers from farms to factories. In the first era of automation, machines relieved humans of manually exhausting work. Today, Era Two of automation continues to wash across the entire services-based economy that has replaced jobs in agriculture and manufacturing. Era Three, and the rise of AI, is dawning. Smart computers are demonstrating they are capable of making better decisions than humans. Brilliant technologies can now decide, learn, predict, and even comprehend much faster and more accurately than the human brain, and their progress is accelerating. Where will this leave lawyers, nurses, teachers, and editors?

In Only Humans Need Apply, Thomas Hayes Davenport and Julia Kirby reframe the conversation about automation, arguing that the future of increased productivity and business success isn’t either human or machine. It’s both. The key is augmentation, utilizing technology to help humans work better, smarter, and faster. Instead of viewing these machines as competitive interlopers, we can see them as partners and collaborators in creative problem solving as we move into the next era. The choice is ours.

We were joined by Thomas Davenport co-author of the book Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines.

Direct download: MMEPISODE146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:39pm PDT

Most parents will do just about anything to secure happy lives and bright futures for their kids. Add in competition with other parents and near-constant pressure, their drive to give their kids the best of everything can backfire, setting back the child and the household finances.

Brett Graff, "The Home Economist," exposes how overspending can harm children by setting back intellect and encouraging narcissism, depression and unhealthy or unsafe habits. By unearthing research on pricey baby gear, oversized houses, so-called "educational" toys and after-school lessons, expensive sports equipment and private coaching, even certain organic products and unregulated "natural" medicines - she even has eye-opening findings on private schools versus public schools - Graff proves that we can spend too much getting our kids ahead and wind up instead setting them back. 

Not Buying It proves that sound, rational decision-making about spending is far more beneficial for our kids than purchases made out of fear, pressure and confusion. With Graff's guidance, you'll confidently create the financial strategy that's best for your family, not the one pushed by marketers or practiced by your neighbors. Not Buying It is your blueprint for emotional and financial freedom, and the stability your children deserve.

We were joined by Brett Graff, The Home Economist .

Brett Graff is a former US government economist who today is a family finance expert reporting the information that helps families maximize their money and their lives. A nationally syndicated columnist, her pieces – called THE HOME ECONOMIST – run first in The Miami Herald and then in over 400 media outlets across the country including the Chicago Tribune and The Kansas City Star.

Direct download: MMEpisode145.mp3
Category:Financial Literacy -- posted at: 12:28pm PDT

After graduating in 2012, Bobby Hoyt started his career as a high school band director in Texas. In addition to a shiny new diploma, he also came out of college with $40,000 in student loan debt. He still planned on buying a new car, a house he couldn’t really afford, and wanted to do all of the things that other Millennials his age were doing. Everyone has debt right?

He paid off $40,000 in student loans in less than 2 years on a teachers salary. Seriously!

We were joined by Financial Blogger, Bobby Hoyt. Bobby is a Blogger, Ex-Teacher, Wakeboarder and founder of .

Direct download: MMEPISODE144.mp3
Category:College Funding and Financial Aid -- posted at: 12:51pm PDT

Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America’s top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world’s first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again.

We were joined by author, Rowland White.

Rowland White is the author of three bestselling books of military history: Vulcan 607; Phoenix Squadron; Storm Front. He lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife and three children.

Direct download: MMEPISODE143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm PDT

Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early advisor to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise.

We were joined by author, Duncan Clark.

Founder, investor and leading advisor on China’s dynamic technology and consumer sectors, Duncan is author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, published in the spring of 2016 by HarperCollins. .

Direct download: MMEPISODE142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am PDT