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Creatively Designing A Life That Aligns With Personal Values With Derek Hagen


Derek Hagen is the founder of Money Health Solutions®️, a financial therapy and life planning firm. Money Health Solutions helps clients live intentionally and mindfully, using money as a tool to support their ideal life. He facilitates financial health by helping clients understand their own money psychology, lowering financial stress, and increasing confidence in financial decisions. Derek also started Meaningful Money Memo, a newsletter about the psychology of money and living a meaningful life, using personal stories and simple drawings to help demystify money for readers.

He shares his journey from being a Chartered Financial Analyst and a focus on numbers to then having the big realisation that money is a tool not a goal which lead to focusing on the interior side of money and helping people find purpose and significance.

In this conversation, we discuss the importance of mindset and intention when it comes to retirement planning. Derek emphasizes the need to have a purpose and a value statement to guide financial decisions and prioritize experiences over accumulating wealth. We also discuss the significance of time and the finite nature of life, encouraging people to be present and intentional in their retirement years. Importantly Derek highlights the importance of creativity and designing a life that aligns with personal values and priorities.


  • Money is a tool, not a goal, and should be used to create a meaningful retirement.

  • Diversification of meaning in retirement is crucial to avoid relying on a single source of purpose and significance.

  • Planning for life beyond retirement is essential and often overlooked.

  • Retirement is not a finish line, but a new phase of life that requires structure and purpose.

  • Having a purpose and value statement is crucial for guiding financial decisions in retirement.

  • Being present and intentional with time is important, as life is finite and experiences have a limited number of opportunities.

  • Retirement planning should focus on designing a life that aligns with personal values and priorities.

  • Creativity and a designer mindset are essential for planning and living a fulfilling retirement.

  • Systems, rather than goals, allow for flexibility and adaptability in navigating life transitions and unexpected events.

Sound Bites

"Money is a tool, not a goal."

"Diversification of meaning in retirement is crucial."

"Retirement is not a finish line."

"You know, that reality check in and, ⁓ and I think unless you can work with someone that can bring this out of you, or you can naturally bring this out of you, you end up reverting back to the mean, don't you?"

"Yeah, absolutely. And that's the thing with habits. If we get into our ⁓ habits, we get into what we're familiar with. And this is a pretty big, retirement's a pretty big life transition."

"The retirement that I think the 50 to 60 year olds have witnessed in their parents and their grandparents is and was materially different to the retirement that they're entering into."


00:00 Introduction and Background

09:21 Money as a Tool, Not a Goal

15:57 Money's Role in Retirement

26:11 The Importance of Planning for Life Beyond Retirement

29:19 Retirement: Not a Finish Line, but a New Phase of Life

31:20 The Importance of Purpose and Value in Retirement Planning

32:03 Being Present and Intentional with Time in Retirement

33:42 Designing a Life that Aligns with Personal Values

38:45 The Role of Creativity in Retirement Planning

52:32 Systems vs Goals: Focusing on Inputs and Intentions


Meaningful Money

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