Women's Retirement Radio

Jason Levoy, The Divorce Resource Guy - Former Divorce Attorney Becomes A Divorce Coach - Episode 43

December 06, 2021 Russ Thornton Season 2 Episode 27
Women's Retirement Radio
Jason Levoy, The Divorce Resource Guy - Former Divorce Attorney Becomes A Divorce Coach - Episode 43
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I'm joined by Jason Levoy.

Jason is a former divorce attorney who now works as a divorce coach.

He's based in New Jersey, but works with clients across the United States to help them navigate the divorce process and make more informed decisions. And as a former attorney, he provides coaching from a divorce attorney's point of view.

For more on Jason,  please check out these resources:

Get in touch and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

And thank you for listening.

Visit my website to learn more.

Disclosures

Russ Thornton:
Hey everyone. Russ Thornton here, your host of Women's Retirement Radio. Today I'm excited to welcome Jason Levoy to the show. Jason is also known as The Divorce Resource Guy, which I look forward to having him share more about here as we talk today. So Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason Levoy:
Thanks, Russ. Glad to be here.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, like I said, really excited to have you join us today. Why don't we start by you just telling folks a little bit about who you are and what it is you do.

Jason Levoy:
Sure, absolutely. I appreciate it. So again, my name is Jason Levoy. I'm a former divorce attorney, turned divorce coach. That's what I do now. I don't represent people directly in their divorces, I only serve as a coach. And I did that because I felt like I could serve a greater number of people in a better way than I was as a divorce attorney, basically. And if you want the whole boring story about why I quit being a divorce attorney, you can check me out, listen to my podcast. I explain it, I think in the first episode or probably a lot of times. But I wasn't helping people the way I originally intended to when I became an attorney and I went to law school. And so while I was practicing though, I did come up with what I feel is like the secret sauce, and that is how I coach people. And so what I do is I coach people from an attorney's point of view because I am one and I did it. And so I feel that that really provides a great benefit to people who are looking for help.

Russ Thornton:
And out of curiosity, so how many years were you a practicing family law attorney, Jason.

Jason Levoy:
About five years.

Russ Thornton:
And how long have you been doing the divorce coaching?

Jason Levoy:
About five years.

Russ Thornton:
Well, I didn't know that, but that's interesting. So looking back, now that you have the benefit of both serving as an attorney in the divorce process and more recently as a coach in the divorce process, without getting into the nitty gritty details, at least at a high level, what differences stick out to you in your mind having served as both an attorney representing people in their divorce and now working in more of a coach's role to work with clients and maybe work with their attorney, if they've hired representation.

Jason Levoy:
I do that. Originally when I became a coach, it was with the idea of helping people who didn't have attorneys, who couldn't afford attorneys and teach them and coach them how to represent themselves. But what I found actually is that the majority of clients that I work with and coach, they have attorneys. And part of what I do as a coach is actually, if they don't, when they meet me, I help them find the right attorney for this situation because not every attorney is the same, and not every divorce requires the same type of attorney. And so if you make the wrong choice and you pick the wrong attorney for your situation, that could be a very costly and time-consuming mistake. So that's one of the things that I found out I do very frequently as a coach that I didn't necessarily think I was going to do when I became a coach.

Jason Levoy:
But the biggest difference frankly is, I don't give legal advice, and I'm using air quotes when I say that, when I'm a coach, because I can't. There's ethical rules that I still have to adhere to because I am an attorney. And so unless you're in New Jersey, I can't give you legal advice. But what I do is I coach on the generalities of the divorce process, because no matter where you're getting divorced, you're going through the same things. If you have children, you're dealing with parenting time and custody issues. If you have alimony, you have to deal with that. You're dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of going through the divorce process. So that's what I focus on as a coach and so that would be the biggest difference is that I can't give you legal advice.

Jason Levoy:
And so I defer on certain things to their attorney, assuming that they have one. And I could help them guide them to what I think the answer is to their question. But otherwise, if it's a state specific issue, then I defer that. But other than that, the main difference from being a practicing divorce attorney and a divorce coach is... and this maybe seem obvious too that I don't go to court with people. I don't file papers on behalf of people like I would as an attorney. I can help them if they have to file a motion and they're representing themselves. I can help them come up with the format or work on the content with them but I won't draft it for them. I don't do that, but I'll help them draft it and help them get through the process. So those are the main differences between being a practicing attorney and being a coach. As a coach, I can help so many more people because I coach people all over the country.

Russ Thornton:
Well, I was going to ask, I know you mentioned you're based in Jersey, but it sounds like you work with people wherever they are, regardless of their jurisdiction or location. So it sounds like geography is not an obstacle for you.

Jason Levoy:
That's the benefit of being a coach.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but reading between the lines, hearing you describe it, it sounds to me, and maybe I'm off-base here, but it sounds to me like you maybe find the coaching work a little bit more rewarding or fulfilling than maybe having served in just the legal role, is that fair?

Jason Levoy:
Does it come off that blatantly, because that's absolutely true. And listen, that's why I quit. I mean, I chose to quit being a divorce attorney. I could probably frankly be making more money as a divorce attorney, which is why you don't see many attorneys doing the coaching. But I felt and I saw the need for the coaching and the passion is what drives me. And like anything in life, I always... and I have a seven year old daughter and so I want to be a good role model and say, "Go and do what you love to do for a career and follow your passion." So that's what I'm doing, and I'm not looking back and I have no regrets because I can see the results that happen when I work with my clients. And it's almost, I won't say instantaneous, but within like one or two sessions of working with a new client, I almost always get the, I am so glad I found you and I already feel better about what's going on.

Jason Levoy:
And that's because what I do as a coach is I manage you, you as the client, and I manage your expectations, your emotions. I make sure you're prepared for whatever's coming ahead in the process. It's all about empowering you with the information and the knowledge, so you can make the best decisions. And people who have attorneys more often than not, they don't feel that way. And there's a reason for that, and that's basically because the attorneys charge at an hourly rate. And if they took the time to do what I do, it would be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and they don't have that time and the clients don't have the money to pay. So what I do is I'm that interim filler, I guess you could call it. And I am giving them basically all my knowledge as a divorce attorney, so that when they speak with their attorney, they are way ahead of the game and understand what's coming and what's going on. And so in essence, they're not bothering their attorney with all the, I would say, little things that their attorneys don't really want to focus on anyway because they want to focus on the legal aspect and representing them, but I do that. And so it creates a full picture and it works. That's all I can say is that it works.

Russ Thornton:
Well, hearing you described it that way, I think that speaks to a comment you made earlier about maybe your initial expectation was to work with people that were representing themselves, but it sounds like now that you have found opportunity to work with clients that have their own attorney and you can help round out their divorce team, if you will, to fill in the gaps where... And a divorce attorney is focused on hourly billings, things like that, where you can maybe go a little bit more in depth with people into the details that might otherwise just get glossed over by most attorneys. Is that a fair characterization?

Jason Levoy:
Sort of, and I'll put it like this. So as a coach, I charge... all my coaching services are flat fee based. And I do that purposely because I don't want to be another member on your divorce team that charges at an hourly rate. Let the attorneys do that, that's how it works and that's fine. It's the nature of the business. But what you said is so true about, I'm a member of the divorce team. And so that team, I call it... The three pillars of the team are the trifecta of awesomeness. And I talk about that more, and I think it's episode number 13 of my podcast. So you can check that out if you're listening to this.

Jason Levoy:
But basically the three pillars are an attorney, a coach and a therapist. And you can have more people or less people. But those are the three ideal bedrock people to form your divorce team. Basically you want objective professionals who are not family and friends. Family and friends have their place, but you need objective professionals to help guide you. So basically it is a team approach, and when I first became a divorce coach I didn't have that picture yet. I didn't see how that was going to fall into place, because again, I was going to represent people... not represent people. I was going to coach people who are representing themselves. But what quickly has turned into what I do now as far as forming your divorce team is that I encourage everybody to get an attorney, assuming that they can afford one. Because can you represent yourself? You can. Should you? That's a different question. It's really difficult. It takes a really specific type of personality and person to be able to do that well, and I could count less than my five fingers on one hand the people that I've met in my lifetime who I thought could do that.

Jason Levoy:
So as a coach is what I do is I always encourage people to get an attorney if it's a contested situation, and that's what I do is I help them find the right attorney if they don't have one yet.

Russ Thornton:
Interesting. The team thing just jumped out to me, so I'm glad to hear you explain it in those terms and acknowledge the role of a therapist as well in many situations, whether for the person or for their, maybe children or both.

Jason Levoy:
Yeah, you have to. Because you get a therapist not because you're crazy, but because you're going through a divorce. And so it's one of the most traumatic times in your life. And every person on your divorce team wears a different hat. And what you should do as the client is let them do whatever it is the hat they are wearing requires them to do. So what does that mean real quick? It just means your attorney should be focusing on the legal aspects of the divorce. Your attorney is not a therapist and they don't want to be a therapist, that's why they have therapists. So your therapist is going to help manage your emotions and that whole side of the equation, which is just as important as the legal side, to be honest with you.

Jason Levoy:
But you got to manage it the right way and have the right people to help you do that. So everybody has to wear their hat and then everybody does their own thing, stays in their lane and that is the most efficient. And even though you're dealing with more people and paying more people, it is in the long run the cheapest way to do it too, because if you use your attorney for everything, I don't probably have to tell a lot of people who have attorneys that when you get the bill every month, you're like, "What the hell is going on?" Because half of it's probably non-legal related stuff that you're bothering them with. So you got to have the right people doing the right things.

Russ Thornton:
Well, and I appreciate. I mean, I think you started to explain the role of the attorney and the therapist in the divorce team. And to use your terminology, I think you consider those the bedrock members of a divorce team. So as you round out that team as a coach, what is your role? Or put another way, what's the biggest challenge that you are helping people address or solve as their coach during the divorce process?

Jason Levoy:
So there's a lot of people out there who call themselves coaches, and that's fine. But what separates me from other people who call themselves divorce coaches is that as an attorney, I coach from an attorney's point of view. So again, while I'm not giving legal advice, it's almost like you have two attorneys on your team, even though I'm wearing my coach's hat. And so if they're not sure if their attorney is doing the right thing, or they're not sure what the strategy is, as an attorney, I can help them identify that. And I help manage, for example, their relationship with their attorney, because it amazes me Russ, how often people are stressing out about their own attorney. You're going through a contested divorce, that's hard enough. And you're dealing with your ex and their attorney, and you're stressing about your own attorney. You shouldn't be doing that.

Jason Levoy:
So I help manage that relationship, and I even tell give them questions that they should be asking their attorney to help streamline it so they can get the answers that they need. And if there's an issue that needs to be brought up, I will help them and tell them how to approach it in the best way possible. And so I look at myself as a coach, kind of as a general contractor. And I'm helping the whole process run as smoothly as possible. And I think I said it before, but if not, a contested divorce is a roller coaster. You're going to have your shares of ups and downs. So you got to be able to manage that. And so that's what I do, I help manage that and I help keep you focused as the client and I help you form a strategy and a plan, because if you don't have that, how can you possibly make the best decisions? If you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off and just reacting day-to-day to things, then you're not going to get where you need to be when the divorce is over. And one day, as bad as it may be, it will be over.

Jason Levoy:
And so part of what I do as a coach is I help people articulate their post-divorce life. What do you want it to be? And then we form a strategy on how you're going to get there. And then everything you do is taking a step in the direction to hopefully get you there. And so I don't know if that really answered the question really good, but that's how I feel as a coach is that I'm helping you manage all the other members of your divorce team, I'm helping you manage what's going on with your family and your friends. So there is a little bit of a therapy component involved in being a coach. But then I also can shed light and help guide them on what is going on the legal side of things and understanding that process so they don't have to bother their attorney and they're not getting billed every time they do.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. I think that's a great explanation. And it's funny, Jason, you use the general contractor to describe what you do. Before you even mentioned that, I was picturing you as like a project manager, making sure that everybody's flying in the same formation, if you will, and moving the ball forward, which I think is super helpful, especially as you mentioned, somebody is going through a divorce, their life's getting turned upside down and people don't know what they don't know. So I think having you to serve as an experienced guide, both from the perspective of a former practicing divorce attorney and now as a coach to just help them make more informed decisions and use their time and energy more productively, I think it's got to be super huge. And I would imagine that ultimately saves them a lot of money and billable hours because they're using their time more efficiently when they are engaging with their attorney.

Jason Levoy:
Well, that's the thing is that when people hear, oh, you want me to have 2, 3, 4 people on my divorce team and paying 2, 3, 4 people, it doesn't sound very attractive. But in the long run and divorces unfortunately can take a year or two or God forbid, more. But in the long run, you will spend less money if you have the right team supporting you, because you are going to be more efficient with your time and your resources. And that's just the way it works out. It's one of the added benefits. It's a huge benefit. And it's just a roller coaster of a ride. And so project manager, general contractor. I never thought of myself as a general contractor, but that's what I do is I help you stay on track, I make sure that we have a plan.

Jason Levoy:
And it's one of those things that when I was an attorney practicing divorce law that I didn't even know coaches existed. I mean, I don't think they really did at that point. I think it's still new, this whole coach thing. But it's one of those things that you don't know what you're missing until you have it, like what you said. And so that's why when I work with clients, especially doing one-on-one coaching, I do group coaching and I do one-on-one, but especially with my one-on-one clients, they see the benefit almost immediately. Within the first couple of sessions working with me and I've gotten multiple occasions, oh my God, how would I ever go through this without you? And I'm not saying that to pat myself on the back, but I'm just saying that because you don't know what you're missing until you have it. And that goes for a lot of things in life, I think. But it's just knowing that that kind of help exists and reaching out and taking action.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, first of all, it's perfectly okay to pat yourself on the back of here. But that's awesome that you're getting that feedback, but even more impressive that you're getting it so early, like in a first or second session. I think that speaks volumes about the value that you're delivering early in your coaching with clients, either one-on-one or in groups so I think that's fantastic. So Jason, clearly you've got the skills and experience to work with, I would imagine, a wide range of different types of people in different situations. But if you had to describe a perfect client for you, for your coaching, for your services, is there such a thing? Is there a situation where you're ideally suited to get involved and help out?

Jason Levoy:
That's a great question, Russ. So I work with people in all stages of divorce; preparation, in the middle of it, towards the end of it, or even the divorce may be over, but you're still dealing with some issues and you have to go to court or mediation or something like that. So whatever your stage is of divorce, I can work with you. But if I had my choice, I would have people contact me before anything really happens formally. And what do I mean by that? I mean, before anything is filed with the court, before maybe even you tell your spouse that want to divorce or sometimes you're on the other end of that and your spouse is telling you that they want a divorce. But before anything really starts, because in my opinion, preparation is the most important phase. And if you have the time and you take the time to prepare properly, that sets the tone and the foundation for the whole process. And so I love to get in as early as possible and start helping people prepare for divorce.

Jason Levoy:
And again, that could be from, let's find the right attorney for you, let's make sure you get all your ducks in a row. And I work with you, and we've come up with a plan and that strategy I mentioned before, and that for me is the best, because then you're starting with like a clean slate. I pretend I'm an artist and we have a clean canvas and then we will paint the picture from the beginning.

Russ Thornton:
And with that in mind, given the opportunity to get involved early, clearly there's more value that you can add, there's mistakes you can help people avoid. In your experience, Jason, what's one or two of the biggest or most widely held misunderstandings or myths about divorce. For example, I've talked to a lot of people in my experience that have said things like, "Oh yeah, I really want an attorney that's going to be a bulldog and is really going to fight tooth and nail for whatever I need." I've often heard people say, "Well, my friend or my neighbor hired this attorney and they did this, this and this. And so as a result, I need to do this, this and this," which is almost always a recipe for disaster. In your experience, what are one or two just myths that you'd like to bust around divorce or widely held misunderstandings?

Jason Levoy:
Okay. That's a great question too. And I second everything you just said. A divorce is like a snowflake, there's no two alike. So that's why I always say, never listen to friends and family about what happened in their divorce trying to give you advice. It's not the same. And you got to treat your situation as unique because it is unique and it's your life, and the factors and circumstances of you in your life are different. No matter how similar they may look on paper to somebody else, it's different. I mean, that's a huge... I don't know if it's a myth, but don't listen to friends and family. Use them for emotional support but understand that it's not objective.

Jason Levoy:
So what I would say a big myth of divorces is that you can control how fast it goes. That's true, but depending; the asterisk there. If you're going through the court and that's what we call litigation, when you go through the court system, it's slow. There's just no way around it. It's slow. And the court wants you to get divorced usually within a year in most places. That rarely happens. And now with COVID and the courts were shut down for most of the last year and a half and they're doing virtual hearings now, it's just, everything is slower. So you got to give it some time and that's why going through the court system and litigating it is not the ideal way to get through the divorce. Sometimes you don't have a choice, but sometimes you do. And so that's one of the things I do as a coach, is I guide you through making those decisions.

Jason Levoy:
And I get it. You want to get divorced yesterday but it doesn't happen. That's why you have to take time to prepare and be ready for whatever comes your way and so you'll be able to manage that. So that's a big myth. Let me see. Another one I would say is, I don't know. Let me think about this for a second. There's a lot of things that can be talked about. Oh, maybe that it has to be expensive. That's not true. It all depends on your spouse that you're dealing with and the attorneys. You mentioned this before, Ross about getting a bulldog attorney. That's a good myth too, is that most of the time you don't need that type of an attorney.

Jason Levoy:
And that's what I said about how important it is about choosing the right attorney. If you choose a pit bull of an attorney, for example, when you don't need one, well, then you're going to be paying up the wazoo and it's going to take you a lot longer to get where you need to go. Because pit bull attorneys like to litigate and fight about everything and your divorce may not require that. And so that's why it's so important to choose the right attorney for your situation. And that goes for your spouse too, which part of the problem is that if they go out and hire a pit bull attorney, then it could derail the process too. So I'll give you just a quick example and if I'm going a stray just to shut me up.

Russ Thornton:
No, you're great.

Jason Levoy:
I have a tendency to do that. So I'm working with a client right now and we're in the preparation phase. She hasn't even told her spouse that she wants a divorce yet. So I'm helping her A, find the right attorney for her, but then I'm also kind of helping her, depending on how her spouse reacts when she tells him that this is really going to happen, that he should try to find a similar attorney that she is looking at. In other words, I'm not steering her towards the pit bull of an attorney because her divorce doesn't require that, in my opinion. When she breaks the news that this is actually going to happen and she wants a divorce, he's going to go through a lot of emotions, anger being one of them. I'm prepping her to try to communicate because she does have some level of communication with him. Listen, we're getting divorced. It is what it is, but it doesn't have to be a drag them out, knock them out, expensive battle. I want an attorney. I think you should have an attorney. But we should both get a similar type of attorney who can work well together, who wants to do this amicably. And that will benefit both of us.

Jason Levoy:
And then hopefully he'll agree to that and see the benefit in that. So that's one of the things that I do as a coach. Getting back to that original point is that it doesn't have to be a knock them out, drag them out battle most of the time. Now sometimes you don't have a choice, but you want to start off giving yourself the best chance to succeed and get it done as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Russ Thornton:
Absolutely. Yeah, no, I appreciate you sharing that example. And in fact, I was going to ask you, so you gave me a really nice segue.

Jason Levoy:
I'm good like that.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. You're good like that, Jason. Could you share a favorite client success story that you've worked with? Just at a high level.

Jason Levoy:
Yeah. It's kind of this overarching theme of just... I'm not sure how to articulate this other than my greatest success, any success story, as far as I'm concerned when going through a divorce and especially serving as a coach is not really dependent on the outcome of the divorce, meaning, who got what, for how long and how much. That is important, don't get me wrong, but what's more important is how you got through the process and how you came out on the other end emotionally, mentally. And then the last bit of that is, are you in a good place to move on and live the life that you want to? So I'm always just a proponent of fair. If you want to draw blood and just hurt your spouse because of what happened in the past, I'm not going to help you do that. That's not what I do as a coach. I'm about fairness. Doing this as quickly, as fairly as possible to get you to move on and live the life that you deserve and be happy. And everybody at the end of the day just deserves to be happy.

Jason Levoy:
So my success stories are seeing people going through the process and feeling empowered, and you see the confidence in them as things unravel. So I guess one example of that is, I prepped a client of mine recently for a hearing that they had to do in court with a judge. And she has an attorney and it's a nasty situation with her and her spouse or ex. So I prepped her for what they're going to do. Not because I have a crystal ball, but I knew they were going to hit below the belt and mud sling and just nasty stuff like that. And so by prepping her properly and empowering her with the confidence that she can get through this and not to fight fire with fire. That's one of the things I do as a coach is I always preach, it's not an eye for an eye, even though that's what you want to do because that's human nature sometimes is to feel that way. But from a legal standpoint and just a coaching standpoint, that's more often than not, not the way to go.

Jason Levoy:
And so I prepped her. I set her expectations and she was confident going into it. And she had prepped accordingly with her attorney, so she was confident in what her attorney was going to do or not do. And after the hearing, it went just like everybody thought it was. But she came out on top in the sense that the judge yelled at the other side because of the shenanigans. And judges are people like you and me, and they're just trying to get through the business of the divorce. A divorce really at the end of the day is a business transaction. It's the emotional stuff that gets in the way. And so helping clients manage that and then seeing what I'm preaching happen and play out the way I thought it might play out makes them feel good about the situation, makes them feel good about having me on their team. And there were no big surprises so they are prepared to now go to the next step. And it's just like I said, keeping the ball moving forward.

Jason Levoy:
So that's a really long-winded way of saying, I guess my success stories are people understanding and seeing the benefit of having me on their team as a coach and how I can bring down the stress levels and make the process, I guess, much more palatable than it really is.

Russ Thornton:
Well, I think that's super helpful actually, because I think it's one thing for us to talk in the abstract about what a coach is and how they help but I think maybe providing some more practical real-world examples of how you've helped, where you've helped I think will give our listeners a little bit more to grab onto to maybe identify, maybe I or someone I know could use Jason's help so I appreciate you sharing that. You've built this brand for yourself, for lack of a better word as The Divorce Resource Guy. You've got a podcast by the same name. And I'm curious, just through the podcasting experience specifically, since we're talking in a podcast format right now, what have you found most interesting or have you learned through the podcasts since you've had... I've listened to several episodes of your podcast and I know you've had a variety of really interesting guests and subject matter experts and things like that. So what have you found most interesting or most eyeopening going through The Divorce Resource Guy Podcast experience?

Jason Levoy:
Well, for me, I love doing the podcast because it enables me to talk to people like you and meet so many people that I would really never have met. And I used to do a lot of writing for online publications and writing divorce articles and I enjoy that. Writing is my background. But then it was getting a little stale and I was looking for a change and then the whole podcasting thing came about. And it invigorated me because when we're talking to people like we're talking to each other right now, it enables our personalities to come out a little bit, the way you say something, your tone, your inflection adds so much more to the conversation than reading print, in my opinion.

Jason Levoy:
And I can put a little bit of my sense of humor into my podcast, which I try to do. I don't know if it comes off so well, but I try. I love the format and you can listen to it anywhere you are, in the gym, in the car. And I just think it's a great resource, and that's why I started mine and that's why it's called the Divorce Resource Guide Podcast, because it's just another resource that I want people to have where they could really learn a lot about the process and start empowering themselves with the information that they need to know.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, and I also think it's another great resource, pun intended, for people to get to know you before... So maybe they listen to this conversation, you and I talking, and they're like, "Wow, I might be headed towards divorce. Maybe I could use the help of someone like Jason," but you're not ready to pick up the phone or send an email, listen to some episodes of his podcast. That's a great way to get to know who he is as a person, get a better understanding of how he thinks about or tackles different things or decisions. It's just, I think, a great way for people to warm up to the idea of potentially working with you before having to pick up the phone or sending an email. So I think it's a great opportunity for folks to get to know who you are and understand what you do a little bit better. If you're listening, be sure to check out Jason's podcast, it's The Divorce Resource Guy Podcast, which you can find virtually everywhere, and we'll be sure to include a link to his podcast in the show notes as well.

Jason Levoy:
No, I appreciate that Russ, and I had you on my podcast, so you can listen to my conversation with Russ as one of the episodes. I never thought of it like that, but that's a great way to frame it, I think, is that if you're shy or you're not sure I'm the right person you want to work with or to be on your team, and this goes for any professional you're considering, listening to the podcast, that's me. So I am the same person as your coach as you hear on the podcast. It's not like I have a different personality. I'm not that talented. And so what you see is what you get or what you hear is what you get. So that's a great way to get a feel for somebody. And now that I think about it, I've had so many people find me by listening to me on, not necessarily my podcast, but me being on other people's podcasts like yours. And they're like, "Oh, he sounds like a person that I would enjoy working with, or that would be good for my situation." And I never really connected the dots to that, but that's a great way for somebody to get a feel for who somebody is.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, it's maybe top of mind because I kid you not, not even a half hour ago I got an email from a local family law attorney here in Atlanta who I had on my podcast a couple months ago. And she emailed just to say, hey. And she's like, "Oh, by the way, I just met with a client who said they listened to our podcast conversation prior to scheduling a consult." So it's just interesting how people, like you said, connect the dots and how they each find their own path to reach out to us. But definitely check out Jason's podcast. He's doing great work and putting a lot of great educational content out there for folks. Jason, it's my understanding you work with women or men. You're not really focused on one gender or the other, is that correct?

Jason Levoy:
That is correct. Just the way the chips fall, I work with more women than men but I work with anybody. If you're looking for help, I'm available.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, the reason I ask is as you know this is Women's Retirement Radio and the focus of the work I do is squarely on women, whether they're on their own or in a relationship. But I'm just curious, when you think of the work that you do when you're working with women specifically and maybe zoom out and think bigger picture about regardless of their age, thinking down the road towards, whether it's retirement or the rest of their lives or educating their kids or whatever the situation may be, what impact do you see in your coaching work as it relates to women specifically as they're thinking about retirement or maybe retirement down the road, and they're just thinking about their life beyond divorce in this example?

Jason Levoy:
Yeah. That's a great question again. Basically, for me it's about having a plan and a strategy. And again, I hate to classify things based on gender, but it seems to me from my experience that women more than the men, they are not so quick to think about their post-divorce life and strategizing and their finances. And they are living in the moment more. And they're concerned, if their children involved rightfully so with the children and getting through day-to-day drama maybe. But the finances, like you said and that you help with is so important. And if you have that plan and you have a strategy and you know what your post-divorce life is going to look like, or what you want it to look like, first you have to see if that's feasible and then it's going to shape every decision you make during the divorce.

Jason Levoy:
So I think a lot of times people say, "I just want to get divorced and then I will start my life, or I'll figure out what's going on." When I think the approach is better if you say, what is my post-divorce life going to look like, and what can I do now to help point me in that direction? Because everything you do in divorce regarding negotiations, what you want, what you're willing to give up and what you want to focus on and not fight about versus things that you may want to fight about, that's all dependent on what your vision is for your life. And so if you have people like yourself to guide them and understand, all right, well, this is what you need to do now to get you where you want to be 10 years from now or longer, we've got to start doing that now.

Russ Thornton:
It's fascinating. Throughout our conversation, I'm just fascinated by the parallels between what you do in your coaching work and what I do from a financial planning perspective. I mean, it's all about getting a clarity around the vision of the life you want to live, and that can help make your decisions today much easier, because you can be more deliberate, more purposeful with the decisions you're making, because you're heading towards a destination or a goal versus just letting inertia or just your routine, or just taking things a day at a time and just getting carried by that wave. So I think that's a great approach and I can only imagine how much your coaching clients benefit from that kind of framework as you're coaching and giving them advice and direction. So I love that.

Jason Levoy:
It's all about the big picture. And I take people out from the... I just came up with this. I swear to God, it's like a drone. I figure if I'm a drone and then I'll take you with me on the drone and we'll get up to that aerial view and look at the big picture of what's going on below. Because a lot of times when you're down in the weeds of the divorce, you can't see. What's that phrase, that you can't see the forest through the trees?

Russ Thornton:
Yeah.

Jason Levoy:
Yeah. So what I try to do is I bring you up and get that aerial a big picture view of what's going on and that helps clarify things.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, I would imagine too that that aerial view also gives people a glimpse of what life could look like on the other side of this, when maybe they're just focused on how do I get through the next 24 or 48 hours, and then I'll deal with life beyond that when I get there.

Jason Levoy:
Exactly.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. I got to think that's immensely helpful. We've been talking for 45 minutes or so, and I think we could probably easily talk for another hour without breaking a sweat so we'll have to you back on another episode down the road, but I always like to ask just to give our listeners a better picture of who you are. Outside of your professional life, how do you most enjoy spending your time when you've got maybe an hour or two to yourself? If you have an hour or two to yourself.

Jason Levoy:
Right. That doesn't happen too often and I only have one child. So when I do have some time, one of my favorite hobbies is brewing beer. I've been doing it since college, since I turned 21 and a friend of mine got into the craft together. And for people who don't know, it's just like baking or cooking, it's just, you're brewing beer. And so I really enjoy it and I don't get to do it too often now because it is time consuming and it can be an all day affair with setting up the equipment, doing it and then cleaning it up. But I love it and I guess I'm a little bit of a beer snob and so I love to craft brews and everything, and that's one of my biggest hobbies. And then my other newest new hobby, which I'm happy. I don't think I've talked about it at all, Russ, so I'm going to debut it with you.

Russ Thornton:
Breaking news.

Jason Levoy:
This is very special is that I started riding a motorcycle.

Russ Thornton:
Oh, wow.

Jason Levoy:
Yeah.

Russ Thornton:
Wow, that's got to be exciting, I would think. Are you in a busy city in New Jersey or are you outside of the hustle and bustle?

Jason Levoy:
Well, I feel like it's all hustle and bustle, but I'm in a suburb. I live in the suburbs, but it's congested. And so let me clarify, when I say ride a motorcycle, images I know popping to everybody's head depending on what you think when you hear that. I've always wanted to ride a motorcycle ever since I can remember. And I'm a Harley boy and so I like the cruisers and I'm not doing it for the speed. You're not going to see me on one of those sport bikes. And I have no interest in going fast, I just want to be in the right lane going 45 and have my legs up relaxing. And so recently, I just was able to start and I found a nice used bike from somebody here in Jersey. I got to be a hundred percent honest, my wife was totally supportive and she's just like, "You don't do it. It's now or never." And I got all the gear and I do it as responsibly as I can and so far I love it. I got to be honest.

Russ Thornton:
That's awesome. Do you ever take your wife or your daughter with you?

Jason Levoy:
Oh, no. That's not going to happen. Well, first my wife has no interest. And my daughter, until I get really proficient at it, I wouldn't even think about putting her on the back. Although I do have a seat for a passenger, but I got to practice. It's like learning anything else. You got to practice to get good at it. So I just started a couple months ago and so hopefully by next year, because it's getting a little chilly here now, in the springtime and the summer I'll be raring to go.

Russ Thornton:
That's awesome. I'm glad you shared that. Back to the beer thing real quick. Is there a favorite type of beer? Like are you an IPA guy or any specific beer that you especially enjoy brewing and or drinking? Or do you just mix it up into a little bit of everything when you have the time?

Jason Levoy:
I do a little bit of everything. In the winter, in the colder months, I like the darker beers, like the stouts and the porters. And in the summer, in the warmer weather, I like IPAs. But an interesting thing, and I wonder how many people we've lost listening to this, but with the IPAs, they're very hoppy and that's what gives them the smell and the taste. As a home brewer, I've found it very challenging to brew the IPAs for some reason. And it all has to do with the water chemistry that you have where you live and it's actually quite complicated. Not complicated, but there's a lot that goes into brewing a good batch of beer and so that's why I like it though. Every one is a new experience for me.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Well, I've never done it, but I enjoy drinking it, never tried brewing it, but it sounds fascinating. And I think we're probably picking up listeners at this point, because this is the good stuff.

Jason Levoy:
Yeah. Right. Maybe I should start a beer brewing podcast.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah, maybe so. So listen, Jason, this has been great. I always enjoy chatting with you and we've covered a lot today. If there were one thing our listeners could take away from our conversation today, what would you want that one thing to be?

Jason Levoy:
Understand that no matter how bad it may be right now, it can be better. And you have to take action though to make it better. It's not just going to happen by itself. And thinking about it, it's about taking action and finding the right people to help you and then you will see the results.

Russ Thornton:
Well, I think that's a great place to wrap it up. So Jason, thank you again for joining us here on the podcast. We talked about your podcast earlier. What's the best way for people to learn more, to reach out, to get in touch if they're interested in doing so?

Jason Levoy:
So you could find everything about me at my website, jasonlevoy.com and feel free to reach out to me. My email is jason@jasonlevoy.com and I will get back to you right away. I promise.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. And as I mentioned, we'll include links to Jason's website and his podcast and everything in the show notes for this episode. So we'll make it easy for you to reach out if you'd like to talk to Jason further.

Jason Levoy:
Thank you so much Russ, for having me on.

Russ Thornton:
Yeah. Thank you. This has been great. And to all your listeners out there, thanks for joining us for another episode of Women's Retirement Radio, and we look forward to catching up with you next time.