Financial planning is an ever changing profession as laws, regulations, financial innovations, and people evolve. We are lifelong learners and love sharing our passion and expertise with curious consumers and professional colleagues alike.
With a wide variety of personal finance and professional education sessions, our content is appropriate for a range of audiences from financial novices seeking the basics of planning and investments, to industry experts pursuing the advancement of their skills, to all those that fall in between — we have material to excite, challenge, and enrich any audience.
Members of the Inspired Financial team are available for live, in-person speaking presentations for your conference, meeting, or private group event.
We invite you to peruse our library below and contact us if you would like to discuss having us speak at your next event.
Preparing for Life’s Most Difficult Decision
As we grow older and those we love grow older, we find ourselves confronted more often with the question of whether someone needs assistance in their daily living and if so, what type of assistance. You will be better prepared for life’s most difficult decision if you think about this issue now. Talk about it now! This presentation shows you how to tackle this challenging conversation and how to make these most difficult decisions.
What Your Mother Never Told You About Investing
Mom prepared us for many life decisions but most of us never learned the basics of investing. This presentation recommends an approach–almost a philosophy–on which to base your investment decisions. This philosophy not only informs but it also inspires confidence in the financial choices you must make. Mom would be proud!
Finding Her Way: What Every Woman Must Know About Financial and Estate Planning
Throughout the ages and stages of a woman’s life, she faces many financial opportunities and challenges. The choices that she makes at each of these junctures can set her on the road to long-term financial peace of mind or chronic financial anxiety. This presentation travels through each stage of her life with true stories to frame the unique challenges faced by women of all ages. This presentation informs and empowers you to make the best decisions for your financial future.
A History of Women and Money
Many times throughout history, women controlled significant amounts of wealth. However, that hasn’t translated into financial equality for women. This presentation highlights those female financial trailblazers and the important historical milestones that marked the way for women’s financial empowerment.
Confessions of a Shopaholic: Establishing & Keeping Good Credit
Credit: what is it, how to use it and how to keep yours in tip-top shape. This presentation covers it all in a fun, approachable, and interactive format.
Investing in Stocks
What exactly is a stock and what is the best way to select and own them? Learn the basics of stock investing based on an evidence-based approach grounded in the most current investment theory. You’ll leave with a good understanding of the stock market and how to invest in it.
A Primer on the Financial Services Industry
The financial services industry is complex and it can be difficult to know who to call when you need help. Learn who does what in the industry and how to select the right professional for the right situation who is a good fit for YOU.
Everything You Need to Know About Financial Planning
Are your investments optimized for you? Are you paying to much in taxes? Are you on track for your retirement? Do you have the right insurance? Have you updated your estate documents in the past 5 years? If your head is spinning right now, you may benefit from working with a financial planner. Learn everything that a good financial planner can do for you.
Women and Finances: Challenging Common Financial Myths
Women receive financial information and “advice” from many sources that oftentimes are well-intentioned but ill-informed. This presentation reviews the seven most common myths and misconceptions we encounter and gives the straight scoop with good guidance on how to address those issues.
Portability & the Breaking the Bypass Trust (1 hr)
We define the A/B/C trust structure, review the history of the estate tax exemption, discuss why Portability matters and how to use it as a planning tool after the death of the first spouse, Clayton election, and ways to break the Bypass Trust structure when unnecessary and/or other work-arounds.
Subtrust Funding: Trusts A, B & C (1 or 2 hrs)
We examine factors that warrant what assets are best suited for particular trusts and how the Applicable Exclusion of $5MM+ comes into play in funding QTIP and/or Bypass Trusts. In joint estates approaching $10M, we will consider partial funding of a Bypass Trust to keep appreciation out of the Survivor’s estate.
Year-End Tax Planning (1 hr)
Accelerating deductions and deferring income are the staples of year-end tax planning. On occasion, we will want to accelerate income and/or defer deductions. We will also discuss charitable strategies, Roth conversions, pension funding, and the dreaded AMT.
FP through the 1040 (1 hr)
Walk thru the Form 1040, line-by-line, to discuss tax implications, tax strategies, and maybe some hidden tax assets contained therein.
Divorce Issues: The Non-Tax Side of the Coin (1 hr)
Demonstrate how Divorce Financial Planning follows the familiar 6-step financial planning process. We review restrictions to traditional financial planning during the divorce and through a case study, we’ll present property settlement negotiating strategies to include how to address 529 plans. We discuss estate planning during/after divorce and other post-divorce issues.
Divorce Taxation Issues (1 hr)
Tax planning during divorce offers many benefits to the client. We will discuss the impact of filing status and recommendations for QDROs & IRAs. We will also demonstrate the difference between “good” & “bad” tax assets and the allocation of income/deductions with community property vs common law states. We touch on alimony & child support issues, sale of residence and tax carryforwards.
Financial Planning in the Midst of Divorce (2 hr)
This 2-hour session covers both tax and non-tax aspects of divorce financial planning. See program descriptions for Divorce Issues: The Non-Tax Side of the Coin and Divorce Taxation Issues for further information.
We prepare two to three new presentations every year, so call us to see what’s new for this year or to put in a request for a future presentation!
For our speaker bios and photos for marketing purposes, please click a speaker’s name below.
Evelyn M. Zohlen, MBA, MS, CFP®
PresidentRead Bio →
Evelyn M. Zohlen, MBA, MS, CFP®
My own life-changing transition inspired me to start Inspired Financial so that I could help other women and their families navigate their difficult life transitions and emerge confident, financially secure and empowered to deal with future life events.
Evelyn M. Zohlen, founder of Inspired Financial, has served on both the personal and the institutional sides of financial services for nearly 20 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, her Master of Science from the Joint Military Intelligence College, and her Master of Business Administration (with a concentration in Finance/Portfolio Management) from Villanova University. Prior to founding Inspired Financial, Evelyn was a Relationship Manager at The Vanguard Group in Malvern, PA where she was the trusted advisor for clients with retirement plan assets ranging from $175 million to $500 million.
Evelyn is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional and serves as President for the Financial Planning Association (the membership association for CFP® professionals with 23,000 members!). She was an adjunct professor in the Personal Financial Planning Program at the University of California at Irvine and serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UCI. In addition, she is a community leader who currently serves on the Board of Governors for the premier business club in Orange County, the Center Club. She has served on the Board of Directors for WomanSage, the Board of Directors for the American Poetry Review, and the President’s Council at Immaculata University. Evelyn is a frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Financial Planning, USA Today, Investment News, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Real Simple and Consumer Reports. Prior to entering the financial services profession, Evelyn served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force.
Evelyn is married to the fabulous Mark Prendergast who shares her passion for food, wine, running (it counters the food and wine), reading and travel. Her perfect vacation combines great food/wine before and/or after a race while visiting their three terrific kids and their spouses. Good times!
- During my service as a US Air Force intelligence officer, I had the thrill of “taking the stick” of an F-16 fighter jet during a nighttime mission.
- I ran a marathon (in costume!) with Mark in Bordeaux, France that included 23 Grand Cru wine tastings along the course.
- My favorite volunteer activity is providing pro bono financial planning for low-income women and their families. I rarely pass up an opportunity to help these ladies.
- I love public speaking—the bigger the crowd, the better! My largest “gig” so far was to an audience of nearly 3,000.
Mark L. Prendergast, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™
Director of Tax StrategiesRead Bio →
Mark L. Prendergast, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™
Director of Tax Strategies
I’m a problem solver and pride myself on my ability to recognize tax nuances, evaluate complicated estate and tax planning issues and provide sensible easy-to-understand solutions that fit each unique client situation. 95% of financial planning has tax implications, and most wealth management firms do not have the estate and tax horsepower that we have at Inspired Financial.
Mark Prendergast has over 35 years of experience in tax, estate and financial planning. He started his career in 1979 at Ernst & Whinney and then joined Price Waterhouse in 1982 and acquired his Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 1988. He regularly teaches on income tax, estate and divorce topics at professional conferences (FPA, NAPFA, CalCPA, WealthCounsel, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts).
Mark served on the national Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association from 2011-2013, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for The Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UCI. His service for the Financial Planning Association includes board positions and committee work for two local chapters, and at the regional, state and national levels. He has serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Financial Planning (2002-current).
Over his career, Mark has served many roles in non-profit organizations, including the Board of Directors for New Life for Girls (women’s recovery home), The Birthing Center (birthing advocacy group), Valley Christian Center (church), and Fresno New Connections (a substance abuse clinic).
Mark is married to Evelyn Zohlen, and they truly enjoy life’s adventures together from work-to-travel-to-Disney and beyond! They miss their three adult children who live too far away for his pleasure: Alison (MBA), Josiah (JD), and Martha May (RN/MSN), all successfully launched in their careers.
- I’ve run 20 marathons, including Boston in 2005 and Bhutan in 2017.
- Evelyn and I climbed Mt. Whitney in a day: 17 hours of marital bliss!
- I competed in international Frisbee disc competitions when I was in college.
- In 1976, I rode my bicycle from Boulder to Minneapolis with my best friend Luke. Later that summer, we hopped a freight train in Texarkana and ended up in Kansas City.
- I once got stuck in a tree while skiing, and my buddies had to untangle me.
Leslie Rea, MBA, CFP®
Lead Financial PlannerRead Bio →
Leslie Rea, MBA, CFP®
Lead Financial Planner
I strive to provide clients with peace of mind about their financial affairs so they can focus on enjoying a rich and meaningful life.
Leslie Rea is a Lead Financial Planner on our team. She is a native of France and moved to the United States at age 19. Leslie obtained a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance in 2011 from Fresno Pacific University and graduated in December 2013 from their Global MBA program.
While in college, she took interest in Wealth Management and eventually discovered the evidenced-based approach to investing. She worked for a well-respected financial planning firm in Fresno for three years before moving to Southern California.
Leslie is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and a member of the Financial Planning Association.
Leslie and her husband, J.J., enjoy outdoor activities, travel, and value spending time with family and friends. Leslie loves to read, is always on the lookout for the latest fashion, and strives to live a healthy lifestyle.
- I was raised in Marseille, my hometown located in the south of France and thus am fluent in French.
- My grandpa was a winemaker in France and I spent all of my childhood vacations in my grandparent’s castle.
- My favorite board game is “Lords of Waterdeep” by Dungeons & Dragons. Embrace your nerdiness!
- I am a member of Toastmasters International. This is where you will find me most Tuesday mornings.
- I love being a Financial Planner. Everyone can benefit from financial planning: young or old, rich or poor. I always strive to spread financial literacy, starting in my own family.