Covering real stories about how professionals like you are impacting their clients.

Offering tips from real experts on how to improve client interactions and grow your business.


Real Money, Real Experts.

About Real Money, Real Experts

Real Money, Real Experts is a personal finance podcast written and produced by AFCPE®. With an audience of financial professionals, we strive to educate and entertain with a combination of expert tips, engaging interviews, and real-life storytelling. AFCPE® ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse professionals.

Our comprehensive programs, the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) and represent the gold standard of financial counseling and coaching certifications. And our membership community offers a place to share best practices, solve similar struggles, and access tools and resources that advance your career and enable you to better serve your clients.

Real Money Real Experts Logo

Listen Now


Meet the Hosts

AFCPE Executive Director Rebecca Wiggins
Mary Bell Carlson, co-host of Real Money, Real Experts

Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE® Executive Director

Rebecca Wiggins, Executive Director of AFCPE®, is co-host of Real Money, Real Experts podcast. Rebecca leads AFCPE, a national association for financial counselors, coaches, and educators. AFCPE certifies, supports, and connects professionals across the personal finance field who are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and passionate about helping people with their money.

Mary Bell Carlson, AFC®, CFP®, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson is a seasoned industry expert  and is currently the CEO of Chief Financial Mom. She also teaches at the University of Georgia and Texas Tech University in personal financial planning. Mary has worked in the military and government sectors for over 15 years as a financial behavior expert. Mary holds both the AFC® and CFP® credentials.

Recent Episodes

Episode #40: Getting to the heart of it: Understanding our clients’ values and money behaviors with Sarah Li-Cain

Episode #39: When I’m 65: Preparing to be a financial caregiver with AFC® Corey Carlisle

Episode #38: Accessibility, the path to AFC, and RV living with Melissa Mittelstaedt

On this episode of Real Money, Real Experts, co-hosts Rebecca Wiggins and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson talk with Sarah Li-Cain, finance writer, podcast producer, and host of Beyond the Dollar.

As a journalist, Sarah speaks to an incredible variety of people, listening to how money intersects with their physical, mental, and spiritual health. In this episode, Sarah discusses how money affects the human condition and how, as financial counselors, we must work to understand the heart of our clients’ money behaviors. 

Remember, if you missed this year’s Symposium, you can still register for the on-demand recordings and access more than 50 hours of professional development content. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

According to the US Census Bureau, one in five Americans will be aged 65 or older by the end of this decade. Unfortunately, this growing population is also most at risk for financial fraud and exploitation.

Today on Real Money, Real Experts, co-hosts Rebecca Wiggins and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson are joined by AFC® Corey Carlisle, Senior Vice President at the American Bankers Association and Executive Director of the ABA Foundation. In this episode, Corey dives into what it means to become a financial caregiver for an older generation and how we can provide more resources and tools to support them as they serve this vulnerable population.

Corey also gives us a sneak peek of his Symposium topic, discussing the need for financial inclusion for previously incarcerated citizens. If you’re interested in hearing more from Corey, don’t miss his panel discussion during the 2021 AFCPE Symposium happening November 15 – 19!

What do RVs, sign language, and AFC® certification have in common? They’re all part of the journey for our latest podcast guest, Melissa Mittelstaedt.

Melissa is a sign language interpreter, the founder of Money Coach, an AFCPE member, and an AFC candidate. On this episode of Real Money, Real Experts, Melissa dives into creating financial stability despite variable income, creating more accessible financial resources for our deaf and hard of hearing clients, and common advice she gives to women entrepreneurs chasing their dreams.

Listener Reviews

"I am excited about the Real Money, Real Experts Podcast. The hosts Rebecca and Mary have such rich and diverse background in the financial counseling and education space and they complement each other well. Usually in the first few episodes of a podcast, there is a sense of working out the kinks and getting comfortable with the format but this was a polished effort from the start. I also like the 20-min format, perfect for a listen on my morning jog or while running errands. I look forward upcoming episodes."

"The podcast is well done and the synergy between Rebecca and Mary is 🙌🏼. I'm looking forward to more episodes."

"Looking forward to more episodes hosted by these two great financial professionals!"

Be a Guest on Real Money, Real Experts!

If you’re doing interesting work in the field and would like to share your stories and expertise, apply to be a guest on Real Money, Real Experts! Fill out the podcast guest application and an AFCPE staff member will contact you if you are selected.

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you!

Do you have a topic you’d like us to explore, or feedback for the podcast? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us or comment below to let us know your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *