Meet instructor:

Mary Bell Carlson

Financial Behavior Storyteller

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson, CFP®, AFC®, is a financial behavior expert, well-known speaker, podcaster, and storyteller.
Financial Instructor

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Mary Bell Carlson

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson is a financial behavior expert, well-known speaker, podcaster, and storyteller. She holds both the Certified Financial Planner® and Accredited Financial Counselor® designations. Mary’s work has influenced countless individuals and families to improve their financial well-being, from the Pentagon’s bowels to the halls of Capitol Hill to the main streets of counties. Mary is the President and founder of Financial Behavior Keynote Group, a speaking, consulting, and education firm providing thought leadership on financial behavior change. Mary is the co-host of the Real Money, Real Experts podcast and an adjunct faculty member for the University of Georgia.

Before launching her firm, she led program development for the National Association of Counties Financial Services Center in public retirement and healthcare for counties across the United States. She has also served as the technical advisor in the office of personal finance for the Department of Defense and worked at Fort Riley, KS, as a financial counselor for the Survivor Outreach Service program, helping military families with financial matters after the loss of their loved one. 

Dr. Carlson completed her Ph.D. at Kansas State University, where she studied personal financial planning with an emphasis in financial therapy. Her passion for helping service members kindled a desire to understand further the relationship between financial behaviors and military stressors, which led to her dissertation entitled “The Financial Behaviors of Soldiers Before and After Deployment”. She’s traveled the country and the world, helping service members with their finances and connecting service providers to personal financial planning resources. She received her master’s degree in personal financial planning from Texas Tech University and her bachelor’s in political science from Brigham Young University.

Given her wealth of experience and expertise in financial behavior change, Dr. Carlson has become a sought-after speaker and consultant. She cares deeply about people and is committed to helping others understand more about money, communication, and relationships. She lives in Northern Virginia near Washington, DC, with her husband and three girls. 

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