Economics that makes cents

Resident wants to give people a hand to climb out of debt by starting nonprofit to offer lessons.

June 30, 2010|By Britney Barnes,
  • Bob Wobbrock, a Huntington Beach resident, is planning for his death by creating a nonprofit company to help those in financial trouble.
Bob Wobbrock, a Huntington Beach resident, is planning… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Taking free financial help when dealing with money problems may seem like a no-brainer, but Huntington Beach resident Bob Wobbrock knows it isn't always that easy.

People don't want to change, he said, but Wobbrock thinks he has found a way to make financial solvency more appealing: pay people to change their ways.

The retired economics teacher wants to help people, and he is willing to put up his money to do it.

"I learned a long time ago that a lot of people are in trouble financially," he said.

Wobbrock is starting his own nonprofit organization, WanaLift, which will teach anyone how to handle their money and get out of debt with financial planning and analysis. Through time, those in the program will change how they think about money and think twice about buying things they can't afford, he said.

The organization will also offer classes on macro economics, a scholarship program for college juniors and seniors in an in-demand field and a component to help families with two or more children.


There will also be a scholarship program for small businesses to try and increase employment.

"He's identified ways to help people, kind of giving them a helping hand, but they have to show they have goals," said Jackie Zuanich-Ferrell, Wobbrock's longtime friend.

Wobbrock is laying the groundwork for the organization now, Zuanich-Ferrell said. The Manhattan Beach resident has also agreed to be a director of WanaLift and has no doubt that the organization will come to fruition.

"Bob is a renaissance man, and he is someone who, when he makes a decision to do something, he follows through with it," she said.

The idea came to Wobbrock in May, but he has been considering the idea for a long time, he said. A widower with only one son, he has often thought about where his money will go when he dies.

"Where would it go besides piña coladas for our son?" he asked.

Wobbrock isn't sick, but he said he wants something good to come out of his life and make his late wife proud.

He has begun making arrangements to start liquidating his assets to fund the organization. When he dies, his money will go into a trust for WanaLift.

"We're all going to die, but realistically, I have no emotion about this. It's logical. It makes sense to take care of business," he said.

Wobbrock is applying for 501(c)3 status, but wants to begin helping now. He is offering a one-week class Saturday on holistic macro economics. For more information on the class or WanaLift, email

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