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Highlights from this episode include:

  • Spending this way is the #1 cause of financial ruin (4:35)
  • This one purchase can often be the worst money mistake you ever make (6:23)
  • The most overlooked step to achieving financial freedom (8:40)
  • Not understanding this crucial difference between saving and investing can cost you everything (9:43)
  • This misunderstood financial product may be the perfect savings solution for your situation (11:46)
  • Don’t let this “smart” purchase bleed your bank account dry (14:35)
Read Full Transcript

Do you hate the thought of working past 55 or 60? Do you hate not being able to live the life you deserve today? Do you hate not knowing what your financial future looks like? It's time to stop doing what you hate, here's your host, Mr. Harold Green.

(00:19): Hello. Hello. Welcome to the show everybody. This is Harold Green of Brighttree financial and it is time, time, time, time, time to stop doing what you hate. How's everybody doing? I think I'm doing pretty good. It's been a long week. Today is Friday to getting ready for the weekend. Although right now here in Hawaii, there's not a whole lot to do. Yesterday when I was talking to a client, he said that there are some golf courses still open and I guess they consider that exercise. Right? So you know, technically according to the rule you can go out and get yourself some exercise, whether that's running on the sidewalk or jogging, but I think it's confined to the sidewalk only or riding your bike. But as far as just anything else, a lot of stuff has been banned. So I'm actually going to go check out some golf courses and see if anybody's open and maybe I can, you know, hit the driving range and maybe, maybe even get on the course.

(01:15): Who knows. But in today's show, we're going to be talking about the worst financial decisions we make or we've ever made or we tend to make or we might make our eight. So you guys ready? We're going to get into it real quick. One, two, three. Let's get it. I'm going to start with myself and talk about the worst financial decision or habits that I used to have that I no longer have. I don't know if you guys know a whole lot about my background. I think I may have talked about it before in the past, but I actually started working when I was five years old. I used to, my grandfather owned a, a, a, a business where he would go out and clear trees, forestry, they call it pulp wooding. Where are you going? You cut the trees down for the landowner and then you take those trees to the lumber mill and they pay you, you know, per yard or, or court or whatever they, they, they called it back then.

(02:09): And so at five, my job was the ax man. I would go out there and my job would be to trim the branches away from around the base of the pine tree so my uncle could come behind me with a chainsaw and then cut down the trees. And so I had to stay probably about a tree length ahead because when he cut down that tree, you know, he'd cut that tree in my direction and it would fall in my direction. And so he did that. So the tractor's gonna come along and hook up to the trees. You don't make it easier to hook up to the trees and then just kind of pull them all in one direction back towards the truck where they saw the logs up into so many feet and then put them on the back of the truck. So many times I found myself a little bit too slow because my uncle was quick and I'd find myself running from a falling tree and it was partly exciting and also partly scared, especially when you feel the whoosh of wind coming off that tree.

(03:01): So they had some pretty frightening moments as a kid. But you know where I'm going with this is I started working at an early age and I've been working since five and then I got my next job, real job outside of the family business, working for Wendy's when I was 13 years old in Panama city beach. And that's where the home of a Southern spring break is unless you go down to Daytona. But most of the kids from Alabama and all over it came down to Panama city beach and they spent a lot of money during this summer. So working at Wendy's I was busing suds and started making $3 and 10 cents an hour. Interesting thing about that is, is I've always been making money. I've always been a hard worker. And so, you know, if you know anything about working hard, sometimes you tend to play hard and you tend to spend money.

(03:40): So my thing was once I got older, I bought a car and I like buying tennis shoes and clothes and things like that. And it was back in the 80s, early nineties. And so hip hop and you know, the fashion and the style run DMC and all of that was you know, that was, that was in back then. So, you know, I spent money and I got accustomed to working hard, earning money and spending money. And I tell you guys that was my downfall because spending is one thing. But I never really learned the importance of saving because I felt that all I needed to do was if I work hard, I went on enough money and I could spin and do whatever I want to do. But eventually, you know what, that caught up to me because life became more expensive than I was earning.

(04:21): And I started to find myself spending using debt and I had gotten myself into a lot of debt. So number one, the biggest financial mistake people make from what I've seen and from what I've experienced is spending too much spending more than they make. You know, getting a lifestyle under control is very important. And inside the rapid retire program that I've built, we talk about that. We talk about how to have your cake you needed to, but you're going to have to have that built into some kind of financial plan that accounts for your lifestyle. Because, you know, I agree that spending money and enjoying life is important. It's part of leisure and relaxation for the most part. And it's motivation for a lot of people. You know, I live here in Hawaii and we have Alamo on a mall and we have a lot of shopping here and there's a lot of dining and there's just a lot to go out and do PR, you know, as far as you recreation here and, but it costs money.

(05:21): The stuff is not free. So I've, I found myself spending on credit cards because I just wasn't making enough. And here in Hawaii we have some of the highest credit card debt totals and the nation. I think I talked about that before, but it is one of the biggest crisis people face as spending more than they earn. And if you want to know more about how to have your cake and eat it too. In other words, how do, how to build your lifestyle, how to save for college, how to save for retirement. You know, pay your house down. You got to reach out to me. You've got to go to www, retire now, retire well.com and click on the rapid retire section, download the and then fill out the game changer form and get in contact with me. Then I'll show you guys how you can kind of spend and save and do those things that you want to do, but you're going to have to do it inside of a plan.

(06:07): So spending too much is number one. Number two, surprisingly enough, is purchasing a home. Okay? Sometimes people spend way too much money on their house than they should. They buy too much house then they can afford. Okay. Sometimes you start off good and you may be able to afford it, but sometimes life catches up to you. Things happen that you don't account for. So when you're buying your home, you have to have a lot of room just in case something happens so you can pay those extra bills and so on and so forth. Add insult to injury. I see people taking out a home equity line of credit just to make up and to account for some of those things that they, they weren't thinking about. So spending too much, number one, buying too much houses, number two, and then making matters worse. Tacking on a home equity line of credit just because you can't afford the things that you need in life, such as paying for college by new cars and on and on and on and on and on.

(07:04): So, you know, when I'm going through my discovery meetings or my, my one on one interviews with the families or the initial consultation, when people come in, one of the things I ask is I ask a lot of tough questions. Okay? But I want to get to know the client, get to know the person to make sure that I can help them out. So when I see credit card debt, the first thing I say, I'm sorry, I'm have to ask you a tough question about this, but why do you have so much credit card debt? And they'll say something happened like got sick or got laid off. Or the usual answer is, I don't know. We don't know how we got this much debt. And that's very alarming, right? Because if you come out and you say to me, Hey, I w I buy too much stuff, I shop too much.

(07:42): Right? That to me right there, I understand that. But when you say, I don't know, that's very scary because it means you have no idea and you have no control over your financial situation and you're just spinning out of control. And I've met people like that that just spend and spend and spend and spend and spend and it just, you know, no matter what you do, you're not going to be able to help some people because they just, it's a, it's, it's a psychological thing. Okay. So you know, once we recognize it for what it is, then we can deal with it until we recognize it for what it really is. It's hard to put a finger on that. Okay. And so sometimes that spending or whatever it is, is causing them from or keeping them from saving and taking care of their responsibilities the right way, which leads me into the next one is not saving.

(08:28): Okay. And that was one of my biggest things is because I spent too much money, I didn't know how to save. Okay. And I'm going to tell you something, saving and investing as two different things. Okay. Saving. There is no risk of loss and saving, investing there is substantial risk of loss. Right? And so you definitely want to go and check with a professional investment advisor before you make any decision on your investments. And then do your own independent research. Okay, but saving money, there is no potential for loss and so you can money in your savings account. You can save in your checking account, you can save money in the market. There's still risk of loss there. You can put money in life insurance policies that have a rider attached to it. You can put money in the rider. There's of course cost for the writer.

(09:12): You're going to have to do your due diligence on that, but life insurance is one of the safest places to put money and to have four cash reserves. And I'm going to record a show a little bit later on about why life insurance sucks. For some people and for others as one of the best things that you can do, especially if you have a super Uber low risk tolerance. Some people are just so risk averse, you wouldn't believe it and if you are risk averse, then that means you're going to have to be a good saver. You, you can't say, Harold, I'm risk averse. I don't like losing money. But then at the same time you won't save any. You're setting yourself up for a disaster. So you're going to have to figure that part out. But I didn't start learning how to save probably until I was in, I would say, by my mid twenties to late twenties so I started a bunch of life insurance policies to put money into.

(09:59): I didn't know a whole lot about investing. And so my first investment was Cisco stock. I don't know if you guys remember Cisco, but I think they're still around. But I bought Cisco stock a long time ago. And one of the other worse financial decisions I made was I was going to college at the time, and I took my student loans and I used the GI bill and I got my student loans and I invested my student loans. Now, the reason why it was the worst financial decision that I made is because I bought the wrong stock. And I tell people, all right, don't hate the market, hates your trades, don't hate the market, hate your trades. And the reason why people lose money in the stock market is because sometimes they're making the wrong trades. They're not doing their research. They're not following certain types of disciplines.

(10:46): They're being super emotional about what they do or you know, they're following the herd. But that was one of the worst decisions I made. Now the reason why it became a bad decision is because the stock that I bought didn't do too well. Now if I want to bought something like Apple or Amazon or something like that and I put five to $10,000 in back then, I probably would not be sitting here talking to you about the rapid retire program. I would probably be sitting here talking to you about how to take care of student loans, invest them in the stock market, and to make a gazillion dollars. That's, I would be here sitting here talking to you about that. But saving is very important. So you're going to have to understand how to put away and the appropriate amount of money to put away for your cash reserve.

(11:25): So one of the things I want you to think about is putting your cash reserves in a place where it does double duty. The reason I put my cash in the life insurance policy is because it does double duty. I get the death benefit, I get the dividends on the policy, have access to my cash. It's a very important thing to do and you know you don't have to start off big because if you start off too big and then you can't afford it, that's another big mistake is you. You buy too big of a plan and so it's important to make sure that you buy the right size plan based on your cashflow and so on and so forth. All right? Another big financial mistake people make is paying too much for college, so if you go back and check some of my other shows about paying for college and so on and so forth, you'll understand why people tend to overspend on college.

(12:14): They pay way more than they should, and then to compound it and to make matters worse, it's not only them paying too much for college, it's how they go about paying for college. All right? Some people take parent plus loans that they can afford. Some people take out home equity from their house to pay for college, some people cash in their investments to pay for college and they do all of this without understanding how it impacts their long term financial plan. So it's going to be very important for you to have a plan in place that will guide you in regards to how you should be paying for these things. And the last one I want to talk to you about is purchasing cars. You know, we all have vehicles and I, and I, I've shared with you guys in a show previous today about buying versus leasing, but we're going to get into that in depth a little bit later on about the benefits of buying versus the benefits of leasing.

(13:05): And I tend to see people buying used cars and that's what I did before because I couldn't afford a new car. You know, I would buy used car because my credit wasn't all that great. I was stuck with, you know, a high car payment and when the thing broke down, now I had a high car payment along with car repairs. And you guys won't believe, you know how many people are in the hole because they're constantly buying cars that, you know, use cars that break down and people say, well that's all I could afford. Well, you know, good credit is an asset. Bad credit is not, I mean, bad credit is what does as in every single time. But having good credit allows you to go out there and maybe lease a car or to get cars at better interest rates and then allow you to have extra cash flow to put aside in savings and your rainy day fund.

(13:49): Okay. And that's another issue. But I want to circle back to saving money. You know, people say, well how much money should I have set aside? And I said, well, it all depends. It depends on the type of situations you are susceptible to. If you're susceptible to job loss then and you don't have good prospects of finding another job, then you may want to have six to seven months set aside because you may have to go retool. You may have to go retrain and get re-educated to, you know, move up in the job market or lateral or, or move to a different place. I mean there's a lot of things you're going to have to account for it. So it's not like a rule of thumb. You should have three months saved because three months is not enough for some people. And some people believe it or not can get away with not having anything saved because they have assets they can cash in and turn that into savings.

(14:33): They can liquidate those things. So that's where it gets very complicated and you're gonna have to look at your financial plan and figure out, okay, am I the type that should be putting money in life insurance? Am I the type that should be saving aside a certain amount of money every single month in a savings account? Am I okay relying on my home equity line of credit? You know, is that susceptible be closed in case we have a credit crisis. And so these are all answers or questions that you are going to have answers to before you kind of just up and do something. So circling back again, spending money or spending too much as a major issue, buying too much houses, a major issue. Spending through your home equity like an ATM machine. That's the big issue. Not saving enough money. That's a big issue. Spending too much money on colleges.

(15:16): That's a big issue. Buying the wrong cars, that's a big issue. There's others but I don't have time to get into those today. I just wanted to drop this on you guys real quick and just kind of talk about the worst financial decisions and give you guys something to think about. So if you're out there and you want to figure out how to stop spending too much, you know who can look me up. If you're out there and you're about to buy a house or you're about to buy some investments or whatnot, look me up. If you're borrowing too much on your credit cards and you're spending too much on your credit cards and you want to stop that, look me up. If you're running through your home equity line of credit, like it's an ATM machine, look me up. If you're not saving money or putting aside money in the appropriate places. Look me up. If you're about to send your kids to college and you haven't gotten this thing figured out yet, look me up. It's time to stop doing the things that we hate. So get in touch with me. I'll help you guys out which on the right track and until next time you guys stay safe. Take care of yourself and one, two, three. Let's get it.

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