A hearty welcome to “Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom” with your neighborly hosts, Brandon and Amanda Neely. This is the only podcast that helps you take charge of your cash flow and leverage your assets, simply and sustainably, the way Grandma used to.
Brandon: Hey, I'm Brandon, and welcome to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom where we help you break through to a smart, stable financial future, with the tried-and-true wisdom Grandma used.
Amanda: And, howdy. I'm Amanda. Thanks for joining us for Episode 46 titled, “What Is an Independent Financial Future Anyway?” Last week we talked about getting out of debt and staying there, and we think you'll agree, financial independence is way more than just being debt-free.
Brandon: Last week we talked about the Ghost of Christmas past. I think that was really interesting that debt is that Ghost of Christmas past, and now moving into financial independence is a good thing to think about, getting rid of the past and moving on to the future. [0:01:13]
Amanda: Yeah, a positive future, not the future that the Ghost of Christmas Future would take Scrooge to, obviously, right?
Today we're going to define what that financial independence could look like. This is actually the first in a series of episodes dedicated to this concept of financial independence. We're just going to be starting the conversation today, and in the rest of this series, we'll talk about how to create an independent financial future, really get into the nuts and bolts of how to make it happen.
But, first, we have to define what an independent financial future is anyway.
Brandon: Before we even get there, we have a reminder about what's coming in February. We're doing a special live show with Mark Willis—we're kind of working together—from Not Your Average Financial Podcast, on February 1, I believe. [0:02:10]
We’ll debut a debt-payment/wealth-accumulation calculator and host a Q&A. This is going to be a live show at, I believe, 12:00 PM Central. All you have to do is go to reserve your spot on the live show at this link bit.ly/livenyafp. It will also be in the show notes, but check that out. We would love you to be there on this live show, and we might post it on our show and his show. It might be really interesting how it comes out as a podcast later.
Amanda: One small correction to what you said. It's actually at 10:30 AM Central Time on February 1.
Brandon: There you go. That's why you're there. To check all my [slip-ups.] [0:03:00]
Amanda: I had to look at the calendar. I didn't know it off the top of my head. But let's start this conversation about financial independence.
I think we can't talk about financial independence without a quotation from the book, Your Money or Your Life. That really goes into lots of depth about financial independence and what it can look like, and I just want to read three sentences from the introduction to that book. Here's what they say there:
“Financial independence and compass is a lot more than having a secure income. It is also an independence from crippling financial beliefs, crippling debt and a crippling inability to manage modern ‘conveniences.’ Financial independence is anything that frees you from a dependence on money to handle your life.”
Brandon: That’s a really powerful quote there. That's a book's definition, but everyone's definition is different. Your definition of financial independence might look a little different than Joe's down the street, right? [0:04:09]
Let's break down some of the key phrases in that quotation and explore, in general, what they could mean. Keep in mind that everyone is unique and you have to apply this to your personal situation. You're not going to, again, be like Joe down the street; your situation may be a little different. Again, think about that, that big definition, but apply it to your own unique situation.
The first part is no crippling debt. Like we talked about last time, the debt you have is manageable. Maybe, even, there's a place that's an improvement on debt-free, like we talked about, again, last episode at that “better than debt-free” idea. Financial independence at the very least means debt is easily manageable with cash flow, so your debt is manageable with the cash flow that's coming in. [0:05:12]
Amanda: Yeah, it doesn't say no debt. It just says independence from crippling debt. I want to highlight that.
It also says an independence from a crippling inability to manage modern conveniences, which means that you have the ability to manage modern conveniences. Right?
So, modern conveniences, Cars, they break down. Cell phones need to be replaced. Roofs need repairs. Medical care has deductibles. College tuition isn't always free. All of those kinds of things are modern conveniences, and financial independence means having the funds to cover these things or to not have them at all. Really, you don't need to have the latest smartphone or maybe even a smartphone at all, depending on the kind of lifestyle that you're choosing. Financial independence means an ability to manage modern conveniences. [0:06:08]
Brandon: The third part of that quote is no crippling financial beliefs, and I believe there are a crippling financial beliefs in a lot of us and we have to really think through strategically about why we think what we think. This is where we want to hone in on today. What we believe about money is maybe, I would say, the most important part of financial independence, because it informs everything else. What we believe about money informs everything else in our independence.
Amanda: Yeah, what we do with that money, what we do with the lack of money, all of the things. But before we dig into those crippling financial beliefs, let's spend a few minutes imagining or a few seconds imagining. [0:07:00]
Can you imagine a financial reality with no dependence on money to handle your life? You wake up in the morning and you go about your day, however you want. You can do the things that bring you the most life.
And a lot of people when they imagine this, that they wake up, they get to do whatever brings them life, they imagine being Grandma's age, being old, being retired, not having to go to the nine-to-five, being able to go golfing if they want, or crochet or bake cookies. Whatever it is that gives them life, they're able to do that, because they don't have those other demands on their money.
But what the financial independence experts would share is that you don't have to be Grandma's age to make it happen. Financial independence isn't just for, quote-unquote, “retirement age,” and we're going to dig into that a lot more, but it begins with imagining, What would it look like to not have a dependence on money to handle your life and what would you do with your time? [0:08:08]
But, even before then, we have to start with addressing the crippling financial beliefs because they often are what can stop you from even imagining what financial independence would look like in your life. So, let's go there, right?
Brandon: As we talk to our clients, oftentimes I ask them, What does retirement mean to you? When do you want to retire? And some people want to retire at 55, 60, I don't know, 40. The idea is to think about how to get there at any age. What does financial independence look like at 40, 50 or 60? But it starts, again, with addressing the crippling financial beliefs first.
Let’s take a at some examples of crippling financial beliefs that are going to stop you from getting to that financial independence at age 30, age 40, and at that golden year of retirement, whatever that is. Let's look at that. [0:09:10]
Amanda: We’ve got six quick examples of some crippling financial beliefs. The first five might not surprise you, but the sixth one I think is going to knock you off your feet. So here we go.
The first one: “I'll never have enough” or “I'll always be paycheck-to-paycheck.” Now, if someone is living paycheck to paycheck and/or going further into debt each and every year, and that's all they've ever known, it's very hard to imagine anything else. That can be a really crippling belief system to be in as that that will be how it always is, always paycheck to paycheck, always never having enough.
Brandon: It sounds like you're defeated before you’ve even started. You've already lost.
The second is “I can't earn enough.” In a world where many are underemployed, earning more money can feel very much impossible. It's impossible to think that we can make more money and we then think, I can't earn enough. I can't. I can’t get to that stage, whatever that stage is. [0:10:17]
Grandma always said, “Eat your vegetables. Look both ways before crossing the road. And never risk your financial future on elements of the market you can’t control.” That grandma, always good for some tried-and-true advice. And although some of her wisdom seems to have skipped a generation, you don't have to be left behind.
Download “Grandma's Top Tips for an Independent Financial Future” absolutely free, when you visit Grandma’sWealthWisdom.com. Don't wait. Get Grandma's best tips today.
Amanda: The third one: “All money is evil.” Now, this is a very common one for people like Brandon and me who grew up in poverty. I know my parents embedded in me a disdain for the rich as evil people, who had to have gotten their wealth through evil means, because evil ways of operating are the only ways to get rich, and so, they must not be very good people to be rich people, and all money is evil. To have wealth is to be evil. All those kinds of things. [0:11:18]
I can't wait till we get to talk about that, what the opposite of that looks like, in future episodes, because that was very much something that I had to get over myself.
Brandon: So, all money is not evil, right? That's awesome.
Amanda: We’ll see.
Brandon: The other belief is “I'll always be in debt.” People say this, and this is reaffirming self-fulfilling prophecies. “I'll always be in debt.” There's student debt. There's mortgage. There's credit cards. Whatever the debt, it seems impossible to get out of it, especially if there's a lot of interest, feeling overwhelmed that we're never going to be able to get out from under it. [0:12:02]
Amanda: You do the fifth one, because I can't wait to do the sixth one.
Brandon: The other one is “I could never afford to _______.” You fill in the blank here, “I can never afford to dream; have a dream vacation; own my own home; get a new car; send my kids to college,” whatever that is. Again, this is unique to you, but I can never afford to _______, whatever.
Even if you're making ends meet and paying your debt, it can still be hard to imagine having the money for whatever it is that is on your bucket list. And I do recommend people have a bucket list and try and figure out what that is you can afford to do or hope to. Anyway, that's my teaching as opposed to the beliefs, but I can never afford to _______.
Amanda: Back to number six. I told you this one might surprise you. This one is “Money is stressful—I'm not a numbers person. I can't do it, so I'll have someone else do it for me,” and all the variations where people defer or ignore money, put
their head in the sand. [0:13:17]
This is the one that I think is the scariest. Sure, numbers can be intimidating, but they will always continue to feel intimidating unless we take steps to face those fears and figure out a way forward, and not depend on someone else, a spouse or even a financial professional, or your employer or the HR department to do it for you.
Later in this series, we’ll go in depth into how to take small steps into that fear of money, fear of numbers. But, for right now, keep this acronym in mind—it's my favorite acronym for “fear”—that “FEAR” can be “Face Everything and Rise” that you really can take that fear of numbers, fear of money, and turn it into something that you can face, go through and be empowered to rise and become a better, stronger person. [0:14:12]
If that's something that you hear in your head, “Money is stressful. I'm not a numbers person. I can't do this,” then we're here for you. Keep listening to this and we're going to give you the tools to face that fear and move through it.
Brandon: Yeah. I think, again, going to that idea of us as being those guides that help you get there where you're able to face it, we're just there as … sounding boards—yes, guides, sounding boards—to help you go through there, and go through and quarterback your life, if we want to go back to another kind of weird analogy.
For now, let's ask this question: what is the very first thing needed to combat those crippling financial beliefs and start the journey towards an independent financial future? [0:15:07]
What's the first thing that we need to combat those crippling financial beliefs and start the journey towards an independent financial future?
Drum roll, please. What is that, Amanda?
Amanda: It is wisdom. We need wisdom in order to come out of those crippling financial beliefs and move toward independent finances.
Brandon: Wait, that might be Grandma's Wealth Wisdom, something like that?
Amanda: Something like that, right. I was looking through some books on my bookshelf and came across the one written by Dan Sullivan during December, and I was reminded of this really good truth that he has in one of his books. He writes:
“We may be living in the age of information, but it would be better if it were the age of wisdom. Information is only good for a short time, but wisdom lasts for centuries.” [0:16:05]
Truly, Grandma Centuries. And he goes on.
“It is crucial for us to have wisdom in our lives because it allows us to remain focused, confident and serene during turbulent and confusing times.”
And then he says, on the other hand –
“A lack of wisdom in the midst of information overload, where times seem to speed up, can lead to anxiety, erratic behavior and physical illness. Without wisdom to guide our thinking, we make bad choices, invest in the wrong activities and relationships, misuse our talents, and waste opportunities and resources. Increased information does not necessarily add up to more wisdom. It frequently prevents wisdom from being utilized.”
What Dan is saying here is what you need to have a more serene, confident, focused life, financial life, as we apply his quote to finances—it’s wisdom. Not more information. Not new tips and tricks. Not new tools or more information. You need some wisdom. [0:17:10]
That’s big. That's huge. That's life transformation, to look for wisdom rather than just more information.
Brandon: This reminds me of a book that I have really grown to love called The Richest Man in Babylon.
Amanda: We're going to talk about that later.
Brandon: We will, but I was thinking, this idea, why it's so popular is it's a story about—again, a long, long, long, long time ago—the idea of wisdom and how that applies. Anyway, if you like those kinds of books, check that out.
Searching for wisdom, not just more information, has brought us to ask some very important questions.
• What would it look like to spread wisdom, not just more information? [0:18:02]
• How is wisdom different than just more information?
• Could wisdom look like a set of truths we believe and help others create them? Could that be something that wisdom is there for?
• Could all information pass through this filter of wisdom before we accept it as true?
• What would Grandma include as her set of wealth truths?
That's exactly what this series is going to be about—creating a set of wealth wisdom that acts as a filter for all the information out there about money.
Amanda: But you don't have to wait for this whole series to get started. We've actually created a primer, a simple PDF that goes through some of these, the top five within this set of wealth truths, within the set of wealth wisdom. We titled that PDF Grandma's Top Tips for an Independent Financial Future. [0:19:04]
Even though we use the word “tips,” it really is some hardcore wisdom, not just more information. “Tips” is kind of how to get people to look for it and really want it, because people want tips, not just more information.
So, how do you get your hands on this PDF? It's really simple. You visit Grandma'sWealthWisdom.com, and you'll see it there.
A quick hot tip—after you download that PDF, your email that you use to get the PDF will be put on a list to receive a new video series that we're creating as well.
Brandon: Why does this matter? These tips truly are the wisdom you can use to remain focused, have confidence and be calm when the 2020s gets stormy or exhilarating, both positive and negative. There are always ways to improve. These tips will help you decide what's important for you and your future money decisions.
Amanda: So, what are your next steps? [0:20:03]
First, start by noticing your crippling financial beliefs. When a thought about money comes into your head, ask yourself, Is this helpful or harmful for my financial future? Is it crippling me or empowering me?
Secondly, get that Top Tips PDF and start to look through it, and think about how it can apply to you, and then look forward to that video series that we're preparing.
If you're a reader or an audible listener, we do have two book recommendations for you.
• The first one was where we got that financial independence quote from earlier. It's called Your Money or Your Life.
• The second one is called The Richest Man in Babylon. It's a nice story of search for financial wisdom. If you can't choose between the two and you really like stories as a way to really capture wisdom, not just get more information, start with that one, The Richest Man in Babylon.
Brandon: Awesome. I like both of them, for sure. [0:21:01]
Be sure to subscribe because, in the next episode, we continue the topic of financial independence with how the break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. If you believe you can't break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, we're going to show you how.
Amanda: Actually, no, you have to believe that you can break the cycle in order for us to show you how, right? It starts with believing. If you don't believe that you can break it, if you believe that's not possible, then don't listen to that episode until you say, I can do this. I just need someone to show me how, and then we'll show you how.
Brandon: Awesome. That sounds great.
Amanda: Until next time, keep building your wealth, simply in sustainably, so you can break through to a smart, stable financial future.
The topics presented in this podcast are for general information only and not for the purposes of providing legal, accounting or investment advice. On such matters, please consult a professional who knows your specific situation.
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