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2020 was a wild ride. It showed us that nothing is certain in this world – not even going to a restaurant. And while that year has ended now, it’s hard to define how you’ll improve your life and grow your wealth in 2021. 

What can you still count on? In this episode, you’ll find out how to make 2021 a year that helped you grow financially and personally. 

Want to make 2021 better than 2020? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • Why you can’t count on money in 2021 (and how to use that fact to empower you to grow your wealth). (3:34)
  • How to “take control” of parts of your finance you think you can’t control at all. (6:03)
  • What to do when your income goes to zero for a whole year (without panicking or becoming poor). (7:16)
  • Why an uncertain future helps you take more control of your finances, not less. (9:54)

Remember to download Grandma’s Top Tips for an Independent Financial Future by dropping into https://grandmaswealthwisdom.com/free/. It's time for YOU to break through to a smart, stable, financial future.

If you’d like to see how Grandma’s timeless wealth strategies can work in your life, schedule your free 15-minute coffee chat with us by visiting www.grandmaswealthwisdom.com/call … just like Grandma would want us to do. 

Read Full Transcript

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.

Amanda: Happy New Year! I’m Amanda, 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.

Brandon: Hey, and I'm Brandon and this is Episode 71 we’ve titled, “Finding Certainty in the Uncertainty of the Year Ahead.”

Amanda: Now, have you heard that joke that circulated last year? It goes something like this. God was checking in on his angel, Gabriel, about the calendar of events. God says, “Hey, Gabe, how's the setup going for the 2020s?”

Gabe pauses and responds. “Can you say that again? Was there an ‘S’ at the end?” [0 1:05.4]

God rolls his eyes and enunciates really clearly. “How is the setup of events going for the 2020s? You know, the whole decade you're supposed to be working on?”

Gabe hangs his head in shame. He sheepishly admits, “I guess I heard you wrong on the Zoom meeting about the calendar of events. I thought you said 2020, not 2020s. I put all the events into the one year.”

Brandon: Ha-ha. That joke was only a little funny. I mean, seriously, the first time I heard it, I wasn't really laughing and…anyway.

Amanda: Yeah, maybe it's too soon. We're not far enough removed from 2020 yet to tell that joke.

Brandon: Yeah, but I am really glad the year 2020 is behind us, even though maybe all of the events that Gabe did were in that one year, hopefully not going to happen in 2021. [02:02.1]

Amanda: Yeah, and I bet a lot of people are super glad. It's been quite a year, but as we turn to the year ahead, there's still so much uncertainty. If we learned anything from 2020, we learned there's a lot that's out of our control. Even what we think we can count on like our good health or that the ER will have a spot for us if something happens, we can't really count on the things we thought we could.

Brandon: Personally, 2020 has been a whirlwind of events for us. We moved to a new city on Friday, March 13, and we were actually worried we wouldn't even be let in the state because it was so uncertain. I remember driving and telling Amanda, “They might not let us in. We might have to turn around. You never know.”

Then we had used all of our toilet paper before the move because we didn't want to move it—I mean, that's only logical—and when we moved here, we couldn't find any because it was all sold out. Even the basics of toilet paper on the shelves at this store was something we learned that we couldn't count on. [03:10.5]

Amanda: And, I mean, this is a financial podcast. We talk about money. Of course, when it comes to our money, there's even less that we can count on, all of us, you, me, Brandon, everybody. Money has so much uncertainty.

Brandon: Let's list all of the things we can't count on with our money.

Amanda: We might not get to all of them, but let's try something, right? Here we go. We don't know what inflation will be like or even if there will be deflation. We don't know what a gallon of milk will cost or almond milk, or what a gallon of gas will cost. We have no clue what medical expenses are going to be like. It's a shot in the dark to try to estimate.

Brandon: We can't count on the value we have in our homes increasing or that buyers will be there when we want to sell, or that a bank will let us take a new mortgage. Our homes have been a source of protection, right, from the virus? But how good are they at protecting our money? [04:08.8]

Amanda: We don't have a crystal ball to know what the stock market is going to do. It could go up, down or sideways, but we can't really time it or anticipate anything.

Brandon: Yeah, this year taught us that, for sure. No one can also tell us what the fees will be on our investments or 401(k)s or IRAs. I mean, they could change it any time.

Amanda: We have no clue what's going to happen with future taxation and tax laws. I mean, we might have a good guess based on the U.S. debt clock, but no one really knows what taxes are going to be in a year, five years, 10 years, who knows?

Brandon: We can’t count on our income, whether it's a job loss or the closing of our business due to a state mandate or renters who don't pay rent because you can't evict them. We can't count on our income.

Amanda: We can’t count on our kids receiving a good education or being able to find jobs even if they get the best education. If they're our backup plan for care in our older years, they might not have the funds to care for us. [05:10.3]

Brandon: Yeah, that's scary. I mean, we don't even know if the dollar will be accepted by the world, let alone our neighborhood shops.

Amanda: And we could go on and on. You can't count on your bank being open if there's a run on the banks. We can't count on our electricity or our Wi-Fi working if there has been a storm or if a Russian hacker infiltrates our utility companies.

Brandon: All right, Amanda, let's stop there. I think we get the point. We can't count on anything or anybody else. So, what are we to do in 2021 as we make our resolutions?

Amanda: Or not make resolutions, as we just think about the year ahead, and I’ve got two words to create some certainty in an uncertain feature. Are you ready for these two words?

Brandon: I'm ready.

Amanda: Okay, we're going to share them and then let's break them down. Here we go. Drum roll, please. [06:02.7]

Take control. Let's go through that same list and brainstorm how someone might take control of all the uncertain items of the future.

Brandon: All right. Inflation or deflation.

Amanda: Find a place to put your money that will expand when there's higher inflation and give you some leeway when there's deflation.

Brandon: Our homes

Amanda: Don't keep your money in the walls of your house. Instead, put it where it'll grow no matter what happens to the real estate market and you can use it to pay off your mortgage if you ever want or need to.

Brandon: The stock market.

Amanda: Have at least a portion of your wealth outside the market and not subject to its ups and downs. Even better if it's accessible to help take advantage of some of those downs.

Brandon: Fees.

Amanda: Pay attention and look for low-fee or no-fee financial products, maybe even find a product where they can't change your fees without your consent.

Brandon: Taxes. [07:00.8]

Amanda: Diversify your tax risk. Maybe you have some pretax, some post-tax, some never-taxed types of accounts.

Brandon: Income.

Amanda: Keep some liquid cash for handling any loss of income. Maybe even aim for a whole year of cash because you never know. It's totally possible to have zero income for a whole year or even more.

Brandon: Your kids.

Amanda: Now, we can't control our kids. We've got a two-and-a-half-year-old right now. We can't control him by any means, but I'm constantly reminding myself and hopefully this is a good reminder for you that our kids’ best teacher is us, right?

We can teach them also how to handle the uncertainty of the future, so they'll be able to have some more control, have some more certainty for themselves. I mean, if you're a part of their family, right, that should help you have some more certainty as well. I think for your kids, the best thing we can remember is that their best teacher is us, their parents.

Brandon: The dollar. [08:00.8]

Amanda: Now, if we switch to a cryptocurrency or to the Euro as the standard, or maybe even gold or some whole new thing, who knows, you might want to make sure you have your money in a place that will switch currencies right along with that new commonly accepted currency, so that you're not stuck with dollar bills when no one wants them.

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.

Brandon: Now, we could go on and on, keeping cash on hand or otherwise outside the bank, having some candles for when the lights go out, our data on our phone if the Wi-Fi goes out. I mean, there's plenty of things we can do. [09:10.8]

We hope you can see that even in the midst of uncertainty, you can take control. You actually have more control than you might feel you have, if you just stop and brainstorm a little, and then with that brainstorm, take some action.

Amanda: But you might be asking yourself still, I mean, so what? I get that there's uncertainty. I'm starting to believe that maybe there are some ways I can start to take control or take more control. But why take control when there's uncertainty? I mean, what good is it going to do since no one really knows what's coming and I still might not be prepared even if I take steps in that direction?

Brandon: We hear you. Here's the thing. When you get the sense that the future is very uncertain, you might be feeling like you can't count on anything. That's actually very smart of you. There's very little that we can count on. [10:10.4]

Amanda: And we believe that's why we have to take control, why you have to take control. We can't count on the government continuing to pass economic relief plans, but we do have the opportunity to create our own economic relief.

We can't count on our employers continuing to pay us regularly, but we can start developing other sources of income so that we're not solely dependent on our J-O-Bs.

We can't count on our children taking care of us when we're old, but we can start developing a plan in some ways to take care of ourselves.

We can't count on tomorrow, but we can do what we can today to ensure our tomorrows will have less stress, less worry and more certainty.

Brandon: Now, you might remember our tagline on the podcast—if you don't remember it, just start from the very beginning and you'll hear it—and our wording on our website that we wrote in 2019. Before all the events of 2020, we had written this. [11:12.3]

At the beginning of each episode, we say, and again, you can go back to the beginning or I'm going to tell you right now, “Breakthrough to a smart, stable financial future, with the tried and true wisdom Grandma used.”

On our website, we talk about being recession-resistant, and getting accessible and consistent growth. In all honesty, our work at Grandma's Wealth Wisdom works best in the midst of uncertainty.

Amanda: Yeah, I just want to read a short section from our about page, and again, remember this was written in 2019.

“We started Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom after seeing the difference that Bank on Yourself® made in our own lives. We definitely went in it with one eyebrow raised. Overcoming our initial bias wasn’t easy. After all, this was not the approach our parents had modeled for us. [12:04.2]

“But you can’t argue with results. After going from living on the edge to building and stabilizing our net worth, we knew we needed to share what we’ve learned.

“You deserve more! Hundreds of clients and listeners just like you work with us to overcome the volatile economy and build their net worth by making smart, achievable goals.

“We’re here so you can break through to financial independence and kiss financial uncertainty goodbye.”

Brandon: So, if you're ready to take control, despite the uncertainty, if you're ready to stop waiting for something or someone you can't count on, if you're ready to grab your financial future by the reins and drive it forward no matter what the future holds, then welcome to your year. [12:58.3]

And schedule a 15-minute call with one of us at Grandma'sWealthWisdom.com/call. We'd love to empower you with more control by pointing you to some resources, besides of course our amazing podcasts. There are other things that we can point you to that can help.

Amanda: Yeah, so go schedule that call now at Grandma'sWealthWisdom.com/call. We'll put that link in the show notes, too, so all you’ve got to do is click.

Then, stay tuned for the next episode where we'll share why you can't really count on your bank to be a safe place for your money and how keeping your savings in a savings account might be doing more harm than good.

Brandon: Again, go check us out. Go to that site. Read it for yourself and take control of your financial future by booking a call at Grandma'sWealthWisdom.com. Until next time, keep building your wealth, simply and sustainably, so you can break through to a smart, stable financial future. [14:04.5]

The topics presented in this podcast are for general information only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting or investment advice. On such matters, please consult a professional who knows your specific situation.

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