April 14, 2019
So I just got off the phone with one of the people who write in and ask a question. And her name is Lisa. And I have to tell you, that when I hung up with her just now, I started to cry. And I still feel like I wanna cry. And it was as if I was talking to God, and I was asking God, I was saying God why why do some women have to suffer so? Why does this woman who I just hung up with? Why why? And so I just want to tell you a little bit about her story. I wanna tell you this story, because I know you somehow have the same tendency. And that tendency is this. You don't want to ask for help. The theme of this podcast today, is ask for help. Don't get yourself into a situation where you're so proud, you just feel like you can do this, when the fact is maybe you cannot. Lisa is 56 years of age, and lives in North Carolina. Her husband was killed in a car crash two years ago. And before he was killed in this car crash, simply to save money, he had canceled the life insurance policy. So upon his death, there was absolutely no money. Not only did he leave with no money, but he left with debt. Debt that people they knew had created with him. What do I mean by that? People they knew lent him money. Lisa did not think it was right that they should not be paid back. So even though she hardly had any money whatsoever at the time, she made sure that she cleaned up all the money that her husband, who was now dead, and his debts legally die with him, but she paid everybody back. But what that did, was that left her in a situation where she has four cents now in her savings account. At the same time when this happened, her daughter moved in with her two years ago. And they thought they couldn't make it together. And Lisa's daughter brings home $1,200 a month. And for whatever reason, her daughter went out and purchased a car with seven years of a payment, of almost $600 a month. And Lisa thought was, she could help her daughter with that payment a little bit. She really didn't understand how much of a car her daughter was going to buy or anything about that. Her daughter now has fallen three months behind on the car payments. Her daughter is 35 years of age. Lisa, Lisa herself only gets $432 a month in widow's benefits, and that's all she's gonna get for the rest of her life. Obviously she'll get inflation on top of that, but just essentially $432 a month. Her disability is $970 a month, and that is all she will ever get. So Lisa has a total of $1400 a month to last her the rest of her life. Again, Lisa is 56 years of age. She's been living with her cousin, and paying rent of about $300 a month. So she's been able to make it. However, her cousin now is getting married, and he's getting married to somebody who has five kids. So now there's no room anymore for Lisa and her daughter to live in this house. So now, she has to move out and find a place to live. And the question is, how does she do that? When I read the email that she sent in, she didn't tell me all of this. But as I was reading the email, I could sense it. I could sense that there was so much more to her question, because the question was how does somebody with four cents make it? But I could sense that she needed help. So I wrote her back. And I said Lisa, what is your phone number? And she gave me her phone number. And then I got busy, and a week went by, and two weeks went by, and all of a sudden I went, oh I have to call Lisa. I have to call her. And so today, today, right before I'm recording this, I called her and at first I got a voice message. I thought oh no please. So I leave her a message and then I decided to email her back and I go, I just tried to call you, you're not there. And a few minutes later I get an email back from her and it says, I'll be home in 20 minutes. I go great, I'll call. And I call her. And on this call, there were tears, there were all kinds of things that came out. But here is the bottom line. I asked her why she wants to continue to live in North Carolina, where it's kind of expensive. And she said to me, cause Suze this is where my family lives. I have Aunts, and cousins, and Uncles and my kids. Everybody lives here. And I say to her, well if everybody lives there, why aren't they helping you out? And she says to me, because I've never asked them, I can't ask them for help. And I said, are you kidding me? I go what about your four kids? And she says to me, oh Suze, they're all married and they have kids of their own. They don't have extra money for me. I'm just a burden. I don't want to ask them. And then I find myself saying to her, ask them, are you kidding me? You're their mother. They should be offering, don't they see how you're suffering? You had a stroke, you had heart work. Your husband was killed. I get it was their father, but who cares about their children. Who cares about their life. Their mother is suffering. They should be offering you. And she says, but I feel so guilty about that. I go guilty? Guilty? You should be angry. You raise these kids. They say they love you, but what are they doing to show you their love? And I said, now let's talk about your daughter. Your daughter that spends most of the money that she brings in on a car payment? And you're looking now to find a place to rent because you have to move out, but you're looking for a two bedroom place, which is going to be really expensive so that your daughter can live with you? No you are not Lisa. You are going to look for a studio, or one bedroom tiny apartment. I don't want you spending more than $650 a month on it. Because she told me that she could find a place like that for herself for 650, but if she was going to live with her daughter, it would be $900 a month. She doesn't have $350 a month to live with her daughter. To buy food and to do all of these things she needs to live on her own. And she says, but what about my daughter? I feel guilty. There's that word again, guilt. Do you remember me saying to all of you, fear, shame, and anger are the internal obstacles to wealth? What is shame? Shame is just another form of guilt. And she said, but what would my daughter do? And I said, Lisa, let me tell you a story. And the theme of this story is sometimes helping is hurting, and sometimes hurting is helping. I'll never forget this call that I got on the Suze Orman show from an 85 year old woman, who has or had, I should say because since then she's died, of lung cancer. And she was only given a few more months to live. And she called me and she said Suze, my son is 58 years of age. And he smokes. And even though he smokes, I love him very much. Probably I even got lung cancer because of his smoking. But the real problem is this. He's never really worked a job. I've taken care of him for all 58 years where he's lived with me. In order to support him, I took out all the equity in my home, and now I literally owe more on the home than what it is worth, because this was back in 2007 and 2008, when home prices actually plummeted, she said, I got him a car. I cosigned a loan for him on the car, but I've been the one making the payments. And what scares me Suze, is that upon my death, the social security check will stop. My husband's pension that I was getting will stop. There will be absolutely no income whatsoever. He doesn't work. What am I going to do? And I said to her, well you know, you're gonna die. That's what you're gonna do. It's not your problem now. But your love for him has created a serious problem. It's a serious problem because he's gonna end up on the streets. Who's gonna hire a 58 year old man who's never worked? His house is going to be taken from him, then he's gonna move from his house into the car, the car will eventually be repossessed, and then he will be living on the streets. So there's nothing I can tell you to do for him, because you've already done too much. Now I know that sounded like harsh advice for a woman who was dying, but it went on, I talked to her off air, and she understood it. She got it. And she said, I can't tell you how great I feel that at least this has been voiced. So I can talk to him about it now. Well, she ended up dying, and he did end up on the streets. So I told Lisa that story, just like I told it to you right now. And I said if you aren't honest with your daughter, if you don't make it so she has to make it on her own right here and right now, she's gonna end up like that woman's son did. So if you really love her, you'll set her free. And you'll set yourself free as well. And now you can hear for the first time in the conversation I was having with Lisa, her voice is getting stronger. When I first called her, I could barely hear what she was saying. Because she was crying, and she was going through everything, and the emotions were just so raw. And now her voice is getting stronger, and then I tell her the next thing that I want her to do. I said I want you to call your family members together, and I want you to tell them that you need their help. I don't want you to ask them for help. I want you to tell them you need their help. You can't afford a car, s now they're gonna come and one of them every Tuesday or Wednesday, their job is going to be what? To take you shopping for food. They're gonna check in on you once, or twice, or three times a week. They're gonna call you every day. It won't hurt them if they each were able to give you $20 a month a piece rather than going to the movies, rather than doing something where the money just goes down the drain. Can they just give you an extra 100, $200 a month, which will mean the world to you? And she said, yeah, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna call them and I'm gonna ask them for help. And I said, no, no, you're gonna tell them you need help. In fact, maybe that's what we need to change the title of this podcast to. Tell them you need help. Don't ask them. Tell them. A strong woman tells people what they need. They don't ask for it. They tell people yes, yes, yes. Let's change the title of this podcast. So that's what I wanted to talk to you about. It's your time. Just like with Lisa, it's your time that others need to take care of you, as much as you have taken care of them. You are not to feel guilty that you can't take care of somebody. You are to be honest and ask yourself, well, if I can't take care of them, why can't they take care of me? Why is it always women, that you have to take care of everybody, but you don't tell everybody else to take care of yourselves? That has to stop right here, and right now. So again, I hung up with Lisa, and I did. Like I am now, I started to cry. Because I don't want any of you to suffer. I don't want Lisa to go through what she's going through. And I don't know why she needs to, but she obviously does or it won't be happening to her. At the end of the conversation, I said to her, why do you think out of the thousands and thousands of emails that I get, that God chose me to call you? You were the one who was chosen. Why is that Lisa? And she said to me, you know Suze, I've been wondering that myself. But thank God he did. So, that's this week's podcast.
Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.
I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.
I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.
The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!
I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.
I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.
I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.
I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.
So how did you do?
If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.
As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!
But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.