Join Leaha Mattinson as she speaks to Greg Bird about upward social comparison, marketing, sound financial planning, real-life ways to protect your family and your wealth (and the finale of the Frank and Joyce saga!)
26.21 – 26.30: “I believe that pop culture has not done us any favours and in fact, it’s actually flipped it on its head in the sense that people need that instant gratification.”
29.15 – 29.21: “This mass media machine and marketing engine – they just get more and more clever.”
55.19 – 55.27: “We can have a negative perspective of 2021, or we can have a positive perspective of 2021, which do you choose for you?”
Leaha notes that when faced with debilitating problems, people could have 4 reactions – fight, flight, freeze or dissociate. Greg notes that even financial advisors, who were supposed to be helping people navigate their finances through a troubled 2020, froze in the face of such great adversity. Greg coached them to help them overcome the mental blocks, but it was a daunting task, he recalls.
A letter to 2020 (16.35)
Though 2020 was a difficult year for all, Greg shares the story of his friend Theresa for whom it was especially difficult. Theresa got engaged at the beginning of the year but a few days later, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, which put her body through a lot of trials. She wrote a letter to 2020, outlining her challenges, which Greg reads out. It is a raw and honest expression of her experience, but it is filled with courage and a never-give-up attitude.
It pays (them) to advertise (22.00)
Greg warns us against being misled by financial advertising. He says social media is littered with fraudulent advertisements about investing in large companies with as little as one dollar and promising a 780% return. He also cautions against relying on lotteries as your retirement savings plan – lottery tickets can be enticing, with their promise of easy money, but they have caused many to lose their way.
Pay yourself first (25.07)
Greg’s first piece of advice in financial planning is to pay yourself first with 10% of your income. He has seen families with 6-figure salaries unable to keep 10% aside for savings. He mentions financial wizards like Stephen Covey and Zig Ziglar who have encouraged sound financial planning with this perspective. Paying yourself first helps keep your neck above water and prevent debt accumulation.
Who do I need to be? (29.07)
Greg remarks that we are bombarded with advertising on every surface we see, which is the reason we are impulsive in our shopping, feeding on the emotion in the advertisements. He encourages us to think about who we need to be to accomplish our goals and fight this advertising frenzy. When we think about our spending habits and what outcomes they are having in our life, we will feel inspired to make a change.
The red and green exercise (30.40)
Greg recommends analyzing your spending pattern over the last 3 months and categorizing each expense as a want or need. Make a list of the groceries you buy – you may think food is a need, but a lot of eatables you buy may not be needed. Note down how often you shop for clothes and if you need to live in the place with the exorbitant rent. Highlight the wants in red and the needs in green, and track that behaviour going forward to uncover the 10% you can pay yourself.
40 days to better financial habits! (34.40)
Greg recommends doing this exercise for 40 days to solidify the habit of being mindful of your expenses. Regardless of whether you are financially strapped or financially free, doing this exercise can help you create financially-sound behaviours. Learning from one’s mistakes gives the momentum to go forward and create a life you love. What’s more, you may just end up creating an inheritance to pass on.
What happened with Frank and Joyce? (38.20)
Greg continues with the story of Frank and Joyce from the previous podcast, wherein they decided to keep their estate private from their son whom they didn’t get along with, and created a segregated fund with an Annuity Settlement Option (ASO) to equally divide their estate amongst their 4 grandchildren. They assigned a lump sum to the 1st and 3rd grandchild, the 2nd would get yearly payments while the granddaughter would get monthly ones.
Take action! (49.03)
Greg urges us to take action, have conversations with our family members, outline our family tree and work on developing good financial habits. Reach out to financial and tax advisors to coach you through difficult decisions and guide you to the solution which makes the most sense for you. Whether you have a long way to go or estates overflowing into the USA, good advice will save you a lot of trouble.
Stay in touch! (50.00)
Greg signs off by sharing the lyrics of the song It’s My Life by Jon Bon Jovi, inspiring us to take the right steps to craft the life of our dreams. For more great insights about financial habits for a good life, reach out to Greg on social media or email him at GBird@ppi.ca!
Listen to the 1st part of this series here, where Greg talks about his journey from almost losing everything in his life to becoming a successful financial advisor today, having incorporated all the lessons he learnt along the way. Listen to the 2nd part of the series here, where Greg talks about 7 generational estate planning, thinking about the legacy you will leave behind, and music that heals your soul throughout the journey.
For more insight, intelligence and inspiration on how to gain control over your health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or financial, visit the Master Your Life website and be sure to check out the wealth of tools and resources in the store!
The Century of the Self: https://youtu.be/eJ3RzGoQC4s
Master Your Life ~ Recovery Road Episode 4 ~ Leaha Mattinson chats with Greg Bird on choosing a Positive Perspective in 2021