You are currently viewing Episode 1 Of The Financial Freedom Podcast

Episode 1 Of The Financial Freedom Podcast

Financial Freedom is a new show where I will be interviewing people about money, meaning, and everything in between. I’ll also be bringing people on who inspire me to share their stories, as well as interviewing all the amazing people I profile in my book Financial Freedom.

I started my own show in 2016 and am very fond of it. I’ve devoted a lot of time to creating content and engaging with my audience since then. I enjoy the freedom of the format and getting into a good conversation. My plan is to release new episodes of the Financial Freedom podcast every Wednesday (I’ll do my best to stick to the schedule!). I hope you join me on this journey. We can explore this amazing adventure together. The first episode is below. Don’t forget to watch the second episode next week!


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Each week I will be posting a new episode on Millennial Money with relevant show notes and links.

The first episode is here.

Financial Freedom Podcast Ep 1: Money is Freedom w/ My Dad


My Dad told me “Money is Freedom” when I was a child. It has shaped my view of money ever since. It has stayed with me and inspired me. The way I approach life and my goals continues to be shaped by it. I invited my Dad to discuss freedom, money, his challenges growing up, and what’s next as he plans for retirement on the first episode of the Financial Freedom podcast. We talked about how he has been able to build wealth and security over the course of his life.

It took some convincing to get my Dad on the show. I am always amazed by the wisdom my Dad has to offer. The man that inspired my own financial freedom journey was the one I wanted to launch the show with. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from my guest’s perspective, and I’m so excited to share this journey with you. Enjoy!



Full Transcript


Grant: 00:22

Hey everyone. Grant is the host of the financial freedom show. I’m here to talk about how you can achieve financial freedom in five years or less. I am very excited about the first episode. I can’t wait to see what happens next. A special guest is with me. I’m looking forward to introducing them. My father. I went back to my childhood home to hang out with my parents for a couple of days. It’s great to be here and spend time with them. My father is the one who inspired this financial journey. I remember when he said money is freedom, I was a kid. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can give you choices to make your own. When I was five, six years old, you told me that, and 25 years later, I have written a book called Financial Freedom. It’s amazing to think that something I was told a long time ago has inspired a lifelong journey of personal finance exploration. Where did that come from? I’m curious to find out the answer. Money is freedom. What does that mean to you? How can this knowledge affect the way you think and act?


Dad: 01:03

If you have enough money, you can do whatever you want. Having enough money allows you to make choices and not worry about finances. If I wanted to live at the beach for the rest of my life, or if I wanted to take a road trip or take a few weeks off, I wanted to have enough money to do that. I have been working hard to make sure that I have the financial freedom to do what I want. I could just leave. I don’t want to leave without saying goodbye. Basically. You have the freedom to do what you want. You have the power to make your own decisions. You don’t have house payments, you don’t have car payments, you don’t have credit card payments, you have a lot of debt. You have the power to take control of your finances. When you have a lot of debt, you are working to pay it. You may not be able to enjoy the life you want right now, but if you stay focused and keep up with your payments, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor. I try to make ends meet by working for a lot of people. It can be difficult to find a balance between making enough money and having enough freedom to enjoy life. Your life is dictated by the people that you owe money to. It’s time to make a plan to get out of debt. I grew up with meager means and my goal was always to have enough money to do what I wanted when I chose to do that, so the financial freedom or the money is freedom to me. Financial freedom has allowed me to provide for my family and help others in need.


Grant: 02:15

It’s hard to understand what it means as a five or six year old, but I appreciate that extra context. I remember as a child how thoughtful you were in teaching me about money, but also in your own approach to money. You were always so generous with your time and resources, which left a lasting impression on me. You have always been very frugal. It’s one of the things I like about you. Can you tell me where your money views come from? I learned early on the importance of being aware of finances in a family where money was always tight. Growing up with meager means was one of the challenges you had. You were able to stay focused on your goals despite the challenges you faced. Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like growing up?


Dad: 02:47

I think I got my respect for money because I didn’t grow up with a father and a mother. My grandparents took care of me and my grandfather was a He was a French immigrant who tried to make a living and put food on the table. He was determined to provide the best life he could for his family, even though he never seemed to get ahead. They didn’t have any money. They struggled to make ends meet. They were struggling all the time. They never gave up hope despite their hardship. At one point in time they ended up getting a divorce and losing their home because they were borrowing money from finance companies at high interest rates. The financial burden became too much for them to bear, leading to the breakdown of their marriage. I didn’t really want to take that approach. I wanted to keep my values and beliefs but make a difference. In hindsight, I think they did the best they could. It doesn’t change the fact that their decisions had a lasting impact on my life.


Dad: 03:31

I have a lot of admiration and respect for them. I am eternally grateful for the love and support they have given me. I wanted to do something else. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sure it will come to me eventually. I was clued in to the idea of getting a good education when I was in the seventies. I started taking classes at my local community college when I was still in high school to take advantage of the opportunity. I thought that would help me to get a good job where I could start building financial freedom more effectively, but I have always worked two or three jobs when I was a kid. I had a lot of experience juggling multiple responsibilities before I started my career, because I continued to work multiple jobs throughout high school and college. I cleaned laundry mats. I was responsible for keeping the laundry machines clean. I did not spend that money. I saved it. I kept that money. I wanted to make the most of it.


Grant: 04:11

You seem to be like the original side hustler, can you tell me a little bit about the jobs that you had growing up and through high school and college? I’m interested to hear what kind of jobs you had and how they shaped your entrepreneurial spirit. You had a lot of different jobs, from flipping mobile homes to playing pool. You were successful at all the different jobs you tried. Can you talk about some of the jobs? I’ve had a number of different jobs over the years, including working as a cashier and tutor.


Dad: 04:29

I have always had. I work a few different jobs at a time. I enjoy the challenge of multitasking, I’m used to it. I delivered newspapers and worked at a coin operated laundry when I was younger. I used to go in and sweep the floors, wash the washers, and mop the floors. I had to take out the garbage at the end of each shift. I did that. I worked in a job corps training center when I was in college and they gave me a deal where I could go in at 10:00 on Friday night and I would work until 3:00 Monday morning and then I would go to class and sometimes in the afternoon at Indiana. I graduated from college in twenty seven months with a bachelor’s degree. I have had many different jobs. I’m always looking for new ways to improve. I have sold firewood and cut people’s grass. I’ve done odd jobs to make extra money. I cleaned the offices. All of the surfaces were dusted after I emptied the trash cans. It was late in the evening when my wife used to work as a publisher for a magazine, trying to make a buck and hang on to a buck, and that type of thing.


Grant: 05:43

I know you were the first person in your family to go to college, so can you tell me a little bit about that? I’m glad you decided to go to college because I’m sure it was a difficult decision to make.


Dad: 06:00

I went to college to think about it. I thought a better education would help me get a better job where I could have a more comfortable lifestyle at some point in the future. I could have more opportunities to increase my earning potential with a better education. I got some slack when I went to college because it was a waste of time. Why would I want to spend my money? I want to make sure I spend my money wisely so that I can make the most of it. When I went to college, I had to borrow money on my student loans and I had to pay them off in 10 years. It was worth it because I was able to get the education I needed to pursue my dreams. It was a lot less money when I went to college than it is now. I was able to graduate with no debt thanks to the lower tuition costs. I felt that college would give me a leg up on the job market, but also give me some personal enrichment and it would help me to kind of look at the world differently. It was an investment in my future and I knew it was worth it. I was protected. I didn’t have a lot of experiences outside of what my parents had planned for me. I grew up in a small town and I just wanted something else. I packed up my bags and went on an adventure because I wanted to explore the world outside of my small town.


Dad: 07:04

Is it possible to talk a little bit? You wanted something else and then you made the big jump. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one that has changed the course of my life. You moved from Indiana to Washington DC when I was six months old. I’m glad we made the move because I’ve grown to love this city. Why did you make that move? It was the best decision for me and my career at the time. It seems like you have taken a lot of steps throughout your life to push against the grain, despite the fact that you grew up poor and went to college on the east coast. No matter what life throws your way, you are determined to make the most of it and create a better future for yourself. It seems like you have always had a desire to get out, can you tell me a little bit about that? I wanted to experience as much of it as possible because I knew there was so much more out there. What motivated you to do that? I became an engineer because I wanted to use my knowledge to make people’s lives easier.


Dad: 07:43

We came to Washington to get a better life. We were determined to take advantage of all the opportunities that Washington had to offer. We wanted a better life for you, to try to give you more opportunity, which I think we were able to do here, a better education system, a lot of people, more people with open minds about things. If someone told me when I was a child that I would end up here, I would be doing what I am doing now. I would never have believed them. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that they were telling the truth. I think that it has been a good thing. If I had stayed in rural Indiana, I would have had a lot of opportunities here.


Grant: 08:25

What does enough mean to you? Being able to live comfortably and securely without worrying about the future is what having enough means.


Dad: 08:27

It isn’t enough to me as a. I need to find other ways to get the most out of my efforts. It is not a dollar amount. It can be hard to determine its true value. It might not be the same amount as it is to you or someone who is listening. Financial freedom for people could be as high as $40,000,000. That is not what I was thinking. I was surprised by the outcome. It is a lot less. It’s important to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks because it can be overwhelming to take it all on at once. Financial freedom was a number that I had enough money to maintain throughout my life. I want to achieve true financial freedom and reach my financial goals. I want a standard of living that I am comfortable with. I am comfortable with the standard of living that I want and I am confident that I can achieve it. I don’t long for a lot of things because I’m a fairly frugal guy. I try to make the most of the money I have. I don’t buy Mercedes or anything like that. I like to invest my money in practical ways. Financial freedom and the goal of how much money is a real personal goal is something that will be different for most people, but it doesn’t have to be a million dollars by any means. Financial freedom is a journey and not a destination. It may be a million dollars or less and it may be allocated to investments where you can have a certain amount of money per month that you want to live. I have a number that I will use and I will have per month to live on. I want to live a life of financial security and make the most of this number. I will have a cushion. I’m going to buy a new sofa for the living room so I can relax and enjoy my evenings in comfort. Of course.


Grant: 09:39

Did you ever want to make more? I wonder if there is more I can do to achieve. Is it possible to pursue a different career path, get a different degree, or just go after more? You could take courses online or attend seminars in order to further your education.


Dad: 09:50

Uh, not really. No. If that was something I wanted to do, I would do it. The people want to make a lot of money. Their goal is to make as much money as they can, so they get into career paths where they can do that. The desire to achieve financial security and stability is what motivates these individuals. If I had done that, I would probably end up giving a lot of way because that is not the kind of lifestyle I live. It’s better for me to focus my energy on things that make me happy.


Grant: 10:16

I have always wondered if we live in a world where people are obsessed with material possessions. I’m curious to know what you think about why people are drawn to material possessions and what we can do to break the cycle. You know, people want the big houses and the nice cars and the boats, but why don’t you want the shiny watches and the sort of trappings of success and wealth?


Dad: 10:48

I think that is a good question and it may have a few different answers. Before making a decision, it’s important to consider all the possible answers. I wasn’t exposed to those when I was a kid. I am now able to appreciate the nostalgia that comes with seeing these films. People who have gotten into those things have either gotten trapped with a lot of dad or a lot of stress, and they just haven’t been able to live their lives. It’s important to know the risks associated with these activities and be aware of how quickly things can go wrong. I think that is more important than experiences. It’s important to remember that experiences are more meaningful and lasting than material possessions. I think it’s time for you to get out and do some things and I’m going to probably start doing more traveling and trying to experience some things that I’ve been saving all that money for. It’s time to explore the world. I haven’t felt the need to get a new car or house. My wife and I have lived in the same house for 30 years and Grant was two years old when we moved here. It holds a lot of sentimental value for our family, and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So. The house is nice for us. We are very happy to have found it. My car is 14 years old and I drive it. It’s still running strong because I take good care of it. I have not. The trappings of wealth have not appealed to me. I believe that wealth comes from experiences.


Grant: 12:01

How did you learn about money? What was the process like? It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of what I was able to accomplish.


Dad: 12:05

I think I picked it up over the years from various sources. It has been a learning experience for me. People who become mentors tell you different things about how they handle money. You should always trust your instincts when it comes to managing your finances. He explained to me a little bit about money and how it was freedom in a sense, but he was the first guy I had. He was an example of how taking calculated risks can lead to financial success, and was an inspiration to those around him. He was 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 He had great success in the business world. He bought and sold things. He made a lot of money buying and selling rentals. You see people like that a lot, and you become an all of them, and how they hold onto that and how they do that. It’s inspiring to see how resilient they are. I read a book by Andrew Tobias. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about personal finance. That was very good. I’m happy I got to experience it. Money was explained to me by it. I was surprised by how much I learned from that explanation. I don’t consider myself a PHD as far as money. I need to get to a financial position where I can be more comfortable. I think I have used and put into practice a lot of common sense over the years. Regardless of age or experience, I believe it can benefit everyone. One of the big things is that you don’t spend more than you make.


Grant: 13:08

Over the last five years, I have always gotten on you for keeping so much money in cash. It’s time to invest in the stock market to maximize your returns. Why do you like keeping money in cash? I find that keeping money in cash allows me to have better control over my finances and budgeting; I can ensure that I am not spending more than I should be.


Dad: 13:19

I like cash. I never liked checks and always preferred cash. I like having money in my pocket that I can spend whenever and wherever I want. I didn’t like credit cards. I believe the cash seems more tangible than a credit card or investment. I can use cash to make impulse purchases without having to wait for a payment to be made. I like having a percentage of my money in case I need it. I usually have enough cash on hand to cover any unforeseen expenses. I might want to buy a beach house. I was thinking about getting a place to wind down and get out of the hustle and bustle and I liked the ocean a lot. I want to find a place near the beach where I can enjoy the sound of the waves and be by the ocean. I am tired of sitting in traffic around Washington DC and I like fishing. When I used to go collect money from those papers, I used to get forty five cents a week, but I got to keep twenty cents. I think that’s where I started to develop my appreciation for cash and all the possibilities it can bring. I always preferred cash.


Grant: 14:13

It is really funny. I am not sure why I laughed at it in the first place. We just came back from a week at the beach and we wanted some beach chairs, but we were debating if we should rent the chairs or buy them. We decided to buy them so we could use them in the future. We went to the dollar general store to buy the beach chairs and they were $30. We couldn’t wait to get the chairs home and enjoy them at the beach because we were so excited to find such a great deal. We spent 30 minutes in this dollar general store debating if we should buy the $30 beach chairs in this $9 beach umbrella. We decided to purchase the items because they were essential for our beach vacation. It was fun. I’m happy I went and experienced it. I really appreciated that. Thank you so much for your kind gesture. A lot of the lessons I learned about money were instilled in me while I was writing the book. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with other people. I think the biggest misconception is that frugality doesn’t mean pinching pennies. Learning to be smarter with your money and using it in a way that allows you to reach your financial goals is what frugality is all about. Not wasting is what it means. When I was a kid, I never felt deprived, I always saw opportunity, and I really appreciate the lesson you teach. It’s a lesson I’ve carried forward into my adult life and helped me make some of the biggest decisions in life. You have been working hard. You should be proud of yourself for making it this far. Are you excited about the next couple years as you get closer to retirement? I had no time to do the things I wanted to do, so I’m looking forward to having more time to do them.


Dad: 15:37

I am excited about this. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Being able to not have to get up and go to work in the morning and not have a schedule. I’m looking forward to the freedom and flexibility that comes with not adhering to a strict work routine. I plan on doing some work. I’m going to take a break to relax and refresh. Maybe there is some volunteer work. I like to do 50 percent of my time, so I can read or work out, or whatever I want to do. The other 50 percent is focused on making my business successful. The other 50 percent may do some volunteer work. They could use the time to pursue a new hobby or develop a skill. It will be difficult to leave my job because I have a lot of friends there and a core group of people that I have worked with for 25 years or more. I am confident that the right decision is to move on and explore different opportunities. They are both my coworkers and my friends. I know them, I know their children, and I like them. I’m thankful for the chance to call my friends. They are almost like my second family. They have helped and supported me throughout the years. It will be difficult to transition from that. I’m hoping that with some hard work and effort, I’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments. I have a couple of books on what to do in retirement and what is supposed to make you happy. I want to make the most of my retirement by following the advice in these books. I need some intellectual pursuits so I will do that and then I will travel. I’m looking forward to exploring the world and learning something new.


Grant: 16:46

You mentioned that you want to teach yourself how to spend money as you transition into retirement. It’s important that you have a plan in place to ensure that your retirement funds last you through your golden years. What do you mean by that?


Dad: 16:57

My wife and I have lived in the same house for 30 years, and we needed some work done on it, so I have been trying to do that for the last few years. I’m confident that we’ll be able to bring it back to its former glory soon, as we’ve been making some progress in recent months. My wife asked if we could do this work. I don’t know if I have enough time, but I will try my best. Can we do the modeling? We have the tools and expertise to complete the process. You know, they add on to update the kitchen and the bathroom. They’ll be replacing the flooring in all of the rooms. All I am saying is that I have worked hard, my wife has worked hard, and we have plenty of money to last us through our lives. We are blessed to be able to provide our son with a secure and happy future. I thought, well, let’s just do it, we’ve worked hard. Add onto our house and enjoy the rest of it. We don’t have a wall, we’re living here, who knows, maybe we’ll have some grandchildren to come visit, et cetera. It would be great to have a safe place for them to explore. We decided to do that. We were excited to start, and we knew it was the right decision. If I want a new suit or a sport coat, I don’t have a problem going and buying two or three sports. I have changed my mindset when it comes to spending money.


Grant: 18:05

It is one of the things, you know, just spending the past week with you, I know we got a lot of chance to chat and I am always amazed that for such a quiet guy, just the depth of your thinking and your insights.


Dad: 18:25

When you look back, they always say that you could and you would do differently. It’s important to learn from our mistakes in order to make better decisions in the future. I am quite satisfied with the way things turned out and what I did. I’m thankful for the decisions I made and the opportunities that came my way.


Grant: 18:37

What do you think makes people happy or how do they find it? It is up to an individual to find out what makes them happy.


Dad: 18:45

We talked about this earlier. I think it’s important to revisit this topic to make sure everyone is on the same page. Money won’t make you happy. You can get a lot of satisfaction if you enjoy your job, if you make money, if you save money, if you travel. The key is to make sure it brings joy to your life, no matter what it is that you find satisfaction in. I don’t think you could buy yourself happiness or personal satisfaction with money, it’s just a tool. Money can be used to create opportunities that bring happiness and satisfaction. It is like a car. It’s like a car, but with wings. You need to have anything else. It’s important to stay curious and learn new things. You need a car that will get you from point a to point b. To ensure a smooth journey from start to finish, look for a car that is reliable and fuel efficient. Enough money is needed to get you from point a to point b. Traveling from point a to point b requires a reliable form of transportation.


Grant: 19:22

I am really excited to see what you do in retirement because I can’t thank you enough for all the lessons and the inspiration and the guidance. When I say that you will be greatly missed, I can speak for everyone. It was great to be on the first episode. We are looking forward to having you back soon, it was great to have you join us.


Dad: 19:37

Thank you, Grant. I wish you good luck. I hope you have a great day!


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