Debbie has nearly 20 years of investigative experience and journalism on topics of insurance, mortgage, and financial advice.

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Money Strategies with Debbie

TDD 116 | Financial Success

18 Signs Of A High EQ, Critical Care – How To Pay For It, Debt Continues After You Die, And Happiness Is Success

TDD 116 | Financial Success

 

Most people believe that finding success means finding happiness, but tend to miss that finding happiness first means finding success in everything. Whether that’s financial success, or success in any other aspect of your life, happiness has to come first. “Dollar Diva” Debbie Bloyd covers why being happy should come first before looking for success. Emotional intelligence plays a big role in finding success and understanding yourself and everyone around you. All-in-all, has bundles of knowledge and stories to share that can help you attain the future you want for yourself.

Listen to the podcast here:

18 Signs Of A High EQ, Critical Care – How To Pay For It, Debt Continues After You Die, And Happiness Is Success

Achieving Happiness And Success

In this episode, we’re going to talk about happiness and money. You may say, “What are those two have to do with each other?” I’m going to tell you why those two work so well together. What makes a person healthier, wealthier and wise? We often think that success and happiness go hand in hand but what comes first? Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you’re doing, you’re going to be successful. Everyone wants to be truly happy but many people are not on the right path. I always thought happiness would come from success, but this article says that she was wrong. This was emailed to me. Successful people are at the level they are due to their happiness. You cannot truly be successful without happiness. Take a moment and ask yourself, “What’s my true life’s purpose?” If you think deep enough, you’re going to find that your true life’s purpose is to become happier and how do you do that?

The reason that people want a great career or job is so that they are happy with their work and they are making good money. People assume that by making more money, they will become happier. I don’t blame people for believing this, “As a matter of fact, I used to believe it too.” She said. It wasn’t until I put a lot of research in that I found out what brings out happiness. Happiness comes from within us. You can have absolutely nothing and be much happier than someone who has a lot of stuff. The amount of stuff you have does not dictate how happy you’re going to be. As I said before, happiness is internal and unaffected by external things. However, I’m not telling you to forget about achievements and stuff. You can still be happy and have a lot but your stuff won’t be the source of your happiness. Here are a few tips for reaching and achieving happiness.

Number one, and this is a big one, decide to be happy. Your path to happiness will start with the decision to be happier and the willingness to study happiness. This will involve studying the qualities and traits of happy people. What do they do? Where do they live? What are the ways they deal with their problems? These are only a few of the questions that you should be asking yourself. Happy people do not get where they are by luck. They build it for themselves over time, so you too must create your happiness. The next one is important, become a better person. Not many people are too eager to start personal development. The reasoning is because it’s tedious. You have to make a ton of minor or major adjustments to your life. Creating a happy and fulfilled life is about finding the best way you work. It is your responsibility to take control of your being. You came to this post in seek of an answer for more happiness. My answer is to start by finding your potential and reaching it. If you truly want happiness, start by becoming a better person. You will find as you better yourself as a person. You will become happier.

There are many great ways that you can educate yourself on personal development. One of the best and the easiest is to read. You can look at YouTube videos, seminars, audiobooks, posts on Facebook or on the internet. The more knowledge you have, the more power you have to change. The happiness road is not hard, but it begins with a choice and ends with a choice. One of the other things that this article talked about, I thought was important was to set some goals. We talked about health goals, financial goals, but goals need to be written down. They need to be thought out, and they need to be gone after with a vengeance. You can’t just write down a goal and say, “I hope this happens.” That’s not what a goal is. A goal is something that you’re actively working to reach. Goals are important in basically everything. You have a decision to walk the road to happiness. You need some clear goals laid out. The main areas where you can make career goals are career and success, health, relationships, wellness, and personal development. That’s what this person’s four sets of goals were.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. Click To Tweet

She goes on to say that she believes the main areas in your life are contributing to your happiness by building goals for each of these areas. You’re going to be doing much more than working towards a happy life. Whatever you have the option to kill two birds with one stone, do it. There are many articles that say you have to have a SMART criteria. Let me give you what smart stands for, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely, “I don’t fully agree with this.” She said. The goals have to be realistic. They can’t be anything you want. Think about someone who has invented something completely new and astonished the world. For example, wireless internet, telephones, you can go back to anything that is new that we had never even heard of. Realistic is always changing with daily technology. That being said, I don’t see the need to set a realistic goal. Maybe you have a more general goal that’s bigger that no one else seems to think that would be possible.

From my life, I want to do everything I do better. I do agree with having specific goals that are measurable. A specific goal is a lot easier to attain and take a lot less of your time because you know exactly what you want. Mel Robbins is a great personal development life coach. I interviewed her when I first got into the radio business. She said that most people have goals but they’re nothing to get excited about. They’re to lose ten pounds and she said, “You need to find goals that mean something to you. I want to look good naked. I want to find a new spouse. I want to look at myself in the mirror and not be embarrassed. Those are better goals than I want to lose ten pounds.” She said, “No one can get excited about it and if you can’t get excited about your own goals, you’re never going to hit them.”

Follow your passion. Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s not a good sign if you’re waking up in the morning and dreading to go into work. On the other hand, if you’re passionate about what you do, chances are you’re going to wake up happy and the tone of your day is going to be great and fulfilling. Follow your passion. If you find something that you’re super passionate about as the job, you’ll be able to call it a hobby that pays. When you wake up, you’ll be excited to go to work and nothing will stop you from getting your work done. My favorite part of finding a passionate job is the places that you can go with. It’s not only the end result that’s enjoyable but the whole journey is more fun and exciting. Your life is your own. It’s no one else’s.

I keep telling my kids, “I’m helping you get to the point where you can make your own life. After eighteen, you’re making your own life. You’re making your decisions and I’m not there to say yes or no anymore. It’s all you. Make the life you want and if you don’t have the life you want, make a change now.” Change is hard. I don’t think anybody wants to make a change unless they’re forced to. What I found is that it’s easier for me to help people from the outside. I’ve changed my life a lot. I went through a divorce and had to reprogram myself and get on a different trajectory. I do the things that I’m telling you to do and that makes you happier individuals. If you need help with your money, finances or your time management, email me at Debbie@MoneyStrategiesWithDebbie.com or call me (979) 220-3018. Let me help you turn your life around like I’ve done mine.

What Happens To Your Debt When You Die?

Have you ever thought about what happens to your debt when you die? You’re probably going to die with some debt in your name most people do. In fact, 73% of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead according to a December 2016 data provided by Credit.com, a credit union by Experian. These consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554 but that did include mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was a little over $13,000. Based on Experian’s One File database, which includes 220 million consumers to determine the average debt people have when they die. Experian looked to consumers who, as of October 16, 2016, were not deceased, but showed deceased as of December 2016. Among the 73% of consumers who had debt when they died, about 68% had credit card balances. The most common debt was mortgage debt, followed by auto loans, personal loans and student loans. There was an average unpaid balance of credit cards of almost $5,000, auto loans of $18,000, personal loans of $15,000 and student loans of $26,000 when you die. That’s a lot of debt and it doesn’t disappear when someone dies. For the most part, your debt dies with you, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t affect the people that you leave behind. This is the most important.

TDD 116 | Financial Success

Financial Success: If you think deep enough, you’re going to find that your true life’s purpose is to become happier.

 

Debt belongs to the deceased person or that person’s estate. If you have enough assets to cover their debts, the creditors get paid and the beneficiaries receive whatever remains. If there aren’t enough assets to satisfy debts, creditors lose out, they may get some but not all of what they’re owed. Family members do not become responsible for the debt, only the estate pays it first. That’s the general idea but things are not always that straightforward. The type of debt you have where you live in the value of your estate significantly affects the complexity of the situation. For example, student loan debt. It’s eligible for cancellation upon a borrower’s death but private student loan companies do not offer this same benefit. They can go on after the borrower’s estate for payment.

Let’s say this is upon a borrower’s death. This is not grandma dies and is no longer responsible for her granddaughter’s debt or her daughter’s debt. This is grandma’s student loan debt on grandma, in which she shouldn’t have student loan debt. Usually, what I see happens is people sign off on other people’s student loans because they think they’re helping them out. That debt is going past their grave with them. There are a lot of things that can get messy this way. Say your asset is a home that other people live in. That asset must be used to satisfy debts, whether it’s the mortgage on that home or a lot of credit card debt. Meaning the people that live there may have to take over the mortgage or your family may need to sell the home in order to pay creditors.

Accounts with cosigners or co-applicants can also result in the debt following on someone else’s shoulders. Community property estates where spouses owed shared ownership of the property, also handled debts according to a marriage a little differently. It’s one thing if the beneficiaries aren’t relatives that don’t need your money, but if your beneficiaries are surviving spouse, minor children or people like that who depend on you for their welfare, then you need life insurance to pay off your mortgage and your bills. You don’t want to settle that with anybody else. To avoid burdening your family and make sure your debt doesn’t make a mess of your estate.

Stay out of it. Keep tabs on your debt by reviewing your credit report. Poor planning can leave loved ones with significant stress. For example, if you don’t have a will or designate beneficiaries for your assets, the law in your state of residence decide who gets what. If you don’t write a will, your state of residence will write one for you should you pass away. The odds that the state laws and your wishes are different. It can also get expensive to have these matters determined by the courts. Administrators get paid before the creditors and the beneficiaries. The lesson for this episode is put together a will of your own and leave things to the people that you want to leave things to. The reason you get life insurance is to protect the people you leave behind.

If you are helping pay for a disabled child or loved one or any loved ones, set aside some life insurance to keep them in their standard of living. Too many times, I have done mortgages for people that did the right thing. Their spouse died, left them life insurance and with that, they were able to buy a house may be free and clear and continue on being a family in a home that was provided for by life insurance. Without life insurance, I don’t think those people would have had the money, resources, job, the time and none of those things to carry on with their families. Those are important things. If you have questions, if you need life insurance or if you need to leave a will, which everyone does, please contact me for more information or email me. My email address is Debbie@MoneyStrategiesWithDebbie.com.

How We Think And Feel

We are not a product of how we’ve been brought up or who we’ve married. We need to take over ownership of how we think and feel, and the types of things that we do. There are new studies out showing that you can be super smart. If you guys watch TV, there’s Sheldon with the Big Bang Theory. He may be super intelligent, but he has trouble with human emotions and he can’t pick up on body language. A lot of people have trouble with that. This article I ran into talks about emotional intelligence and why it’s important. People that are in sales usually have emotional intelligence. We can pick up a lot from people by the way they sit and talk. Why is it so important?

Happy people do not get where they are by luck. They build it for themselves over time. Click To Tweet

It’s because emotional intelligence goes a long way to fill in the gaps that education or a super smart scientist doesn’t have. What they’re finding in studies when they hire people is they can train you for a specific job, but they can’t make you think the way they want their group to think. They can’t make you want to achieve more or be an innovator. Those are the things that are deep inside us. Here are eighteen signs you have high emotional intelligence. You notice it in a lot in kids. Some kids have it. Some kids don’t. These are things that you might want to look at in your kids and look at them in yourself. We can train ourselves to be different, even if we’re older. I learned radio years ago and I love it but I had to be willing to learn something new.

Measuring emotional intelligence can be difficult because of its intangible nature. There’s a Dr. Bradbury that analyzed data from a million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested for EQ, which is emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as a missing link and a peculiar finding that people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly grew to a massive wrench and the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success. We all want to be successful. On this show, I’m going to talk as much about what to do to make you become successful as I do about your money and finances because all of this counts. It all counts to a well-rounded person that can achieve financial success and that’s what we’re here to do.

Number one, you have a robust emotional vocabulary. People with extensive and super high EQ mastered their emotions because they understand them. They use vocabulary to talk about their feelings. Intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel irritable, frustrated, downtrodden or anxious. You know how you feel, we just need to learn how to verbalize it. You’re curious about people. It doesn’t matter how introverted or extroverted they are, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. That’s made me better at my job. I have to be better and intuitive when I talk to people about mortgages to qualify them. I have to ask a lot of questions when I interview people on the radio.

I’m curious about how people got their money, how they got their success and what made them start their businesses. You embrace change. Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and they’re constantly adapting. Some people that are not pliable could be part of the problem. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Emotionally intelligent people don’t only understand emotions, they know when they’re good at and they know what they’re terrible at. Be a good judge of character. Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness, the ability to read other people, know what they’re about and understand what they’re going through.

People with high emotional intelligence are difficult to offend. They have a great grasp of who they are and it’s difficult for someone to say something or do something that gets your goat. You have to know who you are. You have to be self-conscious and self-confident in your own skin. You know how to say no to yourself and others. Emotional Intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification and you avoid impulsive action. Not all of us are good at that but these are things that you can learn how to do. Number eight, you let go of mistakes. I have so many people that don’t want to come in and talk to me about finances because they’re afraid that I am going to look at the mistakes they made. They view them as a mistake. I don’t know about them. One guy came in and said, “I should have saved more years ago.” He started explaining to me this problem and I’m like, “I don’t care. They’re only numbers on paper to me. Whatever happened in the past is in the past. Let’s work on what you have now. I’m not here to chastise you. I’m not here to say you should have done better. I’m not your mom. I’m here to plan for your future. I only look at now and forward.”

You give and expect nothing in return. When someone gives you some things spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. A lot of people keep tabs. “I’ll give you this, you’re going to do that. I’m going to do this for you and you’re going to owe me.” That’s not the emotional intelligence we want, which leads into the next one. Number ten, don’t hold grudges. The negative emotions that come with holding on to grudges can stress you out and make you respond differently to almost everything. Thinking about the event, whatever the stress is that sends your body into fight or flight mode, which is a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When a threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival.

TDD 116 | Financial Success

Financial Success: If you don’t write a will, your state of residence will write one for you should you pass away. The odds that state laws and your wishes are different is big.

 

Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but it can also improve your health. This is all heart health. How do you neutralize toxic people? Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most people with high EQs control their interactions with toxic people. They keep their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally and not going off the handle. Number twelve, you don’t seek perfection. Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know it doesn’t exist. Number thirteen, you appreciate what you have. Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for and being thankful isn’t merely the right thing to do, but it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Number fourteen, you’re able to disconnect. Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of high EQ because it helps you keep stress under control.

I work 24/7 in the mortgage and investment business but I do have downtime with my kids and husband that allows me to come back to work better and stronger. I didn’t take this lightly. I went kicking and screaming into this world, but it’s made me better all around. Number fifteen, you limit your caffeine intake. Excessive amounts of caffeine trigger the release of adrenaline. This adrenaline is the highest source of flight or fight response. If you’re stressed out anyway, caffeine is only going to make it worse. Number sixteen, get enough sleep. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep. Your body needs to recharge. Number seventeen, stop negative self-talk in its tracks. I heard a speaker say that, “If other people heard how we talk to ourselves, we would not be our friends.” If you had a friend that talks to you like you talk to yourself, you wouldn’t be their friend.

Number eighteen, don’t let anyone limit your joy. Your sense of pleasure and satisfaction derived from the opinions of other people. That is not true. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to whether those think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others. One of these best classic cases is Donald Trump. What did everybody say about him from the beginning and look who we’re putting in as our next President? He believed in himself, when the media, conservatives, progressives or whatever, didn’t. Except he did. Maybe that’s something that we can learn from this. Some of us want to root for the underdog and some of us are the underdog. Regardless, you have to know that you can do it. If you’re not confident in yourself that you can do it, maybe you ought to start investing in yourself so you can change your self-talk and be confident.

Disability Insurance

I know we try to cover things that are important to your families. Mortgages are just one of those things. Another thing that we need to talk about is disability insurance. I cover all kinds of insurance like term life insurance, variable annuity life insurance, and long-term care. In this episode, we need to talk about disability income. This didn’t make a lot of sense to me until it happened to me, then it made perfect sense. I was on my way to the radio station to record some stuff and this was several years ago. My kids were maybe 5 and 6. They’re in college, so we’ve come a long way. I was sitting at a stoplight and it was raining and cars were speeding past. One car clipped the other’s fender. I look up and I’m in the turn lane, which means I’m facing oncoming traffic. This car starts spiraling around running circles in the middle of the intersection. It spins right past me and hits the car directly behind me, throwing them into 3 or 4 more cars.

People with high emotional intelligence are difficult to offend. They have a great grasp of who they are. Click To Tweet

The accident, like a tornado wrapped around on me. It didn’t hit me, thank God, and hit everybody behind me. It’s not, thank God for them, but it passed me. I was shaken up. I came to the radio station and I’m like, “I need disability insurance today.” This could have been a whole lot different day had I been hit. Had I been hit, my car is insured and my car would cover some medical expenses for me. What if I hit my head and I don’t know who I am or something happens and the glass breaks and it hurts me to the point that I can’t do my job anymore? My arms and legs I can do without but what if it takes my mind? Then I can’t think and talk to you about money and finances anymore because I don’t know who I am. You can say, “Debbie, that’s extreme. That would never happen.”

Yes, it does happen and nearly 7 out of 10 Americans do not protect their paycheck with disability insurance because what happens if you don’t? According to the Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning & Progress Study, half of Americans rely only on their job income to meet their monthly income needs. What that means in layman’s terms is most of us have a job and we use our job money to pay for our living, lifestyle, our kids and everything else. We don’t have passive income. Not everyone has investments that pay whether they were there or not. Not everyone has rental properties, annuities, pension and if you’re too young, not everybody get Social Security.

What happens to these half of Americans that, “If I were to quit now, how would I pay for my family?” You’d say, “You wouldn’t.” I don’t want that to happen. We need to figure out how to meet our financial obligations, yet 2/3 of us do not own disability insurance to protect this integral asset, which is ourselves to keep us working. This is concerning considering there are 1 in 4 odds of becoming disabled for three months or more during our work career. Life Happens researched that nearly half of Americans would find themselves in financial trouble in a month or less after incurring a disability. Let’s say I can’t work anymore. How am I going to keep going? Yes, I may be able to get Social Security but what about the rest of it? “The risk of experience and a serious illness or injury is more common than we’d like to believe. The impact extends way beyond the physical,” so said a Northwestern Mutual Vice President on disability income.

The research shows that the majority of Americans, let’s say 58%, view financial security as a key aspect of the American dream. Unfortunately, a disability without income protection can quickly turn that dream into a nightmare by creating financial disruptions that may take years if it could even be repaired. Disability income insurance is specifically designed to replace a significant portion of income and help expenses and lifestyle needs if sickness or injury prevents a person from earning a living. This can help preserve the existing nest egg provide financial flexibility to keep contributing to retirement savings and enabling an individual to focus on their health without added financial stress.

However, despite the benefits, about 7 in 10 Americans do not own disability insurance and are most likely to manage the financial implications of income interruption by reducing expenses or taking money from their personal savings. These can all have a long term detrimental effect on the rest of their lives and their families. As life expectancies and cost increase, people are already tightening budgets and stretching savings to prepare for the possibility of an extended retirement. Disability income insurance is an easy and affordable way to relieve some of the pressure of unexpected and to keep retirement planning and other financial goals on track.

Protect your assets and all the other assets could be protected. You could say, “Debbie, this sounds expensive. How do I know that I can afford this?” You don’t put up any pie in the sky income. You have to tell them what your income is. That means you have to, number one, provide me with a W2 of last year or your tax returns, so they know what you make and what income they have to replace, then it goes off of your age. How long are you going to need to be in those prime earning years and you keep going? It’s like a matrix, everything else is with insurance. It’s nothing scary. It’s easy to get quotes and you can get quotes back fast from lots of different companies.

TDD 116 | Financial Success

Financial Success: When a critical illness strikes, the emotional and financial toll on the patient and the family is overwhelming.

 

There’s also something called critical care insurance. There are lots of different policies for that. The downside of medical innovations being miraculous is while it saves lives, they may also create long-term financial challenges for the survivor and the loved ones. We work hard for what we have so why let an illness take it all away? Critical care insurance was designed to prevent this from happening. These are things that go in place to help protect your assets. The reality is most of us know someone who has had a heart attack, stroke or other serious medical occurrences, a relative, a business partner or a neighbor.

In fact, someone in the US will suffer from a coronary event every 25 seconds and nearly 62% will survive. You say, “That’s horrible. Only 62%?” That 62% when they survive, what shape are they in? Have a stroke every 40 seconds and many will survive with permanent stroke-related disabilities and be diagnosed with cancer every 21 seconds, 68 will survive and live at least five years. You say, “Debbie, that doesn’t sound good.” Let me tell you it’s not but I have personal stories to share with you. A great friend of mine. She and her husband were on a boat in the middle of the lake. They were fishing. They like to fish. He was an engineer. That was until he had a stroke. By the time she could get the boat into the dock, she had dial 911.

The ambulance was waiting there. He had already had a stroke and was out. They brought him back to the hospital. A few years later, he no longer has a job. They kept him for about six months on the payroll to see if he could come back and do his job again. He still can’t walk. He still can’t use one side of his body very well. For a long time, he didn’t know who his wife and child were. Needless to say, they left his job and said, “I’m so sorry we can’t employ you anymore.” That’s it. He may get some Social Security benefits but that’s not like an $80,000, $90,000 or $130,000 a year income with benefits and 401(k). It’s only his wife with her job and her insurances to protect and to retire them.

I don’t want this to happen to you. She does a great job of it. With God’s help, she has done an amazing job juggling her work and her family. Her son has since grown up and moved away and it’s her and her husband. Her life is forever changed. He does get better from time to time and he’s slowly improving but that doesn’t mean he can ever have another job. He’s in his mid-50s and it’s done for him. His work life is over and their retirement dreams and hopes have been redesigned. People from their church help them. She’s got insurance and stuff on herself through her job, but their life has been forever changed. Financially, she’s still paying off some student loans of her son in college, her husband’s medical bills and trying to survive on her salary. That’s a lot.

When a critical illness strikes, the emotional and financial toll on the patient and the family is overwhelming. Even the best laid financial plans like hers can get waylaid and off track. Did you know that 62% of bankruptcies are medically related? Critical care insurance benefits are paying a lump sum that may become income tax-free and can be used for anything like the mortgage, the auto loan and home modifications. If he’s in a wheelchair, you need a wheelchair ramp, you need extra-wide doors or you may have to move. Things happen. Lost wages and expenses incurred during the elimination period of a disability policy, maybe transportation and lodging expenses while seeking treatment away from home. Medical costs, deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, maybe even experimental treatments all need to be paid. What about child care expenses? If you’re busy working with your husband all the time getting him back and forth to doctors. You’re not there to take care of the other kids in the family.

If you had a friend that talks to you like you talk to yourself, you wouldn't be their friend. Click To Tweet

What conditions are covered? A few common things that are covered in this type of policy called critical care insurance is cancer, benign brain tumors, heart attacks, comas, heart transplants, loss of speech, maybe it’s side hearing, maybe your limbs don’t work, independent living, aortic surgery, it’s anything to do with your heart. Heart valve replacement repair, major burns, stroke, major organ transplants, coronary bypass, paralysis and advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Who should consider critical care insurance? Anyone that’s not covered by disability insurance, someone who doesn’t qualify or maxed out on disability insurance. If you’re self-employed, work from home or have an erratic income, if you’re self-employed. The mortgage business that I do and other things would be erratic income. This is a lot, so give me a call (979) 220-3018.

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