Floss, wear sunscreen, spend maximum time with loved ones, limit your social media time, eat kale EAT SO MUCH FUCKING KALE, boink as many people as possible before getting married, diversify your investment holdings.

What do all of these things have in common? They’re things we do now to avoid the wicked pangs of Future Regret.

Sometimes, doing the “right thing” for our Future Selves is not so straightforward. We make choices that seem sensical in the time and place in which we make them, but they come back to give us a flyin’ Hermoine right in the Draco Malfoy. This is especially true in the world of money. So whatta we do about it? How can we avoid financial regret? How do we circumvent common financial pitfalls to ensure we be livin’ that boss bitch, IDGAF, champagne and caviar, #BadGranny lifestyle in our Golden Years?

WE LISTEN TO OUR ELDERS. We listen to the people that have already made the mistakes. Want your older, adorable, wrinkly #FutureSelf to live the life she so richly deserves? Well then, listen to your future Bad Granny!

I’ll admit it!! The following grannies are fictional; inspired by conversations I had working with retirement-aged people at my job at an investment management firm, where I was their primary contact. (My title was Investment Counselor.) For six years, my ENTIRE JOB was to talk to old rich people about their money and lives. During that time, I learned a lot about the financial mistakes, victories, and insecurities of people who have been at it for seven or eight decades. The experience was invaluable and I want to share it with you. 

Have you seen my Bad Grannies music video? Well, hang onto your bloomers cuz we got Grannies doing bellyflops, flashin’ some boobie, and bathing in Werthers Originals. Give ‘er a watch! 

Bad Grannies Give $$ Advice to Their Younger Selves

Gloria, 85

Former profession: Teacher

Passions: Tending to her garden of felines, yelling at the radio

Advice to her younger self:

“Don’t take out big loans on expensive, new cars. Buy certified used cars, ya know something reasonable like a used Toyota that won’t take more than a few years to pay off. We bought fancy new Cadillacs when we started earning more and it was a waste. Who the hell were we trying to impress? I wish I had that money now so I could finish building my cat fortress.”

Greta, 62

Former profession: Mayor

Passions: Perfecting her golf swing, a good cheeseboard

Advice to her younger self:

“My LAWD, beware of “hot” investments. In the eighties, everyone thought that oil at $100 per barrel was just the beginning of a race to the high heavens, I swear to you!! Then, they found new ways to suck the stuff right outta the Earth, and prices collapsed. My wife and I bet all of our savings on oil…we were boondoggled. IF ONLY we had spread our money out or invested in something less speculative. We learned that the future is a helluva lot harder to predict than we thought.”

(Remind you of anything recently?)

Betty, 79

Former profession: Ran a dry cleaning business

Passions: Cooking for her family, gettin’ mad as hell when they don’t finish it all

When you tell your Grammy you’re hungry:

Advice to her younger self:

“I would tell my younger self to invest my savings. Ya know, I worked my buns off to run a business and hoarded money, but I didn’t know to invest it. No one ever talked to women about investing back in those days. I didn’t trust the stock market or the government. I’m doing okay, but it makes me depressed that I could have built so much more for my family.” 

Read: Save Now, Party Later: Your Youth is Your Superpower and the Voodoo Magic of Compound Returns

Lupita, 84

Profession: Writer

Passions: Embarrassing her grandkids by doing the splits and high kicks at Easter and other family gatherings

Advice to her younger self:

“I would tell her that never does there come a time, later on in life, where all of the sudden everything about your money situation changes. There is no sudden windfall. There is no inheritance. Men will trade yo’ ass in for a younger model. There is no big break that wipes your debts clean. You have to take small actions towards growth and wealth, every single week.

When I was young, I used to think that I would want to roll over and die when I was 80, and for that reason, I didn’t prioritize saving. I figured I’d be sick and bored. Well, I have my fair share of health issues, but let me tell you; knowing my time is thin makes me want to live more, not less. Only now do I fully grasp the preciousness of life.”

Anita, 101

Former profession: Sex worker

Passions: Wearing all purple, statement headwear

Advice to her younger self:

“Invest in something that will PAY YOU in retirement. I had never heard the concepts of ‘income stream’ or ‘cash flow’ before. The only thing I ever truly invested in was my home, and now I have nothing but Social Security to live on. I’ve spent a wonderful life in this home and I never want to leave it, but I may have no choice to move into an apartment. Some months I can barely afford to keep the heat on.”

Angela, 71

Former profession: Lawyer

Passions: Reading erotic fan fiction, playing games of pick-up futbol against unsuspecting youths

Advice to her younger self:

“Every time I got a raise, I just spent more. I worked hard and truly believed that each raise meant I ‘deserved’ nicer and nicer things. I bought rare Venetian marble countertops and $600 purses. I bought a f*cking bidet. So I own a gold-plated butt-washin’ machine and a bunch of purses that make me cringe, and now I’m retired and stressed about whether I’ll be able to live off my savings. I sold it all for far less than I paid for it and moved to the beaches of Nicaragua. Now I realize that the nicest thing I ever could have treated myself to is my own financial security.”

(This behavior has a name, and it’s called is called lifestyle inflation.)

Clara, 64

Former profession: Dancer/Actor

Passions: Dating significantly younger men, extra dirty martinis 

Advice to her younger self:

“Well, if we’re talking money, I’d give her a pat on the back, first of all. I did a lot of things right in my financial life. Even though I had a ‘non-traditional’ career, I focused on putting money into investments I knew would grow in value. Whenever I bought something, even if it was a coat, I asked myself: Will this have value to me in one year? In ten years? I learned that you can treat yourself and invest in yourself, simultaneously. For example, I buy good, healthy food and haven’t needed to see a doctor in years. My main regret is that I worked too much—I became a total workhorse, and I’m somewhat lonely now because of it. I lost touch with my best girlfriends. Also, I’d tell my younger self to just buy the damn dog already.”

Anna, 81

Former profession: CEO of a lumber business

Passions: Edibles, live-tweeting reruns of Murder She Wrote

Advice for her younger self:

“Oy, I’d give my right tit to tell a younger me to AVOID FEES ON INVESTING PRODUCTS! I’ve been sold up a river on every type of bogus investment product there is. Annuities, whole life insurance—anything with a ‘guarantee.’ The ‘guarantee’ is that you get far less than what you would have earned if you just invested the money yourself.

I also invested in managed mutual funds, which are these funds that cost 1%, 2%, 3% or more. Back then, we thought we HAD to buy managed funds—it’s really all the banks offered. My returns over the last forty years in stock market funds have been PITIFUL because as it turns out, I paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in mutual fund fees during that time. And for no benefit! When I ran my company, when I got paid, I provided something of value. If I had just invested in a stock index fund I coulda earned 10% annually. I thought I was doing everything right—but the evil forces of fees did their best to destroy me.”

Read: The Greatest Money News You’ll Read This Year: The Easiest Way to Invest is Also the Best

Helen, 92

Former profession: Full-time mom, neighborhood mom

Passions: Rescuing pound pups, making fun of hipsters, cheering on her favorite sports team

Advice to her younger self:

“Be involved in the finances. When my husband passed away, I had no idea we were flat broke. He never let on. Back then, it wasn’t a woman’s place to be involved in the finances. But if I were to do it again, I woulda run that show.”

Norma, 69

Former profession: Farmer

Passions: Traveling the world, learning Portuguese, getting shit-faced on vintage Port wine

Advice to her younger self:

“I would tell her not to sell her f*cking stocks when her stocks are down! My partner and I did this during the tech crash and hysteria in 2000 and lost $250,000. At the time, it was madness, like two rats fuckin’ in a tin can I tell ya. And look at what the stock market has done since then! If we had kept our cool, we’d be millionaires and have a home in Portugal by now.”

Read: The Stock Market is Going to Crash. Are You Ready?

Ruby, 80

Former profession: Nurse

Passions: Video games and reading her morning paper in silence

Advice to her younger self:

“Stay the hell away from credit card debt. No excuses.”

What about you?! What lessons have you learned from the elders in your life, specifically about how to avoid financial regret, but also about life, philosophy, drugs, best casserole-making practices, etc.?? Please share below!

For more Bad Grannies, read the others in the series:

Save Now, Party Later: How to Be a Bad Granny 

Save Now, Party Later: How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

Save Now, Party Later: Your Youth is Your Superpower and the Voodoo Magic of Compound Returns

6 thoughts on “Avoiding Financial Regret: Grannies Give $$ Advice to Their Younger Selves”

  1. I tired to comment on this from my phone earlier today but for some reason it wouldn’t go through, so here goes! I absolutely loved this post – liked loved it, loved it! I think this is a great way to learn about financial independence and success – by hearing it from other women who have done it before. I also loved how hilarious this post was at the same time. Good on these beautiful ladies for agreeing to share, they are helping a lot of women right now (myself included)!

    1. Alas, Corinne, these grannies are fictional. I mention that in one of the first few paragraphs. I pulled all inspiration from my time working as an Investment Counselor at an investment management firm, where my job was to work with old rich people all day. I hope that you still enjoyed and maybe my #BadGrannies made you think. xo

  2. OMG THESE GIFS! Laughing so hard I can’t breathe sometimes. Girl I love your sense of humor, and no-nonsense advice. If it takes a potty-mouth granny to get people to pay attention and take control of their financial today, and more importantly, tomorrow, then by golly you’re the woman for the job! <3

    1. This comment makes my day. Thank you, darling! Glad to make you laugh and yes, we’ll do whatever it takes!!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top