Grandma Joan, 79, is my role model. The leader of our family, she’s smart, strong and stubborn… in a good way. She’s also incredibly money-savvy.

She’ll tell you she’s not wealthy, just “comfortable.” So, I asked her to share some of her wisdom.



Grandma Joan and her late husband made a hobby out of investing in property. This, she says, was her best financial decision.

She told me, “Real estate is still a good investment if you’re going to wait. Sometimes it takes 10 years.”


Being Mortgage Free Mike, I had to ask Grandma about her philosophy on mortgages. As it turns out, it’s similar to mine.

“Get a 15-year loan if you can. It’ll pay off in the long run,” she says.


Grandma Joan didn’t need time to answer this question. “Buying a timeshare,” she says was a waste of money.

She traveled a lot, but now she can’t get rid of it. Grandma says she’s negotiating to give away this “bad investment” to avoid the $3,000 annual maintenance fee.

Trying to sell your timeshare for a profit? “Don’t even try it. There are a lot of scams,” she told me.


Before entering the workforce, Grandma Joan says you should have some type of college education. She didn’t have a degree, but times have changed.

Unfortunately, she says, “Working hard doesn’t cut it anymore. You need a degree.”


A retired government employee, Grandma traveled for work. It’s something she enjoyed and considered a perk of the job. “If you like to travel, get a job that will pay for it,” she suggests.


“Credit is dangerous,” Grandma Joan believes. She recommends paying credit cards off every month to avoid interest payments.

Starting out, she says this wasn’t easy. But now, she can’t remember the last time she paid interest.


Grandma Joan closed our conversation by saying “Money doesn’t make you happy, it just makes misery a little more comfortable.”

Can you tell we’re related? I couldn’t have said it better myself.