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It’s time to start investing

When the big monetary losses started piling up, Jeanie said her friend covered it up by giving her fake statements that showed otherwise. She had no idea what was actually happening until it hit her hard on Dec. 18: only a week before Christmas.

But it's not all bad news for Jeanie. She makes an $80,000 salary as a nurse, and has taken on a second job that brings in an additional $4,000 a month in income. She also doesn’t have any other outstanding debts and has managed to accumulate $8,000 in an emergency fund.

In addition to that, she owns a home that has $400,000 in equity and roughly $200,000 left on the mortgage. When Jeanie asked whether or not she should consider selling her home to cover the damages from losing $600,000, the co-hosts both replied with a firm “no.”

Both Delony and Warshaw insisted that playing catch-up is feasible for Jeanie, although it will be difficult.

However, after assessing Jeanie’s margin after expenses (which sits at a healthy $5,000/month), Warshaw said that the first priority needs to be investing. She suggested Jeanie invest 15% of her monthly income into her 401k. “We’re walking old-school baby steps here,” she said, crunching some numbers with a compound interest calculator.

“If you start with zero dollars, and you invest for 10 years… and you’re [adding] $5,000 a month, that’s showing me you’re going to have a million dollars [in a decade],” Warshaw said. “You can do that. You can [even] do more because you’re working like a wild woman right now.”

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Remaining ‘clear-eyed’ while recovering money

Delony, though, was quick to offer a cautionary word of advice to Jeanie: “Don’t work yourself into a grave as punishment for what you think you did wrong.”

He added that Jeanie needs to remain “clear-eyed” and set aside any residual rage, anger and self-hatred — which is imperative to her success in recouping her money.

It’s similar advice that host Dave Ramsey would give if he’d appeared on the episode. In the past, Ramsey has made no secret of the spiritual principles that underlie his financial programs.

Delony posed this poignant question as well: “Have you forgiven Jeanie yet? You have to. Because until you do that, you're not going anywhere. You're going to sit right in the middle of this.”

To hammer home the point, Deloney added: “In our culture, we have a process for when a friend stabs us in the back. We don't have a good psychology for when a friend stabs us right in the face. And that's what happened to you.”

Jeanie revealed she’d already filed charges against her friend with White Plains authorities, but there’s no way to know how long the process will take or even if the man will face jail time.

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About the Author

Lou Carlozo

Lou Carlozo

Freelance writer

Lou Carlozo is a freelance contributor to Moneywise.

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