I was on the telly a week ago for Money Week, and I’m glad to say I didn’t make a muppet of myself. I’m not bragging though.
Even though I didn’t stutter, swear, or sweat profusely, I committed the cardinal sin of money writers: I spread fear, not hope.
I was on TV3’s The Cafe hosted Mel Homer and Mike Puru.
They were awesome, and beautiful in the way only TV people are.
Even after the make-up ladies had done their best, I felt dowdy in Homer and Puru’s presence.
They had their easy, vivacious way in the front of the camera.
I had to really crank up my energy so I didn’t sound like I was suffering from depression.
It all started well.
Sat on The Cafe couch, I ran briefly through the emotional cost of not being in a good place with your money.
I spoke of the roughly six in ten people who were concerned or extremely concerned they’d be Despair paralyses
Every dollar saved improves your lot
Hope plus action equals a better retirement
broke in retirement, and roughly the same proportion who couldn’t go on paying the bills for more than a couple of months, if they lost their job.
That was me presenting the darkness before the dawn.
The dawn was to be me laying out the strategies to get control of your finances.
And then the segment was over.
I hadn’t made all my points. I thought I’d have more time.
Homer closed the segment saying I’d frightened her.
I didn’t mean to,’’ I blurted out in reply.
‘‘Yes you did,’’ she said, or words to that effect.
I’d accidentally broken one of my cardinal money man rules: Don’t be a fear monger.
I hate fear-mongering money writers, the ones who write articles saying you need a million dollars or you’ll spend your retirement rotting in a silent agony of poverty.
But that was how I had come across. I was told as much to my face by a beautiful TV person.
I’ve always tried to be the guy who says: ‘‘Hey, you may not be in a good place, but here’s how to get to a better one.’’
Everyone can make things better. Everyone can do the little things that month by month, improve their lots, reduce their debts, and lift their savings.
I was going to tell people not to panic, and that we have a wonderful system in NZ Super.
It’s efficient, easy to understand, and is the envy of other countries.
It means you won’t starve in retirement. It also means every
Mike Puru and Mel Homer from TV3’s The Cafe.