Years ago I met a man who was retiring as a postal worker from the United States Post Office. He was 50 years old, owned his own home outright, had a pension, and had $80,000 cash in the bank. He and his wife had educated three children, and she had never worked to provide income for the family. His maximum gross annual salary was about $35,000. And he was very excited about starting a second career with his investments!
The question I asked was: “How did you do it?!!”
His answer was truly amazing. He said, “I have a great wife.”
At the same time I met this family, there was a retired couple in the same town. He was an educated man, Harvard Business School, whose only source of retirement income was his and his wife’s Social Security. How could this be?
There are several conclusions that can be drawn about the way the first man handled his finances as opposed to the way the Harvard Business School graduate did:
- Teamwork with a spouse.
- Communication with a spouse.
- Recognition of personal limits.
- Having an objective in mind at all times.
- Recognizing that wealth is what you keep, not what you earn.
- Education is always helpful, but not a financial guarantee.
- Money management is about systematic financial processes, not simple questions about wants versus needs.
- Understanding that one has financial limits, so working within the limits is the key.
- Knowing that spending is emotional, meaning that you make individual spending choices between good decisions instead of bad ones, or even better, making great decisions instead of just good decisions.
- Recognizing that you, the decision maker(s), are in control. Therefore, manage what you can control.
- Don’t worry about, fight against, or lament, the things you can’t control.
- Be positive about your future at all times.
We are in very complex financial times today. Accept that there are financial things you don’t know, and they will hurt you financially if you don’t find them out by seeking advice from an advisor that has your complete wellbeing in mind, not someone that just wants to invest your money for you. Beware!
For more information on how to implement these ideas, contact Alan 801-292-1099, firstname.lastname@example.org.