financial advice

Aaron Andrew Ang / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/3avqCSR

As people age physically, they also tend to age financially.

Failure to understand and accept these twin realities can lead to much frustration and stress.  Those who accept and (even better) anticipate the changes that come with physical and financial aging can experience a more peaceful transition as their lives change.

Here are a few thoughts on the similarities of physical and financial aging:

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Hunters Race / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2Ns2p6e

Do you remember who taught you how to play tic-tac-toe? Probably not – for most of us it was a while ago. Usually it’s an older sibling or a neighbor kid down the street. They “graciously” offer to teach us how to play. They might even let us go first.

Three moves in they’ve got an “x” in the middle and an “x” on both lower corners. They look at you, smile, and offer, “Your turn.”

No matter what you do, you’re toast. No matter where your next “O” goes, you’re about to get “tic-tac-toed.”

All because they knew how the game works, and you didn’t.

Obstacles to Wealth

Dec 18, 2019
Justin Luebke / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2r07s5K

Have you ever asked someone for directions and have them reply, “Oh, that’s about a mile away…as the crow flies.”

That is what you might call accurate information that is of little use. If you haven’t looked lately, you’re not a crow and you probably do not intend to fly from point A to point B.

It’s one thing to know the distance assuming no obstacles. It’s quite another thing to understand the distance, and the obstacles, so you can estimate the time lost due to various obstacles.

thenails / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/337s3lS

What happens if you plan a day of Saturday yard work and walk outside, only to find out it’s pouring down rain! Obviously, you’ve got a couple of choices – you can throw your hands up and plop down in front of the TV for an afternoon of college football.

Or you could shift your attention to the inside of the house. Surely there are some long-put-off projects that need tending to on a rainy day. I’m betting you can keep yourself both busy and productive…and dry…working on inside projects for as long as it rains.

Lisa Brewster / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2pGRL2W

Windfalls come in all shapes and sizes

I remember a guy who came to see me years ago from out of state. He’d won a big lawsuit and his part of the settlement was over $1,000,000. He never dreamed he would see that much money in his life. He took a vow of poverty, promised to “not change anything” and to not be one of those foolish people who spend it all. This was his ticket.

Well, three years, two wives and one very unfortunate trip to Vegas later, he was broke.

Maybe your windfall comes from an inheritance. Or maybe you won the Lotto.

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Neil Moralee / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2OP9HCA

You’re married and you handle the money in your family. Your spouse likes it that way, as money has just never been their thing.

But lately, things have gotten out of hand. Your finances are in trouble,

Should you keep your partner in the dark?

No.

And as much as you hate the thought, you don’t want to keep him in the dark any longer. It isn’t helping him and I’m sure it isn’t helping you.

A.D. Modlin / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2k2sMEm

James Joyce called mistakes “the portals of discovery.”

So, don’t fear making mistakes. Fear not learning from them and repeating the same few endlessly.

When it comes to financial matters, here are a few of the most harmful mistakes that, if made and repeated over and over, can do irreparable damage to your the financial security.

However, if these same mistakes are recognized, admitted, learned from and then run from, they might just do some good.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2w8kxci

Living within your means is an illusion, and when you are awakened from your dream, it will be too late.

Most of us have the idea that if we are living within our means, we’re OK, even if it means we can’t save anything right now. You’re not racking up debt, but you’re also not saving. Is that OK for a while?

No.

If life was a straight line of experiences and expenses, each one following predictably after the other exactly as planned, you might be able to pull this “living barely within your means” thing off.

GotCredit / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2W0iyVQ

Did you get a tax refund this year?

 

Maybe you look forward to getting a tax refund every year. Maybe you pay off some credit cards with it, other times you take a little vacation, do a small home renovation project or make another large purchase.

It’s almost like a savings account, right? Or better, an annual bonus payment!

But then you have this know-it-alI friend at work that says you’re giving the government a free loan. Are they right?

Well, back when savings accounts were paying 5%, your friends had a point.

Youchao Wang / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2Z3S3xJ

I am sometimes approached by young people, often recent college graduates, who want to know if I have any financial tips for someone their age.

If you’re a young college graduate and you’re already thinking about how to be financially responsible, congratulations on separating yourself from the crowd by doing two things most people your age often don’t: seek advice and think ahead.

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