We all face adversity.
We all have tragedies, difficulties and hurdles in life — illness, death, divorce, addiction, etc. Unexpected, inevitable events that can only be described as tragedy and heartbreak in the moments in which they occur.
Yet, these hurdles often end up being the biggest blessings because they teach us otherwise unknowable lessons.
Being a Survivor Can Give Great Clarity
After the death of my oldest brother, my middle brother and I assumed some of the responsibility of handling my brother’s affairs, including taking care of his business. My sister-in-law, newly widowed, had simply wanted to sell the business and be done with things. In hindsight, that would’ve been a mistake. But in the moment, it was difficult to think clearly.
My other brother, a cancer survivor, was one of the only among us who was able to see clearly, keep calm and think pragmatically.
I remember thinking, “boy, this guy has really changed.” And, he definitely had experienced something the rest of us couldn’t even hold a candle to — he had faced and overcame one of the biggest hurdles in life, a true life or death scenario. And now he was able to handle difficult situations with more perspective and ease.
He had a true grasp on what was important in life.
The same idea can be applied to your finances, but it starts with having an endgame in mind. You have to know what’s truly important to you NOW, so you can plan for what you want to enjoy in the future.
Let me put it into perspective.
Knowledge Is Power, I Cannot Say It Enough
Only 5% of dentists retire to a lifestyle equal or better to their working lifestyle.
That’s the same statistic across the country! Can you imagine working your whole life, simply to be rewarded in the final years of your life by a subpar lifestyle?
What’s the point of all the hard work when it only culminates to that?
You might hear that and think, “oh that’s normal — it’s because they’re not working anymore.”
No! It’s because they didn’t plan ahead. You had 30+ working years, yet didn’t prepare adequately for a retirement you can enjoy and share with others.
But, you’re not alone. It’s the general consensus, a shared mentality reinforced by traditional financial institutions and advisors that don’t prepare us in ways that are truly successful.
While you may be investing your money or entrusting it to a financial advisor who is supposedly “managing” your funds, what are you actually gaining? The money is flowing, but where to?
It’s going straight into the pocket of these Wall Street tycoons, and you’re none the richer or wiser because of it.
Something is wrong with this picture!
That’s not to say there are not people you can trust with your money — sure there are. But, the point is, you have to find out for yourself what’s really happening with your money and make your own decisions. Education is your first line of defense against disaster.
Consider some of the most common mistakes you can avoid to save thousands and prepare for a post-retirement lifestyle you truly deserve.
6 Things to Do to Avoid Poverty
1. Manage student debt.
The average student debt is anywhere from $325K-$500k. That’s insane! And it’s justified by the notion that it will come back in future income. Many students borrow for school, but wind up spending it on other lifestyle expenses like vacation, food, car payments, etc.
Just think of it like a normal bill. It must be paid monthly and on time, and used for college only!
2. Only buy a house you can ACTUALLY afford.
A huge misconception I run across all the time is that a home is a great financial asset. Be very careful of this notion!
A couple things to know here:
- You should aim to make a down payment of at least 20% of the initial cost.
- Monthly mortgage payments shouldn’t exceed 20% of monthly after-tax income.
A home is a LIABILITY, not an asset. Or at least not THE only asset to rely on.
3. Save more!
The old “norm” used to be saving around 10% of your income, but that doesn’t cut it anymore! Many people live 20-30 years after retirement — how far do you think that 10% is going to get you?
Try to save closer to 15% these days. Everything costs more anyway, and we don’t see that trend slowing down.
4. Know your investments.
Most people spend less time planning their retirement than they do their summer vacation. Plenty of people save and invest, but they don’t pay any attention to what their money is doing or how their investments are performing.
I repeat here: knowledge is power.
5. Pay for good advice.
Sure, you can pay with your time, but it’ll take a heck of a lot longer to get to where you want to be. It pays (literally) to invest in good advice, in people who can help you achieve your goals, faster. Alternative investing can do just that!
6. Set goals.
You need to have goals, you need to write them down, and you need to reference them regularly. It’s a proven fact that those with concrete goals, and who keep themselves accountable, are exponentially more likely to achieve them, and then some.
It is no different from having written goals to lose weight by eating better and exercising! What have you got to lose with not having future financial goals? A stress-free retirement!
Listen, I didn’t learn all of this in just one day, and I’m still learning. But there’s never a wrong time to start except for NEVER.
Getting on your path to financial freedom starts with YOU. But, we can help.
Ready to start the journey? Contact us here.
We’re Here When You’re Ready