Recently, I was chatting with a friend who makes a good living and has done fairly well for himself. At one point he mentioned that he just turned 45, and then abruptly asked me, “Do you know what you think about when you turn 45? You think about turning 50! It’s now or never for my family and I! Do you have any idea what that feels like? I feel like there are dozens of things I need to keep on top of, and quite frankly I don’t feel like I’m on top of many of them!”
To give you an idea of his concerns, here is what came to his mind first:
– Are my kids going to be safe? How can I raise and protect them best?
– Will my health remain good in spite of the fact that I’ve put on some weight and
that things are starting to “creek”?
– What will happen to my family if something happens to me?
– Will my wife’s health stay strong?
– Will I continue to make the same or preferably better money than I’m making now?
– How will I pay for the renovations we’re planning or yet another unexpected home expense?
It didn’t stop there though:
– How will I pay for my kids’ education? Am I doing it the best way?
– Am I paying too much in taxes, or am I missing something?
– What happens if I can’t work any longer?
– When can I retire? Will it be with the lifestyle I want?
To give you some context, my friend and I started our conversation by talking about my practice and how it’s designed to help my clients. I’m very proud that we focus on what is important to our clients and work hard to help them reach the goals that matter most to their families. I often tell my clients that one of my jobs is to help them organize their financial lives.
By organizing their financial lives, it not only allows them to “see the forest for the trees”, it also reduces their financial stress and allows them to devote their time and energy to the things that are important to them, like their careers, family, home, hobbies, etc. Getting focused and organized is far more important than many people realize. The inertia caused by years of neglect can cause people to feel like it’s an insurmountable challenge to overcome on their own.
For people in that situation we can become invaluable. We help and guide them through this process to make it much easier. It’s almost akin to having a personal trainer that does some of their exercises for them. They will still have to do the work, but they will now have someone to guide and encourage them while holding them accountable to reaching the financial goals that are important in their lives.
The irony of this story is that my friend has worked in and around the financial services industry for years and has known that he needs a financial plan and roadmap to get his financial house in order. Unfortunately, in his mind, the years of inertia have held him back from taking action on his own. Sadly it’s taken until the ripe age of 45 for it to fully sink in how important this is to his family. Ultimately he knows “it's now or never”!!
My next blog will discuss what some of the important steps he needs to take of to get the ball rolling.