As the year draws to a close, you may find yourself reflecting. How did this last year go? Really? Sure, the investment markets are down. Sure, groceries and gas cost more. But is your family healthy? Is your business successful? Did you meet your goals for adding to your savings for your most important priorities?
Sure, you might not have what the neighbors have. Maybe you don’t go on the vacations that your brother-in-law does. But always remember what Mary Poppins said, “Enough is as good as a feast.” If you and those you love are healthy, if you have enough to eat, and if you have a safe and comfortable place to sleep, you are doing pretty well.
Remember, it’s human nature to look at others, and to feel like you should have what they have. At a basic level, humans remain herd animals. If it’s working for the neighbors, it must be good.
But, as it turns out, humans are really bad at knowing what we actually want.
In fact, we learn what we want by watching what other people want. From the youngest age, we learn to desire by seeing what our parents, siblings, and peers desire, followed eventually by what people on social media desire.
In a very real sense, we co-opt other people’s goals because it’s actually very hard to get clear about our own.
This can wreak havoc in so many areas of our lives, particularly when it comes to our relationship with money.
There’s an old saying that we spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t want to impress people we don’t even like. This happens when we shop for cars or houses or investments.
You hear your wealthy uncle talking about how important it is to own municipal bonds. He must be really smart because he has a bunch of money, right? Suddenly, you think you should go buy municipal bonds, too.
You hear about all the cool kids investing in start-ups and all the fancy people buying Teslas. Maybe you should do that, too.
But here’s the thing: None of that matters. None of it.
The only goals that matter when it comes to your money are your goals. Not anyone else’s.
So, what do you and your family really want in your financial life? Tough question, right?
Well, when it comes to setting some goals around your financial life a great place to start would be to visit with an experienced, well-trained CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. A financial planner who is your advocate in all things – a fiduciary planner – and is paid with an advisory fee -- can give you great perspective on reasonable goals and proven strategies to achieve them.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice. So, if you would like to talk about clarifying your financial goals, I would be honored to help. Follow this LINK to find a time for us to talk.
If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.