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“The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started” Agatha Christie

“The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started”
Agatha Christie, Mystery Writer

The hardest part of financial planning is getting started. As a planner for 25 years, I have heard almost every excuse under the sun. Following is a sample of a few examples. Have you ever made any of these statements?bar-scene20’s – I’m too young to have to worry about it. I’m just getting started. I need to buy a TV, stereo, car, etc. and other “stuff.” There’s plenty of time. I can make it up later. I’ll just save more once I start earning more.family30’s – I’m starting a family. The kid’s school is expensive. We have a house to pay for. When the kids get older it will cost less. (Seasoned parents out there know that’s not true).adventure40’s – We want to have fun. There is plenty of time to save. Our kids will go to college on a scholarship. We deserve to live it up!nest50’s – We’re empty nesters. It’s time to have fun, travel, buy that luxury car. Our parents’ inheritance will take care of our retirement. (Another future shock – your parents may not care about securing your future).

60’s – I should have started saving when I was 20. I’ll never be able to retire. Where were you when I was young?

You can procrastinate throughout your entire life and miss the boat, or you can quit making excuses.

Start right now. There is no time like the present.

What’s your plan for the future?

What Holds You Back?

ImpressionsI have been a long time teacher and practitioner of yoga. In yoga the term Samskara is defined as generalized patterns as well as individual impressions, ideas or actions. Repeating the actions mentally, emotionally and physically reinforces them, creating a “groove” so to speak that is difficult to change. Think of the groove running water creates through a landscape. It can take the power of an earthquake to change its course.

Samskaras, or patterns can be both good and bad. What does this have to do with you and your money?
There are many deeply embedded habits developed around issues with money that can be difficult to change. Believing that you deserve to go out and spend everything you earn without saving for your future, spending money you don’t have, and charging on a credit card to “feel better” are examples of money “Samskaras.” Not spending or hoarding money, chastising a partner or monitoring every penny spent by your partner, “just because,” is another destructive behavior that can put a great strain on a relationship.
The first step to changing destructive habits or creating new ones is recognition. Any behavior around money that you’re either ashamed of later or that causes major problems in your relationship is worth exploring and making an effort to change.
What you believe becomes your reality. This conclusion has been found in multiple psychological studies performed on the topic. If you believe you deserve to spend money you can’t afford to spend or that you don’t have enough money to save for your future, you will continue to create a future that may cause regret. Mahatma Gandhi said “a man is but a product of his thoughts – what he thinks…he becomes.”

If you recognize any negative or destructive behavior, commit to change. Discuss and make a plan with your partner, seek outside advice – do whatever it takes. You can change these patterns and create a new positive future. Start the discussion today.

”The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”

No One Can Predict the Future

PredictingFutureAs the market continues to be very volatile through the beginning of 2016, I see behavioral patterns in investors that can often lead to irrational decision making. Humans have a tendency to act and react emotionally on both greed and fear. When the markets move swiftly in either direction, people get excited or scared and can lose sight of why they are investing in the first place, and bad decisions may be made.
Consider the fact that as an investor, if you take the time to plan and determine the most important things you want to accomplish in life, there is a required time commitment that coincides with obtaining these long-term goals. There is a disconnect that occurs when people respond to external stimuli (i.e., what the market or politicians are doing today) and make decisions based on these occurrences.

No one can predict the future. Having a written plan and knowing what you are trying to achieve can provide a deterrent to irrational decision making. I feel as a financial planner this is one of the primary services that we provide to our clients. We work to keep people on track and help them avoid the knee-jerk reactions that could prove to be detrimental to achieving the most important goals in life.

Doug Lennick, CFPⓇ, quoted, “Too many financial professionals try to predict the future. It’s a fool’s game.”
A financial plan can help you prepare for whatever happens. For example, if you need money in the next few months or year, you will have an appropriate place to take it from. If you’re saving in an investment with the goal of growth for future income, you keep that money off limits for short term needs.

The reason most couples argue about money is that they haven’t verbalized and written down what they want for their future. The process of having this discussion with your significant other, of planning and dreaming about what you want your future to look like, is the first step in taking control of your financial life.LifeWe can’t predict the future but we can make educated guesses and monitor and make changes as necessary, as life continues to unfold before us.

Note: Due to industry regulations on communication, we are unable to allow for public comments on this blog. Please feel free to email me your questions and/or comments to kathy@fishandassociates.com. Thank you. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. NFP Securities, Inc. is not affiliated with Fish & Associates.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS are not affiliated with Fish and Associates. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

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