They say sometimes ignorance is bliss. That nagging pain, a drip in the basement, stepping on the scale to see how the new fitness plan is going, anything worthy of our attention that goes ignored due to our reluctance to know the truth.
This can especially be true with our finances. It is not uncommon for us to see resistance from potential new clients, existing clients or even those just making their first call to the office. In those cases, when we are able to dig a little deeper into the reluctance, it’s almost always rooted in fear of hearing some kind of bad news or need to make major changes.
We want to be successful in the long run, we want to establish sound goals and do the work needed to make sure we’re enjoying today with an eye on tomorrow. We know things are going ok, there may not be any signs of trouble, but there are concerns in the back of our heads.
What if I would have to cut back a lot on spending?
What if I can’t retire when I want to?
What if there’s not enough time left to save enough for college, for retirement or for that big trip we want to take?
What if I am a burden on my kids?
All of these “what ifs” can be answered, goals can be set and accomplished and those nagging financial doubts can be at least somewhat addresses by starting the financial planning process. Yes, investments and how they perform are an important component, but walking through a discovery meeting, exploring current cash flow, tax savings opportunities, gaps in insurance and estate planning, etc. are arguably more important and undoubtedly areas where we have greater ability to control and make meaningful change.
At almost any level of wealth, tradeoffs must be made between when we retire, how much we spend today versus tomorrow, or any of the other financial decisions we come across large and small. The earlier we can put a plan in place to evaluate those decisions, the greater an impact we can have on long term success and the smaller those short term adjustments need to be.
Maybe you’ve been putting off that discovery meeting. Maybe someone you know has questions, but fear the answers. Or, maybe it’s just been awhile since you’ve really thought through your goals. Whatever the case may be, the work is almost always less painful than you might think and having the knowledge of where you’re going next and why is always more powerful than nagging doubt.