I’ve written before about the pursuit of balanced financial planning.
And a balanced life.
And while I believe balance is a worthwhile goal, it’s often elusive.
The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.– Anonymous
We sometimes find ourselves so focused on the present, that we’re blind to the future.
Other times, we become slaves to our savings goals and forget to enjoy our lives today.
We’re afraid of future investment markets, so we seek short-term comfort. Even though that introduces different, destructive risks.
We may be planning to work longer than we need or want to.
Our budgets can rule our lives if we let them.
And of course, there are those of us who aren’t really planning at all. There’s no balance there either.
Are you so focused on each and every bill – today and into the future – that you lose sight of bigger opportunities to impact your finances?
And your life?
I often encounter people who are “majoring in the minors” when it comes to their personal finances, their retirement planning, and their overall financial plan.
Or, what if you went through the process of creating a comprehensive financial plan in the past only to have it inform some decisions at the time… and ever since, it hasn’t been revisited.
You’re spending minutes – or hours – trying to get an extra 0.05% on your savings account balance of $11,539.
Instead, you could be learning skills that could increase your salary by 20%.
You suffer from FOMO on the next great investment opportunity instead of utilizing evidence-based strategies that have been proven to work over time, through all sorts of markets.
You’re so worried about your children or grandchildren (or your aging parents) that you’re jeopardizing your own health. And maybe your personal finances are suffering too.
You watch the news thinking (or hoping) that it will provide you an edge in managing your investments. Instead, it simply raises your anxiety and stress.
You’re retired and have been a diligent saver throughout your career, but you’re so fearful of the future, you’re only willing to spend a fraction of what you can actually afford.
You spent decades preparing and planning for a secure retirement only to live in a scarcity mindset.
While I could go on with countless examples, I’ll instead offer a better way…
A balanced way.
Just like too few people actually figure out how much is “enough,” the same can be said of many folks’ approach to financial planning.
Rather than a balanced financial planning strategy, they jump from this to that.
One extreme to the other.
Maybe it’s our collectively shorter attention spans.
Or maybe it’s something else.
It could be as simple as you not having a plan.
But I suspect many of you with a plan find it challenging to stick with.
I recently read an article from a colleague titled “Does Your Plan Include Abandoning It?“
Food for thought…
We’re emotional creatures, and it’s tough to put a plan in place and simply wait for it work. Over years and decades.
But often, that’s the absolute best thing to do.
And is you feel helpless or you’re fighting the urge to “just do something” I have good news…
Your plan, once it’s created, is virtually worthless.
That’s because life happens and things change.
So how is that good news, you may be wondering?
It’s good news because the ongoing, lifelong process of planning is where you can accommodate new information and adjust to the inevitable changes you’ll experience in your life and the lives of those you care most about.
It’s about understanding your choices. The elements within your control. The trade-offs between these choices.
It’s about striking a balanced financial planning strategy and working to maintain that balance in the face of constant change.
And let me be clear — it requires work.
Some of you are willing and able to do this work yourself. You have the time and interest.
Others will want some guidance. Some assistance.
And that’s exactly the work I do for professional women in their 50s and 60s (and their families).
If this is something you’d like to discuss or explore further, I’d be happy to have that conversation with you.
And until next time, remember that it’s all about balance.