The last of my 3-part series on Laws of Money Wellness is about your future.
LAW 16 – Your spouse’s goals should not be yours
Having one spouse own/manage all savings/investing accounts while the other spouse is detached from money decisions is no road to success. It may work for a while, but where it really becomes challenging is later in life when goals for one person must provide for two people. Simply put, if two people retire, two independent financial plans should be created.
No one’s money aspirations should impede or overshadow yours. Too many factors between spouses are different: age, one may be conservative and the other not, life expectancies and earning capacity to name a few. Your goals are just that…YOURS. When I plan for couples lives ahead, we plan for each spouse’s life goals and make sure they complement each other.
LAW 17 – Understand long-term effects of debt
Being approved for a loan or credit card only means you meet MINIMUM standards of the lender. It does not mean you can actually afford the debt or the payments. Only you can decide that. Remember, when you say “yes” to debt many times you are saying “no” to investing.
Credit card debt is often the demise of well-intentioned money goals. If you carry a balance on credit cards it is the #1 sign that you are spending over your budget. Also, when you accept debt as a reality in your life, this too becomes a habit. A dangerous one. Many people ask me “If I have a million dollars, will that be enough?” Enough is always relevant to the debt load you carry. So the target is not just how much money you have; rather how much net worth you have. A simple way to determine your net worth is: Assets (savings, investments and the value of anything without debt) – Liabilities (total of all debt and other obligations). It’s important to subtract debt from assets to see what you are really worth. The less debt, the more net worth.
LAW 18 – Pass on a legacy of smart money habits
Keeping good money habits to yourself can create a mindset of scarcity. Having this mindset prevents you from believing there is abundance in life. Sharing knowledge and wisdom is a powerful connection that lifts everyone.
If you are the first person in your family to live by a budget, have a savings account, get yourself out of debt, have a six-figure investment account, open your own business or graduate from college; share the wisdom and encourage those you care about. Your legacy will be richer for it.
LAW 19 – You are what you think
Negative communications are ever present in the news we consume, in social-land and is seeping into the way we talk. Negative talk and thoughts keep us in the past and can debilitate forward progress. If there is only one piece of advice you take away from the 20 Laws, make it this one. If you never believe you can change your world and achieve goals, you’re right. You won’t. Life is tough at times and things won’t go the way you planned. But being defeated is not an option.
Empowering thoughts about yourself, money and the future are the first steps in setting a course of good money habits. Investors who believe in themselves tend to view setbacks as opportunities and develop positive responses to the world. Use your mind for good and see how it profits you.
LAW 20 – Retire to something and for something
Retiring with no plan for hobbies, travel or fun can lead to a sedentary way of life. Most retirees I work with are successful because they planned a retirement of exploration, enjoyment and yes working for some. They cultivate what I call a “retirement side hustle” where their passion or hobby becomes the area of focus in retirement. Be that travel, time with grandchildren, volunteering or even working in a career they always dreamed of; this is retirement. With decades of time, there is every reason today’s retiree can and should work where they want. It keeps the mind and body going which is important for our health and the social connection is vital.
I wish you well on your financial journey. The advisors at Brennan Wealth Advisors look forward to an opportunity to coach you on your wealth path.