Think about this for a moment… there are only 3 possible outcomes for your life. OK… there is really only one actual outcome. However, there are only 3 ways to get there.
1. You live a long, healthy life.
2. You live a long life, but not necessarily a healthy one.
3. You do not live as long as you expected to live.
When you really stop to think about it, that is it! So, why is it that we get so bogged down with information we do not understand that we end up choosing to do nothing? That’s right, I did say “choosing.” Or, worse yet, we do something without understanding it only to be regretful on the other side because it does not do what we bought it to do! Shame on the person who sold it to us… and shame on us!
It is mind-boggling to think that the “wealthiest society in the world” has a financial IQ of about 2 (and I believe I am being generous at that). We teach no practical money skills in this society. We do not learn good habits at home. We do not learn good habits in school. We do, however, learn really bad habits out in the “real world.” But by then, it is often too late to change the stress of the situation many have created for themselves. We then CHOOSE (there is that word again) to remain ignorant and continue to make the same mistakes throughout a lifetime, often regretting those choices.
It is time to get proactive about our financial lives. So, here are some things to compel you to think a little differently about your money:
1. GET CLEAR on WHAT you are trying to do BEFORE you start doing it
Every product out there is perfect for the right situation. Every product out there is a poor choice for the wrong situation. SO… look at the situation BEFORE you look at the product. Think of it as no different than looking at a map. How do you draw your route if you do not know where you are or where you are going? The answer is… you don’t! Yet, with our finances, we often try and put a map in place before we have any clarity on what it is we are trying to accomplish. Stop doing it backwards.
2. TAKE THE LABELS OFF of everything!
Here is a word association exercise… what comes to your mind when I mention… life insurance… annuity… mutual fund… disability income insurance… long term care insurance… 401(k)/403(b)? The list can go on and on. The point is, you probably had immediate reactions to many of those terms. If I now asked you to define what each of those products actually does or how they may or may not fit for YOU, chances are most people would give wrong answers. Those incorrect perceptions end up hurting you at some later time when you were counting on something to be there. Do yourself a favor… educate yourself with reality, not perception.
3. Use the “3 POSSIBLE OUTCOMES” method to make sure you are covered!
Do not over-think this! If you live a long, healthy life you do not want to outlive your money, right? So, educate yourself about what products create a guaranteed income for life. If you live a long life but not necessarily a healthy one, you need to look at how to protect yourself and your family should that be hand you are dealt. If you do not live as long a life as you had expected, it is not about you at all! Now, you better have something in place to take care of the people you leave behind who are dependent upon you.
There are a myriad of financial companies and products available. Here is the bottom line… NOBODY cares more about your money or your family than you do! You will never be younger or healthier than you are today! If you are not taking some time and energy right now to sit down and really talk about what it is you want to accomplish AND WHY, no one else is going to do it for you.
Get inspired… get real… take action! That is the only way you can ever be successful! Stay inspired!