Broker Check

Of Two Minds

February 27, 2019
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I love sweets: cookies, cakes, pies, etc. I often struggle with my desire to eat them. I have read that excess sugar can cause unwanted consequences like inflammation, weight gain and even cancer. Worse, the confections that I typically covet are also high in fat and cholesterol which is associated with heart disease.

I love to play tennis and have become a fair player, given that I did not start playing until my 20s. However, I am 45 years old, have a wife and four children and frequently work long hours. It is difficult to admit, but I am at a point in my life and career when my energy and time are less abundant than in years past.

I love physical challenges. I was an amateur boxer. I competed in my home state of New Jersey where I still live. I completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. I confess that these endeavors have taken their toll on my body. Ice packs, ibuprofen and foam rollers have become familiar friends.

One part of me wants to eat more junk food, play more tennis and fight again. The other part of me feels that in support of the things that are truly important in my life today, I had best not. I am of two minds.

This conundrum of being of two minds may also be common for folks when it comes to their financial plans. On the one hand, there is the recognition that they should be doing something. If they are already doing something, they may feel that they could or should be doing more. I can tell you from what I have read regarding average retirement account balances - they are anemic - that this feeling is not without merit.

Opposing the instinct to take action is the desire to live life for today and leave the boring and mundane concerns of our future lives to our future selves. Sadly, I know people who reached older age and did not have nearly the wealth accumulated that they would have liked. They would be the first to tell you that they should have saved more and worse, could have saved more relatively painlessly, as well as having planned more effectively; if only they had taken action sooner.

As I have written and spoken of in the past, we often maintain a vague idea that we will buckle down and really focus on the business of planning and saving at some indefinite point in the future. And we mean it.

A good friend of mine quotes Macbeth saying, “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” and he adds on "never comes." What he means by saying tomorrow never comes is that we have a tendency to put important things off, while convincing ourselves that we will get to them. Unfortunately, many times we do not.

There is an alternative to perpetually putting things off. I want to be clear that what I offer is not intended as a scold. In the past, I have been guilty of putting things off. That is, until I saw the light. I do not think the tendency to delay doing things makes us bad people, I do believe, however, that it makes us human. Understandable though this procrastination may be, it does not serve us.

You, like me, may be of two minds regarding your desire to do certain things. One part of your mind wants to take action. The other part wants to watch television.

Not all delayed actions have equal impact on our lives, though. It is probably ok if you put off certain things for another week, month or year. This could be something like cleaning out your attic or garage. In the grand scheme of things, how important is it really? Assuming they are not creating a dangerous condition, those old books and boxes will still be there when you get around to organizing or getting rid of them. 

However, do not be deceived. Putting certain things off can have a devastating effect. When it comes to putting things off in our financial lives, the stakes are much higher.

Develop a concrete, maintainable financial plan and take action now. If you are serious about living your best life today and in the future, time is of the essence. I believe it is never too late to start. There is an old proverb that states :

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. 

If you like, contact a financial services professional you trust, to help you get started.

 

Scott R. McGimpsey February 27th,  2019

This material was prepared by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Neither Summit Brokerage Services Inc. nor Scott McGimpsey is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionally services. If such assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal, state, or municipal tax penalty. Moreover, a diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or assure protection against loss in a declining market. UNIFIED PLANNING GROUP is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC