I read recently that "Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet" and said to myself; gosh that is an encouraging and optimistic thought. And, I believe that it is true! In fact, I believe, with the proper steps taken, that it can be true for the majority of us.
Because I am analytical and even tend towards cynicism at times, I began to think about the things that could make those "best days" less likely. As my wife Tracey likes to say, I’m funny but not always fun. I guess she's right, yet she also says I am a good planner, so I suspect one thing compensates for the other.
Think of times when you had something on your mind. Not something trivial, like your college team losing the big game or whether or not some character in the season finale of your favorite TV show might be killed off.
I am not even referring to some sort of momentary distress. If you are a parent, perhaps you have experienced the terror of believing, if only for a second or two that you have left the movie theater or the county fair without one of your children, only to remember that they are with their grandmother and grandfather. You let out a sigh of relief, say thank goodness and move on with your life. I am not talking about that type of distress.
What I am focusing on here is persistent, grinding dread; the kind of gnawing, miserable feelings that take over your mind. The kind of feelings that visit you most nights when you get up to go to the bathroom or, worse yet, prevent you from falling asleep in the first place.
What generates these feelings? A number of things I believe. However, principal among them is the fear of not having enough money to make ends meet. Often, these are worries about future events like funding a child’s education, dealing with possible illness or the prospect of old age and diminished independence.
Lamentably, it is a virtual certainty that at this very moment in our nation thousands of people, perhaps more, are scrambling to scrape together the money to pay their rent, mortgage or an unexpected medical emergency. Under a cloud of that type of doubt and despair, I think it would be difficult to have a good day, much less a great one.
One of the ways we can work to avoid that kind of dread and maximize the likelihood of having more "best days" is by establishing and maintaining a good relationship with money. This relationship must be based on a sober philosophy of saving and spending and a plan to live that philosophy. I think the musician Kanye West stated it well when he said, "Having money's not everything, not having it is."
As far as I can see, the way to have money is not only to work hard for it but to wisely plan to build wealth based on it. In other words, to make our money work as hard for us as we work for it.
If we are forced to focus on lack, shortfall and not being able to make the ends in our lives meet, we must do so to the exclusion of all of the things we would like to be doing or focusing on instead. Compiling debt, borrowing from friends and family and selling our possessions for pennies on the dollar, does not sound like a best day to me. In reality, it takes us far away from our best days.
There is a simple way to work towards maximizing the number of wonderful days that await us. The answer is to establish a sensible financial plan, based on your current income, allowing you to enjoy life today – within the parameters of your means – but which also optimizes the number of carefree days you will enjoy in the future.
I am looking forward to the best days of my life and I suspect you are too. Construct a financial plan and act on that plan so you can focus on enjoying those best days. They are awaiting you. You might want to speak with a financial professional you trust to help you put together a good plan to help get this done.
Scott R. McGimpsey December 21st, 2018
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