I went golfing with a man who asked if I could help him with his retirement planning. He began to tell me a very common financial life story that I have heard many times. He had always struggled to save money. He spent his life earning quite a bit, and spending it as he went along. He had great intentions that once his income reached a point where he could afford it, he would set aside the extra money for retirement. But as is normally the case, rising income leads to rising needs and more importantly, rising wants. Whether it was braces for a child, a new RV trailer for the weekend camping trips, a much needed vacation or a flooded basement after a water line break, something always seemed to come along and require the use of that “extra” money.
So I asked him how it was that he was able to drive the ball right down the fairway on almost every shot. He was a very good golfer. He answered that he had found two secrets to a successful golf game. The first is consistency. He said you need to figure out a way to drive, pitch and putt, that can be replicated. He told me that the pros often had their own ways of doing things, each with their unique swing, but what they all had in common was their consistency. They found something that worked and they did it over and over again. Secondly, he said that no one becomes a very good golfer unless they make golfing a priority.
I told him he had just answered his own question about how to successfully save and invest for retirement. There are many paths to the same goal but the only way to reach that goal is to get on a path, and stay on it. The challenge with far too many is failure to get on the path. The first step on that path is to budget a certain amount of money for savings on a regular and consistent basis, throughout your life. My friend reminded me that he doesn’t usually have extra money to set aside and I responded, “Yet you have money to golf.” I explained that we have money for the things that are important to us. We pay our house payment, power bills, buy food (and golf), because those things are a priority. When we realize how important it is to be financially self-sufficient in our later years, then we make saving money a priority. Like eating and having a place to live, saving for your future is simply not optional. If you make it optional then something will always come up that will consume your “extra” dollars.
In our world, people are often stressed over things they cannot control. Much of that stress can be relieved by focusing on things you can control. Making saving and investing for your future a priority, is one of them.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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