As we sit down to reflect on 2018 and prepare for the coming year, no doubt that for many stress over financial issues comes to mind quickly. Year after year we see the same types of studies and the alarming statistics they produce in regards to savings and retirement planning (or lack thereof).
Almost half of Americans (44% to be exact) list money as the largest contributor to stress in their lives. To make matters worse, the stress isn’t confined to the household. A recent John Hancock study found that 72% of us take our money worries into the workplace with us, clearly affecting more of our daily lives than we would like. That same study claims that this stress causes physical and psychological problems (anxiety, sleeplessness, etc.) for nearly 60% of us. Many will say that American’s simply cannot afford to save money anymore. Medical expenses are high. Housing is expensive. Short-term burdens make it hard to plan for long-term goals. Many work at a company that doesn’t offer a retirement plan. Rising number of single-parent households. The list is endless. And trust me, I get it. I totally understand these hurdles can be intimidating.
But at the end of the day, these are all just excuses. Just like they were excuses last year and the year before that. We constantly spend our time fretting over these topics, but ironically never put a plan together to actually get ahead. It’s the same scenario as the person who feels they are overweight, goes to the gym for two weeks each January, and then eventually gives up on their weight loss plan. You need a plan. And better yet, you need someone that is going to hold you accountable to that plan. Without a well-established roadmap, how are you going to reach your final destination? No one ever accomplished anything without executing a plan! And it’s not just about a retirement plan. Having a plan for weekly and monthly expenses will build the mental consistency that is required for longer term goals.
Don’t let 2019 be another year of day-to-day stress, secretly praying that no unexpected expenses pop up between now and your next paycheck. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to remove yourself from unless you come up with a concrete plan of action and stick with it. Making more money is not the key to living a financially stress-free life. It can help, sure. But with out a plan you will eventually fall back into the same, undisciplined routine.
If you are having trouble developing a plan or are unsure where to start, please feel free to reach out to us. That’s what we are here for: to help build a strong financial roadmap for you, your family and your future. We want to you to know you are not alone. Our technology and planning tools can assist in creating a robust, tax-conscious plan that you can carry forward with confidence.
Here’s to getting off to a great start in 2019 with your financial goals!