What or Who is Your Why?

What or Who is Your Why?

October 22, 2020

What or Who is Your Why?

As a 20 something fresh out of college, I wanted to work hard, set myself apart from my peers, get promoted and some day make a lot of money.  How's that for a dose of truth?  As a young CPA, I remember getting up early to work hours that I didn't track as billable hours, looking forward to nights out of town working on client audits, and feeling like I was really going somewhere.  After only a little after a year in my career, I was married and the following year was expecting baby #1.  

After only three months into that pregnancy, we went in for a routine First Trimester Screening.  Hearing the words "You need to plan a funeral" as the very first words out of our new High Risk OB's mouth, was devastating.  Prior to that point, I'm not sure I'd ever experienced physical pain from mere words.  My WHY changed in an instant. Suddenly making partner and making a very healthy income suddenly fell second fiddle to wanting nothing more than to save our baby, to do whatever it took to be a better person, to realizing that life had more meaning than just my title and the number of zeros in my paycheck.

Growing and Developing

One year after our daugher passed about 6.5 months into the pregnancy, my oldest son was born and my heart felt both broken and full all at the same time.  Broken for the baby who never came home and full for the sweetest little cherub in my arms.  My WHY has transitioned over the years, and I'm guessing yours has too.  No matter what defining life events have molded you into the person you've become today, the process of growing and changing will likely continue as we age.  

I think the best advice I can give you as a fellow human being, as a parent, and certainly as a Financial Advisor is to plan for what you know.  Be intentional about your actions and life decisions today and work toward understanding how those actions/decisions can have long-term impact.  Maybe in your cash flow today starting with $50 a month into a Roth IRA feels "doable" or maybe fully funding your 401(k) at work, a backdoor Roth IRA outside of your employer plan and looking for tax-efficient additional savings vehicles has encouraged you to find an advisor...no matter your life situation, doing something to help your financial future, big or small is a step in the right direction. 

Grow toward the financial future that you want, one baby step at a time.  Meet with your Advisor regularly to make sure that you stay on track.  Periodically, re-evaluated your why. 

Choose Your Circumstances, Try Not to Let Them Choose You 

If "eating the elephant" all at once is too overwhelming, start with an actionable financial plan that can guide you step by step, sequentially down a road toward your financial goals.  Develop a debt management action plan, reassess your retirement savings and adjust a percentage at a time until your funding level makes your financial plan work, apply for the life insurance that your family needs and then readdress after you've taken the time to work on your diet/exercise plan, set up an appointment with an attorney to work on that Will or Trust that you've been thinking about but have never gotten around to.  Unfortunately, I've seem first hand that life doesn't always play nicely. A seemingly healthy 42 year old can have a heart attack and pass away.  A 30 year old mother of young children can have a stroke with no warning.  A parent can pass unexpectedly without having completed a recent beneficiary review, leaving some children feeling slighted.  Life is tricky, Financial Planning doesn't have to be.  I would encourage you to take one step at a time toward the right direction, whether big or small to better you financial future and plan ahead for those you love.  

My Why.

My why calls me Mom.  My why crawls into bed with me at 3am and I sleep with feet in my back the rest of the night, until my alarm sounds off at 5:00am.  My why some days loves me to the moon and back, and other days has complete meltdowns over the wrong Batman cup at dinner.  My why still has many many years of childhood, teenage years and adulthood ahead.  So, while I've promised my why that I'll always be here to kiss scraped up knees, provide bearhugs when they have broken hearts and to watch their babies someday...tomorrow is not promised and I take planning for my why very seriously.  I'm planning for their lives with or without me, though I certainly hope to be with them until I am VERY old, grey and wrinkly.  

So, find your why or your who...and plan for it.  One day at a time.  One week at a time.  One month at a time.  

 

This is meant for educational purposes only.  It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions.  (10/20)