This is a cartoon I clipped from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Pearls before Swine is one of my favorite cartoons. Stephan Pastis has this amazing ability to capture reality in four or five frames.
The topic of this month’s note is both timely and personal. Timely because just a few days ago I was once again asked “Will I Have Enough?” Personal because part of what was instilled in me as a child was the importance of work, because you never know if you will “Have Enough”. While not a perfect correlation, the cartoon sums up a lifetime for many of us wondering and worrying if we will have enough.
My intent is to help those reading this note realize that the clichés “Life is short”, or “You don’t want to be the richest person in the graveyard” are true.
A wonderful client was in the office the other day. She has been a widow for a few years. During our meeting, we did our traditional catching up. I was very pleased to hear how well she was doing in addition to the several exciting things she was looking forward to. After talking about what these plans entailed, she looked at me and asked, the question, “Will I Have Enough”??
Many might think the question is related to her upcoming opportunities. The reality is she was asking if she would have enough money to continue to live the life she was living and not run out of money.
Living a life where you are not receiving any earned income (working for a paycheck) for many is terribly difficult. Many of us have worked for forty or more years. We have been diligent savers during that time. Many of us have gone through financial ups and downs and potentially dealt with tragedy. Combine that with the fact you may have seen your parents struggle financially. Combine that with the lessons, they taught you purposely or by accident and it is no wonder so many people lack confidence in their financial future.
I know how hard it is to cast off our worry and stress. I also know that there is no magic formula that will make everything perfect. What we can do is create steps that will get you heading down a healthier path as it relates to your relationship with money. We can do the technical work for you to demonstrate the expected outcome, but more important is the ongoing conversations about your financial plan to slowly chip away at the fear that you will not have enough.
But “What is enough?” For each person, of course, the answer is different. Reality has taught me that everyone needs the technical work we do for reassurance but again, the confidence to live worry-free about your money comes from the ongoing conversations and updates to your financial plan as life happens.
The saying “Many hands make light work”, you will find it’s also true for finding confidence in your financial future. We are here to lend that hand. By working together, we can free you to start worrying about more important things like whether to order dessert or what to watch on television, or what to spoil your grandkids with! As with all things in life, it will be up to you to decide. Just know that you will not have to be in constant worry or fear of having enough again. My team and I are dedicated to helping you know you have enough to live a good life.
I began this note by asking one of the most common questions I receive, “Will I have enough”? Which poses another question, “What is enough?” What I hope you recognize now is that it doesn't matter. Having a financial plan provides the data, and the ongoing conversation with your financial advisor is what gives you the confidence to start living, stop worrying and win at the game of life!
To the Good Life!