It’s a different world …
You and I have lived to witnessed tremendous changes at a pace never before imagined. Advances in technology, medicine, transportation and communication continue to soar at dizzying speeds. However, just as we have witnessed positive advances, we too have witnessed challenges never before imagined.
There was a time – not so long ago, when the average man and woman worked hard, lived within their means among friends and family who were doing the same, prepared for their future by saving their money, bought a little house, and looked forward to a peaceful life together after retirement.
It’s a different world …
It’s a world of credit cards and credit debt, soaring healthcare costs and longer life expectancy. Odd, isn’t it? The thought of living longer has somehow become added pressure! We find ourselves drowning in financial fears.
It’s a corporate world of ever increasing profit margins. It is a world of extreme affluence and extreme poverty. Forever gone is the world of unlocked front doors and keys left in the ignition. Today we go to great lengths – to simply protect our identity!
And so we look at the challenge of finances – and I will admit to each of you, I am NOT a financial expert. I too am in the same position of concern. You ask, “Why then are YOU writing about finances?” My answer: “because unfortunately … it is number 5 of the top 10 Senior Concerns!” Ugh!
This whole financial thing seemed to get complicated over night. How can I be LOSING MONEY when I’m still putting it in my piggy-bank – just like I did when I was nine years old?
All kidding aside, it has now become almost a necessity to seek the advise of financial experts. They can review our present situation, our age, lifestyle and health and offer wise counsel as to how we can SIMPLIFY our finances. I want to emphasize the idea of simplifying our finances. Some of you may be thinking, “when you have nothing … simplifying is pretty … simple!” Believe it or not there are some things you can consider to eliminate some of the confusion about finances. Bob Lotich of Seed Time tells us:
“Consolidate bank accounts and retirement accounts. By consolidating checking accounts into one account and having only one savings account a person simplifies their banking without resulting in any loss in service level.
Get rid of as much paperwork as you can. Get rid of paperwork that isn’t absolutely necessary and shift account statements and notifications to online. By reducing the number of financial accounts you have the amount of correspondence will drop away.”
Cut back to just one credit card. Choose the card that offers the best benefits and put the rest away. It is much simpler to manage your spending and handle payments with a single credit card then with five or ten.
Become debt free. Debt not only costs a person money, it also makes life more complicated. You might say, “but I am over my head in so many things!” Remember, each debt that you eliminate takes out one complication in your life. Take them one at a time and celebrate their elimination.
If you “must” invest, consider index funds rather than individual stocks. Individual stocks can be fun and rewarding, but they can also be messy. If you have dozens they can be the equivalent of a part-time job.
Pay cash whenever possible. Use your credit card on larger purchases that may require buyer protection or a potential refund situation. Simplify your life by making your smaller purchases in cash.
Cut out any services or subscriptions you hardly use. The fewer payments you need to make, the simpler your finances will be.
Focus upon a few goals that are most important to you right now and focus upon them. Having goals are necessary and healthy. Having a multitude of goals can cause distraction and confusion. Turn off the TV and go easy on the internet. The so-called experts on the TV are there to relentlessly inform you that you need to do this or you need to stop doing that; you need to buy here or you need to buy there.
It is a merry-go-round in which the specific advice changes from channel to channel but the flow never ends. If you can’t afford it, don’t purchase it. You’ll do just fine without an item you never really own but that you seem to forever be paying for.
You will be amazed by the impact these simple steps make in simplifying your financial well-being. You will also find that there will be added income you never before enjoyed.
Loads of luv’n,