It goes without saying that there is a fairly broad spectrum when it comes to financial knowledge, just as there is a broad spectrum when it comes to financial stress. What we mean by the second one is the extent people worry about their current financial position.
On one end of the spectrum are the people who don’t worry at all, and on the other are the people who are concerned about their finances every single day. Some people don’t start worrying about their money until they reach 70 years of age and then realise it’s too late to act. And although they have no cash for their retirement, at least they’ve had a stress-free life when it comes to their finances!
Then there are those who don’t worry about their money because they started saving for their retirement early and have automated strategies in place, meaning they can focus their energy on other things rather than worrying. Also not a bad category to be in!
But, of course, then there are the people who simply stress about their financial position, but don’t take any real steps to try and fix it. Steps don’t have to be huge – they just need to be right, and they need to be regular.
This ‘spectrum of financial worry’ can be compared to people’s health. On one end, you have those who are fit, healthy and happy. On the other end you have those who eat, drink and be merry – they may be unhealthy, and face a problem later in life, but right now they are happy and don’t care too much about their health. It’s a bit of an ‘ignorance is bliss’ concept. And then you have those in the middle who constantly feel guilty about what goes into their body, but they are not actually doing anything about it. Being in this middle ground of constant worry but no action can be really problematic, and not good for your mental health, physical health – or your financial position.
We recently had a new couple come to us after a bad experience with a terrible adviser. The clients were upset about the fact that they’d lost more than 5 years of potential saving while receiving this bad advice. We got them onto a good financial plan, back on track with an automated system of payment going into their super. Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do about that lost time – they can only look forward and work out what they can do to make the most of what’s left of their working years. Those years and those opportunities are gone – but worrying about it won’t be any help. Now they are on track, and all they can do is follow the right steps.
It’s important to have a good financial plan – but it’s also important to be able to enjoy your money without guilt. And if you have a good plan and an automated system, you are free to enjoy the rest of your money as you wish.
If you’d like us to address something specific on our podcast, please get in touch with any questions: email email@example.com or call (07) 4772 0938 to make an appointment.
Dallas Davison, Michael Hogue and Ali Hogue.