Many folks are feeling as much anxiety about the end of this challenging year as they were feeling during the height of the pandemic earlier this year. That feeling of uncertainty can send ripples through our financial lives until we get a clearer picture of what the future holds. We believe that a solid financial plan gives you the tools to keep improving your Return on Life no matter what is happening in financial markets, economies, or politics. Instead of fretting about what may or may not happen, try to focus on these three areas of your life that will help you control major transitions.
1. You can’t control the economy … but you can control your career.
Uncertainty sometimes spark short-term volatility in the financial markets. But the economy is bigger than any one event, even while Covid-19 continues to change everyday life and how we live our daily lives (ie. work from home). As companies continue to adapt to the pandemic landscape, job opportunities are becoming less centralized and more diverse. You might be able to take your dream job on the other side of the country without leaving the home your family loves. Or you might spot an emerging market in the middle of all this displacement where you can open your own company.
2. You can’t control governments … but you can control your saving and spending.
You can’t control government spending and the potential for higher taxes. But you can anticipate when your kids will be going to college, if you will need to replace the family car soon, or if you want to move to a beachfront condo when you retire. Your levels of saving and spending have a bigger impact on your financial plan than any other factor. If you’ve never kept a monthly budget before, make 2021 the year that you start. Sit down with your spouse and weed out all those recurring subscriptions and memberships you’re not using. Prioritize your spending and eliminate the non-important spending you realized in 2020. Make a weekly meal plan so you’re not eating out so often. The couple hundred dollars you economize every month could grow into a comfortable padding for your nest egg over time.
3. You can’t control the future … but you can plan for it.
The value of a strong financial plan cannot be overestimated. Earlier this year during the intensity of market volatility our team revisited many financial plans. Shifting our views from the immediate concerns and updating financial plans allowed our clients to take a broader view of their future. While stepping back and looking at the big picture we were able to illustrate to all our clients that they were still on track to reaching their goals. The key is to build in margin (extra) in the financial plan. Margin is what you are aiming for in a financial plan. This will allow you to be flexible when life transitions happen and the ability to adapt without the emotions of the whirlwind. No matter how you feel about the current uncertainty, you can take action today to keep your financial plan on track. Get in touch and we will schedule an appointment to start planning for 2021 and beyond.