Here's a question from a reader about financial planning:
I'm 55, divorced, and I work hard to pay my bills and stay above water. I'm tired of just getting by, and honestly, I have no idea how I'll care for myself when I get too old to work. I'm scared just thinking about it. Do you have any tangible advice?
I appreciate this reader's sobering honesty and straightforward question. I'm sure there are a good number of people who can relate. I myself have had similar concerns and fears come up around this.
In addition to my usual recommendations for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual nurturing and empowerment, I believe that we must focus on and take actions in support of our financial health and well being. Positive, tangible actions.
Start Your Financial Plan
That is why I work with a Financial Planner. And it's the best move I've made in support of my financial health and security as I move through midlife and into my later years when I may be too old to work.
The important key here is to find a financial planner who cares and who understands your age-specific concerns, and not one who is only interested in investing or insurance -- especially if you're 'just getting by' when you start. I found mine by referral, first by asking trusted friends for recommendations, and then by making my selection after an introductory meeting.
Together, my financial planner Augustine Choi and I have constructed a short-term, mid-term, and long-term life plan that is based on my core values and goals for financial management, security, and growth, and he is definitely working to make sure we stick with it. He's not a midlifer himself yet, but has great compassion for those of us who are, and a passion to support us in moving out of mystery and fear, and into empowered financial awareness and more financial freedom.
We practice what I call soul-centered financial planning, acknowledging that who I truly am, my core values, heartfelt desires, and resulting conscious actions, are the actual roots that feed my financial abundance, and not the money alone.
This may not be the solution for everyone, but too many people have never even tried working with an expert companion for financial health and well being. We enlist the support of doctors, lawyers, fitness trainers, and a myriad of other professionals to support our well being -- so why not a financial planning expert to guide us in setting up a specific system for budgeting and managing the money upon which our very survival depends! And we don't have to be wealthy to get this support; on the contrary, I began when I was 'just getting by' as well.
Money -- Let's Face It -- Together
For many -- money, and the management of income and expenses -- is the most avoided and most difficult area to face. Yet it may be the most important area to face simply because money is required for living, for example, to pay for our rents, mortgages, car payments, groceries, gas, clothing, medical care, etc. etc. Therefore, my personal program for financial health and well being includes working with my financial planner; regular use of Quicken to keep track of money and statements; plus keeping myself educated through reading and being aware, at least on a high level, of what's going on with our economy. For example, personal finance expert Suze Orman's books are useful for learning financial basics, and Drs. Ron & Mary Hulnick's classic book, Financial Freedom in 8 Minutes a Day is one of my favorites. Plus there are so many resources available on the internet.
Good financial health requires awareness, positive focus, planning, discipline, dedication, and a giant dose of optimism, and is so worth the effort. May you begin your journey into greater financial security by taking tangible actions such as working with an expert to create a financial plan that supports your life and those who depend on you.
I also welcome input from readers -- what positive and tangible actions are you taking that you'd like to share in support of financial health and well being?
Your Life Coach,
Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.