Put yourself in this disaster situation: You’re no longer able to work, you’re retired and living on a fixed income. You need to pay for food, medicine, and heat, but only have enough money to pay for two of them. What two choices would you pick? Not being able to pay for all three items can and will put your physical and mental health in jeopardy. Yet, many people find financial planning to be complicated and become easily overwhelmed when it comes to preparing for their future.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
-Benjamin Franklin

 As of today, according to the statistics taken from the National Counseling on Aging – NCOA

These people did not plan on being poor for their golden years. It was an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided. Today I would like to invite you to expand your perspective and look closely at some of the things that you are doing right now that will impact you throughout your lifetime.
  • One-third of senior households have no money left over each month or is in debt after meeting essential expenses. (Institute on Assets and Social Policy)
  • The 2.1 million older adults on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receive, on average, just $435 each month. (SSA, 2016)
  • 21% of married Social Security recipients and 43% of single recipients aged 65+ depend on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. (Social Security Administration [SSA], 2016)

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

-Warren Buffett

Understanding the critical need for increasing wealth is often overlooked until it is too late and becomes an unfortunate nightmare. I would like to make a comparison of our actions towards wealth as being similarly necessary to our actions towards health.

When we go to our doctor for a check-up, we hope to hear the good news that we are doing ok. As all good doctors do, they remind us to exercise more, drink plenty of water, eat healthily and get plenty of rest.

These simple little things are often met with a “yeah yeah” response from us. We know the right things to do, and end up ignoring the advice we are given. Unfortunately for many, the desire to change doesn’t come until AFTER the disaster strikes. This could be a myriad of health issues, but in some cases a life-threatening condition that finally gives us our wake up call. I’m sure anyone after hearing such devastating news wish they could go back in time and convince their younger selves to make the changes needed to avoid the current condition. Do you think you could convince your younger self to change? Would you listen? What would your future self-say to you today about your health and would this cause you to completely change your lifestyle? Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it. Did you know that according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute almost half of the retirees enter retirement earlier than they planned? 41% retired early due to health issues; 26% due to corporate downsizing and 14% to care for a spouse Losing your job and being forced into earlier retirement is a risk to your financial health. At this stage in life, it ends up being too late to change course. Poverty becomes inevitable and the person ends up having to choose if they should eat, stay warm, or have their medicine. Make a commitment to your future self-today by creating your own plan for financial freedom. Do not wait for life’s unforeseen disasters to motivate you. You can make all the changes now that are needed to ensure your success. Similar to the doctor’s advice for your health is the advice to become wealthy. Spend less than you make, avoid unnecessary debt, invest early, and plan for what you will need. Your best days are ahead!

 

-Clifford B Sullivan

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