If I Could Only Teach One Financial Lesson

I’ve been in this industry for more than two decades, which means I’ve had a lot of opportunities to see what is vital to my entrepreneur, professional practitioner, and retiree clients and what factors make the biggest difference in their finances. While there may not be one single “secret ingredient” that answers every question and addresses every problem, I believe there are a few significant factors that can change your financial life. One of them is starting with your “why.” If I could only teach one financial lesson to my clients, I would teach them how valuable it is to identify exactly why money is important to them and then map out a wealth strategy accordingly. Too often, people blindly deal with their finances without discerning what is most important to them and then aligning their behavior to their financial goals. Why You Need to Know Your “Why” Generally speaking, we know what is good for us and what isn’t. We know it’s important to eat right, exercise, live within our means, and plan for the future. But just because we have the knowledge doesn’t mean we always follow through. Sometimes we skip the gym for a few weeks (or months), or we skip the home-cooked meal for fast food. Why do we do this? Often, it’s because we aren’t embracing the “why” behind the knowledge. Knowing your “why” gives you purpose and makes your actions more intentional. Having goals is to be applauded, but while goals tell you what you want, they don’t provide the “why” you need to succeed. In a study conducted by Northwestern Mutual, only 55% of Americans make disciplined plans to achieve their aims, only 40% of adults set goals and an even smaller amount (20%) have a written plan for their goals. Why is there such a lack in goal setting? I believe it’s because without understanding what motivates you, your goals lack purpose. When you don’t have purpose, any goal or task becomes mundane and boring. We work hard and make sacrifices to achieve our goals, so if we lack a reason or even forget the reasons for our goals, it’s possible to lose the motivation and drive in attaining those goals. This is why it’s crucial to know your why and keep it in the forefront of your mind while living out your daily life. Defining Your “Why” When it comes to your finances, it’s important to understand how you view money and its purpose in your life. As they say, money doesn’t buy happiness. But what does make you happy? What can you do with your money or how can you use it to build a happy lifestyle? What are appropriate financial decisions you can make to pursue your goals? As Roy E. Disney once said, “when your values are clear your decisions are easy.” So, how do you find your financial values and why money is important to you? Start by asking yourself a few key questions. What motivates you? What do you love? What are you passionate about? Reviewing your values can help open your eyes to your “why” and purpose for money. Developing an Aligned Strategy Once you understand your “why” and what money means for you and your family, you can take the next step and develop a wealth strategy that aligns with your goals and values. This strategy shouldn’t be a static list of goals or a one-time plan. It needs to be an ever-evolving blueprint that connects your short-term and long-term goals. At Beacon Wealth Management, our mission is to help you make smart decisions about your money. To do so, we use a disciplined professional process to establish a solutions-based wealth strategy that aligns with your “why” to help you reach your goals. We want to make sure that we always have the most up-to-date understanding of your personal situation. Therefore, our periodic financial checkups will ensure that when your life changes, your wealth strategy evolves with it. We designed this process specifically to help us do three important things: Understand who you are and why money is important to your family Create the best possible strategy for achieving those goals Keep us on track at each step of the process Working with us, you can ensure your financial situation is in sync with your goals and values, and you can delegate the details to us so you can keep pursuing your passions. At Beacon Wealth Management, we are happy to help you clarify your core values and work with you to ensure your finances are in line with those values. Contact us today by calling (304) 626-3900 or emailing me [email protected]