Last week we looked at a couple of philosophies – Do Not Loan Money and Do Not Raid Retirement Accounts – that I have adopted and have served me well. This week we look at two more philosophies that SavvyReaders might consider adopting as their own:
Disregard the Naysayers
Regardless of the endeavor you are undertaking, no matter what it is that you might be trying to accomplish, there are likely to be those that tell you that you cannot achieve, you will not achieve, or you should not pursue your goal. You are likely to encounter these naysayers at some point on your road to fiscal fitness.
I do not believe that the intent of most of the naysayers is malicious. In most cases I believe it is simply a lack of vision, an inability to see beyond the walls they have established for themselves. If they cannot imagine something for themselves, they certainly cannot imagine it for someone else.
When I first began my journey on the road to fiscal fitness, I would often mention the desired size of my nest-egg in conversations with others or the amount I was saving and investing on a monthly basis. While the amount changed periodically as I adjusted my aim upwards, the feedback was often the same. Negative. Generally the pessimism revolved around a couple of ideas.
First, there was the belief that there was no way that I could save the amount of money required to get to the desired amount. And second, why would I sacrifice so much today for some future goal?
The two things that I always keep in mind are that my goals are my own and there is nothing to stop me from taking the actions my plan dictates that I take; especially someone else’s belief of what is possible. Although you are bound to encounter naysayers, I still encourage you to engage in conversations on the topic of retirement savings.
Just as I am certain you will receive some negative feedback, I am just as certain there will be the occasional conversation, or part of a conversation, that will yield a valuable nugget of information; something useful that can be used to enhance your fiscal fitness and improve your retirement prospects.
Know What You Can Afford
How many times have you gone out to purchase a big-ticket item (i.e. house, car, or major appliance) and after the sales person checked your credit report, you were told what you can afford? Think about that. The salesperson is telling you what you what you can afford.
Unless that person has access to your personal savings/investment/retirement plan, they cannot possibly know where you are with regards to meeting your retirement savings and investment objectives; and what you can afford.
Know the difference between what someone is willing to loan you (and what they think you can afford) and what you know you can afford based on your thoughtfully constructed retirement plan.
Prior to getting anywhere close to a car dealership or your local big box retailer, you should have already consulted your retirement tools, run your numbers, and know exactly what you are willing to pay and what you are able to afford in order to remain fiscally fit and stay on track with your retirement plan.
There you have it SavvyReaders, a couple more philosophies that I have adopted over the years that have served me well. And yours? What belief or philosophy has served you well?