Getting Maximum Happiness From Your Money – Finger Financial Five #35

“The worst sorrows in life are not the losses and misfortunes, but its fears.” – Arthur Benson

Not far from Myrtle Beach, my grandparents on my mom’s side had a farm in Gallivants Ferry.  My “Papo” and “Mamo” had a pony named Pee Wee.

Sometimes my Papo would hook Pee Wee up to the wagon and we would ride around the farm.  One thing I noticed was that when we hooked him up, there were “blinders” that would shield Pee Wee’s eyes so he could only see forward.  Papo said that is so he can focus on what he is supposed to and not get spooked.

The financial world can spook people, too.  There is SO MUCH information out there about so many things.  Hard to know what to focus on.  Many people try to take in TOO much information.  What about inflation? What about taxes? What about markets? What would we need to do 2 years from now about this or that?  What if this happens or that happens?

This is why it is important to be open and flexible.  You want to have enough details in your financial plan to prepare, but not so much it becomes rigid.  Pee Wee does need to step over the pothole in the road but does not need to focus on the dog along the side of the road.

Things like taxes can change; what retirement means to you can change.  Life happens.  Put your blinders on and focus on what matters most.  Avoid the white noise.

What matters are things that are important and that you have some control over. For example:

  • Your spending – are you living within your means?

  • Your savings – are you saving enough to meet your goals?

  • Your estate documents – do you have everything set up properly?

  • Your retirement plan – are you taking distributions from the best location tax-wise?

  • Be tax efficient or work with an advisor who is

The dog along the road a/k/a the white noise to avoid:

  • Media

  • Politics

  • Markets

I am listening to the audiobook, Happy Money, by Elizabeth Dunn. You can get a better “happiness return” based on where you spend your money.

Highest Happiness Return:

  • Experiences – like travel and concerts.

  • Family and friends – time with them matters.

  • Giving time or money increases happiness

Lowest Happiness Return?  Material items.  I talk a about this in FFF #30.

On the lighter side, rode 100 miles on the bike Friday, as part of my training for the Ironman in September.  Was not as bad as it sounds.

Iren had trouble booking tickets to Bulgaria to see her family.  We had to go later than normal.  As fate would have it, being later worked out.  Her new godson will be heading to Bulgaria, later than normal too.  Without Iren postponing her trip, she would have missed seeing him.  Remember, red lights can be blessings.

Hope all is well with you and your family,

Jeremy Finger, CFP®, CIMA®, CRPC®, CPFA

Founder & CEO
Wealth Management Advisor

Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions.

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Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor; DBA Riverbend Wealth Management.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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