“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what in others belong to us as well.” -Voltaire
With 2020 coming to a close and 2021 around the corner, what are some things we can do to make the most of the upcoming year? Most people want two things, more money and or to be healthier. But mostly, people want to be happier. Here are a few things we can do to step toward that direction:
- Save just 1% more – Due to compound interest, a little can go a long way. I have a client who had a negative net worth 20 years ago. He started out investing just a few hundred dollars a month. As his income grew, his savings grew. Today he is worth well over $10 million dollars. By the way, he has had, and still having, a balanced healthy life. Lesson: Just start. No matter how small.
- Use automation when investing – Set up your account to automatically invest a certain dollar amount monthly. If you do not have to think about it, it usually happens way more consistently. I have found clients are way more successful doing this. Just choose a dollar amount that you know that you can do. Do just that. If you can do more, other months, then manually write a deposit, but do NOT change the auto draft. This also works with paying down debt. Lesson: Think less; do more.
- Delay big ticket items – When you are thinking of purchasing a big-ticket items, delay that decision. The bigger the item, the longer the delay. Really make sure that it is best use of your money. Most of the time, the desire passes. This can save a ton of money. Many items like, car, house, or boat, have ancillary cost of taxes, insurance, interest, or repairs. I know someone who will drive across town to buy gas 3 cents cheaper in their new $50k SUV. Penny wise, but pound foolish. When have you regretted a purchase? Lesson: A purchase delay, may avoid buyer’s remorse.
- Get more happiness from your spending – According to the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Study entitled “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right”, people get more happiness from experiences, rather than items. The newness of an object fades, but memories can last forever. Donating also is high on the happiness list. An easy way to donate, is Amazon Smile. At not cost to you, every time you purchase, Amazon donates to the charity of your choice. What have you spent money on that you found to be wasteful? To be most meaningful?? Lesson: Experiences > goods.
- Learn – Have a skill you want to learn? Check out Lynda.com. It has almost any topic you can think of. The more you know, the better the better you feel.
We are doing free educational webinars throughout the year on the first and third Tuesday of the month at noon.
FFF Bonus Section:
-Fully fund your Health Savings Account for possible triple tax benefits.
– Check the beneficiaries on retirement accounts, IRAs, and insurance policies. I have seen people STILL have their ex-spouse as a beneficiary. Ouch!
– Health- Walk a little more and eat a little less. Go from sweet to unsweet tea, for example. Park a little farther away from the store. Every little bit helps. See #1 above. What good is wealth if you are not here to enjoy it? Congratulations. You made it through 2020. Look back, write down what you learned, and move on. Refer to your list in times of stress and of happiness. One gives you hope, the other keeps you humble. I lost 23 pounds over the past few months with Profile. I like the accountability and the app, helped keep me on track. I was not that hungry throughout the day, because of the meal spacing. Losing the weight also made it easier for me to exercise.
– Prepare for the tax year ahead – Check out my talk with CPA Katherine Nixon, on how business owners and relocated retirees can save money on taxes.
– Wellness- For every negative thought you have, try to think of one positive thought. Just notice a positive thought. For me it was very hard and noisy at first, but very slowly, it became easier. I see people addicted to resistance. It can be freeing to let go and see the beauty in things.
On the lighter side, I played in my first tennis tournament in over a year on Saturday. Played 3 long matches. Lost all 3. Every muscle hurts. A friend of mine said, intense tennis at our age should be an extreme sport. LOL.
Questions or comments? Call or email me anytime.
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.
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.