People never purposely fail (usually) financially

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7 mins
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As a third-generation financial advisor, Tom Stadum carries on the tradition of his grandfather and father by delivering comprehensive financial plans, prudent investment strategies, and timely service.
July 1, 2023

What should you be doing?

Last week, we spoke about the Instant Pot and its ultimate irony.

If you missed it, the parent company turned itself into a pressure cooker. It tried to transform itself into a faster and bigger company and blew itself up doing so.

On our recent episode of Laminate Money Podcast, we talked about how many people’s financial lives are pressure cookers. CNBC recently surveyed a group of Americans and found that 70% responded as being financially stressed. Also, just this morning, I came across research from the Brookings Institute sharing how changes to Social Security and Medicare would affect millions of retirees.

Sounds like a pressure cooker situation to me.

Just a reminder too, pressure cookers transform things. They take what naturally would take X amount of time and shrink it to Y, with pressure, at the risk of explosion.

Anyways, as we were discussing on the podcast, a question I kept thinking about was, “Well, what should someone do about this and how do they know if their financial life is a pressure cooker about to explode.”

It’s an extremely relevant question for everyone.

People never purposely fail (usually) financially. Most people, I believe from experience, assume things will work out.

Their plan is hope.

And if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that misguided expectations and assumptions burn people, cause disappointment, create fissures in relationships, and lead to failure.

For example, you’re 40, making great money, enjoying life with your family, and the mantra, financially, is that you have plenty of time.

This person is just assuming and expecting one day in the future, they’ll start saving, and magically accumulate the $1.5m this person ideally needs to have a nice retirement.

They’re in a pressure cooker situation and they don’t even know it.

The explosion is far away, but every day that passes when this family “assumes” it will all work out is another lost opportunity to take advantage of compounding interest.

So what to do –

  1. First, start with an honest conversation. Statistically, you are likely stressed and so is your spouse, and you need to get on the same page financially.
  2. Save like a pessimist – invest like an optimist – people usually do this backwards, they save like an optimist (low savings rate) and they invest like a pessimist (hold too much cash or wildly speculate)
  3. Get help – book a meeting with one of our advisors, or whoever you go to for help. We talked three weeks ago about why people need an actual plan and the real benefits of having one (Schwab’s Modern Wealth Survey found similar results. Don’t wing it and assume it will work out. We’re here to help.
  4. Execute – get on the same page, get help then save, invest, and never stop.

There are over 700 people that read this newsletter each Saturday, I am hoping we can turn a few of you away from the pressure cooker of financial life this week.

Also, I must say, thanks for your support. It means a lot.

Hope you all have a great 4th this coming week.

See you next Saturday.


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