“I’m sure it’s something you and dad have told me before. I just liked hearing it from my professor.”
I chuckled. Of course, our kids would rather take to heart the advice from another respected adult than their own parent, even if the advice is the same.
No one wants to be told what to do when they are not ready to receive the message, even if the advice is in their best interests.
My daughter is graduating this weekend from the University of Alabama. She will be moving to Denver next month to enter the “real working world.”
On the phone the other day, Jill was excitedly sharing with me all that she had learned during the last lecture by her favorite business school professor.
The topic? How to accumulate $5 million.
Uh, who wouldn’t want to know how to amass $5 million in their bank account? I told Jill to tell me more.
Unsurprisingly, the professor’s advice to his full lecture hall of students included paying yourself first (i.e. investing in your retirement and savings accounts with every paycheck beginning with your first “real” job) and leveraging the value of time by letting your invested funds compound and exponentially grow over time.
Advice that, in retrospect, I wish I had heeded myself thirty years ago.
Sometimes, important life lessons do not "stick" right away.
Oh, I remember hearing the same advice decades ago. But in the early part of my career whilst building and raising a family, I never thought I could afford to apply said advice.
It took me years to re-evaluate my financial priorities but I eventually did and started applying said advice with my own finances.
Sometimes we know we “should” do something but, for whatever reason, we put it off.
No time. I’m too busy to do X, Y or Z.
Plenty of time. I’m too young to do X, Y or Z.
No money. I have no money to do X, Y or Z.
Procrastination. I’ll do X, Y or Z tomorrow.
These are all just excuses for not doing the thing you know you “should” be doing.
The real reason we don’t do the thing that we know we “should” do is because we are not yet willing to embrace whatever the “thing” is. We haven’t fully bought into its importance in OUR lives.
Oftentimes it takes some watershed moment, some revelation, a close call, or maybe even some emergency, to provide us with the clarity and urgency that we better get a move on with whatever it is we’ve been dodging.
Whether it’s saving and investing for retirement, giving up drugs or alcohol, losing weight for our health, or even planning our estate.
For me, my defining moment with my finances came by looking in the mirror.
“Holy crap. I’m a middle-aged woman now and what does my savings account have to show for it?”
I realized, really came to believe and embrace, that I would be working the rest of my life if I didn’t get serious about saving and investing.
Many of my clients come to a similar realization with their estate planning affairs. [Holy moly! My neighbor just died and he was even younger than me!]
Be it a medical scare, a global health crisis, or approaching retirement themselves, my clients realize that they CAN (not should) no longer postpone planning their affairs in the event of their future incapacity or death.
I can preach from the rooftops that everybody needs to get their estate plans in order, no matter their age, income, or stage of life, but until a client embraces that realization for themselves, they won’t be scheduling an appointment with our office.
It remains to be seen if my daughter will apply the advice of her business professor to start building her own nest egg. But her current enthusiasm has me optimistic.
Which is better than I can say for myself at her age!
Kristen “Finally Building Her Nest Egg” Marks
P.S. Give me a buzz or take a look at my online calendar if you are finally ready to discuss your family’s estate plan. I offer both free 10 minute calls and comprehensive 90 minute initial estate planning strategy sessions.