How to live with a sense of financial abundance
Do financial concerns ever keep you awake at night? Are financial issues putting stress on your marriage? Do you live in fear of financial scarcity? If any of these apply, your personal finances may be controlling your life.
People often believe that financial abundance means having more money. I have met many people, with lower incomes, who live from a sense of financial abundance. I also know wealthy individuals who live from a sense of financial scarcity. Let’s discover how you can begin living a healthier financial life style by discovering the pathway toward financial abundance.
Living with a sense of financial abundance requires “action” and “faith.” Using a sports analogy, financial “action” involves preparing a personal (or family) “financial scorecard.” The “scorecard” helps determine if our financial resources are aligned with our goals and values. When financial resources are aligned with financial goals, stress levels are reduced, leading to happier interpersonal relationships and a sense of financial serenity.
I recommend including the following on your “financial scorecard:”
1. Do you have an “Emergency Fund,” which has highly liquid assets that will cover a minimum of six months (ideally one year) of expenses.? If you are ever unemployed or suffer a short term disability, an emergency fund can serve as a life line to help avoid financial disaster
2. Are savings adequate for your children’s education and retirement? A minimum of 15 percent of after tax income should be saved in retirement and taxable accounts.
3. Are your investments appropriate for your level of risk-tolerance? If you lie awake at night, worrying about your investment portfolio, investments risk is probably too high.
4. Is your “debt load” reasonable? You should be paying no more than 28 percent of your pre-tax income for your mortgage (Principal and Interest), and no more than 35 percent of pre-tax income for all debt, including car payments.
5. Are you paying more in taxes than legally required? Our tax code is riddled with exceptions and exclusions that are often known only by the wealthy. Discover every legal method of lowering your taxes, as each dollar in tax reductions provides an additional dollar to be saved, with zero financial pain.
6. Have the risks associated with a financial catastrophe (death, disability, major health expenses, long term care) been properly addressed, so that your family can survive, should the unthinkable occur?
7. Are all of your financial obligations paid on a timely basis? If so, your FICO score should be Excellent (above 750).
If the answer to any of these questions is no, your “financial scorecard” can be improved. Every action taken to increase your financial health helps reduce financial stress, improves overall well being and leads to a sense of financial abundance.
With our country’s financial turmoil, it is difficult to maintain faith that personal financial resources will be adequate to meet future financial requirements. However, having faith in your financial actions is critical to finding the path to financial abundance. Once the changes required for a healthy financial life style are made, the serenity associated with financial abundance can be discovered, if you maintain faith that everything possible has been done.
If you do not have the time, inclination or energy to determine your required financial actions, elicit the help of a fee only Certified Financial Planner®. A fee only CFP® will have the knowledge and training to help define what financial actions are required. A CFP® will also have signed a code of ethics, ensuring a fiduciary responsibility. A fiduciary is required by law to always place their client’s best interests before their own.
My book, Financial Abundance Guide, provides a detailed approach to creating your own financial action plan. Financial Abundance Guide is available, free of charge, when you visit www.finabguide.com .
Living life from a position of financial scarcity or financial abundance is a personal choice. While the path to financial abundance takes commitment, action and faith, you may find that the peace and serenity it can deliver is worth the effort required.