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Where am I now? Where do I want to go from here?
At the start of each year, many of us make it a habit to ask ourselves the two above questions. The answers help us map out a strategy, make resolutions and set goals. This annual exercise offers us the opportunity to take stock of our current situation and see the areas in which we want to improve. Maybe it’s to save a little more money each week, carve out more family time every day, make a big career move, or spend more time on your favorite jogging/hiking/biking trail. Big and small things, alike.
One problem with these two questions: We don’t ask them enough. Now that we have inched past the halfway point of 2015, it could be a good time to ask them again: Where am I now? Where do I want to go from here? This midyear checkup allows you to reassess where you want to spend two of your most precious but limited resources: time and energy. Asking these questions lets you examine whether the goals you identified in January are still where your focus should be. It allows you to review what has changed in your life and whether those changes have brought about new challenges or, better yet, opportunities.
Simply, asking these questions allows you to account for what you didn’t know then. And that’s often the key to successfully carrying out a plan — accounting for and adapting to changing circumstances.
Carl Richards, director of investor education for the BAM ALLIANCE, wrote in his Behavior Gap newsletter: “Think back 10 or 20 years. Did you have any idea you’d be doing what you’re doing now? Living where you’re living? Earning what you’re earning? Or that you’d be contemplating chucking it all and pursuing some kind of radical change?
When we put it this way, planning seems pointless, even silly … Don’t get me wrong. We do need to plan. But we’re far better off setting specific but flexible goals that reflect our personal values and our best guesses about the future. Then we can do our best to reach those goals, revising our guesses and making course corrections when things change.
While it’s a bad idea to get attached to a particular notion about how things will play out, it is crucial to commit to the process. When you do that, you’ll feel different; you’ll be way more relaxed, at least around financial issues. Once you let go of the idea that the future must take a certain shape lest we flunk the plan that you spend so much time on, you’ll feel more engaged in something that belongs to you.”
Copyright © 2015, JDH Wealth Management. This material and any opinions contained are derived from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed. The content of this publication is for general information only and is not intended to serve as specific financial, accounting or tax advice. To be distributed only by a Registered Investment Advisor firm.
For any of you local folks who support community theatre, you may remember Rebekah starring in 6th Street Playhouse’s production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” last spring. Well, Rebekah was back at it, this time with Spreckels Theater Company in Rohnert Park.
Rebekah was featured as Carrie Pipperidge, best friend to the other female lead character, Julie Jordan. Read more
Although teens say their generation’s money issues are different from those of their parents, a Charles Schwab survey says teens still look to their parents when it comes to developing good saving and spending habits. Read more
Seth Allen, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Pomona College, Claremont, Calif.
College essays carry far more weight than they have in previous decades. With a record number of students applying for college, admissions offices have become highly selective when considering student applications. While each school has its own criteria, schools typically look for students who demonstrate a high level of creativity and innovation. They want students who can express themselves and present interesting viewpoints on issues. Schools also seek out students who have the potential to take on leadership roles in some shape or form. One place they look for these differentiators is in the college essay.
These practical tips can help students stand out when writing college essays: Read more
By LYNN O’SHAUGHNESSY
When students head off to college, they don’t go far. Nearly 55 percent of freshmen attend school no more than 100 miles from home. More than 37 percent selected a college that’s no more than 50 miles away away from mom and dad.
Those are two of the fascinating facts that you can find in the UCLA’s latest survey of the nation’s college freshmen.
Here are 18 more facts about the current crop of college freshmen during a year when fewer incoming students received scholarships to help defer college costs: Read more
By Marilyn Wechter
One of the most important things parents can teach their children about money has to do with the delay of gratification. If children can only be satisfied with instant gratification, they will act impulsively. When they learn to delay gratification in the hopes of something better, they also learn a kind of resilience and the sense of success and accomplishment. Children who know they’ve made good decisions develop self-esteem.
The goal is to build up your child’s ability to handle the complexities imposed and choices offered by life. If you do it for them (and if you pay for everything), they won’t know what they’re capable of accomplishing on their own.
These practical situations can carry a theoretical discussion into a real-life learning experience. Read more
There are a lot of things that come with having children, such as sports, camps, lessons and other activities that can stretch the family budget. Carl Richards, director of investor education for the BAM ALLIANCE, writes that there are other things to consider than just money when it comes to the family budget. Read more
By DANIEL SOLIN
Recently, a client came to me with a difficult dilemma. He was retired and living comfortably but didn’t have much room in his budget for additional expenses. His son was a high-ranking executive with a midsize company. He was married, with three children, all of whom were in private school in New York City. The son lost his job as a consequence of restructuring.
He was having difficulty finding another position at anything close to his prior income. He had been looking without success for more than six months. He was at a point where he could no longer meet his substantial monthly expenses. He asked my client to provide the funds necessary to maintain his lifestyle and the education of his children, until he was able to “land on his feet.”
My client could afford to make these payments for a limited period of time but his retirement plans would be jeopardized if the time period was prolonged and if his son did not pay him back. He asked for my advice. Read more