Happy Father’s Day, 2020, from all of us at AgingOptions. Whether your dad was present in your life or absent, and whether he was a good example or a bad one, chances are good that your father influenced the trajectory of your life in profound ways. That’s certainly true in the area of money and finances. So with that in mind, we present this Father’s day article from Guardian Life’s Living Confidently website. As you read it, ask yourself, “How many of the financial opinions and spending habits I have today came from dad?”
Here’s the article, originally published in 2017.
“Listen, money doesn’t grow on trees.”
How many of us remember our fathers uttering those immortal words as we pleaded for something beyond the family budget?
Perhaps the granddaddy of all dad-advice was from U.S. founding father Benjamin Franklin: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Hard to argue with seven words that sum up the wisdom of saving and the miracle of compounding interest. Or perhaps these axioms sound familiar. “Set something aside for a rainy day.” “Live within your means.” “Always buy quality.” “Pay yourself first.” And the evergreen, “Hey, don’t come to me looking for money.”
Words are one thing. Actions speak even louder to a child. What were your dad’s behaviors and attitudes around financial decision-making? A research study of 5,000 Americans reveals distinct behavioral profiles when it comes to managing money. What many don’t realize is that many of our perceptions and attitudes about money were shaped during childhood.
So, which of these best describes your dad?
Did your dad calculate monthly expenses down to the last nickel? Did he worry about balancing work and family life? A little over one-quarter of Americans fall into this category. When people focus exclusively on short-term goals such as paying bills—whether out of necessity or personality—they live with constant stress, lacking the confidence that financial goal-setting and planning can bring.
Some of us grew up with dads who subscribed to the motto, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Was your dad happiest when he had the very latest stuff (car, stereo, boat) even if it meant relying on credit cards? People in this category — about 20 percent of Americans — find it hard to delay gratification and, as a result, may find themselves with little or no savings for emergencies or retirement.
Some dads are born savers. They start funding a 401K at their first job and never let up. One-third of Americans are uber-savers and while they are good financial role models in many ways, their singular focus on ensuring retirement income can lead them to miss opportunities to enjoy life along the way.
About one in five Americans has it all together when it comes to financial habits. Being a confident planner is the best prescription to feel satisfied with life and confident about the future. If your dad is in this group, he probably considers all the following to be important, and hopefully passed on some of these pearls of wisdom to you:
- Having a strong understanding of basic financial principles
- Creating a written financial plan, often with the help of a financial professional
- Owning a diverse set of growth and protection solutions, such as life insurance, disability insurance, and retirement investment accounts
- Ensuring his family lived within their means and transferring healthy attitudes about money to his children
An Investment in Knowledge
What would a financial professional say? Well, Tom Wyatt, Executive Director of Retirement and Distribution Planning for Lifetime Financial Growth, says, “It doesn’t matter how much money you make. There are always plenty of things to spend all of it on.” What that means is, if you don’t have a plan, you won’t know how much you have to spend and you won’t have a process for making financial decisions. Then, one day you find yourself with no money, surrounded by things that don’t really matter. So, examine your priorities and spend on the things that are worth it.
As Ben Franklin also said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” The more you know, the more financially confident you can become.
Two Important Retirement-Planning Announcements from AgingOptions
At AgingOptions our chief desire is to help you prepare for the kind of retirement you’ve always dreamed of having. Toward that end, we want to share two important announcements that are designed to facilitate your LifePlanning process even during this period when most of us are required to avoid gathering in groups.
First, Rajiv Nagaich has scheduled several of his popular, free LifePlanning Seminars in the form of webinars that you can watch conveniently at home. Simply visit our Events Page and register for the webinar of your choice.
Our second announcement: in cooperation with our partners at LifePoint Law, we are excited to launch a ground-breaking new service called the LifePoint Law Emergency Legal Kit. Without leaving your home, you can now consult with a LifePoint Law attorney who will work with you to prepare and sign a complete set of vitally important legal documents including both Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney, a Living Will/Advance Directive, a Will or Trust, and much more. Click on the link or call us at AgingOptions and we’ll explain this excellent service to you.
Reliable information has never been more important – and that’s our promise to you at AgingOptions and LifePoint Law. Age on!
(Used by permission of Guardian Life)