Often times, when people are approached to give financially, their mind goes to a place where they ask themselves do I have enough? Am I OK? These are simple questions to measure. As wealth is in the eyes of the beholder, it does not matter how much one has. It is all relative. Most people do not possess an internal gauge to assess these questions and then have an affirmative, or not, level of confidence. The emotional side of us goes into protective mode and if one is unsure, they feel that they may not have enough.
Having financial confidence in the future is important. Everyone’s paths are different, but themes do play over. Kids education. Retirement goals. Family needs. Some wants and imperatives come sooner, some later. None of us knows the future, let alone how long we are going to walk this earth. Are we going to go early, on time or late? Since much is unknown, the advice I give is to assess your wealth and its role for you into the future.
For me, the role that I play, is to model these various scenarios. Retirement is by far the most common. For simplicity, let’s stick with that. How much do you have? How much are you feeding it? What are the timeframes? What are the expected resources? What are the dangers? What are the opportunities? Model the probabilities based on these factors. My point here is not to do a 101 on financial projections. My point is to champion this process, and from there, assess what kinds of confidence appear… or not…
Let’s go back to the original simple questions. Do I have enough? Am I OK? Typically, seeing and understanding projections is good. It is the first step to clarity. Invariably there are tune-ups to be had. Investment tweaks, funding tweaks, time frames adjusted, etc… and some dangers to avoid and opportunities to capitalize upon. The second step is to live within the context of this clarity, for better or otherwise. Then, when it feels right in your gut, make additional decisions, i.e. planning for making impacts. By the way, I am not just talking about charitable giving. Impacts take many forms.
In my earlier writings I talked about legacy. Legacy and Impact Planning are well complimented with clarity and confidence. Oftentimes, parts of this takes years. Oftentimes, we start with preconceived notions of the future and our roles, but things change, we change, families change, and lots of change happen. Expect change and embrace the journey.
I will stop here. Do not skip this step. Confidence and clarity, for the right reasons.
The next part I will talk about the emotional side of wealth and legacy. It’s not all about money. My mind goes to the Dicken’s novel, A Christmas Carol. Journeys from the past, the present and future… roles we and others play. We each have a story.