Retirement, Money and You
How you view money, relate to it and use it, has an enormous bearing on your life – especially your retirement years. Money affects lifestyle, education, health, marriages, relationships, and careers. We might worry about our health holding out as we grow old – but our money doing the same is often neglected. Wellness often has a lot to do with how we handle money; financial wellness is key because a good relationship with money means much less stress in your life.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Our attitude to money is often formed in childhood: how your parents have behaved around money, and how they have discussed it. Whether you develop a love for money in profits or personal savings, or frugality and fear of spending, give some thought as to how you have developed your relationship with money. A positive or negative relationship should be determined by asking some key questions:
- How have my parents affected my attitude to money?
- Does thinking about money make me feel confident or insecure?
- Am I nervous to take risks?
- Can I view my history of making financial decisions as good or bad?
- Am I impulsive with money?
If these questions highlight the fact that you may not have a good relationship with money, then finding a financial advisor to help you pull things together should be prime. A financial advisor will develop a strategy to correct the financial path for you and your family, because after all, financial health contributes to overall health and a better quality of life.
A scarcity mindset: This means you always feel as though there might never be enough money, so you avoid spending on anything that you may either desire or need. You feel that others have more money than you and it isn’t fair. Whether paying or receiving money, you tend to feel bad: you need it more than others, but at the same time, taking it from others makes you feel like a bad person. But in reality, spending and receiving money are part of a cycle. And that makes our social system and economy work the way it should. Relax into spending and receiving and know that somehow there will always be a balance.
Experiencing disappointments: There’s often a real limitation to what we can expect to receive as children. We can’t have everything, and parents often say no to expensive items. The feelings this evokes can haunt us years later. If we felt other children had more than we did, we can maintain a sense of inadequacy for years afterwards. We come to believe that most things will be denied to us, and we mustn’t even try. Doubt sets in – and money becomes something to be wary of.
Fear of money: The next step to fearing money – the loss of it, the shame attached to it – comes very quickly. Self-confidence fades completely and risk aversion creeps in. Once you have a poor relationship with money, it seems that self-esteem follows suit. A fear of running out of money can pervade every aspect of your life – and most certainly your own perception of yourself and your abilities.
Seeing money as a tool
Changing your mindset to see money as a tool to reaching goals and improving any situation is a gamechanger in itself. Once you can focus on your actions instead of your emotional reaction to money, you are able to change your attitude to life. You can resist impulse spending, you can set a budget, you can develop a strategy, you can act on good advice from a professional. It doesn’t mean that you instantly have more money, rather that you have been able to take more control. And as a result you will feel happier and less stressed.
Once you understand that you can take actions to help yourself, you will also realise a few important facts: you can earn as much money as you like; you can spend wisely and invest more intelligently; you can learn to focus on winning not just saving; frugality is good, saving is good, but there’s a point where this will probably limit you rather than help you. When you realise all this and start focusing on the big wins, you can change your life simply by changing the way you look at money. Use money to start a side-business, invest in start-ups, take on extra work or a second job.
Do everything with a positive mindset and a ‘big-win’ mindset. Make connections by helping other people. It’s worth knowing that only 20% of millionaires inherited their wealth. The other 80% earned their money on their own. Firmly believe you will conquer your debt, take the actions to do so, and you will conquer debt.
Get rid of limiting beliefs and focus on what you want to do with your money. Don’t waste money on unimportant stuff like appearance, and keeping up with the Jones, or using money to impress your friends. Live button-down tight while you hone your knowledge of money and how to manage it. Focus on: education, investment, property, business, debt-reduction, emotional control – avoiding the triggers that make you want to spend money.
Developing a healthy attitude to money is not only the key to happiness, but the life route to a better retirement. Money is not the goal – the goal is self-sufficiency, meaning enough in quantity to make you feel secure and relaxed and definitely not stressed as you enter your retirement years.
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