Recently I was speaking with a client about how important it is to take preventative measures in regard to health - eating right, exercising and taking the right supplements. People are living longer than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we are living healthier than ever before, which can prove to be a double whammy. The same double whammy applies to our finances. We are living longer than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we are living better-off than ever before. It is just as important that we take preventative measures in regard to our finances - planning for the worst-case and best case scenarios, exercising good financial habits and revisiting your plan on a regular basis to make necessary changes.
I don’t know about you, but I have never been motivated enough to take the right health measures just to “live a long life.” Yet the Cooper Clinic, founded by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, the man who revolutionized health and fitness, made my motivation level change entirely. They talk about something called “squaring off the curve.” It looks a little like this:
At age 30 most of us reach our peak health-wise and our quality of life is at its highest as you can see on the chart. But as time goes on our quality of life slowly curves off until we die. It doesn’t actually matter when death is as much as the quality of our life during those last 10 years or so. Are we able to continue to do the things we love - play golf, dance at our grandchildren’s or great grandchildren’s wedding, volunteer at our church? Or are we immobilized and confined to our homes or a nursing home?
The Cooper Clinic states that most of us have a choice and it’s all about “eating right most of the time, exercising most days of the week and taking the right supplements for you.” If you do this, you can square off the curve. Those last 10 years of life can have more richness and quality than you ever dreamed.
Your financial future is no different. There is an old saying that people spend more time planning for their vacations than they do their future. Unfortunately, I think it’s true. And I bet you can guess what the quality of their financial life is or will be. The thing is, we have a choice about this too. If we plan for and are proactive by exercising good financial habits and using financial supplements for the worst-case and best-case scenarios, we can enjoy a more successful quality in our life than we ever dreamed.
So what are financial supplements? They are the aspects of your financial health that should be regarded, reviewed and maintained regularly. Some of these supplements include, but aren’t limited to: your budget; an annual income tax review; insurance policies on you, your home, your business; debt management review; risk tolerance assessments, etc.
We have had the honor to work with many individuals and families over the years. We have witnessed and often shared their experiences of success, failure, prosperity, retirement, good and bad health, sharing their legacy and the grief of losing their loved ones. No matter the circumstance, the qualities of these experiences were always a direct result of the whether or not they were taking their financial supplements.
I don’t believe anyone wants to run out of money before they run out of life or leave their loved ones with a financial mess, but it does and can happen to anyone. I encourage you to do two things: Start taking your financial supplements and heed Dr. Cooper’s advice on a physical level so that we can share many great years together.