Often the first question people ask when they sit down with me is “Where do I start?”
It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Life keeps coming at us, bills arrive, the tire blows out, and wham, the savings is depleted, again! Yet most of us would love to feel in control of how money flows in and out of our households, and have sense of security that if things go south (job loss, relationship ends, illness) we are prepared. There are many things in life we don’t choose, yet we can choose how the money we have is managed, nurtured and protected.
Start where you are.
What assets do you have? A home, retirement savings, small inheritance account, savings, a few stocks. Then look at what you owe: mortgage, student loans, credit cards, car loans. The difference between what you have (assets) and what you owe (liabilities) is your net worth. Like a map with a little flag that says “You are here”, you now know the starting point. You might feel overwhelmed knowing you have so little or so much… it’s okay. When I stood at the base of Annapurna and looked up my first thought was “no way!”, but I found a way to balance between putting one step in front of the other, and occasionally looking up to make sure I was going in the right direction. Twenty days and 10,000′ later I made it to Throng-La Pass at 18,500′– and most importantly the process of getting there had been amazing.
Financial planning is like climbing a mountain.
You set your sights, prepare, equip yourself with the necessary tools– and sometimes you make it on the first try, other times the weather changes or your companion gets ill and you have to change your focus, change priorities. Being flexible and clear thinking is critically important whether you are climbing a mountain, building a business or putting your financial house in order.
I consider myself a financial guide. I’m familiar with the terrain. I can assess the risks involved, and help you make critical decisions about when and how to forge on, and when to retreat, regroup and take a different path. If you are at a point in your life where you want some guidance, or reassurance that you are going in the right direction, I can help.
I leave you with a photo I took of a beautiful Tibetan nun that I met while climbing Annapurna– She was singing in the doorway of her home and motioned for us to sit with her. For over 30 minutes she sang songs as old as the mountains. The common language between us was music and love. The pursuit of the mountain faded and human connection was all that mattered. Our destination was the top of a mountain, yet we made it a priority to enjoy the journey, and as a result we encountered this amazing spirit.
How could planning help you get where you want to go?