A few weeks ago, I passed the half-century mark.
With the parties, dancing and hanging out with friends far and near behind me, I can’t help but get a bit introspective as I glance backward. So many great times, adventures, and people have come in and out of my life.
It seems surreal. I still think of myself as 30 and catch myself having to remember I’m not – although the mirror provides a really good reality check! I’m pleased that at 50 I still don’t hold back at the gym (even though my knees are a little cranky at times).
I’ve been in the financial services industry for over 15 years. This means 30% of my life has been spent coaching people about money, building wealth and protecting themselves from the hiccups that happen along the way. I’ve met with hundreds of clients, peeked behind the curtains if you will, and have seen patterns of behavior that accelerate the growth of wealth and some that absolutely don’t.
I’ve noted attitudes and patterns around money in myself as well. If there’s one thing 50 years has taught me, it’s that I’m not perfect. Like everyone, I’ve made mistakes with some of my own money choices.
So… since I keep thinking I’m 30, with the wisdom of 50… I like to imagine what my 50-year-old self would tell my 30-year-old self now that I have all those financial service lessons under my belt.
Things I Know About Money Now that I’m Wiser (and Older)
- It’s better to do something than not. Sometimes we want to wait and make perfect choices. I can remember working with someone when I was in my twenties who never joined the company Group RRSP because she didn’t know what to invest in. She passed-up on the 5% matching component because of analysis-paralysis. Even if she had stashed the money in a cash account, she would have doubled her investment because of the dollar for dollar match.
- It’s never too late to start, but earlier is always better! I’ve been guilty of investing almost all my money into my business, but on the occasion of my birthday, I escalated some key base components to my plan. If you’re self-employed, start doing a little something as soon as you can. Although I’m saving more aggressively now, even escalating 5 years earlier would have made a big difference.
- Simplify and automate. Once I set up a system to automatically pay myself from my business, things became so much easier. I also set up automatic payments for my cell phone, oil, water bills, etc. Everything that I might forget to pay. It shortened my to-do list and I never incur late fees or interest charges.
- Buy more insurance and buy it earlier. I keep adding to my insurances so that my protections get to the level I require (it does shift over time). However, it was easier to qualify when I was younger, and it was a whole lot cheaper! Every time I see what the effects of premature death or illness are for a financial plan of one of my clients, I up my coverage.
- Get all agreements in writing and signed. I skipped this step once and I lost a bunch of money – it sure would have been nice for my 30-year-old self to have seen that coming! The next time I documented everything and guess what – it worked!
Unfortunately, I can’t actually go back in time and benefit from the hard-learned lessons I received and witnessed over the past 15 years. But maybe those lessons can help you now!
In honour of my birthday, I am opening up time in my calendar for 5 one-hour consultations. I will consult and coach for that hour as my gift to you – no charge and no obligation! (What to expect) If you have any questions about investment performance, financial planning or money mindset I’d love to hear from you! Book A Consult Here