I read this on social media recently: “Dear Cher, If you CAN turn back time, now would be great. Thanks in advance.”
During this life chapter marked by stress and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, I needed the laugh. It was a great stress-reliever. So much of life feels outside my control these days, I find myself searching for things I CAN control.
Finances are a stressor for many, but this is an area that once brought under control can provide independence that spills into nearly every aspect of your life because money is a factor in many of life’s goals.
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Board identifies seven steps a financial advisor takes in financial planning:
1. Understanding the client’s personal and financial circumstances
2. Identifying and selecting goals
3. Analyzing the client’s current course of action and potential alternative courses of action
4. Developing the financial planning recommendations
5. Presenting the financial planning recommendations
6. Implementing the financial planning recommendations
7. Monitoring progress and updating
My goal when creating a financial plan that takes this thorough approach is to show what you can do to work toward your financial goals. A financial plan gives you an idea of how much more you should put in your children’s 529 college savings plans to be on target for funding higher education. It offers insight into your retirement savings goals and whether you’re on track to meet them. It also helps you address goals you hope to accomplish before retirement, such as buying a vacation home or paying cash for your next vehicle.
We’ve all had days when there are a hundred tasks to accomplish, and the weight of that pressure leaves us struggling with where to begin. Just as a To-Do list can help bring that situation under control, a financial plan can provide direction. Simply knowing where to go and what to do next can be a tremendous stress reliever.
Already have a financial plan in place and still feeling stressed by life? Perhaps it’s time for more unusual measures.
Pet a Purring Kitten
Three kittens were dumped at the barn where I keep my horse recently, and I, a self-proclaimed hater of cats, have found those kittens’ purring soothing to my core. Whatever aggravations occupying my head drift away. It turns out there’s science to prove my experience. Cat purring lowers blood pressure in humans, lowers stress, eases breathing, and cat owners have 40 percent less risk of having a heart attack.
When I’m living that work-from-home pandemic life and need a break from the computer screen or the telephone, I spend a few minutes in a flowerbed pulling weeds. I never thought about why that task felt so good until I read an article about the stress-relieving effects of gardening. Sunlight exposure improves your mood, and a study published in the Journal of Health and Psychology in 2012 reported that working with plants is a well-known stress reliever.
Call for an Appointment
I hope you’re finding constructive ways to reduce your stress, whether it’s the cerebral approach of paying off your credit card debt and getting your financial house in order or the light-hearted approach of petting a kitten. We all need a little of both in our lives. I’m here to help you address the financial stressors. Please reach out if you’d like to schedule an appointment.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.