Four Signs that You Need to Attend a Financial Planning Workshop by Robin Trimingham
This week Bill and I are working on our schedule of workshops that we are holding in the fall, with our various industry partners. We address the various reasons why people need help to understand basic savings and financial planning principles .
The following is a summary of some of the most common and serious financial mistakes that currently exist:
The funny thing about saving money is that the likelihood that we will be successful is directly tied to what our parents taught us about money when we were children. In essence – children of spenders tend to be spenders and children of habitual savers tend to be savers. So if you were raised by parents who typically lived pay cheque to pay cheque, or habitually carried credit card debt on multiple cards you may well imagine that this is “normal”.
Guess what? It may be common but it is not necessarily a wise practice to continue. A financial and budgeting workshop can show you how to think differently about how you spend money and enable you to start saving for the future.
2. I don’t earn enough to make ends meet let alone save for the future.
Once upon a time people lined up at the bank each Friday to cash their weekly pay cheque. Heading home for the weekend with a full wallet was a satisfying feeling that one prolonged as long as feasible; each purchase or bill being scrutinized with care to ensure that a dollar was stretched as far as possible and that there were bills in that wallet throughout the following week. Deposits to the savings account might have been small, but they were accomplished as a matter of pride. In today’s tap and go world of debit and credit cards, life might be more convenient but the weight of spending decisions has been reduced to a nanosecond. That second cup of coffee which might have once been deliberated for up to five minutes, no longer gets a second thought. We see it – we want it – we grab it. Sure we get everything we want with speed and ease, but are we selling ourselves short in the long run? There’s an old adage “look after the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves” … wouldn’t it be nice to learn how to turn small weekly savings into a nest egg for the future?
3. I have a company pension and a government pension waiting for me so I’m all set.
In today’s world of legislated mandatory employer and government pensions, it’s easy to believe that we have the future well in hand. After all, we make the contributions required and our employer even matches them for us. We live within our means now, so surely the pension income waiting for us at the end of the rainbow will be enough to keep us in the lifestyle that we have become accustomed to - right? Perhaps, or perhaps not. You might know how much you are contributing on a weekly or annual basis, but do you know how much your monthly retirement pension income will be? Better yet, do you know whether this monthly pension income will be sufficient to cover all your monthly bills in retirement? Wouldn’t it be nice to understand how to figure out the answers to questions like these NOW - so that there is still time to adjust your long-term savings and investment strategy if necessary?
4. My kids will take care of me.
If you have a traditional loving family your children may very well have every intention of caring for your needs in retirement, and may even consider it an honor to provide for you in recognition of the sacrifices that you have made to raise them. But what if they fall on hard times and are unable to afford to provide for your needs? What if you develop complex medical conditions and require a level of care that cannot be provided at home? What if you outlive the person that you were depending on to provide for you? Life has a funny way of wreaking havoc with even the best intentions. Wouldn’t it be nice to understand what sort of savings and budgeting options are open to you to enable you to better provide for your own needs?
If you are reading this with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, don’t despair. Attend a financial planning education workshop and learn what you can do to plan a brighter future for yourself. In Bermuda, we will be releasing a schedule of fall workshops soon.
By Robin Trimingham