Our collective ritual of “spring cleaning” often happens because we didn’t take care of chores during the winter, fall, or maybe even last summer. Had we dusted more, discarded more, or been more selective in what we hoarded, we could skip spring cleaning and jump straight into the fun stuff that comes with more sunshine and warmer weather.
The same can be said for sprucing up our savings, investment, and retirement plan. Had we focused more consistently on them, we could be more confident in our strategies and more prepared when facing one of life’s biggest challenges: making sure we don’t run out of money before we run out of time.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Look Forward
If you find yourself in this situation (and face it, many of you do!), be assured that you have plenty of company. There are many reasons besides procrastination for spring cleaning and for freshening and dusting off your retirement plan and portfolio. These could include a job change, divorce, family death, business sale, inheritance, and more. It could be confusing because there are so many options out there, and no shortage of those marketing those options to us.
The bottom line is to take action, and if the spring cleaning ritual serves as a motivator, just go with it.
“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you choices.”
Start with figuring out what you want in retirement, figuring out how much money that takes, and then figuring out how to get there without losing your nest egg. A couple of childhood misfortunes gave me a laser-focused understanding of the importance of money. I understood that without it, my family and I lost any chance of control. Those circumstances led to one of my mantras: “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you choices.”
The price for putting off saving and investing with a solid plan is huge. This article in Forbes is very illustrative of the problems.
To determine if your plan needs a spring cleaning, I recommend that you ask yourself these questions:
- “Do I know why I own what I own?”
- If retired, “Do my investments, combined with other sources of recurring income, provide for my preferred lifestyle?”
- If not retired, “Are my assets positioned to help me pursue financial independence with an adequate level of predictable cash flow?”
Maybe this spring is the time to do some clean-up of your investment strategy. You might come out of the effort with a clearer path to where you want to go, and more assurance that you can get there. Then you can have a clean start to enjoy the summer.