In my years of financial coaching, I’ve noticed that people have a lot of different reactions to the idea of working with a professional investing advisor as they save for retirement.
Some people are relieved to know they can rely on the experience and advice of the right advisor to help them make good investing choices. But others feel intimidated by the thought of discussing money matters with a stranger—even worse, a stranger who can point out where they’ve messed up and who knows exactly how far behind they are in preparing for retirement. Shame and regret paralyze them, so they delay, getting further and further behind with each passing year.
The Problem With Regret
I get it. Regret is a powerful emotion. It’s tough to look back on your life and wish you’d done things differently 10, 20 or 25 years ago. But here’s the thing about regret: Regret wants us to always look back.
I want you to look forward! Have hope and know all is not lost. There is still time to make a change for a better future!
Making the Impossible Possible
So where do you start? Start by understanding that you are just like everyone else. Everyone believes they’re behind at saving for retirement. I once coached a guy who had $2.5 million stashed away, and he was convinced he would have to keep working for the rest of this life.
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Actually, he was only four simple changes from being able to retire! He just needed me to point out those changes so he could take action on them. The same may be true for you. All you need is an objective investing professional to show you what changes you can make today that will allow you to obtain a future you thought was impossible.
When Change Hurts
The second thing you need to realize is that anything of significance requires sacrifice. Your advisor may suggest changes that aren’t easy. Taking action on them is going to hurt. But when your actions match your goals, the sacrifice is worth making.
So think about how good life will be when you reach your goal—when your toes are in the sand, you don’t owe anyone anything, and you’re giving to charities and being a blessing to others. It will all be possible because you made a choice—and the sacrifice—to get there.
Glance Back, Focus Forward
With this perspective, regret now becomes a tool. Instead of letting it paralyze you, use it to push you forward. Reduce your regret to a rearview mirror. It’s good to glance back every once in a while, but focus on what’s in front of you.
Let regret remind you that you’re not just talking about having money for retirement; you’re taking action—each and every day. You’re driving a used car, you’re shopping smarter, and you’re giving yourself limits because you have a goal.
So schedule a meeting with a qualified investing professional. Be ready to lay it all out—the good, the bad and the ugly. And expect to hear a little of each in return. But don’t let that distract you from the goal you’ve set and the plan that’s going to get you there.