40 years to earn it; a moment to lose it
Once, I was preparing for a long bike ride – it was going to be nearly 60 miles. I put on my fancy bike shoes and spandex shorts, packed some energy bars, and secured a big water jug to the back of my bike. And off I went. A good hour into the ride, the sun was burning down and I was losing steam. I reached back and grabbed my water jug – desperate for some hydration to get me going again. And then I almost cried. My water jug was almost entirely empty. I forgot to put the cap on it, and the bumps and turns caused the water to spill out. Was I trekking across the Sahara Desert without water? Well, no. I just ran into a 7- Eleven and got more water. But still, I was getting pretty thirsty.
Don’t let a silly oversight ruin your plans.
The takeaway is don’t be dumb. And when it comes to your money, what can take years and decades to save and invest can literally be stripped from you in an instant.
But don’t be misled. The person who takes your money overnight won’t sneak in through the backdoor wearing a ski mask and rob you. Oh, no. The person who takes your money will almost certainly be wearing a suit.
There are three main threats to your money:
Each of these can decimate your finances overnight. Can you prevent them? Well, no, actually. You can’t prevent them from happening. You can’t stop a divorce. You can’t stop someone from suing you. And you can’t keep someone from trying to defraud you. So even though you are helpless from stopping any of these from happening, you have some very powerful things you can do to minimize the damage.
Bad stuff happens to good people all the time. You can’t change that. But if bad stuff happens to you, I want to know you’ve taken the steps to protect yourself and your finances.
You can’t prevent a car accident, but if you drive a five-star rated car, wear a seatbelt, and have plenty of airbags, you can certainly walk away from most accidents.
And that’s really our goal here. Bad stuff happens to good people all the time. You can’t change that. But if bad stuff happens to you, I want to know you’ve taken the steps to protect yourself and your finances.
Because let me tell you, the alternative is ugly. I’ve seen good people lose it all overnight. Please, please, please, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Follow along in the next few lessons and you’ll be fine.
The proceeding blog post is an excerpt from Get Money Smart: Simple Lessons to Kickstart Your Financial Confidence & Grow Your Wealth, available now on Amazon.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.