Do Your Finances Need Bifocals?

July 29, 2021
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When I first started wearing Progressive lenses it was an agonizing 3 months before I could wear them all day.  I would wear them for 10-20 minutes and be feeling so seasick I had to take them off.

After a few weeks of this I asked the eye doctor if this was normal. She responded that it was an indication of how weak my eye muscles were and how much they were struggling to dial in the different distances.

I hadn’t noticed my eyes getting weaker or struggling to find focus at different distances. It happened slowly over time until it was bad enough that I needed help to fix it.

What does this have to do with financial advisors, financial planning, or investment management?  Both are a matter of perspective.

To achieve financial success, we must monitor short, medium, and long-term goals, make continuous adjustments, and pivot as life changes. That is a lot of work! And for many of us different parts of this work aren’t natural strengths.

We may not notice ourselves growing tired over time as we work to achieve these goals and keep everything in focus. We may not notice that we aren’t paying as much attention to all it. But it can happen. Here are a few examples of what we may notice.

  • Investment accounts are scattered across many places. Some are old 401ks. Others may be accounts from trying to help a friend or family member who got in the business.
  • Cash is accruing in savings because you don’t know what to do with it.
  • You don’t know all of what you have, how much you have, or if it is enough to do what you want to do.
  • An emergency happens and there isn’t enough in savings to cover it, so you turn to credit cards. Then there is a cyclical pattern of accruing debt, paying it down, and accruing it again.
  • You stop trying to pay down student loans and figure you will die with them because you can’t get a straight answer on how to pay them off.

Each situation is unique. When these situations occur – or even better before they do – we need a little help to bring things back into focus.

Financial advisors skilled at planning can help dial in the focus on our goals much like Progressive lens’ do for tired eyes looking at different distances. An advisor can listen to and help us define our values and goals for our lives – both financial and life related. Then they help us merge what we say we want with where we are today and create a plan to move from where we are to where we want to be.

They can keep us accountable to what we say we want and help us with the course corrections that need to happen throughout our lives. 

Could your financial life use a pair of Progressives?