In early September, I started on a journey to become brave. I spent every Tuesday evening for 10 weeks at the Brave New Workshop as part of the Brave Tuesdays program. To oversimplify a truly great program, we focused on going from fear-based behaviors to a discovery mindset. My goal was to become more comfortable with the unknown and be a more confident public speaker. Along the way, I learned some “brave” techniques that can be applied in the financial planning and wealth management spaces.
As we approach a new year, make 2020 the year you begin to tackle financial topics you’ve avoided in the past. Waiting until all the answers are in front of you means nothing will ever begin. Tell attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, friends, family, etc. that you are committed to starting to review your financial life and ask for their support.
Today’s society has made judging and comparing almost second nature. You compare yourself to others (ex. my house is too small), but you also judge your own actions and behaviors (ex. I’m spending too much or saving too little). Step back and say “thank you” to yourself for all the good you’ve accomplished. Taking the time to pause and breathe is a powerful way to mute the judgment voice.
For many Midwesterners, declarations can feel awkward and self-centered. However, declaring leads to stronger connections and a path for action. Consider the difference between, “When can I retire?” vs. “I want to retire when I’m 60”. The latter feels definitive and empowered, which is going to spark ideas and to-dos for all parties that may be touched by this decision as well as a sense of connection to a clearly defined and important goal.
You are not alone! Collaboration with a team is vital to being brave and ultimately achieving success. Exposing yourself to the diverse perspectives of a community leads to options you may have never discovered on your own. This could apply when looking for an assisted living facility for an aging parent or as you explore retiring in another state.
The program’s final session was centered around practicing your story. Having a clear sense of your mindset and story today illuminates your path forward. At White Oaks, we are a resource as our clients write their life stories. Reach out to schedule a meeting today if you’d like some guidance with yours!
Thank you to the Brave New Workshop for the techniques noted above.
Laura Bereiter, CPA, PFS™, CFP® joined White Oaks Wealth Advisors in October 2015. She offers comprehensive wealth, tax, and estate planning to the firm’s clients.