Did you know that most people spend more time planning their vacations than they do creating a long term investment plan? Perhaps this is because of the shorter time limitations for vacation planning. There is a sense of urgency about summer planning in February. By mid April urgency grows into stress and by early June stress becomes panic. When children are involved, the intensity is magnified due to the planning involved with summer camps and additional child care.
Unfortunately, this same sense of urgency often does not develop with regard to creating a financial plan until rock-bottom hits. I believe that rock-bottom is the catalyst for change in many areas of our lives, whether it is related to health relationships or finances. Interestingly, even though vacation planning usually takes a priority over financial planning, rock-bottom in financial planning can be catastrophic while rock bottom in vacation planning can be a missed trip. In the better scenarios financial rock-bottom often takes the form of inability to pay the monthly bills or 18% credit card debt which has often been incurred as a last resort to maintain a certain lifestyle. In worse cases it can include the loss of a beloved home or even bankruptcy.
Take some time today to consider what is holding you back from creating a long term financial plan if you have not already done so. Is it lack of vision about what you really want or could it be the need for more knowledge about investing? Make a commitment to define the necessary steps you need to develop your own financial plan and then make them happen.