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Van Der Noord Financial Advisors

OUR PROCESS - Am I Going to be OK?

OUR PROCESS- Am I Going to Be OK?

Though these exact words aren't always spoken, it's my belief (and experience) that almost all people I have the opportunity to speak with ultimately want to know… Am I going to be OK?

I'll often hear things like "peace of mind" or "feeling safe and secure" or "making sure we have enough." I've even had clients say to me something along the lines of not wanting to wind up alone having to eat cat food. They were kidding - sort of.

But I think all these ideas (and many more) can be boiled down to the desire to know if you're going to be OK. And if we can agree that this is one of the universal questions about money and about life, let's dig a little deeper...

First off, we’ll need to define the word "OK." OK for you will almost certainly be different than OK for me or OK for your friends, family, and coworkers.

Also, take note of the words "going to be"... While I applaud the orientation on the future, be careful not to be so "tomorrow-focused" that you miss out on enjoying your life today.

I'm sure you've heard of stories about people planning to really live it up once they retire or once they achieve some other milestone in their lives only to have tragedy strike, and they're no longer able or around to enjoy the future that may have been decades in the making.

Your ideal future can change suddenly and drastically.

Tomorrow isn't promised.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't plan for it, of course. But neither should we put off living our best lives today. It will take some exploration and discovery, but there's a healthy balance to be struck between being well prepared for an uncertain - and sometimes scary - future AND making the most of your life today.

So perhaps instead of "am I going to be OK?" it should be "am I OK today and am I going to be OK tomorrow?"

Is this just semantics? Maybe. But I think there's value in turning "either/or" thinking into "both/and" thinking. And at a high level, this is what financial planning is. Whenever possible, let’s not reduce life to a series of EITHER/OR decisions, but fill it with BOTH/AND experiences.

A more “ground-level” view of financial planning looks a lot like a series of unending course corrections. There is no such thing as having a plan and sticking to it. Rather, there is having a plan and adjusting it as life happens. We “plan” based on what we know and anticipate right now. But life has a funny way of wrecking - or at least altering - our best-laid plans. So we need to make new plans. We need to accommodate new information and experience as we get it. And we need to adjust to a changing personal and financial landscape.

We might have to take some detours. We might accomplish some things ahead of schedule. And we'll certainly have to adjust our plans and evaluate some trade-offs along the way too. This is financial planning.

All in an effort to help you answer the question, "Am I going to be OK today AND tomorrow?”