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Van Der Noord Financial Advisors

A Financial Wake Up Call

A colleague shared a recent experience that we can all learn from…

“It was a hot, muggy summer Friday in Atlanta, and I decided I wanted to donate blood.
They wouldn't let me.
Let me back up a bit . . .
I was deep into one of those corners of the internet reading about problems caused by excess iron in your blood. And while I'm not sure how big a problem it is, or if it's a problem at all, one of the recommended solutions was to donate blood. So I figured, why not? Regardless of how much iron is in my blood and whether or not it may or may not be problematic, donating blood is a good thing. At least that's how I was thinking about it. So I looked up a local donation center that wasn't too far away. They even let you schedule the donation on their website. This is going to be easy. I even took my headphones and was planning on catching up on some podcasts while I was sitting there having my blood drawn.
So I get to the donation center. I sign in. I wait a few minutes.
Then a nurse invites me into a private room to confirm my information and take my blood pressure. Here's where things didn't go as planned.
Yes, I remembered my name, address, date of birth, etc. It was my blood pressure.
First reading . . . too high.
Second reading . . . too high.
Third reading . . . too high.
Now the nurse has asked another nurse to come into the tiny room. The second nurse pulls out another blood pressure cuff and takes my blood pressure twice.
Both too high.
And not just elevated. Not just high. Too high to donate blood.
I didn't know there was such a thing. Now I do.
The nurses were smiling, kind, and patient, and suggested I drink some water, think happy thoughts, and we'd try again in 10 minutes. So after downing a bottled water, thinking happy thoughts, and waiting 10 minutes everything worked out fine, right? Nope, blood pressure was still too high.
The nurses politely told me I couldn't donate blood that day and encouraged me to have my blood pressure looked into. They also had a look of concern that wasn't completely hidden behind their smiles.
So what did I do next?
I got home and scheduled an appointment with my doctor to figure this out. They couldn't see me until the middle of the following week. Also, after sharing all this with my wife, she was more than a little concerned too. And this is even more curious as I've lost about 15 pounds over the last 12-18 months. Still have a little work to do here, but feeling better all around. When I know more about my blood pressure, I'll be happy to update you if you're interested. So why am I sharing this with you?
Well, imagine if I hadn't started down that rabbit hole of internet reading and research? I likely wouldn't have gone to donate blood. And who knows if or when I would have discovered my blood pressure was off the charts? I would have discovered this at my next doctor visit, you're probably thinking.
But here's the thing -- I feel fine. In fact, I feel pretty good. Certainly much better than I did when I was carrying another 15 pounds around. So, yes, I would have gone back to the doctor at some point, but I'm not sure when. And I shudder to think of other ways this might have revealed itself. But based on what I understand, unchecked high blood pressure can lead to some bad stuff. So, let's call this a much needed and appreciated wake-up call.”

Maybe you've had a similar wake-up call regarding your personal health. Or the health of someone you care about. And don't tell me you didn't' see this coming . . . but maybe you've had a financial wake-up call. Or maybe you NEED a financial wake-up call. And whether you've had one, need one or otherwise, I hope you have time to address whatever needs fixin' with your finances.

I often encounter folks who seem to be taking an "I'll work on this tomorrow" attitude with their finances. And this would be all well and good except they've been saying this to themselves for 10, 15, 20 or more years. In financial planning, time is one of your most important assets. And you can't get lost time back.

If you'd like to get a 2nd opinion on your financial planning or your investment portfolio, let me know. Hopefully, it would confirm you're on the right track for a comfortable and confident financial future. But if you're in for a financial wake-up call, probably better to deal with that sooner than later. Otherwise, like having high blood pressure over time, it could lead to bad stuff.”