If you believe that you’re exempt from the information contained in my column, consider this—Magic Johnson never thought he would get HIV. Christopher Reeves (Superman) thought he would leave us with a vision of him flying. I can’t shake the image of him in the wheelchair. The clients that I serve are not rejects. They are not people who woke up one day and decided I’m going to go deeply into to debt, not pay my bills and create a mess. My clients are no different from you. My clients are Managers, CEO’s, Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Teachers, Pastors, Administrative Assistants, and Professors. I also work with Janitors, Parking Attendants, Policemen, and everything in between. Most of my clients come to me struggling because LIFE happened without a warning and without a plan. They did not expect to lose their job. They did not expect their spouse to die. They did not expect to come down with a certain illness or disability. They did not expect to go through a divorce. They did not expect their business to fail.
I have one client who is a hard worker and makes good money—I mean GOOD MONEY. An unfortunate part of making a good living is that your family and friends seek you out to bail them out. Being the giving person that she is, she gave and she gave some more. She did not realize that every gift was a sacrifice to her own financial well being. She did not realize that in this case she was not helping with her monetary donations. She was in fact enabling her family and friends to continue their bad behavior. Life happened to my client. She was involved in two car accidents within 3-months. One of which was near fatal. In between the two car accidents, she lost a parent whom she was extremely close with. Her world came tumbling down. The people whom she thought she was helping but in fact was enabling were unable to come to her rescue. Being that she gave without a proper financial foundation to give from, she had no contingency plans in place to bail her out. I’m happy to report, she’s back on her feet and she is seeing incremental progress.
As Zig Zigler says, “Success is not measured by what you do in comparison to someone else. Success is measured by what you do in comparison to what you have the potential to do.” No body plans to fail, they just fail to plan. Do you have a plan in place for when LIFE happens to you? I did not say if. I said WHEN. Money magazine reports that every family will experience a major financial set back within any 10-year period. Jim Rohn says that you are either in a crisis, walking away from a crisis or walking toward a crisis. A solid financial plan will turn your crisis into an inconvenience.
If things are going well for you financially, GREAT!! Is there room for improvement? As Benjamin Franklin says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Historians don’t record history until after you’ve finished your work. I think the real litmus test for how well you’ve managed your money is measured when you’ll finished your work on earth, or when you’ve retired. What will your legacy be—financially speaking? The scripture says that a wise man/woman will leave an inheritance to his children’s children.
(Mortgage and Money Coach Damon Carr is the owner of ACE Financial. Damon can be reached at 412-856-1183.)