So often we continue on the same course of action without really thinking about what we’re doing. Whether that’s because we’re doing what our parents did or our colleagues or our friends, we make the same decisions day in and day out. But what if these aren’t the wisest decisions and we just continue on the path out of ease or comfort or because we don’t know any better? If you’re sick and you go to the doctor, you would listen to what the doctor prescribed for your health. Your financial well being is no different. You should put the same trust you have in your doctor in your financial planner. Unfortunately, perhaps, poor financial “health” doesn’t always alert us with recognizable symptoms in the way that poor physical health usually does; often the effects of our poor financial choices creep up on us over a long period. We don’t see the financial illness show up for twenty, thirty, or forty years, until finally we’re in our fifties, sixties, or more likely our seventies. Now, cash flow is getting tight and we can’t afford certain things because we didn’t realize that the decisions we made thirty or forty years ago would affect us in the ways they do today.

Rather than just going with the status quo and following along in the same rut you’ve been creating, it’s important to find someone you trust to guide your financial plan. If someone were on fire, their response would be immediate: they would jump up and down and scream in pain, right? When a financial professional like me sees you making poor financial choices, it is like seeing you on fire, except you are not jumping up and down and screaming. They want to step in and help, but they need to be asked. You are just sitting there, burning, maybe even pouring on more gas by making more poor financial choices. When it’s a “financial fire,” people don’t feel the burn, so they just keep on going as they have been. If you make a bad financial choice, you may not know it for many years. You have to have a good financial “first responder” around to help guide you.

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