Back in the ‘90’s when I was growing up there was a t-shirt and brand called ‘No Fear’. Some of you may remember some of the phrases they sported. “Bottom of the 9th, down by three, bases loaded, full count…NO FEAR.” “Second Place is the first loser…NO FEAR.” “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog…NO FEAR.” Among hundreds of others.
The truth is everyone is fearful of something (or everything). We fear failure, we fear success and the expectations it sets, we fear health issues, we fear flying, we fear snakes, we fear our mortality, we fear making wrong decisions, heck, we even fear making the right decision.
I sit down and talk with people every day who know they need to make some personal financial decisions. Many times, they know what decision they need to make to reach their goals, but they can’t get themselves to take the next step - for fear of making the wrong decision. Even though making no decision is the worst decision of all. They decide to make no decision because it’s just easier.
It may be easier now, but that decision is going to make life tougher later. And when you think about it, we rarely regret doing our best to reach a goal. Especially a goal that was important to us and a goal that we consulted with people to make good decisions along the way.
If you failed to make the football team but you tried your hardest, would you regret it? Probably not, but you probably would regret it if you quit. Especially if you quit without talking to your parents or coaches about why you wanted to quit and having a conversation about it.
If you failed to get an ‘A’ in math but tried your very best, would you regret it? Probably not, but you would regret if you dropped out of school. Especially if you dropped out without learning about long-term consequences it would have on your life.
If you saved for a goal of retirement at age 60 but couldn’t retire until 63, would you regret it? Probably not, but you would regret if you never saved for retirement at all.
If you set up a Last Will and Testament to protect your minor children but didn’t die until they were adults, would you regret it? Probably not, but you’d regret it if you passed away without a Will.
If you purchased life insurance to protect your debt but died after the house was paid off, would you regret it? Probably not, but you’d regret it if you died without life insurance while your family depended on you.
Some people have the ability to develop their own financial plan and others need the help of a professional. Either way, I hope you consider sitting down with your spouse or significant other to have a healthy conversation about money and how you can use it to accomplish the things that are important in your life. Don’t fear talking about your financial goals, embrace the opportunity to try to accomplish them and work toward something together. Fear can be overcome by education and understanding. And at the end of the day, if you do your best to reach those goals…you’ll never regret it.