This article is sponsored by Texas WealthWave.
Y’all remember a few months ago when the average conversation amongst Frisco families was: “Can I afford to take a $10,000 trip to Disney World?“
Now it’s: “OK cool, COVID-19 is redefining both the market place, and MY LIFE, so how do I prepare financially for what comes next?”
My husband basically took the lead on retirement, and savings plans, and anything that requires a notary public (don’t shade me, I can still be #IndependentWoman and let my spouse deal with some stuff), but after becoming friends with adorable power couple Bryan Linder and Brownyn Osburn, I figured that now was as good a time as any to learn about, what *ahem, is likely the most important part of my life in the 4th quarter.
And, truthfully, I really didn’t want to ask my man and then be beholden to the inevitable questions of “Why now? Wanna come to our next appointment? Any ideas for investments? Wanna look at this really detailed spreadsheet? Blaaaahhhhhhh”
I just wanted to talk to my buddies and learn a thing or two…and I did, and holy moly, you should too.
Plus their mission gives me goosebumps: ‘To eradicate financial illiteracy worldwide so families can dream again.’ #AllTheFeels
Let’s start at the top: Stop thinking that a financial advisor is someone you can, or can’t afford. You actually need to step even further back from yourself than that: Do I (insert your name here) completely understand how saving money, paying down debt, and my future retirement works? …Beyond what I learned listening to Hamilton?
It’s ok to say no. In fact, think about it — have we ever even really been formally taught about any of this? Beyond what you learn from your own parents, and maybe during economics senior year, if you’re not studying finance, you’ve never been taught it. Why on earth should you be an expert on it?
That’s what I really love about (I’m going to start referring to Bryan and Brownyn as B&B, in part because they totally can carry off a cool couple name, and because my computer keeps autocorrecting all the ‘y’s’. #RealTalk) hitting up the seminars and virtual classes that B&B host.
They just put things in a way my brain gets, and that’s my best technical explanation.
I’ve digressed: yes, some financial advisors cost money upfront. And that’s fine. Most make theirs in the same way a travel agent does…they get paid when you save, or in this case, make money.
I think, for me, and I’m guessing most of y’all, I got wrapped up in assuming there would be some huge cost, but what I didn’t think about was: How long can I afford to go un-advised?
I ask my mom for advice on parenting, my editors for advice on my work, shoot, I even ask waiters what they like best on the menu, and for some reason, I’m NOT ASKING AN EXPERT ABOUT HOW TO SAVE MONEY SO I DON’T DIE BROKE?
One of the most eye-opening things I learned from B&B, was how I need to be applying more visualization techniques to all of this. Seeing is believing, and I needed to condition my brain to map out my strategy.
Thankfully, I cleaned up all my credit card debt years ago, but we still have a mortgage, and a car payment, and we toss a few bucks each month into a college savings account, and so on, but I have friends who are in deep. Tens of thousands in college loans, medical bills, inherited debt from relatives who have passed on, and you better believe I’m bringing them to the next free seminar.
“If you don’t have a written gain plan, you’ll never get yourself out of debt. You need to visualize it,” Bryan says. And I love that, and NOT just because he used ‘gain’ in place of ‘game’ and I want him to “stay in your lane, friend, I’m the writer here,” but I’m just jealous he can be smart and savvy.
Gain plan — that’s how I need to start thinking. What do I need to start doing, to make sure I don’t wake up at 50 and miss the best opportunities to compound my interest?
OK — I’m also not saying that right, but trust me when I tell you, that the money you put away needs time to develop into more money, and that means decades, not years, so even if it’s small, we need to start putting cash away now, so it’s there for us later.
B&B will for sure kill me for not explaining that more technically, but honestly, my eyes started watering just typing it and they speak about if far more eloquently in person.
Check it out here: https://wealthwave.com/legacy/blog/the-power-of-visualization
Speaking of retirement — let’s talk about a really hot topic right now: Do I take money from my 401k to offset costs related to COVID-19 and the economy?
Now, if you take nothing else away from me today, it needs to be this: You NEED to talk to an advisor about this before you make your decision. Obviously I would refer you to B&B for this, but they’d be the first to agree that even if you don’t meet with them, please don’t make guesses about your money.
B&B shared a few stories with me: “Withdrawing from your 401k may seem like a good idea, but then there are actually penalties and taxes you’re left with from withdrawing early…” and honestly Bryan went on, but all my brain heard was ‘digits, dollars, and nothing to me makes sense’ so you’re just gonna have to trust me — don’t just hit up your retirement because it’s seemingly available to do so.
Bottom line, B&B just encouraged me to embrace my finances with positivity. Not fear. To humble myself to that idea that I don’t need to magically become some financial mastermind to take the first steps in my journey. They’ll be there to help me navigate the way.
It’s awkward because I think the world of them and I want to rent a plane to write in the sky, “Drop everything you’re doing and meet with money squad!” — but that’s just a tad unprofessional on my part, as a writer for Lifestyle Frisco and influencer.
If I can make my dollars make sense, so can you. Here’s to sipping piña coladas at 70!