Baseball is in “full swing” this time of year in my family’s household. I enjoy watching my son express his love for the game (albeit a “love” far secondary to more important things in life). One of his recent games reminded me how quickly – and inevitably – our best plans change due to forces outside our control. Our reactions (or lack thereof) to unplanned events ultimately determine our success and this can be true with financial planning.
With the opposing team batting in the bottom of the first inning, the second batter singled after the lead off hitter was hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second, the third hitter stepped into the batter’s box. Our team’s pitcher then threw the ball into the dirt, but the catcher partially blocked it. The ball scooted a few feet behind the catcher causing the runner on second to sprint towards third base. The catcher quickly picked up the ball with his bare hand and fired a good, hard throw to the third baseman. All the parents from our team were preparing to stand and clap as we anticipated the umpire emphatically yelling, “He’s out!” However, the ball flew past the third baseman’s glove and skipped into left field. With the runner now sprinting towards home plate, the left fielder grabbed the ball and threw it home. The other base runner had already advanced to second base and was now heading for third base. The throw home was not in time allowing the run to score and the other runner to safely slide into third base. This all happened so quickly that the game was changed in what seemed like an instant.
Neither the coach, the catcher nor anyone else on the team could control the third baseman’s actions leading to these unfavorable circumstances. My son’s coach and his team now had a decision to make. They could pretend the error never happened, ignore the opposing team’s run on the scoreboard and late in the game discover they don’t have enough runs to win the game. Instead their experience caused them to quickly evaluate the new situation and then alter their strategy accordingly.
Our financial decisions are not that different. Whether it be an expensive health event, a tax law change, sudden unemployment, poor investment returns or anything else, events are going to occur (arguably on a regular basis) that are out of our control. Financial planning is all about making our best plans today and adjusting them as necessary to maintain a healthy balance between today and tomorrow. The question isn’t if our plans need to adjust, but rather when they do.
Many people unfortunately don’t even start planning their financial lives. That would be like a baseball coach allowing each player to simply choose his desired position. Without the coach evaluating each player’s skills, strengths and weaknesses to determine the best defensive positioning, the team would very likely perform poorly and be miserable. Likewise, although we can be assured our plans will change throughout life, we are more likely to be pleased with our past decisions by planning our finances as best we can.
Are you using your money today in a manner that satisfies your personal values? Are you partnering with a professional adviser who helps you visualize your best life and regularly helps you evaluate necessary changes to remain on path to leading your best life? Our Evansville financial planning firm is dedicated to such and has financial planning resources to do so. I would be happy to learn more about what you value in life to determine whether our team can help on your life journey.
To speak about your personal situation you may contact me directly at 812-602-6307 or via email at email@example.com. Alternatively you may just wish to visit our website at www.paynewealthpartners.com.
Published: June 7, 2017
Author: Terry Prather, CFP®, ChFC®, MSFS
Phone: (812) 602-6307
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