What do I mean by the question, “Are you living for today?” It’s quite simple really. What I am asking is if you are living only in the present financially and forgetting about your financial future. You simply cannot afford to ignore your future. Don’t make financial decisions today that will affect your tomorrows. Let’s look at some specific examples of this:
- Are you a Baby Boomer without any retirement savings, other than social security?
- Are you a Baby Boomer with an underfunded retirement account (IRA, 401(K)?
- Did you buy more home than you could afford?
- Did you spend or are you spending all of your money paying credit card debt?
- Did you or are you making only the minimum payments on your debt?
- Did you or do you have all of your investments in the stock market and watch them go down in value when the stock market declined?
- Did you pay or are you paying more attention to things other than your financial future while you were/are young?
- Did you fail or are you failing to live on a budget/spending plan/cash flow plan?
- Did you make the mistake of withdrawing money from your retirement account to payoff debt? If so, were you caught by surprise when you were hit by a 10% early withdrawal penalty on top of taxes?
- Did you let or are you letting only one spouse handle all the financial decisions, including paying the bills?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you are definitely living for today.
- You need to stop living for today and start planning for your future. It will be here before you know it. It is never too late to start planning.
- Put off retiring and work a few more years, so that you can add to your retirement and payoff your debt.
- Quit making only the minimum payments on all your credit cards. Begin using the Snowball method to payoff your debt.
- Diversify your assets.
- Get yourself on a budget/spending plan/cash flow plan.
- Take control of your money.
- Become a team with your spouse. Start communicating about your money. Pay the bills together. Do your budget/spending plan/cash flow plan together. Make all financial decisions together.
These are some of the things that will get you to stop living for today and to start planning for the future. Unfortunately, for early withdrawals from your retirement accounts that you have already made there is no remedy. The only thing you can do is begin to add to it again. If you haven’t taken any withdrawals from your retirement accounts, but are considering doing this stupid thing, do not do it. It will take you years to recover from the financial loss, especially if you’ve had the account for awhile. Remember compound interest is your friend and adds to your money the longer you invest.