Recently, I had the opportunity to help a client who decided to make the transition to living in a retirement community. I was able to interview her, talk about what that transition meant for her financial plan, and how she was handling everything.
This client told me something that has stuck with me: She said that, during this period of transition, it helped her to stay grounded in her reality. She also said she had a sense of JOY while on her journey, and that helped keep her grounded.
This led me to start thinking about examples from my own experiences where being grounded in reality might have benefited me – both financially and not. I thought about the year I bought my daughter a bicycle for her birthday. I remember my husband and I were SO excited to teach her how to ride…but when we gave her the bike, she couldn’t have been less excited.
This was a big lesson for us. It turns out that, developmentally, my husband and I might have been ready for the bike stage, but my daughter was not. And so I learned that I want to enjoy the stages she’s in right now – not push her to the next one just because that’s where I am.
How can this relate to your finances?
It’s about learning how to appreciate and live wealthy within the stage you are currently in, not constantly striving for what’s next before you’re ready. The trick to remaining grounded financially is to stop prescribing to expectations surrounding money – even when they are all around us.
It’s about tuning out what everyone else might be doing so you can focus on where you are, and meeting yourself where you are at now so you can move to where you want to be. It’s about learning that financial happiness or stability isn’t a race to be won.
You don’t have to be “rich” to be happy
Have you heard the story about the lottery winner who went bankrupt? It’s a pretty common phenomenon, actually. When someone unexpectedly receives more money than they’ve ever had before, they forget to ground themselves in their new reality. They just spend like there’s no tomorrow until it all runs out. This is why the goal isn’t to be rich — it’s to be grounded in what you have NOW so you can enjoy it.
There’s also a difference between rich and wealthy. The wealthy individual knows how much is enough, whereas the rich individual might not understand that reality yet. Often people think having money means getting bigger, more expensive things – in a grounded reality that’s just not the way a wealthy person feels the need to live. They don’t change their lifestyle, they have a better understanding of finite vs. infinite financial resources.
The number one key to grounding yourself in reality is knowing where you stand.
This includes knowing what your true financial picture today is and how you measure your income vs. your expenses. It means asking yourself if you’re spending more than you earn. And most importantly, it means having the financial awareness you need in order to properly use your money in ways that help you enjoy the present and prepare for the future.
Being honest about your financial situation is a great place to start, and if you have children of a certain age, starting these conversations with them will only ensure they have a better financial future.
It’s about gaining and sharing clarity of the full financial picture.
Thanks for tuning in!
Thanks so much for checking out this episode of The Everyday Money Show with Hannah Moore. It’s never too early to start considering how transitions may fit into your overall financial plan, and preparing yourself to remain grounded when they do.
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Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Check out the Everyday Money blog for more inspiration to appreciating your right NOW financial situation: Appreciating Where You Are Right Now.