5 Essential Fiscal Cliff Lessons

It all became clear to me…when I turned off the media. It is hype. It is fear based. And most of it isn’t helpful to where you and live everyday.

In our minds and with our actions we need to move from the state of U.S. economy to the state of our personal economy.

What impacts us the most is not what Washington does, but the decisions we make in the areas we can control.

For one, we can save more – for the things that matter to us most – spending less on the things that don’t matter much. The thing you want is a simulation of your current savings program and where it will lead you in the short-term and long-term. And I’m not simply speaking of retirement…most of the people I meet with across the country never plan to retire. However, they do plan to do something different then what they are doing today and perhaps slow down some.

A second thing is to think ahead. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so its often a wise decision to hire a specialist who can help you do this so that you’re not surprised by life’s surprises.

The next idea is to think about risk in a new way. It is all too easy to think of risk as just asset allocation when it really is so much more. There are many types of risks: investment, decision, health, retirement, life events, and the unexpected. Seeing the bigger picture is critical to making wise decisions that allow you to enjoy a peaceful night sleep.

Fourth, is to prepare for the increasing cost of purchases. There has been much fear mongering about all the money being lost in the market in 2007-2008. The reaction has been to hide more money under the mattress. Certainly you won’t lose your cash if you keep it there but over time what used to buy a loaf of bread will now buy you a half of loaf.

Lastly, don’t be a do-it-yourselfer. Seriously, you are gifted with skills and abilities in areas that give you energy…don’t have it sucked away by figuring out things that others spend every waking minute figuring out. Choose a specialist that is right for you. One who listens and understands the things that matter to you the most. And be sure this person is not driving a product or quick-fix solution too quickly.

My final thought is to be an open-minded person who can see a bigger universe and bigger future than the one you know today.

For another perspective on these ideas see this Forbes article.

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