May 8, 2023
Bigger Than Just Retirement
This weekend was my daughter Priya’s first holy communion. A day full of family surrounding her and enveloping her in the love that only comes from being the baby of the family. Afterward, as many will do, we invited family and close friends (let’s be honest, they are family, also) to our home to celebrate. As Christina, my wife, was planning the party at our house, I began to think about the costs that were adding up. Then I remembered I don’t just plan for the families I serve; I use the same process and plan for my own family.
Has anyone ever asked you, “What is your why?” The idea is for you to articulate WHY you are working towards a goal or the motivation behind something.
In the early part of adulthood and my career, I used to think accumulating wealth was the ultimate goal, and everything I was doing was designed to grow my earning power and help me build wealth. As your financial planner, this is precisely how you would want me to think, right?
As I watched Priya have her hair curled and get dressed in her beautiful white dress (Amazon for the win!), I realized that “my why” has little to do with retirement or building wealth right now; instead, it looks more like celebrating big moments for my children, regular date nights with my wife, AND regular date nights with Priya. I want to ensure both kids can get braces because, apparently, all children need pallet expanders and braces at nine years old. Your financial journey must coincide with life and include both retirement AND right now.
The Plan is the Product
Those who read my content often must be sick of hearing me say that, but it has never been truer than now. Prioritizing short-term goals that bring you and your family joy is what allows you to make small sacrifices for your long-term goals. For example, I would much rather buy Priya’s communion dress from Amazon than spend $380 (the actual cost of a dress we looked at) and not have a party where she gets to see and feel all the love from her extended family. This was bigger than saving for retirement, and even I sometimes lose perspective. This weekend helped remind Christina and me that although planning for the future is essential, maximizing the present is good for the soul.
For many of the families that I serve, we dedicate some level of savings to short-term priorities like braces, date nights, and vacations because those short-term priorities are what let you make the small sacrifices, like driving a lower costing car, that will allow you to build wealth for the future.
I see dozens of new families a week who want to work with me, and the piece of the plan that is always missing is the one prioritizing life right now. That is why when I had a dad tell me that instead of making his January and February savings contributions, he was going to take that money and buy Formula One tickets to the race in Miami for him and his eleven-year-old son, not only did I tell him it wasn’t a problem, I sent him an emphatic text that read “BEST. DAD. EVER!!!!”
His son won’t ever forget this trip with his dad to Miami, and neither will my client. This will be a core memory for both of them for the rest of their lives, bringing them joy to think about, even at the worst of times. All it cost him was two months of savings, which didn’t change his long-term plan a single bit. Sometimes, the plan is bigger than retirement.
Stock market calendar this week:
|MONDAY, MAY 8|
|10:00 AM||Wholesale inventories|
|11:00 AM||Chicago Fed President Goolsbee television interview|
|2:00 PM||Fed Senior Loan Survey|
|TUESDAY, MAY 9|
|8:30 AM||Fed Gov. Philip Jefferson speaks|
|12:05 PM||New York Fed President Williams speaks|
|WEDNESDAY, MAY 10|
|8:30 AM||Consumer price index|
|8:30 AM||Core CPI|
|8:30 AM||CPI year over year|
|8:30 AM||Core CPI year over year|
|THURSDAY, MAY 11|
|8:30 AM||Producer price index|
|8:30 AM||Core PPI|
|8:30 AM||PPI year over year|
|8:30 AM||Core PPI year over year|
|8:30 AM||Initial jobless claims|
|8:30 AM||Continuing jobless claims|
|10:15 AM||Fed Gov. Christopher Waller speaks|
|FRIDAY, MAY 12|
|8:30 AM||Import price index|
|8:30 AM||Import price index minus fuel|
|10:00 AM||Consumer sentiment (preliminary)|
St. Louis Fed President Bullard
Most anticipated earnings for this week:
Did you miss our blog last week?
About Amit: I am a first generation American, the son of a working-class Indian family, and I lived through my parents’ struggle to find their place in this country, to put down roots that would sustain them as well as their children in a new land. As they encouraged me to excel in school and fostered my hobbies and interests, I was keenly aware of the dynamic between them. I understood that there was a difference between where they came from individually and where we were now. They worked hard in their individual capacities, but they weren’t always on the same page about financial issues – and that can make or break a family’s future. I didn’t know it at the time, but this laid the groundwork for my passion towards financial services and helping families succeed.