A recent Bankrate study found that only 17 percent of Americans have no financial regrets. Among the choices in the survey that included taking on too much credit card debt and student loan debt, the biggest financial regret chosen was not saving early enough for retirement.
Why is experiencing financial regret so common? Emotions often dictate our financial decisions. Even with the best laid plans, we often lack self-control, choosing instant gratification over saving for the future.
If you are among the 83 percent, how can you overcome your financial regret? Follow the below steps to help you get back on track towards financial independence:
1. Make a Plan – Schedule a meeting with a financial advisor who can help you develop or adjust a plan to reach your goals. He or she can provide guidance on reducing your spending, increasing your savings and developing an investment strategy that fits your risk tolerance.
2. Look at the Past – Analyze your past actions to see if there were any factors that you could have controlled or prevented. If there were, examine what you would do differently now. While there are events that are out of our control, such as job loss or an illness, knowing what we can regulate allows us to make smarter decisions in the future.
If you’re planning along the way, and hit a bump in the road or come to face to face with a tragedy, you won’t be derailed if you have a plan already in place.
3. Monitor Your Plan – Don’t view your plan as a one-time event that can be forgotten. At Legacy Financial Strategies, we view each client’s plan as a living, breathing thing that will change as their life changes. We work with our clients to see how their financial plan needs to be updated depending on changing goals or circumstances in their life.
4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up – As the Bankrate study shows, most everyone has experienced financial regrets, so don’t dwell on your mistakes or avoid them. Resolve to take action so you move closer to the future you envision.
Even if you feel that you are so far behind your goals that it’s too late to meet with an advisor, it’s not. While you might have to make adjustments to your goals or take more extreme measures at present, a financial advisor can help you navigate through your choices and develop a plan customized for your personal situation.
Helping people build, secure and enjoy their financial lives is our passion. Let us show you how.