We dream at night in our bed and often don’t remember the dreams when we wake up the next morning. Sometimes we sit at our desk or go through the motions of daily housework while daydreaming of the beach, Italy, or some other fun and exciting place we would rather be. The work gets done and the daydreams drift away like smoke in the air. But there are some dreams worth writing down and sharing with the other person in the house. I’m talking about your financial dreams.
I’ve heard of people who have been married for thirty or more years and raise children together then get to retirement and find out they don’t really know the person they have shared everything with since they said, “I do.” How does that happen? How is it that people don’t find time in between diaper changes, soccer games, children’s graduations and weddings to discuss what they want to do when it is just the two of them again in that nest they have built together over many decades?
Can you imagine getting to retirement with your heart set on traveling the world and discovering new things only to find out that your spouse wants to plow up the back yard and plant a garden so you both can raise most the food you eat? Are people really that different? You better believe they are.
Don’t be like those people!! Make time to sit down with each other early on in the relationship and talk about what you want out of life now and in the future. If you find out that you are the world traveler and tree hugger marriage like the couple above, find ways you can both save to meet those goals. Maybe you can plan to spend six months in Italy and plant a garden one year and spend six months in Australia the next year and grow a different garden down under.
Some people may be saying those are not financial dreams. But they are. It takes money to experience both dreams (travel and growing a garden). If you don’t know where you want to be ten, twenty or thirty years from now how in the world do you know if you are on the right savings track to get there? Even after you know where each of you wants to be you may not know if you are on track. That is when you rely on the help of a financial advisor.
“That takes money!” some may say and they are right. All good financial advice is going to cost a little money. It is just a little money though in comparison to the amount of money his or her advice can help you save over your lifetime. Be prepared to make some adjustments to your dreams though. Financial advisors will give you a third party reality check. You may find out you will have to work a few years longer than you really want to in order to save enough to make your dreams a reality. Or, you may find out you are saving more than enough to meet your retirement goals and the advisor will help you free up some cash to enjoy the here and now just a little more than you have been.
Don’t wake up on the first day of retirement with a stranger in your bed – the person you’ve been married to for years. Make a date soon to talk about your future retirement goals and enjoy the here and now all at the same time.
I welcome your feedback on this topic at firstname.lastname@example.org.