Wiser Financial Advisor – Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Hi everyone, and welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor podcast. I’m your host, Josh Nelson, for a special holiday edition. And for those of you who are new, why we call the podcast what we do is that in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, King Solomon, who was the wisest person to have ever lived, said that seeking after wisdom is the wisest thing that we can do. So that’s really what we’re after. We’re here to not only learn on our own, but to learn from each other and learn from other people’s experiences.
Sometimes people ask, “Why should I work with you as a financial advisor?” One of the answers I give, which I think is a pretty good one, is that experience can trump a lot of things. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about this. It takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything, especially if you’re getting better. This assumes that you’re learning from your experience and improving throughout that 10,000 hours. So, when you work with somebody who not only is a Certified Financial Planner but also somebody who has seen a lot of situations play out over the years, you get access to those 10,000 hours. And when you work with us, you can add in all the hours that my team brings from their careers as well. You have a solid team that can give you great trusted advice.
Today’s episode is titled the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and today we’re going to talk about 2023, looking back at the year. When we get to the end of a year, it’s natural to think back and reflect, and it’s worth doing, because life can get crazy—and sometimes the days, weeks, months, and years can slip away. Then all of a sudden you look at yourself and say, “How did I get to be that old? How is it that I could be going to my 30th year high school reunion next summer?” That’s true of myself. How did that time go so fast? So I think it is useful to look back and to reflect on the year.
There are achievements, milestones, personal things that we can be really grateful for over this past year, and it’s a perfect time for all of us to consider those points in our lives. What are the easy ways to do that? Well, you can open up your phone and look back through your photos because oftentimes, if you’re like me, you take pictures throughout the year and they help you to remember what you actually did. You can go back through photos with loved ones, too, right? I think that’s one of the best features of Apple and Facebook and other companies—that they spit those memories out at you every now and again. Memories from a month ago, a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. That’s a valuable and heartwarming way to look back at some of those times.
Reflecting back on 2023 allows us to appreciate the progress we’ve made over all and the fact that we’re living out our dreams. We’re living what we want our life to look like. And certainly that’s the other side of things: thinking about, well, what can we learn? What do we regret? Really, there is no failure as long as we’re learning from where we’ve been and making progress. It’s useful when thinking about going into 2024, to ask ourselves what we may want to do differently.
What are some things that you want to do differently as you plan out your New Year? New year’s resolutions and planning are all coming pretty darn soon. And it isn’t just about financial planning. We’ve talked about that a lot with clients when we’re thinking about tax moves and contributions as we get to the end of the year. But planning ahead is also about creating magical moments. I love the term magic moments because that’s the one thing that we’ll never get back. You can make more money in lots of different ways, so money is kind of an infinite resource. But you’re never going to get your time back, and none of us knows how many days, weeks, months, or years we have left.
Maybe the focus is not even on us; maybe it’s on our parents or grandparents, people further down the path who probably don’t have as much time left. The memories that we’re able to make with them are huge. And of course, a lot of people have the opportunity to get together with many of those people or even just do FaceTime and be intentional about connecting at this time of year. It doesn’t have to be in person because sometimes people are spread out across the country, or even the world. Personally, in our family we’ve got people all over the place, so sometimes we’re not able to get everybody together in one spot. Still, it’s very easy to connect and take the opportunity to do that. Those are precious times. They cannot be measured in dollars. And when you think about your magic moments, that is going to probably come down to your connection with your family, friends, coworkers, other people that you love and care about.
There are also people in your life that you don’t have close personal connections with; they could be people you’re serving. Your contribution might be financial or you could be contributing your time in the community. It’s good to have both.
When it comes to things and stuff, obviously we think about presents. If you think back to when you were a kid, you probably thought more about opening the presents. And as time went on, it’s funny how that morphs. It’s more fun to watch other people open the presents and be excited about the stuff that we gave. Certainly that can happen not only with family, but also with the people that we care about in the community.
Going into 2024, I think we’ve gained some good positive momentum. Positive momentum is super helpful because it means we’re not starting from scratch. In a lot of cases, it’s easy at this time of year to let fitness, diet, and those things go out the window. Then we get all fired up in January, so let’s end the year on a high note, thinking about what do you want 2024 to look like. We’re planning future episodes coming up. We’re going to do a nice goal-setting workshop. So you could make some early notes for that. But be thinking about what financial milestones you want to cross in 2024. Or maybe it’s something that will take several years to accomplish. The focus is: What are some things that you want to accomplish financially in the next year? Maybe it’s paying off some debt. Maybe it’s accumulating a larger emergency fund. Maybe it’s starting to contribute more money to your retirement account. Think about things that are actually doable. It could be that if you’re not doing any kind of contribution to your retirement plan right now, maybe start with 1%. And if you think about what impact that will have on your paycheck, it’s not going to be noticeable. Believe me, if we do the math, it’s very easy if you’re doing it incrementally.
Also be thinking about personal development goals. Could be health and fitness goals, could be things that are related to connecting with people, or even dreams of travel. Could be simple travel, like maybe you already have a camper or something like that and want to get out more. Maybe it’s just a matter of being more intentional with what we’ve already got, but also thinking big and thinking into the future. Maybe we’re saving up for something like taking a cruise around the world, or a trip to Australia or to some other place that you’ve always dreamed of going.
Again, time is the one thing that we’ll never get back. Nobody can ever take away our big moments, the memories we’ve got, the ways we’ve been able to connect with people. That’s where the juice is ultimately. The juice is of life is the people that we get to interact with and also how we’re able to serve others. That’s truly how we show love. We’re putting others ahead of ourselves.
Remember that you have the power to shape your destiny. You are the only one who gets to make the decision that you have with your time. Being intentional with this stuff is going to result in more magic moments and fewer regrets about how we spend our time. So going into 2024, let’s set the stage for a prosperous time by thinking about this year we’ve had, but also thinking about the coming year.
I’m a financial advisor, a Certified Financial Planner. Here at Keystone, we want to make sure that you’re financially stable and that you have lots of great experiences. So thank you for joining me on this special episode of the Wiser Financial Advisor Podcast. I hope that you have a wonderful end of the year. I hope you have a wonderful time connecting with your family, and Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope that you are inspired to connect to create magic moments and to be very excited about 2024 and beyond for a bright future.
If you have any questions or if you need help in any way, please just e-mail us at email@example.com . Our website is www.keystonefinancial.com . Feel free to share this episode or any of the episodes from the Wiser Financial Advisor with your friends. All of our past episodes are located on your favorite podcast services.
God bless. Take care.
The opinions expressed in the Wiser Financial Advisor show with host Josh Nelson are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine what may be appropriate for you, consult with your attorney, accountant, financial or tax advisor prior to investing. Investment Advisory services offered through Keystone Financial Services, an SEC registered investment advisor.