At almost 59, the chances are, I have gone further than I have to go; which is an uneasy way of saying my mortality isn’t all that far away. A piece of reality but disturbing—didn’t I just start college?

The future will certainly hold a grocery cart of possibilities; from wonderful and exciting to devastating. But as I walk the path ahead, I begin to think in terms of “controllables” and “uncontrollables”.

 

Those items I can control are items like: my savings vs. spending, what I eat, my focus on family, friends, work and other interests. The items which I cannot control would be things like, health (only controllable to a limited degree), the economy and by extension-the stock markets, interest rates and the price of gasoline.

The future is in front of me and the path I’ve walked behind. What did I learn and how can I use it to make today and ultimately tomorrow better?  Let me share a few quick thoughts I’ve learned most closely connected to the financial side of life:

1. Living your values is important.  What are you doing to make sure you use your time, talent and treasure for the things that matter most?  What does your calendar and checkbook say about your values?

2. Money you spend today is not going to be there tomorrow.  It is very important to make each decision count.  Seek out a good financial planner if you don’t already have one.

3. Poor money habits will not change themselves.  If you haven’t had good patterns of money management, now is the time to make a change. It takes understanding, determination and the will to change. Take a class like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University or something similar.

4. Life balance and money balance are often synonymous. What are you doing to make sure you have balance and the right priorities in every area of your life?  Seek out mentors that can help you in each area of physical, emotional, spiritual, relational and financial health.

5. The greater your resilience the better the chances you will be able to adapt to the unknowns.  Flexibility is one of the critcal traits needed to navigate unknown paths.  If you build margin into your life in terms of money, time and physical stamina, it can make all the difference in the world. If you constantly run flat out, stressed out and nearly on empty, you will have trouble adjusting to the uncertain twists and turns that life brings.

As you walk into your future, how well are you positioned to live the next phase of your life according to your dreams, goals and values?

QUESTION: Which one of the five points above to you need to concentrate on first?  Please share your comment below.

4 responses to The Path Ahead

  1. Cindy Burke on October 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM Reply

    I must get my money house in order. That is key, and also difficult. Husband’s job is very inconsistent, and I pick up the slack wherever I can, and that means long days, little sleep, and no life basically. I look forward to retirement in several more years!

    • Dennis Gingerich on October 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM Reply

      Wise decision to work on getting things in order now.

  2. Jen Tapp on October 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM Reply

    Dennis, there was so much wisdom within this posting! Eloquent advice for all ages in relating finances to life experiences. Timeless. I enjoyed the photograph as well. I am always drawn to images containing a path…

  3. Chad Woolf on October 9, 2012 at 9:06 AM Reply

    Flexibility and margin are two things our family is trying to get better at, great thoughts Dennis, loving the blog!

Join the conversation...

%d bloggers like this: