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Financial Anxiety – How do you plan for it?

You can’t see it now, but we actually had quite a bit of fog this morning. It took some time to burn off. I left the house at 6 o’clock in the morning to go to an early morning men’s bible study. I get together on Wednesdays with about 20 other gentlemen, and we spend about an hour together. It’s a great way to start the day. It was an interesting discussion because today we discussed anxiety, which I think is an important thing for us to talk about especially because of how the day began. It was very foggy, and I along with most people needed to drive very slowly to the restaurant where we were meeting because you really couldn’t see that far in front of your car. Now several hours later, the sun is slowly rising into the sky and it’s burning off the fog.

I want to talk about anxiety because that’s probably how a lot of people felt this morning. It’s probably also the way that they felt yesterday. Yesterday was a kind of questionable day in the stock market. In fact, it’s interesting when you listen to the talking heads on the television news programs. They were talking about this “horrible” drop in the market. Well, it was like 3, 4, 5% depending on the index that you’re looking at or what you’re paying attention to. I don’t know that that’s really a huge drop. If you’re measuring it as a percentage, which is what they’re talking about, it is relatively…incidental.  Unless you needed to take out money at that very moment in time.

I think about anxiety often when I think about things that people go through in their lifetime. This past weekend I had an opportunity to drive the 3 ½ hours to go visit mom and dad in Minnesota. Dad is 89 and mom is 87. They’re still rocking it, but every single time that we get together I try to make sure I understand some more of our own family history. I think about the anxiety that not only has played a part in my life, in their lives, but also my grandparent’s lives. I think about my grandfather on my mother’s side, who had an education that only went through 5th grade, but then went to work because he needed to make money for his family. Think about that anxiety. Then think about nowadays and all of the gifts that we have. You can almost do anything you want, and you are not limited that much by your circumstances if you put in the patience and the time and the effort.

This is the dream of America; the pursuit of happiness. It’s not the guarantee of happiness. I know that my grandparents on both sides pursued happiness. I know that my parents and my in-laws, they all pursued happiness. I know that I am pursing happiness, but I’m not guaranteed that happiness. There are bumps along the way. This is why I think it’s important that a person is looking at their financial life as well because there may be some anxiety. What’s going to be happening with taxes? What will happen with the market? Will it be up today or down tomorrow? What is going to be transpiring and do I allow that to affect my own attitude or affect my own state of mind?

That is why my life has been centered upon making sure that I’ve got something that is safe, sound, and secure. I believe that you need to plan your life in such a way that you’ve got something you can trust, and you can make sure there are no chinks in your armor. You need to make certain that you are not only saving for a rainy day, but you are protecting yourself against those unknowns that can happen along the way.

That is why I wrote my book, Investments Don’t Hug: Embracing the Life Insurance Asset. That sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it? Who wants to talk about life insurance? It’s because there’s this attitude that it’s all about death insurance, which is actually what Term Insurance would be because you’re only buying a death benefit. If Whole Life Insurance is properly programmed and if you properly use it, and you keep your mind open to expanding the possibilities in your life, then you can take some of those anxieties away. You can burn off the fog in your life. You can watch the sun rise, and you can see the blue skies. As I’m looking right now, there’s not a cloud in the sky. That’s the way that we want life to be, but sometimes it’s like the 1970s song that says, “Rainy days on Mondays always gets me down”.

What a permanent Whole Life Insurance policy can do for you, if it’s issued by a mutual life insurance company, is that not only can you share in the profits of the company, but you can have your money grow tax-deferred/tax-sheltered. You can also utilize that money and not have to worry about downs in the market or down-turns in the economy because the policy will continue to grow, as it should, contractually, without fail.

We have had some clients reach out to us this year, more so it seems than any other year that I can remember, asking if they can push more money into their insurance policy. Those are clients that I have had for 10, 20, 30-years, and they see the accumulation that has occurred over that period of time. They are blown away by the amount that’s accumulated and that is just kind of hidden inside these contracts and how the policies have just grown exponentially over the years.

When there is a day like yesterday, (Again, I am not saying that people shouldn’t invest in the market. Not at all. I think it’s important that you have diversification in your life because that’s the uncertainty that we all kind of enjoy in the potential of what could be there) at the end of the day, we kind of want to have something that is safe, sound, and secure so in case an emergency happens, we have that money available that’s going to be able to get us through the bad times in our lives. It can also be there for the opportunities that present themselves where all of a sudden, I may need cash because there is a great opportunity, whether it’s business or personal that I can take advantage of.

Cash is always king. The moneys that people have set aside into their retirement funds are basically held prisoner. Unavailable to access prior to the age of 59 ½ in most situations because otherwise there’s a 10% tax penalty and taxes to be paid. I want to make certain that I’ve got money that doesn’t have a straitjacket that is basically holding my cash captive. When you have cash, opportunities will seek you out. That’s kind of the magic because when you have cash, all of a sudden there are opportunities all over the place. What’s really sad is when you don’t have cash and you see the opportunities all over the place, but you can’t play the game. You can’t be involved. You can’t participate. You are basically way, way out on the sidelines. You want to, but you’re unable to be involved.

If you have not read my book, I would suggest that you go to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles website. If you wish to listen to my book, you can go to iTunes or Audible. Investmentsdonthug.com is the website to explore to find out more about my book if you’re still waiting in the wings and unsure. If you’ve read my book or even if you haven’t and this video or blog has been enough of an incentive to move ahead, we have staff in our office that is ready to engage with you today. I am ready to engage with you today. I am ready to show you the tools, to show you the math so you have a better understanding of how things work.

So, you can decide (and this decision is sadly often made for people) to live in the world of anxiety, or you can begin building a foundation. You can build a foundation that will be there for you for the long-term. I think of the large arborvitaes behind our office, which is where I’m recording this today. When we constructed our office 20-some years ago, the arborvitaes that we planted were not much more than 3 feet tall. Now, they’re pushing 18-20 feet. These things don’t happen overnight, but they can be planned overnight. Today may be the day to plant the seeds for your future opportunities and for your future self. So, reach out, read my book, and find out if today is the day that you want to graduate from living a life of anxiety to living a life where freedom can enter.

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