Three Pecuniary Power Plays

Does thinking about your financial life in retirement cause you angst?  You may have plenty of it, or you may feel you are lacking.  Yes, fundamental sustenance is paramount, above that – it is not quantity that provides your potential – it is your penchant for positive perspectives.

Here are three ways to shift your financial angst to confidence.

Activate your curiosity

When we get curious, we eliminate fear, worry and anxiety.  It is a power play that will highlight your next best step.  Create an awareness of where you are and how you feel about it.  What financial capital or resources are at hand right now?  Take an inventory of what is sitting in your savings account,  home equity,  401K, cash value life insurance, or other assets.  Take an inventory of your human capital.  What do you enjoy doing?  What in the past has led you to where you are? What emotions come up when you connect with the financial and human capital you have?  Gratitude, fear?  This list runs the gamut  – not right or wrong, good or bad.  When you embrace an emotion, you have the choice to hang on to it, or let it go.

“This is an interesting turn of events, and I feel anxious about my future”. “I wonder what the next best move would be?”  Take a deep breath, get pensive.  Maybe it is to do nothing, or a new direction will unfold.  “My portfolio just pulled back ___%. Has this happened before?”  “How long did it take to recover?”  “Are there other resources I can tap in to right now, and leave my investments alone?”   “During COVID, I havn’t spent as much.  I wonder what aspects of this will serve me well in my fall season of life?  Get curious about your financial life and explore options.

Challenge your excuses 

An excuse sounds real and feels real, but it is a layer of fear keeping us from our potential.  It is a power play when you confront your defenses.  Excuses live in our reptilian brain and are the expression of our fight, flight or freeze instinct.  When we engage our cerebral cortex, our ability to think about money and the choices we make will come from our rational, logical, analytical side.

Excuse: I am not good with money.  Is this true?  Is it always true?  When did you make a good choice around your finances?  What would it look like if you turned the excuse around?  Power play:  I have made good decisions with my money in the past and I am capable of learning and putting my financial life in line with what is important to me.

Excuse:  I have plenty, so I don’t need to think about it.  This is an excuse and it is squelching the voice that you and your money has.  When you are intentional about using your money as a reflection of what you value – it gains power.  You can change lives.  Your money can help you create something bigger than yourself.  Power play:  “I will choose how to invest in companies that reflect my conscience.  I get to be part of the change going on in the world”.

Excuse:  “___ takes care of it for me”. You are abdicating your responsibility and it is a slippery slope to resentment and regret.  Don’t give your power away to a family member or investment professional.   Power play:  “I have allies and advocates to walk alongside me as I use my money wisely for what is important to me”.  “I am communicating with my spouse about our finances and how we want to optimize what we have accumulated over time to accomplish what is important to us.”

Take on a new identity

“I’m retired”.    Retire as a verb means to withdraw, pull away from, move into seclusion. As a noun, retirement is removing something from service or use.   Why do people associate themselves with an identity that has such a sad and negative connotation?

A power play would be to claim your version of true wealth with a new identity.  I am an artist, I am a grandparent, I am an encourager to others,  I am a volunteer, I am an activist, I am a philanthropist, I am a student, I am a musician, I am a writer.  It is more than what you “do”, it is connecting with your bliss.  It is who you are at your core and can take some time to explore, and bloom. What brings meaning to your day?

As David Brooks talks about in his book ‘The Second Mountain – The quest for a moral life’ we need to find our “fierce commitments” and claim them to experience fulfillment in life.  You also need to make sure your financial underpinnings can support and sustain your journey.

As you activate your curiosity, challenge your excuses and create a new identity – You are moving in the right direction of unfolding your pecuniary power!  Which of these resonates with you?  What is your next step?

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