Planning for Tomorrow, Enjoying Today

I spend my days planning for tomorrow, helping and encouraging others to do the same.

I love it.  I believe it is incredibly important (This guy thinks so too!).  And I want everyone to do it.

But I don’t ever want to plan so much that I forget about the present.  As another wise man tells me a lot:  Your financial plan needs to fit like your favorite pair of comfortable shoes, not the pair that looks great but makes your feet hurt…and that you can’t wait to take off.

In other words, today is too important.  Make sure you enjoy it.

Recently, we made the incredibly difficult decision to put down my best friend.  We had over 15 wonderful years together, but that wasn’t nearly long enough.  She was the best, and I’d give anything to have another day with her.

So today I’m not thinking about the future so much.  I’m remembering the past and embracing today, and reminding myself that all three – past, present and future – are important.

I’ll get back to planning tomorrow. For today, I’m just going to miss my girl.

Rest easy, sweet Lily.  December 2, 2004 to February 3, 2020.

| Jay Kenerly, MSFS, CHFC

All I Want For Christmas Is a Magic Telescope

Over the past few weeks, my four children have been busy completing their Christmas wish lists.  Panthers jerseys and purple bikes, Burrito games and “hii hiel chirch shoos” (Maye’s spelling, not mine)…. Santa definitely has his job cut out for him this year.

My 11-year-old Hal is our more “out-of-the-box” thinker, and his wishes are often a bit more difficult to shop for.  A few days ago he asked for a magic telescope.

“I want to see things really far away…. Like the future!  Wouldn’t that be cool, Dad?”

While that would be neat, I let him know it might be hard to find.  But as so many parents do, I began the search anyway, scouring the internet and searching for some type of magic telescope.

And then it dawned on me.  I actually already have one, just not the type Hal is talking about.

A retirement plan.

Whether it’s a 401k or Roth IRA, a Simple Plan or simply a plan, retirement savings magically allow us to glimpse at our futures and see our lives years down the road.  Even better, they allow us to change the future if we don’t like what we see.

I’ve been looking through my telescope for almost 25 years and, as I turn 47, what once was blurry is becoming more and more clear.

Hopefully Hal will be satisfied opening a different kind of telescope this Christmas, but I’ll be sure to tell him about the magic ones that really do exist.  He might not “get it” this year, but one day he will.  And I can assure him it will be really cool.

When you look through your magic telescope, what do you see?

| Jay Kenerly, MSFS, CHFC

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein, the Big Three Questions and You

Albert Einstein, the Big Three Questions and You

Albert Einstein is famously credited (perhaps wrongly?) with saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about how the United States prepares its citizens for financial literacy, readiness and wellness, but he might as well have been.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What grade are most Americans taught even basic financial planning, ie., budgeting, credit, bank accounts, long term savings, etc.?
  2. For most Americans growing up, how open and honest was the discussion about family finance?
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being “not at all”), where do most Americans rank themselves in terms of financial knowledge and confidence?

Since 1776, this country has done little to nothing to help its citizens learn about personal financial planning, and yet seems surprised when studies show that Americans are unprepared financially, savings rates are too low, debt is skyrocketing, significant risks are left unaddressed, etc.

Surprised??? Given the lack of resources, education and support, we should be surprised that anyone ever makes a good decision. And still the system doesn’t change…. sound insane?

Going forward, we will be sharing thoughts and ideas here that we hope can be a resource for you and your family, and will help you achieve the safety, security and future you want and deserve.

We all agree that Einstein was a pretty smart guy…. maybe we should start listening to him (or whoever it was that said it