How Well Are You Training For Your Financial Future?

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Have you ever run in a race (like a 5k or 10k – or more for those of you that are truly crazy) and took notice of the other runners? There are some runners that don’t stand out with what they are wearing – they might have plain jersey shorts and a simple cotton shirt – and then there are other runners that have all of the gear (the $200 shoes, the heart rate watch, the synthetic shirt, and music with earbuds). So based on their gear, can you tell who will win the race? Of course not. On the same note, if you look at what people own, can you tell who will have the best financial future? No sir.

My 10k Observations

20140511 - runnerI ran in the Fifth Third Riverbank Run yesterday, which was certainly an experience! With over 4,000 people running in the 10k, and more than 21,000 people running in total (there are also 5k and 25k events), it was certainly a busy place, and it provided me with a large variety of runners to keep me entertained during my 6.2 mile plod.

At the start line, there were tons of people that had all of that fancy gear on and they looked serious, ready to win the race. My girlfriend Liz and I had a plan to keep a steady pace (of about 9:30 min/mile for those of you that are curious), and it appeared that many of these geared up folks had a very different plan as they sprinted off the line and out of our vision.

I assumed that we would not be seeing these runners again and that they would cross the finish line far in front of us, but then something strange happened at the 5 mile mark – I began to see all of these familiar faces again…as we were passing them with our steady jog. These runners with all the gear (that I assumed would whip us) must not have done the training necessary to finish the race as they had planned. They bought all the proper equipment and knew what time they had set for their goal, but they had not been waking up early or sacrificing  TV time in the evenings to run as Liz and I had in the weeks and months before the race.

Even though they looked the part of a speedy runner, they were found out and exposed when they finished far behind all the others.

Be Sure to Train for Your Financial Future

Much like the runners who had not properly trained for the 10k, there are quite a few individuals that are not putting in the time and effort that is necessary to have a blossoming financial future. They certainly do a great job fooling everyone with their expensive cars and houses (which makes them appear wealthy), but when it comes time to retire, many of them will be exposed as they continue to work and worry about their credit card debt and home loans.

If you want to have a successful financial future (in other words, a retirement full of cash and experiences), then you really need to start training now! From this day forward, you should be:

  • paying down your debts
  • putting money into your retirement fund consistently each month
  • adhering to your budget
  • build additional sources of income that will pay you in retirement

Many people think that they can fool everyone else when it comes to their poor financial decisions, but they will certainly be exposed at some point. I suggest that you avoid this crowd at all costs. If you live below your means and make sound financial decisions with your distant future in mind, then you should have a financial future that shines above all the others, which means that you can simply do whatever you want later in life because you will have the cash to do so.

You might also consider a living trust, as it is one of the most important financial decisions that you can make for your family. This arrangement ensures that your property ends up going to the people that you want it to when you pass away. By putting the property into trust, you are no longer the legal owner. You can then add anyone that you want to the trust. This is by far the simplest way to manage your assets, since you can keep them organized in a single trust.

How well are you training for your financial future?

 

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Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

6 Comments

  1. Great analogy. I love it!

    • Glad you enjoyed the article this morning David! I had a great time in the race and an excellent time writing the article! 🙂

  2. My entire family took part in an event near us that was a 1.2k run/walk. It was all about just getting kids up and doing some exercise instead of sitting on electronic devices in their downtime.
    Aside from that, we ran over a 15k (financially speaking) last year, and are quite happy with that! 🙂
    Chris recently posted..Target Networth or Target Debt Reduction

    • Nice job on the 15k! 🙂 Sounds like you’re training nicely.

  3. Great analogy! I run a bunch of 5K races myself and see this all of the time. So many people sprinting at the start, only to be walking the last mile or half mile. So much in life comes to us when we learn to be patient. Trying to crush the stock market with 100% returns every year so that you can retire tomorrow rarely pays off.

    What’s worse, is that in the rare event it does pay off (like winning the lottery), because there was no preparation for it, the winners usually end up broke a few years later anyways.

    The key is to learn the basic principals of personal finance and stick to them during your life. It’s not exciting, but it works and it will get you to where you want to end up.
    Jon @ Money Smart Guides recently posted..The Real Costs of Mutual Funds


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