Do I have enough money to ____ (fill in the blank)?
Will I have enough money to retire?
These are two natural questions that people often ask themselves when they start thinking about financial planning. We expect our money to help us feel safe, especially as we grow older and start thinking about retirement.
Unfortunately, if you only view your savings and investments as numbers on a page that you’re trying to increase, then there’s no such thing as “enough.” You could always be saving or investing more. You could always be spending less. But does that make you feel any happier?
Your financial plan should be a vehicle that takes you where you want to go. If you’re fixated on “having enough money,” then your plan, and the life it provides you, will be stuck in a cul-de-sac. You’ll find yourself trying to justify every minor and major financial decision as you circle around wondering if you “have enough.”
That’s not a trip that’s going to make you feel secure and it’s definitely not going to make you feel happy either.
More New Questions
Last month, I posed five important questions and here is another one to ask yourself: Am I living the best life possible with the money I have?
Instead of focusing exclusively on the traditional return on investment (ROI), you should also focus on your Return on Life™ (ROL), but how do you know if you are getting a good ROL?
The ROL Index was created to allow people to measure where they are against their ROL ideals by helping to answer the question: Am I living the best life possible with the money I have? It consists of 20 questions that are grouped into three categories: well-being, progress and freedom.
You can think of the ROL Index as a measure of life satisfaction and how well you are using your money to live your best life possible.
Let’s take a look at the three categories and some of the resulting conversation points:
Well-Being: Consists of your return on leisure, health and relationships. Here are a few questions to consider related to well-being.
—What is your Return on Leisure? Are you enjoying your life? Are you able to fund your hobbies and interests? Do you take time to do the things you want to do, see the places you want to see, and spend time with the people you care about? Are there trips you would like to take sooner rather than later?
—What is your Return on Health? Are you able to take care of yourself without financial stress? Do you check your health regularly with your doctors? Is your health insurance adequate to your needs? Do you eat well and exercise regularly?
—What is your Return on Relationships? Are your relationships with friends and family affected by money matters? Can you afford to take care of the people you love? Have you educated your children/grandchildren about the importance of money management? Are you and your spouse in sync about the expense of your lifestyle?
Progress: Consists of your return on work, residence, achievement and learning. Here are a few questions to consider related to making progress in life.
—What is your Return on Work? Do you feel good about the contributions you make? Are you well compensated for the work you do? Does your work give you satisfaction? Do you feel energized by your work? Appreciated? If you do volunteer work, does it bring you a sense of satisfaction?
—What is your Return on Residence? Do you feel like your home is the right place for you? Are the costs of your residence easily managed?
—What is your Return on Achievement? Are you able to fund your needs and pursue your aspirations? Are you happy with your accomplishments? Are there things you would try to do if you had the financial resources?
—What is your Return on Learning? Are you effectively using your finances for you or your children/grandchildren’s education? Are you involved in lifelong learning through reading and training with others? Do you enjoy learning new things?
Freedom: Consists of your return on purpose, autonomy and security. Here are a few questions to consider related to personal and financial freedom.
—What is your Return on Giving? Are you free to give your time and talents generously? Are you comfortable with your charitable contributions? Are there causes to which you’d like to devote more of your time, energy or money?
—What is your Return on Autonomy? Are you using your money to free up your time and allow you to do things you want to do? Do you have time to attend to the things that mean the most to you?
—What is your Return on Security? Do you feel secure financially? Are you confident about your financial future? Are you comfortable with how your financial resources are invested?
Take the ROL Index
You may know how much money you have in the bank or the size of your portfolio, but do you know your Return on Life?
We invite you to take 5 - 10 minutes to complete the ROL Index and receive your personalized report securely at tinyurl.com/y3dy2kf3
By completing the index, you’ll have a good sense for how satisfied you are with your life and your finances. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss your results and how we might assist you in getting a higher Return on Life at 303.500.1931.