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The Importance of Knowing Yourself and Your Financial Goals (Really)

selling a structured settlementIf you read most financial how-to guides, the books are focused on one goal: maximal wealth accumulation. And it makes sense. Why invest at all if you don’t want the most money you could possibly get, given the risk and time associated with your decision? It assumes that maximum abundance is the need of the human soul, and it recommends ruthless tactics to acquire at least a piece of that kind of reality. Some people seem born for this lifestyle, every waking hour spent getting money. And that’s fine. But other people seem not to take to it so easily. They learn and work to get better at making money, but they feel compromised, like some part of themselves is unsatisfied putting all of their energy into this pursuit.

What Do You Really Want?

For people like this, I would ask, “What do you really want?” Do you want to live a really fancy life? Do you want to have incredible, rare experiences? Do you want to raise a family? Do you want to get to enjoy things like reading and time in nature? Do you want to achieve above all else? Achievement is elevated in our culture. Our Zuckerbergs and Musks and Jobses are blown up to larger than life characters, personifying the life well-lived. But anyone who has read Steve Jobs’ biography know that his was a life that many would not want to live, even if the wealth he accumulated was very great. So again I ask, “What do you really want?” The way you answer this question will make a lot of difference in how you make key financial decisions. Here are some examples.

Keep or Sell?

Do You Keep or Sell a Structured Settlement? this is a very specific example, but it shows how people think. People find themselves with helpful financial instruments like structured settlements and annuities, probably more often than you think. But for some, the “structured” part is inconvenient. The monthly payments provide steady income, but they won’t let you get rich. If you go to the structured settlement cash now official website and exchange the unglamorous security for a big check, you can buy a big house, start a business, or do something else that will make you a lot of money. But is the effort worth the cost of your personal time? I’m not saying there is a right or wrong answer to this question. People will find satisfaction going one way or the other, and our society needs both. But some people are on the wrong side and need to feel OK about changing their goals to fit their person.

Again, there is no wrong way to answer “What do you really want?” Some people love working and achieving and having a lavish lifestyle to show for it. Others enjoy simple things and will wilt under the pressures found in the former lifestyle. We need both kinds of people to make a good place for everyone in the world to live. And we shouldn’t deify one or the other. To me, financial security is about being able to live the lifestyle you want to live, without ever running out of money to do so. Identify what that desired lifestyle is, create it, and make the money serve the life, not the other way around.


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Ponsulak

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

One comment

  1. “Make the money serve the life, not the other way around” Stunningly brilliant, although we well know how often people find themselves forced to have their life serving the money. The simple act of holding a job (one might not like/enjoy) for the sake of income is one all-too-typical example. For the record, been there more times than I care to share.

    According to some, earning money while doing what we love is a pure manifestation of happiness. A similar, although somewhat lesser example would be to earn then somehow and spend them in a way that brings happiness.

    In any case, I find it especially difficult to decide what I want, maybe it will just come later to me. I certainly hope it does. In the meantime, will try and focus on activities that bring joy and satisfaction and will take it from there.

    Many thanks for the great article, Kim!

    Kind regards,
    Matilda S.

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