Make a Dream Board: Life Lesson 49 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

I’m Done Asking for Permission

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

make a dream board

Photo by Rana Sawalha

When you make a dream board, you’re setting powerful internal forces in motion that will move you toward your goals, even when you’re not consciously aware of it. Visualization is one of the most powerful tools we humans have for achieving our dreams. 

It may seem silly that by collecting words and images on a piece of paper, we can channel some magic power that influences our lives—but studies have shown that through visualization, we can actually train our brains to work for us in surprising ways.

Make Your Subconscious Work for You

There’s a reason cultures and traditions around the world use visualization to effect powerful change. By constantly envisioning ourselves achieving the things we really want in life, we’re forming habitual thought patterns that keep us moving toward that goal.

Make a dream board—it isn’t just a symbolic action. It’s a way to keep your mind focused on achieving your goals so your subconscious can keep working for you.

Focus Your Energy Through Constant Reminders

It’s not enough just to jot your dreams on a piece of paper and file it away somewhere. Dream boards work best when you keep them in plain sight. Post yours in your office, your bedroom, even your bathroom—anywhere you’re sure to see it every single day.

I personally use a dream board to help focus my personal and professional financial decisions. It hangs right next to my desk as a daily reminder of the ideas, goals, dreams, plans, and visions I have for myself and my future. By keeping it within sight every single day, it’s easy for me to get motivated to do something about my dreams.

Help Others Help You

Some dreams just can’t be accomplished alone. There is power in sharing your dream board with others. As soon as you start to tell people about your goals and desires, they’ll be able to help hold you accountable for making them happen.

Your Money or Your Life? – Life Lesson 41 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Your Money or Your Life?

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

your money or your life

Society tells us that accumulating money is what life is all about, but you and I know that isn’t the whole story. We’re all trying to survive, but making a living isn’t just about accumulating as much money as possible—it’s about living. When it comes to the guiding force in your life, you have just one choice to make: Will you choose money or your life?

It may sound odd to hear this from a financial planner—someone who makes his living by helping others manage their wealth—but it’s the truth. In my experience, more money tends to lead to more stuff, and more stuff leads to more stress.

As the Notorious B.I.G. once observed: “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

This isn’t a novel concept, yet it’s something we all need reminding of occasionally. We’ve been encouraged to challenge this materialistic mindset. Long-term happiness doesn’t stem from possessions; it’s about the relationships we cultivate, the connections we forge, and the positive impact we create in our world.

No one’s asking you to choose a life without money. I’m simply asking you to choose life.

Work on building a fulfilling life, one with more focus on family and friends, God, and meaningful experiences… and less focus on having the right material stuff to impress others.

After all, you can’t take your stuff with you when you go, but you can make a lasting impact while you’re here.

Don’t Retire with a Mortgage. Life Lesson 38 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Don’t Retire with a Mortgage.

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

retire with a mortgage

This lesson is a short one, but that’s because it’s simple: don’t retire with a mortgage.

Other financial advisors might disagree with me on this. They might tell you about the great interest rates, they might highlight the tax deduction benefits, yada, yada, yada… but they’d be wrong.

As far as I’m concerned, the question of whether or not to wait to retire until your home is paid off boils down to one simple fact: debt sucks! Why deal with the burden of a major monthly payment when you’re on a limited income?

Don’t retire with a mortgage!

I don’t care about the interest rate, the tax deduction, or any of the other “benefits” you’ll hear about; it’s just noise. Take my advice and don’t retire with a mortgage—period. Your future self will thank me for it.

Investopedia has some sound information on the matter as well: Part of the appealing retirement scenario involves bidding farewell to that monthly mortgage payment, assuming it’s cleared by then. However, a recent shift in financial planning suggests many experts advise retirees to keep a mortgage throughout retirement. By reinvesting home equity, you could generate additional income, brightening your golden years.

Pursuing Your Passions: Life Lesson 29 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Pursuing Your Passions

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

pursuing your passions

Photo by Kal Visuals

If you’ve postponed pursuing your passions in favor of chasing money, don’t worry—there’s no shame in this, and you’re not alone. Over the years, I’ve found myself in the same situation, but I’ve come to believe that there’s a more fulfilling way to live.

Perhaps there was something you enjoyed or loved doing when you were younger. However, societal pressures, parental influence, or other voices in your life may have discouraged you, insisting it couldn’t be a viable career. Their negativity might have deterred you from pursuing your passions. Now, sadly, many find themselves too drained from the daily grind to muster the energy for those once-cherished pursuits. Consequently, numerous individuals postpone their deepest desires until that elusive future called “retirement.”

But you know what? Retirement, for many of you, is in the future. This is your present. Don’t let anyone convince you that your passions can’t sustain you financially. Countless people do it every day!

If you feel a calling, don’t allow anyone to undermine your worthiness to pursue it. Money matters, and planning for retirement is important, but life is too brief to wait for tomorrow. Time is a precious gift, and it’s your duty to dedicate yours to pursuing your passions, enabling a fulfilling life.

Living Off Your Investments: Life Lesson 28 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Living Off Your Investments: The Transition to Mailbox Money

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

living off your investments

Transitioning to living off mailbox money (living off your investments for the rest of your life) is an attractive idea, but retiring is not as simple as having enough money saved up and walking away. Many people approaching retirement find themselves apprehensive about departing from the security of a regular paycheck and relying solely on a fixed income.

In theory, it seems straightforward—if you’ve diligently done your financial planning, you likely have a clear retirement goal. Yet, the reality of living off investments can be unsettling.

When the time comes to make the leap, feeling overwhelmed and uncertain is an understandable reaction. It’s true: living on a fixed income has its challenges. What’s more, when you make that transition, there is usually no going back. You have to get it right the first time.
That said, even the scariest of situations can be made a lot less daunting if we’re ready for them. 

Here are a few ways you can prepare for the transition to living off your mailbox money:

  • Aim to have your home paid off. Living off your mailbox money is a lot less scary when you don’t have a mortgage.
  • Practice your retirement budget. Stick to a retirement-income budget plan for six to twelve months. Can you actually live on what you think you can?
  • Practice a modified work schedule. Try taking more time away from work to get used to the idea of not working five days a week.
  • Retire in stages. Work on decreasing your hours in the office and your income from work over a year.

If you put in the steps to prepare for the transition, you’ll have the confidence to make the leap and start living off your investments full time.

It’s About How Much You Save: Life Lesson 8 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

It’s Not About How Much You Make, But Rather How Much You Keep

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

how much you save

It’s not about how much you make, but rather how much you save. It’s not too often I get surprised in my day-to-day life. Despite my relatively young age, I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime. However, for others observing my life, it may seem uneventful. Being in this business, money is a daily topic in most conversations.

It’s common that a good percentage of Americans don’t have any retirement savings. Zero savings. That’s not really the surprise.

We live in a world of consumption.

It’s a world where we are judged by our jobs, clothing, cars, home, etc. As a financial advisor, I find it refreshing when I meet a family of four making $100,000 and the have money in their savings or checking account, don’t live paycheck to paycheck, and have $100,000+ in their retirement account. They made a choice about their spending, values, and desires to not keep up with the Joneses.

They want to keep more of their own money, live by their values, and be good stewards of their finances. They understand the ease with which money can go out the door and the effort it takes to earn it.

Do you need assistance planning for your retirement? Contact me for a free consultation.