It’s not about how much make, rather how much you keep. Life Lesson 8 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

It’s not about how much make, rather how much you keep

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not too often I get surprised in my day to day life. I feel like at my young age I’ve lived a lifetime, but for others looking at my life, I haven’t seen anything. Being in this business, “money” is a daily topic in most conversations.

In our world, it not matter how much you make, rather it is how much you keep. It’s common that a good percentage of American 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 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/checking account, don’t live check to check 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, are living their values and want to be a good steward of their money. They know it’s easy for money to go out the door and the effort that it takes to earn it.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

10 + 1 =

Solving for Happiness – Lesson 5 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Solving for Happiness

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

That sounds easy doesn’t – “Solve for Happiness.” For many I suspect we’ve never really thought about truly solving for happiness. I’ve been guilty of focusing on day-to-day, or that new tech toy would be bring so much joy and fulfillment. It turns out for me and others, we need to seek and expect more to truly achieve happiness. Most people believe money will bring happiness.

Money seems to be at the hart for many and believing that it will solve or achieve their happiness. I wish it was that easy. Money and stuff can actually bring stress and problems along our journey of life. And maybe it’s about our expectations and views of what money and stuff can bring. Yet, the love of money is where I believe it’s easiest for us to get derailed.

“Solving for Happiness” starts with knowing ourselves. That sounds easy, but it actually takes time and soul searching to figure out what will truly bring us happiness. Most of us have postponed joy and happiness for the pursuit of money. It’s only natural based on today’s society and world.

Life is too short to truly not examine how we can achieve happiness today and into the future. It’s so easy for us to only see obstacles in the way of our achievement of happiness. It’s actually focusing on planning our lives. It’s not just placing our financial house in order, but about what’s meaningful to us and how can we be impactful within our families, communities or world. It’s thinking without boundaries we’ve placed on ourselves. It’s coloring outside the lines when we’ve gotten so used to coloring inside them.

Planning your life happens where your money and meaning connect. It connects in a meaningful way for most likes it has never connected up until this point. It starts with just a few basic, impactful questions that you’ve probably not thought about in a new light and with a new perspective.

Drop me a note if you’d like to schedule time to have a meaningful conversation about how to solve for happiness.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

9 + 1 =

We got retirement all wrong. Life Lesson 4 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

We got retirement all wrong

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not surprising; it’s something I hear on a regular basis. Just change the dollar amount for how much your household makes. I bet most of us can relate especially when you have a couple of kids, mortgage, car payment, are saving for retirement, etc.

Over my vast experience in the financial services world, talking with hundreds if not over a thousand people, it’s generally not the mortgage or the car payment, but rather just everyday life that really gets us. It all adds up. $5 here, $50 there, $250 here- it all adds up to real money each month. It’s financial leakage. We all have it, yet, some of us are better than others at controlling it.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

12 + 6 =

5 Steps on how to travel for less

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

5 Steps on how to travel for less

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

I have a bucket list of travel; those go to places I want to get to before I die. We have a calendar outlining when we’d like to go to various places. When you are in your working years, you don’t always have time to get away and when you’re older you have the time but not always the ability. Travel when you can to explore and hopefully better understand our world. Here are 5 steps on how to travel for less.

Treat your vacation like your money.

  • Know the ins and out of where you are going. What tricks, money and time saving ideas you need to know BEFORE going. Invest in a good guidebook for $25. Skip the lines. Lines cost you time which is money. Especially in Europe, I don’t understand why people even stand in line hours waiting to purchase tickets.

Fly into one airport and out another.

  • We do this all the time to see explore areas we’d never see. Usually, the car rental companies will charge you an extra $50.00 to drop off at another location, but well worth it.

Find rooms on the fly and ask for deals.

  • There are so many cool travel apps that can help you accomplish this and you never know where you’ll end up.

Rediscover old friends, relatives and others in your network.

  • Why not stay with people you know, or even make new friends. I see this with working well throughout Europe. What a cool way to enhance your travel experience and get to know the culture even more.

Take or watch a travel class.

  • Rick Steves or Samatha Brown are two travelers that I follow. Rick’s advise is right on when it comes to traveling in Europe. He doesn’t like cruise ships but I found them enjoyable traveling from one destination to the next throughout Europe. Plus, they have great travel videos on their websites.

Bonus advice – Get a Global Entry Card.

  • This is so cool I don’t even want to tell others about. You get TSA pre-check and it allows for easy access when going through Customs for international travel. Some credit cards will even reimburse you $100.00 every four years if you have this card.

With Summer approaching fast, if you’d like a few travel destination ideas give me a shout. I can help with some great travel destinations.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

7 + 15 =

Financial Simplicity – becoming empty nesters

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Financial Simplicity – becoming empty nesters

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Sometimes even the shoemaker needs new shoes.

With my kids getting older and one living in Texas, our life continues to change as the kids get older. One thing I’ve noticed as the kids get older, so do I. Aging is a privilege but I’m not a fan of getting old and at times I think I’m in my late 20’s (you can stop laughing!). Even I want financial simplicity for my family and myself. As we are planning for our life without kids (full-time) it causes us to evaluate what we want to achieve, what type of lifestyle we seek and the decisions we need to make around that.

Selling and moving from our family home.

I suspect for most parents this so much more emotional when you sell your family home. Probably many more happy memories with the birth of your children, birthdays, Christmas, first day of school and finally graduating from high school. I don’t think I’m different from anyone of my clients, you no longer need that bigger home and its time. However, I just can’t believe how much “stuff” you can accumulate over the years. This is a great time to simplify how much “stuff” we truly need and most importantly use. I suspect I use 15% of my stuff 80% of the time. I’ll be having a moving sale to offload stuff at great prices.

More free time for yourself and your spouse.

New or revisiting hobbies. Getting used to spending time and reengaging with your spouse. For many couples I meet with, this is probably the scariest thought of their retirement years. Can we actually spend time together? Can we spend time together without the kids let alone not talking about them? Will we be able to bring back the magic we once had when we first dated? After 30 years with kids and now without kids, are we going to be compatible?

I’m a big believer in creating a dream board. A visual display of things you’d like to accomplish together and/or separately. Maybe it’s travel, spending time with family, learning new stuff, taking a college class, or being impactful in your community. The ideas are endless. Sometimes your dream board might a big idea and you wonder how you will accomplish it. That’s half the fun of a dream board.

We can simplify our life no matter what stage we are in and it becomes especially easier when we become empty nesters. Investing a little time in thinking, dreaming and focusing, allows us to even enjoy our lives more.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

15 + 11 =

Why limit ourselves to only 52 Saturdays a year?

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Why limit ourselves to only 52 Saturday’s a year

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

First of all, I enjoy my profession, but I can’t wait to enjoy 365 Saturdays a year. To me, Saturdays represent freedom. Freedom to pick and choose what I want to do, not what I have to do to pay the bills. By now, we’ve worked for 30, 40 or 50 years. Nowadays, our work is our identity. We work hard and that’s who we are. For many, one major worry is that they’ll be bored in their retirement years.

For the majority, our conversation around retirement planning includes how to be relevant and impactful in your retirement years. All this time, we’ve been so focused for 260 days a year on working and now we’re preparing for the next stage in life that for many doesn’t include working. For most retirees, that’s a big change.

Honestly, my retired clients tell me they are busier in their retirement years vs. when they were working for themselves or “the man”. Soon, they wonder how they got anything done while they were working. Now, many volunteer, have hobbies, spending time with grandkids, travel, and the list goes on.

For some, their hobby is their work. In fact, I might fall into that group. Don’t judge me, I’m just being honest. When you own a business, it’s a way of life. 365 days a year and you (or at least I haven’t been able to) can’t turn it off – even on Saturdays. Actually, I think that’s why so many business owners postpone their retirement. Usually, it’s not about the money, but rather how to be relevant. Further, what am I going to do in my retirement years so I don’t drive my spouse nuts?

Many of you reading this have an option to stay relevant in your retirement years and start a “trial” retirement. Eventually, you may start working four days a week and not check your email on Saturdays. At first, this might be a great strategy. Next year, scale back to three days a week for that second year. Lately, I’ve received pushback about this because people don’t believe their employers will go for it. First off, if you are a good employee, an asset to the company, they need you. Secondly, this concept is mutually beneficial for both. Because you stay engaged, they retain a seasoned employee to help the company reach its goals. All in all, it’s a win/win for both.

Enjoying more Saturdays now is powerful. Trust me, it’s powerful to spend time engaged outside of work. Travel, volunteer, spend time with the grandkids while you can. Starting today, pursue the passions you’ve postponed all these years because you and I had the pursuit of money to pay our bills and feed our families. Seriously, do it while you can. Do it while you’re able to move, walk, remember and share. In time, you won’t have those opportunities.

Sign up for our eNewsletter blog that includes timely financial matters, news, and planning strategies that you can implement today.

Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

7 + 2 =