Take-Aways from FPA

Last week, I attended the 2019 Financial Planning Association (FPA) conference which contained inspirational messages and personal finance updates for financial advisors. Below are six key take-aways for consumers:

¨     Prepare Yourself to Succeed- Preparation is how people get things done. It provides a sense of control. Being prepared will give you the greatest opportunity to achieve whatever you want to do in life. Luck happens when preparation and planning meet opportunity.

¨     Consider a New Word– Many people don’t relate to the word “retirement,” at least the vision of it with 100% leisure time. People may retire from long-time careers, but they don’t retire from life. The word “retire” is derived from a French word meaning “to retreat.” Possible replacement terms for it include “rewirement,” “refirement,” “renaissance,” “reinvention,” and FIND (Financial Independence, New Directions).

¨     Live Inspired– Live the life now for how you want to be remembered and as if every day is September 12, 2001, when people hugged their families close and vowed not to take their lives for granted. Every day is a gift. Actively seek to experience “Elijah moments” where you can change the lives of others for the better.

¨     Be Realistic About Work in Later Life- About 80% of workers say they will work in retirement but only 25% actually do. Thus, retirement often happens sooner than expected. An award-winning research study found that, after age 61, people retire about a half year early for each year of work planned afterward.

¨     Avoid Financial Stress – Heart attacks are the #1 cause of death in the U.S. Financial worries raise the risk of heart attacks 13 times. Heart attacks are also associated with stock market drops. Conversely, philanthropy is positively associated with longevity. People who make charitable gifts live 2 to 5 years longer than others.

¨     Start Investing- Most Americans are not investors in any meaningful way. Two common barriers are difficulty understanding investment terminology and not having any money. People also believe that the stock market is more risky than it actually is. Good habits make a difference. Start small with any amount of money.

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