Living in the Moment While Planning for the Future

It’s often tricky to find the balance between living in the moment and planning for the future. On this episode of A Wiser Retirement™, Casey Smith, Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA®, and Michaela Dowdy talk about instant vs delayed gratification, goal-setting tips, and lifestyle perceptions of the wealthy.

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Immediate Gratification vs Future Financial Security

You need to find a healthy balance between immediate gratification and future financial security. In the episode, they share a story about someone with an expensive monthly car payment. After that person did financial planning, they decided to sell that car and buy a less expensive one, which allowed them to save more for retirement. That was a wise decision, and further underscores the significance of prioritizing long-term financial health over momentary pleasures.

Delayed Gratification

One of the significant challenges discussed was the struggle with delayed gratification in an instant gratification culture. They talk about how technology like Affirm has made it easy to make purchases on installment plans. By doing so, you can buy things instantly without having to save and work towards purchasing them. However, it can be easy to accumulate debt by making purchases this way. This highlights the importance of saving for your goals and waiting for that delayed gratification.

Setting and Achieving Goals

Only 3% of the population reportedly sets goals for themselves. There are many different approaches to goal-setting. One popular and easy method is to start by writing down your goals. This practice not only helps in achieving those goals but also in modifying them as circumstances change. Writing them down also gives you something to look back on and see what you have accomplished.

Wealth and Lifestyle Perceptions

An intriguing study discussed in the podcast challenges the common assumption that the wealthiest people drive expensive cars. Instead, the study found that both the poorest and wealthiest Americans drive Toyotas, with exotic cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris being more common among those in the middle of the wealth spectrum.

Living in the Moment and Planning for the Future

Balancing living in the moment while planning for the future requires setting clear goals, and learning to navigate immediate desires and long-term aspirations. Having a financial plan in place can help you make informed decisions that align with both your present enjoyment and future financial security.


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