How To Remove Luck From Your Financial Plan

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

Too many people rely on luck or chance to meet their financial goals.

As if being in the right place at the right time or getting lucky with a hot investment was the missing ingredient to cashing in on the pot of gold at the end of their financial rainbow.

To be sure, it helps when the stars align in your favor. And if a lucky charm in your pocket makes you feel better, I am all for it.

But if you are serious about your financial well-being it’s going to take a lot more than a lucky roll of the dice to help you meet your goals.

Below are five ways you can stack the odds in your favor and reduce the role of luck in your financial life. Hint: The last one will surprise you.

Consider This Before Moving To A Warmer State

Outside the sun is bright, the skies are blue and it couldn’t be a more beautiful winter day.

It also happens to be -30. Factoring in the wind, it “feels like” -50.

Schools, some government offices and many private businesses are closed. The local power company has just announced an urgent request for homeowners to dial back their thermometers to 60 to reduce demand on the power grid.

To me it sounds like a perfect day to work from home, break out the fingerless gloves, and get a jump on my 2018 tax return.

Of course, life doesn’t have to be this way. Some states never see temps fall below freezing and there’s even a few where state income taxes don’t exist.

However, the move to a more weather and tax friendly state comes at a price.

Before you sell the ice shanty and move to a state where the taxes and temps are more favorable, consider this:

A New Way To Look At Your Bucket List

When I turned 50 I had an ambitious bucket list. Most of the items on my list were things that I wanted to do “some day”. I quickly realized that “some day” may never come, and that if I ever wanted to check any of my bucket list items off the list that I had better get started.

In fact, some of the most important things on my bucket list were simple, day-to-day things that I was at risk of missing out on if I didn’t make them a priority in my life.

Below is a short video that suggests a different way to look at your bucket list.

 

A New Way to Look at Your Bucket List

 

 

How’s Your Memory?

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Maybe you know someone with an incredible memory. A few lucky people have what are called “autobiographical memories”. They can recall just about every detail about every day of their life. These people are rare, but they exist. Marilu Henner is an example.

Unfortunately, that’s not me. I am guessing it’s not you either. Most days I spent about 10 or 15 minutes trying remember where I put my car keys.

If you are age 50 or older, odds are you have some doubts about your ability to recall names or to recite a list of facts and figures. Remembering the names of people you meet at parties or events can be a major challenge. Recalling a list of items is next to impossible. Memorizing your passwords and log in information? Forget about it.

Too often we assume that we are stuck with the memories we have, with no ability to improve our memory skills and no control over what we perceive as an inevitable byproduct of getting older.

Now we are getting a little closer to something that sounds like me. Maybe you too.

But what if you could boost your memory recall by more than fivefold in less than 10 minutes?

What if I told you that you could recite from memory a list of 15 words and be able to remember it forward, backwards and every way in between? And what if you could recall this list perfectly with out traditional memorization techniques using nothing more than the God-given memory you are living with right now?

Like flipping a switch

At a recent client event called “The One Hour Memory Switch” workshop we did just that.

Matt Goerke, creator of The Memory Switch Program argues that there is no such thing as a bad memory just an untrained one. Using specific techniques anyone can develop better memory skills.

The tree list

At the beginning of the workshop Matt gave us a list of 15 words. He called it his “tree list”.

After giving us the words he asked how many we could recall in order. About 80% of the 100 or so people in attendance could recite between 0 and 2 words. A handful of savants were in the 3 to 5 range. I had four words, but the last two were completely wrong. Apparently, they were from a different list.

Less than 10 minutes later nearly everyone in the room was able to recite all 15 words on the list. The key was to associate each word with its number on the list. For example, the number “1” is tall and straight, like a tree. Hence, the name “Tree List”.

Using mnemonic devices and other skills Matt shared with us, we were able to recall the entire list less than 10 minutes after we started this exercise. Even as I write this, days later, I can recall the list forwards and backwards usually getting 14 of 15 on the list exactly right and in perfect order. If you went to this workshop, I bet you can too.

A strong memory late into life

Remembering names and reciting long lists can impress friends and be fun at parties, but the more important takeaway was that a good memory doesn’t have to decline as you age.

For most if us the key is to use it or lose it. Learning new skills such as a foreign language or a musical instrument, staying physically active, and the simple act of reading more can all contribute to improved memories and brain health.

Even doing ordinary, everyday things in a new way has been shown to improve a person’s cognitive abilities. Try taking alternate routes to work, performing daily activities with your left hand (if you are right-handed) and reducing your reliance on electronics forces your brain to work harder and create more pathways, stimulating and improving your memory along the way.

Learning new skills and memory techniques will also help. Matt offers a 17 lesson audio course that is available on his website, MemorySwitch.com. I purchased the program at Matt’s presentation and will review it in a future blog post.

At $250 it’s not inexpensive, but how much is it worth to develop a skill that saves time, adds to my bottom line or improves the quality of my life?

If I can learn how to remember my clients’ names when I see them around town or know their kids’ names and their birth order, or to be able to remember the names of people I meet when I do public presentations, it will be worth every penny.

Heck, if I could just remember where I put my car keys, I would be thrilled.

All Hands on Hope

Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the 2017 packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

Earlier this month I had the chance to participate in a MobilePack™ event at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, MN. It’s become an annual tradition for me and my family.

Since I also make a monthly financial contribution to Feed My Starving Children on behalf of my clients, it’s also a great opportunity to see my investment at work, actively participate in this event and help assemble the packages of soy, rice, vitamins and veggies that will be distributed to children around the world.

The theme for this year’s event was “All Hands On Hope”. To paraphrase Pastor Gary Medin, Senior Pastor at Incarnation, if you contributed financially to this event or to the church’s capital campaign or volunteered to help assemble meals, you have a hand in making this possible.

To that I would add, if you are a client of mine, you too have had a hand in supporting the life giving work of Feed My Starving Children. Thank you for your continued support and for your part in making this event possible.

Below is a “repost” of an article I posted last year describing this event. This post has been updated with current stats and facts.