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How to Live a Happier Financial Life

| June 07, 2016
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Jonathan Clements, who writes for the WSJ, is one of my favorite personal finance columnists.  A memorable article that he wrote was his final column for the Sunday WSJ in which he had a few parting words of wisdom titled, “How to live a happier financial life.”

Best investment attribute – Humility

I couldn’t agree more.  Wall Street is very good at marketing to the emotions of investors.  
“Good advice rarely changes, while markets change constantly.  The temptation to pander is almost irresistible.  And while people need good advice, what they want is advice that sounds good.”  There is no holy grail in investing.  No one is perfect, especially in complex systems such as the financial markets that are mostly controlled by human emotions.  Look for sources of information that are willing to admit mistakes.  Self-awareness and humility are two huge attributes that I look for when parsing my financial advice.  

Key to financial success: Cheap Housing

Think about how much money is spent for housing, then throw in car payments, and other debt.
The less you spend on these fixed costs, the less financial stress you’ll suffer and the more money you can save.  
Clement’s goal: Keep these costs below 50% of your income. Given that we live in the Midwest, I would aim closer to 35% as a goal.

Best way to spend money: Experiences

Clement’s take: Don’t spend the money on possessions, spend it on experiences – family vacations, dinner with friends and family.
You have lasting memories versus the reality of items that get dirty, break down, and are eventually discarded.

Top financial goal: Not working for money

We all have to work for an income.  But I like Clement’s perspective: never work just for a paycheck.
Fulfillment comes from spending our days doing what we’re passionate about and our evenings with friends and family.
Easier said than done. But if you save like crazy early in your career, you buy yourself the freedom to spend the rest of your life on your terms, rather than one dictated by car leases, credit-card bills, and mortgage payments.
Listen here for the full discussion:

If you’d like help reviewing your retirement plan and saving for a financially independent retirement, please contact Casey Boland via email [email protected] or 513-598-5120.

Date Posted: 06/07/2016 Advice provided in this article is meant for educational purposes only and financial education is important to us. Before making decisions regarding your personal financial situation, please consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence. If you would like to discuss your Retirement Income Plan with an HCM Wealth Advisor, please give us a call – 513-598-5120. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, we serve clients in 28 states, and we’d love to help.

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