Financial Checkups

/ September 12, 2012

Do you live in the moment or are you always waiting for tomorrow?

Do you look forward to the future with excitement or fear?

How do you Live?


“According to two doctors (Rowe and Kahn) who co-authored “Successful Aging,” our genetic makeup only accounts for 30% of our ability to achieve longevity. The remaining 70% is our lifestyle. This means that everyone who does not have a life-altering illness or injury has a 70% chance to determine their own longevity. Essentially, how we live and eat determines 70% of our own individual life expectancy.

While government debt sits at 94 percent of national revenue, U.S. household debt sits at a whopping 107 percent of personal income. The household balance sheets of Americans are in worse condition than anytime since the Great Depression. The ratio of household debt-to-GDP is greater than anytime since 1929. And while we all are trying to comprehend a poorer nation, many American’s have not yet comprehended their own personal poverty.” 

 — Steve Beck is cofounder of MarketRiders, an online investment advisory and management service helping Americans invest for retirement, July 28, 2011

Finding Balance

Study’s like this tell us we are living longer, taking better care of ourselves, and yet we remain the highest debt to income ratio in the world. How did we find ourselves out of balance?

We go to the doctor to address both our physical and emotional health and yet our financial health, which is as important in our overall wellness, is often overlooked. When was the last time you had a financial checkup? With rising healthcare cost, education costs, and daily living expenses on the rise, the “unknown” of what are future holds can be stressful!

American optimism waned as the Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to a 6-month low in June 2012. The June reading of 73.2 (-6.1) is below the 75.8 monthly average from January 2005 through June 2012 and the largest decrease since August 2011

 (-8.0). Consumer sentiment has decisively rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession (55.3 in November 2008).

 — USA Consumer Sentiment: Thomson Reuters / University of Michigan

Determining Your Financial Health

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” Sound familiar? The choices we make today will have a direct impact on where we will be tomorrow.

Many of us when asked what we spend each week or month can identify the fixed expenses, for example, the car payment and the mortgage payment. However, have you ever considered what it cost you to walk out the door each day? The numbers may surprise you.  A financial checkup is important to identify where each dollar is spent and where.  Determining what it costs us each day to live is the first step in establishing what type of income you will need to support your current lifestyle or the lifestyle you hope to attain.

While it is important to work with your investment team on the accumulation side, your attorney on the legal side, and your accountant to identify tax consequences, it is also important to have regular discussions within your own family to coordinate your next steps in becoming more financially healthy and living a long life.



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