I’m 27 years old – of course I’m telling you to be selfish!
But although at first glance you might brush me off as just another millennial falling into traditional stereotypes, I urge you to listen to my story before deciding whether or not I am the right person to help you improve your financial situation.
I never thought I was going to have a career around helping people create the lives they deserve by creating a plan for their money. I was going to be a surgeon. I was in school for Pre-Med taking business and economics classes as my electives to round out my education, when I was hit by a freight train.
My dad passed away, suddenly, unexpectedly, at the age of 47 when I was 21 years old.
My family, which now consisted of my mother, sister, two brothers and I, was in shock. We felt like our lives were in shambles. We were simply not prepared emotionally for the tragedy, and frankly we had no idea whether or not we were prepared financially either.
My parents made good money. They had a solid multi-six-figure income between them, and we had nice house in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. Growing up, I had everything I needed and much of what I wanted, and yet when my father passed away we were so unprepared it was scary.
Actually, it was more than scary – it was detrimental. Two kids in high school and two in college, a huge house, and less than half the income that was supporting us.
Furthermore, our family was pretty traditional in that my dad, the breadwinner, handled all of the finances. He paid the bills and made most of the decisions about what to do with our money, trying to make sure we were all taken care of today, still had help with college, and that he and my mom were saving for retirement.
His plan was based on what he knew, and he was doing the best he could.
Everything might have been fine had he made it through our college years and to retirement, or maybe it wouldn’t have- it doesn’t matter. All I know is that what saved us and allowed our family to remain intact financially when we were in significant grief, down to one income, and in a down economy was a life insurance policy.
That policy saved our lives. It allowed us all to get back to some sense of normalcy. I’m not sure how our family would have survived without the money that policy provided. We were lucky as our finances were not in a good place.
Had my dad gotten sick and couldn’t work instead of passing away, we would not have been in the same boat and would have been financially devastated.
My father was a smart, and successful man, who always did all the “right” things. But following conventional wisdom and doing the right thing only matters if the curveball life throws at you is something you prepared for in following that wisdom. What good is car insurance if your house burns down?
I share that because there are so many people are like my father. Smart, brilliant even, but unprepared financially.
This is why I built a career in personal finance. To help people like my father, who are trying to do all the right things and keep all the balls in the air but just don’t have the time and knowledge required to do it on their own. To make sure other families don’t have to go through the trying times that mine did.
I’ve seen so many people with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 per year who work hard and are very successful professionally, but have no idea how to actually plan for their future. They don’t know the strategy necessary to protect what is important to their family while maximizing every dollar they earn.
You have to have a plan that looks out for you and your family’s interests, because no one else is going to. This is not just about being prepared for when the worst happens, but also so you can have money to enjoy all of the good things life has to offer as well.
This is why I say you NEED to be selfish. My protestation of self-interest doesn’t come from a place of naivety, or a heightened sense of self worth. I simply know first hand what can happen when you don’t plan for your financial future. You need to be selfish before you can be selfless in a meaningful way. Anything else IS naivety.
It’s a holistic approach to financial planning, and it’s how you build your ideal life. Be smart. Be prepared. Be selfish. If you are ready to gain control of your money and be confident that it is working hard for you to achieve the lifestyle you deserve, I’m the one for you.