Financial Literacy: Investing Tips for Busy People by Captain Bob Houle, USCG (Ret)
I am too busy!
What does this really mean? And who are we saying that to? And what does this have to do with investing?
Meaning? Being “busy” means nothing. It is not an excuse. It is not helpful in getting things done. It is not an indicator of how important we are or how much we are contributing to the overall cause. It is not a badge of honor or a status symbol or a signal how valuable we are.
“Busy” is a relative term. It is a dismissive term. It sends two unflattering signals about us to others:
- I am not competent at managing my time, and
- You (or your project) are not important to me.
Who are we saying that to? There are two audiences for the “too busy” excuse: to others and to us. “To others” is too broad a topic and off the focus of this article. Instead, this article is about us and what we are saying to ourselves about how we use our time. It is a matter of priorities. If it is important to us (or our family) we will find a way; if it is not, we will find an excuse (such as “too busy”).
Too busy for investing? Regardless of how busy we are we cannot afford to put off investing. Our family’s financial security and independence, if important to us, is the priority guiding us. The sooner we start investing, the wealthier we (and our family) will be in the future through the power of compounding. Too busy is not, and never was, a valid excuse. Putting off learning how best to lay the foundation for a successful investment program (savings and debt) and learning how to become an effective and successful investor because we are “too busy” jeopardizes our future well-being. Procrastinating on planning for our future departure from this world (estate planning, survivorship planning) undermines whatever success we may have achieved in life in securing our financial future.
Our chapter’s Financial Literacy program has had a common theme since its inception almost four years ago: communicating the importance of knowledge about what we should be doing to achieve financial security and independence and what we should be watchful for and avoid. Financial Literacy complements two other programs our chapter sponsors to assist our membership.
Unlike this Family Financial Literacy program, which is a life-long process, the other two are provided to help our membership during stressful transition periods in our life. All three can be, and need to be, supported by your active volunteer service in our MOAA Cape Canaveral Chapter.
We need your help. We want our future financial literacy articles to be responsive to your needs and interests. In these COVID times of contact avoidance we have lost the personal touch we enjoyed sharing anecdotes that triggered article topics. Last month we announced the creation of an online survey blog to collect your ideas on what you would like to know more about or what concerns you may have about your financial security and independence. Granted, not much time has passed between announcing this blog and the writing of this February article (only 6 responses so far). But we need your participation.
In last month’s article (you can find it and prior articles here) we listed the fifteen biggest retirement planning mistakes people make. Which ones are things you want to learn more about? Which ones are important to you? Please take this short survey and let us know. In future articles we will share with you the survey results and tailor our contributions to your financial literacy so that they are helpful to you.
Won’t you take the time to share your views … or are you “too busy?”
Thank you again for your service to our country and to our fellow members and their families. It is time for all of us to take action and help others become financially secure and independent. Never Stop Serving!
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