Today, I am writing my first-ever blog post. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t make this decision lightly. I’ve spent many hours talking with experts, gathering a game plan, and collecting data - all to determine how to give life to this idea. Regardless of the time I’ve devoted to the conception of this project, it’s taken me even longer to put pen to paper. Why? Honestly, I’ve been procrastinating because I had no idea where to start: What should I say? What if no one cares? What if I say something wrong? Will my opinions matter?
So, I did nothing. I looked at the open task on my computer each day and decided, “I’ll come back to it.” Today, once again, I had the same thought. How do I begin? How do I build the foundation? And even more importantly, how do I break it down into manageable goals, so I am not continuously overwhelmed?
That’s when a thought popped into my head. What if the way I feel right now about starting this blog is equivalent to how most people feel about their financial profile? I imagine their thoughts would go something like this:
Beginners might think:
How do I save money? How much should I save? And where should I put it?
I am not sure how much I spend each month; I’ve never kept track.
No one has ever taught me about investing.
Or maybe you have built up some savings, got your career on track, or are starting a family. Now what?
How do you know if you’re saving enough?
Your goals feel overwhelming. How do you both live for today and prepare for tomorrow?
Then there are the individuals who are making the transition from working years into retirement. Their thoughts:
Have I done enough?
What happens now? How do I make it last? Is it sustainable? Does my entire portfolio move to cash?
Equally important, how do I find purpose during this new time in my life?
The unknown, conveyed in each of those sentences, accurately captures the same type of fear I felt while conceiving this blog. Saving for retirement, education, or future goals is scary. All too often, we approach our goals already overwhelmed, afraid, short on time, and lacking knowledge. And so we settle for inaction because anything else feels too hard.
Saving is not innate; no one is born knowing how to budget for all contingencies. The idea of retirement is unnatural. We grow up in a society that teaches progression to each successive level. And then what? Our time is finally our own, and we don’t know how to fill it.
I know your questions. I understand the concerns. But once again, here I am, sitting before my own computer, and I am met with the same nagging question: How do I begin?
My mind keeps drifting back to a recent piece of advice. There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. So today, I take one small bite in the right direction. What about you? No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help plan for all of life’s overwhelming starts.