Seen the headlines lately? There is certainly no shortage of doomy and gloomy economic news. Disastrous economic trends and shortsighted monetary policy decisions are natural fodder for the fear-raking financial media outlets. The fight-or-flight hardwiring in all of us makes us easy prey for financial journalists.
Please don’t misunderstand me—financial trends do matter and they will have consequences. But while we are trained to fear such things, we all too easily forget about the here and now. Have you taken stock of the money that is falling through the cracks today? Are you settling for near-zero interest rates on your emergency funds? Maybe better planning could change that. Are you receiving Social Security income and unknowingly paying unnecessary taxes on those checks? Are you paying into or holding onto an old whole life insurance policy long after the original intent for the policy has been satisfied? Do you have an asset that you plan to pass on to the kids or grandkids that might leave them with a monster tax bill rather than the total value of the asset?