There are many different kinds of financial pain. Some can be very evident. For example,
- Expenses too high – income too low;
- Excessive credit card debt;
- Significant losses in the equity market;
- High cost of prescription drugs and medical care;
- A new or unexpected, major expense – e.g., new roof, furnace, etc.
These “pains” are easy to diagnose, and the prescription for financial health somewhat easier. Control expenses, increase income, get a budget, and make a plan – lots of tough medicine here. But what about those harder to diagnose illnesses that keep them up at night?
One of the many annoying problems that comes with getting older is increased worry. It seems as though worry should lessen as we age, but it doesn't. Many of us continue to worry about our kids, even after they're out of school and married. Granted, the worries are usually different, but they give us some sleepless nights. I speak from personal experience here. If my wife and I are lucky enough to have grandchildren, I know we’re are going to worry about them too. We're going to hope that they're healthy, that they do well in school, go to college, graduate, get good jobs, find and marry wonderful partners, have kids, buy wonderful homes, and retire wealthy. Sounds kind of Disneyesque, doesn’t it – sort of a “Father Knows Best” image from the 1950s!
But today is not the 1950s! There’s been a dramatic change in life expectancy over the past fifty or sixty years. Today, it's common for both men and women to live well into their eighties and nineties. It's not very unusual to read or hear about many people living past age100! You talk about worry!
With these statistics in mind, many of us are asking some serious questions: “Can I really afford to live that long?” “If I could only be assured that I'll have enough money.” “How can I pass on a legacy to my kids and grandkids?” “I wish I didn’t have to worry about the stock market when I watch the evening news.” “If only I could relax knowing that I am safe financially so I can finally get a good night's sleep.” These are the "pains" of aging that most of us aren't comfortable discussing with strangers.