Happy Mother’s Day!

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Planting Your Financial Garden.  Don’t set it and forget it!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am doing a post dedicated to my mom.  She loves gardening and is a member of her town’s garden club.  She is running the Garden Tour for this year for the second year in a row.

Planning is like planting a garden.  You can’t just start digging up frozen ground and plant seeds.  You need to identify your steps, map out your garden, and get all the tools, seeds, and accessories you need.  You also cannot plant all your large flowers too close together or my mom will be very angry with you! 

There is neglect, proper management, or too much management.  We know what happens when we neglect a garden, but what about if we over water?  Sometimes we make too many changes in our investments, or look every hour of the day to see how they are doing.  If you stare at a seed, it doesn’t make it grow any faster.  If you see it not growing within a few days, do you take it out and plant something else?  No, at least not if you want flowers at some point.  And when you over water the plants or make too many changes with your accounts, then your garden will also die.  Some flowers need more sun and water than others just like some investments need a little more attention and management.  The key is to know where you need to put your time.  What is invested for the long term and can be monitored on a lower level? What is your grass that just needs to be mowed every week or watched every week or month? 

After you plant your garden, you can’t just forget it.  There isn’t much in life where you can set it and forget it.  There will be weeds, ground hogs, watering to do, and constant love and care.  The same goes with your money, you can’t invest it and not take another look at it for 5 years.  What would your garden look like after 5 years of neglect?  Now imagine what your investments and finances would look like?  And autopilot isn’t any better than neglect!  Trust me, just because it is on auto-rebalance doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention.

How much time do you think about your vacations and birthdays?  What about your money?  It's amazing how much more time we dedicate to our vacations versus our money.  It’s our money for goodness sake!  We’ve worked hard for it, we’ve earned it from long days at work, and maybe at a job we hate.  So why do we neglect it so much?  It isn’t just going to grow into a beautiful bouquet without putting any love into it.  And no your 401(k) won’t become a million dollars without giving it some love either. 

What does your financial garden look like, and what do you want it to look like?  What do you need to do to get it to be a beautiful rose bouquet that stops you in your tracks when you see it?  A beautiful bouquet that touches those around us.  They get to enjoy the smell, get to see it, and maybe even get a rose every now and again.  The same can be said about your money when you take good care of it.  You can help your loved ones, you won’t have to depend on your children if you run out of money, and you’ll be able to gift some of your flowers to brighten someone’s day. 
Imagine how good of shape you will be in if your portfolio starts to look like some of these gardens from the Spring Lake Garden tour.  

I’d like to wish all the moms out there a wonderful Mother’s Day, and I can’t wait to join you next year when I’ll be a mom myself.  I’m sure I will have a whole new appreciation for you mom!  

And take our What Type of Flower Quiz now, courtesy of Kyra Peralte and her company Monkey Bread:

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