When I type that word, my brain instantly fills with images of text from the Wall Street Journal, people in expensive suits, and coffee for some reason. Lots and lots of coffee. And then I instantly feel a bit stressed out and feel the need to clean my apartment from top to bottom with a toothbrush. Because I’d rather do that than deal with…
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a financially responsible individual when it comes to most things. I could be better about my budget but it’s a work in progress, and I always earn more than I spend. I’ve never paid a bill late. Ever. My main challenge when it comes to the “f” word is the fact that I enjoy managing my money for retirement just about as much as I like having my teeth scraped by that tiny metal thing that the dentist uses.
Roth IRA’s, 401k’s, Traditional IRA’s, it’s all a bit cloudy in my mind how I should best deal with my them all. So, for many years, my solution was to not deal with them. I let an old 401k sit around and do nothing. I contributed nothing to my Roth. Somehow, in my mind, because I didn’t understand them, it was better to not deal with them.
Journey with me to the yoga mat for a spell.
One of my least favorite postures is Salabhasana (Locust Pose). Miserable at best, and soulbreaking at its worst, I’ve had a rocky relationship with good ol’ Locust for a long time. For many years I would get my arms underneath my body and refuse to lift my legs up. It was too hard. But then I would be annoyed that the posture never improved.
I may be stubborn, but I’m not stupid. So, I finally decided that the only way to improve Locust was to actually start working on it. And yes, it sucked. It was difficult. I did not enjoy the experience. But, lo and behold, the posture started to improve. I started getting stronger. By dealing the the discomfort I started to change, the posture started to change, and the suffering lessened. Now I no longer get the sinking feeling in my gut when it’s time to do the posture. I sometimes even feel a bit confident.
Yes, that’s right. Just like a difficult yoga posture, I was dealing with my retirement the same way – avoidance. Where was that going to get me? Not to a financially successful future, that’s for sure. So I decided to turn to a financial adviser who knew about these things much better than me to get advice on how to proceed forward. And today I got my Roth squared away and rolled over an old 401k into an IRA. And you know what? With the right guidance and help and knowing where to find the answers, the experience was not as bad as I thought it would be. And I felt really good about taking responsibility for it.
Have you ever stepped outside of your comfort zone and created a really positive change for yourself because of it?