Life is precious and way too short -- and littered with "money" tasks. No one dies saying, "If only I'd spent a few more hours poring over financial statements and chatting with my accountant."
But more than a few utter that very lament the first few weeks after they retire.
What a shame. With more time to devote to your serve and volley game and to seeing how late you can sleep, it's a pity to spend your golden years kicking yourself in the pants for not paying better attention to your finances back in the day.
Either consciously or subconsciously we all choose how much time we spend amassing money and how much directing it. A little framework can help you decide. Here are two questions to consider:
1. How much of your cash flow or worth comes from your investments?If you're earning $100,000 per year and you've saved up $10,000, you probably don't need to devote as much time to your investments (though we'll have a few words with you later on the subject of saving!). On the other hand, if your portfolio is worth $500,000 and you're earning $50,000 per year, your investment returns could equal your income, assuming your investments are earning 10% per year. In that case, it makes sense to dedicate some significant time to managing those investments.
2. How involved do you want to be? Do you enjoy investing? Are you good at it? If you do work with a financial advisor, at the very least, spend time to truly understand what the advisor is recommending and why. We've said this before and it bears repeating. No one cares more about your money than you do.
Peace of mind is priceless. Just knowing that you're prepared for those "what if" scenarios lets you enjoy your time with the kids, the dog and, yes, even at the office. (In addition to taking advantage of step-by-step planning advice and your on-call helper, TMF Money Advisor subscribers should consult the handbook of worst-case scenarios in the "Disaster Proof Your Finances" How-To Guide.) It is worth more to you and your loved ones than all else.
Finally, consider the cost when you set aside in your "to do... later" pile the paperwork for disability insurance or the phone number for the estate lawyer your brother recommended.
The Motley Fool is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month with 10 Ways to Make More Money Now!