Mind the Gap. Your Gap.

by Teri N. Benson, CDFA, October 8, 2019

Have you used any of the following jargon in the last week: revenues, budget, pipeline, gatekeeper, deal-flow, margins and/or profit center? If yes, you are likely a results-focused, over-scheduled corporate executive highly motivated and well compensated to beat the goals prescribed by your company.

Congratulations! It’s your professional success that makes your company and, frankly, the economy prosper.

While we’re being frank, how is your personal prosperity progressing?

If you’re like most, the ability to share the monetary spoils of your hard work with your loved ones can be the salve to so much time spent apart. It can feel as if the richer the shared experience, the more guilt absolved. We know this from personal experience and have our own front row/red carpet/private tour/backstage moments to show for it. It is also natural at some point to ask, “To what end?” and/or “How long can I maintain this pace?”

Even if a retirement spent on golf courses or European river cruises doesn’t appeal to you, surely there are things you enjoy doing and loved ones you look forward to spending time with. Attributed to the wise and oft-quoted Warren Buffett, “Having money makes you rich. Having time makes you wealthy.”

Soon. Tomorrow. Someday.

The phrase “Mind the Gap” hails from London’s Underground and alerts transitioning rail passengers to be mindful of the space between the platform and train door. For a moment, visualize how you would like your life to look when you begin transitioning from today’s hectic pace, regardless of how far into the future it may seem. If your professional success has taught you anything, it’s that a set goal has a far greater likelihood of becoming an achieved goal. Precision is not necessary at this stage (“need to have this-much saved”). Instead, think about being directionally correct (“retire from corporate America when youngest graduates college”). These comprise your “Why”, which can serve as a motivating reminder when the discipline to stay fiscally focused is challenged.

Another financial gap to be mindful of is the difference between your household earnings and spending - positive or negative. If negative, re-visit your Why above and consider sharing it with your loved ones for their buy-in as you explore financial trade-offs to move into positive territory. Advanced gap analyses can be deftly navigated through collaboration with an experienced advisor, such as the gap between your personal balance sheet today and the timing of your goals for tomorrow. It is here that greater precision can be most valuable (i.e. modeling for inflation, future tax rates and capital market assumptions) and can be the game changer in terms of doing more of what brings you joy – sooner than later.

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Any opinions are those of Pando Partners and not necessarily those of RJA or Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

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