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Harnessing Accountability: The Emotional, Practical, and Mathematical Path to Financial Prosperity

Updated: Dec 8, 2023



Accountability stands as a crucial determinant of financial success. It comes from numerous sources, ranging from spouses and credit agencies to societal pressures. Yet, despite its undeniable impact, many Americans do not give in to these pressures. According to a recent GoBankRates survey, a mere 12% of those reaching 65 have amassed over $500,000 in their retirement funds.


What accounts for this gap?


Regardless of the unique makeup of each individual, accountability is a very important partner on everyone's financial voyage. Its importance cannot be overstated, especially when faced with financial decisions and choices. Each decision is charged with some combination of emotions, pragmatism, and sheer data.


Spouses and salespeople often exert the greatest influence when individuals make financial decisions. This can sometimes be problematic, as emotions tend to take precedence, relegating practicality and data-driven analysis to the background. As a financial advisor, I wouldn't profess to be a predominant force in this equation. Typically, I find that clients that use financial advisors already have an inherent accountability sentiment. Our role often leans more towards validation rather than instilling these values in clients.


Let's delve into the roles of emotions, practicality, and numerical logic in our financial choices. I've found that the best approach to financial decision-making, considering the influence of all three factors, is to set financial "guardrails" in advance. For instance, committing to save 10% of one's income, with a buffer of saving at least 5% in challenging times and potentially 15% during financial windfalls. Yet, real-world lures, like a new car or vacations, can make these boundaries difficult to maintain. The rationale of "just this once" often creeps in.


While emotions, practicality, and math might seem individually distinct but intrinsically linked. Emotional desires can overshadow practicality and blur numerical judgment.


Emotions play a pivotal role in financial decisions, often being colored by feelings like excitement, fear, greed, anxiety, and optimism. Many times, these feelings arise from a combination of all these emotions. Whether we're deciding to invest or divest, purchasing a house, considering a car, boat, or vacation home, or determining how to pay for such acquisitions, emotions heavily influence these decisions. Moreover, there's frequently another individual involved, like a spouse or significant other, who may be experiencing their own set of emotions. Most people, when honest with themselves, will admit that emotions have clouded some of their poorest financial decisions. The best way to manage these emotions is to establish firm guidelines in advance of making any financial choices.


Practicality anchors us in essentials. A sound financial approach distinguishes between needs and wants. While emotions have an impact on how we are feeling, practicality keeps us focused on what's essential. And if a purchase isn't crucial, it should be something we can comfortably afford and will genuinely use. This approach emphasizes organizing investments based on "Time and Purpose", which means categorizing them into a 'Now Bucket,' 'Soon Bucket,' and 'Later Bucket.' Additionally, when making a purchase, we should ensure we have the necessary assets and liquidity. This also means proactively seeking knowledge or expert advice when necessary. In this realm, accountability is crucial, prompting us to adapt our strategies to life's evolving circumstances while upholding our core financial plan.


Mathematics and Its Role in Financial Decisions. If emotions pertain to feelings and practicality poses the question, "Does it make sense?", then math offers clarity. The objectivity of numbers illustrates how one financial decision impacts other areas of our financial lives, clearly delineating the affordability of a choice. Being financially accountable means honestly assessing our financial situation, weighing the risks and rewards, and ensuring that decisions are sound not just emotionally or pragmatically, but also mathematically. Tools like interest calculators and budgeting software are invaluable in this regard.


In summing up, achieving financial success is a balancing of emotions, practicality, and math. The blend of these three elements forms the foundation upon which financial choices should be made. The ever-present allure of emotions can sway us from making prudent decisions, yet with the steadying hand of practicality and the undeniable clarity offered by mathematics, we can navigate our financial journey more confidently. While accountability is not universally embraced, its value remains irrefutable.





DISCLOSURE - All written content on this article is for information purposes only. We utilized ChatGPT and other sources for this article. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Core Wealth Consultants. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Core Wealth Consultants, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor in the States of Florida, Indiana and Michigan. You should always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. Diversification and asset allocation does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.




https://finance.yahoo.com/news/much-retirees-actually-savings-hint-160009167.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAKoB62qdDH7Gi1kx08VGM-JQvXT7m5A3ikEnGkDEuk6w0G21QcNEqnh3uWhCbWcFbEI_utpc_fUYTtZlE0fKUGRODBhfXqG0ENYKE_kziAnxFF5ZjUc5Oc7bYeobYbOSmkZo0Zak2fUcmE6vZlz_AXM_osOA0iFNyNqsS6ZoNh_u#:~:text=Nearly%202%20in%205%20Retirees,the%20recommended%20%24555%2C000%20in%20savings.





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