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How to tackle financial fears so you have no regrets

live your life financial fearsCONQUER YOUR FEARS TODAY

 

Some people have a fear of needles and others have a fear of driving but many people have financial fears and although it may not seem as dangerous it can turn someone’s life upside down.

Have you ever wondered why a child might not have as much fear as an adult? It’s because they have a curiosity that we as adults should adopt in order to surpass what we fear the most, risk.

Recently I took to my Facebook page to chat to my fans about financial fears. I wanted to know what their financial fears were so I could see just where people were at with-in my community of fans. Not everyone lives in a financial la la land but they do have fears and they are legitimate fears that are common to you and me.

I was not shocked at the results even though I had just over 40 women comment and no men. I held a contest giving away a box of hair dye hence the abundance of women that commented but my intentions were not to write a blog post around the results. I had a coupon I wanted to see go to someone who could use it and asked a question that I thought might give me some insight into their financial world.

Once I read the comments I knew I had to talk about financial fears. What I wonder is whether men have different financial fears than the women? Maybe I’ll have to give away some tools next round to get the men to come out and share their thoughts. 🙂

I am happy with the results but more so from a sense where some of my fans weren’t shy to tell everyone what financial fears plague them. I believe keeping your financial fears inside only helps to bottle them up and holds you back from doing something about it. There is always going to be someone who might have a tip or ten to share with you so you can move forward and tackle your fears.

When I read over the financial fears of those fans that shared them I wasn’t surprised to read that two fans said they had no financial fears at all. OK, maybe I was a bit shocked but I only came to three conclusions about them. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and having no fear means that we are conquering it before it enters our mind. Am I missing anything?

  1. They have more than enough money to get them by and are financially sound
  2. They don’t let any type of fear bother them
  3. They don’t want people to know they may fear something or are struggling

Even though the wife and I have a house that is paid in full and no debt to our name whilst under the age of 40 we still have financial fears. I can’t imagine not having any at all but even if we won the lottery there are some sort of financial fears that differ from the norm that would also creep up. Just saying.

I believe that everyone has financial fears based on their situation and not every fear is equal to the next person depending on what they want from life. Not everyone wants the bells and whistles and are comfortable just making sure the bills are paid and food is waiting for them in the kitchen.

Fear is a behaviour that I believe takes path in our lives to get from fear to the motivation to execute that fear. We base our fears on past and present experiences and depending on what we expect from the outcome and how our plan of the fear falls into place we may or may not move forward with a decision to take action.

Some of our financial fears revolve not only around retirement but also having kids. If we were to have kids could we afford them? Sure we could put the baby budget into play now which is a great idea and we might just do that but it goes deeper. Once you have kids money starts to evaporate but I know that it doesn’t have to be that way if we plan ahead and on a continuous basis.

We also know that if there isn’t some element of risk in our lives what we fear may we will never overcome. If you wanted to become a doctor and thought you couldn’t do it, if blogging was your passion and you wanted to give up your full-time job you fear what others’ will think. Fear is very powerful and if we let that power overcome us we will never get or have what we want out of life. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back. Everything in life is… a RISK!

We also fear retirement like many others. Will we have enough money in retirement to sustain the type of life we want to live? Should we have a plan B just in case? This is another reason it’s important for us to invest our money wisely while we are young.

We aren’t investing pros and never professed to be so we have a financial advisor (I know many of you might cringe) but if you don’t know how to invest on your own you have to put faith in someone else to help you get from point A to point B.

Some other fears we have are:

  • What if one of us gets injured?
  • What if we lose our jobs?
  • What if one of us passes away?

I don’t think it’s unhealthy to have fears in life but what I think might become unhealthy is when we take all of our fears and bury them or obsess over them. If we don’t do something about them today we may regret it tomorrow and I don’t want to be a guy full of regrets.

 

Your financial fears

 

Like I mentioned the fans chimed in to share their financial fears and if you can relate to any of them what would you do? Below are a few of the financial fears that I want to share with you that caught my attention. You will notice retirement played a big role in financial fears as does daily living. Some fans really have no financial fears at all, Bravo.

  • I fear my husband losing income (sole earner) I am a stay at home mom and home-school
  • I’m living my fear my boyfriend of 7.5 year just up and left us and I have no job.
  • Trying to pay off our credit card is our financial fear.
  • Since having an accident and not being able to work ODSP will end on retirement. Not having enough to live on when RSP arrives…. after working my butt off for over 40 years… you can never take advantage of your health.
  • No, if you keep worrying you’ll only get grey hair really fast
  • My biggest financial fears are fearing I’ll never get out of debt and not having enough money to enjoy myself in retirement
  • Of not being ready for kids going to university and not being ready for retirement.
  • My biggest fear is not being to afford life and be house poor no matter how much my income is, especially at retirement.
  • Not being able to pay for university for our two kids who are only 10 1/2 months apart so will be going to school close together!
  • My financial fear is not anticipating the right amount to save for retirement.
  • I fear that we not have enough money come retirement as I want to be a stay at home mom eventually and that we won’t be able to help our kid(s) through college/university if they want to go.
  • I have a fear of not being self-sufficient. I never want to have to rely on anyone for money and am always trying to better myself to assure my future is going to be mine for the taking and ENJOY financial freedom
  • No financial fears
  • My fear is not being able to pay rent.
  • No, none.

 

Overcoming fear

 

If you want to know how to overcome fear it’s not as cut and dry as it seems. For some people it’s as easy as making a plan but for others it may go deeper where they need to talk to professionals.

In the case where it comes to financial fears if you can’t get over the fear of what might happen to you financially down the road your best bet is go pro. There’s no reason you need to sit back and be anxious about whether you will have the cash to live day by day when you retire or whether you can afford to put food on the table.

Retirement is a huge topic for many people and not just the rich either. Those with low-income want to know exactly what they need to do in order to be financially secure to some degree when they retire.

There may be no retiring early but in any event having enough money to get you to the grave is important. No one wants to have to live in a room all alone for years on end because they don’t have the cash to enjoy retirement but for many people that’s a reality.

Depending on funds from the government such as Old Age Security (OAS), Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) or a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) can be the spot some Canadians are in. You may also rely on selling your home if you own one to downsize or rent.

For those who waited so long to invest anything into an RRSP or even a TFSA that might be their only options. I don’t know because I’m not a professional but if you fear your retirement future it’s best to make a phone call to someone who might know.

If you are doing everything you can do to finance your retirement now and have talked to an advisor or are paving the way with your own investing brilliance then the only thing we can do is hope that it works out or find ways to make more money now. In reality, no one can predict the future but we can prepare as best we can.

If you are someone who fears starting life with too much debt such as your educational loans then the easiest solution to this problem is not to rush into life.

When I say that I mean you don’t need to get married, buy a house, have kids etc. if your financial fears revolve around whether you can pay off your OSAP loan. Student loans plague not only the younger kids of today but even older adults who return to school because they want to change careers.

If you already own the home and have the family adding a student loan on top of the everyday debts can be taxing. My tip would certainly start with budgeting your cash so you know where the money is going and just how much is coming in.

I’ve talked about budgeting a million times on this blog so there are tonnes of resources available here including our free downloadable excel budget spreadsheet and step by step budgeting process series you can read to get you started.

Overcoming fear starts with you and the only way to get over that hump is to grab your bucket of courage and start doing something about it today before you regret it tomorrow.

What are your financial fears?

 

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8 Comments

  1. It is important to change your mindset and reassure yourself that you do already have enough money. Learn to live positively within the income that you currently have. You just need to make your priorities right and avoid spending on unnecessary things.

  2. Most of my financial fears were things I had experienced whilst being stupid with my money. Of course, I sometimes fear that I’ll never be able to afford certain luxuries or certain trips, but I know that I don’t really need the luxuries, and since I’m being smart with my money now, we’ll be able to afford the trips. Great post.

  3. I definitely have financial fears….same as you:

    What if one of us gets injured, has a disability?
    What if we lose our jobs?
    What if one of us passes away?

    Also:
    Am I saving enough?
    Am I doing enough to kill debt?

    The best way to tackle a fear is get to the root causes and start picking them part…these things can be overcome if you start small, and tackle the fear bit by bit. It’s too easy to be overwhelmed if you don’t start small.

    Mark

  4. Overcoming your financial fears is one of the biggest hurdles to achieving your financial goals. For example, if you fear losing money in the stock market and thus stick with GICs, you may not reach your target retirement goal or you may have to alter your goal such as delaying retirement.

    Overcoming financial fears is just like overcoming any other kind of fear. If you really want to do it, you have to face it head on. Become more knowledgeable in the subject or if you’re not the DIY type, consult a professional as you suggested. Either way, you will never be able to overcome your fears if you don’t face them head on.

  5. Hmmm Im not sure I’m buying someone who has absolutely no financial fears. They don’t have to be paralyzing concerns, but certainly an uncomfortableness with not having enough for retirement, or enough in case of an emergency would be something that exists which prompts us to be financially responsible. Maybe they are making oodles of money? Anyway, mine are having work dry up so much I run our of money, not having enough for retirement, and not having enough to lead a fulfilling life (what my idea of a fulfilling life is).

    1. I think if someone doesn’t have any fears than they are dealing with them before they become a fear or they have enough cash that there are no worries. *I wish! Cheers Tonya!

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