If you go on a diet to achieve a goal — dieting is very similar to reducing expenses —you can give up chocolate or something else that you love in order to succeed. The discipline works and you hit the goal. It’s very difficult to lose weight in the long term while going cold turkey with your favorite indulgence. That is where anger management is required!
People try to convince themselves that at retirement they will go from good wine to box wine or buy used cars rather than new cars and my favorite is that they will give up cable TV or at least the movie packages upon leaving the work force. These may sound like plausible ideas and make the numbers work on paper, but they are simply not realistic for happy transitioning into the next phase of your life.
Creating an accurate budget is challenging and perhaps even as difficult as following one. In order to better understand your future, your chance of success, you need to know the numbers and be realistic in your assessment of the future.
Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, whose column is published Saturdays, is a certified financial planner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 640-1524.