It took me two years and the intervention of my boss to get around to signing up for my company’s retirement plan – really stupid, since they have an unbelievable percentage contribution match. I lost thousands of dollars stressing over something that took about 5 minutes.
I dread financial planning. Where to put my money? How much risk can I stand? How much to contribute? It’s not that I don’t know anything about it, but I don’t have a feel for the finer points and am not interested enough to find out. My idea of a successful financial strategy has been to pick a fund, deposit my money, and ignore it.
By this point, I’ve wasted so much time mired in my ignorance that I’m depressingly far behind in saving for anything – especially retirement.
When I was a DINK (double income, no kids, for those of you who were living under a rock in the 90s), my ex and I were religious about saving money. I eventually lived off that money, in the form of half the proceeds from our house sale when we divorced. But post-divorce, I wasn’t earning much, and now I have a sizable mortgage that takes a gargantuan chunk out of my disposable income. So in the intervening years, saving has been a challenge.
A friend recommended her financial adviser, whom she inherited along with most of her grandmother’s estate. I finally took a deep breath and made an appointment, and yesterday I spent more than two hours with him, poor guy. He was wonderful: patient, honest, tactful, knowledgeable. Young. The more we talked, the clearer my financial path became.
There are many things about marriage that I don’t miss, but I regret not having a partner to help me make decisions. Now I have a new financial partner, even if he’s not going to make a red cent off me for quite a while. He doesn’t care, god love him; he figures he’ll get some blood out of this turnip eventually.
As I was finally leaving last evening, he told me that we could take it slow. Hell, no, I said. I’m in it now, let’s get moving. He smiled.
Seems like a perfect relationship.