One of the greatest joys of my career is helping people plan their goals for retirement, reach their goals and then enjoy their later years. While I don't give investment advice, I find that some financial planners stick only to the money management side of things and don't enjoy helping people budget and plan. Many of these conversations are as raw as they get. How much money do you have? How much do you need? Are you spending too much? Are you spending too little? These are questions that we all need to address at some point, but the conversations can be tough and the answers aren't always pleasant. I've had my share of conversations that didn't go so well, and have had people leave me in tears when I recommended they not retire for a few years, or suggested they not open a business concept they've been dreaming up for years. Quite often, they comeback a year or two later thanking me for the honest advice and helping them avoid a bad decision, but it's never fun.The flip side of these rough conversations is the people I work with who have worked hard, stayed within their means, and are now enjoying their successes. A few retirees that I've talked to lately opened my eyes to a new concept. When is enough enough? I recently spoke to a widow who I've known for a few years. Her husband had left her with plenty of assets to live a very comfortable life, but she was calling me asking for advice about investing in real estate. I started into my basic rental property tax advice, but then I stopped short, wondering why she was investing in real estate if she had all the money she needs?I think we live in a world where more is better, but I argue that sometimes it's nice to step back and just enjoy what you have. Sure, most of us are in a position that we need to continually earn more money and put that money to work for us. But, there are also plenty of people, mostly retirees, who have the means to take care of their needs and a bit extra for reserves. If you find yourself in that position, why not sit back and just enjoy it?The Internet is the great equalizer, and we all have the ability and access now to invest in the stock market, real estate, oil & gas and anything else we can dream up. But, very few of these investments come without risk, and some even come with headaches. Sure, risk can bring reward, but if that reward is simply a bigger bank account that won't bring additional benefits to you, is it really worth the extra efforts? Wouldn't it be nice to not worry if the stock market is going up or down, or if your tenant's new puppy is tearing up your carpet?I've said this before, but I never fell in love with the book "The Secret" because it only talked about wanting more and more out of life, and didn't teach people how to appreciate what they have. If you are lucky enough to reach the point of financial independence, have you considered just sitting back and enjoying your success? Sometimes, enough's enough.Michele Knight, owner of Knight Accounting & Technology, is a CPA and QuickBooks ProAdvisor based in Dillon. For more info and to contact her, visit www.cpamichele.com.
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