Your Money: What’s the secret to success?
Do you remember when “The Secret” came out in 2006? If you missed it, it was a book/movie that included a series of interviews related to optimist thinking and the laws of attraction, and stated that everything one wants/needs can be accomplished through wishing and believing. I loved the concept of telling people they could do anything they dreamed of. But I wasn’t a big fan of the idea that just dreaming of something could bring it to fruition, nor the thought that you should aim for your pot of gold. I felt that “The Secret” made it somewhat taboo to set goals that you have a reasonable chance of meeting.The past few years, I’ve been studying and observing what it means to be successful. Speaking from a purely financial standpoint, I believe success is having enough money to live the lifestyle you desire. If you’re happy living in a modest home and skiing 100 days a year, great! If your goal is to travel the world with champagne and caviar every night, that’s perfectly acceptable! This means the first step to being successful is having a clear definition of your goals. After all, if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how do you know when you’ve reached it?In pursuit of finding the secret to success, I reached out to a few people I know who have reached my personal definition of success: early retirement with enough resources to enjoy every moment of it. Their advice was so similar in nature that I think it would be unfair to keep it to myself, and their secret is this: Make what you need and then DON’T LOSE IT! We all know people who are able to save a great deal of money, but then they loan it to a friend, invest in a new business, or watch it go down the drain in the stock market. In these days of get-rich-quick schemes and high expectations for 10 percent returns, many people have lost sight of the “slow and steady wins the race” theory. Other tips they shared, and observations I’ve made of their lives, were equally as valuable. If you are aiming for financial success in your life, consider the following: Live below your means. Drive cars until they fall apart. Don’t invest in things you don’t understand. Give what you can of your time and money to charity; it will all come back to you. Marry someone with similar work ethic and financial priorities to yours. Don’t be afraid to put your goals in writing. Recheck your financial plan every year. Save for your retirement first, then your children’s educations. And, of course: buy low, sell high – the ultimate no-brainer!Michele Knight, owner of Knight Accounting & Technology, is a CPA and QuickBooks ProAdvisor based in Dillon. For more info and to contact her, visit http://www.cpamichele.com.
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