Fast track to turmoil

A happy and secure life does not mean immediate gratification.

We have heard these words before, “I want it all and I want it now.” Wanting the things of life as quickly as possible is natural. Some climb the career ladder quickly achieving epic heights at young ages. Many burn the candle at both ends in order to have the biggest house the finance company will allow. Some want to have a certain number of children by a certain age along with a mega career, housing, cars and all that a segment of society considers successful.

However, is your mental sanity worth the stress of all that it usually takes to get as much and as fast as you can? The common consensus by many is, “I don’t want to wait until I’m old to have a nice house.” Or, “I don’t want to wait to enjoy the finer things of life.”

An old acquaintance bought an expensive house in California a few years back and remarked, “I couldn’t wait to get into that incredible house and then I couldn’t wait until we sold it.” Another friend remarked, “The greatest day in my life was when I bought my boat and the second greatest day was when I sold it.” Our view of life’s wants and needs change throughout life. We look at some things as if we can’t live until we get them. After a while we realize life was simpler and more manageable before we had them.

Consider pacing yourself. Remember this word as much as possible – afford. Try to buy, drive and live with the afford word as your ongoing theme. If you can’t afford it you certainly don’t need it, whatever it is. Don’t overbuy on your house. Buy what you can afford now and maybe soon you can sell and buy greater. If you are living beyond what you can afford you will end up losing ground. Getting behind with making payments on property or having to file bankruptcy will only put the things you want out of reach. Destroying your credit rating only dismantles what you will want to buy next.
So, take your time.

Trying to spend more and buy more than you can afford does not make you a greater person in anyone’s minds or eyes. Keep in mind that it’s your life and there’s nothing better than living life with peace of mind. If you can be comfortable, eat well and have a good daily life of health then what more do you really want?

If you want more, then take your time, do good and more will probably become available to you. The wisdom writer of Proverbs said in 15:16, “Better a little with fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.”

Financial suicide is not necessary

There is some risk to all of life.

A friend and his wife had a house paid for and a substantial savings account. At the age of 65 he was retired and bored and bemoaned he had never been a business owner. He was aware of a family who had recently closed a business so he offered to buy it from them and even employed a family member to run it. He knew nothing about the business but was confident all would be well. The cost of the investment, his lack of understanding the business and the monthly outgo spelled disaster. Within two years he had lost his house and his entire retirement savings trying to make his dream business endeavor sustainable. 

Another acquaintance had worked hard at an auto plant for twelve years but retired and took his $150,000 retirement savings and sunk it into a restaurant endeavor. He had never run a restaurant before and within one year the restaurant had failed. His money was gone and he had a sizable debt. 

Another acquaintance retired and wanted something to do. He got into a cookie business that lasted three months. He spent $30,000 a month for three months in a cookie franchise before he was able to get out of the venture. 
Neither of the prior persons had any prior business ownership experience. 

Life is filled with lessons. Education is often very expensive. You must decide if you are still young enough or too old to take on such a business venture. This is especially true if you could end up losing all your investment and further financially obligating yourself.
If you want or need something to do, then get into something that you can afford and know something about. Being informed and applying as much research to any endeavor is crucial. If you can afford a large franchise fee, other investment costs and you can make the business successful, then by all means enjoy your endeavor. If you are risking being homeless then you should probably reconsider. 

Years ago, an old friend was almost financially broke at 50. He had worked in various restaurants with others but had little to show for his efforts.  He rented an old hamburger restaurant that had been closed and his rent and overhead were cheap.  He went to work making the best hamburger in town. For 16 years his burger business netted him an annual salary of over $300,000. He retired well. 
Sometimes we simply need to be content with what we have. If you need to work, consider what you know, what you have and how you can make it work for you. It could require a minimal amount of advertising. Or, it might simply require letting acquaintances know what kind of work you are doing and building your business by word of mouth. You may be able to use space or land that is sitting dormant and can be rented or bought reasonably.  

Life’s pursuits can be, and should be, approached with reasonable caution. Financial suicide is not necessary.
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