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Cultural Beliefs That Are Holding You Back Financially

The money beliefs you hold may have become outdated in our quickly changing society.

We form money beliefs via two critical experiences: our upbringing and our culture.

These two viewpoints that control what we believe deep in our subconscious manifest

as the “right things” to do with our money to create a successful life. Our society,

however, has been in a constant state of flux for the last few years, and the “right thing”

is shifting at speeds not seen in many generations.


The traditional, successful life has been to graduate from high school, attend a four-year

college, get a secure job, get married, buy a house, have kids, then finally retire in

financial security. It is becoming apparent to many that this culturally accepted formula

for success may no longer be valid—or at least has become harder to create. Examples

include the following: 

Birth rates have dropped 20% since 2007. (Journal of Economic Perspectives)

Few jobs now offer the benefit of a full 30 years of employment and an accompanying

pension.

The Pew Research Center shows that the average person will have a dozen different

jobs in their lifetime and change jobs every 4.1 years. 

It is can be financially harmful to remain with the same employer. Last year, job

changers secured a 15% raise, while only an average 5.7% wage increase was

obtained by those who remained in their old jobs (according to Zippia, a career

placement company). 

You may have to change cities, states, and even regions of the country to stay

employed.  Upwork.com  says 19 million people relocated last year for work. 

Home prices have varied wildly over the last few years and are severely impacted by

interest rates.


Due to changes in employer coverage, health care has become more expensive.

Recent polling by Kaiser Family Foundation finds half of Americans are having difficulty

affording health care. The Health Research Institute reports that health care costs rose

7% in 2021 and 6% in 2022. 

Life expectancy has dropped across the board and is now 73 for men and 79 for

women. The changes are believed to be related to COVID-19, a disease which is still

changing our society in unanticipated ways. 

We must now “save for our own retirement.” The most common reaction has been to put

the task of saving for retirement off until later—usually much later.

According to  gobankingrates.com , the average school loan takes 20 years to pay off

and is around $45K. 


The number-one thing you can do right now to combat all of these quickly evolving

challenges is to increase your net worth. 


Forget retirement! You need a high net worth today! Adequate financial means will

provide you with security in tumultuous times. Those with higher financial resources

have greater life flexibility. Those who have a high net worth can choose to try to find

something closer to the area they want to live if they don’t want to move across country

to take a job.


In addition to all the obvious benefits of financial security, did you know a high net worth

can also save your life? If you get sick, having the financial resources to deal with the

illness effectively can make all the difference. The more serious your illness, the more

this matters. As an example, Lisa got a rare cancer. Because we had adequate financial

resources, we were able to step outside the normal channels and see world-class

specialists in that field. Luckily, Lisa’s outcome has been good and she is currently

“without evidence of disease.”


A new study by the Center on Society and Health now shows those people who have

higher financial means have a lower mortality rate than those with fewer financial

resources. 


Another option is to purchase a smaller (think cheaper) home the next time you need to

change your living situation. 

 

Even as you read this article, mortgage rates are rising. If you weren’t around during the

Great Recession, or you’ve forgotten, those high-interest loans became the anchor that

dragged thousands of people underwater financially. If you are a job loss away from

being able to make your mortgage payment, you have a lot at risk on the table.


For your next home, consider purchasing a smaller, more cost-effective home or

consider renting. No matter what anyone tells you, when you must move, it’s way easier

to sell a less-pricey home than an expensive one. Save your money until interest rates

fall again.


Finally, it is important to remain flexible, stay calm, and try to keep a positive attitude.

When you get stressed, it is harder to think of solutions to the problems you must

overcome. Multiple studies have shown that the more stressed we become, the more IQ

points we lose. Also, keep an eye out for nontraditional routes to your own version of

success. 


LARRY FAULKNER


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