I recently spent $3,000 on car repairs. I’d avoided dealing with it for a few months but couldn’t put it off any longer. Nothing against my excellent mechanic, but I’d just didn’t want to part with the money. I’d rather have that money stay in my bank account as long as it can – OK, maybe I’m overly frugal. That said, I can understand how some people may procrastinate when it comes to financial planning services.
We’ve all been there. How much longer can I put this off without incurring even more expense? It got me to thinking about the cost of procrastination.
I’ve begun to suspect that people think about financial planning services in a similar way. It can be expensive, initially. You could easily spend a couple of thousand dollars or more engaging a financial planning professional. People tend to wait until there’s a dire need before seeking help. It’s not always simply a question of spending the money, either. However, as with my car, the upfront cost now may save you a great deal more down the road. In the case of financial planning, it may yield more money for retirement in your future.
Is There A Cost To Putting It Off?
Here are just a couple of examples. Seeing a planner might help you to save more each year toward retirement. What if the planner could find ways to allow you to save an extra $10,000 per year? In ten years, at a conservative 5% rate of return, you’d be able to add a tidy sum to your retirement account – almost $126,000.
You’d be surprised how often people wait until a year before retirement to get help. Seeing someone ten years earlier could be a big boon to your nest egg – worth paying a few thousand dollars now.
The Help That Could Have Saved A Nest Egg
I recently met with someone who wanted to know what to do with CDs that were maturing. They were five-year CDs she had purchased in 2009. I asked what had happened, although I had a sneaking suspicion. She had been a do-it-yourself investor. Sure enough, she had cashed out of all her mutual funds right near the bottom of the last bear market.
Had she sought help before doing that, she may have had an investment plan (asset mix) that would have enabled her get through the rocky times in the market. She would have had some support and guidance to assuage her worries. Had she stayed in the market, she would be above where she was in 2007. The choices she made, however, locked in her losses and cost her about $100,000.
When facing procrastination in financial matters, there are trade offs. It is sometimes difficult to make the choices today that will benefit us years from now. We are predisposed to live for the present. The future is uncertain and we can’t visualize it in the way we can a week at the beach front property. Our future selves are not here now to point out the value of spending money today that will contribute greatly to the quality of our future.
The two examples are just a sample – there are many more. The costs for procrastinating can be quite substantial. If you know, or even suspect, you need financial planning services, seek them out now. The price you pay may be small when compared to the potential rewards when you retire.