Think about it. If you knew what was going to happen – whether it was on a personal or global scale – when it came to money, you’d probably feel less worried about it, even if it wasn’t positive. You’d know what was coming and have the ability to better prepare yourself, even if that meant doing things like downsizing or spending less.
Fear of the unknown is no small thing and it actually has a clinical term: xenophobia. “In modern usage, the word has evolved to mean the fear of strangers or foreigners — but its original meaning is much broader. It includes anything or anyone that’s unfamiliar or unknown.”
And while you might think that the symptoms are only in your mind, they can morph into something physical:
It can also show up in other ways:
In a piece from Healthline, they do offer some solutions to this problem.
Number five is where I come in.
It’s often difficult for people to make an appointment with a financial advisor because there are painful questions rolling around in most people’s heads:
I hope it’s a comfort to you when I tell you that everyone thinks these things; I don’t care if you have $200 in the bank or $200 million. Everyone has made a poor financial decision at some point. Everyone is afraid of being judged. Everyone is afraid that they’ll ask a question, and someone will laugh at them.
Because of these mental roadblocks, some people don’t take the step that will move them into the known: knowing where they are financially so they can make decisions that will keep them moving forward without that fear.
Julie is 45 and is worried she hasn’t saved like she should. She’s put money into her 401k but hasn’t always maxed out that benefit. Not only that, but she also took a trip to Europe with some friends last year that she put on a credit card she’s still trying to pay off.
The debt and worry for the future means Julie is lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling. She knows she should talk to someone about this, but she’s a little embarrassed about putting her financial cards on the table.
If Julie walked into my office (or my Zoom) we would first evaluate where she is right now and discuss what’s keeping her up at night – and we would get specific. Together we would look at the numbers and come up with a plan and she would know that that plan might change as her goals change. The bottom line is that this would give us a place to start and we would be able to adjust later if necessary.
Something that I think is important for people to know is that the situation is often not as bad as someone thinks it is. Where an advisor can help is to look at the numbers and run the projections, so you know how to plan and tackle life’s obstacles. We all have them!
Remember that having data and knowledge related to your specific situation always feels better than the unknown. If money is keeping you up at night, let’s talk.