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VOL. 127 | NO. 32 | Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dana and Ray Brandon

When is Enough ‘Enough’?

By Ray and Dana Brandon

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Ray’s Take Everyone who knows me knows how strongly I believe in saving. However, I also believe in spending to enjoy the life you’ve saved for. That’s what our financial planning philosophy is all about – saving and investing responsibly with the goal of to transform your objectives and dreams into reality.

When you identify specific goals – whether a bigger house, a comfortable retirement, or a trip to Paris – saving becomes a rewarding experience instead of “something you should do.” Each dollar saved puts you closer to achieving your dream.

Developing a strategy for managing and accruing assets to reach your goals does a lot more than start you on the path to success. It also lets you know when you have “enough.”

This is actually important, because financial planning is not just about accruing wealth. It’s about managing your assets in order to enhance your life now as well as to achieve goals in the future. When your goals have dollar values attached to them you can judge how to allocate your resources to get the rate of return you need to achieve the ends you desire.

Knowing what is “enough” for you can help dissuade you from making risky investments just to pile up more money. It should lead to making financial decisions based less on emotion and more on thoughtful investment management.

Once you’ve achieved your goals, and you have enough, you can quit worrying and start enjoying the fact that you have successfully reached the goals you set. You don’t have to continue to strive to amass more and more money. You’re where you always wanted to be so relax and be proud.

Your investments are meant to be the means to an end, not the end itself. Getting rich should not be the goal. Achieving the life you want is a goal – and that should be enough for anyone.

Dana’s Take There’s a great saying: you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. It’s important to realize what is truly most important to you and focus on that goal exclusively, without distractions hampering your progress.

Too often we tend to measure our self-worth by what we have: the new car, the coolest electronics, the latest fashions. However, no matter how many material possessions you pile up, there are always going to be people who have even more. So if you use this kind if yardstick to measure your success, you’ll always come up short, which leads to a chronic sense of dissatisfaction.

Great designers say that editing is everything. Edit your goals down to what is essential to your happiness and fulfillment. Learn to resist spending money on things that don’t really matter – you’re on your way to having anything you want instead of striving for everything.

Ray Brandon is a certified financial planner and CEO of Brandon Financial Planning (www.brandonplanning.com). His wife, Dana, has a bachelor’s degree in finance and is a licensed clinical social worker. Contact Ray Brandon at raybrandon@brandonplanning.com.

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