Too Little Too Late = Too Much Too Fast

For an upcoming ski trip in the new year, I decided I needed to work out. After a few weeks of new exercises, one morning I felt a twinge in my lower back. Oops. After doing too little for too long, I tried to do too much too fast. And I got hurt. To work best, exercising takes patience, commitment, and persistence.

So do finances. If we neglect them too long, investment accounts become unbalanced; the tax bill causes a surprise and a migraine; our legal documents get flabby; and the financial plan’s muscles fail. The longer we wait to work on financial issues, the more it could hurt. But yet, it’s one of those good-for-us things, like exercise, that many resist.

Ignoring pieces of a plan for a year or so might not kill you. Two or three years, and you might need to take it easy and slow. Longer than that? Only proceed under the supervision of a trained professional.

But relax – I like to say that financial planning is less painful than a root canal, easier than trigonometry, and more fun than marriage counseling. Why wait??

When my brain can’t grasp why anybody would put off a visit to the financial planner, I just have to move the wrong way, and my lower back reminds me.

Holly Donaldson

Holly Donaldson, CFP® runs an hourly and fee-for-service financial planning practice virtually from her Tampa Bay, Florida office. She also works with clients throughout the U.S. (except Texas) interested in retirement and tax planning advice without product sales or investment management. Holly is the author of The Mindful Money Mentality: How to Find Balance in Your Financial Future (Porchview Publishing, 2013) and publisher of the award-winning monthly e-letter, "The View From the Porch."

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