The hardest but most important thing to do, is stick to the plan

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The hardest but most important thing to do is stick to the plan

There’s a saying that I really like. It goes:

“It’s not about what you earn, it’s what you do with what you earn, that matters.”

The truth is that you don’t need to be a high-income earner to be in control of and growing your money. Regardless of how much you earn, if you have a plan and stick to it, you can be pretty confident you’ll see some success.

Let me tell you about a couple I have known for many years, and what they did to take control, that ultimately gave them the choice of whether they wanted to continue to work, or not.

I met this couple about 15 years ago. They were referred to me by a client who encouraged them to come and talk to me. They were both successful professionals and had a great lifestyle. But they weren’t really making any headway on paying down their mortgage or investing for the future.

So we sat down and created a plan.

We created a system for managing their cash flow that included a planned amount to spend, that didn’t force them to live any less than what they had done previously.

We also created some automated flows of money to direct their funds to where it needed to go to help build their wealth for the longer term. This included paying down their mortgage, contributing to their super and investing in shares.

The couple still did things like go on regular holidays, but they were conservative about other purchases like cars and material items. They wanted a good lifestyle and to donate to charities. And they even did renovations on their home.

Every six months they would come to see us and we would review their progress and tweak the plan.

They were amazingly disciplined and followed the system we had put in place. Some years it was a challenge and there were a few bumps in the road, but they would get back on track and do what they needed to do.

“If you deviate from the plan, the likelihood of succeeding is low.” – Troy Collins

They went through the GFC and still kept to the plan. In fact they paid off their mortgage in the middle of the GFC!

About five years out from his planned retirement at age 60, one of the couple didn’t think he could go on for another five years of work. So we sat down, adjusted the plan and he was able to retire in two years instead of five.

Because they stuck to their plan and had built their wealth over a number of years, they were able to make some choices about work, right when they really needed to.

They are both now retired and living very comfortably. Their discipline around their cash flow management and investing has allowed them to now live off passive income.

Accountability to a third party (us) was a big factor in their success. It encouraged and supported their discipline and there was a feeling of shared responsibility.

Ultimately, they made the choice to stop drifting and take action. They took control and have reaped the benefits.

 

Where are you at with your plan? Are you drifting or sticking to it?

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