Thanks for coming back to Planning for your Purpose; Telos Financial’s blog where I discuss different topics related to financial planning. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Dennis LaVoy is Plymouth, Michigan’s financial advisor for high income young professionals, Millennials, Xennials, and Generation X serving clients throughout Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and across the country.

The purpose of the blog is to introduce financial planning concepts and questions I receive from clients that I believe are important. I want to start discussions about that will educate, benefit, and improve your financial life. Ultimately, to help you focus on your telos!

I was recently talking with a fellow young professional, who is also a small business owner, also a parent, and their verbatim sentiment was, “I’m screwed.” Basically, they are overwhelmed with life.

I know the feeling. As a co head of a young family, big things can be overwhelming. Little things too. My daughter is potty training, she’s in peak tantrum mode lately, won’t go to bed before 11:00 pm, and had two accidents within an hour today. I was about to lose it. First and foremost, when we’re in these incredibly stressful situations, we gotta keep perspective.

Pee wipes up easily. Clothes will get laundered. We will all improve. We’re still really fortunate with where we are in the world, life, and careers. I’ll eventually catch up on sleep (or not) but I’ll sleep more sometime. These are all short term problems. Overall, we are all healthy and happy. It’s frustrating in the short term, but in a week, day, even another hour, it will be done with no lasting repercussions.

I’d encourage you to keep this mindset – even with those incomprehensibly large hurdles. when you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel with your financial and life goals. Student loans can be overwhelming. Having to save for retirement may seem insurmountable. There’s not a quick fix for it, but fortunately, when you’re young, you have time and you have risk capacity, and you can start a plan now. From a financial planning lens, these are your greatest assets. You can save. You can get on a track to get there.

PERSPECTIVE. Student loans are not a short term problem. They will be there tomorrow. You can’t wash your tiny, pee soaked jammies and be done with it. You will have to deal with this one tomorrow. HOWEVER, that’s part of the reason you took them. So, you could get to where you are today and position yourself to pay them back over the long term.

Look, I don’t know what your thought process was when you took the student loans. What I do know, is if you finished school and have a gainful career you truly enjoy, it probably was worth it or will be in the long run. You can’t put a price on happiness and a career you enjoy creates a lot of happiness. Believe me, I know from first hand experience. The same way a bad job makes you miserable. You might have overdone it with some of the loans and lifestyle in college. Maybe you could’ve skimped to save some, but you can’t go back. We have to look forward at this point. That’s where the financial plan comes in.

So, back to the perspective, student loans and your other financial goals are a LONG TERM problem. Some financial issues will be more urgent than others, but if you’re worried about retirement and are young, it is long term. Let’s remember that. So, back to the basics, my comfort zone, my soap box, let’s make a financial plan. Look, a financial plan literally lays out how and when your student loans will be paid off, when you’ll retire, how much you’ll be able to spend, when your mortgage is retired, how you’ll help your kids with college, on and on. Or it won’t. Maybe none of those are achievable based on your income, spending, and lifestyle. The best way to know is to make a financial plan.

It’s not perfect, but it’s the best method there is and it helps many have higher confidence and more realistic expectations of the future.

Personally. . .

It sucks, right? Having all that debt, making a good income, yet feeling held down because of it. That’s the reality for many families today. Being idealistic that things would be better if you didn’t have the loans or what would happen if you didn’t may be a fun exercise, but it doesn’t move you forward or help get you out. Living in reality and REMEMBER we can’t change the past, only the present and future. You can start today on a path to get in control, set goals, and have a better chance to achieve your financial objectives.

CONCLUSION

Plan early and plan often. You can’t change the past. You need to look at where you are today and where you want to be. Make a plan to know where you’re going and to know that all hope is not lost. Live within your means and allocate your excess cash flow per your plan to retire debts and save for long term goals. You will get through this and be better for it.

If you want help with financial planning, call or email me and let’s talk, I’m glad to help. If you want to do it yourself, more power to ya. I hope my blog and website helps and inspires you to act. The bottom line is make a financial plan to understand when your loans will be paid off and how realistic your other goals are. You won’t know if you don’t do the math. Set goals. Quantify them. Do math. That’s financial planning.

Telos Financial is a Michigan’s financial advisor for Millennials, Xennials Generation Xers, & young professionals. It is a fee based, holistic financial planning firm located in Plymouth, Michigan serving young professionals and families. Dennis LaVoy, CFP®, CLU® founded Telos uses his experience and knowledge to help high income young families and individuals in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Detroit, surrounding areas, and across the country pursue their financial objectives.

The views expressed are my own opinions and do not apply to every situation. Your situation may vary so make sure to consult a professional for advice prior to making any decisions.