Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wind-fall Management Plan

A "Wind-fall" is an unexpected income of significant size.  It is the numerical opposite of having to replace the transmission in your vehicle.

One of the key markers that separates affluent people from less-affluent people is their mindset about money.  We see money differently.

It is common for an affluent person to look at the money decisions made by people who are struggling and ask, "What the heck were they thinking???"

For example:  When a person who is financially struggling receives a windfall, they often spend it with breathtaking speed.

When asked, they often respond with what seems like circular logic, "It is all going to be gone before the end of the month, anyway.  I might as well get some joy out of it."

If you examine their thinking a little more closely, and with an iota of compassion, you will learn that they are deeply in debt and the windfall is not big enough to zero out any of those debts.  They are engaging in black-and-white thinking.
I am in debt now.  Regardless of what I do I will still be in debt next month.  I have no control.  Therefore, the only 'utility' I can get from this money is to buy some temporary joy.

That is one of the weaknesses of "attribute" data.  It is either "Yes" or "No".  It is devoid of all those stepping stones that can carry you from one side of the river to the other.

Variable Data

One way to flip debt to Variable Data is to project its retirement date.    That windfall can move that retirement date a bunch.

Professional Help

Don't guide your financial decisions based on advice from the person who cuts your hair or the person standing behind you in the grocery check-out lane.  Shop around and find a professional.

Fee-Only Financial Advisers do not face the moral hazard of trying to serve two masters.  They are not shilling any particular line of financial products.  You pay your money and they coach your financial life.

And by all means, have a plan for windfalls before you wind the lottery.

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