My business group uses July to take a midyear checkup. We look at our budgets, planned projects and keep one another accountable. 2020 has not been the year anyone expected.
Today’s title is generally attributed to Mort Sahl, America’s first widely televised stand-up comedian. He was well known for his commentaries on the times but before he became famous, he did, in fact, wash and sell cars for a living. The phrase came to mind recently when I saw actor Tom Selleck promoting reverse mortgages on TV.
It has been an interesting few months.
I struggled through the early parts of the pandemic with a sense of isolation and the disruption of everyday life. The past month, I have been reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and attending webinars on behavioral finance and practice management.
The common theme was mindset.
My great aunt Irma was quite well off, living in a small grove in Orange, California next door to entertainer José Feliciano. We visited her every few years and she took us to nice restaurants, always picking up the tab. As I got older, I was more a part of the adult conversations going on during those visits.
You probably remember the old story. A child asks his mom why they always trim the end of a ham before putting it in the oven to bake. She replies that she’s not sure and suggests they call grandma from whom she got the recipe.
Year-end is my time for reflection and renewal. Business owners use it to set goals and develop a plan with benchmarks for the next year. I started applying this perspective to my personal life.
The end of last year was hectic, with my knee replacement in November and my mother-in-law’s death at Christmas.
There is no gift that says “I love you” like a lower tax bill in April. Between all the holiday parties and batches of eggnog, there are some financial tasks to check off your list before Dec. 31. In addition to a gift of time, it is probably one of the more important gifts to give.
◗ Contributions to Indiana 529 plans.
I grew up in the days when Halloween was fun and safe. The only downside was that I had older brothers who made a point of trying to scare me—and they often succeeded. As an adult, I don’t need my brothers to scare me. I just need to think about the future of retirement in America.
In my much younger days, I never planned to get married and certainly didn't plan to have children. The last thing I thought I would do was to stay home with them. Yet in my 30s, I found myself married, with children and no outside employment. It wasn't what I had planned, but it was the life I was living.