Psychological Toll of Financial Planning

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Sun Feb 11 2024

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Financial Decisions

The vast constellation of financial planning can take a toll on a person as they are  approaching retirement age. From emerging financial technologies, to shifting laws and  cultures on major aspects of life i.e. healthcare and estate planning, to even scams  targeting the middle-aged and elderly, the financial planning universe is rife with  asteroids, supernovas, and even a slightly unpleasant odor of burnt steak, among other  surprises. While setting yourself up for success during retirement age, complicated  feelings of overwhelm, panic, and failure are a part of the process. Discussing the  psychological impact of financial planning is an important part of staying grounded and  informed on what you may expect to experience, how to process it in a healthy way, and  how to mitigate stress and confusion, so you can launch smoothly into retirement and  float weightlessly through your later (light)years. 

Financial Planning is Complex 

Financial wellness is a Jupiter-ian task as it is without the increasing complications that  come with age. If you’re lucky, you did everything right and have amassed a wealth as  vast as the cosmos themselves, making the planning process toward your retirement  easy, painless, and fruitful for yourself and your loved ones. For most people, this isn’t  their situation. It is important to bear in mind that nobody’s perfect financially, and  nobody is beyond assistance and support when it comes time to manage personal  finances and the stress that comes with that.  

Nevertheless, it’s normal to get a little stubborn about it. Good financial planning is  seen as a virtue in our society. However, as we get older, this pride may make us  vulnerable, especially with looming age-related worries like cognitive decline that can  undermine our confidence in handling our own finances. Before your supernova, the  key to mitigating the stress of this process is understanding that hiccups are normal.  Simplifying your financial portfolio, appointing a financial Power of Attorney you trust,  and utilizing health care directives, all can help put you at peace of mind. 

Meteor Showers in our Economic Landscape 

Whether you are working with a traditional pension, a 401k plan, or otherwise, inflation  and federal interest rates can negatively impact how much your retirement funds are  truly worth. Typically only state and local government annuities have adjustments for  rising costs of living, and with federal interest rates raised to a 22 year high, lump sum  payments may be raining down less loot than expected.  

Additionally, more and more of younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, are  developing their wealth more slowly, with more of them remaining at home and working  jobs with lower socioeconomic status than their parents. This is a galactic source of  stress for older generations, who may find themselves in a position of helping their  children and grandchildren in ways they didn’t initially realize they would have to. 

While it varies case by case which of these changes may apply to you, it is important to  remember that you are not alone. Understanding that these challenges are shared 

throughout many elderly populations is a fundamental part of soothing the psychological  toll on your own financial plan. 

Additionally, while scams and fraud targeting older people have been a longtime issue  and a source of stress, luckily the Federal Trade Commission has been stepping up.  They are advocating for Congress to restore the FTC’s authority to recover money lost  to scammers, especially after that power was limited by the a Supreme Court ruling in  2021. They have formed an Advisory Group under the Stop Senior Scams Act. They  work to expand consumer education efforts, improve industry training on scam  prevention, develop innovative methods to detect and stop scams, and conduct  research to reduce fraud. These expansions in the financial support solar system will  help bring you into an orbit where you can feel taken care of and protected. 

Plutonian Wellness Solutions 

Is it real? is it a sham? A “financial therapist”? Whether this is a legitimate and useful  resource, is as hotly debated as the planetary status of Pluto itself. It’s official  definition , according to the financial therapy association, is “a process informed by both  therapeutic and financial competencies that helps people think, feel, communicate and  behave differently with money to improve overall well-being through evidence-based  practices and interventions.” Practicioners can come from a therapy or a financial  background, with most being financial advisors with the additional therapy certification.  Like in traditional therapy, financial therapy addresses the root causes of many of the  woes we face with our personal finances, such as financial trauma, unhealthy financial  behaviors, and navigating changes in financial culture, helping people think, feel, and  behave differently regarding money. 

The emergence of an interdisciplinary resource such as a financial therapy, strongly  suggest that personal finance anxiety is reaching its point of reckoning, where it is no  longer a personal responsibility issue alone, but rather a multiversal and shared health  and wellness experience that is finally beginning to receive much-needed support. For  many people approaching middle age, such a shift may be new, and “needing therapy”  may feel stigmatizing. However, financial therapy is designed to be collaborative,  nurturing you from where you’re at and progressing to sustainable change. It’s a  relatively new field, but in this ever expanding odyssey through the financial planning  multiverse, it doesn’t hurt to try something new! 

Conclusion  

While the labyrinth of the financial planning universe can be daunting and sometimes  never-ending, resources are there to help soothe the psychological toll of family  planning. With the help education, assistance, and a healthy dose of realism, you can  strap into your journey with confidence and mental ease, blasting off into the  stratosphere and living your retirement years in bliss.