Last week’s fireworks over the nearly $1.5 billion in lottery possibilities had everyone across the United States vying for a chance at newly minted wealth. Yes, I realize that winning the Powerball Jackpot prize is likened to being attacked by a bear, bitten by a shark, and struck by lightning all in the same year. That did not stop even me from putting my $2 into the pot for a chance at $1.5 billion.
Many people across the country picked up a Powerball ticket this past weekend and spent at least a few minutes day dreaming or talking about how they would spend the money if they won. For all but three people these conversations will still be dreams. However, we can use our daydreams to help us continue on our original path of saving and planning.
What did you dream about when you thought of winning the lottery? Was it a boat? A vacation in the Caribbean? Was it a new house? Was it giving to a special cause or charity? Was it a combination of these things? Our dreams can be a wonderful gateway to financial planning. While we may not be able to cruise the Caribbean in our new 150ft yacht, we will be able to save for a vacation or perhaps for a retirement on or near a beach.
Take your dreams and make a plan. Perhaps you dreamed of playing golf and joining a country club. This is certainly obtainable through proper planning and saving. You can do your research now. Research locations, real estate, different country clubs, and weather. Determine what your cost may be and then put a plan in place to reach your goals. When you actually take action towards a goal – like researching, planning, and saving – you are solidifying that goal as a reality. If you simply dream about a goal without taking any specific action, your subconscious still sees that goal as a dream.
There is another aspect to dreaming and planning. When you research, discuss, and plan for a specific goal you are more likely to obtain it. However, do not be afraid to shift priorities. You may find that your dreams and personal priorities may shift over time; mine certainly did. In my 20’s I wanted to retire from a successful business and have a great golf game. Now, after having my three children, my goals have shifted and my retirement goal is to have enough money to live near my children and grandchildren (while still having a good golf game).
The idea is not that we shoot for the stars with a hope and a prayer. The idea is that we consistently talk, dream and take action. This exercise may seem mundane, but it actually helps us discover what is our true passion and where we may want to ultimately end up. So don’t be afraid to think about or discuss what you would do with $1.5 billion, the answer may surprise you and help you to develop strong financial goals and plans.
Jonathon Rowles Captain, USMC (Ret.)
Disclaimer: (have to do it) – This blog should not be considered financial, investment, legal or tax advice. Consult your licensed financial professional, tax advisor or legal counsel. This blog is for educational purposes only.