Note: this post appeared on my previous blog and was published 05.23.2018
What did you do this morning? If you're like most, you woke up, got ready for your day, and headed off to the office. Maybe you drove, maybe you took the train or bus, or maybe you walked down the hall to your home office.
No matter your route, you went to work. And you probably got paid.
Well, maybe not today. But maybe this Friday, or on the 15th or the 30th. One of those days, a sum of money will show up in your bank account. Who doesn't love that day?? That feeling of love is fleeting though, because you will use that money. Hopefully you will save some of it, too. But that money will get consumed.
It will pay the mortgage or rent. It will pay the insurance policies. It will buy groceries, and put gas in your car. It will pay for diapers and daycare. It will pay for college. It will take your family on a fun trip. It will buy sporting equipment and fund home repairs. It will pay for the Amazon boxes on your front stoop.
Now, stop reading if you could retire today.
For the rest of us, this is important. Most of us spend money each and every day. And we take it for granted. We take for granted that our paychecks will continue to hit our bank accounts and our lives will continue, uninterrupted.
Until it is interrupted.
Imagine with me for a minute. You're sitting at home one day, enjoying a leisurely afternoon. There's a knock on the front door. You saunter over, open the door and…it's (insert any illness or injury here). It politely asks you, "Excuse me, but is this a good time in your life for me to come in and completely disrupt it. And by the way do you have your financial affairs completely in order right this very second?"
Because if you don't, it's not like (insert any illness or injury here) is going to turn on its heels in a huff, head next door to your neighbor's house, and start knocking on their door, you know what I mean? No, your life will be flipped upside down in more ways than one, and your financial life will be impacted.
Our ability to go to work and earn an income is the most powerful asset each of us has. Let's discuss.
If you make $250,000 per year over the next 25 years, and your income increases by 3% each year, that's a little more than $9,000,000 of future earnings. And if your income is higher, your future earnings is higher as well. And lower if your income is lower.
No matter your income, I imagine you'll want every single one of those dollars. If not, I can probably find some folks who'll help you take those dollars off your hands.
Seriously, so what would happen if the paychecks stopped coming in? What if you were unable to work because you got sick or hurt? How long would it last? And how long could your balance sheet sustain it?
Think about this - and I mean, REALLY think about this statement:
Your income drives every single financial decision you make.
How and when you spend money, what you buy, where you go, the house you live in, the car you drive, the vacations you take, the schools your kids go to, the clothes you wear, the restaurants you eat at. And when you're able to retire.
When you think about it, the impact of your paycheck on your life is MASSIVE.
Pop quiz time:
Does your employer offer/provide income protection?
And if so, how much of your income is protected?
These are real questions and when asked, they are often met with quizzical looks. I imagine you know your house in protected. I imagine you know your car(s) is protected. Heck, I imagine you also know that your (wife's) engagement ring is protected. These are all very valuable assets, and they should be protected. But your income, your most valuable asset?
“I gotta get back to you on that one…”
If you've been following along in my blog, you know I love to talk about focusing on factors you can control. On your balance sheet you have control over two areas:
where your money goes (your cash flow), and
how you protect your balance sheet.
The rest is dictated by other companies, the government, and/or outside forces.
So if you love your paycheck, and I imagine most of you do, show it some love. Protect it. All of it.
Then when (insert any illness or injury here) knocks on your front door, you'll be ready.