Are you Thinking Like a Dog?

I once heard a comedian state that dogs think everything lasts forever.  While keeping our friends Golden Retriever a few weeks ago, I found myself believing this sentiment. While our 1 year old Golden ran around the yard trying his best to catch a squirrel, our friend’s dog sat with her head in my lap allowing me to spoil her.  Every time I moved, she nuzzled my hand to encourage me along for more petting, scratching and rubbing.  She thought (and expected) it would last forever!

Sometimes we can take this same approach into our financial world… it the dog mentality.  I often see this in transitory financial stages, and we need to be reminded that these transitional phases are not a permanent resting spot (lasting forever).

For example, a couple who recently had a baby and the mother has decided not to return to work for a year or so can find themselves stressing about money…..even when a plan is in place to fund the maternity leave.  So even with cash set aside to fund the income shortfall during the maternity leave, it’s common for couples in this situation to live as if this phase will last forever.   We have to remind ourselves or give ourselves “permission” to live in this transitional phase.  Most importantly, we must remember that it won’t last forever.

There are many situations that can lead to this kind of thought: career changes, unemployment, a mid-life crisis, illness…etc.   Working with a fee-only financial advisor during these transitions is invaluable. The ability of the advisor to be an unbiased third party and see the situation from the big picture view can make passing through the transition more than simply financial survival… can allow for financial and emotional success.

So, while the “dog mentality” is natural, especially during transitory financial stages, it doesn’t have to hinder your financial or emotional success.

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