Money and Therapy

Money and Therapy.  Two things that people may love or hate talking and thinking about.  However, among other things in life, money and therapy help.  

The NumberHere is where I am going with this.  Recently I read a must-read book for young and old, wealthy or building wealth, married or single.  Anyone who wants to have a “life” someday…or even have a life NOW.  The book is called The Number* and was written by Lee Eisenberg nearly 10 years ago, but it reads like he wrote it yesterday.

Here are some of the titles of the chapters:

  • “Welcome to Numberland”
  • “Debt Warp”
  • “Alone at Sea”
  • “Covering Your Assets” (nice play on words)
  • “Night Sweats”
  • “Deep Breathing”
  • “Bottom Lines”

These topics could be covered in conversations with friends, or by reading The Number or explored in a therapy session… or all 3!  I recommend all 3 (and the therapy session could be with your financial adviser– because a real financial adviser makes this conversation mandatory.)

The reason why this matters:

It makes no difference if you are 23 years old and starting your first job, 35 and single or married or in the thick of building a family and working, or 60 and contemplating IF and WHEN you will retire.  It is more about HOW you want to live your life.  The author of the book makes you laugh, cry and most important THINK.  I don’t want to spoil it for you because I highly suggest you read the book, but because the author went and spoke with such a wide array of “experts” literally all over the world, there are some really deep conclusions.

One of the biggest conclusions from the book for me, in my own words, was that nothing in life worth having comes easily (or comes for free).  The process of living your life is not always do-it-yourself or operating on auto-pilot.  Every “next stage” takes some version of a PLAN, whether it be written in a notebook, on a whiteboard or simply on a napkin.  At some point earlier in the game take the time to consult with a proven expert, spend the time and intelligently pay the money to talk about how much you SPEND today and –more critical — WHAT you spend it on.  What do you most ENJOY spending money on?? Kids? Grandkids?  Family? Yourself? Your business? Charity?

What is your timeline for spending the money?  Is it even realistic that you can continue to spend what you spend today (as in, will you be in danger of running out of money someday)? What are your plans for your LIFE?  Who do you love the most?  What do you most love doing?

That should be enough to think about for one weekend– although it is meant to take you your whole life to determine (the sooner the better).

*Used with express permission from the author. Eisenberg, Lee. The Number. New York, NY; Free Press, 2006. Print.

 

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