Starting the retirement journey late can be scary

Unpacking before we pack. Let’s agree on what we are taking with us.

LSIcon03Hi there, Journey-Man here again!

Now that I have come to terms with the reality of having a problem with my finances, I intend to do some of the things that I’ve never done properly or consistently in the past; this is going to be tough and I hope that you’ll take this journey with me.

Before we start though, we must look at what we have packed for the journey.

I know that I am keen to attack my problems and start the journey, but I realised that I already have a heavy bag on my back and I don’t remember packing it. I have a bag full of ‘stuff’ that I have picked up along the way and I started to realise that what I already have in my bag is part of the problem. My bag is heavy and it is stopping me from doing the best that I can with the resources that I have.

So, for example, this week I wanted to come to terms with what I earn, what I spend and what my debts are. It may sound strange but I realised very quickly this week that I don’t even know what debts I have. I get paid and my debit orders run! I seem to make it through to zero every month but that must be a coincidence!
I know my situation is not acceptable; I wouldn’t allow this level of chaos in any other area of my life, so I must ask myself, ‘Why have I done this with my finances?’

The instinctive answer that keeps coming back is ‘fear’. At some point in my life I became convinced that I probably was not going to make it and that it is better to stumble along, just making ends meet each month. It became the norm to ignore the financial issues and to pretend that everything happening was inevitable. I have realised this week that my bag is full of fear, and I am learning that fear is heavy!

Where did this Fear come from?

When I was younger I was positive and enthusiastic when it came to generating income. I started businesses and I managed businesses. They didn’t all fail dismally but none of them have survived. The dreams that I had as a young man faded and reality set in – I had dreamed that I would set up and run a successful business which would make me extremely wealthy! That really is what I had imagined.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. And slowly, as I made my way through my thirties and forties, I moved back to working for other people, taking home a salary and convincing myself that this was the best that I could expect. That journey has created in me an unintended and uninvited fear. I became so used to fear that I packed it in my bag and have been carrying it for years.

But I am Journey-Man and I won’t allow fear to hold me back anymore!

So, although I acknowledge my mistakes I am not going to carry them with me anymore. Before I start heading out on this new journey I will unpack my bag and leave behind everything that has held me back; including fear. I mentioned in the first Late-Starter article that I am a faithful Christian and I know that fear is not something that I can allow if I believe that my life is in God’s hands.

As tough as it is I will no longer make decisions based on fear.

Will you unpack with me?

If you are a Late-Starter, have you considered the things holding you back? Your bags may be filled with other things that you have picked up along the way.

Can I suggest that you take a hard look at where you are and try to work out how you arrived here. Not to dig up the past and hurt yourself, but rather, that you would free yourself and forgive yourself (and forgive those people that may have held you back, hurt you or robbed you). Make sure that you aren’t taking anything along that should stay behind.

Can I suggest that you have a good look at your baggage before we leave? Can I encourage you to get rid of your negative attitudes towards money? Can I encourage you to empty your bag now, before we leave this place?

Rather than fear, let’s fill the bag with expectation, joy, excitement and energy.

Do it now!

Until next time!



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