BT talking to pensioners about caps on benefits - Telegraph
A mind-boggling tax reform looms over Indias $2 trillion economy
The ex-Goldman star who traded through the 2011 earthquake has made an unusual move
New airport scanners could end bans on laptops and liquids
Brexit wont derail the euro areas revival and Britain has more to lose, ECB official says
Mr. President: Cooperation with Russian investigation is your best play
Egypt Blocks Access to Many News Websites
12 things you should always have in your carry-on ✈️ #TravelTips
25 celebrity relationships you totally forgot about
Prefabricated cabins designed as battery-charging stations for humans:
#Thailand: PM poses questions of #democracy to public, asks for feedback
Trump tries to patch things up with Comey in latest Simpsons short
This is how a former employee of Jared Kushners described him.
Conservative Professor at UCLA is Under Review #tcot
Grantee @Lisa_Palmer spoke at the @TheWilsonCenter about her new book, #HotHungryPlanet.
People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware”- Alan Kay.
Ariana Grande to hold concert in Manchester for bombing victims
Philippines: Price rises remain strong with inflation maintaining recent rate in May. #SMI
Kushners busted on Instagram for giant undisclosed art collection
Asias monetary guardians retain a high degree of unpredictability
Alex Tizon and growing up as a witness to violence
Trumps State Department quietly lifts restrictions on refugee admissions
#Trump Administration Moves to Slaughter Americas Wild Horses – Take #Action Now!
5 outdoor games you can build yourself
‘Game-changer’: MSNBC panelists explain magnitude of ‘devastating’ Kushner revelations
Top aide to former US president Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, dies
Family income is now the highest since 2002 @rickjnewman
The Federal Reserve Is Destroying America
Understanding The Feds Endgame Is Key To Protecting Your Wealth
Canadian teen allegedly behind notorious dark web hacking forum:
White House considering vetting Trump’s tweets: report
Ivy League Hunger Strikes Do Little to Change Reality #tcot
Political scientist, Carter adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies
Like monsters under the bed, climate change is worse in the dark.
Clinton mocks Trump on inauguration crowd size claims and alternative facts
Chinas developers are chasing a new profit play: $2,400 nose jobs
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, dies at 89
This computer program can tell if your facial expressions are fake:
If Mexico’s ruling party can’t win here, it’s probably doomed
Is this the electric car thats going to kill Tesla?
Here is Copernicus, who put the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, doing monetary economics.
Its extraordinary for a court to call the president a liar like this.
The dealmaker who bet big on Philippine President Duterte is building an empire
Is this the electric car thats going to kill Tesla?
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, dies at 89
A Fairbanks 12-year-old takes an early lead in the Homer halibut derby with a 104.4-pounder
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski announces fathers death at 89
Malaysian man sings 112 national anthems
Can a font be a whole brand? @YouTube thinks so
From Umbrellas to Basketballs, Sharing Economy Blooms #sharingeconomy #umbrellas
Where you can make the most money renting your stuff
Cai Qi appointed Beijing CPC chief, replacing Guo Jinlong
Replicable and Scalable Urban Park Management
Trump tries to patch things up with Comey in latest Simpsons short
Singapore strongly condemns bus attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt
Bush takes photo with Bono: Hes the real deal
Former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies aged 89
Do you meet the 4 criteria that mean youre healthy? (Probably not.)
Heres your guide to Memorial Day ceremonies in Southcentral Alaska
JUST IN: Tim Kaines son charged with misdemeanor for Trump rally incident
What did The Manchurian Candidate mean in 1962, and what does it mean today?
Construction begins on worlds largest telescope in Chilean desert
Clogged roads but cheap gas await Memorial Day drivers
After decades of neglect, India build roads along China border
Two former Home Capital brokers sanctioned in first disclosed crackdown
Security tight for Wonder Woman movie premiere in Hollywood
Wall St. drifts before long weekend; consumer stocks up
Tension high among civilians as violence surges in Central African Republic
WATCH: GOP lawmakers urge Trump to stop using Twitter
How does a big tech company know if its energy is renewable? via @bv
#Hakuho gets boost toward 38th #sumo title
Africas untapped free trade potential
‘Hey Bill Nye, Could the Government Be Hiding Extraterrestrials From Us?’
Play the fact, not the speculation. - @stuartlowman
Looking for a sneak preview of Hell? Check out these scorching destinations
#Earthquake magnitude 4 - 186,6 km from #Salta - #Argentina
How to recycle your phone no matter where you live
Trumps bid to open U.S. monuments to development draws calls for protection
Egypt launches air strikes in Libya after 28 Christians killed by armed group linked to ISIL
The message of Trump’s budget: Get a job! @rickjnewman
Whiplash isn’t a presidential strategy—predictability is, write @jonfiner Joshua Geltzer
Zbigniew Brzezinski, ex-White House adviser and author of The Grand Chessboard, dies
50 Things That Made the Modern Economy: Tally Stick
Preet Bharara on Montana Republican: If he were an immigrant, hed face deportation
Sales Managers Report Global Manufacturing Sector Growth at a 22 Month High in May. #SMI
For two Alaska villages, walruses remain essential. As sea ice disappears, can it last?
EXCLUSIVE: Trump son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy - sources
Alabama governor signs law banning cities from removing Confederate monuments
Summer Of Love: Beatles album Sgt. Peppers turns 50
Iraqi border berm divides land and communities
Warp-speed activism: 13 protest posters that took minutes to design
The old US Customs area is now a bus stop.
Video: Alaska State Troopers dogs graduate from drug detection training
JUST IN: Jimmy Carters national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski dies at 89
Immense progress made in Manchester attack investigation
This photo is from Austin Powers and the Foreign Peril and every one in it is Mike Myers. Esp front row.
Kushner had undisclosed ties to Russian envoy
Finding Disneys next CEO is Bob Igers number one priority @nicoleusinclair
Sheriff David Clarke directed officers to hassle plane passenger who criticized him: report
$500 million opium farm found in North Carolina
This computer program can tell if your facial expressions are fake:
From @nytimes add-on story: Kushner and Flynn wanted Russia backchannel to discuss Syria strategy
Boehner: Almost everything Trump has done in office has been a complete disaster
Two further arrests in Manchester attack probe
NY Times rips Trump over embarrassing NATO speech
Out-of-Touch Conservatives? #tcot
Migrants who clung to boat rescued off Libya, seven bodies found - officials
Boehner: Trump has been complete disaster
UK police say theyve arrested some key players behind Manchester bombing
Trumps bid to open U.S. monuments to development draws calls for protection
After four months of increases, orders for durable goods decline by 0.7 percent
Tens of thousands visit Protestant congress in Berlin #dekt17
Scarborough on Trump-Macron handshake: He tore his arm off
Behind the black architectural resistance, from 1967 to 2017
The fund manager who avoids having meetings with investment bankers
Hollywood is running out of ’80s hits to reboot:
3 reasons #BigData analytics goes wrong @CIOonline #fintech #IoT #AI
JUST IN: Russian bank owners sue Buzzfeed for publishing unverified Trump/Russia dossier:
He played me for a fool: Kentucky Trump supporter laments he should have voted for Hillary
Rimsky Yuen, Justice Secretary of HK SAR speech on one country, two systems @asiahouseuk
Chinese judges US federal courts
Op-Ed: Raising the minimum wage is essential for working people. We know from experience.
Nest Learning Thermostat Review: Smart temperature control that sticks to your schedule
Did Admiral Mike Rogers tell the NSA that Trump colluded with the Russians?
Thrilled 2 speak at @Quarterhouse_UK w @DrLegumes for @BrainFestUK #Normal17 : were talking #goodmoodfood
US Senate Intelligence Committee requests Trump campaign documents
To soften charges of unfair trade, South Korean firms are accelerating investment in America
How can companies support veterans this Memorial Day? Hire them @robsmithonline
From killer to calligrapher, a Hong Kong artist’s dark journey
25 Amazing Dishes for Your Memorial Day Cookout #Vegan
Brazils judges are being called on to clean up a political mess... again
Electric cars are expected to be cheaper than gasoline-powered models within a decade
John F. Kennedys descendants look at his legacy a century after he was born
Trumps State Department quietly lifts restrictions on refugee admissions
Apple is working on a dedicated chip to power AI on devices
How to earn millions in Chinas app economy
A housing bubble is forming in Canada. Here’s what to do about it
How Trump could set tariffs in the name of national security
The sad saga of North Koreas ATMs, an alien concept in Pyongyangs shiny new airport
The White House will share information about lobbyist waivers
The White House will share information about lobbyist waivers
Three cocktails you can make at home, then take to the beach
White House considering vetting Donald Trump’s tweets 
The worlds 15-year-olds are clueless about money
Trump to maintain or even strengthen Obama-era sanctions against Russia, top adviser says
These are the top 10 highest-paid CEOs of 2016
$PEP in #bid to #acquire Vita Coco owner | @Reuters | #MnA
.@CassSunstein has scientific evidence that Trump is making xenophobia respectable
U.S. Senate intelligence panel requests Trump campaign documents - Washington Post
Boehner: Trump has been complete disaster
What Hillary Clinton said to the Wellesley class of 2017, @anna_m_diamond reports:
How to earn millions in Chinas app economy
Guys. You broke the Congressional Budget Office. Thank you!
Most applicants to the U.S. visa lottery are from Africa, the Middle East and Asia
Where immigrants get the job done (and where they cant crack the labor market)
This relatively minor change in China is surely a negative step for financial openness
Hows a big tech company to know if its energy is renewable?
China is building some of the worlds biggest packaged food companies
Millions of people are hoarding cash, cutting their spending and living frugally
Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor split after 17 years of marriage
Top Trump adviser breaks with Trump: Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore
Precio de la canasta petrolera #WTI y #Brent al 26/05/2017. #UCV #OPEC #Venezuela #OPEP
Millions of people are hoarding cash, cutting their spending and living frugally
Chipotle says hackers stole payment card info in data breach
PepsiCo in bid to acquire Vita Coco owner - sources
Trumps bid to sell more than half the U.S. emergency oil stockpile could hurt OPEC cuts
Many people around the world are unsuspecting that they have diabetes diabetes
Making Japan a little more halal-friendly
Your skinny jeans are killing the fashion industry
Heres how Putin went from being a poor kid in Leningrad to the symbol of Russian power
Tories challenge Gordon Brown to say whether federal UK plans mean referendum
Delighted to write about why I chose to become an ambassador for @YoungMindsUK
Heres how Putin went from being a poor kid in Leningrad to the symbol of Russian power
Chinese buying far-away homes in smaller cities are raising bubble risks
How Facebook can fight the hate
Inside the hidden cycles that rule markets, history... and everyday life
Goodbye, Denys (1922-2017)
Alonso looks to return to work with Indy 500 win
Steven Peikin expected to be named co-chief of SEC enforcement: source
Chinese group buys condom brand named after James Bond
Five takeaways from the Montana special election
The GOP valued tax cuts over health care. The results are obvious.
Indias highest grossing movie ever didnt come from Bollywood
Why the Chinese will pay for online content that Americans wont
$CSCO closes $125M #buyout of AI firm MindMeld | @SeekingAlpha | #MnA
Chipotle says it has removed malware after a breach hit its payment systems
Move over, IKEA: This ultra-portable furniture adapts to any apartment
WATCH: First promo released for Megyn Kellys new NBC show
Harvard Library Waived Overdue Fees to Avoid Stressing Students Out #tcot
The most inspiring words of advice for the Class of 2017
Do pain gels even work? We asked a pain researcher to look into it
At least 91 people killed in floods, landslides in Sri Lanka
Leveraging Big Data Analytics to Revitalize Brownfields
Digital gap between rural and nonrural Americans persists
Puerto Rico governor pushes statehood as vote looms despite no U.S. support
#Philippines security forces must uphold rights amid #MartialLaw – Commission
Perfect Weekend: A yen for hot treks and cool views in Oshima
Rice rolls (cantonese: cheung fun) before boarding at #HongKong airport. #travel #weekend #saturday
ICYMI: Trump Accuses NATO Members of Owing Massive Amounts of Money to U.S.
White House considering vetting Trump’s tweets: report
Chinese jets intercept U.S surveillance plane: U.S. officials
Coal versus Kiwis - New Zealand struggles to balance business and environment
Clinton mocks Trump on inauguration crowd size claims and alternative facts
10 traditional types of German jokes #MeettheGermans
Nobody agrees on how to ease Toronto’s problematic housing boom
Smoking hot Fanny Brice as a Ziegfeld Follies girl, c1910-1915.
10 more landless workers massacred in Brazil:
G7 leaders turn gaze to Africa, climate harmony elusive
What case should you get for your phone?
Comment: China’s hi-tech economy is taking shape, thanks to its entrepreneurs and innovators
Boost Your Data Wrangling with R #R #datascience
Whole Foods employees reveal 11 things they want you to know before shopping there
US plans first counter-ICBM test
We are now on Threema! How to send information and tips securely to ThinkProgress
How Amazons bookstore is a test for future non-book plans @readDanwrite
#Bitcoin Is Bigger Than Ever, And Heres Why That Matters #fintech @RyanWhitwam
Mr. President: Cooperation with Russian investigation is your best play
Show yourself some love :) ... Via @CollectiveEvol
Trump tries to patch things up with Comey in latest Simpsons short
.@ABC News Exclusive: Iraqi troops torture and execute civilians in secret videos.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is a sinking vessel, writes @OrrChris
Worlds largest telescope sets sights on 2024 unveiling
Net Brazilian equity futures open contracts Net shift from domestic to foreign accounts
Homeland Security chief: If you knew what I know, youd never leave the house
This prismatic sculpture reacts to your aura
Morgan Stanley has lowered its year-end 2018 WTI forecast to $55
JUST IN: Trumps State Department quietly lifts restrictions on refugee admissions
Liberal Media Continues to Publish Fake News about President Trump #tcot
Increased wildfire risk reduces carbon storage of forests Forest management / #ClimateChange
Your guide to the best #MemorialDay discounts on cars, clothes, and more
The Bhim Army: The new voice of Indias Dalits
Two Years of Buhari - How Did We Survive?: #Nigeria
The suspicious circumstances of Kushner’s secret meeting with a Kremlin-connected banker
Natural fungicide could restore French winemaking glory
#F1 Fans Asked For Ideas On How #IoT Can Improve #RacingTeams #fintech #BigData @SiliconGB
Egypt launches air strikes over Libya in response to Coptic Christian attack
Not a horror movie: melting permafrost could release sleeping pathogens. @majohnso
Cant wait for that cashless society. $CMG
WATCH: GOP lawmakers urge Trump to stop using Twitter
Also, this...
Tillerson breaks decades-old tradition of holding Ramadan event at State Dept: report
How Trumps housing budget targets extremely low-income families
Wolf-like golden jackal discovered in northern Germany
This chart is staggering.
White House agrees to detail ethics waivers
You are quite literally what you eat. #nutrition #healthyliving
The new Rover is just about ready to see Red, writes @michaeldestries
House votes to undo pesticide protections for nation’s waterways
Is Evolution Yielding to Newer Algorithmic Forces?
We tried all of Chick-fil-As sauces — and the winner is clear


Ben Carlson
When Your Financial Plan Gets Thrown Out the Window
8 days ago




When Your Financial Plan Gets Thrown Out the Window

Woody Allen, quoting an old proverb, supposedly once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

I’m sure everyone has experienced this at some point but it feels like my life the past year or so is a good example of this quote.

This past summer we found out my wife was pregnant with twins (meaning we would become a family of 5 along with our 3-year-old toddler). We never really planned on having a big family — it was hard enough for us to have our first child so number two was never a foregone conclusion while number three was never really even discussed — but once it became a reality we were beyond thrilled.

My older brother and his wife had their own set of twins in late-2016 so the extended family is growing exponentially. When I called to give him the good news the first thing he said to me, after a short chuckle and speaking from experience, was “Well, you can throw your financial plan out the window.”

In some ways this is true. My wife and I had to make some major changes that affected our finances based on this life-altering news.

We quickly realized our current house was too small and would require a change to accommodate a larger family. We would need a larger vehicle to fit all of the little ones and their stuff (we had to suck up our pride and buy a minivan but after owning it for a while I’ll admit that it’s extremely practical). Until my 3-year-old is in school it will mean paying for three kids in childcare. And my wife is cutting back her hours at work, as well.

A growing family also means we’ll need more liquid savings for unexpected (and expected) events that pop up from time to time. There are two more kids to send to college and all of the other expenses that come along with raising children.

I’m certainly not complaining because we are so blessed by the new additions to our family but I thought this was a good test case for many of my ideas on financial planning. Here are a few things that have become even more clear to me because of this change:

Personal finance requires flexibility. A year ago if you would have asked me about my financial needs over the coming twelve months I never would have expected them to include a new home, new car or two new mouths to feed. You’ll always have to plan on course corrections with your finances.

Financial planning is a process, not an event. Planning out your finances is not a one-time deal. It’s an ongoing process that will constantly evolve as life throws you curve balls over time. Planning out your finances once is the easy part; planning out your life over and over again is not.

A high savings rate makes everything else easier. A high savings rate gives you a huge cushion when things go wrong or when future financial needs or wants change. My wife and I have always had a healthy savings rate and it ended up being one of the main reasons we didn’t stress too much about adding twins to our family budget. Being diligent savers has given us a margin of safety about how to handle all of the new financial responsibilities that come along with adding two new members to the family.

Normal personal finance advice works. Beyond a good savings rate to give us some wiggle room the simple personal finance principles such as avoiding credit card debt, paying down our mortgage debt, living below our means, having a good credit score, etc. didn’t seem to matter until they really mattered. This stuff seems boring but it can be extremely helpful when you really need it.

Priorities matter more than goals. When these things happen it makes you realize setting precise financial goals is rather pointless; it’s financial priorities that really matter. Just as investing requires different risks, needs, allocations and planning depending on where you are in your lifecycle, financial planning requires different priorities depending on what’s going on in your life. No two people or families will have the same exact financial circumstances, but everyone needs to understand that their priorities will naturally change and evolve over time.

You can never fully prepare yourself for everything but that’s okay. Very few people will ever be “ready” emotionally or financially to have children. It’s something you can never fully prepare yourself for. The best you can do is ensure you get yourself to the point where your personal finances aren’t the biggest stress point in your life (something that’s easier said than done for most people). When I learned our family would be growing the last thing on my mind were the financial implications.

These past few years have made me realize that my financial plan or portfolio or investment returns or job title will never matter as much having a safe, secure and healthy family. Everything else is gravy.

Don’t get me wrong — saving is still a priority; growing my investments is still a priority; keeping stress levels low in terms of money decisions is still a priority; financial planning is still a priority.

It’s just that many of our old financial priorities will have to take a backseat to a new set of priorities.

Today my wife and I brought home our new son and daughter from the hospital. I could never have planned on having twins in our life but now that they’re here I couldn’t imagine life any other way. My financial plan has basically gone out the window but that’s the last thing on my mind right now.

screen-shot-2017-05-18-at-2-11-27-pm

Further Reading:
Priorities

 

 

Download PDF

Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.