If you are like us, 2020 has left you with more questions than answers, and it has certainly added a lot of chaos to our lives. As a part of our practice, we enjoy studying our happiest clients in an effort to learn how we can all lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. Obviously, our finances are not the end-all, be-all place to look for happiness. Sometimes that’s the last place you want to look, but occasionally money is a clue to the condition of our hearts. At LiveWell Capital, we believe the condition of our hearts is a key to living well both personally and financially.
We’ve noticed a theme in our happiest clients as it relates to their income. We will call it the 20/20/20 rule. This rule relates to how they allocate their income; they intentionally allocate 20% to three different categories and live on the rest.
They give 20% to causes they care about. This could be a church or synagogue, their favorite charity or a cause deeply personal to them. Our happiest clients have found they are most fulfilled when they give to the greater good. It is a way for them to acknowledge that life is bigger than them.
They save 20% for the future. This is usually a combination of retirement accounts, investment accounts, or education accounts for children. This shouldn’t be done with obsession over what the future holds, but as a prudent way to pay yourself first, allowing you to live for today while knowing the future is taken care of.
20% Fixed Expenses
Some may ask how they save 20% and give 20% away — they keep their fixed expenses low. Sometimes, when we buy a house or car with a high cost, we find that those assets end up owning us because they eat up too much of the monthly budget. The key to getting ahead financially is keeping fixed expenses low so you can pay yourself and pay it forward. The key to getting ahead financially is keeping fixed expenses low so you can pay yourself first and pay it forward.
Here are a few key takeaways from the 20/20/20 rule:
This isn’t for everyone.
And, certainly, it may not be doable at this moment in time. Some phases in life are more expensive than others, so, if you are in that boat, don’t worry about it. Striving to decrease fixed expenses and ramp up saving and giving is a great start, even if it is a small amount.
Don’t stress about the details.
Set a goal, and a financial advisor can help you outline a path to meet your goals.
Anything that is important should be automated. If your goal is to give a certain percentage or save a certain percentage of your income, set up auto payments out of your checking account or paycheck to remove the friction. When we must make a decision about something every month, it creates friction. It makes more sense to decide ahead of time and automate it in a way that gives you peace.
Have fun on what’s left.
When we prioritize what is important first, it means the leftover is truly for having fun and enjoying life.
We hope you found this brief article thought-provoking and insightful for unlocking a happier you. As always, LiveWell Capital is dedicated to giving you a return not only on your money, but on your life. If you would like to have a conversation about living well, please check out our website at livewellcapital.com or call us at 513.366.3618
Joseph B Beshear, Marty Walker Geiger, Timothy Cailor Miller, Jared J B Nickoli, Dustin Michael Parks, Andrew J Scarpitti, David M Schimberg and Bradley Scott Weeks use LiveWell Capital as a marketing name for doing business as representa- tives of Northwestern Mutual. LiveWell Capital is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Joseph B Beshear, Marty Walker Geiger, Timothy Cailor Miller, Dustin Michael Parks, Andrew J Scarpitti, David M Schimberg and Bradley Scott Weeks provide investment advisory services as Advisors of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC), Milwaukee, WI, a subsidiary of NM and federal savings bank. Brokerage services provided as Registered Representatives of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and member FINRA and SIPC. Joseph B Beshear, Marty Walker Geiger, Timothy Cailor Miller, Jared J B Nickoli, Dustin Michael Parks, Andrew J Scarpitti, David M Schimberg and Bradley Scott Weeks are Insurance Agents of NM