28 March 2016

Learning To Sail Financially


Metaphors are such a great tool in conveying messages, ideas and lessons.

Some of us have heard of “golden parachutes” in speaking to corporate managerial compensation after quitting / termination.

A golden parachute is a decent severance pay to a select few people atop the corporate ladder.

The typical employee may get a few weeks pay in severance, and then has to find another job.

No golden parachutes for regular employees... the free-fall after quitting / termination is a rough landing.

Sometimes no stock options for the regular employee; thus no personal incentive during or after work.

It is up to the individual to make for themselves a 'parachute' of sorts, during their work years.

What does a parachute do?

Slows down the free-fall back to the ground.

It has to do with wind resistance and safety.

In the United States, Social Security made for a decent idea for retirees.

But this fixed income doesn't adjust to inflation.

So the individual, if they so desire, needs to make plans for themselves if they plan to have something while they work, and if / when they retire.

I say “if” because not everyone makes it to retirement age.

And the idea of working one's entire life only to wait around to die... is... well, not living in my opinion.

For some people, a job they can leave at work is fine by them, and there is nothing wrong with that.

This blog article is not to promote anything financial, but to identify the call to be personally responsible for your financial affairs while you live.

And if it doesn't matter to you, perhaps your faith calls you to place your safeguard in the Most High... and that is the best place to be.

However, we do have a role and part to play while we traverse this earth.

Although God is in absolute control of all things, not doing our part is not abiding by what He has established.

Wealth and money are tools, if they are used wisely... and can be weapons used against some people.

Our attributes, our developed talents, our very selves are God's gifts to us.

We are to develop our person, not becoming a burden to others ( unless God has willed such a temporary scenario to bring about something greater ).

If we live within reasonable means, the means can be easily reached, achieved and surpassed.

I like using the sailing metaphor when speaking of the concept of financial security.

With sailboats, a sail needs to catch the wind in a certain way to make the vessel / boat move over the water.

Once again, wind resistance and, instead of only safety as with the parachute, the sail is about propulsion.

A properly adjusted sail means the difference between winning a race, or getting to a destination earlier, eventually... or not at all.

The manner in which you manage your monies determines what kind of sail you are making for yourself and how well it will work.

Imagine the size of your vessel / boat as being your liabilities, or your regular costs ( housing, food, energy, etc. ).

A large boat with a very small sail may have a difficult time traveling, or may not travel at all.

'Dead in the water' is a phrase to consider.

Yet a small boat, with a large sail, can capture more than enough wind to help it travel anywhere... even around the world!

A large sail can be trimmed in, but a small sail cannot be made larger.

One should continue working to build and add size to their current sail.

Yet, the key is to keep the sail and boat size comparable, or have the sail being larger than the boat, never the vessel larger than the sail.

Have you ever heard a story, or seen a movie, about the cargo of a boat needing to be thrown overboard in order to save the boat, and thus all who are in the boat?

What may be considered to be 'good' cargo may actually be a monthly payment that is making your boat sink.

Some people may simply say “let's make the sail larger” ( make more money )... but this is actually the unwise thing to do.

The wise thing to do is to always be lightening the load; releasing the cargo that isn't producing income or adding value to the boat.

The key, if you are into acquiring cargo, but would like to get the kind that makes dollars and sense ( cents ), is to acquire assets... while releasing liabilities.

The method is learning to tell the difference between the two and the effort is the discipline to actually do it.

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