One of my favorite binge-worthy shows is Discovery’s, Naked and Afraid. It is a fascinating show that puts one man and one woman, who have never met, in a strange desolate environment and their task is to survive for 21 days. Oh, and of course they are stark naked. Awkward, right? These folks have many different backgrounds but they always have at least some form of wilderness training or experience. After 21 days, they must head to their “extraction point” which often requires a long hike across treacherous terrain. In watching the show, I have found a few themes that correlate to personal finance. Let’s make sure that you won’t end up feeling Naked and Afraid when it comes to your finances.
One of the biggest challenges facing the contestants on the show is the mental aspect of the show. You are dropped off, nude, in a very unforgiving environment. It is easy to feel like you’re all alone on an island (pun intended). Where do you start? For some, it is finding water. For others, it is building a shelter. When it comes to your finances, it is also easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. It is important to prioritize your goals. This will enable you to take a good long-term view and track the progress you make. On Naked and Afraid, the contestants constantly have to remind themselves that they just need to keep at it until they make it to day 21. For you, taking that long-term view can help you to keep plugging away at your financial goals.
With any new adventure, it is important to have a plan. There will always be unforeseen challenges that are out of your control. That’s why having a plan is so important, to help you stay on course when things around you go haywire. On Naked and Afraid, the duo is given a map. This map is essential to help them find the best place to build a shelter, and more importantly, give them direction for their extraction. When it’s blistering hot in the desert or a there’s a monsoon in the jungle, it’s important to keep your map handy because it represents your end goal. In your financial life, financial planning can act as your map. It can help you to establish how you should invest your money and will also act as a guide to help get you through the different phases of your life. Whether it is saving for college expenses, building a retirement nest egg, or taking distributions as a retiree, financial planning will give you guidance and direction.
One thing is apparent very early on during any episode– your chances of success are dramatically increased if you have a strong partner. Can you imagine being stuck in a remote location with someone that is lazy and dragging you down? How about if the person is negative all the time and drives you nuts? It happens all the time on the show. But the opposite is also true. Many times, contestants thrive because they work well together. The duo will establish roles, helping them to be efficient with their resources. It is the same with financial planning. An advisor can be a great teammate to help you pursue financial success. The fact is, studies show that investors are often their own worst enemy. Working with an advisor that values financial planning can help you to avoid making mistakes that can sabotage your progress. Whether it is retiring comfortably or reaching an extraction point to be rescued, having an accountability partner can dramatically increase your chances of not only survival but thriving.
Interested in a no-obligation consultation so that you can stop feeling Naked and Afraid when it comes to your finances? CLICK HERE.
Side note: I can assure you that meeting with us will not be this awkward: