Master The Comeback

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An excerpt from “Millennial Millonaire”, describing how it’s never to late to start financial planning.

Step 13: Master The Comeback

“The best time to plant a shade tree was 25 years ago. If you haven’t done so, the 2nd best time is now.”

-Chinese Proverb

Here are a number of famous names, if you know what they all have in common, you’ll get a prize:

Taylor Barnum, Henry John Heinz, Frank Baum, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Milton Suavely Hershey, Donald Trump, Larry King, Charles Goodyear, and Wayne Newton… Keep them in mind throughout this article.

Have you ever tried driving while looking in the rear-view mirror? It’s not easy, frankly if you did it for more than a few moments you’ll probably total your car. Yet when it comes to money, that’s what people do. Cling to that one great investment, or wail over that one lousy advisor. Look towards the future and prepare for tomorrow, not yesterday.

There are three indisputable truths once you turn 50, you should never pass a bathroom, never trust a fart, and never think financial planning is out of reach. Regardless of your age, I encourage you to take a hard look at where your financial life is. If you’re happy, that’s great, if you’re not, maybe it’s time for a change. Always remember, if you do what you’ve done you’ll be what you’ve been.

Look at cigarette smokers… They figure they’ve been puffing away for the past 40 years, so why stop now? As medical professionals will agree, quitting smoking even up to your senior years can have an immeasurably positive impact on your health. The same applies for finance. If you’ve got yourself into a bit of a hole, don’t keep digging, man up and climb out.

Even if you’re on the back nine, it’s ok to change course. I’ve had plenty of meetings with senior citizens in which I bring up a recommendation contrary to what they’ve done their entire life. As they vehemently defend their past errors, it begins to feel like the “You can’t handle the truth!” scene from A Few Good Men. Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning from a mistake.

If you’re ready to get on the right track, the first step should be to calculate your balance sheet- assets and liabilities. Once these items are accounted for, create a detailed, brutally honest budget. WARNING- if you feel behind schedule after this checkup, do NOT fall into the trap of playing catch up with your portfolio. It’s time to get aggressive with your saving, not with your investment allocation. Countless plans go from bad to worse with this “double down” mentality. Once your strategy is up to date, it’s important to make some realistic choices of what’s doable in retirement- the wants versus the needs. From here, turn over the new leaf and put your adjustments into action. Your newfound budget should include systematic monthly allocations to short-term and long-term goals, with a flex bucket in the middle.

As for those superstars of entertainment and business mentioned earlier, they’ve all gone through the humbling process known as bankruptcy. If they could climb back from literally being broke and go onto such heights, you can start planning and salvage your retirement. Like William James once said, “One of the greatest discoveries of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” In other words, change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.



Bryan M. Kuderna is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow, and Investment Adviser Representative with Kuderna Financial Team. He is a perennial qualifier for the industry’s prestigious Million Dollar Round Table®, Leaders Club, and Inner Circle. He is the author of the best-selling book, “MILLENNIAL MILLIONAIRE- A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30”.

Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from The College of New Jersey. He has also studied at The University of Tampa and The University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic.

He is a featured speaker nationwide at college campuses, teaching hospitals, government offices, syndicated talk radio shows, and major publications on the subjects of Financial Literacy, Millennial Business, Networking, and Personal Development. His work has appeared in Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC, Huffington Post, Broker World, Financial Planning Magazine, Entrepreneur, Think Advisor, Millennial Mag, Success and more.

In his spare time, Bryan enjoys hanging out with his wife, Anita, and their three children. He has successfully completed The National Marathon in Washington D.C., as well as The North American Ironman in Quebec, Canada. He proudly serves on The Community YMCA’s Board of Directors, The Colts Neck Business Association, The Asbury Park Rotary Club, Fellow of Lead New Jersey (LNJ)- Class of 2016, and The Monmouth Ocean Development Council (MODC).