As we enter the Thanksgiving season, we also enter into a season of thankfulness. This November, we’ve got thankfulness on the mind — and want to share some surprising ways that gratitude can positively impact your financial mindset.
If appreciation and accounting don’t quite go together for you, consider the following ways in which an attitude of gratitude can serve you well now and as you prepare for retirement.
Get a Feel for Tomorrow’s Lifestyle Needs
Instead of glossing over the “what are you thankful for?” question when you’re asked this year, it may be in your best interest to embrace and thoughtfully answer it. Studies have shown that being grateful decreases depression, decreases blood pressure, increases happiness and self-esteem levels, and increases the likelihood of prosocial behaviors.
On its head, this doesn’t seem like the most helpful financial advice, but practicing gratefulness can have benefits beyond your mental and emotional well-being. Just as one can practice their golf swing to train their muscles, one can practice gratefulness to train their brain to produce feelings of happiness and contentment — and become better at deflecting negative thoughts. This practice may have a positive impact over time.
There are a multitude of ways that cultivating these feelings of gratitude can affect your health mindset — and even how you handle your finances. And with the added possible benefit of better health through practicing gratitude, you may be able to realistically plan for your ideal retirement lifestyle later on down the line.
Avoid Emotional Investing
Adding simple gratitude practices to your routine can be as easy as thinking grateful thoughts before bed or discussing aloud the things that you’re grateful for. As you head into retirement age, it’s not so silly to consider your mindset and attitudes on thankfulness when thinking about reducing your healthcare costs.
Aside from reporting better health, individuals in gratefulness studies who reported higher levels of thankfulness were less likely to give in to instant gratification and make impulse purchases, and were more likely to save appropriately. Gratefulness begets contentment, which may lead to smarter financial decisions as you navigate your retirement savings strategy.
Emotionality can subvert your financial plans, so finding balance and contentment in your current lifestyle can give you a clearer mindset as you contemplate the future. And if you tame tricky financial habits now, chances are you’ll carry these good habits into retirement.
Give Back and Gain More
When it comes to financial management, especially the development of a retirement plan, we immediately think of savings or ways to stow away money. But, part of a grateful attitude might mean more generosity.
In fact, individuals who give more or live more generously tend to be happier than people who don’t. Helping loved ones financially can be uplifting, as can giving to a charity that you believe does important and meaningful work.
While giving money away isn’t the most intuitive way to approach financial planning, there are benefits in the short- and long-term. For example, you may be able to plan your IRA distributions to go toward qualified charitable donations so that you can balance your retirement tax strategy.
Additionally, as you cultivate gratitude and generosity, you may find the practices shaping can how you choose the community, location, and lifestyle that you desire for your retirement and how much money you will need in order to meet those goals. All of these are important considerations for your retirement planning.
Here at Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group, we understand that you’re more than your financial plan. Our CFP® professionals want to tailor your retirement planning to your unique desires, attitudes, and needs, and we understand that a grateful attitude has important impacts on planning for your retirement. Contact us today for a consultation!