Money Fear #1 – The Fear of Being Broke

#1 … The Fear of Being Broke

At the top of the list is the fear of being broke, “Will I have enough to buy the foods I want, the medications I need or be able to pay for the things I want to do when I stop working?”

Years ago, a client had asked me if I would take the time to go visit his mother.  He told me that she had some investments, lived mostly off the dividends, interest and her monthly Social Security.  He asked that I just check in with to see if she was getting a decent return on her portfolio. 

I made the appointment and spent a pleasant two hours getting to know Martha.  She was in her early sixties at the time and healthy. She believed that she was a good steward of her money.  With financial data filled out, I promised to get back to her within the week with an update on several stocks and suggestions for any changes to her portfolio.  As I got up to leave, she said, “What about my stash?” 

She pointed the corner of her living room.  All I saw was a big green, over-stuffed chair.  “My stash . . . in the chair. . . and drapes.” 

My new client had stashed in excess of $30,000 over the years in her over stuffed green chair with matching draperies.  She had lived through the Depression—never again would she, or her family, be without food if bad times hit again.  It took me over a year to convince her to move her moneys to a money market fund that would earn her interest. 

Did she move the entire amount?  Nope, she insisted on a stash of $5,000 in the house, money that she could tap into for “whatever.”

The reality is that whether you are rich, poor, or in-between, the person that you are going to have to depend the most on to keep you from the poorhouse is you and your smarts.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting the top fear factors for today … to overcome your fear, and get back on track, get your copy of Money Smarts for Turbulent Times by Judith Briles–available in paper and ebook format.