This year’s Olympic Games have been unlike any other. Already delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes are competing without the benefit of large groups of fans to cheer them on. The Olympic Village, normally a hive of activity, is reportedly devoid of the parties and social activities that usually accompany the Olympic Games.
Yet watching elite athletes perform at the highest levels of their sports is still thrilling. Women’s gymnastics, in particular, has been incredibly exciting this year. These athletes and the feats they perform on the mat can provide poignant life lessons for the rest of us, even if our feet remain firmly planted on the ground. Consider this advice:
- It’s All About Balance. Simone Biles, considered by many to be the best gymnast in history, took the bronze medal on the balance beam. Her Olympic experience this year was a powerful lesson in creating a balanced life. Entering the games with an inordinate amount of pressure to perform, Biles withdrew from competition early on, citing her own mental health. Many prominent figures and fellow athletes praised Biles’ decision, which showed maturity well beyond her 24 years. By prioritizing her own well-being over an unhealthy drive to compete and win, Biles became a role model for people of all ages who are learning to honor their own physical and mental health and seeking a healthy balance in all areas of life.
- Save Some for the Vault. American MyKayla Skinner won a silver medal in the individual vault event. This was a remarkable achievement for an athlete who did not even expect to compete on the vault, but was tapped when her teammate, Simone Biles, withdrew. MyKayla was prepared for the unexpected. Are you? When life throws a curveball, it is important to have something in your own vault to fall back on. For many, this means savings. Experts recommend that you have enough money to cover three-to-six months of expenses in an account that is accessible in an emergency. If saving is a challenge, try paying yourself first. Put a set amount of money into savings every time you get paid, before you allocate money to bills or non-essentials like dining out.
- Stick the Dismount. Keep your eye on the end game, whatever that may mean for you. Most people work hard for years and dream of retirement. Move beyond your dreams by creating an actionable plan to help you achieve them. Think about what you want your retirement to look like. Where will you live? What type of lifestyle will you enjoy? What things are important to you? Do you want to travel or live close to your family? Do you want to continue working or spend time volunteering? Whatever your goals, it is important to start saving early. Thanks to the magic of compounding interest, the earlier you begin saving for retirement, the more rapidly your money will grow.
- It Takes a Team. Just as MyKayla Skinner was able to take Simone Biles’ place in the individual vault competition, we all need to rely on a team at times. When it comes to making appropriate financial decisions, your team may include financial planning professionals, elder care and estate planning attorneys, divorce, business, or personal attorneys, accountants, brokers, and more. Your situation is unique, which makes one-size-fits-all advice unlikely to help you achieve your goals. By assembling a team of professionals who can work together to guide you through the decisions you are likely to face, you will give yourself the best possible chance of reaching the gold.
Need help with day-to-day financial management for yourself or a loved one? Put LK Daily Money Management on your team. Contact us to learn how we can help keep your financial house in order, freeing you up to pursue your Olympic-sized dreams.
Call 516.528.0206 or email Lewis@LKMoneyMGMT.com