The Danger of the “Someday” Promise

By Marc C. Shaffer

“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.” -Gerald Vaughan

It is a fact in my life that as the years go on, I get busier, things get more complicated, and time shrinks. I have to be very strict with my time, going as far as adding ‘call this friend’ and ‘schedule a trip’ and ‘buy new running shoes’ reminders on my calendar.

I don’t want to get so busy that I miss these things, but I also know the important things take time so I make it a point to schedule time so they happen.

I envy people who schedule these things for Someday. Where is that on the calendar? Why don’t I have a Someday??

I’m kidding, of course, and as regimented as I am at putting to-dos on the calendar, I have a Someday list too. I talk to people almost every day about their Someday lists.

I want to do that but…someday when I’m rich…someday when I’m not busy…that will take too long right now…

When it comes to your financial planning, the Someday list can be long. Sometimes people become so overwhelmed with finances they are paralyzed from the start.

Grab a sheet of paper or open a Note. Write down what’s topping your financial Someday list.

I’ve seen the result of the Someday Promise impact people in small ways, but I’ve also seen it cause great harm. Families who struggled when their loved one died without a Will, high earners forced to work additional years because they dragged their feet on budgeting, retirees without enough savings because they didn’t value time and compounding when they were younger.

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” -Anonymous

You don’t get more time tomorrow, or in the future. You only build up more life, more complications, and more potential for those Someday items to bite you harder than they would today. I know that taking that first step can be difficult, but you might find by doing so, it makes the entire task a little easier. Often, getting started can give you the momentum and energy to get done.

Think about the item(s) you wrote above and answer:

If not now, why?

If not now, when? 

If I don’t start, who will I harm?

When I work with clients who are sharing their goals with me, I try to uncover the why behind their goals, so that we can always relate their action items back to the reason. Uncovering your reason behind your to-dos is important to help the task feel more like an advantage rather than a nuisance.

Why is/are the items above important?

It’s hard enough to get things we are dedicated to accomplished, but that doesn’t mean your financial Someday list isn’t important. If you cared enough to put it on a list, it must mean something to you.

What is one thing you can do right now to get something accomplished?

Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.

The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.  

Published for the blog on July 7, 2020 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.