Take five guys who need to get into shape, all weighing exactly the same. Send them to the doctor and a trainer to gather together their health data before they start a fitness plan—BMI, strength testing, stress hormone levels, bad cholesterol, good cholesterol, etc. Same weight, five very different fitness plans. This is why it is so important to know your own numbers when it comes to becoming financially fit. What are your interest rates on any and all debts (mortgage, credit cards, student loans, etc.)? What are you earning on your savings and where is every dollar of your retirement money? It’s about more than how much you’ve got—the dollar amounts—like your weight. It’s about the numbers behind the ‘weight’ that reveal what work needs to be done first to get fit.
Last night we met Ron, a former professional football player, now a graduate student and single dad who does incredibly important work with kids in trouble. His new career is tremendously rewarding, but unfortunately, not as financially rewarding as his former career.