Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants

  • Jul 21

    Many Americans appear to be living one big expense away from disaster. A 2014 Federal Reserve poll discovered the startling fact that almost half of all U.S. households could not come up with $400 to cover an emergency expense. They would need to sell something, or borrow cash, to do so.

    If you find yourself belonging to that category, then I have some ideas (11 of them, in fact) I think will help. In my experience, if you want to get out of a hole, you study the behavior of those who have already made it out. And you do everything you can to copy that behavior.

    Yes, some people have been fortunate enough to inherit wealth, etc. But many, MANY more of those who have wealth came about it in a different way.

    Now, so that YOU do not find yourself in the unfortunate place of not being able to scrape up $400 in an emergency … read this now.

    Becoming a household that will be able to ride through instability and uncertainty is only going to become MORE important in future years, not less. So, that being the case, here is a portrait of those who are able to achieve this status.

    You’ll notice that these are just as significantly about your mindset as you relate to your finances, as about your behaviors.

    Here’s what the Financially Secure look like …

    1) He always spends less than he earns. In fact, his mantra is that over the long run, you’re better off if you strive to be anonymously rich rather than deceptively poor.

    2) She knows that patience is truth. The odds are you won’t become a millionaire overnight. If you’re like her, your security will be accumulated gradually by diligently saving your money over multiple decades.

    3) He pays off his credit cards in full every month. He’s smart enough to understand that if he can’t afford to pay cash for something, then he can’t afford it.

    4) She realized early on that money does not buy happiness. If you’re looking for financial joy, you need to focus on attaining financial freedom.

    5) He understands that money is like a toddler; it is incapable of managing itself. After all, you can’t expect your money to grow and mature as it should without some form of credible money management.

    6) She’s a big believer in paying yourself first. It’s an essential tenet of personal finance and a great way to build your savings and instill financial discipline.

    7) She also knows that the few millionaires that reached that milestone without a plan got there only because of dumb luck. It’s not enough to simply “declare” to the universe that you want to be financially free. This is not a “Secret”.

    8) When it came time to set his savings goals, he wasn’t afraid to think big. Financial success demands that you have a vision that is significantly larger than you can currently deliver upon.

    9) He realizes that stuff happens, and that’s why you’re a fool if you don’t insure yourself against risk. Remember that the potential for bankruptcy is always just around the corner, and can be triggered from multiple sources: the death of the family’s key breadwinner, divorce, or disability that leads to a loss of work.

    10) She understands that time is an ally of the young. She was fortunate (and smart) enough to begin saving in her twenties, so she could take maximum advantage of the power of compounding interest on her nest egg.

    11) He’s not impressed that you drive an over-priced luxury car and live in a McMansion that’s two sizes too big for your family of four. Little about external “signals” of wealth actually matter to him.

    And a little bonus, if you will: She doesn’t pay taxes which could have been avoided with a simple phone call to her tax professional. She plans ahead, before tax time.

    “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy

  • May 29

    Any road will take you there,” according to the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

    Imagine going up to the airline ticket counter and telling the ticket agent you would like to purchase a ticket to go on a wonderful vacation, but you aren’t sure where or when you want to go. What do you think her response would be? Maybe something like “Well, when you figure out where and when you want to go, come back and I’ll help you. Now, please step aside so I can help the other 14 people in line.”

    Perhaps the biggest unanswered question of business owners is, “Where do you want your business to be and when do you want it to be there?”

    Often the answers sound like: “I want to make more money” or “I want to grow my business.”

    But those answers are vague, hazy, nonspecific and non-measurable. Consequently, there is no way to ever achieve them. Before you are able to figure out how, you must be able to understand the where and the why. Otherwise you’re like a dog chasing its tail.

    This is a process. To begin, you must spend some time developing a blueprint for your future.

    Start by thinking of how you would like to be spending your time. Of all the kinds of work you could be doing, what do you want to do the most? How many hours do you want to work each week, and how would you like to divide up your working time? Then, think about what kind of people you would like to interact with. Who are your ideal clients, customers, colleagues and employees? Next, imagine the physical environment in which you would like your business to operate. What would it look like? What would it feel like? How large a space would you want? What level of business would you have? How much revenue and profits? How many clients, billable hours, etc. would you have? What would be the mix of clients or services that you would provide?

    Write your answers in the present tense. Don’t worry if your picture is a little fuzzy or you can’t answer all of the questions. You are striving for process not perfection. This process will help you develop the focus necessary to achieve your heart’s desire. It takes a lot of time and effort, and some deep soul-searching. It is not easy. That is why only 3% of people will do it. You have a choice. You can consciously choose to be one of the 3% that pursues personal excellence, or by default you will become part of the 97% mass of humanity to spend their lives in mediocrity. I hope you choose to become one of the 3%.