Powerball Confessions of a Personal Financial Planner

George Reilly |

Didi Dorsett, Associate Financial Planner at Safe Harbor, makes the following confession:

As I wrapped up a financial planning presentation with clients last week, we laughed when we realized we were all going to buy Powerball tickets on our way home that evening. With the jackpot at over $600 million at the time, a lot of us who might not normally play the lottery had already started counting our Powerball “chickens.”

I found particular irony in a personal financial planner buying lottery tickets, but rationalized that I could freely admit to my purchase as long as I set a reasonable limit (two tickets), had already paid my monthly bills, and wasn’t borrowing from my 401(k) to buy the tickets. As I drove home, I imagined all of the things I would do when (not if) I won the jackpot. I quickly emptied my bucket list and then I started dreaming really big!

This folly reminded me of the importance of making time to dream but also following through by acting on your dreams. Use the ongoing Powerball frenzy as an opportunity to start a conversation with your spouse, partner or even yourself. What is important to you? What do you want your life or retirement to look like? What more do you want to achieve and what’s keeping you from doing it?

We all need personal and financial goals and can benefit from planning for how we will achieve those goals. While playing the lottery should not be a formal part of your retirement plan, it is a fun reminder to spend some time thinking about what (and who) makes you happy. You don’t even have to buy that Powerball ticket to put a plan in place and act on your dreams…but you might be surprised at how doing so can help you push beyond any restraints on your imagination.

Sadly, I didn’t win the jackpot on Saturday, but I’m already making plans for when I win on Wednesday!

[Full disclosure: George Reilly, Principal Planner at Safe Harbor, has the winning ticket in his possession. Sorry Didi!]