Money Marathon Risk #2: Letting Financial Worry Hold You Back from Running Your Best Race and Living Your Best Life

We are in a series exploring seven potential risks of running a money marathon alone without any support. We will also discuss some strategies that could help mitigate those risks so that you can feel more confident and secure in your future and free to enjoy the wealth you have created.

To watch the video version of this post, please click here.

Risk #2: Letting financial worry hold you back from running your best race and living your best life.

This post is focused on risk #2 of 7 potential risks of running your money marathon without support. That risk is letting financial worry hold you back from running your best race and living your best life. It’s fascinating how similar marathon running and investing can be, and there are some strategies and crossovers that could help runners and investors get more potential mileage out of their training.

Let me explain by starting with a confession about a mistake I made while training for my first marathon, Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, last year. Then, we’ll talk about how the same mistake could also put you or investors at risk of failing to reach their potential.

I ran Grandma’s Marathon but had no clue how fast I could run a marathon. I literally started road running six months before the race. It was a little bit impulsive and last minute, and I had not run more than two miles over 17 years because doctors told me I shouldn’t run again. I did not have the support of a coach who helped me calculate what pace I could sustain for those 26.2 miles, so I went in just somewhat blind while training for that first marathon.

In preparation for running my first marathon, I reviewed some training plans online. One was a “do it yourself” plan, where I would receive a workout plan for the week once per week via email. The cost of this plan was a hundred bucks. That’s the one I took. The other option gave me an opportunity to add some coaching support, and it was around a hundred bucks a month for four months, so I decided to pass on that.

To get the do-it-yourself plan, all I did was enter my goal running time and a little bit about myself, and I was emailed that training plan every week. It was simple and cheap. The plan did not adjust based on my training results, some injuries I was battling along the way, or my perceived effort on how hard those runs were. It was a fixed plan without support and holy cow, did I regret it!

On race day, I was so nervous. I didn’t know how fast I could run, and I was also a little bit terrified of hitting the wall that I’d heard about towards those later miles. I wanted to do my best, but at the same time, I let worry creep in, and it held me back from running my best race. And because I didn’t have the support, I took it easy.

I set out at an 8-minute-per-mile pace. It was a super fun first half. It was easier than I expected, but I was constantly second-guessing my pace. I found myself a little bit bored. I decided to call my wife, my parents, and my kids and let them know I was dedicating certain miles to them. I even stopped to kiss my wife Marsha, who was there supporting me and high-fived the kids.

I also called my friend Eric, an experienced runner, for support and guidance on my pace. And before I could get a word in, he just lit me up, and he’s like, “What the bleeping bleep are you doing? If you’re talking that easily, get your butt in gear and get going. It’s getting hot out!”

So, I got off my phone and went from an 8-minute-per-mile pace to a 7:30-minute-mile pace for the second half of the marathon. In the end, I was thrilled to finish the marathon, but I had one regret. That regret was that I knew I could have run a better race. I let worry essentially hold me back.

What does this story have to do with running your best money marathon?

Isn’t your goal like what a lot of marathon runners have for goals to run their best race? Your goal might be to maximize your wealth in a meaningful way and get through all of the checkpoints that you want to get through in life. Maybe it’s a particular lifestyle. Maybe it’s traveling a certain way. Maybe it’s giving back to kids or grandkids or charities. And if you are like most investors, and like me, you don’t want to let worry hold you back.

But what can you do about this? What strategies might you have available to protect yourself from the risk of letting money worries hold you back?

In my opinion, it’s the same thing runners do. You can ask for support. With marathon running, coaches can recommend certain exercises and tests, like a lactate threshold test, that can help runners determine what pace they can sustain without hitting the wall based on their experience and how much lactate they produce in their blood.

Similarly, financial advisors and wealth managers can help investors calculate the spending pace they can sustain in any given year of their plan with a high probability of success. That means that you could run a stress test or a series of financial stress tests where your plan has an 85% or 90% probability of success (historically), and it can tell you what you could spend in any given year in your plan and have a high probability of success.

Just like running, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, but it can be really helpful when you’re looking to make decisions with confidence, especially if you don’t want to have to worry about what pace you can sustain financially.

At One Life Financial Group, I believe it’s just wrong to let those financial worries hold you back from living your best life and running your best race. And often, a big culprit of worry is just not knowing your pace or not having a financial plan.

So, if you have some ideas or financial life goals you’d like to pursue but worry is holding you back, right now might be a great time to ask for support. After all, you only have one life. Why not make the most of it?

If you would like assistance customizing a plan, if you’d like some support figuring out how to secure your future, maximize your wealth, or determine what pace you can sustain financially, you can click the Get Started button to request a consultation.

Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll cover risk #3 of the seven risks of running your money marathon without support.