By Kale Terrill on June 18, 2021
From a very early age, my father stressed the importance of financial prudence and stability. Whenever we went to a store, there was always a real-life exercise on opportunity cost—the understanding that there is a trade-off to every decision.
The biggest financial lessons my dad taught me: live within my means, prioritize actions and goals that are most important, and execute a well-thought-out financial plan which is adaptable for the future. Investing in the future is not always easy in the here-and-now but thinking logically and understanding the bigger picture is key to making decisions that will support future goals.
One of the things I admire most about my dad is that no matter whether he is in the role of parent, coach, financial advisor, church councilman, or community board member, his fiduciary mindset remains the same. He continually acts logically in the best interest of those he is representing. Dad is a model example of the adage that the more you give to others, the more you receive in return. That is something I have always tried to emulate—even more so now that I am a financial advisor, like him.
Dad lives his everyday life in the same manner he advises his clients and his children. There are times, when money is involved, that tense conversations and hard situations cannot be avoided. Dad always stressed the importance of making informed decisions, and the behaviors that contribute to the best-informed decisions. Being respectfully honest about every situation; listening more than speaking; absorbing information; and continually learning to grow personally and professionally are crucial to the decision-making process. Dad showed me that always striving to do the right things and treating others the right way will lead to positive outcomes.
I appreciate that money has never been the most important factor in our lives—the lesson being that no matter how much wealth a person has amassed, there is no replacement for treating everything and everyone with respect. Integrating this philosophy with sound financial planning can instill a sense of peace and confidence about managing finances and provide a strong foundation to achieve a lifetime’s worth of goals.
These are the financial & life lessons I plan to pass on to my future kids:
- Financial prudence and stability. Live modestly and appreciate what you have.
- Live within (or better yet—below) your means.
- Plan for the future but prepare to be adaptable. Change is inevitable.
- Every choice has a trade-off. What is the opportunity cost?
- Money should not be the most important focus in our lives, but poor financial management can create a lot of unneeded stress and hardship.
- Helping others plan for the future and achieve goals is extremely gratifying.
- Practice what you preach—live with empathy and help provide solutions to others’ problems.
Kale Terrill is an Associate Trust Officer & Wealth Advisor in our Manhattan, KS office.