Lifestyle

Senior Living: How to deal with financial failures


Your past doesn’t have to determine your future

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Ever look back over your life with resentment? Bad feelings about a missed opportunity, a career failure, job loss, divorce, or even financial ruin? We all have them, some more than others. And the longer you live, the more you will have.

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It is hard to let go, especially when financial resentment can leave us open to even more self-sabotaging financial behaviour that’ll grow over time if we don’t work to let it go.

Financial resentment is more of a mood than an emotional state, and this behaviour often motivates more bad habits. For example, sometimes if we feel financial resentment, we overcompensate by spending money that we don’t have in an attempt to right the injustices that caused our resentment.

Being treated unfairly in a way that impacts your income, lifestyle or family welfare is one of the most upsetting experiences that we all face. Living through injustices no matter what they are, angers us and often settles in our hearts as resentment.

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The problem is, when we resent others because of an injustice, whether real or imagined, we cannot help but feel anger, sadness, and disappointment that tends to strengthen rather than fade over time. Our upset is often retriggered every time we think about it, which can even lead to ruminating and severe depression.

Money problems, economic setbacks, job loss and investment failures are a fact of life.

I have a very dear friend who suffered career failure and literally overnight went from a six-figure income to being flat broke, and that wasn’t the end of her troubles. The same year, her husband left her for another woman and she went on to spend three more miserable years in mental anguish and resentment until one day her therapist said something that struck a chord.

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It was plain, simple and true. He said: “You made it before, you were successful and happy once, so just change and become successful and happy again.”

Simple words.

And she did — determined this time to become more successful. I am pleased to report that even though it wasn’t easy, my amazing friend is now happier and earns more than she ever did before.

We must realize that the only thing we have complete control over is our reaction to failure. We can choose to be positive or negative. Letting go of resentment is ultimately about forgiveness — and that doesn’t mean that by forgiving yourself you are condoning the behaviour of someone else.

Forgiveness is about releasing yourself from self-destructive and painful resentment. It is a gift to you — not the person you forgive.

We must always remember that every Canadian is worthy of a life free of resentment, whether or not the person, institution, or situation you resent is worthy of your forgiveness. You are the only one who can improve your life. No one else can do this for you.

Be grateful for what you have right now. Treat each day as a gift. Change your life to be happy. You have the power to let the past go and move on to greatness.

— Christine Ibbotson has written four finance books, including the bestseller How to Retire Debt Free & Wealthy. info@askthemoneylady.ca



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