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I asked Google "What is success," and one answer was: "the attainment of popularity or profit." This is exactly what society would tell you is the most accurate definition of success. A Bumper Stickers reads, "He who dies with the most toys, wins!" Black Friday is about "saving" money as you go about spending your last dollar on things you don't need. I recently read a internet advertisement that said, "Get out of debt with a consolidation loan." I thought, "WHAT? Who would buy into this garbage." Obviously, a lot of people do. Even older people who are supposed to be "smarter" because of their age are having a hard time "saving" anything for their future.

I have been seeing an increase of older clients (55+) who are approaching retirement and are now experiencing panic attacks, heart palpations, and worry excessively about their financial future. They worry because they have aging parents whose health is declining, and younger adult children living at home who have no plan to leave. These same parents wanted the best for their children, so they increased their level of debt by buying their children cars and paying for their college tuition. I know one man who was so upset that his daughter went to a top university for a degree and finished all but one class before dropping out. He was stuck with a $35,000 debt and she wasn't concerned because she said, "She wasn't going in that direction anymore and didn't need the degree."

"Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible,

and sound in faith, love, and endurance."

Titus 2:2

Look at the scripture above:

Older men (and this applies to women as well) are to be "level headed." This means THINK before you ACT. But, if you don't have the know how because your parents never taught you, how can you prepare a better future than they did?

How can you be respected if you are not acting, "worthy of respect?" Parents want to demand respect from their children, even while they are not acting worthy. You must earn their (and others) respect by displaying wisdom in your decisions, living a life worthy of respect (honorable), and avoiding things that destroy the respect of others (addictions, abuse, poor character).

The things that are"sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance" are qualities we want to pass onto the next generation and seldom do. We must possess these qualities FIRST before we can have an expectation to pass them on. We are not born with sensibility (common sense isn't common anymore), faith is fluid according to feelings, love is something to avoid and has been replaced by lust, and why endure when immediate gratification is the reward for impatience?

In order to get a different outcome, there has to be new input. When people with these problems come to me, I give them a fresh perspective on their situation. I show them that they are part of the problem by contributing to the way their family is falling into place. I refer them to several books: The Entitlement Cure, Boundaries With Teens, and Take Your Life Back. And I offer them hope by teaching them the principles taught by Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace University. The Bible says we are to have a renewing of our minds if we are to make changes. I love this quote because it is so true:

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

Start today with a fresh perspective, a hope for your future, and a plan for a better 2018. Sensibility is just around the corner.

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