In my world, it goes something like this:
Well, I want to pay less tax, but I don’t want to spend any money saving the tax.
I want to decrease my tax liability, but I want to keep all my money.
I want a higher return, but I want to be able to get to my money at a moment’s notice, too.
I want my money to grow, but I don’t want to it to go down or be at risk.
I want to have the best investment and financial advice around, but I hate fees.
Everything is a trade-off. Every decision you make, every dollar you spend, every minute that goes by is a resource being used one way, which means it cannot be used in any other way.
That isn’t bad, though. Adam Smith and the growth in standard of living since the industrial revolution have taught us that specialization has increased wealth all around. Those people that allocate their time, talent, and treasure in specific and purposeful ways are achieving better overall results. Those who don’t are trying to ride the middle of the road by paying for some advice, but only a little bit. Or by trying to save money on taxes but only doing the cheap or easy tactics. Or taking some middling risk and ending up disappointed that you get middling returns.
Sure, the investment account of the people who specialize might take a big dip sometimes, but that is offset by very safe money should they need emergency money. They might not be experts in taxation, but they hired someone they trust to give them advice, and they are getting better results from it. They might not have spent time in lots of different jobs getting life experience and having different adventures, but they are probably noticeably ahead of their peers in both pay and seniority at whatever career they have decided to stick to.
Life is trade-offs. You want to have adventures and live it up after college? That is awesome, more power to you. But don’t get to 35 and get mad because you can’t afford to buy a house or do the other things that people your same age (who worked all through their 20s) are doing. You want to pay less tax? We all do! But don’t whine about taxes, then get mad at yourself a year later when you pay the same amount of taxes you did last year because you put no money or time into new tax strategies.
Don’t let life just happen to you. Don’t look back and wish you had made other choices. It really isn’t that hard to figure out where you want to be and what it takes to get there.
Pick your goals, get realistic information on what it takes to get there, decide if the cost is worth the benefit and go.
You can either have the cake or you can eat it. If you eat it, you won’t have it anymore. But you know what you will have? A belly full of cake.