Money Story and Retirement

Your Money Story
Money often costs too much.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, what is your money story?

Your money story is how money has impacted and is impacting your life now. First of all, it is a history of how you have handled it in the past. Then, how do you feel about it? Consequently, what has been the impact on your life decisions? Also, what is your family legacy around it, etc.

Does money flow through your hands like water? Or, are you a saver, consequently, never spending a dime? On the contrary, do you spend it, but have a budget to keep you from going overboard? Or, are you petrified of it and talking about it? Or, are you somewhere in between? This is an important question because being honest about your story could be the difference between a happy retirement and a stressful one.

Why You Need To Know Your Money Story

I’m not going to say any story is good or bad. Rather, you need to be above board with this and determine if your retirement can handle your story. And, if you have a partner in retirement, what is their story?

Let’s face it, moolah brings up a lot of good and bad emotions. Since emotions drive most of our decision making, journaling about these emotions will be empowering. As a result, you may have many “Ah, Ha” moments as you journal these questions. In fact, you may find that your “true” money story is very different from the way you portray yourself to your friends and family. Also, the ego needs to take a back seat here.

Finally, let’s get to it………………………..

It is time to get your “money story” down on paper. Now, take several deep breaths before starting these journal questions. Equally important, remove all distractions.

I, also, recommend you take 2-3 sessions to complete your money story.

Without delay, here are the questions to get you started:

1. How do you handle money now? Are you a spender, saver, frugal….?
2. Are you in control of it or is your partner?
3. Do you have the need to control the money?
4. Do you bailout family and friends?
5. Do you worry about it on a regular basis?
6. Are you afraid to even talk about it?
7. Are you always struggling with credit card debt?
8. Are you afraid to spend it?
9. How did your family handle money? Was there a defining moment in your younger years, when your family had cash flow issues, for instance? Hence, impacting your story?
10. Did your family always have plenty of income and you always got what you wanted as a child?
11. Do you think you don’t deserve to have it?
12. Finally, do you think you are entitled to have it?


My long career as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner has kept me locked into numbers for a long time. But, over those years, I have come to understand the power of journaling or writing ideas and thoughts on paper. My hope is for one of these books to resonate with you and to provide you the tools to get what you want in life.

2 comments on Money Story and Retirement

  1. Deb says:

    Great information! Guilty of bailing out family & friends (when I was younger)…..have learned to be more careful….(can I afford to lose it?)……a once dear nephew and I have a troubled relationship over a short term loan never repaid……

  2. Karen says:

    Very thoughtful questions. An illness and being out of work for a period of time left me in a constant state of anxiety over money. I’m slowly emerging from this and getting back on my feet. Thank you for giving a voice to life’s challenges – and for giving us a thoughtful way to get to the other side! While retirement is not an option for me in the near term – having a healthy relationship with money is!

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