TODAY'S PAPER
Scattered Clouds 41° Good Evening
Scattered Clouds 41° Good Evening
Business

Olympics virtues also apply to goal of financial independence

Making an Olympic team requires setting short and

Making an Olympic team requires setting short and long-term goals -- and so does financial planning, says Dave Littell, in photo, who fenced for Team USA in the 1988 Games in Seoul and currently is retirement income director at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: Courtesy Dave Littell

As you watch in awe the performances of Olympians in Rio, with a little imagination you’ll also see that they have much to teach about money.

  • Set goals

Making an Olympic team requires setting short and long-term goals. Financial planning, like preparing for retirement, has the same requirements. “You need a sense of where you are going and concrete steps to move in the right direction,” says Dave Littell, who fenced for Team USA in the 1988 Games in Seoul and currently is retirement income director at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

  • Adapt

Stuff happens. “An Olympian trains for various situations so they are best prepared for all foreseeable circumstances. When life throws you a curveball you need an emergency fund. Train so that when something you don’t see happens, you’re prepared to adjust and move on,” says Lauryn Williams, a four time track and field and bobsled Olympian, whose Dallas financial planning firm Worth Winning focuses on athletes.

  • Sacrifice

Olympians are determined and committed, making endless sacrifices to achieve their goals. When it comes to finances, rules like paying yourself first, saving 10 percent of your income, and sticking to a budget require the same moxie to cross the finish line — financial freedom. “Be patient. Olympians are not made over night, nor are retirement and savings accounts,” says Williams.

The bottom line is discipline. Says Lesley Pearson, creator of the Stronger Wallet blog, “Personal finance is much more about behaviors than the numbers.”

More news

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to Newsday is free for Optimum customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE