If your way of assessing the state of the world is only through stories gleaned from the regular media, then you are likely missing out on all the marvelous and wondrous advancements of human society over the previous years and decades.
With news reports during the final months of 2018 focusing on market volatility and US budget problems, it has become very easy for investors to focus their attention mostly on short term and transitory issues.
Planning is about weighing the probabilities of certain outcomes coming to pass, and their impact on your personal situation. It is also about taking your personal situation and setting about to improve it, which can be done by increasing your savings or paying down your debt or just continuing to fund your current retirement program (RRSP) as part of your long-term goals.
Over the recent holiday break, several books appeared and pointed out the improvements in human society, such as the falling rate of poverty amongst the poorest on earth. Some books dealt with the decreasing societal violence globally over the past few hundred years, while others referred to the improvement across multiple indicators.
It is human nature to be wary of the negative and bad things that may affect us. This approach has helped us survive and thrive as a species throughout the millennia. But it is important to remember and examine all the good things that are happening around the world today as well.
One such reference source is the 2016 book by Johan Norberg author of "Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future". His book details the progress humanity has made, especially in Western society.
He suggests that the "good old days" are here and now! He then proceeds to show how far we have progressed and warns his readers against becoming complacent about further progress on various fronts such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality, which are all falling faster than at any time in human history.*
Your challenge is to close the door on 2018 and look forward to a future that is brighter than many people realize. This is a great time to review your financial strategy and see what can be positively improved over the next year. Perhaps you can find ways to free up some cash flow to increase your RRSP saving while also setting aside some money for fun activities as well.
The old-fashioned way of getting wealthy (living within your means and investing for the future) is still the simplest way to build your wealth over time.
**Footnote: Page 4. Johan Norberg, author of "Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future", 2016
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