I believe the real reason debt creates stress is because it’s an unfinished project looming in the distance. Sadly, I see so many physicians and dentists, driven by this irrational pressure, unwisely throwing every dollar they have at debt as a way of self-medicating the anxiety. They panic and, because the thoughts about debt have consumed their minds for so long, they believe the only way to mental freedom is to get rid of it as quickly as possible. I propose a different solution.
The question “How much money do you want to have in retirement?” is only half the equation. The story you tell and the dreams you dream about your future self is the other - and more important - half.
“Why would I use a dollar to avoid interest on a decreasing balance over time rather than use a dollar to gain interest on a growing balance over time?”
If you are intentional, you can strengthen your empathy just like a muscle. And, if you are strategic, you can give charitably in ways that make a profound impact in the world without growing numb or cynical to the overwhelming number of requests.
Trust is crucial. And believe it or not, financial planning has a lot to do with trust. No, not trust in your financial planner, but in yourself.