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News Release

BOO! Don’t be Spooked by Your Finances This Halloween

October 09, 2013

CFP Board Consumer Advocate Offers Advice on How to Avoid “Financial Fright”

Americans love the thrill of being scared and startled by ghosts, witches, and vampires, especially at Halloween. While many enjoy the fear and excitement associated with this horror-filled holiday, don’t let your finances and financial future bring such a fright this Halloween.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (“CFP Board”) Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® encourages consumers to face their financial ghosts during this spooky season.

“Dealing with finances can make our hands shake, metaphorically speaking, and what doesn’t scare one person is bound to unnerve another.  Some people confess to being too frightened to open their monthly investment account statements; others put off getting life insurance or preparing wills because having to plan for death is just too unsettling,” says Blayney. “Retirement – a time of life that should be sunny and pleasurable – is for many a haunting and shadowy prospect.”

In the latest installment of CFP Board’s “Let’s Talk Planning” blog and the sixth feature in its “Financial Planning is for Everyone” series, Blayney shares tips on “turning those pesky financial ghosts into friendly little Caspers.”

  • Get educated.  The more you know about a subject, the less daunting it becomes.  This principle holds true with investing, which many people see as a financial activity fraught with uncertainty and danger.
  • Practice makes peaceful.  Some financial tasks get scarier the longer we avoid them.  Establish a routine for reviewing your financial information, keep a calendar date with your budget, and regularly move money into savings or investments.
  • Plan for the unexpected.  Having money set aside for emergencies such as job loss or a medical crisis, or buying insurance against devastating financial loss, won’t necessarily prevent what you fear most from happening, but it will enable you to survive those events.
  • Don’t go it alone.  The financial world can be a far less dark and spooky place when you have a trusted companion at your side. A CFP® professional can help you face down your money fears by helping you to meet them head on. You can find a competent, ethical financial planner in your area at Afraid you don’t know what questions to ask the planner?  Learn more here.

“While many of us love a good scare, when it comes to financial fright, few get in line. Being thrilled by warty witches is one thing; being scared about ‘triple witching’ days in the stock market is quite another,” says Blayney. “When the stake is real money and not just bite-sized Snickers, no one enjoys being spooked. Halloween is a great time to scare ourselves silly, but not about finances. Confront your fears!”