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Maybe I’m alone, but I can’t believe it’s October. I suspect some of you are feeling the same way and wondering where the year went!  As we get closer to the end of the year, however, I’ve started to hear something that worries me.

“Oh, I’ll take care of that … next year.”

I’m the first to admit I’ve made this claim more than once myself. But then next year comes, and it’s suddenly October, and I’m left with two choices: (1) I can say it again or (2) I can get started.

Few things are more powerful for individual investors than the simple act of starting. Whether it’s choosing to contribute to a pension plan or saving money each month, starting has a huge impact on our ability to reach financial goals.

All too often, I’ll hear people outline a great business exit strategy or speak with confidence about what they’ll do in retirement. Then, if you dig a little deeper, they admit they haven’t actually done anything with their plans. It usually comes back to the idea that they’re waiting for something.

They’re waiting for the economy to improve.

They’re waiting until after the next election to see who wins.

They’re waiting until the new pension rules come in before loking at their retirement planning

Whatever their rationale, people will wait. And waiting can do almost as much damage to your financial dreams as doing too much —if it’s based on the idea that you’ll get to it “later.” Later is tempting because we like to assume we’ll always have the same options then as we do now. But if you’re older than 25, you know how unrealistic it is to expect options to stay static.

Things change, and at this moment in time, the only thing you can control is your behavior. So start doing something that will help your financial planning, and stop assuming the decision has to be perfect before you can act.

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