Does your oven make you happy?Submitted by Dorval & Chorne on December 4th, 2018
By Ellen A. Kvenild | Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Our oven started on fire on Tuesday! The lower heating element started flaming and would not stop until we unplugged it. At first we thought maybe we had to give it a good cleaning, but when we tried to warm the oven the next day, the oven would not warm at all. Our initial reaction was to fix it (and by our, I really mean my husband since I am not handy!), but after much Googling and research, we realized our oven is so old the part is no longer manufactured. So… a new oven it is. By now you are probably wondering what in the world my oven ordeal has to do with finances, but it will relate, I promise!
I quickly began my research into all things ranges and boy are there varying features to consider at so many different price points. Convection or traditional oven? One door or two? Warming spot on the range top or not? I was overwhelmed and filled with indecision. I questioned if what I was leaning towards was the best oven out there. I tried asking a few people what ovens they had and the features they liked, but at the end of the day, what they wanted and needed out of an oven was different than what I wanted. I read reviews and some professional reports on “best electric ranges of 2018” but was even more paralyzed with my decision after reading those articles.
I started to focus in only on price tags until my husband (and Dan as I was telling him my oven ordeal) reminded me that this is something I use every day. I should focus on how I use my oven and what features would mean the most to me. If that came with a higher price tag but offered all the features that were on my list, then maybe those extra dollars were worth it for me. Ultimately I had to decide for myself what made sense for our family. By thinking through our needs, the decision of which ovens made the most sense became much easier and I felt (fairly) confident in my choice.
As I was going through my decision making process it reminded me of so many of our meetings lately. People always wonder what the “best” or “right” thing to do is and we tend to think and hope our financial life fits perfectly into a nice little box that will tell us exactly the best way to achieve our goals. The reality is we are all unique individuals that have our own goals that will add to our own personal quality of life and there is hardly ever something that is “one size fits all” when it comes to something as personal as planning.
We had a nurse come in a few weeks ago that had done an excellent job of accumulating reserves to allow her to retire when she decided it made sense for her. While she loved hearing that, it almost paralyzed her decision-making process because she was worried about what time would be “best” and focused only on the financial decision making of retirement – should I wait until I am 65 for Medicare? How about until my longevity bonus kicks in next year? While those are things to consider when planning, we had already determined she was going to be able to maintain her quality of life in retirement whether or not she waited for Medicare or a longevity bonus.
While we all love when the control of our life is no longer dictated by anything other than ourselves, sometimes making big decisions like retirement can be really hard because there is no “right” way or “best” time to do something! We encouraged this nurse to evaluate what would bring her the most quality of life. If that is working because she is still fulfilled providing care to others and her friends are there, that is wonderful! But if doing something else that she can only do by retiring would bring her the most joy, she should have the confidence that she will be fine leaving work from a financial perspective.
Our big, and little, life decisions are often hard. There is so much information and so many opinions out there that it can be confusing on how to move forward. Focusing on what your personal needs and wants are, what can provide you the most quality of life, helps bring clarity to these decisions.
I cannot wait for my oven to arrive later this week. I am sure I will have moments of questioning if I bought the right one between now and then, but I have confidence it will suit my family’s needs because I bought what made sense for me. I never realized how dependent I was on it until I had to go a week without it, and my kids will be very happy to not be eating the same few meals that I can make on the stovetop.