Today is a day of remembrance. For the September 11th victims, survivors, and those brave men and women who fought tirelessly to restore order, it is a day that will never be forgotten.
Where were you on September 11th?
I was overseas in Madrid, doing a study abroad program through Saint Louis University. I remember the day vividly; it was beautiful and sunny. I watched in terror as news footage on the TV repeated the same ugly images. I thought about my uncle and cousin who lived in New York, wondering if they were safe (fortunately, they were). Madrid news station crews canvased our campus since we were the only American university in Spain. They promised students a brief moment of publicity if we would share our reactions to this terrible news. I returned to the home of my host mother and wept.
You would think that seventeen years is enough. Enough time to process, heal, and move on. But that isn’t always the case. Could you please take a moment and say a prayer for those still grieving from that tragic day? Thank you.
The Economic Cost
According to a New York Times survey in 2011, the total cost of 9/11 is estimated at $3.3 trillion. They break it down into the following buckets:
$55 billion toll and physical damage
$123 billion economic impact
$589 billion homeland security & related costs
$1,649 billion war funding & related costs
$867 billion future war & veterans’ care costs
Al Qaeda spent about half a million dollars to destroy the World Trade Center and cripple the Pentagon. That means $7 million for every one dollar that Al Qaeda used to plot and execute the attacks. The $3.3 trillion in estimated economic impact represented about 1/5 of our nation’s debt in 2011.
Where do we go from here?
We could choose to stay focused on the financial and emotional toll of 9/11. Or, we can band together and put our trust in God.
We live in a culture filled with violence, addiction, and consumerism. Senseless shootings and political uprisings are commonplace. Families are divided when two parents no longer see eye to eye. Technological advancements have accelerated so quickly. We spend more time than ever scanning our news and social media feeds through phones and tablets. Rather than bringing us closer together, it puts us deeper into isolation. When will the madness stop?
We don’t need more hatred or to keep up with the Kardashians. Rather, we need people who recognize this mess and can use God’s power to transform our world into something beautiful.
I don’t have all the answers. But I do have the courage to walk on a path less traveled. A path that is focused on honesty, respect for others, admiration, and frugality. For clients willing to embark with me on the path, the benefits are immense:
You stop living in survival mode.
You become intentional about every dollar saved, shared, or spent.
You use your unique gifts to help others.
You don’t sweat the small stuff because your eyes are on the long-term reward.
Life isn’t about amassing money for your own benefit. Instead, it is about stewarding wealth in a way that aligns with Christian values. You can support family members, friends, and charitable causes that are close to your heart without sacrificing your long-term goals.
It may be hard to separate fact from fiction when you think about building wealth. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the WorthyNest® blog and view my free PDF: 10 Lies Others Tell You About Building Wealth. Or see how your financial outlook impacts your ability to build wealth through this quick, complimentary assessment based on groundbreaking research from Thomas Stanley’s book Millionaire Next Door.
My closing question to you is this: what are you doing to make the world a better place today? Tomorrow offers a fresh start.
Deborah L. Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP® is an investment advisor and fee-only financial planner based in St. Charles, Missouri who works with clients nationally. As the owner of WorthyNest, Deb helps Christian parents build wealth in a way that aligns with their values and is a 2018 recipient of the AICPA’s Standing Ovation award. Find Deb discussing family-minded finance on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.