On my commute to the office, I often drive right past a rather large cemetery. And while it can be morbid to think about, seeing that cemetery does provide a couple of important reminders on a daily basis:
1. No one knows when their time will come to an end, and
2. Make no mistake about it, our time is limited.
Have I sufficiently bummed you out with the reminder that we’re all going to die someday?
Sorry! But allow me to offer you a way to better deal with this reality. Here are some thoughts that might help:
Don’t live just for today.
Acting like money is no object presents a problem when tomorrow continues to show up. And it becomes harder and harder to enjoy the present when you’re acting like the future doesn’t exist.
Don’t live too far in the future.
At the same time, remember that the future is not promised to any of us no matter how well we prepare or plan for it. If your time came to an end today, what would you regret having not done? Start with your answers to this question and work on making them happen sooner rather than later.
Enjoy life now while preparing for later on.
Financial planning done well empowers you to enjoy life now while taking care of your future self. And perhaps contrary to popular belief, I believe financial planning isn’t something that you get “right” or restricts your enjoyment of life.
Rather, financial planning enables you to build in flexibility for when life changes -- and provide yourself with options in the face of an unknowable future.
We might not be able to control how much time we have left but we can control how we choose to spend our limited time. As Andy said to this buddy Red in the excellent movie Shawshank Redemption…
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: get busy living or get busy dying.”
What are you going to choose?
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