Retirees like to assemble a bucket list of things they want to do before they leave this life. During my seminar this week I talked about some of the special people I have known during my career, and the lessons I learned from them. Some stories are sad and some happy, but all provide useful lessons as we plan our own bucket lists.
Agnes was a penny pincher who lived in a small apartment. She dreamed of travel but refused to, insisting she couldn’t afford it. She was generally an unhappy lady, living in constant fear of just about everything including her money not lasting. I encouraged her to enjoy life a little and do some of the things she dreamed of but her response was always, “I can’t afford it.” No one, including her own family, would have ever imagined that she was worth millions.
Evelyn was as bright as they come, full of energy and a love for life. She loved her family and used her abundant resources to spend time with them and bless their lives. She had learned that money was not happiness, but it helped her create happy moments for herself and others. Investing was her lifelong hobby. When she came by she would open several large binders and carefully review every position. She was an informed investor but not a worrier. One day she asked me about a new company she was excited about,
saying that in about ten years she was sure they would dominate their industry. “Do you think I should buy it?” she asked. I just smiled as I said, “Evelyn, do you realize you are 93 years old?”
Ben was such a dear friend. He was a brilliant investor, but when he retired he turned it over to me and said he was going to go play. And play he did. From Caribbean islands to exotic European cities, Ben saw it all. Every few months he would stop by, tanned as could be, to check on his investments before heading off to cross another item off his bucket list.
My last meeting with Ben was a very sober one. He told me he was dying. As we talked about his life and his great adventures his tone softened as he confessed how very unhappy he had been. He told me the things that had mattered most to him in his youth, his family and faith, he had abandoned, and despite all his attempts to find happiness through playing, happiness eluded him. He longed for a little more time to try and make his life right. Unfortunately, he died two weeks later.
What is on your bucket list? Is it aligned with your “Values” list? As a financial advisor I spend a lot of time encouraging people to enjoy their money rather than just hoarding more of it. I have learned from so many friends that money can be a wonderful tool, but like any tool, it has no value if not used, and it’s real value depends on the hands that use it.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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