At this time of Thanksgiving, I feel to share some thoughts about being thankful. Gratitude may not seem important from a financial planning perspective, but I believe it sits near the very top of the desirable qualities which can greatly add to an investors success and happiness.
I have often said I have never had a client run out of money. With that in mind, I ask people to recognize the high probability of success for those who are willing to follow even a modest financial plan. It is always sad when someone with adequate resources for a good life continually complains or worries about not having enough. I sometimes jokingly tell people that success in investing is not measured by how big of a boat your kids buy after your funeral.
I remember a couple some years ago, not unlike many other couples I have known, wherein the husband was a complete miser. He complained continually about not having enough money, and worried daily about the dollar value of his account. His wife, on the other hand, was always cheerful and appreciative of the good job her husband had held for 35 years, and the abundant retirement they had been blessed with. She enjoyed life and wanted to use the resources they had to build good memories together and with their kids. He, on the other hand, was unhappy that others appeared to have more, and that what he had was far less than what he had hoped for. Even though in his 70’s, his focus remained on trying to build ever more wealth at the expense of enjoying the wealth he already had. He would not allow his wife to spend the money they had saved, less it reduce his portfolio in the years to come.
When that gentleman reached 75 he passed away. To the very end, he never really appreciated the wonderful life he had. His lack of gratitude made it impossible for him to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of hard work and saving.
Within a couple months of his death his wife came to visit me. She had just returned from a lovely cruise with her married children and wanted to show me the photos. She was never one to be wasteful, but she appreciated life and learned to enjoy the retirement funds they had carefully saved. She and her children were finally building the memories she always wanted her retirement to provide.
If you are not grateful for what you have, you can never fully enjoy it. Like the miserly man you will spend your life always looking over the fence at those ever greener pastures. You may even take risks you shouldn’t take to get to that pasture, never realizing how green the grass is right beneath your feet. Take time this holiday weekend to be truly grateful for all you have been blessed with, and you will find that life magically gives more to those who appreciate what they already have.
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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