Waiting. There is a pervasive sense of “when that happens….I will…”
When we know about the election, when the market hits the bottom, when
spring comes….there are so many ways in which we place roadblocks on
the path of life. With closer examination we begin to realize how much
of the living of our lives we leave in the hands of others – we
relinquish our ability to choose. In so doing, we relinquish the most
precious of our freedoms.
Walking on the beach brings such clarity to this sometimes
muddled and fearful mind. Recently as I walked on East Beach in the
soft morning light of another glorious sunrise, I thought about the
small circle of clients and friends that I know well. I began to notice
the similarities of those who seem to greet each day with gratitude and
peace. In contrast are those who seem to find daily the angst and worry
of those matters so far beyond our control. Whatever might these common
traits of the peaceful have to do with financial planning? With little
or no correlation to the calculated net worth, it seems to me, quite a
lot. The traits that I observe in the “wealthiest” of my friends and
clients are the following:
Very low or no debt – yes – even mortgages.
Purposeful spending based on their considered priorities.
Spending consistently less than their income.
Cash reserves for emergencies and unexpected opportunities.
Adequate medical insurance.
A generous spirit.
Close friends and family.
Many and varied interests – yes – the world does not begin and end with CNBC “Market Watch.”
While these observations are not extraordinary in any way,
collectively, they describe for me a position of true “wealth.” Wealth
is not really accumulated in how much we earn and keep in the course of
our lifetimes. True wealth comes as a result of the choices that we
make on a daily basis in the use of our resources. As I think about the
wealthiest of my friends, I know that they are not watching their
“bottom lines” and measuring the daily rise and fall of their portfolio
values. They are much too busy living their lives with purpose and