Carpe Diem

iStock_000025184156SmallI had a “light bulb” moment last week. No matter how you play the game of life, no one ever makes it out alive. We only get one shot to get things right. I realized this as I talk with friends about how busy they are all the time, as I talk with clients about their concerns for retirement, and as we discuss their plans for when it’s time to pass on. We spend so much time pinching pennies so our kids can go to college, worrying about retirement, planning our careers and business transitions, and trying to keep ourselves healthy until we can finally retire. Then one day, we retire. And then we start worrying about death.

Wait, where was the fun part? What was all of that hard work and saving money for if you can’t enjoy it?

Ferris Bueller said it best: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” He made this famous quote after blasting a “borrowed” 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California through the streets of Chicago, so you know he’s right. Why are we in such a hurry to get to the next stage in life? It’s hard to believe we were once kids that couldn’t wait to grow up and make our own decisions. Now we look at the simplicity of a child’s life and ask how we can regain that same wonder and excitement about the little things. I can watch my daughter squeal with delight for an hour while playing with shoelaces and a cardboard box. When is the last time you played for fun?

We all know the saying that money doesn’t buy happiness. That’s absolutely true, accumulating things won’t bring you happiness. But I do feel that money can provide opportunities and that folks should take advantage of those opportunities. It’s actually refreshing to hear clients say how they plan to spend their hard earned money. When they mention what they want to do in retirement their faces fill with smiles and they speak with enthusiasm. You’ve earned it, so why shouldn’t you spend it how you please? Based on an entirely non-scientific analysis I’ve conducted, it seems that more folks do prioritize spending their retirement money over leaving it for their families to inherit. I think that’s wonderful. Carpe diem and all that jazz.

Ferris Bueller saw an opportunity to enjoy life and took it, if only for one day. (So did his valet of course, but I don’t recommend that.) We talk a lot about income and objectives and risk when we review your portfolios. The next time you sit down for a review share your hobbies and interests with us. Let us know what your pie-in-the-sky dream vacation would be. Tell us about the special project you’ve been saving up for over the years. We really do enjoy hearing it and getting to know you better, and we want nothing more than to help you realize that dream.

But if you get any ideas about stealing a Ferrari, please don’t mention my name.

• The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to prove specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.