Is it just me or can life just seem like drudgery occasionally? Sometimes I just sit back and wonder how I am going to keep all these balls in the air....family, work, community, etc...and frankly some days it is overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, I love every minute of it, but being 40 years old and seeing 25 years of work in front of me is frankly daunting.
Just a few weeks ago, my family and I returned from our annual trip to Utah to ski "the greatest snow on earth". It has become a family tradition, going the week of Valentines Day and spending 5 uninterrupted days with only two objectives...ski and eat! It is a time in which we can focus on being together with no outside interruptions...it is a rare treat in today's world to focus fully and 100% on one thing at time. We think it is skiing we are focusing on, but truly it is the time we spend together that is the main objective.
My boys are getting older, Tanner is 13 and Cameron 10, and sadly the days are numbered for our life as we know it...in the very short future, Tanner will be going off to college and Cameron not far behind. In a few short years, the world as we know it will be different, a lot different. I will have more grey hair, and my boys will have lives of their own that don't include me to the extent it does today. That is okay, but taking advantage of today is so very important.
We had a tremendous time...the first day was a bluebird powder day where we received 15" of Utah POW overnight, and everyday just got better and better (like that is even possible?). On our way home both boys were begging to go back next year, and we booked an Airbnb for next year at the same time.
What in the heck does this have to do with finance? Well, let me tell you. Skiing isn't cheap! Lift tickets, plane tickets, hotels, car rental, bus fees, meals out, and time away from work, all have a cost and an associated opportunity cost. If instead of spending that 5k or so on this week of glorious skiing, I could have saved that same money, invested it into my future, and potentially retired a bit earlier or had a more secure retirement.
Being a Certified Financial Planner and working with hundreds of clients over the years I would say there are many people that fall squarely into two camps. The first person is saving aggressively and fears spending any money today whatsoever. They fear the future and the unknown, and therefore are saving so aggressively that their present lacks things that they wish they could do. In this persons life, their future lifestyle is winning....their future is more secure (and fun) than their present.
The other person is one whose present standard of living is winning...meaning they are not saving enough to retire with a reasonable standard of living. They live for today, in many cases, and their future is in question. They simply cannot delay much if any gratification into the future. Their present may be full, but their future is not looking so bright.
At Landmark Financial Services, we advocate a balanced cash flow model in which you are saving enough money to retire at a decent time with a similar standard of living than you have today. In a balanced cash flow model, your present and your future are the same...it is a tie! Sure you could save more and sacrifice current lifestyle, but why?
I would not give up that ski trip to Utah for anything...I will work those extra years, and make other sacrifices to make it happen. 25 years is a long time so you have to enjoy it. Give me a call, set up a time, and we can talk about how to build a balanced cash flow model in your life so that you can enjoy your present, and look forward to your future.
All the best,