I suspect that most people, perhaps save for children, understand the inherent frailty of life. Maybe, it is because we understand just how fragile life is that we, on some level, work so hard pretending it’s not. Many of us eat bad food, some of us smoke, lots of us do not get enough exercise and loads of us are overweight or obese.
It seems that many of us are more disciplined about servicing our vehicles than going to the doctor for an annual checkup or other recommended visits to medical practitioners, like prostate exams, colonoscopies, eye exams, etc.
Owing largely to a constant bombardment by marketing, for many, life today has become a blur of first world problems. Should we get granite counter tops in the kitchen or those glass ones I saw in that magazine? Should we redo our bathroom – nice looking and functional though it may be – to look like the bathroom of a reality TV star showcased on a website or television?
Should we go to the new 5-star Italian restaurant or maybe we should try the place specializing in continental cuisine that we just saw written up on a restaurant review website?
Contextualized with what truly matters in our lives, these things are trivial. Yet they can seem to become pressing questions requiring a great deal of our capital, mental and monetary.
Many of us – not all but many – live in a self-protective bubble that has so far allowed us to escape the spine-chilling fact that life has a limit set to it. Instead, we spend time, energy and resources choosing between things that are often completely unnecessary and not even really desired. Oh, and these things often do not make us any happier.
Hey, I like a good time and nice things as much as the next person. However, when I read the news and see that, Sridevi Kapoor, a 54 year old star of Indian cinema has suddenly passed or Kevin Smith, the actor/director of Clerks and other well-known films, had what was reported as a massive heart attack, it serves as a wakeup call to me. It helps me define what is truly important. Smith is 47 years old.
One person dead at 54 the other a heart attack at 47.
Life is fragile. Does that mean we should go to the extreme of walking around wearing a suit of armor or building a titanium dome over our house? No. What it does mean is that we should take better care of ourselves and plan for the future.
One of the extraordinary ironies for some people who begin to ascend the economic ladder is that their lives become less rather than more economically stable. It is so common in fact, that there is a term for it- lifestyle creep. How does this happen?
Perhaps, it is because we, as a society, have become inculcated with the notion that making more money axiomatically means driving a more luxurious vehicle, living in a larger home and going to fancier restaurants. Consequently, instead of feeling happier and more peaceful as we move up in our professional lives, we often find ourselves more stressed.
How can that be? We make more money and feel compelled to spend more money. Because we are spending more we are not saving for the future. We then tell ourselves that the reason we are not building wealth is because we do not make enough money. Therefore, we must get to the “next level” so we can make more money. We do get to the next level and we do make more money!
And then we spend more. Wash, rinse, repeat.
It sounds absurd. Lamentably, at least from what I have observed, it is often all too true, all too real and all too sad. And it is because we have been wrongly socialized to believe that making more should mean spending more.
As I have said in seminars I have given, I am not suggesting anyone live in a hovel, drive a clown car and dress in rags. What I am suggesting is that we get a grip, focus on our priorities and strive toward real happiness and true peace of mind.
Planning for the future – and financial planning can be a big part of that – might provide a substantial piece of the puzzle that can help us achieve more peace and joy in our lives. Consider discussing your plans for the future with a qualified financial services professional.
Take action now. The future waits for no one.
Scott R. McGimpsey March 7th, 2018
This material was prepared by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Neither Summit Brokerage Services Inc. nor Scott McGimpsey is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionally services. If such assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal, state, or municipal tax penalty. Moreover, a diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or assure protection against loss in a declining market. UNIFIED PLANNING GROUP is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC