Growing up in the financial industry I have spent most of my financial life telling people “no” or saying, “you can’t.” When you are a new financial advisor you are taught to help set people up for retirement, and this almost always involved savings and planning and, in some cases, “doing without” right now. This is what I believed, sadly, until 2017. At the beginning of 2017, I was taking inventory of things in my life and life in general I guess. 2016 had been a devastating year in music as many of our legends died. All my heroes were dying and some clients as well. I wondered if there was more to life than just saving and scrimping for a retirement none of us are guaranteed. Now, before compliance loses their crap, I am not saying to NOT save for retirement, I am also NOT saying don’t save in general, and lastly, I am NOT saying spend frivolously. I am telling you that proper balance comes from planning and planning includes having fun and enjoyment as well.
Mortality started to catch up with me and my views started to change. Then April 3, 2017, my best friend since high school died. Jesse was 43, the age I am now. He was not a healthy man, multiple heart surgeries, diabetes, multiple kidney transplants etc. He was a good soul and if you met him, besides his discolored skin from years of medication and dialysis, you would never know he was as sick as he was. He passed peacefully in his sleep. He was supposed to visit me 5 weeks after his passing and we were to attend a Def Leppard, Poison, and Tesla concert. Jesse was excited to see Def Leppard as he had never seen them. I was excited to see another concert with my dear friend and relive some of our high school years. The remaining of the 2017 year was to be filled with more music deaths even after Jesse departed this world.
So, why do I write this? Because I want you to understand Tribesman that when I tell you to enjoy your money I am not blowing smoke or pandering to you, I seriously mean it. I took Jesse to see the Scorpions the last time he was in Vegas and he loved it and I’m glad for that memory now more so knowing the outcome less than 12 months later.
Money is a tool to grant stability, protection, and aid preparation, BUT it is also something you give up hours of your time to earn. When you do not enjoy your money, well WTF is the point? You won’t get that time back, and even in retirement, I have seen clients drop dead a short year or two into theirs. It is heartbreaking to know clients went without to save for a retirement to be cut short by our own mortality. We all have family and friends (some I am sure we could take or leave) and all we have is our memories of time spent doing what we love with the people we love.
Unfortunately, those memories are rarely made while maxing out our 401Ks.
Tribes member, I want balance for you, I want happiness for you and I want you to enjoy life. Maybe we will all have to work into our 70’s, maybe some will never be able to retire, but we can all budget and plan for our objectives and the people and things we love in our life.
This is my wish for me and for you, and I will do whatever I can to help you achieve this.
I love and miss you my Jesse.
If you have any questions or want to tell me how great I am you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @melrocksmoney.