Investing should be done not just for good returns but for a particular purpose. That exact purpose varies from person to person but one commonality we all share is our investing lifetime. As I explain in the brief video clip below, the ultimate objective for investing is to build resources that will sustain you for the remainder of your life, the “second lifetime” after retirement.
Since we often use a 30 year timeframe in planning for life after retirement, I thought it would be fun (and a little bit personal) to juxtapose a few topics and pictures from my life 30 years ago and today. Life brings changes, some anticipated and some unexpected. That’s one reason why planning is so important. Financial planning at its very core is contingency planning this planning allows you to deal with the unexpected.
Here’s a picture of me and my pretty bride about 30 years ago alongside a picture of us taken a few months ago:
Sure, changes happened over the 30 years but mostly for the good. I weigh less today than 30 years ago, I still have some hair, and best of all the same pretty lady by my side.
Here’s a picture of our office 30 years ago:
And our office today.
Back then we rented the downstairs in an old house downtown, while today we own a modern office built just for us.
30 years ago, my beverages of choice were probably coffee, sodas, and beer. Today, sparkling water, coffee, and red wine.
30 years ago, we had a cat, “Killer” a domestic short-haired tabby
Today, we have another domestic short-haired tabby cat, “Victor”
30 years ago, my wife and I lived in the house below and today we live in the very same “Pink House”. The house is almost 80 years old and we are just the second family to own this home.
30 years ago, we attended St. Peter’s Catholic Church (where we were married), while today we attend St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, with many years in between at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. We also somewhat regularly attend and support St. Hagop Armenian Church in Pinellas Park, Florida when visiting our daughter who is an active member of that parish.
Perhaps in a cheesy way, these pictures show how every aspect of life moves along. Southern novelist Flannery O’Connor wrote that sometimes you need to “push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.” Try as we might, however, time marches on even if we aren’t ready.
Tune Out the Noise
Understanding your investing lifetime is important because this ties directly to the primary cause of financial failure…human behavior. The thundering cacophony of talking heads in every form of financial media constantly urge you to change your investment time frame from decades to days. If you can avoid the temptation and don’t react to noise, the routine up and down spikes in the stock market can instead become long term mountain slopes in terms of overall returns.
Financial security starts with an acknowledgement that changes don’t always happen the way we expect. The concept of an investing lifetime can quell the anxiety and provide much needed context. Start there. Ready for a real conversation?