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What Really Matters?

What Really Matters?  I wonder …

These words are the title of a book I recently purchased by Dr. Wyatt.  How I stumbled upon the book– an emergency visit to a clinic with my son while on vacation – is a testament to synchronicity of life and why wondering about What Really Matters is an essential exploration for life.  Most of us believe, or at one time believed, that money really matters.  Money does matter in the relative sense of life, depending upon how we choose to live life.  Let me explain.  If you choose to live a life that includes a home, a car, dining out, vacations, college, … “the American dream,” then financial resources matter because money is required to support these choices.  If you choose a simpler life, one that aligns closer to what the world offers naturally (breathing air, walking in nature, noticing the seasons), fewer financial resources are required to support this life choice.

Whether you choose a life that requires more or fewer financial resources is only part of the focus of this wondering.  The other focus is what really matters in the absolute sense; when we recognize that the things in life that matter are not really “things,” we open a new area of exploration that allows us to soften.  What really matters to you, and to those you love?  From this view, you can then make choices that are aligned with your heart’s desire.  And, when you are clear on your heart’s desire, then your energy moves to generate the financial resources to manifest both things and non-things, along the journey of what REALLY matters.

Happy New Year!

A Year of Financial Fitness

“Money skills are 21st century survival skills.”

The quote above is from my old friend, Dick Wagner, a pioneer and thought leader in the financial planning community. He has shared this insight for several years on many occasions. Now more than ever, I believe, this truth is essential.  We can get by without knowing history, biology and physics. But we are required to face money at this time in our culture if we want to survive and thrive. Thirty years ago, while examining and dissecting a homeowner’s insurance policy and an umbrella policy for a fictitious family in Dr. O’Toole’s Risk Management course, I raised my head and wondered, what the heck are my friends who are earning liberal arts degrees going to do when they get out in the “real world”?  It was this moment when I landed on my passion for service. I wanted to help others make wise financial decisions because they did not have the training and benefit I had while studying finance in school. Continue Reading →

An authentic, rich life

What is an authentic rich life?  I wonder …

Over the past few years as the markets have displayed a deep decline and a bouncing recovery, the enduring question of living a rich life is heightened. Below is a timeless list of activities and ideas about living a wealthy life we created to support a broader view. This list is different than you might expect because the rich ideas require little to no money.  As we enter the holiday season and gift-giving, besides nixing gift cards (please see my latest MoneyMoves News), consider these ideas on living a rich life.  Perhaps the gift you want to share with your loved ones takes on a new form and costs little.

The change in our financial circumstances as measured on our balance sheets and investment account values offers us a precious opportunity to not only consider what really matters but to also evolve our way of spending money.  Opportunities to maintain a “rich” living while sustaining our financial resources are available.  It really doesn’t matter whether you have cents, dollars or tens of thousands of dollars in the bank; creating and manifesting ways to fulfill life pleasures without money is a worthy endeavor. It means that you are building the capacity to see and experience the richness of life, always.

Consider these activities to expand your capacity to live a rich life and consider giving one of these experiences to your loved ones as an alternative to a newly purchased object.

 

Re-Think Gift Cards

As the time of holiday gift-giving approaches, I want to re-visit an experience of mine, to support your gift-giving decisions this season.  Gift cards have been and continue to be popular ways of satisfying a gift for another.  They are easy actions when you don’t know “the perfect” gift someone would want to receive, but you have a sense of the types of interests they might enjoy, such as, music, entertainment, videos, or clothing.  I, too, have used gift cards in the past for children’s birthdays, nieces and nephews, professional colleagues and teammates on sports teams.  However, I have finally come to the conclusion that gift cards are not a good idea, and I have stopped purchasing them.  Here’s why: Continue Reading →

Enough, Abundance, Sufficient

What manifests when my intentions include “enough,” “abundance” and “sufficient”?  I wonder…

Sufficient is a word that I am practicing in my life after many years of using enough and abundance. In my profession of financial planning, often the question, What is enough? arises.  Invariably, the answer is always more than I “have right now.”  To shift that view, the word abundance is adopted to move away from scarcity.  The problem with abundance is that it carries a sloppy quality of more than needed and a vague objective that does not assist growth.  Sufficient allows us to clearly see What do I need in my life to live sufficiently? The exploration takes us deeper to what matters most. And, it expands the view to include others.  There is sufficient wealth to serve everyone on the planet.  In any moment you have all that you need.

 

Currency of Fun

Is there a common belief in society that work – in general – is hard and “not fun”? I wonder …

This subject arose when Knight, our teenage son, arrived home from work one day without “clocking in” as his boss requested of him. Knight protested, “I was having so much fun. I could not get paid for work.” His response made me wonder, does he believe work is hard and not supposed to be fun.  So, I asked him.  He proclaimed, “no, not at all. I have a blast at work. And today was particularly great. You know mom, they don’t have to pay me more than minimum wage, but they do. Today, I did not teach. I just hung out with all of the kids.” Ah, here’s what’s underneath. While he doesn’t hold the belief that work is hard, he does not see the unique value in his presence. Not all work produces an immediate tangible result. Sometimes just your presence is plenty. What’s your view of work, fun or hard? And, do you have a view on being paid for presence?

 

Attention in Your Money Relationship

Paying attention to your money relationship, let’s explore the potential areas in your life that are calling for your attention.  Consider these statements and answer true or false:

  • I spend and save in ways and amounts that support my life and well-being.
  • My estate (wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills, etc.) is current.
  • My income taxes are current and my files are organized to assist with next year’s tax return.
  • I have maximized my pre-tax deductions to retirement plans. Continue Reading →