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On Gratitude and Making the Days Count

| November 26, 2019
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Today is shaping up to be a memorable day, and I wanted to share some lessons from it. 

This morning Tommy and I went to the Orthodontist to talk about him getting braces.  He’s happy to have the opportunity to have his smile fixed, and I’m happy we can afford the monthly payments.

Then I met with a person that thought they had a terminal diagnosis, as I was bracing for, but it turned out it was a solvable issue that is now on its way to being under control. 

Rather than a “batton down the hatches emergency”, they are closer to being on track for a successful retirement than they have ever been.  What a 180-degree difference, I was and am so happy for them!  

We get along well, and they thought my new “Make them count!” death clock reminder of how many days I might have left was morbidly hilarious. 

Ironically it popped up on our 55” financial planning monitor when we were discussing their life expectancy, long term care costs, gifting assets to the kids, etc. 

We dropped his life expectancy in plan into the mid 80’s which helped the numbers, and I joked that I was planning on hopefully going “before him” at around 83.  His wife said she was glad I was so young so I could be around to help her when the time comes. 

Mortality is a big part of what we try and plan around, and keeping perspective is important to me, so I try to keep myself grounded and with a sound perspective about what matters.  Work/life balance isn’t always perfect, but as we reflected on making the days “count” I shared that I was just then running off to read for my daughter Emma’s class as she is “star of the week.”

Ironically, Emma selected one of my favorite book series as a child, the Berenstein Bears.  The book was even better than most with a timely Thanksgiving theme of “Count your Blessings.”  A simplified version of what we preach about not trying to keep up with the Jones’s all the time.  Comparison is a thief of joy and all that.  The book was illustrating the lesson into not being jealous of how many  “Bearbie Dolls” and “Bear boy” video games their friends had.  To count their blessings of a loving family, a roof over their heads, a warm fire during a storm, and really everything they could ask for, including their own Bearbies and Bear boy games. 

This day brought news of another kind person we had worked hard to help, died. 

As I entered today’s date as their final day into our computer system, my drive for perspective is even clearer.

This year has been a good one, clients are consistently echoing the feelings of gratitude about their station in life, even with the tough parts we all go through. 

Many people are sharing their excess resources with worthy charities and family, making life all the more special.

I’m grateful for my family and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people, and I promise to try never to forget that.

Thanks for taking a look and have a wonderful day!

Tom

 

PS The Google Chrome browser extension is free and called “death clock,” and you might also enjoy estimating your life expectancy on www.livingto100.com.   

 

 

This article represents opinions of the authors and not those of their firm and are subject to change from time to time, and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment or legal strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.

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