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Get Yours... Today

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

As a kid, I used to spend a month every summer up at my grandparents’ lake house in northern Minnesota. My dad has a group of four high school friends who have remained very close over the years, and every summer, one of those weeks at the lake was dedicated to hosting those friends and their families.

I grew up with those guys’ kids. Kari, the ballerina princess. Her brother Jim, the intellectual-outdoorsman-Creighton Bluejays fan. Sam, “the banana man” and his always fashionable sister, Emily. Molly and the other Emily, two of the most beautiful little girls ever created. Jim and Janie, my mini-me and my waterskiing buddy, respectfully.

My little brother is dead. So’s Sam. And now, so’s Jim. May they rest in peace. That means three of these five baby-boom dads have been pre-deceased by their children.

Welcome to your 70’s.


Anybody who knows me knows that I’ve always been staunchly in favor of spending everything you can today as long as it’s not going to leave you in ruin twenty years from now, so it’s interesting to me that no less than ten clients have called me since the beginning of the year to completely re-work their financial plans in order to accommodate an earlier retirement, more leisure time with family here and now, or anything else that has less to do with their careers and working. Nobody’s worried about having a building named after them; that’s not the kind of legacy we’re discussing in 2021. We’re talking with clients about making memories.

The reality brought home to so many recently and especially today on Memorial Day is that life is precious, unpredictable and altogether too short. Therefore, we recommend that clients:

  • Strengthen Social Ties: Close relationships are one of the most important elements of a happy life. Money spent travelling to see friends or relatives are sound investments in happiness. Throw a party, meet your crew at a restaurant, or go to the ball game with your brother. Don’t skimp on social spending.

  • End Marital Conflict: Happy wife = happy life, and so on and so on. Unhappy marriages lead to unhappy lives. Not all marital problems can be solved with money, but it sure does help. Mundane chores often are the source of much bickering and resentment, and nagging destroys relationships. Hire a painter, landscaper, or cleaning service. Your marriage will thank you for it later.

  • Upgrade Your Exercise: Data proves physical activity improves your mood substantially. Hire a trainer, join a tennis club, or buy that surfboard. The $150 monthly Cross-fit bill is pretty cheap now that you can actually go. There’s no better investment than your own health-- you’ll receive dividends in perpetuity.

  • Think About Fun: Experiences are more valuable than possessions. They may seem more expensive in the short run, but don’t be shortsighted. Just anticipation of the activity you planned will give you way more enjoyment than purchasing a brand new pair of Jordans.

  • Seek Serenity: Does debt keep you up at night? Fine, pay it off. Maybe you could get a higher return with the funds you’d apply to pay off a 3% mortgage, but who cares if paying it off gives you peace of mind? There are both rational and emotional arguments to be made when making any financial decision, and both are equally valid. Life is not just about running the numbers.

  • Spend Money On Someone Else: I love selfish and greedy people-- said no one ever. Give to charity. Help out somebody going through hard times, maybe even anonymously. Giving sparks more joy than receiving, so don’t dispute the science. Give freely and enjoy the results.

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