A confession: I am confused about a fairly important life question. Some of you have been, or will be, facing similar conundrums.
You may be surprised, depending on how well you know me. Clarity is something I strive for.
When I am home in Louisville Nebraska, there are no traffic lights between my modest abode and my shop at 228 Main Street, a ten minute walk if I choose. Life is simple, inexpensive, and easily within the means of future benefits from Social Security and a small pension.
I also have a home in Florida which is not particularly modest. We chose it a few years ago, when I was part of a ‘we.’ It met the needs of my high school sweetheart as she worked to extend her life in the face of serious health challenges. The original rationale for the decision no longer holds, as Cathy passed away last summer.
You may recall our original decision a decade ago to adopt a snowbird lifestyle, in the hopes of making my plan to work to age 92 a sustainable one. I had no appetite then for decades more of Nebraska winters.
Now I am confused.
• I still have little appetite for Nebraska winters.
• The Florida home is more than I need.
• It takes money to maintain a second home.
• Where I will want to spend how much time in the future is something I cannot answer now.
What is needed to cure my confusion is time. The old rule of thumb about dealing with wrenching personal change is “don’t make any big decisions for at least a year.” Now I understand this rule, after giving myself whiplash trying to make plans prematurely.
The answers will become clear with time.
What gives us the time we need is money. I have some; you have some. Money for its own sake has little value, but the time and flexibility it provides is priceless.
Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote about a race of beings who could see in four dimensions. The fourth dimension is time. “All moments, past, present, and future, have always existed, always will exist.” They could look at different moments from the past or future the way you and I might look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains.
This is an interesting way to think about the work we do together with you, planning for the future. It requires us to see the future we want, and do what is needed to make that plan potentially become reality. People in their working years need to see ahead a decade or two or three, and envision the future.
Our investment process relies heavily on history, being able to see the past. Most conditions in the economy and markets repeat from time to time in one form or another. We can better understand these things when we know what has gone on before. In other words, seeing the past may provide clues that help us in the present.
The Vonnegut quote contains an implication with which we strongly disagree. The idea that the future is already set implies that nothing we do matters.
In fact, our whole philosophy is that the choices we make are crucial in shaping the future. There are many things beyond our control, but we control our actions. We do not control the future, but we can work to make the best things more likely to happen.
Putting this all together, we can formulate our own idea about life in four dimensions: learn from the past to shape the future we desire. When we work together, we have a better chance to pull this off.
Clients, if you would like to talk about this, or anything else, please email us or call.