What Do You Cherish?

The Coronavirus is stripping us of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have been knocked to our knees, delivered a standing eight count. It’s a challenging time for all, regardless of age, race, or wealth. Difficult times do not discriminate.

During this lockdown, what has been important to you and your family. What have you enjoyed doing to pass the time? Make a list of the things you’ve liked doing during this stoppage.

Here is my list –

  • Long walks with my family
  • Working out with my family
  • Reading books
  • Movie night
  • Zoom meetings with my Bible study groups
  • Zoom meetings with my parents, my in-laws, and my sister’s family
  • Learning to play the guitar
  • Fresh air and crystal-clear water
  • Nights with bright stars
  • Playing board games
  • Building a vegetable garden
  • Planting more rose bushes
  • Painting rocks and leaving them on the sidewalks for others to find
  • Working from home
  • My dog and cat sleeping in my home office
  • Fly fishing
  • Cycling

My list will be just as relevant to me in retirement as it is today. If I enjoy taking long walks and playing board games now, I’ll probably appreciate them in twenty years. Simple pleasures. Simple goals.

Financial planning is part art and part science. It tries to merge facts with emotion. When I ask someone what their retirement goals are, I often get standard answers like traveling more or purchasing a second home. It’s a tough question, especially if you’re under age 40, but now the Coronavirus may give you clarity of what you cherish because we have all lost something. What was essential to you on January 1, probably isn’t today. The forced downtime may give you transparency on what matters to you and your family.

In addition to the things you’ve enjoyed doing during the shutdown, what do you miss? What are you craving to do once the quarantine lifts? My parents are social beings, and they love dining out with friends, and I know they can’t wait to make a reservation at their favorite restaurant.  I love college football, and I am looking forward to attending several games in the fall – Sic ‘Em Bears!

What do older adults regret? Lydia Sohn wrote an article for CNBC where she interviewed several congregants and friends age 90 to 99. The interviewees regretted not cultivating closer relationships with their children, taking risks to be more loving, and not spending more time with the people they loved.[1] Now is an excellent time to connect or reconnect with your loved ones. Don’t wait.

Whatever is important to you now, pursue it and protect it at all costs. The things you love should be at the top of your planning list. Figure out what they are and write them down – who knows, you may already have all you need!

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ~ Phillippians 4:12

April 13, 2020

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor.

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/03/advice-from-90-year-olds-how-to-live-a-long-happy-and-regret-free-life.html, By Lydia Sohn, July 3, 20109