As a financial advisor, I spend most of my day thinking about what my clients need to do now to prepare for their financial future. This may include purchasing insurance against future risks, starting a 529 College Savings Plan for future education costs or funding an IRA for future retirement needs. Although all of these financial needs are important and certainly worthy of the time spent preparing for them, a balance must be struck between planning for the future and enjoying the present.
From 1845 to 1847, Henry David Thoreau spent over two years living in the seclusion of a small cabin near Walden Pond. In his often quoted memoir, “Walden,” Thoreau penned, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” In a profession that is often focused on the future, Thoreau’s desire to live deliberately helps remind me to take the time necessary to enjoy the actual moments that make up this life.
Although I sincerely believe in the importance of planning for your financial future, I also believe enjoying the present should be part of your financial plan. Thus, I encourage you to take the time, and (maybe) even spend the money, that you need to enjoy the present. That way, when you get to the end of this journey we call life, you can look back and discover that you have truly lived.