17 December 2009

Motorways and the Meaning of Life

I was driving down the motorway the other day wishing I could go faster, when the question struck me … Why do I want to go faster, anyway?
After you have been driving for a while it’s easy to get fixated on the speed (bear with me if this doesn’t apply to you!!), because you want to go as fast as possible.

But actually the goal of most journeys is not to go as fast as possible, but to get somewhere, safely and, yes, as soon as possible. And there are other ways of arriving sooner, like choosing a better route, knowing where you are going, or – best of all – leaving earlier! Speed is not the goal.

The same applies to your finances – particularly in retirement. You can get fixated on the performance of an investment – is it growing as much as it can? … could it be giving me some more income? Should you try to find a better interest rate? etc., and you end up serving your money.

So here’s a little reminder... Money is not the goal.

So what is the goal? Well, living the life you have chosen for yourself is. Whether or not you set goals or targets for your life isn’t the issue (“Millionaire by the age of 30” – that sort of thing). But the fact is there are things in life which you want to do, which you find enjoyable, fulfilling, and so on. And at best, Money is a tool to achieve the life you want.



So don’t let any financial adviser (including me) tell you that you cannot surrender an investment when you need it, because its value is down; or that you must invest for at least five years even though you would be happier knowing you had access to it.

Remember - Life is the goal – Money is a tool to achieve the life.

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