Christmas is a time to explore our wants in life, and we take great pleasure in creating a list of the items we desire. I believe it’s important to reflect on what we already have instead of what we want. I’ve come to realize that the really important things in life are often the things we take for granted.
Each year for my Christmas message it’s my pleasure to share a list of five things I absolutely couldn’t do without. The list surprisingly includes some of our most basic needs.
Top Item on My List
Hands down the top item on my list is good health. This is logical and sensible, since without good health nothing else matters. This item is too often taken for granted, but over your lifetime you will see others suffer from poor health, and possibly even pass on sooner than expected. The goal of saving for today is to be able to enjoy your future, but if your lifestyle choices compromise your health, what quality of life will the future hold for you?
My second item is freedom.
Living in Canada we enjoy our freedom as our democratic right, but I also desire a different style of freedom. In our middle years when we are raising a family we often feel trapped and tied down with few life options. The priority and obligation is to raise and protect your family. When the children become adults and begin their own lives we experience a new sense of freedom. No longer tied down, suddenly we can move freely, travel, relocate, and test out new life experiences.
That sense of new found freedom is a common theme played out in most retirement plans.
The Third Item
Naturally the next item on my list is companionship. We all need a special person to share our lives with, and I couldn’t imagine a retirement without my special soul mate next to me. Companionship also means friends, whether new acquaintances or the people you’ve known for years. Without companionship there is only loneliness, which can destroy a life.
Fourth on my list is happiness.
I believe happiness comes from following our passions. It’s taken me a lifetime to understand what will make me happy, and I’m still not sure I have it figured out. I’ve learned that when I follow my passions I end up with a sense of peace and harmony that I can’t explain. The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong goal.
Last on the list.
As expected it is money and wealth. We all desire a minimum level of comfort with the ultimate goal of a secure retirement, and by living sensibly and saving for the future we can all achieve that goal. There are people who genuinely believe they can buy every item on this list with money, but they are mistaken. Money will give you options, but the rest comes from within.
Each year brings new challenges and unfortunately we realize the unexpected can happen, but life also gives us second chances to start fresh and learn from our past. Creating an emergency fund, reducing debt, and living sensibly for today while preparing for your future are worthy goals to aim for and the foundation to your financial security.
Merry Christmas to all!
In my E-books (“Water Barrel” and “The Balance”) I discuss simple methods to live sensibly for today, take charge of your financial affairs, and invest safely for the long term. For more information please visit David Penna Amazon.
As always, I am not a qualified financial advisor. I just relate financial management to my own experience which may not resemble yours at all. Advice is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it. Most of mine came from expensive experiences.