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Philosophically Speaking…

What do you want your money to do for you?

In our last article, we talked about what money can buy, and we gave you some pretty silly ideas about how to blow your cash. This week, I’d like to talk to you about the more philosophical side of what you’d like your money to do for you.

When I first thought about this, I thought, if you’re young and single you’ll have a totally different perspective than a married couple with kids or grandkids. But now, thinking about all the client families we work with and people I know, I don’t believe that your stage of life dictates how you perceive what you want your money to buy for you.

The biggest factors that influence what you do with your money are, first, your personality type, and second, are you an adult or not? I know, I know, I’m a gregarious life-of-the-party guy, and you’re wondering if I’ve actually grown up yet! The jury’s still out on that one.

But to me, I don’t need money to buy more stuff. I don’t need a bigger house, or a more expensive car. What money buys for me is the freedom to golf with clients, friends and prospects on Fridays, and not to have to work on Saturdays and Sundays while being a partner in a business. Money also buys me the time to spend with my family and friends, whether at the country club, participating in charity endeavors, or simply having the time to attend other people’s social events and make new friends – without having the office call me around the clock with questions.

Most importantly, money buys me the peace of mind that allows me to take the occasional extended vacation and make memories with my family, as I know the team I’ve hired is handling things at the office. I know those of you who are executives or in ownership positions in your businesses can relate when I say there’s a huge mental relief that occurs when you can trust your coworkers to take care of things when you’re out.

So that’s my perspective. Now that I’ve shared how I view money and what it provides for me, let’s talk about you. What do you want your money to buy for you? Freedom? Security? Education? Stuff? I know this is a deeply personal question, and I challenge you right now to write down or tell Siri your first response to that question. Now, do something else for 15 minutes (that’s a long time in our ADD world of constant phones and screens!), and come back and look at what you said. Ask yourself, is that really your honest answer about what you want your money to buy and do for you?

Give yourself another hour, then ask yourself, “how would my significant other answer this question?” Write down what you think your spouse would say. Then give yourself a little more time to ponder, or if you’re on vacation, have a cold brew and take a lap in a tube on the lazy river. Then look at your answers again, and ask yourself if they actually mesh together with how you approach and spend money in your daily life.

If they do, great! But if they don’t, try to figure out where the disconnect is, and whether the battle is in your head, your soul, or between you and your significant other. Everyone knows money is a big stressor when it comes to relationships. It’s important to make sure not only that you, your brain and your heart are the same page – but that you, your brain, your heart and your partner are on the same page.

Once you figure that out, I challenge you to bring those notes to your next quarterly meeting, whether this summer or later in the fall. Share what’s important about money to you and your spouse with your planning team, so we can plan accordingly for what you’d like your money to do for you.

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