Ladies and gentlemen, I was thrown a philosophical curve ball this week. I attended a financial planning workshop (for the free lunch) and was told by the presenter (who I realize is selling a service) that the average life expectancy for a male is 87 years old. He was making the case that we shouldn’t simply plan for retirement at 65, but for the 20 or so years that follow.
So if the average life expectancy is 87, that means I really am in my middle ages. I’m just a few years past being half way through! If all goes well, I have another 41 years to go!
Therein lays the philosophical left hook!
I have always held the belief that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
My metro NY homies may remember the late, great Art Rust Jr., the sports talk host who would always sign off “Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is just a promissory note, today is the only time we have, so spend it wisely.”
Then there is the incredibly insightful lesson in John Maxwell’s “Today Matters”. Maxwell’s thesis is we shouldn’t stress about the future, just get our act together today and we’ll be fine tomorrow.
Makes sense to me…live well, make smart decisions, enjoy today and take tomorrow as it comes.
I’ve been going along, blissfully living for today, until Mr. Investment Advisor tells me I may have another four decades left on this big blue marble!
Then the wheels started turning, I had a grandmother make it to triple digits, my father got half way through his 70s. My mother didn’t. But that’s OK because I get regular checkups and eat blueberries and grapefruit for breakfast! Barring a Mayan like end of the world apocalypse, or a drunken red neck on GA 400, I might get to see a ninth decade.
I had visions of lounging on a beach in the Caribbean, with my favorite midlifer, Skyping back to the States to our daughter – Dr. Zoe, who will be rolling in mad bank, thanks to her lucrative medical practice.
Just when Mr. Investment Advisor had me ready to sign up for a “smart investment in my future”, for some reason, I looked down at my shoe – there was a small scuff. I need a new pair. New shoes? Holy crap, school starts soon. Zoe needs new sneakers, new clothes and all the other new stuff that goes along with starting second grade.
I guess I’d better keep thinking about today.
Invest in the future? Yeah! Thinking about tomorrow? Sure! But for now, let’s enjoy today.
Sorry Mr. Investment Advisor, don’t call us, we’ll call you, but thanks for lunch!