Mirror, mirror on the wall is my life balanced…at all?

Jeff Karp |

Over this past weekend, in the comfort of a lounge chair, I found myself in contemplation of my upcoming birthday and the speed at which the years seem to be progressing. Fully subscribing to the philosophy that, “you are only as young as you feel” and “living a balanced life”, I was motivated to start a mental list of things I hoped to do over the next 20 years.

I broke my list into two categories: 1) items that were age based and went to the “sooner rather than later” category and, 2) items that were more general and went to “some time” group. I can certainly state that nowhere on the list did I put, “double the number of hours worked weekly, miss time with my family or experience less of life.”

My point is clearly brought out in the two studies referenced below:

  • More than half (65%) of Americans are stressed to their limits. One in three Americans said income loss and increased amounts of personal debt are causing the most strain on their lives.*
    *Source: Bellevue University consumer study
  • Workers are spending more time at work today than they did a generation ago. The typical American middle-income family worked an average of 11 more hours per week in 2009 than 1979. Around 40% of professional men work more than 50 hours per week but 80% of these men reported wanting shorter hours.**
    **Source: Workplace Flexibility from the Center for American Progress

In a book I am currently reading, the author’s message also supports my thoughts. We, as people, are so incredibly busy, he states. We are overwhelmed with duties, responsibilities, expectations and obligations, all coming at us from every which way. We are distracted in ways our parents could never have imaged and as a result, we are missing life because we are too busy to live life. It is a pace that we cannot keep up.

None of what I have said is probably new to anyone. The problem is making the change, because change is hard, but sometimes change is necessary. One catalyst for change may be a life event that causes you to ask yourself the “what do I want question” (like a birthday or the passing of an older relative). Maybe this blog is your “aha” moment that causes you to visit with us and learn more about how our firm’s philosophy, helps people implement our “lifetime of enjoyment” approach to investing/managing wealth.

It is obvious that having accumulated wealth will help pay for expenses in retirement, providing functional security. But is that enough to overcome the “live for today” mentality? Maybe what is missing is the personal part – what do you want to be able to reflect back on?

Consider this; expense management gives function security. Experience management might enhance spiritual security. Just maybe, we can achieve more life balance with more experience management. As our tag line says: a vision, a plan, a lifetime of enjoyment.


photo credit: SuperFantastic via photopin cc