By Allyn Hughes, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CAP®
As financial advisors, we spend a lot of our time helping clients understand and think about ways to live, save and invest to increase the likelihood of achieving financial security. We help folks understand their personal financial situations and help them make small changes in how they live or how they invest to increase the likelihood of creating a successful outcome.
Having a successful financial life is not the same as having a successful life, however. To me, a successful life includes finding someone that you love, having a job or employment situation that you enjoy, being healthy and active and having the opportunity to use your money to allow you to do something that you are passionate about.
As many of you know, I enjoy landscape photography. In the summers I often get up early on weekends and drive into Gig Harbor to photograph the sunrise.
A couple Saturday’s ago I drove past the Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor at 5:30 am and saw a bunch of older wooden boats tied up at their public dock. I took some panorama photos of these boats.
Then, I decided to walk down the gangway and on to the dock to get a closer look at these boats. It was still very early in the morning, so I tried to be very quiet.
As I was taking this image at the top of the gangway https://www.flickr.com/photos/brookshughesjones/17797282931/in/photostream/
An older woman came out of her boat with a small dog. She had spent the night on her boat and was taking her dog out for a walk. She walked up the gangway past me and I thanked her for bringing her boat to Gig Harbor so others could see and appreciate it.
She stopped and said to me “You’re welcome. This boat is my passion. I love taking it out and showing it to others and I work hard to make sure I can afford to continue to do this.”
Then she walked away with her dog.
I have no idea what her life story is. She might have been born into a wealthy family and grown up sailing. Or, she might have received this boat in a divorce settlement. Or, she could be the Commodore of a local yacht club. I’ll never know. From her short statement to me, however, it is clear that she felt joy and satisfaction just by being there.
I walked down to the dock and noticed that her boat was one of the more modest in the group. It looked to be beautifully maintained.
Do you spend your discretionary money on something that you are passionate about? Do you have a big goal for part of your money? For some of our clients, their focus is on travel and personal experiences. For others, life-long learning, and volunteerism are most important. Still others have some combination of money, family or health issues that have forced them to focus on other things with their money decisions?