Love Is In The Air

 In The Gratifying Harvest

There are many ways to begin your after party. Sometimes it is about becoming a snowbird or embarking on a new career. To some, it is about having the time to watch the grandchildren and enjoy their youthfulness. To many more, it is about having the time to give back to the community or support others. Best of all it can be about falling in love…

… and when in love, distance is no barrier. One of our clients, let’s call her Cathy, was a successful executive for a major international company and had built herself a very comfortable life. In the last few years of her retirement, she rediscovered an old friend. As they became reacquainted, they became closer and closer and romance raised its promising head. The main stumbling block was he was in California and she was here in the GTA. Regular visits to California ensued and the connection grew stronger.

Over her career, Cathy had saved regularly and had built up a sizable RSP and paid for her home. She also has a pension from her previous employer. Her income was such that it would be possible to maintain her lifestyle, probably without much help from the RSP. Now, we all are used to the situation where our savings gives us cashflow later in our lives. We often forget what else it might give us. Well in Cathy’s case it was confidence. Confidence and the independence to leap right in and take a chance. So she sold her house and moved close to her friend in California to give the relationship time to mature and grow. She has found a wonderful apartment with an ocean view and is confident that no matter what happens, she can take this leap of faith and its accompanying risk without worry of hurting her ability to maintain the lifestyle she has earned and deserves.

And it is catchy! Client Gloria (not her real name) is a widower. One night, while out with friends for a drink, they met some gentlemen that were visiting from Europe. Conversations ensued and connections were made. Well as it happens, one of the gentlemen returned to find that wonderful woman he had met. He stayed awhile. She returned the visit to Europe. The pattern was repeated and then again.

Gloria has a stable income from her investments that provides the monthly income she needs to enjoy life. She is secure in knowing that she can maintain the long distance relationship until she sees where it goes. In the meantime, to all appearances, she is having the time of her life.

Now why the love stories from a financial planner? Well, it is a reminder that the future holds the possibility of wondrous things. To many of us, nothing is more wonderful and euphoric than falling in love. The future is unknowable, but we do have distant dreams and ideas. Throughout our lives we will defer spending (and gratification) by saving for this future. As we save each year and our savings build, they take on a life of their own. All the professional assistance we receive is about how to save more. We begin to forget the dreams that inspired the savings. More importantly, we lose the understanding that our savings is the food for the later part of our life; that there is no value in owning the food itself unless it is consumed. It’s like putting money aside to go shopping, buying the ingredients, baking a cake, icing it attractively and then putting it in the freezer. No enjoyment or nutrition until you eat the cake. Leaving it in the freezer does no one any good.

Our role at Efficient Wealth is to inspire, give you the confidence you need to think anew, help you plan your after party, assist you in determining how to slice the cake and then serve it to you and your guests. We call this helping you harvest your savings in a gratifying manner. Thus The Gratifying Harvest slogan.

And our greatest reward? That comes when we meet with Cathy, Gloria or other clients, and they are vibrant and aglow.

Efficient Wealth Management has created a new coaching program called The Gratifying Harvest. The program helps you enjoy your future by carefully harvesting cash flow from your lifetime of savings or preparing you to do so.  We thought a column devoted to this pleasing idea would be great.

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