As I drove to work this morning, I was tuned to the Jimmy Buffett channel on satellite radio as he sang A Pirate Looks at Forty. Since I’m a fan of his music, I happen to know that Mr. Buffett (the singer, not the Oracle of Omaha) will be looking at 72 on Christmas Day of this year.
The other well-known Mr. Buffett (the O of O) is 88 this year and his right-hand-man, Charlie Munger celebrates 95 on New Year’s Day, 2019. All three of those gents go to work every day, and work at their passion. Well, I assume they are all doing what they love based upon (a) their published comments and (b) I don’t think any of the them will miss any meals if their paychecks stop next week.
What does a life milestone mean?
As for time of life, I think you are aware my last nestling flew the coop about a year ago this month. As you probably aren’t aware, this month also marks 50 months to Medicare eligibility for me. Too much talk about age may make some of us blue, but milestones are just that: milestones, not millstones.
Milestones are a good chance to reflect, too. Let’s sing along with Jimmy:
“Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing to plunder
I’m an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late.”
Do you feel you’re missing out?
Rather glum, isn’t it? Those lyrics cry out with the angst of one missing out on life. Is that you? Everybody likely feels that way from time to time, but what a pity it is to live it every day — what a shame to watch someone plant roots there. I personally know of people that have created a life that echoes the misery of the movie “Papillon”; a self-imposed prison of exile, if you will.
Bringing purpose and passion to life
So what separates people who have a purpose and passion like Jimmy, Warren & Charlie from those just marking the days off the calendar? Lots of things, I will grant you. Talent, wealth and wisdom, for sure, but I don’t believe those are the driving motivations for any of them.
The key is having a vision, and then creating a plan to reach it.
The other good news? That you can create a new vision for your life at any point along the journey. It’s the same for your finances, too.
Starting your next life chapter
I have been thinking of my empty nest status as the beginning of the “next chapter” in my life. Not the last chapter, just the next chapter. That’s pretty darn exciting for me to think about, and I get to write it; you know how I love to do that. Oh sure, it will get some re-writes along the way, but that is the stuff of adventure.
As we plan our finances, so should be planning our life’s journey. You could break it down like this:
- Grab on to your next milestone.
- Use it as a time to reflect.
- Decide where you want your next milestone to take you.
- Prepare to make way, set your eyes upon yon horizon, and sail forward.
(And if it’s a pirate you want to be, well — it’s not two hundred years too late. Heck, Amazon has eye patches at only $4.99/dozen. Remember that you can create a new vision for your life — at least in one eye in this case — at any time.)