Planning for Fun

Sometimes when planning for your financial future, you can lose sight of a truth that is always with us: we are living our lplan for fun as well as retirementives in the present.

While it is obviously prudent and necessary to plan for your retirement and for an endowment for your heirs, remember that at this moment—and for many to come—you are very much living your current life, and you deserve to live it to the fullest.

Being completely involved in future planning can lead to the omission of something that brings sparkle and interest to life—spontaneity and fun. A life completely planned out leaves no room for surprise. It would be kind of like watching a movie or reading a novel in which you know everything that’s going to happen. What fun would that be?

Fun would mean something different for everyone. It might mean waking up one morning and saying, “Hey, let’s go to Hawaii for a week.” Or it might mean, “I am really up for a shopping spree—on Oxford Street in London.” Or even, “What do you say we drop in on Grandma in Florida? She’d love it to pieces.” But if you haven’t left any room for such things in your financial planning, you probably wouldn’t even bring them up, even if you felt like it.

All the experts will tell you: fun is a necessary part of life. “You have worked hard for that money, so don’t be afraid to set some of it aside for that morning when you wake up and decide to head for Oahu on a whim, or purchase that hat just like the Queen’s right where she purchased hers, or put a smile on the face of a relative with a personal long-distance visit,” says Martin Walcoe, SVP of David Lerner Associates. “If you deliberately make room for sudden capricious adventures in your financial planning, you will thank yourself when a fancy strikes one day—and you can just go take full advantage of it.”

Fun and spontaneity could also mean making a purchase on a whim. You could decide one day to purchase that 22-foot catamaran you’ve always had your eye on, or that cabin up by the lake to which you can get away for one of those impromptu vacations.

By all means, plan for the future. Make sure you have enough salted away on which to retire. Make sure that your heirs will inherit a part of what you set aside. But also remember that you deserve some fun in life–you’ve earned it. Plan for it, and make it happen.

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