What Makes You Happy? - Let's Align Your Plan

What Makes You Happy? - Let's Align Your Plan

| December 05, 2017

Our clients are typically very hard workers and finding a work/fun balance in life can be a difficult achievement. 

Investing works best when the investor harvests from the fruits of her labors along the way and gets a taste of why she is investing.  This positive experience actually encourages additional investing and helps find a balance where life can be enjoyed along the way.

Once an investor realizes that money isn’t worth anything until it is spent, conversations tend to be focused on how to use assets in the most efficient way to attain their goals.  With goals you gain focus and direction.  Every dollar should be earmarked with a use that aligns your goals and values.  Happiness should be at the forefront.

Time is our most valuable asset and money itself doesn’t have much value without the time.  Money is just a tool for personal enjoyment.

What do you want?

We don’t know what is around the next corner, so take some time to think about what makes you truly happy.  Do you want to:

  • Own a cabin at the lake to host gatherings of family & friends or perhaps a sailboat to tour the coast?
  • Travel the globe in search of your ancestors or tour the US to see every national park?
  • Ski every powder day, fly-fish the top rivers, hunt the waterfowl migration north to south, or hike the Pacific Crest Trail?
  • Life-long learner?  How does taking Spanish classes or photography lessons sound?
  • How about charitable endeavors? Some of the greatest feelings come from helping others.  Maybe you would like to help build a school in Guatemala, help those struggling in your hometown or fund someone’s education.
  • What about spending time with children or grandchildren?  What is the best way to get everyone together and teach them life values/lessons? How can your investments help fulfill these goals?

Notice how these suggested bullets are about experiences and making memories, rather than just buying more material objects.  Research has shown that people who spend money on experiences rather than material items are happier and feel that the money is better spent.  

Another often overlooked item is identifying things that make you unhappy and trying to eliminate them.  Perhaps you can use some funds to delegate time-consuming tasks you dislike by hiring a household cleaner, lawn service or someone to do the grocery shopping, in order to free you up for fun experiences. 

Identify your Passions

Retirement is not just a destination but rather a journey.  Don’t wait, set some happiness goals now and let’s work on fulfilling them together along the way. 

Answer the following questions to reveal some of your passions and interests:

  • If money wasn’t an issue, what would you spend your time doing?


  • What parts of your weekly routine do you look forward to?


  • When was the last time you felt alive and energetic? What were you doing? Who were you with?


  • What community or world issues are you passionate about?


  • What kind of books, magazines, blogs or articles are you attracted to? Are there specific topics you like? History, Science, Technology, etc.?


  • What type of TV shows do you enjoy?


  • What kind of community service/volunteer work interests you?


  • What sports do you play or watch on TV?


  • What tools or technologies do you find interesting to you?


  • What outdoor activities do you enjoy?


  • What classes did you enjoy in high school or college?


Your answers may provide you with clues to help identify some of your passions and interests. The next step is to think of creative ways to set some happiness goals in these areas.  Let us know what your resulting goals are so we can help you create a plan to achieve them.


Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.

And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Washington Thurman