Shakespeare Blog: View from the Lake

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A Letter From 90 Year Old Self

Written By: Kevin Reardon, CFP®

Photo of Old Letters

We’ve all seen a movie or read a book where the main character is transported decades into the future and allowed to see themselves near the end of their life. The character is given an incredible perspective to evaluate how their life turned out based on current decisions. The character always returns to the present to make necessary changes so when they reach old age, the circumstances are ‘richer’ and more fulfilling.

As financial advisors, we have the privilege of working with both young and ‘not so young’ clients. Although we learn something from every client, it’s our more ‘seasoned’ clients whose wisdom we have benefited from the most. We thought it would be productive to share the biggest nuggets of wisdom we have learned from our older clients in hopes it inspires any needed change in your life.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff 

Our daily lives are filled with small issues we spend large amounts of time and energy fretting over.  Your email box doesn’t care if it’s full and time spent surfing the internet, watching TV or looking at social media provides zero benefit to society. Identify the biggest issue or opportunity in your life and invest your time and energy into something that will be meaningful for years and decades to come.

Health is Wealth

It doesn’t matter how much money, friends or success someone has if they don’t have good health to enjoy it. Don’t wait until retirement to start the daily habits that can improve your life not only in the future, but right now! Good health is a gift, but we need to be an active participant in maintaining and improving it.

Money as a Tool

Money is simply a tool to help you achieve financial security and help people you love. If money becomes your main focus in life, you’ll lose perspective on what’s truly important and likely experience regrets later in life for opportunities missed.

Work as a Vocation

The concept of ‘laboring’ throughout our life shouldn’t be looked upon as a negative. Without effort, there is no achievement. Without sweat and toil, there is no rest and accomplishment. Regardless of whether you’re a CEO or a part-time hourly worker, treat your job as a vocation and invest 100% effort in doing your best. The return on that investment will be higher than you can ever expect.

Social Network 

Building a network of close friends throughout your life is a key determinant of someone’s overall wellbeing. Invest time and energy into building meaningful relationships, and those friendships will return incredible dividends for decades to come. Once you have a strong network of friends, keep in mind others may not be as fortunate. Take the lead on reaching out to meet those who might need you and add them to your list of people you care about.

Hobbies for Life

It’s not what you’re retiring FROM that matters, but rather what you are retiring TO that will determine your happiness in retirement. Start building interests and hobbies while you’re young so you have something to keep you engaged and excited when you get older. When you fully engage in a hobby, you’re likely to build your social network by meeting like-minded people.

Lifelong Learning

Learning doesn’t end with our final graduation. Those who embrace learning and pursue their curiosities throughout life stay more mentally sharp, have deeper experiences and have more to offer those around them. Identify what you love and continue to pursue it. One reason so many people love to travel is it provides the opportunity to learn about new places, new cultures and different ways of doing something. Identify what you love and spend more time learning about it and more time doing it!


When people reflect at the end of their life on what’s most important, their family is always their most important asset. Continue to draw your family close and spend the time and energy to keep those relationships growing. Your biggest investment deserves your greatest effort.

Although this is a happy little blog about how we can all live our best life, it really deserves a call to action. What are you going to do today to make tomorrow better? Take out a piece of paper and begin identifying the top few goals you want to achieve in the days ahead, and a few bullet points on when and how you’ll achieve them. Share your goals with your Shakespeare financial advisor, so we can assist in helping you become your best 90 year old self.