I counsel people daily on how to best manage their personal finances. We talk about risk versus return, diversification, and other financial planning tools. However, one thing that sets people apart is whether or not they are working to live, or living to work. You may find this surprising but I’m not a proponent of working as hard as possible, as many hours per day, to make as much money as possible. Instead, I prefer the Work Smarter Not Harder mentality.
Friend, this life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get one shot at this amazing gift called life. When it’s all said and done, you won’t think on your death-bed that you wish you had spent more time at the office, rather than quality time with your friends and family. I want to encourage you to spend more time seeing the world rather than seeing the inside of a cubicle.
You may be thinking right about now that this sounds good in theory, but not practical in real life. I’m here today to debunk that myth. You can learn to manage your money in such a way that it works for you. That’s the message and battle cry of Faithful Finance. Sadly, many folks today are living their lives like they are spinning on a hamster wheel. They are just surviving and not thriving. They plan for DYING, rather than LIVING out the potential they have for a fruitful and peaceful life.
I was reminded of this truth when I received an email from a dear friend and client after a recent meeting. Mrs. Feinberg is no stranger to hard work. She was a teacher for over 35 years and her husband was a school administrator. They raised twin boys and made sure their children were well-educated. It’s been a true JOY to watch Mrs. Feinberg from the sidelines during her retirement years.
When we first met just 10 years ago, Mrs. Feinberg was grieving the loss of her beloved husband and the shattered dream that they would live out their retirement years as a couple. We initially spent a lot of time together during those first few months after we met. I counseled her on how to manage her money, I made sure she was properly insured, and together, we got her estate and all of her financial affairs in order. Then I looked her in the eye and told her one thing: GO GET BUSY LIVING!
Well, she took my advice and then some! Amazingly, she has now travelled around the world to see all 7 continents. She wanted to marvel at all of God’s creation with her very own eyes. She’s also a docent at our local modern art museum, and she plays mahjong with a group of senior ladies every week who have become her tribe of friends. They support one another, attend each other’s doctor appointments, and they have each other’s back. She still contributes to charity and those in need, regularly attends services at the Jewish temple, and often exhibits the gift of hospitality. She welcomes her sons, extended family, and friends who have become like family, into her home to be refreshed and to share a meal. Mrs. Feinberg lives with intention and great purpose.
I’ve been sending apple pies to my clients as a thank you gift for their trust and loyalty at Christmas and Hanukkah time for many years. It’s become a tradition of mine. This is a copy of the email Mrs. Feinberg sent to me last week:
I so appreciate and enjoy our meetings. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the annual apple pie–a lovely gesture, but unnecessary. Instead, please make a contribution to your favorite charity with whatever you would spend on the apple pie. I’m smart enough to know how lucky I am financially at this time in my life. I’m pretty much able to do whatever I want to do without counting every penny or worrying how I will pay for medication or food. So many people are much worse off. I know my careful spending helps, and I am grateful for God’s provision, but I give a lot of the credit to you for lovingly managing me and my assets. Many Thanks to you.
Please understand that Mrs. Feinberg is not what most people would consider independently wealthy. She and her husband made wise decisions throughout their careers, and she’s very prudent with her money now that she is a widow and retired. I want to encourage you to reach out to someone you trust to help create a plan for your personal finances.
I also want you to focus on LIVING rather than just getting by day-to-day. Let’s live like we know for certain that God has great plans for us, that He wants to provide well for us, and that He has purpose for our life. Friend, I believe that this is how we should all LIVE.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.