I have 32 years left to live

Peter Katevatis - Jan 21, 2014
After recently celebrating a milestone birthday I have heard several times, “Life begins at 40!” This is clearly a ridiculous statement. Life obviously begins at birth, but it gets pretty good when you’re five, and it’s a whole lot of fun in your 2

After recently celebrating a milestone birthday I have heard several times, “Life begins at 40!”  This is clearly a ridiculous statement.  Life obviously begins at birth, but it gets pretty good when you’re five, and it’s a whole lot of fun in your 20s.

I will agree with the statement, “Life does not end at 40” though since there are still many things I look forward to in my remaining 32 years.  If you are wondering why I keep mentioning I have 32 years left, I have not received any definitive reports from medical professionals, I just looked up my expected life expectancy based on actuarial tables.  Irrelevant of the numbers, we are all worm food eventually so what are you going to do with your remaining time?

Ahhhh….. time, that wonderful thing that makes us one day older every day.  We love to talk about time: “I don’t have time for that!”  “Manage your time efficiently”  “What will our 5-year return be on the portfolio?”  “Don’t forget to move the clock forward on Sunday, March 9th”.  Michigan Tech is even trying to determine if any time travelers have come back from the future to tweet about it.  According to them, not yet, which means they never will.

In reality, you need to do more of what you want to do and less of what you don’t.  For some people that might be reading more books and expanding their mind.  For others, it might be travelling to Bali to go bungee jumping.  And for others, it may be spending more time with the grandkids.  Each of us has a different idea of what we want to do with the time we have left.

 

Hooray, you have won the lottery!

For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that you win enough money so that you don’t have to work anymore and you can maintain the exact same standard of living that you have now.  You currently make $100,000 per year and are expected to live 32 years with interest rates at 4%.  You just won $3,030,461!  Now what do you do?!?

Do you continue to live the same as you did before?  Do you quit your job and golf a WHOLE lot more?  The answer to this question can tell you a lot about what your actual desires are.

Your answer might be:

buy the new Halo Xbox One and spend two weeks playing it all day long
to go down to the Downtown Eastside and spend the lunch hour serving food at the Union Gospel Mission
to never miss a performance at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Whatever your answer is, be honest with yourself.  You can only devise a plan if you know where you are going.  If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you get there?

I also have gone through this exercise and I am happy to say that I am exactly where I want to be.  I would like take more time to train for a sub-4hr marathon but I am happy to be able to run.  I really enjoy dealing with my clients as they are all good people.  All of them.  I would like to spend more time with them but they are often “too busy”.

So figure out what you want to do and do it (or at least start planning on how you can do it).  You have no one to blame but yourself for not taking action.