Sometimes when planning for your future, you can lose sight of a truth that is always with us: we are living our lives in the present.
While it is obviously prudent and necessary to plan for your retirement and an endowment for your heirs, as we start another new year, it's wise to remember that you also have to live your current life. And that 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," says David Lerner, CEO of David Lerner Associates
. "A life completely planned out leaves no room for surprise."
It would be like watching a movie or reading a novel in which you know everything that's going to happen. What fun would that be?
Fun means 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 at the same store she purchased hers, or put a smile on the face of a relative with a personal long-distance visit. 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.
By all means, plan for the future. A retirement calculator
can help you figure out how much you should salt away for your golden years. 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 fun this year and you can make it happen.