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A Reflection on Lifes True Wealth

This weekend, I had the solemn privilege of attending a friend's funeral.

As a financial planner, my early career was largely centered around assets, investments, and planning for the future.

Yet, standing there, amidst the quiet murmurs of a gathered community paying their respects, I was starkly reminded of a profound truth: in the end, it's only you in the casket, not your possessions.

My friend was a person of remarkable character, deeply respected and dearly loved by many reflected in the large turnout.  

The ceremony was clearly not just a farewell; it was a celebration of a life well-lived, rich in experiences and friendships.

It dawned on me, more vividly than ever, through the fond stories and reflections of many there, that the true measure of our lives is not found in the material wealth we accumulate but in the legacy of our relationships and the quality of our life's journey.

This lead my thoughts turning to the wisdom of the ancients, particularly to Seneca, a Stoic philosopher whose essays on the shortness of life I have recently been reading.

Seneca implores us to cherish time as our most precious commodity, arguing that it's not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste much of it. Life, he suggests, is long enough if we live it wisely.

As I reflect on my friend's life, I see the embodiment of Seneca's teachings.

My friend lived with intention, savoring each moment, nurturing relationships, and imparting memories that will linger far beyond their physical presence.

It's a powerful reminder that our true legacy is woven through the lives we touch and the experiences we share.

This realization is particularly poignant for me, given my profession.

Daily, I advise clients on financial security and wealth accumulation, important aspects of life, no doubt.

Yet, this weekend's experience has underscored the importance of balancing these pursuits with the cultivation of rich, meaningful experiences and relationships.

After all, these are the treasures that remain, the ones that truly enrich our lives and endure beyond our earthly existence.

As I move forward, both personally and professionally, I am reminded of the importance of living a life that prioritizes what truly matters.

It's a lesson I hope to share more broadly, not as a financial advisor, but as a fellow traveler on this journey of life.

Let us strive to live not just for the accumulation of things but for the creation of meaningful experiences and lasting friendships.

In the end, these are the true measures of a life well-lived.


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