Walking down the street in Beverly Hills in early February, I overheard two middle-aged men commenting to one another, “nothing really excites me anymore, not cars or houses...” and he trailed off sort of perplexed himself with the statement. I couldn’t hear the rest, but it struck me that this observation occurred at the intersection of one of the most recognized material consumption destinations in the world.
Money can help an individual or a family achieve many goals—from financial peace of mind to meeting unanticipated expenses, securing income to complement additional sources of income in retirement, preparing for higher education costs like university for a child, and more. But the mundane goal of idle consumption isn’t enough. In fact, it highlights the very premise of what financial planning is all about.
In January of this year, The Wall Street Journal published an article that highlighted how middle-aged people of this generation are handling the existential midlife crisis differently than those in the past. The quintessential two-seat sports car or long weekend trip of debauchery (as referenced in WSJ) is being replaced by healthier alternatives like wellness retreats, yoga and clean living that serve to refresh—an awakening of the mind.
The reality is that people in the U.S. work hard. They work more hours each week than their European counterparts, and even when they’re not working and at home, they’re still tethered to email and trying to stay current.
If anything positive can come from this recent COVID-19 virus and market decline, let’s hope it can be an “awakening of the mind,” an epiphany of what the important components are in life: safety of family and self, health and access to health care and medicine all being among the highest priorities.
Maybe the two men walking the street in Beverly Hills were having a premonition, and neither they nor I knew it until now. Wealth for the sake of money to consume is empty in comparison to the simple goal of peace of mind that can come from achieving the financial goals that help accomplish what you and your family desire.
Jeff Runyan is the lead of the Runyan Capital Advisors investment management and advisory team based in Beverly Hills, providing clients nationwide with wealth management and retirement planning advice. Backed by over two decades of industry experience, Jeff leads an investment team committed to designing investment portfolios that adhere to the premise, “Discipline Makes the Difference.”
Securities offered through Wedbush Securities Inc. Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.