What Will Matter Five Years From Now?

Retirement Income Planning, Calgary

The roads more travelled

There was a man who was walking to work and to his misfortune, he fell into a manhole. His friends came and helped him out of the manhole and he made his way to work. The very next day, he was on his way to work, and once again, he fell into the same manhole. Luckily his friends came and helped him out. Guess what happened the next day and the next day and the next day? You guessed it he continued to fall into the same manhole, and his friend continued to help him out. Until one day.

A friend showed him a different way to get to work.  If we are honest with ourselves, we can say that there are a few manholes in our lives that we have fallen into repeatedly. 

Five years from now.

You'll either be living the life you designed by choice or the one that happened by chance.

Will you be living life to its fullest or will you still be waiting? Waiting for the world to change? Waiting for the perfect timing? Waiting for the economy or the markets to improve? It's not safe. I'm too young. I'm too old. I'm not strong enough. I'm too tired. I need more money. I need more time. 

Someone once said, "the day my ship comes in, with my luck, I'll be at the airport".

Five years from now.

One thing's for sure - you'll be 5 years older. 

Take a moment and reflect. Look back to 5 years ago. Where were you? What were you doing? What were you hoping for and planning for? What's changed since then? One thing is for sure - you have used up 5 years.

Where do you want to be 5 years from now? What do you hope to be doing? You can't rewrite history, but you can start fresh and write your own story looking down the road for the next 5 years.

The Road Not Taken - Revenge of the BirdsThe Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sometimes we do not fully engage in our lives because of fear of making the wrong choice - taking the wrong road. One thing about the road you choose is you choose it. The poem is not about taking the road less travelled - as many have wrongly concluded. It's about focusing on and enjoying the road you do take, even if it has a few manholes; and not wasting your time and energy wondering about the one you didn't take.

Out of all of the emotions, we experience in life, I believe regret is the most punishing. Regret rots our souls. It haunts us. Keeps us awake at night. Regret is a miserable companion and I do not want to live any part of my life with it, and I hope you do not either.

Today is a brand new day. It's a special day. It's the day of new beginnings. It's the start of a brand new chapter. Focus on the road ahead and take the first step in the right direction.

Five years from now you'll be looking back and you should have a big smile. Not because you took the 'less travelled' road, but because you enjoyed the road you did take. Will it be perfect? No. But, if everything went perfectly, we wouldn't have any great stories to tell.

Twenty-four years ago, we packed up what little we had and moved to Calgary. We loaded up the car and shipped out what few possessions we owned.

We rented a small house on the old army base at Crowchild and Glenmore. We were 27 years old at the time with a 4-year-old son. In debt. Not a lot of marketable skills. I had a job with Nancy's brother delivering groceries to restaurants. I worked all week and on the weekends we scoured the Bargain Finder and roamed back alleys to find garage sales to find items to furnish our house. When we told people we were new to Calgary and just getting set up, they would practically give us the stuff for free. We'd tie it to the roof of the car and bring it home. 

At that time Nancy was into selling PartyLite Candles & Gifts and she would have to host parties to make some sales - kind of like the Tupperware model. She would go through the telephone book and randomly call people to see if they would like to host a party. Her line was, "Hi, my name is Nancy and I'm new to Calgary and I don't know anyone. I sell PartyLite gifts and accessories and I was wondering if you would be willing to invite a few of your friends to your home and host a party?"

It's amazing, that total strangers would invite her to their homes, invite their friends over, have a party, purchase tons of candles, and they would not only buy her wares, but some of them would also host another party at their home. This snowballed to the point where she was driving all over the city and from Olds to Brooks.

We built our life here. I finished my master's degree. Bought a home 3 years later. Learned new skills. Got better jobs. Earned more money. Acquired rental properties. Built businesses. And are now the Calgary's leading providers of retirement income planning.

What I love about Alberta, and especially Calgary, is that anyone who wants, can start from scratch and build something. It's a place where we welcome with open arms people from anywhere and the harder you work the more successful you can be. I love this province and I am proud to call it my home. 

As I look back over the past 24 years at the road we chose to travel, there have been many manholes, ups and downs, busts and booms, bad days, good days, poor days and rich days - it was the best decision we ever made to move here. Because we decided to come here and 'chose this road', it has made all the difference. 

So, what's our job on your journey? To help you reach your destination and enjoy the journey.

That's why I ask so many questions. What's important about money to you? What's important in your life? Who is important in your life? What do you want in life?

Our job is to help you get your total financial house in order, keep it that way, and help you reach your goals. What are some short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve? Honestly, what do you want the next 5, 10, or 15 years to look like?

Our job is to make sure you are making good financial choices and able to weather the storms of life, and not get thrown off track. Make decisions confidently, and live with purpose and passion.

I don't know about the road not taken. We'll never know. We didn't choose that road, nor can we spend our lives wondering about it. That's the point of Frost's poem. There's only one road you can take - so embrace it, enjoy it and make the most of it. 

We specialize in fee-only retirement income, investment, and tax planning for Canadians over age 55.

Learn more about our services 

Retirement Income, Investment, & Tax Planning,

Willis & Nancy Langford

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