Before I Die…

My wife recently ran across some amazing photos of a house here in New Orleans that Candy Chang has turned into a huge chalkboard.  Stenciled out on the chalkboard is one question and we’re all invited to fill in the blank.

Before I die I want to ________________

That’s the big question for all of us, isn’t it?

I really encourage you to click on over to her site and take a look at some of the responses they’ve received.  I’m moved as I read through them, and have one big takeaway.

Nobody wrote that they wanted a bigger TV or a new car.  Nobody wrote that they want a second home or a faster computer.   The common threads that I see are about people and experiences.

People – Raise my children, tell my mother I love her, Be a Daddy

Experiences – Visit all 50 states, See Rome, Play the piano

In my work with clients, I often lead them through an exercise developed by George Kinder of the Kinder Institute.  One part of that exercise invites them to imagine that they’ve got 24 hours left on this earth.  What emotions are they experiencing? What is left undone?

Now some of you may be asking, what in the hell does all of this have to do with financial planning?


If your plan doesn’t help you connect with what is most important to you in life, then what good is it?  You could have the greatest retirement income plan in the world, but if you have no vision for what you plan to do with that retirement, then we have missed the mark.

So today, take a few minutes to think about your answer.

Before I die I want to ______________