I am not a sentimental person, but I will admit to some rare feelings of nostalgia as the World Cup begins in Russia. Four years ago today, my wife and I boarded subway at Copacabana Beach and made the 45 minute journey to the famed Maracana Stadium to witness Argentina and their star Lionel Messi defeat Bosnia, in the first of four games we watched in Rio over the next week and a half.
I have been going through pictures and videos of our adventure and remembering what it was like to be at the world's biggest sporting event in a country that loves that sport like no other. Looking back it is still a little surreal to me that we were there. After all, I am a relative homebody, who had only fallen in love with the sport a mere four years prior during the same event in 2010.
In June of 2010, Tracy was nursing our youngest daughter. We were trying to figure out how to play man to man defense with the kids when previously we had gotten accustomed to playing zone. It was a harder transition than I had imagined, and the World Cup was an "escape" I could make from the comfort of our home. I didn't know a lot about the game then, but I watched with an open mind until the sport seduced me. All those countries, all that passion.
I still remember to this day where I was when Landon Donovan slotted in a goal in the 91st minute against Algeria to save the U.S. Ian Darke's call became one of legend in US Soccer.
And one doesn't have to speak Spanish to appreciate the thrill of Andres Cantor's call.
Four years later, after four years of saving (we didn't have a lot to save back then) we boarded a plane for Brazil and a trip of a lifetime. Next year and four more years of saving, we will do the same, this time with our girls in tow, as we go to the women's world cup in France.
There are many things one can do with their money. We have spoken with hundreds of people about their plans. As I reflect on those conversations, one thing that sticks out are the conversations I have had with people about their experiences. The return on experiences seems to far surpass the return on material items.
We don't make judgments regarding one's expenses. We seek to allocate their resources towards those things they have identified as valuable and important to them. If spending the bulk of your income on a house or a new car every three years satisfies you, then I am happy. I can only say that from our conservations with people, more happiness is derived when money is used for a lifetime of memories rather than the fleeting satisfaction of a "new car" smell.
You see, most of us have finite resources. We have to make decisions about how our resources are used as there is only so much to go around. Financial planning is about intentionally thinking about what money is available, how is it being used, where is it going, how it a can grow, and how one can avoid costly mistakes that endanger one's goals. It is about finding the right balance between the present and future need. It is not easy and it requires some compromise but with the right planning more can be accomplished that one might think. If you think financial planning is only about investments and buying products, you have a greatly out dated impression.
Financial planning is about making memories, living life, providing for family, and preparing for the future. Whatever it is that captures your imagination, we would love to talk with you about it.
Enjoy this year's World Cup. Let us know in the comments who you are supporting in Russia.