Everyone wishes they can get what they ask for. Many will wish, hope, pray, beg, and a whole lot more in trying to convince anyone from people to deity’s. Problem is far more often than anyone wants to ponder, getting exactly what you wanted can have repercussions or other unforeseen issues you may never thought or dreamed of.
Setting goals is one thing however, that’s not exactly what I’m writing about here. What I’m speaking of has to do with large generalizations or “pennies from heaven” type goals that are more in line with winning the lottery.
You hear statements such as this, “If I won the lottery my life would be set!” Yes, one’s life just might. Yet, there are so many multimillion dollar prize winners that went from “Rags to Riches” back to rags there seems an endless supply of material for some reality show of; Lottery Winners boom to bust, with an all new cast.
We laugh to ourselves many times as we watch sad tales on how people with no understanding of significant amounts of money deal with issues. Many snicker thinking, “Why would you do that, or buy that? That’s crazy! I would never do that.” Only to not fully understand many of us are just as unprepared in many of the same ways. And, far too many are not as prepared or have thought through exactly what it means to actually live and deal with “getting everything you hoped for.” (I was once here myself so I speak from experience not just hypothetically.)
Let me go through a couple of scenarios playing out right now that in many ways are going to impact all of us one way or another either now, or in the future. (I’m not picking a side on anything I reference. This is a thought experiment nothing more.)
People on both left and right politically have been shouting warnings about deficits either for the nation as whole or, state, county, city, and so forth. Many of the arguments from both sides threaten the other. Whether ones right or wrong doesn’t matter for in the end it seems they both wanted the same thing to prove their point. If “whatever” collapses, it proves them right. Only issue now is: “Great – Now what?”
As we now see in the once great city known as Detroit. Both sides will say they were right. One will say it was because of this, the other will say it was because of that. However, right or wrong now what? What does one do?
Detroit is a basket case and people have to live there – today. Not tomorrow, not next week, or year, rather now – today. For many I hazard to guess even within the city itself were wishing and hoping for this to happen in order to forge a new path. I’d also bet these same people have no idea what to do now. And, many, many, many (did I say many?) are totally unprepared. Even if this is exactly what they hoped for. Left, right, or in between
This same line of thinking is also prevalent in areas where the participants once again have no idea of what just might happen if they were to get exactly what they hope for. These are the people I both meet as well as speak to that are obsessed with talking about gold.
I can’t tell you how many people want to talk (or force the conversation) about gold. Whether it be owning it, trading, sleeping with it. You name it, they are obsessed with the subject. Fair enough because it is an important subject. However, what I’m reflecting on is when I hear the conversation turn down this road. i.e., “I can’t wait till it’s finally realized fiat money is dead and gold goes to the moon in price. Because, I’ve got mine and could care less what happens. I’ll make a killing!”
When I pipe up with something on the order of, “Sounds great. However, just what type of world do you think you would be living in if gold shot up over night to double or triple in price as you hope for? Do you think or believe the only consequence would be you making money and others losing theirs? You may just be right and get your wish but, (and it’s a very big but) would it be worth it if it resulted from another 2008 styled collapse or worse? Are you and your family ready tomorrow if the banks closed and didn’t open for let’s say a couple of days? Or, maybe even a week or more?” (This is where the room goes silent.)
Another one of these scenarios revolves around the issue of retirement. Probably no other topic gets bandied around more than gold except for – retirement.
Everyone is working for “retirement” and most have no clue of exactly what it means or what they would do tomorrow if it were handed to them on a silver platter. All I hear are generalizations people “think” they would do. Yet, the more you probe – the more smoke like their dreams appear to be.
Retirement is a great sounding term. It conjures up images of being able to do what ever one wants. Answering to no one. Basking on the beach sipping drinks with little umbrellas (if you’re into that sort of thing) and more. I’m here to state like all the above scenarios. The world one, “wishes, dreams, and hopes for.” Is nothing like the reality when one achieves it.
All that “free time” one wished and hoped for turns into, “I’m sick of being by myself.” (Just to name one example.) Why? Because usually all your “friends” are off either working or doing other things.
I can say this from experience since I did it at age 45 when I thought I could enjoy it the most. Upon reflection, I never want to be “retired” as the image everyone is working to obtain ever again. If I’ve made up my mind about anything it’s this: “I retired from being retired.”
When I make these types of statements people roll their eyes or think I’m trying to somehow brag using the indirect undertone of, “Oh, retirements awful yet, someone has to do it.” I’m not. Again, more often than not (unless I’m on a stage speaking and even then it’s a roll of the dice) it falls on deaf ears.
Hoping, wishing, dreaming, and working towards getting to the end of a rainbow to find a pot of gold and retire is a very noble endeavor. One I also encourage you to go for. Although just with what you wish for, you had better have thought through with some real foresight just what you would do if you attained it today because: Things can happen anywhere, anytime, without warning. The financial crisis of 2008 showed us that.
If you retired today, with a pot of gold, what would you do? And, how would you do it? Along with: Are you sure what you “think” is actually true and, could you do it in a crisis? i.e., Get access to your money, gold, pay bills, eat, etc. Could you handle another 2008 styled event right now? What exactly would be your first moves? Would they be possible? How can you test as to be sure? What if your city, state, pension, whatever went belly up overnight? What then?
If you don’t have good answers that you can map out with real unbiased truthful answers, getting what you want might just be the last thing you want happening because you weren’t as prepared as you thought you were.
Keeping and enjoying what you worked for is many times just as hard if not harder as the quest and the work to get it in the first place. Don’t take it for granted as in, “I’ll figure that out when I get there.” You want to have most of the “figure” part well in hand before you ever arrive.
© 2013 Mark St.Cyr