Carpe Diem

J:  My husband is a financial planner and recently he has been holding retirement planning classes revolving around Social Security benefits.  They have been very popular, chiefly because most people are worried about whether or not Social Security will be around when they are ready to retire. And if it is around, when should they begin taking their benefits.  As a result of being a good wife who listens closely to her husband, I now know that there are over 587 different ways to claim Social Security benefits.  So it is something that definitely needs some scrutiny.

Clearly, planning for retirement is important.  Nobody wants to run out of money.  However, there is a case to be made for living for today.  Our parents were the consummate planners.  They were frugal.  They didn't live for the day; they saved for tomorrow.  But for them, their tomorrows look nothing like their yesterdays. They plotted and planned for a full and happy retirement.  Alzheimer's disease turned their plans on end.  I'm sure they would have done things differently if they had known what their retirement years would look like.  Would they have taken more trips by themselves, with our family, with their friends, if they had known that AD would pull their passports at 75?  Would they have lived a little larger, sweated a little less, if they knew how few tomorrows they would have under their control?

I've heard it said that when we make plans God laughs. Our plans may or may not be God's plans.  I think God appreciates being prudent to a degree.  But I also believe that God is okay with us seizing the day, enjoying what we have worked so hard for, and enjoying it today.  So take that trip when you can.  Splurge for no reason, within reason. Enjoy your life NOW.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.