The Financial Planning Effects of Covid: A MyLife Financial Series (Part 3)

Reflecting on your own mortality has a way of providing clarity. As financial planners, the easiest topics to direct our attention to are the ones most closely related to death, estate planning and life insurance. When addressing these topics, we try our best to answer questions like, "will my spouse have enough money if I die? Who will take care of my children if we pass away? Who's going to sell my business or better yet, who will run my business?"

The answers to these questions are never set in stone and from my experience, don't change often. What does change often is what we do with our time in between now, retirement, and our final days on earth . Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily "to dos," be it personal or professional, that we fail to take a step back and ask ourselves, "is this truly what I want to be doing?" I was no different in this matter until I got some perspective.

It was a few months after my friend's passing. Just like most people I went into work from 9-5, Monday through Friday with weekends off, and received a steady paycheck with benefits. I payed my bills, came home to my wife and daughter and spent maybe 2-3 hours with them daily until the weekend came. Sounds great, right? On the surface it was, but when I took a step back and asked myself, "is this truly what I want to be doing?" My answer was, "this is about the most mundane life I could have ever thought of living."

At the time I was working at a local bank and reminisced about my time running MyLife Financial from 2016-2019. I remembered the excitement I felt from meeting new clients and diving into their personal financial lives. I recalled the long hours but the flexibility that came with those long hours. I was able to take my wife to doctor appointments throughout her pregnancy, I was able to care for my newborn child for the first year and a half, and I felt the most alive having the time to do the things I enjoyed most, exercising, photography, and just being creative. There was only one thing left to do, find work-life balance.

The Journey to Work-Life Balance

The journey to work-life balance doesn't mean you have to quit your job. For some lucky people, they may be doing what they love already, be it engineering, medicine, running your own business, etc... Work-life balance, from my experience, comes with compromise and some sacrifice. You have to ask yourself, "Am I willing to sacrifice/compromise X for the end result of Y? For me, I was willing to sacrifice a little stability for more time with my family, more time for my health, professional creativity and the continued growth of my firm. While that's not something everyone is willing to sacrifice or compromise, we should never stop trying to achieve work-life balance as we only have one life to live. As I write this blog, which is something I previously couldn't do freely, I'll say that I am happy with the decision to take on some risk of uncertainty for hopefully many years of flexibility to use my time as I see fit.

Before I Die

If you've gotten this far in my blog mini series, you may be wondering about the "Before I Die" chalkboard pictured above. When I lived in San Antonio, my wife and I would walk downtown at times and we came across this very Chalkboard. I remember my wife taking a piece of chalk and writing down what she wanted to accomplish before she leaves this earth; it didn't take long for her to egged me on and do the same. I had no idea that what I wrote at the time would have a profound effect on me, my firm, and future clients.

"Before I die... I want to live a life of meaning" - Angel Melgoza

If you want to see how you can strike a better work-life balance? Obviously the numbers have to make sense to move forward, right? I'd love to help!


MyLife Financial is a fee-only financial advisory firm providing objective and independent advice virtually. Our clients are busy professionals that face daunting questions of how today's financial decisions will affect their long-term financial success. Everything written is strictly for informational use only. Please seek the advice of your CPA, Attorney, or financial professional before implementing any strategies.

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