Dick Wagner & Life

In tribute to a guy definitely worth knowing about — not a rock star or Hollywood actor — but a celebrity in his own right. Richard “Dick” Wagner died this week at age 66.

Dick Wagner (no relation to me) was a luminary in the world of financial planning, dedicating his life to getting people to focus and think about their lives and the human side of their wealth. Another way to say this is, “How are you going to spend your money today and someday…for the richest life possible?”.

In a paper he wrote 27 years ago he emphasized that in planning your financial future, it is not about a “product” (or the more modern “platform”).  Rather, a real financial planner “provides answers and services within the context of the client’s own special situation” (or life).

When is the last time you thought (or were asked to think of) your LIFE when sitting down with your financial adviser? About what is most important to you? What do you most fear and wish to protect?

Back in 1994 (23 years ago) Dick Wagner co-founded with George Kinder the Nazrudin Project which was dedicated to the human side of money.  George Kinder was famous for posing 3 questions*.  I will leave you to ponder his 3 questions here. Thanks to both Wagner and Kinder for giving us more to think about than “when to buy the next hot stock” or “where is the market going”.

  1. Imagine you are totally financially secure for now and the future.  How would you live your life?  Would you change anything?  Let yourself go.  Don’t hold back on your dreams.
  2. Now imagine that you visit your doctor who tells you that you have only 5-10 years to live. You won’t ever feel sick and you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in your time remaining? Will you change your life and how? (Does not assume unlimited funds.)
  3. Finally, imagine that your doctor shocks you with the news that you have just 24 hours to live. Notice what feelings arise.  What did you miss? Who did you not get to be?  What did you not get to do?

Enjoy the thoughts and conversation. Make these part of your financial decisions today. And RIP Dick Wagner.

Thank you for reading and TGIF!

*References: www.InvestmentNews.com;  http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/02/15/george-kinder-three-questions-about-life-planning/

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