Happy #MakingLifeBeautiful day!

I don’t think you have to look far to see people Making Life Beautiful every day. There’s the crossing guard who shows up promptly every sometimes sunny, often windy, occasionally downright grisly day to guide little people across busy streets. They are an oasis of calm in their frenzied world. Reliability makes life beautiful. There’s the boss who regularly buys flowers for his whole staff. The flowers come from a client, who grows them in a garden near her house. Flowers make life beautiful and so does the generosity of people who share them. And how about the smiley people at the corner gas station? Friendliness makes life beautiful. Co-workers who define their job as both their own daily duties and anything else anyone needs at any time – cheerful industry makes life beautiful. So do staff members who tell jokes, offer interesting articles, thoroughly proofread the items you ask them to, bring treats, man the router, handle challenges so smoothly no one ever knows they happened, host the weekly staff meetings, prepare the reports, meet with the clients so enthusiastically their appointments sound like parties. Here’s to the parents, grandparents, coaches, summer school teachers, playground leaders, camp counselors, daycare workers, ice cream scoopers, lifeguards, doctors, dance instructors, babysitters and everyone else making life beautiful for children and their caregivers this summer. We salute the sandcastle builders, rock painters, bird feeders, mural artists, garden planters, lemonade pourers, popsicle freezers, sidewalk chalk drawers, bubble blowers, rainbow spotters, dandelion crown makers, song writers, music makers, produce sharers, compliment givers who make this world, and especially this season, so precious and beautiful. Happy #MakingLifeBeautiful day!

How to focus less on money and more on living a rich life

Snapple Fact #945 caught my eye during a recent Spring Break family road trip: The Inca built the largest and wealthiest empire in South America, but had no concept of money. I find this aspect of the Inca Empire both fascinating and admirable. At Winch Financial, though we work as money managers, our definition of wealth has always transcended the accumulation of finances. We encourage our clients to build a rich life through careful tending of their relationships, joyful accumulation of memories, generous sharing, community involvement, and healthy lifestyle choices. To maintain that rich life, and to extend it through generations, of course we advocate a well thought-out financial plan that is adjusted frequently to match retirement goals, risk tolerances and time lines. We’re also strong proponents of tactical investment management to protect and grow the assets you’ve earned. But we know that a fulfilling life involves so much more than money.  We encourage our clients to nurture their spiritual, creative, physical and intellectual lives as well. Want to feel rich? Take a grandchild to lunch. Volunteer at a shelter. Plan an outing. Call an old friend. Take a walk on a sunny afternoon. Say a prayer. The Incas built an empire that lasted more than a thousand years without any monetary or bartering system at all. It might be time for us to think about making money less a focus in our lives too.