Without our health, our wealth is pointless.
As a financial planning and wealth management firm, we mostly talk about money. However, we make no apology for going off piste and discussing matters that are not an area of specialism, because this message is so important for our clients.
Health is wealth!
This point was so poignantly made by Steve Jobs during his last few months of his life:
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes my life is an epitome of success…At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.
Many clients of Henwood Court have completed the Priority Exercise. This is designed to help you understand that we only have limited time to do stuff, so we should make sure we are spending this time doing the important stuff. Often, we do not do this because we’re dealing with the urgent stuff, author Matthew Kelly termed this as the ‘tyranny of urgency’. When I have completed this exercise with clients, the priorities shown below are always mentioned.
4. Extended Family
9. Financial Security (essentials)
10. Financial (luxury)
11. Social Life / Friends
12. Travel / Holiday Home (escape)
13. Something specific and personal to you?
Central to all of this is health. Without this, you may find it hard to be a great dad, son, spouse, to work at your best ability or effectively run your business, travel to the places you wish to see and to generally enjoy a good quality lifestyle.
So, I make no apology for saying, everyone should have health as their number one priority.
It seems Dragon Den’s Steven Bartlett agrees with me, stating that health is his first foundation of success, and in his latest book ‘The Diary of a CEO’, he quoted a story from 93-year-old Warren Buffett that I had not come across before:
“When I was 16, I had two things in mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls, so I thought about cars. I thought about girls too, but I have more luck with cars.
Let’s say that when I turned 16, a genie had appeared to me. And the genie said: ‘I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours!
Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch’? And the genie would answer. ‘There’s only one catch…This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So, it’s got to last a lifetime’.
If that had happened, I would have picked out a car, but can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?
I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have fixed it right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.
This is exactly the position you are in with your mind and body. You only get one mind, and you only get one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years.
But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck 40 years later, just like the car would be.
It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate, 10, 20, 30 years from now.
You must take care of it.”
Of course, we all know this but then make decisions (me included) to do stuff we know are not good for our health; for example, to drink too much, eat the wrong things or not eat enough of the good things, not get enough exercise or sleep. And today there is so much information available, much of it contradictory and confusing.
All of our clients are aware that we assume they will all live to age 100 when making cash flow projections. Optimistic yes, realistic, no.
So, there is of course a balance and I am with Abraham Lincoln who said:
“In the end it’s not the years in our life that matters but the life in our years.”
However, there are some good habits we could all adopt, and we would encourage all our clients to think about making healthier decisions.
It is for this reason that we are so pleased to welcome back the brilliant Dr Dorian Dugmore, who last year was our key note speaker at our Businesssense event – Health is Wealth.
Dorian will join us on a live LinkedIn event, hosted by Declan Kirby, to offer some tips to live a healthier life and the important numbers we all need to be aware of. He has encyclopaedic understanding of all things health and is truly wonderful to listen to and has personally helped me overcome my own personal health battle.
He will answer key questions, such as:
• His three top health tips?
• What are the three foods I should be eating every day and why?
• We can all go to the gym to improve our fitness, but how do I keep my brain fit?
This is really, not to be missed.
To join Dorian and Declan, please register here: