A couple of very interesting pieces of research have crossed my desk recently related to time and happiness. The most significant is a report out of the University of British Columbia, which concluded that buying time makes people happier. Here is the main takeaway:
Despite rising incomes, people around the world are feeling increasingly pressed for time, undermining well-being. We show that the time famine of modern life can be reduced by using money to buy time … individuals who spend money on time-saving services report greater life satisfaction.
This got me thinking about the two aspects of proper financial planning. First, there is the quantitative side of things, aka the number crunching, which is very tangible and objective. For example, you need to save ”X” amount, you should invest “YY%” of your assets in equities, etc.
The second aspect of financial planning is the qualitative side, aka the “touchy, feely” aspects, which are non-numeric and very subjective. For example, someone might want to spend more time with family, pursue hobbies, travel more or do charitable work.
The bottom line is that your essential quantitative financial planning isn’t nearly complete until you’ve also factored in your qualitative goals.
Perhaps, freeing up time to do things you really want to do should be one of those qualitative goals. The research suggests this will make you happier.
This ideal is something I’ve long embraced as a financial advisor but I confess, I haven’t been as good at incorporating it into my own life. Later this summer, I hope to change that by heading out on an adventure that promises to be emotionally exhilarating and physically grueling.
In late August, you’ll find me on holiday in France. But before you envision me kicking back with a bottle of wine along the Champs Élysées, the main event is to be a cycling trip through the French Alps. Our group intends to take on all of the famous mountain climbs featured in the Tour de France such as L’Alpe d-Huez, and the Col du Galibier.
My point about raising my upcoming adventure is not to brag. In fact, you may even be questioning why I’ve picked such a grueling holiday. The point is really to inspire you to think about your own goals from a fresh angle. What gets your heart racing? Whatever that may be, are you making time for it as your physical stamina and financial abilities allow?
Personally, I hope I’m up to my self-imposed challenge. Either way, I keep reminding myself (as I do my clients), that reaching one’s goals is as much the journey as it is the destination.
So, wish me bonne chance! While I’m away, take some time to think through how your own life’s journey is going these days. Could you use some well-rounded financial planning to help you get a leg up on your bucket list? Happy to assist with that.