Book an appoinment

No Regrets: Plan for Tomorrow so you can Live in the Moment TODAY

In the last few days I learned about three fellow pilots that have lost or are losing their battles with cancer.

A good friend of mine from the Air Force will be put on hospice care soon to make his last days here on earth as comfortable as possible.  His doctors recently determined he cannot handle any more chemo treatments.  It’s been four years, around 90 rounds of chemo, radiation and several surgeries.

Another UPS pilot I know is battling a rare form of cancer called esthesioneuroblastoma and the stark reality of this cancer is that he will likely lose his vision entirely within 6-12 months.  Furthermore, his life expectancy is perhaps two to three more years barring a miracle.

Just recently, a pilot I know passed away from cancer.  A friend of mine was by his bedside during the last moments of his life.  Fortunately, he died in peace knowing that he did all he could to make sure his family was taken care of after he was gone.  He was happy and had no regrets my friend said to me.

I didn’t write all of this to depress or upset anyone.  These situations are difficult to comprehend and it’s hard to know what we can do for our friends and loved ones in these difficult moments.  I wrote this article because I know there are things our friends would want us to learn from their terrible circumstances.

For starters, (and I am preaching to myself here) I think they would want us to slow down a little, spend a little more time trying to create special moments, maybe spend a little less time working and striving.  I’m very much a planner in everything I do and sometimes I struggle with being “in the moment.”  I have a fear of possibly missing out on that next achievement, the next goal, and sadly, maybe even the next dollar.  Maybe I should trade in my next three-day trip for a lesser paying “two-day” so I can see my daughter’s homecoming festivities at her school.  What is it worth in dollar numbers to see my daughter during this special moment?  Which is more valuable to her?  I’m pretty sure I know how my friends battling cancer would answer that question.

Of course, there are other practical things we must do now in order to make sure that if we were in similar circumstances we could also leave this world with no regrets:

1. Work to create special moments and great memories.
Many people believe the quality of their relationships and memories created are a better measure of wealth than their money. I tend to agree. No one on their death bed ever wished they would have spent more time working!
2. Get the appropriate amount and the right type of life insurance for your circumstances.
I think it’s a safe generalization to say that most people do not have enough life insurance.  The amount of life insurance depends on several variables; your net worth, family dynamics, age, etc.  Additionally, there is rarely a need for any other type of life insurance than term life.  Do the math on the amount of life insurance you need and consult someone you can trust to help you determine what type of life insurance is right for you.
3. Make sure your Last Will and Testament and your beneficiaries are up to date.
A new client mentioned to me the other day, “Every time I get in the car with my wife for date night, I wonder what would happen to our kids if we died in a car accident.”  This is a terrible feeling.  Let’s not wonder anymore and make sure we clearly articulate in our will what needs to happen in case of our untimely deaths.And yes, we do know of someone that died and their ex-wife was the beneficiary on their life insurance.  “We’ll never know if that was intentional or not,” said one of the family members.
4. Get a financial plan.
We end almost every article we write with this advice.  The reason I think this is an important step in this context is that almost every family, including my own, struggles with the following question; “How do we balance preparing for the future and still enjoy our time now while our kids are young and we’re healthy?”Financial planning will help clarify the answer to this question.  Planning will help bring balance and confidence to our daily lives because we’ll know that we are doing our best to enjoy our time now, staying in the moment, while still giving ourselves the best chance at achieving our financial goals for the future.

Finally, I am going to give up my three day trip for a two-day in order to go to my daughter’s school homecoming festivities.  It’s the right thing to do and when my time on this earth has come to an end, I want to be able to say, “I don’t have any regrets”.


All the best,

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this article will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for your portfolio. Moreover, you should not assume that any information or any corresponding discussions serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Leading Edge Financial Planning personnel. The opinions expressed are those of Leading Edge Financial Planning as of 11/25/2019 and are subject to change at any time due to the changes in market or economic conditions.