Old words for a new era

child under table

As some of you may know, my business partner Bill Storie and I are in the midst of filming our second season of a retirement lifestyle planning show entitled Resetting the Wheel.

This past week we taped an interview with a representative from Consumer Affairs in which we touched on the subject of “financial fitness” as it relates to retirement budgeting.

This really got me thinking about the fact that life really is just one great long balancing act and that perhaps the key to a long “successful retirement” is simply to literally live by the adages that my grandmother used to repeat over and over again when I was a child.  You probably heard them too, and most likely groaned just as loudly as I did:

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
  • Save a little money for a rainy day
  • Many hands make light work
  • A penny saved is a penny earned
  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise …

These words of wisdom were passed down by generation upon generation before us, and yet in the space of fifty years a lot of them have fallen out of use. It would be one thing if they had been replaced by livelier, hipper, cooler versions, but I haven’t heard any, have you?

Where did all this ancient wisdom go?

I’ll tell you where it went – it got replaced by TV and Ipads and video games. Instead of teaching our children and grandchildren the basic principles that they need to embark on a successful life we have been keeping them quiet and entertained.

Hmm … maybe we need a few new adages … how about: “A lesson a day keeps the Ipad away” ?

Ok … I admit it … I like my Ipad just as much as you do, and I have absolutely no desire to return to the dark ages before television. My point is that it is more important than ever to find a way to talk to children and arm them with the life lessons that they are going to need when we are long gone; and it is more difficult than ever to get their attention because there are so many technological distractions in their lives. You and I played hop scotch – these kids have schedules.

So what’s a Granny to do? Fight the good fight (oh there’s another one!) and spend time talking to your grandchildren. Have a subject in mind and do what you can to make a point … even with a five year old. Talk to them like they are short adults and they will thank you for it in the long run …


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