I can't believe I'm gone.
One day I was fit as a fiddle, and the next I was Obit City.
My wife honored my wish to keep the wake upbeat. I never wanted my last soiree to be a pity party. True to my eclectic request, she looped "No Cars Go" by Arcade Fire continuously but quietly in the background. I figured I'd give my family and friends one last puzzle to ponder.
"Between the click of a light and the start of the dream," went the refrain.
Regrets, I've had a few
I have managed to achieve many of my childhood dreams. I'm proud of my abridged life. But I'd be cheating you if I told you that I died with no regrets.
I spent so much time living my life that I didn't take the time to plan my passing. Sure, we all wonder about the compromises we had to make, concessions we had to swallow, and left turns when we should have swerved right. But my real regret is that I lacked the foresight to make sure that my wife and children didn't suffer without me.
My poor planning spawned two glaring shortcomings. I doubt publicly realizing these mistakes will benefit my family, but I trust that they will benefit yours.
1. I never explained my portfolio
I don't know if my passion for investing will prove hereditary, but I do know that my wife will be inheriting a portfolio with more questions than answers. She'll know that I bought Netflix
But she may not know that I feared for the future of the company. While it was able to ultimately vanquish Blockbuster
I bought Crocs
Every stock purchase tells a story, and I failed to tell mine to the ears that needed to hear them the most.
2. I should have saved more for retirement
I was rarely selfish in life. Why start after I'm dead? A cynic would argue that waiting too long to fund my retirement was the right move, since I retired (literally) before I retired (figuratively).
Unfortunately, I can no longer see things that way. In fact, continually telling myself that I would start planning for retirement when I got older was a truly selfish act on my part. Forget about me. If I had warmed up to the tax-advantaged merits of contributing to my retirement plan earlier and more often, I would have left my family with a bigger nest egg and a more solid financial footing.
Boy, did I blow it there. I have no excuse. I've been friends with Robert Brokamp since the late 1990s. I should have been absorbing every article in his Rule Your Retirement investing service.
Beyond the monthly newsletters, the perpetual community updates, and the free webinars, I could have mapped out my future on my own terms. In the end, it's a tragic regret about a life that I would otherwise have been quite proud of.
Don't make the same mistake.
Rick didn't really die, though he certainly feels mortal these days. You can join him as he tries to make up for past mistakes by getting active in his retirement planning. Subscribe to Rule Your Retirement, or simply kick the tires for over the next month with a free trial.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really will make sure that his wake doesn't become a pity party. He does own shares in Netflix and Crocs, and promises to tell his family why he owns what he owns. Netflix, Apple, and Amazon.com are Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool has a disclosure policy.