Insights & News

March 2017

Making Music

“You are hearing the words and not the music.” - John Cleese.

At a recent lecture, Monty Python’s Flying Circus co-founder, John Cleese shared an epiphany (not his word).  During marriage counseling (John was married 4 times), he set about arguing the logic of an issue with the counselor.

The counselor’s response, “You are hearing the words and not the music,” stunned John.  As an artist, he knew he should hear the music.  He is still married.

As Wealth Managers, we help client’s turn words into music.  Generally, when someone calls inquires our services, we get words.  A typical conversation:

“Hello, I want to talk to someone about financial planning.”

“Thank you for a calling, how can I help you?”

“Well, I’m 55-years old, and have a 401(k). I own my house. I don’t have any debt, except a mortgage.  My husband works and he has a 401(k). We have two kids.  We did a Will, we have life insurance.”


 “Tell me about your goals.”

“We want to retire. We are wondering when to take Social Security.  We want to know if we need long-term care insurance.”


“Tell me about retirement.”

Silence… and then, “We don’t want to run out of money.”


“Well, do you want to remain in the area, purchase a second home, work part-time, what do you like to do, any bucket list items?”

“Oh… gosh...  Well yes, we want to travel!  I promised I would take my husband to Italy for his 60th birthday – he has family in Italy.  We would like to take the kids if we could.

"Oh, and, my husband said he always wanted to buy an RV and travel around the country for a couple of years.  But, we don’t think we would do that much less afford it…

"We might want to move to where the grandkids are.  But, we are waiting for my daughter to get settled. 

"While we’re at it, I started thinking about starting a non-profit. My father recently passed and he was a conservationist and he loved trees.  What if I started a non-profit to plant trees in our county?”

What if… Sounds like music - time to plan!

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