This morning, I dropped my dog off at Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists for an MRI. Ten or twenty years ago, we probably would have laughed at the idea of a dog seeing a medical specialist, like a dermatologist or neurologist, or undergoing expensive tests like cat scans or MRIs.
But today, we are lucky enough to have specialists like this in our area. And if you consider your dog or cat a member of the family, like we do, you would do anything within your power to find out what’s wrong with them and try to cure them.
My dog Zuri is a 100+ pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, a hound breed known for the distinctive fur ridge running up their back. She’s seven years old now, not a spring chicken as far as large breed dogs go. But she’s been healthy until sometime this summer, when she started developing some abnormal symptoms that culminated in periodic seizures. We’ve tried every possible test and they’ve all come up normal. This MRI was a last resort to find the problem.
At this point, my dog’s medical care costs more than my own. But since she’s the only one who runs to the door when I come home (as I frequently make a point of telling my kids!), she deserves it. And I don’t want to give up on her without knowing I did everything I could to return some of the love and affection she’s given us.
So what’s the point of this story, within the financial planning context?
Many people would think spending this much money on a dog is foolish and wasteful. And that’s the point. Everyone has the right to define their own goals, and decide how best to use their financial resources.
My job is to help clients use their money, and make money decisions, in the best ways to help them reach their goals. If the most important thing in your life is taking that once-in-a-lifetime to Machu Picchu, or buying a condo on the beach, sending your kids to college, or maybe just sitting on your porch in retirement and doing nothing, then I’ll try to help you to do that. It’s your money, it’s your life.
Only you can decide what’s important in your life, and determine how to best use your money to bring you happiness. For some people, money is the security blanket that makes them feel safe and protected. For other people, it’s their ticket to freedom. For yet others, it’s a way to help family and friends and make the world a better place.
So here’s a thought for Thanksgiving. Let’s be thankful for what we have, and what it lets us do. In my case, it lets me take care of my family, which just happens to include one very large four-legged furry friend, who has given us so much love and joy over the years.