50 Years of Overcoming Obstacles and Creating a Beautiful Life Together

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a client’s 50th wedding anniversary several weeks ago. It was on a Saturday afternoon, attended by many friends and family, and you couldn’t have ordered nicer weather for the event.

I have worked with this couple for approximately 15 ½ years. The husband worked 37 years for a large KC based company, and the wife worked part-time once the kids began attending school. They came from very humble beginnings, married young, raised two kids and have faced more than their share of family, financial and health adversities. Honestly, many other couples may have called it quits or become quite bitter from the struggles they faced. Fortunately, they saw things quite differently and remind me of a Henry Ford quote - “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

This couple was always consistent in their love of one another, their family and keeping a positive attitude no matter what life threw at them. For instance, their adult son took me on a tour of their home and told me that as a child they didn’t go on many family vacations because they just didn’t have the money. Instead, they would stay home, and he would help his Dad and another gentleman work on the house. As the wife told me, they made it a priority to make their home a “good” place for their kids and wanted an environment where they’d have their friends over.

During the home tour, the son told me story after story of the projects he did with his Dad, and he spoke with a sense of pride and accomplishment. One notable item was the “spaceship” club house with a fully functional console, electricity, heat and A/C. Upon review of the pictures, I can assure you that this childhood creation would make any Star Trek fan jealous. And when not working on the home or building some unique clubhouse or toy, a lot of time was devoted to Boy Scouts, which resulted in an Eagle Scout.  

In addition, it was refreshing to hear a child speak so highly of his parents, and then hear the parents speak accordingly about their child. In retrospect, it is not that often that you find a family environment that has just the right mix of fun, orneriness, frugality, grit and compassion for others. When this couple cut their 50th wedding anniversary cake, their genuine affection for one another could’ve caused newlyweds to blush.

As I write this, I am still amazed at how this couple faced all the struggles they did, and still convert a very modest starter house into a very comfortable and inviting home filled with tons of pictures and memories of a life filled with joy, laughter and pride from their perseverance over the years. This is not a celebrity couple who’ll be showcased on Entertainment Tonight, any talk show or written about in the paper, nor do they live a glamorous life with all kinds of drama and multiple marriages. No, they are two imperfect individuals who worked together for each other’s benefit, and created a marriage and home environment that has all the warmth and beauty of a Bing Crosby Christmas song.

If their marriage/relationship could be equated to a car, I would call it the 57 Chevy - a true classic that has stood the test of time and is still admired and desired today. Being included in this couple’s celebration of their life together was one of the best perks of my job, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

In closing, I believe the following video is very representative of how this couple faced life and was about to not only survive, but thrive.

Video

 

 

 

 

  

Economic Update

When it comes to the stock market and economy, a lot of progress has been made since the lows of the great recession of 2008 – 2009. However, U.S. stocks and the U.S. economy seem to be hitting a ceiling, and it’s just not localized. The Dow Jones Industrials, S&P 500, NASDAQ and six other major overseas stock indices are either flat or negative when compared to where they stood at 12/31/2014.

I am not predicting any cataclysmic events, but I am just pointing out that stocks have been supported by low and increasing lower global interest rates. Now though, corporate earnings and economic growth are beginning to wane, which is resulting in stock prices stagnating. That being said, there are a number of analysts and institutional investors expecting higher corporate earnings in the second half of this year.

Honestly, who knows what will unfold. For now, expectations should remain modest and all the hype about the upcoming election is just that, “HYPE”. As a well-respected investment professional noted in a recent CNBC interview, “it would be ridiculous to make any adjustments in your portfolio or investment plans based upon what might be,” and I fully agree! Just tune out the noise and focus on what you can control and not what may or may not be!

Quotes

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

                   Jon Kabat-Zinn

“The block of granite, which is an obstacle on the path of the weak, become a stepping stone on the path of the strong.”

                   Thomas Carlyle

Quotes selected by the IAG Staff

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

                   Booker T. Washington

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.”

                   Charles Kuralt

 

Tony Moeller, CPA

The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any particular investment or strategy. A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.

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