Copper, anniversaries and setting goals - opinion

Copper is an incredibly durable metal, and it doesn’t deteriorate over time. It’s a beautiful metaphor for a strong marriage.

Calculating taxes (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Calculating taxes
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think she’s having her own way. And second, let her have it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

So this coming week marks our 22nd wedding anniversary. According to Brides.com, a publication that I frequently read (well, not really), “After 22 years of marriage, it’s definitely time for a celebration. While it may not seem as momentous of an occasion – you’re right in between the 20th-anniversary and the 25th – your 22nd anniversary certainly holds meaning and is deserving of a special gift. Both the traditional and modern gift for a 22nd anniversary is copper. 

Of course, this metal adds a beautiful metallic hue to everything from home goods and jewelry, but it’s also symbolic in meaning. Copper is an incredibly durable metal, and it doesn’t deteriorate over time. It’s a beautiful metaphor for a strong marriage, ultimately symbolizing prosperity and romance.”

I have no idea what a “metallic hue” is, but I like the symbolism attached. I actually have an affinity for copper. It must have been about 40 years ago that my father built two Hanukkah menorahs out of copper piping. It’s very cool and it has stood the test of time. 

I would like to wish my wife a happy anniversary and that we should merit a marriage like the metal. That it stays durable and strong and that the “metallic hue” prevents it from getting stale and old but rather we continue to relate to each other with the same excitement and optimism for the future that we had at the time of our wedding.

Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

So some of you who know me are saying, “Katsman, you used to be a real tough guy. You’ve gone soft.” I know that for me that was about as emotional as I will ever get. I do have an image to keep, so trust me when I say that I am not getting “soft” in my old age. So what does copper and my wedding anniversary have to do with your investments?

AS MANY of you know, I am a big believer in goals-based investing. That means a client should measure their progress toward specific life goals such as saving for children’s education, marrying off children or building a retirement nest egg, rather than focusing on generating the highest possible portfolio return or beating the market. 

Back in my single days, I used to get dating advice from my older sister. One bit of advice that has stayed with me to this day is that when you are dating, you both become great philosophers always talking about big issues, changing the world, making sure that you see eye to eye politically, and on other big issues. 

Then she would add, once you get married and life takes over your most philosophical conversation becomes where to buy the cheapest diapers or whether to use thick or thin dental floss? Back when you were engaged you used to speak about life goals and dreams. As life takes over, more often than not those goals and dreams become a distant memory.

Investors can’t allow for their portfolio’s to become stale. In order to keep a portfolio fresh and updated, it’s imperative for investors to redefine goals and needs every now and then. Your goals and dreams shouldn’t become a distant memory, rather they should be used as a springboard to plan for financial security. 

Is retirement approaching? Do you still have the same type of portfolio you had when you were 40? If so, you may have a portfolio that is far more aggressive than recommended. 

If you are nearing retirement and you have given no thought to how you plan on spending time during retirement and how much that will cost, you may be in for a very rude awakening a few years down the road when you start running down your principal. 

I can’t stress enough the importance of planning your retirement. Obviously, the financial aspect of retirement is critical to plan for, but filling up the day in a meaningful way is even more important. 

Remember when you were engaged and you sought advice from others newly married? Well it’s the same concept. Speak to other retirees to understand how they made the transition from working to this new chapter in their life.

Anniversaries can be used as a way to re-energize your marriage, turn back the clock and get us to start dreaming again. Use this time to redefine goals and needs and get your portfolio allocated so that you can achieve what you set out to accomplish.

Happy 22nd Anniversary, Yael!

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Aaron Katsman is the author of Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing. gpsinvestor.com; [email protected]