When I think of my mother and my wife, I am mindful about how important relationships were or are to them and how they tried to connect with the important people in their lives. What do memories of mothers and the special women in our lives teach us about handling our finances?

Mothers model many things to their children, including specific financial behaviors (such as saving or spending money) and how money can facilitate what is important to experience in life. Experiences and relationships are critical in life—so critical that we how define what quality of life often includes the quality of the relationships in our lives, especially those with the most important people in our lives.

Experiences and relationships are intertwined. Our most wonderful experiences in life are usually those we share with the truly special people in our lives. When we enjoy thoroughly enjoyable moments with people we love to do life, it provides extra meaning, because we share not the pleasure of the experience, but we enjoy the enjoyment of others. This compounds the specialness of life.

Although money (other than having basic needs met) is not essential for enjoying life, it can certainly accentuate it. Spending money can offer pleasure, but when we spend it on experiences that provide greater meaning tied to who we are and what is important to us, it connects us with our feelings of love for others—something that mothers are very good at modeling. To get the best value for the money we spend, we want to align it with what gives us the most enjoyment, that is tied to who we are and have a passion for—hopefully connected with the people we care about the most.

How this impacts our finances is the need to ensure that our wealth supplements any shortfalls in Social Security and perhaps pensions we receive—both in spending on essentials and on the “extras” that provide us with more enjoyment. It is essential that our portfolios include income-producing assets or offer enough growth to allow us to liquidate our holdings as needed to provide cash flow, for our entire lives. If we are concerned about running out of money because we have limited assets or are uncomfortable with taking investment risk and have a long life expectancy, we may want to consider lifetime income annuities that will provide income for our entire lives.

Whatever financial strategies we use are not as important as what we set out for our lives to look like—who we spend our time with to create amazing experiences we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Like Mom.

By Len, the Delaware Retiree Advisor, is the founder of The Delaware Retiree Connection, and the CEO and owner of Dedicated Financial Services.

As a fiduciary and Certified Financial Planner™, Len offers his wealth of experience to guide others through the mire of Financial and Retirement Planning. As a Certified Life Coach, he pairs his financial expertise with a heart to help others who want to make the most of their retirement plan. Len’s International Best Seller, MaxAMAZING™ Your Retirement, combines both his financial and life coaching expertise into free resources to help guide retirees into a more enjoyable and fulfilling season of life. For more free, helpful resources, Len offers both his websites for public access: www.DedicatedFinancialServices.com | www.MaxAMAZING.com.

Investment Advisory services offered through SGL Financial, LLC