What Will They Say at Your Funeral?

I recently attended a funeral. But unlike most, this funeral wasn’t a somber event. In fact, it was more like a tribute since the deceased lived a long and fulfilled life, and it felt like a celebration of the person. As these things tend to do, it got me thinking about my own life.  Two specific questions came to mind:

  1. If I passed away today, what would be the highlights of my eulogy?
  2. How would they differ from what I’d want them to be?

Are You Winning At Life?

If you believe the answers to these questions are already one and the same… well you’re winning at life, keep it up. For the rest of us, let’s try to live our lives so they become the same or as close to as possible.

Related: How do you Define Winning?

My Life Goals

I’m not going to opine on what I think would be said about me today. But I will share my thoughts on what I want to be included in that eventual speech.  Maybe somebody will read this at my funeral (hopefully many decades from now).  If so – you’re welcome for the time I saved you.

He added value to the lives of those around him.

By writing my own eulogy perhaps?

He was a loyal, loving husband as demonstrated by doing everything possible to improve the life of his wife and maximize their happiness together.

I do take out the garbage once in awhile after all.

He taught his children solid values: to be good people, strong and self sufficient.  They’ve learned the joy of adding value to their community and to the lives of others.

If you can’t do, teach? I kid, I kid. I love teachers!

He was a good friend as many of his friendships lasted for decades. He was always open to have a conversation, take part in a fun activity or have an adventure.

It’s OK that some of those adventures include falling down mountains on skis, a bike or during a treacherous hike. Or the times we knocked each other out of poker tournaments.

He lived life fully, chased his dreams and had many adventures.

Let’s be more specific here to include starting and running a successful business, skiing steep lines in Alaska and having many experiences where I enjoy the beauty of nature.

He was always willing to do a favor or provide advice for those around him.

As long as they don’t want advice about money. I hate giving advice about money! 😉

He used logic and reason to solve his own problems and those of others.

I really like logic and reason. Flying by the seat of my pants is not really my thing – except that one time that I started a personal finance blog and just assumed people would find it on their own and subscribe. Speaking of which, if you have not already signed up, you can subscribe here:

Once in a rare while, he threw away all logic and reason, made an emotional decision and took a chance.

I feel you need to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. Who really wants to look back on their life and see that it was risk free and boring?

He taught what he learned and in doing so, enriched the lives of others.

Teaching others what I know may be my best chance to make an impact.

He left the world a better place.

Because it’s way better than being the one who destroyed the planet.
Life Goals


Why Are We Talking About Death?

I know this post is a bit off in left field for a financial blog. Please forgive me for that. I happen to think this theme ties to personal finances, though.

You Need Life Goals to Have Financial Goals

With the new year approaching, I’ve been thinking about my 2018 financial goals. I’ll share these in my first post of 2018.

When I drafted that post, I realized that my financial goals were only a small piece of the larger puzzle. Money is really just a tool to use toward achieving the more important list above. I feel like those goals were out of context until I shared this list.

What Does This Have to do With Financial Independence?

Money alone can’t buy happiness. It can be used to free up your time to focus on what’s really important to you. I’m chasing financial independence (FI) to take back control of my time and set myself up to focus on my life goals.

I’ll to continue working to both stay sharp and enrich the lives of others. While doing so, I’ll use my freedom to set my own schedule. I’ll be OK choosing leisure and family time over certain financial opportunities. (Somebody please hold me to this when I get there).

In addition to fulfilling work, I will maximize the quantity and quality of time I get to spend with my family. I’ll go on grand adventures. I will always add new items to the bucket list and then go out and do them.

I look at this list as my life’s “business plan,” and my 2018 goals will be one step toward getting there.

What About You?

So what do you want said at your funeral? What are you doing today to make sure it’s written?

16 thoughts on “What Will They Say at Your Funeral?”

  1. Interesting post, and I actually don’t think its strange at all to include in a personal finance blog! Personal finance is something you will have to handle forever, and becoming financially independent is based off of having long term goals. Those who want to achieve financial independence are always looking in the future more than the present.

    These were also some good points to ask myself! Being extremely frugal right now in my life, I definitely couldn’t check the box’s for living life to the fullest, and experiencing everything that life has to give. I know that my financial independence will aid in me seeing all that the world has to provide, but I can definitely do more in the mean time to make sure I am living every second like it’s my last!

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment Sean. Balancing short term and long is always a challenge. We just have to do the best we can.

  2. I enjoy the thoughtfulness this time of year (and all the time). This is a good question to think about. I want to leave a legacy for my family. I want to be known as a good person who tried to do the right thing whenever I could.

    My legacy goal would be to leave my family tree in a place where financially they would be fine forever. Then I would hope that I can spread the word to them about giving back. If I can lead by example I could send out an army of others from my blood to make the world a better place!

    Happy New Year

  3. Great timely post. More often than not, we head into the holidays with the fresh loss of a loved one in mind. I like the idea of focusing on the celebration of their life and all their contributions! I’ll have to work on my eulogy – pretty sure I have a speech assignment coming up on it. Doh! But agree, if I write it down – it’s one less thing for my family to do right? Hopefully they won’t have to edit tooooo much! Instead of “Mom was boring. Let’s add some more interesting stuff”

    1. Sorry to hear about your loss.

      Now is the time to correct the Mom is boring idea. Live now to make that speech be exactly what you want it to be many years from now!

  4. Your goals are inspirational. If you keep those at the forefront of your life, I imagine someone else will write a kicka** eulogy about you someday in the distant future.

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2018! You gave me a few more New Year’s resolution ideas 🙂

  5. I appreciate how you emphasized the importance of life goals over financial goals, not that the latter aren’t important. That really puts things into its proper perspective. It’s a dose of reality about what really matter that helps us stay balanced in our focus.

    1. Thanks Rybo. I’ll be posting my 2018 goals on Thursday. When I wrote them, I realized that they are just a small part of the larger life goals picture.

  6. I don’t think it’s out of left field to talk about funerals, although I admit I don’t like thinking about the topic. Nobody wants to think about death, especially their own death. However, Brue Lee once said that the key to immortality is living a life worth remembering. I definitely want to make sure my life is worth remembering so it is a good idea to “write” your own eulogy. Sometimes I think that I’ll live that life worth remember once I hit FIRE…volunteering, making the world a better place, traveling, etc, etc…but I shouldn’t wait until then…I should start now.

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