Adventure — this word is synonymous with my middle name! I love adventure! So when I was in South Africa on a family vacation, and my teenage boys were looking for a great adventure, I knew we would have one. I wasn’t wrong — South Africa is not short of great adventures.
We stayed in an area called the Garden Route because of its tremendous beauty. We rented a house 1.5 hours away from Oudtshoorn, where my father was born.
Ostriches, mambas, and crocs, oh my!
Our most memorable day started with a visit to an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa. Have you ever tried riding an ostrich? You steer it by its neck, like the controls of a plane — push his neck left, and he turns left. It is more like riding a bull than a horse, and you better hang on for dear life!
Next, we were off to a snake and crocodile park. Man, have you ever seen a black mamba? It is one of the deadliest snakes in Southern Africa. One bite and you are meeting your maker within three hours.
Gators in America are docile compared to the African crocodile. We saw some of them getting fed, jumping out of the water, and snatching dead chickens from the guides’ poles.
Then we visited the Cango Caves, a stunning system of caves that I went through many times as a boy. There is a narrow area called the mailbox through which you crawl, half vertical and half horizontal — it’s not something for the faint-hearted or claustrophobic.
Our barefoot rescuer
After this full day of adventures, we began the 1.5-hour-drive home. The tank was low, and I was counting the kilometers until our destination. And then it happened — we ran completely out of gas.
Stranded on the side of the interstate, I said, “OK, boys, let’s just get out and start pushing” to the next exit. I was nervous because 20 years earlier, my parents ran out of gas at night next to the interstate and someone helped them get gas. When they returned to their car, it was in flames because someone had set it on fire.
I was, therefore, eager to get to a gas station while it was still light. With the boys pushing and me screaming instructions from the open door, it was quite the sight! That’s when a young farmer arrived, got out with a big smile, and said, “Can I help you?” He had just come from the beach, was barefoot, and, in a vacation spirit, was kind to help. He drove us to the gas station, filled an old Coke bottle full of gas, and got us on the road. He really saved us.
Two weeks later, as we flew home, I asked my boys, “What was our biggest adventure?” You won’t believe it. They all agreed that being stranded and having the barefoot farmer save our day was their definition of adventure!
What’s your dream adventure?
Planning your wealth and your life can be like that as well. Life often feels as if you are riding an ostrich and just hanging on for dear life. There are many dangers in trying to build wealth, such as taking too much risk, picking the wrong type of investments, and succumbing to the “too good to be true” opportunities — discovering they were too good to be true.
Paying unnecessary taxes and getting lost in all the talking heads on the internet and TV can feel like the dangers[JR3] of a mamba or getting lost in the Cango Caves! How do you protect your family?
The first step to growing and protecting your wealth and even living a more significant life starts with finding a helping hand, an experienced guide, and a knowledgeable team who have a desire to help and who can help very well.
No one wants to run out of gas or money before their destination. At The LifeWealth Group, the most important questions we get asked are:
- Do we have enough money to retire?
- What happens when one of us dies —will the other one be OK?
- If the markets were to lose a lot of money, would we still be OK for the long run?
- If we need to spend a lot of money on health care, will we still be OK?
This is where The LifeWealth Group comes in. We are experienced guides who help families maximize wealth to help them see more dreams come true. We help you with growing and protecting your wealth and making sure there is enough gas in your wealth tanks for the entire journey, even if life gives you detours like down markets and unfortunate health events.
We like to help, just like the young farmer helped my boys and me on our great adventure. Are you fully ready for your LifeWealth adventure — to see more dreams come true?
CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the U.S. Madison Avenue Securities, LLC is not affiliated with any religion or faith-based financial advisor organization. AE Wealth Management provides services without regard to religious affiliation, and the views of individual advisors are not necessarily the views of AE Wealth Management. The LifeWealth Group is an independent financial services firm that utilizes a variety of investment and insurance products. Securities offered only by duly registered individualists through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM), a Registered Investment Adviser. MAS and The LifeWealthGroup are not affiliated companies. AEWM and The LifeWealthGroup are not affiliated companies. 1221729 02/22