Mark Ford

From Mark Ford, editor, Creating Wealth: I’ve adopted a new metaphor for my life which I’ve found very useful.

At birth, we are given four quarters. The first is childhood. The second is young adulthood. The third is maturity. And the last is the great hurrah.

If we are careful and lucky, we get to spend all four quarters. What we do with those quarters—whether we waste them or spend them wisely—is up to us.

By any measure of life expectancy, I’m spending my fourth quarter now. When I look back at how I spent my first three quarters, I can see that although I threw lots of pennies away, I also invested lots of pennies wisely.

Overall, I got a very good return on the pennies of time I was given.

But here I am, spending that last quarter, and I’m still throwing pennies away. It’s not that I don’t know what my priorities are. I’ve imagined my funeral, and I do know what my core values are. I can no longer put off these important but not urgent goals.

If you are in your fourth quarter, I’m writing this to tell you: Time’s a wasting. It’s now or never. If you are younger, why not get on board now? You’ll have fewer regrets and a richer life.