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By Liza Horvath


Bold New Year


When the markets collapsed in 2008, Boone, then age 79, lost over 75 percent of his wealth. Many octogenarians – and some younger seniors, as well – may have believed that it was simply “game over” and would have surrendered to living a less comfortable life. However, T. Boone Pickens is not like most octogenarians. Watching his wealth fall from $4 billion to (just) $950 million, Pickens, now 85, was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “I’m back trying to make another billion.”


Starting out mowing lawns and delivering newspapers at the age of ten, Pickens has made a mark in history through hard work, leadership, honesty and, best just say it, extremely smart business moves. While we are not all T. Boone Pickens, each of us has specific talents, life experience and influence and we, as seniors, should never lose sight of our obligation to try to benefit others with our talents.


The new year approaching gives us good reason to reflect on the past, reassess priorities and make a bold plan for 2014 and beyond. Most will agree that the economy has improved and the opportunity is here to make a recovery from losses we may have sustained in the great recession. Not one senior should resign themselves to living a less comfortable life.


Five years ago, at the age of 80, Pickens wrote the book, “The First Billion is the Hardest: How Believing It’s Still Early in the Game Can Lead to Life’s Greatest Comebacks.” It is an inspiring read and I would recommend it to both young business professionals just starting out and to seniors of all ages. The book has actionable advice for young executives on how to succeed in the game of life and, more importantly for seniors, Pickens states that he hopes to “inspire the millions of Americans who, like me, are entering the fourth quarter.” Pickens believes that the best part of the game truly lies ahead.


So, while it is important that you do the usual once a year maintenance things like check the expiration dates on your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, make sure you have a supply of batteries for emergencies, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and run your credit to make sure there are no inaccuracies, it is also important - at this time of year - to recommit to life. 


Have you have you reached a point where boredom has set in and “routine” is the most comfortable way to live? I challenge you and I warn you – by doing the same thing day after day and never pushing yourself to be better, smarter, friendlier, healthier or richer you will end up in a rut and, as the late Zig Zigler said, “A rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out.” 


Set a course for a bold new year and recommit to living life. If Pickens remains undeterred after losing $3 billion - you, my friend, have no excuse.

Liza Horvath has over 30 years experience in the estate planning and trust fields and is the president of Monterey Trust Management, a financial and trust management company. This is not intended to be legal or tax advice. If you have a questions call (831)646-5262 or email liza@montereytrust.com










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