Isn’t life better when you embrace the “and,” rather than the “or?”

Your morning coffee with milk and sugar. Your afternoon lunch with soup and a sandwich. A new car with four-wheel drive and a moon-roof. Popcorn and candy at the movie theater.

Sometimes, we’re presented with things as two distinct choices, when really, the best choice is to go for both options, all at once!

In life, many of us tend to think in terms of opposites or poles, and keep things firmly separate in our minds. But what if we reframe these sorts of questions and choices that we make, every single day? What if, instead of focusing on choosing between two things, we set our sights on taking the steps to make it possible to get both things, at once?

Case in point? In talking with consumers, many people tend to present a firm distinction between vacations and retirement.

Take this Motley Fool headline from 2017: “More Americans Are Saving for Vacation Than for Retirement.”

In this article, the author takes a look at a contemporary NerdWallet/Harris Poll survey, which found that, according to poll results, just under a third of people (31%) listed “saving for vacation” as a financial goal that they hoped to accomplish within the coming years. In contrast, only 28% responded that “starting/increasing retirement contribution” was high on their list of financial goals.

Or, how about this? A few years ago, CNN Money ran a piece entitled “Workers Spend More Time Planning Vacation Than Retirement.” In this article, the author calls attention to a study which found that, among 1000 survey respondents, more than half said they “had spent five hours or more doing research the last time they bought a car,” and “39% said they spent more than five hours exploring vacation possibilities” – while, in contrast, only about “11% said they had spent that amount of time evaluating investment options” for retirement, according to CNN.

Clearly, this is a common way of thinking. And we’re not here to cast aspersions on these fine writers or their excellent articles! Instead, we want to call attention to how quickly so many of us tend to fall into “either/or” thinking, even when it comes to important matters like financial planning and wealth management.

After all, making the choice between popcorn or a slurpee at a movie matinee is pretty low stakes, in the grand scheme of things. But when we talk about larger matters of wealth, investment, and savings? Having a view that ignores the big picture can, ultimately, have a detrimental effect on your future financial stability and happiness. And this is where things get serious. There’s a lot on the line when it comes to your money.

But it’s also important to remember that, at the end of the day, planning for retirement down the line and getting active about saving and investing in the here and now does not have to mean giving up your dream vacation. These two choices don’t have to be oppositional!

Life is about living. It’s about planning, saving, investing, looking forward, looking back, making choices, making changes. And more often than not, living a meaningful and fulfilling life is about making the choices that allow you to opt for “both/and,” rather than “either/or.” It’s about strategizing to use your assets and wealth in a way that allows you to enjoy your current plans – like that European vacation – while also preparing for the future – whether your goal is to buy a new home, put your kids through college, or, yes, prepare for an engaging retirement.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to remember that money and wealth are tools to help you achieve your goals. Reaching your financial goals is really about attaining your biggest hopes and dreams. That’s why it’s so important to adopt a financial perspective that accounts for every stage of your journey as an investor and as a citizen – accounting for where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to go.  

At FourStar Wealth Advisors, we achieve this perspective through the use of our signature “Build. Live. Share.” approach, focusing on leveraging your resources and assets to better live a more full and complete life, at every step of the way.

The BUILD phase generally encompasses the period in life when you save and plan for the future. This is a long period of life, and may include a combination of important goals, including both saving for retirement and for travel and new experiences. What you do during this phase can help set you up for the stage that we call the LIVE phase – the period in life that many people refer to as retirement. This enjoyable stage of life’s journey can take many forms, including changing careers, or drawing income from long-term investing programs and other sources. At every stage of life, it’s also important to have a plan to SHARE. At some point, we all share our resources, money assets, and other possessions. People are generous, and it’s important to have a strategy for your philanthropic endeavors for charities and non-profits, as well as your distribution of gift assets to family.

As financial advisors, we see our task as to assist investors at all phases of life: to BUILD a strong life through best efforts and practices at managing resources, to LIVE and enjoy those resources, and to SHARE those resources as you desire.

With the right guidance and expertise on your side, life is a lot more flexible – and a lot more fulfilling. When you plan and strategize properly, the conversation changes – from experiences or retirement to experiences and retirement. From saving or giving to charity, to saving and giving to charity. When you embrace the “and,” there’s a lot more freedom to life – and a lot more fun.


About FourStar Wealth Advisors

Managing resources to help individuals live better at all stages of life is a core mission of Four Star Wealth Advisors.

FourStar Wealth Advisors is an independent Registered Investment Advisor firm headquartered in Chicago, founded on providing the most impactful and tailored wealth management solutions to all clients. To do this, FourStar Wealth Advisors utilizes the latest technology and a broad range of investment solutions to ensure that each client has the proper tools and resources to put them in the best position possible to achieve their personal financial dreams.

Have any questions? Want to get in touch? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 312-667-1750, or use our online portal to contact us today.



This article is provided by FourStar Wealth Advisors, LLC (“FourStar” or the “Firm”) for general informational purposes only.  This information is not considered to be an offer to buy or sell any securities or other investments. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Investments should only be made after thorough review with your investment advisor, considering all factors including personal goals, needs and risk tolerance. FourStar is a SEC registered investment adviser that maintains a principal place of business in the State of Illinois. The Firm may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed or qualifies for a corresponding exemption from such requirements. For information about FourStar’s registration status and business operations, please consult the Firm’s Form ADV disclosure documents, the most recent versions of which are available on the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website at