Updated: Aug 17
May is dedicated as mental health awareness month. I thought I would share with you my summer routine since 2008, which is exceptionally calming. I picked up gardening when a friend of mine gave me a basil plant for cooking herbs. It started out in my kitchen and expanded to my backyard. Gardening has a surprising number of wellness benefits. I encourage you to explore this if you have the time, patience, and resources.
Pictures are from the garden in my backyard.
It is the early hours of a promising May morning.
The sun is shining and most of the dew has lifted as I begin my task of planting a handful of seeds in the garden. I draw a line in the soil, carefully placing each seed one by one into the divot before moving the soil on top once more. I pat the surface gently. Next time I see these seeds will be when they ascend as sprouts towards the light of the warming sun.
As summer approaches and tender plants emerge, I keep an eye out for garden pests. Over the years, I have done research to learn methods of organic pest control I can use to fight caterpillars that decimate kale and brussel sprouts, as well as ways to control the pesky white fly infestations. This research pays off in a more diverse set of vegetables that survive and offer us more variety we can cook with in the kitchen.
With a cup of coffee in hand, I step back to acknowledge my progress and admire the effects of nature, both externally and internally, before moving onto my day’s work -- financial planning and investing for the families served by Peak Wealth Planning.
Gardening is rewarding on so many levels. While there are inarguably many fantastic benefits to gardening, I’ve identified my personal top 3.
1. Gardening brings a sense of accomplishment.
Beginning my morning with a small contribution to my overall goal helps me achieve a rewarding boost in motivation. This motivation follows me into my day and leads me towards additional successes.
2. Gardening is mentally centering.
Being outdoors and working with the soil is calming and grounding. I view it as a sort of meditation. My senses are activated and in tune with nature. Birds chirping. Wind ruffles the foliage. The smell of soil, grass and fresh herbs. The warmth of the sun and the cool contrast of shade. I am able to pause and breathe, reducing stress in the process.
3. Gardening is an excellent form of exercise.
Working in the garden keeps me active. I move dirt around, pluck weeds, and spend a lot of time walking around observing the plants in various stages of growth. Before I know it, a couple hours in the sun pass by in a blink.
As a side benefit to these three points, I definitely sleep better. This contributes to being more focused at work as well as the ability to handle the uncertainty in financial markets with a more calm and grounded perspective.
Growing a garden is similar to serving our clients through financial planning and investment.
They both require research, dexterity, planning, patience, and consistent effort. I dedicate the same effort caring for the families we support at Peak Wealth Planning.
Every initial consultation starts with a caring and detailed conversation that hones in on your family’s unique needs, resources, and challenges. We assess your estate plan, family structure, financial resources, and lifestyle goals. As we progress and build a plan according to your requirements, we thoughtfully execute your plan and watch as time works its magic on your investments.
Similar to certain life events, like when my brussel sprouts were wiped out by caterpillars, there are times parts of the portfolio may not do as well. However, we mitigate the risk by constructing a diversified portfolio unique to your needs. Much like having a variety of vegetables planted, a diversified portfolio and thoughtful estate and financial plan should meet your goals.
Are you planning for retirement? Have you calculated your safe withdrawal rate and how much you can spend during retirement? If you have more than $2 million saved and need help from a wealth manager, the Peak Wealth Planning team can assist.
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About the Author
Peter Newman is a Chartered Financial Advisor (CFA) and president of Peak Wealth Planning. He works with individuals nationwide that have accumulated wealth through company stock, ESOP shares, real estate, or running a business. Peter applies his unique background to help clients achieve their specific goals and enjoy peace of mind.
Peak Wealth Planning provides concierge services to meet your wealth management needs. Services include: financial planning, investment management, esop diversification, retirement income, insurance, and estate planning advice. Peak Wealth Planning is a fee-based financial advisor based in Champaign, Illinois, and Fraser, Colorado.