Sunday, July 29, 2012

Early Retirement

The following is a 'modern parable' that I recently heard from a good friend, Bill Turner.  I don't know where he got it.  Maybe he just came up with it.  In any case, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it.  This is a paraphrase, but the original is available at the link below.

A wealthy banker from New York visits a small coastal fishing village in Mexico.  While he relaxes in the sunshine, he sees a local fisherman coming in and tying up his boat.  On his boat, he has just a few fish.  Puzzled by the meager catch, the banker approaches the fisherman.  "How many fish did you catch?" asks the American.

"A few," replies the fisherman.

"How long did it take you to catch those fish?" asks the American.

"Not long."

"What do you do with the rest of your time?" asks the American.

"I sleep late, play with my kids and take a siesta with my wife.  Then each evening, I stroll into town to sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I lead a very full and busy life!"

The American banker was irritated by the fisherman's answer.  He said, "I can help you!  You should spend more time fishing and with the extra cash, you could buy a bigger boat.  With the bigger boat you could catch more fish and with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats.  Then, you could sell your fish directly to the processor and eventually buy your own cannery.  Then, you'll be able to move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, then New York where you'll run your expanding enterprise."

"How long will this take?" asks the fisherman.

"Fifteen to twenty years," replies the American.

"What then?" asks the fisherman.

"When the time is right, you'll announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich!" replies the American.

"What then?" asks the fisherman again.

"Then, you will be able to retire!  You can move to a small coastal village.  You'll sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll into town each night to sip wine and play guitar with your amigos."

To hear the whole sermon by Bill Turner dated July 15th 2012, visit the Highland Vineyard website at and click on "Media Library."

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