Judy Anderson, a retired professor from the University of Manitoba has booked her ticket to fly as a passenger with Virgin Galactic, which will take her to the edge of space in the next few years. For Anderson, this is the culmination of a lifelong dream which started when in her childhood when she and her parents listened on the radio as Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to journey into space. Recently, Anderson watched as Sir Richard Branson made a similar journey aboard Virgin Galactic’s ship, Unity. She said it brought back memories of her childhood and her dream of going to space herself. In the 90s she applied to become an astronaut but unfortunately was cut from the program after many rounds during selection. About 11 years ago, after Branson’s company had been created, she reserved her ticket and put down a deposit of $20,000 with the remainder of the approximate $250,000 USD total ticket price to be paid later. Currently, Anderson is listed as passenger number 623, which with about 6 passengers per flight currently, that would put her on around the 100th flight.
$250,000 is a lot of money for anyone to spend on an experience, but for Anderson, this is a life long ambition and so to her it is well worth the money. But, it does require planning which she has been doing for at least 11 years now and likely will be doing for a few years more. As a financial professional and a space enthusiast I have found Judy Anderson’s story to be intriguing and inspiring. Certainly, there are likely far more people out there who would either not be interested in travelling to space, or perhaps even scared of the prospect. There would be even more who would just say that the price tag is too high for such a short term experience. But I think that what everyone should take from Anderson’s story is that financial planning for yourself should go far beyond just retirement planning and needs to include planning for living. Afterall… isn’t that what everything is really all about? Living a life that is memorable and meaningful to you and your family?
Something I truly appreciate about this story is how far in advance Anderson’s planning started and certainly for a big-ticket item like this, having decades of time to save make it all possible. I also appreciate how she didn’t sell her dream too short. It would be easy for a retired professor with a pension to say, “I would love to do that but I could never afford it.” All to often I see people limit their life because of a mental block they have related to their finances. The fact of the matter is, given enough time, if something is a priority to you then odds are you can make it happen. If you have a dream of stepping foot on all of Earth’s continents, taking a European vacation, sending your child to Harvard, or even going to space, all of it is possible if you plan for it. As we often say here at Endeavour Wealth Management, don’t make the mistake of disqualifying yourself.
"To all you kids out there — I was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars. Now I'm an adult in a spaceship...If we can do this, just imagine what you can do." – Richard Branson from the edge of space.
-Grant White, CIM®, CFP®
Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with iA Private Wealth Inc, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for iA Private Wealth Inc. and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Private Wealth. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.