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  • Writer's pictureHarry N. Stout

327- Quality Time Left (QTL): A Money Mindset Change

How long do we have to live? When will debilitating illness strike? Do you have a countdown clock that shows you when these life events will happen? I am not trying to be morbid but realistic on what are very important financial planning considerations. The life expectancy we are planning for and the unfortunate life events such as illness we could experience are keys to our savings, insurance, lifestyle and investment decisions.

How would you spend your time and money if you knew you only had 8 to 10 years to live? What protection decisions would you make? Would you continue to save and invest as you have been? Would you open your purse strings to spend more on the activities or people who give you the most joy? Would you buy that life insurance policy you have been putting off? Overall, if we knew exactly when our freshness date expired, we could better plan our financial futures to protect and benefit ourselves and those we love. In reality we don’t know when we will move to the next dimension, lose our jobs, become ill or lose loved ones.

Since we started the FinancialVerse over three years ago, I have provided our subscribers, followers and podcast listeners with ideas and general advice about money and how to manage it to improve the quality of their lives. I have written five books, published over 300 blog posts, appeared on numerous national financial media and recorded over 80 podcasts.

As I rapidly approach my 70th birthday, I have been reflecting on how I want to live my life and what experiences I still want to have. I have been reading, talking with friends, listening to podcasts and reflecting on this subject. With all that I have learned, the most memorable advice that has stuck with me is the concept of “Quality Time Left or QTL.”

What is QTL?

QTL boils down to the fact that we all have limited time to pursue important activities before something unfortunate impacts our life. We should use our time and money to do what gives us the best psychological reward. I learned about this concept from former Dallas Cowboys head coach and Hall of Famer, Jimmy Johnson. He talked about it in a television special that reflected on his life post-coaching and how he has made certain activities, including the love for his family and boat, the priorities in his life.

Recently, I have experienced the unexpected death of a family member, illness in my family, the passing of several well-respected business associates and a friend surviving a series of heart attacks. I have also seen illness dramatically impact the quality of life for many friends and business associates. Most all of these individuals had financially planned for long, fruitful years in their Fulfilling Stage. They now have more resources than they will likely need.

The Key Questions to Ask How much time do we have left? When will illness strike? When will we lose family members? None of us know. We don’t live with that countdown clock that I alluded to earlier beside our beds. I have been thinking about these events and considerations a great deal with all the uncertainty we have been experiencing — financially and otherwise.

Now let me make this personal. For me, I look back at my life and I am satisfied with what I have accomplished professionally. I have properly planned for my financial future and have great relationships with those I really care about. So what do I do next? I have come up with 6 to 8 things I really want to see and do. This includes being closer to family, resuming my love for travel post-pandemic and seeing what the world offers. The time has come for me to pursue these dreams. So, I am going to take a sabbatical from the FinancialVerse to do just that. I want to make the most of my quality time left.


Thank you for your interest, reading my posts and listening to my podcasts these last three years. I have tried to provide you with ideas and resources to improve your relationship with money. As I embark on this sabbatical, it is now time to get a few things done on my goal list. This is not goodbye, but just see you later. The FinancialVerse team will continue to post to social media to provide you with continuing money ideas. Talk to you all in a few months!


Ready to improve the quality of your financial life? Harry is the host of a new podcast from the FinancialVerse where he shares practical ways to relieve money stress and anxiety. Each 7 to 10-minute episode is designed to fit into your busy lifestyle.

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