Return on Life Goals

Dr. Gerald House
4 min readOct 13, 2022

I just finished reading a book from a fellow financial planner, Shari Greco Reiches titled Maximize Your Return on Life, Invest Your Time and Money in What You Value Most. I highly recommend this book to anyone just starting the financial planning process. What I find most interesting is the method she uses to determine core values and how we should spend most of our time in our core value area of life (Reiches, 2021). Additionally, her firm uses an eight-week onboarding process that breaks out the tedious onboarding process into easily manageable bites. You can find her book on Amazon or her website

The return on life process reminds me of Life Planning I discuss in my book Investing in a Secular World, Discovering Biblical Truths about Money. There is a difference between retirement planning and life planning. Life planning encompasses your whole being, not just your financial needs (House, 2022). Financial planners are going through a transition phase to add more value to their firms. No longer can financial advisors just manage investment accounts and perform financial planning as a side venture. People are requiring more value from financial planners and advisors than traditional advisors are giving. Now, there is an element included to prepare a client for life needs and identify their life goals to help them reach their full potential. In her book, Shari Reiches shares the story of The Fisherman that is worth repeating.

A boat was docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village.

A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and… asked how long it took to catch them.

“Not very long” they answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“After that, you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Mexicans.

And the moral of this story is: Know where you’re going in life, you may already be there! Many times in life, money is not everything.

“Live your life before life becomes lifeless,”

(Authur Unknown, 2019)

After much self-reflection, I discovered my core values include my faith, my family, my friends, and service to others. I will not compromise on these values. I spent the majority of my time working within my core values. Even in my business, my core values define how I work. I try to model a servant’s attitude. I consider myself to be a teacher. According to the Bible, I will be held to a hiring standard.

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment (James, 3:1).

It is heartbreaking to witness how many people try to emulate the worldly view of living. How someone manages money says a lot about how they relate to the world. Here is a quote I will always remember.

We find happiness in the things that money can’t buy.

Your faithful servant


House, G. (2022). Investing in a Secular World: Discovering Biblical Truths About Money. Meadville, PA: Christian Faith Publishing.

Reiches, S. G. (2021). Maximize your return on life: Invest your time and money in what you value most. Windy City Publishers.

The story of a fisherman — a short story that highlights the importance of knowing your life goals. Highview Accounting & Financial. (2019, February 14). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from