MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics

Are You Playing Chess or Checkers With Your Money and Financial Future?

Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Mar 20, 2015 @ 11:29 AM

If you’re a boomer, perhaps you’ll remember Hasbro’s famous “The Game of LIFE”? The Game of Life challenges players to manage their money and get to retirement wealthy. Different spaces on the game board offer life challenges like babies, houses, night school, you name it. Spin to win!

Like with any game you play, besides having fun, ultimately, you also would prefer to win the game. So in that spirit, as you think about the way you manage your money and plan for the future, stop and ask yourself; are you playing checkers or chess and are you playing to win?

If you’re a Spiritus client, the answer is a given. You play to win and you think and act strategically. You know where you’re going and you have a dynamic financial road map that illustrates how you’re going to get there, move by move. Checkmate for you is about achieving financial independence on your terms, on your schedule and just as you planned.

Below are what I think are a dozen major differences between these two types of money management styles. How do you stack up? And wouldn’t you rather be a playing chess than checkers when it comes to your money and your life?


I could probably list another dozen or two differences, but you get the point. At the end of the day, what often determines whether you wind up with an ‘ocean view; retirement or a ‘garden view’ retirement is how well you planned. As the saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. That’s truer than ever.

Planning is not easy. It requires lots of thought, tapping into your imagination, trusting your intuition, visualizing your future, and that’s just for starters. Procrastination, inertia kicks in, life gets busy, demands at work pile up, and next thing you know, guess what, you’re 50 years old. What happened?

Show me anyone that reached financial success in life, especially if early in life and you can be pretty assured that person had a plan and played the game of life as a chess player.

Now it’s your turn to play. And this time, play like a master, plot your moves strategically, look over the horizon, course correct when needed and most importantly, have fun and play to win.


Checkers photo credit Phillip Taylor

Chess photo credit Tristan Martin