Both sides now

Joni Mitchell wrote the famous song “Both Sides Now” after being inspired by a passage from the novel “Henderson the Rain King” about being on a plane looking down on the clouds.
There are so many examples in life where we see things from our perspective and yet others see the same things from a different perspective.
I have just returned from Africa on a trip to Rwanda with the SageView Foundation – see SageView Foundation and Sunripe Farms Rwanda
One of my roles was to help with training the team that we partner with in Rwanda. As always, with these kinds of trips, I often learn so much from those who I am going to help.
One of the farm workers that attended the training session shared a concept that reminded me of Joni Mitchell’s song as I flew above the clouds on the way home.
She drew the illustration below on the small worn-out blackboard hung up with wire in the grading shed on the farm that was serving as our conference room for the day.

Touched by the relational component to the training during the day she shared, with tears streaming down her face, that she was like the person on the left who was seeing a number 6 as she looked at her duties on the farm. She followed with an emotional apology to a co-worker with whom she had been having some conflict on the farm. She now recognized that he might have been standing on the right hand side of the picture and that he was probably looking at the same number, wanting the same success for the farm as she did, but from his perspective what he saw was a 9
I meet with families here in the USA and address Financial and Retirement Planning as well as College Planning.  Often the students and the school counselors are seeing things from only one perspective: What College does the student WANT to attend?  The parents are looking at things from another side: How to do we pay for College AND Retirement.


As a parent, I know that most of us would sacrifice everything we have for our kids. The struggle for us, if we look realistically from “Both Sides Now”, is that it might not be the best thing for our kids’ future if we did sacrifice everything.


Most families can borrow some money for College, but we cannot borrow for Retirement. Now whether we should borrow for college is a personal choice and we advise all options to be looked at, but the decision needs to be looked at from “both sides” perspective.

When we are retired and need the money and have no more cash inflow, are we going to say, “I am so glad that I did it that way” or will we say “I wish I had done it differently”
We have so many choices with regards to our kid’s education but we also have a responsibility to educate our kids by our actions at home. Teaching them the process of proper planning and seeking professional advice might be one of the most vital life skill we can give them – maybe more valuable sometimes than their college degree.
It’s really important for us to see things “From Both Sides” – NOW. If we sacrifice our retirement for our kids’ college, then our kids might end up having to support us during our retirement!

One side: From the perspective of “before retirement”, another side: what we want “after retirement”

One side: From the perspective of “giving our kids a college education”, another side: the “kind of education they get while planning for college responsibly”.

Whether it be for College Planning or Retirement Financial Planning, let’s PLAN

To schedule a time to meet with us please
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