Written by Brent J. Welch, CFP®, ChFC, CRPS®, CLU, AIF®

True Wealth is something that money can’t buy and death can’t take away. I remember visiting my 75 year old friend John in the nursing home. He was recovering from hip surgery when a blood clot went to his brain and gave him a massive stroke. John was paralyzed and not able to feed himself anymore. His advanced directive read that he should not be on life support or feeding tubes. Since he couldn’t feed himself, it was just a matter of time before John would cross over the great divide from life to death.

Although he couldn’t talk anymore, he squeezed my hand as I read to him the 23rd Psalms. “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalms 23:1-6 NLT)

True wealth is something that money cannot buy. I bet that John would have traded his wealth for his restored health. He would have paid in millions of dollars and become destitute in order to live out his life and see his children and grandchildren grow and prosper. That being said, I believe that if you have your health, you are a multi-millionaire.

You cannot purchase your health. You cannot trade in your money for a new lease on life. Your health is a gift that exceeds all others. You are wealthy if you are healthy. True wealth is measured not by the size of your balance sheet, but by how blessed you are with things money cannot buy.

Death cannot take away true wealth. Your real balance sheet is not measured by dollars and cents or by how many real estate parcels you own. The most important wealth you pass on includes the values you pass on such as faith, family, friends, having fun and being philanthropic. Character qualities are also a blessing to pass on to your family.

The most effective starting point is to practice your values and teach them to those you love. Your faith will rub off on your family. What is important to you may influence your family to aspire to greatness. By taking steps today to recognize how wealthy you are with things money can’t buy and death can’t take away will foster gratitude and awareness in your soul. Get out a sheet of paper and title it True Wealth. Then make a list of what you have that money can’t buy and death can’t take away. Then thank God that He has blessed you with such wealth and abundance. Store up True Wealth and build riches that money can’t buy and death can’t take away.

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