I don't think I ever met a saver like Al.
In the '80s when everyone was spending, Al wasn't.
When people with his money were buying big homes, Al was staying put in his very small home.
When others in his league bought BMWs and Mercedes, Al bought used Impalas — always Impalas.
When friends traveled the world, Al and family traveled to New York's Catskills.
He was rich by most standards, but frugal by any standard.
"Just in case," he'd tell me. "Just in case. I want to be ready."
And he was — for the downsizing that came and the adjustments that followed.
Al was ready. Al was liquid. Al was rich. Al... was prepared.
For every financial possibility, except the one thing he didn't see coming at all: cancer.
Stage four — non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Bad. Very bad. And fatal, very fatal.
Al is dying. Fast.
The man who feared he might out-live his money will now see his money comfortably out-live him.
All the trips he never took. All the things he never enjoyed. All the treats he never had.
A moot point. A moot life. And Al wonders.
"Maybe I should have splurged a little more." Then he adds, "at least the family's got something."
Which is more than Al can say.
Living testament to the fact it is good to save for a rainy day. It is also good to prepare for the possibility you might never see it.
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