What is Thanksgiving?

What is Thanksgiving?  Maria, Brazil now in Mineral Point WI

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What is Thanksgiving?

This is not the typical question for our column, but I wanted to take a little different approach this week.

Maria is staying with us for the year; she is an exchange student from Brazil. Last night she asked me what Thanksgiving is about. So I told her and my boys about the first Thanksgiving, all about the pilgrims and Indians. Then we talked about what it is today, or what it should be, a time to pause and be thankful for what we have.

I think that concept often gets lost in our culture. Yes, we are thankful but are we truly thankful? Thanksgiving has become more about the great deals on all the things you need than a time to be thankful for what you have, at least that is what you see in our culture as a whole.

In my office, I have some pictures to remind me just how thankful we all should be to live where we do. Not that our country is perfect by any means, but we have opportunities and freedoms here that many in our world simply don’t have. Retirement is not in the picture for many around the world, on one of our last trips to Haiti I came face to face with this reality.

We were on the beach with 120 kids from our orphanages, and there are always people trying to sell us something. I know that they are trying to make money for their family, but often they are pushy, and I have little patience when we have so many kids to watch. I just finished lunch and had a tap on my should buy something, I said no before I even looked the person was respectful as he walked away. It was then I turned and saw a white-haired man leaving. My heart broke for him. I thought of all our clients and the retirement dreams they have; I am sure none of them included selling things to rude visitors on the beach. I went after him, saw the amazing crosses he made out of coral and bone, bought one, took a picture with my new friend before going back to the kids. I will never forget that sweet man.

I’m thankful for the challenges we write about each week here and the opportunities to overcome them to see financial peace and security become a reality for our clients. I’m thankful to for the opportunity to meet that man in Haiti and help him and others like him feel respected and appreciated, help empower them to achieve a little financial security of their own. With giving Tuesday just around the corner, we can all do this. Help rescue someone from slavery, start a business or get an education just to name a few opportunities to help. Check out World Vision gift catalog, International Justice Mission and Free the Girls or countless other great organizations. Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information, to request a free copy of our book or to submit your questions, go to www.CreatingYourDreamRetirement.com

Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process.
Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyond.

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