The rule of 168 isn’t some fancy way of seeing how fast your money doubles or a code section from the IRS, it is a law of life.  The law is that there are only 168 hours in a week, and you need to use them wisely if you want to live the ideal life that you dream about.

When you think about your day under the influence of the rule of 168, you’ll quickly realize that there isn’t much time left to pursue your ideal activities.  Just work and sleep consume at least 16 of your daily 24.  Add the basics such as eating, commuting, bathing, and community activities, and that available time shrinks even further.

Many think that dreaming about an ideal life is a waste of time.  I disagree vehemently.  Dreams are good and can be healthy if they help you to envision just what your ideal life looks like.  Some mental health experts say if you can’t visualize and see yourself in that moment, it will never happen.  If you are a do-it-yourself home repairer, money manager, financial planner, and auto mechanic, you’ve probably exhausted your 168 hours.

This process all starts with a dream, a clear vision of how you would love to spend your time.  After you and your spouse decide what would be the ideal amount of time spent with family, on vacation, with hobbies, and in your community, you have taken the first step in creating your ideal life.

Some of you are now thinking about the money and wondering if I’m dreaming or otherwise delusionary.  Neither.  I am simply suggesting that it is your life, and you can go with the treadmill-like day-to-day flow or begin to take control.  In fact, I work with many people who have a lot more money than they need to live their ideal life, but they just haven’t stopped to answer the questions about what is most important in their lives.  Money is rarely the answer.

With some thoughtful financial planning, you’ll discover the extent to which you can start to live your ideal life or exactly what it may take to get you closer to your ideal.

Most financial advisors do not go too deep on this squishy topic.  They typically get a list of goals, then rush to the answers which invariably involve some investment or insurance they offer.  This isn’t necessarily a knock against your advisor, many people are both underinsured and spending way too much time reading about investments and managing their own portfolios.  And to a financial professional, this is the equivalent of using Web MD instead of your own doctor when you aren’t feeling well.

You’ve heard many clichés about time, money and happiness.  But at this stage of your life, I suggest that you stop using other people’s words, get your financial house in order and work with a competent professional to reach your personal ideal life.

John P. Napolitano CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST is Founder and Chairman of Napier Financial in Braintree, MA.  Visit for more information. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice or recommendations about any individual’s personal legal circumstances. Investment and financial planning advice offered through US Financial Advisors and Great Valley Advisor Group, Registered Investment Advisors.

By John P. Napolitano CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST Founder & Chairman Read More