December 20, 2021

Can I have your number?

We strive in our working lives to create a comfortable lifestyle, indulge in a few rewards here and there, and provide for our family to ‘enjoy life’ in the moment. There’ll be plenty of time to work out a retirement plan when you’re older, right?

That countdown of days to when you finish up work may be closer than you think:

Elyse relaxed back into the camp chair and stared into the fire. She was so happy she’d let Caitlyn talk her into spending this weekend in wine country – meeting new people, indulging in cheese antipasto platters, expanding her wine palate and the eye candy on the tour wasn’t bad either.

Her thoughts made their way back to Clint who she happened to sit next to at one of the wine tastings, and somehow they kept being within each other’s eyeline all afternoon.

He’d definitely caught her attention and his smile was still occupying her mind.

He approached herdown by the fire, wine bottle in one hand and two glasses in the other.

He read thebottle’s label out to her, “a warming full-bodied blend, with dusky notes and smooth yet strong character.” The description was just as apt for him as it was the wine. Both of them perfect to uncork here by the fire.

Clint moved a chair next to Elyse and poured her a glass of the cabernet sauvignon.The fire crackled as their fingertips touched when he handed her the glass, an appropriate response to the excitement the fleeting touch of each other’s skin elicited.

As small talk was made so were small advances in affection, with Clint now toying with Elyse’s fingertips as they got cosy by the fire. He enquired about a conversation he’d overheard her having earlier today. “Sounded like a lot of heavy-duty figures; about as much as I’ve spent on wine this weekend,” he quipped.

Elyse smiled and conceded she too had bought a lot of wine, and then explained, “I was telling Caitlyn about my numbers,” he looked intrigued. She turned to face him, not once looking to relinquish her hand from his.

“9,125, that’s my number. And I’ve got 7,300 to go,” she knew that would mean nothing without context, so she elaborated:

“I started work at 18, and I’m 40 now. That means I’ve worked 8,030 days so far, and I’ve only got 7,300 left ‘til I retire. I’m already past halfway, I’m well into the second half of my working life.”

She paused, took a sip of her wine and allowed Clint to reflect on what she had said.

He nodded, and she continued, “And that’s not the end of it … I expect to live to at least 85, that’s 25 years, or 9,125 days, beyond age 60 … I want to make sure I can have experiences like this then too, not just now.”

Clint raised an eyebrow at her words and a coy smile occupied across his face.“Experiences, such as,” he paused and leant in towards Elyse, and they shared a delicate kiss by the fire. It was a warming, full-bodied kiss with dusky notes and smooth yet strong character, just like the bottle promised.

“I like your numbers,” he said breathily, and he poured them both more wine to share.

“Here I was thinking of how many years I had to keep working, not really aware of how long it’s been already,” he smiled and drank some more wine, “I’d be interested in more experiences like this,” and he looked at her longingly, “now, and in the future.”

The fire crackled again as they shared another delectable moment near the flames.

“So Elyse, I don’t suppose you’d consider sharing any other numbers with me?”

Elyse toyed with handing over her phone number, but her room number was so much more succinct.

Things were heating up and it wasn’t just the campfire.

Unlearn Principle

Time is one of our greatest assets in investing and creating wealth. Time collaborates with compound interest to reward us in saving and investing. Paying attention to our future sooner rather than later helps us to make the most of the benefits of investing for the long term. Retirement can feel like it’s a long way off, anything more than 10 years can seem intangible.

A psychological study in 2015 found that when time is expressed in smaller units (like days instead of years), despite the numbers sounding bigger (in the thousands instead of between 10 – 100), the future feels closer. The question is, what’s your number?

Until next time,


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Each day I wake up excited to inspire everyday people to open up and take control of their money, regardless of their history, goals, or savings amount. About Vanessa >>


Discover a new way of seeing
life & money.

Download the first 3 chapters for free


Related Articles


Well, the end of financial year has come and gone, and we are well through the first month of the new financial year. When they say time flies, it’s a different kind of speed now. Dodging COVID and flu, navigating work from home and actually showin...

A Courtship of Change and Choices

A picture of Shane Sommer with Guitar

Mary didn’t want to admit that the drawcard for coming to tonight’s class reunion was to chance an encounter with her former chemistry lab partner and secret crush, Brock Jones.

Three ways to embrace change to improve your life

illustration meme-style with the quote "the only constant in life is change" on a brown background

It’s a question that I have challenged myself with over the years. How do you ‘rip the Band-Aid’ of life off faster in order to make the changes you need to move forward.


In my job, I meet all kinds of people, with all sorts of money challenges. In fact, one of the main reasons I love the public speaking aspect of my work is so I can talk to people, who after hearing me speak feel free enough to be able to tell me their stories…