I’ve heard it said that the best way to spot a counterfeit is to be an expert in what is genuine. The Secret Service knows this well. When training their agents, they don’t start by giving them samples of fake bills.  Instead they provide them with genuine bills and train them in every conceivable detail of those bills.  The look.  The feel. The ink.  The borders.  The serial numbers.  The spacing. The portraits.  The holograms.  The seals.  The details of Grant’s beard.  The shading on Ben Franklin’s face.

Once the agents are experts in the details of genuine bills, spotting fakes is no problem.  The slightest deviation from what is genuine is enough to expose the bill as fake.

Genuine vs. Counterfeit

Think about your life. Do you know what your “genuine” is supposed to look like?  Do you have a clear understanding of what you really want out of life?  The things.  The people.  The activities.  The experiences.  The priorities.  How you spend your time.

If you haven’t done a good job defining your “genuine,” then counterfeits will slip by and begin circulating through your life.  The more counterfeits you have, the further you’ll get from the life you actually want and the less happy and fulfilled you’ll be.  Left unchecked, the economy of your life could become overwhelmed with counterfeits, at which point it ceases to function properly, just like a normal economy would.

How to find your genuine life

The application?  You need to decide what you really want out of life and take those plans very seriously.  That’s a theme I’ve touched on before.  It’s a core element of Intentional Retirement.  Below is a list of several resources and posts that take a deeper dive on this topic.  Use them to help define your genuine and become an expert at spotting it.  Then be diligent at tossing the fakes before they can take root.

Guides and eBooks


Have a great weekend.  Be intentional.

~ Joe

How to make yourself financially resilient
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