“A bucket list? Why do I need a list of my buckets?”


If you haven’t come across the term “bucket list” before, you probably haven’t been to one of our client meetings.


Here’s the official definition:

“The term ‘bucket list’ comes from the saying “kick the bucket” – a list of things you want to do before you die. The term was used in 1999 by American and British screenwriter Justin Zackham in his screenplay for the 2007 film The Bucket List. Zackham had created his own list called “Justin’s List of Things to Do Before I Kick the Bucket” which he then shortened to “Justin’s Bucket List”. The first item on his list was to have a screenplay produced at a major Hollywood studio.”


Isn’t that a little depressing?


So it sounds morbid, but the idea is that it’s a positive, aspirational list. We all know that the only two inevitabilities in life are death and taxes, so if you’re not planning for both of these items you’re doing yourself a spectacular disservice.


So we’ll insist you ask yourself: what do you want to achieve with the time you have on earth? What experiences, goals and achievements do you want to tick off? In short, “what is the money for?” In advance of any client’s first Financial Planning meeting, we will ask them what they would do if money was not an issue.
We also like to get our clients thinking and ask them about any upcoming bucket list-type expenses – for example, the purchase of a holiday home, funding a family member’s wedding, or any other significant occasions or milestones that they have planned or have ever dreamed about.


I don’t even know where to start


That’s as common a complaint as any. It can be overwhelming to be asked to list out all the things you want to achieve, especially if you’ve never thought about it. Often, people say what they think they should say – common answers are “buy a Lamborghini” or “travel the world”, and while they’re fine items to have on your bucket list, they should only be there if it’s truly what you want to achieve or experience.


In our experience of leading clients through this exercise, we’ve realised there are three core things that make the perfect bucket list. Go and get a pen; we’ll wait.


The perfect bucket list

Make it personal.
We just touched on this but it deserves its own point in this list because it’s so important. Your bucket list should only consist of goals and targets that you genuinely want to achieve – whether that’s to climb Kilimanjaro, purchase a holiday home in the south of France, or bring the family on a world cruise.
Comparison can be the thief of joy and just because Joe Bloggs has purchased a Tesla doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. Sometimes the most meaningful items are as simple as “visit my sister in New York twice a year” or “see my son get married”. Whatever goes on your bucket list should be personal to you and your family.


Make it realistic.
It’s nice to dream but it’s important to stay true to yourself, which is why the bucket list items form such an integral part of your Metis LifePlan. If you put “pilot a space shuttle mission to Mars” on your bucket list, chances are you’ll be disappointed (unless you’re a NASA astronaut, in which case go ahead!). But something that feels just out of reach, like flying your whole family first class to Australia for a big reunion or building your own eco-friendly sustainable home on a mountain top, is precisely what we’re talking about.


We always encourage clients to dream big but dream real. With these dreams and ambitions, and an accurate financial plan, almost anything is possible within reason.



Make it fun.
This is your life and life is too short to be boring. As our chairman Tom Tierney recently said, “you only get one chance at this life, it’s not a rehearsal, so you gotta make the most of it”.


If there is something that you think would be fun, then maybe just give it a go? What’s the worst that could happen? If you can afford to retire, then why keep working if it’s not something you want to be doing? If you want to go on a particular family holiday but have been putting it off, why not just organise it now?


Plan to make it happen

Now, it’s all good and well having a beautifully crafted bucket list, but there’s a crucial step you must take if you want to make them a reality: planning.
Get in touch with us today and we can help build you the financial plan you need to help make these bucket list items a reality.


Ronan Queally MSc QFA RPA


Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.