Sometimes it’s fun to wrap financial planning into a travelogue. I don’t use the genre often, bear with me. You can’t have a good weekend with a roaring Friday night. When you retire, Friday nights lose their excitement. Taking Friday off or just leaving early mean little when you no longer work. Financial life hack number one: Be aware of unintended consequences. Friday night did not disappoint. The Wide Open and special guest Scott Rockwood rocked the free world at Redd’s in Blue Mountain.

The Songwriters Festival goes on forever, but the party sometimes ends early. Despite the coldest day of the year, eight hardy souls and two dogs braved the elements and hiked a stretch of the Florida Trail along Econfina Creek. Going to Florida for the beaches, but ignoring the Florida Trail, misses half the show. Buy experiences, not things; you don’t have to travel half-way around the world either.

Since I was almost to Georgia instead of heading home, I spent Saturday night with my folks in South Georgia. After supper, Dad and I talked about the books we were reading, him a Grisham novel, me a history of how the Federal Reserve came to be. “It was 1913,” Pop answered. We agreed that the Federal Reserve made the 20th Century America’s. Trust me, Congress in charge of monetary policy, aka auditing the Federal Reserve, will be a terrible idea.

When my folks hit the hay, I struck out for Pud’s just outside the city limits of Brinson, Ga. Years ago, bowing to pressure from Baptists and bootleggers, Brinson’s city fathers crafted an alcohol prohibition which required 100 percent of voters to rescind. Beware of unintended consequences. At one time Brinson had a couple of country stores, but with shrinking margins and no beer sales, they closed shop. Now a gallon of milk is a 15-mile round-trip and a real grocery store almost 30.

Karl Ingram and his wife Melba have kept Pud’s going through several incarnations over the last three decades. We swapped pleasantries and being folks of our age shared personal stories of elder care. Karl, either by seniority or otherwise, drew the black bean and was tasked with telling Melba’s mother Miss Bonnie she could no longer drive. It is rapidly fading, but in some Southern cultures, anyone a generation older is referred by their first name but prefaced with Mister or Miss. Miss Bonnie did not give up her keys. “I might be 85, but I can drive better than you can.” It’s a tough conversation. If you live long enough, you will be on both sides.

You never know when an emergency fund will come in handy. Worried about his driving, a local farmer’s family hid his truck keys. “We can’t find the keys, Daddy.” Mister Perry Cofty called a compadre and in a few hours drove up in a new truck. When asked to explain his new ride,“Y’all lost the keys to my old one.”

While you can’t always get what you want Buz Livingston, CFP can help you figure out what you need but don’t consider this personal advice. For specific recommendations visit us online at livingstonfinancial.net or come by our office in Redfish Village, 2050 Scenic 30A, M-1 Suite 230. Follow us on Twitter @BuzLivingston.