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  • Maurice Wilson

What can Spider Man No Way Home teach us about sequels and life planning?


Opinions of movies are subjective but using Rotten Tomatoes as a measuring stick, it’s been determined that the third installment in the latest Spider-Man trilogy is a hit with audiences worldwide. To wit, Spider-Man No Way Home scored a 94 out of 100 with the movie rating service. What is remarkable about this trilogy of Spider-Man movies is how consistent the reviews have been for all three editions. The previous two films scored 92% and 90% respectively. This performance exceeds the Matrix franchise’s four movies, scoring 88%, 35%, 73%, and 65%, respectively.

While I have seen the first three Matrix movies, I have no intention to watch the fourth - on purpose. I’m sure I’ll stumble on it in the future on TV, but I will not pay for the movie in any form.

I have nothing against the directors or Keanu Reeves. However, I feel that movies, TV shows, even the albums music artists create are stories and a good story knows how to end. Matrix strikes me as a story still in search of a satisfying ending.

When learning how to write in grade school, we are taught to write a beginning, a middle, and an end. A story’s ending is crucial as we’ve learned repeatedly with shows such as Lost, The Sopranos, and most recently (sigh)Game of Thrones. These were highly ambitious and engaging stories that ended in an unsatisfying manner. Anytime there is a debate about an ending, we know the ending was terrible. After all, how often do we argue over how a great story started – it always starts well, or we don’t hang around for the end.

Our lives are a story, of course; thus, the word history is used to describe our time here on the planet. What’s remarkable is that unlike any other time in human history – we get to plan how this story goes. We excel at the opening act, which typically includes Pre-K education, K-12, and college. However, we’re still working on the middle part – career, entrepreneurship, purpose, passion, family, divorce, etc. The middle continues to be tough for us, and I believe it’s what has driven the Great Resignation and, before that, the mid-life crisis.

I spoke with a friend who had only watched the latest Spider-Man movie. She loved it, and we marveled at how much better Marvel Studios was at superhero movies than their competitor – DC. I told her that Marvel has a plan, and DC obviously doesn’t. I brought her attention to the titling of the latest Spider-Man trilogy to prove my point. The opening installment had the subtitle Homecoming, the second, Far from Home, and of course, the third, No Way Home. I remember when Spider-Man Homecoming was released and thinking that the movie would focus on the superhero’s school life. It did, but there was so much more; Marvel had a plan for the franchise’s future, thus the title of the first installment.

Humans are good with the first installment of life’s story. Parents are always teaching their kids life lessons, exposing them to music, martial arts, and sports at an early age in order to develop life skills, and of course get into a good college. The problem is that we don’t empower our children and ourselves to continue the job of planning out our lives beyond the opening act. We are a society obsessed with getting our kids into good schools, music lessons, and competitive sports, but we don’t apply the same attention to helping them with life’s middle act and beyond. Consequently, adults are left to find mentors, marriage counselors, and life coaches to help pick up the pieces rather than bringing them in at the start where they can have the most impact.

As we settle into the new year and the increasing likelihood that the typical life span will become 100 years, this will need to change. In the United States, demographers predict that as many as half of today’s 5-year-olds can expect to live to the age of 100.   As a result, words like longevity will take the place of anything to do with retirement.

For instance, the 30-year careers are slowly expanding to 60-year endeavors. Institutions are starting to take notice. For example, the Stanford Center on Longevity launched an initiative called The New Map of Life, believing that one of the most profound transformations of the human experience calls for equally momentous and creative changes in how we lead these 100-year lives at every stage.

This year resolve to plan out the balance of your life. It is likely, you have already had a great beginning to your life story, but are you prepared for a 60-year career or life to 100? The thing is, life will happen regardless, it's as inevitable as a movie sequel. Therefore, it’s up to you whether the story of your life will have a great middle and satisfying ending like the Spider-Man trilogy or be as uneven as The Matrix.


Wilson Wealth is here to help. We’ve updated our service model for clients to tackle the new reality of longer careers and lifespans. Yes, it still starts with finances, but it may end with passion, purpose, and philanthropy. With the proper planning, we can make your story a blockbuster.


During this year’s annual review with your Wilson Wealth advisor, be ready to discuss these issues and more.


Happy New Year!!

Maurice Wilson, Charlotte Office

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