I recently went to a restaurant that I had to wait for more than a year to get into. The meal cost me an arm and two legs but the wait was worthwhile: I considered that I got good value. Opinions varied, however, from customer to customer. The other day, I walked into a fast-food restaurant, got what I wanted straight away, paid the asking price, yet considered what I go was very poor value. It seems that Warren Buffett was right when he observed, 'Price is what you pay; value is what you get '.

The Rio Olympics cost Australia more than $ 370 million. Some would argue that we got good value for that price, while others would have quite a different opinion. Sure there'll be lots of hot air spent trying to reduce any perceived gap between price and value, but you can bet we'll be on the starting blocks at Tokyo in 2020.

So what about price and value when there is a much larger issue at stake – adding years to life and life to years?

When it comes to growing old, the main price we pay is one of loss. Some examples could include:

Family, friends, and contacts – they either move away or move on;

  • Personal appearance qualities – hair looks to grow in many different, unwanted places;
  • Mobility – no longer being able to perform all those things we used to be able to do;
  • Fitness – the six pack that took years to develop is replaced by something resembling a balloon;
  • Appetite – we do not seem to eat as much as we used to;
  • Sharpness – of eyesight and wit, memory loss, forgetfulness, and all that sort of thing; and
  • Manyana replacing getting it over and done with, now.

The principal value is one of gain. Some examples could include:

  • Experience, insight, and (hopefully) the getting of wisdom;
  • More time to do those things we've been putting off for years;
  • Learning to let go – the daily trudge down the salt mine happens no more;
  • Not sweating the small stuff;
  • New friendships;
  • A positive attitude, especially when we realize its multiple benefits ;.
  • Questioning of more things as we realize that rarely are things black or white

Chances are you'll consider that I've missed some examples. Feel free to share your gems. It's over to Cervantes for the final word: 'That which costs little is less valued'.