This month I celebrate my fiftieth birthday! For some, that means I’m a dinosaur, and others still view me as young. For me, it’s just my current age and it is what it is. Even with demographic projections for better health and longevity, turning fifty is still a big milestone in our society. Some of us embrace it as just another birthday, but some fear it. I thought I would retire early at age fifty, but thanks to the 2008 financial crisis and not actually buying that winning lottery ticket, I’m not. Instead, I am on the path of entrepreneurialism and growing my own financial planning business.
A lot of things do start to happen around this age. Your tolerance for bullshit and office politics pretty much plunges off a cliff. AARP starts to contact you so they can get you signed up and into the fold. You gain some clarity about life and just how short it really seems. Sadly, you start to lose older friends and family members. I lost my father late last year so I am now a member of that club. And at one point you really don’t care about who is going out on Thursday night, and Friday night, and Saturday night or what you’re going to wear to the club. Dinner with good friends in a restaurant where you can hear each other talk becomes much more appealing. You realize you are never going to have those 6-pack abs you see on the cover of health magazines, but you can still be athletic. At the same time, you realize now that you are fifty, it isn’t as old (or as bad) as you thought it would be when you were in your twenties. You are right smack-dab in that ‘too old to be young, too young to be old’ demographic.
On the plus side, you can really start to enjoy being the person you are! You are most likely no longer vying to impress the boss, set the world on fire, or fit in with the cool kids in the cubicles. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – you are the cool kid, or maybe even the boss. A lot of folks recognize that you do indeed have a few years on them and that with age, generally speaking, comes a little bit more experience and thus, a little more wisdom. For me, I really know what I don’t want to do, or will no longer tolerate, and I also know what it is I want to do more of and which goals and activities I still want to accomplish. It’s that clarity thing sneaking in and helping to inform your decisions and sharpen your focus.
I want to work with folks who want to better themselves financially. At age fifty, you really understand the importance of time and investing and saving early. Not only for retirement (as that is a moving target these days), but for major life milestones. That’s why I got my CFP® designation so I could make this a career. I still want to hike in the Sierra, and fly fish. I love combining the two and the more hiking and fly fishing I can do, the more agreeable and focused I am. Travel? You bet! Priorities have shifted somewhat and instead of cramming in as many places as possible, I would rather spend time and money getting to a really nice destination in comfort and taking advantage of being in the moment and just enjoying the location and what it has to offer. Preferably, I want to do the latter two activities with my husband so we can share the experience. That brings me to another point: relationships. Being together, for me, is more valued and the stability and love in a relationship cannot be overstated. A good relationship provides a comfort, trust, and depth of caring that is far more valuable than you can imagine and far more beneficial to your well-being.
A while back, I wrote A Financial Letter to My Twenty-something Self and that was a great exercise. I highly recommend this for everyone. You can even write a letter to your future seventy or eighty-something self. It would be fun to open when you hit that milestone. At any rate, life doesn’t always work out as planned, but good planning can smooth those unexpected bumps, transitions, and victories along the way.
As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you plan for your future so those milestones are more meaningful. Contact me and let’s get started or just plan a hike! #talktometuesday #education #Hireaplanner #milestone #stressfree #hike #savings #retirement #fiftysomething #flyfishing #hiking