We all are familiar with “best before dates” on food packaging. As consumers, these dates help us make good choices. Our financial lives also have “best before dates”, even though they may not be as clearly marked.
Last week, in this blog we introduced the “Financial Life Timeline” that depicts four stages of financial life. The objective is to make good decisions in the “Build Up” and “Run Up” stages in order to preserve your possibilities within the later two stages (Wind Up and Wind Down).
50 is the Perfect Age
Time magazine ran a piece a couple years ago with the title 50 Is The “Perfect” Age. The article says that age 50 is the point where you likely are young enough to (still) be in good health, but not old enough to be tied down by babysitting grandkids. Sure, everyone has somewhat different circumstances, but this description rings generally true.
One of the critical characteristics that we have observed among financially successful individuals is that they tend to understand “materiality”. That is, they comprehend that some actions, during certain periods of time, carry more weight than actions at other times. Saving at age 45 or 50 is not the same as saving at 60 or 65. In the same way, career decisions that build career capital are much more valuable earlier within a career versus later.
Some individuals fall prey to thinking that whatever the issue may be, there will always be time to solve the problem. This simply isn’t so. There are many financial life maladies that aren’t solvable without sufficient time. Your financial planning “best before date” is precisely the point in time when you have the most flexibility; the most income; the most time.
From Probabilities to Possibilities
Think about the whole of your financial life, the good and the not so good. The simple graph below may help. The ultimate objective is to achieve “wealth wellness”. The goal is to move along The Wealth Continuum™ from left to right, transforming fewer choices into more choices…probabilities into possibilities.
Where do you think you are today on The Wealth Continuum™? Next week, we will look at the seven factors that determine your particular point on the continuum and what you can do to move further towards “wealth wellness”. Your financial planning“best before date” is …more than numbers. Ready for a real conversation?