Your 50th birthday ushers in a decade that largely determines how much you will enjoy the balance of your life. The transition from vibrancy to maturity can happen quickly or slowly, but it happens to everyone. The 50-something blues can sometimes make it difficult to focus on the future because of self-imposed stress.
Many of the stress points created by the 50-something blues trace their origins to the age-old problem of comparing ourselves to others. All our friends seem to have more money, more interesting lives, smarter children, bigger houses, and on and on. Little wonder that 70% of Americans report being stressed about money at least some of the time.*
Understand Your Values
The key to overcoming the 50-something blues is understanding your values, what you care about and what you don’t. We often see a serious disconnect between spouses during this timeframe concerning how much money they expect to earn, spend, and save. The decade of your 50s is tailor-made for these discussions, but by time 60 candles appear on your birthday cake, these matters should be mostly solved.
The period between ages 50-60 are the most opportunistic decade for many families. Often this is a time where your earnings from work reach their peak and therefore the timeframe where you have the highest ability to save. The danger, however, is this period of possibility can quickly fade into the rear view mirror without substantive action steps, setting you up for serious difficulties in your 60s and beyond.
Review Progress and Shortcomings
One of the key reasons we emphasize the importance of our regular review meetings with clients is this is where actual progress and shortcomings can be addressed directly.
The good news for those in their 50s is accrued life experiences usually create more resilience to setbacks and failures. In his new book, The Algebra of Happiness, author Scott Galloway says, “Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems.”
Our primary advice to those in this age cohort is to take full advantage of the opportunities you have during your peak earning years by making needed changes and tweaks to your life. If parts of your financial life are weak or even sick at age 50, your assignment is to make these parts stronger before age 60. Achieving and maintaining financial wellness is the overarching objective for all of us. Start there. Ready for a real conversation?