The financial world is awash with complicated products and strategies that promise “more returns” as if that solitary input carries the most weight. While investment returns matter, they are not the only factor. What matters more than returns, are the choices you make, both large and small each day.

No, I am not suggesting that you can span the wealth chasm by avoiding your daily latte or taking your lunch to work instead of going out to eat. Sure, those are choices, but they are de-motivating choices. These work for very few people and miss the main point. Wealth Wellness is about preserving freedom to choose, instead of having to make trade-offs.

All of us move through four distinct stages during our financial lives. Everyone has somewhat different dividing lines, but in general these stage are as follows:

Age 30-50 : Build Up Stage
Age 50-60: Run-Up Stage
Age 60-70: Wind-Up Stage
Age 70+   : Wind Down Stage

The career earnings arc varies significantly depending on your particular job. Some jobs have a very shallow arc where the peak is reached early. One example might be a pharmacist, where the peak earnings years appear to be before age 40. On the other hand, lawyers don’t generally reach their peak earnings until after age 60.

Regardless of where you are along the earnings arc, the main lesson is that income usually does not grow in a straight line, (remember, life isn’t linear). For most careers, peak earning years fall somewhere between the late 40’s and late 50’s. This timeframe, is where good financial choices are most important. We will explore this a bit further next week, so that you can know your “best before date”.

Preserving financial freedom is about…more than numbers. Ready for a real conversation?

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