30 is a divisive number. To the young, it’s the time when you’re thrust into full blown adulthood, whether you’re ready or not. To the young at heart, 30 may be considered the early years before your true confidence shines, in your career, in your relationships, or even in yourself.
You’re 25 and feeling alive. You’re settling into life after university, paying off your debts and slowly figuring how to “adult”. But with the responsibility of bills, rent, and even keeping up social appearances, prioritizing financial planning is something far too often pushed to the side.
If you’ve ever played the Game of Life board game, it becomes clear that compressed into the colorful path there are various stages of life. Each stage holds its own major financial challenges as well as prospective profits in addition to surprises (new baby!) and forks in the road.
Without fail as Tax Day approaches every year, the mind whirls while you check boxes and fill in numbers about everything you could have, should have, would have done to save more money on taxes. Could you have saved more? Invested better? Been smarter at charitable giving? Probably.
It is no secret that the typical American is working long hours with little respite compared to other countries with large economies. Full-time employees report an average work week of 47 hours and four out of 10 American workers say they work over 50 hours a week.
Here’s a thought: retirement doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean an end of self-importance or purpose, it just means a new chapter—a paradigm shift of what life is beyond long days and meetings and bosses. Unless you own your own business, and even then, you are not your business.
It has only been since the Baby Boomer generation began to cross the retirement threshold that we’ve had to seriously confront the new challenge of our longevity.
One of the best illustrated instances of indecision occurs in the story of Alice in Wonderland in which Alice comes to a fork in the road and must choose a path to continue her journey. She seeks the advice of grinning Cheshire cat which appears out of nowhere.