Living Life 8,000 Days at a Time2022-11-22T13:30:19-05:00

The 4 Phases of Life

Here’s the basic math about modern lives. Let’s assume that an American is now likely to live well into their 80s. This person’s life can be divided into four segments, averaging approximately 8,000 days, or 22 years, each. Your first 22 years of life are spent Learning, primarily attending school. You graduate from college when you are right around 22, and you enter a period when you are Growing. Perhaps you get married, and take on a first job, you buy your first home and start raising young children. Then right around the time you hit 44 or so, you reach a period we traditionally call “Middle Age”, when you are Maturing: your kids are getting older, and probably heading off to college. Your professional capabilities are really growing, as are your financial responsibilities. Finally, right around age 66 comes a time we traditionally call “Retirement”.

Unique Challenges & Opportunities

Each of these phases of life present their own unique challenges and opportunities. While the challenges and opportunities faced in the 1st half of life revolve more about becoming educated, finding a mate and raising children, in the 2nd half of life things become more complex, and effective financial management becomes an integral part of our success.

The Maturing Stage

Between age 4-66, we are hitting our stride professionally and experiencing our peak earning years. That is a good thing, because our lifestyle is also becoming more expensive. We may now be paying for college for our children, or even supporting our own aging parents. We buy a nicer car, a bigger house, and perhaps a vacation home. We may even welcome grandchildren. These are busy years in which our responsibilities are at a peak. However we also see the light at the end of the tunnel, and know it is time to prepare for a life of greater freedom of time and money. It is time to get serious about our financial management.

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The Exploring Stage

Finally, after age 66, we reach the Exploring stage of our lives. During this time, which has been traditionally known as “Retirement”, our responsibilities to others begin to diminish, and we are afforded the opportunity to enjoy and explore our lifestyle more than ever before. By this time our children have grown and are on their own, our financial and professional responsibilities become easier, and we have the time and the money to take a step back and enjoy life on our own terms. Although this is a wonderful time of freedom and exploration of a new lifestyle, there are challenges in this time too. Growing older can present its own problems, and worries about financial security is an important one of them.

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