The Maturing Stage of Life
The average American’s life can be divided into four segments, averaging approximately 22 years each. Your first 22 years are spent Learning and attending school. After college you enter a period when you are Growing. Perhaps you get married, take on a first job, buy your first home and start raising children. Then right around age 44, you reach a period we traditionally call “Middle Age”, when you are Maturing: your kids are getting older, and heading off to college. Your professional capabilities are growing, as are your financial responsibilities. Finally, right around age 66 comes a time we traditionally call “Retirement”, which we call the “Exploring” years.
Complexity in the Maturing Years
The Maturing years often represent a significant moment of self-awareness. Children have grown and left home or are in the process of leaving. Family life is being redefined, and careers are reaching their most productive period. Real estate values and portfolios are also accelerating over time. 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. These are busy years in which our responsibilities are at a peak.
The 50th birthday is often the catalyst for the classic midlife crisis when the structures of life are called into question and major shifts in personal values are considered. It’s a time when uniquely successful individuals become aware that their financial lives have become complicated enough that they deserve a closer look.
During these years, you may arrive at this conclusion: “I’m entering a new stage of life; I need to take my personal financial life more seriously.” For many, this realization becomes a catalyst to decide that they need a new advisor to help deal with the increasing complexity.
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