Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.
“While I have reasonable net worth and a career I love, I find myself angry that I have not done a better job setting my life up for more flexibility in my later years, what suggestions do you have for the anger and the practical nature of my lack of resources for the freedom I seek?”
That’s a very good question and that is a very well-stated question. “I have reached an age where I have more years behind me than in front of me.” I understand. “While I have reasonable net worth and a career I love, I find myself angry, mostly at myself that I have not done a better job setting my life up for more flexibility. What suggestions do you have for the anger and the practical nature of what I did? So you have two questions, how do you deal with the anger and how do you deal with the practical nature? I assume that you have reasonable net worth, but it’s not sufficient net worth. That’s what I’m reading into it.
Couple of things, first of all, this is very typical of folks as they age, the average American does not have enough money by the time they reach 60 or 65 to continue the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed. It’s a shame, but it is very typical. A couple of things, the first thing I would suggest is that you start adjusting your lifestyle spend so that you can accelerate the amount of investment, the amount of savings, the amount of security that you’re building. What tends to happen often with people as they age is they go right into their later years in life with the same speed and intensity that they had when they were younger in terms of financial burn.
My advisor says this to me, I say this to people all the time, I am doing this in my own life. I know it’s hard for you to believe, but I have more years behind me than I do in front of me. And so it’s about slowing that, is that really something I want to do so that you can– because the last thing you want to do is get to the end of the road, not death, but get to the end of the time you want to work and then not be able to. So slow the burn now, figure out a good investment strategy. I assume that you have somebody that helps you with that. Then the second thing around the anger, I feel you, I think you embrace the anger. I think you feel the anger, but don’t become an angry human being.
Anger is generally about a failure to be able to control something that’s occurring right now. So find areas that you can control. What a lot of people do is they wait until they can do the big thing. So first of all, focus on things you can’t control. Second of all, slow the burn on the cash so that you can quickly accelerate ramp up relative to finances. Then ask yourself the question, what life do I want to have emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically more than you’re going to ask what life do I want to have financially? I know there are probably people out there that are going to burst into flames when I say that, but I work with people and coach people who have got a boatload of cash and they’re miserable.
And I have clients who are moderate in their net worth and are really happy. Don’t build so much around that. Focus on what you can control, slow the burn as best you can, and then focus on the life you want to build emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. That’ll help a lot. Hope that’s helpful.
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