I think the only people who really enjoy change are those impacted purely by the results of it.
For example, think about all of the effort that goes into preparing for a new addition to the family. Before Junior even arrives, you’ve made a huge financial investment. Excluding any medical considerations, a new baby requires a massive amount of equipment, bedding and clothes. We’re not even talking diapers yet. In addition, adjustments need to be made for meals, sleeping (or the lack thereof) and yes, now we’re talking diapers. At this point however, the new arrival could care less. He arrives on the scene and waits for his needs to be met. He’s not the least concerned about the changes made on his behalf. He’s only interested in the results.
If we’re honest, we understand that change is not only good, but also necessary. If Junior remained in diapers until age 21, well you get my drift. The problem with change is that it makes demands on your life and moves you out of your comfort zone. For instance:
The weight I want to lose will not come off without serious attention to diet and exercise.
The skills I need to move forward won’t come without time applied to reading, practice and some self-reinvention.
The entrepreneurial ideas I’d like to see succeed will not materialize without some risk and a lot of hard work.
I may not always enjoy the process of change, yet perseverance will, more often than not, obtain the results I desire. Does this also mean the sooner I start, the closer I am to enjoying the final product and hence, learning to like change?
With new technology and medical advancements, what used to be considered mid-life has now stretched from age 40 to 60. What then is the new 65, i.e., the arbitrary time for retirement? The answer depends upon the one you’re asking?
If you are posing this query to those in the corporate world, keep in mind their competing in today’s global marketplace. They’re looking at head counts, medical claims, salary ranges and productivity. Loyalty and time accrued factor less and less in their priorities. For most businesses, the new ideal 65 is 55.
If you’re a financial planner reviewing the portfolio of today’s baby boomers, you might say 80 is the new 65 because most boomers have not set aside sufficient funds for the golden years and will be required to work longer to meet their financial needs. Even if you’re 65 and have planned well for your future years, you may not be ready to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch. You’ve learned and experienced a lot and would like to continue to use this expertise to benefit others. Those in that category might say that the new 65 is 75.
No matter how far along you are on the continuum of life heading towards your 65, you’ll want to evaluate your status. Then you can figure out your strategy so you’ll stay on track or get back on course. Perhaps these questions will get you started.
Should you be starting to save or be saving more?
Are you on target to reach your financial quests for college education for your children, travel to foreign ports, or a second home by the sea?
Will your skills continue to measure up or do they need an upgrade?
These are valid questions at most any age, but let me ask one more. If you could do whatever you wanted and had no restrictions or limitations, what would that be? You might want to give some thought to this one. Are you already doing it? If you’re not, what would it take to get you started? Remember, it’s never too late to begin.