At some point we have to move beyond being motivated to just pay the bills. I was invited to speak to a group of over 40’s recently and the conversation took this turn. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about why’s of money and covered survival, enjoyment, growth and giving. At a certain point in life you will come to realize that taking care of obligations is important but not enough to push one forward. Investments must be done intentionally, not just because it’s the right thing to do (Click to Tweet this thought). Questions that were raised included: Why work? Why earn money? Why even ask for a salary increase? Why invest? Why try and look for the next big thing?
Many people in this age group (40plus) have seen the ups and downs of life in some manner. Money has been lost and made. Maybe you now have to bear financial responsibility for parents and even others who may not be in your immediate family. You’ve started realising the things you used to talk about before like retirement suddenly do not seem that far off. You’ve experienced retrenchment or seen those close to you go through it. You may have been running a business and recognise that you have less tolerance for the financial unsteadiness that at times comes with it. You also start acknowledging that you cannot keep running at the same rate. Being smart about money and time is not an option. It became very clear in this conversation that how we earn money is also as important as why we do it. The process was being acknowledged not just the destination. These are some of the ways people do want to earn money in this stage of life…
With purpose. How you earn money gives you purpose not just bills and lifestyle. Time is limited and you can see the limitation. You might as well spend it doing something you at least like, love and are passionate about. More than that you actually feel you were made to do it. You can get lost in it. It brings you joy and it brings the people around you who may be customers, your team, your family or your friends, joy , they too get to be happy. Continuously working on something you don’t like drains you. Past your forties you find you do not have that much energy left to drain. Working in an area you are passionate about will still be tiring and hard work but it also energises you at the same time. If you are earning money on purpose (as opposed to treating it simply as a means to an end) you also become very intentional with it. Apart from basics and necessities, when you do spend, it is because it has some sort of meaning to you. You are also likely to start being able to say no since you can tell the things that are not that important. Your relationship with money is on purpose.
Sustainably. Banks evaluate pay slips and lend people money based on that. They take comfort in the fact that that they can rely on you to get paid and therefore service a loan. In the same way in this stage of life, you need to start looking for what will bring in sustainable income. The problem that many people face is that they have created lifestyles that depend on them to show up at work every day. These lifestyles look really good and even provide the perception of wealth. However, should that salary not be there, these lifestyles cannot be maintained. A lot of companies have been retrenching and many people are now waking up to this realisation. It’s not just enough to earn money, you have to work equally hard to make it sustainable (Click to Tweet this thought). You may be facing a situation where you realise that your job is not sustainable or your business is not sustainable. You may be close to retirement. Just because you retire doesn’t mean you stop spending. You still need to eat, pay bills, see the doctor etc. Invest in areas that will give you enough money to live on even when you are not working. We all begin with our physical labour providing the income we need to live off. At some point there needs to be a shift from your physical labour to the assets you own providing this income. The risk is no longer whether or not you can show up.
With Acceleration. For you to get to the pace where assets can offer that support there needs to be acceleration. The traditional way of thinking about investments may not do it for you. A twenty -year old has time but you may have to do things differently and more strategically. You also have the benefit of experience, networks, know how that a twenty-year old may not necessarily have. It is not enough to have various plots of land all over the place. You must be able to know what you are going to do with them and how to turn them into productive or income generating assets. You may also venture away from traditional investments. You may not want to start a business but you can also invest in somebody else’s business. You may have extra space in your house that can be leased out as a holiday rental. To accelerate means doing the research and thinking outside the box.
Last but not least people want to earn money, structure finances with legacy in mind. Legacy doesn’t only start when you are gone it is happening every day. What would you want your life to look like? What would you like to leave? Are you preparing those you leave to take care of what you built. Too many stories of children being left wealth only to plunder and destroy it quickly. If you can resonate with this season do get in touch to receive our “Forty and Beyond Financial Checklist”. Age is not just a number. It does mean you need to do certain things differently.
Waceke runs a Financial Masterclass tailored for people who are over forty. For details do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org