A friend called to complain that he was being badgered to buy retirement planning products. He will soon turn 40. Why does the financial advisory business frighten me into buying insurance, he asked. How should 40-year olds look at their financial position? What should concern or comfort them?
After the job-hopping spree of the early years of working, the 40s is the time to take stock. To ask whether one has developed a set of skills, knowledge and attitude to secure a stable and rising income. The 50s is typically the peak earning phase. One reaches the height in one’s profession at that time, while a few over-achievers would do so in their 40s.
If you are still complaining about your work, or resigned to doing what you dislike, or blame the world and everyone for preventing you from achieving your potential, you may be stuck in a less than optimal situation. Not all of us end up with jobs we love. But at some point, we have to evaluate what the job is delivering for us. The 40s is a reasonable point for that purpose.
The primary financial goal for most is adequacy of income. We should get to a point in our lives where we are happy and content with what we earn. If we think there is a problem, we should have done enough to fix it, or have a concrete plan to make it better.
We had a colleague who was an obsessive learner. He would enrol in courses and programs, online and offline, and acquire one degree and certification after another. The problem though was that none of it mattered in his career progression as they were all far from useful or relevant. They did nothing to his income. Avoid such pitfalls.