Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn't ask me when I am packing it in. Why? Because, it is usually preceded by, "You know a lot of financial planners, you are heavy into the market, and you probably have a full retirement plan in force, so when do you think you would like to get off the merry-go-round?" My answer is always the same: "Only when I come to a Sunday night, and I am no longer rubbing my hands in anticipation of getting into the office bright and early Monday." You see, I tell all these people, I really love what I am doing so why should I consider anything else? Besides, it goes against the age grain.
I have one child in his 20s and four in their 30s, and two of those are fast approaching 40, so I get a fairly well rounded peek at what concerns them the most. And then, of course, I have my own experience.
Consider the decades. When you are in your 20s, there is usually little thought given to financial planning. Most just want to make ends meet. They feel they can look at planning at a later date when they have more money. Of those who do have concerns, it generally centers around how to invest in the company's retirement plan, how to buy an engagement ring, how to finance a first home, when to start saving for a baby's college fund. That kind of stuff.
For the 30s, it gets a little more involved. Now you have to manage a number of goals that includes college funding plus saving for retirement not to mention trying to reduce whatever debt has been accumulated from the 20s. For those less fortunate, there may be divorce looming and the question of how to handle being a single parent. Financial planning here gets tricky because there are so many aspects ranging from tax awareness to the first glimpse of aging parents.
With the 40s, a bit of panic may start to creep in as you begin to realize, perhaps for the first time, that the years are starting to move rapidly. In this decade, you watch those investments more closely and you even begin running retirement projections not to mention questioning what career path you want to be on.
By the 50s, you face the most common question from this age group: "How soon is it realistic to leave my job?" The 50s generation puts jobs, investments, and health care under the microscope.
By the time you hit 60, Medicare and Social Security become guideposts in front of your eyes and you start to weigh whether you want to slow down or even speed up. And, as much as you may look to spend more time on the golf course, there is also more time being spent with grandchildren. And, of course, all the usual suspects pop up: When to start taking a pension? Are annuities the way? What to roll over and when? Any ways to minimize taxes?
Those in their 70s are usually considered the happy people. They have pretty much realized where they are and what they are doing. If anything, their concern is whether they are spending too much against what is coming in, and what's the long-range forecast of Medicare. "Do I touch my principal now?"
And for those who are lucky enough to get to 80 and beyond, although you may still be concerned about where the income is, you don't dwell too much on it. If anything you simply smile and think back to when you were old enough to vote…and it starts all over again.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access