Throughout the younger years of adolescence, my career of choice was President of the United States. I read books about women in politics, decided law school was my best bet and dreamt about the brightly colored outfits I would wear campaigning because I couldn’t imagine wearing grey or black for the rest of my life. By the time I was 12, I began to realize I found politics stressful; my amicable nature couldn’t cope with the divisive nature reigning in the political arena and my enthusiasm waned.
While there a few anomalies, most of us decided not to become the astronaut or race car driver that our childhood hearts were convinced we would be. That’s not something to grieve! People transform. I would be a terrible politician, yet I smile at my past dreams and I’ll never regret the time I spent planning for the political career I haven’t had. I know myself better now than I did when I was nine, and I know myself better today than I did a year ago. The same is true for you.
How does it happen that in our younger years we don’t understand why people a decade older than us settle into a lifestyle different than ours, but as we age we opt to make the same transitions? A friend recently expressed to me how at age 21 when an “old” 30-something said they were going to the movies on a Friday night she was horrified. How boring! With a laugh, she admits she has now become that 30-something weekend moviegoer and she can’t imagine reverting back to drinking all night and paying for it for the following three days!
Experiences create self-awareness, which drives us to change. When you experience a new culinary dish, you become aware of something you enjoy and want to experience again or say the food was terrible and it’s something you’d rather never taste again. In that seemingly insignificant moment, you’ve changed! At some point, my friend decided she’d opt for the experience of seeing a film one night instead of staying out until the wee morning hours. Rather than finding the experience revolting, the change of pace was surprisingly pleasant and she woke up the next day hangover free. The rest is history!
Between now and next year, between now and a decade, you’re going to change. Circumstances could lead to a career change. Hobbies you enjoy today might not seem especially fun later in life. You might be loving singledom right now but settle into family life in the future. Life changes mean money changes; your finances need to transform with you. How will you adapt your financial planning to your ever-changing personality, needs, and wants?
Just as we mentioned in our blog Don’t Plan For Retirement, Plan For Life Satisfaction, this constant changing makes it tough for a 30- or 40-something to consider planning for retirement – what will you want? Who will you be? This is a big reason why Zoe was started in the first place. We believe your relationship with money should adapt to what you need through all the transformations life brings.
If you enjoyed this post, check out the first post in our Wealth Is Personal blog series here.