Do you ever feel you are behind? That you don’t have enough? That you might run out?
What to do?
Make vague feelings real by writing down some specifics.
Then get to work.
ONE => Is this a Reference Set issue?
If I spend time in Aspen then my “needs” escalate, and my self-assessment “declines.”
Same deal in Boulder, but it’s from a fitness point of view.
Others might have vanity triggers in places like LA, or on Instagram!
Feelings are sensitive to environment. The same life, done somewhere else, will be different.
Feelings of envy, fear and anxiety are sensitive to images – careful with environment, turn off cable news, get off Facebook/Instagram.
TWO => Is this a Skills issue?
A 35 yo surgeon with $250,000 of education debt, is in a different position than most. The surgeon is likely to earn themselves into financial security.
- Where does my current job track lead?
- Do I need retraining?
- Armed with additional skills, it is easier to move up the income ladder?
- Do I need to do the same job for a higher bidder?
- What is the market rate for my skill set?
THREE => Is this a Spending issue?
It’s not always spending… but sometimes it is, particularly when spending isn’t generating satisfaction.
If you have the skills & the salary, but are left feeling uneasy, then a family financial review can make sense.
These discussions are HIGHLY emotional. I recommend a skilled facilitator.
FOUR => Is this a Time Horizon issue?
Back to the surgeon… highly skilled, employed, spending under control… the situation is going to play out just fine.
- Pay down debt
- Keep spending in check
- Conservative monthly investment program
15 years along, the family is in a strong position. They had doubts, I did not.
I was asked, what would I have done?
Starting over at 40 yo
Core Job matches my highest paying skill set. Medicine, tech, finance, aviation… track into something that pays well.
The Core Job enables me to borrow long for a Core Investment. Buy real estate in a zip code with great public schools and a diverse local economy.
Secondary Job in an area of personal interest. It’s what many do with coaching/consulting.
Side Projects with Equity Upside. I would be looking for opportunities to invest (primarily time) in situations with financial upside. Do enough of these and something is likely to hit.
One new skill each year – coding, online marketing, blogging, video content, copywriting, language, ministry, education, graphic design, photography… stacked across a decade… powerful.
- Core Job
- Secondary Job
- Equity Upside
- Continuous Learning and Skill Acquisition
I have a friend, who did all of the above.
- Around 40 yo, they were divorced
- Then their employer went bust
- Then they found our their pension had invested in the employer
- So the pension went bust…
Long story short, a rapid journey from “set” to “f*%^ed”.
They could see “effective net worth” was negative due to financial obligations related to the divorce.
What I saw for a decade…
Three jobs: two of the jobs had flexible scheduling. Time off was used to work continuously (7/52/365). The third job was consulting, which was done inside the daily gaps.
Modest spending: given the income rolling in, not much went out.
Heavy investment: every single month, buy financial assets. Take overtime, buy more. Bonuses and financial windfalls, buy more. Buy, buy, buy.
This path isn’t for everyone – it comes with a cost in terms of family life. You need a spouse, who is completely on board. It’s a team effort.
A decade of grinding and the family is in a strong position. Now, the challenge may be to shift away from financial assets and build multigenerational Human Capital.
Think deeply about Reference Set
- There is a weak link between financial assets and life satisfaction
- We never get time back
- Too often wants are driven by external influences
- Know what feeds your soul – write it down, take your shot
Make the target clear to yourself – for me => an active, outdoor life sharing experiences with friends and family
Stay on target.