Your forties. Your mid-life crisis. Your halfway point through life. An inherent moment of reflection, your forties often bring about moments of great anxiety, perhaps reminding some of us that we are not where want to be financially or that we haven’t accomplished the goals we dreamed of years ago. Yet, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it spurs us to reignite our passions, reminds us to chase our dreams, or enlightens us that what truly matters is the here and now, and lamenting the past or fearing the future does nothing but take a toll on our soul.
However, no matter how you feel at this halfway stage in life, life insurance remains a concept of the utmost significance. Be you divorced, married, a single parent or even a grandparent, insurance continues to care for your children and loved ones. Below are some key pieces of advice you should take to heart when caring for those near and dear to your own:
Recognize what you have done/are doing right.
Even if it’s only one thing right in the midst of poorly made decisions, give yourself credit for it. Personal finance is difficult, to say the least, and it requires confidence to make the right decisions. If you’re consistently battering your self-esteem over some decision you made in your early 20’s or 30’s, it’s time to get over it. Appreciate what you’ve done, be that putting your money away for retirement, or having kept your life insurance active, or having put enough money away to pay for your kids’ tuition. It’s important to know that you have already done things right because that will make it easier to act with confidence in the present.
Look ahead to the future.
The truth is that your own long-term finances are the most important. Although it can be difficult to put retirement ahead of your kids’ college tuition, it is necessary to ensure you are stable in your later non-working years. While I’m not saying it has to all be all towards retirement or entirely devoted to your children, it is significant to note that you need to make sure you are protecting, first and foremost, your own future. Just to put that into perspective, if your kids are short on college funds, they can borrow it. You can’t borrow for retirement. What bank would lend money to someone saying they are no longer going to have an income? It only makes sense to plan for yourself, regardless of whatever altruistic inclinations you may have.
Apply the wisdom you already have.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. Learn from your mistakes, fiscal and otherwise, and apply the knowledge. When a little extra money comes in, save it. Invest it. Pay the bills. It can be tempting to take a vacation or start remodeling, but often when we prematurely spend the extra cash, we regret it in the long-run. Learn from what you have already done wrong and orient yourself for future, stable, long-term success.
Sometimes your forties are a time of great appreciation for everything you have accomplished so far. Sometimes your forties are a time of unfulfilled reflection. Regardless, your forties are always a time to attain, if not retain, control of your financial circumstances.