They say life begins at 40, perhaps because many feel like they have made it – kids, house, nice car, nice career: it all seems to be coming along nicely. It’s almost like you got life figured out.
Many see this as halfway in life, which makes them think. Have I done enough? Should I be doing more? Will I get everything I want out of life? What did I miss out on? This sometimes results in a trade-in of your husband/wife to someone tall, dark, and handsome/young and blonde; or swapping the Holden for a flash red car. Mid-life crisis, people!
You have your finances sorted (or at least your day-to-day finances) and you want to upgrade things to match your refined tastes – and your wallets can provide for it, on occasion.
A new car, a new couch. You’re looking more settled and in line with the vision of the life you want.
It’s also a time to become wise, not worrying about what others think about you and being your own person.
There’s signs that your body is starting to betray you, giving up when least expected and proving that you’re not invincible. Menopause is on its way and it’s not looking pretty. It’s just further proof of your body is not your friend and is slowly turning on you. Oh, did I mention wrinkles? Some consider changing career to something more fulfilling, as it seems that this is the last chance. Any later and you’re too old and may find it difficult to find anything at all, let alone the job you’ve always wanted.
DON’T FREAK OUT
While this is a time a time to reflect and be proud of what you’ve achieved, don’t start thinking about all the things you missed on. Looking backwards can mean you miss on what’s ahead.
- KEEP FIT
It’s time to think about exercise and diet. Keeping healthy prevents so many things: getting in early is your best chance.
- DON’T OVERSPEND
If you can afford the Commodore you like, but you can’t afford the BMW, think about compromising. They’ll both get you to the same place, but one will impact your retirement.
You haven’t really concentrated on super before and now’s the time to start doing something about it.
- CONSIDER INVESTMENTS
Putting money away in super for retirement sounds great but you also can’t access it until around age 65, so what if something happens in the meantime?
- MAINTAIN INSURANCES
Insurance cover is not only to cover your mortgage, it will also replace income if your or your partner can’t work.
For 11 years Trent Taylor ran a successful coaching business. Then, with the onset of the GFC in 2008, the business took a massive hit. Trent lost a lot of money and the company nearly went under.
“My assets dwindled from $1.4 million to zero in 18 months,” he recalls.
“After I split up with my business partners, things went really badly. My real estate assets dropped in value and I was almost wiped out – I was three months from bankruptcy. I know I needed financial help. Through a business friend I was introduced to Glen Killen of Strategy Financial Consulting. From the start, Glen struck me as a no-nonsense person. He was kind, calm and compassionate and did not make me feel like a loser. He told me to keep it simple and to start investing in superannuation so I can set up my own SMSF.”
“He also helped me make the hard decision to sell our family house in Sawtell in northern NSW, which had dropped $70,000 in value.”
Together with his accountant, Michael Osborne, Glen reworked Trent’s financial plan to keep it tax-effective and keep him on the straight and narrow as far as his investments were concerned.
“Glen told me the first priority was to pare down my debt while beginning to invest, because compound growth is the eighth wonder of the world.”
But the stress of the GFC took a toll on him and his family life. His wife, Sally – a teacher – and their three young children were worried because the 40-year old Trent was under so much stress. Then he decided family life was more important.
Trent sold up, cleared his debts, leased a caravan and, together with his family, travelled all round Australia. For the past 18 months the family has covered 60,000km from Broome to Alice Springs to Cooktown in Queensland. The children, aged 10, eight and six, were schooled at home and loved it.
“We have seen enormous change in their confidence and they have developed a passion for learning. We have long-term plans to go to third-world countries and do philanthropic work.”
“My business is bringing in a steady income and I and the family are very happy. I plan to work until I am 80 as I love what I do and want to keep on evolving,” Trent said.
OUR PANEL’S ADVICE
This phase of life will go in the blink of an eye. You will be under more pressure at work, but be rewarded with more money for your efforts. Your health will be tested. Chances are your marriage will be, too. Options such as an investment property and other wealth-accumulation strategies are available to those people who planned ahead; rarely for those who haven’t.
Probably at the peak of your career, this decade often sees upsizing rather than downsizing your home as children grow older. It’s incredibly important to protect your income, your health, and your home: make sure your insurances are up to date. Now might be a good time to talk to your risk adviser to see if level or stepped premiums would be best for you.
Are we on track with your financial plan? Do a full review, particularly looking at wealth creation, super/retirement and debt repayment strategies. If you’re not on track to meet your goals, effect immediate change. Is your insurance plan adequate re children, debt, and divorce? Remember, half of all marriages fail. Do you have new goals that need to be added to your plan?
THE REALLY SIMPLE GUIDE TO MONEY | OCTOBER 2015
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
AUSTRALIAN MORTGAGE AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS (AMAFA)
Phone: 07 3378 2056
Fax: 07 3378 2069