Shakespeare was creative enough in “As you like it” to invent the seven ages of man. Four is my limit, so here goes. The four ages of money are:
· Early adult
· Mature adult
So, by this I mean that a teenager coming to majority may have a simple attitude to money in that it comes from mum and dad; whilst the early adult worker will know that money has an earning side complementary to the spending side.
In later life, with aspirations and burdens, a person’s attitude to money will have evolved into a futuristic assessment of needs that may include debt reduction, saving for retirement, thoughts about a financial legacy and many other things. At retirement of course, as earnings diminish or evaporate, there will be a strong component of thinking about security in retirement.
These stages reveal, at least to me, that as we pass through the four phases of life, we will change our attitudes to money. If I simplify with three S words, as you pass through life you will think about how money relates to:
· Security: how much will I need to retire on?
· Spending: do I need to enhance/restrain my expenses?
· Status: is the amount of money I have important to the world?
but in varying proportions.
The challenge for ALL of us is to rethink our attitude to money as we reach and move into retirement, being careful to note that we may be operating off an out-of-date personal model of what money means to us.
One’s attitude to money is very personal and not to be dictated by others however, it is legitimate to ask: at this point in time am I operating off the correct emotional model for how I think about my money or do I need to refresh it?
Finally, who can help me to think this through?