Generation X has been given a pretty bad wrap. They are known for having more education than any other generation, but also making less money, having almost no savings by the time they are forty, and having an overall sense of unhappiness when it comes to their jobs.
It’s no wonder that the infamous Generation Y comes across as so “entitled.” The truth is that most of them heard their parents complaining all their life about their daily commute, traffic, and their boss. Gen Y doesn’t have a solution for this dilemma, other than that they don’t want to follow in their parents footsteps.
This has created quite a stand -off with parents that currently have kids in the 17-24 age range. Everyone is distraught, confused, and wondering just how bad this is going to get before it gets better.
One of the biggest situations that I see in my own practice and with the majority of people I talk to outside of my office, is that a disturbingly high number of generation X-ers are in their forties and starting over with retirement. This is due to many factors, including the following:
a) Flat out not saving.
b) Saving, but constantly “borrowing” from the savings so that it never quite gets to a significant number.
c) Waiting for an inheritance, that they don’t end of getting because their parents had less than they thought, and let’s face it – people live longer now and use up their retirement. It wasn’t there for the kids anyway.
They call it RETIREMENT for a reason. To spend when you are retired. Part of this perception is that our parent’s generation did get an inheritance, but that’s because their parents lived during the depression so they were afraid to spend money at all.
So we Gen Xers have grandparents who held on too tightly, parents who were the most balanced of spenders/savers and generation X spending like there is no tomorrow. Now the dreaded generation Y has no idea what is in store for them, which is why they don’t want to flee the nest. Can you blame them?
d) 2008-2010 with the real estate crises caused a lot of people to lose their homes. Combine that with all of the financial scams out there, and many people have lost their entire savings, or a great deal of it. Others had real estate investments go belly up for the same reason.
The mortgage industry lost control and so many people got loans on a second house that they should not have qualified for.
What do you do when you are forty and starting over? How do you get your confidence back when you have lost it all, or most of it. Here are a few suggestions.
As a CPA working with small businesses for 24 years, I can tell you that most wealthy people actually create their greatest wealth in their forties.
We all know what the twenties is about, and usually the thirties revolves around family and building your career. For this reason it is usually the forties in which people come into their own and really have the mental confidence to shine.
So whether you have never made a significant amount of money in your job or business or if you have lost a lot of money and you have to start over, the bottom line is that you CAN do it because most people don’t have any significant wealth in the twenties and thirties anyway.
I would say that easily 80 percent of people that I know that are wealthy, at one point made a very bad decision that caused them a MAJOR set back or forced them to start over completely.
The key factor here is that those people LEARNED from their mistake, changed their way of thinking, and turned that bad decision into a life learning lesson. The result was a greater wealth than they probably would have had if the mistake had not happened at all.
This does not mean that you have to make a mistake. It simply means that if you make one, then forgive yourself, learn your lesson and create something good out of it.
You cannot operate in fear of past decision, or you will continue to make them as that is what you are focusing on.
Do something you love.
If you have to stay at your current job temporarily to pay the bills, then begin to create on the side the career that brings you true happiness. If you truly love what you do, you will always be successful.
You may have to do two things for awhile, and that may be a bit tiring. If you really are pursuing your dream, however, you will find that you have an abundance of energy to work on two different careers at the same time.
Another reason that this is important is because we always hear stories of people quitting their job to pursue their dream, and being successful at it, but unless you are in the mind set to do that, most people feel a level of fear and stress if they are unsure of how they will pay their monthly bills.
For that reason, I think it’s best to work on your dream on the side and keep your overall vibration high by knowing that your bills are still being paid.
Remember, you are only forty.
You are only halfway through your life. It is only the stereotype of our society that makes you feel old at forty.
The truth is that if you live based on current life expectancies, then you have a long ways to go. If you retire at 65 (and I know a lot of people who are not ready to retire at 65) then you have 25 years ahead of you. Think about when you were 15 years old?
You were 25 years away from 40 and it seemed so far away didn’t it? The reality is that starting over at 40 gives you PLENTY of time to make changes, do what you want to do, and have the prosperity that you need, want and deserve.
Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in stereotypes or feel that you must have certain things done by a certain time frame. Know that you can start over and in most cases, have a much better future than the one you were on track for before you had to “start over”.