I just returned inspired and appreciative from the annual BAM Alliance conference in St. Louis. I continue to be impressed with the investment and wealth management resources that are available to Flourish Wealth Management by partnering with the BAM Alliance. The Conference also provided a rewarding opportunity to connect with the 140 plus independent firms that are members of the BAM Alliance.
The conference was filled with amazing speakers such as Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, Michael Lewis, accomplished author, and Eugene Fama, whose work has shaped our firm’s investment philosophy and won Mr. Fama the Nobel Prize in 2013. The final day concluded with speaker Maddy Dychtwald, who is a leading expert on the changing demographic trends. In her speech, Maddy described the “longevity bonus” which are defined as the 30 years added to lifespans in the 20th century. These extra years keep coming as confirmed by a new report on mortality in the USA from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, which states that life expectancy has reached a record high of 78.8 years. This figure is actually 81.2 years for females. As we continue to live longer, it is important to develop plans to maximize our enjoyment of these bonus years.
A common misperception is that the bonus years are the ones tacked on at the end of life. However, what if you were to think about the bonus years throughout life? What would you do differently if you had access to those years now?
It starts by reflecting and defining your goals in all areas of your life such as career, family, friends, health, fitness, hobbies, and community service. Where do you find enjoyment? It can take real work to find the answer. Our lives become so busy with work, family and commitments that we might not have the space to explore our interests and passions, much less set lofty goals. When it comes to our professional lives, many start out on a career path in their early twenties and then discover their interests are not aligned as they age. Sometimes to truly explore our interests and goals, we need to find additional time; some people are able to find a healthy balance between their personal interests and life roles, while others may reduce their work schedule and make a deliberate plan to use this time.
I have seen great success with clients pursuing a career change that required heading back to school before they could begin the next phase of their professional development. This could mean being engaged in their new profession for 30 more years versus the 15 they were planning before they came up with this possibility.
At retirement, I have seen clients have a great degree of success when they are able to gradually phase out of a job and put a plan in place to pursue what is next. In fact, the definition of “retirement” is truly being reframed. I often find myself hesitant to use the word retirement and instead prefer to look at these decisions from the goal of financial independence as retirement can seem so final and individuals may prefer to continue their career, but do so in a non-traditional fashion.
Sometimes it doesn’t take a career change but a physical or mental change to combine your personal passions with professional goals. I have been in the financial planning industry for 22 years and recently formed my own firm. It has been overwhelming at times to experience the energy and appreciation for this this new venture. I have been better able to understand why I am in the wealth management business and fully embraced the purpose of serving clients. I have been blessed with support from clients that followed to Flourish, other professional advisors, family and friends. Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to reconnect us to our passion.
What steps can you take to Flourish?