The Stages of Life
There are three stages of life; the early years before your career develops, your professional years and your post career years. The life of your dreams requires money, some lifestyles require much more money than others, but that is up to you. If you do not generate enough money, then your dreams may not be fulfilled, depriving you of one of life’s most significant senses of accomplishment.
Each stage has a purpose, and there are a few things we need to master before we are prepared to successfully move onto the next. Fortunately, each stage is easier than the one before, or at least they should be. Life is a continuum of decisions you make as your journey progresses; the financial choices you make have a long reaching ripple effect.
The question you must ask yourself is this, what kind of life do you want to live during these stages? If you are not careful during any one of them, the following stage will become more difficult to master, negatively effecting your “want to, choose to, love it, it’s my idea” lifestyle.
We all have a lifestyle. Is the one you are currently living your choice or are poor financial decisions negatively impacting your current lifestyle? It may not surprise you to know that an estimated 92% of people are not living the lifestyle they had imagined for themselves. We can offer some good news though, the following guidance provides the answers you need to take back control for your life and move forward to create a lifestyle that gives you satisfying choices.
Let’s take a moment to get a better understanding of what each life stage is and what we can do to master them.
Stage 1: The Development Stage
Safety, Love, Exploration. During the Development Stage of life, one begins learning of valuable foundational life skills. This is a time where you are, for the most part, dependent on others for your survival. From the time you are born until the time you move out on your own, you are dependent on others to provide the necessities of food, shelter and care. The standard of your food, shelter and care is not decided by you, but rather by your caregivers, and based upon your caregivers’ finances and worldviews. The more capable, confident and loving they are, the higher probability of success you will experience during this early stage of life.
Something you may not realize; the standard of living you experience during this period does not determine your quality of life in Stage 2 and 3. Children raised in wealthy homes are not guaranteed a life of luxury. Likewise, children who were raised in difficult living conditions are not destined for an impoverished life.
During Stage 1 you have an incredible amount of influence on how your life will turn out no matter what is happening right now. As a matter of fact, statistics show developing a good work ethic at a younger age is one of the most important attributes you can attain which will give you a significantly higher probability of prosperity. There are a few things we would place at the top of our list of life skills to develop in this stage; a solid work ethic is one of them, along with social skills and a desire to try new things. Regardless of what one wants to accomplish in life, those key learned attributes offer a significant advantage as one moves forward through the stages of life.
While getting good grades in school are not a prerequisite, working hard is. Committing to anything you start, whether it be in the arts, sciences or athletics. Learning that skill does not develop without hard work. This is the time to explore, many of your talents remain hidden unless you try a broad range of new things; and commit some time to develop new skills, don’t quit at your first frustration or difficulty. Also remember Stage 1 is the time to appreciate joyfully volunteering, helping others without any expectation of anything in return. Volunteering not only helps, it also offers perspective for one’s life in relation to where they could be or may want to be. For young people, it teaches them they are valuable and always have something important to offer, even if it’s simply their time.
Stage 1 doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be one of the most exciting times of your life, filled with wonder, adventure, passion and enthusiasm.
Open yourself to unlimited possibilities and know there is nothing in life you cannot accomplish. Most of us dismiss what we really want to do or be because we don’t believe we can accomplish it. This is life’s greatest tragedy.
Ask yourself, "If I could not fail, what would I do?" Then ask yourself, "Why am I not doing that?"
When asked this question, people at our seminars can get very anxious and even withdraw. The real battle we have is in our minds. We talk ourselves out of the life we really want and settle for a life we think we either deserve or have the capacity to create. If you were told that you are ugly, stupid and lazy and will not amount to much in life over and over again, there is a high probability you will start to believe it, especially if this is coming from someone you have set up in your mind as an authority figure.
Sadly, even a sibling that may only be a few years older, may take the role of an authority figure for you and so you may have given sanction to your 9 year old brother about who you are and what you are capable of doing and believe it or not, this can follow you right to your grave. Fortunately, this can be successfully repaired, and you can learn more about how to release your full potential through our free unifii webinars.
Most importantly in Stage 1, focus on fighting a natural tendency to be transfixed on how you will accomplish something, but rather focus on what you are attracted to and passionate about. Don’t limit your vision of what is possible. Don’t deny yourself of what you are capable of doing in the future because it currently seems unrealistic.
"It’s just a crazy dream." "Where will the money come from to pursue that?" "I’m not qualified enough, there are so many with more ability than me." Listing reasons why you may not succeed comes naturally to everyone. Don’t allow negative self-talk to be the voice that guides your most important Stage 1 decisions. All things are possible for you.
Note: If you are currently in Stage 2 or 3 of your life, make personal development for your children/grandchildren an absolute priority. Whether you know it or not, you may be a limiting force in the people around you and it’s not your fault. Most people were never taught how to be a high performance thinkers so it only stands to reason you may not be as effective and you could be in helping people you care about become the best they can be. With the right information, you have more power to shape their young lives for the better than you may realize.
Stage 2: The Career Stage
Independence and legacy are the name of the game when we get to this stage of life. This can be the most exciting time of your life. In this stage you get the opportunity to do the things you love and get paid for it!
Most people also find a partner in life and invest time in creating memories that will be with you for your entire life. You get the opportunity to raise children and re-experience many things that were most satisfying from your childhood. You may also offer your children the things that you may not have been afforded while you went through your Stage 1 life. At the end of the day, whether it’s with your family, friends or with your career, you will be creating memories that will define you and be spoken of you when you go from this experience to the next. We would like to encourage you to purposely live your life with purpose.
When it comes to enjoying these moments as they are happening, free time and extra money will play an important role. This doesn’t mean there are not many things you can do without money, but the truth is many things that may be on your wish list require free time and extra money not required for your day to day living. Taking an extended trip around the world, the Disney trip of a life time, the most amazing sweet 16 celebration for your daughter, education paid in advance without stress, weddings without limitations, elaborate anniversary gifts, golf retreats with your buddies at some of the most beautiful resorts in the world, spa treatments that keep you looking beautiful and feeling young, being a reliable resource for all the people you love or positively impacting thousands of other lives because of your philanthropy efforts, all of these things require proper decision making and execution before you have the financial resources to accomplish them. These are things that require advanced planning if you want them to become a reality.
If you had taken full advantage of stage 1 priorities and developed a very good work ethic, found your passion and learned the skills necessary to excel in your vocation, you now need to ensure your money is working as efficiently as possible.
Setting short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals is important. These financial goals provide a path to become financially free and secure.
If you are not working toward anything specific, you’re likely to spend more than you should. You’ll come up short when you need money for unexpected bills and challenges that inevitably surface. You could get stuck in a cycle of credit card debt and interest payments for things that you could have covered in full at purchase time. These snowballing bad choices leave you feeling like you never have enough cash.
Finally, bad planning and execution will affect your retirement significantly, stealing many of your life’s greatest moments before they have a chance of happening.
Stage 3: The Retirement Stage
Stress free purposeful living is the name of the game at this stage of life. Since much of this new time freedom comes from leaving the Career Stage of life, your income has been either significantly reduced or eliminated completely, meaning that you are either partially or completely dependent on the passive income and savings you created before retirement.
No other stage in life is most impacted from a previous stage than stage 3, which is why we encourage people to start planning for retirement as early as they can. The earlier you start planning, the more cash flow you will have. If done well, you now have the resources to live any lifestyle you choose and perhaps you will be able to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren for generations to come. This is called generational wealth, or as some prefer, old money.
Money well managed and passed on from generation to generation grows over time. This is also a clue as to why many wealthy families continue to grow in wealth years after year; they are not just passing on money, but an experienced understanding of how to manage it. Most of which you will receive as you complete this course.
If you have been fortunate enough to plan well in advance and find yourself in a very healthy financial state, you will still find some of what we will be sharing in the next chapters very useful to both protect and grow your wealth in the last stages of your life. On the other hand, if you only have modest savings, not enough to live the lifestyle you hoped for, then you will want to listen on and use the income generating and investing strategies we will be presenting. And finally, if you are 20+ years away from retirement, then you will absolutely find everything we have here of incredible importance to ensure you set yourself up for the most amazing life you could have ever wished for.