I ran a contest when I started getting serious about my my video channel way back when, around 2013. I asked my audience what topic THEY would like to see made into a video. The winning entry? “Starting Over in Your 40’s”. What a great topic! How many people out there were just hitting their stride in their careers in the early and mid 2000’s only to have the entire business landscape changed on them when the economy went into the tank in 2008? Their jobs? Poof! Vanished into thin air. Their retirement plans? Eaten alive for survival money! And don’t even get me started on the Adjustable Rate Mortgages and record numbers of home foreclosures.
We could talk about that alllllll day!
There are so many people in their 40’s who know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. You guys lived it, and survived one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression! Hats off to you! Buuuuuuuuut…we all know that life can throw us curveballs at any time. Job losses, divorce, medical problems, all sorts of really nasty stuff can happen. So if you find yourself having to start over in you 40’s, FROM SCRATCH…how do you do it? Here are my top 4 items to having a successful reboot in your 40’s. Some of this is finance, but some of it is just good old quality of life.
Especially #1, which is personal satisfaction in your career. Do you like what you’re doing?? I don’t care how good the money is…if you’re miserable, then why stay? Are you there for the money? If you are, then what’s the next move? My point is, do something you’re passionate about- and get really good at it. Become an authority and an expert in your field, and the money will come. Successful people all have these things in common:
- They are passionate about what they do
- They are experts in their chosen fields
- They are GROWING personally or in business each day
If you feel miserable and stuck, that should be your first priority. No amount of financial planning can help with that. Would you rather be rich and miserable, or middle class and happy?
#2: Start saving IMMEDIATELY! You need an emergency fund and you need it NOW! If you’re starting over, then you might already be running lean as is where income is concerned, but you must save before you spend, or you’ll never make any progress! I suggest you not even think about investing until you have 3-6 months’ worth of bills saved up in the bank. When the bank account is empty, you’re vulnerable to anything and everything. Even a small emergency can force you to go into debt, which is not where we want to be!
Speaking of debt, #3: Prioritize the debt. There might be some leftover debt from years past, and that needs to be addressed immediately. Emergency fund comes first, but after that is established, let’s get that outstanding debt under control. Notice I said "prioritize" the debt and not "eliminate". Why?! Isn't being debt-free a good thing?? Well yes, being debt-free is great, but not at all costs. If you could earn even an unimpressive 4% long-term return from an investment on one hand but had a 4% outstanding loan on the other, where would you put an extra $200/mo if you had it? If you do the math, the answer is simple. Am I not making any sense? Call or shoot a question through the contact form and I'll explain it to you personally.
And finally #4: Accelerate your wealth building! If you’re in your mid to late 40’s and you’ve got nothing saved to create a retirement paycheck later, we need to get you moving quickly! When it comes to your wealth building and retirement planning, time is the most powerful force in personal finance and waiting even one year can make a tremendous difference. Want to see the numbers? Check out the video version of this blog post and check out the last part. I'll even queue it up for you:
Kyle A. Davis is a Chartered Financial Consultant® and president of Integrity American Group, LLC. He is a Florida native and an advocate for financial literacy and practical money education. When not assisting clients in planning for retirement, he creates educational videos on financial wellness on YouTube and offers free resources on his personal finance blog at www.financialservicesamerica.com!