• Harry N. Stout

The Financial Stages of Your Life – Stage 3: Fulfilling


In the FinancialVerse – A Common Sense Approach for Your Money, I discuss three major stages of an individual’s financial life. I developed these stages by considering today’s demographic, economic, technological, educational, and lifespan trends. These stages are different for today’s younger generations than what the Baby Boomer and Generation X cohorts have experienced. This is the third of a three part blog post that introduces the stages. Today we will discuss the Fulfilling Stage.


The Fulfilling Stage

This is the post full-time working or Fulfilling Stage of your financial life. This period is mainly referred to as retirement, but I believe we need to rename this period of our lives to what is has become. That is a period of giving back by helping others along with the benefit of having the free time to do what pleases us most. Also, more and more older individuals are continuing to work at least part-time as they enjoy the psychological, social, and monetary rewards they get from work. I meet people like this every day and they tell me they will never stop working unless their health prohibits them.


From a lifespan standpoint, young adults today should plan for this stage to last from age 71 to 100. For other demographic groups, particularly those over age 65, they should plan to live until at least age 90. As the nationally-known financial expert, Tom Hegna, has stated in his seminars, this stage has three discreet periods within it—the go-go years, the slow-go years, and lastly, the no-go years. Our collective hope is to not reach the no-go years for as long as possible.


Today, most individuals are looking to use their later years to give back what they have learned or financially accumulated to their families and communities to make other people’s lives better. They need the time and financial resources to accomplish this. This blog and my books are part of my Fulfilling Stage, as I want others to learn from my life experiences as well as to benefit from my philanthropic actions. Giving money to causes or family members can be of great benefit and is relatively easy to do. You may, however, rather want others to benefit from your knowledge and life experiences. Your desire to return what you have been given to others will not happen without a plan and the money to finance that plan.


The key financial skills you will need in the Fulfilling Stage revolve around the impacts of increased health needs, possible cognitive decline, the complexities of retirement income planning, and the possible impacts of estate-planning issues. They include:

  • Managing your healthcare related matters, including long-term care needs

  • Knowing where you want to live in your final years, including location and type of housing

  • Turning accumulated assets into a stream of regular income to sustain your standard of living

  • Using protection products such as life insurance to pay for your funeral, final expenses and leaving a legacy

  • Getting legal assistance to set-up proper wills and trusts.

We discuss these key areas in detail in the FinancialVerse – A Common Sense Approach for Your Money and some of the unfortunate aspects of aging associated with the Fulfilling Stage.


Summary

Each stage of your financial life has distinct questions, needs, and responsibilities, and every phase has its own key risks that must be addressed. By accessing useful resources, building your financial literacy and seeking professional guidance, you can successfully navigate this three-stage journey to reach your personal goals.

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