In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years. Only 100,000 Americans lived to age 85.
By 2010, the number of people over 85 years old had grown to 5.5 million and was one of the fastest-growing segments of our population.
By 2030, as the last baby boomers turn 65, older adults are expected to reach 20% of the population, and by 2050, 19 million people will be in the 85+ age group.
Even though you want to take the world by storm, one of the most important actions you can do is to take some time for reflection, asking yourself questions about who you are and what you want to do with your life. Do you know what your strong points are but more importantly, do you know what you are not good at. If you are able to distinguish between the two you will save yourself much time and heart ache later in life.
Health and wellness:
Address your physical, mental/cognitive, emotional and spiritual health, including diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise. This might sound strange as you are probably in good health. A person is naturally at their peak health and fitness at the age of 28 and it naturally declines after that. If you don’t start with a regular fitness and correct eating plan, it might take years to “show” but by that time, bad habits are so entrenched that it is very difficult to change and people suffer tremendously later on.
Money and financial planning:
You have the most unbelievable opportunity to secure financial freedom at a young age if you start early. Warren Buffett the world’s most successful investor said that his only regret was that he started to invest in shares at the age of 11 and not the age of 6.
Proper financial planning might sound (and be boring) but doing the basics right consistently over a long period of time, will result in bliss earlier than you expect. Avoiding crucial mistakes could be as important as making wise investment decisions.
Family and relationships:
Most people realise that to get a return on investment you have to invest wisely for a long period of time, but few realise that to have good relationships with family and friends, takes as much if not more effort. No one on his death bed ever regretted not completing another degree but most regret not investing more time and resources into their relationships. Critically evaluate what your current situation is.
Employment or paid work:
This has changed so much during the last 10 years that you might follow a career that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Even though the total work landscape has changed tremendously and you can work from anywhere and at any time, it is prudent to plan how you are going to work that aligns with your own pace and health constraints. Working night and day might prove beneficial to your income but terrible for your health. A healthy balance is of utmost importance. Evaluate where you are now and what is really important.
Community and civic engagement:
This is about giving back to your community through involvement in civic, cultural, religious and/or service organizations that you feel close to and strongly about. Even though social media is the preferred engagement arrangements, there’s much satisfaction in getting physically involved by helping others.
Lifelong learning and personal development:
You might have already finished your basic tertiary education or you are still engaged in further development, this is an area that should never be stopped or neglected. Science shows that we are not using even 10% of our brains and that it is the one organ that doesn’t age so conditioning yourself to life long learning can be one of the best investments in personal care you can ever make.
Leisure and entertainment:
What you do for fun. This could include travel, entertainment, creative activities, hobbies, and however else you enjoy your free time.
Lifestyle and housing:
This is an area of living that is in constant flux. The question whether to rent or buy has bugged people for a long time. There’s even different options emerging today with people relocating often and using the globe as a stage for employment as well as travel. This is a highly emotive area which can either be a blessing or a curse depending on whether you get it right for your own unique circumstances. The financial aspects to renting vs buying can be crippling if you get the interest rate cycle wrong or bliss if you rent at a lower rate and invest wisely the difference.