When I was 7 years old, I wanted to be a veterinarian. In high school, I set my sights on journalism and becoming the next Katie Couric. At 19, I declared a major in Psychology, then pursued an MBA. Today, I have a career I love in the financial services industry and I teach writing classes in my free time. My professional ambitions evolved significantly over the past 30-something years.
While the details of my story are unique, the idea of our dreams changing is common. It is highly improbable to believe you will maintain the same vision for your future over the next several decades. Preferences change, personalities evolve, and experiences shape the course of our lives. We learn more about ourselves every day.
There was a study conducted that explored self-perception. It started with a group of 18-year-olds, and they were asked how well they felt they knew themselves, on a scale of 1-10. Most scored themselves at 7-8.
When the same group was 40 years old, they were asked “how well did you know yourself when you were 18?” Most people said 4-5. Then they were asked, “how well do you know yourself now?” Most scored themselves at 8-9.
Finally, as they were turning 70, the group was asked, “how well did you know yourself when you were 18?” Most said 1-2. And “how well did you know yourself at 40?” Most said 4-5. And “how well do you know yourself now?” Most said 8-9.
The point of this study is not to say that 18- or 40-year-olds lack true self-perception; rather, that as we age, we continuously change. My dreams of being a veterinarian evolved into being the world’s best dog mom, and my love of words led me from journalism to a career in marketing and writing. The core of who I am has not changed, but the way my professional passions manifested look very different than I would have guessed.
At Pathfinder, our mission is to get you thinking about your perfect retirement. You may assume you will figure it out when you get there, but by not taking the time to intentionally prepare, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Making your retirement years a “success” goes beyond having enough money in the bank.
When planning for a holistic retirement, it is wise to start early. We are urged to start early on the financial side, but we are not necessarily taught to start early in other areas, including maintaining strong health practices, having meaningful activities, sustaining relationships, living with a sense of purpose, and yes, having the financial security that allows us to live out the next phase of life in a meaningful way. This stage of life requires courage and the commitment to live big. If you are ready to start planning for the next best years of your life, give us a call at 910.793.0616 or visit our website. We are here to guide you forward.