Today....is not what tomorrow will bring
Updated: Jan 9, 2019
These past several months have started me thinking about what's next for me in my career, as well as, how life will be different for my husband and me as we move only 1.5 years away from being empty nesters. Our second daughter left for college in August leaving us with only our son at home. Although this is an exciting phase in her life, it surely has changed the dynamics in our household. It is much quieter!
What I do every day is work with businesses on their strategies and implementation plans around growth and profitability. Yet, when I sit back and look at my own career and the planning that, both individually and collectively, my husband and I are doing around the next phases of our personal growth and retirement, I can't help but apply those same principles.
When is the last time you stepped back and spent some time evaluating your current life "model?" Who are you serving every day in your job and at home? What value are you bringing to your employer and to your family members? How are you communicating with those respective groups and what do they need from you? How are your work relationships and the relationships with your spouse, children, and extended family members? How are you sitting financially? Are you living within your means? Are you planning for your children's education? Are you planning for your financial needs in retirement? What key resources do you need to make your current model work; income, home, savings, and education? What are the most important activities you need to be doing in order to make it all work? Continuing your education to grow your income, or making time for your spouse and your children? What key partnerships do you have that can help you make it happen; your employer, your financial advisor, your attorney, your spouse, your children's school, their teachers and coaches, their friends and their friend's parents, and other family members? And, lastly, how are you managing the budget that brings it all together?
It is difficult at times not to segment our lives into different buckets. When, in reality, we need to be looking at the whole, because it's all interconnected. When you change something in one area of your life such as your job, your marital situation, the addition of a child, or a child leaving and going off to school, it impacts other parts. When something external causes a change in your life, such as the loss of a job or the loss of a loved one, it impacts the other parts.
Planning for longevity of life has never been more necessary than today. When we read all of the statistics on the baby boomer generation retiring, of which here are just a few, we realize that our lives don't just end when the kids move out of the house and you leave the workforce. Retirement is being redefined.
Approximately 40% of family-owned businesses in the United States are expected to experience a leadership change in the next five years due to baby boomer retirements.
An estimated 65 percent to 75 percent of the small companies in the U.S. - some 10 million - will likely hang up a "for sale" sign during the next 10 years, according to Inc. magazine.
Some sources estimate that almost $5 trillion in liquidity is expected to be created by 2015 as aging baby boomers transition out of their closely held businesses to retirement.
Research from the Pew Research Center indicates that the oldest of America's baby boomer generation started turning 65 on January 1, 2011, at a rate of 10,000 people a day - a trend that will last for the next 19 years.
More than half of middle-income boomers (55%) have saved less than $100,000 for retirement, according to the Center for a Secure Retirement. One-fifth (19%) have saved less than $10,000.
This data is compelling and also troubling. What statistic do you fall into? If you're not part of the baby boomer generation, what will be the impact on your generation and how are you planning for what you want your future to look like? Are you managing and/or planning for how your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are/or will impact your future? Are you planning, preparing, and most importantly evaluating what your "current model" is today and what you want your "future model" to look like?
The American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, "Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line." Don't be content to wait and see what will happen, but take action to make the right things happen. Your ability to move to the next stage the way you want to is in your control. Plan, Execute, and Succeed!
Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, CEPA is a strategic management consultant, and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay