4 Ways Investing During Midlife Can Make You a Millionaire

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A survey conducted by Bankrate recently fount that over 30% of people between the ages of 30 and 49 haven’t even started saving for retirement. If you fall into this bracket, the sooner you start to invest, the better! Why, you ask? Because you are also earning the bulk of your income between your late 30s and mid 50s.

How do I start? What should I do? No worries, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top four tips for helping you make the most of investing before retirement.

  1. Set up a financial plan: You can do this yourself or use an advisor, but often advisors can help keep you on track when you would be tempted to buy that new car you don’t actually need.
  2. Invest in the stock market: If you are in your 30s or 40s, invest in moderate risk stocks. If you are in your 50s or 60s, invest in low risk stocks. Also, make sure to diversify your holdings. Don’t JUST focus on stocks. Make sure to also invest in things like bonds and real estate. People who retire with seven or more types of investments have an average net worth of $1.4 million while those with three or less types of investments have an average of about $670 thousand.
  3. Prioritize retirement over college: I want to help my kids pay for school you might say. But let me put this in perspective, you can borrow money for college, you can’t borrow money for retirement. Plus, your kids can also receive scholarships and grants for their schooling. If you want to start a savings plan for your kids as well, go ahead. Just make sure that you aren’t sacrificing your own retirement plan for their schooling.
  4. Switch up your investment goal as you age: When you are in your 30s and 40s make sure that your goal is to grow your capital. You will have a slightly more aggressive approach than when you get older. Once you reach your 50s, you should shift your investment goal to conserve your capital. Start shifting to safer stock options. The last thing you want is to watch the risky company you invested in to go down the tubes.

Ultimately, if you are currently 40, follow the above steps, and invest about $1,500 a month at a 6% annual return you can be a millionaire by the time you reach retirement! It might not be easy, but I believe you can do it!

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Sources:
Bonds at Your Stage of Life
Not Saving for Retirement at 40? Crazy!
The Middle Years

Stabilizers

“The world is beautiful outside when there is stability inside.”

-Anonymous


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We often want things to move fast. The business we’re building, the reach we’re extending, the relationship we’re developing, the role we’re growing into: it’s exciting when things “take off.”

Yet, airplanes have elevators and rudders and rockets have fins to ensure that the speed is contained and focused.

Having our own stabilizers in place and functioning decreases the potential for going off course and ensures that the speed is most capitalized upon.

Regular walks in nature, a fitness regime, dedicated hobby time, regular check-ins with committed listeners can all serve as stabilizers…and yet many get dropped when things get busy.

When asked how much he meditated each day, Gandhi answered two hours. When then asked how much he meditated when things were going crazy around him, he answered four hours.

If things are going astral, what fin can you put in to balance the atmospheric pressure…even if you think there’s no time?

If things aren’t going astral, how can you design fins now for when they do?

Got stabilizers?

“A stable mind is like the hub of a wheel. The world may spin around you, but the mind is steady.”

-B.K.S. Iyengar

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Busting 5 Myths about Sex During Midlife

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There is no doubt that our bodies change as we get older, and it seems as if middle age is the culmination of all of our fears surrounding aging. Estrogen and testosterone decrease in both men and women as they age and this can cause many shifts in our emotions, physical appearance, and viewpoints. It is common to experience changes in appearance, weight, libido, behavior, and sexual response. Because of this, many people end up believing countless myths about sex as they age. Well, today I am here to bust those myths!

1. As you age, you lose interest in sex.

People of every age have a desire to have sex. However, after you make it to midlife your sexual desires change. It usually just takes a time to figure out how your body and desires have changed. To prove this point, a National Aging Survey found that over 70% of people over the age of 60 who were having sex regularly found their sex lives more satisfying than in their 40s.

2. Men lose their ability to get an erection as they get older and women lose the ability to orgasm.

Aging does not cause erectile dysfunction – changing hormone levels do. As men age, they simply need more physical stimulation to become aroused. Also, women’s orgasms actually tend to increase in frequency and intensity after menopause due to the shift of hormonal ratios within the body.

3. Women lose their desire to have sex because of the psychological and emotional factors surrounding menopause.

Usually, the physical factors outweigh the emotional and psychological factors when it comes to decreased sex drive for women. When going through menopause, the decrease in estrogen can cause vaginal dryness. If sex is uncomfortable because of vaginal dryness, simply speak to your doctor and find a solution that works for you.

4. Middle-aged people are done exploring their sexuality.

Baby boomers are reporting a surprising willingness to explore their sexuality in many different ways. They are exploring tantric sex, taking retreats surrounding sexuality, and reaching out to sex therapists and coaches.

5. By the time you are in midlife, your sex has become boring and you’ve lost your desire to be sexually adventurous.

People who are in middle-age are very interested in learning new ways to pleasure each other (since the way they are stimulated often changes due to hormone shifts). They are reading books, watching videos, and attending retreats to learn new skills.

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Sources:
The Truth About Sex After 50
Busted! 5 Myths About Sex After 50
Sexual Issues in Midlife

MomenTums

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”

– Victor Kiam 


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Hopefully, in the unfoldment of a project or new initiative, there is a phase where things really start popping, happening fast, and there is lots to manage and stay on top of.

We aspire and dream of the new-venture train gaining momentum once it has slowly and laboriously picked up speed out of the station.

And it can be then that the stomach doesn’t feel the same way, there’s an ever-present edge of discomfort…perhaps occurring as a constant feeling of heartburn, upset stomach or indigestion.

That’s a good sign.

I walked around for a few months with what felt like a bowling ball in my gut when starting my first business.

Many will avoid the discomfort…and yet for those who are willing to choose it over the medicine cabinet, the pace of growth can be profound.

Into what area of conviction or dream creation can you choose to upset your stomach today?

Got momenTums?

“If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.”

– Holly Near

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Midlife Exercise – Is it Important?

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Many people have the viewpoint that once you hit “midlife” working out and staying fit is no longer important or a priority. Of course, they have their excuses:

  • “I’ve had two kids and your body never really comes back from that”

  • “No matter how much I exercise, I’ll never look as good as I did when I was young”

  • (and my favorite) “My life is way too busy right now, I simply don’t have time”

Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Well, I’m here to tell you that exercise IS important, even if you are “too busy”. Studies suggest that even if you’ve never been one to spend time exercising, being or becoming fit in midlife can completely re-shape your aging process. People who don’t bother with fitness in midlife are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s (among other diseases). This doesn’t mean that if you exercise, you won’t get these diseases later on. However, those who exercise tend to have these diseases for maybe the last five years of life while those who don’t exercise tend to have their diseases for the last 10 to 20 years of their life!

I don’t know about you, but I would rather be healthy until the age of 80 instead of being chronically ill at the age of 65.

So what do we do about this? We get fit! Here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Realize that you don’t have to work out constantly. You need only 2.5 hours a week of moderate activity or 1.25 hours a week of vigorous activity. That means that you only have to exercise moderately for 22 minutes a day or exercise vigorously for 11 minutes a day! Where did your excuse about being too busy just go? And here are some bonus tips:

    • When you work out, make sure that you exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time (so you can increase your heart rate).

    • Also, exercise first thing in the morning. By the end of the day it is much easier to say you don’t have the time or are too tired from your busy day. First thing in the morning, you don’t have any excuses yet.

  2. What does “moderately” and “vigorously” really mean?

    • Here are some exercises that fall under “moderate” exercise: dancing, bicycling (less than 10 mph), brisk walking, tennis, and even gardening!

    • Here are some exercises that fall under “vigorous” exercise: jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope, bicycling (more than 10 mph), and hiking uphill.

  3. Use it or lose it! Make sure you spend a least two days a week working on strengthening your muscles! This can help you gain strength, minimize joint pain, and boost your mood!

So how about you? Can you find 11 to 22 minutes at the start of your day to improve your health for the rest of your life?

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Sources:
Eight Secrets of Boomers who Exercise Regularly
Getting Fit, Staying Fit During Middle Age
The Benefits of Middle-Age Fitness

Deed Seeds

“To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task.”

– Sophocles 


Beyond the parochial lessons we learned in childhood about doing good deeds — still valid, and yet perhaps needing more umpfh as an adult — we can consider what we are seeding in our deeding.

How we go into a meeting, a negotiation, a sales call, a group project, or our very day can be shaped by the little and perhaps inconsequential tidbits of blessings we put out just before.

Letting someone climb into traffic in front of us, picking up trash as we walk down the sidewalk, leaving a voicemail for someone saying we’re thinking about them, paying for the customer behind us in the fast food lane, give away an eBook…all of these have the potential for feeling good, generous and overall better about ourselves and, perhaps, more worthy to receive our own good.

We’ve heard these acts carry even more power when done with nobody watching.

Where can you plant deed seeds in your experience of life being good for yourself and others today?

Got deed seeds?

“Thinking good thoughts is not enough, doing good deeds is not enough, seeing others follow your good examples is enough.”

– Douglas Horton

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10 Unbelievable Facts about Baby Boomers

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We are the baby boomers. So when someone told me that I didn’t know about the Baby Boomer generation I was skeptical to say the least. But, after a little more research, here are the top 10 facts that will make you proud to be a baby boomer.

  1. Baby Boomers will inherit $15 trillion over the next 20 years

  2. The peak age of vehicle buyers has shifted to the 55-64 age range

  3. Baby Boomers own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations

  4. Baby Boomers are twice as likely as millennials to plan to start a business in the next year and started 24% of all new businesses in 2013

  5. 33% of all tablets are owned by people over 50 and over 40% of Apple products are purchased by them

  6. Baby Boomers watch 63% more hours of TV than millennials

  7. Baby Boomers are responsible for 80% of all luxury travel spending

  8. Baby Boomers spend about $7 billion per year online

  9. Boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis, and they spend more than other generations by an estimated $400 billion a year.

  10. 82% of baby boomers belong to at least once social networking site.

How many of these facts did you already know (or could guess)? Which one was the most shocking?

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Source: Jami Oetting, “The Ignored Generation:25 Stats Brands Should Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers,” http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/baby-boomer-marketing-stats#sm.001sbqxz0zxvcxe11vv1ke3a29kpj, (December 16, 2015).

What I Learned About Being Brave From a Dirty Helmet

Ropes Courses Story Blog 08-18-16 pic.jpgThe ropes course looked awesome…but the helmet necessary to participate was dusty, filthy and gross.  What’s worse, I didn’t have a scarf to put between my hair and the helmet.

I was raised by a neat-freak.  Admittedly (ask Darrell), I have those tendencies myself, although in a much lighter form.

I’d never done a ropes course before, and had been excitedly waiting for this day.

The dilemma presented itself: the only way to engage was to put on the helmet.

I’ve heard it said that “if you think your hair is more important than your head, you’re probably right.”  However, this was not about vanity.  This was about extreme dirt.  Remember: neat-freak tendencies.

Yet, I was clear that I would not miss this ropes course.

At that moment, being brave didn’t at all mean walking the tightrope or jumping from a high pole onto a trapeze (all of which I was facing).  At that moment, being brave meant putting on that damn helmet!

Outside of my comfort zone?  Yes!  Already!  Before putting one foot onto a pole step or rigging!

Once I made that first “leap” of faith, everything was downhill from there.  Crossing rope bridges, diving from poles, ascending vertical obstacle courses to reach new heights…piece of cake.

My takeaway lesson for the day: being brave looks different for everyone.  For someone afraid of heights, it’s jumping off a climbing wall.  For someone afraid of dirt, it’s donning a dirty helmet.  It doesn’t matter what fear we conquer.  It just matters that we conquer it.

The helmet course was amazing.  Who wants to go?

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Playing Dirty

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

—Michael Jordan 


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That’s the very reason we don’t take action.

We want to look pretty when, to learn and grow, it requires glaring ugliness.

Waiting until the i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed, and we’ve diminished all chances of not “looking good” results in empty playing fields…and everyone sitting in the stands.

Playing — even and especially when we aren’t “prepared” — means we are IN the game.

A certain amount of apprenticeship to an idea or plan is respectable. Most, however, use that apprenticeship as an evidentiary stage to prove their incapability.

Too much consideration kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

Where can you drop the cleanliness and jump into the mud of a game today?

Got playing dirty?

“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day.”

—Bob Feller

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Parenting Adult Children (Part 2)

See Part 1 of this story here.

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Gone were the days when I could direct his actions.  Gone were the days when I could logic/convince/velvetly force him into anything.  Gone even were the days where my opinion mattered at all.  Though individuation for a growing person begins much younger, I was present to the full brunt of it when he was now out of house and completely out of influence.

Thankfully, I have a dear friend and prayer partner who passed through this phase many years earlier with her two sons and yet was still “writing the book” on parenting of adult children.  She called this phase unique in that the kid-come-adult is trying to be an adult – but doesn’t know how – and the parent is trying to not micro-manage their life – but doesn’t know how.  It’s a very weird and challenging stage for both young adult and parent alike.

The first bit of wisdom she passed on was to cease all attempts to advise: regardless, whatsoever, notwithstanding anything!  Then, the challenge was to simply acknowledge whatever could be acknowledged about the paths, choices, or directions he was taking…”challenge” because, as the parent, we think we know better.  The idea was to become an acknowledging and validating machine, and close the mouth of “the wise one”.

What that also meant was being able to hear the need for financial support and stand strong in allowing the necessary path of growth from kid-wanting-to-be-adult to, possibly, actual adulthood.  That is a tough one.

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There’s a story I once heard about a man who saw a butterfly just beginning its exit from a cocoon.  He thought he would aid in the process by using his fingernail to help nick away parts of the cocoon shell so that the butterfly could get out easier.  What happened, however, once the shell was eventually removed, was that the “butterfly” became a would-be butterfly because, as the bloated insect lie there with wings full of fluid, there was no way it would ever be able to fly.  The very act of having to force itself out of the cocoon was a critical process in squeezing out the fluid so that the wings would be light, airy, and flight-worthy.

Learning to let my son learn what he needs to learn – without meddling one way or the other – is, for me, a big Back Forty growth endeavor.

Yet another more recent bit of evolved advice from my sage veteran parent partner was this: when he tells me something he did that I feel like praising, instead of being the one approving and acknowledging of that action, I am to put it back to him: “How did that make you feel?”  This act of turning him toward the source of all approval as being within him vs. my “guidance” slipping in through some side door of “approval” is another way of pulling back so my adult child can become adult.

I’m in no way through this process, and we all know that our kids are our kids for life. Yet going through this requisite phase of Back Forty parenting upgrade is a unique period in which I’m learning just a thing or two about a thing or two.

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