Once again I am reminded that so often the biggest challenge we face is right there in front of us when we look in the mirror each morning. A client recently told of a discussion with his son about passing over family assets. Without a moment’s thought his wife who was passing intervened – ‘We need the money” she said instinctively – disregarding previous conversations where the opposite was agreed. A moments reflection and all was well, but incident shows the challenges we all face with ingrained attitudes.

EML recently changed our slogan from ‘Understanding Living Longer’ to ’Taking charge of Living Longer’ – to reflect the need for action. Knowing the implications of a world where people live longer is interesting, knowing what to do about it – and doing it – is a priceless gift. At EML success is helping a client making the most of every day, for themselves, their families and those people and things that are important to them.

This requires a change of perspective.

EML divides life into three stages. 0-30 – childhood, education and starting out; 30 – 60 primary career, families, mortgages and work and 60 – hopefully 90 or beyond – the new phase – later life. A successful move from stage two to three requires a complete change of perspective. For example:

Stage Two Characteristics

• Kids have left home
• Still see yourself defined by your job
• Believe it’s ‘important to keep working’ even if you no longer enjoy the job – why?
• No time for life – too busy working
• Money – having a lot is good – so having more is better?
• Looking after your health can wait
• Possessions either ‘too good to throw out’ or ’that might be useful one day’
• Relationships – business networks are all – nothing else matters

Move to stage Three and your perspective changes

• Build new relationships with your kids – becoming their coach, confidant, mentor plus their financier. Your success then becomes connected to their success
• Do only the work that you love (paid or unpaid) – make sure you enjoy every moment – and that it is fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful
• Prioritise Life over work – fit work around life – its about how you spend your time.
• Money – work out what you have, what you need and any surplus. Having a big surplus is just as challenging as having too little. Remember future generations will judge you not on how much you had, but on what you did with it
• Health – there is an end. Stage Three is all about making the most of life for as long as possible – optimising your health is central
• Possessions – in the words of William Morris “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
• Relationships – almost overnight your business network is redundant – family and friends are all important – try to undo some of the damage done in Stage Two!

There is plenty to discuss each morning with that face in the mirror…..!