As Baby Boomers enter their ‘post work’ phase of life we expect them to change the rules, as they have with each and every life stage they have encountered. Here are three questions that may shape their thinking
1. While working…How much money is enough?
Psychologist Oliver James talked about the blind pursuit of ‘more’ and that has been a characteristic of Baby Boomers, but only once they know ‘how much is enough’ are they are ready to stop working and start living – it is central to many important decisions and ultimately how they live life.
2. At Retirement… How much money do you have?
This is both Assets and, for those lucky enough to have a pension, Income. This will determine the point at which you stop working and focus on what’s next. Many Baby Boomers have a ‘bucket list’ of what they might do but it is also worth learning from the war generation – the Pathfinders – who are the first generation to enjoy an extended ‘old age’. On reaching their 80s many expressed regret at the missed opportunity – too much time playing golf and bridge – while they could have been doing something more rewarding.
3. And when you take your last breath… how much money do you want left?
Anyone planning to pay inheritance tax may find themselves judged harshly by future generations. Baby Boomers have benefitted from global peace, full employment, gold plated pensions and rampant house price inflation. Many have not had to work too hard to become wealthy, but future generations may resent that good fortune being squandered on paying a voluntary tax. Is that to be your legacy?
Why not learn from Bill Gates? Having become the richest man in the world he stood aside from his primary career and set up a Foundation to do good. Having looked after his own needs and those of his family, he gave the rest to the Foundation rather than the tax man. Warren Buffett enjoyed making money and so stayed on in business. Once he has gone his wealth goes to Bill’s foundation rather than the government
Facing up to these questions will change your life and the lives of those who are most important you.