Growing up, my family often took adventure vacations. At 12-years-old we took a week-long rafting trip down the Selway River in Idaho rafting over significant rapids and an occasional waterfall. We backpack camped in the Cascade Mountains on numerous occasions. It was here that I first observed the transformative power of new experiences.
Much has been written about the traditional sandwich generation, a generation of people responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child, and about one-in-seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child1.
When we moved into our current offices almost 6 years ago we were challenged by Ellen, our chief compliance officer, to think of our intentions for this space. She was completing a Feng Shui course and intentions are a big part of that mindset. Our intentions could be personal or professional. Each of us wrote our intentions on the walls before they were painted. Although we can’t see them any longer we know they are there and hopefully they have inspired us.
When do we shift from counting up in life—gathering experiences and looking forward to counting down, understanding there is limited time ahead and focusing on what is important?
I imagine the answer to that question is different for each of us. We set goals for the future early in life, goals about exploration, meeting new people, taking risk because we want to prepare for an exciting and unknown future. As time horizons grow shorter we start to focus on different kinds of goals—our legacy, making a difference and meaningful experiences. We become increasingly selective of the goals we set, the experiences we pursue and the people we love. We see this everyday in our work as financial advisors; the goals and awareness of what is important to our clients often change over time.
Today, there are more successful, wealthy women in America than at any time in our history. This growing trend might lead you to believe that women are feeling confident and in control of their financial futures.