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In Hindsight – wise money lessons I wish I could tell my younger self

The Midlife Myths we tell ourselves, and the Truths we need to embrace


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Kim Potgieter

Kim Potgieter

May 14, 2024
Life gets better with age. The true power of these words grows as we enter midlife; we are so much better equipped to handle life’s challenges. It’s a time when we shift from caring what others think to focusing more on personal growth. Midlife is not a crisis – it’s an opportunity, a time to unlock a whole new world of choices, challenge the myths about ageing, explore new possibilities, and step into what could be the most exciting and fulfilling chapter of our lives.

I recently returned from Chip Conley’s Learning to Love Midlife workshop at the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) in Baja. I joined a diverse group from across America and Canada, ages 33 to 70. Starting out, we discovered a midlife myth that we all shared based on this question: What percentage of your adult life is still ahead of you? How would you answer? The point is, once you dispel one Myth, a whole set of Truths opens up to you.

Here are the top 3 Midlife Myths and Truths I discovered at MEA:

Midlife Myth #1: You are not old

The fact is, we are living longer. Realising that you might live to 100 opens up a new world of possibilities. Imagine – half your life could still be ahead of you! This realisation gives you choices – to push out retirement and reconsider what it means to slow down. Why step back now if you have 15-20 good years left to work and contribute? Remember, work can be redefined not as something you do for money but as a way to serve, contribute, and add value to the world.

The Truth: You have more life left that you thought.

With this in mind, what do you want your life to look like? What do you still want to achieve?

This is your reminder to reimagine your life and make changes to ensure you don’t have any regrets. It’s time to let go of the responsibilities and commitments that no longer serve you and make space for all the things that will make this your most fulfilling chapter yet.

Midlife Myth #2: This is as good as it gets

No, it’s really not. Life is not all downhill from here. I’ve met so many people who merely bide their time in jobs, counting down the years to retirement, or define themselves solely by their work. Too often, people feel stuck or overwhelmed by regret. Why not say YES to more things. Here I am, learning to surf in Baja – something I never thought I’d do!

The only way to transform your life is with deep introspection. It’s about the hard, inner work necessary to challenge and change the habits, beliefs, and mindsets that hold you back. Understanding and being clear on your values and aligning your life with what matters most to you are the most powerful tools for deciding what to carry forward into your next chapter.

The Truth: The best years can still be ahead!

Midlife Myth #3: Spirituality is a luxury we can’t afford

We don’t often make time for spirituality. We tend to seek answers from the world around us and neglect the insights from within. I have made a commitment to myself to invest time in meditation and growing my intuition. When you make time to connect to your inner wisdom, you’re empowered to make decisions that resonate with your soul.

The Truth: You have all the answers you need.

And finally, recalibrating in midlife – whether it’s leaving your job, changing careers, starting a business, or ending a relationship – means recalibrating your time, your life and your money to support living your best life.

And this is why I designed the Transform Midlife from a Crisis to an Opportunity workshop. Because every decision we make has financial implications, and while we cannot control everything, we can plan how our money will support and enable our midlife recalibration. Make sure your transition is based on informed and rational decisions about what your money can achieve.

Always remember, when it comes to your money and your life, be inspired, be brave, and be on purpose.

Kim

Click here to read the Midlife Money Reflection – Redefining work post-midlife – Breaking the Midlife Myth

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