Words like ‘retirement’ and ‘pension’ are a big turn off to most people.

Depending on their age and circumstances, the very thought of later life produces boredom in some and panic in others.

I’m always looking for ways to make thinking ahead more attractive, so kudos to Don Ezra who’s coined a new term – Life Two.

Life One is the career that you studied hard for, spent decades climbing the ladder in and stressed over ever-bigger houses, cars and school fees. Life Two is the chance to change all that and start again.

The trouble, as Don rightly points out, is that there’s nowhere to go for your Life Two education. We don’t receive a financial education at any point during Life One, so why should we expect that to change as we prepare for the best years of our lives?

Lots of surveys have found that we are happier in later years than middle years, as we start to realise that traditional measures of success don’t really satisfy. For some of us, that leads to more focus on our spiritual development. For others, it may be a desire to make a difference through charity work or local politics.

I’ve always maintained that you don’t just retire ‘from’ something, you need to retire ‘to’ something. Ezra supports that by arguing that there are three main fears that we need to tackle if we want to live well in later life:

  • The psychological – if my focus has been on my career or my business, what happens when I give it up? Will I lose my identity?
  • The practical – what will I do all day? How will I spend all this new free time?
  • The financial – will I run out of money before I run out of life?

To help prepare people for addressing these fears Ezra asks three killer questions:

  • If money was no object how would you live your life?
  • If you were told you had between 5 and 10 years to live, how would you change your life?
  • If you were told you only have 24 hours to live, what would be your regrets?

Wow. If that doesn’t get you thinking on a profound level, it’s time to check your pulse.

He suggest seven ‘Asset Classes’ which should help to achieve a more balanced view of a successful life:

  • Financial
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Work
  • Play
  • Physical health
  • Mental and spiritual health

Why not do an inventory of where you stand in each asset class? Then come up with a plan to work on all seven as you prepare to enrich your later years.

I don’t believe in reincarnation. But I do like the idea of living Life Two straight after Life One. What a great opportunity to correct the mistakes I made the first time around…

Until next time.

Graham