Whether the big 4-0 is on the horizon or years away, there are some things to be thinking about today that otherwise might not be top of mind ‘til it’s too late.
Record Your Parents’ Life Story
It’s not pleasant to think about losing loved ones, especially our parents. In facing our own mortality as we head towards middle age, we realize (more than ever) our time with our parents is fleeting. If you have ever lost someone close to you, the unexpected pain of not being able to hear their voice is one of the hardest things.
My dad recorded his grandfather and grandmother talking about their life some years before they passed. As a kid, we would watch it from time to time to learn about family history and get to know the great grandparents we never had the pleasure of meeting. I followed suit with grandfather and grandmother and hold it as one of my dearest possessions.
Take an afternoon with your loved ones and have them tell you about their journey, moments in history that happened during their lives, and old family stories. Come prepared with questions of your own or get inspiration.
Get Life Insurance
If you are married and/or have kids or any other dependents rely on you, having life insurance is vital. Even if you are single, leaving a beneficiary to cover your outstanding bills and cover death expenses is prudent.
Bestow, an online company that offers term life insurance makes it easier than ever to get life insurance without a visit to the doctor. It is affordable (no really) for almost any budget. It’s smart to apply for life insurance now because the longer you wait, the more expensive it will likely be. For example, a healthy 31-year-old female applicant can get a $500k 25-year policy for $24/month. If that same applicant applied at 31, she would see it for $47/month*. Getting a quote only takes seconds, and in minutes, you can get a final decision and purchase if approved.
Protect Against a Mid-Life Crisis
For some people, it’s buying a flashy new car, a facelift, or a career change. At the root of many midlife crises lies regret. Psychologist Erik Erikson (the dude who coined the term “identity crisis”) developed the eight stages of development to explain how people mature through life. Stage 7, defined as ages 40 to 65, is referred to as “middle adulthood” where the conflict is Generativity vs. Stagnation.
It’s in this stage where people start to take stock of their lives and begin to think about a larger sense of purpose. Those in the stagnation camp feel inferior about their impact on society. “If people do not find their work meaningful, they may feel restless or isolated. Some may feel they have ‘peaked’ and that their lives will only get worse in the future,” as GoodTherapy explains.
So how do we live a life where we don’t fall into stagnation and feel the need to do something drastic to change course?
Take action, and don’t wait. Don’t wait to look for a new job, don’t wait to start a company, and don’t make another excuse to stay in an unhealthy relationship or quit a bad habit. Instead, start investing in yourself. Don’t be a person who looks up one day and it’s too late. It’s hard to take a real look in the mirror and do something drastic, but now is the time.
Make Your Travel Bucket List
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting.
Create your travel bucket list and try to visit at least one destination before your 40th birthday. The benefits of travel are immense, and most people wrongly assume exorbitant costs are associated with international travel. If money is an issue, pick a destination, then research shoulder seasons and less expensive times to visit. Or better yet, choose a few bucket-list destinations and set up deal alerts.
If you are worried about safety or just have a general uneasiness of being outside of your comfort zone, pick a travel buddy or buddies. Southwest offers a variety of international destinations, and their seasonal sales really can’t be beaten.
Finally, when you get to your final destination, make sure to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible. See the sights, eat new foods, and talk to the locals. Bon Voyage!
*Term life insurance rate quotes from Bestow from a 31 and 41-year-old healthy female applicant based on a $500,000, 25-year term life insurance policy (rates gathered as of 3/5/21).