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11 Ways Our Views About Money Change in Our 50s and 60s

Insights from HumbleDollar blogger and author Jonathan Clements


(This article previously appeared on the HumbleDollar blog.)

As we age, our perspective on money slowly shifts. How so? Below are 11 changes I see in myself and my contemporaries, those also in their 50s and 60s.

Admittedly, some of these changes are more aspirational than actual. We don’t behave quite as wisely as we imagine — but we are, at least, trying to be wise.

  1. We’re less confident we can beat the market, but more confident we know what we’re doing.
  2. We are freer with our money — but more calculating with our time.
  3. We care less about what others think and more about what we value.
  4. We’ve stopped buying possessions for their lasting value and started purchasing experiences for the happiness they can deliver.
  5. We are less physically courageous, but braver in the face of market declines.
  6. We pay more heed to what today’s decisions mean for tomorrow — which is ironic, given that time is now in shorter supply.
  7. We’re less bothered by life’s nonsense — unless you’re a telemarketer or sender of spam, in which case we think you deserve to fry.
  8. We used to think the rich and famous were to be admired, but now we see their foibles and view them as flawed — just like the rest of us.
  9. We are less likely to listen solely to our gut and more likely to pause long enough to let the contemplative side of our brains have its say.
  10. We’re quicker to concede we simply don’t know — and less certain we have the precise right answer.
  11. We no longer imagine we’ll leave a significant mark on the world, and yet we’re more anxious than ever to do work we think is important.
Jonathan Clements
By Jonathan Clements
Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He has written eight personal finance books, including From Here to Financial Happiness (to be published in September 2018) and How to Think About Money, and contributed to five others. He sits on the advisory board and investment committee of Creative Planning, one of the country’s largest independent financial advisors. He spent almost 20 years at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the newspaper’s personal finance columnist, and then worked for six years at Citigroup, where he was director of financial education for Citi Personal Wealth Management, before returning to the Journal for an additional 15-month stint as a columnist. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @ClementsMoney

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