In our business, we are fortunate to have partnered as investment managers with wonderful clients at different stages of their lives. Tellingly, those who are approaching retirement or who have already retired seem to straddle the 60-70 age group. This occurs for a number of reasons, but it prompted me to assess and do some deeper research. Whilst there is no generic strand tying all humans to one narrative, I thought it would be of interest to share some of my thoughts and research on this subject
Whilst there are always different interpretations and definitions of success and certainly when we are most productive as humans, it seems fair to assume that the most productive age in human life is between 60-70 years of age. It is a fact that in this current digital age, where young techno savvy people develop apps that are sold for huge $ sums to one of the Global Mega tech businesses in their 20’s which can certainly challenge this ‘norm’, in general terms and for the majority of the population, this holds true.
Here are a few stats from some wider research conducted:
The average age of Nobel Prize winners is 62 years old.
The average age of the Presidents of prominent global companies is 63 years.
The average age of statutory retirement is 65
The average age of world leaders is 62 years
The average age of the Popes is 76 years.
It could thus be determined that some of the best years of your life are between 60 and 80 years, seemingly when we really come into our own. With the assumption that your health is maintained through this period, which in this era of stress, long working hours and global pandemics that change the course of our lives, is no guarantee!
I’d like to point out that measures of success are not necessarily only drawn under how far you manage to climb a corporate ladder or build a business. It is also a measure of success to foster warm and healthy relationships in your family and friends’ network over time, and to become a pillar of your community in many other ways.
When you’re in your 60’s and 70’s – that’s when it all starts coming together. You’ve got all these skills and accomplishments under your belt, and it is not about trying to prove anything to anyone anymore. Like a good bottle of Shiraz, you have matured and are possibly at your most optimal stage!
At this stage, should you have followed the corporate model, with sufficient Pension savings and compounded discretionary investments over time, retirement is on the cards. Similarly, if you have followed the entrepreneurial route, it is feasible that you could have started and sold a few businesses for a handsome sum as you approach the ‘3 score and 10 number’ in life.
It’s not just because we age but also because our personality and character has been hardwired and honed. There is a logical reason for this. It is true that when you are young you are still feeling your way, focusing on acquiring the skills you need and laying the foundations for your future achievements.
Most of our 20’s and 30’s is spent on romance, on wooing our future partner, and in creating and bringing up our family. The responsibility for making a living, of educating our children, and of taking care of our parents is a time-consuming one that inevitably distracts us from a single-minded focus on professional accomplishment.
In other words, most people’s social and personal circumstances mean that our lives are so designed that we are not only able to be productive, but truly enjoy the fruits of our labour in this ‘early evening’ stage of our lives.
Ensuring that we have sufficient capital to enjoy a long and rewarding retirement is always a top priority, together with staying healthy and having loved ones with whom to share this time.
Walking this journey with many of our clients at this stage of life is both interesting and rewarding, as we help to maintain and grow their capital over time, enabling them to live the lives that they choose to. It is the intellectual capital that is of most interest to me and learning from many of my friends in this stage of their lives is where the real value lies.
It’s fitting to quote a great friend who is a fellow band member of a part-time passion of mine, who said to me:
“Everyone ages, but not everyone grows old”.
Here’s to preparing for and enjoying the most productive stage that still awaits many of us.