Midlife Stress: Understanding and How to Feel (and Do) the U-Curve of Happiness

It is easy to understand that financial confidence grows over time. As you get older, you earn more money. However, the reality appears to be the opposite. Recent research shows that financial stress—not confidence—increases as we age, peaks in midlife, and then improves in our 60s.

This financial stress can be the root of a midlife crisis.

The U-Curve of Financial Confidence and Happiness

If you want to describe financial trust between generations, you will find that the results are in the shape of a U-curve. Confidence and happiness are highest in the early and later stages of life and lowest in the middle. In fact, financial confidence tends to fade in your 40s and 50s. (Learn more about the ages when you’re happiest.)

Feeling bad in your 40s and 50s doesn’t immediately mean much. Most people have families, earn money, own a home, etc… However, it can be these responsibilities that cause stress.

Research has found that confidence in your own financial situation is related to the number of responsibilities you have at a particular point in life. The maximum number of responsibilities usually occurs in middle life. This is the period when things like home loans, marriages, children, education, aging parents, and health care compete for your time and money.

Considering these costs, it’s no wonder why workers ages 45-54 feel stretched and are the least confident about their retirement finances.

This financial stress can easily contribute to a midlife crisis, as described in an article in The Atlantic, “The real roots of midlife crisis.

8 Ways to Find Happiness and Financial Confidence in Midlife

So, the mid-life crisis is real, possibly beginning with a heightened sense of financial crisis.

Here are 8 things you can do to overcome those feelings of financial stress:

1. Create a financial plan


  • Feel more confident about your financial decision-making?
  • Save more money?
  • Make more progress toward financial goals?

Create a financial plan! Not knowing creates stress.

The researchers It has been found that people who have a financial plan feel more confident and achieve better financial results.

“When you’re worried about your finances, you have to actually face your financial situation, look at it and make a plan. It’s tempting to kick the can down the road, but there are things. that you can do to make a material improvement in your end game,” says John Sherman, a financial advisor at Sausalito, Calif.-based IV Lions, LLC, a firm that serves clients primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. .

The new Retirement Retirement Planner makes it easy to create your own plan. Get organized. See where you stand. Find ways to do better with your time, savings, taxes, income, insurance and more.

2. Estimate how much savings you’ll need.

In midlife, retirement looms on the horizon. You’re probably excited about it, but also worried about whether or not the money you’ve saved is worth it.

Your worries are perfectly normal, but there are ways to relieve those worries and help put one’s mind at ease.

Some say that your annual salary should be 1.4 times by age 35, 2.4 times by age 40, and 3.7 times by age 45. Annual salary saved.

However, these are just guidelines and may or may not apply to you. The only way to know with confidence how much you really need to save is by creating a detailed retirement plan.

3. Prioritize savings over other responsibilities.

Yes. There are a million different ways you can spend your money in midlife and it’s stressful.

You won’t get rid of stress just by worrying. You need to prioritize.

And most financial planners recommend that you make retirement savings your top priority.

  • There are loans for college, none for retirement.
  • Weddings and holidays last only for a day or a few weeks. Retirement is often 30 years or more.
  • Debt must be paid. But not as important as accumulating retirement assets.

“You’re racing to the finish line of retirement,” Sherman says. “When you reach age 50, you need to save as much as you can.”

4. Grow your savings when the kids leave home or you get out of debt.

Your financial obligations are at a maximum now, but this is good news for your future. You will soon be relieved of financial stress. Just think of the improved cash flow as your children become financially independent and the debt is paid off.

However, instead of boosting your lifestyle in retirement from financial responsibility, increase your savings rate.

Learn more about saving more when kids fly coop.

5. Choose to thrive in midlife.

Beginnings are interesting. The end is the goal. the middle? No one really waxes poetic about the middle.

Middles are where all the work happens. They are also where life really happens. Therefore, it is especially important to thrive and make the most of this time.

Discover 8 ideas on how to thrive during awkward middle or transition times.

6. Make friends with your future self.

research It turns out that our brains naturally process our futures as strangers. And, let’s face it – you’re not likely to save for retirement expenses or a stranger’s body care. It turns out that by seeing yourself in the future and “knowing” that person, you’re more likely to take steps now to care for that future version of yourself.

Whether you’re 40 years old and hoping to retire in 30 years or if you’re 67 and hoping you have enough resources to fund the rest of your life, here Here are 7 ways to look into your future so you can plan and achieve a truly effective plan:

7. Try a sabbatical or mini-retirement.

Think again if you believe retirement at age 50 is impossible.

Sure, you might not be able to stop working forever, but you might want to “try” retirement and see how it feels.

More and more people are taking a mini-retirement by taking a month or a year off from work. Some temporary retirees choose to spend time with family, pursue other hobbies, and still other alternative work arrangements, other careers.

Learn more about sabbaticals and mini-retirement.

8. Avoid affairs and expensive sports cars.

Look, if you’re already feeling financially stressed, I’ve got some news for you: mid-life crises — sports cars and divorce — are sure to make matters worse.

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