My life isn't the only one filled with flux lately. Many of my family and friends are experiencing Big Life Events (BLEs). Some are suffering serious illness. Others are switching careers. A few are leaving long-term relationships. And a couple are simply experiencing a mid-life crisis.
As often happens, these BLEs are prompting the people I know to evaluate their circumstances (financial and otherwise), and to re-evaluate their priorities.
Resets due to BLEs can make people feel panicked.
My girlfriend Kim, for instance, has been fretting that at age 45 she doesn't have enough saved for retirement. She hangs out with me and at early retirement gatherings and comes away feeling inadequate, like she doesn't measure up to the rest of us.
Or there's my friend Joel who's facing a BLE and desperately wants financial advice — but is afraid to ask for it. He's embarrassed by his past decisions and his present circumstances. He's afraid to look foolish.
Here's my message to people like Kim and Joel: Start where you are. Don't fret about your past, and don't worry about how others are doing. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. [Read more…]