When Did I Get Old?

by Krantcents · 34 comments

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When did I get old? The simple answer is I do not know!  I look in the mirror and there is this old person looking back at me.  What happened?  It was just yesterday, I was sixteen itching to be eighteen, then twenty-one and thirty.  Funny, I do not feel old, after all 60 is the new 40!  When you are young, you are dying to grow up.  When you hit 40, you start to realize your life is moving pretty fast.

Before you know it, you are turning fifty and you get a letter inviting you to join AARP!  You know you are old when you receive that letter.  What is prompting all this talk about getting old?  Recently, I noticed a lot of information that talks about average life expectancy in the United States.  The average life expectancy for a male is 75.6 and female is 80.5.  As you get old(er), you seem to care about these things more.

When I look at the average life expectancy, I realize I don’t have much time left.  Then I remind myself that these are averages and genetics have a lot to do with life expectancy.  Since I do all the right things such as exercise, eat right, control my weight, do not smoke, stay healthy and stay socially connected, I look forward to a long active life.  Now that I am reassured, why am I old?  Society says I am and let’s face it I am no longer young.

Why should you care that I am getting old?  As I get older, so do you!  Surprise, in case you did not know that!  Why is this important?  I know everyone is getting older and all the creams, plastic surgery and miracle cures cannot stop it.  If I am running out of time so are you.  What are you doing about it?  I know what I am doing; I am planning the next thirty years out and accomplishing something in my life.

If you are not setting goals, planning your life and working on those plans, you may be looking in the mirror some day and asking the same question!  When did I get old?  I can look back in the mirror and truthfully say I did everything I wanted to do!  Can you?  I have no regrets, do you?  I look back and I can say I have a good life filled with great experiences, a wonderful family, successful children, a great marriage and accomplished some worthwhile goals.

This is not intended to just motivate you to do something because I wrote an article called “If Not Now, Then When” which addressed procrastination and excuses.  I am trying to point out how finite our lives are.  What do you want to be remembered for after you are gone?  Are you living with a set of values you can be proud of?  Are you saving enough for your retirement?  Are you enjoying life along the way?

The vast majority of you are younger than me.  My cousin who is eighty-three (83) pointed that out to me.  It is always old(er) people who say life goes by quickly, but what are you doing about it.  When you are young, you are in a hurry so you are happy that it moved fast.  What do you do?  Take a look at your age and determine how you are doing compared to other people your age.

Don’t bother comparing yourself to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Barack Obama.  Are you pursuing the career you want?  Are you achieving your goals?  If you are in debt, are you making progress?  Take your temperature!  It is a term I like to use that refers to your position at a point in time.  You can use a formula I found on Personal Financial Advice which is your age x .112 x total income = Expected Net Worth. Record your net worth today and use it to measure your progress.  How are you doing with your 2011 goals?  I work every day to accomplish my goals, are you?  Are you getting old(er)?  When did I get old?

Photo by: Daniel Zanini H

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Kellen July 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I guess I am among the younger people in the Yakezie-type blogging at 24 (there are some 23s), but I can’t decide sometimes if I should just work hard at my regular job and lead a steady life, or if movies/books are right and you should pursue what you love. For right now, I’m assuming my parents’ opinions are more practical than movie ideals.

If I were run over by a bus today, then I would regret not spending more time working on some really nice paintings or something for the famiy to remember me by. But if I’m not going to die ’til I’m 99, then I would probably regret spending a lot of time painting when I could be saving money. Wait, I’m not entirely convinced that’s true… haha

krantcents July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

As an old(er) person, I recommend you do something you love or at least find enough in your career to love (over 50%). I am in my seventh career and love it. It wasn’t that my prior careers was unhappy, but I enjoy this one so much more. I am working on my eighth (blogging), I am not sure where I go from here. More opportunities occur, when you are happy!

retirebyforty July 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I like this post. ;) I’m approaching 40 and I’m already feeling old! I realize now that time flies and we should enjoy every day as much as we can.

krantcents July 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm

It is good you figured that out at your age! Now, make what is left count! Your legacy is how you spend your life.

Buck Inspire July 26, 2011 at 6:40 am

Love your posts KC!  You are surrounded by folks younger than you, but in a way, you are in a special position to guide us and shine light in places we haven’t even thought of.  Keep doing what you do and thanks for keeping me on track!

krantcents July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

You’re welcome. Although I don’t really feel older, maybe just more experienced!

Miss T July 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Awesome post. I have been thinking about this very fact the last couple years and been having some serious discussions with husband about a life plan. I really don’t want to have any regrets when I get older; I want to make sure we enjoy life to the fullest. The challenge is finding the way to balance the budget with these goals.

krantcents July 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Decide what is important to you and make it a priority. For me it was experiences with my children. For example, if getting together with friends were important, you don’t have to do it at a restaurant. It can a barbecue and everyone brings something.

Little House July 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

My husband just turned 40 the other day and it sort of freaked me out for a moment. I realized that the big 4-0 is finally here! (Well, one more year for me, but close enough.) When did that happen?! I remember when I was in my 20′s thinking what life would be like at 40. I still feel 20-something, but things have turned out a little different, good, but different than what I would have expected. I have some big goals ahead for my future. I just have to tackle them one at a time.

krantcents July 27, 2011 at 2:35 am

Forty is sort of a reality check! You start to realize that your life is finite. I think many people feel they are younger than their chronological age. I know I do!

Md July 27, 2011 at 7:10 am

I always love to read wisdom from my “older” blogging peers. I’m 23, look about 19, and act about 17. I’m thankful that I entered this great community at such a young age.

I’m proud to say that despite all of my drunken nights and foolish decisions, I’ve made great choices with friends, money, and education.

I want to help out as many young people as possible with my blog. If you make solid financial decisions in your 20s you won’t have to worry about working a job that you hate as you get older.

krantcents July 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Very true! Although older, we have the same goals to help young people make better financial choices. As a teacher, I get to help young people everyday.

Jermhoop July 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m 33 now and think about getting older every day. I’ve noticed that after 30, age starts to blend in and time is starting to feel more infinite.

Kudos to anyone at a young age who is thinking about their life and getting themselves on track. It took me to my early 30′s to start to turn my life around.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Krant. I didn’t see you mention in the article how old you were though ;) ;)

krantcents July 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I am turning 65 this Fall, yet I feel much younger! It was the beginning of my thirties (31) when I put together a plan for financial freedom. I succeeded at 38 years old and “retired” for the first time. I recently wrote an article about “My Journey to Success” which details much of what I did.

Joe Plemon July 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

You and I have so much in common!  I too will turn 65 this fall.  And I, like you, just don’t feel “old”.  Hopefully, we never will.  Great post, krantcents…you continue to challenge us and keep us living our lives to the fullest.  Thanks!

krantcents July 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

“Seniors” like us must keep it real! Make every day count and put forth our best effort because we do not live forever.

Hunter July 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Great advice KC. I often think about the way I am living and questioning whether I am using my time effectively. It frightens me that I have taken 10 years out of paid employment to care for our children. I’m ahead in some respects, but have also missed several professional experieces. Thanks for the wake-up.

krantcents July 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm

The goal here is to be my age(ugh!) and have no regrets. Make everyday worthwhile and you will have no regrets too.

Marie at FamilyMoneyValues July 28, 2011 at 1:29 am

Ahhh, you’re not old!  As my 88 year old uncle says – old is ten years older than whatever age he currently is.

Old is more a matter of mind than body – when you stop dreaming, achieving and aspiring, then you are old! 

Of course, there is this thing about my back and my knees not working the way they used to!

krantcents July 28, 2011 at 2:41 am

Perhaps this is why I identify with people who is much younger than me. I am very active, mentally and physically more similar to a 30 year old. No aches or pains although I wish I could sleep longer. Oh well, I guess I can’t have everything!

Sandy @ yesiamcheap July 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

The net worth calculators always make me sad because they say that I should be in a place that I’m not.  But as long as I’m alive and putting one foot in front of the other that step forward will motivate me.  When people ask, “how are you doing?” I always answer, “Every day that I’m alive is a good day.”  I might be youngish but too many people didn’t make it to my age.

krantcents July 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I understand how you feel, but use the formula as just a point in time. As soon as I achieved my goals, I replaced them with higher goals, nothing should stay static. Everyday, you should make an effort toward your goals.

eemusings July 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

Since turning 23 I feel the same way. Agh! While I now feel old enough to be taken seriously in the working world…I can’t quite accept that soon I won’t be able to tick the 18-24 age box on forms.

Sandy @ yesiamcheap July 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Hate you.

krantcents July 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Normally, I would ask why, but I think I know! I just reminded you that all of us are getting older. Getting older is not bad, but make it count!

krantcents July 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Time goes much faster than you realize, make it count! II used to make my age part of my goals (financial independence before 40). Age is no longer a factor, number of years is the new criteria.

My University Money July 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Interesting to think about.  I know that I sometimes catch myself looking forward a couple decades (I am 23 now) because I like thinking about my investing time horizon and how I can take advantage of it.  Sometimes this translates into wishing I was there with my mature investments ready to help fund a certain lifestyle, then I think whoa… wait a second, I should be concentrating on enjoying being “young!”  I guess it’s a matter of balance.

krantcents July 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

What is the (old) saying, youth is wasted on the young? My article was intended to make you realize you should be doing something everyday. It could be having fun, accomplishing goals or resting up for that next big thing, but make everyday count for something. There are only so many days before you realize there are very few left!

Amanda L Grossman July 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Yay! For some reason Disque has begun to work for me. Woohoo!

Anyway, I am approaching 30 and had a Quarterlife crisis at 25…for some reason age has always freaked me out. Moreso the swift passing of time.

krantcents July 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Happy to have you back! I would set goals to accomplish by a certain age. As you get older you realize how fast time goes by. Make your time count, accumulate experiences and achieve your goals.

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