What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

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Beensabu
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Beensabu »

It's less exhausting to be real.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

gavinsiu wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 12:57 pm The major change is that throughout my life I have suffered from a sense of identity. By 40, I feel that I finally become myself. This process involved making a large number of mistakes over the decade. As a result, I have become more resilient to uncertainty.
Either Freud or Jung said that until you are in your 40s, you are living someone else's life - often that of your parents, or their ideals (particularly if one is the child of first generation immigrants, I think).

If you can reach yourself by 40, you are doing well.
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

vitaflo wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 10:08 am That finance is much more about psychology than math. Spent my 30's crunching numbers, deciding on strategies and min/maxing everything, but realized that all that really matters is that you live below your means and save for the future. Outside of the big things like low cost index funds and the like, the rest literally doesn't matter. What matters is your relationship with money, not the technical details of how you save it, just that you do.

Also around age 45 I realized that time is more valuable than money. That's one I wish I would have known in my 30's when I was more physically able and a few of my friends were still alive that passed away early. I can't get that time back but I can save more of the time I have now.
Very profound thoughts.

We count the losses amongst our friends. In some weird way I imagine an infantry unit in the trenches, somewhere - gradually losing its members. That's a false metaphor - nothing resembles modern warfare, nothing - but that sense of the attrition of life, it's the metaphor I reach for. (I should apologise in advance to anyone who has experienced the real thing).
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

Scubadude wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 5:15 pm
Valuethinker wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:17 am 1. that this is all very finite, and how much money you have is not a good way of keeping score. Neither are material toys (well, I kind of knew that already).

2. that people will leave your life. Get sick and die. Die suddenly in tragic accidents. Drift away. You will feel a sense of loss, and regret for times you did not spend, or times you were short with them, etc. Each time you see someone, it is worth thinking "how would I like to be with this person, if I knew we would never see each other again?"

People who meant a lot to you sometimes turn out not to be worth the effort. Conversely people who were "minor" friends and acquaintances can turn out to be absolute bricks when the going gets rough.

3. not having enough money is a major cause of stress and anxiety. But once you hit some level of standard of living which guarantees shelter, food, transport and some ability to enjoy yourself, more money doesn't make a huge difference to happiness.

4. career success may elude you. OTOH having a job that is interesting and has some sense of purpose (other than just financial) is worth a lot.

5. themes that occur early in your life around family, work, relationships - will keep going round that same loop. If there's an issue there, they will do so until you are able to address them.

6. experiences matter more than things. And may be irreplaceable.

Places change, and you may not be able to revisit them (civil war etc) or they won't be the same. And you won't be the same, either. You certainly should not fall into the trap, however, of believing things were always better in the old days.

In the same vein, because you are never the same, good and bad experiences are not repeated, exactly.

7. Whatever happens, remember the universe doesn't care. It has no sense of moral justice about you. You are just another particle. You are not "owed" anything - so much of it is just plain luck. You can do sensible things (like not smoking, not spending more than you earn, not habitually exceeding speed limits, always wearing your seatbelts etc) but lots will happen to you that you just cannot legislate for).

In the same vein, be compassionate for those whose luck has not been as good - parentage, genes, life events, health etc.

8. your own estimates of probability and risk are probably far from the actual probabilities of good and bad that you face.
Is your book available on Amazon?
That is very flattering. My spouse has enough material for their book - if I can get them to publish it (about nature, and relationship of humans with nature).

I came to these realisations due to trauma: work-related, personal, death of someone very close to me (point 7 is pure him, may he rest in peace).
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

sambb wrote: Mon May 06, 2024 7:41 pm Invest in reliable things - your career, index funds, condoms, reliable cars etc. also understand that you aren’t special - as an employee you are there to work hard. Corporations can replace you. You’re not as valuable as you think - so just get along with people and smile and work hard at work and play hard at home.
Very good advice.

I saw my father devote 30+ years of his life to a large employer. Then they just discarded him. It took him quite a while to recover psychologically. Then he got interested in genealogy and that became a new passion.

He had lived frugally - buying a new car every 10 years, modest lifestyle. He had always saved & had a good pension plus payout from redundancy, but it was emotionally devastating.

Perhaps not coincidentally, he had his first heart bypass shortly after retirement.
DoctorE
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by DoctorE »

windaar wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:32 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:14 am
er999 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:36 am 2. It’s okay to be 100% equities — that isn’t a crazy idea if you have a job with good job security. I unfortunately was 25% bonds throughout my 30s - early 40s despite having good job security as a physician. I don’t necessarily recommend 100% stocks for everyone in their 30s for all the reasons listed otherwise on the forum (and of course the last 10-15 years have been great stock market returns that colors the advice) but I wish I knew that 100% stocks wasn’t a crazy idea.
I disagree with thinking 100% stocks in your 30s is a good idea. The problem is that there are lots of reasons that you might not be able to work as long as you hoped for.
A person starting investing in 1965 would "learn" that 100% equities was a really really bad idea. A person starting investing in 1982 would "learn" that 100% equities was a splendid idea.
What's wrong with 100% stocks in 1965?
Worst SWR is around that time (1966) because of high inflation and stubborn withdrawals adjusted to inflation but stocks 10Y and 20Y beat everything else....
PoorPlumber
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by PoorPlumber »

That all humans are innately capitalistic in most all of their behaviors.
Maverick3320
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Maverick3320 »

Fascinating reading how many posters here have chimed in on marriage. Apparently many lessons have been learned the hard way by Bogleheads.

Yet reading one of the many Bogleheads threads on marriage and finance the majority opinion seems to be in favor of joint accounts and not in favor of pre-nups.
er999
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by er999 »

Maverick3320 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:02 pm
Yet reading one of the many Bogleheads threads on marriage and finance the majority opinion seems to be in favor of joint accounts and not in favor of pre-nups.
If you don’t have lots of premarital assets but have a well paying job and get married in your 20s and 30s and have kids, I don’t think a pre-nup gives you much protection. Most of your wealth will be built later and be joint assets. Maybe a prenup works if you have no kids or a lot of pre-marital assets. Best protection is prevention so the advise for joint accounts, if reduces conflict, doesn’t seem inconsistent.
trojans10
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by trojans10 »

er999 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:18 pm
Maverick3320 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:02 pm
Yet reading one of the many Bogleheads threads on marriage and finance the majority opinion seems to be in favor of joint accounts and not in favor of pre-nups.
If you don’t have lots of premarital assets but have a well paying job and get married in your 20s and 30s and have kids, I don’t think a pre-nup gives you much protection. Most of your wealth will be built later and be joint assets. Maybe a prenup works if you have no kids or a lot of pre-marital assets. Best protection is prevention so the advise for joint accounts, if reduces conflict, doesn’t seem inconsistent.
Aren't premarital assets yours regardless in the case of a divorce? As long as you don't put your spouse on any of the accounts?
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

DoctorE wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:31 am
windaar wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:32 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:14 am
er999 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:36 am 2. It’s okay to be 100% equities — that isn’t a crazy idea if you have a job with good job security. I unfortunately was 25% bonds throughout my 30s - early 40s despite having good job security as a physician. I don’t necessarily recommend 100% stocks for everyone in their 30s for all the reasons listed otherwise on the forum (and of course the last 10-15 years have been great stock market returns that colors the advice) but I wish I knew that 100% stocks wasn’t a crazy idea.
I disagree with thinking 100% stocks in your 30s is a good idea. The problem is that there are lots of reasons that you might not be able to work as long as you hoped for.
A person starting investing in 1965 would "learn" that 100% equities was a really really bad idea. A person starting investing in 1982 would "learn" that 100% equities was a splendid idea.
What's wrong with 100% stocks in 1965?
Worst SWR is around that time (1966) because of high inflation and stubborn withdrawals adjusted to inflation but stocks 10Y and 20Y beat everything else....
From memory, T Bills outperformed both stocks and bonds 1966-1981? Just about matched inflation (but that was before tax). Stocks underperformed inflation by about 40%?

That we now know the 1980s was one of the greatest decades for stocks, ever, doesn't mean that is was obvious, or certain, at the time.

It was a long and brutal road, that period, for equity investors. Not as bad as 1929-1949, but a long and brutal road. I think after 1871 must have been quite brutal too (but we don't really have very good data).
Valuethinker
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by Valuethinker »

Maverick3320 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:02 pm Fascinating reading how many posters here have chimed in on marriage. Apparently many lessons have been learned the hard way by Bogleheads.

Yet reading one of the many Bogleheads threads on marriage and finance the majority opinion seems to be in favor of joint accounts and not in favor of pre-nups.
I don't know US law, but joint or separate accounts, half your money belongs to your spouse in divorce (half your assets). If they can argue their career took a back seat for joint things like raising children together, then more, potentially.

On marriage. Roughly half of marriages end in divorce. So the caution is warranted by experience.

Interestingly, on the UK pattern, the divorce rate is lower than it was in the 1970s. People don't get married, unless they really mean it:

- the biggest city, London, has a higher marriage rate than the country as a whole - contrary to notions of urban anonymity and impermanence. Its population consists of immigrants (from places like Nigeria where Christianity is big, as well as from Islamic countries) who are more likely to marry + older more affluent people, who are also more likely to marry than the population as a whole

- marriage now is the province of 1). the religious (a minority of the UK population) 2). immigrants (see 1) 3). older and more affluent couples. Younger people and non-professional people are just less likely to marry (even if they live together, have children etc).

Marriage has become something the upper echelons do, not the society as a whole.

Given the average cost of a UK wedding (something like £18k was estimated, a few years ago, although I really wonder whether that includes all of the "Town Hall" weddings) this is perhaps a good thing.

I used to ride by on the bus, Islington Town Hall (London). Islington is the most densely populated borough in England -- Charles Dickens wrote about Islington (Sid murders Nancy in Oliver Twist on a canal there, based on a real case of the time - Dickens began his career as a court reporter), George Orwell lived there in the 1940s. The mix of the borough is affluent professionals working in law and the nearby City of London (ie Finance) - the 1830s row houses sell for £2-5m+ - traditional working class Londoners who still live in Social Housing (often of Irish ancestry - the Irish builders built London) - and immigrants from all over the world.

Outside Islington Town Hall would be the families of brides and grooms in their suits and dresses. Sometimes very clearly of different ethnic backgrounds: Afro-Carribeans on one side and white Europeans on the other. And out would come the bride and groom from the Registry Office. It always seemed to me that there was a little sparkle of gold dust filtering down from heaven, blessing the union.
DoctorE
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by DoctorE »

Valuethinker wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 11:27 am
DoctorE wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:31 am
windaar wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:32 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:14 am
er999 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 12:36 am 2. It’s okay to be 100% equities — that isn’t a crazy idea if you have a job with good job security. I unfortunately was 25% bonds throughout my 30s - early 40s despite having good job security as a physician. I don’t necessarily recommend 100% stocks for everyone in their 30s for all the reasons listed otherwise on the forum (and of course the last 10-15 years have been great stock market returns that colors the advice) but I wish I knew that 100% stocks wasn’t a crazy idea.
I disagree with thinking 100% stocks in your 30s is a good idea. The problem is that there are lots of reasons that you might not be able to work as long as you hoped for.
A person starting investing in 1965 would "learn" that 100% equities was a really really bad idea. A person starting investing in 1982 would "learn" that 100% equities was a splendid idea.
What's wrong with 100% stocks in 1965?
Worst SWR is around that time (1966) because of high inflation and stubborn withdrawals adjusted to inflation but stocks 10Y and 20Y beat everything else....
From memory, T Bills outperformed both stocks and bonds 1966-1981? Just about matched inflation (but that was before tax). Stocks underperformed inflation by about 40%?

That we now know the 1980s was one of the greatest decades for stocks, ever, doesn't mean that is was obvious, or certain, at the time.

It was a long and brutal road, that period, for equity investors. Not as bad as 1929-1949, but a long and brutal road. I think after 1871 must have been quite brutal too (but we don't really have very good data).
I think due to so much misleading data being thrown around in the media, it's easy to get a bearish picture of what actually happened. Yes, it was a terrible time to invest.

https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/N ... retSP.html

End of 1966 to end of 1981, S&P 500 including dividends was flat after inflation (with a -50% drawdown), just like T-Bills.
After tax obviously a very different situation, but I'd argue stocks still came out on top after-tax due to the capital gains component as dividends and income were at similar high rates in the 60s/70s.

The actual inflation adjusted peak of stocks was end of 1972, recovery end of 1994, again with a -50% drawdown.

The 10Y got killed during this time (-40% real DD), especially after tax and also took 15Y to recover... even longer after tax.

Just an overall terrible time and yes easier to ride it out in tbills (in hindsight).
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simplesimon
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by simplesimon »

trojans10 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 9:48 pm
er999 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:18 pm
Maverick3320 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:02 pm
Yet reading one of the many Bogleheads threads on marriage and finance the majority opinion seems to be in favor of joint accounts and not in favor of pre-nups.
If you don’t have lots of premarital assets but have a well paying job and get married in your 20s and 30s and have kids, I don’t think a pre-nup gives you much protection. Most of your wealth will be built later and be joint assets. Maybe a prenup works if you have no kids or a lot of pre-marital assets. Best protection is prevention so the advise for joint accounts, if reduces conflict, doesn’t seem inconsistent.
Aren't premarital assets yours regardless in the case of a divorce? As long as you don't put your spouse on any of the accounts?
I believe titling alone is not sufficient. If we're talking about financial accounts you have to work at not co-mingling accounts. Best to get a prenup if there's a desire to keep premarital assets separate.
ROIGuy
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Re: What did you learn in your 40s and older that you didn't know in your 30s?

Post by ROIGuy »

Looking back at my 40's now there are a few things I learned.
1) It's never too late to start saving, but there is a big advantage for people who start in their early 20's and are consistent through good & bad times.
2) If you keep things simple, investing isn't really that hard.
3) Learn more about taxes and how you approach your savings with future taxes in mind.
4) Most financial advisors that charge an AUM really don't' do anything special to earn the money that they do when dealing with a basic portfolio.
5) What you do now (in your 40's) will have a direct impact in your 60's. Savings, expenses and health choices (exercise, nutrition).
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