Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Age ain't nothing but a number

I got a letter from the bank today, hand written blank envelope, business card stapled at a jaunty angle. A personal letter to me, lovingly prepared by my own financial adviser. I have a financial adviser? Who knew? He's invited me to make an appointment for a free financial health check; a bit of 'advice' to sell me a financial product that funds Guatemalan whorehouses or an East African guerilla army.

The letter included the line "as you enter a new stage in life, you need a different financial strategy". What friggin' stage of life am I entering? Family life? Middle age? I'll be 35 in August and I have a daughter; these facts alone appear to have triggered something deep inside their marketing machine.

On Saturday we had a party (a dinner party, naturally) with ten of our closest friends. There was a screech from the other end of the table. I didn't quite get the gist of the conversation but someone said "we're not middle aged!". From what I can gather, someone had resigned themselves to middle age because they were married with children, whilst others (also married with children) consider themselves to be anything but.

On Thursday, I was out with friends discussing how life is nowhere near as linear as it's made out to be. Without warning, having burnt off your twenties having fun and working hard you're confronted with a surprisingly small window of opportunity in which you're then expected to enter the conventions of 'settling down'. If you choose this path but haven't put in the ground work of meeting The One, getting married, being fertile, having babies (and of course, establishing the career trajectory to fund the whole thing) the window can wind shut leaving you with what looks like a blank scorecard.

It seemed to be a recurring theme; we're getting old, life is different to what we imagined and now time is slipping through our fingers like sand. Some of my friends have all the trinkets of settling down, some have none, some have some and some had them and lost them. The only common factor is that they're my friends and I enjoy spending time with them; I'm delighted with what they have, I don't judge them on what they don't. And, fuck it, we're all getting old all the time.

I tell you what though, although it's something about not worrying too much as long as you're happy, I am wrestling with trying to find the point of this post...


I'm seven years older than you, and my doctor said I wouldn't count as middle aged for at least another ten years. Suits me.

That's a relief, so what is this stage of life I've entered into which requires a new financial strategy? Shouldn't a warning bell go off or something when it's approaching?

OMG!!! Don't say your middle aged dude - that makes me near it too and I so am not!! See listen to that sentence - I'm at least.........15 ;-)

I suppose you could be - um - pre-middle age? Quarter age? But at least you get a good reply to the junk mailers: "Dear Spammer. Thank you for your middle-age-related offer, which I am unable to accept on my doctor's advice."

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