gift extra years‘What would you do with an extra 30 years?’ asks the Allianz Longevity Project. While many of the negatives quickly spring to mind like financial security and health issues, you should also think of the gifts that an extra 10 or 15 years can bring.

Opportunities to travel, spend time with your children and grandchildren, explore multiple interests, continue to expand your knowledge and have a positive impact on the world.

The key to making those extra years a gift rather than a burden is planning. No longer are you tied to the traditional life stages of education, work, and then retirement. You can craft multiple career and personal transitions to suit your interests and opportunities.

Here are some tips to help with your planning.


1. Invest in skills and knowledge

We spend a significant time acquiring skills and knowledge, whether school, university or apprenticeships. With a longer life this might spread out over the course of our working years, rather than be the focus early in a career. This might be driven by changes in interest, but also the need to re-skill as technology leads to automation of many jobs.

2. Take care of your physical and mental health

Some of the biggest factors impacting on whether you are happy and content with your life are your health, friendships and relationships with those you love. All of these require a commitment to put in regular time and effort. Unfortunately, they also tend to be the things we bump down the list of priorities when life gets busy.

3. Build your transformational assets

While specialist skills are important, transferable skills that sit across all disciplines will be even more important. You need to be book smart but also able to apply your knowledge to the real world, making skills like creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking key to transitioning from one career to the next.

4. Nurture your networks and relationships

As the era of the job-for-life comes to an end, it will become increasingly important to develop strong, close, professional networks with people who will support you and introduce you to their networks. And much like companies invest in their brands, people will need to invest in their reputations and develop personal brands.

5. Have a strategy to finance transitions

Transitioning between careers will likely involve investing in new skills. It’s important that these transitions are planned and budgeted for as in many cases it will not only involve paying for study, but also time off from earning an income.

If we look at lifespans from a different perspective and plan for living longer, we can embrace the gift of time and the opportunities and flexibility this affords us.


About Lynette Murray
Lynette Murray is the founder of ActonLendingSolutions part of the ActonAdviceGroup and the author of “Pretty Rich”, a book about Money Personality. ActonLendingSolutions provides lending advice tailored to your unique situation, whether you’re a first home buyer; a property investor; or wanting to refinance to consolidate debt, renovate or manage changing family situations. As senior adviser, Lynette Murray has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, specialising in financial planning for over 15 years.