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Old 21st April 2016, 09:26   #76
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Default Re: Life in your 40s

Don't over evaluate. No matter how much advice people will give you here, no 2 lives are the same. Each life has its own trials and tribulations, its own ups and downs, its own good and the bad. In my late 40's now, I have become more introspect, more aware. Some life changing events have made me realise that nothing is infinite. So live and treasure the good times, take lessons from the bad, move on, slow down, plant a tree, help a child, show compassion to animals. Don't get stuck in the mundane, if necessary change, change your job, habits, routine and LIVE your life because it ain't infinite.

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Old 21st April 2016, 09:55   #77
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Originally Posted by RonXRi94 View Post
Hello -----------SNIP-------a lot
Can I just say, since you are only 21, to put all thoughts of life in the 40's on a bit of hold, for at least a couple of years?
You are way too young to worry about that to such an extent. Think, yes. Worry, no. It will just eat you from inside. There is a lot of get up and go at this age. SO much, that you can get up and be gone multiple times.
You've just started working. You're (probably) self sufficient for the first time(own money, I mean). Enjoy it. Learn how to spend it, how to make the most of it. Use the money to get experiences, not mobiles. 10-15 years on, a great memory will be way more of an inspiration to do more.

Some pointers which I wish I had understood at 21.
1. Cliche Alert: Find what you love to do, and try to make that your job.
2. 1 is nigh on impossible for some. We can spend our whole life trying to get that. In the meantime, segregate your job and personal life. Your job may make you unhappy, can be unrewarding, but as long as its lighter on the work-life balance, let it pay for your off job time.
3. Get skilled, in any capacity. Work or joy.
4. Save a fraction by habit. Start now.
5. "Listening music", "Reading fiction". Don't let this be just a resume filler.
6. Take decisions responsibly. Spend some time thinking it through. (Understood that its not for things like "Should I go to the loo?")
7. Count to 10.

Revisit yourself a couple of years on. You'll be much clearer about what to do by the time you're 40, rather than worry about it.
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Old 21st April 2016, 11:28   #78
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Excellent thread.
Question from a 20's person to people in 40's. I am in 30's and i feel we are the most confused souls. Married young kids, wife wants to travel, kids education, house, car and list goes on. I guess this is the age where a person feel most pressured to fulfill all aspirations of his better half, kids and not so old parents to add to it, he has his own wishes as well, which i guess in most case remains a dreams which then becomes bucket list in 40's
I believe 20's is best time to enjoy, have gf's, breakups parties till late night, just leave home on Friday and some back Sunday evening, but of course after proper education.
I was fortunate to complete my CA's at 22 and then have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my life risk free till about 28. since marriage and in 30's i feel lot of responsibilities have come over. But i believe that what its all about grow, adapt prosper and then further grow

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Old 21st April 2016, 12:34   #79
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Interesting Thread indeed.

I am in my mid/late 40s and consider myself successful, by my definition.

Life in 40s looks a lot distant, different when you look at it from 20s, but you will get there before you know it
Having said that, 40s a lot similar to 20s, with an advantage that you have a rearview of the path that you covered, mistakes that you have done, lessons that you have learnt/unlearnt.
You will still have to make decisions - just that the problems change.
You will still have frustrations - Just that the magnitude changes, based on where you stand.
You will still enjoy life - Just that the means change.

IMHO, 20s is the time to have fun and lay foundation for future, but one shouldn't be in a tearing hurry to become successful. Like they say -One should take some time to smell the roses

30s is for rat race to the top and 40s is the time for consolidation and slowing down, unless one plans to work into his grave.

My plan for enjoyable 40s and beyond:
Build experiences, wise or otherwise - that you can look back and feel proud about or at least laugh about.

Build friendships that can keep you engaged and fill the void that you will feel when you are into late 40s, kids grew up, career looks to be on auto pilot, financially secure.

Nurture hobbies that keep you excited.

Take some responsibilities that are not too demanding but will give you satisfaction when you meet them. Believe me, running a race when there is no end goal is not very exciting.

I started collecting books and CDs from my 20s, to have my own library when I settled down.
I keep friends from my high school days [more than three quarters of life away], meeting whom will take you on a trip down the memory lane.

Get into newer friend circles and do things together that you enjoy [AM lucky to find like minded TBHPians here in BLR who plan trips every quarter. We say quarterly, but sometimes it is becoming monthly - and nobody complaining]

Also. 40s is the time where you should start thinking of your social responsibility. Look back to see what was the help that you were looking for very badly that you never got and you provide it now. The immense satisfaction that you get can not be explained.
I spend time with school kids from government schools in rural areas. I sponsor note books for 400+ students and it gives you kind of satisfaction that your Beamer can not provide.
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Old 21st April 2016, 12:52   #80
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Still in early 30s but will post a few observations.

40s could be the time when whatever you have learnt in 20s/30s have become more or less redundant. With the pace in technology, the nature of most jobs will change, some industries will prosper while other become extinct or change character.

As long as have health on your side, 40s could be the most productive time of your life. you already have a wealth of experience on your side and you are not too old to take risks.

This could be a disruptive time especially if you are in the private sector since you would have become a very expensive employee and without the right skill/investments in the 30s, you could be lost. But it's still better than the public sector where you have to take a forced retirement at 58/60 when you are still not old.

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Old 21st April 2016, 14:29   #81
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Now I am totally out of the target age group, as I will turn 58 in July, but will put down my experiences:-

1. Health is Wealth is an old saying. But health had to be earned. Hit the Gym asap. Walk rather than take a vehicle. Climb stairs instead of taking the lift. Eat healthy. Good conditioning helps in mitigating genetic disadvantages if any.

2. Start investing for retirement. At your age it should be 40-60% of your savings in Equity. Rest can be split between Debt investment (Fds etc) and your house EMI. Do not stretch and go for a house much larger than you need. Renting till your future has stabilised will not kill you.

3. Avoid taking a loan to buy items that depreciate in value. A car is the biggest mistake to make on an EMI.

4. Anything "glamorous" is not worth the price ascribed to it.

5. For every way of getting things done there is always a cheaper method if you care to look.

6. The larger the company you work for the less value you get vis a vis the effort. Unfortunately peace of mind, time for family and hobbies and job satisfaction normally do not get added in computing CtoC or total earnings.
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Old 21st April 2016, 16:52   #82
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Wow What a thread. Interesting topic. My thoughts match so many of my decade mates.

So I am in the early 40s. Being born towards end of 1974.Have a Sis from 1967 and a bro from 1961. Am an Engineer MBA (who post graduated only to match the standard level of education in the family) and am presently the Managing Director for the Small India Office of a self sustained American Startup, my expertise is in the fields of Marketing, Business & Operations Strategy across verticals.

Yep we are reasonably lucky for the years in which we were born, but I feel those born towards the 1965-70 were best placed to make the most of the opportunity that 1991 and liberalization brought with it, for those towards 1972-76 they started work quite close to a semi recession and getting work at that time was hard.

That said I was lucky in having a brother who made the most of being the early bird and landed in US in early 1980s (via a job) and a sis who did the same in later 1980s (via a 100% scholarship). I hence decided to stay on in India and was never interested in going aboard. I guess those about 9-10 years elder to me would have mostly considered going abroad as the best option.

I find that most (90%) of my Engineering and MBA classmates are in the US in the USA making he best of Software Programming opportunities irrespective of their stream of graduation & talent (or lack of). While 50% of the school friends stayed on in India. So in retrospect, engineering specialization in my times meant buying a ticked to the US for most. So we have those who are say Civil engineers or MBAs in Finance or Marketing today full committed to Software programming - How and Why I don't really know but they seem to be happy in their streams and it has worked out for them.

Opportunities depended on the background from which one came and I had a lot of opportunities but one place where we were better off then than those born after 2000 is the cost of education was much lesser in our times. My MBA program fees were Rs. 2000 for 2 years for a Government University program - a far cry from todays rates. I guess our parents were lucky and when we pay for our Children's education that luck will run out.

Having siblings who worked and studied in the US helped satiate the desire to go abroad or for having things that could not be bought in India.

Working in an MNC for the first decade and half also ensured that fascination for the world outside India was short-lived.

Today education is so much better, but it is also the want this .. want that generation. I never owned a cycle, and my single digit kid is on his third two wheeler. The kids today are a lot more aware than we were at the same age but emotional balance only time will reveal.

I think I did well for myself but could have done better or worse. There is no point in comparing with others. It is not just a matter of effort & intelligence, but of also of luck (right time right place), guts, instincts and most importantly destiny (if you believe in it) etc.

The family has always owned a car but even if one owns a Merc today or has 3 cars (as I have had on multiple occasions) there is less joy in that compared to the one car that one had in the 60's-90's decades. The outstation trips in cars that got heated up and had to be cooled down, accompanied with tea and food packed were much more pleasurable than what one manages today. Today one needs a trip to an exotic location to experience something similar to the joy that one could feel in a Mumbai Lonavala trip 2-3 decades back.

My father voluntarily stopped driving when he was about 70 and we were grateful given his absentminded nature. We would probably stop driving before we are 60 (another 20 yrs) considering the self driven Goggle car etc. These are the last 15 odd years of pleasurable driving - go for it.

Drive-In Theatres are dead, and so are road side picnics. A B&W EC TV or any basic colour TV, the second 2 hr a days DD channel and the first cable TV channel all gave more joy than todays Curved 4K TV ownership with 400 channels can give.

A heavy Motorola batata shaped mobile phone transition to a small sleek by todays standards Nokia phone to the first LCD or first camera phone all gave more joy that transitioning from S2 to S4 to S6/7 can give. I almost felt naked when I left home a few days back to go the barbers shop 5 mins away from home forgetting to take along the phone. How did we even live without the mobile phone.

How often have I tried to unlock the home main door with my car remote key. -- Yes that day too is not too far away.

At 40 what one realizes is that one looks at the past fondly but it is important to be happy and live in the present and not look towards the future. Live for the present. At 40 one is at aspirational half life of the 80yrs target. The period from 20-40 passes by the fastest in ones life and rather than looking at the future or the past it is important to keep looking at the present. The aim must be to derive the most joy in the present. - Not in Gizmos alone but in how and with whom one passes ones time.

Yep I have had my fair share of indulgences in automobiles and have regretted none, but that also implied compromising somewhere else to ensure one saved enough.

Won't give up the memory of my large Cielo in my office parking lot in 1999 or the even bigger and aspirational TATA Safari in 2001 but these indulgences has to be balanced out with smart investments elsewhere across all growth instruments. All my vehicle purchases over the years gave me joy, some more some less, but I regret none of my investments or expenditures.

I Biked a bit in the 20's hope to restart in the 40's. I have started bicycling a couple of year back.

The important things is that one lives in the present and enjoys it. So many even now die young - even the fittest do - it is not always in ones hands. So the length of life and the time period does not matter, what matters in how we pack it doing things that we enjoy, and while doing so try to give a little back to the less fortunate, somehow that makes one feel a bit better overall.

Last edited by ACM : 21st April 2016 at 17:05.
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Old 21st April 2016, 17:19   #83
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Since a good part of our working life is spent well, at work; do not let work take you for granted. Nor your boss, Organisation or even career.
This coming from someone who has seen a recession environment and how Organisations do NOT take anything for granted. Remember that you are (merely) a peg in the Organisation, by all means interchangeable and replaceable. More often, driven by inexplicable factors including blind zeal, we end up prioritising job pressures over many other personal aspects.

We are egged to push harder, never advised when to let go. I would reckon to not be blinded by career, only to open your eyes later to a changed environment; where people and things close to you cease to exist
Be attached and loyal towards family, friends, even cars always!
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Old 22nd April 2016, 01:51   #84
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Originally Posted by RonXRi94 View Post
Hello there....first, a little introduction.

Thanks a lot
Very unusual thread for the forum, surely has touched a chord. People have poured their heart out in a way not quite expected in TBHP. My compliment to shankar.balan, samurai, Hayek and all others who contributed.

Being in early 50, I can identify with most that has been stated about 70s to 90s period. Funnily (could not think of a different word), for me it turned out to be 'ahead of curve' kind of situation. Failed to visualize the potential in IT so rejected offer from NIIT in favor of a PSU's mainstream engineering job. No regret as god was kind and generated varied opportunities going forward, even away from IT.

After going through the posts, don't feel have anything further to add to whatever already has been said. Still, can not resist posting a related message received recently on Whatsapp.


Because none of us have many years to live, and we can't take along anything when we go, so we don't have to be too thrifty.

Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don't leave all to your children or grandchildren, for you don't want them to become parasites who are waiting for the day you will die!!

DON'T WORRY about what will happen after we are gone, because when we return to dust, we will feel nothing about praises or criticisms. The time to enjoy the worldly life and your hard earned wealth will be over!

DON'T WORRY too much about your children, for children will have their own destiny and should find their own way. Don't be your children's slave. Care for them, love them, give them gifts but also enjoy your money while you can. Life should have more to it than working from the cradle to the grave!!

DON'T EXPECT too much from your children. Caring children, though caring, would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render much help.

Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties and wealth.

Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but that you have no claims to their money.

40-year olds, don't trade in - your health for wealth, by working yourself to an early grave anymore. Because your money may not be able to buy your health.

When to stop making money, and how much is enough ?
(A HUNDRED thousand, One million, ten million,One billion )?
Out of thousand hectares of good farm land, you can consume only three quarts (of rice) daily; out of a thousand mansions, you only need eight square meters of space to rest at night.

So, as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough. You should live happily.

Every family has its own problems.

Just DO NOT COMPARE with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better etc., but challenge others for happiness, health, enjoyment, quality of life and longevity.

DON'T WORRY about things that you can't change because it doesn't help and it may spoil your health.

You have to create your own well-being and find your own place of happiness.
As long as you are in good mood and good health, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing, then you will pass your time happily every day.

One day passes WITHOUT happiness, you will lose one day.
One day passes WITH happiness and then you gain one day.

In good spirit, sickness will cure;
In a happy spirit, sickness will cure faster;
in high and happy spirits, sickness will never come.

With good mood, suitable amount of exercise, always in the sun, variety of foods, reasonable amount of vitamin and mineral intake, hopefully you will live another 20 or 30 years of healthy life of pleasure.

- ABOVE ALL - Learn to cherish the goodness around.
.. and FRIENDS........... They all make you feel young and "wanted"... without them you are surely to feel lost !!

Wishing you all the best for the years to come.

Please share this with all your friends who are 40 plus and those who will be 40 plus after some time and also with your children.
Cheers to all.

Last edited by rsm97 : 22nd April 2016 at 01:54.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 17:13   #85
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1) I am in my 30s.

2) If you haven't got health, no amount of wealth can compensate for that.

3) An appendix operation was an eye-opener for me - For 6 weeks I couldn't play any sports, was not able to travel, couldn't work for long and couldn't do various routine activities. . Imagine if you knew you could never do these things again.

3) Eat healthy, play a sport, take a walk, jump around, play with your kid

Everyone will say these things, and if everyone is saying this you can imagine how important and relevant it is.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 19:57   #86
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Firstly, extraordinary wisdom in asking the question.

I read a few of the first replies and enjoyed every bit of them. I celebrate my 45th in 40 odd days so it set me thinking. . . what advice would I want to give to 20-year-old me, if I could? So here comes!

On Money
1. Money = Options. Nothing less, nothing more. More money, more options, more choice in everything. Simple? The Hindi word ‘bechaara’ literally means a person with no options!

2. How much money is enough? There’s no answer because it is a bottomless pit that you seek to fill. The better way to look at it is to be flexible enough to always have some money left over for unforeseen choices that you may need to make, no matter what you earn.

3. The credo to follow in everything in life, food and past-times is ‘Everything in moderation, including moderation itself.’ So it is fine to hit the extremes sometimes, but the operating word is Sometimes!

4. Stock markets always outperform all other legal investment avenues over a 2-decade time-frame. So find yourself 3 to 5 great mutual funds and keep chipping away SIPs. Check your portfolio every 3 to 6 months and don’t withdraw unless it’s really, really important.

5. Average the age of your 4 grandparents and add 20 to it. That’s how long you are likely to live unless you do something stupid or are plain unlucky. Make sure you store away sufficient money to last you well even after you stop earning. And take care of your body so that it serves you well to that age.

6. The stupidest thing to do with money is to spend money you don’t have to buy things that you don’t really want, to impress people who really don’t give a rat’s patootie. Debt is OK for buying stuff that generates wealth or sometimes for really big purchases like a house. For everything else, earn before you spend.

On Attitude
7. Always be the best read, best dressed, politest, most positive person you know. I was blessed with great role models to observe and emulate early in my career – JRD and RNT

8. Dressing well does not entail spending a lot of money. But it definitely does entail spending a lot of effort, time, thought and for an unremarkable, middle-class boy like me, a lot of learning. But then it becomes like riding a bicycle – you don’t have to devote thought to it, it is second nature.

One of the best compliments I remember was from a female friend I decided to pay a surprise visit at her workplace after many years. She wasn’t around so, not wanting to spoil the surprise, I left without leaving a message.

After an hour she called. ‘How did you know I was in town?’

‘How did you know I’d visited your workplace?’ I retorted.

‘Oh, the receptionist told me there was a very well dressed person looking for you. It had to be you.’

9. When you are in your Twenties the clothes you wear, books you read, music you enjoy, art and other things that give you pleasure stay with you all your life. So get a wonderful and classic sense of taste. There are very few people with good taste and when you are older, you shall stand out amongst your peers for your great taste. And again money has nothing to do with it. It is possible to buy a Rs. 3 Lakh car with great taste as well as blow Rs. 3 Crores on a car that is in awful taste.

10. How to acquire great taste? Read, observe, copy and experiment until you distill taste that fits you like an old, well crafted, well cared for leather shoe.

11. Be likable. Smile and laugh a lot. Compliment people when you can. Bring candy. Listen genuinely, question sincerely. Make people feel like you are old friends in your company. Look people in the eye and tell them what needs to be told without bitterness when the occasion demands.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 21:00   #87
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I'm 21 and about to graduate next month. I have read the entire thread and I'm very happy to get feedback from my senior BHPians. I thought Team-BHP was only for automotive discussions and stuffs, glad that I'm wrong. The points given by each and everyone of them will help me take my decisions in my life. Thank you Team-BHP.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 21:46   #88
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Originally Posted by RonXRi94 View Post
I'm a 21 year old guy....
However, I often wonder about the later years of an individual. Whenever I see a middle-aged person, my mind goes into thinking-mode about life in our 40s. ....But then again, I'm just a naive 21 year old and have no idea what the 40s are really like.
You've got enough advice to write a book now.

Your question reminds me of an East European proverb which goes something like this - "at 20 I was embarrassed at how little my father knew. At 40 I was amazed at how much the old man had learnt in 20 years."

As a person in his mid-fifties with children older than 21 allow me to shake a few drops of shared experiences with you.

Your 40s and 50s can actually be the best years of your life and I suspect the 60s get better. My 50s are light years better than my 40s. My 40s in turn were a whole lot better than my 30s. My 30s in their turn were a little better than the 20s. And I hope if I can maintain my health my 60s will be better than my 50s. When I say a whole lot better I mean in terms of maturity, equanimity, tranquility, balance, ability to deal with a crises or failure, relationships with family members, inner solace, clarity of where I am going (or not going) and so many similar 'softer' aspects of life.

A wonderful thing when in your 50s like me is that you value each day a lot more. You know that the half time whistle has blown and each day is used better.

So young man you have a lot to look forward to. With the Indian economy gradually growing the career opportunities you have are richer than those the previous generation had. The world is your oyster.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 22nd April 2016 at 21:51.
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Old 24th April 2016, 08:47   #89
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Go buy a car...and roam. Stop asking such philosophical questions. It only makes the 35 yr olds like me shudder and drink more. I wonder what the 40 yr olds must be thinking about your post!!!

Seriously, enjoy while you have the time. I'm sure people older than me will give me the same sage advice!!

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Old 24th April 2016, 08:56   #90
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Originally Posted by cingsman View Post

Go buy a car...and roam...... like me shudder and drink more

Yes, that's soon on the list.

This thread has got me much more advice than what I'd expected....a big thanks to everyone who has contributed
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