Like with retirement, you want to start your encore planning as early as possible and create options. Again, the slash mindset of doing things on the side in the shared economy is a great resource. You'll want to put aside money for a gap period or some reskilling like going back to school or earning certificates. Embrace the new frugality mindset that less isn't always worse.
- When it comes to the money side of the encore phase of life, I often like to look at encore planning and how it relates to the concept of retirement planning because there's some things that feel very much the same and there's some things that feel a little different. So in retirement planning we all know that if you're doin' it right, you're starting really early. Early in your career you just get disciplined about putting money aside. That's the same and really important that as early as you can start with encore planning, you should start.
But it's not just about money. The money stuff is kind of the same. You should still put money aside, as much as you can afford, because parts of this are going to cost money and you're going to still need to figure out a way to fund a period of your life where you may earn less money but the idea is you may be funding in a time of your life where you are earning some money, just not the same amount. But you should also think about how do you also invest in yourself in ways that keep your skills constantly growing and remaining current.
Some of that will involve money, some of that will involve other kinds of learning that may not cost you anything at all, may even come through your volunteer life, in fact. So here, I also want to talk about a mindset where I think we can really learn a lot from the way millennials are looking at life right now. So if you've read anything about millennials, it's really all about experiences over possessions and I don't think that's all just by choice. So the millennials have grown up in an economy where the idea of home ownership may not even be within reach, so it's actually caused a whole lot of innovation about the way that millennials work.
The sharing economy is all about that. And what's interesting is that's really also happening at the encore stage of life in so many ways, as well. My friend Chris Farrell wrote a book called The New Frugality that really gets to a lot of these same ideas and then how they're playing out at the kind of encore life stage. So just as we have the millennials who really fueled the sharing economy, you have people at the encore life stage who are really being creative in a whole lot of different ways.
So, we all know that minimalism is trendy right now so think about, is your housing reflecting your values? Is your housing reflecting how you want to live at this moment? Is it possible to team up with others in your family or in your community and together live in a way that feels more attractive to you and perhaps adds a social dimension into your life? So what I really learned from Chris' book is that less doesn't always have to be worse.
So, he talks a lot about the difference between cheap and frugal. So cheap is downsizing from a big house to a tiny apartment and feeling like you're in scarcity mode and frugal is moving to a hip college town in a apartment you love where there's all these cultural offerings, and yes, maybe you gave up the big house, but you have a whole new social life. So I think the big question is, this is all very personal so what does it mean to you? What's the encore number you have to get to to feel like you have choices and what are some of the changes you might want to make in your life that be might frugal but not cheap?
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