I was thinking about the wise people that say it’s a great idea to spend time with people who are 20-years older than you, as well as 20-years younger than you—or something to that effect.
Think about that for a few minutes. You most likely spend time with people that are very close to your age. This is true all throughout your life. When you’re younger it could have been with people 1-3 years in age difference. When you move into your 40s it could be people around 5 years of age difference. In your early 60s it may even be 6-10 years of age difference. These peers you’re hanging out with often are close to the same stage in life, have been through similar worldly events, and may be in similar career stages. It just makes sense that you have so many similarities.
I’ve had the great opportunity over the past decade to spend significant amounts of time with people who are retired, or at retirement age. This started when I was in my late 30s and into my 40s, when spent time with people in their late 50s to 70s. These interactions occurred in a number of locations and situations.
1) I was able to visit then buy a summer mountain home in an “age qualified” community where nearly everyone was 55+.
2) I was able to volunteer (technology presentations and classes) and hang out with members at my mom’s retirement community activity center (also 55+). We have talked about Tech, Insurance, protections, travel, goals, the future, etc. I seem to just naturally get along with so many of these older people. I guess I’ve always been old(er) for my age.
3) I’ve been a member of the Rock Retirement Club where people leading up to, and through retirement get together to talk about money, life, planning, and Rocking Retirement as a whole. It’s an amazing group of very intelligent people from so many different life situations.
In the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with people decades younger than me. This first started happening at ChooseFI local meetups. It was great. People would get together and talk about being money smart, life planning, life-living, early retirement, financial power/control, etc.
My interactions expanded to CampFI weekends all around the country for the past four years. I have written about CampFI over and over and over.
My takeaway from youngers is that while they have spent less time on the planet, with fewer experiences, they often have a unique perspective of situations that—if I listen and think about it—I can use as additional data points to re-evaluate my perspective. This is something I’ve learned to value as extremely important to attempt to grow my wisdom.
To be clear, I usually do not share my perspective or even my newly adjusted thoughts in any way. I’ve found most of the (even wise) youngers believe they are 110% correct (as they say “100% percent” all the time) and they don’t seem to be flexible when others share different perspectives. Not at all. So I just listen, learn and think. It’s good enough for me.
So, it’s my thinking that everyone should spend time with those 20/20 and learn from them all.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.