Monday, February 12, 2007

Stereo Typing Ourselves - Who is the 30s and 40s Personal Finance Audience

Today I wondered how we, those in their 30s and 40s, should describe ourselves? What makes us different from those in their 20s or 50s and 60s or in retirement?

If we were to create a composite image of ourselves, what would it be like? How would we characterize ourselves?

What makes us worthy of having a carnival discussing financial issues specific to our demographic?

I have a proposal? Can we work together to help define ourselves (before marketers do it for us)?

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Stable in our career paths with managerial and (emerging) executive roles
  2. Growing households - no longer in starter apartments
  3. Married, partnered or intended to be, or intended to never do so
  4. Increasing earnings, with rapid increases due to promotions
  5. Finished with formal education, unless considering a career change
  6. Established dependents; children or relatives children that we support
  7. Saving for college for our children or the children of others
  8. Our parents are nearing retirement, if not recently retired
  9. Concerned about our parents retirement, but not necessarily sandwhiched, just yet
  10. Technologically savvy
  11. Open and well informed of the new investment paradigms (modern portfolio theory, passive index investing, mutual funds and ETFs, more complex trading for some)

What would you add or remove from the list above? It's far from complete.

Thanks, makingourway


traineeinvestor said...

I think ou will have a hard time producing a detailed list that is applicable to all people in our age group.

For me at least, the items regarding concern about my parents retirement and technologically savvy do not apply.

Some additional items that are on my list are (1) thinking about making a career change while I am still young enough to do so (2) doing the mumbers on continuing to pay for my children's education after retirement and (3) deciding which country to retire to.

Daisy said...

How about: Recovering from/reversing financial mistakes made in our 20s.

makingourway said...

trainee, you're cerainly right - a stereotype will definately not cover everyone accurately - the idea though is to have just enough of an image to be relevant to the group as a whole.

I think you're recommendations are great and relevent.

Quite a few of our group may in fact be paying for childrens education while we are in reitrement.

The career change option is great, although I believe the majority of people I know are somewhat settled in this regard. From a timing perspective, it's probably the last convenient time to do it -- until retirement.

Deciding which country to retire to is another great one - I've read quite a few articles about Americans retiring in Mexico, Canada and New Zealand. Living in Asia, how common is it amongst your friends to plan to retire abroad?

Daisy, very nice point. I delayed paying off student loans until my early 30s - a foolish decision, but one I owned up to eventually.

Regards, makingourway

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Hello-new to your blog!

I don't think that you can really say that everyone who is interested in personal finance and who is in their 30's and 40's is in a managerial and/or executive role. My husband happens to be, and I was prior to becoming a SAHM, but there are plenty of folks out there who are trying to be savvy with their money who may not be managerial-there are plenty of plumbers and electricians etc who make good money etc.

Overall, it seems to me that folks in our age bracket are concerned more with lifestyle and future rather than pure entertainment-more "future" oriented.

traineeinvestor said...

To answer the question on people in Asia (or at least Hong Kong) retiring to a different country, the answer is quite a few but it is not always easy to distinguish between people to leave Hong Kong to return to their country of origin or to emmigrate.

Jenn makes a good point about lifestyle - I've found that as I get older there are more competing demands on my time (work, family, other interests) and I am constantly having to make compromises on things which I would prefer not to.

Anonymous said...

I can say Yes to all of them for myself except about kids (none yet) and parents' retirement (they'll never get to retire unless they're forced to).