Expiration Dates

By Mark Bertrang, The Creator of the Financialoscopy® on Thursday, January 25th 2024


Have you ever opened the refrigerator door in your kitchen and gotten a whiff of something that makes you wonder what in the world has expired inside this fridge?

A news feed from a company called Visual Capitalist made me think about expired food in refrigerators. This company utilizes publicly available information, typically from the United States government. In this post, they took tables from the Social Security Administration and made them into an easy-to-understand chart. The specific thing that I'm looking at is the expiration dates, our expiration dates:

The chart goes from age 0 to 100, and the gray area shows the age that a person is that year. The blue portion above that year shows the remaining life expectancy for men, and then women have a few more years than guys so they have some additional years on top in pink. You can see at age 0 women typically have about 6 extra years and by age 70 they only have 2 years extra than men. Then, by the age of 90, women typically have just 1 more year than the typical man who is still alive at that age. By age 100, most people have expired like that cottage cheese that was left in the back of your fridge.

Why am I discussing this? If you look at age 40, you’re at your halfway mark. You’ve lived half of your life and you typically have about half of your life left. Then, your remaining life expectancy begins decreasing year after year. My late father-in-law used to say that life is like a roll of toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the faster the roll spins.

I want you to take away a couple of things from this graph. Many people beyond the age of 40, or 50, will have a change of attitude. They want to be done with their jobs. They want to do whatever they want. They want to be able to sleep in and relax. For some people, they basically want to do nothing. I challenge you to live a full life. A full life does not necessarily mean spending the rest of your life on hobbies. Having a full life might also mean still being employed. I plan on being engaged economically (employed) for as long as the world will have me and for as long as I enjoy it. There is nothing wrong with continuing to work if you enjoy it.

If you are 40, and you don’t enjoy your working life or what I like to refer to as ‘what you do during your waking hours’, you need to find something that you do enjoy, even if it makes less money. Go out and get additional education. Go get additional accreditation. Go and find that calling or career and go for it. Do not just put in your time in a drudgery job thinking at some point you’ll finally be done. You’ll know when you’re done. You’re done when you are no longer viable. You are done when you are dead. You are done when you have expired. Live your life as fully as possible while you can.

If living a full life means that you’re going to be retired, then make certain to get out and about and make a difference in the world. There were people who came before you that made life easier and better for you. Your responsibility, no matter your age, is to also do things that better mankind, better your friends, your family, and your community.

Each and every day, time is ticking away. I will often ask myself (or say as a mantra as I sit in my car for a few moments of quiet reflection before going into the Financialoscopy office): is today going to be a day worthy of me giving up a day of my life? Will I be happy that I have given up a day of my life that I can never get back? Will I make this day better or worse for myself and others? Have I produced something worthwhile at the end of my day? If you’re employed, perhaps that is the work that you have done that day. It also could mean you’ve done something to better your life and the lives of those around you. This is the crux. This is the theme of our thinking.

Many people believe that it’s all just about the money. They put away money for the future that someday they are going to be able to spend traveling the world and doing all of the things they always wanted to do. Many of us won’t last long enough to be able to do that which is why we need to make certain that we create a full life along the way. Make sure that the result is not to retire to a shelf on the refrigerator and just wait around for your expiration date. Life is more like a garden that grows and provides bountiful fruit at different times that all of us can enjoy.

If you want to work with our office, then I would ask for you to reach out. If you are a current client, I challenge you to not just move towards your expiration date while time is ticking away day-by-day, month-by-month, and year-by-year. Make every day as fruitful as possible. If you would like to discuss this further, then perhaps it’s time to schedule your Financialoscopy®.


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