In the gathering stage, you’re accumulating wealth. You might collect or establish an assortment of assets during these years, including retirement savings accounts, banking accounts, real estate, vehicles and more.
Individuals in the gathering stage are generally living in their primary earning years. The gathering stage could last 50+ years, starting in your late teens or early 20s and lasting as long as you continue working.
These years are also a time when you’re gathering more than just physical assets. This is the time when you’re forming friendships and family. You’re also gaining experience and wisdom to draw from as you age.
Now that you’ve gathered assets, it’s time to protect them. You’ve worked hard to earn and save for retirement, and you’ll need a plan to preserve your funds and make sure they’ll be available when you need them.
Most people in the protecting stage are nearing retirement age, although preserving your retirement money will continue to be crucial well into your 70s, 80s and beyond. Sometimes, individuals in the protecting stage continue to gather and accumulate assets, although they’re starting to think about what comes next in life.
In this stage, you might also be providing for growing children or caring for an elderly parent. It might be tempting to put yourself – and planning for your future – last on the priority list. However, this is a crucial time to sit down with a financial advisor and start making decisions about your retirement.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to retirement. Now comes the time when you’re starting to realize the fruits of your labor during the gathering stage and you’re putting the money you’ve saved for retirement to work.
Depending on when you retire, this stage of life might last 10, 20 or even 30 years. You’ll want to make the most of these years – and your retirement funds are the key to making that happen.
In this stage, you might be discovering new passions and hobbies. You might even be building new relationships or redefining old ones. One of the most important relationships you can forge in this stage of life is a relationship with a trusted financial advisor, who can help you make smart decisions about your money.
At the end of your life, you want your assets to be transferred to the people and groups you care about the most. In this stage, you’re starting to think about how to make sure your money gets distributed the way you want – without saddling your loved ones with extra taxes or the burden of too many decisions.
The transferring stage overlaps with other stages for many people, as they gift money to family or charitable causes. Others may decide to start transferring wealth in their later years. A financial advisor can help you make sure your money gets to where you want it to go, no matter when you decide to use it to benefit others.