Right before our 21st birthday, our mother suddenly passed away. Luckily, she had life insurance. Although it wasn’t a lot of money, it was enough to get us through our senior year and help pay for funeral expenses.
Though life insurance helped, if you were to ask us today what we really wanted from her, it would be to have her here a little longer.
She had done many things right. She had stressed the importance of education, and was always there to support us. However, like many mothers, she put her needs last.
She didn’t take care of herself and felt that providing for her family was the top priority. We were the last out of 6 children and although we were aware that we had an older mother, it never crossed our minds that she wouldn’t be around when we grew up.
She stayed around long enough to teach us about work ethic, good parenting, and the importance of manners over money. We believe these skills helped us the most in life, not the money she left behind.
Since her death, we have graduated, traveled the world, married, and have had children. Our mother missed out on all of it. We’ve missed out on her company and her advice.
Our new mindset
We are now in our 40s and are both raising young children. Since we know what it means to lose a parent early, we have decided to change our diets and make living a healthier lifestyle a priority.
Our husbands have not experienced the loss of a parent so their mindset is different. They believe it’s more important to leave the kids money. We agreed to let them focus on that while we focused on other things.
Now that the inheritance is set, Nadia and I have stressed that it is now time to focus on a new type of investment.
The new Investment
Truthfully, when you are a parent, money is not what your children really want from you. What they really want is for you to be with them for as long as possible sharing their milestones. The best way to do that is to invest in yourself.
One of the first things you can do to invest in yourself is to start reading books on a regular basis. We understand that when you are busy trying to make money, reading may seem like too much of a time committment. However, what if we told you the time you spent reading will free up time in other areas? You can also save time and multitask by listening to audiobooks and even learning how to speed listen to them.
Books can serve as mentors when you don’t have immediate access to one. They will help you learn new skills and techniques that will help you get further faster. There are even books that will help you craft the vision you want for the future. Reading will make you a better person and a better parent. Books often offer different perspectives and faster ways to solve problems.
The knowledge and vision you get from reading more than pays for itself. Once you internalize the knowledge you learn, it can be passed down to your children. If you want your children to continue creating wealth and not destroy it, then you have to plant seeds. Think of an investment in reading as a tax free inheritance that can help your family for generations!
We don’t want to make this an argument about diets and try to convince you should pick one over another. Although which diet is the best is up for debate, we all know there a few truths that they all can agree on:
- Vegetables are good for you. The fresher they are, the better they are for you.
- Everyone should be drinking water on a daily basis.
- Cutting back on sugary drinks and snacks won’t hurt you.
We understand it’s easy to be tempted to eat poorly. Shoot, we deal with our weight on a constant basis. However, if we hope to have our bodies work properly in the future, our eating habits must change. Therefore as we enter the second half of our lives, Nadia and I are adapting a new eating lifestyle.
When it comes to eating healthier, you don’t have to be so strict. Small changes can make a big difference. If you feel you will still have a hard time following these simple rules, then just keep repeating to yourself that you love your kids more than sugar. It works for us!
It’s hard to exercise when you are exhausted from work and are constantly in a car. On top of that, just being mentally drained is enough to stop you from going to the gym. Not to mention, the weather never seems to cooperate when you finally convince yourself to go!
To combat these issues, we’ve become morning exercise converts. It might seem crazy, but it really isn’t. We get to have me time, get it out of the way, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Once we admitted that the only thing that stopped us from working out in the morning was us, we found a way to make it happen. However, if you really can’t find the time to exercise, at least find time to stretch.
As an older parent, you know it’s not easy keeping up with kids. Children don’t understand or care that you just can’t do the things they want you to do. If you don’t want your kids to see you as old then you need to stretch! Stretching will help you maintain your flexibility and allow you to play longer with your children.
Stretching is not just beneficial for your kids. If plan on partying the night away without worrying about breaking a hip later in life, then you should start stretching now. Nobody appreciates seeing an old person fall while dancing so spare everyone the experience.
The funny thing is, having money doesn’t make you a grown up or a good parent. Being accountable is really the secret to adulting. The more goals you can add to your life to make you more accountable the better. You will also be more focused and gain more clarity on where you want to be and what you want for your family.
These investments can also help you teach your children by example rather than just words. It’s not easy, and it’s not always fun, but that’s not what it is about. It’s about doing what is best.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, but that shouldn’t matter when it comes to this advice. Whatever time we do have we should be living our best life. The things we suggest will help you do just that. If you have children, we’re pretty sure you are on more of the positive side of living so give yourself the best chance.
Starting the new routine
We know we might be asking to do a lot, but that’s ok. You don’t have to start all of these routines at once. We suggest you just pick one and then go full force. Start making the investment in the area that can benefit you the most. Once you have a handle on that one, move on to the next. Do these investments on a regular basis and measure your progress from one month to the next.
We’ll be honest and admit that this post is a little self serving. It’s a reminder for us to stay on the right path. It’s a long term game plan, but we know if we continue with these investments, they’ll yield a profit in more ways than one.
We know we are supposed to do these things, but we don’t. We underestimate the real importance of these investments. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make them a priority. If you need some support to start or stay motivated, then let us know. We want everyone to succeed, because all our families depend on it.
Nadia is a Financial Independence Coach from New York City. She holds a B.A from Columbia University and worked 13+ years in Investment Banking and Financial Services. She is an entrepreneur, investor, and partner at Wealth Twins LLC. She reached Financial Independence in her 30’s and is passionate about showing others how to achieve the same.