IntroductionWhat we need to understand about priorities is that there are only certain correct priorities that should be taken up at different ages of our life. There cannot be and should not be any compromise here. For, even a small distraction or a mismatch will take us nowhere. We will then regret what we had done in that situation. However, such regrets will only make us more miserable.
More specifically, we need to focus on a) Anytime priorities b) Priorities between 20 to 30 years of age c) Priorities between 30 to 40 years of one's age d) Priorities between 40 to 50 years of one's age and e) Priorities above 50 years of one's age.
Anytime priorities Health is wealth. This is a priority at any age. Even for a child just five years old, health is very important. There are health issues at any stage. Physical fitness can happen when we encourage sports and games for children at school. There should be some avenues for such physical activity. If there is no scope, it is not wise to admit children in such schools. It should be noted that only such activities enable good health at a later stage. The foundation of good health is always laid in schools.
Similar is the issue of financial security. Many youngsters who earn upwards of one lakh rupees at 2018 prices start spending money as if there is no tomorrow. In fact, they should start saving for the rainy day even from day one. No one knows in what form the disaster can happen. Those who are 45+, in the years ahead, in the IT industry run the risk of losing their jobs to freshers for whom the salary packages are far less.
Another priority is to secure the family against any eventuality. A wise decision would be to go in for pure protection insurance schemes. Insurance is not for investment. Equity-linked savings schemes, with just a three year lock-in period, offer far better returns. Hence the trick is to save the disposable income in such investments, even above the limits allowed by the Income-tax Rules for exemption. Very intelligent youngsters are doing just this. Yet another priority is to buy a house that one can his or her own, in another town or even village at prices that are a fraction of what it costs in the metro and liquidate the same within ten years.
Priorities between 20 to 30 years of age Apart from the priority of setting down quickly in a regular job, marriage to a good life partner who shares similar dreams or is open to new ideas is a must. In arranged marriages, the frank discussion before the marriage should enter around priorities as to how to shape the married life and also duties in terms of taking care of parents. This is a must.
More importantly, even equipping oneself with a PGDM from the likes of the prestigious Indian School of Business, by taking one year off, is a huge priority. Otherwise, one could even do a good weekend MBA, facilities for which are now available on the weekends. The time wasted on useless distractions such as romance is totally uncalled for. However, this can happen if there is a crystal clear understanding of the very urgent priorities. It is the age, for example, when the husband and wife have to put in more than twelve hours per day in most managerial jobs. This might even extend to the vital Sunday.
This is the learning phase and this is also a priority. Yes, the priority is also to prepare for the child. But when the child arrives, the wife should be willing to work from home or make some arrangements to take care of the child in the first 36 months. Once this is done, everything will fall into place. There are many who ruin their lives by romancing without any direction or frank discussion. When the lust or the craze for physical intimacy is gone, life becomes miserable. This should never ever happen.
Priorities between 30 to 40 years of one's age Priorities at this age bracket would relate to the need to settle down, save as much as possible, and keep on updating oneself for more challenges ahead. A huge variety of experiences are just in order. Dead end jobs where one gets to do the same work, again and again, will take the individual nowhere. The trick is to go in for value-addition. Even if this means shifting to a totally new city, so be it.
Such experiences, as it has always been seen, work to one's advantage. The children get to experience the joy of living in new cities. Both the husband and wife manage to survive in tough environments, which is itself big learning. For instance, those who survive in Mumbai have children who are very street smart. They are always raring to go. They get to live life on their own terms and have very big career choices.
They understand life in its totality and are quickly adaptable. Living within very small spaces, for instance, teaches them many things. They get used to the rigors of life far better than children who are grown up in smaller metro cities or big cities.
Similarly, investing in plots in emerging cities, where there are good gated communities and security is not an issue, is one sure method of financing the education of children at a later stage. What was available for a mere Rs.25,000 rupees some thirty years ago, in the suburbs of Coimbatore and Chennai, for example, are now worth one crore. We should always remember that this is a superb investment that can come in handy. The gated communities are the best. There will always be someone to care for our property. Similar is the story in other big cities.
Given the fact that the skill-sets are now becoming outdated quite fast, the need to equip oneself with new skills in areas such as cloud computing, robotics, data analytics, and SAP is now becoming more important than ever before. It is often observed that only those who take up such courses are ready to do different jobs, even if it means shifting to different companies, at the age of 45 and above.
In conclusion, this is one age bracket when all debts should be cleared and the family should all the money available, after tax, for all the challenges that will come up in the next age bracket. It is unwise to carry on the burden of costly housing loans or car loans and so on. One should also remember that owning a car is for basic transportation. It is not to show off. It is not to impress neighbors and give them "am far better than you" messages. For, in the ultimate analysis, it is only our life. When we face any difficulty, not a single soul will come to help us. We need to live life within our own limits. The peace of mind that comes along with a debt-free life has to be experienced and felt.
Priorities above 50 years of one's age This is one age bracket when the man or woman has all the time to look back and feel satisfied at one's achievements. The children will either be in the final year of graduation and might study abroad too. However, we also need to give them all financial and moral support in this age bracket. Their education should lead them to good jobs. This is not a joke. One really has to understand that competition is becoming very tough everywhere. Just about in every profession.
The trick is to pursue different careers where the individual has a good chance of making it big. For example, given the media explosion, those who are skilled in impressing people and have the gift of the gab are very likely to make it big in this glamorous profession. It does take a big amount of hard work. It does involve even night shifts. But those who do all the hard work are now laughing all the way to their banks.
Conclusion We really do not have any choice. Life's priorities cannot be changed at any stage. Our fathers and forefathers were intelligent enough to show the way to leading good lives. We should also remember that money alone cannot do anything. If we plan our priorities and do all the execution properly, we will we happy at the later stages of our life.
Always, for sure.
The priorities will change based on the age and stages of our lives. When we are in our childhood our priorities should be education, health and learning good habits. Once we come above that our priorities will change. To obtain a good job and settle in life will be the priority during this period. This will be in our late 20s. By the time we reach our 30s, we will get married and our responsibilities will take more of our time. This is the crucial period in our life. We have to prove ourselves in the career and try to get maximum output. In the house also we have to start taking care of children and their well being. Once we retire from our active life in the 60s our priorities will be different. By that time we should have sufficient reserves so that we need not depend on anybody for our survival. It is better to be with your spouse and spend a peaceful life without any responsibilities or desires. We should not depend on anybody including our own children. This we should plan in our 50s and make the required arrangements for this.
A good article from the author.