(p. B7) Research suggests that happiness over the course of our lives is U-shaped, with our satisfaction deteriorating through our 20s and 30s, hitting bottom in our 40s and then bouncing back from there.
What causes the decline in our happiness during our early adult years? We don’t know for sure. It might be the stress of juggling work and home life, or it could be the gradual realization that we won’t fulfill all of our youthful ambitions.
But for some, midlife dissatisfaction may reflect growing disenchantment with their chosen career. The good news: Today, thanks to our longer life expectancy, we have time for a second act.
In fact, that second act may be necessary if we are laid off. Our new career could prove more fulfilling, but it might come with a smaller paycheck.
This is a reason to start saving as soon as we enter the workforce. If we do that, we likely will have the financial flexibility to swap into a less lucrative job. What if we haven’t been good savers? We may be stuck in a job we have come to hate.
For the full commentary, see:
JONATHAN CLEMENTS. “Can You Afford a Long Life?” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., APRIL 25, 2015): B7.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date APRIL 23, 2015, and has the title “What Long Life Spans Mean for Your Money and Career.”)