What Types of Risk are You Taking?
In the “What’s Next” Mastermind group within the Career Pivot Community, we have been discussing various types of risks and our willingness to take them. One of the trends I am seeing is that as we reach our 60s, some of us are willing to take more measured risk. We realize if we do not take some risks now, then we will miss out on very important life experiences.
In my last post, Perceived And Real Risks in the 2nd Half Of Life, I wrote that our perception of risk is sometimes out of whack with reality. This is particularly true when we are young. As we all know, young men or teenagers can display very risky behavior. I know I sure did and continued to do this into my early 30s.
What types of risk are you willing to take in the 2nd half of life? Are they different than when you were younger?
Much depends on our mindset. So what is a mindset?
I found the following definition on VeryWellMind.com:
A mindset refers to whether you believe qualities such as intelligence and talent are fixed or changeable traits.
- People with a fixed mindset believe that these qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable.
- Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work.
Changing our Mindset
I am watching a number of members in our Career Pivot community change from a fixed to a growth mindset. I like to say their horizons are expanding. They now see options as possible that they previously saw as impossible – or were completely oblivious that they were options at all.
When you see other people doing things and say to yourself, “I can do that!” – this is when you start to change your mindset.
I know that since moving to Mexico, my own mindset has shifted dramatically. I wrote about this earlier this year in the post Becoming an Expat Has Dramatically Changed My Mindset
When you shift from a fixed to a growth mindset, our willingness to take risks shifts.
Types of Risk
We take all kinds of risks every day and we can be quite oblivious to the dangers and the opportunities. This is so true in the rapidly changing world we live in. Let’s take a look at the types of risks that surround us every day.
Most of us look at career risk as making a change. Maybe we think of this as changing industries or changing our career path, but the reality is that today, doing nothing is probably a bigger career risk. We blindly think that staying on our current paths and taking the safe route is the least risky.
Creative destruction is wreaking havoc in so many job categories and industries that thinking you can bury your head in the sand and ignore the changes is also very risky. You can read the article I wrote for NextAvenue.org called When You’re Working in a Career Disaster Area.
If you wish to mitigate career risk I suggest you do 3 things:
- Attend an industry conference every year (you will probably have to pay for it)
- Listen to podcasts to reinforce continual personal growth
- Embrace online learning
If you would like to learn more, listen to my podcast episode Embrace Creative Destruction or Be a Turkey. You Choose! [Podcast] where I take you through my presentation by the same name.
Most of you who read this blog have lived through 2 horrible recessions in the last 20 years. I am having more and more people approach me who are in their 70s and need to return to work because they fear running out of money. Many of these people retired in the late 90s when it appeared a 10% return on their investments would be the norm.
A common theme I hear from people about mitigating risk is to just work longer. If you’ve thought this, please read the Propublica.org article If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours.
Hopefully, you can see that financial and career risks are closely tied. Check out the New York Times article written by my namesake Mark Miller of RetirementRevised about a member of the Career Pivot Community who took this path.
The reality is that most of us need help to mitigate financial risks. We simply do not know how much money we need. We also do not know how to turn that money into a stream of income. Our parents had pensions while most of us do not.
Find a financial advisor who can help. I listen to 2 podcasts on this topic:
Every year, Fidelity publishes an estimate on what they project healthcare will cost for those turning 65. On April 2, 2019, they published the following:
According to Fidelity, a 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 can expect to spend $285,0001 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement, compared with $280,000 in 2018. For single retirees, the health care cost estimate is $150,000 for women and $135,000 for men.
Are you prepared for that?
One of the biggest risks you can take is not preparing to lose your company-paid health insurance before you are Medicare-eligible.
I documented the impending risks in my post The Looming Healthcare and Insurance Catastrophe for Baby Boomers and what we are doing about it in my podcast episode The Miller’s Health Insurance and Healthcare Experiences in Mexico [Podcast].
Obviously, one of the biggest risks you can take with your health is not taking care of your own health. Since moving to Mexico, both my wife and I have lost weight and live a much healthier lifestyle than we ever did in the U.S. The food we eat is farm to table. Nearly everything we eat is grown or produced within 100 miles with minimal processing. I am convinced the factory food system in the United States is in general unhealthy for a long life.
In this day of 24-7 news networks and social media, we often perceive that our safety is at risk most of the time. What started me down this path of discussing risk was the reaction I received when I returned to the United States in September. I was admonished multiple times online and in-person about the risk I was taking for living in Mexico. This blew me away.
When we announced to family and friends that we were moving to Mexico, my son and daughter-in-law immediately started sending us U.S. State Department safety warnings about Mexico. Our son and daughter-in-law work for the Navy and have very high-security clearances. When I sent them details on exactly where we would be living and the route we would be driving, they calmed down and told me we would be okay.
I have worked in 40 different countries and have been in the wrong place at the wrong time too many times. My own personal safety and the safety of those around me is very important to me. I do my homework about where I am going.
The year before we moved to Mexico we had our condo neighbor rent her condo out to a drug dealer. The condominium complex is situated just a mile or so from downtown Austin and is considered to be one of the safest parts of the city. For 2 months, we had people you would not want to associate with coming and going in our condominium complex. As a member of the property owners’ board of directors, I worked with the police and others to get them evicted. None of this was my doing but was the bad behavior of my neighbor. (The condo unit was completely trashed after 2 months.)
I was at a much higher risk of personal harm during that time than I have ever experienced in Mexico.
Do you understand the safety risks you are taking? Are the people around you putting you at risk?
In my next post, I want to discuss how we mitigate risks.
Most of us will have to continue to take risks and for some of us, we now have a greater willingness to take risks in our lives.
Have you changed your mindset about the risks you are taking?