Our life cycles and the 'what ifs' in life in sweet T&T for Sweet TnT Magazine, Culturama Publishing Company, for news in Trinidad, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, with positive how to photography.
Photo: Nerissa Hosein.

Our life cycles and the ‘what ifs’ in life

By Patricia James-Wilson. From the moment we greet the sunrise in our lives to the moment we kiss the sunset goodbye we all experience common life events that affect our financial and insurance needs. These life events are what help us to identify our short, medium and long-term goals. They also assist in identifying what is best for ourselves and our families and how to approach the selection process.

Five segments of the life cycle

In the marketing industry cycles, which the insurance industry also utilises, are broken up into five segments. Each and every person alive falls into one of them. The first life cycle is Youth – ages 0 to 19.  In this cycle persons common needs would be sustenance, education and health as these are the learning and growing years. Of course this group’s life event is the dependency of youths on adults and as such they do not make their own financial decisions nor can they pay to address their needs. Thus, their parents are wholly responsible for identifying and caring for “what’s best” for them.

Next is the Young Adulthood – ages 20 to 37. The main emphasis at this level would be career, achievements, status, money and acceptance of family and financial responsibilities. Their Life Events are completing their education in order to enter into the work force so as to establish their independence which means seeking their own, namely accommodation and transport. Other Life Events for this group is settling down and starting their families.

During this next cycle, i.e. the Middle Years Adulthood – ages 38 to 58, persons tend to become more serious minded about life and its meaning including the consideration of the “what ifs” and “what will be” in connection with their responsibilities. This is also the time when most persons will reach their peak earning years, changing careers, or starting their own business which leads to thoughts of retirement as their children are moving out leaving the empty nest to be faced by parents. Additionally, there exists the possibility of having to take care of or assist with ones’ elderly parents. These are all major life events.

Mature Adulthood cycle – ages 59 to 75 refers to the time when some persons feel that they have accomplished their life goals and now yearn for the quieter side of life. This is the time of either early retirement (if planned well) to mandatory retirement. In the latter part of this phase wealth accumulation now becomes income distribution. In addition to the Life Event of retirement comes the facing of one’s own morbidity as well as those of one’s spouse and other family members. Plus the onset of ill health.

With the advancement of health care, technology and higher standards of living statistics shows that persons are now living to see beyond and into the last cycle of Old Age – ages 76 and up. This is the fragile phase of life with the main event of long term care, i.e. the ability to take care of oneself with or without assistance being of major concern to all.

Having looked at the five segments of the cycle along with their major life events therein lies the opportunities for us to examine wherein we are and how are we prepared to manage, handle or improve in order to face the “ifs” in life.

In the next article we will begin to look at each segment in details to clearly identify the needs and what exist in the market to address them.  If there are any questions about what is discussed please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

Patricia James-Wilson, LUTCF, CAT, Financial Advisor T/A Semaj Consultancy Services.

June 2016 – Issue 22     www.sweettntmagazine.com

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