What I Would Have Done – Part 2

In the last post, I started this series talking about planning where to live and then thinking about what work to do. I want to expand on these further today and in particular get into whole life planning.

In that first post, I think I did not start out enough about whole life planning so let’s go back to that. When you’re old enough and in a mature enough mental state to be analyzing such matters (for most people, _after_ teenage years!), it would be great if you could really give some solid thought to whole life planning.

Here’s a rough outline of what some consider a normal life. At least a lot of people (not all) follow this roughly…I did:

  • 0 to 10 – fun for most – you’re just a kid
  • 10 to 20 – mixtures of fun and difficulty for most – teenage years, relationships etc
  • 20 to 30 – fun mixed with working a lot – start career potentially working a lot, first decent $$, get married or get into major/long term relationship
  • 30 to 40 – stresses with career and family – career expectations perhaps, working a lot, making and spending more $$, maybe kids
  • 40 to 50 – trying to balance – career, maybe kids, spouse/partner, some fun, making and spending more $$, debts, commitments, responsibilities
  • 50 to 60 – ?? Don’t Know! Haven’t done it yet. I expect much of the same of 40 to 50 – balance, career, $$, debts, kids, family, spouse/partner, planning retirement. Update: Starting to or fully involved in looking after older parents.
  • 60 to 70 – ?? – I expect similar to 50 to 60 – transition into retirement, $$ stresses, family, kids, some fun, spouse/partner. Update: Fully involved in looking after older parents.
  • 70 to 80/90? – ?? No Idea:). A balance I guess of some fun, some $$ stresses, some family/friends/kids and health issues

Summarizing above:

  • Early Life – High Fun – Just growing and learning
  • Mid Life – Low Fun – Trying to balance – time, $$, career, family, friends, partner/spouse, parents and still find some fun
  • Late Life – Medium Fun – Relax. Fun – $$ issues, health issues.

I write this obviously with mostly my experiences so I am sure the above does not apply to everyone. It could be a bit similar or maybe not so similar at all. It’s clear to me for my life that what I would have done is to plan much more actively to ensure a lot more fun and a lot less stress and juggling of all life’s variables. At minimum, lift up mid-life to more a higher fun level! The good news is, I am not done with mid-life yet, so I have a chance to change:).

Before getting into it further, I want to clarify my use of the word ‘fun’. I don’t mean it in the most simple terms. Having fun playing a game, swinging on the monkey bars etc. I really mean enjoyment and I guess I’ll use that word from now on. In whole life planning, your task is to maximize life enjoyment and minimize the stresses that can get in the way – typically career and money etc.

At the start of this series, I talked about where to live and career choices as decision points which could improve your life enjoyment. Let’s look at some of the major factors that may influence life enjoyment and that should be considered during whole life planning. In no specific order.

  1. Where to live
  2. Career/Work
  3. Friends
  4. Spouse/Partner/Relationship(s)
  5. Money
  6. Lifestyle

Next post we’ll get into the remaining items…

About Brett Stark

Aussie in Chicago. Husband. Dad. Software Engineer. Tech, Coding, Space, Wine, Travel, Reading are my Things. Thinker. Futuristic. Technology for Change. Find me on twitter at

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