David’s writing last week touched on perfectionism and creating meaning during his twenties. As someone in my twenties who thinks a lot about what creates meaning in my life, lately I’ve been using the framework of pathways.
A few years ago, I read The Defining Decade, a book about how critical one’s twenties are to reaching life goals and happiness in the following decades. One concept that stuck with me was the idea that our twenties are not for figuring out the immediate “perfect” life for ourselves, but instead laying the groundwork for a fulfilling life. A roommate I found on Facebook when I first moved to San Francisco has turned into a best friend and we still live together four years later. My first job at WeWork led me to meet the One Wealth Advisors team and envision a new career path for myself. In many parts of my life, I am slowly and intentionally building various pathways while also staying open to what shifts my direction.
I like thinking about my personal financial life plan in the same way. I am creating various “pathways” or “accounts” with different goals and timelines, using asset allocation. My 401k account has a long and wide pathway which allows for more risk given the time horizon. My taxable account which I contribute a little out of each paycheck to also weighs more heavily in equities (stocks) versus fixed income (bonds), knowing that I have a high risk tolerance for these funds and probably won’t need them for many years. I am also building my emergency savings which sits in my checking account and offers a separate pathway toward financial security and peace of mind.
I do not yet know what my life will look like five, ten, or twenty years from now, or in exactly what ways these funds will allow me to create meaningful life experiences. However, I can imagine these accounts may one day help me start a family, buy a home, or comfortably retire, and it feels fulfilling to mindfully contribute to those dreams.