The 4 Day Week - a possibility?
A few weeks ago I quoted Sonia Sodha's piece on a 4 day week in the Guardian and how it could benefit everyone; I remember the Green Party including this in their Manifesto in 2017. Facebook today had a posting on this subject quoting research from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.
Briefly the research suggested the over 40s should work fewer hours, citing short term memory and concentration as key factors. The research went on to say the optimum working week is 25 hours and that this actually boosts psychological performance while longer hours had the opposing effect.
From personal experience I can see how this might be true; my days working for a leading accountancy practice [over 20 years ago] involved starting at around 8am latest and rarely [having the courage to] leaving before 10pm. And that was just Monday to Friday, weekends were far more gentle...!
Another interesting result from the research was that those working over 60 hours per week scored lower on cognitive performance than those who didn't work!
As a 'life centred'' planner these research papers interest me on two levels; first there is a growing debate, seemingly international, on reducing working hours, and second, most people I meet or know all aspire to spending less time at work.
In my planning work I use - like others I imagine - the phrase "life is not a rehearsal". It's true of course and on or around the age of 40 we start to hear it far more often. No name dropping but I know someone who makes for the obituaries in the evening paper before any other page! Despite what we are told about increasing life expectancy [except, worryingly in the younger generation] I read about many folk in their 50s dying, often of 'natural causes' though as many through lifestyle choices.
As I write this on November 7 I cannot fail to notice the explosion of Christmas all around! The girl who served my coffee earlier was wearing a Christmas t shirt - Christmas she told me was "launched on November 1st" I remember vividly taking last years Christmas tree down and it feels like barely a few months ago.
Do you find time is speeding up as you get older?
The Gerontological Society of America has this motto:
"We may be adding years to life, but not life to years" Ring true?
Financial planning is NOT about buying one, complex, off the shelf, financial product after another. It is NOT about taking investment risk few of us fully understand. It is NOT about which pension plan is best or whether the adviser is independent or working for an insurer like St James's Place.
It is about YOU. How you got to where you are and crucially, in which direction are you headed? Into which category will you fit?
There are 3, each as challenging as the other.
Which category do you fit into?
If your financial adviser has provided you with a detailed Life Plan illustrating clearly where you sit and into which category you are heading towards AND has not told you to top up pension savings and or commit to other investment products [where assessing your 'attitude to risk' appears to be the most important factor] as the solution, then you are in the right hands.
If, however, you are like so many people, armed with an array of financial products believing them to be the solution to achieving all your objectives - even when your circumstances change - and you worry about investment returns in this, the most geo-politically challenged time since 1945, then you need to find out about 'life centred'' planning.
Remember, life is NOT a rehearsal so what do you want to do with the time you have left?
4 day week? More personal time? The peace of mind that you have enough money to last?
Please visit www.theaureapartnership.com