Legacy by the Decades

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” — Bill Gates

Over time, your goals, priorities, and benchmarks naturally shift over time. Click each decade for perspective on what is typical throughout these life stages.

Roaring 20s SURVIVAL

According to executive mentor Bobb Biehl*, the 20s are the decade of SURVIVAL through grit and determination.

  • Goals
    • Establish consistent income stream
    • Build cashflow discipline (spend less than you earn)
    • Minimize / eliminate revolving debt
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $76,340
    • Net Worth (median)**: $14,000
    • Savings Target: 15% of your annual salary
  • Legacy Focus
    • Find your rhythm and learn to manage money
    • Cut yourself some slack — life is a marathon, not a sprint
Turbulent 30s SUCCESS

In your second decade of adulthood, the focus becomes SUCCESS as you find your place within your family, your career, and your community.

  • Goals
    • Establish an emergency fund covering 3-6 months of expenses
    • Put a basic estate plan in place (Will and Powers of Attorney)
    • Fully maximize your employer’s savings plan and invest annually in a Roth IRA (if available)
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $76,340
    • Net Worth (median)**: $91,110
    • Savings Target: 2x-3x your annual salary
  • Legacy Focus
    • Find a mentor to guide you both personally and professionally
    • Look for opportunities to level up your skills and long-term potential
Foundational 40s SIGNIFICANCE

In your 40s, author Bobb Biehl* says we struggle to find our SIGNIFICANCE, identifying what constitutes our “life’s work.”

  • Goals
    • Increase your income (negotiate a raise and/or add additional streams)
    • Build your team (tax professional, legal professional, financial coach)
    • Maximize your opportunities to save for the future
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $833,790
    • Net Worth (median)**: $168,800
    • Savings Target: 5x-6x your annual salary
  • Legacy Focus
    • Define your “single greatest strength” and lean into it
    • Discuss your parent’s finances, estate plan, and legacy goals
Thrifty 50s STRIDE

In their 50s, many people describe hitting their STRIDE with a greater sense of clarity about who they are and what success means to them.

  • Goals
    • Save aggressively
    • Solidify your plan for financial freedom (diversify income streams and tax strategy)
    • Revisit your estate plan and update it to reflect your current strategy
    • Implement a plan for long-term care
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $1,176,520
    • Net Worth (median)**: $213,150
    • Savings Target: 7x-8x your annual salary
  • Legacy Focus
    • Increase your focus on physical, not just financial health
    • Become a mentor and continue to seek others who can mentor you
Rocking 60s STRATEGIC

According to coach Biehl*, your 60s is a time of STRATEGIC thinking and the decade of greatest income and influence.

  • Goals
    • Plan out your retirement / “work optional” income plan (sources and timing)
    • Make decisions around Social Security and Medicare
    • Finalize your estate plan and wealth transfer strategy
    • Create a “bucket list” of goals and achievements
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $1,215,920
    • Net Worth (median)**: $266,070
    • Savings Target: Some experts recommend having 10x your annual income saved at this point in your journey
  • Legacy Focus
    • While your natural energy may be decreasing, your strategic energy is at it’s peak
    • Define your identity in the absence of your career
Transformational 70s SUCCESSION

As you approach your seventh decade, your attention turns toward SUCCESSION planning to hand off your legacy both personally and professionally.

  • Goals
    • Coordinate your estate plan with charities and family members
    • Maximize opportunities to transfer your wealth in tax efficient ways
    • Reduce the risk profile on your assets and income streams
  • Financial Benchmarks
    • Net Worth (average)**: $958,450
    • Net Worth (median)**: $254,900
  • Legacy Focus
    • Document your memories and advice for the next generation
    • Find ways to hand off your priorities, not just your possessions
Influential 80s SIMPLICITY

Now, more than ever, it’s important to streamline your life and finances in pursuit of SIMPLICITY.

  • Goals
    • Focus on your physical and mental health
    • Coordinate closely with trustees and trusted professionals
    • Identify anything from your bucket list you still want to achieve
  • Legacy Focus
    • Invest in people
    • Invest in your community
Gracious 90s STORY

Closing in on a century of life, it’s time to reflect on your life’s STORY.

  • Goals
    • Keep learning and keep growing
    • Finish strong and finish well
  • Legacy Focus
    • Participate in the stewardship of your legacy
    • Share your wisdom early and often

*Biehl, Bobb. Decade by Decade: Life is Surprisingly Unpredictable, bobbbiehl.com

**Federal Reserve, Survey of Consumer Finances, federalreserve.gov

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