The ironies of getting older

It's interesting how much life really changes as we get older.

When we're young -- say, in our late teens and early 20s -- we have ample time for ourselves, but not much money to make the most of that time.

Once we hit our 30s -- the time when we typically settle down to start a family and are more established in our careers -- we find ourselves on more solid footing financially, but with much less time available than we had in our post-high school years.

It isn't until the kids move out for college that we transition back to a life where we can focus more on ourselves and our interests, but by then, those interests tend to be radically different than the ones we enjoyed when we were younger.

It's no surprise more and more couples are waiting longer to have kids -- or are opting not to have them at all.  Perfectly content with their sans-kids lifestyle, such couples are in no hurry to go from a life of unfettered freedom to baby bottles and Dora the Explorer. Few things place as much of a strain on a couple's time, energy, and finances as parenthood.

How many times have you -- or someone you know -- said you wish you had the wisdom you possess now when you were younger?

The hard truth is that we can't acquire that wisdom without the wrinkles that bespeak the passage of time. Only by going through a bevy of experiences as we age -- good and bad alike -- can we gain sound knowledge and judgment we can in turn pass on to our kids.

Life comes with a whole host of tradeoffs, and this is just one of them. We become wiser and more financially stable over time -- at the expense of having less time (both in terms of time remaining on earth and everyday responsibilities that eat up so much of it) to put that money and wisdom to good use for ourselves.

In other words, you're armed with better resources with which to conquer the world, but time is no longer on your side.

Do you agree?

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