A common piece of advice I’ve heard is “Take risks while you’re young.” This is often applied to personal finance, in terms of trying to land a higher-paying job, starting a new business, or pursuing your passion. The thinking goes something like this:
- The older you are, the more likely you’ll have a spouse or partner that depends on your income, or at least they’ve become accustomed to how it makes their life more comfortable. They may not be supportive of having it disappear while you chase a dream.
- You’re more likely to have children, who will take up all your free time and you’ll (hopefully) be happy about it.
- You’re more likely to need to take care of your parents. Simple addition tells us that if you’re in your 30s and your parents had you when they were in their 30s, that means they’re in their 60s or 70s.
- Basically, as you get older the more likely you’ll have more responsibilities and less time.
- More responsibility increases the importance of income stability over income potential.
- Less time means you can’t go on crazy streaks like 100-hour workweeks on your startup (or 60 hours on your side start-up on top of your regular 40 hour/week job).
- On top of all that, older often means less energy.