On Getting Older: IntroductionSep 27, 2022
I recently attended my Connecticut high school’s 50th reunion. I’ve got to say, it has given me pause. Was the class of ’72 really 50 years ago? Couldn’t be – but it is. I had a great time, and even my wife commented on what a group of really nice people were there – pretty much what I remembered, too. Some quick math: that makes me 68, having been born in 1954.
I remember reading Gail Sheey’s books Passages and Pathfinders as a younger man, and I enjoyed the overall perspective they gave for that generation. I’ve asked around, and as yet haven’t been able to find anything similar for my generation at this stage of life – arguably the late summer if not early winter of our lives. If anyone knows of a good title, please leave it in the comments.
So I’ve actually been thinking about a blog to share my musings for a while now. Not just pieces about aging – how boring would that be! – but more to the point sharing my professional and personal observations about the differences between my late baby-boomer perspective on life and those of the millennials and younger. I plan to write about work, money, fitness, and relationships, all with an eye to personal productivity and satisfaction.
Let me launch in with some description of my background.
My father was the youngest of three brothers, and at age 19 was a WW2 veteran. All three brothers were graduated from prestigious educational institutions after the war, and there was never any other option for me but to go to college. Dad was probably considered upper middle management at his place of employment, and although we were certainly not wealthy, money was never a problem. We had all we needed and much of what we wanted.
Both my parents grew up during the Great Depression. Dad’s mother was a widow with three young boys and worked two jobs to make ends meet. Her mother looked after the boys during the day. My mother’s mother came from Italy as a young girl, and my mother’s father also came from an Italian immigrant family. He was a successful florist by trade and was a prominent businessman in New Haven.
Dinner was a family event. We came to the table cleaned up and ready to converse. My older sister and I were expected to contribute to the conversation, and we all shared about our days. Dad always had classical music playing in the background. Table manners were important. Of course, there were no mobile devices then.
Deportment and dress were very important, as was caring about what others would think. You can’t go out looking like that – what will people think? was a common phrase of the time. People aspired to look and act like their social superiors, unlike today where we seem to race to the lowest common denominator. More on that with my airport observations.
I love this word – vocation. It is so much more encompassing than a mere job or employment. When I’m highly functioning in my vocation, I feel like a fish IN water. Finance, investment, and financial planning were always interests of mine. But I took a diversion during the college years to test a vocation in Christian ministry. I found my vocation was to be a committed layman, and to serve God in that way. More on that later. I completed an MBA at UCONN, had bronchial pneumonia three winters in a row, and we moved to Florida for health reasons as much as employment. When I’m working in my vocation I feel that I am pleasing God – using the gifts and talents He’s given me to benefit others.
It has been an absolute joy to found CameronDowning with Jonathan Cameron, and to see it grow. As I write this we just celebrated our 8th anniversary as a firm. I had the vision for this firm years ago, but it took many years before meeting the right business partner. Jon and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of working together and have a terrific partnership. And for those who don’t know, age-wise he could be my son.
We’ve always been forward-looking, trying to anticipate what clients will demand. To that end we’ve recently begun accepting payment of financial planning fees in cryptocurrency and are now offering our clients direct digital asset investments.
This is enough of an introduction, I think. I’ll have more detail to give as I add installments. I have quite a few wide-ranging posts planned that I hope will entertain my readers and give some food for thought. Comments are welcome! The subsequent installments are given in no particular order, and each can be read independently of the others. Remember - these are my personal musings. You may agree with my observation or not agree - doesn't matter. I'm just sharing my own thoughts and observations. At this writing I'll have well over 20 installments here, so please connect with me on LinkedIn and follow along!
Best Regards to all,
---Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
Feel free to get in touch at [email protected]. Also follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube for more personal financial information relevant to you!
Stay connected with news and updates!
Sign up for our monthly newsletter for more personal finance and market insights.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.