A life less ordinary

by | Mar 26, 2015

Sometime ago I attended a really inspiring event hosted by a company called UK Changes (www.ukchanges.com). During the day there was one stand out piece based on lifestage.

Now lifestage is the new kid on the block. By ‘new’ I mean it’s been around for years but no one really knows what to do with it. I’m sure there’s a highly technical explanation of lifestage, but I’m going to give you my version.

As we move through life we will hit stages where some things will take priority over others. When we’re in our twenties, we live in the ‘here and now’ and are only interested in earning money to feed a vigorous social life. When we’re in our thirties and forties meeting the needs of our children and the financial burden of their upkeep is foremost. Once they’ve flown the nest our thoughts turn to funding an active early retirement and providing for a comfortable and secure older age.

So why is lifestage important?

A willing volunteer from UKC plotted her life. From her twenties through to her middle age she told us the story of her life in terms of her priorities at that point. It took us through her first big relationship, house buying, young children, older children, university, divorce, house selling, more house buying, new relationships and settling down; enjoying grown-up freedom and financial security.

And the most interesting bit? Clearly she’d had an eventful few years, but the interesting bit was her recounting of the financial uncertainty that comes with certain life events such as young children, education and the breakdown of relationships. Immediately her charitable giving stopped, the way she thought about her spending changed and her emotional situation at any one time significantly influenced her purchases: from food to insurances.

The years rolled on and life settled down bringing with it financial security which breeds financial confidence. Once again her purchasing decisions changed and her charitable giving started again.

There is no definitive way we can tell where someone is on their life’s journey. We can make a rough guess based on their age (clue: age is a really important bit of data), but this assumes everyone is on the same journey and does the same thing at the same time. But ignoring the influence of lifestage makes us stockpile data, leaving it to fester in the nether regions of our databases. And just because these people didn’t hear you five years ago, doesn’t mean they won’t hear you now.

It’s essential to stay in touch and to make the most of those valuable connections. Plug The Gap looks beyond the obvious and selects targeted data to maximise the potential of your connections. Find out more. Contact Julie via julie@plugthegap.org.uk or on 01462 713444.

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