I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Today’s story, breaking down how to dig into our midlife wealth statement (and why you should rethink what you need), was written by Merry Lynch Pavlak. Her clients have found this particular method very useful, and I think you will, too. She’s even created a download to make it even easier! Enjoy, darlings!

midlife wealth statement

Once you sit down and really look at your midlife wealth statement, you may be surprised at what you really need.

*Affiliate Disclosure

The journey from midlife to retirement or re-invention is probably the longest and most treacherous one we will experience during our lifetime. It seems to go on and merge and morph into many different things. Midlife is referred to as ages 35 to 60 and after that, we move right into the “golden years.” I don’t know about you but the image that the “golden years” represents is not one that I am ready for. 

Our mind plays all kinds of games with us. Our subconscious is filled with images of past experiences, things, or imagery that evoke emotion (good, bad, right, or wrong). The subconscious doesn’t make decisions, you do. As we move into, through, and past “midlife” we get to decide just how we will live this time in our life, whatever you wish to call “this time” in your life. That is as long as our health is on board with us, which is a topic for a different post

Anyway, as we stroll through museums, magazines, TV advertisements, and social media we are slammed with images of what this time in our life is supposed to look like. What I see are sedentary people, lots of medication, wrinkles, and fatigue. I see loneliness, a feeling of being invisible, and being scared about how will be able to afford to make it through.

Recently Honey wrote a story about “cutting the fluff,” which is an excellent follow-up read!

What Was Your First Finance Story?

I was never taught about finances or money. After all, that was my father’s job and never to be spoken about. My mother was handed an allowance every week to buy groceries, gas for the car, dry cleaning, and things that we as school children might need. And whatever was left over was for her. I am not saying this to be critical, this just formed my money story. That was what I saw. It was never talked about. 

What was the image that you saw? What kind of impact did it leave on your life? As you can imagine and for many other women going through life, from the stories that I made up about money, finances and women, I made some terrible financial mistakes. 

The advertisements tell us about everything we are lacking in life. We are not whole or complete unless we have the latest gadget, paint color, clothing … the list goes on. 

For those of you with a garage, that is a whole other beast. This is a cool statistic — 25% of Americans have a two-car garage but do not park their cars in them because they have so much stuff. And over the past 25 years the average home size has grown from 1000 square feet on average to 2500 square feet, with fewer children. 

What have we done? Now comes midlife or the “golden years,” just how do we get off the hamster wheel and create a life of joy without struggle; a life of passion and purpose without worry?

 How I Took Back My Joy & Became a Free Spirit After 50

You Have Your “Stuff” and Now It’s Time to Take Stock

So, how does your stuff (which can be physical things, a person, or intangible thoughts) make you feel? Secure, happy, overwhelmed, fearful? The other crazy thing is that because of social media, we now see over 5000 ads a day. So we’re constantly bombarded with keeping up with the Joneses (or an influencer) subliminally. And how many times do we just click on an ad, wasting our time (which is energy…how do we spend it), what do you need to let go of?

Do we have stuff because it compensates for other deficiencies that we think we have? What is lacking? How about the way we feel when a package arrives on our doorstep? 

Since the pandemic, which was devastating for many people because so many people lost their jobs. Many people were on the verge of homelessness. But, in fact, the opposite is true; many people that were able to keep their jobs were doing really well, because their everyday expense went down because of working from home. Actually many had more money to spend. And so, that excess money and boredom became a spending habit of shopping online, ordering DoorDash meals, and spending more time on our smartphones instead of being present with the people around us. There is a price to pay for all of that.

Midlife Wealth Statement – Whatever You Think You Need, It’s Time to Rethink It

When my husband retired and we decided to move abroad, looking at our finances was one of the first things that we had to grapple with. Generally speaking, most people find it difficult to discuss money. But I came across a process called a Money Map, to help us on our money journey. Without shame, guilt, or fear. That process comes from the book, The Art of Money by Bari Tesslar. It seemed to make sense so I gave it a try and I hope you do too!

The process broke my finances into three growth strategies. Create three rows on a piece of paper or use my Money Map free workbook download

Step One: Your Basic Lifestyle

What is everything that you want? For a survival? Lifestyle? It could be the lifestyle you have right now. What are your basic needs? 

Some people only talk about money and what that money can afford them. But money also has an emotional side — an intangible side. It’s not only about what money can buy but what it feels like when you either have or don’t have enough. 

How much do you need for your bills? How much did you need for entertainment? Clothing, travel? What is everything that you want in your everyday lifestyle? Now for some people, of course, travel is important to them. Maybe a Starbucks coffee is important to them. Right? So it comes down to what is important for you. Bari then suggests that you sit with that. And then write about how you feel about that lifestyle and begin to describe yourself.

Like, for instance, my basic lifestyle? You know, it’s comfortable, I’m comfortable. My bills are paid for my. I know that I can cover my bills. I know that I’m putting money into savings, maybe not as much as I want to but I am committed to it. And I am able out to eat a couple of times a month, nothing fancy but it still makes me feel good. What is it that you want in your Basic Lifestyle? Can you feel positive about your Basic Lifestyle? 


Step Two: The Lifestyle Upgrade 

What would your lifestyle upgrade be? If there were one or two things that you wanted to add into your life, you know, it could be that you want a massage every month, or a pedicure and manicure every month or twice a month. Do you want concert tickets? Maybe you want to upgrade your car? 

What is the next step up for you? What would make you feel even more abundant? And then, what are the related costs. And, again, after you’ve done all the work around that, begin describing yourself in this upgraded version of yourself.

This doesn’t mean you have more stuff. This might mean you have better stuff. Right? Instead of shopping at Zara, you’re going to shop at Massimo Dutti or Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, got the idea? So, it’s not about adding more stuff.

Step Three: The Luxurious Lifestyle

What does living luxurious mean to you? Begin to write down everything that you’ve always wanted in your life. 

Maybe you upgrade your business, buy your dream car. Maybe it’s a second home, a luxurious vacation. What is it for you? Again, what does it look like, and feel like? 

The interesting thing is that when I did this, the monthly difference or the ultimate cost between my basic lifestyle and my upgrade was minuscule. Because it wasn’t about more stuff. It was about what I found out about myself. It was about who I was in my lifestyle and what I was then doing to get to this upgrade.

I did not do this exercise all in one day. I looked at one lifestyle a day…or maybe even longer. I dug deep. I had to feel it, the old stories needed to be addressed. 

This exercise really had me look at what really was important to me. I sifted through what each area meant and what each area provided not only for me but for my family. So, when I really stopped and looked at it, I didn’t stay in my head and holding judgment and criticism of past mistakes and misunderstanding saying that lifestyle is for somebody else. Instead, I was able to look at the real story and make a decision to either do something about it…or not. There was no more trash-talking, I was able to let go and begin a new relationship with my money.

Because in the end, it wasn’t about the money. Learning to Money Map, was about me rearranging my life, to be able to acquire that upgraded life. It was fascinating because this exercise provided me with a road map that I could easily follow. 

Let Independence Be Your Key

The Moral of My Financial Story…

Once I digested all that this exercise offered me, without showing my money map to anyone, I asked my husband to do the same exercise. We then sat together and shared our lifestyle upgrades and created a road map together. 

The money map provided a platform for my husband and I to discuss what this next chapter of our lives would look like and feel like and more importantly…be like.

And now when we plan a trip, or we want to improve our condo, whatever that larger expense is; we have something to refer back to and ask if this fits into our money map. 

I hope you enjoy this exercise as much as my husband and I did. I’d love to hear your comments. Where are you on your financial journey?

Merry Lynch PavlakHi! I’m Merry and I specialize in igniting human potential.

We all have dreams, and it’s my professional passion to help you achieve the life you’re dreaming of. Through vision boarding, 1:1 coaching, or my unique in-depth life envisioning courses, we’ll get you started on your brave new second act in life. Find me at BravingMidlife.com




*Items purchased through links on this site may result in a small commission for Honey Good. Honey and her team only link items that have gone through a thoughtful inspection and research process, or that Honey has used and personally benefited from. This helps with the cost of running the site and is at no additional cost to you.

August 15, 2023


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  1. Joyce says:

    It’s always good to every so often reexamine our financial plans and goals. The Money Map was just another valuable tool to do just that. It helps one think in a different way regarding goals and how to achieve same. Thank you for the download. I found it useful.

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