I'm a 49 year old with two boys (12 and 9) and nearly retired. I am down to working about one day a week. I have had my own small business (electronic design and manufacturing) for about 18 years. Business has been slowing over the last two years or so. I couldn't work up the enthusiasm to go out and look for new business (or, god forbid, a real job). I was worried about this until last year when I started looking at my financial situation and (after much research, including the very useful people on this board) realised that I didn't have to work any more
After much learning and reading in the last year I have taken full control of my finances including all the dodgy stuff (pensions, endowments, etc) I had been sold when I was too busy to find out exactly what I was buying. This has been real eye opener!
My current setup is 40% property (not including the house I live in) , 40% cash/gilts and 20% equity. This probably looks a bit light on stocks to most people. Looking over the last ten years the property has done best by a long way. In the UK the property market has been returning an average of around 14% pa for the last 7 years. On top of this I also get net rental of about 4-5% pa. I am not very happy with the return or stability of the stock market over the last few years (who isn't!). Over the last 9 years (since I started investing in stocks in the UK and US) the return is zero (a serious real loss after accounting for inflation!). It looks to me like the markets are a bit fragile - something minor (or major) may happen that triggers a big move either way. I can also get 5-6% on tax free cash deposits at present so I can't see any real reason to invest more into the markets right now unless someone knows different
I have found that, as the work part of my life slowly reduces, I seem to be more relaxed about everything. I don't think most people realise the tension and stress they live under when working (especially when in a managing a business). I love the challenge of designing stuff and making things work but I'm not that good at the people management side or the other bits of business. I started with no qualifications at all and had to learn on the job. This is very rewarding and has taught me that there isn't anything you can't do (at least mentally!) if you try. I think that I got to the point where it was too easy - the challenge had started to diminish.
Anyway, that's enough rambling for today!
I am now in the position where my experience may be of help to others.