There are many reasons why you have chosen to work and live abroad, and picked Vietnam for your place of habitation. It is obviously not for everyone, but for the majority of us, when this mad and crazy country gets under your skin, it is awfully difficult to break away from it. The allure grabs you and wants to keep you here.
Once you embrace this, you start planning for life here. That could be in business, with a family or looking to buy (take a long lease hold on) a house or apartment.
For some people this is just a natural progression, but for others, some people wake up one day to the realisation that they have turned into their own father. They are no longer the happy go lucky young man that landed here with so many ideas, wishes and dreams. They look at themselves in the mirror and think “when did I get old”?
The “success” stereotype in my home country is for you to start sleeping with your secretary and buy a little red sports car. Here it may be similar, but with a barmaid and a larger motorbike. The male menopause, or andropause, exists. It’s a real thing. The term was coined by doctors Carl Heller and Gordon Myers over 40 years ago in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association. It has been proven not to be just biological, but also economical.
You still work hard like you have been for years, but now for the first time that you can remember, the spare change in your wallet feels like it is burning a hole. I truly believe that a part of the menopause is having to learn again what it is like to be free of the money related issues that you have had for years, due to bringing up a family, mixed with a hormonal change that can show itself with a mild depression. Spending money on something for yourself releases the same endorphins and dopamine (the happy hormone) that you have been missing.
Now I am not going to tell anyone not to do anything that makes them feel good about themselves. For male mental health, it is needed and healthy.
What isn’t healthy though are whole scale changes to your life that can affect you and your finances for decades to come. Getting to this point in life where you have been able to have a few dollars in your back pocket, you have done something right. Don’t ruin it now. Make some smart choices with not just you in your thoughts, put your family in the picture as well.
Finally, if you are thinking about going the route of the barmaid and the new powerful bike, just two things: Firstly, condoms may be cheap but children and divorce lawyers aren’t. Secondly, if you are buying a big bike, a doctor friend tells me a nickname for men who get into their fifties and decide to buy a weekend big bike to try to relive their youth is: organ donors.
Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org