There are very few people I know today who are not really keen on growing old. Somehow, despite the challenges faced daily, add to that gloomy news about the future as a result of the economy, most people are still hopeful. Almost every discussion about how bleak things are end with e go better. That’s like saying, “Through it all, I believe things will get better.”
It’s interesting. Some don’t even bother to pray about the future anymore. Maybe due to religious inclinations or assurances, you have come to believe there is no need to ‘waste time’ praying about that aspect of your life. You definitely will live long, whether the devil likes it or not.
I congratulate you on your confidence. Then, I ask: “What if you live long? How are you going to live this long life that you have been blessed with? What will you be doing during this time? How healthy or happy will you be? Where will you get the money to live this life?
Whether you will regret living long, or whether you will see the long life as a blessing, is in your hands to decide. If you will avoid the diseases typically associated with old age, and be able to travel the world with your spouse like you’d dreamed, may depend greatly on what your health insurance plans are. Whether you will be able to provide your grandkids with the education and opportunities you could not afford at their age may be a huge function of what you are investing your money into now.
Don’t live with the illusion that you won’t retire until ‘later in life’. In fact, you may already be retired without realising it. Back in the days, you waited to get an award for meritorious service, possibly a gold wristwatch, gratuity and a qualification for pensions, when you retired at 50 or 60 years. What you did with yourself (or your money) afterwards was entirely up to you.
Today, the story is different. Many, for example, have chosen the path of entrepreneurship which means, except deliberate efforts are made to address these areas, you have no pensions to look forward to. Now is when you have the opportunity to build a pool from which you can draw “in retirement”.
Rather than wait for retirement to happen to you, prepare now to be able to take care of yourself, do good and leave an inheritance to your children’s children, when you retire. Make your money work for you now, even if you’re only 25 years old. If you retire at 50 and die at 90, you would only have had 25 years with which to live 40 post-retirement years!
Now, you see that you cannot merely save your way up to retirement. Find opportunities to invest and ensure your investment earnings are not eroded by inflation. Most importantly, start early. Let compound interest work for you.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now.”
-Chinese Proverb.
Olubunmi Samuel-Adeyemi
LIMER™ Personal Finance Coach