“Just enjoy life” does not replace retirement planning

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This is not really a deep or well researched article. It’s simply my thoughts in response to a conversation I had with someone the other day.

A work colleague was arguing the value of retirement planning. In essence, with life expectancy of around 70 years and a family history of various illnesses (eg diabetes, heart problems, etc) my friend feels it’s pointless saving for retirement.

Why compromise your standard of living now and burden yourself with the idea of saving for the future when you may not even make it?

And, if you do make it into retirement, your family have a duty to look after you just as you have looked after them in your younger years so it really is pointless to save for retirement.

That’s his views anyway….

My thoughts on this

Wow, sounds crazy but yet it’s not the first time I’ve heard this line of talking. There is a little merit in it and one can kind of understand the thinking. But, you’re placing a lot of faith in the fact that you’ll die young. That’s not a very positive outlook. And, you are expecting your family to look after you which may be quite normal, but it does’t help your future generations to be financially free.

So either you die young and don’t need retirement savings, or you live to a ripe old age… let’s look at the advantages of having retirement savings for both scenarios…

You die young and don’t get the benefit of your retirement savings

This seems to be the fear of many people. The fact that you work hard and don’t get to do all the things you want because you’re saving for retirement which may not actually come.

Here’s another way to look at the scenario…

Imagine you save up and have R2 million invested and you do die young (say at age 55). Well, you have now just given your spouse, children, extended family a huge hand in creating financial independence! You know when people complain about rich families where the children automatically have a head-start in life? You could work towards helping your future generations get there.

Also, have you experienced the financial burden of looking after family members? Do you want to extend that cycle and keep your future family poor and working hard?

It is a very unselfish gesture, but someone has to create a better life for future generations… and it could be you!

You live long and need the retirement savings

The other scenario is that you end up living much longer than expected. This is a realty nowadays as medicine is forever improving and new cures are being developed daily.

In this case you would need all the money you have saved for retirement and can actually live a comfortable life. Who really wants to spend their retirement stuck indoors in a tiny flat with only a small TV screen to watch?

I can’t wait for the time that I don’t have to work, but I do want to be able to travel and do things. Go to restaurants, concerts, spoil my family. I want to have enough money to enjoy life, even if I am a little old.

To close

To me saving for retirement is a “no brainer”! I really don’t see why you wouldn’t!

And…. I really am passionate about the idea of improving the life of my future generations…. If I can do it, why not?

What do you think?

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