I tease my eldest daughter that I’m going to live to 105. That means we will both be retired at the same time, assuming the retirement age doesn’t rise above 70. But there is a financial problem with this idea because I’m not sure I can actually afford to live until I’m 105.
It would be so easy for me to not look that far into the future. 105 would be adding more than 50 years to my life from now, and I can’t imagine what I might do at 80 or 85, let alone 95. Even less can I imagine how my finances might look and what sort of pension and other income I might need. But I do know that my future could be stormy if I don’t have some some idea of where I’m heading.The answer, of course, is to plan ahead.
Statistically life expectancy has been creeping up for decades, and there is a 1 in 3 chance that children born today will live to be a hundred. So me living to 105 is not beyond possibility. There are many factors that make this possible: the better homes we live in, the better medicine, the better diet. Yes I could well I’ve to 105.
However also statistically, too, many people who have retired live in poverty. We could well live to 105, but we can we afford to live until 105? Our bills don’t disappear out of respect for our senior years, even if the costs of raising a family have disappeared. And for of us with children who have additional needs, the cost of helping to support an extra person might never completely go away.
So we do need to know where we’re heading. We have talked in these blogs a little about the need to grow our net worth, watch our budgets, and keep an eye on pension funds, but we haven’t talked about everything beyond money. I want to do more living. I want to embrace this possibility that I will probably live longer. I want to take all the positive benefits rather than think, how will I get through my 80s. I still want to live, even in my 90s!
And I can.
All I need to do is remember the world is becoming a more wonderful place to live. Life is more comfortable with modern technology, and can be more fulfilling. The internet has changed the world, and my tablet with touch-screen technology makes it so easy to find anything out, providing I ask the right question. Pretty soon virtual reality will become an everyday reality. The biggest revolution since the printing press 500 years ago is happening right now, and I for one don’t want to miss out! And why should I? Technology is getting easier to use.
I believe I need to have a clearer idea of my future because I want to do two things: first, live my life to the full; second, provide financial and emotional security for my youngest daughter who has additional needs. (Of course I love my eldest daughter, but I’m confident she will find her way in life.) These two things need money but, just as importantly, they need me to have a vision. I need to think about how I want to live so I can have some idea of what I need to do to live that vision.
Next week I will talk more on my own plans for retiring with enough money to enable me to live my life but also support my daughter to live hers.