Saving up for old age
And enjoying the present
“When I was 20, I wanted to be a millionaire ... Now that I’m a millionaire, I want to be 20.”
~ Alex Hormozi
Our time is a "resource" that will continue to decrease every day. No amount of wealth can change this.
We do not know when our time on earth will run out. We hope we can accumulate enough wealth and then retire and enjoy life before our time runs out.
But we do not know when our time will expire.
Even if we assume we live to our 90’s, we may not be able to do some activities that we love when we get to be 70 years old. Or at least not enjoy them as much as when we are younger. For example, physical activities will get tougher as we pass certain threshold as we age. Or enjoying our kids childhood - they grow older and move out of the house.
Of course there are many activities that we will enjoy at 70 and older. But some things are better enjoyed when we are younger.
Different retirement scenario
You and I are unique. There is no magic formula that applies equally well for everyone. But if we allow ourselves to think outside the box, we may see other options to plan our retirement.
What if we stop (or pause) working before we reach "retirement age" and spend the time to enjoy life earlier?
We will accumulate less wealth and we will have less money to spend on things or activities to enjoy. At present time and also when we get to be 70 and older.
What we gain is the enjoyment at present age that we would have otherwise missed if we postpone it to old age. Is this a worthwhile trade-off?
Without a crystal ball to know the future, this is a scary thing to consider.
Different people have different circumstances. If you have some measure of social safety net, be it from government or from family, then you will weigh the risk differently. Maybe the risk seems less compared to those who do not have any social safety net.
Either way, it is possible to calculate the financial impact of pausing working (or stopping early) to our retirement savings. (*)
Once we calculate the financials, then we can assess if the trade-off is worthwhile. There is no magic formula. This depends on our individual finances and our personal desires. There is also psychological factors of family and cultural background. This is both subjective assessment and factual financial calculations.
It is not always about money
I believe the more we enjoy our younger years, the more enjoyable our retirement can be.
This comment resonates with me.
“I always worry about people who say, 'You know, I'm going to do this for ten years. I really don't like it very well, but I'll do ten more years and ...'
To me, that's like saving up sex for your old age. Not a very good idea.”
~ Warren Buffett
Our younger years are when we develop friendships and when many of us build families. If we are too busy acquiring wealth and do not spend time with families and friends, we may not have any when we retire. I personally will not enjoy retirement without loving families and friends.
We need to take care of our “investments” in non-monetary aspects as well. Let us intentionally put in the effort to enjoy people that we love in the present time.
Have a great day.
(*) If you have not read it, check out:
Disclaimer: Anything I share is not intended as financial advice; I am merely sharing personal opinions and experiences. The information is of general nature and you should only use it as a place to start your own research and you certainly should do your own due diligence. You ought to seek professional financial advice before making any decisions.