Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
In this day and age, we all understand how to positively impact our health. If we want to live long and fruitful lives, we curb our cravings for cigarettes and alcohol, eat balanced diets and make sure we keep as active as we can. And, if something does go wrong, we seek medical help. In short: we don’t gamble with our health.
So why is it that we are looking after our bodies for the future but not our finances? We’re not prepared to take a punt on our health but seem to be unconsciously spinning the wheel of fortune on our future financial security.
The best way to plan for your retirement is to start as soon as possible and check on your plans at least annually to see if they're working.
There is an old military adage that says, ‘prior preparation prevents poor performance’. If you want to succeed- whether you are taking an exam or climbing Everest- you put in the work beforehand to make sure that you are set up for success. This principle can be related to my first analogy of health- many of us all put in place the building blocks now, to make sure we can live long, and comfortable lives and retain the capability to enjoy our favourite pastimes. But having the health and wellbeing is only one piece of the puzzle: you might be able to physically take part in the things you love, but will you be able to afford that lifestyle?
When I talk about the future, I often refer to retirement. In my mind, retirement is not about growing old and giving up. For me, retirement doesn’t hold the connotations of something grey and bleak, it’s the antithesis of that. Retirement is like a sparkling light on the horizon, full of hope and opportunities. My retirement will be full of excitement and adventure, where I will conquer mountains, dive to the depths of the oceans, and travel the world, embracing the diverse cultures that our wonderful planet has to offer. I’ll spend time watching my grand-kids grow and share my experiences with them and the generations to come. I’m going to live life to the full and love every moment of it. And with sensible planning, I am hoping money won’t be a concern.
But I know that my version, or rather vision, of retirement is not shared by everyone. For millions, retirement is a scary prospect, full of uncertainty, worry and apprehension. Aside from global uncertainty, it’s important to remember that we are living in a time where the aging population is becoming an increasing problem. In 2015, the population in the UK alone hit 65.1 million, the largest ever on record; in 2017, 17.8% of the populous is aged over 65 years old. With so many people to support, how can the State Pension provide more than a pittance? How will pensioners survive?
A lot of people I talk to don’t think that they will ever be able to afford to retire, and even more are just so perplexed by the financial landscape that they simply close their eyes and pray for the best. But avoidance is not the answer. Amid this chaos, you need to find some clarity and start to think about your future, not run away from it. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so now is the time for your retirement planning.
If you want to build your wealth and protect your future, financial planning needs to be your weapon of choice. If you would like to talk to one of our expert financial planners, please call 01572 898060 or email [email protected]