I often see people arguing that there’s no point in saving for retirement because there’s no guarantee you’ll live that long.
“I could be dead by then!”
“If I die, I can’t take it with me!”
“I may as well live life to the full while I’m young!”
Although I do believe it’s important to live every day like it’s our last, the idea we shouldn’t save for retirement because we could get hit by a bus and die just seems a little silly. In this post I’ll share 3 reasons I think it’s just plain daft.
There is a risk that you’ll be dead by the time you get to draw your pension but there’s an even greater risk that you’ll live to draw your pension and have nothing to draw!
If we all stopped thinking about the future, nothing would get done
Imagine if we all decided to stop planning ahead in every aspect of our lives. Nothing would get done!
Trees wouldn’t get planted, buildings wouldn’t be built and businesses wouldn’t get past the day dreaming stage.
Bloody hell, would anyone even cook dinner? What’s the point in baking a cake? I could be dead by the time it gets out the oven!
Imagine if Gaudi hadn’t started the Sagrada Familia.
Imagine if the Suffragettes hadn’t fought for the vote.
Imagine if Bruce Willis hadn’t pushed Ben Affleck in the big glass space lift and pressed the detonator button while standing on a meteor at the end of Armageddon!
Sorry if that spoiled the ending for you but if you haven’t seen it by now, are you ever really going to? It’s been 18 years.
Anyway, the idea that we shouldn’t save for the future because we don’t know what could happen is just as silly as the examples above. Well, kinda. I really believe that this very mentality is what stops people from progressing and succeeding in life.
Need to lose weight? Why bother eating healthily? What’s the point in eating vegetables when you could still get cancer and die anyway!
Want to go to university to become a doctor? Sod that, pal! You could get stressed and have a heart attack and die!
Thinking of binge watching every season of The Walking Dead until it returns to our screens in October? I don’t know, October’s a while away! Anything could happen by then.
Moral of the story: Planning ahead and making a few sacrifices now is vital in order to make the future brighter.
If you’re unwilling to make a few short term sacrifices for long term gain, you’ll never get anywhere!
Of course, there is a risk that you’ll be dead by the time you get to draw your pension but there’s an even greater risk that you’ll live to draw your pension and have nothing to draw!
Even if you do die, that money could improve the life of your loved ones
Let’s imagine you work hard your whole life and along the way you squirrel a percentage of your cash into a retirement fund. You’re due to retire on the Friday and you’re feeling happy as Larry, but on the Thursday you drop down dead. RIP to you.
That money you’d saved all those years doesn’t just evaporate into thin air. Providing you’ve chosen the right pension plan, have drawn up a will and have thought carefully about what would happen if you died, the people you love will get some inheritance.
Sure, they’d be pretty sad. They’d cry over you for at least a week, I imagine. But do you know what? They’d inherit a substantial amount of money and this money could make their lives easier.
It wouldn’t bring you back, no. And money tends to mean very little to someone who has just lost a loved one, but there’s no doubt that this inheritance could have the potential to improve their lives.
If you’d saved a hefty pension, your relatives could potentially buy a nice house, go travelling, or live off the interest. They could buy themselves freedom with that money! In the event of your untimely death, do you not want that for your loved ones?
What’s in it for me? I hear you ask. Who cares! You’re dead. You don’t know what’s going on. We all get hung up on this romantic idea of getting lots of awesome stuff done before we die but ultimately, it doesn’t really matter once you’ve kicked the bucket. Life is for the living.
Imagine if every member of your family made retirement saving a priority. Think of it this way:
- If you lived to retirement age, you’d get your money
- If you died before retirement, a relative would get your money on top of theirs
- If your relative died before retirement, you’d get their money on top of yours
That wasn’t as profound as I’d hoped it would be, but you get the picture.
If you’d saved a hefty pension, you relatives could potentially buy a nice house, go travelling, or live off the interest. They could buy themselves freedom with that money! In the event of your untimely death, do you not want that for your loved ones?
Your future self matters
And now onto my final point… Why do we not care about our future selves? I really don’t understand it.
I think the fact that we don’t care about our future selves is a prime example of ageism.
It’s as if we think that old people matter less than young people.
It’s as if we think that old people deserve less than young people.
It’s as if we think that old people have less wants and desires than young people.
It’s just pure ageism, is what it is.
Your future self matters. Start caring about yourself.