When I am invited to speak with young entrepreneurs on behalf of Blackbullion I always ask them how long they could last on their savings.
It really does take twice as long and cost twice as much as expected to get a business profitable.
Unless you have some security you cannot focus on growing your business and taking the risks which inherently need to be taken to leap the chasm from where you are to where you want to be.
So I ask them – how long could you survive if the only money you had was the money already saved?
This is a question anyone under 45 would be wise to ask about their retirement.
If you stopped work and there was no pension how long could you survive? This is no longer a hypothetical question. Both analytical and anecdotal evidence points to an indisputable fact…
Too few people are putting too little into a pot from which too many people are taking too much. And young people are going to find out just how much is too much when we retire and try tapping that pot too.
Because that pot, the National Insurance Fund (yes, that national insurance you pay into every month) is going dry.
On top of everything else you need to consider when it comes to how you spend your pay-check, you now need to make saving for the future a priority. Unless you want to spend your later life deciding between heating and eating you need to get retirement ready.
A voice in your head now is saying “I’ll just work longer” – indeed you will. That is already assumed. We are all going to work more years than we think and it’s just as well since we are going to living much longer than we think too.
When the pension was introduced in 1908 you were projected to die at age 47. Now we can expect 45 years in employment followed by 30 years in retirement and one in three of us will live well into our nineties.
Journos and policy makers will spend the next forever figuring out who to blame for this situation. Not that answering that will provide comfort for us.
What matters to us is how can we take the one ace we have, being young, and make it count.
If spending is something we do our whole life and income is something that eventually stops how can we make those 45 years of work sustain our whole life?
In 2015 we are going to (try!) answer the question – What can we do to make sure we have enough money to live well as long as we live?
I look forward to hearing from you then, but until then I hope Santa is generous…