Should I Be Saving Money If I Won’t Be Living Long Enough to Retire?

What if I won’t be living long enough to retire?

 

On one of the forums I check out from time to time, somebody asked a question:

” – My brother-in-law puts very little thought into retirement savings. He has a tiny amount being funneled to a 401k and a small emergency fund. He isn’t a spendthrift, but isn’t interested in making a bigger effort. When I brought up my own plans, he told me he isn’t going to live long enough to retire.”

 

Is there a point to saving money then?

 

Well, here’s my personal opinion.

To me, saving money, improving your financial situation, and slowly building up your estate (portfolio, assets, whatever you want to call it) is not about living long enough to retire. The whole retirement thing as presented most of the time isn’t appealing to me at all – working hard all your life, saving up money, just to play golf all day and go on cruises once in a while? That’s just depressing if you ask me.

Living Long Enough to Retire

Living Long Enough to Retire

To me, having money is not about retirement. Heck, I don’t think I will ever retire. I think I will always work on something – if it’s not me working with my two hands, it might be an online business. If it’s not working on my own gig, it might be helping somebody with their company. Bottom line, the way retirement is portrayed most of the time is not something I am looking forward to, and it’s not why we’re working so hard on improving our finances.

 

What if I won’t be living long enough to retire?

 

Will everything I will do to that point be pointless? Of course not. If I do die early, my family won’t have to worry about money. My kids’ education will be taken care of so they can obtain their degrees. My wife won’t be forced to re-marry just because she can’t make it on her own – she will have enough money to make wise choices, not forced choice.

Having money will allow us take care of our parents and relatives – so we can always help them and not just find them a cheap retirement home where they won’t be treated right.

Having money is about freedom to do whatever you want to do – without worrying about your bi-weekly paycheck. There are things, I’m sure, you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because it would mean an end to your income. For example, I always wanted to cross Canada on a motorcycle. What if you didn’t have to worry about working 50 hours/week and bringing that paycheck? What if you could focus on your own personal interests for a while – money can make it possible.

Living Long Enough to Retire

Living Long Enough to Retire

Money is about helping others and sharing your wealth – and if you have plenty of money you can share it with a lot of people, and help a lot of people. You don’t have to retire to do that, and you can enjoy doing it way before that gray “near retirement” age.

And lastly, money is about being independent from circumstances. All of a sudden, you don’t have to worry about your car transmission. If it goes out, you just go ahead and fix it – or buy a new car altogether. You don’t have to put up with bad treatment at work – cause you can’t quit anytime, and take your time finding a better place to work for yourself.

None of these things have anything to do with living long enough to retire. And it’s not about being able to buy luxury cars or other “toys”. All of them mean comfort to your family, being able to take care of them, and just enjoying your life in general. Even if you don’t live long enough to retire in a traditional sense, money can greatly benefit your life. And that’s why I focus on working hard, managing money wisely, and investing for the future.

Have you ever asked yourself what money means to you?