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Pension planning at 40? Is there nothing more important to do?
But there is a field where the most of us are hard headed procrastinators do not even have a bad conscience yet as the time to finish a job is not as imminent as doing a household chore, finish a job working around the house or having a deadline to deliver an article:
Thinking planning our financials at the still fresh and active age of forty, does not even appear to us as procrastination, it is too far away from our present lifestyle yet. Pension is for the others, the grey haired walking on a cane seniors feeding the ducks in the parks. It is so far away and the thoughts about have no room in our so active and hectic present life. Pension life is a probability which hardly ever will happen to us.
I have been raised at a farm where the property and operation was handed over to the eldest son who would have to take care for the elders later on and the second son was scheduled to become a Monsignor and would be taken care for by mother church when becoming old.
But life sometimes deviates from the safe paths walked by five generations.
All of a sudden a brutally secular executive carrier hit, forcing me to give in to all the temptations big money all of a sudden thrown at me were creating.
Buying a new car, nothing less than a BMW or Mercedes was worth to look at, the leasing rates were so low and the salesmen had it on his calendar so I would not miss to renew the leasing contract, naturally with the next fancier model.
Vacations? A photo safari to the Kruger national Park, a trip in the luxury version of the Trans-Siberian Railway or a weekend in fall going foxhunting in Ireland. Nothing less to impress colleagues and neighbors.
The credit line on American Express was limitless.
The house had to be bigger as the one of my peers and the children took riding and piano lessons to make up with their classmates.
Not a single thought about times the money flow could become trickling or ending one day.
Luckily enough I got an excellent offer to sell my company shares which took care for levelling down the mountain of debts which had built up over decades and finally a good family friend offered help to invest the rest of the funds carefully. It was five minutes to twelve for rescuing my financials.
But not everybody is as lucky of being blessed by a lucrative buy out and winning the lottery has quite a low probability.
But even for the people with lower incomes: The expenses must not be the foxhunts in Ireland and it must not the BMW’s as long as there is no plan which has a reasonable percentage of savings for the old days the whole financial future becomes a fragile house of cards.
It is the discrepancy of higher outflow than inflow of funds endangering our third age living.
I recently read a report in the “Huffington Post” *. It showed such financial planning details I wished I would have crossed similar information twenty years earlier when I still had my income heydays.
The report is like a revelation. All my financial sins are listed as described in the report: I did not leave out a single one.
Credit card debt planning? Monthly spending plans? Household budgets? What retirement would cost one day? How there could be an answer, when there never the question was asked?
Sure there were automatic deductions from the salaries and commissions paid for social security and pension plans. For health insurance there were deduction and the company paid a portion. Living with these kinds of income acquired through social security payments would have requested a life at lowest levels.
We teach our children so many things today, we send toddlers to learn a second language, teenagers need to go to foreign countries and we study minor subjects of Buddhist philosophy. Nothing is wrong with that. But who teaches children and adults house holding their monies and plan for the future? The financial gurus in the banks have done additional damage selling instruments which failed and contributed so to finance planning frustration.
Writing this article I became aware how little we know about planning our money, Even it is our personal fate which affects all stages of life.
We do not need to be financial geniuses, but we should have from the early age on an idea how we handle our money matters from the Kindergarten to the pension age.
Financial planning should be the subject of neutral institutions to start teaching from kindergarten on how to plan the pocket money through all courses of life and should be not left to selfish “financial advisers” which have nothing else in mind then their own profits and commissions.
I am far away from always calling for state regulation. But here the state has not only a right but also an obligation as at the end the society needs to give support to the financially wrecked individuals.
Maybe we at Swan Global Direct should, as long as public neutral financial education is not offered publish a series how to handle our finances from the pocket money from Kindergarten age until how to transfer of our lifelong financial achievements to our loved ones.
So to end this here is the answer to my question in the headline:
When it comes to personal finances there is hardly anything more important than starting financial planning as early as possible.
It is so simple.
Swan Global Direct