Look at that sea, girls – all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.
― L.M. Montgomery,
I started writing this post after giving up the nine to five rat race a couple of years ago but, like with everything else that involves close scrutiny of my finances, I abandoned it. But now is not the time for me to become a financial ostrich because, more than ever, every penny counts.
In my twenties, with my whole life stretched out before me, saving for my dotage never occurred to me, given that it was such a long way off. Money burned a hole in my pocket and as soon as I earned it, I spent it, mostly on travel. But, somewhere along life’s rocky road, common sense prevailed and I managed to save a… bit.
The burning question now is, how much money do I need to see myself out? How do I eke out my modest retirement savings, when I have a bucket list as long as my arm? Because now, any decisions are so dependent on the variables of the what-ifs.
How much longer am I going to live and how much money am I going to need to see me out?
What ifI live to a hundred? Not something I want or envisage, but the tricky part is working out how long you are going to live. My doctor thought he could keep me going for another 20 years. That was three years ago. So, it should be easy enough to calculate how much of my savings I can afford to dig into to indulge myself and visit some of the far-flung places still on my Bucket List. But it’s not.
Part of me says, go on… indulge yourself, you’re a long-time dead. And I would be pretty pissed off if I popped my clogs during the next couple of years haven’t spent any of my little nest egg because it’s all tied up in some fund or other trying to squeeze a bit more out of it.
But… that what if question rears its head again.
Out of all people, I should have a much better grasp of my finances and my future wellbeing. My mother survived a stroke and needed full-time care for the following three years until her death. The cost of daily medical care is huge.
So what if I get sick and have blown my savings on self-indulgent travel? A what if where common sense should prevail. After all, I can enjoy the loveliness of the sea from home, with the people I care about the most.
I couldn’t find out who quoted the immortal words… when you have money, you have no time and when you have the time you have no money. And, given the what-ifs variables, I suspect, it will hold many of us Baby Boomers back from going on our final bungee jump or visiting the places still on our Bucket List, now that we have the time but not enough money.
Money is something you got to make in case you don’t die.