Were you scared of final exams, as a child? If you were, you are not alone. Most of us considered final exams with varying degrees of apprehension. What’s even more interesting is that most of us were not worried about exams when the academic years started. Exams were far away and we thought we had enough time.
But as finals came nearer our apprehension increased. Had we prepared enough? By the time exams were barely weeks away a lot of us were wishing for some more time to prepare. Our fears would be at their peak by now and exams would be all we can think about.
Retirement is like that final exam
Whether we like it or not, retirement will come for almost all of us, sooner or later, just like that final exam we used to dread. For those of us in our thirties, it might seem decades away but it’s there alright. For those in their 40s and 50s, it is a looming reality.
There will come a time where our salaries won’t be there anymore and only our savings will sustain us. It’s a fact that can easily be verified by speaking to anyone in their late 60s or 70s.
Why is retirement non-negotiable?
The inevitability of retirement makes it a non-negotiable financial goal. You can save for your house or your child’s education but these goals can be pushed back or negotiated to one extent or the other. Your child can take an education loan and most of us end up taking a home loan to buy our homes.
Unlike these goals, you really can’t take a loan for retirement. Insurance products targeting retirement, such as annuities, also require significant contributions for many years. In other words, relying on your savings is mandatory for you to even consider retirement.
Our own savings are the only tool we can rely on to achieve this goal.
It’s a question of commitment
Retirement is a financial goal that requires the greatest amount of commitment and time. When you want to save and invest to generate an amount that will last you at least a few decades, starting early and staying regular is mandatory. That’s the only way most of us can save up the crores that will be needed for a healthy retirement decade from now, especially when we can only afford to invest small amounts.
Without this kind of commitment, it’s incredibly difficult to save for retirement. You can always delay a vacation or your next car by a couple of years, but delaying saving for retirement only means that getting to the goalpost will get harder.
The reasons for a delay in saving for this goal will cost us are inflation and the fact that your early investments grow the most.
At the end of the day, it’s about choosing a good and healthy life not just now but for your whole life. So add saving for retirement to the list of things that you do not compromise on just like your health and your family.