Thinking About Old Age and Money

Detail of "Old lady at San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico" by Tomas Castelazo via Wikimedia Commons used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.Have you ever taken the time to think about what it will be like when you’re old?  I’m not talking about the technical advances of social changes, but the physical reality.  One day, we will either all be old or dead, so it makes sense for us to prepare ourselves for this certainty.  I’ve posted earlier about estate planning topics before, but I haven’t talked about the reality of aging yet, and what that has to do with wise financial planning.

Since you’re one of my dozen readers, it’s likely that decrepitude is pretty far off for you.*  While we can’t know what it’s like until we really are old, I’d like to encourage you to take some time to look at some of the elderly around you. (Don’t stare!)  Notice how they move.  Notice how they live.  Many of the elderly are infirm.  They must move slowly, rest frequently, and have help.**  My question is, when you’re old and your joints hurt and you have no energy; do you want to have a kitty to take care of your infirm self, or do you want to see if you can make it on just Social Security?  Oh, you’d rather be old with money than old without money?

I suspect you’d prefer to have money.

Now that you have an inkling of why it’s important to start saving for retirement, how do you get started? There are more than a few ways to tackle this problem – here are a few ideas for getting started:

  1. DIY:  Always a popular option, you can go online and invest the time to start learning about investments and retirement saving strategies.  I even wrote a short getting-started guide post called Where to Get a Basic Education in Investing.
  2. Hire a Financial Planner:  I’m a big fan of this option because this works really well for both me and my clients.  It will probably cost you some money, but you can get qualified advice and start your retirement plan right away.
  3. Ask a More Experienced Friend:  There are knowledgeable laypeople out there who can give you some guidance on getting started.  You’ll want to be careful, though, because there are also plenty of people who think they’re knowledgeable but will give you some truly ridiculous advice.

I’m sure you can come up with other ways to get your retirement savings started.  Just don’t wait too long, you’re getting older as we speak!

* Although, my uncle Steve reads this blog from time to time… 🙂  (Oh, I kid.  Uncle Steve’s one of my favorite uncles – I only give him a hard time because he has such an excellent sense of humor.)

** I”m not trying to belittle the elderly by calling attention to their physical condition(s).  After all, a lot of today’s elderly limp because they kicked Hilter’s butt so hard.  Old people are boss.

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