We hear every day that 70 is the new 60 and that with advances in medical science people are living longer. Looking at this realistically if I work to age 60 but live to 90 I will have approximately 40 years to save up for a 30 year retirement.
Even with the time value of money on my side, if I have diligently saved 10 – 15% of my annual earnings this will not be enough to last for 30 years with inflation and the ups and downs of the economy. Bear in mind that many of the Baby Boomers have not saved diligently for 40 years so retirement income is a real challenge for many middle income South Africans.
Then we are told that we may have to spend more money on healthcare in the last few years of our lives than over say the first 70 years. Therefore the cost of healthcare will further challenge my retirement finances. While this scenario paints a bleak picture for many, it does not help to put ones head in the sand and wait for disaster to happen, or have to turn to children for help in later life. So what can we do?
The obvious solution is to work beyond age 60, leave whatever retirement savings you have to continue growing and generate income to live on and hopefully further bolster your savings.
However, this option can only work if you have your health, hence the topic of this article, healthy mind, health body and healthy finances. The cold facts are if you have not saved enough for retirement you will have to work longer and to do so you will need your mental and physical health.
The good news is that our economy and society needs the wisdom and experience of seniors, even if they don’t always realize it. We can add value by continuing in our corporate career for longer, taking on consulting ventures, starting small businesses or turning hobbies into money. The opportunities are endless if you are healthy.
So my challenge to seniors is do what is necessary to look after your physical and mental health, dream new dreams and find ways to add value to society and earn a living. The second piece of good news is that seniors who remain active in society live longer, happier lives. Putting ones feet up at 60 may lead to boredom and a sedentary lifestyle which is not good for your health. So health and money are inextricably linked. Choose health and you will have more money!
At Evergreen Lifestyle we offer two benefits that can assist you as you take on the challenges of later life. Firstly our Life Right model and living in an Evergreen community can be more affordable than maintaining your own home. In addition our continuous care model will keep you healthy via active ageing. Some of our residents are still working but have made the move to an Evergreen village early.