Future plans

To what extent do you want to plan for your retirement?

INSURANCE agents, telemarketers and direct sellers have traditionally topped my list of people to avoid on most days, no matter how good my disposition. Now, there’s a more intimidating addition – people selling financial products that will turn my paltry savings into magical millions.

These are the seers of gloom and doom, resolute in their conviction that since I didn’t start planning for my retirement the moment I joined the legions of the employed more than two decades ago, I am fated to spend my old age in abject poverty. Ah, but wait … there is hope, they whisper to me conspiratorially.

These folks are the evolution – or mutation, depending on your outlook – of the insurance agent of yore. Once, they sold life, medical and accident policies, but then realised none intimidated people like me effectively enough. So they added the spectres of retirement and old age to their portfolios!

Just the other day, I was told that if I planned to live another 20 years, post-retirement, I would need at least RM3mil to keep me and the missus good for the long haul.

Really, who does the maths for these things? And to tote up that sort of money, I would need to work five lifetimes!

Look, I’m not much of a saver but despite our country’s ridiculously youthful retirement age of 55, I’ve planned stuff to keep me occupied for many more years. Or not, depending on how long I’ll live. Proles like me can handle only that much planning, beyond which, Fate calls the shots.

One agent making his pitch to me dismissed the good, old-fashioned insurance policy outright, and said it was old hat. Investments – bonds, funds, equities, all words existing in the fringes of my consciousness – were the way to go, he said, and these would grow and grow to ensure a comfortable nest egg upon retirement.

However, in order to do that, I first had to get into debt to be able to shell out the premiums. OK, I’m kidding, but the pay­­­ments would have left me with little to savour at the end of the month!

“It’s a small sacrifice to take care of your family’s future,” I was assured. See, that’s how they tighten the screws, suggesting that you’re an uncaring hound and don’t love your family if you don’t go with the proposal.

My plan for now is mostly to live one day at a time, and in moderation. Why deny yourself the more salubrious elements of life when you could get a heart attack and die the day after you retire? What irony to have planted and tended investments while denying yourself any indulgences, only for someone else to enjoy the fruits of your planning!

The future looks scary enough as it is. Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruptions, diseases – who knows which of these will one day bring the human race to its knees and nudge it to the brink of extinction? Today, you’re going about life as usual; tomorrow, you’re standing at the precipice of a nuclear disaster.

So enjoy the normal and desultory while you can, for these may be rare in time to come. Don’t grow old worrying, scrimping and saving, afraid that you won’t have enough to last you until you turn 80 – the end could be sooner, and you don’t want not to have lived your life to the fullest.

Now, if I could only keep ducking those agents for a few more years and then, when they ask me what my retirement plan is, I can say: “I’m living it!”

Time to start planning that grand and exotic vacation ….

sumber : The Star Online

So kawan-kawan, star your retirement planning now!!!

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