People of all ages are waking up to the fact that global demographics mean that either our pensions will be delayed, or have a reduced or zero value. Most self-employed people I know don’t even have one.
Maybe we thought we had plans in place which would provide a pension by alternative means but, with things as they are, maybe those plans aren’t working out as intended either. Or we never had any pension in the first place because we couldn’t afford the contributions.
Yikes! What to do, especially as we get fearful about our advancing old age? I’m not fearful, but many of my correspondents are and I wonder if that’s because we think we should start to worry in middle age about our old age? Or we begin feel age advancing upon us perhaps.
I heard someone say yesterday that 60 is the new 40 and they are definitely right. I don’t know about you, but apart from a few aches and pains, I don’t feel my age. And therefore why would I worry unduly about not having an orthodox pension?
There’s no sure-fire way of dropping dead prematurely than retiring and having nothing purposeful to do. And although you may be tiring of working as hard as you have always done or in the slightly broken way in which you have always worked, you still have the capacity to work – and then some, don’t you? I know I do and I know it adds value and purpose to my life and the lives of others.
So we might as well reconcile ourselves that continuing to work in one format or another is going to be the new pension for my generation, the Baby Boomers.
And I think it will be peachy because we entrepreneurs are lucky in that we can create work we love to do. It might take a while to find that sweet spot but it’s a definite possibility and I’m betting you glimpse it now and again, even in the business you are running right now, yes?
Now you know you may have to work much longer than you originally planned for all the reasons we read in the papers, how are you feeling about it? How can you brush off any lingering disappointment or anger and move forward?
What steps can you take to shift your working endeavours over into something you can love all day long, so that working indefinitely would not be a hardship? What if the things you already love to do were to become your work? What are you good at? What are you a natural at? What do people seek your advice about? Could those activities be income-producing for you in later life, or now?
At age 60, we could have anything up to another 50 years to plan for (depending on our lifestyle!) which is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves many times over and I, for one, relish that. And, depending on our financial circumstances, it may be that we only need to work in our business part-time to top up our income needs.
All this depends on how you can jiggle your whole financial picture. But if your self-employed income is your whole financial picture, nil desperandum. Aging will force us to work smarter. When we could work hard and all day and all night long, we did. As we get to a stage of life where we can’t or don’t want to, we are obliged to re-draw the way our business works. Or turn our self-employment into a business where money is made with or without us, preferably without.
They say that wisdom comes with age. I’m not sure that’s a given, but experience does. How can you leverage your experience to make money in your business in lieu of a pension, and love it too?