Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thinking about Living till the Age of 100 Years?

Living till the age of 100 years is no mean achievement. It would imply the person took care of all the three - character, health and wealth - throughout a very very long innings. It would also mean the person succeeded in exemplifying what some wise man had said "if wealth is gone nothing is gone, if health is gone something is gone and if character is gone everything is gone".

Holding on to character in all situations is very important as that would in turn provide the strength to hold on to health and wealth and even if they are lost to earn them again. Character is what ensures that health and wealth are put to good use by the person. Good character plays an important role in achieving good health and good wealth. Holding on to character for 100 years is undoubtedly extremely difficult but if done, is absolutely commendable and worth emulating.

For living till 100 years of age one ought to stay fit and healthy. With the food and lifestyle one is exposed to in the current times, it is extremely difficult to stay fit and fine. Controlling one's food habits, investing some time on exercising regularly and ensuring adequate rest and relaxation go a long way in helping one stay healthy.

Also it is important not to spend too much time in a bed-ridden state before one passes away. The best thing would be to die all of a sudden while one is engaged in the daily chores and in the worst case not more than a week in the bed before bidding the final adieu. Those who spend weeks, months and at times even years on the bed before they pass away may live long but would undergo tremendous amount of pain and suffering in embracing death. Death should ideally be something one should long for at the end of a long life, a life which was lived well!

Finally, living long has a financial angle to it. One would typically start earning when one reaches the age of 25 and retire at the age of 60 years. For living till the age of 100 years one would have to save and invest whatever is earned in 35 years (from age 25 to age 60) to last for 40 years (from age 60 to age 100).

In the earning phase of one's life, one has to ensure savings and investments are planned even though one has to spend part of the money earned for necessary expenses (utility bills, etc.), taking care of liabilities (like loan payments, etc.) and taking care of family and social obligations (kid's education, marriage, etc.). The retirement kitty has to be attended to throughout the working life to ensure one has enough money to sustain  the financial burden of living till the age of 100 years.

Lately, the wealth part has come under severe attack due to the turmoil and uncertainly in the world economy. Earlier one could be assured of working from the age of 25 years till the age of 60 years. However, in the current times, retirement can come abruptly. One might be 45 and suddenly find oneself jobless any fine day due to reasons over which one has no control.

In  light of the above, one needs to exercise frugality and prudence in spending the money one earns. This may in fact require one to become extremely stingy at least in the earlier part of one's earning life. Money thus saved should be invested wisely, earnings from the investments should not be spent rather re-invested to increase earnings potential. The cycle of investment and earnings re-investment in combination with the power of compounding is a very useful financial concept that can help one manage one's life beyond retirement at the age of 60 or even earlier, if it comes to that.

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