What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?
DÃ©jÃ vu, because, a few months back, I had asked pretty much the same question when writing about the fallacy of traditional retirement calculations and had then followed-up on that post with this exceptional art of finance sketch by D —
I stand by all of those questions that I asked back then (in fact my conviction in them has only grown stronger). And then to add —
- This problem is further compounded by the fact that the media is often plastered with ads (such as the one below) for traditional retirement that lure you towards that hypothetical pot of gold that magically appears out of thin air and falls into your hands the moment you turn sixty. But in a twist of fate, you then realize that due to some weird and arbitrary commuting (withdrawal) laws and fractions and compulsory annuity for the remaining fractions things don’t really add up to that pot of gold.
- I haven’t invested even a rupee this far in any of those multi-decade pension (deferred-life?) plans and I don’t have any plans whatsoever to do so in future. Not even in the New Pension Scheme (which given the way things stand today could very well turn out into a No Pension Scheme).
- Even those low-liquidity investments that I recently charted out are ones that are set to mature over the next three to five years. And when they do, I’ll probably move everything over into high/medium liquidity ones.
- Early retirement to me means voluntary paid/unpaid work be it of my own industry or for someone else (if you look around there’s an incredible amount of that available) and certainly NOT NO WORK or WORK FOR WORK’S SAKE (W4W as coined in the book)!
Finally, here’s another point from the book to ponder over —
[Traditional] Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed because most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2 — 4% per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bittersweet ending.
A commentary of thoughts running in my head…